Indonesia to Allow Freeport to Resume Copper Concentrate Exports: Official
[caption id="attachment_309665" align="alignleft" width="300"] An aerial view shows the site of the Grasberg Mine, which is operated by US-based Freeport-McMoRan, in Papua province in this November 4, 2010 file photo. (Reuters Photo/Muhammad Yamin)[/caption]
Jakarta. Indonesia is expected to issue US mining giant Freeport-McMoRan with a government permit to resume exporting copper concentrates in one or two weeks, a mining ministry official said on Thursday.
While Indonesia is close to a deal with Freeport, there has been no progress in talks between the outgoing government and US miner Newmont Mining, which has filed for international arbitration over the country?s mineral export tax.
?The government?s position is we will face them in court,? said Sukhyar, director general of coal and minerals at the mining ministry.
Singapore Home Prices Set to Extend Declines, Keppel Land Says
[caption id="attachment_303087" align="alignleft" width="300"] Tourists visit Merlion park in Singapore on June 24, 2014. (AFP Photo/Roslan Rahman)[/caption]
Home prices in Singapore will probably extend declines as the government sticks with curbs, according to Keppel Land, signaling further losses for Asia?s second-most expensive housing market.
?Home prices are expected to continue to moderate,? chief executive Ang Wee Gee said at a results briefing on Wednesday. ?Singapore is unlikely to relax property-cooling measures in the short term.?
Residential values in the city-state slid for a third quarter in the three months to June to post the longest losing streak in five years after the government introduced loan measures last June, widening a campaign that began in 2009 to curb speculation. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on July 4 that a further correction in the Singapore property market would not be unexpected. Keppel Land stock closed on Wednesday at the highest in almost two months.
?I don?t see the government relaxing the curbs for a year,? said Nicholas Mak, an executive director at SLP International Property Consultants in Singapore. ?Developers that have deep pockets may not be under tremendous pressure to cut prices.?
Singapore?s home sales by volume fell 68 percent in June from May as developers marketed fewer projects. The government began introducing the housing-market curbs in 2009, with some of the strictest measures implemented in 2013, including a cap on debt at 60 percent of a borrower?s income, higher stamp duties on home purchases and an increase in real-estate taxes.
?We don?t see a major correction in the residential property market in Singapore,? said Ang after the company reported second-quarter profit rose 12 percent to S$107.2 million ($86.6 million). The first six months have been challenging as the enforcement of cooling measures in Singapore and in China continued to damp the market, said Ang.
Keppel Land?s revenue declined 7.8 percent to S$304.6 million in the three months to June, according to a statement. The developer sold 98 homes in Singapore in the first six months of the year.
An index tracking private-residential prices retreated 1.1 percent to 209.3 points in the three months to June, following a 1.3 percent decline in the previous three months, according to preliminary data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority on July 1.
Keppel Land shares gained 5.1 percent this year compared with the 8 percent advance in the Straits Times Real Estate Index. The stock ended at S$3.51 on Wednesday, the highest close since May 26.
US Mining Giants Say Nearing Indonesia Deal on Copper Exports
[caption id="attachment_309663" align="aligncenter" width="780"] Miners are seen at the Grasberg Mine, operated by US-based Freeport-McMoRan, in Papua province in this November 4, 2010 file photo. (Reuters Photo/Muhammad Yamin)[/caption]
Jakarta. Indonesia?s top two copper miners signaled they are nearing a breakthrough to allow a restart of concentrate exports, which have been halted for more than six months due to a dispute with the Southeast Asian country over new mining rules.
The comments come as Indonesian President-Elect Joko Widodo prepares to assume power in October, and will take pressure off the new government to resolve the dispute, which has halted about $200 million a month in copper exports.
Freeport-McMoRan said on Wednesday it expects to ?imminently? sign an agreement with Indonesia that would enable it to immediately resume copper concentrate exports.
In a further sign that the deadlock could be nearing an end, Newmont Mining also said it was negotiating a memorandum of understanding that could restart stalled shipments.
Arizona-based Freeport said on July 8 it had agreed on a draft memorandum of understanding with the Indonesian government but had not signed it. At the time, it gave no time frame on when it would resume exports. Indonesia introduced a mineral ore export ban and a steep export tax in January.
?It is a compromise to create a bridge for us so that we can return to normal operations,? Freeport chief executive Richard Adkerson said of the MoU on an earnings call with analysts and investors.
Under the agreement, Freeport would pay a ?significantly reduced? export duty in 2014, 2015 and 2016 but higher royalties on copper and gold sales. It would also pay a $115 million ?assurance bond? against development of a smelter, Adkerson said.
Freeport, which owns and operates the massive Grasberg mine, wants financial incentives from the government to build a new smelter. Indonesia imposed the new rules partly to spur construction of smelters in the country, but miners have said building new capacity does not make economic sense.
Adkerson said the negotiations also involve agreeing on terms to extend Freeport?s operations beyond 2021, when its current contract with the government expires.
Cabinet to meet
An Indonesian cabinet meeting with outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was due to discuss the issue later on Thursday.
News of a potential breakthrough caused little immediate market reaction. Copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was trading flat at $7,043.75 a metric ton in early Asian trade.
A North America-based concentrates trader said any resumption in exports from Indonesia would not be enough to dramatically increase supply, but would renew expectations of an oversupply in the market.
?A lot of people expected the market to be oversupplied,? he said, adding that recent delays to mine output expansions had led to tighter conditions.
The two US mining giants account for 97 percent of Indonesia?s copper production. While Freeport had engaged in behind-the-scenes talks, Newmont suspended operation at its Batu Hijau mine and filed for international arbitration, drawing a rebuke from the Indonesian government.
?We hope to reach an agreement with the government of Indonesia on an MoU or memorandum of understanding, which we would expect would lead to issuance of an export permit,? Newmont spokesman Omar Jabara said on Wednesday.
He did not give details on terms or when exports could resume. Officials from Newmont?s Indonesian unit have been in ongoing meetings with the government, he added.
Indonesia?s President-Elect Joko said on Tuesday he planned to sit down with Freeport and other miners to resolve a minerals row, which has halted $500 million of exports a month in Southeast Asia?s biggest economy.
Youth Leaders Sharpen Skills for Fight against Tobacco
It's within our reach to create the first tobacco-free generation.
But we can't do it without the involvement of youth.
Last week, we welcomed more than 30 youth activists from across the country to Washington, DC, for our 11th Youth Advocacy Symposium — a series of skill-building workshops on leadership, advocacy and communications.
Despite Outrage, Philip Morris International Expands Global ?Be Marlboro? Cam...
Despite international media criticism and widespread calls from public health groups and government officials to end its "Be Marlboro" marketing campaign, Philip Morris International is doubling down and expanding its youth-oriented campaign around the globe.
A March 2014 report by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other public health groups exposed how the campaign uses themes and images sure to appeal to youth. With the slogan "Don’t be a Maybe. Be Marlboro," the ads feature images of attractive young people falling in love, playing music, partying, and taking risks.
WHO: Smoking Increases Risk of Dementia
The U.S. Surgeon General and other public health authorities around the world have found that smoking damages nearly every organ in the human body and harms health at every stage of life. Yet we are continually learning new ways in which smoking harms health.
In the latest example, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Alzheimer’s Disease International are reporting, based on a review of scientific studies, that smokers have a 45 percent higher risk of developing dementia compared to non-smokers. “It is estimated that 14% of [Alzheimer’s disease] cases worldwide are potentially attributable to smoking,” the organizations write in a short report summarizing the scientific evidence.
A dynasty in antiques
Next door at Toko Kresna and farther down at Toko Gana and Toko Dewi the
tale is embellished with the remains of the past safe in glass cabinets
passed down the generations in this dynasty of antique dealers.
Analysis: Macro outlook: Weakness to persist
During the fasting month of Ramadhan and the Idul Fitri festivity, we
expect demand-pull inflationary pressure to escalate as Indonesia?s
workers have greater income from the public holiday allowances (THR).
Slowly but surely, progress seen in Trans-Java toll road construction
Construction of the Pejagan-Pemalang toll road in Central Java
officially kicked off on Wednesday, marking the first step for the
government to begin the Trans-Java toll road project that will link the
western and eastern ends of Java.