Discover more from Emerging World
Emerging Markets Daily - December 14
Oil Supply Set to Outpace Demand: IEA, Time Running Out on Iran Nuke Deal, Blinken Blasts China in SE Asia, Binance Pulls Out of Singapore, Alibaba Explores Metaverse
The Top 5 Stories Shaping Emerging Markets from Global Media - December 14
Global Oil Supply Set to Outpace Demand, IEA Says
“Much-needed relief for tight markets is on the way.” - IEA
“Global oil production is set to outpace demand from December as the US and Opec+ countries increase supply, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday. ‘Much-needed relief for tight markets is on the way, with world oil supply set to overtake demand starting this month,’ the Paris-based agency said in its monthly report.”
“The Opec+ group, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, has been gradually increasing supply by 400,000 barrels per day since August to meet rising demand as global economies reopen. The US, Canada and Brazil are also set to pump at their highest annual levels, lifting overall non-Opec+ output by 1.8 million bpd in 2022, said the agency.”
“Global supply [growth] would soar to 6.4 million bpd next year, compared with a 1.5 million bpd rise in 2021, if Opec+ member countries fully unwind their remaining production cuts, it said.”
“Oil prices dropped sharply in November as the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant threatened a fledgling economic recovery. However, prices rose subsequently and remained steady as concerns about the new strain eased.”
“On Monday, Opec raised its global oil demand forecast for the first quarter of 2022 but left its full-year growth projection as it said the Omicron coronavirus variant would have a mild impact. The group of crude exporters kept the world oil demand growth unchanged at 4.2 million bpd for 2022.” Fareed Rahman reports.
Geopolitics: Time Running out on Iran Nuclear Deal Hopes
“On Monday, European diplomats warned time is running out for negotiators to agree on the return of the U.S. to the agreement.”
“Iran said it won’t allow United Nations nuclear inspectors to access a centrifuge workshop which was sabotaged earlier this year, as diplomats warn that time is running out to save a landmark deal that had capped the Islamic Republic’s atomic activities.”
“According to state-run Press TV, Mohammad Eslami, the head of the Atomic Energy Agency of Iran, said access to the site in Karaj on the outskirts of Tehran is ‘unacceptable’ because it goes beyond its safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.”
“He said talks with the IAEA would continue but that all issues related to the facility had to be resolved together, Press TV reported. IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi has signaled concern over Iran’s refusal to allow new cameras to be installed at Karaj, with some countries suggesting Tehran could face diplomatic censure if inspectors aren’t allowed back in soon.”
“Last week, Iran said the cameras at the site may have been hacked when the facility was attacked in June and access cannot be permitted while it’s still investigating the incident. Iranian officials have blamed Israel, which opposed the nuclear deal, for the sabotage as they have after earlier attacks on nuclear infrastructure. Israel has declined to comment on allegations of involvement.”
“Negotiators from Iran and world powers are in Vienna trying to save the 2015 accord that lifted sanctions on the Iranian economy in exchange for strict limits on the country’s atomic program. On Monday, European diplomats warned time is running out for negotiators to agree on the return of the U.S. to the agreement.” Golnar Motevalli reports.
Blinken Blasts ‘Aggressive’ China During Southeast Asia Visit
“Antony Blinken has criticised ‘Beijing’s aggressive actions’ against its neighbours and upheld Washington’s commitment to an Indo-Pacific region ‘free from coercion and accessible to all’ in the US secretary of state’s first visit to south-east Asia since taking office.”
“The speech in Jakarta broke little new ground, said analysts, but they felt it might bolster US credibility in the region after the volatility of Donald Trump’s administration, which included a trade war with China and America’s exit from the transpacific trade pact.”
“Blinken also said that President Joe Biden planned to host regional leaders at a summit to be held in the US in coming months. ‘It’s not about a contest between a US-centric region or a China-centric region. The Indo-Pacific is its own region,’ Blinken said at the University of Indonesia, during the first leg of a three-country visit that will also take him to Malaysia and Thailand.”
“Blinken said that the US was committed to ensuring freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, where, he added, Beijing’s maritime claims on most of the sea threatened the movement of more than $3tn worth of trade every year. ‘It’s worth remembering that tied up in that colossal number are the livelihoods and wellbeing of millions of people across the world,’ Blinken said. ‘When commerce can’t traverse these open seas, that means farmers are blocked from shipping their produce, factories can’t ship their microchips and hospitals are blocked from getting life-saving medicines.’”
“Blinken’s address was billed as a crucial update on Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy, its policy of building ties with the countries on China’s doorstep in the face of an increasingly assertive Beijing. His remarks were met with a pointed response from Beijing, where a foreign ministry spokesman accused the US of ‘exaggerating the so-called China threat’.” The FT reports.
Crypto Exchange Binance Plans to Withdraw from Singapore Amid Legal Tussle
“Binance plans to “wind down” all services in Singapore by Feb. 13, 2022. Users are no longer allowed to deposit cryptocurrencies or fiat on the Binance.sg platform. Crypto exchange Binance has withdrawn its application with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for a digital payment token services license.”
“On Monday, Binance.sg stopped onboarding new users and will not allow Singaporeans to deposit cryptocurrencies or fiat on the exchange. By Feb. 13, 2022, Binance plans to ‘wind down’ all services that relate to dealing with cryptocurrency tokens. However, the exchange announced it would accept no responsibility for the users’ assets after the self-determined deadline.”
“Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao explained that the exchange will still have a presence in the Singapore market and that the withdrawal was connected to the recent acquisition of the Singapore-regulated private securities exchange Hg Exchange (HGX). The 18% stake signaled an attempt to overcome the existing regulatory hurdles, as HGX was recently granted a recognized market operator license from the MAS.”
“Binance is reportedly in talks with Indonesia’s richest family, the Hartonos, for launching an exchange service. According to a Bloomberg report, Binance may soon finalize a crypto venture with Hartonos-controlled PT Bank Central Asia (BCA).”
“If approved, the new BCA partnership will allow for the launch of a second crypto venture for Binance in Indonesia. The crypto exchange is also planning to expand to the United Kingdom in the next six to 18 months amid regulatory resistance.” Coin Telegraph reports.
Alibaba Bets on Gaming in the Metaverse
South China Morning Post
The move comes “hot on the heels of similar forays into the metaverse by other Chinese tech giants, including Tencent Holdings, NetEase and Baidu.”
“Alibaba Group Holding has registered a new company in Beijing named Yuanjing Shengsheng to test the gaming potential of the metaverse, in the latest sign that China’s Big Tech firms are doubling down on what many see as the future of the internet.”
“The new unit, wholly owned by Alibaba’s investment arm, has listed its major business as software development and services, according to public registry tracking firm Tianyancha. It has 10 million yuan (US$1.6 million) in registered capital. The unit’s business is related to the metaverse, according to a report by Chinese media outlet Chinastarmarket.cn, citing unnamed Alibaba employees.”
“The establishment of the new unit underlines Alibaba’s interest in the metaverse, a shared, immersive 3D virtual space where people can interact and trade, and the move comes despite Beijing’s tighter scrutiny of the gaming sector in the past year. It also comes hot on the heels of similar forays into the metaverse by other Chinese tech giants, including Tencent Holdings, NetEase and Baidu.” SCMP reports.
“Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.” — Will Rogers