Oil prices decline 3%

Oil prices decline 3%
Updated 09 February 2016

Oil prices decline 3%

Oil prices decline 3%

NEW YORK: Oil prices fell almost 3 percent on Tuesday as equity markets remained weak and forecasts of swelling record high US crude stockpiles faced expectations that global demand will not grow quickly enough to erase the overhang of crude any time soon.
US gasoline futures fell to a 2008 low ahead of the American Petroleum Institute's (API) weekly inventory report, which comes before Wednesday's official stockpile numbers from the US government's Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Wall Street's key equity index, Standard & Poors 500, was down 0.2 percent by 11:35 a.m. EST (1635 GMT) after falling more than 1 percent over the past two sessions.
The dollar tumbled to a four-month low but that did not do much for oil prices which usually get a boost from the currency's depreciation versus the euro and others.
"For now, the oil market for today is keeping a continued and close watch on equities after yesterday's schizophrenic action, and awaiting the API numbers," said David Thompson, executive vice-president at Powerhouse, a commodities-focused brokerage in Washington.
Brent crude was down 93 cents, or 2.8 percent, at $31.95 a barrel.
US crude fell 26 cents to $29.43.
Gasoline fell almost 4 percent to around 92 cents per gallon.
US crude stockpiles likely rose 3.9 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 5, said a Reuters survey taken ahead of the API data due at 4:30 p.m. (2130 GMT).
In the previous week to Jan. 29, US crude inventories hit record highs of nearly 503 million barrels
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said it did not expect global demand for oil to grow quickly enough to erase the overhang of crude any time soon.
The world will store unwanted oil for most of 2016 as declines in US output take time and OPEC is unlikely to cut a deal with other producers to reduce ballooning output, said the energy watchdog.
The agency cut its forecast for 2016 oil demand growth, which now stands at 1.17 million barrels per day (bpd) following a five-year high of 1.6 million in 2015, and reduced its estimate of demand for OPEC crude.
Oil traders are even more bearish.
The world's largest trader, Vitol, said it expects global oil demand to grow by around 1 million bpd this year, down from last year's rate 1.6 million bpd.
"I don't think we can rely on low prices driving much incremental demand at this point," Vitol executive member Chris Bake said at an IP Week conference.


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.