Russia likely to declare cryptomining legal: Crypto wrap

Russia likely to declare cryptomining legal: Crypto wrap
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Updated 10 November 2021

Russia likely to declare cryptomining legal: Crypto wrap

Russia likely to declare cryptomining legal: Crypto wrap

RIYADH: The Russian government has signaled its willingness to recognize cryptocurrency mining as a legal entrepreneurial activity and tax it accordingly.

Officials believe the regulatory move will benefit both the state and the crypto industry.

The sector remains unregulated, the Russian Ministry of Finance has recently acknowledged in comments to the local press.

The industry is expanding in Russia, which is rich in energy resources and ranks first among global destinations in terms of share of the global hashrate.

Mining should be regulated precisely as an entrepreneurial activity as it fits in the legal definition provided in the Civil Code, according to the Russian Ministry of Economic Development.

It emphasized this would allow the government to tax miners’ revenue and increase budget receipts.

“This is exactly an area in which the state can benefit in the form of taxes, and people can legalize their income, big business is also becoming more and more interested in this,” Alexey Minaev, deputy director of the ministry’s Digital Economy Development Department told a Russian daily.

Coinbase trading volumes 

US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc. reported a nearly 30 percent fall in the third quarter trading volumes on a sequential basis, hit by lower volatility and declining prices for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Trading volumes fell to $327 billion in the second quarter from $462 billion and Bitcoin trading comprised 19 percent, down from 24 percent last quarter.

The company’s shares tumbled 13 percent in trading after the bell. Total revenue fell to $1.31 billion from $2.23 billion in the prior quarter, also missing estimates of $1.57 billion.

“A little bit less concerned about what's the recent rally; recent growth is becoming less of a speculative thing,” Coinbase CEO said.

Mastercard credit

Mastercard has announced that it has partnered with three crypto service providers across the Asia Pacific region to launch the region’s first crypto-linked payment cards.

The three partners are Amber Group, Bitkub in Thailand, and Coinjar in Australia. Through this partnership, they will launch Mastercard payment cards funded with cryptocurrency.

“For the first time, consumers and businesses in the Asia Pacific region will be able to apply for crypto-linked Mastercard credit, debit or prepaid cards,” Mastercard reported.

This announcement comes at a time when interest in cryptocurrencies is at an all-time high across the region.

Trading

Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency, traded higher on Wednesday, rising by 1.79 percent to $68,312 at 6:16 p.m. Riyadh time.

Ether traded at $4,852, up 1.25 percent, according to data from CoinDesk.


Saudi Grains Organization buys 5k tons of wheat for $2.4m 

Saudi Grains Organization buys 5k tons of wheat for $2.4m 
Updated 18 sec ago

Saudi Grains Organization buys 5k tons of wheat for $2.4m 

Saudi Grains Organization buys 5k tons of wheat for $2.4m 

RIYADH: The Saudi Grains Organization has deposited SR9 million ($2.4 million) to 15 local wheat farmers who supplied quantities allocated for this season.

Purchasing an amount of 5,058 tons, the payment constitutes the fifteenth batch, according to SAGO’s statement. 

It noted that the total amount spent this season so far has reached SR814.6 million.


Saudi banking sector’s assets to reach $1.2tn by 2030, minister says

Saudi banking sector’s assets to reach $1.2tn by 2030, minister says
Updated 18 min 27 sec ago

Saudi banking sector’s assets to reach $1.2tn by 2030, minister says

Saudi banking sector’s assets to reach $1.2tn by 2030, minister says

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s financial sector aims to increase the total assets of the banking sector to over SR4.5 trillion ($1.2 trillion) by 2030, the Kingdom’s Minister of Finance said. 

During his speech on the occasion of the 92nd National Day, Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan added that the total banking assets amounted to SR3.5 trillion by the end of the second quarter of 2022, according to Asharq Alawsat. 

He noted that the growing strength of the Saudi economy reflects the solidness of financial policies, and its ability to adapt in the face of challenges.

He praised the results achieved by the Financial Sector Development Program, the Financial Sustainability Program and the National Center for Privatization Program.

The Financial Sector Development Program has increased the number of bodies that are effective in financial technology to over 120 companies until September 2022, he explained. 

With regards to the Financial Sustainability Program, the minister noted that it contributed to carrying out many structural reforms.

This is in addition to contributing to raising growth and employment rates, and maintaining financial sustainability, through which financial and economic stability would be achieved, he added.

Speaking of the privatization program, Al-Jadaan explained it contributed to strengthening the partnership between the public and private sectors.

He added that the National Center for Privatization Program has contributed to setting the general frameworks for the privatization system. 

In August, Saudi Arabia’s banking sector showed its continuation to outperform its regional counterparts in 2021, with assets growing by a record 10 percent to SR3.3 trillion, according to a report by The Banker.

The Banker’s Top 100 Arab Banks ranking showed that Saudi lenders’ combined Tier 1 capital base is higher than any other country in the region.

The ranking was issued for the year 2022 and data used for the listing pertained to 2021.

While higher oil prices helped economic growth in the Kingdom recover to 3.1 percent in 2021, up from a 4.1 percent contraction the previous year, it is the country’s booming mortgage market — fueled by government initiatives to help Saudi nationals acquire a property — that continues to boost banks’ balance sheets.


ADNOC, TAQA close $3.8bn deal for clean energy, decarbonization

ADNOC, TAQA close $3.8bn deal for clean energy,  decarbonization
Updated 44 min 22 sec ago

ADNOC, TAQA close $3.8bn deal for clean energy, decarbonization

ADNOC, TAQA close $3.8bn deal for clean energy,  decarbonization

RIYADH: Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., and Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., known as TAQA, have finalized a deal for the construction of a $3.8-billion strategic project to power and decarbonize ADNOC’s offshore production operations.

According to a statement, a consortium comprising Korea Electric Power,  Kyushu Electric Power Co., and Électricité de France will build, own, operate and transfer its high-voltage direct current sub-sea transmission network in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The statement noted that the KEPCO-led consortium holds a 40 percent stake in the project under a build, own, operate and transfer basis, while ADNOC and TAQA own stakes amounting to 30 percent each. 

According to the statement, the full project will be returned to ADNOC after 35 years of operation. 

The transmission system will have a total installed capacity of 3.2 GW and will comprise two independent subsea HVDC links and converter stations, the statement added. 

The construction of this project is expected to start this year, and commercial operation is expected to commence in 2025. 

“ADNOC has once again demonstrated its ability to successfully structure and close a bold and progressive transaction that will help secure our low-carbon future as we intensify our efforts to decarbonize our operations,” said Sultan Al-Jaber, UAE minister of industry and advanced technology and managing director and group CEO of ADNOC. 

He added: “As the responsible provider of reliable and low-carbon energy, ADNOC will continue to work with our partners to advance practical and commercially viable solutions as the energy transition partner of choice.” 

According to the statement, the development is expected to reduce the carbon footprint of ADNOC’s offshore operations by more than 30 percent. 

The project will replace ADNOC’s existing offshore gas turbine generators with more sustainable power sources available on the Abu Dhabi onshore power network, operated by TAQA’s wholly owned subsidiary, Abu Dhabi Transmission and Despatch Co. 

Mohamed Alsuwaidi, chairman of Taqa, said: “Reaching financial close is an important milestone for this distinctive project, which will see TAQA providing ADNOC offshore facilities with low-carbon energy securely and efficiently through TRANSCO’s power network system.” 

“TAQA continues to showcase how its expertise can be utilized to decarbonize industry through strategic partnerships and bringing value to its stakeholders,” he added. 


Germany seeks to deepen energy ties with Saudi Arabia

Germany seeks to deepen energy ties with Saudi Arabia
Updated 11 min 33 sec ago

Germany seeks to deepen energy ties with Saudi Arabia

Germany seeks to deepen energy ties with Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Saturday after a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that he wants to deepen the energy partnership between the two countries.

Speaking to reporters, Scholz said that the partnership should go beyond fossil fuels to include hydrogen and renewable energies.

Germany, until recently heavily dependent on Russia for gas, has been seeking to diversify its energy supply since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Scholz, on a two-day trip to the Gulf, said he also addressed issues involving human and civil rights in talks with the Crown Prince.

During the meeting, the Crown Prince and Scholz discussed aspects of Saudi-German relations and areas of partnership between the two countries. 

The Crown Prince also discussed prospects of elevating the bilateral relationship with Germany and opportunities for the Kingdom’s development in accordance with Vision 2030. 

After the Saudi Arabian visit, Scholz reached UAE on Saturday night, where he was welcomed by Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, and several officials at the Presidential Terminal of the Abu Dhabi International Airport, news agency WAM reported. 

Scholz said on Sunday that he had seen progress in talks to buy liquefied natural gas and diesel from the UAE. 

The German Chancellor, however, did not provide details on the talks with the UAE. 

“We need to make sure that the production of LNG in the world is advanced to the point where the high demand that exists can be met without having to resort to the production capacity that exists in Russia,” Scholz told reporters. 

Scholz further noted that Germany is determined to never again rely on a single energy supplier. 

He added: “With the investments that we are now making in Germany, and that will become reality bit by bit next year, we will indeed have an infrastructure for gas imports for Germany, such that we are no longer directly dependent on the specific supplier at the other end of the pipeline, as we are with a pipeline connection.” 

Amid these widespread calls to reduce Russian energy imports, Moscow retaliated by reducing gas flows and threatening to shut off all the taps, sending prices soaring and could even raise the possibility of energy rationing in Europe. 

(With inputs from Reuters and AFP) 


Cement producer Qassim signs MoU to acquire Hail Cement

Cement producer Qassim signs MoU to acquire Hail Cement
Updated 25 September 2022

Cement producer Qassim signs MoU to acquire Hail Cement

Cement producer Qassim signs MoU to acquire Hail Cement

RIYADH: Qassim Cement Co. has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Hail Cement Co. regarding a securities exchange transaction, in which the former will acquire all of Hail’s issued shares.

Both parties will therefore proceed with due diligence in connection with the proposed transaction, according to a bourse filing.

Upon completion of the relevant financial evaluation and after consideration of the due diligence, Qassim and Hail will begin discussions on a non-binding exchange ratio.

Hail’s shareholders will receive 0.1933 newly issued shares in Qassim for each share they own in Hail.