Refiner Eneos to buy Japan Renewable Energy for $1.8bn

Refiner Eneos to buy Japan Renewable Energy for $1.8bn
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Updated 11 October 2021

Refiner Eneos to buy Japan Renewable Energy for $1.8bn

Refiner Eneos to buy Japan Renewable Energy for $1.8bn
  • Japan's oil companies have ventured more into the renewables sector

Japan's biggest refiner, Eneos Holdings Inc, said on Monday it would buy Japan Renewable Energy (JRE) for about 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion) to expand its low-carbon business, joining a list of major global companies moving away from climate-changing fossil fuels.


Eneos, which aims to have net-zero emissions by 2040, will buy JRE from Goldman Sachs and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC.


It said the deal, which marks the first big purchase of a renewables firm by a top Japanese oil company, would help it meet its target of having over 1,000 megawatts (MW) of renewables in Japan and abroad by March 2023.


Japan's oil companies have ventured more into the renewables sector, much like their overseas peers such as Royal Dutch Shell , especially after Tokyo vowed to cut down more emissions earlier this year.


"As the world moves toward a decarbonized and circular society, this acquisition will mark a key turning point to fundamentally transform our business structure," Keitaro Inoue, Eneos' senior vice president, told a news conference.


The price tag is "appropriate", given JRE's asset size and ability to develop a wide range of renewables including solar, wind, and biomass, Inoue said, adding the deal also buys the company time to boost its renewable assets portfolio.


Founded in 2012, JRE has 708 MW in renewable energy assets including those under construction on an equity basis. After the deal, Eneos' renewable assets will reach 1,220 MW.


Given its comparatively small capacity, JRE will be unlikely to make much of an immediate contribution to Eneos' typical annual sales of around 10 trillion yen ($90 billion).


However, the deal points to Eneos' intent to start switching out of fossil fuels. Japan is set to nearly double official targets for renewable supplies in the energy mix of the world's third-largest economy.


Eneos controls half the market for gasoline and other fuels in Japan, but has for many years seen its customer base shrink due to a declining population.


Economic sentiment in the EU drops slightly; inflation on the rise in Germany and Spain: Economic wrap

Economic sentiment in the EU drops slightly; inflation on the rise in Germany and Spain: Economic wrap
Updated 11 sec ago

Economic sentiment in the EU drops slightly; inflation on the rise in Germany and Spain: Economic wrap

Economic sentiment in the EU drops slightly; inflation on the rise in Germany and Spain: Economic wrap

The EU’s Economic Sentiment Indicator slipped marginally by 1.1 points to reach 116.5 in November, the European Commission said.

The drop was attributed to a noticeable fall in consumer confidence, although among other sectors such as industry and services it remained the same. At the same time, confidence in the retail trade and construction sectors improved.

Germany, the Netherlands and Spain were among the countries that experienced a downward trend in their economic sentiment, with the latter undergoing the largest decline.

On the other hand, France had the biggest improvement in economic sentiment during the month. Italy and Poland were another two countries that had more favorable sentiment.

Inflation in Western Europe

Annual inflation rate in Spain reached 5.6 percent in November, according to preliminary estimates in a press release issued by Spain's National Statistics Institute. 

The inflation rate predicted for November will be the highest since September 1992. The increase was mainly driven by higher food prices.

In addition, the monthly inflation rate is expected to reach 0.4 percent in November.  

Meanwhile, Germany’s consumer prices are expected to rise in November by 5.2 percent from a year ago, data from Germany’s Federal Statistics Office showed. This is higher than October's 4.5 percent.

Energy costs surged by 22.1 percent while food prices went up by 4.5 percent, according to preliminary estimates.

The monthly inflation rate is expected to be a negative 0.2 percent in November.

Mexico’s unemployment

The Mexican jobless rate decelerated to 3.9 percent in October from 4.2 percent in the prior month, according to the country’s official statistics agency, INEGI.

The number of unemployed persons eased to 2.3 million, declining by 288,000 from a year earlier, the INEGI report showed.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the jobless rate remained at 3.9 percent.


Egypt and Jordan agree to more than double the electric capacity between them

Egypt and Jordan agree to more than double the electric capacity between them
Updated 21 min 9 sec ago

Egypt and Jordan agree to more than double the electric capacity between them

Egypt and Jordan agree to more than double the electric capacity between them

Egypt and Jordan have agreed to strengthen the electrical interconnection between them in a plan that could see them exchange energy with the rest of the region.

The two governments have settled on a deal that will see the current capacity of 500 megawatts increased to up to 2000 MW, with Jordanian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Saleh Al-Kharabsheh saying it “benefits both sides.”

“Our relationship with Egypt is distinguished, as the electrical connection between Jordan and Egypt began in 1999, and there is an exchange of electrical energy with capacities of up to 500 megawatts, and the new agreement may raise this capacity to 1,000 or 2,000 megawatts in the future,” Al-Kharabsheh said, at a press conference in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

“It is possible that Jordan and Egypt will eventually be able to exchange electrical energy between the countries of the region and link it to each other and with other countries such those in Europe or through Egypt to the African continent, which helps encourage and strengthen cooperation between the two countries,” he continued.

Speaking alongside Al-Kharabsheh, the Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker said his country has managed to raise its electrical capacity enough to be able to export.

He added that Egypt plans to increase the percentage of renewable energy from its electrical capacity to 42 percent in 2035.

Shaker also explained that Cairo is studying a new link line with Europe through Greece and Cyprus, explaining that strengthening the link with Jordan opens the way for the exchange of capabilities.

 


16 more fintech firms enter Saudi market in Q3 of 2021

16 more fintech firms enter Saudi market in Q3 of 2021
Updated 45 min 55 sec ago

16 more fintech firms enter Saudi market in Q3 of 2021

16 more fintech firms enter Saudi market in Q3 of 2021

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia issued licenses to 16 fintech companies in the third quarter of 2021, Sabq quoted Saudi Central Bank governor as saying at an event on Monday.

Fahad Almubarak said 13 of those companies work in the field of payments and electronic wallets, and three firms are engaged in insurance and finance sector.

Saudi Arabia witnessed a 37 percent rise in the number of fintech firms entering the market and also recorded an increase in venture capital investments that exceeded SR680 million ($181 million).

Capital Market Authority chairman Mohammed Elkuwaiz said fintech companies develop technical ideas that challenge the current situation, which has an added value because it offers a product that did not exist before, Sabq paper reported.

Fintech in Saudi Arabia has competitive advantages over other countries, and 90 percent of transactions in the Saudi financial market are automated and have been conducted electronically for more than 10 years, Argaam reported.


Chinese developers to face $1.3bn of bond payments in December

Chinese developers to face $1.3bn of bond payments in December
Updated 29 November 2021

Chinese developers to face $1.3bn of bond payments in December

Chinese developers to face $1.3bn of bond payments in December

RIYADH: China’s developers face around $1.3 billion of bond payments in December, following a month of investors’ sentiment stabilising toward the property sector.

In November, the total bond payments was $2 billion, with no defaults reported, according to Bloomberg. 

Investors' scrutiny regarding principal and interest payments lingers as the cash crisis hits the real estate industry. 

China’s Evergrande group unit and Kaisa group’s grace periods are ending by mid-December on coupons of a total of $171 million. 


SMEs loans growth slows down in 3Q 2021

SMEs loans growth slows down in 3Q 2021
Updated 29 November 2021

SMEs loans growth slows down in 3Q 2021

SMEs loans growth slows down in 3Q 2021

RIYADH/MOSCOW: Annual growth in total credit provided to small and medium enterprises by Saudi banks slowed in the third quarter of 2021 to 12.9 percent from 25.3 percent in the previous quarter, the Saudi Central Bank report issued on Sunday showed.
Loans given to SMEs reached SR186.2 billion ($49.6 billion) in the third quarter of 2021 compared to SR165 billion in the same quarter a year ago.
A descending trend in quarterly growth rates has also been observed as the value of SME lending increased by just 0.8 percent in the third quarter of 2021, the lowest quarterly rate of growth recorded since the fourth quarter of 2019.
In addition, lending to SMEs from finance companies totaled SR14.2 billion in the third quarter of 2021 compared to SR13.5 billion in the previous quarter. It was also higher than last year’s SR10.8 billion in the same period.