US and UAE launch $4bn agricultural innovation initiative at COP26

US President Joe Biden walks to deliver a speech at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, Nov. 2, 2021. (Reuters)
US President Joe Biden walks to deliver a speech at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, Nov. 2, 2021. (Reuters)
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Updated 03 November 2021

US and UAE launch $4bn agricultural innovation initiative at COP26

US and UAE launch $4bn agricultural innovation initiative at COP26
  • The UAE has pledged $1 billion of increased investment as part of the initiative
  • AIM for Climate partners are committing to significantly increase total investment in agricultural innovation by 2025

LONDON: US President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced a major new joint agricultural initiative with the UAE and $4 billion in increased investment to accelerate innovation for climate-smart agriculture and food systems over the next five years.
The Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate was announced by the president on the second day of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
The UAE, which has offered to host COP28, has pledged $1 billion of increased investment as part of this initiative, state-run news agency WAM reported on Tuesday.
“This is something we first proposed at my Leaders’ Summit on Climate,” said Biden, adding that they have been working on the initiative for the last six months “with more than 75 partners to catalyze public and private investment in climate-smart agriculture and food system innovation.”
Biden said: “Today, along with 75 partners, we’re going to launch a $4 billion initial investment globally and the United States is planning to mobilize $1 billion of that $4 billion over the next five years.”
Nearly 25 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture and AIM for Climate partners are committing to significantly increase total investment in agricultural innovation by 2025 versus the 2020 baseline.

Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, the UAE’s envoy for climate change and minister of industry and advanced technology, said: “AIM for Climate is focusing on a sector that has been previously overlooked in terms of the opportunities it offers for global climate action.”
He said the UAE has invested over $17 billion in clean energy around the world, in an effort to promote green innovation and growth in the energy sector.
John Kerry, US envoy for climate, said innovation can reduce emissions, feed the world’s growing population, and help farmers and ranchers mitigate and adapt to climate change, adding that the initiative has had “an impressive start” and that together “partners can do more to catalyze even greater investment in the years ahead.”
UAE Minister of Climate Change and the Environment Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri said that “when we consider that about a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, and the world’s growing population is increasingly dependent on climate-vulnerable food production, we can see the urgency of driving investments in agricultural innovation and R&D.”
Almheiri added that the initiative is the kind of bold move “needed to accelerate the global food systems transformation that we need, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 2 and eradicate world hunger by 2030.”
AIM for Climate’s supporters include over 30 countries from six continents including the recent addition of Azerbaijan, Canada, and the UK, as well as numerous other non-governmental agencies.
“The climate crisis threatens to disrupt food systems around the globe, exacerbate food insecurity and negatively impact farmers’ livelihoods (and) we must invest in innovative, science-based solutions to help agriculture mitigate and adapt to climate change — and that’s what AIM for Climate is all about,” said US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.


Stock market trends to keep an eye on amidst volatility: Premarket

Stock market trends to keep an eye on amidst volatility: Premarket
Updated 07 December 2021

Stock market trends to keep an eye on amidst volatility: Premarket

Stock market trends to keep an eye on amidst volatility: Premarket

RIYADH: Tadawul’s TASI and Nomu fell slightly following a three-day hike to close at 11021.07 points as clarity on COVID-19’s omicron variant risk remains lacking and cases rise.

Sadr Logistics Co. is currently trading at a record high of SR94.8 ($25.27), up nearly 44.5 percent in a week.

Saudi Electricity Co. has been the major contributor to the index’s gains lately. Its share price rose around 32 percent in the past two weeks, reaching SR37.1 in the last close.

A positive five-day performance took place in Wafrah for Industry and Development Co. where the share price jumped 30.7 percent.

The stock value of Saudi Vitrified Clay Pipes Co. surged 18.5 percent in a week.

Among stocks in the steep downtrend was Al Amana Cooperative Insurance Co. which slid 4.1 percent in the prior session, coming in second place after Banque Saudi Fransi which had the steepest fall of 2.3 percent in two days.

Saudi Aramco saw the sharpest fall in terms of market capitalization, falling SR40 billion, according to a bourse filing.

Dropping 5.7 percent in the past week, Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance Co. last closed at SR34.55.

Saudi Telecom Co., or stc, dragged down the Saudi index last trading session, coming on top of the lowest-performing stocks with a decline of 5.34 percent to SR110.

stc’s secondary share subscription period will be open for two days starting Dec.7 for retail tranche and is still ongoing for participating parties till Dec.9.

The price range has been set between SR100 and SR116 per share.

The Kingdom's Aramco signed a $15.5 billion gas pipeline deal with global consortium, led by BlackRock Real Assets, in an effort to align Aramco’s asset portfolio with its growth strategy.

Batic Investments and Logistics Co.’s shareholders approved to raise capital by 100 percent through a SR300 million rights issue.

Batic’s trading fluctuation limits will be based on a share price of SR24.46 as of Dec.7.
Growth Avenue Investment Co., Maharah Human Resources Co.’s subsidiary, signed an agreement to acquire an 85 percent equity stake in Alshifa Al-Arabiya Medical Co.
Ataa Educational Co. announced the appointment of Fahad bin Abdulaziz Al-Tuwaijry as the company’s chief executive officer effective Dec.14, following the resignation of Mr. Ibrahim bin Abdulkarem Al-Turki.

National Building and Marketing Co.’s subsidiary, Ajeej Steel Manufacturing Co. initiated trial operations to expand its production capacity by 40 percent annually.


Mobily appoints former Saudi transport minister Al-Amudi as new Chairman

Mobily appoints former Saudi transport minister Al-Amudi as new Chairman
Updated 07 December 2021

Mobily appoints former Saudi transport minister Al-Amudi as new Chairman

Mobily appoints former Saudi transport minister Al-Amudi as new Chairman

RIYADH: Saudi telecom operator Etihad Etisalat Co, also known as Mobily, has appointed former Saudi transport minister Nabeel Mohamed Al-Amudi as its new chairman.

Mobily also appointed Suliman Abdulrahman AlGwaiz as Vice Chairman, following the Board of Directors' meeting on Monday Dec. 2, according to a bourse filing.

 


Saudi eateries give tough competition to foreign outlets

Saudi eateries give tough competition to foreign outlets
Updated 07 December 2021

Saudi eateries give tough competition to foreign outlets

Saudi eateries give tough competition to foreign outlets
  • The Saudi capital has seen the birth of 288,000 square meters of new developments since 2016

RIYADH: More than two-thirds of Riyadh’s new restaurants are Saudi, dwarfing American and Lebanese influenced eateries, according to a report from real estate firm Knights Frank.

The Saudi capital has seen the birth of 288,000 square meters of new developments since 2016, when the National Transformation Plan was announced, the research says.  “The Kingdom’s capital is beginning to morph into a foodie’s treasure trove and we’re not done yet,” Faisal Durrani, head of Middle East research at Knight Frank said. 

This growth is led by homegrown restaurants and cafes, he added, with 68 percent of Riyadh’s new outlets being Saudi — 21 percent of which specialize in international cuisine. 

“American food outlets account for 16 percent of food and beverage outlets, while Lebanese restaurants are the third most prevalent at 13 percent,” Durrani said. 

The US and the UAE are the second and third largest sources of restaurant chains in Riyadh, respectively, he added.

“International brands must adapt their proposition across the full spectrum to suit demand, both in terms of operational aspects, as well as the actual menu offering itself,” said Pedro Riberio, head of retail advisory KSA at Knight Frank. The Kingdom’s capital will further benefit from upcoming tourism developments, including the Bujairi Terrace and Diriyah Gate, which the Knight Frank report said will add “15,000 sq. meters of lifestyle retail space to the capital when its 17 restaurants open their doors in 2022.”

This rapid growth and competition are putting pressure on older developments, the report indicated, with some operators struggling to keep vacancy rates and footfall up.


Saudi, Omani firms unveil deals worth $10bn as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman begins visit

Saudi, Omani firms unveil deals worth $10bn as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman begins visit
Updated 07 December 2021

Saudi, Omani firms unveil deals worth $10bn as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman begins visit

Saudi, Omani firms unveil deals worth $10bn as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman begins visit

RIYADH: On the eve of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s arrival in Muscat, Saudi Arabia and Oman signed 13 memoranda of understanding, reportedly worth more than $10 billion and covering a number of sectors.

The agreements were signed by Omani companies fully-owned by the sultanate’s Investment Authority, Omani state TV reported on Monday.

OQ Group, a global energy provider based in Oman, signed three of the agreements, the first of which was with ACWA Power and Air Products in the fields of petrochemicals, renewable energy and green hydrogen. The second, relating to oil storage, was signed with Saudi Aramco, and the third, involving development of Oman’s Duqm Petrochemical Complex project, with SABIC.

Omran Group signed a memorandum with the Saudi Dar Al-Arkan Real Estate Development Company for the development of the Yetti Beach in Oman. Omran is described as creating sustainable and authentic tourism assets, lifestyle communities and destinations designed to drive economic growth and contribute to the diversification of the economy.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gets a warm welcome in Muscat from Sultan Haitham bin Tarik. (Supplied)


Another memorandum was signed by Fisheries Development Oman and Saudi Arabia’s National Aquaculture Group, or Naqwa, to boost cooperation in fisheries.

The Saudi Tadawul Group and the Muscat Securities Market signed a memorandum for cooperation with the operation of the stock exchange and the dual listing of companies.

Oman-based Asyad, a logistics group, signed an agreement with Saudi Bahri, a transportation and logistics company, while Minerals Development Oman signed a deal with the Kingdom’s Maaden Phosphate Co. to boost cooperation in the mining sector.

Badr Al-Badr, the CEO of the National Companies Entrepreneurship Program in Saudi Arabia, said that the total investment value of the memoranda of understanding is expected to exceed $10 billion, the Oman News Agency reported.

Crown Prince Mohammed arrived in Oman on Monday on the first of several stops on an official tour of Gulf states. The visit is expected to build on talks Omani Sultan Haitham bin Tariq held with King Salman during his visit to Saudi Arabia in July.

The crown prince’s visit is “based on directives from King Salman, his keenness to communicate with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and to strengthen ties,” the Royal Court said in a statement issued by the Saudi Press Agency.

The prince will meet the sultan and they will review issues of mutual concern, with the aim of achieving progress and prosperity for both countries and their peoples, the Oman News Agency reported.

The visit to Oman is an “affirmation of the ties of fraternity and kinship, and the historical relations binding the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the ONA report said, adding that both countries “are set for a new stage of economic and investment cooperation in all fields.”

In July, both countries reaffirmed plans for joint investment in advanced technologies, innovation, renewable-energy projects, industrial health, real estate, tourism, petrochemical-converting industries, supply chains, logistics partnerships, information technology and financial technology, according to ONA.
 

Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tarik welcomes Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman upon his arrival in Muscat. (Supplied)

“The achievements made over the past five months and the active exchange of visits among officials reflect the keen desire of the two countries to work together,” the agency said, adding that this includes the establishment of the Saudi-Omani Investment Forum, which was held in Muscat in August, during which a number of agreements were signed.

A memorandum establishing a coordination council was signed by the two countries, along with a separate agreement to boost government and private-sector trade and investment, as well as cooperation, in environmental and food security.

According to a joint statement, the two sides also agreed to expedite the opening of their border crossings to ease the movement of people and goods to “integrate supply chains in order to achieve the desired economic integration.”

During his regional tour, the Saudi crown prince will also meet leaders and senior officials of the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait to discuss bilateral relations. His trip comes ahead of the GCC summit in Riyadh this month. He is expected to head to Abu Dhabi after Oman.


ACWA power to sign $7bn green hydrogen deal with Omanoil, Air Products

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is greeted by Haitham bin Tarik, Sultan of Oman in Muscat. (ONA)
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is greeted by Haitham bin Tarik, Sultan of Oman in Muscat. (ONA)
Updated 07 December 2021

ACWA power to sign $7bn green hydrogen deal with Omanoil, Air Products

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is greeted by Haitham bin Tarik, Sultan of Oman in Muscat. (ONA)
  • Part of 13 MoUs signed with a value of $10bn

MUSCAT: Saudi ACWA power will sign on Tuesday a $7 billion deal with Omanoil and Air Products to produce green hydrogen in Oman's Salalah Free Zone, it was reported on Monday.

Omani and Saudi firms signed 13 memoranda of understanding (MoU) potentially valued at more than $10 billion, Omani official media reported on Monday, as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sets off on a Gulf tour.

The deals come as part of Prince Mohammed's visit to Oman as part of a GCC-wide tour.

The crown prince will also meet with leaders and senior officials of the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait, to discuss bilateral relations.