Roadmap to restart Egyptian gas exports to Lebanon requires a month, says Jordan

Roadmap to restart Egyptian gas exports to Lebanon requires a month, says Jordan
An attack on the Arab Gas Pipeline in August 2020, suspected to have been carried out by Islamic State militants, caused widespread blackouts across Syria. (Reuters)
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Updated 10 September 2021

Roadmap to restart Egyptian gas exports to Lebanon requires a month, says Jordan

Roadmap to restart Egyptian gas exports to Lebanon requires a month, says Jordan
  • Arab Gas Pipeline infrastructure is mainly ready
  • Electricity exports from Jordan to Lebanon be explored

RIYADH: It will take no longer than four weeks to develop a clear roadmap to restart exports of natural gas from Egypt to Lebanon, Jordanian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Hala Zawati said following a meeting with his counterparts from Syria, Egypt and Lebanon.

The readiness of the physical infrastructure needs to be ascertained and existing agreements reviewed, Zawati told Asharq.

Egyptian gas was being pumped through the Arab Gas Pipeline to Lebanon from 2009 to 2011, but was halted due to political and security conditions in the region. The Arab Gas Pipeline begins in Al-Arish in Egypt, then enters Jordan through the Aqaba Governorate, and then north to the Syrian border and from there to Homs, where it is then transferred to Lebanon.

Jordan has imported gas from Egypt since 2018, according to Zawati. “The infrastructure and logistics on the Jordanian side are ready and we are ready,” she said.

Zawati also revealed that there will be a meeting soon regarding the export of electricity from Jordan to Lebanon, which will be determined by the capacity of the line connecting Syria and Lebanon.

“The amount that Jordan can export is 200 MW to 250 MW, and the network and stations we have today are capable of supplying such quantities,” she said. “Therefore, it is important to repair the broken and damaged networks on the Syrian side.”

An attack on the Arab Gas Pipeline between the Syrian towns of Ad Dumayr and Adra, northwest of the capital Damascus in August 2020, suspected to have been carried out by Islamic State militants, caused widespread blackouts across the country.


Riyadh leads human capital index ranking in the region

Riyadh leads human capital index ranking in the region
Updated 19 sec ago

Riyadh leads human capital index ranking in the region

Riyadh leads human capital index ranking in the region

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh ranks first among GCC cities in Human Capital, according to the Global Cities Index 2021 report by Kearney.

The report measures global engagement of 156 cities across five dimensions, namely business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience, and political engagement.

It attributed the results to the Kingdom’s increased emphasis and ongoing efforts in creating a more diverse and sustainable economy, in support of the realization of Vision 2030.

“In the past five years since the launch of the Kingdom’s vision, Saudi Arabia has created immense opportunities and an attractive business environment to ensure the country’s competitiveness not just in the region but on a global stage,” Kearney’s government practice leader, Antoine Nasr, said.

“Saudi Arabia is poised to drive regional, post-pandemic recovery supported by accelerated efforts of its government across the five dimensions of the report,” he added. 


Wellness retailer GMG eyes global expansion after opening Riyadh HQ 

Wellness retailer GMG eyes global expansion after opening Riyadh HQ 
Updated 6 min 12 sec ago

Wellness retailer GMG eyes global expansion after opening Riyadh HQ 

Wellness retailer GMG eyes global expansion after opening Riyadh HQ 
  • The company currently employs around 7,000 people in 12 countries in the region and Asia

DUBAI: Wellness products retailer GMG has opened its new headquarters in Riyadh as part of plans to double its global workforce by 2025.

The company, which currently employs around 7,000 people in 12 countries in the region and Asia, said it is “restructuring its existing business units and unveiling a new brand identity.”

“Whether through acquiring new international brands, developing homegrown concepts, or entering new markets, I see a future in which GMG can have a presence in every major market around the world,” chief executive officer, Mohammad Baker, said. 

The move follows GMG’s further expansion in Saudi Arabia earlier this year, with its new headquarters in the capital as well as a massive warehouse facility. It currently has over 100 stores across the Kingdom. 

The expansion is in line with the company’s efforts to contribute to the government’s well-being push, where it has been collaborating with the Saudi Sports for All Federation to encourage an active lifestyle among Saudis. 

“We recognize that communities and governments around the world are striving to progress sustainable development goals that are often anchored in personal well-being,” the CEO explained. 

Globally, the wellness market is estimated to be at more than $1.5 trillion, with annual growth of five to 10 percent, according to a McKinsey report. 

In the Gulf, the market is supported by national efforts, including under the Saudi Vision 2030 project which aims to promote personal well-being among residents. 


Gold holds above $1,800 mark on inflation worries

Gold holds above $1,800 mark on inflation worries
Updated 38 min 38 sec ago

Gold holds above $1,800 mark on inflation worries

Gold holds above $1,800 mark on inflation worries

BENGALURU: Gold prices reclaimed the $1,800 mark on Monday, supported by persisting worries over inflation, as investors looked ahead to the next Federal Reserve meeting for its outlook on monetary policy.

Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1,801.22 per ounce by 1203 GMT. US gold futures rose 0.4 percent to $1,802.50.

While there is a perception inflation will be transitory, there is a persistent element of pressure, said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Friday reiterated his view that high inflation will likely abate next year, which led gold prices to ease from their September highs in the previous session.

He also said the US central bank should start the process of reducing its support of the economy by cutting back on its asset purchases, but not yet touch the interest rate dial.

“Powell’s recent comments may have amplified concerns of inflation sticking around for longer, which is apparently further eroding support for team ‘transitory’ and fueling a stronger bid for gold as an inflation hedge,” said Han Tan, chief market analyst at Exinity.

“And with Powell seeing a longer runway before the Fed starts hiking rates, such a view is encouraging gold bulls to reclaim the $1,800 handle at the onset of the week,” Tan said.

The next FOMC meeting is due on Nov. 2-3.

Investors will also be watching for the meetings of the Bank of Japan and European Central Bank due on Thursday.

The markets are pricing higher inflation and many participants clearly believe that the current high level of inflation is no longer merely temporary, Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann said in a note.

“Gold should profit from this in its role as a store of value," he added.

Meanwhile, yields on the benchmark 10-year notes and the U.S. dollar ticked higher, dimming the appeal of the precious metal.

Gold is often considered an inflation hedge, though reduced stimulus and interest rate hikes push government bond yields up, translating into a higher opportunity cost for non-yielding bullion.

Spot silver rose 0.4 percent to $24.40 per ounce.

Platinum inched 0.1 percent higher to $1,041.06, and palladium gained 0.9 percent to $2,039.87.


New Abu Dhabi fund exceeds target of $50m in latest close

New Abu Dhabi fund exceeds target of $50m in latest close
Updated 46 min 22 sec ago

New Abu Dhabi fund exceeds target of $50m in latest close

New Abu Dhabi fund exceeds target of $50m in latest close

DUBAI: An Abu Dhabi-based global fund has surpassed its target of $50 million in its second raise, as it aims to deploy investments to a dozen companies in Series A and pre-IPO stages. 

The Chimera Global Fund, managed by Chimera Capital, said it has a “robust pipeline of opportunities” in a number of sectors including financial technology, educational technology, and health technology.

“The fund aims to deploy tickets of up to $5 million in 12-15 companies that span from Series A to pre-IPO stages,” its chief investment officer, Karim Radwan, said, following the recent fundraising round. 

“We will focus on growth stage opportunities and plan to hold

investments for a period varying from two to five years,” he added. 

The fund has got some strong names in its portfolio, with marquee investments in online learning platform Coursera, Egyptian transport startup SWVL, and cloud kitchen Kitopi. 

It will continue looking for opportunities in the US, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, said Chimera Capital Chairman Syed Basar Shueb. 


Hertz orders 100,000 Tesla cars: Bloomberg News

Hertz orders 100,000 Tesla cars: Bloomberg News
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Updated 25 October 2021

Hertz orders 100,000 Tesla cars: Bloomberg News

Hertz orders 100,000 Tesla cars: Bloomberg News
  • Hertz filed for bankruptcy protection in May last year after travel demand sank during the height of the pandemic

Car rental firm Hertz has ordered 100,000 Tesla Inc cars, Bloomberg News reported on Monday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.


This marks the single-largest purchase ever for electric vehicles and represents about $4.2 billion of revenue for Tesla, according to the report.


Hertz and Tesla did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.


Hertz filed for bankruptcy protection in May last year after travel demand sank during the height of the pandemic and talks with creditors failed to provide relief.


In May, Hertz said a group of investors including Knighthead Capital Management, Certares Opportunities and Apollo Capital Management would fund the company's exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.