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Saturday, 23 January 2016

Five reasons I think London house prices will crash - FT.com

Five reasons I think London house prices will crash - FT.com:

"This week I feel a bit embarrassed. Some readers might remember a column I wrote some years ago about buying a large house in Edinburgh. It was, I said at the time, likely to be one of the worst financial decisions ever but my family needed to nest — so we wanted to own a house.
It hasn’t turned out to be completely awful. We could probably sell it for roughly what we bought it for in nominal terms. So we are only down about 15 per cent in real (inflation adjusted) terms. I’ve made worse decisions. So that’s not the embarrassing bit. It is: we just bought a tiny studio flat in London. When I say tiny, I mean tiny. The entire thing is around the size of our family bathroom up north.

But still, given my firm and often expressed view that London property is hideously overvalued, you’ll be wondering what on earth I am thinking. The answer, once again, is domestic. I travel up and down the east coast of the UK like a yo-yo. I need somewhere to leave my “giving a talk” clothes and heels that isn’t the lost property department of Virgin East Coast rail, and somewhere to sleep when I miss the last train to Scotland. It’s a utility purchase I intend to depreciate over 20 years, not an investment."



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Oil: US shale’s big squeeze - FT.com

Oil: US shale’s big squeeze - FT.com:

"In most other American cities, the sign at the Conoco station advertising petrol for $1.29 per gallon would be welcome. In Spring, Texas, a suburb on the northern side of Houston, it is a warning.
Cheap petrol is a result of the collapse in the oil price, which dropped briefly below $28 a barrel this week, a 13-year low, from $115 for Brent crude in June 2014. It has prompted a grim realisation in Houston, the capital of the US oil business, that the quick rebound many hoped for is not going to come.

Dozens of oil and gas companies went into bankruptcy last year, and tens of thousands of jobs were lost, but that was only the beginning. A reckoning is approaching that will sweep away the weaker US oil companies and force profound changes at the stronger ones. It will be a moment of truth for the North American shale revolution, which has transformed prospects for gas and oil in the US."



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Iran: what's it really like? Share your pictures and perspectives | Community | The Guardian

Iran: what's it really like? Share your pictures and perspectives | Community | The Guardian:

"After years out in the diplomatic cold, Iran has officially entered the post-sanctions era.

Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president, has hailed a “golden page” in the country’s history and a “turning point” in its economy during the first days without sanctions, amid warm reaction from international community.

Masoumeh Ebtekar, a prominent reformist figure who became Iran’s first woman vice-president when she previously served in her current office from 1997 to 2005, praised “a success of diplomacy and negotiation” as she raised hopes for a new era in bilateral relations between Tehran and Washington. "



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UAE looking to scrap subsidies on electricity, gas sold to power companies | GulfNews.com

UAE looking to scrap subsidies on electricity, gas sold to power companies | GulfNews.com:

"The UAE is looking at removing subsidies on both electricity and on gas sold to companies generating power, said Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazroui, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“Consumers need to pay the real price. They already do so for petrol and diesel, and electricity is still to come, and we will look at the subsidised sale of gas to power providers,” he said at the Al Arabiya debate on economic reform in the Arab world.

He said that the impact on removing subsidies on domestic electricity would not be that great to the consumer as it only really applies at the higher levels of use at present."



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Opec splits show at Davos as Nigeria debates with Saudi Arabia | GulfNews.com

Opec splits show at Davos as Nigeria debates with Saudi Arabia | GulfNews.com:

"Less than two months after Opec nations sparred over oil policy in Vienna, they resumed the debate at Davos.

Nigeria’s oil minister, speaking on a panel at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort, said the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries needs to meet soon as crashing prices force the group to reconsider its current laissez-faire policy. Saudi Arabia, represented by the chairman of its national oil company, said the kingdom won’t reverse course unless non-OPEC nations play their part in production cuts.

“If there are other producers willing to collaborate, Saudi Arabia will be willing also to collaborate,” said Khalid Al Falih, chairman of Saudi Arabian Oil Co, also known as Saudi Aramco. “But Saudi Arabia will not accept the role of — by itself — balancing a structural imbalance that is happening today.”"



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Iran Signs Oil Deal With European Refiner as Sanctions End - Bloomberg Business

Iran Signs Oil Deal With European Refiner as Sanctions End - Bloomberg Business:

"Iran signed an agreement to supply crude oil with Hellenic Petroleum SA, a Greek oil refinery, in what may be the Persian Gulf producer’s first such deal with a European company since the removal of international sanctions this month.
Deliveries will begin immediately, Hellenic Petroleum said in an e-mailed statement on Friday. The agreement also includes an adjustment for a financial backlog owed to Iran’s state oil company after sanctions imposed four years ago, according to the statement. Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia discussed potential energy co-operation with Greek Energy Minister Panos Skourletis earlier on Friday in Athens.
The oil market is bracing itself for a ramp up in supplies from Iran amid a global supply glut that pushed prices down to a 12-year low. Oil analysts surveyed by Bloomberg anticipate the nation will ship 100,000 barrels a day more crude within a month of sanctions ending, and four times that within half a year. Iran says it will boost exports by 500,000 barrels a day right away."



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