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Euro crashes to parity with dollar for the first time in two decades

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The euro effectively reached parity with the dollar yesterday as latest recession and inflation fears saw it wilt in the face of the rampaging greenback.

The single currency dipped as low as $1.00005, meaning it was just a fraction of a cent from hitting the same level as the US currency for the first time in two decades.

It has fallen 12 per cent against the dollar so far this year as the US Federal Reserve aggressively hikes interest rates while the European Central Bank (ECB) has been more reticent even as inflation hits record levels.

The single currency dipped as low as $1.00005, meaning it was just a fraction of a cent from hitting the same level as the US currency for the first time in two decades

Europe is facing a major economic slowdown that could worsen if Russia chokes off its gas supplies.

Elsewhere, fresh Covid-19 restrictions imposed in some Chinese cities added to global downturn fears, sending the Brent crude oil benchmark below $100.

A stampede to the safety of the dollar has seen it trample rival currencies including the pound and the Japanese yen as well as the euro.

Sterling shed a cent to hit a two-year low of $1.1808 – partly blamed on political uncertainty as the Tories selects a new prime minister – though it later recovered. The dollar, meanwhile, slipped back slightly against the yen having hit a 24-year high on Monday.

US inflation figures due out today could drive further currency moves. A reading above the current 41-year high of 8.6 per cent will fuel speculation that the Fed is preparing further large rate hikes.

The ECB, by contrast, has not raised rates since 2011, and while a hike is expected this month, the approach is more cautious than in the US amid fears of recession in the eurozone.

Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, is bearing the brunt of the continent’s energy crisis because of its reliance on Russian gas.

Some citizens are already facing rationed heating and hot water and dimmed street lighting as the country seeks to conserve energy.

It could take a severe economic hit if Russia cuts off gas supplied via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which on Monday closed for ten days of maintenance, though some worry it will not reopen.

Sterling shed a cent to hit a two-year low of $1.1808 ¿ partly blamed on political uncertainty as the Tories selects a new prime minister ¿ though it later recovered

Sterling shed a cent to hit a two-year low of $1.1808 – partly blamed on political uncertainty as the Tories selects a new prime minister – though it later recovered

Yesterday the ZEW index, a gauge of German investor sentiment, fell to minus 53.8 points, the lowest reading since the eurozone crisis of 2011.

Alexander Krueger, chief economist at private bank Hauck Aufhaeuser Lampe, said: ‘Fear has taken the wheel. The threat of a stop to gas deliveries and the strong drop in real wages in particular are leading to the blues.’

Jordan Rochester, FX strategist at Nomura, expects the euro to dip to $0.95 next month, adding: ‘If Nord Stream 1 doesn’t resume operations we think $0.90 is a growing possibility over the winter.’

The latest slump came on the same day that EU finance ministers approved Croatia becoming the 20th member of the single currency at the start of next year.

European Commission vice president Valdis Dombrovskis said it confirmed that the euro remained ‘an attractive, resilient and successful global currency’.

Elsewhere, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen discussed the dollar’s strength and yen’s depreciation during meetings with Japan’s finance minister and central bank governor in Tokyo.

But Yellen said they did not discuss intervention in the currency market, telling reporters that would be warranted only in ‘rare and exceptional circumstances’.

In 1985, the US, Germany, Japan, France and the UK agreed on coordinated action, during another period of dollar strength, to knock down the US currency’s values.

But Jane Foley at Rabobank said the dollar’s current strength was a ‘text-book reaction’ to higher interest rates, and it ‘wouldn’t make sense for the US authorities to oppose the stronger dollar while the Fed is aggressively tightening monetary policy’.

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Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom receives, honors foreign investors  

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Team from Italy , Ukraine, and United States of America led by Dr. Emeka Agwu, Chairman of a multi-global company, the PJ-IC

Dr Emeka Agwu, Chairman of Board of directors of a multi-global company, the PJ-IC International led a team of foreign partners to Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria to negotiate a partnership with foreign investors for agricultural development ventures. They had a long meeting with the Executive Governor of the state, His Excellency, Udom Emmanuel. The investors came from Italy , Ukraine, and United States of America.

The partnership would develop strategies for the establishment of agricultural food processing plant, new technology gas cylinder plant, and complete parboiling processing plant & rice mill complex. “Agriculture has been identified as the major solution to leading a regional economic evolution, and the PJ-IC understands that necessity,” said Dr. Agwu on the significance of this partnership.

After the meeting His the Governor welcomed the investors and honored the group’s leader,  Dr Agwu with a State Complimentary Award.

Dr. Agwu has served as Chairman and CEO of PJ-IC, Inc. since its establishment in 2002 realizing new business opportunities and delivering quality solutions in emerging markets worldwide. PJ-IC began as a procurement provider for both private and public interests and expanded its management capacity and capabilities to agronomical development, transportation, infrastructure, housing and construction.

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Elon Musk fired Twitter’s head of sales after she refused to sack more employees

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He had previously begged her not to resign

  • Elon Musk sacked Twitter exec Robin Wheeler after she refused to fire more staff, sources said.
  • Wheeler was sacked despite Musk persuading her to stay after she tried to resign, per Bloomberg.
  • Some Twitter sales staff found out over the weekend and on Monday they were fired, per Platformer.

Elon Musk fired a top Twitter executive after she refused to sack more employees in the ad sales team, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke to Insider.

Robin Wheeler, Twitter’s global head of advertising sales, handed in her resignation on Thursday 10, but Musk persuaded her to stay in the job, the sources told Insider’s Lara O’Reilly, and as Bloomberg earlier reported.

One week later, the billionaire changed his mind. Two sources said Wheeler was fired on Friday after she refused to cut the headcount of Twitter’s ad sales team — a department that was already depleted.

Wheeler, whose Twitter bio now says “proud Ex-Twitter Sales Exec,” tweeted on Friday in the past tense, saying: “To the team and my clients….you were always my first and only priority.” She concluded the tweet with a salute emoji, a sign that has recently become symbolic for Twitter employees leaving the company amid layoffs and firings.

Platformer’s Casey Newton reported that some Twitter staff in the sales team found out over the weekend and on Monday that they had been sacked after they couldn’t access Twitter’s systems.

This came after Musk sent an email to employees about his expectations for building “Twitter 2.0.” If staff didn’t sign up for “the new Twitter” by Thursday 5 p.m., they would receive three months of severance, Musk wrote in the email.

Twitter and Wheeler didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment made outside of normal US operating hours on Tuesday.

Wheeler joined Twitter in 2012 as a senior director of sales, which involved managing relationships with some of the company’s biggest clients such as Coca-Cola, Google, and Microsoft, according to her LinkedIn page. She became the head of ad sales in April this year.

Chris Riedy, Twitter’s former vice president of the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, replaced Wheeler at the weekend, per multiple Insider sources.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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Nigerian Ex-General Takes on Former Partner That Won $11 Billion Award

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(Bloomberg) — A firm owned by a billionaire former Nigerian defense minister is suing an ex-business partner that’s at the center of a high-stakes London trial over an $11 billion arbitration award, previously unreported court documents show.

A UK tribunal ordered Nigeria’s government in 2017 to pay Process and Industrial Development Ltd $6.6 billion in damages after a gas-supply deal soured, and the amount has ballooned with interest. Theophilius Danjuma’s Tita-Kuru Petrochemicals Ltd. brought its own arbitration claim against P&ID in London in 2020, alleging that its designs had been “unlawfully misappropriated” to secure the gas contract, Nigeria said in a filing to a UK court in February.

“P&ID firmly denies that it unlawfully misappropriated anything from Tita-Kuru,” the company’s majority shareholder, Seamus Andrew, said by email, declining to comment further on the arbitration because the proceedings are confidential. A spokesman for Danjuma declined to comment.

Read more: Behind the Multibillion-Dollar Legal Award Nigeria Calls a Sham

Danjuma, 83, amassed a fortune after retiring from the army as a senior general in the late 1970s and going into business. He founded South Atlantic Petroleum Ltd., which holds a 15% interest in two oil fields that produce about 200,000 barrels of crude a day. Danjuma also served as Nigeria’s defense minister from 1999 to 2003.

Tita-Kuru and British Virgin Islands-registered P&ID worked together from 2006 on an unsuccessful project to build a gas-processing plant. Danjuma’s firm claimed in a 2019 letter sent to Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency that P&ID presented work that cost Tita-Kuru $40 million to win its deal with the government. Nigeria repeated that argument in July to a UK court, where it seeks to overturn the multibillion-dollar arbitration award that P&ID won five years ago.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is now preparing for a London trial in January, during which it will try and prove that P&ID secured the gas-supply contract and arbitration award through bribes and lies.

No Wrongdoing

P&ID denies all allegations of wrongdoing and accuses the government of evading its legal obligation to pay it compensation.

While P&ID was entitled to use the design work paid for by Tita-Kuru for the facility it intended to build under the contract with the state, most of the plans ultimately were “not required,” the company said in its response to the government’s allegations in September.

Nigeria’s Attorney General Abubakar Malami said in a witness statement in June 2020 that an earlier settlement struck between Tita-Kuru and P&ID “may have involved” the ex-minister “receiving the right to some form of equity stake” in P&ID and therefore an interest in the company enforcing the award.

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