Qatar to turn gas into fish food

Qatar to turn gas into fish food
Gulf Biotech and Unibio have signed a license agreement to produce sustainable and organic protein in Qatar. (Suppliied)
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Updated 27 April 2021

Qatar to turn gas into fish food

Qatar to turn gas into fish food
  • The planned facility will be the region’s first natural gas to protein plant and will be based on Unibio’s U-Loop technology

DUBAI: A Qatari company hopes to use the country’s abundant gas reserves to make protein for fish food and other animal feeds.
Gulf Biotech, the Doha-based industrial biotech investor, and Unibio have signed a license agreement to produce sustainable and organic protein in Qatar.
“The abundance of natural gas in Qatar makes the country an obvious choice for the production of Uniprotein,” said Henrik Busch-Larsen, CEO of Unibio. “Together, we can help address one of Qatar and the world’s major challenges and sustainably feed the world’s growing population.”
Gulf Biotech has signed a license agreement for a plant which will initially have one module – consisting of four protein fermenting machines with a total annual capacity of 6,000 tons of Uniprotein.
The technology is based on a modular design and extra modules can be added to expand the production, it said.
The Uniprotein produced in the plant will be used as a protein supplement in feed for fish and animals to replace existing products derived from fish meal or soy.
The planned facility will be the region’s first natural gas to protein plant and will be based on Unibio’s U-Loop technology, where natural gas is converted through continuous fermentation into Uniprotein.
Gulf Biotech said that Uniprotein is highly resource-efficient and sustainable compared with the production of traditional protein, such as fish meal and soy. Relative to soy production, Uniprotein uses 1/300th of the water and 1/25,000th of the land, it said.


UAE’s Chimera, US Alpha Wave to lead $10bn tech fund

UAE’s Chimera, US Alpha Wave to lead $10bn tech fund
Image: Getty
Updated 17 sec ago

UAE’s Chimera, US Alpha Wave to lead $10bn tech fund

UAE’s Chimera, US Alpha Wave to lead $10bn tech fund
  • The fund’s ticket size ranges from “tens of millions to hundreds”

RIYADH: Abu Dhabi based investment firm Chimera Capital has joined global alternative asset manager Alpha Wave in leading a $10 billion tech fund.

The fund will have a global remit but with a concentration on India and will focus on private firms across a wide array of sectors including artificial intelligence, financial technology, and life sciences, Bloomberg reported.

Both institutions will work hand in hand to pinpoint and run potential management opportunities in the South Asian country.

The fund’s ticket size ranges from “tens of millions to hundreds,” Bloomberg reported, citing Seif Fikry, Chimera’s chief executive officer.

This falls in line with the Gulf’s growing role as a major channel of capital for international firms such as SoftBank Group Corp. and Silver Lake.

The Gulf region has hit a record year for tech investments with an accumulated balance of $621 billion dispersed worldwide.


China’s Xi: Climate goals should not reduce our productivity

China’s Xi: Climate goals should not reduce our productivity
Updated 9 min 34 sec ago

China’s Xi: Climate goals should not reduce our productivity

China’s Xi: Climate goals should not reduce our productivity

RIYADH: China’s president, Xi Jinping, has warned the country’s climate objectives should not hold back productivity in the economic powerhouse.

Speaking at a Politburo session on Tuesday, Xi insisted that efforts to decarbonise the Asian country must not jeopardize the supply of vital commodities.

In 2020, Xi vowed to peak emissions by 2030 and deliver a net zero nation by 2060.

According to state news agency Xinhua, the president said: “Reducing emissions is not about reducing productivity, and it is not about not emitting at all.”

He added: “We must stick to the overall planning and ensure energy security, industrial supply chain security and food security at the same time as cutting carbon emissions.”

China’s drive to cut emissions led to a limit in coal, metal, and fertilizers production, causing an increase in their prices. This negatively affected inflation concerns in the country.

However, the country is expected to maintain stable oil, gas, and coal production — particularly amid power shortages across the nation.

 


Profits of the National Bank of Kuwait hit $1.2bn in 2021

Profits of the National Bank of Kuwait hit $1.2bn in 2021
Updated 45 min 37 sec ago

Profits of the National Bank of Kuwait hit $1.2bn in 2021

Profits of the National Bank of Kuwait hit $1.2bn in 2021

RIYADH: The National Bank of Kuwait, known as NBK, recorded a 47 percent jump in profits in 2021, reaching 362 million Kuwaiti dinars ($1.2 billion).

The bank attributed the hike in profits to higher net operating income, which was up over 3 percent to 547 million Kuwaiti dinars, as well as lower provision charges for credit and impairment losses.

The bank recommended cash dividends of 30 fils ($555) per share for the fiscal year 2021, it said in a statement to the Kuwaiti bourse.

Shareholders will also receive five bonus shares for every 100 shares, the statement revealed.


Qatar to launch first green bond to secure ESG funds

Qatar to launch first green bond to secure ESG funds
Updated 26 January 2022

Qatar to launch first green bond to secure ESG funds

Qatar to launch first green bond to secure ESG funds

RIYADH: Qatar intends to launch its first green fund as it aims to secure Environmental, Social, and Governance funding, Bloomberg reported.

The finance ministry is in contact with global banks in an attempt to accrue billions of dollars via green bonds.

Such a move may cause disputes among ESG investors given the Persian Gulf country’s vast carbon emissions on a global level, according to Bloomberg.

Qatar will appoint several banks to develop a plan on how the money is going to be spent.

A potential deal with state owned petroleum firm Qatar Energy could be sealed soon.

The Middle Eastern country aims to cut emissions by 25 percent by 2030.

However, gas remains a crucial commodity and the country is investing an estimated $30 billion to increase production capacity by 50 percent in the upcoming six years.

This comes as the gas shortages in Asia and Europe are partly attributed to the lack of proper spending in fossil fuels, Bloomberg reported, citing Saad Al-Kaabi, Qatar’s energy minister.

 


IMF urges El Salvador to remove bitcoin as legal tender

IMF urges El Salvador to remove bitcoin as legal tender
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Updated 26 January 2022

IMF urges El Salvador to remove bitcoin as legal tender

IMF urges El Salvador to remove bitcoin as legal tender
  • Bitcoin shot up in value in 2021 as Wall Street showed a growing appetite for cryptocurrency

he IMF on Tuesday called on El Salvador to change course and stop using bitcoin as legal tender, citing "large risks" posed by the cryptocurrency.


The small Central American nation in September became the first country in the world to embrace the digital money, allowing consumers to use it in all transactions, alongside the US dollar.


The call by the Washington-based crisis lender came as the cryptocurrency dropped in value amid wider volatility on Wall Street in recent days, undoing much of the gains it had made during a record-setting climb in value last year.


The IMF staff had previously called on El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele to reconsider putting bitcoin at the center of his country's finances.


The latest pronouncement used much stronger language and came from the IMF's board, which is comprised of representatives of member governments including the United States.


The board's directors "urged the authorities to narrow the scope of the bitcoin law by removing bitcoin's legal tender status," according to a statement.


They "stressed that there are large risks associated with the use of bitcoin on financial stability, financial integrity and consumer protection" and with issuing bitcoin-backed bonds.


Bitcoin was trading at about $37,000 on Tuesday, having lost about half its value compared to the record of $67,734 hit in November.

Bitcoin shot up in value in 2021 as Wall Street showed a growing appetite for cryptocurrency, while Tesla boss Elon Musk's controversial tweets about the digital assets helped the market rise and fall alike.


The trend was not lost on Bukele, who was elected in 2019 with promises to fight organized crime and improve security in his violence-wracked country.


His move last September to legalize bitcoin in El Salvador drew worldwide attention and sparked protests on the streets of the capital San Salvador that were also over his administration's judicial reforms, which critics said threaten democracy.


Thousands took to the streets carrying signs reading "No to bitcoin" and at one point burning one of the bitcoin ATMS that had been installed nationwide.


They didn't appear to deter Bukele, who announced in November plans to build the world's first "Bitcoin City," powered by a volcano and financed by $1 billion cryptocurrency bonds.


His administration had also taken advantage of price drops to buy the digital asset for the country.

The IMF was wary of the cryptocurrency's adoption from the start, with spokesman Gerry Rice saying before Bukele made the move official, "Adoption of bitcoin as legal tender raises a number of macroeconomic, financial and legal issues that require very careful analysis."


In Tuesday's statement from the board, they noted the fund supports the aim of "boosting financial inclusion" which could be advanced using the country's "Chivo" e-wallet, but warned about the high levels of volatility in the cryptocurrency's exchange rate.


Bitcoin's value has shown some correlation with Wall Street equities, but pressure has also come from China's crackdown on the trading and mining of cryptocurrencies, and also the risk of wider regulatory action from the likes of Europe and the United States.


Analysts also say it faces increased competition in 2022 from rival digital assets like ethereum.