Saudi competition authority approves NEOM data center with Fas Energy

Saudi competition authority approves NEOM data center with Fas Energy
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Updated 03 October 2021

Saudi competition authority approves NEOM data center with Fas Energy

Saudi competition authority approves NEOM data center with Fas Energy

The General Authority of Competition in Saudi Arabia has rubber-stamped a new data center between NEOM and Fas Energy.

NEOM is a planned smart region in the northwestern Saudi Arabia. It is planned to be a hub for future technologies and also function as a tourist destination. 


Australia proposes central bank digital currency: Crypto Wrap

Australia proposes central bank digital currency: Crypto Wrap
Updated 22 sec ago

Australia proposes central bank digital currency: Crypto Wrap

Australia proposes central bank digital currency: Crypto Wrap

RIYADH: Australia turned the heads of crypto enthusiasts on Wednesday with the country’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announcing a consultation on digital currency reforms.

In a speech in Melbourne, Frydenberg said the government is studying plans for a central bank digital currency, along with regulating the crypto market, as it seeks to reform how consumers and businesses in the country pay for goods and services.

The government will also consult on a digital version of cash that will be universally accessible and consider a license framework that allows crypto transactions in a regulated environment.

The Australian government expects to receive advice on both by the end of 2022, Bloomberg reported.

“If we do not reform the current framework, it will be Silicon Valley that determines the future of our payments system,” Frydenberg said in the speech. “These are significant shifts which we need to be in front of.”

Reacting to the speech, Mikkel Morch, executive director at crypto/digital assets hedge fund ARK36 said: “Governments around the world are waking up to the reality that cryptocurrencies have already become an entrenched part of the global payments environment - and one that is preferred over the legacy systems by a growing number of individuals.

“After the recent EU crypto regulation proposal, Australia has now announced its working on a similar document - and it is to be expected that other major jurisdictions will follow suit.”

“Importantly, the scope of the regulation outlined by the Australian Treasurer doesn't seem to be overly restrictive. Clearly, then, the regulators recognise the immense economic and innovation potential of crypto and don't want to stifle it,” Morch added.

Edan Yago, the lead contributor to the Bitcoin DeFi protocol Sovryn commented that it is a “question of time” before all payments and financial transactions are digitised on public ledgers, adding: “The future of money and finance is borderless and digital.”

India

India is considering appointing a capital markets regulator to oversee cryptocurrencies, as authorities look to classify them as financial assets, Bloomberg reported.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, which is planning to introduce legislation in the ongoing Parliament session, will give cryptocurrency holders a deadline to declare their assets and fulfil any new rules.

The bill will likely use the term crypto assets instead of cryptocurrency and will not refer to the central bank's plan to create its own digital currency, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Violators can be fined up to 200 million rupees ($2.7 million) or imprisoned for a year and a half, according to the proposals.

The government may also consider setting a minimum investment level for crypto assets to protect small investors, Bloomberg News reported.

Daily Trading

Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency in trading internationally, traded lower on Wednesday, falling by 2.18  percent to $50,126 at 5:37 p.m Riyadh time.

Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, traded at $4,401, up by 2.38 percent, according to data from Coindesk.


Pakistan’s fashion startup raises $2.4m in Pre-Series A round

Pakistan’s fashion startup raises $2.4m in Pre-Series A round
Updated 9 min 10 sec ago

Pakistan’s fashion startup raises $2.4m in Pre-Series A round

Pakistan’s fashion startup raises $2.4m in Pre-Series A round

RIYADH: Pakistan-based fashion e-commerce startup Clicky has raised $2.4 million in a pre-Series A round led by early-stage investors in UAE and Pakistan, Magnitt reported. 

The startup aims to use the newly acquired funding to scale its private-label product, through working directly with manufacturers and fashion designers. 

Clicky, founded in 2016, offers fast fashion products with a focus on apparel, footwear, and accessories, working with diverse local manufacturers and International bands. 

The fashion startup has been experiencing growth of over 20 percent month-on-month and a fourfold business growth in less than a year, following Fatima Ventures and Souq’s investment in earlier rounds.  


Japan’s economy shrinks by 3.6% in the third quarter of 2021: Economic wrap

Japan’s economy shrinks by 3.6% in the third quarter of 2021: Economic wrap
Updated 26 min 53 sec ago

Japan’s economy shrinks by 3.6% in the third quarter of 2021: Economic wrap

Japan’s economy shrinks by 3.6% in the third quarter of 2021: Economic wrap

Japan’s gross domestic product narrowed by an annual rate of 3.6 percent in this year’s third quarter, lower than the government’s preliminary estimate of 3 percent.

Weak consumer spending was mainly responsible for the decline in activity, as well as exporters suffering from supply chain disruptions, according to Bloomberg.

French economy

Economic activity in France is set to rise again in December, even as the country grapples with another wave of Covid-19, the Bank of France said. It also added that economic activity surpassed pre-pandemic levels in November.

This is according to the central bank’s survey of 8,500 companies.

Economic activity was 0.5 percent above pre-crisis levels in November. It is also set to surpass this level by 0.75 percent this month. Consequently, production will grow by around 0.75 percent in the fourth quarter, Bloomberg reported.

China’s rate

China trimmed its relending facilities by 0.25 percent to boost activity in the rural sector. Small firms were particularly hit by higher production costs and this step aims to support them.

The three-month relending rate is now 1.7 percent. The six-month rate is 1.9 percent while the one-year rate is 2 percent.

India’s monetary policy

The Reserve Bank of India decided to keep its policy repo rate unchanged, at 4 percent, during its meeting on Wednesday. 

The new decision is in line with the bank’s target of a 4 percent inflation rate while boosting economic expansion.

It added that consumer prices are set to rise by 5.3 percent for the 2021-22 fiscal year.


International events help boost Dubai hotels’ profits

International events help boost Dubai hotels’ profits
Updated 37 min 47 sec ago

International events help boost Dubai hotels’ profits

International events help boost Dubai hotels’ profits

RIYADH: Hotels in Dubai are raking in huge profits due to high-profile international events taking place in the emirate.

Expo 2020 and T20 Cricket World Cup boost Dubai hotels’ gross operating profit per available room to SR668 ($178) while the total revenue per available room of hotels amounted to $316 in October, according to an industry report cited by Khaleej Times.

“The average occupancy rate across the UAE in October registered at 78.8 percent, the highest level recorded since October 2015. As of October 2021, Dubai recorded the highest occupancy rate of 80.7 percent.” the report said.


TAQA signs MoU with US’ Newpark to launch joint venture in Saudi Arabia 

TAQA signs MoU with US’ Newpark to launch joint venture in Saudi Arabia 
Updated 49 min 35 sec ago

TAQA signs MoU with US’ Newpark to launch joint venture in Saudi Arabia 

TAQA signs MoU with US’ Newpark to launch joint venture in Saudi Arabia 

RIYADH: The Dhahran-based Industrialization and Energy Services Company also known as TAQA has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with US-based Newpark Fluids Systems to establish a joint venture in Saudi Arabia. 

The joint venture is to provide oilfield chemicals and other related products and services including drilling and reservoir completion fluids and industrial minerals in Saudi Arabia. 

“Establishing this joint venture with a world-class drilling and completion fluids technology provider such as Newpark is a milestone in TAQA’s journey to build capabilities and offer competitive, technically sound integrated Lump sum turnkey drilling to Saudi Aramco’s growing market,” TAQA CEO Khalid M. Nouh said.

Newpark will supply the joint venture with technical support, with a mandate to increase manufacturing capabilities in the Kingdom as well as specialty chemicals research and development.