World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi draws massive interest

General view of the Abu Dhabi city is seen from observation deck of Emirates Towers in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, December 23, 2018. (REUTERS)
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Updated 13 January 2020

World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi draws massive interest

  • Many onsite temporary structures, such as the registration area, have been built using sustainable or recycled materials

JEDDAH: The World Future Energy Summit opens at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre on Monday, with around 35,000 people expected to attend from 170 countries.
The four-day event, which is the largest of its kind according to organizers, will include exhibition and forum programs addressing energy, solar, water, waste and smart cities.
There will also be a focus on clean energy generation, water sustainability, and how digital innovation can help to improve the quality of life in an urban environment.
Held alongside the energy summit are the Climate Innovations Exchange (CLIX) and the Future Sustainability Summit.
CLIX returns for its third edition and will showcase 42 of the world’s most disruptive innovations, selected from 1,402 global submissions from 128 countries, related to the future of energy, food, agriculture and sustainability in space.
The Future Sustainability Summit is being held under the theme “Rethinking Global Consumption, Production, and Investment.”
It brings together more than 1,000 delegates and 90 speakers, including music star and philanthropist Akon, the president of Rwanda and the prime minister of Bangladesh.
Registration is paperless, while badges, lanyards and bags are biodegradable.
Many onsite temporary structures, such as the registration area, have been built using sustainable or recycled materials.
Recycling bins will be placed in selected areas along the concourse, and there will be no plastic in the exhibition center’s restaurants.

 

 


HSBC reports lighter-than-expected third-quarter profit fall

Updated 27 October 2020

HSBC reports lighter-than-expected third-quarter profit fall

  • HSBC has a further headache – geopolitical tensions via its status as a major business conduit between China and the West

HONG KONG: HSBC said Tuesday its third-quarter post-tax profits fell 46 percent on-year as the Asia-focused banking giant continued to take a hammering from the coronavirus pandemic and spiraling China-US tensions.
However, the profit falls were not as bad as some analysts had predicted and HSBC said it expected credit losses to be at the lower end of a previously announced $8 billion to $13 billion range.
The global economic slowdown caused by the virus has hit financial giants hard and there is limited optimism on the horizon as Europe and the United States head into the winter with infections soaring once more.
HSBC has a further headache — geopolitical tensions via its status as a major business conduit between China and the West.
As a result, the lender is in the midst of a worldwide overhaul, aiming to slash some 35,000 jobs by 2022, primarily in its less profitable European and American divisions.
“We are accelerating the transformation of the Group, moving our focus from interest-rate sensitive business lines toward fee-generating businesses, and further reducing our operating costs,” chief executive Noel Quinn said in a statement accompanying the results.
Reported post-tax profit for the third quarter came in at $2 billion with revenue down 11 percent at $11.9 billion, the statement said.
Adjusted pre-tax profit slid 21 percent to $4.3 billion in the period, beating a $2.8 billion estimate by Bloomberg analysts.
Quinn described the latest figures as “promising results against a backdrop of the continuing impacts of Covid-19 on the global economy” as well as low interest rates.
In the first six months of 2020, HSBC’s post-tax profits were down 69 percent, meaning the third-quarter results were something of an improvement as some major economies relaxed some of their coronavirus restrictions.
The bank said its board would consider whether to pay “a conservative dividend” for 2020 based on final end of year results and how the global economy looks in early 2021.
Earlier this year, UK regulators called on British banks to scrap dividends for the year to preserve capital during the pandemic crisis.
HSBC makes 90 percent of its profit in Asia, with China and Hong Kong being the major drivers of growth.
As a result, it has found itself more vulnerable than most to the crossfire caused by the increasingly bellicose relationship between Beijing and Washington.
The bank has tried to stay in Beijing’s good graces.
It vocally backed a tough national security law that Beijing imposed on Hong Kong in June to end a year of unrest and pro-democracy protests.
The move sparked criticism in Washington and London but analysts saw it as an attempt to protect its access to China, which has a track record of punishing businesses that do not toe Beijing’s line.
“Geopolitical risk, particularly relating to trade and other tensions between the US and China, remains heightened,” HSBC said in Tuesday’s profit statement.
The US has sanctioned nearly a dozen key Hong Kong and Chinese officials over the national security law, telling international banks to stop doing business with them.
China’s national security law, however, forbids businesses in Hong Kong from adhering to foreign sanctions regimes, leaving many in an unclear regulatory tight spot.
“Investor and business sentiment in some sectors in Hong Kong remains dampened and ongoing tensions could result in an increasingly fragmented trade and regulatory environment,” HSBC said in its statement.
The bank also highlighted the uncertainty over Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union as another potential headwind.
Talks for a post-Brexit trade deal have made little headway with a 31 December deadline fast approaching.
“There is a risk of additional ECL (expected credit losses) charges, particularly in the UK in 4Q20, if the UK and the EU fail to reach a trade agreement,” the bank said.