ENI to drill 2 wells off Cyprus in next 2 months

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Italian firm to drill 2 wells off Cyprus in next 2 monthsItalian firm to drill 2 wells off Cyprus in next 2 months

In this photo taken on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017 children play on a beach with a drilling platform seen in the background, on the outskirts of Larnaca port, in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The top executive of ENI said Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 that the Italian oil and gas company will drill two exploratory wells off Cyprus in quick succession over the next two months, expressing confidence that significant quantities of the mineral can be found for possible export to energy-hungry Europe. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — The top executive of ENI said Friday that the Italian oil and gas company will drill two exploratory wells off Cyprus over the next two months, expressing confidence that significant reserves can be found for possible export to Europe.

ENI CEO Claudio Descalzi described Cyprus as a “natural bridge” linking existing and potential gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean with Europe, which is looking to diversify its energy sources amid increasing gas consumption.

“We believe in Cyprus,” Descalzi said after talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. “Cyprus is a natural bridge to Europe and Europe is importing more than 70 percent of its gas and gas consumption is growing.”

Gas consumption rose 5 percent in Europe last year and it will increase annually by 100 million cubic meters (3.5 billion cubic feet) each of the next two years, said Descalzi.

The first exploratory well will be drilled in partnership with France’s Total next month in an area off the island’s southwest. ENI and South Korea’s Kogas will start drilling for the second well in January in the island’s southeast.

Descalzi said ENI has a “strategic” interest in the region as waters around Cyprus remain largely unexplored. ENI has invested 450 million euros ($533 million) in exploratory drilling, seismic and geological surveys.

He said Italy is in talks with Cyprus, Egypt and Greece to possibly create a new energy corridor to Europe, with options including processing newly found gas at Egypt-based plants for export to the continent. Another option is to supply Cyprus’ domestic needs.

Previous drilling had failed to locate sizeable gas deposits off Cyprus, but that hasn’t disheartened companies licensed to drill in Cypriot waters. Descalzi said companies drilled 11 times in nearby Egyptian waters and found nothing before ENI discovered Zohr, the largest gas deposit ever found in the Mediterranean.

“You have to continue, and Cyprus is still a virgin area because we didn’t drill a lot of wells, just 2-3 wells, so we’re optimistic,” said Descalzi.

Earlier, Texas-based Noble Energy discovered a field off Cyprus estimated to contain over 4 trillion cubic feet in reserves.

ExxonMobil said it will go ahead with drilling two wells in the second half of next year.

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INS Trikand Rescues Vessel From Cyprus With 27 Indian Crew

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New Delhi, Nov 24: An Indian Navy ship, Trikand helped a vessel, MV Kamlesh from Cyprus with 27 Indian crew members after it was chased by three skiffs 70 nautical miles off Muscat. As per Navy spokesperson, INS Trikand also rendered assistance to an Iranian trawler.

Spokesperson for the Navy, Captain D K Sharma said Indian Navy ship Trikand rescued MV Kamlesh after it was chased by the skiffs at around 0230 hours on Thursday. He said INS Trikand was deployed as part of the mission-based deployment for Presence-cum-Surveillance mission(PSM) in the Gulf of Oman.

Following intervention by INS Trikand, the skiffs escaped at high speed and the MV and crew rendered safe and resumed voyage, Sharma said.

Regarding the Iranian trawler, the Navy spokesperson said it had 20 crew on board and seven, who were adrift for the last five days due to engine failure.

He said INS Trikand on receipt of a distress call from the trawler ‘Sheetab’ in the Gulf of Oman sent technical team by boat and repaired the trawler after which it resumed its passage.

Captain Sharma also said that requisite amount of logistical support in terms of Lub Oil, Fresh water and provisions were also provided to the boat. INS Trikand’s timely assistance significantly helped the stricken Iranian trawler crew and made it possible for them to resume their voyage, he added.

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Cyprus, Greece, Egypt strive to export East Med gas to Europe, but at what price?

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ATHENS – Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Greek Prime minister Alexis Tsipras endorsed a gas export pipeline from Cyprus to Egypt and the EastMed gas pipeline at a bilateral and trilateral meeting in Nicosia last week.

During a visit to Cyprus on November 20, el-Sissi and Anastasiades reportedly agreed to start talks in December towards an agreement to build the pipeline to deliver natural gas to Egypt from Cyprus’ Aphrodite gas field.

A day later, at a meeting that included Tsipras, the three leaders discussed the new gas deposits in eastern Mediterranean.

“During the last few days we had successful bi- and tri-partite meetings in Nicosia involving the heads of state of Cyprus, Egypt and Greece. Politically very important to the countries involved but also in promoting stability and cooperation in the region,” Cyprus Natural Hydrocarbons Company CEO Charles Ellinas told New Europe on November 24, following a conference by IENE in Athens. He added that these meetings might now be enlarged to include Italy and Lebanon, and indirectly Israel.

“The odd man out of course is Turkey who does not recognise Cyprus. And I say the odd man out, because all other countries in the region recognize Cyprus’ right to explore its EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) and export its hydrocarbons to international markets,” Ellinas said.

“The meetings endorsed a gas export pipeline from Cyprus to Egypt and the EastMed gas pipeline. Unfortunately these were portrayed as done deals. In other words the pipelines are now reality and will be constructed. This, of course, is not the case. These are inter-governmental framework agreements facilitating the pipelines. Even though essential, before these become projects we have the small matter of securing gas sales agreements. It’s only then that the oil and gas companies will make final investment decisions and commit the multi-billion dollar investments required for construction,” he said.

Ellinas repeated earlier comments that the challenge in implementing these projects “has been, and remains to be, global gas prices. These are low and with the relentless penetration of renewables and the glut of gas/LNG (liquefied natural gas) in the market they will remain low”.

He stressed that new gas projects that strive to export hydrocarbons from the East Mediterranean will only succeed if they keep costs low and can work within the price range prevailing in the global gas markets.

“I hope that the gas pipeline talks between Egypt and Cyprus companies lead to success and that Aphrodite gas secures export markets through this route. But this is a challenge,” Ellinas said, adding that if it were easy, US energy company Noble and its partners “would have done it by now, after five years of trying. They would be the first to monetise their assets”.

Israeli prospects to export gas to Egypt are challenging. “In addition to other problems, Egypt reconfirmed recently that the International Chamber of Commerce Court of Arbitration decision ruling that the Egyptian companies must pay IEC close to $2 billion is still an obstacle. And, of course, any such exports face the same gas price challenges I described above for Cyprus gas going to Egypt for liquefaction and export,” the Cyprus Natural Hydrocarbons Company CEO said.

The European Union is looking to import newly discovered gas supplies from the East Mediterranean to increase its energy security. Ellinas said that combining all gas resources of Israel, Cyprus and Egypt would create a much bigger pool, which could be more attractive to Europe. “However, the price issue will still be the main limitation. It is difficult to see how East Med gas can reach Europe at prices within average annual gas price prevailing in Europe, of the order of $5/mmBTU. More expensive gas will find it difficult to find buyers,” he said.

On the positive side, drilling is restarting in Cyprus with Italian energy major ENI planning to drill in Block 6 end of November, with more to follow next year, Ellinas said, adding, “Prospects look good. However, the main problem is not discovering more gas. Securing gas sales exports is the challenge”.

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Italian firm to drill 2 wells off Cyprus in next 2 months

wire-1785474-1511532965-478_634x422-1d635714cb86f1bc3f743c9e8f67cead074971a4
Original article.
In this photo taken on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017  children play on a beach with a drilling platform seen in the background, on the outskirts of Larnaca port, in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The top executive of ENI said Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 that the Italian oil and gas company will drill two exploratory wells off Cyprus in quick succession over the next two months, expressing confidence that significant quantities of the mineral can be found for possible export to energy-hungry Europe. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Associated Press

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) – The top executive of ENI said Friday that the Italian oil and gas company will drill two exploratory wells off Cyprus over the next two months, expressing confidence that significant reserves can be found for possible export to Europe.

ENI CEO Claudio Descalzi described Cyprus as a “natural bridge” linking existing and potential gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean with Europe, which is looking to diversify its energy sources amid increasing gas consumption.

“We believe in Cyprus,” Descalzi said after talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. “Cyprus is a natural bridge to Europe and Europe is importing more than 70 percent of its gas and gas consumption is growing.”

In this photo taken on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017 children play on a beach with a drilling platform seen in the background, on the outskirts of Larnaca port, in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The top executive of ENI said Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 that the Italian oil and gas company will drill two exploratory wells off Cyprus in quick succession over the next two months, expressing confidence that significant quantities of the mineral can be found for possible export to energy-hungry Europe. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Gas consumption rose 5 percent in Europe last year and it will increase annually by 100 million cubic meters (3.5 billion cubic feet) each of the next two years, said Descalzi.

The first exploratory well will be drilled in partnership with France’s Total next month in an area off the island’s southwest. ENI and South Korea’s Kogas will start drilling for the second well in January in the island’s southeast.

Descalzi said ENI has a “strategic” interest in the region as waters around Cyprus remain largely unexplored. ENI has invested 450 million euros ($533 million) in exploratory drilling, seismic and geological surveys.

He said Italy is in talks with Cyprus, Egypt and Greece to possibly create a new energy corridor to Europe, with options including processing newly found gas at Egypt-based plants for export to the continent. Another option is to supply Cyprus’ domestic needs.

Previous drilling had failed to locate sizeable gas deposits off Cyprus, but that hasn’t disheartened companies licensed to drill in Cypriot waters. Descalzi said companies drilled 11 times in nearby Egyptian waters and found nothing before ENI discovered Zohr, the largest gas deposit ever found in the Mediterranean.

“You have to continue, and Cyprus is still a virgin area because we didn’t drill a lot of wells, just 2-3 wells, so we’re optimistic,” said Descalzi.

Earlier, Texas-based Noble Energy discovered a field off Cyprus estimated to contain over 4 trillion cubic feet in reserves.

ExxonMobil said it will go ahead with drilling two wells in the second half of next year.

In this photo taken Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, a man walks as an other man sits on a beach during a warm day as a drilling platform is seen in the background, outside from Larnaca port, in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The top executive of ENI said Friday that the Italian oil and gas company will drill two exploratory wells off Cyprus in quick succession over the next two months, expressing confidence that significant quantities of the mineral can be found for possible export to energy-hungry Europe. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

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Saudi Crown Prince calls Iran leader “new Hitler”

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Medserv’s interim statement highlights delays in Q4, strong 2018

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Medserv’s update issued to the market highlights that the group’s business pipeline remains robust with a strong outlook for 2018, while earnings for the  second half of the reporting year are lower than forecast due to delays in projects both in integrated logistics support services (ILSS) and oil country tubular goods (OCTG).

Further to the company announcement, Edison Investment Research also issued an update where they state that although the project delays will see H217 miss expectations, contracted projects underpin their FY18 estimates and for this reason this remains unchanged. The DCF-based fair value provided by Edison currently stands at €1.64 per share. The full Edison report may be viewed on the company’s website.

The group reported that the second ILSS base recently opened in Cyprus will become fully active in the coming month. Four to five wells are expected to be drilled in the waters offshore Cyprus in the next 12 months. Medserv Cyprus will support the upcoming exploratory drilling campaign planned by ENI Cyprus from both its shore bases in Limassol and Larnaca.

The group’s Cypriot subsidiary has also recently participated in a tender for the provision of ILSS to a second International Oil Company (IOC) which is planning to drill next year.

The group celebrated a milestone event as the first delivery of pipes from Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation was successfully discharged at the new METS base in the port of Duqm, Oman, earlier this month. This was the first consignment in support of this contract, the largest ever won by the Medserv Group, awarded in the beginning of this year for an initial period of five years with a five-year extension option. The base in Duqm is the group’s second base in Oman in addition to their base in the Sohar Freezone.

The group is working tirelessly in each of its divisions to build its geographic presence

The group reported that its Malta shore base remains a major contributor to the ILSS segment of the group. This base is heavily active and its business pipeline remains strong, supporting international oil companies and the majority of subcontractors operating offshore Libya.

The group is at an advanced stage to conclude a strategic long-term contract for the provision of shore base services in a new geographical area. Negotiations are still continuing since the scope of services has increased. Contract execution is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2018.

The group is also awaiting the results of a tender in Trinidad, after failing to secure one of the two tenders submitted. Medserv Italy remains active pursuing an ILSS project in the region which is expected to be executed next year. Medserv Portugal, while currently a small operation, remains profitable pending further developments on drilling offshore Portugal.

The OCTG segment is foreseen to be the largest growth driver in the group in the coming years. The ‘Mill to Well’ model is being increasingly adopted between pipe manufactures and their clients. This results in growth of the group’s OCTG business as it continues to successfully deliver supply chain management (SCM) to the leading pipe manufacturers.

This segment is also well positioned to secure two new premium threading licences. The group is currently awaiting adjudication for the provision of machine shop services to an IOC operating in East Africa, as well as evaluating a new market for setting up a machine shop providing premium threading services.

The group reported that projected growth for the period 2018 to 2020 remains strong for both business segments based on drilling projects and workover programmes already contracted and expected to come to fruition in the coming three years, buttressed by an additional two new geographic markets by year 2018.

Earlier this month, the group was also awarded the International Business Award in the Emerging Markets category by Trade Malta.

“The group is working tirelessly in each of its divisions in order to build its geographic presence,” said group chairman Anthony Diacono.

“There are exciting new opportunities in emerging markets and the group is well positioned to be able to deliver our technical expertise in new territories. These developments will consolidate the group’s position as a leading service provider in this sector, ensuring shareholder value in the future.”

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Oil prices hits highest level in two year

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The price of crude oil has risen to hits highest level in more than two years as rumours grow that Opec is set to extend production cuts. Prices dropped slightly after US stockpiles fell by 1.86 million barrels last week, well short of the 6.3 million barrel fall suggested by some experts. However, news that …

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Housebuilders fall on Chancellor land crackdown, Thomas Cook shares dive, oil up

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Original article.
Fliers at Stansted airport, photo

Chancellor Hammond sprung few surprises in his Budget today. The abolishment of stamp duty for homes valued up to £300,000 for first-time buyers was a rare exception (stamp duty is a major Treasury tax earner) while there was more (expected) commitment to building new homes – up to 300,000 by mid 2020s. An abundance of new hard cash does not look on the cards. 

The move may help reignite the property market momentarily says CEO of eMoov Russell Quirk, “but some may say acts as yet another diversion from the elephant in the room of a continued failure to build a meaningful number of affordable homes.” He added: “Indeed a cynical electoral bribe.”

At a little after 3.30pm the shares of a spread of UK house builders were showing clear signs of being underwhelmed: Persimmon down -1.75%, Berkeley Group down -2.7%, Barratt down almost -3%. Some of the negativity is worry about Hammond’s “urgent” promise to look hard at where land is not being built on, plus new powers to raise council tax on empty homes.  

The Budget did little for most FTSE 100 stocks and the revised OBR forecasts – growth predicted to be 1.5% compared to 2% estimated in March by the Chancellor – was more economic bleakness made worse by GDP predictions of just 1.3% for 2019/2020.

In recent living memory the UK’s productivity issues have never been laid more clearly bare. Meanwhile more borrowing and spending announced by Hammond means more time needed for the UK’s public finances to land in the black. 

News of a rise in the National Living Wage did not impress the British Chambers of Commerce Jane Gratton. “Our research shows that sharp increases in the National Living Wage will cause many firms to implement cost reduction measures, such as reducing recruitment and staff hours or increasing prices.”

At close to 4pm sterling was trading however +0.36% higher at 1.3279 while the euro was +0.42% up against the dollar at 1.1786. The FTSE 100 was up just seven points tonight at 7,419 with Kingfisher and Fresnillo shares up +4.5% and +4.3%

  • UK FTSE 100 7,419 +0.10%
  • Dow 23,565.14 -0.11%
  • S&P 500 2,597.41 -0.06%
  • Nasdaq 6,861.93 -0.01%
  • Nikkei 225 22,523.15 +0.48%
  • DAX 13,102.24 -0.50%
  • CAC 40 5,378.16 +0.22%
  • Gold 1,293.10 +0.55%
  • Oil WTI 57.74 +1.60%

Thomas Cook shares slump on UK earnings anxiety

Thomas Cook’s positive earnings news this morning – group earnings surged £24m to £330m – did little for its share price. Investors were rather more bothered about the performance of Cook’s UK business: operations here saw earnings fall -40% to £52m for the year to September. 

This saw, late afternoon, Cook shares trading down almost -8% at 112.20p while close rival TUI AG shares were down just –0.37%. “While conditions are challenging in the UK, we have implemented a set of actions to improve performance,” Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser said. 

Elsewhere, easyJet shares were more than +1% higher helped by Philip Hammond’s decision to freeze air passenger duty. 

Hammond has frozen air passenger duty – for the moment: Shutterstock

Tobacco and ciggies slapped; productivity conundrum remains

The Chancellor did confirm that tobacco prices would climb at the rate of inflation plus +2% while excise tax on ciggies is also to rise. Hammond also threw in a surprise +1% extra hike on hand-rolled tobacco sales. BAT and Imperial Brands shares were down only -1.30% and -0.03% mid-afternoon.

However the UK’s productivity woes remain deep and kissing cousin wage growth remains elusive. The UK’s productivity has been flatlining since the financial crisis says Hargreaves Lansdown’s Ben Brettell, senior economist. 

“As expected the chancellor unveiled a raft of measures,” Brettell said, “aimed at solving this productivity puzzle, with R&D spending, tech initiatives and infrastructure all key areas of focus. But given that economists can’t even agree on the cause of the UK’s lacklustre productivity, whether these initiatives will have any impact is open to debate.” 

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Medserv’s interim statement highlights delays in Q4 2017

Original article.

Medserv’s earnings for second half of the reporting year are lower than forecast due to delays in projects both in Integrated Logistics Support Services (ILSS) and Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG).

However, an update issued to the market today highlights that the group’s business pipeline remains robust with a strong outlook for 2018.

Further to the Company announcement, Edison Investment Research also issued an update where they state that although the project delays will see H217 miss expectations, contracted projects underpin their FY18 estimates and for this reason this remains unchanged. The DCF-based fair value provided by Edison currently stands at €1.64 per share.

The Group reports that the second ILSS base recently opened in Cyprus will become fully active in the coming month. Four to five wells are expected to be drilled in the waters offshore Cyprus in the next twelve months. Medserv Cyprus will support the upcoming exploratory drilling campaign planned by ENI Cyprus from both its shore bases in Limassol and Larnaca.

The Group’s Cypriot subsidiary also recently participated in a tender for the provision of ILSS to a second International Oil Company (IOC) which is planning to drill next year.

The Group said it was at an advanced stage to conclude a strategic long-term contract for the provision of shore base services in a new geographical area.

The Group celebrated a milestone event as the first delivery of pipes from Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation was successfully discharged at the new METS base in the port of Duqm, Oman, earlier this month. This was the first consignment in support of this contract, the largest ever won by the Medserv Group, awarded in the beginning of this year for an initial period of five years with a five-year extension option. The base in Duqm is the Group’s second base in Oman in addition to their base in the Sohar Freezone.

The Group reports that its Malta shore base remains a major contributor to the ILSS segment of the Group. This base is heavily active, and its business pipeline remains strong supporting International Oil Companies and the majority of subcontractors operating offshore Libya.

The Group said it was at an advanced stage to conclude a strategic long-term contract for the provision of shore base services in a new geographical area. Negotiations are still continuing since the scope of services has increased. Contract execution is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2018.

The Group is also awaiting the results of a tender in Trinidad, after failing to secure one of the two tenders submitted.

Medserv Italy remains active pursuing an ILSS project in the region which is expected to be executed next year. Medserv Portugal, whilst currently a small operation, remains profitable pending further developments on drilling offshore Portugal.

The OCTG segment is foreseen to be the largest growth driver in the Group in the coming years. The ‘Mill to Well’ model is being increasingly adopted between pipe manufactures and their clients. This results in growth of the Group’s OCTG business as it continues to successfully deliver Supply Chain Management (SCM) to the leading pipe manufacturers.

This segment is also well positioned to secure two new premium threading licenses. The Group is currently awaiting adjudication for the provision of machine shop services to an IOC operating in East Africa, as well as evaluating a new market for setting up a machine shop providing premium threading services.

The Group reported that projected growth for the period 2018 to 2020 remains strong for both business segments based on drilling projects and workover programs already contracted and expected to come to fruition in the coming three years, buttressed by an additional two new geographic markets by year 2018.

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US round-up: Dollar falls, durable goods down, December rate rise chances up

Peter_Thiel_by_Dan_Taylor-9a6c1201b9bc28ab642b84197cef0ac1d51badb4
Original article.
Peter Thiel, Facebook

The Dow Jones came under some pressure from the release of Fed minutes today indicating the likelihood of a US rate rise, though sluggish inflation concerns remain much at large. There is one more central bank meeting in December where it’s expected US rates will rise. 

Stateside trading was slender in light of the Thanksgiving holiday; intraday highs were reached earlier, briefly. US durable goods orders fell -1.2% in October – a surprisingly deep dip. Much of the decline came from lower aircraft sales but there was better news from computers and cars.

In total 2017 orders remain almost +5% higher than a year ago so a margin of leeway is allowed. But the durable goods orders numbers are closely scrutinised – they’re a good measure of consumer spending for long-term purchases, or products expected to last more than three years. 

Weekly mortgage applications also arrived posting a super-slender +0.1% lift, claimed the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly survey for the week to 17 November. Towards the end of the US trading session the dollar was down almost -0.70% against the euro and -0.62% against sterling

  • Dow 23,526 -0.27%
  • S&P 500 2,598 +0.01%
  • Nasdaq 6,867 +0.07%
  • Russell 2000 1,518 -0.04%
  • NYSE Composite 12,398 +0.10%
  • Gold 1,296 +0.76%
  • Oil WTI 57.99 +2.02%
  • 10-Year Treasury 2.321 -0.036%

Saudis to push for new OPEC production cut?

Earlier today there was a Reuters report that suggested Saudi Arabia will push for a further OPEC oil production cut – possibly for up to nine months. Currently OPEC members are committed to  collectively keeping output down by around 1.8m barrels of oil a day. OPEC is due to meet at the end of November.

“The Saudis are lobbying to have a decision in November for nine months,” a senior oil source told Reuters thought the identity of the speaker was not made clear.

For Peter Thiel, Facebook, it’s time to sell: Wikimedia Commons

Thiel offloads $29m Facebook stake

New filings indicate that Facebook investor Peter Thiel has sold down much of his Facebook stake. Thiel sold $29m worth of stock, around 160,000 shares. Facebook shares were down -0.54% tonight at $180.87. Thiel is the co-founder of PayPal. PayPal Holdings dipped -0.23% earlier to $77.60.

Facebook says it will shortly allow users to know which Russian propaganda web pages they may have liked; the move will support Congress moves to address political election manipulation. 

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