Wa’ed startup grants reach $5.1m at Yanbu roadshow

Wa’ed startup grants reach $5.1m at Yanbu roadshow
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Updated 28 September 2021

Wa’ed startup grants reach $5.1m at Yanbu roadshow

Wa’ed startup grants reach $5.1m at Yanbu roadshow
  • The entrepreneurship arm of Aramco issued two loans and three incubation seed grants to five new startups during the event
  • The next event will be in Jeddah on October 5

Wa’ed, the entrepreneurship arm of Aramco, has nearly doubled its financial support to Saudi startups to SR19.1 million ($5.1 million) during an event in Yanbu, following the SR8.9 million in grants last week. 

The investment company issued two loans and three incubation seed grants to five new startups during the event, which took place at the King Fahd Cultural Center.

Startups in the petrochemical sector were the highlight of the Yanbu roadshow, while future shows will focus on drones, security technology, reverse engineering, tourism among others.

“With this second round of support in Yanbu, Wa’ed is broadening its commitment to the next generation of ambitious Saudi entrepreneurs,” Fahad Alidi, Wa’ed’s managing director, said. 

Wa’ed recommended loans to Rawabet, a supplier of auto and appliance parts, and Tech Air, a developer of air filtration and sanitization systems for buildings.

The three startups that were granted seed funds were Buy Sell Online Marketing Company, a platform for comparative price quotes for chemicals; Rama Farms, which develops hydroponics and aquaponics farm environments; and Sorting Medical Waster, a female-led medical waste disposal project. 

These were all part of Wa’ed’s national roadshow to find and fund Saudi startups, with future events planned in Jeddah, Riyadh, Madinah, and Makkah through December 6. 

The next event will be in Jeddah on October 5.


Volvo Cars gives itself $18bn price tag as cuts IPO size

Volvo Cars gives itself $18bn price tag as cuts IPO size
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Updated 21 sec ago

Volvo Cars gives itself $18bn price tag as cuts IPO size

Volvo Cars gives itself $18bn price tag as cuts IPO size
  • "Now we'll have a smaller share listed, which is somewhat unfortunate"

Volvo Cars shrank its initial public offering on Monday, pricing it at the bottom of a previously announced range and valuing the Geely-owned business at just over $18 billion.


European and U.S. IPO markets have been hit by cancellations as inflation and global supply chain crunches have increased stock market volatility, while many more companies are reported to have pushed back plans rather than risk U-turns.


Volvo Cars, which had previously said its IPO would be priced within a range of 53 crowns ($6.2) to 68 crowns per share, said it was now opting for 53 crowns.


Carmakers have been hurt by production disruptions due to a semiconductor shortage, with several cutting production targets and shutting factories on concerns it will run well into 2022.


At the current price, Volvo Cars would be valued at just over $18 billion, well below the $23 billion it had expected at the top of the IPO pricing range.


Volvo Cars said it plans to raise around 20 billion Swedish crowns ($2.3 billion), down a fifth from its previous target.


CEO Hakan Samuelsson said he was "totally convinced" this would be enough, while the price should not be seen as negative.


"We have been listening to the market, humbly," he told news agency TT.


Political tension between Beijing and Stockholm persist after Sweden banned Huawei from its 5G networks and Swedish companies like Ericsson have lost business in China.


Geely, which paid Ford $1.8 billion for Volvo Cars in 2010, would not exercise an over-allotment option, while the amended offering would result in a free float of 16 percent to 17.9 percent.


Handelsbanken analyst Hampus Engellau said Volvo Cars had been careful to get secure all institutional Swedish investors.


"I would rather have seen a bigger share of the company listed to get a larger owner base and a liquid share... now we'll have a smaller share listed, which is somewhat unfortunate," he said.


Volvo Cars said the first day of trading on Nasdaq Stockholm was expected on Oct. 29, a day later than previously announced. 

 

 

 

 

 


Apicorp plans another debt issuance in 2022 as it expands renewable portfolio, CEO says 

Apicorp plans another debt issuance in 2022 as it expands renewable portfolio, CEO says 
Updated 1 min 17 sec ago

Apicorp plans another debt issuance in 2022 as it expands renewable portfolio, CEO says 

Apicorp plans another debt issuance in 2022 as it expands renewable portfolio, CEO says 

RIYADH: Apicorp, the Arab multilateral energy investment bank, is planning to issue green bonds or sukuk as early as next year to support plans to grow its renewable energy assets by $1 billion by 2023.

The company, which just finished an issuance of $750 million in green bonds, is traditionally known for its financing of oil, natural gas, and downstream projects.

The Saudi Arabia-based bank is now becoming very aggressive in building a sustainable and renewable portfolio after it increased its funding for green projects by a staggering 500 percent over the last five years, Ahmed Ali Attiga, chief executive officer, told Arab News in an interview. 

"Now we have around 15 percent of our total portfolio in green and non-conventional and renewable assets, up by 500 percent over the past five, six years," he added.

In spite of its green plan, Apicorp is still planning to issue sukuk or bonds as early as Spring 2022 to finance its conventional and non-conventional projects, he added.


Footwear maker Allbirds targets over $2bn valuation in U.S. IPO

Footwear maker Allbirds targets over $2bn valuation in U.S. IPO
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Updated 10 min 9 sec ago

Footwear maker Allbirds targets over $2bn valuation in U.S. IPO

Footwear maker Allbirds targets over $2bn valuation in U.S. IPO
  • Allbirds said it expects higher expenses to drive up net losses to about $15 million to $18 million in the three months ended Sept. 30

Sustainable footwear maker Allbirds Inc said on Monday it was targeting a fully diluted valuation of as much as $2.2 billion in its initial public offering in the United States.


The company, backed by asset manager Franklin Templeton, said it is offering 19.2 million shares priced between $12 and $14 each, along with the selling stockholders. At the top end of that range, the IPO would fetch about $269 million.


Allbirds said it expects higher expenses to drive up net losses to about $15 million to $18 million in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared to a loss of nearly $7 million a year earlier.


The wool footwear maker is among several companies that have tapped investor interest in sustainable or environmentally friendly goods. In May, Oprah Winfrey-backed vegan milk maker Oatly Group AB and Jessica Alba's consumer goods company Honest Co listed their shares.


Allbirds, which is also backed by Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio, uses a plant-based alternative to leather for its shoes.

It has also partnered with Adidas to create a range of sustainable sneakers.


Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan and BofA Securities are the lead underwriters for the offering. 


LNG demand to rise 25-50% by 2030: Morgan Stanley

LNG demand to rise 25-50% by 2030: Morgan Stanley
Updated 12 min 12 sec ago

LNG demand to rise 25-50% by 2030: Morgan Stanley

LNG demand to rise 25-50% by 2030: Morgan Stanley

SINGAPORE: Demand for liquefied natural gas is expected to rise by 25 to 50 percent by 2030, making it the fastest growing hydrocarbon over the next decade, analysts from Morgan Stanley Research said in a note on Monday.

Morgan Stanley has raised its long-term LNG price outlook to $10 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), expecting spot prices of the super-chilled fuel to average 40 percent higher over the next decade, versus the past five years.

Asian spot LNG prices hit a record above $56 mmBtu earlier this month as surging demand ahead of the northern hemisphere winter spurred by an economic rebound from the pandemic outstripped supply.

Morgan Stanley said at least 73 million tons per annum (mtpa) of new projects are needed to meet LNG demand by 2030. This will require an additional $65 billion of new projects, on top of the $200 billion of projects already under construction which were sanctioned since 2019.

“Contrary to investor expectations, the world is going to need more LNG in the initial phase of the energy transition,” the analysts said.

“Competing technologies for natural gas are not being developed fast enough, and there are significant benefits in reducing coal consumption while greener fuels are commercialized.”

Projects with lower emission intensity will be more sought after and are more likely to progress, they said.

While higher gas prices are likely to underpin further investment in LNG, supply will be slower to respond than in previous cycles, the analysts said.


China to investigate energy index providers in bid to tame coal prices

China to investigate energy index providers in bid to tame coal prices
Updated 16 min 59 sec ago

China to investigate energy index providers in bid to tame coal prices

China to investigate energy index providers in bid to tame coal prices
  • Thermal coal futures have risen more than 150 percent this year

China said on Monday it will investigate energy price index providers as it urged coal industry participants to "strictly" meet contractual obligations, in its latest bid to tame prices that have hit record highs.


The most-active thermal coal futures contract on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange, for delivery in January, tumbled more than 8 percent - their fourth straight daily decline - but recovered some losses to close down 7 percent at 1,305.6 yuan ($204.51) per tonne.


The contract was down more than 34 percent from Tuesday's record of 1,982 yuan. Thermal coal futures have risen more than 150 percent this year.


The state planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said it would investigate complaints that some energy information providers, including in the coal sector, had used false transaction prices, published "hearsay" information and "fabricated" price data, and had "manipulated price indexes".


"As a result, the coal price has completely deviated from the fundamentals of supply and demand, seriously damaging the national and public interests," it said.


The NDRC said it would check for compliance and would summon index providers, and would punish any irregularities with measures such as suspension of publication or inclusion on a blacklist.


It did not name any of the information providers.


Dozens of organisations provide coal pricing data in China, including the China Electricity Council and the China Coal Transportation and Distribution Association. Local consultancies such as Fenwei Digital Information Technology, and Yimei, a trading platform owned by Helue E-Commerce Corp, also publish coal prices.


In September, authorities banned a coal trading firm from publishing daily prices and market news as part of efforts to regulate commodities markets and tame red-hot prices.

Beijing has in recent months issued new rules for commodity price indexes and has said regulators would suspend the activities of those failing to comply.


The NDRC also urged coal firms to strictly meet contractual obligations and asked them to strengthen the credit supervision of medium- and long-term contracts.


The NDRC said it would urge upstream and downstream coal companies to sign mid- and long-term contracts for power and coal and "give full play to the medium- and long-term coal contracts to stabilize the market".


On Monday, the China Coal Industry Association urged member companies to boost output while ensuring mining safety, to guarantee supplies during winter, to promote "rational" coal prices, to execute medium- and long-term contracts, and to sign 2022 contracts in advance.


Climate campaigners are hoping China, the world's top miner and consumer of coal and the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, can be persuaded to start cutting coal consumption earlier than its target of 2026, but severe energy shortages have put the government under pressure to step up production of the fuel.


China is pushing miners to ramp up production and is increasing imports so power stations can rebuild stockpiles for the winter, but analysts say shortages are likely to persist for at least a few months.


China's securities regulator last week asked futures exchanges to raise fees, restrict trading quotas and crack down on speculation.