E-commerce in Saudi Arabia gets a boost due to pandemic, says Visa study

E-commerce in Saudi Arabia gets a boost due to pandemic, says Visa study
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Updated 17 November 2021

E-commerce in Saudi Arabia gets a boost due to pandemic, says Visa study

E-commerce in Saudi Arabia gets a boost due to pandemic, says Visa study

RIYADH: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in an increase in online spending in Saudi Arabia and people are increasingly switching to contactless payments, Visa reported in its COVID-19  CEMEA Impact Tracker study. 

The study tracks the impact of the pandemic on consumer attitudes and spending across Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. 

It showed that 61 percent of the Saudis surveyed reported an increase in their online spending, and 90 percent will continue to shop online even once the pandemic is over. 

“Our research shows how the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way the region’s consumers spend their money, with many of these significant behavioral changes likely to continue after the pandemic is over,” said Ali Bailoun, Visa’s general manager for Saudi Arabia. 

The study also showed that digital payments remain the preferred method for transactions, with 60 percent of consumers reporting increasing their usage of digital payment methods.

Visa’s survey showed that COVID-19 pandemic created significant opportunities for the ecommerce sector. 


Advanced Polyolefins secures $1.6bn loans for 3 plants at Jubail Industrial City

Advanced Polyolefins secures $1.6bn loans for 3 plants at Jubail Industrial City
Updated 12 sec ago

Advanced Polyolefins secures $1.6bn loans for 3 plants at Jubail Industrial City

Advanced Polyolefins secures $1.6bn loans for 3 plants at Jubail Industrial City

RIYADH: Advanced Polyolefins Industry Co., a unit of Saudi-listed Advanced Petrochemical, has secured loans worth SR6.1 billion ($1.6 billion) to finance the construction of three plants at Jubail Industrial City II in Saudi Arabia.

The Shariah-compliant facility deals are repayable in 22 installments until November 2035, while SR956 million of the amount is payable by May 2026, a bourse filing revealed.

The company said the proceeds will be used to set up three plants for propane dehydrogenation, polypropylene, and isopropanol, with a capacity to produce 843,000, 800,000, and 70,000 tons per annum, respectively.

Alinma Bank, Al Rajhi Banking and Investment Corp., Arab National Bank, and the Saudi National Bank were among the financing entities for the facilities. 


Saudi-listed shipping firm Bahri closes $1.04bn sukuk issuance

Saudi-listed shipping firm Bahri closes $1.04bn sukuk issuance
Updated 15 min 46 sec ago

Saudi-listed shipping firm Bahri closes $1.04bn sukuk issuance

Saudi-listed shipping firm Bahri closes $1.04bn sukuk issuance

RIYADH: National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia, better known as Bahri, has completed the issuance of SR3.9 billion ($1.04 billion) sukuk, denominated in Saudi Riyals and maturing in seven years.

The offering, led by Al Rajhi Capital, HSBC Saudi Arabia, and SNB Capital, started by mid-June, and the settlement was done on July 5, the firm said in a bourse filing.

The Saudi-listed company earlier said it will use proceeds to refinance the existing sukuk which will mature this month.

Bahri is a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and the Public Investment Fund, operating a fleet of 89 tankers and container ships that transport oil, petrochemicals, and other types of cargo.

 


OPEC secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo dies

OPEC secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo dies
Updated 19 min 44 sec ago

OPEC secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo dies

OPEC secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo dies

RIYADH: OPEC secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo dies at Abuja, Nigeria at an age of 63, Arab News learned.

He will be buried in his home town Yola, a source confirmed.

The news of Barkindo’s death was confirmed by Mele Kyari, managing director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. 

In a tweet, Kyari described Barkindo’s departure as a great loss to his immediate family, NNPC Nigeria, OPEC and the global energy community.

A few hours before his death, Barkindo was honored by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at the state house.

During the honoring ceremony, Buhari described Barkindo as a worthy ambassador of the country, and lauded his efforts as the secretary general of OPEC for six years.

“You have indeed been a worthy ambassador of our country. We are proud of your achievements before and during your appointment at OPEC and the proud legacies you will leave behind,” said Buhari, during the honoring event. 

Barkindo’s unexpected demise came at a time when he was expected to complete his tenure as the OPEC secretary-general on July 31. 

A few days back, it has been reported that Barkindo will join the Atlantic Council as a distinguished fellow in the Global Energy Center after his term at the OPEC. 

In his career which spanned over four decades, Barkindo has worked as NNPC’s International Investments head, president of Duke oil, CEO of NNPC, etc. 

From 1986 to 2010, Barkindo was the Nigerian Delegate to OPEC Ministerial Conferences. He became the secretary-general of OPEC on Aug. 01, 2016, and continued in that position until his death. 

 


Saudi authorities taking steps to prevent artificial price hike, says minister

Saudi Minister of Commerce Majid Al-Qasabi. (Supplied)
Saudi Minister of Commerce Majid Al-Qasabi. (Supplied)
Updated 06 July 2022

Saudi authorities taking steps to prevent artificial price hike, says minister

Saudi Minister of Commerce Majid Al-Qasabi. (Supplied)
  • After 13 months — specifically March 2021 — there were growing signs of economic recovery, Al-Qasabi said, but warning that there was an increase in demand versus supply

JEDDAH: Major events including the COVID-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine have caused price hikes around the world, Saudi Minister of Commerce Majid Al-Qasabi said in a periodic government communication conference on Tuesday.

The press conference discussed four key areas: Global events that led to price increases, the Saudi leadership’s guidance to address the effects of the hikes, repercussions of global events on prices, as well as a question and answer segment.

“Let us rewind two years and a half back to February 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic was an economic, social and mental tsunami. It was the biggest economic crisis in the world,” Al-Qasabi said.

“This pandemic affected the whole world all at once, and suddenly without any warning. We are still suffering from its effects,” he added.

“We stayed in the pandemic for 13 months, and after that, it was the beginning of recovery.”

After 13 months — specifically March 2021 — there were growing signs of economic recovery, Al-Qasabi said, but warning that there was an increase in demand versus supply.

“The demand was more than the supply, and this causes an imbalance in the market, when the demand exceeds the supply. Of course, the result will be that prices have risen,” he added.

Al-Qasabi pointed to the Suez Canal obstruction in March 2021 as another event that added to global economic woes.

“We saw the blockage of the navigational movement and the cessation of the navigational movement in the Suez Canal, then after three months — in July 2021 — the second variant of the virus appeared and imposed a curfew again, which caused the closure of some ports and some cities,” he said.

In February 2022, the Russia-Ukraine conflict began. The minister said that the war affected transportation, too.

“We had a crisis between Russia and Ukraine, and we still do not know how long this crisis will last. These events combined, overlapped and completed, leading to a crisis in transportation and supply chains,” he said.

The transportation and supply chain crisis includes the disruption of some transportation ports, such as the main port of Shanghai, a sixfold increase in the cost of transportation, as well as surging freight insurance rates.

Al-Qasabi hailed King Salman’s royal order on Monday that approved the allocation of SR20 billion ($5.32 billion) to help citizens mitigate the impacts of rising global prices.

Half of the allocated money will go to social insurance beneficiaries and the Citizen Account Program.


NRG Matters: QatarEnergy signs deal with Shell for $30bn North Field East project; Germany’s renewable energy consumption up

NRG Matters: QatarEnergy signs deal with Shell for $30bn North Field East project; Germany’s renewable energy consumption up
Updated 05 July 2022

NRG Matters: QatarEnergy signs deal with Shell for $30bn North Field East project; Germany’s renewable energy consumption up

NRG Matters: QatarEnergy signs deal with Shell for $30bn North Field East project; Germany’s renewable energy consumption up

RIYADH: On a macro level, the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy has discussed measures for monitoring petroleum product trading in the emirate. Zooming in, QatarEnergy has signed a deal with Shell for the Gulf state’s $30 billion North Field East expansion. 

Looking at the bigger picture

  •  Dubai Supreme Council of Energy has discussed measures for monitoring petroleum product trading in the emirate, according to WAM.
  • Renewable energy accounted for 49 percent of the total German power consumption in the first half of 2022, up 6 percent from a year earlier, Reuters reported. 

Industry groups have attributed this increase to favorable weather conditions. 

Through a micro lens:

  • QatarEnergy has signed a deal with Shell for the Gulf state’s North Field East expansion, the first phase of the world's largest liquefied natural gas project, according to Reuters.

This happens as the country partners with international companies in the first and largest phase of the nearly $30 billion expansion that will boost Qatar’s position as the world’s top LNG exporter.

  • Siemens Gamesa and Germany’s renewables developer wpd have signed a supply agreement for  a 927-megawatt Gennaker offshore wind power plant, according to Trade Arabia.

Located 15 kilometers off the German coast, the project will feature 103 Siemens Gamesa Direct Drive offshore wind turbines each with a 167-meter rotor.