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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ U.S. oil probes focusing on price manipulation: report ]

U.S. oil probes focusing on price manipulation: report

A U.S. regulatory probe into potential oil-market trading abuses is focusing on possible short-term manipulation of benchmark crude prices and the use of information related to important oil storage tanks to influence prices, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The report comes a day after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, under pressure from U.S. lawmakers to crack down on speculators they blame for pushing energy prices to record highs, said it would step up market surveillance.

The CFTC announced a nationwide investigation into energy trading last December, but is in fact pursuing several oil investigations, many of which relate to one another, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with enforcement priorities of the agency.

It has expanded its probe into alleged short-term manipulation of crude-oil prices via a widely used price-reporting system run by Platts, a unit of McGraw-Hill Cos, the newspaper reported.

The probes appear to focus on gambits well known by traders in the opaque physical oil market, where trading a small volume of cash crude or gasoline during a short period when benchmark prices are set can yield big profits on derivatives positions.

Oil traders say that these kind of leveraged trading plays -- which are generally not illegal -- were more common prior to the Enron melt-down and the California power trading scandal that triggered increased scrutiny of world energy markets earlier this decade, but rarely had a lasting effect on prices.

However traders and analysts believe that increased investment from pension and other funds into commodities markets is partly responsible for causing prices to quadruple since 2004, with U.S. crude hitting a record high of $135.09 a barrel last week after rising by more than 40 percent this year alone.

The Journal quoted CFTC enforcement chief Gregory Mocek as saying the agency has about 60 manipulation investigations open in various commodity markets.

On Thursday the CFTC said it would expand its oversight of energy trading by tracking index funds, and had reached an agreement with the U.K.'s Financial Services Authority and ICE Futures Europe to share information.


(Source: Financial Mirror)

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