Mubadala invests $250m in US biosimulation company

Mubadala invests $250m in US biosimulation company
Certara uses biosimulation to accelerate drug discovery and development. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 29 July 2021

Mubadala invests $250m in US biosimulation company

Mubadala invests $250m in US biosimulation company
  • Transaction to close on August 2
  • Mubadala is building a growing life sciences portfolio

RIYADH: Abu Dhabi sovereign investment fund Mubadala has made a $250 million investment in US biosimulation company Certara, WAM reported.

Certara uses biosimulation to and technology-enabled services to accelerate drug discovery and development. The investment aligns with Mubadala’s strategy of enabling innovation to address unmet clinical needs and drive cost efficiencies.

Mubadala and existing institutional shareholders of Certara, including a stakeholder affiliated with alternative investment company EQT, have signed an agreement through which a Mubadala affiliate will buy more than 9.61 million shares in Certara at $26 per share from the shareholders in a private transaction scheduled to close on August 2.

“We are pleased to welcome a significant new investment from Mubadala, a sovereign investor with deep expertise in life sciences that is focused on creating lasting value,” said William F. Feehery, CEO of Certara.

EQT will remain a significant shareholder in the company after the transaction.

Mubadala invested almost $500 million in European veterinary giant IVC Evidensia in nearly in May. It has an asset base of 894 billion Emirati dirhams ($243.4 billion).


Natural Gas Distribution to start trading on Nomu on Sept. 22

Natural Gas Distribution to start trading on Nomu on Sept. 22
Updated 16 sec ago

Natural Gas Distribution to start trading on Nomu on Sept. 22

Natural Gas Distribution to start trading on Nomu on Sept. 22

RIYADH: Natural Gas Distribution Co’s listing and trading shares on Parallel Market Nomu will start as of Wednesday, September 22, as a direct listing, according to a bourse filing.

Daily price fluctuation limits will be +/- 30 percent and static price fluctuation limits will be  +/- 10 percent, Tadawul said.

The natural gas producer set the benchmark price for its initial public offering in the parallel market at SAR 13, Argaam earlier reported.

 


Saudi looks to greener pastures as it boosts recycling investment

Saudi looks to greener pastures as it boosts recycling investment
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 19 min 27 sec ago

Saudi looks to greener pastures as it boosts recycling investment

Saudi looks to greener pastures as it boosts recycling investment
  • Saudi Arabia will look to invest almost SR24 billion ($6.4bn) in waste recycling by 2035
  • SIRC is keen to attract foreign direct investments worth SR6 billion, create 23,000 jobs, and contribute an amount of SR37 billion to the national GDP

Saudi Arabia will look to invest almost SR24 billion ($6.4bn) in waste recycling by 2035 as the country attempts to move to a more sustainable waste management system.

It will invest around SR1.3 billion ($346.6 million) in construction and demolition waste, and about SR900 million in industrial waste, while investments in municipal solid waste will exceed SR20 billion, and investments in other waste will exceed SR1.6 billion, Saudi Investment Recycling Company (SIRC) CEO, Ziyad Al-Shiha said.

Saudi Arabia had 5 percent of its total waste recycled from the beginning of 2020 until the first half of this year 2021, including plastic, metal and paper, Al-Shiha said.

The PIF-owned company started investing in projects specifically designed to increase conversion rates and recycling operations by establishing alliances with private sector companies specialized in this field, he told Al Eqtisadiah.

He pointed out that there is cooperation with leading local companies such as SABIC and Aramco in the recycling of plastic waste, and Maaden in the recycling of mining waste, and several companies in the building materials sector in the field using waste to produce alternative fuels, as well as a group of companies in the field of metal recycling and electronics.

"The company is also working with legislators and regulators to separate waste from the source by placing dedicated containers, organizing transportation and waste collection operations, building sorting and treatment stations, as well as making use of non-recyclable waste to produce alternative fuels and energy, and converting organic waste into organic fertilizers for agriculture," Al-Shiha said.

"This enhances the added value and reduces the cost of environmental degradation, which is estimated at SR86 billion annually," he said.

He stated that the company is keen to attract foreign direct investments worth SR6 billion, create 23,000 jobs, and contribute an amount of SR37 billion to the national GDP.


He pointed out that the share of foreign investment in the field of recycling at the present time is relatively "low", compared to other sectors, especially that the recycling market in Saudi Arabia is still nascent, and the number of local specialized companies in this field is still limited.

SIRC seeks within its strategic objectives to divert 85 percent of hazardous industrial waste from landfills, and 100 percent of solid waste from landfills and 60 percent of construction and demolition waste from landfills by 2035, Al-Shiha said.

Accordingly, the company is working on several promising projects to invest in the circular economy, through global and local partnerships to improve value chains, he said.

Al-Shiha pointed out that SIRC is also working to promote the Green Saudi Initiative goals by shifting from landfills by 94 percent..


"More than 40 percent of the recyclable materials in the Kingdom, amounting to about 56 million tons annually, are concentrated in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, where 85 percent of them can be recycled and utilized for the purpose of obtaining a source of alternative energy and raw materials that enter into Manufacturing processes," Al-Shiha said.


The Kingdom recycles only about 10 percent of recyclable materials, while 90 percent of materials are disposed of by landfill, which causes harm to the environment and limits the use of recyclable materials, he explained.


He pointed out that one of the biggest challenges facing the sector at the present time is the lack of awareness of the importance of recycling, especially with the absence of a waste sorting system from the source. 

SIRC cooperates with the relevant government agencies to raise awareness, community participation, and disseminate awareness campaigns in the coming years, he said.

 


Global conversation on energy transition is ‘misrepresented’: OPEC chief

Global conversation on energy transition is ‘misrepresented’: OPEC chief
Updated 20 min 32 sec ago

Global conversation on energy transition is ‘misrepresented’: OPEC chief

Global conversation on energy transition is ‘misrepresented’: OPEC chief

DUBAI: While the global transition to clean energy is crucial, OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said the current conversation around it is “misrepresented” and “distorted” by emotions. 

“Emotions have taken over industry fronts,” Barkindo said at a high-profile energy conference in Dubai on Tuesday, adding the global conversation has been skewed to mean “we have to transit from one set of energy sources to another.”

This has affected investor sentiment in some energy sources, the OPEC chief added, and will have implications for the ability of the oil industry to invest across value chains.

The pressure is being amplified by hundreds of climate litigations around the world, Barkindo said, as well as by civil societies and activists who are taking over the discussions.

In a previous speech, Barkindo referred to a Dutch court ordering Royal Dutch Shell to cut its global carbon emissions by 45 percent by the end of 2030 compared to 2019 levels, describing it as a “dramatic and far-reaching decision.”

These court decisions, he said, “could further shape energy policy directions and investment trends that are exclusionary in nature."

“This world will continue to consume energy. We project that demand will increase by 28 percent by 2045, and oil and gas will remain the dominant sources of energy,” Barkindo added. 

He said oil will contribute 28 percent of global energy needs by 2045, highlighting the importance of a balanced and inclusive approach in the global energy transition. Around 26 to 27 percent will be from gas. 

‘Practically irreplaceable’

“The world needs continuous, predictable, and adequate investments in energy, particularly in oil and gas which he said was practically irreplaceable because of the scale of its contribution to the global energy mix in the next decades”, he added.

Barkindo also called on the investment community “not to crowd out the oil and gas industry, because nobody can tell us how to replace this nearly 50 percent of the global energy mix.”

The comments were made at the Gastech conference in Dubai, attended by major energy and gas players in the industry, as well as ministers from the UAE, Qatar, Turkey, and Indonesia, among others. 

The OPEC chief said the event, which runs until Sept. 23, is the perfect place for the energy industry to “pause and ask the hard questions,” and to realign the global discussions on energy transition. 


Over 1.3 million homes to be completed in Saudi Arabia by 2030: Knight Frank

Over 1.3 million homes to be completed in Saudi Arabia by 2030: Knight Frank
Updated 32 min 1 sec ago

Over 1.3 million homes to be completed in Saudi Arabia by 2030: Knight Frank

Over 1.3 million homes to be completed in Saudi Arabia by 2030: Knight Frank

RIYADH: More than 1.3 million homes and 100,000 hotel rooms will be built in Saudi Arabia in the next nine years, according to the global real estate consultant Knight Frank.

The firm has made the prediction after the Kingdom witnessed a tenfold increase in the number of residential mortgages issued in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2016.

Knight Frank has estimated that close to $1 trillion worth of real estate and infrastructure projects have been announced in the wake of the National Transformation Plan, unveiled in 2016.

This is only a third of the total $3.2 trillion of spending that is planned, according to the consultancy firm.

Faisal Durrani, head of Middle East research at Knight Frank, said: “In the national office markets, headline rents were clearly impacted by the pandemic, but rates for the best offices in Riyadh have recovered to pre-pandemic levels and demand is growing rapidly. 

“The industrial markets too are expanding at an unprecedented rate as requirements outstrip demand in many locations.” 

The first quarter of 2021 has seen the highest ever number of new foreign business investment licenses issued, as the government’s efforts to reshape the economic and real estate landscape drove a sharp upturn in business activity.

Infrastructure building planned in the Kingdom includes 8 giga projects and new super cities, including the $500 billion NEOM and the $20 billion Diriyah Gate luxury neighbourhood in Riyadh.

Knight Frank’s Harmen de Jong said: “We are beginning to see increased appetite from private sector real estate developers in the form of public-private-partnership initiatives with large scale government led projects. 

“This is a key trend which will further support the realisation of Vision 2030.”


Britain may give state loans to energy companies as gas prices surge

Britain may give state loans to energy companies as gas prices surge
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 21 September 2021

Britain may give state loans to energy companies as gas prices surge

Britain may give state loans to energy companies as gas prices surge
  • The record prices have strained the British energy sector, destroying the business model of smaller energy traders and sending shockwaves through the chemical and fertiliser markets
  • Britain's biggest energy companies have asked the government for support to help cover the cost of taking on customers from firms that have gone bust

Britain is considering offering state loans to energy companies that take on customers from firms which go bust due to soaring wholesale natural gas prices, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said on Tuesday.


Wholesale natural gas prices in Europe have soared this year, pushed up by high demand for liquefied natural gas in Asia, nuclear maintenance and lower-than-usual supplies from Russia.


The record prices have strained the British energy sector, destroying the business model of smaller energy traders and sending shockwaves through the chemical and fertiliser markets, leading to a shortage of carbon dioxide.


Britain's biggest energy companies have asked the government for support to help cover the cost of taking on customers from firms that have gone bust.


Kwarteng told Sky News when asked about state-backed loans that, "there are lots of options."


"It costs a company to absorb up to hundreds of thousands of customers from another company that's failed and there may well be a provision for some sort of loan and that's been discussed," he added.


Kwarteng said that in an average year about 5-8 smaller energy companies exited the market in Britain, but that this year the number could be bigger.


Britain could also look at providing some kind of economic support for the U.S. company that provides 60 percent of its carbon dioxide, CF Industries, Kwarteng said.

WINTER HEATING BILLS
European consumers are facing the prospect of soaring winter heating bills due to a confluence of global factors that have raised questions about how vulnerable Europe remains to swings in global energy prices.


Benchmark European gas prices have risen by more than 250 percent since January, with contributory factors also including low storage stocks, high EU carbon prices and low renewable energy output.


Britain privatised British Gas in 1986 and, after a series of deregulating steps since then, the consumer market has seen a plethora of different companies - some essentially just traders - offering gas and electricity to households.


"I don't think we should be throwing taxpayers' money at companies which have been, let's face it, badly run," Kwarteng said. "I don't want there to be a reward for failure," he added.


Kwarteng said he also hoped to have some resolution to a shortage of carbon dioxide, which is used to put the fizz in beer and soft drinks, and also used to stun pigs and poultry in abattoirs as well as to preserve the shelf-life of meat.


"Its pretty imminent but I'm confident, this week I hope we have a very clear plan to get CO2 production going again," he said, adding that he had spoken to finance minister Rishi Sunak about the situation.


CF Industries has halted its operations at two plants in Britain that produce CO2 as a byproduct of its main business, producing fertiliser. Kwarteng met Tony Will, the head of CF, on Sunday.