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Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Gets Go-Ahead After Alberta Puts Up $1.1 Billion -

Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Gets Go-Ahead After Alberta Puts Up $1.1 Billion(Bloomberg) -- North America’s most infamous oil pipeline project just got a surprise $5.3 billion financial aid package from Alberta as the Canadian province fights to rescue its battered oil-sands industry.Keystone XL, which for years has faced court challenges and environmental opposition in the U.S., will get a $1.1 billion investment and a $4.2 billion loan guarantee from Alberta to help TC Energy Corp. build the line to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The Calgary-based pipeline giant said it will invest the remaining $2.7 billion.Once touted by Canada as a key step to turn the country into an energy superpower, the project counted celebrities like Mark Ruffalo and Daryl Hannah among foes who pressured the Obama administration to block it.Approval from President Donald Trump years later came at a time when investing in the project was far from certain as the Canadian oil industry was cutting costs, competing output from U.S. shale fields abounded and hurdles at state levels emerged.The move to start construction now, when the crude market has crashed and the project still faces roadblocks in the U.S., shows how critical the fight for the oil industry’s survival has become in Alberta, home to the world’s third-largest crude reserves. The province’s benchmark crude is trading at a record low of $4.09 a barrel.A shortage of pipeline capacity in the landlocked Canadian province has weighed on local crude prices and restrained producers’ ability to increase output long before the recent oil market collapse. The Covid-19 pandemic and a battle for market share between Saudi Arabia and Russia have further darkened the outlook.“This investment in Keystone XL is a bold move to re-take control of our province’s economic destiny,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said in a statement. Kenney said Alberta would plan to sell its shares to TC at a profit after the project is completed and estimated that Keystone XL would help provide C$30 billion in tax and royalty revenues for the province over the next 20 years.TC Energy, previously known as TransCanada, rose 6.3% to C$61.94 at 12:22 p.m. in Toronto. The shares had dropped 16% this year through Monday amid a broader meltdown in global equity markets.Moody’s Investors Service changed the credit outlook for TC to negative from stable on Tuesday, citing the added risks of building Keystone XL. The credit rating firm said the project’s construction could be disrupted by “demonstrations and civil unrest” as well as ongoing legal and regulatory challenges. Political risks could lead the project’s outright cancellation, the firm said.“The negative outlook reflects the very high level of execution risk related to the environmental, social and governance factors associated with the Keystone XL pipeline project,” Gavin McFarlane, a Moody’s vice president and senior credit officer, said in a note.Moody’s rates TC’s debt Baa2, the second-lowest investment grade.When Keystone XL enters service in 2023, the 1,200-mile (1,900-kilometer) conduit will help carry 830,000 barrels of crude a day -- more than last month’s daily production from OPEC member Venezuela.Among obstacles still facing TC Energy before Keystone XL can be completed, environmental organizations and indigenous groups are challenging the project in U.S. District Court in Montana.The U.S. presidential election in November also could pose a threat to the project, with much of the Democratic party opposed to the pipeline. Former U.S. President Barack Obama rejected a key permit for Keystone XL in 2015, bringing the pipeline to a halt, but President Donald Trump revived the project by reversing that decision early in his term.The project has gathered momentum in recent months. The U.S. Interior Department in January authorized construction across a swath of federal land in Montana, and TC Energy had announced plans to move ahead with pre-construction work on the line this year.Keystone XL already has 20-year agreements to transport 575,000 barrels of crude per day, and contracts for 115,000 barrels of capacity on the existing Keystone line will shift to the new facilities under renewed 20-year contracts once Keystone XL enters service, TC Energy said Tuesday.“Strong commercial and financial support positions us to prudently build and fund the project,” TC Energy Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling said in a statement.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Tue, 31 Mar 2020 14:24:55 -0400

U.S.-Saudi oil alliance idea born at White House, put on back burner for now -

U.S.-Saudi oil alliance idea born at White House, put on back burner for nowTop U.S. officials have for now put aside a proposal for an alliance with Saudi Arabia to manage the global oil market, according to three sources with knowledge of the matter, an idea one of them said came from White House national security advisers. A few weeks ago, proposals for Washington to work together with oil producers to curb supply to the global market would have been dismissed for violating U.S. antitrust laws.


Tue, 31 Mar 2020 14:00:58 -0400

'It is going to take a period of weeks and maybe months in the market to bottom': BlackRock Portfolio Manager -

'It is going to take a period of weeks and maybe months in the market to bottom': BlackRock Portfolio ManagerRuss Koesterich, BlackRock Global Allocation Fund Portfolio Manager, joins Yahoo Finance’s On The Move to weigh in on the global markets hitting record lows since the 2008 recession.


Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:59:15 -0400

Slack Technologies (NYSE:WORK) Is In A Strong Position To Grow Its Business -

Slack Technologies (NYSE:WORK) Is In A Strong Position To Grow Its BusinessWe can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. For example, biotech and mining...


Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:55:17 -0400

Billionaire investor Steve Cohen: 'After an earthquake there are tremors' -

Billionaire investor Steve Cohen: 'After an earthquake there are tremors'Billionaire trader Steven A. Cohen is cautioning the staff of his investment firm, Point72 Asset Management, to remain cautious amid markets that have recovered slightly from coronavirus-driven lows. Cohen also wrote that his $16 billion firm's returns are "essentially flat for the year," a result that "speaks to how well our investment professionals have managed risk in such a challenging environment." Point72 is best known for stock market investments, its core hedge fund strategy, although it also bets on other securities following a so-called macro style, which involves global wagers on lots of asset classes at once based on macroeconomic trends.


Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:45:03 -0400

Why the market doesn’t have to plummet further amid coronavirus -

Why the market doesn’t have to plummet further amid coronavirusEven though the coronavirus might get worse, it doesn’t mean the stock market has to go significantly lower.


Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:44:03 -0400

'Small businesses employ close to 50% of the American workforce and obviously are the most vulnerable': Ivanka Trump -

'Small businesses employ close to 50% of the American workforce and obviously are the most vulnerable': Ivanka TrumpYahoo Finance’s Sibile Marcellus spoke with Ivanka Trump on how the White House is handling the coronavirus pandemic. Yahoo Finance's On The Move panel discusses.


Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:27:33 -0400

Trump to hold call with U.S. internet, mobile phone providers - Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:26:13 -0400
Coronavirus wreaks havoc on J.C. Penney's future -

Coronavirus wreaks havoc on J.C. Penney's futureIt's getting downright ugly for two of America's biggest department stores because of the coronavirus.


Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:20:57 -0400

Warren Buffett Can Hunt Elephants From Home -

Warren Buffett Can Hunt Elephants From Home(Bloomberg Opinion) -- This is a market for Warren Buffett, and U.S. investors sure could use some of his positive vibes right now. So where is America’s biggest booster and hungriest dealmaker?Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has been noticeably quiet since an explosion in coronavirus cases sent much of the populace into self-isolation and the country hurtling toward a recession. New York City, the capital of finance, is the new epicenter of the outbreak. But even 1,200 miles west in Buffett’s more airy state of Nebraska, the number of known infected residents is approaching 200, showing just how widespread it’s become.Buffett’s age — he’ll turn 90 in August — puts him among those most at risk of severe complications from the virus. (He was also treated for early-stage prostate cancer in 2012.) It may be that he’s avoiding in-person interviews for safety reasons, as he should. Nobody wants to be the one who gave the world’s most celebrated businessman and philanthropist Covid-19 and set in motion the most momentous CEO transition of our time.  Still, with so much panic and prognosticating about the damage the pandemic might inflict on the economy, investors could use Buffett’s habitual reminder of his unwavering belief in American prosperity. In 2008, amid the last recession, and again in 2010, Buffett signed off both his annual letters to shareholders saying that he and Charlie Munger — his longtime business partner and the 96-year-old vice chairman of Berkshire — were “lucky beyond our dreams” in part for being born in the U.S.Berkshire’s own investments are like a cross-section of the U.S. economy, with large stakes in airlines, banks, grocery stores and makers of consumer goods — even tech giants Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. About $70 billion of value has been erased from its stock portfolio since mid-February (though we don’t yet know what Buffett bought and sold during the first quarter). The conglomerate also has outright ownership of one of the nation’s most expansive freight railway systems and a giant utility network, as well as businesses that sell everything from furniture and modular homes, to airplane-engine parts and various types of insurance. Shares of Berkshire itself are down 18%, headed for their worst year — like many other stocks — since 2008. “If you stick around long enough you’ll see everything in markets, and it may have taken me to 89 years of age to throw this one into the experience,” a still chipper Buffett said on Yahoo Finance during his last televised interview. That was March 10, before the virus situation became so dire that states stretching from California to Massachusetts began issuing stay-at-home orders to buy time for hospitals running out of ventilators and other crucial equipment.Three days later, Buffett announced he was canceling the festivities associated with Berkshire’s annual meeting to be held in Omaha in May. No investors are allowed to attend (they’ll have to stream it online). That means no shopping for See’s Candies, no posing with Buffett cardboard cut-outs, no running in the Brooks 5K and no sightings of the man himself for the tens of thousands of fans who show up each year wondering if it’s their last chance to see him up close.Buffett really has seen it all, though, which for him diminishes the frightful nature of events that to the rest of us seem so unprecedented in their gravity. When the Black Monday crash hit in October 1987, Buffett was already 57 years old. During World War II, when the news headlines couldn’t have been worse, he bought his first shares of stock as a kid — dumping them only four months later. At the 2018 Berkshire shareholder meeting, Buffett recounted the lesson he learned from that. Here’s a condensed version:Imagine yourself back on March 11, 1942. … I’d like you to imagine that at that time you had invested $10,000 … to hold a piece of American business and never look at another stock quote. … You’d have $51 million [now] and you wouldn't have had to do anything. … All you had to do was figure that America was going to do well over time, that we would overcome the current difficulties. … It’s just remarkable to me that we have operated in this country with the greatest tailwind at our back.In some ways, this is the market he’s been waiting for — a chance to finally scoop up durable, if temporarily beaten down, businesses on the cheap and put Berkshire’s $128 billion pile of cash to work. Likewise, private equity firms will be on the prowl, too. Financial buyers, including Berkshire, are already eyeing vulnerable targets in the travel, lodging and entertainment industries, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing unnamed sources. Here are others that fit the mold of a Berkshire takeover target, based on criteria Buffett has spelled out in the past: In recent years there were too many competing acquirers willing to pay prices Buffett thought were absurd. Now, many are looking to conserve capital; others receiving assistance from the federal stimulus package may be more limited in their financial maneuvers. So where President Donald Trump opened a window to dealmaking with this more lax antitrust regulation, the virus has shut the door. Merger-and-acquisition activity is already down 24% globally this year, while in the U.S. it’s retreated 31%. The S&P 500 index now has a price-to-earnings ratio of 17, compared with more than 22 in February.“It would be more fun if the phone would ring,” Buffett said in 2017 at the start of his M&A dry spell. It's sure to be ringing now as large corporations seek cash and the glow of the Buffett halo. Banks are quietly discouraging investment-grade borrowers from tapping their existing credit lines, according to a Bloomberg News report Monday. Berkshire played the role of a bank last year, providing $10 billion of financing to Occidental Petroleum Corp. in return for high-yielding preferred stock. As my colleague Liam Denning has noted, even though the oil crash recently forced Oxy to slash its regular dividend, Berkshire still receives its fat check.Though it may be no mystery how Buffett views America’s ability to get through this latest crisis, it’s anyone’s guess where he’ll deploy his billions in it. Whatever the case, he should do his elephant hunting from home. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the business of entertainment and telecommunications, as well as broader deals. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:00:30 -0400


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