Cost of dying falls in Brexit Britain

Shares in Britain’s biggest listed funeral services company, Dignity, lost almost half their value on Friday as it warned families were becoming increasingly “cost-conscious.” (Reuters)
Updated 19 January 2018
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Cost of dying falls in Brexit Britain

LONDON: From the cost of carpets to coffins, Brexit Britain is spooking consumers.

Shares in Britain’s biggest listed funeral services company, Dignity, lost almost half their value on Friday as it warned families were becoming increasingly “cost-conscious.”

But it is not all bad news for the beleaguered British consumer.

The uncertainty created by the country’s exit from Europe is at least making the cost of exiting this world for the next, more affordable.

Dignity is slashing the cost of its basic funeral by 25 percent with immediate effect while it is also planning a price freeze for its traditional funerals in most locations, its said on Friday.

Carpetright shareholders were in similarly funereal mood as they too watched about half the value of their shares wiped as the London market opened.

A slew of profit warnings from the British High Street, and now it seems, also the crematorium, reflect growing caution among British consumers over the direction of the economy as the country prepares to leave the EU.

Dignity warned its 2018 results would be substantially below market expectations as it cut some of its prices. That sent its stock tumbling by about 49 percent by 9:30 a.m. in London.

Meanwhile Carpetright’s profit warning wiped about £54 million ($75 million) from its market capitalization.

“The number of customer transactions since Christmas was sharply down, which we believe is indicative of reduced consumer confidence,” said Carpetright CEO Wilf Walsh.

Both Carpetright and Dignity are the latest in a long line of retailers that have warned on profits in recent weeks — leading to heavily discounting.

That trend has now extended to the cost of a funeral which Dignity said would be reduced with immediate effect to £1,995 (plus disbursements) in England and Wales.


Jubail petrochemical complex could lead to homegrown car industry

Updated 27 June 2019
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Jubail petrochemical complex could lead to homegrown car industry

  • Advanced Petrochemical said it signed a memorandum of understanding with SK Gas to build a propane dehydrogenation and polypropylene complex
  • The project is expected to produce high value plastics grades for the automotive industry as well as other specialized grades that are currently being imported into Saudi Arabia

LONDON: Advanced Petrochemical and South Korean SK Gas plan to develop a $1.8bn petrochemical complex in Jubail that could help plans to develop a homegrown car industry in Saudi Arabia.
It comes amid increased economic cooperation between Riyadh and Seoul following an $8.3 billion economic co-operation pact struck this week during the first visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to South Korea.
The Saudi petchem producer said it signed a memorandum of understanding with SK Gas to build a propane dehydrogenation and polypropylene complex. The project is expected to produce “high value plastics grades for the automotive industry” as well as other specialized grades that are currently being imported into Saudi Arabia, Advanced Petrochemical said in a filing to the Tadawul stock exchange on Wednesday.

 

Separately the company said it has received propane feedstock allocation from the Kingdom’s Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources for the project, which is slated to start in 2024.
Advanced Petrochemical also disclosed in a third filing that it was conducting a feasibility study for a cracker project in the Kingdom.
These latest deals reflect twin objectives to develop high-value manufacturing in the Kingdom to create jobs while also investing heavily in the petrochemicals sector to capitalize on rising global demand for high value plastics.
Saudi Arabia is the largest new automotive sales and auto parts market in the Middle East, accounting for an estimated 40 percent of all vehicles sold in the region, according to the US export.gov website.The addition of potentially as many as 3 million women drivers to the roads is expected to further spur domestic demand.
Saudi companies, spearheaded by Saudi Aramco, are investing billions of dollars in petrochemical projects worldwide to meet rising global demand. Petrochemicals are set to account for more than a third of the growth in world oil demand to 2030, and nearly half the growth to 2050, adding nearly 7 million barrels of oil a day by then, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Demand for plastics — the key driver for the petchem industry — has outpaced all other bulk materials (such as steel, aluminum, or cement), nearly doubling since 2000, the IEA estimates.

FACTOID

40% - Saudi Arabia is the largest new automotive sales and auto parts market in the Middle East, accounting for an estimated 40 percent of all vehicles sold in the region.