Libya's NOC says oil spill under control

Libya's NOC says oil spill under control
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Updated 10 October 2021

Libya's NOC says oil spill under control

Libya's NOC says oil spill under control
  • The leak at the Farwah facility owned by Mabruk Oil Operations occurred while a tanker was loading oil on Friday

Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) has brought under control an oil spill at an offshore storage facility, the company said on Sunday.


The leak at the Farwah facility owned by Mabruk Oil Operations occurred while a tanker was loading oil on Friday, NOC said.


China’s Xi: Climate goals should not reduce our productivity

China’s Xi: Climate goals should not reduce our productivity
Updated 14 sec ago

China’s Xi: Climate goals should not reduce our productivity

China’s Xi: Climate goals should not reduce our productivity

RIYADH: China’s president, Xi Jinping, has warned the country’s climate objectives should not hold back productivity in the economic powerhouse.

Speaking at a Politburo session on Tuesday, Xi insisted that efforts to decarbonise the Asian country must not jeopardize the supply of vital commodities.

In 2020, Xi vowed to peak emissions by 2030 and deliver a net zero nation by 2060.

According to state news agency Xinhua, the president said: “Reducing emissions is not about reducing productivity, and it is not about not emitting at all.”

He added: “We must stick to the overall planning and ensure energy security, industrial supply chain security and food security at the same time as cutting carbon emissions.”

China’s drive to cut emissions led to a limit in coal, metal, and fertilizers production, causing an increase in their prices. This negatively affected inflation concerns in the country.

However, the country is expected to maintain stable oil, gas, and coal production — particularly amid power shortages across the nation.

 


Profits of the National Bank of Kuwait hit $1.2bn in 2021

Profits of the National Bank of Kuwait hit $1.2bn in 2021
Updated 36 min 17 sec ago

Profits of the National Bank of Kuwait hit $1.2bn in 2021

Profits of the National Bank of Kuwait hit $1.2bn in 2021

RIYADH: The National Bank of Kuwait, known as NBK, recorded a 47 percent jump in profits in 2021, reaching 362 million Kuwaiti dinars ($1.2 billion).

The bank attributed the hike in profits to higher net operating income, which was up over 3 percent to 547 million Kuwaiti dinars, as well as lower provision charges for credit and impairment losses.

The bank recommended cash dividends of 30 fils ($555) per share for the fiscal year 2021, it said in a statement to the Kuwaiti bourse.

Shareholders will also receive five bonus shares for every 100 shares, the statement revealed.


Qatar to launch first green bond to secure ESG funds

Qatar to launch first green bond to secure ESG funds
Updated 52 min 59 sec ago

Qatar to launch first green bond to secure ESG funds

Qatar to launch first green bond to secure ESG funds

RIYADH: Qatar intends to launch its first green fund as it aims to secure Environmental, Social, and Governance funding, Bloomberg reported.

The finance ministry is in contact with global banks in an attempt to accrue billions of dollars via green bonds.

Such a move may cause disputes among ESG investors given the Persian Gulf country’s vast carbon emissions on a global level, according to Bloomberg.

Qatar will appoint several banks to develop a plan on how the money is going to be spent.

A potential deal with state owned petroleum firm Qatar Energy could be sealed soon.

The Middle Eastern country aims to cut emissions by 25 percent by 2030.

However, gas remains a crucial commodity and the country is investing an estimated $30 billion to increase production capacity by 50 percent in the upcoming six years.

This comes as the gas shortages in Asia and Europe are partly attributed to the lack of proper spending in fossil fuels, Bloomberg reported, citing Saad Al-Kaabi, Qatar’s energy minister.

 


IMF urges El Salvador to remove bitcoin as legal tender

IMF urges El Salvador to remove bitcoin as legal tender
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Updated 53 min 40 sec ago

IMF urges El Salvador to remove bitcoin as legal tender

IMF urges El Salvador to remove bitcoin as legal tender
  • Bitcoin shot up in value in 2021 as Wall Street showed a growing appetite for cryptocurrency

he IMF on Tuesday called on El Salvador to change course and stop using bitcoin as legal tender, citing "large risks" posed by the cryptocurrency.


The small Central American nation in September became the first country in the world to embrace the digital money, allowing consumers to use it in all transactions, alongside the US dollar.


The call by the Washington-based crisis lender came as the cryptocurrency dropped in value amid wider volatility on Wall Street in recent days, undoing much of the gains it had made during a record-setting climb in value last year.


The IMF staff had previously called on El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele to reconsider putting bitcoin at the center of his country's finances.


The latest pronouncement used much stronger language and came from the IMF's board, which is comprised of representatives of member governments including the United States.


The board's directors "urged the authorities to narrow the scope of the bitcoin law by removing bitcoin's legal tender status," according to a statement.


They "stressed that there are large risks associated with the use of bitcoin on financial stability, financial integrity and consumer protection" and with issuing bitcoin-backed bonds.


Bitcoin was trading at about $37,000 on Tuesday, having lost about half its value compared to the record of $67,734 hit in November.

Bitcoin shot up in value in 2021 as Wall Street showed a growing appetite for cryptocurrency, while Tesla boss Elon Musk's controversial tweets about the digital assets helped the market rise and fall alike.


The trend was not lost on Bukele, who was elected in 2019 with promises to fight organized crime and improve security in his violence-wracked country.


His move last September to legalize bitcoin in El Salvador drew worldwide attention and sparked protests on the streets of the capital San Salvador that were also over his administration's judicial reforms, which critics said threaten democracy.


Thousands took to the streets carrying signs reading "No to bitcoin" and at one point burning one of the bitcoin ATMS that had been installed nationwide.


They didn't appear to deter Bukele, who announced in November plans to build the world's first "Bitcoin City," powered by a volcano and financed by $1 billion cryptocurrency bonds.


His administration had also taken advantage of price drops to buy the digital asset for the country.

The IMF was wary of the cryptocurrency's adoption from the start, with spokesman Gerry Rice saying before Bukele made the move official, "Adoption of bitcoin as legal tender raises a number of macroeconomic, financial and legal issues that require very careful analysis."


In Tuesday's statement from the board, they noted the fund supports the aim of "boosting financial inclusion" which could be advanced using the country's "Chivo" e-wallet, but warned about the high levels of volatility in the cryptocurrency's exchange rate.


Bitcoin's value has shown some correlation with Wall Street equities, but pressure has also come from China's crackdown on the trading and mining of cryptocurrencies, and also the risk of wider regulatory action from the likes of Europe and the United States.


Analysts also say it faces increased competition in 2022 from rival digital assets like ethereum.


Spain’s Santander launches buy now, pay later platform across its markets

Spain’s Santander launches buy now, pay later platform across its markets
Updated 26 January 2022

Spain’s Santander launches buy now, pay later platform across its markets

Spain’s Santander launches buy now, pay later platform across its markets
  • Santander said Zinia’s BNPL service offers customers the opportunity to pay in interest-free instalments in a matter of seconds

#Spain’s Santander announced on Wednesday the launch Zinia, a new buy now, pay later platform it plans to roll out across its markets this year, starting in the Netherlands and Spain.


The initiative is part of a wider strategy by European lenders aimed at boosting their revenues as they struggle with low interest rates while trying to fend off competition from technology firms.


Buy now, pay later services have exploded in popularity in tandem with the acceleration in e-commerce during the pandemic.


However, they have drawn scrutiny from regulators over concerns they will lead to excessive indebtedness, especially among younger consumers.


The technology behind Zinia has been operating in Germany for the past year where it has acquired more than two million customers, making the bank one of the leading players in the business in Europe by customer volume, Santander said.


The lender did not provide financial details but said its expansion to other markets under the Zinia brand would help leverage Santander’s position in consumer finance, where it has 19 million customers.


Traditional banks are scrambling to keep up with fintechs, such as the Sweden’s Klarna, that are leading the market in much of Europe and the United States.


Among other markets, the platform will also be rolled out in the Nordic countries, Britain, France and Italy, and in its US market, a Santander spokesperson said.


Santander said Zinia’s BNPL service offers customers the opportunity to pay in interest-free instalments in a matter of seconds, either online or through physical points of sale.


BNPL services tend to rival credit card providers in terms of the interest rates they charge.


Zinia is the first project developed by Santander’s Digital Consumer Bank (DCB), which combines Santander Consumer Finance (SCF) and its digital Openbank.


It uses artificial intelligence-based credit assessment to make real-time credit decisions with the standards expected from a regulated bank, it said.