An Indian court has issued a second arrest warrant for a marine refuelling tanker, owned by troubled UAE oil trader GP Global after it failed to make payments to its ship manager, court documents showed.
On Sept. 10, the High Court of the Western Indian state of Gujrat granted the vessel manager’s, Singapore-based Celestial Ship Management Pte Ltd, a request to arrest the GP B3 bunker tanker for unpaid dues, according to the court documents seen by Reuters.
On the previous day, the same court granted a request by the National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) to arrest the same GP Global-owned bunker tanker after the oil trader defaulted on a loan payment.
Celestial, which offered technical management, crewing and other services for the GP Global ship, said it was owed over $600,000 in outstanding claims, interest and court fees, the company told the court.
Among the registered directors of Celestial are Prachi Goel and Swati Goel, who are the spouses of the directors and shareholders of GP Global, Prerit Goel and Manan Goel, respectively, according to Singapore company records.
Celestial and GP Global’s Asia Pacific office in Singapore also share the same address, company records showed.
GP Global, a supplier of marine fuels worldwide with offices in Europe, Asia and America told Reuters in an email it would not be able to comment “since the matter is sub-judicial”.
Reuters was unable to find contact details for Celestial.
“Celestial had made repeated requests for payment but the last such payment was received in April 2019 and no such payment has been received thereafter,’’ the court said in the document.
Despite having agreed with the vessel’s owner not to commit their own funds for the payment of expenses incurred by the vendors that the ship’s managers engaged, “Celestial was being chased by the vendors and due to the impeccable reputation of (Celestial), they had to make the payment as they were put in an embarrassing position’’, the company told the court.
In July, GP Global said that it had undertaken a financial restructuring exercise after it failed to “get full support from a few financial institutions’’ and denied rumours questioning the company’s financial condition as ‘blatant lies’.
Later in July, the UAE-based trader said that an internal investigation had uncovered fraud within the company and it had filed criminal complaints against some of its employees.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
15th Abuja Int’l trade fair to feature 500 exhibitors – ACCI
The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) says its 15th Abuja International Trade Fair will feature not more than 500 local and foreign exhibitors.
ACCI Media Officer Latifat Opoola who made the disclosure on Sunday said the fair would hold in October at the Abuja Trade and Convention with the theme “Trade and Commerce Beyond Borders”.
According to Opoola, this year’s event in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols will only showcase indoor and virtual exhibitions to make room for a controlled environment that will ensure social distancing.
She noted that an average attendance of 100,000 visitors from both Nigeria and 150 countries, including U.K., United States, UAE, India, Malasyia and China would participate both physically and virtually at the fair.
She said other countries like Saudi Arabia, Ghana, South Africa, among others, were expected to participate.
She noted that over the years, the fair had been an amazing trade platform for international and domestic industry professionals, leading brands and MSMEs to transact, share market insights, cutting edge technology and expertise in an interactive environment.
“This year’s event will provide a platform for sharing of trade, investment and market opportunity as well as information. It will also help buyers, investors and traders to foster business relationships.
“Over 500 exhibitors from within and outside Nigeria in all sectors of the economy, including Agriculture, Manufacturing, Mining, Electricity, Oil and Gas, Tourism, Textile, Transport, Telecommunications, Financial and Service sectors are expected to participate.
“With a team of trade professionals, we are persistent in providing a conducive trading atmosphere for our exhibitors, which will lead to strategies and tactics needed to innovate, grow and promote businesses,” she said in a statement.
The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place on Oct. 22, while the closing ceremony holds on Nov. 2.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Peter Ejiofor)
Oil rises after OPEC warn members to stick to quotas
Oil prices rose for a fourth day in a row on Friday, putting crude on track for a weekly gain of about 10 per cent, after Saudi Arabia pressed allies to stick to production quotas and banks, including Goldman Sachs, predicted a supply deficit.
Brent crude was up 18 cents at $43.48 a barrel by 0756 GMT while United States oil futures rose 17 cents to $41.14.
Both contracts are set for their strongest weekly gains since early June after Hurricane Sally cut United States production while OPEC and its allies laid out steps to address market weakness.
Goldman Sachs predicted the market would be in a deficit of three million barrels per day (bpd) by the fourth quarter and reiterated its target for Brent to reach $49 by the end of the year and $65 by the third quarter of 2021.
Swiss bank UBS also pointed to the possibility of undersupply in the oil market, forecasting Brent would rise to $45 a barrel in the fourth quarter and $55 by mid-2021.
Meanwhile, a tropical depression in the western part of the Gulf of Mexico could become a hurricane in the next few days, potentially threatening more United States oil facilities.
The Saudi Arabian energy minister said those who gamble on oil prices would be hurt “like hell”.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers in OPEC+ are cutting 7.7 million bpd of output and the group stressed at a meeting on Thursday that it would take action against members not complying with the deal.
In the Gulf of Mexico, United States offshore drillers and exporters began a clear-up on Thursday after Hurricane Sally weakened to a depression and started rebooting idle rigs following their closure for five days.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
WHO says over 170 countries have joined COVAX vaccine facility
“More than 170 countries have joined the COVAX facility,’’ Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in pre-recorded comments in a webinar ahead of Friday’s deadline to join the facility.
According to Ghebreyesus, this is gaining guaranteed access to the world’s largest portfolio of vaccine candidates.
WHO previously said 92 lower-income nations were seeking assistance via the facility, and some 80 higher-income nations had expressed interest, however some still had to confirm their intention by the deadline.
However, some countries that have secured their own supplies through bilateral deals, including the United States, have said they will not join COVAX.
“The first vaccine to be approved may not be the best.
“The more shots on goal we have the higher the chances of having a very safe, very efficacious vaccine,” Tedros added in his remarks made during a webinar hosted by the National University of Singapore.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Sadiya Hamza
COVID-19 cases cross 5m in India amid medical oxygen shortage
India on Wednesday reported a spike of 90,123 new COVID-19 cases, taking its tally to over five million as hospitals across the country reported a shortage of medical oxygen.
India’s total count of COVID-19 cases stands at 5,020,359, according to the latest Health Ministry bulletin.
The death toll rose to 82,066 after 1,290 deaths were recorded on Tuesday, the highest daily toll so far.
India is the second worst-hit country by the new coronavirus after the United States.
It is third, after the United States and Brazil, in COVID-19 fatalities.
As the country, with a population of 1.3 billion, eased a lockdown to restart economic activity, there has been an explosion in coronavirus cases causing a shortage of medical oxygen across several Indian states, local media reported.
COVID-19 affects the respiratory system of patients.
According to doctors, around 15 per cent of all COVID-19 patients need oxygen.
Major states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat – hit the hardest by the pandemic – as well as Rajasthan, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh have been directed by the federal government to ensure availability of enough oxygen in healthcare facilities.
Since last week, media reports have said patients have died at hospitals in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra states due to shortage of oxygen, which authorities have denied.
Amit Thadani, Medical Director of Niramaya Hospitals in Kharghar on the outskirts of Mumbai in Maharashtra, said the facility was facing an acute shortage of oxygen.
“We need at least 90 cylinders daily and we are getting only 15,’’ said Thadani, whose hospital has 50 beds for COVID-19 patients.
Thadani said the flow of oxygen was being regulated to last longer and a few critical patients had been shifted to other hospitals.
The demand for medical oxygen and its price had doubled in Karnataka since the pandemic began and doctors have pushed for a cap on oxygen prices to ensure the treatment remains viable, broadcaster NDTV reported.
The oxygen shortages are being seen even though companies have quadrupled production to about 3,000 tons a day from 750 tons a day in the last six months, Saket Tiku, President of the All India Industrial Gases Manufacturers Association, told the CNBC-TV18 channel.
A Federal Health Ministry spokesman said there was no shortage of oxygen for critical COVID-19 patients.
The problem was at the facility level and state governments had been told to encourage all hospitals to carry out efficient inventory management and replenish stocks in time, Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary of the Ministry of Health said at a briefing.
The government has also expedited licences for medical oxygen manufacturers and asked local governments to ease transport restrictions.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde