#AceFinanceNews The Polish government said it will offer 6-year tax breaks for shale gas companies in an effort to fast track investment and exploration.
The announcement comes as energy tension with Russia run high over Ukraine.
The new tax break is aimed at helping Poland attract foreign companies to explore and invest in the country’s shale oil reserves, believed to be the largest in Europe, according to data by the US Energy Information Administration.
The tax break will be “a huge incentive” to get investors interested and on the ground, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Tuesday, adding that by 2020 taxes “should not exceed 40 percent of extraction income.”
Between 2020-2029, the new incentives will contribute up to $5 billion in revenue, according to Tusk.
The proposal will be sent to parliament within two weeks, and the prime minister hopes it will pass without any hiccups.
#AceFinanceNews US President Barack Obama and European Union leaders will promise to remove all tariffs on bilateral trade at their summit on March 26, Reuters reported, citing a draft statement.
The joint declaration is likely to overcome tensions following Washington’s offer to cut its duties by less than the Europeans had hoped for.
Also, Brussels pledged to remove almost all of its own tariffs.
“The EU and the US are firmly committed to concluding a comprehensive and ambitious Transatlantic Trade and Investment (TTI) .
#AceFinanceNews The government of Japan is considering imposing sanctions on Russia over the situation in Crimea, Nikkei reported, citing officials.
The sanctions could be similar to those mulled by the US and European countries, it said. Seiji Maehara, former president of the Democratic Party of Japan, and a senior opposition lawmaker urged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government to impose sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
#AceFinanceNews The Obama administration plans to sell 5 million barrels, or less than 1 percent of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, calling the move a test of the petrol distribution system.
The last time this happened was in August 1990 before the first Gulf War.
“Due to the recent dramatic increase in domestic crude oil production, significant changes in the system have occurred — including pipeline expansion, construction of new infrastructure, reversed flow of existing pipelines and increased use of domestic crude oil terminals,” William Gibbons, the US Energy Department spokesman said in a statement.
The government rejected a connection with the turmoil in Ukraine or other geopolitical events.
On Thursday the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for April delivery fell by 2.3 percent on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It’s the biggest drop in two months.
WTI crude has a high sulfur content, similar to oil exported from Russia.
The large sale might be a test of the US system’s readiness for a hiccup in Russian supply, analysts suggest.
“The timing of this makes it seem like a warning shot across the bow towards the Russians,” the Financial Times quotes Michael Wittner, the head of global oil research at Société Générale in New York.
Reuters – Financial Times – AP
#AceFinanceNews -Allocation of financial aid to Ukraine in the amount of $ 3 billion will depend on the effectuation of structural reforms by the Kiev government, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in an interview with Bloomberg.
The report said that Kim, who met with acting Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in Washington this week, said it would not be easy for Ukraine to carry out the changes it has pledged.
“Even in the midst of all these political difficulties, they’re going to do things like remove fuel subsidies,” Kim said on Bloomberg TV’s “Market Makers” program.
“We feel that they’re moving forward, so we’re going to be able to move forward we think fairly quickly, if they continue on that path to being committed to those reforms,” he said.
Yatsenyuk is seeking financial aid from Western donors, including $15 billion from the IMF, Bloomberg said.
As he spoke to his hosts in Washington, he promised “real reforms” to stabilize the national economy, currently plagued by a sliding currency and deepening budget deficits.
The IMF has issued persistent calls to the Ukrainian government to reduce the deficit, to allow the currency to fluctuate and to stop paying out gas subsidies that amount to 7.5% of the Ukrainian economy.
NEW YORK, March 14, Itar-Tass
#AceFinanceNews The use of Bitcoins and other Cryptocurrencies carries the risk of violating citizens’ property rights and cannot be used in Russia, the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office concluded after meeting with the Central Bank, FSB, and Interior Ministry.
“The monitoring of the use of virtual currencies shows an increasing interest in them, including for the purpose of money laundering, profit obtained through illegal means,” ITAR-TASS quoted the Prosecutor General’s Office as saying.
“Russia’s official currency is the Ruble. The introduction of other types of currencies and the issue of money surrogates are banned,” the statement says, meaning that Cryptocurrencies – the most popular of which is Bitcoin – cannot be used by Russian citizens or corporations.
Members of the meeting also outlined recommendations on how to prevent the use of virtual currencies.
Last month, Russia’s Central Bank (CBR) warned people against using virtual currencies, as they could be tied to gangs involved in money laundering and terrorist financing. CBR issued a statement stating that virtual currencies are illegal under Article 27 of the federal law ‘On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.’
Bitcoin is an independent currency which is not regulated by a government and therefore “carries a high risk in devaluation.”
#AceFinanceNews Singapore intends to start regulating Bitcoin operations, as fears over its involvement into illegal operations and terrorist financing are growing.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will require Bitcoin intermediaries to check the identity of customers.
“Consumers and businesses should take note of the broader risks that dealing in virtual currencies entails and should exercise the necessary caution,” MAS Deputy Managing Director Ong Chong Tee said in a Thursday statement.
The regulatory rules in Singapore will be similar to those now applied in Hong-Kong, as MAS told Bloomberg.
The laws in Hong Kong cover fraud and money laundering that involve “virtual commodities.”
#AceFinanceNews BP today announced that it has entered into an administrative agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on behalf of the federal government, resolving all matters related to the suspension, debarment and statutory disqualification of BP following the Deep-Water Horizon accident and oil spill.
As a result of this agreement, BP is once again eligible to enter into new contracts with the US government, including new deep-water leases in the Gulf of Mexico.
The administrative agreement applies to all of the suspended and debarred BP entities, including BP Exploration & Production Inc., BP p.l.c. and certain affiliated companies.
“After a lengthy negotiation, BP is pleased to have reached this resolution, which we believe to be fair and reasonable,” said John Mingé, Chairman and President of BP America, Inc. “
Today’s agreement will allow America’s largest energy investor to compete again for federal contracts and leases.”
Under the terms and conditions of the administrative agreement, which will apply for five years, BP has agreed to a set of safety and operations, ethics and compliance, and corporate governance requirements, including those contained in the remedial order stemming from BP’s 2012 Plea Agreement with the US Department of Justice and Final Judgement Order with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
As part of the administrative agreement, BP will dismiss the lawsuit it filed against the EPA in federal court in Texas for improper statutory disqualification and suspension.
#AceFinanceNews UK “bad bankers” may be forced to return the last 6 years of bonuses, as the Bank of England is seeking to make top management more responsible for the lenders’ performance and avoid a repetition of the mis-selling and rate manipulation scandals.
The ruling would cover all the 1,700 firms authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), such as banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment houses.
It could come into force on January 1, 2015 and the claw-back could be applied to awards made before that date but which are paid after, says the Bank of England.
Reasonable evidence of “misbehaviour”, huge losses or a risk-management failure are among the reasons that can leave a banker without an annual bonus.
The new legislation if applied will become the most severe claw-back provisions in the world, according to Tom Gosling, a partner at PWC.
#AceFinanceNews – Ukrainian bank’s in Crimea will not be nationalized if the March 16 referendum decides on Crimea’s accession to Russia, Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov promised.
“Not a single bank will be nationalized and we will not withdraw bank assets,” he said. Aksyonov said all the negative variants of developments are expected from the Kiev powers.
“We will support the bank system. I do declare that not a single shareholder, not a single proprietor in Crimea will suffer from the authorities’ actions,” the premier stressed – Itar-Tass .
“The bank system now functions in accordance with Ukrainian legislation; Russian laws will be in effect after the referendum,” he said. “We will help all to transfer to Russian legislation in a peaceful route,” he said.
The Crimean authorities had earlier denied rumours about nationalization Ukrainian bank branches in Crimea.
First Deputy Premier Rustam Temirgaliyev stated on Wednesday that the banks can continue operations after re-registration in accordance with Russian laws.
The deputy premier suggested that Crimean residents should continue fulfilling obligations to financial organizations, specifically, make credit payments.