BlackRock's Fink Says 400 Energy Firms May Not Survive Cheap Oil

BlackRock CEO: This Is a Capitulation, Not a Bear Market
  • Vulnerable companies have debts that need higher prices
  • Worries about future of European Union on migrant issue

Laurence D. Fink, chairman of BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest money manager, said as many as 400 energy companies may not survive because oil prices are not high enough for them to meet their debt obligations.

“Carbons are going to be cheaper for longer,” Fink said in a presentation to the New Jersey Pension Investment Council in Trenton today. He did not make a forecast for oil prices or name specific companies.

Crude is down about 15 percent this year as volatility in global markets adds to concern over brimming U.S. stockpiles and the outlook for increased exports from Iran after the removal of international sanctions. Independent American oil explorers are forecast to report 2015 losses totaling almost $14 billion amid the price collapse, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Fink said while crude’s slump will hurt energy companies, it has a positive impact on consumers.

“Four billion humans are benefiting from lower fuel and heating prices,” Fink said.

In the same talk, Fink said he’s concerned about the future of the European Union, given divisions over the issue of immigration and the possibility that Great Britain will pull out of the arrangement.

He said China “is frightened of the future,” with the wealthiest trying to move capital out of the country. He predicted Japan’s economy would grow 1 percent to 1.5 percent this year, and described that country’s demographics as “terrible.”

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