Oil traders are gathering in London for what’s normally a week of lavish parties, dealmaking and market chatter. China’s coronavirus means this year’s events will be more subdued – and fewer in number – than usual. The talk will be about absent friends and uncertain demand.
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) of Switzerland has ordered Gunvor to pay almost 94 million Swiss francs ($94.7mn) for failing to prevent corruption in Congo Brazzaville and Cote d’Ivoire.
Not since the days of fugitive oil merchant Marc Rich has the commodities trading industry faced so much global scrutiny.
A former oil trader with Gunvor Group was given an 18-month suspended jail sentence after admitting to bribing public officials to secure oil cargoes from the Republic of Congo and Ivory Coast.
Top executives at the world’s largest oil-trading houses said the worst of the market’s woes are probably over, with some predicting prices will climb to $50 a barrel by next year.
Oil traders are recording some of their best results on record, whilst the industry, and many countries, are reeling from the global downturn in the oil price.
Gunvor Group’s profit soared to a record $1.25 billion last year as the commodity trader sold the bulk of its Russian assets and earnings from oil trading increased.
Trading house Gunvor has struck a deal to sell its last asset in Russia, according to reports. The company plans to get rid of a 50% stake in the Novorossiisk fuel oil terminal to a subsidiary of Kremlin-controlled Transneft.