Greek PM agreed with Merkel, Hollande on need for quick deal: Greek official

1 Jun 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Greece’s Tsipras attacks creditors.

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece and its European creditors agreed on the need to reach a cash-for-reforms deal quickly as Athens missed a self-imposed Sunday deadline for reaching an agreement to unlock aid, sources close to the talks said.

Investors are bracing for a bumpy ride this week, as the long-running “Grexit” saga – Greece’s potentially catastrophic exit from the eurozone – enters its final stages, with trading rooms around the world worried that the ending could go either way.Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has attacked its creditors for insisting on what he described as absurd reforms which have only held up progress in negotiations for a deal aimed at preventing his country from defaulting. “The lack of an agreement so far is not due to the supposed intransigent, uncompromising and incomprehensible Greek stance,” Mr Tsipras wrote in a column published by French newspaper Le Monde. “It is due to the insistence of certain institutional actors on submitting absurd proposals and displaying a total indifference to the recent democratic choice of the Greek people,” he added. As with all good psychodramas, “Grexit” – which has been running since 2010, when Greece received its first international bailout – has kept investors in suspense right to the end, with plenty of complicated plot twists and surprise character revelations. Greece has been locked in talks with its creditors – the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank – in a bid to unlock €7.2 billion ($A10.3bn) in bailout funds. However, a deal has so far proved elusive as the creditors are demanding greater reforms in return for the cash, which Mr Tsipras’s government – elected on an anti-austerity bill – has refused to match.

European markets rose by almost 2 per cent on Wednesday, after comments from Tsipras that the country was “close” to a deal, amid reports that the two sides were in the process of drafting an agreement. But these hopes were tempered by the much more prudent German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, who hosed down expectations of an imminent agreement. These include a special tax on the very wealthy, greater efforts towards clamping down on tax evasion, and putting broadcasting and other licences up for tender. Investors concluded that Athens’ optimism was more to do with a PR strategy aimed at avoiding a bank run in the lead-up to a long weekend (Monday is a public holiday in Greece) rather than reality.

But the lenders have insisted that Greece must wrap up talks at the technical level with adequate concessions on reforms so that its budget and debt numbers add up. Total deposits fell to €139.36 billion ($200.25 billion) in April, down from €145.04 billion in March and over €170 billion just five months ago, leaving deposit levels at Greek banks at their lowest level in more than a decade. In an interview published in newspaper Corriere della Sera on Sunday, Greek Economy Minister George Stathakis said he expected a deal in “a few days”, followed by a meeting of euro zone finance ministers to approve disbursement of the aid. Asked whether the 300 million euro (215.5 million pounds) payment to the IMF on June 5 was at risk and there was a question of lumping it together with other instalments that fall due next month, Stathakis said: “There shouldn’t be any need. For instance, the IMF is pressing Athens to lift the retirement age to 67 years, Brussels is arguing for a less ambitious number of 65, while Athens wants it to be 62 years.

An agreement between Athens and Brussels would also clear the way for the ECB to again accept Greek government bonds as collateral for loans, giving the country access to much-needed liquidity. In addition, Athens may also be able to claim some share of the €1.9 billion in profits that the ECB has made on its on its holdings of Greek bonds since 2010. And, more than ever, investors will be scrutinising the body language and decoding the language of leading European officials as they try to anticipate the ultimate denouement of this Greek tragedy.

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UPDATE 1-Western Refining to buy rest of Northern Tier

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Upgrades Northern Tier Energy LP (NTI) to “Neutral”.

Under the deal, Northern Tier unit holders would receive $15 a unit in cash and 0.2986 Western Refining share for each common unit held, or roughly $26.21 a unit based on Monday’s close. EL PASO, Texas and TEMPE, Ariz., Dec. 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Western Refining, Inc. (NYSE:WNR) and Northern Tier Energy LP (NYSE:NTI) today jointly announced that they have entered into a merger agreement whereby Western will acquire all of NTI’s outstanding common units not already owned by Western. Northern Tier Chief Executive Dave Lamp in prepared remarks Monday said that the MLP model “has not been rewarded by the equity market, as evidenced by the historical disconnect between NTI’s high yield and low unit price.” “With a simplified corporate structure and diverse geographic base, the new Western will be well positioned to unlock additional value for shareholders,” Mr. As an alternative to the cash and stock consideration, each NTI unitholder may elect to receive, per NTI unit, either $26.06 in cash or 0.7036 of a share of WNR.

Assuming completion of the proposed transaction, NTI will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of WNR and NTI common units will cease to be publicly traded. Jeff Stevens, President and CEO of WNR said, “The merger of Western and NTI will result in the combined entity owning three of the most profitable independent refineries on a gross margin per barrel basis, with direct pipeline access to advantaged crude oil combined with an integrated retail and wholesale distribution network. The terms of the merger agreement were approved by the WNR Board of Directors and the Conflicts Committee of the Board of Directors of NTI’s general partner, which negotiated the terms on behalf of NTI. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock.

The call and slide presentation can be accessed on the Investor Relations section of Western’s website, www.wnr.com, and on the Investor Relations section of Northern Tier’s website at www.northerntier.com. The Company has refining, retail and logistics operations that serve the Petroleum Administration for Defense District II (PADD II) region of the United States. Goldman Sachs & Co. acted as financial advisor to Western, and Vinson & Elkins, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Richards Layton & Finger acted as legal counsel to Western. This press release includes “forward-looking statements” by Western (which are protected as forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) and by NTI.

The Company’s retail segment operated 165 convenience stores under the SuperAmerica brand and also supported 89 franchised convenience stores, which are also operated under the SuperAmerica brand. These statements are subject to the risk that the merger is not consummated at all, including due to the inability of Western or NTI to obtain all approvals necessary or the failure of other closing conditions, as well as to the general risks inherent in Western’s and NTI’s businesses and the merged company’s ability to compete in a highly competitive industry.

If you are reading this article on another website, that means this article was illegally copied and re-published to this website in violation of U.S. and International copyright law. In addition, Western’s and Northern Tier’s business and operations involve numerous risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Western’s and NTI’s control, which could materially affect their respective financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and those of the merged company.

The forward-looking statements are only as of the date made, and neither Western nor NTI undertake any obligation to (and each expressly disclaims any obligation to) update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date such statements were made, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. This communication does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation is unlawful. Any such offer will be made only by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, pursuant to a registration statement filed with the SEC. The retail segment includes retail service stations, convenience stores, and unmanned fleet fueling locations in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. Beyersdorfer (602) 286-1530 Michelle Clemente (602) 286-1533 Northern Tier Investor and Analyst Contact: Paul Anderson (651) 458-6494 Alpha IR Group (651) 769-6700 nti@alpha-ir.com Media Contact: Gary Hanson (602) 286-1777

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