Footwear maker Allbirds targets over $2bn valuation in U.S. IPO

Footwear maker Allbirds targets over $2bn valuation in U.S. IPO
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Updated 25 October 2021

Footwear maker Allbirds targets over $2bn valuation in U.S. IPO

Footwear maker Allbirds targets over $2bn valuation in U.S. IPO
  • Allbirds said it expects higher expenses to drive up net losses to about $15 million to $18 million in the three months ended Sept. 30

Sustainable footwear maker Allbirds Inc said on Monday it was targeting a fully diluted valuation of as much as $2.2 billion in its initial public offering in the United States.


The company, backed by asset manager Franklin Templeton, said it is offering 19.2 million shares priced between $12 and $14 each, along with the selling stockholders. At the top end of that range, the IPO would fetch about $269 million.


Allbirds said it expects higher expenses to drive up net losses to about $15 million to $18 million in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared to a loss of nearly $7 million a year earlier.


The wool footwear maker is among several companies that have tapped investor interest in sustainable or environmentally friendly goods. In May, Oprah Winfrey-backed vegan milk maker Oatly Group AB and Jessica Alba's consumer goods company Honest Co listed their shares.


Allbirds, which is also backed by Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio, uses a plant-based alternative to leather for its shoes.

It has also partnered with Adidas to create a range of sustainable sneakers.


Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan and BofA Securities are the lead underwriters for the offering. 


Saudi Competition Authority approves joint venture to sell, distribute Gucci products

Saudi Competition Authority approves joint venture to sell, distribute Gucci products
Updated 10 sec ago

Saudi Competition Authority approves joint venture to sell, distribute Gucci products

Saudi Competition Authority approves joint venture to sell, distribute Gucci products
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Competition gave the green light for a joint venture between G Distribution B.V and Al Rubaiyat Co. for Industry & Trade Holding to sell and distribute Gucci products in the Kingdom.

G Distribution Company will own 75 percent of the shares of the company, while Al Rubaiyat Company will own 25 percent, Argaam reported.

The Kingdom’s competition authority has approved 13 joint projects since the beginning of this year.

Saudi Arabia hosts first National Forum for Islamic Banking on Dec. 6

Saudi Arabia hosts first National Forum for Islamic Banking on Dec. 6
Updated 21 min 46 sec ago

Saudi Arabia hosts first National Forum for Islamic Banking on Dec. 6

Saudi Arabia hosts first National Forum for Islamic Banking on Dec. 6

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is hosting its first National Forum for Islamic Banking on Dec. 6 and 7 in Riyadh, titled "Kingdom's Leadership in Islamic Banking.”

Participants in the forum will discuss the impact of Islamic banking on economic development, the Kingdom’s regulations in Islamic banking, Islamic digital banking in Saudi Arabia and the role of Islamic banks in entrepreneurship, among other discussions.

This comes in light of the rapid growth of the Islamic financial industry since its inception at the global level.

Islamic banking assets in the Kingdom reached more than $565 billion by the first quarter of 2021, SPA reported.


Euro area’s unemployment edges down slightly, Korea’s growth decelerates: Economic wrap

Euro area’s unemployment edges down slightly, Korea’s growth decelerates: Economic wrap
Updated 03 December 2021

Euro area’s unemployment edges down slightly, Korea’s growth decelerates: Economic wrap

Euro area’s unemployment edges down slightly, Korea’s growth decelerates: Economic wrap

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the Euro area recorded a slight decrease of 0.1 percent to hit 7.3 percent in October, according to data by the Eurostat. 

In addition, the EU’s unemployment rate remained unchanged from September’s level of 6.7 percent, meaning a 0.8 percent fall compared to the same period last year. 

Italy jobs

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate in Italy rose by 0.2 percent from a month earlier to reach 9.4 percent in October, based on data from Italy’s National Institute of Statistics. This signalled a 0.6 percent decline from last year’s October. 

Korea’s economy 

Korea's gross domestic product grew by 0.3 percent in the third quarter compared to the previous period, decelerating from a 0.8 percent increase in the second quarter, a report by the Bank of Korea showed. 

This was also lower than the corresponding period’s growth last year when it stood at 2.2 percent.

On an annual basis, the expansion rate turned to 4 percent in the third quarter from negative 1 percent in the same period of 2020, the Bank of Korea said. 

Monthly consumer prices in Korea rose in November by 0.4 percent compared to the previous month, according to official data. Meanwhile the yearly inflation rate recorded a reading of 3.7 percent.

Brazil’s output 

Brazil’s output growth also slowed in 3Q, as the economy expanded by an annual rate of 4 percent compared to 12.3 percent in the previous quarter, data released by the country’s official statistics agency revealed.

On a quarterly basis, Brazil’s economy shrank by 0.1 percent. This is a somewhat improvement from the second quarter’s decline of 0.4 percent

Japan’s consumer confidence

The seasonally adjusted series for the consumer confidence index of Japan remained unchanged from October’s level of 39.2, according to the country’s Cabinet Office.


Oil jumps on OPEC+ omicron contingency plan, trimming weekly drop

Oil jumps on OPEC+ omicron contingency plan, trimming weekly drop
Updated 23 min 14 sec ago

Oil jumps on OPEC+ omicron contingency plan, trimming weekly drop

Oil jumps on OPEC+ omicron contingency plan, trimming weekly drop
  • OPEC+ agrees to meet before next scheduled meeting if omicron disrupts demand
  • Group pressed ahead with planned production increase in January

LONDON: Oil rose for a second day on Friday after OPEC+ said it would meet again to review output if the omicron COVID-19 variant impacts demand.

Prices were still headed for a sixth week of declines on concern a steady increase in supply from the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russia would lead to a surplus in the coming months.

Brent crude was 2.8 percent higher at $71.62 as of 11:57 a.m. Riyadh time following a 1.2 percent gain on Thursday. WTI, the US benchmark, also gained 2.8 percent, to $68.32 after adding 1.4 percent yesterday.

While the market was surprised by the OPEC+ decision on Thursday to go ahead with its plan to add 400,000 barrels a day of supply in January, the group said it would meet again before its next scheduled meeting on Jan. 4 to reconsider its plans if deemed necessary.

The decision came following weeks of calls by US President Joe Biden for more oil to ease pump prices, which had been resisted by OPEC. US officials have been in the Gulf for talks this week, the results of which have been a game-changer that goes beyond oil policy, a person familiar with the meetings told Bloomberg News, although no details of any agreement gave emerged.

“We appreciate the close coordination over the recent weeks with our partners Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other OPEC+ producers to help address price pressures,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said after the OPEC+ output decision. “Together with our recent coordinated release from the SPR, we believe this should help facilitate the global economic recovery.”

Traders are "reluctant to bet against the group eventually pausing its production increases,” analysts from ANZ Research wrote in a research note.

Still, Brent was headed for a 2.6 percent weekly decline, while WTI was set to close 1 percent lower in the week, both on a six-week losing streak.

The market has been focused on the potential impact of omicron on the global economy and oil demand if countries impose new lockdowns.

President Joe Biden has unveiled stricter Covid-19 travel rules as the US confirmed a handful of cases of the omicron variant. The UK tightened mask-wearing rules this week and advised at-risk groups not to travel, while South Korea announced on Friday that people visiting restaurants and cinemas and other public spaces will have to show vaccine passes.

The omicron coronavirus variant threatens to fuel soaring inflation in the United States by further pressuring supply chains and worsening worker shortages, Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester told the Financial Times.

However, Asian stocks rose on signs the omicron variant could be less severe than the previous dominant strain, delta.

Scientists in South Africa, where the mutation was first discovered last month, said symptoms for vaccinated infected patients appeared to be mild, while a handful of US omicron cases identified also displayed moderate symptoms.

India’s health ministry said on Friday the severity of the COVID-19 disease from the omicron variant in the country could be low because of vaccination and high exposure to the Delta variant.

“Given the fast pace of vaccination in India and high exposure to delta variant as evidenced by high seropositivity, the severity of the disease is anticipated to be low,” it said in a statement. “However, scientific evidence is still evolving.”


Saudi economy to grow strongly in the fourth quarter, to rise 7.3 percent in 2022: Capital Economics 

Saudi economy to grow strongly in the fourth quarter, to rise 7.3 percent in 2022: Capital Economics 
Updated 03 December 2021

Saudi economy to grow strongly in the fourth quarter, to rise 7.3 percent in 2022: Capital Economics 

Saudi economy to grow strongly in the fourth quarter, to rise 7.3 percent in 2022: Capital Economics 

Saudi Arabia is set to experience strong economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2021, thanks to oil production hitting its highest level since April 2020, according to a report from Capital Economics.

Some 9.76 million barrels per day were produced in October, broadly in line with pre-virus levels of output, analysts at the London-based economic consultancy firm said. 

Although the whole economy Purchase Manager Index did edge down to 57.7 points in October, there seems to have been a broad-based rise in output from all sectors in the third quarter, which is likely to extend into the fourth quarter.

Growth in local deliveries of cement – a proxy for construction activity – picked up in October.

October point of sales transactions data were also very strong, although this appears to have eased a touch in early November.

“Overall, we think that the Saudi economy will have expanded by 2.5 percent over this year as a whole," the report said. 

Growth is expected to accelerate to 7.3 percent in 2022 as oil production is set to increase under an agreement reached by the The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, together known as OPEC+.

This growth is much stronger than the consensus currently anticipates, Capital Economics analysts noted in the report.