IHS Chemical Week


Chemical Finance Digest, May 9-13

2:41 PM MDT | May 16, 2011 | By VINCENT VALK

Editor's note: From now on, the finance digest will run on Mondays.

Topping the headlines last week, earnings are beating forecasts at most major chemical firms in both North America and the EU.

Russian oil company Rosneft has purchased a $1.6 billion stake in the Ruhr Oel joint venture, in the week's only major M&A deal.

A couple of equity deals were announced last week. Some Mosaic owners, who received shares from Cargill in a spin-off of that company, will sell about 100 million shares in the company with a target price of $69.35/share. FutureFuel, a chemicals and biofuels firm, is selling 3 million new shares.

No new debt was issued on the week, though Moody's did raise Evonik's corporate credit rating to 'Baa3,' with a positive outlook meaning that a further upgrade is possible.

In macroeconomic news, ACC's weekly outlook saw stable indicators. U.S. retail sales rose 0.5%, and consumer sentiment rose to its highest level since February. "Better employment figures, loosening consumer credit conditions, and upward trends in other indices of consumer confidence should continue to bode well for consumer sentiment in the coming months," notes IHS Global Insight economist Erik Johnson. However, rising energy and food prices do pose an ongoing risk, Global Insight says.

The week ahead will see both U.S. housing starts and industrial production numbers coming out on Tuesday. The consensus range for housing starts is from 549,000 to 583,000 units, according to Bloomberg.

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