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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 17, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta 24 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Monday, February 17, 1975 Arabs funds in pocket still rare across Canada North Sea oil progress storm By CORDON LEGGE The Canadian Press Arab investment in Canada is much like a mirage in the desert. Many Canadians think Arab money is there but, more often than not, it isn't. It doesn't mean that Canada is not getting any of the billion of surplus revenues ac- cumulated last year by the Persian Gulf countries after the four-fold increase in the price of oil. But considering that oil pro- ducers earn enough spare money in a year to buy all the Canadian shares listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the amount that has landed in Ca- nadian pockets is not yet sig- nificant. Don Kirkup, formerly with one of Canada's largest real estate companies and now a private Toronto financial con- sultant, says the Arabs have invested close to (1 billion in real estate around Montreal, In addition, Mr. Kirkup says the Quebec government is about to make a major an- nouncement about the development of a satellite city at He Bizard, a small com- munity 20 miles west of Montreal, en route to the new international airport at Ste. Farther west, an Alberta agriculture department com- mittee has been told that farmers are selling land for an acre to Europeans who resell it to Arab investors for an acre. The British Columbia hydro and power authority has an- nounced it has placed a million issue with an unnamed "oil producing Arab nation." It was the second BC Hydro issue to be absorbed by the Arabs. The Quebec government has placed an equal amount in Arab hands. But most of the reports of Arab investment are specula- tive. A rumor, in Toronto's finance district says the Arab's are interested in pick- ing up a brewery. Carling O'Keefe Ltd., with its poor profits picture, is the one most talked about. A banking spokesman says "we get all kinds of people traipsing through the banks, claiming they are finders for Arab money." "We haven't found any yet." Then there is the much- publicized offer of billion in Arab money to the federal government for mortgages. A spokesman in the office of federal housing minister, Barney Darison, says the offers have been by phone call and letter from people claim- ing to be middlemen who have clients in Arab countries. "Nobody hasvever come up and laid any cash on the the spokesman said. However, the Arabs have to consider Canada's 15-per-cent withholding tax, exemptions from which have been rare, Canada's new foreign in- vestment restrictions, and what has been described as Canadian insensitivity to Arab needs. Canada must also worry about the Arab money on the value of the dollar and what it would do to export prices. So, outside of bonds and real estate, Canada has seen little of the money. The Arabs, meanwhile, ap- pear to be carefully sitting back, putting their money in the bank to collect, interest while cautiously evaluating and deciding what their next move will be. By KEVIN DOYLE ABERDEEN (CP) In the wintry mists and lashing gales off Scotland's east coast the development of Britain's richest single resource has become wrapped in a cloud of uncertainty. North Sea oil, black hope of the British economy, is going through one of its stormiest periods since British Petro- leum made the first major offshore find northeast of here four years ago. Confusion over future gov- ernment policies, soaring costs, prohibitive interest rates and widely conflicting estimates of potential re- serves are troubling most of the 240 petroleum companies here, many of them' Cana- dian-American or Austral- ian-owned. Some of them are, already planning to leave. A little less than a year ago the newly-elected Labor gov- ernment was telling the coun- try North Sea oil would even- tually make Britain one of the world's wealthier states. Denis Healey, the new chancellor of the exchequer, told an enthusiastic Commons that here was the asset against which Britain could borrow all the money it need- ed abroad to see it through its doubtedly reflect the ex- perience of many companies and intensify the nervousness over offshore oil now felt in many parts of the economy. Exploration, extremely strong in recent years, now appears to be moving into a slower phase of smaller finds and less dramatic success recently one well in eight compared with one in IS in most other oil-producing areas. United Canso Oil and Gas Ltd., a major Canadian par- ticipant in the North Sea, recently announced its cash shortages had become so se- vere it was being forced to sell off all its interests here. The tremendous profits from development which were suggested by the quintupling of world oil prices last year have been partially eroded by cost escalation which seems almost out' of control and by the prospect that oil prices may fall in the long run, in real if not in absolute terms. British industry's share in the offshore market for goods and services has improved but earlier hopes that the de- velopment might give rise to a major stimulation of the re-; gional and industrial sectors have not been fully realized. iwnership attempt to meet federal ownership regulations for Canadian periodicals, i Huph Findlav. crisis. Prime Minister Harold Wilson added his pledge that the state would take a fair share of all. the enormous profits to be made. But suddenly those profits no longer hold so much promise and the real problems of getting North Sea oil ashore are being seen in a harsh who were once saying they considered the North Sea as a prime lending area now have to be much more cautious and adding to this source of uncertainty, the government has confused everyone with its proposals for getting a share of the action. Basically, the government FAST r Canadian c EFFICIENT TORONTO (CP) A Tim SERVICE Canada Ltd. official says th< company has "had some 51-per-cent ownership director of the magazine, said in a recent letter to advertisers that negotiations are "in limbo at the awaiting clarification of requirements that would permit Time to be classed as a Canadian publication. Mr. Findlay said that, while requirements have not been spelled out, one will call for at least 75-per-cent Canadian ownership. "We will meet that the letter public awakening came with a jolt when the huge Bur-mah Oil firm, Britain's third largest petroleum company and a major North Sea developer, announced it was in serious financial trouble and needed an emergency government rescue operation to save it. Although Burmah's troubles are not entirely attributable to its North Sea operations, its problems there of liquidity, ready financing and the scale of capital demands oil firms in the 12 largest fields. But ministers refuse to spell out whether' they will make a cash payment for this stake, whether such a payment would take account of past exploration and development costs or whether they will instead pay a fixed sum to the companies out of future earnings. Also, a proposed petroleum revenue tax, details of which still are vague, promises to take a hefty chunk of the profits left to the companies RETIREMENT SAVINGS PLANS AVAILABLE write or phone CO-OPERATIVE TRUST COMPIHY OF CANADA 301 -14th St. N.W.Calgary T2N 2A1 Phone SALE: Feb. 17 to 20 WHILE QUANTITIES LAST CHARGEX SUPER SPECTACULAR master charge SPECIAL SALE Sail Cloth Cushion Chipped foam filled Covered with 100% cotton Reg. Price 1.09 SALE PRICE Men's Dress Hose 100% stretch nylon Fits Sizes 10 to 12 Black, navy, brown, white 3 piece Machine washable Colors: gold, pink, mauve, avocado Reg. Price Reg. Price 9.99 SALE PRICE im 1 Boys' Western Jeans Two front pockets 14 oz. denim Sizes 8 to 18 Reg. Price 9.95 Downtown LvthbrlOM CoriMr of 4th Avt. 6th St. 8. after the government be- comes a senior partner. However, the oil is undoubt- edly there, with proven re- serves of about 14 billion bar- equivalent to the amounts owned by Libya or Venezuela. There is general agreement that if the political and economic uncer- tainties can be eliminated (here is a great deal more oil to be found around Britain's coasts. Production programs are already under way to produce something like half Britain's requirements by 1977 and much more by 1980. Unless there is a complete collapse in -the price of improb- able but not impossible devel- is little doubt Britain may approach com- plete self-sufficiency by the early 1990s. The importance of this can- not be exaggerated since it was on the strength of North Sea oil that Britain was able to borrow upwards of bil- lion last year to finance a massive payments deficit and it will likely try to do the same again this year. But it is this heavy borrow- ing which makes the slow- down in development particu- larly worrying. At the end of 10 years when the loans start coming due, Britain is ex- pected to have overseas debts of about billion, all of which has to be repaid in for- eign currencies. At the moment, the North Sea seems the only asset which can earn foreign cur- rency on anything like the re- quired scale and to do that it must become a net exporter as quickly as possible, prefer- able before 1985. It is only through a clear- cut, coherent set of govern- ment policies on the future of 011 that the companies and the banks can undertake develop- ment programs with any chance of accomplishing this. And unless such moves are made soon, many experts fear, Britain's much-pro- claimed economic miracle will have become a nightmare of missed opportunities. Coal miners accept offer LONDON (Reuters) Leaders of Britain's coal miners have accepted a new wage offer from the National Coal Board which is well above wage guidelines set by the Labor government. The deal, giving members of the National Union of Min- eworkers pay raises of 33 per cent, averts the threat of a crippling pit strike similar to the one last winter that led to the downfall of the Conser- vative government'of Edward Heath. Union leaders will recom- mend that the miners accept the offer which will give them a basic wage equivalent to a week. OIL RIG OFF COAST OF SCOTLAND WORKERS' COMPENSATION BOARD-ALBERTA CLAIMS ADVISOR WILL BE IN LETHBRIDGE At the Worker's Compensation Board Office 1277 3rd Ave. South Phone 328-2040 MARCH 4-5-6 Fill In the coupon below and mail Now or phone Lethbridge 328-2040 for an appointment. State your claim number or date of accident, name of employer at the time, and type of injury sustained. Correspondence is also welcomed from persons who require claims advice. Write CLAIMS ADVISORY SERVICE WORKER'S COMPENSATION BOARD Box 2415, Edmonton CLIP OUT AND MAIL NOWI CLAIMS ADVISORY SERVICE WorKtr'i Compenaatlon Board P.O. Box 2415, Edmonton, I would like an appointment with Mr. Long, claims advisor, when he is in this area, to discuss the following Name Phone............................................................... Mail Address Town or City Claim No (following information needed if Claim Number not Available) Nama of employer at time of Injury Date of injury Nature of Injury ;