1) Timothy Litzenburg, a Virginia lawyer involved in litigation over the health risks of Monsanto’s roundup weed killer product, has been arrested. He is charged with interstate intentions to extort an unnamed company into a $200 million dollar consulting fee for his firm. Litzenburg threatened to find people who he would advise to sue companies for exposing them to the chemical, but that he would cease searching for potential plaintiffs in exchange for a multi million dollar consulting agreement.
2) Freddie Mac has offered early retirement to about 25% of its staff in a drive to overhaul its workforce, as a result of the Trump administration’s reforming the housing finance giant. There are 1,650 eligible employees being offer the early out, with about one quarter expected to take the buyout. This will be about 6% of Freddie Mac’s workforce.
3) The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits dropped from more than a two year high, decreasing 18,000 to 234,000. This points to a sustained labor market strength, another sign of a strong American economy. Despite trade tensions and slowing global growth with a weighing down on manufacturing, the economy is on a moderate growth path.
4) Stock market closings for – 19 DEC 19:
Dow 28,376.96 up at 137.68 Nasdaq 8,887.22 up at 59.48 S&P 500 3,205.37 up at 14.23
1) Royal Dutch Shell is building a 386 acre chemical plant to make bulk plastic. The construction project is one of the largest active construction projects in America employing over 5,000 people. The plant has hundreds of miles of pipelines to feed it petroleum and will have its own rail system with 3,300 freight cars. The new plant is expected to produce a million tons of plastic pellets each year.
2) Saudi oil company Aramco is buying a 20% share in Reliance Industries Ltd of India an oil to chemicals business. This will include the 1.24 million barrels a day Jamnagar refining complex. This is part of Aramco plan for refinery investments to double its processing network and handle as much as 10 million barrels of oil a day by 2030. Reliance has agreed to purchase 500,000 barrels of crude a day over the long term.
3) The IMF (International Monetary Fund) has warned that addition tariffs in the trade war will sharply cut Chinese growth. The IMF has already forecast a 6.2% decline in China’s growth for this year, which assumes no new tariffs. They forecast a sharp cut in China’s growth if the additional tariffs threaten are imposed on the first of September. President Trump has cast doubts on a trade deal, and indicated he might cancel the trade talks scheduled for September.
4) Stock market closings for – 12 AUG 19:
Dow 25,897.71 down 389.73 Nasdaq 7,863.41 unchanged 0.00 S&P 500 2,883.09 down 35.56
Energy is big business in Nigeria and in Africa in general. Billionaire Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man has invested $2 billion dollars in Nigeria’s oil refinery. It is Nigeria’s petrochemical and fertiliser plant. He has already invested $9 billion dollars in the refinery adding the recent $2 billion recently. This project has been noted by energy analysts as galvanizing and revolutionizing the energy sector in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s refineries have had problems for decades, not being able to output oil to its full capacity, being unmanageable and the high rate of oil robberies and theft.
Nigeria’s economy continues to expand and diversify especially within the past decade but the country is still relying on oil as it’s main producer… Nigeria’s is Africa #1 oil producer… Nigeria oil accounts for 90 percent of export earnings and 70 percent from its national GDP earnings.
Mr. Dangote and his Dangote Group investing $2 billion in the oil refinery will position Nigeria to broaden its spectrum in the energy sector within and help ease the necessity of energy from being imported..