Nissan says phasing out gas-powered cars depends on customer demand

Special Nissan says phasing out gas-powered cars depends on customer demand
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Updated 07 December 2021

Nissan says phasing out gas-powered cars depends on customer demand

Nissan says phasing out gas-powered cars depends on customer demand

DUBAI: Nissan is eco-friendly but also consumer-led, a top official from the Japanese automaker said in the wake of the company not signing a COP26 global pledge to phase out gas-guzzling cars. 

As many as 30 national governments joined the deal struck in Glasgow last month, as the transportation industry races to fix decades of environmental damage due to carbon emissions.

They were joined by six automotive giants, including Ford and Mercedes-Benz, but Nissan, with its French partner Renault, skipped the pact. 

“If customers say remove it (gas-fueled vehicle production), we will remove it,” Ashwani Gupta, Nissan’s chief operating officer told Arab News on Tuesday. 

“If (a customer) doesn’t find any more excitement in internal combustion engines cars; if he doesn’t find any price competitiveness in ICE cars; if he has to pay a CO2 penalty, why will he keep it?”

Gupta, who was in Dubai for a media tour, emphasized the importance of making the transition smooth for Nissan’s customers.

“I think it’s up to us how to make it competitive, so customers will naturally do it,” he explained, adding: “In Europe, it will happen very soon.”

The Japanese automaker is ramping up efforts to introduce new electric car models in the next 10 years, aiming for a 50 percent electrification mix by 2030, as it also doubles down on being carbon neutral across the life cycle of its products by 2050. 

Last week, it announced a $17.6 billion investment to develop solid-state batteries for its planned electric model line-up, as well as to establish a pilot plant by 2024, with production starting by 2028. 

Europe is the company’s biggest market for electrification, and it plans to increase sales of electric vehicles in the region by more than 75 percent — followed by Japan, China, and the US. 

As for the Middle East, Gupta said the region has the vision for sustainability and global excellence. 

“Timing could be different because other markets started before, but the Middle East is starting now,” he said.

In an earlier statement, Gupta said his company’s vision is focused on creating “customer pull through an attractive proposition.”

The company is planning to localize manufacturing and sourcing to make electric vehicles more competitive — starting with its core markets of Japan, China, and the US, drawing from its EV Hub concept in the UK. 

“Nissan is working for the future,” Gupta said, downplaying remarks of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn, who said the carmaker is “visionless.” 

 


Payroll startup Deel partners with UAE to speed up visa processes 

Payroll startup Deel partners with UAE to speed up visa processes 
Updated 13 sec ago

Payroll startup Deel partners with UAE to speed up visa processes 

Payroll startup Deel partners with UAE to speed up visa processes 

RIYADH: San Francisco-based startup Deel has partnered with the UAE government to speed up the visa process for foreign workers as the country aims to attract international talent.

The global payroll and onboarding company offers hiring and payment services for companies that are aiming to recruit international employees or contractors.

“I expect this to be a big growth generator for Deel and hopefully a big magnet for talent to the UAE,” Deel CEO Alex Bouaziz said in a statement.

The company said the strategic partnership with the UAE Office for AI, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications will enable its built-in platform and customer base for remote work employees moving to the UAE.

Deel customers will have faster access to UAE’s Golden and Green visas that allow 10-year self-sponsored residence visas or more flexible visas for a shorter period.


Commodities Update — Gold flat; Wheat, soybean fall; Copper heads for worst quarter

Commodities Update — Gold flat; Wheat, soybean fall; Copper heads for worst quarter
Updated 27 min 33 sec ago

Commodities Update — Gold flat; Wheat, soybean fall; Copper heads for worst quarter

Commodities Update — Gold flat; Wheat, soybean fall; Copper heads for worst quarter

RIYADH: Gold was mostly quiet on Thursday, but faced its worst quarter since early 2021 as the strength of the dollar kept investors away. 

Bullion’s outlook was clouded by top central banks adopting aggressive tactics against stubborn inflation.

Spot gold was flat at $1,817.07 per ounce by 0339 GMT. US gold futures edged up 0.1 percent to $1,819.70.

Gold prices, set to drop for a third straight month, have fallen about 6.2 percent this quarter. 

Silver slightly up

Spot silver was up 0.1 percent at $20.72 per ounce, while platinum was flat at $916.66. 

Palladium gained 1.2 percent to $1,986.21. However, they were all still headed for monthly and quarterly losses.

Grains fall

Chicago corn fell on Thursday, weighed down by increased chances of rain in growing areas in the US.

Wheat and soybeans also fell.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade fell 0.42 percent to $6.51 a bushel.

Wheat fell 0.59 percent to $9.24-3/4 a bushel and soybeans edged down 0.02 percent to $17.48 a bushel.

Copper heads for worst quarter since March 2020

Copper prices slipped on Thursday and were set for their biggest quarterly percentage drop since March 2020, hit by worries about a potential recession following a series of interest rate hikes and a slowdown in demand due to lockdowns in top consumer China.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.4 percent at $8,371.50 a ton, as of 0437 GMT. The contract has fallen more than 19 percent so far this quarter.

The most-traded August copper contract in Shanghai was flat at $9,555.69 a ton by the midday break.

(With input from Reuters) 


Oil Updates — Crude prices fall amid build in US fuel product inventories; Ecuador’s Oriente crude exports suspended

Oil Updates — Crude prices fall amid build in US fuel product inventories; Ecuador’s Oriente crude exports suspended
Updated 30 June 2022

Oil Updates — Crude prices fall amid build in US fuel product inventories; Ecuador’s Oriente crude exports suspended

Oil Updates — Crude prices fall amid build in US fuel product inventories; Ecuador’s Oriente crude exports suspended

RIYADH: Oil prices edged lower in volatile trading on Thursday as the market weighed concerns of global supply and a build in US fuel product inventories.

Brent crude futures for September, the more actively traded contract, were down 45 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $112.00 per barrel at 0711 GMT.

The August contract, which expires Thursday, was at $115.15, down $1.11 a barrel, or 1.0 percent.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 57 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $109.21.

Ecuador’s Oriente crude exports suspended

Exports of Ecuador’s flagship Oriente crude remain suspended under a force majeure declaration as the spread of anti-government protests hurts oil output, state-run Petroecuador said on Wednesday.

At least eight people have died and road blockades have led to food and medicine shortages. The crisis has halved oil output, the country’s main source of revenue, to some 234,500 barrels per day while forcing reductions in fuel prices, though protest leaders have called the price cuts insufficient.

On Wednesday, the government imposed a curfew and restricted transit in four provinces to restore public order, control violence, secure basic supplies and protect state property, while marking oilfields and facilities as secured zones.

The energy minister said output could be completely halted in a matter of days over acts of vandalism.

Petroecuador has not yet rescheduled the suspended Oriente cargoes, it said in a release. The firm issued a wide force majeure declaration over oil exploration, production, transport and exports on June 18, and enforced the cargo suspension on June 28.

“Once the force majeure is overcome, the company will timely notify companies about operations to coordinate the cargo rescheduling,” it said.

German oil refiner to halt diesel deliveries after lightning strike

German oil refiner Bayernoil plans to halt deliveries of diesel and heating oil to customers for several days from Thursday after a lightning strike, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

Bayernoil is the largest oil refiner in Germany’s southern state of Bavaria and the incident adds to two other outages in the same region as Europe’s diesel market suffers from the loss of imports from Russia.


TASI begins flat as investors remain uncertain: Opening bell

TASI begins flat as investors remain uncertain: Opening bell
Updated 30 June 2022

TASI begins flat as investors remain uncertain: Opening bell

TASI begins flat as investors remain uncertain: Opening bell

RIYADH: The main index, TASI, started the last trading session of the week flat at 11,735 on the back of investors’ uncertainty over inflation and the possibility of a recession.

The parallel market, Nomu, began the day 0.96 percent higher to reach 20,927, as of 10:06 a.m. Saudi time.

Aramco, the largest player on the Saudi oil market, started the day in the red, dropping 0.38 percent.

In the financial sector, Saudi Arabia's largest valued bank, Al Rajhi, added 0.12 percent, while one of the Kingdom’s biggest lenders, Saudi National Bank, fell 0.44 percent.

Pharma giants Aldawaa Medical Services Co. and Nahdi Medical Co. both shed 0.44 percent and 0.25 percent, respectively.

Among telecom stocks, stc and Zain declined by 0.30 percent and 1.03 percent, respectively

The market gainers were led by Sinad Holding Co. with a gain of 2.60 percent, followed by Sahara International Petrochemical Co., or SIPCHEM, with a gain of 2.65 percent.

In the decliners' list, Al-Omran Industrial Trading Co. came in first with a 2.11 percent decline, followed by Retal Urban Development Co. with a 1.64 percent decline.

In energy trading, Brent crude settled at $115.19 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate reached $109.08 a barrel, as of 10:08 a.m. Saudi time.


Saudi Almrakez expects net assets to rise by $2.7bn from property revaluation 

Saudi Almrakez expects net assets to rise by $2.7bn from property revaluation 
Updated 30 June 2022

Saudi Almrakez expects net assets to rise by $2.7bn from property revaluation 

Saudi Almrakez expects net assets to rise by $2.7bn from property revaluation 

RIYADH: Arabian Centres Co.’s board of directors approved using the fair value model to measure real estate and investment properties — an exercise that the company expects will increase the value of its assets by SR10 billion ($2.7 billion).

Known as Almrakez, the mall operator is seeking an increase from nearly SR16 billion to SR26 billion in net assets by the third quarter of 2023, it said in a bourse filing.

It will implement the new model according to the IAS 40 accounting standard, as the Capital Market Authority allowed listed companies to use that system from 2022 onwards.

“The adoption of this accounting standard has many advantages to the company, among them that the value of investment properties will be presented at their fair value in the financial statements,” Almrakez stated.

The move will overall enhance the firm’s ability to expand its operations in a faster and more efficient manner by embracing new investment opportunities.