By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) has announced an investment of approximately €300 million to convert the cigarette factory of Papastratos, PMI’s affiliate in Greece, into a manufacturing plant for the tobacco sticks to be used with its smoke-free product IQOS.
These tobacco sticks are currently commercialized as Heets or HeatSticks.
Since the equipment necessary to manufacture tobacco sticks for IQOS is larger than that required for cigarette manufacturing, the current facility area will be expanded.
Once fully operational, the plant will have an annual capacity of around 20 billion tobacco sticks. The investment will create 400 new jobs at Papastratos, which already employs approximately 800 people. Construction on the site will commence immediately, with production scheduled to begin in January 2018.
“This investment is further evidence of our progress towards a smoke-free future. We are encouraged by the 1.4 million smokers who have already switched to IQOS around the world, and we expect this momentum to continue. This facility will help enable us to meet growing demand from adult smokers,” stated Frederic de Wilde, PMI’s Regional President for the European Union. He added, “Our ambition is that one day potentially less harmful, smoke-free products replace cigarettes to the benefit of smokers, public health, and society at large.”
The Papastratos plant in Aspropyrgos (Greece) will be PMI’s third facility fully dedicated to the manufacture of smoke-free products. In October 2016, PMI announced completion of its first facility for tobacco sticks manufacturing in Crespellano (Bologna, Italy) in addition to a pre-existing small scale Industrial Development Center in Neuchatel (Switzerland).
IQOS is one of four smoke-free product types from PMI to address adult smoker demand for potentially less harmful alternatives to cigarettes. It is a heated tobacco product launched in late 2014 in two city test markets and is expected to be available in key cities in over 30 markets in 2017. Since 2008, PMI has hired more than 400 scientists and experts and invested over USD 3 billion in research, product development, and scientific substantiation. Results of scientific research to assess the reduced-risk potential of IQOS are very promising, and the company openly shares its scientific methodologies and findings for independent third-party review and verification.
Oil Prices Rise as Earthquakes Hit Turkey, Syria
By Adedapo Adesanya
Oil prices rose on Monday, buoyed by supply concerns following earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
Brent crude futures rose 46 cents or 0.6 per cent to $80.40 a barrel, as the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures jumped by 20 cents or 0.3 per cent to $73.59 a barrel.
Massive earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday halted operations at Turkey’s major oil export hub in Ceyhan and stopped key crude oil flows from Iraq and Azerbaijan, officials said.
It has been regarded as the worst tremor to strike Turkey this century and was followed in the early afternoon by another large quake of magnitude 7.7.
The Tribeca shipping agency said in a notice that the BTC terminal at Ceyhan that exports Azeri crude oil will be closed through Wednesday pending damage assessments. Azerbaijan uses the Turkish port of Ceyhan as its main crude export hub, with a flow of about 650,000 barrels per day.
According to Reuters, following Monday’s earthquake, Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) also halted flows through the pipeline it operates that runs from Iraq’s northern Kirkuk fields to Ceyhan, the region’s ministry of natural resources (MNR) said.
The KRG had been pumping 400,000 barrels per day, and Iraq’s federal government was pumping 75,000 barrels per day through the pipeline.
It was also reported that oil exports would resume after a “careful inspection of the pipelines is finalised,” the MNR said in a statement.
Also supporting prices was the prospect for China’s recovery after the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions continued to drive the value of the commodity.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects half of this year’s global oil demand growth to come from China. The agency’s chief, Mr Fatih Birol, disclosed this on Sunday, adding that jet fuel demand was surging.
“If demand goes up very strongly, if the Chinese economy rebounds, then there will be a need, in my view, for the OPEC+ countries to look at their (output) policies,” Mr Birol said, referring to a call of action for the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, OPEC+.
The 23-man group decided to cut output by 2 million barrels a day from November through 2023 instead of pumping more to cut fuel prices and help the global economy, as the US advised.
Also, price caps on Russian products took effect on Sunday, with Group of Seven (G7) nations, the European Union and Australia agreeing on price limits of $100 a barrel on diesel and other products that trade at a premium to crude and $45 a barrel for products that trade at a discount, such as fuel oil.
The price ceilings, together with an EU ban on Russian oil product imports, are part of a broader agreement among the Group of Seven (G7) countries. It follows a $60 per barrel cap on Russian crude that G7 countries imposed on December 5 as the G7, the EU and Australia seek to limit the country’s ability to fund its war in Ukraine.
Both caps prohibit Western insurance, shipping and other companies from financing, insuring, trading, brokering or carrying cargoes of Russian crude and oil products unless they were bought at or below the set price caps.
NGX Upgrades Price Stock Group of Eterna
By Dipo Olowookere
The price stock group of Eterna Plc has been moved upward by the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, Business Post reports.
In a regulatory notice on Monday, the bourse noted that it upgraded the stock category of the energy company from a low-price stock group to a medium-price stock group.
This action, according to the exchange, was necessitated after the stability in the price of the company’s equities within four of the last six months in the new price category, in line with its price methodology framework.
“Equity securities of quoted companies on the exchange (NGX) are classified into three stock price groups or categories; high-priced, medium-priced, and low-priced stocks, based on their market price.
“In this regard, securities must have traded for at least four out of the most recent six-month period within a stock price group’s specified price band to be classified into the category.
“Accordingly, a review of Eternal Plc stock price and trade activities over the most recent six-month period provides the basis for reclassifying the security from the low-priced stock group to the medium-priced stock group.
“This reclassification also necessitates the attendant change in the tick size change from N0.01 kobo to N0.05 kobo, in line with Rule 15.29: Pricing Methodology, Rulebook of the exchange, 2015 (trading license holders’ rules),” the statement from the platform stated.
Unlisted Securities Investors Gain N18.29bn in Five Days
By Dipo Olowookere
It was another positive week for unlisted securities investors in Nigeria as they smiled home with N18.29 billion last week on the floor of the NASD over-the-counter (OTC) Securities Exchange.
This was buoyed by the 1.98 per cent week-on-week growth recorded by the alternative bourse in the country during the five-day trading week, which had five stocks closing on the gainers’ chart, with none on the opposite table.
Data harvested by Business Post indicated that FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria appreciated by 10.44 per cent to settle at N69.00 per unit. UBN Property Gain 7.14 per cent to trade at 75 Kobo per share, Niger Delta Exploration and Production improved by 6.95 per cent to N200.00 per unit, Geo-Fluids rose by 6.12 per cent to N1.04 per share, and Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) increased by 3.85 per cent to N13.50 per unit.
In the week, the volume of trades declined by 35.51 per cent to 24.5 million units from 62.6 million units, the number of deals went down by 12.82 per cent to 66 deals from the preceding week’s 71 deals, while the value of transactions increased by 122.48 per cent to N96.6 million from N87.6 million.
The most active security for the week by volume was Geo-Fluids, with the sale of 20.0 million units, followed by UBN Property with 3.4 million units. FrieslandCampina traded 581,021 units, CSCS transacted 375,512 units, and VFD Group exchanged 111,104 units.
However, the most active equity by value for the week was FrieslandCampina, with a sale of N38.5 million. VFD Group recorded N27.2 million, Geo-Fluids traded N20.7 million, CSCS transacted 5.1 million, and UBN Property traded N2.6 million.
Data showed that the NASD unlisted securities index (NSI) increased in the week by 13.92 points to 717.15 points from 703.23 points, as the market capitalisation grew by N18.29 billion to N942.35 billion from N924.06 billion.
Latest News on Business Post
- Oil Prices Rise as Earthquakes Hit Turkey, Syria February 7, 2023
- Checkmating The LGBT Incursion In African Politics: The Nigerian Case Study And Consequences February 6, 2023
- NGX Upgrades Price Stock Group of Eterna February 6, 2023
- Unlisted Securities Investors Gain N18.29bn in Five Days February 6, 2023
- Nigerian Banks Take Steps to Quicken Flow of Naira Notes, Deny Hoarding February 6, 2023
- Supreme Court Affirms Ahmad Lawan as APC Yobe North Senatorial Candidate February 6, 2023
- Nigeria’s External Reserves Shed 0.14% to $37.020bn February 6, 2023
- DMO Commences Sale of FGN Savings Bonds for February 2023 February 6, 2023
- Analyst Advises Investors to Pay Attention to Tier-2 Banking Stocks February 6, 2023
- International Energy Insurance Gains 57.14% in One Week February 6, 2023