Sawiris aims to become Egypt’s number one gold investor, eyes bank license

Sawiris aims to become Egypt’s number one gold investor, eyes bank license
Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris is targeting gold and real estate investments in Egypt. (Reuters)
Short Url
Updated 05 April 2021

Sawiris aims to become Egypt’s number one gold investor, eyes bank license

Sawiris aims to become Egypt’s number one gold investor, eyes bank license
  • May list Ora developer unit shares
  • Targets mining sector expansion

RIYADH: Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris wants to become the country’s number one gold investor and has not given up on winning a license to operate a bank.
The Orascom Investment Holding boss made the disclosure during a conference on Monday, Al Arabiya reported.
He currently ranks among the top 10 investors in the mining and gold sector in the African market and wants to become the number one player.
The Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources recently announced the signing of contracts with AKH Gold, a company affiliated to Sawiris, with a total investment of about $4.1 million, to search for gold in the country’s Eastern Desert.
Sawiris also discussed plans to develop a residential real estate project in Sohag, on the west bank of the Nile.
He said that his company, Ora Developers, may list its shares on the Egyptian bourse and that a final decision would be taken once it started to deliver its projects.


Saudi firm Tabuk Pharmaceutical strikes deal to manufacture Leosons products in the MENA 

Saudi firm Tabuk Pharmaceutical strikes deal to manufacture Leosons products in the MENA 
Updated 12 sec ago

Saudi firm Tabuk Pharmaceutical strikes deal to manufacture Leosons products in the MENA 

Saudi firm Tabuk Pharmaceutical strikes deal to manufacture Leosons products in the MENA 

RIYADH: Saudi-based Tabuk Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Company has announced an exclusive agreement with Leosons Overseas Corporation to manufacture and sell Leosons products in the MENA region,

The agreement gives Tabuk Pharmaceutical an immediate take over the US-based company's existing business in more than 10 markets, with future expansion plans to include new regions and products.

Tabuk Pharmaceutical will have the right to register, manufacture, and commercialize a range of 14 brands in several countries in the MENA region, according to the agreement.

"We consider this partnership a step forward towards augmenting our plans for long-term growth and strengthening Tabuk’s over the counter business with direct contact with patients,” Wisam Alkhatib, vice president of Strategy and Business Development at Tabuk Pharmaceuticals said.
 
“We believe our partnership with Tabuk Pharmaceuticals is transformational especially in Saudi Arabia,” John L. Ohanian, President of Leosons said.


Britain’s Lloyd Bank to close another 48 branches

Britain’s Lloyd Bank to close another 48 branches
Updated 46 min 48 sec ago

Britain’s Lloyd Bank to close another 48 branches

Britain’s Lloyd Bank to close another 48 branches

LONDON: Lloyds Banking Group will close a further 48 branches across England and Wales, the British lender said on Wednesday, as it seeks to further cut costs by trimming its physical network.

The closures are the latest in a string of such moves by the bank, which in June announced the closure of 44 different branches.

Banks have stepped up branch closures after many paused restructuring for much of last year to focus on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The announcement by Lloyds Banking Group of closing a further 48 bank branches is a complete betrayal of the communities and staff who have long supported this highly profitable business,” said Sharon Graham, general secretary of employment union Unite.

Lloyds said it is responding to customers using branches less frequently, and that it is piloting a scheme whereby ‘community bankers’ visit customers in their areas.


Saudi energy min sees demand from gas-to-oil switching at up to 600,000 bpd

Saudi energy min sees demand from gas-to-oil switching at up to 600,000 bpd
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 32 min 40 sec ago

Saudi energy min sees demand from gas-to-oil switching at up to 600,000 bpd

Saudi energy min sees demand from gas-to-oil switching at up to 600,000 bpd

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said users switching from gas to oil could account for demand of 500,000-600,000 barrels per day, adding that the world was now waking up to shortages in the energy sector.

Prince Abdulaziz said the potential switch depended on how severe winter weather would be and how expensive alternative energy prices would be.

He outlined a wide range of factors that have led to a recent spike in energy prices, including limited investment in hydrocarbons and infrastructure, low inventories, the lifting of pandemic lockdowns and COVID-19 vaccine uptake rates.

“People all of a sudden woke up to the reality that they are running out of everything: They are ran out of investments, they ran out of stocks and they ran out of … creativity in trying to be attending to real solution that address real issues,” Prince Abdulaziz told the CERA Week India Energy Forum.

Prices have also risen due to hurricanes which have impacted oil production and refining and “a perception that we will have a severe cold (winter) which may or may not happen,” he added.

He said there was a lack of anticipation that the world economy would grow as fast as it is doing now.

The International Energy Agency last week adjusted its world oil demand growth forecast higher for 2021 and 2022, partly due to an anticipated boost by 500,000 bpd as power generation and heavy industry sectors switch to fuel oil and gasoil from more expensive natural gas and coal.

The IEA said that the energy crunch could stoke inflation and slow the world’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prince Abdulaziz said the world must pay attention to energy supply security, which should not be compromised in the fight against climate change.

He said Saudi Arabia hoped to cooperate with the EU and Britain on green hydrogen.


Saudi CMA launches fifth round of fintech 'sandbox' licenses

Saudi CMA launches fifth round of fintech 'sandbox' licenses
Updated 20 October 2021

Saudi CMA launches fifth round of fintech 'sandbox' licenses

Saudi CMA launches fifth round of fintech 'sandbox' licenses

RIYADH: The Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA) has launched its fifth round of fintech sandbox licenses, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

A sandbox, established through the regulator’s Financial Technology Lab, allows fintech startups and other firms to conduct live experiments under its supervision.

The authority said it will accept applications for financial technology test permits from firms until December 15.

The body launched its first fintech sandbox in February 2018, handing out 17 permits across five different product areas that included social trading platforms and automated advisor services.


Asia’s growth trimmed; UK inflation eases off slightly: Economic wrap

Asia’s growth trimmed; UK inflation eases off slightly: Economic wrap
Updated 20 October 2021

Asia’s growth trimmed; UK inflation eases off slightly: Economic wrap

Asia’s growth trimmed; UK inflation eases off slightly: Economic wrap

In its new regional outlook, the International Monetary Fund cut its growth forecast for Asia in 2021 to 6.5 percent, compared to the 7.6 percent it speculated in April. 

The international organization cited supply chain disruptions, inflation fears and a rise in Covid-19 infections as factors that could hamper growth in the region.

However, the 2022 growth forecast has been upwardly tweaked to 5.7 percent — up from the 5.3 percent April forecast.

Meanwhile, China is expected to grow by 8 percent this year and 5.6 percent in 2022.

UK inflation eases

The UK’s annual inflation rate tapered off to 3.1 percent in September 2021 down from its nine-year high of 3.2 percent in August, data from the Office for National Statistics revealed. 

Transport prices rose by 8.4 percent, helping fuel some of the country’s inflationary pressures. Conversely, rises in restaurants and hotels costs eased to 5.1 percent in September compared to 8.6 percent in August.

Month-on-month inflation also decreased to 0.3 percent in September — down from 0.7 percent in August.

In addition, the yearly core inflation rate, which excludes price changes in volatile items like food and energy, reached 2.9 percent in September, falling from 3.1 percent in the previous month.

German producer prices

Germany’s annual rise in producer prices climbed to 14.2 percent in September, according to official data.

Surging energy prices, last year’s low base effects and the current supply chain problems all meant that the country experienced its highest increase since October 1974.

Energy costs leapt by 32.6 percent while prices of intermediate goods rose by 17.4 percent.

This was accompanied by a month-on-month 2.3 percent increase in producer prices in September.

Japan’s trade deficit

The Japanese trade balance recorded a deficit of JPY622.8 billion ($5.44 billion) in September, compared to a JPY667.4 billion ($5.83 billion) surplus in the same month of last year, official data showed. This is the second consecutive month in which a deficit was posted for the country. 

Japanese imports leapt to a 34-month high of JPY7,463 billion ($65.19 billion) in September as it increased by an annual rate of 38.6 percent. Energy imports soared by 90 percent while purchases of electrical machinery jumped by 33.2 percent. Australian imports experienced the highest increase, climbing by 99.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the country’s exports jumped by 13 percent year-on-year to JPY6,841 billion ($59.76 billion) in September 2021. This was fuelled by a 23.7 percent increase in machinery exports. Exports of chemicals also rose considerably, growing by a 27.4 percent yearly rate.

Fed to hold on rates

A majority of economists expect the Federal Reserve to wait until 2023 before raising its rates, a survey conducted by Reuters showed.

Surveyed economists think that the biggest risk facing the US economy in the coming period is rising inflation.

China’s FDI 

Based on China's commerce ministry data, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to the country surged by 19.6 percent in the first nine months of 2021, when compared to the same period of the last year, to reach $134.7 billion.