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E.ON’s CEO says Germany should boost domestic gas production

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pipes at the landfall facilities of the ‘Nord Stream 1’ gas pipeline are pictured in Lubmin, Germany, March 8, 2022. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo

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BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany should explore all options to increase domestic natural gas output including fracking, the chief executive of German energy provider E.ON’s said, as Berlin triggered the “alarm stage” of its emergency gas plan in response to falling Russian supplies.

“We must now search without taboos for all solutions that will help us to improve our situation” Leonhard Birnbaum said in an interview with WirtschaftsWoche podcast.

Birnbaum said a modest increase in domestic production would not be the solution to the current supply situation, but a small building block that could help.

Germany triggered the “alarm stage” of its emergency natural gas plan on Thursday in response to falling Russian supplies but stopped short of allowing utilities to pass on soaring energy costs to customers in Europe’s largest economy.

“We have to ask ourselves the question: Can we develop additional fields in Germany?” he said, adding that maximizing domestic production could be part of the solution and may be more environmentally friendly than other alternatives.

Production of natural gas and oil has been declining in Germany, mainly because unconventional fracking is banned and nature protection laws make it difficult to seek permission for new drilling.

In April, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said there were no plans to change a ban on unconventional domestic gas fracking.

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Bankman-Fried’s FTX seeking path to buy Robinhood – Bloomberg News

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© Reuters. The logo of Robinhood Markets, Inc. is seen at a pop-up event on Wall Street after the company’s IPO in New York City, U.S., July 29, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

(Reuters) – Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX crypto exchange is exploring whether it might be able to acquire Robinhood Markets Inc (NASDAQ:HOOD), Bloomberg News reported on Monday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

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Refining Tightness to Persist, Even in a Recession – Piper Sandler

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© Reuters. Refining Tightness to Persist, Even in a Recession – Piper Sandler

By Sam Boughedda

Piper Sandler Senior analyst Ryan Todd said in a research note Monday that they believe refining tightness will persist, even through a recession.

With rising investor concerns of a recession and, to a lesser extent, fear of potential adverse policy impacts, U.S. refining stocks have pulled back by 25% since June 8th, said the analyst.

“PSC’s macro view suggests a high chance of recession in early 2023, and the historical ‘playbook’ would tell you to stay away from refiners in a recession, we see the dynamics as unique today, with margin strength driven by supply constraints, rather than demand strength,” wrote Todd. “Given system tightness, even in a severe recession (2.0 Mb/d+ of demand destruction), global utilization rates would merely approach pre-Covid ‘mid-cycle’ levels.”

As a result, the analyst reiterated HF Sinclair Corp (NYSE:DINO) as a top pick while lowering Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO) to a peer discount.

“As we have highlighted repeatedly over the last 6-9 months, global refining capacity is VERY tight, with 2022 utilization likely ~84%, well above the 5yr/10yr averages of 82%/81%,” added Todd. “Only in the case of 2.0 Mb/d of demand destruction would global refining utilization levels fall to ‘mid-cycle’ levels (81.9% vs. 82.3% 5-yr pre-Covid average). The reality is that we need some amount of demand destruction to prevent 2023 margins from surpassing 2022.”

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Mining firms poised to lead capital raisings in Canada, TSX CEO says

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Visitors to the BHP (formerly known as BHP Billiton) booth speak with representatives during the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) annual convention in Toronto, Ontario, Canada March 4, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Ph

By Divya Rajagopal

TORONTO (Reuters) – Mining companies seeking to accelerate exploration of scarce critical minerals are set to lead capital raisings in Canada this year, the chief executive officer of the Toronto Stock Exchange said on Monday, as sectors such as technology take a back seat amid market volatility.

A big source of capital for the critical minerals sector this year is coming from large corporations like BHP Ltd and Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO), which are throwing their weight behind junior miners to help expedite exploration projects.

Junior miners are encouraged by the Canadian government’s plan, announced in this year’s budget, to allocate C$4 billion ($3.1 billion) to critical minerals.

“I do think we are going to see a bit of a renaissance in mining that we haven’t seen in years, just given what’s happening with global demand, supply,” Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) CEO Loui Anastasopoulos told Reuters, pointing to the focus on investments in critical minerals.

The raising of capital on the TSX by mining companies will bolster Canada’s prospects of developing its vast deposits of critical minerals, including cobalt, lithium, nickel and copper, which are key to achieving the transition away from carbon-based energy. It could also help reduce the reliance on China for critical minerals. The Asian economic superpower is home to about 50% of the global critical minerals deposits.

So far this year, mining companies listed in Canada have raised C$3.1 billion, accounting for 25% of the total capital raised on the TSX and the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV), compared to 18% in the same period last year, TSX data shows, while overall raising of funds has dropped by about 54%. Last year, technology companies led the way among equity sectors with C$13.8 billion in funds raised, followed by mining at C$10 billion and financial services at C$6.9 billion.

The TSX is betting that mining companies looking to add critical minerals to their portfolio will help make up for some of the shortfall in capital raisings this year.

Calgary-based Lithium Chile and Toronto-based Northern Graphite Corporation lead capital raising in 2022 with a total of C$51 million through private placements. Anastasopoulos said at least six more mining companies are expected to list on the TSX this year.

‘CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC’

Investment bankers also expect the trend of large mining companies injecting capital into junior miners to continue after BHP and Rio Tinto announced their plans to invest in explorers.

In June, Rio Tinto agreed to pay C$10 million for a 10% stake in British Columbia-based Nano One Materials Corp , which is engaged in the production of cathode materials used in lithium batteries. In February, BHP bought a 5% stake in Vancouver-based copper-gold explorer Filo Mining for C$100 million.

Lauren Bermack, a partner and national deals mining leader at consulting firm PwC Canada, said when sentiment is down it becomes difficult to raise capital in mining as compared to blue-chip companies.

But since the outlook for critical minerals is strong, investors with risk appetite are looking to invest in assets that are trading at reasonable prices, she added.

Anastasopoulos of the TSX also sees upbeat sentiment for the mining sector.

“We are cautiously optimistic … but something quite interesting will happen in the mining space over the next 12 to 24 months,” he said.

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