India Eyes Oil Deals with Nations Including Russia

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas of India Hardeep Singh Puri speaks during the 54th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 16, 2024. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas of India Hardeep Singh Puri speaks during the 54th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 16, 2024. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
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India Eyes Oil Deals with Nations Including Russia

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas of India Hardeep Singh Puri speaks during the 54th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 16, 2024. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas of India Hardeep Singh Puri speaks during the 54th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 16, 2024. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights

Indian Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday announced that state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL.NS), plans to build a new refinery and the nation is looking at signing more oil import deals with countries including Russia at discounted rates.

Puri, who took charge of the ministry for a second time on Tuesday, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to provide energy at affordable rates to customers to cushion them from the volatile oil markets.

India, the world's third biggest oil importer and consumer, emerged as the biggest buyer of Russian sea-borne oil, snapping up barrels sold at a discount as Western companies halted purchases after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Reuters reported.

"We are a longstanding partner of Russian federation. We have had discussion with the Russians on long-term deals," Puri said.

"I am confident that both our private and public sector players will sign long-term deals with countries where they see benefit in doing so," he said, when asked if Indian state-run companies are looking at signing such deals with Russia.

While private refiners Reliance Industries (RELI.NS), and Nayara Energy have signed an annual import deal with Russia, state refiner Indian Oil Corp (IOC.NS), has not yet renewed its deal.

Nayara Energy, majority owned by Russian entities, has also signed an annual crude supply deal with a trader to buy about 8-10 million barrels each month at a discount of $3-3.50 per barrel linked to the Dubai marker in 2024.

Indian state refiners BPCL and Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL.NS), are also looking at signing term deals with Russia.

Puri said the location and capacity of a new refinery planned by BPCL have not yet been finalised.

He said India wants to raise its oil output which has been stagnant for years. State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC.NS), has floated a tender seeking technical tie-ups with global oil majors to boost output its western offshore Mumbai High Field, he said.

Output from the Mumbai High Field has been declining since 2018. Having hit a peak of 471,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 1984-85, it produced an average 134,000 bpd in the fiscal year to March 2024.



Moody’s Upgrades Türkiye’s Ratings to B1 on Tight Monetary Policy

A street vendor waits for customers at an underground passage in Istanbul, Türkiye, July 11, 2024. (Reuters)
A street vendor waits for customers at an underground passage in Istanbul, Türkiye, July 11, 2024. (Reuters)
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Moody’s Upgrades Türkiye’s Ratings to B1 on Tight Monetary Policy

A street vendor waits for customers at an underground passage in Istanbul, Türkiye, July 11, 2024. (Reuters)
A street vendor waits for customers at an underground passage in Istanbul, Türkiye, July 11, 2024. (Reuters)

Ratings agency Moody's upgraded Türkiye’s ratings to "B1" from "B3" on Friday, citing improvements in governance and a tighter stance on monetary policy.

Backed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and spear-headed by Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek, Türkiye has been implementing a tight monetary and fiscal policy since last year to tackle soaring inflation. Annual inflation dipped to below 72% last month from above 75% in May, which is seen as the peak.

Türkiye’s central bank has raised its main rate to 50% from 8.5% since Simsek was appointed last year.

The country's central bank has recently said it will maintain its tight monetary policy stance until a permanent decline in inflation is achieved. In June, the central bank reiterated that disinflation would take hold in the second half of the year.

Last month, the international crime watchdog, Financial Action Task Force (FATF), removed Türkiye from its "grey list" of countries that require special scrutiny, in a boost to the country's economic turnaround plan.

Moody's is the first credit ratings agency to announce new ratings for Türkiye following the FATF decision.

Lower current-account deficit and improvement in the central bank's financial position has materially reduced the country's external vulnerability, Moody's said.

"Earlier concerns over rising risks of a full-blown balance of payments crisis - which had triggered successive downgrades to the B3 rating level - have for now dissipated," the agency added in a statement.

The agency also maintained its "positive" outlook on Türkiye, expecting authorities to maintain its tight economic policy stance for longer.