Saudi Arabia and Kuwait working on increasing oil production from Khafji and Wafra

The two sides said that coordination is currently underway in the partitioned zone to increase oil production. (Shutterstock)
The two sides said that coordination is currently underway in the partitioned zone to increase oil production. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 10 December 2021

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait working on increasing oil production from Khafji and Wafra

The two sides said that coordination is currently underway in the partitioned zone to increase oil production. (Shutterstock)
  • Both sides praised close cooperation and successful efforts of OPEC+ group in enhancing stability of global oil market

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have committed to joint efforts to increase oil production at Khafji and Wafra in the partitioned zone along the border, it was revealed on Friday.

The announcement came as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited Kuwait on the final leg of his tour of Gulf states.

Representatives of both countries confirmed that companies operating in the zone are working together to increase production levels at Khafji and the joint Wafra operation, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

During talks between the two delegations about the energy sector, both sides praised the close cooperation and the successful efforts of the OPEC+ group to enhance the stability of the global oil market, the SPA added.

They also stressed the importance of continued cooperation and the need for all participating countries to adhere to OPEC+ agreements.


Glencore pays up to $1.5bn to resolve corruption claims

Glencore pays up to $1.5bn to resolve corruption claims
Updated 8 sec ago

Glencore pays up to $1.5bn to resolve corruption claims

Glencore pays up to $1.5bn to resolve corruption claims
  • The US Department of Justice said its case against the company related to “a decade-long scheme by Glencore and its subsidiaries to make and conceal corrupt payments and bribes”

Commodities firm Glencore says it has reached deals with authorities in the United States, Britain and Brazil to resolve corruption allegations in return for penalties totaling up to $1.5 billion.

The Anglo-Swiss company said late Tuesday that it will pay $700 million to resolve a US bribery probe and a further $486 million in connection with allegations of market manipulation.

Glencore said that about $166 million in fines agreed with the US authorities will be credited to a parallel investigation by the UK Serious Fraud Office, where it has indicated that it will plead guilty to bribery at a hearing next month.

Separately, the company is paying $40 million to resolve a bribery probe in Brazil.

The US Department of Justice said its case against the company related to “a decade-long scheme by Glencore and its subsidiaries to make and conceal corrupt payments and bribes” to foreign officials in Africa and Latin America.

“The scope of this criminal bribery scheme is staggering,” US Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York was quoted as saying. “Glencore paid bribes to secure oil contracts. Glencore paid bribes to avoid government audits. Glencore bribed judges to make lawsuits disappear.”

“At bottom, Glencore paid bribes to make money — hundreds of millions of dollars,” Williams said. “And it did so with the approval, and even encouragement, of its top executives.

“Glencore today is not the company it was when the unacceptable practices behind this misconduct occurred,” chairman Kalidas Madhavpeddi said in a statement, adding that Glencore was committed to “act ethically and responsibly across all aspects of its business.”

Glencore said that it “does not currently anticipate” the total payments to differ materially from the $1.5 billion it has set aside so far.

The company remains subject of investigations in Switzerland and the Netherlands.


Venture capital as a concept is Shariah-compliant, hints Vision 3 chairman 

Venture capital as a concept is Shariah-compliant, hints Vision 3 chairman 
Updated 1 min 7 sec ago

Venture capital as a concept is Shariah-compliant, hints Vision 3 chairman 

Venture capital as a concept is Shariah-compliant, hints Vision 3 chairman 

RIYADH: With the rise of entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa region, venture funding has been critical for small businesses and startups to thrive in an emerging market.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News during the Top CEO event in Dubai, Khalid Abdulla Janahi, chairman at Vision 3, said that Islamic finance and ethical finance complement one another in an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“Venture capital is the same thing as its Shariah-compliant, and it’s ethical. Because you’re taking risks, the rewards could be very high, but you could lose them too. So, I think that aspect is what’s happening today,” Janahi explained.

He added that countries with mature entrepreneurial ecosystems like the US have no Shariah compliance but invest money in entrepreneurs and sometimes celebrate failure before success, indicating that venture capitals share the risk with the entrepreneur.

Janahi stressed on the double-digit unemployment rate under 30 in Saudi Arabia, saying that for the Kingdom's ecosystem to flourish the unemployment rate must be a one-digit number which could be accomplished with a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem.

 “I see international venture capitals investing in startups in Saudi Arabia, be it Sequoia or Tiger Global. They’re coming in. So interestingly, they are doing the Musharaka side by putting money into the country,” he explained.

Janahi added that most people are going to venture capitals, and as long as investments are going into Halal businesses, it is Shariah-compliant.  


Saudi-listed companies start the year on a positive note with 73% rise in profits

Saudi-listed companies start the year on a positive note with 73% rise in profits
Updated 22 min 39 sec ago

Saudi-listed companies start the year on a positive note with 73% rise in profits

Saudi-listed companies start the year on a positive note with 73% rise in profits

RIYADH: Companies listed on Saudi Arabia's stock market reported 73 percent growth in their first quarter — the fifth straight quarter of positive results, driven by solid performance across most sectors.

The Tadawul-listed companies profits rose to SR184.71 billion ($49 billion) in the first quarter, from SR106.83 billion in the year-ago period, according to data by argaam.

Oil giant Saudi Aramco led the list of companies that reported a profit, followed by Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, SABIC and Kingdom Holding.

The growth was driven largely by improved performance in the energy, materials, and banks sectors, which increased by 80 percent, 52 percent, and 22 percent, respectively, compared to last year.

The quarter saw 135 companies report profits, of which 13 turned profitable, 70 recorded profit growth, while 52 reported profit declines when compared with the first quarter of last year.

Meanwhile, 50 companies experienced losses in the first quarter, of which 16 incurred losses, 21 deepened losses, and 13 trimmed their losses compared to quarter one of 2021.


Kuwait to start building world’s largest petroleum research center: oil ministry

Kuwait to start building world’s largest petroleum research center: oil ministry
Updated 30 min 1 sec ago

Kuwait to start building world’s largest petroleum research center: oil ministry

Kuwait to start building world’s largest petroleum research center: oil ministry

Kuwait plans to start building the world’s largest petroleum research center by the end of the year, the oil ministry said on Twitter on Wednesday.

The Middle East Economic Digest said the project had stalled because of budget pressure, estimating its cost at $120 million.

The center, to be built in Al-Ahmadi, south of Kuwait City, will have 28 laboratories.

It will seek to develop improved production and refining techniques that can be used by the industry for different applications including the extraction of heavy crude and non-associated gas. 


Crypto Moves — Bitcoin, Ether up; ECB says crypto a risk to financial stability; Central African Republic to launch bitcoin investment hub

Crypto Moves — Bitcoin, Ether up; ECB says crypto a risk to financial stability; Central African Republic to launch bitcoin investment hub
Updated 54 min 16 sec ago

Crypto Moves — Bitcoin, Ether up; ECB says crypto a risk to financial stability; Central African Republic to launch bitcoin investment hub

Crypto Moves — Bitcoin, Ether up; ECB says crypto a risk to financial stability; Central African Republic to launch bitcoin investment hub
  • The ECB in its biannual financial stability review said exposure to crypto by banks and other financial institutions on a wide scale could put capital at risk and damage investor confidence

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded higher on Wednesday, down 1.93 percent to $29,891 as of 10:52 a.m. Riyadh time.

Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $1,986, up 0.45 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

Crypto markets may pose risks to wider financial stability, ECB warns

Cryptocurrencies will pose a risk to financial stability if the emerging sector maintains its rapid growth seen over the last two years and financial firms deepen their involvement, the European Central Bank said on Tuesday.

The crypto market slumped sharply this month after the downfall of the major “stablecoin” terraUSD.

The crash has led to calls from the world’s top financial leaders for “swift and comprehensive” regulation of the sector.

The ECB in its biannual financial stability review said exposure to crypto by banks and other financial institutions on a wide scale could put capital at risk and damage investor confidence, lending and financial markets.

“Systemic risk increases in line with the level of interconnectedness between crypto-assets and the traditional financial sector,” it said.

Central African Republic to launch Bitcoin investment platform

Central African Republic will launch the continent’s first legal cryptocurrency investment hub, the presidency said, extending the impoverished country’s embrace of digital finance despite words of caution from the International Monetary Fund.

Marred by decades of conflict, the Central African Republic last month became the first country in Africa and only the second in the world to adopt Bitcoin as an official currency.

The government has so far provided little detail on the logistics of its Bitcoin vision.

The soon-to-be-launched “SANGO” crypto initiative has a website on which interested investors can sign up for a waiting list.

“The formal economy is no longer an option,” President Faustin-Archange Touadera said in a statement on Monday.

“An impenetrable bureaucracy is keeping us stuck in systems that do not give a chance to be competitive.”

There was no indication of when the investment hub would be open or how it would operate.

(With input from Reuters)