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.


UK hosting Africa investment summit for green transition

UK hosting Africa investment summit for green transition
Updated 20 January 2022

UK hosting Africa investment summit for green transition

UK hosting Africa investment summit for green transition
  • The conference aims to unlock millions of pounds of new investment, especially in clean energy industries in the UK and Africa
  • Britain will launch a digital tool to link African and British businesses to the UK government

LONDON: The UK is hosting an investment conference on Thursday to boost sustainable economic cooperation with African countries and to support the continent’s transition to clean growth.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will open the one-day event, which will be attended by UK and African ministers, business leaders and and heads of international organizations.
The conference, in its second edition, aims to unlock millions of pounds of new investment, especially in clean energy industries in the UK and Africa.
“Two years on from the inaugural UK-Africa Investment Summit, the UK’s ambition to be Africa’s investment partner of choice has never been stronger,” said Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
“This year’s conference focuses on the importance of resilient, sustainable investment to support Africa as it pivots toward a more environmentally friendly growth trajectory, and I look forward to working with leaders from the continent as they continue on this path to a greener future,” she added.
During the conference, the UK will launch a new Growth Gateway — a digital tool to link African and British businesses to UK government trade, finance, investment services and opportunities.
UK Export Finance — Britain’s export credit agency — has significantly increased support for markets in Africa in the past year from about £600 million ($817 million) in 2018-19 to more than £2.3 billion in 2020-21, supporting a range of infrastructure projects in countries from Cote d’Ivoire to Uganda, the Department for International Trade said.
Minister for Africa Vicky Ford said that the UK is “deepening its economic ties with African nations” and “there is a lot more that can be done,” adding: “Growth Gateway will make it easier than ever for African and British businesses to access the support they need to boost two-way trade and investment.”
This year’s conference also comes after Britain hosted the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26. The country is looking to build on its commitment to providing £11.6 billion of its International Climate Finance program to help developing countries tackle climate change over the next five years.
Last year’s virtual conference was attended by more than 2,800 delegates from over 40 African countries. Across the UK, 27 trade and investment deals worth £6.5 billion were announced, on top of further commitments worth £8.9 billion.


Turkey Dream Games triples in valuation after raising $255m in funding

Turkey Dream Games triples in valuation after raising $255m in funding
Updated 19 January 2022

Turkey Dream Games triples in valuation after raising $255m in funding

Turkey Dream Games triples in valuation after raising $255m in funding
  • Turkish mobile gaming start-up Dream Games raised an unprecedented $255 million in its latest Series C funding round

RIYADH: Turkish mobile gaming start-up Dream Games raised an unprecedented $255 million in its latest Series C funding round, almost tripling its valuation to $2.75 billion in six months, MAGNiTT reported.

This round of funding was led by Index Ventures, subscribed by returning investors such as Makers Fund, IVP, Kora, Balderton Capital and managed by BlackRock.

The company plans to use the funds for doubling its headcount to 200 people and launch a new game this year.

Founded in 2019, Istanbul-based Dream Games is a mobile gaming company that developed Royal Match — one of the highest grossing mobile games.


UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar top competitive economies in the Arab World: AMF

UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar top competitive economies in the Arab World: AMF
Updated 19 January 2022

UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar top competitive economies in the Arab World: AMF

UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar top competitive economies in the Arab World: AMF
  • The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar were ranked the most competitive Arab economies

RIYADH: The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar were ranked the most competitive Arab economies for the period between 2017 until 2020, according to a report launched by the Arab Monetary Fund.

The fifth Arab economies competitiveness report showed that the UAE maintained its top ranking in the general index as it benefited from high scores in the business environment and infrastructure category as well as the organizational and government governance category.

The Kingdom ranked second after having performed well in the overall economic index, the external activities sector and the official reserves index.

Qatar followed in third place, after attaining first place in the real economy sector, the inflation index and GDP per capita index.

Four Arab nations advanced in terms of competitiveness compared to the previous period, including Sudan, Egypt, Morocco, and Mauritania.

Arab states and other non-Arab countries — such as Singapore, Malaysia, Turkey — are included also in the calculation of the index.

The report monitors the economic competitiveness of Arab countries and sheds light on the economic and political measures applied by decision makers for that purpose.


TRSDC closes financing for $3.76bn loan from four Saudi banks

TRSDC closes financing for $3.76bn loan from four Saudi banks
Updated 19 January 2022

TRSDC closes financing for $3.76bn loan from four Saudi banks

TRSDC closes financing for $3.76bn loan from four Saudi banks

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's The Red Sea Development Co., or TRSDC, announced the financial closure of a SR14.12 billion ($3.76 billion) loan with four Saudi banks.

The financing will be in a form of a term loan facility and a revolving credit facility.

TRSDC, which is developing the world's largest sustainable tourism project, has obtained the loan from Saudi National Bank, Riyad Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi, and Saudi British Bank, according to a statement.

“This year, we have proceeded at pace with the delivery of our flagship project, all the while mindful of our commitment to not only reduce our impact on the environment but actively deliver a 30 percent net conservation benefit by 2040,” explained John Pagano, chief executive officer of The Red Sea Development Company.

GFC Media Group have recently awarded TRSDC’s Green Financing as Project Finance Deal of Year in the Capital Markets Saudi Arabia Awards.


Egypt achieves a $204m initial budget surplus in six months 

Egypt achieves a $204m initial budget surplus in six months 
Updated 19 January 2022

Egypt achieves a $204m initial budget surplus in six months 

Egypt achieves a $204m initial budget surplus in six months 

RIYADH: Egypt’s general budget achieved an initial surplus of 3.2 billion Egyptian pounds ($204 million) during the first six months of the 2021/22 fiscal year, the minister of finance said. 

Mohamed Maait added that revenues grew by 10.3 percent on an annual basis during that period, while tax revenues increased by 15.7 percent, the Middle East News Agency reported. 

He also said that Egypt targets a budget deficit of 6.6 percent in the 2021/22 fiscal year and a primary surplus of 1.5 percent of gross domestic product. 

The minister’s comments came during the cabinet meeting held on Wednesday by the prime minister Mostafa Madbouly, to review the financial performance indicators during the six months period.