Wealth fund urged to tackle oil-price slide

Updated 05 November 2014
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Wealth fund urged to tackle oil-price slide

The fall of crude oil prices points to the need for Saudi Arabia to have an active sovereign wealth fund, said Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding Co.
This will be similar to the sovereign funds in Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Norway, he said.
“Clearly the income from our sovereign wealth fund would not cover all our budget, but at least should cover a good size of it,” said the prince.
Addressing reporters in Jeddah, he also said that the fall of oil below $80 a barrel proves that Saudi Arabia’s reliance on petroleum revenue is “dangerous”.
Prince Alwaleed said: “Saudi Arabia depends 90 percent on oil, which is not right, it’s wrong and it’s dangerous, actually.”
The prince spoke as oil prices sank to multi-year lows on Tuesday. Brent crude oil futures sank more than $2 a barrel to a four-year low of $82.32.
Shale oil is already putting pressure on oil producers, he pointed out.
Explaining his position on sovereign wealth funds, Prince Alwaleed said: “The Norway fund is our role model because they have around over $850 billion sovereign fund and they make out of this around $40 billion to $50 billion. And that amount covers almost all the requirements of the budget in Norway.”
The prince made the remarks during a visit to the location of the Kingdom Tower and The Kingdom City in Obhur, north of Jeddah.
The tower, now under construction, is projected to cost SR4.6 billion and be the world’s tallest skyscraper at over 1,000 meters (3,280 feet).


US in criminal probe of China's Huawei

Updated 17 January 2019
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US in criminal probe of China's Huawei

  • The Wall Street Journal said the US justice department is looking into allegations of theft of trade secrets from Huawei's US business partners
  • Huawei forcefully denied accusations that his firm engaged in espionage on behalf of the Chinese government

WASHINGTON: US authorities are in the "advanced" stages of a criminal probe that could result in an indictment of Chinese technology giant Huawei, a report said Wednesday.
The Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources, said the Department of Justice is looking into allegations of theft of trade secrets from Huawei's US business partners, including a T-Mobile robotic device used to test smartphones.
Huawei and the Department of Justice declined to comment on the media report.
However, Huawei noted that "Huawei and T-Mobile settled their disputes in 2017 following a US jury verdict finding neither damage, unjust enrichment nor willful and malicious conduct by Huawei in T-Mobile's trade secret claim."
The move would further escalate tensions between the US and China after the arrest last year in Canada of Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who is the daughter of the company founder.
The case of Meng, under house arrest awaiting proceedings, has inflamed US-China and Canada-China relations.
Two Canadians have been detained in China since Meng's arrest and a third has been sentenced to death on drug trafficking charges -- moves observers see as attempts by Beijing to pressure Ottawa over her case.
Huawei, the second-largest global smartphone maker and biggest producer of telecommunications equipment, has for years been under scrutiny in the US over purported links to the Chinese government.
Huawei's reclusive founder Ren Zhengfei, in a rare media interview Tuesday, forcefully denied accusations that his firm engaged in espionage on behalf of the Chinese government.
The tensions come amid a backdrop of President Donald Trump's efforts to get more manufacturing on US soil and slap hefty tariffs on Chinese goods for what he claims are unfair trade practices by Beijing.
In a related move, lawmakers introduced a bill to ban the export of American parts and components to Chinese telecom companies that are in violation of US export control or sanctions laws -- with Huawei and fellow Chinese firm ZTE the likely targets.
"Huawei is effectively an intelligence-gathering arm of the Chinese Communist Party whose founder and CEO was an engineer for the People's Liberation Army," said Republican Senator Tom Cotton, one of the bill's sponsors.
Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen said in the same statement: "Huawei and ZTE are two sides of the same coin. Both companies have repeatedly violated US laws, represent a significant risk to American national security interests and need to be held accountable."
Last year, Trump reached a deal with ZTE that eases tough financial penalties on the firm for helping Iran and North Korea evade American sanctions.
Trump said his decision in May to spare ZTE came following an appeal by Chinese President Xi Jinping to help save Chinese jobs.