Saudi Arabia launches two initiatives at cost of $10.4 billion to combat climate change: Crown Prince

Saudi Arabia launches two initiatives at cost of $10.4 billion to combat climate change: Crown Prince
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched the Middle East Green Initiative (MGI) Summit in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)
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Updated 26 October 2021

Saudi Arabia launches two initiatives at cost of $10.4 billion to combat climate change: Crown Prince

Saudi Arabia launches two initiatives at cost of $10.4 billion to combat climate change: Crown Prince
  • Mohammed bin Salman said gathering planned to put a regional roadmap into place for combating climate change

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched the Middle East Green Initiative (MGI) Summit in Riyadh on Monday and announced two initiatives at a cost of SR39 billion ($10.39 billion) to combat climate change, of which Saudi Arabia will contribute about 15 percent of the entire cost.

Opening the summit, the Crown Prince said the gathering also planned to put a regional roadmap into place for combating climate change.

“We gather today at this summit to join forces and coordinate our efforts to protect the environment, confront climate change, and develop a roadmap towards reducing carbon emissions in the region by more than 10 percent of global contribution, and plant 50 billion trees in the region, though the largest tree-planting program globally, this will contribute to achieving 5 percent of the global target for afforestation,” said the Crown Prince.

The Crown Prince also said that the Kingdom will be establishing an investment fund for carbon economy solutions in the region, and a global initiative that contributes to clean fuel solutions to feed more than 750 million people worldwide.

He added that the Kingdom will build a regional program to reduce carbon emissions within the framework of the Green Middle East Initiative, and create a cooperation platform to implement the concept of a circular carbon economy.

“There are gaps in the regional climate action system. And through coordinating regional efforts and sharing experiences and technologies, we can accelerate achievements in our initiatives,” he said.

“To enable this, the Kingdom announces that it will establish a Cooperative Platform to implement the concepts of Circular Carbon Economy (CCE), establish a regional hub for climate change, develop a regional centre for Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS), a regional centre for early warning of storms; a regional centre for sustainable development of fisheries; and a regional cloud seeding program. These centres and programs will play a major role in establishing the necessary infrastructure to protect the environment, reduce emissions and raise the level of regional coordination.”

Heads of state from around the world are taking part in the MGI Summit, including Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan and Crown Prince of Jordan Hussein bin Abdullah II.

John Kerry, the first Special Envoy for Climate for the US, is also in attendance.


Saudi stocks end flat amid earnings season, crude oil rally: Closing bell

Saudi stocks end flat amid earnings season, crude oil rally: Closing bell
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Updated 12 sec ago

Saudi stocks end flat amid earnings season, crude oil rally: Closing bell

Saudi stocks end flat amid earnings season, crude oil rally: Closing bell

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s stock market was flat at the closing bell on Thursday, as investors saw a wave of earnings announcements lead to cautious trading, despite a rally in the energy market.

Brent crude oil crossed $90 per barrel, and US benchmark WTI crude oil reached $88.3 per barrel as of 3:48 p.m. Saudi time.

The main TASI index closed at 12,179 points, while the parallel market, Nomu, ended at 25,660 points.

TASI was pushed higher by gains in Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co. but weighed down by National Petrochemical Co., known as Petrochem, and the Saudi Industrial Investment Group, even as all three firms reported earnings.

Saudi Kayan saw its share price soar over 2 percent, after it turned from losses into profits of SR2.39 billion ($640 million) in 2021.

Shares in Petrochem and the Saudi Industrial Investment Group were down 1.2 and 0.9 percent respectively, despite seeing major profit hikes on an annual basis.

The Kingdom’s largest valued bank, Al Rajhi Bank, and one of its leading petrochemical firms, Sipchem, were down 0.7 and 2.9, respectively.

Saudi Automotive Services Co., known as SASCO, soared nearly 10 percent, topping the gainers for a second consecutive day.

SASCO had earlier acquired 80 percent of gas station operator NAFT Services Limited Co. for SR1.1 billion.

Allied Cooperative Insurance Group led the fallers, with its shares declining almost 4 percent.


Rising costs, pandemic curbs take a bite out of McDonald’s profit

Rising costs, pandemic curbs take a bite out of McDonald’s profit
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 8 min 11 sec ago

Rising costs, pandemic curbs take a bite out of McDonald’s profit

Rising costs, pandemic curbs take a bite out of McDonald’s profit
  • Sales rise in Italy, Germany, France, the US and the UK boosted total revenue by 13 percent to $6.01 billion in the three months ended Dec. 31

McDonald’s Corp. missed revenue and profit expectations on Thursday, as higher costs and dismal sales in its over 4,500 restaurants in Australia and China due to pandemic-led curbs ate into gains from growth in the United States in the fourth quarter.


Operating costs rose 14 percent to $3.61 billion as supply chain bottlenecks led the world’s largest burger chain to spend more for ingredients such as chicken and beef, as well as packaging material, while it also raised wages in the United States.


Shares fell nearly 3 percent as sales in China contracted after some cities banned dining in restaurants to control fresh outbreaks ahead of the Winter Olympics. In Australia, sales growth remained muted compared to a year earlier.


“COVID-19 continued to result in varying levels of government restrictions on restaurant operating hours, limited dine-in capacity and, in some cases, dining room closures,” McDonald’s said.


Sales rise in Italy, Germany, France, the US and the UK boosted total revenue by 13 percent to $6.01 billion in the three months ended Dec. 31, but still the company missed market expectation of $6.03 billion, according to Refinitiv data.


Meanwhile, expenses for the burger chain that has more than 40,000 restaurants in over 100 countries have been rising. While McDonald’s had raised prices in 2021, higher costs continue to weigh on profit as it was forced to increase wages to retain workers in the United States, its largest market.


On a per share basis, McDonald’s earned $2.23, but missed analysts’ average estimate of $2.34.


Its US same-store sales increased 7.5 percent compared to analysts’ estimate of a 6.8 percent rise, thanks to the launch of special menu items such as McRib, loyalty program-driven growth in digital sales and higher prices.


Global same-store sales jumped 12.3 percent, compared with Wall Street estimates of a 10.73 percent rise. 


UAE’S First Abu Dhabi Bank books profits of $3.4bn

UAE’S First Abu Dhabi Bank books profits of $3.4bn
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 42 min 6 sec ago

UAE’S First Abu Dhabi Bank books profits of $3.4bn

UAE’S First Abu Dhabi Bank books profits of $3.4bn
  • The outstanding performance reflects indicators of economic recovery and positive momentum for the bank's core business

RIYADH: Largest bank in the UAE, First Abu Dhabi Bank announced its financial results of the last fiscal year with profits of 12.5 billion dirhams ($3.4 billion).

This figure compares to 10.6 billion dirhams in 2020, representing a 19 percent increase, according to a statement.

The outstanding performance reflects indicators of economic recovery and positive momentum for the bank's core business, the statement revealed.

Moreover, the group’s revenue saw a 17 percent surge thanks to strong trading performance and growth in fee-generating business. This contributed to alleviating the repercussions of low interest rates, the statement said.

Operational costs rose when compared to the corresponding period in 2020. This comes as a result of the persisting investments in digital and strategic initiatives as well as taking into consideration Egypt’s Bank Audi business.

Asset quality maintained adequate rates thanks to the proper management of risks and stimulus measures. These were within the framework of the comprehensive economic support plan tailored for the country’s central bank.

The group also maintained strong levels of liquidity, financing, and capital altogether.

Founded in 2017, FAB provides financial solutions, products, and services through its corporate and investment banking and personal banking franchises. 


Gold’s Gym Saudi Arabia jumps into the Kingdom’s IPO market  

Gold’s Gym Saudi Arabia jumps into the Kingdom’s IPO market  
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 47 min 43 sec ago

Gold’s Gym Saudi Arabia jumps into the Kingdom’s IPO market  

Gold’s Gym Saudi Arabia jumps into the Kingdom’s IPO market  

RIYADH: A leading fitness player in the Kingdom and globally, Gold’s Gym Saudi Arabia, has appointed a financial advisor amid plans to list on Saudi Exchange’s parallel market, Nomu.

To manage and lead the initial public offering, the fitness club selected BMG Financial Group, according to a statement by BMG.

US-based Gold’s Gym has several branches across Saudi Arabia, which are all owned by Jeddah's Batterjee Holding Co.


Dubai, Monaco sign agreement to attract ultra-wealth individuals

Dubai, Monaco sign agreement to attract ultra-wealth individuals
Updated 53 min 9 sec ago

Dubai, Monaco sign agreement to attract ultra-wealth individuals

Dubai, Monaco sign agreement to attract ultra-wealth individuals

RIYADH: Government-owned Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre, or DMCC, has signed an initial agreement with Monaco Economic Board in a bid to attract ultra-rich individuals. 

Dubai and Monaco are both synonymous with the ultra-wealthy. The agreement focuses on enabling Ultra High Net Worth Individuals and family offices, with DMCC being the primary destination for global business. 

This comes as the two cities seek to further strengthen the economic synergies and expand bilateral trade relations, the Government of Dubai Media Office reported. 

“The agreement will build on our existing strategic bonds and allow us to explore further trade opportunities between our two countries,” CEO and executive chairman of DMCC, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, said. 

“In line with its mandate to attract trade to Dubai, DMCC continues to expand its global network and work closely with its stakeholders to nurture a thriving business ecosystem in Dubai,” he added. 

The deal comes following the recent European roadshow held by DMCC, where it signed agreements with key counterparts and strategic partners to strengthen collaboration and attract foreign direct investment to Dubai.