What to Watch
BBL Looks to Launch $1 Billion Macro Fund
BBL Commodities LP, one of the biggest energy-focused hedge funds, is looking to raise $1 billion for a new fund that will wager on macroeconomic trends via bonds, stocks, currencies and commodities, writes the Wall Street Journal’s Alison Sider.
Commodities funds have struggled with low returns and declining investor interest and several funds have shuttered recently.
Prominent oil trader Andrew Hall last year closed his main fund at Astenbeck Capital Management LLC. Madava Asset Management, led by veteran energy trader George “Beau” Taylor has also shut down.
BBL currently runs a $535 million commodity fund. Founder Jonathan Goldberg said its work on oil and other commodities gives it a unique view into global trends, which it will be able to express in the new macro fund and vice versa.
Oil Edges Down
Oil prices edged down slightly Monday morning, amid market jitters about a potential Federal Reserve interest rate hike.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 0.23% at $66.06 a barrel on London’s Intercontinental Exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading down 0.37% at $62.11 a barrel.
Eni Lifts Dividend After Years of Cuts
Italy’s state-backed oil giant Eni SpA is raising its dividend, in a fresh sign that the international energy industry is bouncing back from a three-year downturn. The firm said Friday it plans to raise its dividend by nearly 4% from last year.
“You’re not going to get anywhere if you are just adding more and more gas…At some point soon we’ll be permitting the last gas plant in California”
– Robert B. Weisenmiller, chairman of the California Energy Commission
Siemens Pins Hopes on Small Gas Turbines
Growing demand for renewable energy has cut into the market’s appetite for large gas turbines and hurt Siemens AG’s revenue. But the German engineering conglomerate hopes to offset its losses by providing smaller and more nimble gas turbines as utilities construct more power plants able to quickly respond to changes in power demand.
WSJ Energy In-Depth
Saudi Sovereign-Wealth Fund Moves to Buy Stake in World’s Largest Talent Agency
Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund is moving to buy a stake in Endeavor LLC, a company that includes the world’s largest talent agency, as the kingdom builds an entertainment industry with a once-unthinkable partner: Hollywood.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants to complete the $400 million purchase of less than 10% of Endeavor—where co-CEO Ari Emanuel was once President Donald Trump’s celebrity agent—during his two-week visit to the U.S., which begins Monday.
The deal would give the kingdom a foothold in the firm with the most clients, one that represents American talent across film, music, sports and media, including Oprah Winfrey, Dwayne Johnson and Serena Williams.
The Endeavor stake would represent a down payment on Prince Mohammed’s ambitions to create a sports and entertainment sector in a conservative Muslim country where until now cinemas were banned.
The oil-services firm Baker Hughes reported on Friday that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil rose by four to 800 last week.
Tuesday: The American Petroleum Institute releases its weekly forecasts on U.S. petroleum inventories for the week prior.
April 18–19: IQPC hosts the Oil & Fuel Theft Summit in Geneva. Speakers include Mahmoud Al-Bayati, the director general for counter-terrorism for Iraq, William J. Waggoner, the Chief Executive Officer for the Mexico Petroleum Company and Daniel Gianfalla, a member of the national maritime security advisory committee at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The WSJ’s Debiprasad Nayak on peak oil demand. As folks try to determine when global oil demand may peak, India remains perhaps the most-important growth market. Ambit Capital notes that amid rapid urbanization, projections are that annual passenger- and commercial-vehicle growth in the country will run at respectively 9% and 6% rates through 2040. Meanwhile, air-traffic growth is also seen rising strongly. The broker adds that electric vehicles are something which won’t be a player in India for potentially decades. Ambit is bullish on oil firms in the country.
WSJ correspondent John Wu on Chinese oil majors. Besides solid financials driven by more-supportive oil prices and production gains, Goldman Sachs expects China major Cnooc to announce a roughly 1/3 dividend increase in next week’s 2017 report. The investment bank is also on the lookout for “favorable” project updates with improved reserve life and muted costs. Shares are up 1.4% amid Friday’s oil-price jump.