Saudi dairy giant Almarai posts 21% profit drop amid pandemic challenges

Saudi dairy giant Almarai posts 21% profit drop amid pandemic challenges
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Updated 23 January 2022

Saudi dairy giant Almarai posts 21% profit drop amid pandemic challenges

Saudi dairy giant Almarai posts 21% profit drop amid pandemic challenges
  • Net profit dropped from SR1.98 billion ($529 million) to SR1.56 billion on an annual basis

RIYADH: Saudi-based dairy giant Almarai has recorded a 21 percent decline in profit in 2021 as pandemic and value-added tax, VAT, weighed on revenues.

Net profit dropped from SR1.98 billion ($529 million) to SR1.56 billion on an annual basis, a bourse statement by the dairy giant revealed.

Its gross profit was down 8.6 percent due to structural reforms of subsidy reduction

This followed a challenging year for Almarai amid rising COVID-19 repercussions and supply chain disruptions as well as VAT-related changes in purchases.


Oil rises on EU’s Russian oil ban effort, demand hopes

Oil rises on EU’s Russian oil ban effort, demand hopes
Updated 7 sec ago

Oil rises on EU’s Russian oil ban effort, demand hopes

Oil rises on EU’s Russian oil ban effort, demand hopes

LONDON: Oil hit its highest in seven weeks on Tuesday, supported by the European Union’s ongoing push for a ban on Russian oil imports that would tighten supply and as investors focused on higher demand from an easing of China’s COVID lockdowns.

EU foreign ministers failed on Monday in their effort to pressure Hungary to lift its veto on the proposed oil embargo. But some diplomats now point to a May 30-31 summit as the moment for agreement on a phased ban on Russian oil.

Brent crude rose as high as $115.50, its highest since March 28, and by 1024 GMT was up $1.16, or 1 percent, to $115.40. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained 78 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $114.98.

“Oil prices have remained near multi-week highs this week, supported by surging gasoline and distillate prices in the US, and fears around an EU ban on Russian oil imports remaining in play,” said Jeffrey Halley, analyst at brokerage OANDA.

Crude has surged in 2022, with Brent hitting $139, its highest since 2008, in early March as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exacerbated supply concerns.

Oil also gained support from hopes of demand recovery in China as it looks to ease COVID restrictions, analysts said, and from rising geopolitical tension between the EU and Russia following Sweden and Finland’s moves to join NATO.

Shanghai on Tuesday achieved the long-awaited milestone of three consecutive days with no new COVID-19 cases outside quarantine zones and set out on Monday its clearest timetable yet for exiting a lockdown now in its seventh week.

Also in focus are potential further declines in US fuel inventories. Weekly inventory reports are expected to show a rise in crude stocks and declines in inventories of distillates and gasoline.

The first report, from the American Petroleum Institute is due at 2030 GMT. (Additional reporting by Isabel Kua in Singapore and Yuka Obayashi in Tokyo Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)

 


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 6 min 8 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 17 min 20 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 33 min 1 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 34 min 37 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.