Apicorp plans another debt issuance in 2022 as it expands renewable portfolio, CEO says 

Apicorp plans another debt issuance in 2022 as it expands renewable portfolio, CEO says 
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Updated 25 October 2021

Apicorp plans another debt issuance in 2022 as it expands renewable portfolio, CEO says 

Apicorp plans another debt issuance in 2022 as it expands renewable portfolio, CEO says 

RIYADH: Apicorp, the Arab multilateral energy investment bank, is planning to issue green bonds or sukuk as early as next year to support plans to grow its renewable energy assets by $1 billion by 2023.

The company, which recently finished an issuance of $750 million in green bonds, is traditionally known for its financing of oil, natural gas, and downstream projects. This deal was first reported in September.

 

The Saudi Arabia-based bank is now becoming very aggressive in building a sustainable and renewable portfolio after it increased its funding for green projects by a staggering 500 percent over the last five years, Ahmed Ali Attiga, chief executive officer, told Arab News in an interview.

"Now we have around 15 percent of our total portfolio in green and non-conventional and renewable assets, up by 500 percent over the past five, six years," he added.

The bank posted net income of $115m on assets of $7.9bn, according to its 2020 financial statement.

It began trading in 1975 after being formed by the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Apicorp’s Attiga said he expected its member nations to look towards greener forms of energy and financing.

He said: “We are looking at all our member states. Actually, most of them have started on this journey of energy transition albeit with different degrees but we have Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that have done this quite fast. 

“These two countries constitute a large part of our portfolio, we will definitely continue to look at them and to support them.

The Apicorp boss added: “For some of these countries however, the access to finance is available either through their own fiscal space or from banks, global and regional banks.

“If that's the case, we sometimes look at other opportunities, where access to finance is not that easy.”

“At the end of the day, Apicorp is a development bank. which means we always have to play an additional value-added role in what we do.”

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the Kingdom would aim to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2060, during a speech to the Saudi Green Initiative forum in Riyadh.

The Crown Prince said Saudi Arabia plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 278 million tons per year by 2030, with the adoption of the Carbon Circular Economy — based on zero waste — helping to reach the target.

The Kingdom will also join the Global Methane Pledge to contribute to cutting global methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030, as part of its commitment to deliver a cleaner, greener future.

Apicorp chief executive Attiga said the push towards net-zero targets would be a long, delicate process that had to make sure the world’s energy needs were catered for to avoid a power crisis.

He said: “Sometimes this momentum gives the impression that things can be done very quickly. In the forum, many speakers from the region highlighted this point, that this is a journey and that this is a long journey, and that this is a transition that means it doesn't happen overnight.

“This is a long term process, one that needs commitment, needs resources, that needs financing, that needs a combination, a balanced approach.

“It has to be progressive and fast, but also inclusive, that has to strike the right balance between energy security which the whole world needs.

“If it doesn't happen you'll have an energy crisis and you won't be able to have an energy transition. It’s all interrelated.”

In spite of its green plan, Apicorp still plans to issue sukuk, or bonds, as early as Spring 2022 to finance its conventional and non-conventional projects, he added.

Attiga explained that the company is both a lender and an investor, and that the assets under management by Apicorp in both equity and debt are around $8 billion.

“That’s both direct equity investments, lending to private and public projects and cooperations, and of course we have as an investment at the end of the day some treasury assets that also constitute part of our balance sheet,” he said.

“The equity part of our balance sheet stands at about $1 billion, and lending at around $4 billion,” he added.


Sajwani buys 15.6% of DAMAC shares through Dubai Financial Market

Sajwani buys 15.6% of DAMAC shares through Dubai Financial Market
Updated 5 sec ago

Sajwani buys 15.6% of DAMAC shares through Dubai Financial Market

Sajwani buys 15.6% of DAMAC shares through Dubai Financial Market

RIYADH: Maple Invest, owned by businessman Hussein Sajwani has bought a 15.6 percent stake in Damac Properties through the Dubai Financial Market.

It is part of a plan by which the Emirati businessman aims to acquire up to 100 percent shares of the company he established in 2002 and de-listing it  from the Dubai market, Asharq reported on Sunday.

According to Damac Properties’ disclosure to the Dubai market on Sunday, Maple executed approximately 944 million shares, representing 15.6 percent of the property firm's issued capital, at a price of 1.4 dirhams per share.

Maple made a conditional offer to buy the rest of the shares of the firm — which is not owned by Maple or its subsidiaries — on June 9. The offer included a price of 1.3 dirhams per share. Damac shareholders rejected the offer and called on its board of directors to appoint advisers to assess the fairness of the offer's value.

In late October, Maple announced that it intends to purchase 800 million shares of Damac Properties through the Dubai Financial Market, provided that the purchase process is outside the offer made by Maple to acquire all of Damac’s shares.

The data issued today is the implementation of a quantity higher than the target, bringing Sajwani’s direct and indirect share in the company to approximately 88 percent.


Crypto exchange Coinstore enters India despite restrictions on trade: Crypto wrap

Crypto exchange Coinstore enters India despite restrictions on trade: Crypto wrap
Updated 5 min 36 sec ago

Crypto exchange Coinstore enters India despite restrictions on trade: Crypto wrap

Crypto exchange Coinstore enters India despite restrictions on trade: Crypto wrap

RIYADH: Singapore-based virtual currency exchange Coinstore has begun operations in India at a time when the Indian government is preparing legislation to effectively bar most private cryptocurrencies.

Coinstore is the second global exchange to enter India in recent months, following in the footsteps of CrossTower which launched its local unit in September.

Coinstore has launched its web and app platform and plans branches in Bangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai which will act as its base in India for future expansion, its management said.

"With nearly a quarter of our total active users coming from India, it made sense for us to expand into the market," Charles Tan, head of marketing at Coinstore told Reuters.

Asked why Coinstore was launching India despite the pending clampdown on cryptocurrencies, Tan said: "There have been policy flip-flops but we hope things are going to be positive and we are optimistic that the Indian government will come out with a healthy framework for cryptocurrencies."

Tan said Coinstore plans to recruit about 100 employees in India and spend $20 million for marketing, hiring and development of crypto-related products and services for the Indian market.

The price of the world's biggest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, has more than doubled since the start of this year, attracting hordes of Indian investors.

Industry estimates suggest there are 15 million to 20 million crypto investors in India, with total crypto holdings of around 400 billion rupees ($5.33 billion).

Coinstore also plans to expand into Japan, Korea, Indonesia and Vietnam, according to Tan.

Crypto payments

Newegg, one of the major technology-focused e-commerce platforms, has announced that SHIB is coming soon to its platform.

Newegg currently accepts cryptocurrency via Bitpay and the crypto payment service provider is expected to add shiba inu to its list of supported cryptocurrencies, which includes the rival meme cryptocurrency dogecoin.

Meanwhile, AMC theaters are also preparing to accept SHIB payments in the first quarter of next year, according to the CEO Adam Aron.

Daily trading

Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency in trading internationally, traded lower on Sunday, falling by 1.17  percent to $54,322. at 5:46 p.m. Riyadh time.

Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, traded at $4,077, down by 1.52 percent, according to data from CoinDesk.


Commercial banks’ lending to private sector up $6.42 bn in October

Commercial banks’ lending to private sector up $6.42 bn in October
Updated 8 min 6 sec ago

Commercial banks’ lending to private sector up $6.42 bn in October

Commercial banks’ lending to private sector up $6.42 bn in October

MOSCOW: Commercial banks’ October lending to the private sector grew by SR24.1 billion ($6.42 billion) from a month ago to SR2 trillion, data published by Saudi Arabia’s central bank on Sunday revealed.

This corresponded to a monthly growth rate of 1.2 percent from the previous month’s SR1.99 trillion in September. 

On the other hand, commercial banks’ lending to the government and quasi-government entities sector fell by a monthly SR13.1 billion to reach SR546.9 billion, reflecting a decline rate of 2.3 percent. 

Looking at the banks’ total assets, official data showed that they grew by SR42.1 billion compared to the previous month to hit SR3.19 trillion. The monthly growth rate stood at 1.3 percent.


TASI falls 4.5% to near 5 month-low: Market wrap

TASI falls 4.5% to near 5 month-low: Market wrap
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 28 min 16 sec ago

TASI falls 4.5% to near 5 month-low: Market wrap

TASI falls 4.5% to near 5 month-low: Market wrap

RIYADH: The Saudi stock market ended the session on Sunday, down 4.5 percent or 512 points, to close at 10,788 points.

Some 233.1 million shares changed hands in 407,000 deals, with heavy trading in Al Rajhi bank, Alinma Bank, SABIC.

Today’s decline is the largest in percentage terms and points since May 2020, when the market fell by 7.4 percent and 527 points.

On Friday, global markets suffered sharp losses after the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that Omicron, the new COVID-19 variant with numerous mutations, is likely to resist the current vaccines.

In addition, Brent crude dropped 11.6 percent to $72.72 a barrel, while WTI sank 13 percent to $ 68.15 a barrel.

The parallel Nomu index was down 790 points, or 3.41 percent, It closed at 22,374.24 points, after 313,000 trades.

Most of the shares declined today, led by Al Rajhi Bank and SABIC closing at SR133.80 ($35.6) down 5 percent and SR112 down 6 percent.

Saudi Aramco finished at SR34.90 down 2 percent amid trading of about seven million shares.

Saudi National Bank, Alinma Bank, Riyad Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi, Bank Albilad, Sipchem, Maaden, SABB and SABIC Agri-Nutrients declined between 3 and 6 percent.

Petro Rabigh, Saudi Kayan, JAZADCO and Tasnee were among the top decliners.

Meanwhile, Amana Insurance and Saudi Enaya were top gainers, rising to SR37.30 and SR33.35, respectively.


Saudi Energy Ministry to help SABIC develop renewable energy projects

Saudi Energy Ministry to help SABIC develop renewable energy projects
Updated 31 min 17 sec ago

Saudi Energy Ministry to help SABIC develop renewable energy projects

Saudi Energy Ministry to help SABIC develop renewable energy projects

RIYADH: Saudi Energy Ministry on Sunday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Basic Industries Corp. to help develop the company’s renewable energy projects. 

SABIC CEO Yousef Al-Benyan said the support from the Energy Ministry would enable the company achieve its net-zero emissions goal.

Al-Benyan said the chemical manufacturing company plans to increase its use of renewable energy to further reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

All these measures are part of the Saudi Green Initiative. The Kingdom aims to reach net zero in carbon emissions by 2060.  

The main vehicle for the Saudi green initiative is the Circular Carbon Economy, a framework that mitigates carbon emissions but allows different countries to pursue their own economic strategies.