Jaguar set to invest SR600m in new Saudi car plant

Updated 03 March 2014
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Jaguar set to invest SR600m in new Saudi car plant

The British-based Jaguar Land Rover Company plans to invest 100 million pounds (SR600 million) in Saudi Arabia to manufacture 100,000 vehicles per year that could meet the growing demand on its cars in the Middle East region, local media said.
Jaguar Land Rover has been a subsidiary of the Indian carmaker Tata Motors since 2008 when they purchased it from Ford.
Earlier, The Sunday Times reported that the luxury car maker is close to sign an agreement with its counterparts in Saudi Arabia to build an assembly factory in the Eastern Region.
According to the British paper, the proposed plant will initially make a new version of its Land Rover Discovery and is expected to employ 4,000-5,000 workers.
The proposed plant will be its third biggest factory in its overseas expansion drive following deals it has signed to open two plants, in China and Brazil, the paper said.
Azzam Shalabi, head of the National Industrial Clusters Development Program (NICDP), said the investment project is still under study with the British company. The talks began a year ago following the signing of a letter of intent (LoI) for a car-making project between the NICDP and the British company, he said.
According to British press, the Saudi government is expected to invest in the plant as it seeks to develop its automotive industry. The company is expected to assemble cars from components made in Britain and later progress to taking more parts from Saudi companies, the press said.
In 2013 Jaguar, which signed a 240 million-pound agreement to build a factory in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, plans to open a plant in China in a 1 billion-pound joint venture with Chinese car maker Chery, the reports said.
The company sold a record 425,006 vehicles in 2013, or an increase of 19 percent over the figures of last year, thus registering new sales records in 38 markets worldwide, the reports added.
According to Saudi media, three big US auto-makers, namely General Motors, Chrysler and Ford, were considering setting up car plants in the Kingdom. Japan’s Isuzu Motors is already manufacturing trucks in Dammam, and hopes to produce around 25,000 units a year.


Oil prices jump as US crude stocks fall, Middle East worries add support

Updated 26 June 2019
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Oil prices jump as US crude stocks fall, Middle East worries add support

  • Analysts said the gains were mainly driven by American Petroleum Institute data showing a fall in US crude inventories
  • Data come as traders watched for any signs that tensions between the US and Iran could escalate into military conflict
SYDNEY: Oil prices rose more than 1 percent on Wednesday to their highest in nearly a month as industry data showed US crude stockpiles fell more than expected, underpinning a market already buoyed by worries over a potential US-Iran conflict.
Front-month Brent crude futures, international benchmark for oil, were up 1.3 percent at $65.91 by 0341 GMT. They earlier touched their highest since May 31 at $66 a barrel.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $58.98 per barrel, up 1.8 percent from their last settlement. WTI earlier hit its strongest level since May 30 at $59.03 a barrel.
Analysts said the gains were mainly driven by American Petroleum Institute (API) data showing a fall in US crude inventories.
US crude stockpiles fell by 7.5 million barrels in the week ended June 21 to 474.5 million, compared with analyst expectations for a decline of 2.5 million barrels, the data showed. Crude stocks at US delivery hub Cushing, Oklahoma, fell by 1.3 million barrels.
“Oil prices went ballistic after the API report,” said Stephen Innes, a managing partner at Vanguard Markets.
“Oil prices have been squeezing higher on escalating tensions in the Middle East. But with late-day draws showing up in the API report, this is a strong signal for the energy market,” Innes said.
The data came as traders watched for any signs that tensions between the United States and Iran could escalate into military conflict.
US President Donald Trump threatened on Tuesday to obliterate parts of Iran if it attacked “anything American,” in a new war of words with Iran. Tehran has condemned a fresh round of US sanctions as “mentally retarded.”
Bilateral tensions between the two have spiked anew after Iran shot down a US drone last week in the Gulf. Relations have been tense since Washington blamed attacks on oil tankers just outside the Gulf in May and June on Iran, while Tehran has repeatedly said it had no role in the incidents.
Conflict between Washington and Tehran has stoked fears that shipments passing through the Strait of Hormuz — the world’s busiest oil supply route — could be disrupted.
Seeking to calm a nervous market, the head of national oil company Saudi Aramco said on Tuesday the company can meet the oil needs of customers using its spare capacity.