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BANKING

Commodities: Who is setting the energy agenda?

Energy development and production have vast and growing capital needs that offer opportunities for investment banks. Add in commodity risk management as well as carbon trading and the prospects look even more glittering. Peter Koh reports, while a new survey shows which banks are leading the way.

Energy sets the agenda

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ENERGY HAS NOT only jumped to the top of the world’s agenda; it is also throwing agendas everywhere into confusion. This March 11, the US moved to Daylight Saving Time three weeks earlier than usual, shifting its clocks forward by an hour to give more daylight in the evenings and no doubt causing more missed appointments than usual. DST will also last a week longer than in the past, changing back to standard time on 4 November. The reason for the change is not so that people will have more daylight to enjoy themselves after work but to save energy – demand falls for electricity in the evening if it is still light.

The world economy is driven by energy and rapid economic growth, particularly in Asia, is working up a thirst that current capacity is finding hard to slake.

The amount of money being sought for new energy-related projects from oil exploration to power plant construction and liquefied natural gas ships is staggering. Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, plans to invest $50 billion over the next 15 the 20 years to raise production from 11 million barrels a day to 15 million.

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