Poor countries’ debt rose 12% to record $860bn in 2020: World Bank

Poor countries’ debt rose 12% to record $860bn in 2020: World Bank
World Bank called for urgent steps to help countries reach more sustainable debt levels. (File/Reuters)
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Updated 12 October 2021

Poor countries’ debt rose 12% to record $860bn in 2020: World Bank

Poor countries’ debt rose 12% to record $860bn in 2020: World Bank
  • The report showed a dramatic increase in the debt vulnerabilities facing low- and middle-income countries

The debt burden of the world’s low-income countries rose 12 percent to a record $860 billion in 2020 as countries responded to the COVID-19 crisis with massive fiscal, monetary, and financial stimulus packages, the World Bank said in a report released Monday.

World Bank President David Malpass said the report showed a dramatic increase in the debt vulnerabilities facing low- and middle-income countries and called for urgent steps to help countries reach more sustainable debt levels.

“We need a comprehensive approach to the debt problem, including debt reduction, swifter restructuring and improved transparency,” Malpass said in a statement accompanying the new International Debt Statistics 2022 report.

“Sustainable debt levels are vital for economic recovery and poverty reduction,” he said.

The report said the external debt stocks of low- and middle-income countries combined rose 5.3 percent in 2020 to $8.7 trillion, affecting countries in all regions.


LG Energy Solution eyes $10.8bn in IPO

LG Energy Solution eyes $10.8bn in IPO
Updated 11 sec ago

LG Energy Solution eyes $10.8bn in IPO

LG Energy Solution eyes $10.8bn in IPO

RIYADH: Electric vehicle manufacturer LG Energy Solution aims to raise up to 12.75 trillion won ($10.8 billion) in what could be South Korea’s biggest initial public offering, Bloomberg reported. 

The company plans to issue 34 million shares at a price between 257,000 won and 300,000 won each. 

Stock trading will begin on Jan. 27, 2022 in which retail and institutional investors can subscribe on Jan. 18 and 19, with 20 percent shares allocated to the company’s employees, the IPO prospectus showed. 

The offering is expected to bring the battery maker’s market value to 70 trillion won, to top Samsung Life Insurance’s $4.4 billion in the 2010’s IPO — the country’s largest record to date. 

LG Energy could be South Korea’s third most valuable company after Samsung SDI Co. and SK Innovation Co., which are valued at 48 trillion won and 19 trillion won, respectively. 


UAE stock exchanges shift to Monday-Friday workweek

UAE stock exchanges shift to Monday-Friday workweek
Updated 2 min 33 sec ago

UAE stock exchanges shift to Monday-Friday workweek

UAE stock exchanges shift to Monday-Friday workweek

RIYADH: The UAE stock market will start operating from Monday to Friday in January, following the government’s decision to shift its working week.

From Jan. 3, the bourse will run trading sessions from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Gulf Standard Time, Monday to Friday.

“The decision is made to invest in the competitiveness of the UAE economy and to enhance productivity,” Abdulrahman Al-Awar, director general of the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, told Bloomberg.  

The new workweek will align the country with Western markets.


Saudi PIF aims to invest $5bn in Oman

Saudi PIF aims to invest $5bn in Oman
Updated 08 December 2021

Saudi PIF aims to invest $5bn in Oman

Saudi PIF aims to invest $5bn in Oman

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is planning to invest SR18.7 billion ($5 billion) in Oman, according to a statement from the two countries.

The plan was announced after the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to his Middle East neighbor.

There are no details yet as to what industries or companies the money will be invested in.

The announcement comes after the two countries signed 13 memoranda of understanding, reportedly worth more than $30 billion and covering a number of sectors.

The agreements were signed by Omani companies fully owned by the sultanate’s investment authority, the Saudi Press Agency and Omani state TV reported on Monday.


US trade deficit shrinks as exports hit all-time high

US trade deficit shrinks as exports hit all-time high
Updated 08 December 2021

US trade deficit shrinks as exports hit all-time high

US trade deficit shrinks as exports hit all-time high

Trade deficit in the US shrank significantly in October as exports reached an all-time high of $223.6 billion. 

This reflected a monthly growth rate of 8.1 percent, according to a report from the US Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Trade could advance growth for the first time in over a year as the trade deficit slipped to $67.1 billion in October, a 17.6 percent drop compared to the previous month. 

The jump in exports was driven by rising shipments of goods, which grew 11.1 percent to hit $158.7 billion.

In particular, exports of industrial supplies and materials jumped $6.4 billion, while sales of capital goods went up by $3.1 billion. In addition, exports of services increased by $1 billion.

This indicated an improvement in the movement of goods and services after downturns caused by the pandemic, according to Reuters.

In a related development, the US is not expected to impose further lockdowns due to the country’s strong vaccination programs, the head of economists at the White House said. It is expected to weather omicron, the new coronavirus variant, Bloomberg reported.

Meanwhile, imports also reached a record high of $290.7 despite expanding by just 0.87 percent from a month earlier.

Imports of goods rose by $1.8 billion while foreign purchases of services experienced an uptick of $0.7 billion.


Emirates named World Class Airline at APEX awards

Emirates named World Class Airline at APEX awards
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 08 December 2021

Emirates named World Class Airline at APEX awards

Emirates named World Class Airline at APEX awards
  • It was awarded for its services, products, health, safety, and sustainability efforts

RIYADH: Emirates, the largest airline and one of two flag carriers of the UAE, has been named as World Class Airline at The APEX Official Airline Ratings awards. 

Emirates is one of the first airlines to be recognized in this new category at the APEX awards, the airline said in a statement.

It was awarded for its services, products, health, safety, and sustainability efforts, by independently verified and audited ratings from over a million air travelers.

In addition, Emirates was renewed as Five Star Airline by APEX, and also won its fourth APEX Passenger Choice Award for Best Entertainment at the APEX/IFSA Awards ceremony, the industry’s largest in-person event.

Emirates Airline President Sir Tim Clark, said: “I’m confident the World Class paragon will play a very important role in our industry, helping advance a focus on sustainability for the betterment of our world.”