Saudi Islamic banks’ lending up by 4.56% in Q2: Central Bank data

Saudi Islamic banks’ lending up by 4.56% in Q2: Central Bank data
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Updated 03 October 2021

Saudi Islamic banks’ lending up by 4.56% in Q2: Central Bank data

Saudi Islamic banks’ lending up by 4.56% in Q2: Central Bank data

CAIRO: Total lending by Islamic banks has risen to SR 1.6 trillion in the second quarter, at a 4.56 percent quarterly growth rate from the previous quarter. The cummulative loans given by Islamic banks stood at SR1.5 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2021.

According to new quarterly data on the Islamic banking system from the Saudi Central Bank’s (SAMA), this rise corresponded to a year-on-year growth rate of 19.49 percent as the second quarter saw a noticeable increase compared to last year. 

Islamic banks’ total assets also grew by 5.11 percent in the second quarter of this year as it reached SR2.23 trillion.

The SAMA data also revealed that Islamic banks’ deposits increased marginally by 1.88 percent, amounting to SR1.62 trillion in the second quarter. This was accompanied by an 11.87 percent year-on-year growth rate as it increased from SR1.59 trillion in the second qaurter 2020.

The report added in a note that Islamic banks’ data are based on the audited quarterly financial statements of Saudi banks.


Shell’s carbon capture plant releases more carbon than it captures, study claims

Shell’s carbon capture plant releases more carbon than it captures, study claims
Quest CCS facility. Shell.com
Updated 19 sec ago

Shell’s carbon capture plant releases more carbon than it captures, study claims

Shell’s carbon capture plant releases more carbon than it captures, study claims
  • The emission figure compares to the carbon footprint of 1.2 million diesel vehicles annually


RIYADH: Shell's carbon capture plant, better known as Quest, has been accused of releasing more greenhouse gases than it captures by UK human rights organization Global Witness.

The UK multinational oil and gas firm's carbon capture facility, located in Alberta, Canada, has averted 5 million tons of carbon dioxide from breaking free into the atmosphere since 2015.

However, Global Witness claim its investigation shows that at the same time it has emitted 7.5 million tons of greenhouse gases.


The emission figure compares to the carbon footprint of 1.2 million diesel vehicles annually, the study added.

The oil giant rebutted the study analysis by Global Witness stating it was “simply wrong”, CNBC reported citing a spokesman for Shell.

While the carbon capture and storage industry vowed a 90 percent carbon capture rate, the Global Witness study indicates that only 48 percent of Quest’s carbon emissions were, in fact, captured.

The Quest plant poses a potential solution to the energy transition and is designed to capture around 33 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, the Shell spokesman claimed.


Pakistan raises $1bn, offers highest-ever rate for a sukuk of 7.95 percent

Pakistan raises $1bn, offers highest-ever rate for a sukuk of 7.95 percent
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 18 min 27 sec ago

Pakistan raises $1bn, offers highest-ever rate for a sukuk of 7.95 percent

Pakistan raises $1bn, offers highest-ever rate for a sukuk of 7.95 percent
  • The issuance comes at a time when Pakistan’s gross foreign reserves have fallen to nearly $17 billion

Pakistan has raised $1 billion with a 7-year sukuk, offering an interest rate of 7.95 percent, the highest return the South Asian nation has ever paid on an Islamic bond, a finance ministry official said on Tuesday.


The issuance comes at a time when Pakistan’s gross foreign reserves have fallen to nearly $17 billion from $19 billion in the past two weeks due to debt repayments.


Ministry spokesman Muzammil Aslam said international debt markets worldwide had suffered shocks since December due to expected increases in interest rates in the United States and Europe.


“So given the situation, we have got the good deal in this uncertain time,” he told Reuters.


Pakistan sees foreign funds inflows as critical given that its external account deficit has widened on back of soaring global commodity prices — in particular oil, which makes up about a third of the country’s payments.


Foreign exchange reserves are also a key buffer to stabilize the rupee. Pakistan only last year adopted a market-based exchange rate, resulting in a sharp depreciation of the rupee.


An IMF review board is meeting on Jan. 29 to approve a $1 billion tranche of a $6 billion loan signed with Pakistan in 2019.


The last sukuk Pakistan issued was a five-year sukuk in 2017 at a rate of 5.6 percent.


A healthier global economy is set to push oil demand to an all-time high: Jadwa

A healthier global economy is set to push oil demand to an all-time high: Jadwa
Updated 41 min 59 sec ago

A healthier global economy is set to push oil demand to an all-time high: Jadwa

A healthier global economy is set to push oil demand to an all-time high: Jadwa

Driven by a stronger global economy, higher mobility and loosened restrictions, oil demand is expected to hit an all-time high of 100.8 million barrels per day, according to a Saudi investment bank.

Jadwa Investment said that demand will be 4 percent higher in 2022 when compared to the previous year.

However, the omicron outbreak could induce a setback in demand for the first quarter of 2022, before going up in the following three quarters.

The investment firm pointed out that the traditional centers of oil demand — such as the US, China, other Asia and India — will account for 62 percent of the growth in demand this year.

One issue Jadwa mentioned was the inability of some OPEC+ members to meet their production targets. In the final quarter of 2021, the alliance raised its production by 240,000 barrels per day, noticeably below the expected average of 800,000 barrels per day.

As for oil prices, the Riyadh-based firm increased its 2022 Brent oil price forecasts to $76 per barrel, up from a previous estimate of $71 a barrel. 

The rise in the projection was attributed to shortfalls in OPEC+ spare capacity and drops in commercial oil activity.


Saudi Arabia, Iraq sign electrical interconnection agreement 

Saudi Arabia, Iraq sign electrical interconnection agreement 
Updated 22 min 33 sec ago

Saudi Arabia, Iraq sign electrical interconnection agreement 

Saudi Arabia, Iraq sign electrical interconnection agreement 

Saudi Arabia and Iraq signed an electrical interconnection agreement on Tuesday at the Saudi-Iraqi Forum.

Hamid Al-Ghazi, the  Secretary-General of Iraq's Council of Ministers, set out the need for the deal, saying: "Iraq is in dire need of electricity, and this connection will add to the Iraqi electric power."

The Memorandum of Understandng came as a result of a study conducted by the two countries, which concluded that there is an opportunity to connect them in what is a step towards achieving a regional market for electricity sharing.

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Ablduaziz bin Salman said: “Recently, Saudi Arabia and Jordan signed a MoU of electrical interconnection between both countries, and then a few months ago we signed an agreement in the same regard with Egypt."

“Today comes the agreement with Iraq, which is part of a goal to make the Kingdom a regional center for linking electricity systems in the Arab world,” he added.

 

 


mCloud, Aramco to explore a joint hub for ESG solutions in Saudi Arabia

mCloud, Aramco to explore a joint hub for ESG solutions in Saudi Arabia
Updated 54 min 6 sec ago

mCloud, Aramco to explore a joint hub for ESG solutions in Saudi Arabia

mCloud, Aramco to explore a joint hub for ESG solutions in Saudi Arabia

SAN FRANCISCO: mCloud Technologies Corp., a leading provider of AI-powered asset management and Environmental, Social, and Governance solutions, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Aramco, according to a statement from mCloud.

Under the MoU, mCloud will explore with Aramco the co-development of a digital technology hub for delivering ESG solutions in Saudi Arabia.

This hub would enable both parties to jointly develop new AI-powered innovations to facilitate the carbon reduction of complex energy-intensive assets throughout the Kingdom and abroad, the statement added.

The company plans to develop a center of excellence that will serve as a home base for a dedicated team of ESG and digital transformation experts based in Saudi Arabia, it added.