Consortium to buy Aramco’s gas pipeline seeks $14.7bn loan: CNBC Arabia

Consortium to buy Aramco’s gas pipeline seeks $14.7bn loan: CNBC Arabia
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Updated 08 December 2021

Consortium to buy Aramco’s gas pipeline seeks $14.7bn loan: CNBC Arabia

Consortium to buy Aramco’s gas pipeline seeks $14.7bn loan: CNBC Arabia

JEDDAH: The consortium for Saudi Aramco’s largest energy infrastructure deal, is looking to obtain a $14.7 billion loan. 

The source revealed to CNBC Arabia that the consortium sought to take advantage of current low financing rates. The loan will last for seven years.

Saudi Aramco signed on Dec. 6 a $15.5 billion leaseback deal involving its gas pipeline network with a consortium led by investment giant BlackRock and Hassana Investment Co.

Hassana sits within the General Organization for Social Insurance and is the Saudi government’s new fund established to invest in stock markets regionally, globally as well as leading real estate ventures, commercial and service projects.

Aramco will hold a 51 percent majority stake in the new subsidiary for the project, Aramco Gas Pipeline Company, with the remaining 49 percent stake held by investors led by BlackRock and Hassana.


Oman partners with Virgin Orbit for satellite launch platform 

Oman partners with Virgin Orbit for satellite launch platform 
Updated 12 sec ago

Oman partners with Virgin Orbit for satellite launch platform 

Oman partners with Virgin Orbit for satellite launch platform 

RIYADH: Oman-based International Emerging Technologies Co. signed an agreement with the US-based Virgin Orbit to prepare satellite launch platforms in Oman.

Oman’s Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology has supported the agreement to reinforce the Sultanate’s interest in the space science sector and related logistics services, it said in a statement. 

As per the agreement, the establishment of satellites in low Earth orbit will be studied to conduct scientific research, capture high-resolution images of space, and use the latest solutions to digitally analyse data and images collected from orbit.

The partnership will empower local talents and open investment opportunities for universities through academic exchange programs, according to the statement. 

This happens as Oman seeks to accelerate the space industry in the Sultanate. 


Saudi Arabia gaming consumption expected to hit $6.8bn by 2030: BCG report

Saudi Arabia gaming consumption expected to hit $6.8bn by 2030: BCG report
Updated 6 min 53 sec ago

Saudi Arabia gaming consumption expected to hit $6.8bn by 2030: BCG report

Saudi Arabia gaming consumption expected to hit $6.8bn by 2030: BCG report

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is poised to take a leading role in the gaming and Esports industry as consumption is projected to reach $6.8 billion by 2030, up from $959 million in 2020, according to a Boston Consulting Group report.

The report expected an average annual compounded growth rate of 22 percent for the Saudi gaming consumption.

“Despite the Kingdom being a relatively recent entrant to this space, the industry is vibrant and fast-growing, nevertheless,” Povilas Joniskis, a partner at BCG, said.

“Passionate gamers are primarily powering its growth and popularity at present, and it is more than feasible for them to embark on full-time careers and become involved on the international stage,” he added.

Saudi Arabia accommodates 23.5 million gaming enthusiasts, amounting to 67 percent of the national population, the report showed.

Despite the growth potential of the Kingdom, challenges await due to the landscape being in an early development stage compared to other international markets.

The report also revealed that lack of funding to compete full-time, scarcity of local competition, no clear pathway for gamers to become professional, and social stigma associated with choosing a career in gaming and Esports, constitute key barriers to the industry.


Saudi NEOM, Jordan join to run projects across vital sectors

Saudi NEOM, Jordan join to run projects across vital sectors
Updated 11 min 47 sec ago

Saudi NEOM, Jordan join to run projects across vital sectors

Saudi NEOM, Jordan join to run projects across vital sectors

The Saudi Arabian planned city NEOM will cooperate with Jordan to propel the advancement of economically feasible projects across vital sectors, the Jordanian agency Petra reported.

Under the terms of the collaboration, both parties will work side by side to establish projects and partnerships that could potentially benefit both sides across crucial and strategic sectors, especially the energy and water desalination sectors on the Red Sea.

This will follow further research from the concerned ministers and officials of NEOM regarding the scope and economic feasibility of the projects.

Established in 2019 and owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, NEOM corporation aims to develop the relevant area residing northwest of the Kingdom.  


Saudi bourse extends gains as oil rally continues: Closing bell

Saudi bourse extends gains as oil rally continues: Closing bell
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 31 min 44 sec ago

Saudi bourse extends gains as oil rally continues: Closing bell

Saudi bourse extends gains as oil rally continues: Closing bell

RIYADH: The Saudi stock exchange extended gains today, as investors reacted to a strong rebound in the energy market.

Brent crude oil surpassed $89 per barrel, and US benchmark WTI crude oil rose to $86.2 per barrel as of 3:20 p.m. Saudi time.

At the closing bell, the main index TASI registered gains standing at 0.6 percent, reaching 12,183 points, with Banque Saudi Fransi hitting its highest value since 2008 of SR51 ($13.6).

The parallel market Nomu inched up by 0.5 percent to close at 25,688 points.

Saudi oil giant Aramco awarded a SR268 million contract to Arabian Pipes Co. to provide steel pipes. Shares in the latter added 0.35 percent in response to the transaction, while Aramco gained 0.8 percent.

One of the Kingdom’s largest valued banks, Al Rajhi Bank edged 0.7 higher, and Alinma Bank added 0.4 percent amid trading of almost 9 million shares.

Shares in Saudi Automotive Services Co., known as SASCO, soared nearly 10 percent, leading the gainers.

SASCO had earlier acquired 80 percent of gas station operator NAFT Services Limited Co. for SR1.1 billion.

Advanced Petrochemical recorded gains at 2.9 percent after its board recommended boosting capital to SR2.6 billion in expansion push.

Saudi Research and Media Group, or SRMG, was among the stocks hitting record highs, as its share price soared to SR147.

Shares in telecommunication firm Etihad Atheeb led the fallers, down approximately 10 percent.


FedEx launches its first AI-powered sorting robot in China, echoing industry trends 

FedEx launches its first AI-powered sorting robot in China, echoing industry trends 
Updated 26 January 2022

FedEx launches its first AI-powered sorting robot in China, echoing industry trends 

FedEx launches its first AI-powered sorting robot in China, echoing industry trends 

RIYADH: US-based FedEx Express launched its first AI-powered sorting robot in collaboration with the robotics solution provider for logistics Dorabot, in China, echoing broader industry trends.

The DoraSorter robot, deployed at the 5,200 square meters FedEx South China eCommerce Shipment Sorting Center, is capable of handling small inbound and outbound packages from eCommerce customers.

It can carry up to 10 kilograms of packages, covering up to 100 destinations simultaneously.

In pursuit of building a smart logistics network, the sorting robot constitutes the company’s latest push in digitizing its operations to handle the growing volumes of e-commerce-related shipments in the region.

This comes as the global warehouse automation market is projected to hit $51 billion by 2030, according to McKinsey&Co., with over 4 million commercial robots to be installed at more than 50,000 warehouses by 2025. 

“With e-commerce taking center stage in the future of retail in our region, the speed with which a parcel can be picked up and delivered to customers’ doorsteps has become a dominant factor in driving the adoption of sorting robots,” president of Asia, Middle East & Africa region, Kawal Preet said. 

“Bringing DoraSorter to China as a pilot program is a natural choice for us given it’s the world’s biggest e-commerce market with an expected valuation of $3.3 trillion by 2025,” she added. 

Founded in 1971, FedEx Express, located in the US, is a multinational conglomerate holding company focused on transportation and e-commerce services.