Mawani, Maersk sign agreement to establish Middle East's largest logistics park at Jeddah port

Mawani, Maersk sign agreement to establish Middle East's largest logistics park at Jeddah port
Short Url
Updated 31 October 2021

Mawani, Maersk sign agreement to establish Middle East's largest logistics park at Jeddah port

Mawani, Maersk sign agreement to establish Middle East's largest logistics park at Jeddah port
  • The minister of transport, Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, noted that the new logistics area will support the growth of the logistics industry in the Kingdom

Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) signed an agreement with the shipping company, Maersk, to establish the largest integrated logistics park for Maersk in the region at Jeddah Islamic port, the authority said in a statement. 

Maersk, in cooperation with the General Authority of Ports, will establish the integrated logistics zone in Jeddah with an investment value exceeding SR 500 million by the shipping company. 

“The strategic partnership between the authority and Maersk is an important step to achieve our ambition for Jeddah Islamic Port to become among the top ten ports in the world by 2030,” Mawani’s president, Omar bin Talal Hariri, said. 

The minister of transport, Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, noted that the new logistics area will support the growth of the logistics industry in the Kingdom. 

“The development of the new Integrated Logistics Park will further enhance the capabilities of Jeddah Islamic Port and contribute to consolidating the Kingdom’s position as a leading global hub for maritime transport and logistics services,” he noted. 


Oil Updates — Crude edges down; Indian refiners buy Russian oil in dollars

Oil Updates — Crude edges down; Indian refiners buy Russian oil in dollars
Updated 24 sec ago

Oil Updates — Crude edges down; Indian refiners buy Russian oil in dollars

Oil Updates — Crude edges down; Indian refiners buy Russian oil in dollars

RIYADH: Oil prices retreated slightly on Thursday after gaining more than $3 in the prior session, with a strong dollar capping oil demand from buyers using other currencies and concerns over the faltering economic outlook clouding market sentiment.

Brent crude futures fell 41 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $88.91 per barrel by 0337 GMT while US crude futures dropped by 35 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $81.80.

Indian refiners pay dollars for Russian oil after dirham attempts fail

Indian companies are still buying Russian oil using dollars after Dubai’s Mashreq Bank declined to handle payments from at least two refiners in Emirati dirhams as requested by the supplier, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Russia has been hit by sanctions from the US and allies following its invasion of Ukraine, and Moscow has requested some buyers of its commodities pay using roubles or other currencies than the dollar and euro which its contracts are typically priced in.

Traders supplying Russian oil in July had asked at least two Indian companies to settle in dirham. An invoice from one of the refiners seen by Reuters showed oil payments were calculated in dollars while the payment was requested in dirhams.

The invoice showed payments to be made to Gazprombank via Mashreq Bank, its correspondent bank in Dubai. Mashreq has a branch in New York, according to its website.

The three sources said the dirham payments did not go through because Mashreq declined to facilitate the trade. 

Afghan Taliban sign deal for Russian oil products

The Taliban have signed a provisional deal with Russia to supply gasoline, diesel, gas and wheat to Afghanistan, Acting Afghan Commerce and Industry Minister Hajji Nooruddin Azizi told Reuters.

Azizi said his ministry was working to diversify its trading partners and that Russia had offered the Taliban administration a discount on average global commodity prices.

The move, the first known major international economic deal struck by the Taliban since they returned to power more than a year ago, could help to ease the Islamist movement’s isolation that has effectively cut it off from the global banking system.

Azizi said the deal would involve Russia supplying around one million tons of gasoline, one million tons of diesel, 500,000 tons of liquefied petroleum gas, and two million tons of wheat annually.

On Wednesday, Russia’s state-owned TASS news agency quoted Moscow’s special representative for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, as confirming that “preliminary agreements” had been reached on fuel and food supplies to Kabul.

Russian oil and gas sector braces for tax hikes of over $60 billion

The Russian government has proposed more than $60 billion in tax increases for the oil and gas industry in 2023-2025, the biggest such rises in the country’s history, as it seeks to plug its budget gap, according to a document published on Wednesday.

One of the heftiest burdens was slapped on Kremlin-controlled gas giant Gazprom, which is set to pay an extra 50 billion roubles ($855 million) in mineral extraction tax each month over the three-year period, according to the proposed tax code changes.

The budget is seen gaining an extra 628 billion roubles in 2023, almost 700 billion roubles in 2024, and 750 billion roubles in 2025 just by increasing MET on natural gas production.

Total additional oil and gas tax revenues are seen at 1.28 trillion roubles next year, 1.13 trillion roubles in 2024, and 1.19 trillion roubles in 2025. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said last week Russia’s budget deficit would come in at 2 percent of the gross domestic product in 2023 before narrowing to 0.7 percent in 2025.

The tax change bill will go to parliament for debate and then needs to be signed off by President Vladimir Putin.

TotalEnergies plans to spin off Canadian oil sands assets

TotalEnergies said on Wednesday it is looking to spin off its Canadian oil sands operations and list the new company on the Toronto Stock Exchange, as the assets do not fit with the French oil major’s low-emissions strategy.

At an investor presentation in New York, TotalEnergies said the proposal would be subject to a shareholder vote at its next annual general meeting in May 2023. 

The spin-off would include TotalEnergies’ 24.58 percent stake in Suncor Energy’s Fort Hills oil sands mining project in northern Alberta and its 50 percent stake in the ConocoPhillips-operated Surmont thermal project, as well as midstream and trading-related activities.

Canada’s oil sands hold some of the world’s largest crude reserves but are more carbon-intensive and costly to produce than many conventional oil projects worldwide.

“We are not the best shareholder of these assets because as we have a climate strategy, we don’t want to invest in these assets,” TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne said.

The French major’s oil sands assets will generate $1.5 billion of cash flow in 2022, he added.

(With input from Reuters) 


 


China launches $28bn loan facility to support manufacturers

China launches $28bn loan facility to support manufacturers
Updated 28 September 2022

China launches $28bn loan facility to support manufacturers

China launches $28bn loan facility to support manufacturers
  • Yuan ends at weakest since global financial crisis, hits record low

BEIJING, SHANGHAI: China’s central bank said on Wednesday it has set up a relending facility worth more than 200 billion yuan ($27.59 billion) to help manufacturers and other companies upgrade their equipment, as part of a push to revive flagging demand.

The People’s Bank of China said in a statement that it will provide low-cost funds to financial institutions and guide them to lend to firms to support such upgrades. The loans will be issued on a monthly basis, and the interest rate for qualified firms will be no higher than 3.2 percent from Sept. 1, 2022 to Dec. 31, 2022, the central bank added. China’s one-year loan prime rate is currently 3.65 percent.

The lending facility will support sectors including education, health, culture, tourism and sports, electric vehicle chargers, urban underground facilities, new infrastructure and industrial digital transformation, the central bank said.

The PBoC has increasingly relied on structural, or targeted policy tools, including low-cost loans, to support the slowing economy, as it faces limited room to cut interest rates for fear of fueling capital flight and inflation.

The PBoC has rolled out relending facilities to support the transport, logistics and storage sectors that have been hit hard by COVID-19, as well as carbon emission reduction, tech innovation and elderly care.

On Sept. 14, China’s Cabinet announced steps to support equipment upgrades by companies, extending a raft of measures to bolster the COVID-ravaged economy.

Onshore yuan

China’s onshore yuan extended losses on Wednesday to end the domestic session at its lowest level against the dollar since the global financial crisis of 2008, while the offshore yuan hit a record low, pressured by expectations of more US rate hikes.

Currency traders said the yuan was reacting to broad greenback strength in global markets as the dollar hit a fresh two-decade peak against a basket of currencies, buoyed by safe-haven demand and a hawkish Federal Reserve.

In onshore markets, the yuan finished the domestic trading session at 7.2458 per dollar, its weakest such close since January 2008 and down 658 pips or 0.91 percent from previous late night close of 7.18.

The offshore yuan followed suit and weakened 1.15 percent on the day to trade at 7.2635 around 0830 GMT.

Fuel export

China may tweak a proposed sharp increase in refined fuel export quotas for this year by extending the plan into next year, as it weighs the benefits to the economy of higher exports against low domestic stocks and operational challenges, four sources told Reuters.

However, the four sources with direct knowledge of the matter — and three others — said the government was still reviewing the matter.

The market has been widely expecting China to release a fifth batch of fuel export quota of up to 15 million tons for the rest of the year, which would be its largest so far in 2022 and lift China’s sagging exports.

The proposal from refiners’ planning departments, following a government call to boost trade, has led some refiners to ready an increase in output to take advantage of the quota.


Consultancy agreement signed to launch Jordanian-Iraqi economic city

Consultancy agreement signed to launch Jordanian-Iraqi economic city
Updated 28 September 2022

Consultancy agreement signed to launch Jordanian-Iraqi economic city

Consultancy agreement signed to launch Jordanian-Iraqi economic city
  • Industries on the site will benefit from free trade agreements and have access to over 1bn consumers without customs restrictions

AMMAN: The Jordanian-Iraqi Industry Company and the Coalition for Engineering Consultancy have signed a contract for the provision of services for a Jordanian-Iraqi border economic city project, Jordan News Agency reported.

The engineering consultancy firm will be involved in all stages of finding a developer to carry out the project, including the creation of tender documents, according to the agreement. 

Following the signing ceremony, the company, which is owned by Jordan and Iraq, announced the start of administrative and procedural steps for the project. 

The economic city will strengthen Jordanian-Iraqi business cooperation, and spur development in western Iraq and eastern Jordan. 

The company said in a statement that industries operating in the economic city will benefit from free trade agreements signed by Jordan with many countries, and have access to more than 1 billion consumers without technical or customs restrictions.

It added that the project “constitutes an opportunity to build Jordanian-Iraqi economic integration in many fields, especially industrial ones.”

The joint economic city will be built on the Jordan-Iraq border, with both countries making land available for construction.

 


Bahrain-based Eat App raises $11m in a series B funding

Bahrain-based Eat App raises $11m in a series B funding
Updated 28 September 2022

Bahrain-based Eat App raises $11m in a series B funding

Bahrain-based Eat App raises $11m in a series B funding

RIYADH: Bahrain-based restaurant reservation platform, Eat App, raised $11 million in a series B funding round.

The funding round included venture capital firms MEVP, 500 Startups, Derayah VC, Dalah Albaraka, Ali Zaid Al-Quraishi and Brothers, and Rasameel Investment Company.

The firm seeks expand globally and invest in product development to support restaurants and guest experience.

“Looking back, the pandemic impacted Eat App greatly. While it caused a drop in revenue, it was also one of the largest accelerators of the business, as restaurants were forced to implement digital tools,” Nezar Kadhem, co-founder and CEO of Eat App, said in a statement.

Founded in 2015, Eat App currently operates in Bahrain, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Doha, with more than 800 restaurants on its platform.


Aramco’s Wa’ed Ventures leads French AI firm Alteia’s funding round

Aramco’s Wa’ed Ventures leads French AI firm Alteia’s funding round
Updated 28 September 2022

Aramco’s Wa’ed Ventures leads French AI firm Alteia’s funding round

Aramco’s Wa’ed Ventures leads French AI firm Alteia’s funding round

RIYADH: Alteia, a European artificial intelligence and industrial software company, announced that it closed its latest funding round led by Wa’ed Ventures, Saudi Aramco’s venture capital arm.

Alteia will utilize its funding to increase its presence in the Kingdom by opening an office in Dhahran to support companies in the region as well as invest in research and development.

“To have the world’s leading energy company invest in Alteia through its investment arm is a strong show of faith in our trajectory, and weighs in the value of contextualized, actionable visual data as the foundation to shape a more efficient, more sustainable industrial future,” Benjamin Benharrosh, co-founder of Alteia, said in a statement.