Eradication of leaded petrol to save $2.4tr for global economy

Eradication of leaded petrol to save $2.4tr for global economy
By 2016, after North Korea, Myanmar and Afghanistan stopped selling leaded petrol, only a handful of countries were still operating service stations providing the fuel. (AFP)
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Updated 31 August 2021

Eradication of leaded petrol to save $2.4tr for global economy

Eradication of leaded petrol to save $2.4tr for global economy
  • Algeria, the last country to use the fuel, exhausted its supplies last month

Eradication of leaded petrol would “prevent more than 1.2 million premature deaths per year, increase IQ points among children, save $2.44 trillion for the global economy, and decrease crime rates,” said the UN Environment Programme on Monday.
“The successful enforcement of the ban on leaded petrol is a huge milestone for global health and our environment,” said Inger Andersen, executive director of UNEP.
Nearly a century after doctors first issued warnings about the toxic effects of leaded petrol, Algeria — the last country to use the fuel — exhausted its supplies last month, UNEP said, calling the news a landmark win in the fight for cleaner air.
Even as recently as two decades ago, more than 100 countries around the world were still using leaded petrol, despite studies linking it to premature deaths, poor health and soil and air pollution.
When UNEP launched its campaign in 2002, many major powers had already stopped using the fuel, including the US, China and India.
But the situation in lower-income nations remained dire. By 2016, after North Korea, Myanmar and Afghanistan stopped selling leaded petrol, only a handful of countries were still operating service stations providing the fuel, with Algeria finally following Iraq and Yemen in ending its reliance on the pollutant.
UNEP warned that fossil fuel use in general must still be drastically reduced to stave off the frightening effects of climate change. Vehicle sales are set to climb globally exponentially, particularly in emerging markets.
“The transport sector is responsible for nearly a quarter of energy-related global greenhouse gas emissions and is set to grow to one third by 2050,” UNEP said, adding that 1.2 billion new vehicles would hit the streets in the coming decades.
“This includes millions of poor-quality used vehicles exported from Europe, the US and Japan, to mid- and low-income countries.
“This contributes to planet warming and air polluting traffic and (is) bound to cause accidents,” the global body said.
Oil market
Oil edged higher on Monday, but remained below session highs as Hurricane Ida weakened after forcing shutdowns of US Gulf oil production, and OPEC+ looked set to go ahead with a planned oil output increase.
Brent crude rose 49 cents a barrel, or 6.7 percent to 73.19 by 12:24 ET (1624 GMT), having reached $73.69 earlier, the highest since Aug. 2. US crude rose 37 cents, or 0.51 percent to $69.11 a barrel, having earlier touched $69.64, the highest since Aug. 6.
US gasoline was up almost 2 percent, lending support to crude. Power outages added to refinery closures on the Gulf coast and traders weighed the possibility of prolonged disruptions.
Brent has rallied 40 percent this year, supported by supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as OPEC+, and some demand recovery from last year’s pandemic-induced collapse.
OPEC+ meets on Wednesday to discuss a scheduled 400,000 bpd increase in its oil output, in what would be a further easing of the record output cuts made last year.
OPEC delegates say they expect the increase to go ahead with the plan.


Wataniya Insurance board recommends $53.3m capital increase

Wataniya Insurance board recommends $53.3m capital increase
Updated 17 September 2021

Wataniya Insurance board recommends $53.3m capital increase

Wataniya Insurance board recommends $53.3m capital increase
  • Proceeds to help boost solvency margin

RIYADH: Wataniya Insurance Company’s board of directors recommended on Thursday to increase the company’s capital through a SR200 million ($53.3 million) rights issue, according to a bourse filing.

The company plans to use the proceeds to support its future plans and increase its solvency margin, Wataniya said in a statement on Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul). An insurer’s solvency margin is the difference between its assets and insurance liabilities and is designed to prepare it for unforeseen claims.

The financial adviser for the offering will be announced once appointed, the company said.


National Water Co. awards $95.4m contract to manage Riyadh water services

National Water Co. awards $95.4m contract to manage Riyadh water services
Updated 17 September 2021

National Water Co. awards $95.4m contract to manage Riyadh water services

National Water Co. awards $95.4m contract to manage Riyadh water services
  • Contract awarded to Alkhorayef Group and France's Veolia
  • Restructuring of Saudi water sector almost complete

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s National Water Company has awarded a seven-year contract to manage water services and environmental treatment in Riyadh to a consortium of Alkhorayef Water and Power Technologies and France’s Veolia, Argaam reported.

The SR358 million ($95.4 million) contract is tied to 14 main indicators, including improving and developing the customer experience, raising operational efficiency through cost savings and reducing water losses, and improving network management, according to a statement by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Management contracts are one of the main pillars to improve the sector and prepare it for full privatization, said National Water Company CEO Mohammed Al-Mowkley.

NWC has completed 92 percent of its project to restructure the 13 administrative regions into six sectors, and as of November 2021, the process will be complete when the northern sector has been created, he said.

Management contracts to improve the performance of the sector’s services will all have been awarded by the end of 2021, he said.

If the targets are achieved after the third year of the contract, the National Water Company will be able to move directly to the stage of concession contracts, in which the private sector will take full responsibility for water services, and not wait until the seven years are over, he said.


Oil still hovers above $70 with US shut-in output: Market wrap

Oil still hovers above $70 with US shut-in output: Market wrap
Updated 16 September 2021

Oil still hovers above $70 with US shut-in output: Market wrap

Oil still hovers above $70 with US shut-in output: Market wrap
  • Brent crude was down 54 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $74.92 per barrel, while WTI slipped by 67 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $71.94

RIYADH: Oil prices are still trading at above $70 even as OPEC+ is increasing production and data showed today that Saudi oil exports are on the rise, due to the impact of hurricanes Nicholas and Ida on US offshore production.

Brent crude was down 54 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $74.92 per barrel, while WTI slipped by 67 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $71.94 after climbing to the highest since Aug. 2 on Wednesday.

US Gulf energy companies have been able to restore pipeline service and electricity quickly after Hurricane Nicholas passed through Texas early this week, allowing them to focus on efforts to repair the damage caused weeks earlier by Hurricane Ida.

Qatar Petroleum set official prices for the sale of Al-Shaheen crude, during November, at the lowest price premium in 5 months.

Sale prices for Qatari crude shipments came next November with an average premium of $1.53 a barrel to Dubai prices. 

Libya

Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) said Thursday that exports had resumed from several oil terminals in the country's east after young protesters demanding jobs ended blockades there.

"Announcing the resumption of crude oil export operations at the ports of Al-Sidra and Ras Lanuf after a group of young people ended their sit-in inside the ports, which lasted for days," Libya's National Oil Corporation NOC said in a statement.

Russian ESPO oil prices at 21-month high

A rebound in China's crude demand has pushed up prices of a Russian grade popular with Chinese independent refiners to the highest in 21 months, several trade sources said on Thursday.

Russia's Surgutneftegaz sold three cargoes of ESPO crude loading in November at premiums of $4.10-$4.20 a barrel to Dubai quotes, the sources said, the highest since January 2020.

Malaysia

Exports of Malaysia's flagship crude oil Kimanis will fall in October and November following a production issue at an offshore oilfield operated by Royal Dutch Shell, three sources with knowledge of the matter said to Reuters.

Petroleum Brunei, one of the stakeholders, cancelled a tender to sell a Kimanis crude cargo that was supposed to load in early November because of the problem, one of the sources told the agency.


TASI ends the week with slight increase, Nomu edges down

TASI ends the week with slight increase, Nomu edges down
Updated 16 September 2021

TASI ends the week with slight increase, Nomu edges down

TASI ends the week with slight increase, Nomu edges down
  • Shares of 81 companies increased, while those of 105 companies declined

RIYADH: The Saudi stocks index, TASI, ended the last trading of the week with an increase of 11.13 points, or 0.10 percent, and closed at 11,422.11 points.

The parallel market index, Nomu, fell today, by 189.35 points, or 0.74 percent, it closed at 25,369.09 points.

Liquidity in Nomu amounted to about 42.6 million riyals,  328.1 million shares were traded , in 1460 thousand deals .

Liquidity in the main market TASI amounted to about 10.2 billion riyals, which is the highest in more than two months, 223.1 million shares were traded, in 300 thousand deals.

Shares of 81 companies increased, while those of 105 companies declined.

Nine of the 21 market sectors rose, led by public utilities by 1.3 percent, capital goods by 1.1 percent, and food retailing by 0.7 percent, while the remaining 12 sectors fell, led by media and entertainment by 4.5 percent, pharmaceuticals by 1.4 percent, communications by 1.2 percent, and investment, finance, and insurance by 0.8 percent.

The biggest gainers on Thursday were Textile with 5.6 percent increase, PCI with 4.6 percent, SABIC Agri-Nutrients with 4.3 percent, Fitness Time with 4.2 percent, and Chemanol with 3.6 percent.

The biggest losers were research and media by 4.8 percent, Al-Naqoul and the Kingdom by 4.4 percent, Bupa by 3.7 percent, food development by 2.4 percent, construction by 2.2 percent, and Mobily by 1.9 percent.

Theeb Rent a Car Company announced Thursday the distribution of SR22 million as interim cash dividends to shareholders for the first half of 2021.


Cinema chain AMC confirms plan to accept cryptocurrencies: Market wrap

Cinema chain AMC confirms plan to accept cryptocurrencies: Market wrap
Updated 16 September 2021

Cinema chain AMC confirms plan to accept cryptocurrencies: Market wrap

Cinema chain AMC confirms plan to accept cryptocurrencies: Market wrap
  • Bitcoin, the leading international cryptocurrency, traded lower on Thursday, falling by 0.42 percent to $47,617.84

RIYADH: AMC Entertainment, the world's most popular film exhibition company, has announced its plan to accept cryptocurrencies in its 950 theaters by the end of the year.

AMC CEO Adam Aron tweeted Wednesday: “Cryptocurrency enthusiasts: you likely know AMC has announced that we will accept Bitcoin for online ticket and concession payments by year-end 2021. I can confirm today that when we do so, we also expect that we similarly will accept Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin cash.”

Other crypro news:

SkyBridge Capital, the investment firm founded by former aide to Donald Trump Anthony Scaramucci, has submitted an application for a crypto-trading fund (ETF), with the aim of providing investors with a capital appreciation.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the ‘First Trust SkyBridge Crypto Industry and Digital Economy ETF’ is seeking to list and trade its shares on the NYSE Arca Stock Exchange.

Scaramucci announced a new Algorand fund during the star-studded "SALT" hedge fund conference, which included the likes of Ray Dalio, Steven Cohen and Mike Novogratz.

“SkyBridge now has about $700 million in crypto. We are starting the Alogrand fund,  we are capping that fund at $250 million, and we have already raised $100 million for that fund.” Scaramucci said in an interview with CNBC Wednesday.

In Turkey, the Central Bank of Turkey has created a new platform with technology stakeholders to further develop a digital version of the national fiat currency.

The Central Bank of Turkey also entered into agreements with two defense and technology companies, as well as the Scientific and Technological Research Council, and the Informatics and Information Security Research Center to cooperate on the digital lira project, the state-run Anadolu Agency and Daily Sabah reported.

In the United States, at a hearing of the US Senate Banking Committee, Senator Elizabeth Warren asked the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, to increase oversight of cryptocurrency.

She flagged up several issues that she linked to cryptocurrencies that she felt could harm small investors.

Bitcoin, the leading international cryptocurrency, traded lower on Thursday, falling by 0.42 percent to $47,617.84 at 5:55 p.m Riyadh time. 

Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, went in the opposite direction, trading up by 3.92 percent at $3,585.47, according to data from Coindesk.