Tuesday, February 7, 2017

BP profits show recovery signs; Brexit may cost UK 30,000 finance jobs; Dubai sets record for visitor traffic

1 BP profits show recovery signs (BBC)  Oil giant BP saw profits double in the last three months of 2016 on the back of slightly higher oil prices and more cost-cutting. Underlying replacement cost profit - the company's preferred measure - was $400m, up from $196m a year earlier.

BP took another charge of $799m for the Deepwater Horizon disaster, bringing total charges to $62.6bn. "2016 was the year we made significant strides" for future growth, said chief executive Bob Dudley.

For the year as a whole, underlying replacement cost profit - which strips out fluctuations in the value of oil stocks - fell to $2.58bn, down from $5.90bn in 2015. The profit figures were, however, below some analysts' forecasts.

2 Brexit may cost UK 30,000 finance jobs (Jennifer Rankin in The Guardian) The UK could lose 30,000 finance sector jobs as a result of Brexit, but EU rivals need to act to avoid importing banking risk to the continent, according to an influential thinktank with close ties to the European commission.

The City of London stands to lose 10,000 banking jobs and 20,000 roles in accountancy, law and consulting, as EU clients move business worth €1.8tn (£1.6tn) to the continent after Brexit, according to Brussels-based Bruegel.

According to the economics thinktank’s model, Frankfurt would be the biggest winner, with Paris, Amsterdam and Dublin also making gains. But the researchers warn that having a more geographically diverse spread of financial institutions, without stronger oversight of banks, would heighten the risk of a banking meltdown in the event of an acute financial crisis.

These risks could be reduced and benefits shared more evenly, the authors argue, if the EU takes a common approach to investment banks rather than 27 national systems in a “regulatory race to the bottom” to steal London’s crown. The analysis is based on the assumption the UK will leave the single market, as set out in Theresa May’s Brexit speech last month.

3 Dubai sets record for visitor traffic (Issac John in Khaleej Times) Overnight visitors to Dubai soared five per cent to 14.9 million in 2016, largely spurred by an upswing in traffic from the GCC, India, Pakistan, China, Britain and Russia.

Recording a four-year annual growth of eight per cent, which is twice the global travel industry growth, Dubai remained on course to hit a target of 20 million visitors by 2020, despite "a period of unforeseen macro-economic upheavals," Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) said.

The 2016 visitor traffic growth reflects a four-year CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of eight per cent at an impressive pace that is twice the global travel industry growth of four per cent.

Leading the list of traffic generators to Dubai in 2016, India brought in nearly 1.8 million overnight tourists, up 12 per cent, while Pakistan, which is among the top 10 markets, delivered 607,000 tourists at 18 per cent growth.

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