Lebanon’s Central Bank sets new rate for withdrawals from dollar deposits

Lebanon’s Central Bank sets new rate for withdrawals from dollar deposits
Lebanon's central bank has set a new rate of 8,000 Lebanese pounds to the US dollar for withdrawals from bank deposits denominated in dollars but only the local currency. (Reuters)
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Updated 09 December 2021

Lebanon’s Central Bank sets new rate for withdrawals from dollar deposits

Lebanon’s Central Bank sets new rate for withdrawals from dollar deposits
  • The rate was previously set at 3,900 pounds
  • The central bank also set a withdrawal ceiling of $3,000 per month equivalent in Lebanese pounds

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s central bank said on Thursday it had set a new rate of 8,000 Lebanese pounds to the US dollar for withdrawals from bank deposits denominated in dollars but which can now only be accessed in the local currency.
The rate was previously set at 3,900 pounds, which implied a “haircut” or loss of more than 80 percent at the current market rate of around 25,000 pounds per dollar. The new rate represents a haircut of around 70 percent.
The central bank also set a withdrawal ceiling of $3,000 per month equivalent in Lebanese pounds for account-holders, who have been unable to freely access their savings since the collapse of the financial sector in 2019.
The central bank had maintained a pegged rate of 1,500 pounds per dollar until summer 2019, when it unofficially allowed the currency to become untethered after accumulating tens of billions of dollars in losses.
The pound has since lost more than 90 percent of its value, throwing the majority of Lebanon’s population into poverty and leading to shortages of basic goods such as medicines in the formerly middle-income country.
The central bank officially maintains a rate of 1,500 but almost all goods trade at the market rate.


NRG Matters — Share of renewables in Jordan’s energy mix jumps; India’s clean power industry may miss annual target

NRG Matters — Share of renewables in Jordan’s energy mix jumps; India’s clean power industry may miss annual target
Updated 25 sec ago

NRG Matters — Share of renewables in Jordan’s energy mix jumps; India’s clean power industry may miss annual target

NRG Matters — Share of renewables in Jordan’s energy mix jumps; India’s clean power industry may miss annual target

RIYADH: Jordan recorded a 3 percent hike in renewable energy’s share of its total energy mix since the beginning of 2022.

According to Jordan’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Saleh Al-Kharabsheh, renewable energy sources contributed 29 percent to the total power generation in the country up from 26 percent during the same period last year.

Al-Kharabsheh said the total installed capacity of electric power generation projects from renewable energy sources reached about 2,526 MW until the end of July 2022. 

India’s renewable energy target 

India will miss its renewable energy target for the end of the year, with experts saying “multiple challenges,” including a lack of financial help and taxes on imported components are stalling the clean energy industry.

The country has installed just over half of its planned renewable energy capacity, a high level parliamentary report found last week, according to AP News. 

Enlight’s JV

The publicly traded company, Enlight is planning to create a joint venture with Israeli natural gas producer, NewMed, to develop renewable energy projects in North Africa and the Middle East, Bloomberg reported. 

“The venture will exploit what we see as a very large opportunity in the region that began with natural gas, a development led to a large extent by NewMed,” Enlight CEO Gilad Yavetz told Bloomberg. 

The venture targets the region’s markets namely Saudi Arabia, Morocco, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Korean and Egypt. 

New Zealand’s Contact Energy

New Zealand's Contact Energy said it would spend $300 million New Zealand dollar ($193.29 million) to build a 51.4 MW geothermal power unit near its Te Huka power station in Taupo.

The investment would help bolster the firm’s renewable power generation amid high demand, according to Reuters. 


TASI rises as investors await earnings, assess rising inflation: Closing bell

TASI rises as investors await earnings, assess rising inflation: Closing bell
Updated 29 min 50 sec ago

TASI rises as investors await earnings, assess rising inflation: Closing bell

TASI rises as investors await earnings, assess rising inflation: Closing bell

RIYADH: Saudi stocks ended Monday’s session higher, as investors awaited more earnings reports while trying to assess the impact of rising inflation.

The Tadawul All Share Index edged up 0.23 percent to finish at 12,543, while the parallel market, Nomu, gained 0.31 percent to end at 22,110.

Wafrah for Industry and Development Co. soared 5.09 percent, after the company swung to a profit of SR11 million ($2.92 million) during the first half of 2022.

Arabian Internet and Telecommunication Co., known as solutions by stc, increased 1.55 percent, following the Saudi competition authority’s approval of Egypt’s Giza Systems’ acquisition.

Saudi Tadawul Group Holding Co. added 0.75 percent, despite the announcement of a 23 percent decline in profits during the first half of the year to SR278 million.

Saudi Aramco closed flat, after it achieved its highest quarterly profit since going public in 2019 with SR182 billion ($48.4 billion), a 90 percent jump over analysts’ expectations.

Saudi jeweler L’azurde fell 2.15 percent, despite reporting a 22 percent profit rise in the first half of 2022 to SR22.2 million

Basic Chemical Industries Co. lost 2.19 percent, despite achieving a 63 percent profit increase to SR46 million for the first half.

Red Sea International Co. declined 0.14 percent to lead the gainers, after the real estate firm announced that its accumulated losses have been cut to zero, following a reduction in the company’s capital by SR298 million.

Saudi Printing and Packaging Co. fell 2.25 percent, after the company narrowed its losses by 91.8 percent to SR2 million during the first half.

Arabian Shield Cooperative Insurance Co. slipped 0.64 percent, after posting a 30 percent profit decline to SR16 million for the first half.


Increasing demand for NEOM project fuels recovery of Tabuk Cement: CEO

Increasing demand for NEOM project fuels recovery of Tabuk Cement: CEO
Updated 7 min 5 sec ago

Increasing demand for NEOM project fuels recovery of Tabuk Cement: CEO

Increasing demand for NEOM project fuels recovery of Tabuk Cement: CEO

RIYADH: Increasing cement demand from giga-projects such as NEOM has helped Tabuk Cement swing into profit in the second quarter of 2022 despite a trend of the dismal performance of the Kingdom's cement sector.

The strategic location of Tabuk Cement made it a reliable supplier for the NEOM project, which in turn benefited the company, the firm’s CEO told Al-Arabiya.

Tabuk Cement is set to thrive, thanks to high demand from Saudi’s Red Sea, Amaala, and NEOM projects, which will boost the cement industry, Ali Al-Qahtani said.

The cement producer swung to a profit of SR2.5 million ($665,712) during the second quarter of the year, compared with a loss of SR1.13 million in the same period last year. Revenues jumped 51 percent during the period.


Saudi-based Nama Ventures leads a seed funding round for Bahraini startup Faceki

Saudi-based Nama Ventures leads a seed funding round for Bahraini startup Faceki
Updated 15 August 2022

Saudi-based Nama Ventures leads a seed funding round for Bahraini startup Faceki

Saudi-based Nama Ventures leads a seed funding round for Bahraini startup Faceki

RIYADH: Saudi-based venture capital firm, Nama Ventures, led a seed funding round for an undisclosed amount for Bahrain-based award-winning fraud protection and identity verification platform, Faceki.

“We plan to expand our global footprint, and continue innovating and provide compliant, secure, and user-friendly identity verification solutions,” Hamza Al-Ghatam, co-founder and CEO of Faceki, said in a statement.

The round also saw participation from venture capital firm Vision Ventures along with other angel investors.

Founded in 2020, the platform uses cloud biometrics and digital identity verification solutions powered by machine learning to serve its customer base in over 175 countries. 


Egypt In-focus: Unemployment rate remains unchanged in Q2, Saudi firm signs MoU with Egyptian online grocery store

Egypt In-focus: Unemployment rate remains unchanged in Q2, Saudi firm signs MoU with Egyptian online grocery store
Updated 15 August 2022

Egypt In-focus: Unemployment rate remains unchanged in Q2, Saudi firm signs MoU with Egyptian online grocery store

Egypt In-focus: Unemployment rate remains unchanged in Q2, Saudi firm signs MoU with Egyptian online grocery store

CAIRO: The unemployment rate in the North African country remained unchanged at 7.2 percent in the second quarter of 2022, according to a report from the Central Agency of Public Mobilization and Statistics.

The Egyptian labor force grew to 29.99 million from 29.89 million in the previous quarter, where the employment figures increased from 27.75 million to 27.83 million. 

The unemployment level also slightly increased from 2.15 million in the first quarter of 2022 to 2.15 million in the second quarter of 2022.  

New ministers take charge

On Aug. 13, 13 new ministers took oath including Ahmed Issa, the new minister of tourism and antiquities.

Ahmed Issa brings years of banking experience to the table as the former CEO of retail banking at Commercial International Bank.

Apetito and Purity sign MOU

Saudi-based Purity has signed a memorandum of understanding with Apetito— an Egyptian online grocery store operating in Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco — to help expand its services in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East and North Africa region.

Purity is known for its expertise in IT infrastructure and app development; therefore, it would serve Apetitio in achieving its $25 million investment goal.

Moreover, Purity CEO Abdullah Al-Namlah will become part of Appetito’s board of directors, reported Daily News Egypt.

“We are very pleased with this partnership with Purity, which is a regional leader in IT and investments,” stated Apetito CEO Shehab Mokhtar.

 “We aim to massively expand our operations in Saudi Arabia, as well as prospective presence across neighboring markets,” he added.

BONBELL closes $350K deal

BONBELL— a foodtech startup founded in Egypt in 2022— has secured a $350,000 investment from a Canadian angel investor.

 The startup provides an online platform for food orders and deliveries with its restaurant partners, in addition to providing in-app table reservations.

 This new investment will be used to increase its partnership with other restaurants,  aiming at 750 restaurants by the end of this year.

Moreover, BONBELL is targeting another $10 million investment with two venture capital funds from Europe and the Gulf, reported WAMDA.