$1.2bn of agreements signed at Islamic Development Bank conference in Uzbekistan

$1.2bn of agreements signed at Islamic Development Bank conference in Uzbekistan
Mohammed Al-Jasser was appointed governor of the Islamic Development Bank in July 2021.
Short Url
Updated 05 September 2021

$1.2bn of agreements signed at Islamic Development Bank conference in Uzbekistan

$1.2bn of agreements signed at Islamic Development Bank conference in Uzbekistan
  • $300 million pledged to projects in Uzbekistan
  • 30 agreements to fund projects in health, water and sanitation, agriculture, transport, energy, food security, Islamic finance and SMEs

TASHKENT: The Islamic Development Bank on Saturday signed a grant agreement worth $265,000 to provide technical assistance to Uzbekistan for the establishment of a legal framework for Islamic banking and finance.

The deal also envisages the development of the requisite regulatory, supervisory, and Shariah guidelines, creating awareness and building capacity for Islamic banking in the country.

IsDB Group Chairman Dr. Muhammad Al-Jasser told Arab News that his organization has all the necessary expertise to help Uzbekistan establish a Shariah-compliant banking sector.

He said the project aims to establish all modalities to help in the creation of Islamic financial windows in the Central Asian country.

Al-Jasser said (work on) the proposal will start soon but cannot give a time frame as to when it will end.

The IsDB is also launching an economic development fund in Uzbekistan backed by the Saudi private sector.

It is expected to generate 102,000 jobs and help address poverty in the country.

The government of Uzbekistan will contribute 35 percent to the initial $100 million, the IsDB will contribute 20 percent and the remaining 45 percent will mainly come from Saudi investors.

About 30 finance agreements valued at $1.2 billion were signed between the IsDB and 10 member countries at the bank’s annual meeting in the Uzbek capital Tashkent, according to Al-Jasser.

HIGHLIGHTS

The IsDB signed a grant agreement worth $265,000 to provide technical assistance to Uzbekistan for the establishment of a legal framework for Islamic banking and finance.

The bank is also launching an economic development fund in Uzbekistan backed by the Saudi private sector.

More than 4,100 participants from 46 member countries attended this year’s IsDB annual meeting.

The agreements provided funding for projects in areas including health (COVID-19 and vaccines), water and sanitation, agriculture, transport, energy, food security, Islamic finance and SMEs, of which $330 million was allocated to the Republic of Uzbekistan, Al-Jasser said in his closing remarks.

“Recognizing that the pandemic has significantly changed the development landscape in IsDB member countries, three main forward-looking themes were considered: Boosting COVID-19 recovery; tackling increasing poverty and building resilience and prosperity; and driving green economic growth in member countries,” said Al-Jasser.

Among the initiatives launched in Tashkent was the $100 million Economic Empowerment Fund for Uzbekistan, which targets 34,000 micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. The size of the fund may increase to as much as $500 million. The government of Uzbekistan will contribute 35 percent to the initial $100 million, the IsDB will contribute 20 percent and the remaining 45 percent will mainly come from Saudi investors, the IsDB said on Sept. 3

More than 4,100 participants from 46 member countries attended this year’s IsDB annual meeting, and 27 international and regional partner organizations joined the in- person meetings, Al-Jasser said.

The IsDB organized 16 webinars that attracted more than 100 countries and were attended by more than 6,000 participants and 150 speakers, he said.

 

 


SAMI launches JV with French firm to build aerostructure components in Kingdom

SAMI launches JV with French firm to build aerostructure components in Kingdom
Updated 20 min 39 sec ago

SAMI launches JV with French firm to build aerostructure components in Kingdom

SAMI launches JV with French firm to build aerostructure components in Kingdom

JEDDAH: The Saudi Arabian Military Industries, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund, on Saturday launched a joint venture with French company Figeac Aero and the Saudi Arabian Industrial Investments Co., Dussur, to build a high-precision manufacturing facility in the Kingdom to produce aerostructure components, SAMI said on Saturday.

The company said that the joint venture’s revenue would reach $200 million by 2030 and the ownership would be divided among the two countries. Fifty-one percent would be owned by Saudi Arabia and 49 percent by France.

SAMI also signed an agreement with Airbus to form a joint project specialized in military aviation services and maintenance, the statement said. As per the deal, the Kingdom would own 51 percent of the joint venture with the European planemaker holding the other 49 percent.

 


Egypt to increase cotton gins capacity, says official report

Egypt to increase cotton gins capacity, says official report
Updated 04 December 2021

Egypt to increase cotton gins capacity, says official report

Egypt to increase cotton gins capacity, says official report

RIYADH: Egypt aims to increase cotton gins capacity to 4.4 million kantars annually up from 1.5 million kantars, according to a government report issued on Saturday.

A kantar is the official Egyptian weight unit for measuring cotton. It corresponds to the US hundredweight, and is roughly equal to 99.05 pounds, or 45.02 kg. It is equal to either 157 kg of seed cotton or 50 kg of lint cotton.

The Egyptian government is trying to breath a new life into the country’s textile industry, which contributes almost 3 percent to the gross domestic product, employs one-third of the industrial labor and generates exports worth $2.6 billion annually. 

According to reports, the country’s cotton production rose by 30 percent during 2021.

Egypt increased the cultivated area this year to 236,000 feddans (one feddan equals 1.038 acres or 0.42 hectare) compared to 182,000 feddans last year.

In its annual report on Egypt’s cotton on March 31, 2021, the US Department of Agriculture said that “cotton area harvested in Egypt was forecast to increase seven percent to 70,000 hectares (ha), from 65,000 ha in MY 2020/21.” It added that Egypt’s production is estimated to increase to 250,000 bales this year compared to 215,000 bales in the previous year.


Bitcoin falls by a fifth, cryptos see $1bn worth liquidated

Bitcoin falls by a fifth, cryptos see $1bn worth liquidated
Updated 04 December 2021

Bitcoin falls by a fifth, cryptos see $1bn worth liquidated

Bitcoin falls by a fifth, cryptos see $1bn worth liquidated

NEW YORK: Bitcoin shed a fifth of its value on Saturday as a combination of profit-taking and macro-economic concerns triggered nearly a billion dollars worth of selling across cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin was 12 percent down at 0920 GMT at $47,495. It fell as low as $41,967.5 during the session, taking total losses for the day to 22 percent.

The broad selloff in cryptocurrencies also saw ether, the coin linked to the ethereum blockchain network, plunge more than 10 percent.

Based on cryptocurrency data platform Coingecko, the market capitalization of the 11,392 coins it tracks dropped nearly 15 percent to $2.34 trillion. That value had briefly crossed $3 trillion last month, when bitcoin hit a record $69,000.

The plunge follows a volatile week for financial markets. Global equities and benchmark US bond yields tumbled on Friday after data showed US job growth slowed in November and the omicron variant of the coronavirus kept investors on edge.

Justin d'Anethan, Hong Kong-based head of exchange sales at cryptocurrency exchange EQONEX, said he had been watching the increase in leverage ratios across the cryptocurrency markets as well how large holders had been moving their coins from wallets to exchanges. The latter is usually a sign of intent to sell.

“Whales in the crypto space seem to have transferred coins to trading venue, taken advantage of a bullish bias and leverage from retail traders, to then push prices down,” he said.

The selloff also comes ahead of testimony by executives from eight major cryptocurrency firms, including Coinbase Global CFO Alesia Haas and FTX Trading CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, before the US House Financial Services Committee on Dec. 8.

The hearing marks the first time major players in the crypto markets will testify before US lawmakers, as policymakers grapple with the implications of cryptocurrencies and how to best regulate them.

Last week, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected a second spot-bitcoin exchange-traded fund proposal from WisdomTree.

Data from another platform Coinglass showed nearly $1 billion worth of cryptocurrencies had been liquidated over the past 24 hours, with the bulk being on digital exchange Bitfinex.

A plunge in bitcoin funding rates — the cost of holding bitcoin via perpetual futures which peaked at 0.06 percent in October — also showed traders had turned bearish.

The funding rate on cryptocurrency trading platform BitMEX fell to a negative 0.18 percent from levels of 0.01 percent for most of November.


Saudi, French firms discuss energy, finance, tourism cooperation as Macron visits the Kingdom

Saudi, French firms discuss energy, finance, tourism cooperation as Macron visits the Kingdom
Updated 6 min 16 sec ago

Saudi, French firms discuss energy, finance, tourism cooperation as Macron visits the Kingdom

Saudi, French firms discuss energy, finance, tourism cooperation as Macron visits the Kingdom

JEDDAH: A group of leading Saudi and French companies are holding discussions at an investment forum in Jeddah as French President Emmanuel Macron is set to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman today during his official trip to the Gulf region, where he is visiting Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar between Dec. 3 and 4.

The forum is opened by Khalid Al Falih, Minister of Investment, Saudi Arabia and Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness.

Represenatives of French companies and banks including EDF Renewables, Engie, Sanofi, and BNP Paribas are meeting with chairmen and CEOs of leading Saudi firms including ACWA Power, Banque Saudi Fransi, Riyad Bank, and Saudi Military Industries Co. Officials from the Public Investment Fund and Royal Commission of AlUla among others are also participating in the forum. 

 

Below is the agenda for the one-day forum where a some memorandum of understanding are expected to be signed:  


Saudi Arabia to start mandatory e-invoicing first phase on Dec. 4

Saudi Arabia to start mandatory e-invoicing first phase on Dec. 4
Updated 03 December 2021

Saudi Arabia to start mandatory e-invoicing first phase on Dec. 4

Saudi Arabia to start mandatory e-invoicing first phase on Dec. 4

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will start implementing the mandatory application of the first phase of e-invoicing “fatoorah” on Saturday Dec. 4, Argaam reported.

An e-invoice, according to regulations, is a tax invoice that is issued electronically by each taxpayer subject to value-added tax in the Kingdom

The first phase requirements consist of ensuring that there is a technical e-invoicing solution compatible with the relevant requirements. This means no handwritten invoices or invoices written through text editors or number analysis applications on computers.

A fine of SR5,000 ($1,332) will be applied for not issuing and saving the invoices electronically.

The fine for not including the QR Code in the e-invoice and not reporting any malfunction in the issuing of the e-invoice to the authority starts with a warning. The fine for violating the deletion or modification of e-invoice starts from SR10,000.

The second phase of e-invoicing will be implemented in a phased manner, starting from January 1, 2023, to establish integration between e-systems of taxpayers and the authority’s regulations, Argaam said.