NEWS - ASIA - MIDDLE EAST - SOUTH AMERICA - AFRICA 10 Bleak year ahead for Argentina According to a report published recently by the Argentinean fuel retailers association, many companies involved in the sale of fuel in Argentina, see a worsening year ahead, due to political volatility related to elections. The deterioration in 2014 from the previous year was a result of a surge in fuel prices in Argentina by nearly 40%, the report said. Taxi drivers are prepared to listen Vivo Energy Tunisia, which markets Shell products in several countries in Africa, has conducted a second edition of its “Formation Shell FuelSave” program in Tunisia. The program aims to help drivers, in particular taxi drivers, learn how to drive saving energy and maximizing economy. According to Vivo, the program which ran from 23 March to May 8, attracted about 1,500 taxi drivers. The company has a total network of nearly 1,500 stations, 167 of those being in Tunisia. Kenyan officials blame fuel shortages on speculators Kenya’s national storage agency, said that fuel shortage problems with several fillings stations in the country out of fuel are the result of speculation. The report said that some dealers were using this situation to create higher prices because stocks are adequate. In the report the company’s acting managing director Flora Okoth was quoted as saying supplies of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel were adequate. The government has already warned against illegal fuel hoarding to create artificial prices. At least one distributor has denied any hoarding of fuels ahead of the government’s announced date for price changes on May 14 when prices have been widely anticipated to increase. Mexico ups and downs Mexican state oil company Pemex has posted a net loss which is 180% bigger than that a year earlier, for different reasons including exchange rate losses and production losses, according to a recent report. The information was obtained from a company’s filing to the Mexican stock exchange where Pemex also disclosed that production has decreased nearly 8%, the report said. The company is also seeing its debt burden increase. During the period, its borrowings increased nearly 12% as a result of sales of bonds in international markets. However, following the Mexican authorities’ decision last year to open the country’s fuel market to private, including foreign competition as early as 2017, the interest in investing in Mexico’s fuel retail market is growing. José Ángel García, President of Onexpo said: “There are over 20 companies interested in operating their own brand in 2016 and possibly their own product in 2017.” Until 2017 all gasoline sold in the country has to be supplied by Pemex, but after that year imports would be legal. The opening of the Mexican market accelerated following the signing of a free trade agreement with the US nearly two decades ago. Q8 and EMARAT discuss cooperation A delegation of the Kuwait Aviation Fuelling Company ‘KAFCO’ recently met with EMARAT at its headquarters in Dubai to discuss possible opportunities of cooperat ion. Abdu l ra h ma n Qassi m A l A l i, commercial sales director at Emarat, welcomed the visiting delegation, stressing on Emarat's dedication to enhance cooperation with the different companies that seek establishing trade and expertise exchange. Sinopec reports high increase in refined oil products sales China-based Sinopec said in a recent statement that during the first quarter it has “fortified the advantages of network and brand by promoting integrated services at service stations and further developed its non-fuel business to provide one-stop services” in addition to posting increases in sales revenue. “In the first quarter, total sales volume of refined oil products was up by 10.3% over the same period last year. Transactions of non-fuel business were up by 75.0% compared with the same period last year,” a spokesperson for Sinopec said. United Petroleum in Australia may delay listing United Petroleum may change its plans for a $1.5 billion listing on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) as competitor Viva places assets up for sale. United Petroleum is considering its position carefully with ASX boards amid concerns the planned float of Viva Energy could impact demand from investors. Viva, the Australian operations of Vitol, operates the Shell fuel business Vitol acquired last year and could command a valuation of more than $1bn through a float of its assets. The activity at Viva may influence United Petroleum to pursue a similar plan -- a sale and lease-back of its real estate assets -- instead of proceeding with a $1.5bn-plus IPO, which promised to be the largest of the year on the ASX. Innscore restaurant brands for Shell fuel stations T he part nersh ip bet ween Vivo Energ y and Innscore Africa Ltd w i l l see Vivo Energy a dding q uick service restaurants - including Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn, Creamy Inn and Galito’s Flame Grilled Chicken to a number of the Shell service stations in Namibia and Botswana. Innscore already has restaurants open in location at fuel stat ions i n Kenya and Ghana. “Across our net work we are look ing to upgrade our service stations to a modern format a nd t h at ’s why t h i s p a r t ne r sh ip w it h Innscor is so important to us,” said David Mockford, Head of Convenience Retail for Vivo Energy. The first two restaurants will open in Namibia in the coming weeks.
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