Egypt set for $3 billion loan, in part for sustainable projects, sources say

Egypt set for $3 billion loan, in part for sustainable projects, sources say
Ongoing construction of New Alamein City in Egypt. Shutterstock
Short Url
Updated 24 November 2021

Egypt set for $3 billion loan, in part for sustainable projects, sources say

Egypt set for $3 billion loan, in part for sustainable projects, sources say
  • It will need parliamentary approval to be finalised

Egypt is expected to finalise a $3 billion loan to be used in part to finance sustainable projects, three sources said, as the nation attempts to recover from a drop in tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The financing, arranged by Emirates NBD and First Abu Dhabi Bank, follows the repayment earlier this year of a $2 billion facility Egypt borrowed last year, one of the sources said.


Part of the loan will be "green", meaning proceeds will be used to finance sustainable projects, and part will be Sharia-compliant, the sources said, asking not to be named because the deal has not been made public.


A group of conventional and Islamic banks are taking part in the syndication process, they said.


Egyptian officials were not immediately available to comment on the new loan. Emirates NBD and FAB declined to comment.


The new transaction was initially marketed to banks with a $2 billion size but was increased because it was over-subscribed, two of the sources said.


It will need parliamentary approval to be finalised, one of the sources said.


In August last year Egypt raised a $2 billion loan arranged by Emirates NBD and FAB to finance the state budget and support the economy.


That facility, split into conventional and Islamic tranches, had a one-year duration, while the new loan will have a three-year tenor, two of the sources said.


Fitch Ratings last month affirmed the country's long-term foreign currency rating at B+ with a stable outlook, saying it had shown stability and resilience during the pandemic, but had a budget deficit of around 7.5 percent of gross domestic product.


The loss of tourism during the pandemic reduced one of Egypt's major sources of foreign currency.


Next year, it will host U.N. climate talks that will attempt to further progress at the Glasgow conference this month on limiting global warming.


SABIC Agri-Nutrients to invest inside and outside Saudi Arabia: Chairman

SABIC Agri-Nutrients to invest inside and outside Saudi Arabia: Chairman
Updated 13 sec ago

SABIC Agri-Nutrients to invest inside and outside Saudi Arabia: Chairman

SABIC Agri-Nutrients to invest inside and outside Saudi Arabia: Chairman

RIYADH: SABIC Agri-Nutrients Co. plans to continue examining investment opportunities both inside and outside Saudi Arabia, Chairman Abdulrahman Shamsaddin told Argaam.

Through the investment plan, the company will establish projects related to the agricultural nutrients industry in order to support its growth strategy for fertilizers and nutrients.

Along with conforming to all relevant industry standards and laws, the chairman said the company will form a partnership with all its stakeholders locally and globally. This will be done to improve shareholder rights and boost the company’s workforce to maximize its assets and reach global audiences, according to the top official.  

SABIC Agri-Nutrients Co. profit soared to SR2.5 billion ($670 million) in the first quarter, compared to SR423 million in the same period a year ago, one of the highest quarterly profits.

Incorporated in 1965, SABIC is a half-owned subsidiary of chemical giant SABIC and a significant player within the fertilizer industry. It supplies customers throughout the Middle East, Far East, Africa, and the US.

 


Commodities Update — Gold flat; Wheat nears record peak; UN warns on child nutrition due to price hikes

Commodities Update — Gold flat; Wheat nears record peak; UN warns on child nutrition due to price hikes
Updated 7 min 51 sec ago

Commodities Update — Gold flat; Wheat nears record peak; UN warns on child nutrition due to price hikes

Commodities Update — Gold flat; Wheat nears record peak; UN warns on child nutrition due to price hikes

RIYADH: Gold prices were little changed on Tuesday, as a pullback in the dollar supported demand for greenback-priced bullion and countered pressure from a recovery in US Treasury yields.  

Spot gold was last up 0.1 percent at $1,825.29 per ounce, as of 2.18 a.m. GMT, while US gold futures gained 0.6 percent to $1,825.60. 

Spot silver dropped 0.2 percent to $21.56 per ounce, while platinum was flat at $945.76. 

Palladium fell 1.2 percent to $2,002.17. 

Wheat up on supply worries

Chicago wheat futures on Tuesday neared a record peak set in March, after the US Department of Agriculture reported a worsening condition of the winter crop, deepening supply worries in an already-tight market.

The significance of US crops has risen after the Russian invasion of Ukraine hampered shipments from the key Black Sea region, and India unexpectedly closed its doors on wheat exports.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade rose as much as 2.2 percent to $12.75 a bushel, the highest since March 8, when it hit a record high of $13.64.

CBOT corn was down 0.5 percent at $8.05-1/4 a bushel as of 0204 GMT, after touching a two-week peak in the previous session.

CBOT soybeans were 0.1 percent higher at $16.58 a bushel.

London copper at near 1-week high

Prices of London copper, often used to gauge global economic health, rose to a nearly one-week high on Tuesday, as top metals consumer China’s decision to ease some COVID-19 restrictions fueled expectations of a recovery in demand.

Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 1.1 percent at $9,338 a ton, as of 0504 GMT, after hitting its highest since May 11 at $9,341.50.

The most-active June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.8 percent to $10,573.36 a ton by the midday break.

UN warns of ‘catastrophic’ child malnutrition due to price hikes, Ukraine war

The cost of life-saving treatment for the most severely malnourished children is set to jump by up to 16 percent, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and pandemic disruptions, according to the United Nations’ children’s agency.

The raw ingredients of the ready-to-eat-therapeutic food have leapt in price, amid the global food crisis sparked by the war and pandemic, UNICEF said.

Without further funding in the next six months, 600,000 more children may miss out on the essential treatment, which is a high-energy paste made of ingredients including peanuts, oil, sugar and added nutrients.

UNICEF did not specify how much increased spending would be needed to maintain the program. It said a carton of the specialized nutrition containing 150 packets — enough for 6 to 8 weeks to bring a severely malnourished child back to health — goes for about $41 on average.

Alongside the wider pressure on food security, including climate change, the price rise could lead to “catastrophic” levels of severe malnutrition, the children’s agency warned in a statement.

“The world is rapidly becoming a virtual tinderbox of preventable child deaths and child suffering from wasting,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell.

(With input from Reuters) 


Crypto Moves — Bitcoin, Ether edges up; Bank of France Governor issues warning; Grayscale to launch digital assets ETF

Crypto Moves — Bitcoin, Ether edges up; Bank of France Governor issues warning; Grayscale to launch digital assets ETF
Updated 24 min 15 sec ago

Crypto Moves — Bitcoin, Ether edges up; Bank of France Governor issues warning; Grayscale to launch digital assets ETF

Crypto Moves — Bitcoin, Ether edges up; Bank of France Governor issues warning; Grayscale to launch digital assets ETF

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded higher on Tuesday, up 0.20 percent to $30,418 as of 08:52 a.m. Riyadh time.

Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $2,077, up 0.32 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

Bank of France Governor issues dire warning

Meanwhile, following the cryptocurrency crash last week, Bank of France Governor, Francois Villeroy de Galhau told a conference on Monday that crypto assets could disrupt the international financial system if they were not regulated and made interoperable in a consistent and appropriate manner across jurisdictions.

He pointed to stablecoins, which he said were somewhat misnamed, as among the sources of risk.

Speaking separately, Fabio Panetta, member of the executive board of the European Central Bank, also said on Monday that stablecoins were vulnerable to runs.

The US Federal Reserve had warned last week that stablecoins were vulnerable to investor runs, because they were backed by assets that could lose value or become illiquid in times of market stress.

Jupiter, Yarbrough among investors who sold Coinbase before big fall

Jupiter Asset Management, Azora Capital LP and billionaire Jon Yarbrough’s family office were among funds that sold all of their stakes in cryptocurrency company Coinbase Global Inc., before the company fell nearly 30 percent to record lows in early May, according to filings released on Monday.

But over the same period — the quarter ended March 31 — Cathie Wood’s ARK Innovation fund continued to add to its position in Coinbase, the filings showed.

Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in the United States, tumbled after the company missed earnings estimates and reported declining trading volumes as the value of bitcoin fell near 17-month lows. Shares in the company fell 3.6 percent on Monday and are now down 74 percent for the year to date.

Jupiter Asset Management sold 73,441 shares of the company in the quarter that ended March 31, while Azora Capital sold 43,290 shares and Yarbrough Capital sold 16,968, according to securities filings.

Tiger Global, meanwhile, cut its stake by approximately 70 percent, leaving it with 836,597 shares in the company.

Grayscale to launch digital assets ETF in UK, Italy, Germany

Grayscale will list an exchange-traded fund in Europe made up of companies representing the “Future of Finance,” the world’s largest cryptocurrency asset manager said in a statement on Monday. 

The ETF, tracking the “Bloomberg Grayscale Future of Finance Index,” will be listed on the London Stock Exchange, Italy’s Borsa Italiana and Germany’s Deutsche Börse Xetra and begin trading on May 17. It is the first time that US-based Grayscale has listed a fund in Europe.

The index contains a mixture of companies involved in digital currencies including asset managers, exchanges, brokers, technology firms, as well as firms directly involved in cryptocurrency mining.

“For us, the digital economy is primarily being driven through the proliferation of digital assets,” said Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein.

(With input from Reuters) 


India In-Focus — Indian shares rise; US expresses concerns over wheat export ban

India In-Focus — Indian shares rise; US expresses concerns over wheat export ban
Updated 26 min 48 sec ago

India In-Focus — Indian shares rise; US expresses concerns over wheat export ban

India In-Focus — Indian shares rise; US expresses concerns over wheat export ban

MUMBAI: Indian shares extended gains to a second session on Tuesday, supported by metal stocks.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 1.36 percent to 16,057.70, as of 0508 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex gained 1.09 percent to 53,553.72, after snapping a six-session losing streak on Monday.

LIC falls in market debut

Shares in Life Insurance Corp. of India slid 5 percent in their market debut on Tuesday, a fresh setback for the state-owned giant after its initial public offering, while record-breaking, raised far less for the government than initially envisioned.

The country’s biggest insurer and its largest domestic financial investor was trading at around 900 rupees ($11.6) per share on Tuesday morning compared with its IPO price of 949 rupees, valuing it at around 5.7 trillion rupees or $73 billion.

The share price decline is in line with a slump in the broader market since LIC’s IPO opened for subscription on May 4.

“We were not expecting big, as markets were jittery, expect it to pick up,” LIC Chairman M. R. Kumar told reporters.

At one point on Tuesday, LIC shares plunged as much as 9 percent before paring losses.

The government had raised roughly $2.7 billion from selling a 3.5 percent stake in LIC.

 

US concerned over wheat export ban

US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Monday he has “deep concern” about India’s wheat export ban, which spurred a rally in already elevated wheat prices.

“What we need is transparency in the market, what we need is a market that is helping to get goods to those who are in need,” Vilsack said on a call with journalists.

 

(With input from Reuters)


France's Engie agrees deal with Russia's Gazprom on gas payments

France's Engie agrees deal with Russia's Gazprom on gas payments
Updated 47 min 33 sec ago

France's Engie agrees deal with Russia's Gazprom on gas payments

France's Engie agrees deal with Russia's Gazprom on gas payments
  • Engie declined to comment on whether this meant the utility had opened, or planned to open, an account with Gazprombank

French power company Engie said on Tuesday it has reached an agreement with Gazprom on its scheme to pay for Russian gas in roubles, and at the same time reported higher first-quarter profits and raised its 2022 financial targets.

Engie shares were up 5.4 percent to 12.26 euros at 0733 GMT taking them to the top of France's CAC 40 Index.

CEO Catherine MacGregor told a call with reporters that Engie and Gazprom have agreed on a solution in line with both companies' expectations in terms of currencies and with European sanctions.

Engie declined to comment on whether this meant the utility had opened, or planned to open, an account with Gazprombank.

MacGregor told reporters during the call that the next payments were "imminent".

The European Commission shared updated guidance with EU countries on Friday.

It confirmed previous advice that EU sanctions do not prevent companies from opening an account at a designated bank, and companies can pay for Russian gas — as long as they do so in the currency agreed in their existing contracts and declare the transaction completed when that currency is paid.

The energy group said in a statement that it has taken multiple actions to improve security of supply, including increasing volumes with existing suppliers and contracts with new suppliers, as well as adapting its hedging actions.

Engie said it has reduced its direct exposure to Gazprom from a maximum of 15 terawatt hours (TWh) to just under 5 TWh at the end of March.

In the context of rising power prices, which have increased following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, it upgraded its 2022 financial guidance, saying it expects 2022 group share net recurring income of 3.8-4.4 billion euros ($3.97-$4.59 billion), versus a previous target of 3.1-3.3 billion euros.

Engie's revenue for the first quarter ending March 31 rose 85% from a year ago to 25.6 billion euros, while its earnings before interest (EBIT) grew 74% to 3.5 billion euros.
Analysts at JP Morgan said the first-quarter results were very strong.
"We believe that the company is very well on track to deliver: this will ultimately depend on a number of factors including power prices evolution and the evolution of Russia/Ukraine situation", they said in a note.