World Bank favorably revises 2022 Saudi growth forecast to 4.9% on oil rebound

World Bank favorably revises 2022 Saudi growth forecast to 4.9% on oil rebound
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Updated 17 January 2022

World Bank favorably revises 2022 Saudi growth forecast to 4.9% on oil rebound

World Bank favorably revises 2022 Saudi growth forecast to 4.9% on oil rebound

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s economy is set to grow by 4.9 percent this year due to a strong rebound in the oil sector which will induce stronger exports, the World Bank said in a report.

In its Global Economic Prospects report, the international organization upwardly revised the expansion rate by 1.6 percent compared to its June forecast.

In addition, non-oil activities are also expected to strengthen from higher vaccination rates and rising investments. However, the Bank trimmed its 2023 growth forecast by 0.9 percent to 2.3 percent.

With oil prices expected to average around $74 per barrel, coupled with a strengthening demand, the Gulf Cooperation Council economies are set to grow by 4.7 percent this year and by 3 percent in 2023.

Looking at the MENA region as a whole, the international lender favorably altered the region’s growth expectation by 0.8 percent to 4.4 percent in 2022, saying that both oil exporters and importers would benefit from a weakening pandemic and a fall in oil production cuts.

Yet, the World Bank said that uncertainties remain high, especially with a falling fiscal support. As for next year, MENA is set to grow by 3.4 percent.

Other risks that face the region include: resurgence in COVID-19 cases, climate disasters and changes to oil prices. 


Shares in Saudi Tadawul gain despite a decline in profits

Shares in Saudi Tadawul gain despite a decline in profits
Updated 12 sec ago

Shares in Saudi Tadawul gain despite a decline in profits

Shares in Saudi Tadawul gain despite a decline in profits

RIYADH: Saudi Tadawul Group’s stock gained in the afternoon trading session on Monday, despite the company posting lower first-quarter profit yesterday.

As of 2:04 p.m. Saudi time, the Kingdom’s bourse operator had seen its shares rise 3.15 percent to SR209.80 ($56), up from SR203.2 at the previous close.

The company reported lower profits yesterday, dropping 21 percent to SR141 million in the first quarter, from SR180 million for the same quarter last year.


Bahrain Central Bank oversubscribed its Sukuk Al-Salam securities

Bahrain Central Bank oversubscribed its Sukuk Al-Salam securities
Updated 24 min 4 sec ago

Bahrain Central Bank oversubscribed its Sukuk Al-Salam securities

Bahrain Central Bank oversubscribed its Sukuk Al-Salam securities

RIYADH: The Central Bank of Bahrain’s monthly issue of Sukuk Al-Salam Islamic security has been oversubscribed by 184 percent. 

In total, it received subscriptions worth $209 million for the $114-million issue, which matures in 91 days, the central bank stated in a statement.

The Sukuk is expected to give a return of 2.30 percent on maturity on August 17, against its previous issue rate of 1.99 percent on April 13, 2022.

CBB issued the Sukuk Al-Salam on behalf of the Government of Bahrain.


Chinese battery supplier Calb adds more banks for its $1.5bn Hong Kong IPO: Bloomberg

Chinese battery supplier Calb adds more banks for its $1.5bn Hong Kong IPO: Bloomberg
Updated 25 min 15 sec ago

Chinese battery supplier Calb adds more banks for its $1.5bn Hong Kong IPO: Bloomberg

Chinese battery supplier Calb adds more banks for its $1.5bn Hong Kong IPO: Bloomberg

RIYADH: Calb Co., a Chinese battery supplier for electric vehicle makers, has added more banks as it plans for its Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise as much as $1.5 billion, Bloomberg reported. 

It has selected Citigroup, Credit Suisse Group and JPMorgan Chase & Co. as joint global coordinators for its IPO, the report said citing people familiar with the matter. 

More banks can be picked for the deal as discussions are in progress, the people added. 

Calb’s $1.5 billion IPO could be one of Hong Kong’s biggest in 2022 upon its completion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

Founded in 2007, Calb operates major production bases in China and is specialized in the development, production and sales of lithium batteries for electric vehicles. 

 


Indonesia’s president, Elon Musk in talks for investments in the Asian country: NRG matters

Indonesia’s president, Elon Musk in talks for investments in the Asian country: NRG matters
Updated 29 min 13 sec ago

Indonesia’s president, Elon Musk in talks for investments in the Asian country: NRG matters

Indonesia’s president, Elon Musk in talks for investments in the Asian country: NRG matters

RIYADH: Indonesia’s president is in talks with Tesla CEO Elon Musk regarding various investments in the country. Protestors in Suffolk disapprove the building of a nuclear power station, fearing disruptions across various sectors. Elsewhere, the UK chancellor is set to impose taxes on energy giants to shield consumers. Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco plans to create long-term shareholder value through highlighting the firm’s low upstream carbon intensity. Other firms such as the UK’s Foresight Group Holdings Ltd. and HydrogenOne Capital Growth Plc are acquiring stakes in a Germany-based hydrogen utility. Additionally, the ESG Niche is expected to jump 2,000 percent.

Looking at the bigger picture: 

·      Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has met Tesla CEO Elon Musk to discuss potential investments in the Asian country’s nickel industry as well as the supply of batteries for electric vehicles, Reuters reported, citing the government.

This comes as Tesla representatives were visiting Indonesia last week to attend meetings regarding a battery-related investment, according to individuals familiar with the matter.

·      Hundreds of protestors gathered in Suffolk on Sunday to voice their objections regarding the construction of the Sizewell C nuclear power station, Bloomberg reported. 

Protesters are arguing that the building of the nuclear power station will cause complications in terms of transport, water supply, biodiversity, and coastal erosion.

·      The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak will soon impose windfall taxes on energy giants to cushion households from rallying costs of living, Bloomberg reported, citing shadow secretary of state for climate change and net zero Ed Miliband.

·      The Environmental, Social, and Governance Niche has been forecasted to grow by 2,000 percent as some of the UK’s most prominent fund managers jump into it with new funds and investment products, Bloomberg reported.

This comes as asset management firm Schroders and insurance firm Aviva among others aim to take advantage of and profit from the increasing demand for biodiversity-focused investment products.

Through a micro-lens: 

·      Saudi Arabian public petroleum and natural gas company Aramco is planning on creating long-term shareholder value by hammering on low upstream carbon intensity, low lifting costs, and integrated downstream business, Reuters reported, citing the firm’s CEO. 

·      UK-based capital market firms Foresight Group Holdings Ltd. and HydrogenOne Capital Growth Plc have acquired stakes in German hydrogen utility HH2E AG in addition to co-investing in energy projects, Bloomberg reported. 

This comes as the firms aim to help the new company develop green energy projects in Germany and prosper altogether.  


US battery maker Dragonfly Energy to go public in SPAC deal valued at $500m

US battery maker Dragonfly Energy to go public in SPAC deal valued at $500m
Updated 31 min 19 sec ago

US battery maker Dragonfly Energy to go public in SPAC deal valued at $500m

US battery maker Dragonfly Energy to go public in SPAC deal valued at $500m

RIYADH: Battery maker Dragonfly Energy Corp. is going public in a transaction with a blank-check company valuing it at $500 million, including its debts, Bloomberg reported quoting people familiar with the matter.

According to these people, who wished to stay anonymous, the agreement with Chardan NexTech Acquisition 2 Corp. is being financed through $128 million in the special purpose acquisition, along with $230 million in additional financing.

The sources added that the combined company will be called Dragonfly Energy, and will be listed on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol DFLI.

Dragonfly, based in Reno, Nevada, makes lithium-ion storage batteries, which are non-toxic and replace lead-acid batteries, according to its website.

In 2021, the company generated $78 million in revenue.

Chardan inked this deal with Dragonfly Energy at a time when several top banks including Goldman Sachs and Bank of America have decided to stop helping SPACs to find companies to buy.