Sterling set for worst week since Sept. 2020

Sterling set for worst week since Sept. 2020
On Friday, it fell further against both the dollar and the euro. (AFP)
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Updated 19 June 2021

Sterling set for worst week since Sept. 2020

Sterling set for worst week since Sept. 2020

LONDON: Sterling extended its fall against the US dollar on Friday, dropping below $1.39, hurt by the US Federal Reserve’s hawkish surprise and an unexpected fall in Britain’s retail sales.
The pound dropped against a strengthening dollar on Thursday after the Fed surprised markets by signaling it would raise interest rates and end emergency bond-buying sooner than expected.
On Friday, it fell further against both the dollar and the euro. It was down 0.3 percent on the day at $1.389, having touched as low as $1.38555 — its weakest since May 4. It was on track for its worst week since September 2020.
Versus the euro, it was down around 0.3 percent at 85.78 pence per euro, on track for a small weekly fall.
“GBPUSD remains bogged down below the 1.39 handle by a confluence of broad USD strength and a slight deterioration in near-term data,” said Simon Harvey, senior FX market analyst at Monex Europe.
“The limited impact of the data on sterling is largely because retail sales volumes remain above pre-pandemic levels and a shift in consumption patterns toward services after the May 17th reopening was always likely.”
For cable, market participants are weighing up the Bank of England and the Fed’s relative pace of possible monetary policy tightening. The BoE next meets on June 24.
BofA strategists said in a note to clients that it changed its view on the central bank’s tightening trajectory.
and now expects a 15 basis point rate hike in May 2022, compared to previously expecting no hikes in 2022.
“Brussels’ patience with London’s having its cake and eating it is wearing thin. Indeed, there is a risk of protocols being triggered and tariffs being threatened more seriously,” wrote ING strategists in a note to clients.
“The next few weeks could thus be a vulnerable period for Cable, where a break of 1.3890 opens up 1.3800/3810 — the last stop before an extension to the March/April lows of 1.3675.”


Saudi Arabia to utilize 2022 oil windfall to propel diversification from fossil fuels 

Saudi Arabia to utilize 2022 oil windfall to propel diversification from fossil fuels 
Updated 13 sec ago

Saudi Arabia to utilize 2022 oil windfall to propel diversification from fossil fuels 

Saudi Arabia to utilize 2022 oil windfall to propel diversification from fossil fuels 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia plans to utilize its 2022 oil windfall to propel the Kingdom’s diversification away from fossil fuels.

This comes as the government is aiming to further boost the non-oil economy in the Kingdom by 2023 without having to increase fiscal expenditures, Bloomberg reported, citing Minister of Economy and Planning, Faisal Al-Ibrahim.

According to Bloomberg’s surveys of analysts, Saudi Arabia is projected to be one of 20 fast-paced growing economies in 2022. 

The International Monetary Fund has predicted the Gulf country’s gross domestic product to exceed $1 trillion for the first time ever.

In addition to this, through its $600 billion-worth sovereign wealth fund, the Saudi government has drastically increased spending in the country across various sectors including tourism, energy, among others. 

The government is anticipating that by 2030, the private sector’s contribution to the economy would stand at 65 percent, up from the current 51 percent.

“The windfall from the additional revenues that we will get from high oil prices will be essentially invested in resilience. Whether it’s replenishing reserves, paying off debt or investing in unique transformational projects through our wealth fund — that really helps us accelerate the diversification plans,” said Al-Ibrahim.


Dubai Chamber of Commerce reports 55% membership growth in April 2022

Dubai Chamber of Commerce reports 55% membership growth in April 2022
Updated 19 min 47 sec ago

Dubai Chamber of Commerce reports 55% membership growth in April 2022

Dubai Chamber of Commerce reports 55% membership growth in April 2022
  • The Chamber processed 61,145 electronic transactions in April 2022, recording a growth rate of 9.5 percent

RIYADH: Dubai Chamber of Commerce, a public non-profit organization, has revealed that its membership increased 55.4 percent in April 2022. 

While the value of member exports and re-exports in April 2022 amounted to 20.2 billion dirhams ($5.50 billion), an increase of 16.7 percent over the 17.3 billion dirhams recorded in April 2021.

The number of new member companies that joined the organisation in April 2022 has reached 3,056, bringing the total membership of the Chamber to 300,000 companies.

The Chamber also issued 57,704 certificates of origin in April this year, an increase of 8.2 percent over last year, according the Dubai Government Media Office. 

The latest figures reflect the Chamber’s efforts to stimulate the business environment and enhance its competitiveness, Abdulaziz Al-Ghurair, chairman of Dubai Chambers said 

“We are now in the process of developing and launching several new initiatives designed to improve ease of doing business in Dubai. These will remove trade barriers and enable businesses in Dubai to tap into a wealth of growth opportunities in promising market, while expanding our efforts to attract multinational companies and high-potential startups from abroad,” Al-Ghurair added. 

The Chamber processed 61,145 electronic transactions in April 2022, recording a growth rate of 9.5 percent. 


King Salman Park Foundation begins construction of Royal Arts Complex

King Salman Park Foundation begins construction of Royal Arts Complex
Updated 50 min 28 sec ago

King Salman Park Foundation begins construction of Royal Arts Complex

King Salman Park Foundation begins construction of Royal Arts Complex

RIYADH: The King Salman Park Foundation has started the construction of its 500,000 sq. meters Royal Arts Complex, said a statement.

The complex will be the center of Riyadh’s art and culture scene which encompasses Salmani architectural design, honoring the traditions of Saudi Arabia.

It will include a museum, a library, artist studios, an institute that includes three academies and visual entertainment that will come in the form of the National Theater. 

Built over 16 sq. km, the King Salman Park is set to become a global hub for culture, art and nature.


AMAALA reveals new yacht design as contracts to hit $320m in Q2

AMAALA reveals new yacht design as contracts to hit $320m in Q2
Updated 53 min 15 sec ago

AMAALA reveals new yacht design as contracts to hit $320m in Q2

AMAALA reveals new yacht design as contracts to hit $320m in Q2

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s ultra-luxury development project AMAALA has unveiled its new yacht design for the Triple Bay Yacht Club, as it expects to award SR1.2 billion ($320 million) in contracts for the ongoing development in the second quarter of the year.

The phase one construction of Triple Bay is progressing steadily, and it is expected to be completed by 2024, the company said in a press release. The yacht which will be a part of this project is designed by the American architecture firm HKS, and it is expected to have a size of 7,900 square meters, according to a statement.

Upon completion of the first phase, Triple Bay will have eight resorts, 1,300 hotel rooms, food and beverage outlets, retail, and leisure facilities.

“HKS has created a signature piece of architecture at the heart of Triple Bay, and I look forward to seeing the concept become a globally iconic meeting place for luxury yachting enthusiasts from all over the world,” said John Pagano, CEO of AMAALA.

More than 250 contracts have been awarded to date in excess of SR5 billion, with nearly SR1 billion awarded in the first quarter of this year alone, as delivery of the project ramps up on site.

AMAALA will be a purely off-grid destination, powered solely by renewable energy as the whole development is targeting a minimum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold standard for environmental sustainability, the company said. It added that a request for proposal for the Utilities under public private partnership has already been issued to the market, to ensure the development meets its sustainability ambitions.


Kazakhstan sees 2023 oil output up at over 90m tons: minister

Kazakhstan sees 2023 oil output up at over 90m tons: minister
Updated 54 min 44 sec ago

Kazakhstan sees 2023 oil output up at over 90m tons: minister

Kazakhstan sees 2023 oil output up at over 90m tons: minister
  • Kazakhstan was at risk of missing this year’s 87.5 million ton oil output target because of the brief shutdown of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium’s Black Sea terminal due to storm damage

NUR-SULTAN: Kazakhstan expects to produce 90-93 million tons of oil next year, up from 87.5 million tons this year, depending on when expansion projects at the giant Tengiz field are completed as they may be slightly delayed, its energy minister said.

The Central Asian nation believes Western sanctions against Russia will have no effect on transhipment of Kazakh crude to Europe, Bolat Akchulakov told Reuters in an interview.

“The big question is the Tengiz Future Growth Project. There was COVID-19 (which delayed work), this year the situation is not optimal either, there are some issues such as supplies of materials,” Akchulakov said in an interview.

The Chevron-led venture developing Tengiz planned to complete one expansion project by March 2023 and the second one by November 2023, but Akchulakov said the $45 billion expansion could be delayed by a few months.

Field outages for planned maintenance are another factor affecting output and Akchulakov said that after this year’s two-month maintenance at the giant Kashagan field that will start in June, no major outages were scheduled for 2023.

Kashagan investors — Kazakh state firm KazMunayGaz , Shell, TotalEnergies, Eni , ExxonMobil, CNPC, and Inpex — are due to agree on the concept of its next expansion phase, the minister said.

Kazakhstan was at risk of missing this year’s 87.5 million ton oil output target because of the brief shutdown of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium’s Black Sea terminal due to storm damage — which was quickly mitigated.

About 80 percent of Kazakh oil exports are piped through the CPC, with additional volumes going through another Russian pipeline. Much smaller quantities are shipped to China.

“We have been told that (oil) transit is safe (from sanctions),” Akchulakov said. “The idea is that the CPC is an international project and it would be fair to exclude it from all sanctions.”

However, the Nur-Sultan government is ready to increase shipments via alternative routes including swap deals with Iran once sanctions against Tehran are lifted. Kazakhstan can supply a few million tons of crude to Iran’s Caspian ports in exchange for similar volumes in the Gulf.

At the same time, Kazakhstan is in talks to begin first oil shipments to Belarus, Russia’s closest ally, which seeks to buy up to 1 million tons a year, Akchulakov said. Kazakhstan’s southern neighbor Kyrgyzstan is looking to buy 2 million tons a year, he said.