OPEC+ agrees to continue raising production amid US pressure to accelerate output

OPEC+ agrees to continue raising production amid US pressure to accelerate output
OPEC+ is scheduled to meet next on Oct. 4. (Reuters)
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Updated 01 September 2021

OPEC+ agrees to continue raising production amid US pressure to accelerate output

OPEC+ agrees to continue raising production amid US pressure to accelerate output
  • OPEC+ to lift oil production by 400,000 bpd in October as planned

LONDON: The OPEC+ group of oil producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to stick with a schedule of gradual production increases, resisting pressure from the US to speed up the pace at which it lifts output.

The group will raise production by 400,000 barrels a day in October as planned, it said in a statement today. The next OPEC+ meeting is scheduled for Oct. 4.

“While the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to cast some uncertainty, market fundamentals have strengthened and OECD stocks continue to fall as the recovery accelerates,” it said.

OPEC+ revised its 2022 oil demand growth forecast to 4.2 million bpd, up from a previous 3.28 million bpd. The group predicts demand will grow by 5.95 million bpd this year after a record drop of about 9 million bpd in 2020. However, demand only rose by some 3 million bpd in the first half of 2021, according to Reuters.

“It’s a good decision. Under the current circumstances there is not much for OPEC+ to do but to extend the agreed cuts for another month,” London-based oil analyst Abdulsamad Alawadhi told Arab News.

The White House last month called for faster output increases by OPEC+ as the benchmark Brent crude contract rose above $70 per barrel, close to multi-year highs.

Brent traded 0.3 percent lower at $71.39 at 7:36 p.m. Riyadh time.


Cryptocurrencies make a quick comeback from last week’s turmoil: Market wrap

Cryptocurrencies make a quick comeback from last week’s turmoil: Market wrap
Updated 36 sec ago

Cryptocurrencies make a quick comeback from last week’s turmoil: Market wrap

Cryptocurrencies make a quick comeback from last week’s turmoil: Market wrap
  • The two major cryptocurrencies regained most of their losses on Monday

RIYADH: The two major cryptocurrencies regained most of their losses on Monday, as the market quickly rebounded from last week’s turmoil sparked by the crackdown in China.

Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency in trading internationally, traded higher on Monday, rising by 3.5 percent to $44,008.57 at 12:32 p.m. Riyadh time.

Ether, the second most-traded cryptocurrency, traded at $3,130.43, up 8.56 percent, according to data from CoinDesk.

Meanwhile, the second-largest stablecoin by market valuation, USDC, has seen its capital increase significantly, rising by more than $10 billion in 125 days.

As of Sept.25, there are $129.3 billion worth of stablecoin assets in existence which represents 6.54 percent of the cryptocurrency economy.

Many US lawmakers see China’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies as a perfect opportunity for American leadership in the crypto space.

“China’s authoritarian crackdown on crypto, including Bitcoin, is a big opportunity for the US. It’s also a reminder of our huge structural advantage over China,” Sen. Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania said.

In comments to media, Indonesia’s Trade Minister Muhammad Luthfi asserted that the Indonesian government would not follow the lead of China, which has confirmed a ban on all cryptocurrency transactions.

Noting that the state will limit itself to ensuring that it is not used in illegal activities, the statement comes after local cryptocurrency exchanges reported a significant increase in trading volume this year. “We don’t prohibit it, but we will tighten the regulations,” said Luthfi

Cryptocurrency trading on 13 local exchanges licensed by the Indonesian Futures Exchange Supervisory Board also increased by 40 percent in the first five months of 2021. During 2020, the volume of transactions reached 65 trillion rupees ($4.5 billion), according to the reports.

 

Crash ahead

Renowned author and investor Robert Kiyosaki, author of the bestselling book “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” predicts that a giant stock market crash is coming in October, noting that gold, silver and bitcoin may also crash.

"Giant stock market crash coming October. Why? Treasury and Fed short of T-bills. Gold, silver, bitcoin may crash too. Cash best for picking up bargains after crash. Not selling gold, silver, bitcoin, yet have lots of cash for life after stock market crash. Stocks dangerous. Careful,” Kiyosaki tweeted.

 

Tipping point

Twitter users on Apple’s iOS will now be able to link third-party tipping services to their profile on the social networking site. This will include the ability to link both Bitcoin and Lightning Network addresses.

The tipping feature will be entirely dependent on third-party payment services such as the Jack Mallers Strike app. The company said that it “is not in the flow of funds" and will not take a percentage of tipping proceeds.

Company representatives said that the Tips feature will be rolling out to the Twitter app for iOS and will be available on Android soon.

Twitter also announced that it will add non-fungible tokens verification features to the platform. No specific timeline has been set for this, which is still under development.


More than 50 companies plan listing on Saudi stocks market, regulator says

More than 50 companies plan listing on Saudi stocks market, regulator says
Updated 27 September 2021

More than 50 companies plan listing on Saudi stocks market, regulator says

More than 50 companies plan listing on Saudi stocks market, regulator says

More than 50 companies are waiting to be listed on the Tadawul, according to the chairman of the Capital Market Authority.

Speaking at the Financial Sector Conference on Monday, Mohammed Al-Quwaiz said he expected to have over 30 listed by the end of the year.

“If we look at the numbers today we have over 50 files that are either offering or listing either in the primary market or the Tadawul market,” he said.

“Our expectation is obviously this is subject to market norms and the readiness of these businesses but we imagine that we will end the year with over 30 listed,” he added.


Switching to renewables will save Kingdom's businesses $13bn, Saudi debt office chief claims

Switching to renewables will save Kingdom's businesses $13bn, Saudi debt office chief claims
Updated 27 September 2021

Switching to renewables will save Kingdom's businesses $13bn, Saudi debt office chief claims

Switching to renewables will save Kingdom's businesses $13bn, Saudi debt office chief claims

The transition to renewable energy will save companies $13billion, the CEO of the National Centre for Debt Management said on Monday.

Speaking at the Financial Sector Conference in Riyadh, Hani Al-Madini said many local entities are already transforming towards sustainable energy, which can decrease expenses by SR50 billion.

His comments were echoed by Mohammed Al Kuwais, chairman of the capital market authority, who said: “Companies are doing this because they recognize their responsibility, and to relate to investors’ demands.” 


Consortium signs financing deals for world’s largest IGCC complex in Jazan

Consortium signs financing deals for world’s largest IGCC complex in Jazan
Updated 27 September 2021

Consortium signs financing deals for world’s largest IGCC complex in Jazan

Consortium signs financing deals for world’s largest IGCC complex in Jazan
  • The JV is purchasing the ASUs, gasification, syngas cleanup, utilities and power assets from Aramco

RIYADH: A consortium of Saudi Aramco, Air Products, ACWA Power and Air Products Qudra on Monday signed asset acquisition and project financing agreements for a $12 billion air separation unit, gasification and power joint venture in Jazan Economic City, said a press release.

“This JV is meant to be central to the self-sufficiency of our megaprojects at Jazan,” said Mohammed Al-Qahtani, senior vice president of downstream, Saudi Aramco.

It serves Aramco’s Jazan Refinery, a megaproject to process 400,000 barrels per day of the crude oil to produce the main products such as ultra-light sulfur diesel, gasoline, and other products.

All parties under the joint venture expect asset transfer and funding to occur during October 2021. Air Products intends to conduct a public investor call at that time.

Seifi Ghasemi, Air Products chairman, president and CEO, said the project is a “perfect fit with our growth strategy.”

The JV is purchasing the ASUs, gasification, syngas cleanup, utilities and power assets from Aramco. The JV owns and operates the facility under a 25-year contract for a fixed monthly fee. Aramco will supply feedstock to the JV, and the JV will produce power, steam, hydrogen and other utilities for Aramco.

Mohammad Abunayyan, chairman of ACWA Power, said:  “Jazan IGCC is set to be the largest integrated project for gasification and combined cycle energy production in the world.”

Aramco via its subsidiary Saudi Aramco Power Co. has a 20 percent share in the JV; Air Products 46 percent; ACWA Power 25 percent; and Air Products Qudra 9 percent. Air Products’ total ownership position is 50.6 percent by owning an additional 4.6 percent through Air Products Qudra.


Dubai's Amanat eying up $272m of investments in Middle East, says CEO

Dubai's Amanat eying up $272m of investments in Middle East, says CEO
Updated 27 September 2021

Dubai's Amanat eying up $272m of investments in Middle East, says CEO

Dubai's Amanat eying up $272m of investments in Middle East, says CEO

RIYADH: Dubai-based Investment firm Amanat Holdings can call on a billion dirhams warchest to fund new acquisitions across the Middle East, its chief executive has revealed.

Speaking on CNBC Arabia, Mohamad Hamade said his firm will target investments in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt as he claimed Amanat’s investment portfolio delivered achieved returns of 235 million dirhams in the first half of the year, representing about 10 percent of the value of the portfolio.

"Currently, the liquidity has reached more than 700 million dirhams as cash for investment, but we can increase this amount to one billion or more if we borrow from the banks," Hamade said.

On Sunday, Amanat completed the sale of its minority 13.13 percent share in Jeddah Hospital International Medical Center for SR443 million ($118 million).

The divestment resulted in a cash return of 100 million dirhams, and is expected to report a gain of 40 million dirhams, Amanat said in a statement.

Amanat Holdings acquired Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center — a local rehabilitation firm for an enterprise value of $232 million, Bloomberg reported last February.

The Cambridge acquisition deal amounted to 850 million dirhams and was half financed by banks, Hamade said.