Germany’s output rises in 3Q, consumer confidence turns pessimistic: Economic wrap

Germany’s output rises in 3Q, consumer confidence turns pessimistic: Economic wrap
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Updated 26 November 2021

Germany’s output rises in 3Q, consumer confidence turns pessimistic: Economic wrap

Germany’s output rises in 3Q, consumer confidence turns pessimistic: Economic wrap

Germany’s gross domestic product grew by a yearly rate of 2.5 percent in the third quarter of this year, data from the country’s Federal Statistics Office showed.

This was driven by higher shipments abroad as exports rose by 5.5 percent year-on-year.

Household and government final consumption also expanded, rising by 1.6 percent and 2.2 percent from a year earlier.

The gross value added increased for nearly all sectors in the third quarter of 2021, when compared to the same period last year. Business services experienced the highest growth, jumping by 6.1 percent. 

The sector of public services, education and health witnessed a 2.9 percent rise while the group of trade, transport, accomodation and food underwent a growth rate of 2.8 percent.

Employment was also slightly up, increasing by 0.6 percent from a year ago. Labor productivity enhanced by 0.1 percent as well.

Meanwhile, consumer confidence in the EU’s largest economy slumped, according to the German GfK Group. The Nuremberg-based firm predicts consumer confidence to reach -1.6 in December down from November's reading of 1.

This is the lowest level in six months and was partly due to a resurgence of Covid-19 cases, risking possible restrictions.

GfK said that both economic and income expectations were down for consumers.

Korea’s interest rate decision

Korea’s central bank decided to raise the country’s interest rate by 25 bps to reach 1 percent, in the Monetary Policy Board’s latest meeting. 

This comes at a time when the Bank of Korea wants to rein in inflationary pressures as consumer price inflation reached around 3 percent on the back of low base effects and rising petroleum prices.

The central bank also released its GDP forecasts for the country, in its economic outlook report. Korea’s economy is expected to expand by 4 percent in 2021 and 3 percent in 2022. 

The report said that the recovery of private consumption will induce a continuation in the expansionary path of exports and investments.

Mexico’s GDP

Mexico’s output narrowed by a quarterly rate of 0.4 percent in the third quarter of this year, official data showed. 

While the output of primary and secondary activities expanded by 1.3 and 0.3 percent respectively, production in the tertiary sector, mainly services, declined by 0.9 percent quarter-on-quarter.

Spanish producer prices

Producer prices in Spain surged by an annual rate of 31.9 percent in October, up from 23.8 percent in the previous month, data by the country’s official statistics agency revealed.

This was mainly driven by soaring energy prices, which went up 87.3 percent year-on-year. Prices of intermediate goods also rose considerably, increasing by 19 percent.


Saudi SABIC, ExxonMobil begin operations of petrochemical JV on US Gulf Coast

Saudi SABIC, ExxonMobil begin operations of petrochemical JV on US Gulf Coast
Updated 20 January 2022

Saudi SABIC, ExxonMobil begin operations of petrochemical JV on US Gulf Coast

Saudi SABIC, ExxonMobil begin operations of petrochemical JV on US Gulf Coast

RIYADH: Riyadh-based Saudi Basic Industries, also known as SABIC, one of the leading petrochemical firms worldwide, announced the start of operations of its petrochemical joint venture with US ExxonMobil.

US Texas is to witness the launch of an ethylene production unit – operating an annual capacity of around 1.8 million tons, the homegrown petrochemical company said in a statement.

The new production unit, which started construction in 2019, will produce materials to be utilized in packaging, agricultural film, construction materials, clothing, and automotive coolants.

This project is in line with SABIC’s strategy, aimed at diversifying its feedstock as well as strengthening its position in North America.

“This is a remarkable achievement that positions us well to help meet growing global demand for performance products while providing meaningful investment in the US Gulf Coast,’ president of ExxonMobil Karen McKee said, commenting on the partnership.

SABIC noted that the deal’s financial impact is expected to roll out on the company’s financial statements during the ongoing quarter.

In the latest trading session, shares of the company edged down by 0.2 percent to close at SR126 ($33.6).


Mastercard, Coinbase partner to make NFTs more accessible

Mastercard, Coinbase partner to make NFTs more accessible
Updated 20 January 2022

Mastercard, Coinbase partner to make NFTs more accessible

Mastercard, Coinbase partner to make NFTs more accessible

RIYADH: Payments giant Mastercard has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to make non-fungible tokens more accessible.

Mastercards can be used to make purchases on Coinbase’s upcoming NFT marketplace.

“We’re excited to announce today that we’re partnering with Coinbase to let people use their Mastercard cards to make purchases on Coinbase’s upcoming NFT marketplace,” Mastercard said in a statement.

“Getting more people involved safely and securely is perhaps the best way to help the NFT market thrive.”

Mastercard also sees greater potential for core NFT technology to go beyond art and collectibles in many other areas.

Coinbase announced in October last year that it is launching an NFT marketplace.

“Coinbase NFT, as a peer-to-peer marketplace that will make minting, purchasing, showcasing and discovering NFTs easier than ever,” Coinbase said.

“We’re making NFTs more accessible by building user-friendly interfaces that put the complexity behind the scenes. We’re adding social features that open new avenues for conversation and discovery. And we’re going to grow the creator community exponentially, a win for artists and for fans.” 


Saudi Wafrah appoints Khaled Saleh Al Amoudi as CEO

Saudi Wafrah appoints Khaled Saleh Al Amoudi as CEO
Updated 20 January 2022

Saudi Wafrah appoints Khaled Saleh Al Amoudi as CEO

Saudi Wafrah appoints Khaled Saleh Al Amoudi as CEO

RIYADH: Saudi food firm Wafrah for Industry and Developments has appointed Khaled Saleh Al Amoudi as CEO on Thursday, according to a bourse statement. 

The decision follows recommendation from the Remuneration and Nomination Committee.

With a M.Sc.in Financial Management, Al Amoudi currently holds the chief financial officer position at the firm, with more than 20 years of accumulated experience as CFO and in the governmental and bank sectors.


Tadawul approves $755m government debt listing

Tadawul approves $755m government debt listing
Updated 20 January 2022

Tadawul approves $755m government debt listing

Tadawul approves $755m government debt listing

RIYADH: Saudi stock exchange Tadawul approved listing of SR2.83 billion ($755 million) worth of government debt instruments, submitted by the Ministry of Finance, according to a bourse filing.

The first issuance dated January 8, amounts to SR1.25 billion, Tadawul said in a statement.

The second issuance dated January 12, is valued at SR1.59 billion.


Profits of Saudi-based SADAFCO drop 28.6% as pandemic hits sales

Profits of Saudi-based SADAFCO drop 28.6% as pandemic hits sales
Updated 20 January 2022

Profits of Saudi-based SADAFCO drop 28.6% as pandemic hits sales

Profits of Saudi-based SADAFCO drop 28.6% as pandemic hits sales

RIYADH: Saudia Dairy and Foodstuff Co., or SADAFCO, reported a 28.6 percent decline in profit during the nine months ending Dec. 31, 2021. 

Profits dropped to SR146 million ($38.9million), compared to SR205 million in the corresponding period a year earlier, the company announced in a bourse statement.

SADAFCO attributed the lower profit figures to lower sales volumes driven by the pandemic, an increase from 5 percent to 15 percent in VAT, and higher material and logistics costs.

The financial statements of the company indicated a healthy cash flow, with a strong cash position of SR679 million.

SADACFO’s share price edged down by 0.12 percent in today’s session to close at SR167.

Earlier, the company’s board recommended cash dividends at SR3 per share for the first half of the fiscal year ended Mar. 31, 2022.

Jeddah-based SADAFCO operates sales and distribution depots in 24 locations across Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, and Kuwait. Its products are also exported to several countries in the MENA region.