IEA cuts non-OPEC supply forecast

IEA cuts non-OPEC supply forecast
Updated 15 April 2015

IEA cuts non-OPEC supply forecast

IEA cuts non-OPEC supply forecast

PARIS: The International Energy Agency on Wednesday cut its supply forecast for non-OPEC countries, citing downturns in North America and the "worsening conflict" in Yemen.
The Paris-based agency cut its 2015 forecast for non-OPEC output by 120,000 barrels a day to 630,000 bpd "on the back of a slightly more negative outlook for the US LTO (light tight oil) production and Canadian nonoil sands output, and of the fallout from the worsening conflict in Yemen," it said in its monthly report.
"According to our latest estimates, fighting in Yemen has halved production to about 60,000 bpd in April, from an already depressed level of roughly 120,000 bpd," the IEA said.
Meanwhile, although Yemen is a small oil producer accounting for a fraction of global output with negligible effect on prices, it borders Saudi Arabia and affects other Gulf markets.
"Recently launched Saudi air strikes, while not targeting energy infrastructure directly, have led international oil companies active in the country... to practically halt operations and pull out expatriate staff," the report said.
"The start of a Saudi-led military campaign against Yemen in late March sparked concern of possible supply disruptions through the area's vital sea lanes," it said.
In North America, the IEA cited "signs that US LTO production month-on-month growth will grind to a halt as early as May", and noted a "continued drop in the number of oil rigs... reductions in capital expenditures, and a credit crunch among LTO producers in the US."
In Canada, the IEA pointed to "falling drilling rates and an increasing backlog of uncompleted wells."
Even though oil prices have more than halved in just six months, the OPEC oil organization has refused to cut its supply volume.
The effects of plunging oil prices on demand and supply will continue to leave the market out of kilter, the agency predicted, saying: "In some ways, the outlook is only getting murkier."
Notably, it said uncertainty persists over whether and when Iran will regain its status as a key player, since the international deal curbing Tehran's nuclear program is yet to be finalized.


Saudi fintech startup secures $1.2m seed funding

Saudi fintech startup secures $1.2m seed funding
Updated 26 January 2021

Saudi fintech startup secures $1.2m seed funding

Saudi fintech startup secures $1.2m seed funding
  • The Kingdom has proved to be a fruitful market for investment in startups

RIYADH: A Saudi financial technology company has raised $1.2 million in seed funding.

Hakbah’s success comes six months after the Riyadh-based startup received regulatory approval from the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) to operate in the Kingdom.

The specific investors behind the financing have not been revealed.

Founded in late 2018 by Naif AbuSaida, Hakbah specializes in alternative saving and savings groups.

On its LinkedIn profile, the firm describes its mission “is to digitize financial habits by developing innovative savings products that help increase financial inclusion, support a non-cash society, and bridge the gender gap in savings.”

Hakbah graduated from the DIFC Fintech Accelerator Program 2019 in Dubai.

The Kingdom has proved to be a fruitful market for investment in startups. Saudi Arabia recorded a 35 percent year-on-year increase in the number of investment deals in the technology startup sector last year, according to a new industry report.

A study by data research platform Magnitt found that the Kingdom accounted for 18 percent of the 496 investment deals throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region last year.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt were the largest markets, accounting for 68 percent of total deals. However, while the Kingdom saw the number of investment deals increase by more than one-third, the UAE and Egypt witnessed volume decreases of 17 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

When it came to the monetary value of the deals, Saudi Arabia recorded a surge of 55 percent year-on-year to $152 million.

Nabeel Koshak, CEO at Saudi Venture Capital Co., said: “Saudi Arabia is witnessing an increase in the quality and quantity in the deal flow of startups. I am thrilled by the distinguished entrepreneurs who are creating fast growth and scalable startups.

“Despite the slowdown of (the coronavirus disease) COVID-19, Saudi Arabia saw a record increase in venture capital funding (55 percent) in 2020 compared with 2019.”

In its predictions for this year, Magnitt forecast that Saudi Arabia would overtake Egypt by total number of investments and capital deployed and become second only to the UAE in the rankings.