World Bulletin/News Desk
Qatar wants to become the biggest shareholder in Royal Dutch Shell by raising its stake to 7 percent to strengthen its ties with the oil company and further invest its wealth in western assets, a report said on Friday.
The Middle East Economic Survey (MEES) said Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, was looking to raise its stake from below 3 percent, which would make it the biggest shareholder, above Blackrock's 5 percent.
Shell declined to comment on the report.
In May, MEES reported that Qatar was looking to buy 3-5 percent of Shell. Shell confirmed at the time that Qatar had bought a large stake.
British stock market rules require any party to disclose a holding of over 3 percent in a listed company. Qatar has not made such a disclosure.
QIA has been the most active of the region's sovereign wealth funds in recent years, deploying profit from its natural gas riches into assets ranging from German sportscar maker Porsche to British bank Barclays.
A senior executive of the Qatari fund said in April the financial crisis had restricted investment in commodities and he expected a supply-demand gap to emerge by 2016 or 2017.
Apart from Shell, QIA has bought stakes in French oil major Total and European utilities Energias de Portugal and Iberdrola.
The fund has also been buying into Xstrata, amassing a stake of 12.3 percent and blocking the London-listed miner's merger with trader Glencore.
Shell operates multi-billion dollar natural gas projects in Qatar.
The uncertainty comes at a bad time for the 18 countries in the euro zone, whose economy is already in the doldrums.
"Kalashnikov regrets that consumers are faced with such a problem," said spokeswoman Yekaterina Boni.
Cairo and Khartoum had earlier accepted a proposal by Addis Ababa to hold the talks in Sudan in the third week of August.
Discounting the bulk of Japan's 48 reactors due to their long-term outage, the report said the number of operating units in the world has fallen to 388, 50 less than the peak in 2002.
The United Kalavrvta tanker, carrying some 1 million barrels of crude worth about $100 million, arrived off the coast of Texas on Saturday but has yet to unload its disputed cargo.
Over 200,000 NUMSA-affiliated metalworkers declared a nationwide strike on July 1 to demand a 15-percent pay raise for laborers and a ban on labor brokers
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The project is being implemented in collaboration with the Ethiopian and Norwegian governments at a cost of over $2.8 million.
Kerry will be heading the U.S. team at the annual Strategic Dialogue with India on Thursday, and will be accompanied by U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.
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In March, Sweden was among the donor countries that had announced aid cuts to Uganda after the signing of the anti-homosexuality law
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Although the likely consumer is Europe, which would require pipelines to pass through Turkey, companies may decide instead to export gas from the Levant basin to Jordan, Egypt or the Asian continent.
The ambassadors did agree to add more people and entities to the EU's asset freeze list, using expanded criteria including Russian companies that help to undermine Ukraine's sovereignty
Washington has pressured companies and governments not to buy crude from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), but it has stopped short of banning U.S. firms from buying it outright.