` South Korea Commences boosting its `Air Defences ‘ with purchase of a $1.3 Billion Refuelling Tanker ‘

#AceFinanceNews – SEOUL – March 31 – South Korea on Monday kicked off the process to buy four in-flight refuelling tanker aircraft, Reuters said.

The deal is seen to be worth around $1.31 billion, with plane-makers Boeing and Airbus expected to compete, according to sources.

The purchase will be part of Seoul’s attempts to bolster its air defence in the face of rising tension over the maritime interests of Japan and China, as well as against North Korea.

#AFN2014

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` Chinese Insurance Companies have begun to offer Pay-Outs to the Relatives of Missing Boeing MH370 ‘

#AceFinanceNews – BEIJING – March 27 – Chinese insurance companies have begun to offer payouts to the relatives of the missing Boeing 777-200, news agency Xinhua reported on Thursday.

The firms begun offering insurance payments after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that the plane had probably fallen into sea with no survivors.

On Monday, the prime minister held a press-conference, where he said that the flight has been last registered on satellite images to the west of the Australian city of Perth in the Indian Ocean.

Najib added that the plane was too far from the place where it could land, so the most probable version was that it had crashed in the ocean.

As of today, China’s largest insurance firm China Life has already paid more than 4 million yuan ($666,000) to the relatives of 7 out of 32 passengers of the missing Boeing, who were clients of the company.

All insurance payments will stand at 9 million yuan ($1.46 million).

On Wednesday, China Pacific Insurance, registered in Shanghai, made the first insurance payment of 525,000 yuan ($87,500). The relatives of 9 passengers, clients of China Life Insurance Co, will receive up to 1 million yuan ($166,000).

Chinese and Malaysian News

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`In Terms of Billions of Dollars, Trade is Higher between Russia and the EU, but the US remains Europe’s Biggest Export Market’

#AceFinanceNews – Russia will switch to other trade partners if economic sanctions are imposed by the US and the European Union, the Russian President‘s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has said.

“If one economic partner on the one side of the globe impose sanctions, we will pay attention to new partners from the globe’s other side. The world is not monopolar, we will concentrate on other economic partners,” RIA news quotes Peskov.

Trade

In terms of billions of dollars, trade is higher between Russia and the EU, but the US remains Europe’s biggest export market.

Net trade between Russia and the US was $38.1 billion in 2013, according to US Chamber of Commerce data. The US exported $11.26 billion to Russia, and imported $26.96 billion worth of goods.

Russia exports more than $19 billion of oil and petroleum products to the United States, as well as $1 billion in fertilizer products, according to Chamber of Commerce data.

“Is Russia going to be cut off from the world? That is very unlikely given what Russia provides to the world, which are oil, gas, raw materials,” Alexis Rodzianko, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia told Reuters.

Russia is very dependent on trade with the EU, as member states account for about 50 percent of total Russian imports and exports. In 2012, trade between the two neighbors reached €123 billion.

One of Russia’s most valuable exports to Europe is something factories and households run on every day: natural gas. Europe imports one-third of its natural gas from Russia, with Germany being the biggest client importing nearly 30 billion euro annually. In 2012, 75 percent of all European imports from Russia were energy.

Many countries in Europe have strategic partnerships with Russia’s state-owned gas giants, Rosneft and Gazprom.

According to Eurostat data, Russia accounts for 7 percent of total imports and 12 percent of total exports in the 28 European Union bloc, making it the regions third most important trading partner, behind the USA and China.

US companies with big Russia presence

Several of America’ biggest companies- Boeing, Cargill, Ford, General Motors, ExxonMobil, to name a few- all have a huge presence in the Russian market.

Boeing’s investment in Russia is deep, as the aerospace carrier sources a considerable amount of steel, titanium, and aircraft parts from Russian companies. Boeing receives about 35 percent of its titanium from state-owned, Rostec. In 2013, Boeing’s deliveries to Russian carriers were valued at $2.1 billion, and the company plans to spend $27 billion in Russia, Bloomberg reports.

“We are watching developments closely to determine what impact, if any, there may be to our ongoing business and partnerships in the region,” Doug Alder, a spokesman for Chicago-based Boeing, told Bloomberg by email.

Last year, Russia was a $11.2 billion market for the US, with heavy trade in automobiles and aircrafts, according to Commerce Department data.

US automakers have a high exposure to Russian markets, so are closely watching US economic actions against Russia. Ford has sold over 1 million automobiles in Russia, and in 2013, sold 105,000 cars. GM, which has a 9 percent market share, sold 258,000. Both companies have shifted production plants from Europe to Russia, which is set to become Europe’s biggest carmarket by 2016.

ExxonMobil has partnered with Rosneft in exploring the Bazhenov oil field in Western Siberia, a deal that could be worth up to $500 billion. ExxonMobil is planning to build a $15 billion LNG terminal project in the Bazhenov field, and also has joint venture projects set up to explore Black Sea reserves.

Senator Chris Murphy, chairman of the Senate’s subcommittee on Europe, said the sanctions could be extended to Russia’s banks. Russia’s two largest state banks are Sberbank, Europe’s third largest, and VTB. Both banks have a strong industry presence in London, which has indicated it isn’t moving towards the sanctions. A leaked document from Downing Street shows that the UK government doesn’t plan to follow America-led asset freezes or trade restrictions, but are mulling over visa restrictions and travel bans on key Russian politicians.

#ANS2014 

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