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G7 coalition agrees $60 per barrel price cap for Russian oil

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  • EU agreed price after holdout Poland gave its support.
  • Price cap would take effect on Dec 5 or very soon thereafter.
  • Price cap aims to reduce Russia’s income from selling oil.

WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS: The Group of Seven (G7) nations and Australia on Friday said they had agreed a $60 per barrel price cap on Russian seaborne crude oil after European Union members overcame resistance from Poland and hammered out a political agreement earlier in the day.

The EU agreed the price after holdout Poland gave its support, paving the way for formal approval over the weekend.

The G7 and Australia said in a statement the price cap would take effect on December 5 or very soon thereafter.

The nations said they anticipated that any revision of the price would include a form of grandfathering to allow compliant transactions concluded before the change.

“The Price Cap Coalition may also consider further action to ensure the effectiveness of the price cap,” the statement read. No details were immediately available on what further actions could be taken.

The price cap, a G7 idea, aims to reduce Russia’s income from selling oil, while preventing a spike in global oil prices after an EU embargo on Russian crude takes effect on Dec. 5.

Warsaw had resisted the proposed level as it examined an adjustment mechanism to keep the cap below the market price. It had pushed in EU negotiations for the cap to be as low as possible to squeeze revenues to Russia and limit Moscow’s ability to finance its war in Ukraine.

Polish Ambassador to the EU Andrzej Sados on Friday told reporters Poland had backed the EU deal, which included a mechanism to keep the oil price cap at least 5% below the market rate. US officials said the deal was unprecedented and demonstrated the resolve of the coalition opposing Russia’s war.

A spokesperson for the Czech Republic, which holds the rotating EU presidency and oversees EU countries’ negotiations, said it had launched the written procedure for all 27 EU countries to formally greenlight the deal, following Poland’s approval.

Details of the deal are due to be published in the EU legal journal on Sunday.

EU sees significant hit to Russian revenues

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the price cap would significantly reduce Russia’s revenues.

“It will help us stabilise global energy prices, benefiting emerging economies around the world,” von der Leyen said on Twitter, adding that the cap would be “adjustable over time” to react to market developments.

The G7 price cap will allow non-EU countries to continue importing seaborne Russian crude oil, but it will prohibit shipping, insurance and re-insurance companies from handling cargoes of Russian crude around the globe, unless it is sold for less than the price cap.

Because the most important shipping and insurance firms are based in G7 countries, the price cap would make it very difficult for Moscow to sell its oil for a higher price.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the cap will particularly benefit low- and medium-income countries that have borne the brunt of high energy and food prices.

“With Russia’s economy already contracting and its budget increasingly stretched thin, the price cap will immediately cut into Putin’s most important source of revenue,” Yellen said in a statement.

A senior US Treasury Department official told reporters on Friday that the $60 per barrel price cap on Russian seaborne crude oil will keep global markets well supplied while “institutionalizing” discounts created by the threat of such a limit.

The chair of the Russian lower house’s foreign affairs committee told Tass news agency on Friday the European Union was jeopardising its own energy security.

The initial G7 proposal last week was for a price cap of $65-$70 per barrel with no adjustment mechanism. Since Russian Urals crude already traded lower, Poland, Lithuania and Estonia pushed for a lower price.

Russian Urals crude traded at around $67 a barrel on Friday.

EU countries have wrangled for days over the details, with those countries adding conditions to the deal – including that the price cap will be reviewed in mid-January and every two months after that, according to diplomats and an EU document seen by Reuters on Thursday.

The document also said a 45-day transitional period would apply to vessels carrying Russian crude that was loaded before Dec. 5 and unloaded at its final destination by Jan. 19, 2023.

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In a first for history, PSX crosses the 77,000 milestone.

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At 77,213.31, the benchmark KSE-100 hit an all-time high, up 1,005.15, or 1.32%, from the previous close of 76,208.16.

The government’s readiness to seal an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) following the budget was cited by analysts as the reason for the upward trend.

Experts anticipate that in an attempt to bolster its position for a fresh bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the budget for the fiscal year ending in June 2025 would set aggressive fiscal goals.

Budget for Pakistan, 2024–2025
Pakistan’s budget for the fiscal year 2024–25, with a total expenditure of Rs18.877 trillion, was presented on Wednesday by Minister of Finance and Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb.

The Finance Minister, Muhammad Aurangzeb, outlined the budget highlights. He stated that the GDP growth target for the fiscal year 2024–25 is set at 3.6 percent, while the inflation rate is anticipated to stay at 12 percent.

He stated that while the primary surplus is anticipated to be 1.0 percent of GDP during the review period, the budget deficit to GDP is forecast to be 6.9 percent over the period under review.

According to the minister, tax income collection increased by 38% in the current fiscal year, and the province will receive Rs7,438 billion. The Federal Board of income expects to earn Rs12,970 billion in revenue for the upcoming fiscal year.

In contrast to the federal government’s projected net income of Rs9,119 billion, he stated that the federation’s non-tax revenue projections are set at Rs3,587 billion.

The federal government’s total outlays are projected to be Rs18,877 billion, with interest payments accounting for the remaining Rs9,775 billion.

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Pakistan currently has $14.38 billion in foreign exchange reserves.

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Pakistan’s commercial banks’ reserves, which stood at $5.28 billion at the conclusion of the week ending on June 7, rose by US$174 million, according to a central bank statement.

Reserving US$6.2 million less, the SBP now has US$9.10 billion in reserves. The causes for the decline in the reserves it had were not disclosed by the central bank.

The SBP released a statement that stated, “SBP reserves decreased by US$ 6 million to US$ 9,103.3 million during the week ended on 07-June-2024.”

The State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) foreign exchange reserves were reduced by US$ 63 million as a result of repaying external debt, with the reserves standing at US$ 9.093 billion as of earlier on June 6.

The central bank spokesperson said in a statement that as of the week that concluded on May 31, the nation’s total liquid foreign reserves were $14.31 billion.

In terms of net foreign reserves, commercial banks have US$ 5.22 billion of the overall foreign reserves, according to the SBP.

SBP reserves dropped by US$ 63 million to US$ 9,093.7 million during the week that ended on May 24, 2024, according to the announcement.

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In the local market, the price of gold plummets to Rs240,700/tola.

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Gold with a 24-karat purity level has dropped by Rs1200/tola on the local market.

Each tola of 24-karat gold is now selling for Rs240,700, with a further drop of Rs1029 bringing the price of 10 kilos of gold to Rs206,361. These figures are courtesy of the All Sarafa and Jewelers Association.

Meanwhile, after a $2 decline on the global market, one ounce of gold will be valued $2315.

A tola of gold was worth Rs 600 more on Wednesday.

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