David Fuller and Eoin Treacy's Comment of the Day
Category - General

    US Air Force looks into flying robotic multi-engine jet transports

    This article from NewAtlas may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

    One key component for the United States and its global military commitments is its fleet of transport planes, including the Lockheed Martin C-5 Galaxy and the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III. These provide the US Air Force with the ability to deliver soldiers and their equipment anywhere in the world in short order and keep them supplied indefinitely.

    However, it is an extremely expensive capability to achieve and maintain, and it often means sending air crews into dangerous areas where they may encounter hostile anti-aircraft weaponry. It also requires a large number of pilots, who do not come cheap and are invariably in short supply.

    To counter this, the Air Force has hired Reliable Robotics to look into automating existing cargo aircraft. The idea isn't new, but adapting the technology to large multi-engine jet transports flying military supply missions adds another level of complexity.

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    EU Considers Granting Telecoms' Greatest Hopes and Dreams

    This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

    Top European Union officials raised the possibility last year of making major streaming operators like Netflix Inc. and YouTube help pay for 5G and fiber infrastructure. Telcos had been pushing for such a move for over a decade.

    The EU’s executive arm is expected to publish a request for feedback on the idea this month, the first step toward a formal proposal. When a draft of this consultation was circulated around Brussels recently, telcos read it with glee — and tech companies with horror. The consensus was that the EU is no longer asking whether it will do something but rather, how.

    Last week brought another cause for celebration, at least for the bankers who work with the likes of Deutsche Telekom AG and Vodafone Group Plc. Commissioner Thierry Breton said the EU should more closely consider cross-border mergers, which could create “a true single market for telecoms” in Europe. Telcos, again, have been lobbying for consolidation for a long time.

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    Baltic Nations Go LNG Hunting as Prices Fall, Terminal Opens

    This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    Several customers on our different markets, who used alternative fuels in the meantime, are already returning to natural gas,” Margus Kaasik, chief executive officer of Eesti Gaas, said in a statement. 
    While demand in the Baltics is small compared with major consumers such as Germany or France, the increased buying activity may be a sign that the uptick in demand is here to stay. 

    Europe has been lucky with mild weather this winter, which means that gas stockpiles are 68% full, compared with an average of 48% for this time of year. Utilities are now shifting their focus to restocking for the summer season. 

    Eesti Gaas also secured three slots at the Klaipeda LNG terminal in Lithuania, with one cargo delivered in January by Equinor ASA, and two more to follow in March. 

    The company is now preparing a tender for the seven slots it has booked at Inkoo. The floating terminal arrived at the end of last year and by mid-January, the facility was ready to receive shipments. 

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    Dash for $10 Trillion of Metals for Energy Transition Starts Now

    This article from Bloomberg may be of interest. Here is a section: 

    Getting to net zero could require almost $10 trillion of metals between now and 2050, according to BNEF, with annual demand peaking at close to $450 billion in the mid-2030s. While steel and aluminum are expected to see the most demand growth in terms of absolute volume, copper is set to be the most valuable opportunity, with an estimated $3.4 trillion of the red metal needed to avert climate disaster.

    In total, a whopping 5.2 billion metric tons of metals will be necessary to underpin a net-zero transition, with nearly four times as much metal due to be consumed in 2050 versus today.


    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    US Consumer Spending Ticks Up Amid Strong Wages, BofA Says

    This article may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

    Consumer spending ticked up at the start of the 2023 in the US, reversing declines late last year and suggesting that even lower-income families have some cash buffers to fall back on, according to a Bank of America Institute report.

    Bank of America credit- and debit-card spending rose 1.7% in January from December, making it a 5.1% jump from a year earlier. 

    The robust annual gain reflects in part the negative impact from the Omicron variant back in January 2022, according to the report. But it also suggests that consumption was bolstered by an increase in Social Security benefits and the minimum wage in some states, as well as the surprisingly robust labor market. Services such as airlines and restaurants in particular saw a boost.

    The data add to evidence that a pullback in late 2022 — which had economists worried that a recession was looming — may have been short-lived. Once again, the American consumer proved more resilient than expected.

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    Egypt Back in the IPO Game With Revived Sale Plan

    This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

    “At the right price there should be plenty of appetite for any Egyptian IPO,” said Hasnain Malik, a strategist at Tellimer in Dubai. However, he said that, in general, foreign institutional investors are more likely to go for IPOs out of the private sector, whereas sovereign wealth funds will be more interested in government-related enterprises.

    “This is because, for sovereign wealth, the concern over whether their interests as a minority investor are subordinated to those of the government is outweighed by their geopolitical interest in the overall country,” he said.

    The benchmark EGX 30 Index has been on a bullish run, rising over 100% in local currency terms from its July low, and is the third-best performing benchmark globally this year. It jumped 3.9% on Thursday, extending gains to a fifth day, and closing at the highest since May 2018.

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    In the Struggle for Big Oil's Soul, the American Vision Wins Out

    This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

    Shell Plc, BP Plc and TotalEnergies SE have spent the last few years trying to convince investors about the merits of net-zero carbon and investment into renewables. But in 2022 they switched to showering them with tens of billions of dollars earned from pumping oil and gas, just like their US peers. 

    The change of course was triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which shifted governments’ focus back to energy security and created a huge gap in Europe’s oil and gas supplies that the majors are well placed to fill. 

    “Oil production will be back above 2019 levels,” said BP Chief Executive Officer Bernard Looney, a change in tone from 2020 when he suggested that peak demand may already have been reached. “Demand for this product is strong.”

    Shell has said it will pause the growth in spending at its renewables unit while expanding gas output. BP slowed the planned decline in its fossil fuel production and scaled back its target for emissions reductions. TotalEnergies is opening new liquefied natural gas import terminals in Europe so it can keep growing a business that expanded by 15% in 2022.

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.