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LONDON: Many global commodity markets fell this week as traders worried that the Cyprus situation would reignite the eurozone's sovereign debt crisis and dent global demand for raw materials. However, precious metal gold won ground as many investors sought a safe place to park their cash. "Gold prices have firmed as events in Cyprus have unfolded this week, but the base metals complex and oil prices have come under pressure," said Barclays analyst Suki Cooper. "A recovery in investor risk appetite is passing commodities markets by. The growth outlook is still not strong enough to support the kind of broad-based pick-up already seen in many other asset classes." Cyprus is locked in emergency talks with a troika of lenders to save the eurozone member's banking system and economy in general from ruin, and the option of a tax on bank deposits back on the table. The European Union has given Nicosia until Monday to raise 5.8 billion euros ($7.47 billion) to unlock loans worth 10 billion euros or face being choked from European Central Bank emergency funding in a move that would bankrupt the island. OIL: World crude prices sank as fears intensified over Cyprus. The market also fell as traders banked profits despite strong manufacturing data in China, which is the world's biggest consumer of energy. The European Central Bank warned on Thursday it was ready to pull the plug on emergency funding for Cyprus banks as the island's politicians scrambled to raise billions of euros to head off financial meltdown. In another blow to sentiment, the eurozone Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), published by London-based Markit, showed that the German economy was starting to be affected by the problems in the rest of Europe and that the French slowdown was accelerating. Overall the eurozone PMI, a leading indicator of growth, fell to four-month low of 46.5 points in March against 47.9 in February. "Concerns about demand for oil intensified following the release of disappointing eurozone PMI readings and after the ECB issued an ultimatum to Cyprus to come up with a bailout plan by Monday or else it would suspend its provision of emergency liquidity," said GFT analyst Fawad Razaqzada. Prices had rallied in New York on Wednesday after the US Department of Energy reported an unexpected decline of 1.3 million barrels in oil stocks in the week ending March 15. That confounded market expectations for a large gain of 1.7 million barrels, suggesting stronger-than-expected demand in the United States, which is the world's top crude consumer. Read full article here: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-03-23/news/37960642_1_french-slowdown-european-central-bank-emergency-cyprus-situation
Are you worried in Cleethorpes about the impact the current cold snap is having on your home heating bills? It could be time to get Ready to Switch. North East Lincolnshire Council has joined Ready to Switch – a free scheme that could help thousands of people cut their gas and electricity bills. As many people as possible are now needed to sign up at www.nelincs.gov.uk/readytoswitch before Monday 8 April 2013 and use their joint buying power to help drive down their home energy costs. NELC has teamed up with more than 12 other councils across the country to make it easier for people to switch energy providers. All you need to do is visit www.nelincs.gov.uk/readytoswitch and provide your contact details, the name of your supplier and details of your current energy usage and tariff. If you don't have access to the internet, you could ask a friend or family member to register you (up to five separate addresses can be registered with the same email). Staff at your local library, Customer Access Point and Children's Centre can also help if you don't have internet access – but remember to bring a copy of a recent gas and electricity bill with you. In other parts of the country people have saved between £60 and £200 a year on their bills and the more people that sign up, the bigger the potential savings. This is one of the largest schemes of its kind in the UK and by teaming up with other councils, NELC is helping to create a massive pool of potential customers that energy companies bid against to supply. The councils are working with a specialist company called iChoosr who will negotiate with the energy companies on behalf of everyone signed up to the scheme to get the best tariff possible.
T.D.writes: I invested in carbon credits that I bought from MH Carbon Limited, after the company told me that businesses buy these credits. Mine were supposed to be sold in October. When October came I was told that while I stood to make a 20 per cent profit, if I waited until November this would rise to 25 per cent. It seemed sensible to wait, but then in November, MH Carbon told me no one was buying. The company added that in April the Government would be introducing legislation that would force businesses to buy carbon credits or face heavy fines. I invested all my savings, so now I am extremely worried. I have yet to see any ordinary investor make a penny from trading in carbon credits, and I am afraid you are not going to be the first – though I do have some good news for you. MH Carbon, based in the City of London, is run by its sole director Jeffrey Razaq, so I asked him whether it was true you were first told your credits were showing a 20 per cent profit, with a promise of more to come, yet suddenly they could not be sold at all. He told me he had bought the company on November 14 last year, and that the broker who dealt with you had already left by then. There was no record of what you had been told, he said. Well, I asked, what about the idea that the Government was going to force companies to buy carbon credits from investors like you? Razaq came up with an announcement made last June, but he had the honesty to admit that all this does is make major companies report their greenhouse gas emissions. By no stretch of the imagination does it force them to buy credits. Fair enough, but what about the claim on MH Carbon’s website that ‘the EU carbon price may triple by 2013’? Did it? And even if it did, there are two different types of credit – one traded by governments and international corporations, and ‘voluntary credits’ sold by firms such as MH Carbon to people like you – so which one saw the massive price rise? Razaq conceded there was no threefold price rise. It was simply a prediction, and it certainly did not apply to your ‘voluntary credits’ anyway. He said: ‘As this figure has not been achieved, I have taken the decision to remove reference to it from the website.’ I did wonder how much Razaq actually knows about carbon credit trading. Enquiries show he has previously worked as a director of companies authorised by the Financial Services Authority, and licensed by the Office of Fair Trading, but these were in unrelated fields. So, I asked him where he learnt about carbon credits. Nowhere, came the answer, with Razaq telling me he has not worked in the sector before. The good news – as you already know – is that after I contacted him Razaq rang you up and asked what you wanted. You told him you would settle for your money back, and forget about any mythical profits. And to my pleasant surprise http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/experts/article-2283339/Carbon-credit-20-profit-boast-MH-Carbon-Limited-went-smoke.html
Market Intelligence What are the leading causes of today's energy shortages? What role does energy security play? Are new developments in energy efficiency and energy storage the answer? This report reviews these issues and discusses some of the emerging smart technologies that will address generation capacity shortfalls. Energy security can be defined as the role of affordable, reliable sources of energy in the overall national security of a given country. As demand rises and reserves become costlier, governments will increasingly find energy security to be a challenging goal. Political factors (both domestic and foreign), and environmental concerns provide further complications. Trends to date indicate that if solutions to these problems are found they will likely be a networked basket of diverse, non-centralized "smart tech" approaches. This report frames the state of energy generation today and discusses some of the likely candidate technologies that will form the solution. These include new developments in energy storage and energy efficiency. For more info check the link below: http://www.heraldonline.com/2013/02/19/4630621/smart-energy-issues-report.html
CROWLEY Carbon is located in the magnificent Powerscourt House and Gardens in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow. Set up in 2009, by Norman Crowley, the company helps businesses and organisations reduce their energy usage. It's not Norman Crowley's first enterprise. In fact, this is the fourth business he has set up. He even made enough money from the sale of his first company to enable him to retire. That was when he was only 29. He later set up and sold a further two businesses before establishing Crowley Carbon. I am fascinated to learn what drives him, what special ingredient he has that seems to guarantee success in business and why he has chosen the energy-efficiency sector for his latest venture. "Crowley Carbon is a new type of energy-services company," Norman explains. "We have developed a new heating boiler system and building management software which, together, dramatically improves efficiency and can help reduce energy usage in buildings, by as much as 80 per cent." Norman explains that he has worked hard to assemble some of the brightest and most experienced staff in the industry. "Some of these guys are literally geniuses within the energy-reduction sector," Norman tells me proudly. The company seems to have identified a real need in the marketplace. "Irish companies are increasingly competing in a global market, and against products from countries where energy and other costs are much lower. So Irish businesses now have to focus proactively on reducing their own energy costs if they want to remain competitive," he says. Some of the company's current customers include Vodafone, Dawn Meats, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Intel. They are also beginning to work with schools, universities, hospitals, hotels and government departments. "The Government is spending €850m on energy within schools, hospitals and government departments," Norman tells me. "We believe we could dramatically reduce that figure using our cutting-edge technologies." With offices in Ireland, the UK and Australia, the company currently employs 40 full-time staff globally. This figure regularly increases, to as many as 150, depending on the number and type of projects the company is working on. for more info click the link below: http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/helping-our-firms-stay-competitive-by-cutting-energy-costs-29090492.html
LOMBARD — On Monday morning, the Village of Lombard issued an alert to residents, making them aware of a currently-circulating electricity aggregation scam. According to the village, some residents have been contacted by solicitors going door-to-door, giving incorrect information about the village's electricity aggregation program. These solicitors are telling residents that there is a second phase to the aggregation program that includes natural gas suppliers. This information is untrue. The electricity aggregation program is only for electric energy, and there are no alternatives for natural gas or other utilities.
A ROUNDUP of news in finance, economics and business from around the world: INTERNATIONAL NEWS PARIS - The Europe-wide scandal over horsemeat sold as beef has spread as leading French retailers pulled products from their shelves and France promised to have the results of an inquiry within days. STOCKHOLM - Frozen food producer Findus Nordic says it will sue French firm Comigel and its suppliers after horsemeat was found in its beef lasagnes. BUCHAREST - President Traian Basescu says he fears lasting damage to Romania's reputation if a Romanian meat supplier is found to be at fault over Europe's spiralling horsemeat scandal. WASHINGTON - The US is vulnerable to cyberattacks that could shut down financial services or destroy information that companies need for daily operations, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee says. LONDON - Scotland should keep the pound if it votes to leave the United Kingdom in the 2014 referendum, First Minister Alex Salmond's economic advisers have concluded in a report due out on Monday. LONDON - Barclays boss Antony Jenkins will attempt to break from the bank's scandal-hit past this week by announcing the closure of its tax avoidance unit and the cull of about 2000 investment banking jobs, it has been reported. DUBAI - Dubai's Emirates Airlines says its year to March 2013 income is seen rising by 18 to 20 per cent, as the emirate officially opened the world's first concourse dedicated to Airbus A380 superjumbos. MADRID - The Americas and Asia are the main engines of growth for Melia Hotels International, although the Spanish and European markets remain important also, the Spanish firm's vice president for development, Maria Zarraluqui, says. WELLINGTON - Eastern Bay of Plenty electricity lines company Horizon Energy has chopped its forecast earnings because of regulation costs, buying its Aquaheat business and warned there may be more to come due to its exposure to the Mainzeal collapse. WELLINGTON - The New Zealand dollar recovered some ground after figures showed a shrinking US trade deficit and gains on Wall Street helped stoke risk appetite. NEW YORK - Crude oil prices closed mixed on Friday as investors weighed a big supply in the US, encouraging trade data from China and renewed tensions with Iran. LOCAL NEWS SYDNEY - The Australian dollar is slightly higher after China and the US both reported improvements to their international trade balances. SYDNEY - The Australian market looks set to open lower despite gains on US and European markets at the end of the week. BRISBANE - Several hundred coal haulage workers have ended a 48-hour strike at Australia's largest private rail freight firm Pacific National. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/breaking-news/international-financial-news/story-e6frg90f-1226575064562