France to burn extra coal to dodge power deficiency: NRG Matters

France to burn extra coal to dodge power deficiency: NRG Matters
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Updated 05 January 2022

France to burn extra coal to dodge power deficiency: NRG Matters

France to burn extra coal to dodge power deficiency: NRG Matters

RIYADH: On a macro level, the energy sector is seen to be unstable amid power shortages and rising prices; on a micro level, however,  green initiatives such as the liquified natural gas plant to be built in Malaysia are still pushing on.

Looking at the Bigger Picture:

  • France is to allow coal-fed plants to burn extra coal for two months to mitigate an anticipated power shortage, Bloomberg reported. This comes as a vast number of the nation’s nuclear plants are to terminate production due to maintenance procedures just as the weather forecasts signal a sharp decline in temperatures.
  •  The Czech Republic is to reach out to other EU members to pursue alterations in the bloc’s scheme of labelling gas and nuclear projects as “renewable” investments, Reuters reported.
  • Despite meeting the state air quality standards for the first time in 2021, China’s capital Beijing is still threatened by high pollution rates, putting millions of inhabitants’ well-being at stake, Reuters reported.
  • Major global supplier of gas, Russia targets profitable exports but is failing to connect native cities such as Chita and Siberia to the domestic gas pipeline network in the process, according to the Financial Times. As a result, such cities opt for coal powered stations and burning furnaces which lead to detrimental air pollution in the country.

Through a Micro Lens:

  • Malaysian oil and gas firm Petronas is collaborating with resource-rich state Sabah for the unveiling of a master scheme tackling expansion of the country’s natural gas resources, Reuters reported. As part of the plan, a liquified natural gas plant with capacity of over two million tons per annum is to be constructed to allow Sabah to enlarge its liquefied natural gas circulation across the state.
  •  Germany’s energy solutions firm Uniper is borrowing $11.3 billion as it seeks liquidity lift to cover marginal costs and continue trading, according to Bloomberg. This comes amid the surge in energy prices, as a result of Russia diverting gas supplies at a time when demand is picking up.

China In-Focus — Stocks rise; COVID-19 affects Beijing’s retail industry

China In-Focus — Stocks rise; COVID-19 affects Beijing’s retail industry
Updated 13 sec ago

China In-Focus — Stocks rise; COVID-19 affects Beijing’s retail industry

China In-Focus — Stocks rise; COVID-19 affects Beijing’s retail industry

BEIJING: Emerging market stocks jumped on Tuesday, helped by a rise in Chinese shares on hopes Beijing will ease its tech sector crackdown, while currencies inched up on weakness in the dollar and strong data from Central European economies.

MSCI’s index of emerging market stocks rose 2 percent, while its currencies counterpart added 0.5 percent.

Mainland China’s CSI300 Index gained 1.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 3.1 percent. 

Beijing’s retail, industry upended by COVID-19 restrictions

The economy of China’s capital Beijing took a hit in April as authorities wrestled with a new COVID-19 outbreak, telling residents to avoid going out or work from home and halting many businesses.

Retail sales in the city of nearly 22 million people, a key gauge of consumption, shrank 16.05 percent in April from a year earlier, according to Reuters calculations based on January-April data released by the city’s statistics bureau on Tuesday, outpacing the nation’s 11.1 percent contraction.

Industrial output fell 3.3 percent in the first four months, compared with a 7.2 percent growth in the first quarter, the biggest cumulative drop since July 2020. The city’s statistics bureau did not publish data for April or offer comparative figures.

Property sales in Beijing nosedived by 25.83 percent last month, further pummeling an already struggling sector, despite more policy easing steps aimed at reviving what has traditionally been a key pillar of China’s economy.

Fixed-asset investment grew 8.9 percent in the first four months, slower than the 10.3 percent gain in January-March.

China’s revenue from government land sales down

China’s government land sales revenue fell 29.8 percent in January-April from a year earlier to 1.5012 trillion yuan ($222.04 billion), finance ministry data showed on Tuesday, down from a 27.4 percent slump in the first quarter.

For April, revenue from government land sales fell 37.88 percent from a year earlier, the fastest pace since January-February 2020, according to Reuters calculations based on the ministry’s data.

That was sharply wider than a 22.84 percent fall in March.


Russian crude production plunges by nearly 9 percent in April, OPEC+ data shows

Russian crude production plunges by nearly 9 percent in April, OPEC+ data shows
Updated 11 min 25 sec ago

Russian crude production plunges by nearly 9 percent in April, OPEC+ data shows

Russian crude production plunges by nearly 9 percent in April, OPEC+ data shows

LONDON: Russian crude output fell by nearly 9 percent to 9.16 million barrels per day (bpd) compared with March levels, according to assessments by OPEC+ secondary sources, an internal report seen by Reuters on Tuesday showed.

This meant that Russia last month produced 1.28 million bpd below the levels required in an oil production cut agreement between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as OPEC+.

Overall, OPEC+ produced 2.6 million bpd below its targets in April, the data showed.


Dubai’s GII acquires 51% of Saudi Arabia’s Almeswak for $530m

Dubai’s GII acquires 51% of Saudi Arabia’s Almeswak for $530m
Updated 27 min 6 sec ago

Dubai’s GII acquires 51% of Saudi Arabia’s Almeswak for $530m

Dubai’s GII acquires 51% of Saudi Arabia’s Almeswak for $530m

RIYADH: Dubai-based Gulf Islamic Investments completed a $530 million deal to acquire 51 percent stake in Saudi care provider Almeswak Dental Clinics. 

GII said it will seek to list Almeswak on the Saudi stock exchange within the next three years, Gold Business reported. 

“This is a landmark transaction that reflects our capability and reach in the healthcare sector and the Saudi market,” said Mohammed Al-Hassan, GII co-founder.

GII, as the company is known, has acquired a majority stake in Almeswak Dental Clinics from Saudi private equity firm Jadwa Investment Co.

Almeswak, which Jadwa acquired in 2017, operates more than 80 centers across 20 cities in Saudi Arabia.

 


Saudi IT provider Arab Sea back to losses as rising costs bite

Saudi IT provider Arab Sea back to losses as rising costs bite
Updated 28 min 42 sec ago

Saudi IT provider Arab Sea back to losses as rising costs bite

Saudi IT provider Arab Sea back to losses as rising costs bite

RIYADH: Saudi-listed information technology provider Arab Sea Information Systems Co. has turned into losses of SR3.6 million ($0.96 million) in the first quarter.

The company had made SR75,071 in profit in the first quarter of last year even as its sales were slightly lower, according to a bourse filing.

The Riyadh-based firm is now back to losses after it had earlier returned to an annual profit of SR21.5 million as revenue almost doubled in 2021.

Arab Sea attributed the results to a rise in expenses due to higher wages and other cost components, in addition to the cost incurred from establishing its unit, Arab Sea Financial Co.


SABIC Agri-Nutrients to invest inside and outside Saudi Arabia: Chairman

SABIC Agri-Nutrients to invest inside and outside Saudi Arabia: Chairman
Updated 41 min 59 sec ago

SABIC Agri-Nutrients to invest inside and outside Saudi Arabia: Chairman

SABIC Agri-Nutrients to invest inside and outside Saudi Arabia: Chairman

RIYADH: SABIC Agri-Nutrients Co. plans to continue examining investment opportunities both inside and outside Saudi Arabia, Chairman Abdulrahman Shamsaddin told Argaam.

Through the investment plan, the company will establish projects related to the agricultural nutrients industry in order to support its growth strategy for fertilizers and nutrients.

Along with conforming to all relevant industry standards and laws, the chairman said the company will form a partnership with all its stakeholders locally and globally. This will be done to improve shareholder rights and boost the company’s workforce to maximize its assets and reach global audiences, according to the top official.  

SABIC Agri-Nutrients Co. profit soared to SR2.5 billion ($670 million) in the first quarter, compared to SR423 million in the same period a year ago, one of the highest quarterly profits.

Incorporated in 1965, SABIC is a half-owned subsidiary of chemical giant SABIC and a significant player within the fertilizer industry. It supplies customers throughout the Middle East, Far East, Africa, and the US.