Taiwan to launch $1bn Lithuania credit fund amid Beijing pressure

Taiwan to launch $1bn Lithuania credit fund amid Beijing pressure
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Updated 11 January 2022

Taiwan to launch $1bn Lithuania credit fund amid Beijing pressure

Taiwan to launch $1bn Lithuania credit fund amid Beijing pressure
  • The credit fund will focus on developing semiconductor talent and facilitating semiconductor development

Taiwan will launch a $1 billion credit program to help fund joint projects between Lithuanian and Taiwanese companies in six business categories, a Taiwan government minister said on Tuesday.


Lithuania is under pressure from China which claims democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory, to reverse a decision last year to allow the island to open a de-facto embassy in Vilnius under its own name.


China has downgraded diplomatic ties with Vilnius, and is pressuring companies, such as German car parts giant Continental to stop using Lithuanian-made components.

It has also blocked Lithuanian cargos from entering China.


Taiwan last week announced plans to set up a separate $200 million fund to invest in Lithuanian industries and boost bilateral trade as it tries to fend off China's diplomatic pressure on the Baltic state.


"The investment and credit funds will help us strengthen the cooperation," Taiwan's National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin told an online news conference.


The credit fund will focus on developing semiconductor talent and facilitating semiconductor development, as well as biotechnologies, satellites, finance and scientific research, said Kung.


Lithuania's Economy and Innovations Minister Ausrine Armonaite said her country planned to open a trade representation office in Taiwan in the spring.


"Taiwanese companies are in need of laser projects, hopefully our laser companies will soon find partners in Taiwan and we will be very happy to facilitate the partnership", she said.


Taiwanese representations in other countries, except the unrecognized Somaliland, are named after Taiwan's capital Taipei.


US diplomats have expressed strong support for Lithuania, calling China's pressure "economic coercion".


Lithuania's Foreign Minister said he would discuss the Chinese pressure with his European Union counterparts on Friday.


Crypto Moves — Bitcoin, Ether down: Kuwait-based Islamic bank enters the metaverse

Crypto Moves — Bitcoin, Ether down: Kuwait-based Islamic bank enters the metaverse
Updated 11 sec ago

Crypto Moves — Bitcoin, Ether down: Kuwait-based Islamic bank enters the metaverse

Crypto Moves — Bitcoin, Ether down: Kuwait-based Islamic bank enters the metaverse

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded lower on Monday, falling by 0.01 percent to $19,106 as of 10:55 p.m. Riyadh time. 

Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $1,049 down by 1.20 percent, according to data from CoinDesk.

Kuwait-based Islamic bank enters the metaverse

Warba Bank, a Kuwait-based Islamic bank, has become the latest corporation from the Middle East and North Africa region to enter the Metaverse, a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection. 

The bank now occupies two sites in the metaverse, one on Decentraland and another on Sandbox.

The bank's presence in the metaverse is expected to enhance its communication with the younger generation, according to Bitcoin.com. 

“Warba Bank’s interest in entering this virtual reality comes within the framework of digital trends to transform into a Web3. The world of virtual reality is used in several advanced fields, including services, education, health and others,” Anwar Al-Ghaith, the financial institution’s VP for Support Services and Treasury said. 

He added: “Warba Bank aims to be close to its clients in virtual reality to introduce its products and services, as well as communicating with them in an innovative way that reflects Warba Bank’s image as a pioneer in digital transformation.”

According to a statement issued by the bank, it is now working to achieve its ambitious goals and enhance the advantages of digital services.

It will also focus on absorbing emerging technologies and artificial intelligence.


Commodities Update — Gold inches up; Copper hovers near 17-month low

Commodities Update — Gold inches up; Copper hovers near 17-month low
Updated 28 min 38 sec ago

Commodities Update — Gold inches up; Copper hovers near 17-month low

Commodities Update — Gold inches up; Copper hovers near 17-month low

RIYADH: Gold inched higher on Monday, as weakness in Treasury yields kept prices above the $1,800-mark and marginally outweighed pressure stemming from elevated US dollar levels.

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,811.99 per ounce, by 0319 GMT. 

US gold futures rose 0.6 percent to $1,812.10.

Silver eases

Spot silver eased 0.2 percent to $19.84 per ounce, while platinum fell 0.5 percent to $884.49. 

Palladium dropped 1.3 percent to $1,934.40.

Copper languishes near 17-month low amid slowdown fears 

Copper prices slipped on Monday to hover near a 17-month low as renewed lockdowns in top consumer China and the prospect of aggressive rate hikes stoked fears of global economic slowdown, denting demand for metals.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.3 percent at $8,027.50 a ton, as of 0404 GMT.

The most-traded August copper contract in Shanghai fell 2.1 percent to $9,153.68 a ton by the midday break.

Russian ship carrying Ukrainian grain detained by Turkey

Turkish customs authorities have detained a Russian cargo ship carrying grain which Ukraine says is stolen, Ukraine’s ambassador to Turkey said on Sunday.

Ukraine had previously asked Turkey to detain the Russian-flagged Zhibek Zholy cargo ship, according to an official and documents viewed by Reuters.

Reuters reporters saw the Zhibek Zholy ship anchored about 1 km from shore and outside of the Karasu port on Sunday, with no obvious signs of movement aboard or by other vessels nearby.

“We have full co-operation. The ship is currently standing at the entrance to the port, it has been detained by the customs authorities of Turkey,” Ambassador Vasyl Bodnar said on Ukrainian national television.

Bodnar said the ship’s fate would be decided by a meeting of investigators on Monday and that Ukraine was hoping for the confiscation of the grain.


TASI begins higher despite market fears: Opening bell

TASI begins higher despite market fears: Opening bell
Updated 04 July 2022

TASI begins higher despite market fears: Opening bell

TASI begins higher despite market fears: Opening bell

RIYADH: Saudi stocks opened higher in the early morning trading session, despite ongoing market fears of higher interest rates weighing on investors' sentiment.

The main index, TASI, gained 0.11 percent to reach 11,477, while the parallel market, Nomu, started flat at 21,082, as of 10:08 a.m. Saudi time.

This was led by a rise in the banking sector, with Al Rajhi, the Kingdom’s largest valued bank, adding 0.25 percent, and Saudi National Bank adding 0.75 percent.

Among the biggest IT companies, Elm Co. gained 0.48 percent and Al Moammar Information Systems Co. gained 0.12 percent, respectively.

Shares of Saudi Aramco, the largest player on the Saudi oil market, opened 0.52 percent lower.

Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Co. led the fallers with a 3.07 percent decline, followed by Abdulmohsen Alhokair Group for Tourism and Development which fell 2.48 percent.

In the energy sector, West Texas Intermediate crude was trading at $108.56 per barrel and Brent crude was trading at $111.74 per barrel as of 10:10 a.m. Saudi time.


SABB to pay $301m in dividends for H1

SABB to pay $301m in dividends for H1
Updated 04 July 2022

SABB to pay $301m in dividends for H1

SABB to pay $301m in dividends for H1

RIYADH: Saudi British Bank, also known as SABB, has proposed a dividend of SR1.13 billion ($301 million) for the first half of 2022.

The dividend payout per share has been set at SR0.55 for over 2 billion shares eligible for dividends which will be distributed on July 27, according to a bourse filing.

SABB, which was voted the best bank in 2022, recently appointed Yasser Ali Al-Barrak as its new CEO for corporate and institutional banking.

The bank has posted a 3 percent increase in net profit to SR1 billion in the first quarter of 2022, over SR974 in the year-ago quarter.


Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Monday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Monday
Updated 04 July 2022

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Monday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Monday

RIYADH: Saudi stocks ended their first trading session of July in red, extending losses after an 11-percent decline in June due to fears over inflation and recession.

TASI, the main benchmark index, fell 0.5 percent to 11,464 on Sunday and the parallel market, Nomu, shed 2.3 percent to 21,082.

Oman’s stock exchange declined 0.3 percent in line with Saudi Arabia.

However, the Bahraini bourse led the gains in the region as it advanced by 1.4 percent, followed by Kuwait and Qatar, up 1 and 0.7 percent, respectively.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index EGX30 lost as much as 2.4 percent.

In the oil market, Brent crude futures rose slightly to $112.16 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate reached $108.82 a barrel by 8:59 a.m. Saudi time on Monday.

Stock news

The Saudi British Bank, or SABB, appointed Yasser Ali Al-Barrak as its new CEO for corporate and institutional banking

SABB’s board of directors proposed a dividend distribution of SR1.13 billion ($301 million) in total, or SR0.55 per share, for the first half of 2022

Al-Khaleej Training and Education Co. entered into a non-binding agreement to potentially acquire 51 percent of Al-Minhaj Private Schools Co.

Ayyan Investment Co. named Faisal Al-Qahtani chairman of the board and Abdul Aziz Al Shaikh vice-chairman

Wafrah for Industry and Development Co.’s rights issue was 78 percent subscribed, generating SR120 million in proceeds

Jahez International Co. for Information System Technology appointed Lulua Bakr to replace audit committee chairman Abdulwahab Al-Butairi following his resignation

Saudi Basic Industries Corp.'s health insurance contract with Bupa Arabia was renewed for one year starting July 4

Calendar

July 4, 2022

Launch of single-stock futures trading on Tadawul

July 7, 2022

Saudi Exchange will close for the Eid Al Adha holidays and resume trading on July 13