OPEC met for a pow-wow this week. But members left empty-handed. The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries failed to set a cap on the amount of oil that the group produces. Curiously, the price of a barrel of oil held steady on the news. Maybe it was because OPEC issued a statement to say that it was committed to a “stable and balanced oil market” – whatever that might mean.
It now takes two people to run Noble Group (SGX: N21) rather than just one. The incumbent boss, Yusuf Alireza, said he has resigned “for family reasons”. He will be replaced by William Randall and Jeff Frase. Alireza’s shock departure is not the first time a top man has left the top job. In 2011, former CEO Ricardo Leiman also left abruptly. And now we hear that chairman Richard Elman will step into the revolving door within 12 months.
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According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the global economy is stuck in a low-growth trap. It expects the global economy to grow 3% this year, with only a modest improvement next year. The finger of blame has been pointed at China’s slowdown. But the OECD also said governments could do more by targeted spending.
Japan has put its planned sales-tax hike on hold for two-and-a-half years. The delay has raised concerns as to whether the Abe government will be able to bring down the public sector debt and stimulate the economy through fiscal measures at the same time. But Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, was confident that he could deploy a comprehensive, bold economic package this autumn.
And finally, statues of two cartoon bears have been removed from outside China’s securities regulator. Apparently, people complained that one of the bears was making a “middle-finger” gesture at the building. But how can a bear – with four fingers – give a middle finger? The mind boggles!
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