Dubai’s new business growth picks up on Expo 2020 gains: IHS Markit

Dubai’s new business growth picks up on Expo 2020 gains: IHS Markit
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Updated 12 December 2021

Dubai’s new business growth picks up on Expo 2020 gains: IHS Markit

Dubai’s new business growth picks up on Expo 2020 gains: IHS Markit
  • The index was unmoved at 54.5 in November, indicating a joint-strongest improvement since October 2019

DUBAI: The continued rebound in international travel, as well as higher client demand, have pushed Dubai’s new business growth up, recording its strongest level since July 2019. 

According to the latest IHS Markit Dubai Purchasing Managers’ Index, which measures changes in output, new orders, employment, and other indicators, the ongoing Expo 2020 has been leading the upturn of non-oil business activity in the city. 

“The Expo 2020 continued to bring strong growth to the Dubai non-oil economy in its second month, with the November PMI remaining at its joint-highest level since October 2019,” David Owen, an.IHS Markit economist, said.

The index was unmoved at 54.5 in November, indicating a joint-strongest improvement since October 2019. 

Rate of sales growth climbed to its highest in 28 months led by travel and tourism at the sector level, the new report showed.

Wholesale and retail also performed well, while the construction industry struggled with weak demand and supply side constraints. 

Owen said there was “reluctance amongst firms to expand their employment numbers” despite strong business growth.

“Some firms are still unsettled by the pandemic and there were doubts about the strength of the recovery once the boost from the Expo 2020 fades,” he said, as staffing levels dropped slightly for the first time since May.


Crypto Wrap — Bitcoin and Ethereum rise; India must establish cryptocurrency regulations, says CoinSwitch CEO

Crypto Wrap — Bitcoin and Ethereum rise; India must establish cryptocurrency regulations, says CoinSwitch CEO
Updated 12 sec ago

Crypto Wrap — Bitcoin and Ethereum rise; India must establish cryptocurrency regulations, says CoinSwitch CEO

Crypto Wrap — Bitcoin and Ethereum rise; India must establish cryptocurrency regulations, says CoinSwitch CEO

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded higher on Wednesday, rising by 0.88 percent to $30,237.18 as of 5:50 p.m. Riyadh time.

Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $2,056.49 up by 1.93 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

India must set rules for cryptocurrencies, CoinSwitch CEO says 

Despite India’s central bank’s support for a ban on cryptocurrencies because of the risks to financial stability, a move by the federal government to tax Bitcoin income has been interpreted by the industry as a sign of New Delhi’s acceptance of the technology.

CoinSwitch CEO Ashish Singhal said that India must set rules for cryptocurrencies to resolve regulatory uncertainty, protect investors, and boost the sector, according to Reuters. 

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Singhal, a former Amazon engineer who co-founded CoinSwitch, said: “Users don’t know what will happen with their holdings — is the government going to ban, not ban, how is it going to be regulated?.”

CoinSwitch, which is valued at $1.9 billion, has more than 18 million users in India, the company stated on Reuters. Andreessen Horowitz, Tiger Global, and Coinbase Ventures back the company, which is based in Bengaluru, India’s main tech hub.

Private cryptocurrencies have raised serious concerns at India’s central bank, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December 2021 said the technology should be used to strengthen democracy, not undercut it.

Hatta to Mars in the metaverse

Everdome Metaverse is hosting a land auction on May 30, 2022, where investors can bid to own a piece of Mars.

According to a statement, Everdome will launch in three phases throughout 2022, taking users from Hatta in the UAE to Mars.

With Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5 and cutting-edge 3D scanning technology, players won’t be able to tell the difference between reality and gameplay.

Some 12,000 hexagonal plots of land for sale through auctions held over eight weeks. Each auction will feature 1,500 plots and will run for one week, located in-game areas across Everdome’s 6 unique districts.

Over the next eight weeks, 12,000 hexagonal plots of metaverse land will be available for purchase throughout the Everdome ecosystem.

A total of 1,500 plots will be offered per auction, spread out across Everdome’s six districts, and each auction will run for one week.

Rob Gryn, CEO and founder of Everdome and Metahero, said in a statement that “The future is in the metaverse, now more than ever before; people want their real-world experiences available at the press of a button, which is exactly what the metaverse offers.”

He explained that Metaverses offers experiences in sales, marketing, hospitality, and education.

A plot of land within Everdome can be developed in any way the owner sees fit, and the owner has the option of generating revenue or reselling the land, the statement said.

 


UAE’s EGA, GE Gas Power partner to upgrade 4 gas turbines to cut emissions

UAE’s EGA, GE Gas Power partner to upgrade 4 gas turbines to cut emissions
Updated 26 min 11 sec ago

UAE’s EGA, GE Gas Power partner to upgrade 4 gas turbines to cut emissions

UAE’s EGA, GE Gas Power partner to upgrade 4 gas turbines to cut emissions

RIYADH: Emirates Global Aluminium and GE Gas Power have partnered to upgrade four existing gas turbines at EGA’s Al Taweelah power plant in a bid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions’ intensity.

GE’s Advanced Gas Path upgrade on the four 9F gas turbines will include hardware and software improvements to drive operational flexibility and increase output, efficiency and availability. 

Upon completion, power output from the four turbines is expected to increase by up to 72 megawatts for the same amount of fuel consumed, according to a statement. 

For the previous power output, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by up to 74,000 tonnes annually, which is equivalent to removing 16,000 cars from the UAE’s roads.

“We are pleased to work with GE to further upgrade the Al Taweelah power plant, and contribute to reducing the carbon intensity of electricity generation in the UAE,” Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, CEO of EGA, said. 

The partnership represents a continuation of the services that GE has already been providing at the site since production began in 2009.


Saudi Arabia’s first fintech unicorn stc pay posts $117m losses for 2021

Saudi Arabia’s first fintech unicorn stc pay posts $117m losses for 2021
Updated 34 min 4 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s first fintech unicorn stc pay posts $117m losses for 2021

Saudi Arabia’s first fintech unicorn stc pay posts $117m losses for 2021

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s leading payments solutions provider stc pay has posted losses amounting to SR440 million ($117 million) for 2021.

Its revenues stood at SR834 million during the year, Argaam reported.

The parent company Saudi Telecom Co.’s share of the total losses was around SR374 million.

stc pay was established back in 2017 by Arabian Internet and Communications Services Co., better known as solutions, and paved its way to becoming the Kingdom’s first fintech unicorn.

It was transferred to telecom giant stc two years later and Western Union acquired a 15-percent stake in the company for $200 million.


TASI lower on mixed earnings and oil price uncertainty: Closing bell

TASI lower on mixed earnings and oil price uncertainty: Closing bell
Updated 37 min 24 sec ago

TASI lower on mixed earnings and oil price uncertainty: Closing bell

TASI lower on mixed earnings and oil price uncertainty: Closing bell

RIYADH: The Saudi main index ended Monday with another steep decline, as fluctuating oil prices and mixed earnings reports weighed on investors' sentiment again.

As of the closing bell, TASI edged 0.80 percent lower to reach 12,235, while the parallel market, Nomu, added 0.15 percent at 22,363.

In the energy sector, Brent crude rose to $113.70 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate crude reached $111.34 a barrel, as of 3:08 p.m. Saudi time.

Saudi Industrial Export Co. rallied 9.93 percent to lead the market, while Arab Sea Information System Co. plunged 7.30 percent to lead the laggards.

Saudi Aramco, the largest player on the Saudi oil market, closed today’s trading up 0.77 percent.

Arabian Pipes Co. gained 1.27 percent, after Saudi Aramco awarded the company a SR100 million ($27 million) contract to supply steel pipes.

BinDawood Holding Co. edged down 1.84 percent, despite reporting a 5 percent increase in profit to SR65 million in the first quarter.

Mouwasat Medical Services Co. declined 1.81 percent, following the announcement that it has entered into a nonbinding agreement to acquire Al-Marasem International Hospital in Egypt.

In the financial sector, the Kingdom’s largest valued bank Al Rajhi slipped 2.26 percent, while Alinma Bank fell 0.71 percent.

In the pharma sector, Aldawaa Medical Services Co. gained 0.26 percent, while Nahdi Medical Co. fell 1.68 percent.

Telecom giants Zain KSA and stc saw their share prices decline 0.76 percent and 1.14 percent, respectively.


Saudi economy to grow 7 percent in 2022, ahead of other GCC countries: World Bank report

Saudi economy to grow 7 percent in 2022, ahead of other GCC countries: World Bank report
Updated 38 min 34 sec ago

Saudi economy to grow 7 percent in 2022, ahead of other GCC countries: World Bank report

Saudi economy to grow 7 percent in 2022, ahead of other GCC countries: World Bank report

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s economy is expected to grow 7 percent in 2022, ahead of other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Counil, according to the Global Economic Update report by the World Bank. 

According to the report, the Kingdom’s growth in 2022 will be driven by stronger oil output following OPEC+ production cuts and continued growth in non-oil sectors, supported by stronger consumption, increased tourism, and higher domestic capital spending.  The report forecasts a combined growth of 5.9 percent in the GCC countries altogether, driven by the hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon sectors. 

The World Bank report added that the GCC economies are strongly rebounding after the COVID-19 pandemic, which is primarily accelerated by a massive vaccination rollout, ease in restrictions and developments in the hydrocarbon market. 

It said Bahrain’s economy will be accelerated 3.5 percent this year due to surging oil prices, while Kuwait will witness a growth of 5.9 percent. 

Oman’s economy will grow by 5.6 percent this year, followed by followed by Qatar and the UAE at 4.9 percent and 4.7 percent respectively. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Bahrain’s economy will be accelerated 3.5 percent this year due to surging oil prices, while Kuwait will witness a growth of 5.9 percent. 

Oman’s economy will grow by 5.6 percent this year, followed by followed by Qatar and the UAE at 4.9 percent and 4.7 percent respectively. 

The report forecasts a combined growth of 5.9 percent in the GCC countries altogether, driven by the hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon sectors. 

The World Bank also noted that the ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia have resulted in changes in the energy market, which will ultimately benefit the GCC countries. 

“As major hydrocarbon exporters, the GCC countries may also benefit from changes in the energy markets brought about by the war in Ukraine. These countries may see strong fiscal and external surpluses, which could help spur consumer confidence and investments,” it said. 

The Global Economic Update report also outlined the challenges the Gulf countries will face as they work toward a sustainable future. 

Issam Abousleiman, World Bank’s regional director for the GCC, said: “As GCC countries commit to the net-zero objectives laid out in their pledges and strategies, it is important to restructure energy and water subsidies and address the GCC’s challenge of moving to a more sustainable growth model less hydrocarbon dependent and managing the transition to a global low-carbon economic environment that risk to see their oil revenues reduced in the next few decades.”