Archive for November, 2011
Tiny Macau, number one among the world’s top-growing economies for 2012, proves that casino gambling is a more sustainable driver of growth than the purely financial variety. Prominent, too, are Libya and Iraq, two Arab countries in which reconstruction and stabilisation after the violent overthrow of authoritarian regimes will unleash growth. In Libya’s case, the surge is a bounce-back from an even more precipitous slump while war raged. War’s ravages are more distant for Iraq, but post-conflict chaos delayed the recovery, and performance in 2012 may mark the start of something more sustained. Also prominent is China; this is fortunate, since the demand generated by the world’s second-largest economy will counteract some of the drag from the troubled rich world. Mongolia is enjoying a mining boom, and investment in the sector will boost growth. Angola, Laos and Niger will all benefit from relatively high commodity prices, and Ethiopia and Rwanda are gaining from the gradual commercialisation of their rural economies.
from The World In 2012 print edition
Source: The Economist
Castel Winery will soon begin exporting bottled wine from its Ethiopian vineyards, making the French owned company the first to invest in wine production in the country, The Africa Report learnt on Wednesday. The French wine maker had installed 28,430 hectolitre Inox tankers for the production of its wines. The first production, which will be bottled over the next three to six months and expected on the market shortly, afterwards, will be mainly white wine.
Castel has invested around US$ 305 million on both its vineyard and factory in Zeway. According to Olivier Spillbout, a wine maker at the French company, grapes being grown to produce both red and white wines on the 120 hectares of land acquired by the company include Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The French wine maker harvested its first Chardonnay grapes in the first week of November and hopes to begin production around the New Year. Total production from this year’s harvest of grapes is expected to be around 450,000 bottles.
Castel aims to export more than half of its wine. While production time usually takes five years – from planting to harvesting the first vines the Ethiopian climate, according to the French company, has allowed it to cut the production time to three and a half years. Foreign companies in the past few months have invested heavily in the Ethiopian beverage market and bought three state-owned beer companies with over US$ 400 million investment. Currently, one state-owned wine company is producing wine for local consumption.
By Johnathan Fahey (AP)
NEW YORK — Oil prices rose sharply Thursday on hopes that the economies of the U.S. and Europe could recover and avoid another recession. Jobless claims fell and factory orders rose in the U.S., and a key interest rate was cut in Europe.
In New York benchmark crude rose $1.56 to end the day at $94.07 per barrel. Brent crude rose $1.49 to finish at $110.83 a barrel in London.
Oil prices and stock markets also rose on news that a plan to tackle the European debt crisis might not be put to a vote in Greece that could scuttle the deal.
“This market just lives on the latest headlines coming out of Europe,” said Stephen Schork, an independent oil analyst and trader.
In a move that surprised markets, the European Central Bank cut its benchmark interest rate to 1.25 percent from 1.5 percent. The aim is to keep European economies from falling into recession. Low interest rates make it cheaper for businesses to borrow money to invest in new factories, materials, technology and jobs.
The Labor Department reported that the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits dipped slightly last week. Applications fell by 9,000 to 397,000. That’s the lowest level in five weeks. And the Commerce Department said factory orders rose in September. A key category that tracks business investment had the biggest jump in six months.
When economies grow, demand for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel rises as people travel more and businesses ship more goods.
Still, analysts say oil demand has not yet picked up, and oil producers are easily keeping up with global oil demand that is turning out to be less than originally expected for the year. Even demand in China, which has been rising sharply and pushing oil prices higher in recent months, has shown signs of weakening.
This suggests oil prices should be lower. But in recent weeks, oil prices have tracked stock markets closely and risen sharply with them. The price of crude has risen more than $15 per barrel, or 19 percent, since the beginning of the month.
“It’s hard to explain because it doesn’t make sense on a fundamental basis,” said Addison Armstrong, a senior director for market research at Tradition Energy. “The fundamentals aren’t particularly bullish.”
Armstrong says that despite this, Thursday’s sharp rise in oil prices could mean they are poised to rise even further, toward $100 per barrel — if stock investors continue to feel good about the U.S. and European economies.
The national average retail price of gasoline fell about half a cent to $3.426 per gallon on Thursday, according to AAA, Wright Express, and Oil Price Information Service. Retail gasoline prices are expected to rise in coming days, reflecting Thursday’s jump in crude prices.
In other energy trading in New York, heating oil rose 3.74 cents to end at $3.0381 per gallon, wholesale gasoline fell 1.46 cents to $2.6418 per gallon and natural gas rose 3 cents to $3.7780 per thousand cubic feet.
Jonathan Fahey can be reached at http://twitter.com/JonathanFahey
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