Business Arena 04.08

On Thursday’s episode our host Sascha Fahrbach kicked off the show with our main stories which were: how Russia is trying to avoid sanctions and copper worth nearly half a billion dollars goes missing in China.

Russia appears to have found a new means of getting its oil to markets via a tiny Egyptian port. The country will also introduce duty-free shops allegedly selling western imports to diplomats for foreign currency that will remind many Russians of the infamous beryozka stores that epitomised official privilege during the Soviet era.

Although the sanctions were imposed by the West, there remains one question still to be answered: How have western financial institutions created loopholes for the Russian elite?

Our guest was Andreas Umland, an analyst at the Stockholm Centre for Eastern European Studies (SCEEUS) at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.

What’s more…

-A group of Chinese companies are investigating why a commodities storage site in northern China is holding only one third of the copper concentrate they were financing. The group has a total claim on 300,000 tonnes of concentrate worth about CNY 5 bn (USD 740 mln), but there’s only 100,000 tons at the depot. That puts the dollar value of the missing material at about USD 490 mln.

-The Dutch government declared a national water shortage Wednesday caused by the hot, dry summer that is parching much of Europe, and formed a national team to draw up measures to manage supplies, while asking the public to also chip in with savings.

-Farmers in Tuscany, the heart of Italy’s prized wine and olive oil industry, are battling to salvage as much as they can of this year’s crop from the ravages of drought and heatwave.

-AMTD Digital Inc., a Hong Kong-based company that listed in New York less than three weeks ago, has surged so much that the combined market value of its Class A and Class B shares was more than USD 203 bn as of Tuesday’s close.