OPEC+ sticks with gradual oil output increase

OPEC+ sticks with gradual oil output increase
The world's leading oil producers on Wednesday upheld a deal reached just over a month ago to boost output gradually to support the recovery of the global economy. (File/Reuters)
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Updated 01 September 2021

OPEC+ sticks with gradual oil output increase

OPEC+ sticks with gradual oil output increase
  • OPEC+ alliance led by Saudi Arabia and Russia will add 400,000 barrels a day to market from October

DUBAI: Oil producers opted on Wednesday to stay on course with output increases as the post-pandemic global economic recovery gathers pace.
OPEC+, the alliance led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, will add 400,000 barrels per day to the market from October, in line with the schedule to return output to pre-pandemic levels by the end of next year.
After a virtual meeting of ministers organized from Vienna, the 23-strong group said: “While the effects of the COVID-19 virus continue to cast some uncertainty, market fundamentals have strengthened and OECD stocks continue to fall as the recovery accelerates.”
Saudi Arabia, under Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, has been the leading advocate of a long-term strategy to gradually rebalance global oil markets, resisting calls to put more barrels on the market.
The latest OPEC+ meeting also heard that overall compliance continued to run at a high level — around 110 per cent — and called for compensation for past overproduction to be completed by the end of this year.
There were other encouraging signals for the global market. US oil stocks fell by more than twice what had been expected as Americans took summer trips, and an OPEC analysis forecast a tightening oil market this year as economic activity resumed, though flipping into surplus supply in 2022.
Paul Young, Asia head of consultancy Quantum Commodities Intelligence, told Arab News: “It sends a strong signal that the OPEC+ group is confident in economic growth going forward after the oil demand wobble in August.
“OPEC+ will retain the flexibility to adjust numbers if things change in the fourth quarter, but we should see the market looking toward 2022 policy now.”


Abu Dhabi chemical company, India’s Reliance form $2bn production JV

Abu Dhabi chemical company, India’s Reliance form $2bn production JV
Updated 12 sec ago

Abu Dhabi chemical company, India’s Reliance form $2bn production JV

Abu Dhabi chemical company, India’s Reliance form $2bn production JV

Abu Dhabi state-owned Chemicals Derivatives Co., TA’ZIZ, and Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries have agreed to start a more than $2 billion chemical production partnership in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi, the chemicals company said in a statement on Tuesday.

The joint venture, called TA’ZIZ EDC & PVC, will construct and operate a chlor-alkali, ethylene dichloride and polyvinyl chloride production facility, it said.

The JV aims to export the materials to target markets in Southeast Asia and Africa as well as selling them domestically.

“Representing the first production of these chemicals in the UAE, the project will enable the substitution of imports and the creation of new local value chains, while also meeting growing demand for these chemicals globally,” TA’ZIZ said.

TA’ZIZ was formed last year, also as a joint venture, by Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. and Abu Dhabi state-owned holding company ADQ, which own 60 percent and 40 percent respectively.

“India’s need for PVC to propel its growth, and the value from the abundantly available feedstock in UAE, provides a win-win partnership for both companies,” TA’ZIZ quoted Reliance’s billionaire chairman Mukesh Ambani as saying.

TA’ZIZ said in November last year it had chosen potential investment projects worth over $5 billion in the planned Ruwais Derivatives Park, for the development of which the JV is meant to act as a catalyst.

The project is Reliance’s first investment in the Middle East and North Africa region, TA’ZIZ said.


Zimbabwe's Central Bank studies digital currency, rejects cryptocurrency

Zimbabwe's Central Bank studies digital currency, rejects cryptocurrency
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 10 min 23 sec ago

Zimbabwe's Central Bank studies digital currency, rejects cryptocurrency

Zimbabwe's Central Bank studies digital currency, rejects cryptocurrency
  • The country plans to send a team to Nigeria to learn from their experiences

RIYADH: Zimbabwe's Central Bank is exploring using its own digital currency instead of allowing cryptocurrency as legal tender, its Governor John Mangudya told Bloomberg.

“As a central bank we don’t believe in cryptocurrencies,” Mangudya said in an interview on Monday.

“We believe in central bank digital currency which is basically trying to say how do we have an e-Zimbabwe dollar as opposed to cryptocurrency,” he said.

The country plans to send a team to Nigeria to learn from their experiences in launching the first digital currency in Africa in October.

“We have got our fintech group and they are working very hard, most central banks in the world are working on this CBDC and we are definitely almost there," he said.

The government decided to pay annual bonuses to civil servants in US dollars rather than the local currency. Use of the Zimbabwean dollar would have increased its recent decline. 

The government paid annual bonuses to civil servants in US dollars instead of the Zimbabwean dollar. Using the latter could have added to its recent depreciation, according to Mangudya.


Korean bioscience firm tops list of world’s best-performing IPO in 2021: Bloomberg

Korean bioscience firm tops list of world’s best-performing IPO in 2021: Bloomberg
Updated 11 min 58 sec ago

Korean bioscience firm tops list of world’s best-performing IPO in 2021: Bloomberg

Korean bioscience firm tops list of world’s best-performing IPO in 2021: Bloomberg

RIYADH: South Korean SK Bioscience Company has topped the list of the world’s best-performing IPO in 2021 after raising more than $1 billion.

The biopharmaceutical firm, which is a local COVID-19 vaccine production partner with AstraZeneca, led a ranking dominated by listings from its home country, according to an analysis by Bloomberg.

The IPO raised $1.3 billion for SK Bioscience to become the first among five Korean firms that raised more than $1 billion each through public offerings this year, with several tech-related names also surging in their trading debuts, Bloomberg said.

SK Bioscience outperformed two major listings in Shanghai, China Three Gorges Renewables Group and Zhuzhou CRRC Times Electric Co., which are each up more than 140 percent. 

US Affirm Holdings came fourth, followed by South Korean Kakao Pay, and India’s Zomato.


Phasing out gas-powered cars depends on customer demand: Nissan exec

Phasing out gas-powered cars depends on customer demand: Nissan exec
Updated 17 min 18 sec ago

Phasing out gas-powered cars depends on customer demand: Nissan exec

Phasing out gas-powered cars depends on customer demand: Nissan exec

DUBAI: Nissan is eco-friendly but also consumer-led, a top official from the Japanese automaker said in the wake of the company not signing a COP26 global pledge to phase out gas-guzzling cars. 

As many as 30 national governments joined the deal struck in Glasgow last month, as the transportation industry races to fix decades of environmental damage due to carbon emissions.

They were joined by six automotive giants, including Ford and Mercedes-Benz, but Nissan, with its French partner Renault, skipped the pact. 

“If customers say remove it (gas-fueled vehicle production), we will remove it,” Ashwani Gupta, Nissan’s chief operating officer told Arab News on Tuesday. 

“If (a customer) doesn’t find any more excitement in internal combustion engines cars; if he doesn’t find any price competitiveness in ICE cars; if he has to pay a CO2 penalty, why will he keep it?”

Gupta, who was in Dubai for a media tour, emphasized the importance of making the transition smooth for Nissan’s customers.

“I think it’s up to us how to make it competitive, so customers will naturally do it,” he explained, adding: “In Europe, it will happen very soon.”

The Japanese automaker is ramping up efforts to introduce new electric car models in the next 10 years, aiming for a 50 percent electrification mix by 2030, as it also doubles down on being carbon neutral across the life cycle of its products by 2050. 

Last week, it announced a $17.6 billion investment to develop solid-state batteries for its planned electric model line-up, as well as to establish a pilot plant by 2024, with production starting by 2028. 

Europe is the company’s biggest market for electrification, and it plans to increase sales of electric vehicles in the region by more than 75 percent — followed by Japan, China, and the US. 

As for the Middle East, Gupta said the region has the vision for sustainability and global excellence. 

“Timing could be different because other markets started before, but the Middle East is starting now,” he said.

In an earlier statement, Gupta said his company’s vision is focused on creating “customer pull through an attractive proposition.”

The company is planning to localize manufacturing and sourcing to make electric vehicles more competitive — starting with its core markets of Japan, China, and the US, drawing from its EV Hub concept in the UK. 

“Nissan is working for the future,” Gupta said, downplaying remarks of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn, who said the carmaker is “visionless.” 

 


Egypt's sovereign fund aims to increase its investment portfolio to $1.5bn

Egypt's sovereign fund aims to increase its investment portfolio to $1.5bn
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 23 min 14 sec ago

Egypt's sovereign fund aims to increase its investment portfolio to $1.5bn

Egypt's sovereign fund aims to increase its investment portfolio to $1.5bn
  • Egypt's sovereign fund signed an agreement with a winning US consortium to develop and rehabilitate the Tahrir Complex

Egypt's sovereign fund aims to increase its investment portfolio in 2022 to 23 billion Egyptian pounds ($1.5 billion) between managed, owned or liquid assets, its executive director has said. 

Ayman Soliman pledged to increase cooperation with various sovereign funds during the coming period, including those from the Gulf.

He stated that the green economy, infrastructure, logistics and tourism sectors are the most prominent sectors targeted by the fund for investment during the next year, with three-four new agreements planned to be signed to produce green hydrogen in Egypt. 

Egypt's sovereign fund signed an agreement with a winning US consortium to develop and rehabilitate the Tahrir Complex, with a total investment of more than 3.5 billion Egyptian pounds. 

“We aim to attract billions of dollars in projects in the next two years. We hope that the Tahrir Complex development project will be the beginning of many pioneering projects and future investments,” Soliman added.

Last month, the Egyptian president El-Sisi urged the fund to continue studying the state's under-utilised properties and assets, with maximising the return from them to ensure the sustainability of its investments.