Oil prices dipped in Asia Friday, pulling back further from the psychological $50 level as traders took profit and expectations of tighter global supply receded. At about 0645 GMT, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for July delivery was down 32 cents at $49.16 a barrel while Brent North Sea crude, the European standard, was 33 cents lower at $49.26. Oil prices had topped $50 a barrel for the first time this year on Thursday following production disruptions in Canada and Nigeria as well as a drop in US crude inventories.
Russia's VTB Bank is in talks with Mozambique state firm MAM over a late $178 million loan repayment and expects the government to honour a sovereign guarantee if it cannot pay, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday. "In case of MAM default, VTB expects that the loan will be covered by Mozambique guarantees," the source said. Mozambique Asset Management (MAM) borrowed $535 million from VTB to build shipyards in Maputo and the northern town of Pemba in expectation of a rapid takeoff in the offshore gas sector but missed a May 23 deadline for its first loan repayment.