Dubai’s Nakheel said to eye district cooling assets sale

Dubai’s Nakheel said to eye district cooling assets sale
Nakheel is reported to be considering the sale of its district cooling assets. (Supplied)
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Updated 15 March 2021

Dubai’s Nakheel said to eye district cooling assets sale

Dubai’s Nakheel said to eye district cooling assets sale
  • Dubai developer said to hire adviser for sale
  • District cooling is used to chill mega projects

DUBAI: Dubai state developer Nakheel is considering the sale of its district cooling assets, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Nakheel, the developer of the emirate’s palm-shaped islands, has hired financial advisory Synergy Consulting to manage the process, said two of the sources who declined to be named as the matter was not public.
Nakheel declined to comment and Synergy did not respond to a request for comment.
Dubai-listed National Central Cooling Co. (Tabreed) and Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corp. (Empower) have expressed interest in Nakheel’s deal, the sources said.
Tabreed said in a statement, that as a listed company it cannot comment on market rumors or speculation. Empower did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
One of the sources said the deal, which could be valued at around one billion dirhams ($272 million), is structured as a 30-year concession agreement.
District cooling firms deliver chilled water through insulated pipes to offices, as well as to industrial and residential buildings.
Nakheel’s district cooling assets include 20 units around Dubai with a total capacity of 100,000 to 120,000 tons of refrigeration.
Separately, Dubai is considering selling a stake in the cooling system operations at Dubai International Airport and has hired Standard Chartered to arrange the process, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters in November.


Saudi Venture Capital launches new investment funds

Saudi Venture Capital launches new investment funds
Updated 17 sec ago

Saudi Venture Capital launches new investment funds

Saudi Venture Capital launches new investment funds
  • SVC, in partnership with angel investors, aims to bridge financing gaps, stimulate investment in emerging companies

RIYADH: The Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC) has launched an investment product in debt funds and venture capital funds, SPA reported.

This came after the approval of the Financial Sector Development Program Committee. Approval to launch SVC’s investment products in debt funds and venture capital funds aims to diversify sources of funding and fill financing gaps for emerging companies and small and medium enterprises (SME), the program director general, Faisal Al-Sharif said.

SVC, in partnership with angel investors, aims to bridge financing gaps and stimulate investment in emerging companies and small and medium enterprises.

Since its launch in 2018 SVC has invested SR2.8 billion in Saudi startups and SMEs.

“Funds that offer debt instruments and venture capital instruments still represent a financing gap in the venture capital and growth investment system in the Kingdom, and debt instruments and venture capital instruments have emerged globally as an extension of the evolution of the venture capital and growth investment system,” SVC CEO Nabeel Koshak said.

SVC is a government company that was established as a result of one of the initiatives of the Financial Sector Development Program, which was led by Monshaat.


Egypt's B2B Marketplace Cartona raises $4.5m Pre-Series A

Egypt's B2B Marketplace Cartona raises $4.5m Pre-Series A
Updated 21 September 2021

Egypt's B2B Marketplace Cartona raises $4.5m Pre-Series A

Egypt's B2B Marketplace Cartona raises $4.5m Pre-Series A
  • The Egypt-based team plans to use its newly acquired funds to further develop its Tech Stack
  • MENA-based E-commerce startups have observed steady growth this year

Cartona, the Egypt-based B2B platform connecting retailers to manufacturers and wholesalers, has successfully raised $4.5 million in its latest funding round, led by Global Ventures, MAGNiTT reported.

Kepple Africa Ventures, T5 Ventures, and a group of key angel investors also participated in leading the Pre-Series A round.

The Egypt-based team plans to use its newly acquired funds to further develop its Tech Stack, launch new products and expand geographically across Egypt. The technology stack is a combination of programming languages, frameworks, and tools that developers use to build a web or mobile app.

Cartona was launched in August last year to digitize the traditional, predominantly offline trade market in Egypt, enabling grocery retailers to order their store needs digitally from a curated network of sellers.

Since its launch, Cartona has aggregated over 30,000 users in Cairo and Alexandria. It has processed over 400,000 delivered orders with an annualized gross merchandise value of  over $63 million. 

Cartona works with 100 fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies, 1,000 distributors, and wholesalers, offering consumers over 10,000 products listed on its platform including dry, fresh, and frozen food.


MENA-based E-commerce startups have observed steady growth this year, according to MAGNiTT's August 2021 Venture Investment Dashboard.

The E-commerce industry has been the second most active and third most funded industry in MENA over 2021 year to date, driven by an eight percent year-on-year increase in number of deals closed in the region, and a solid 78 percent year-on-year growth in amount of funding.


NEOM to see increase in construction projects: CNBC

NEOM to see increase in construction projects: CNBC
Updated 57 min 45 sec ago

NEOM to see increase in construction projects: CNBC

NEOM to see increase in construction projects: CNBC
  • The state-owned company plans to offer tenders for building labor cities

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is working to increase the construction of projects in its NEOM megaproject, CNBC Arabia reported, citing sources. 

The state-owned company plans to offer tenders for building labor cities accommodating up to 100,000 workers, the sources added according to Argaam, the news portal.

Originally, the project, which was scheduled to be completed last year, was set to accommodate around 30,000 workers. 

The company is close to offering five to 10 tenders over the next six months, with each city planned to accommodate nearly 10,000 workers.

Deloitte is advising the Saudi government on the project of establishing labor cities.

In October 2017, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the launch of a new investment city, NEOM, in northwest Saudi Arabia, at a total investment of $500 billion, financed by the Saudi government, Public Investment Fund, as well as local and global investors.


Regulators not up to speed on banks' digital marketplaces: EU watchdog

Regulators not up to speed on banks' digital marketplaces: EU watchdog
Image: EBA
Updated 21 September 2021

Regulators not up to speed on banks' digital marketplaces: EU watchdog

Regulators not up to speed on banks' digital marketplaces: EU watchdog
  • Finance and tech companies are coming closer together as banks set up digital marketplaces for products like payments and mortgages
  • EU watchdog said reliance on digital platforms for marketing and distribution of services creates new forms of financial, operational and reputational interdependencies

Regulators have little understanding of risks from banks creating digital marketplaces with tech companies and a framework is needed to spot potential contagion if things go wrong, the European Union's banking watchdog said on Tuesday.


The European Banking Authority's warning is the latest sign that financial regulators are starting to pay more attention to Big Tech's increasing links with finance, such as in cloud computing.


Finance and tech companies are coming closer together as banks set up digital marketplaces for products like payments and mortgages, as well as other financial and non-financial services, a process which has accelerated since the pandemic began.


This means customers can make payments or buy things using their mobile phone which links directly to their bank account. This so-called platformisation helps banks to cut costs and reach a wider range of customers, and includes partnerships with tech groups.


Apple Pay, for example, allows banks' debit and credit card holders to set up an Apple wallet to make payments. Google and Citi have teamed up to enable users of the Google Pay app to open an account with Citi.


But the EU watchdog said reliance on digital platforms for marketing and distribution of services creates new forms of financial, operational and reputational interdependencies.


The trend is posing "some challenges" for regulators in monitoring market developments and any risks from these interdependencies, the watchdog said.


"Indeed, it appears that the vast majority of competent authorities currently have a limited understanding of platform-based business models," EBA said.


EBA said it proposes to develop a framework next year to collect information about dependencies among banks on digital platforms, and create indicators to assess potential concentration, contagion and systemic risks.

But it said new legislation is not needed at this stage.


The watchdog called on the EU to update guidance on when a digital activity should be considered a crossborder provision of services and therefore come under EU and national laws that require information to be reported to regulators to improve visibility.


EBA said a small number of banks say they had encountered some issues in accessing digital platforms on terms they considered fair.


Crypto rise falters on fears of Evergrande contagion

Crypto rise falters on fears of Evergrande contagion
Updated 21 September 2021

Crypto rise falters on fears of Evergrande contagion

Crypto rise falters on fears of Evergrande contagion

Global investors are turning their eyes to Evergrande Group, China's second-largest property developer by sales, for fear of a possible credit contagion.

Cryptocurrency prices rebounded from a one-and-a-half month low on Tuesday despite heavy selling linked to loan default concerns by property developer China Evergrande.

Global markets started the week with concerns that Evergrande's problems could lead to repercussions on the Chinese and global economies, leading to a sell-off in riskier assets.

On Monday, many people woke up to the news of China's Evergrande Group losing a significant amount of its market capitalization as the company's shares plunged to an 11-year low. The Hang Seng Tech Index also plunged in value on Monday morning as the news roiled markets.

Evergrande's losses could cause a domino effect like the collapse of Lehman Brothers during the 2008 financial crisis.

"We can't take a very positive view just yet until we get through the next few days," said Matthew Dibb, chief operating officer at crypto index fund provider Singapore-based Stack Funds.

"This is purely sentiment-driven right now, and it's actually been off very low liquidity," he said, adding that it would be better to wait on the sidelines as crypto markets will continue to be affected by the contagion.

Bitcoin traded around $43,000, recovering from its low to $4,0192. It hit a four-month high of $52,000 on September 6, while the value of smaller rival Ether rose 1 percent to $3,055 after falling below $3,000 for the first time since early August.