UAE to invest $3bn in Iraq

UAE to invest $3bn in Iraq
Iraqi premier Mustafa Al-Khadimi visited the UAE on Sunday. (Dubai Media Office)
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Updated 05 April 2021

UAE to invest $3bn in Iraq

UAE to invest $3bn in Iraq
  • The Iraqi-UAE Business Council will be formed

DUBAI: The UAE said it was investing $3 billion in Iraq to explore new partnerships and accelerate the growth of the conflict-ridden country.
Iraqi premier Mustafa Al-Khadimi visited the UAE on Sunday, where he discussed partnership prospects between the two countries.
Al-Khadimi met with UAE leaders, including Dubai ruler Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan during his visit.

Both countries agreed to grow economic cooperation and accelerate trade and investment exchanges.
The pair also announced the formation of the Iraqi-UAE Business Council to boost cooperation.
Among the common interests for Iraq and the UAE were security and defense, as well as cooperation in the field of sustainable energy.


Sipchem records highest profits in its history, shares skyrocket

Sipchem records highest profits in its history, shares skyrocket
Updated 59 min 42 sec ago

Sipchem records highest profits in its history, shares skyrocket

Sipchem records highest profits in its history, shares skyrocket
  • The company posted a net profit of SR1.029 billion for the third quarter of 2021.
  • It also achieved a net profit after zakat and tax of about SR1.24 billion in the first half of 2021.

RIYADH: Shares of Sahara International Petrochemical Co. “Sipchem” on Wednesday hit the highest level since debut on the Saudi stock market. Share of the petrochemical company closed at SR46.95 ($12.2). 

Nearly 15.4 million shares were traded during the market session. The company posted a net profit of SR1.029 billion for the third quarter of 2021, the highest profit since its establishment. 

In a statement, the company attributed the reason for the rise in shares price to high selling prices of all the company’s products, which it said contributed to the increase in profit margins despite pressures from the rise in the prices of raw materials such as butane, ethanol, ethylene and propane.

On a quarterly basis, the company’s profits rose by about 24 percent, compared to the profits of the previous quarter, which amounted to SR829.9 million.

The company also achieved a net profit after zakat and tax of about SR1.24 billion in the first half of 2021, compared to losses of about SR151.8 million in the same period of 2020.

Sipchem CEO Abdullah Al-Saadoon told CNBC Arabia that he expected demand for the company’s products to remain strong in the fourth quarter of the year and the first three months of 2022.

Sipchem’s strong marketing plan helped buoy its third quarter earnings, he said. 

The company has  strong presence in the European and Asian markets, through Sipchem Europe and Sipchem Asia. It markets more than 70 percent of its products to end consumers.

Al-Saadoon said the company seeks to reduce its debt since the beginning of the year. It reduced its leverage by almost 12 percent to reach 40 percent of capital, he added.

 

 


Oil prices, government spending see TASI hit highest level since 2006: Market Wrap

Oil prices, government spending see TASI hit highest level since 2006: Market Wrap
Updated 20 October 2021

Oil prices, government spending see TASI hit highest level since 2006: Market Wrap

Oil prices, government spending see TASI hit highest level since 2006: Market Wrap

RIYADH: The Tadawul All Share Index increased on Wednesday by 0.94 percent, or 111.2 points.

Oil prices and the announcement of $2 trillion in government spending contributed to the rise in stocks.

TASI liquidity today amounted to about SR7.2 billion, while 189.8 million shares were traded, in 313,000 deals. 

National Gypsum Co. (NGC) topped the list of companies trading above three month average at 344, followed by Sahara International Petrochemical Co. (Sepchem) at 295.

The petrochemical producer posted a net profit of SR1.029 billion for the third quarter of 2021, the highest profit since inception.

Saudi Arabia’s parallel stock market index, Nomu, gained 81.7 points, or 0.34 percent, closing at 24,449.96 points. 

The biggest risers today were, Al-Rajhi Bank which records the highest level since 2006 to close at SR141.2, up 1.6 percent, and SABIC shares by 2 percent at SR133.6.

Among other shares that rose were NCB by 0.6 percent, and Riyad Bank by 4.4 percent.


Saudi markets surge as M&A activity set to continue until mid-2022: General Authority for Competition

Saudi markets surge as M&A activity set to continue until mid-2022: General Authority for Competition
Updated 20 October 2021

Saudi markets surge as M&A activity set to continue until mid-2022: General Authority for Competition

Saudi markets surge as M&A activity set to continue until mid-2022: General Authority for Competition

RIYADH: The Saudi market saw mergers and acquisitions jump 68 percent to 237 applications in the first nine months of the year — led by the IT, healthcare and petrochemical sectors according to a Saudi expert.

The General Authority for Competition head of mergers and acquisitions Talal Alhogail said the year-on-year comparison shows that it has been an exceptional period for business as it recovers from the pandemic, reported Asharq.

He added he expects the high rate to continue into the middle of 2022.


IMF has most favorable outlook for the Saudi economy in 2021 compared to other organizations

IMF has most favorable outlook for the Saudi economy in 2021 compared to other organizations
Updated 20 October 2021

IMF has most favorable outlook for the Saudi economy in 2021 compared to other organizations

IMF has most favorable outlook for the Saudi economy in 2021 compared to other organizations

The International Monetary Fund expects the Saudi economy to grow by 2.8 percent in 2021 — higher than forecasts by other global and local institutions.

In its latest regional economic outlook, the international organization said that oil exporters such as Saudi Arabia are expected to expand their production after August 2021. 

In addition, strong vaccination campaigns and higher oil prices are projected to boost the non-oil sector of the Kingdom’s economy, prompting an expansion in economic activity.

The Saudi Ministry of Finance expects the Saudi economy to grow by 2.4 percent in 2021, in line with the World Bank's predictions. 

Capital Economics and OECD also had similar forecasts for 2021. 

Jadwa, on the other hand, had the lowest expected rise in output, predicting a 1.8 percent growth rate only despite raising it from the previous 1.3 percent forecast.

As for the 2022 outlook, Capital Economics had the most positive forecast for the Saudi economy, saying it would jump by 7.3 percent. 

The Ministry of Finance posted its projection for 2022 growth at 4.8 percent. The IMF and OECD had the same expectation as well.

Moreover, the World Bank prediction was a slightly higher 4.9 percent. Jadwa also had a similar forecast for Saudi growth at 5.1 percent.


Bitcoin rises to new record high in 'validating' moment for cryptocurrency

Bitcoin rises to new record high in 'validating' moment for cryptocurrency
Updated 20 October 2021

Bitcoin rises to new record high in 'validating' moment for cryptocurrency

Bitcoin rises to new record high in 'validating' moment for cryptocurrency

Bitcoin hit a new record on Wednesday after it took another step towards mainstream status as the world's biggest cryptocurrency forayed onto Wall Street.

A Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF), a type of financial instrument, made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

The Bitcoin Strategy ETF rose nearly five percent in its first day of trading on Tuesday.

The fund should be a more accessible vehicle for mainstream investors, and could therefore boost trading in the cryptocurrency.

At one point on Wednesday, Bitcoin hit surged past $66,000 before receding. 

“It’s a validating moment,” said Jesse Proudman, co-founder and chief executive at Makara, a crypto advisory firm. “It’s no longer a question of does this asset class continue to exist, I think that is a really meaningful mark in the history of the broader digital-asset class.”

More than 24 million shares in the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF — trading under the ticker BITO, changed hands, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

With turnover of almost $1 billion, BITO’s debut was behind only a BlackRock carbon fund for a first day of trading, the latter ranking higher due to pre-seed investments, according to Athanasios Psarofagis at Bloomberg Intelligence.

The Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, explained why the regulator gave the green light to the Bitcoin futures ETF ETF but not a spot bitcoin ETF.

In an interview with CNBC Gary Gensler reiterated that his agency “should be technology neutral, but not policy neutral.”

"What we’re trying to do is ensure to the best we can within our authorities to bring projects into the investor protection perimeter," he said

“Bitcoin futures have been overseen by our sibling agency, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which I was once honored and proud to serve there and that’s been four years.”