Saudi Eastern Province closes $40m deal to improve its public transport network

Saudi Eastern Province closes $40m deal to improve its public transport network
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Updated 23 January 2022

Saudi Eastern Province closes $40m deal to improve its public transport network

Saudi Eastern Province closes $40m deal to improve its public transport network

RIYADH: Riyadh-based Saudi Public Transport Co., also known as SAPTCO, has sealed a SR150 million ($40 million) deal for a public bus transport project in the Eastern Province’s Dammam and Al Qatif governorate.

The contract, signed with the Eastern Province Municipality, will be valid for five years, the homegrown transport firm said in a bourse statement.

The Transport General Authority partnered with the Eastern Municipality to supply the project with eight lanes over a distance of 453 kilometers, 212 stops, and 85 buses, SPA reported, citing the authority’s president Rumaih Al Rumaih.

From reducing the effects of environmental pollution to rationalizing energy consumption, the project comes in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

Upon its completion, the region is expected to see less traffic congestion and more organized transportation systems, SPA reported.

SAPTCO noted that the deal’s financial impact is expected to reflect on the company’s financial statements during the first half of the ongoing year.


Saudi Aramco joins with Repsol to build synthetic fuel plant in Spain

Saudi Aramco joins with Repsol to build synthetic fuel plant in Spain
Updated 12 sec ago

Saudi Aramco joins with Repsol to build synthetic fuel plant in Spain

Saudi Aramco joins with Repsol to build synthetic fuel plant in Spain
  • Upon completion in 2024, the facility will have a production capacity of 2,100 tons per year

RIYADH: Saudi Aramco and Spanish energy company Repsol have agreed to jointly build a synthetic fuel plant in Bilbao, using the production technology developed by Johnson Matthey and BP, according to a statement.

The statement issued by Johnson Matthey revealed that the plant will be one of the world’s first to use renewable green hydrogen and carbon dioxide as its only raw materials.

Upon completion in 2024, the facility will have a production capacity of 2,100 tons per year.

According to the statement, the plant will produce a sustainable synthetic drop-in fuel that can be blended for existing road vehicle engines, planes and ships.

“Converting CO2 into synthetic, lower-carbon fuels can meaningfully contribute to the reduction of transport emissions and, through this strategic partnership, we aim to harness innovative technologies that can unlock the full potential of both sustainable fuels and chemicals — and demonstrate their competitiveness,” said Aramco Chief Technology Officer Ahmad Al-Khowaiter.

Adriana Orejas, director of Industrial Transformation and Deep Tech at Repsol said, “The development of Bilbao synthetic fuel, where sustainable synthetic fuel shall be produced, represents an important step on our commitment of being a Net Zero Emission company by 2050, aligned with the climate objectives set out in Paris by COP21.” 


Crypto Wrap — Ether and Bitcoin fall; Babel Finance valued at $2bn; Ukraine's crypto fundraise declines

Crypto Wrap — Ether and Bitcoin fall; Babel Finance valued at $2bn; Ukraine's crypto fundraise declines
Updated 5 min 26 sec ago

Crypto Wrap — Ether and Bitcoin fall; Babel Finance valued at $2bn; Ukraine's crypto fundraise declines

Crypto Wrap — Ether and Bitcoin fall; Babel Finance valued at $2bn; Ukraine's crypto fundraise declines

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded lower on Thursday, falling by 0.72 percent to $29,667.34, as of 9:00 a.m. Riyadh time.

Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $1,922.94 down by 3.31 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

Babel Finance valued at $2 billion following its latest fundraising

Babel Finance, a cryptocurrency lender and asset manager based in Hong Kong, announced on Wednesday that it had raised $80 million in a new round of funding at a $2 billion valuation, Reuters said. 

As part of the Series B financing round, Jeneration Capital, Circle Ventures, and 10T Holdings joined existing investors Dragonfly Capital and BAI Capital.

Babel said that a number of family offices were also involved in the round. In its previous round, a year earlier, the company raised $40 million.

The company, which specializes in crypto lending and trading, limits its offerings to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and stablecoins. Last year, the firm’s loan balances stood at $3 billion, with 500 customers on its customer list.

Cryptocurrency crash devalues Ukraine’s government’s crypto fundraise

According to Reuters, Ukraine, battered by three months of war, plans to continue tapping cryptocurrency investors in order to raise funds, following a fall in prices that practically wrecked the country’s fundraising efforts.

The Ukrainian government used social media to solicit cryptocurrency donations following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s vice prime minister, aimed to rally crypto investors this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The government’s “Aid for Ukraine” fund raised more than $60 million in cryptocurrency on March 19. However, two months later, on May 19, Alex Bornyakov, Ukraine’s deputy minister for digital transformation, said the total raised was $51.5 million.

Bornyakov said the government spent $45 million of the aid raised in the “Aid for Ukraine” fund on equipment for Ukraine’s army before the crash, Reuters reported.

Recent weeks have seen a sharp decline in cryptocurrencies. After dropping 17 percent in April, Bitcoin has lost more than 20 percent of its value so far in May, highlighting the risks involved with holding the highly volatile asset.


India In-Focus — Shares reverse early gains; Country has no immediate plans to lift wheat export ban; Vedanta to finalize $20bn chip unit site soon

India In-Focus — Shares reverse early gains; Country has no immediate plans to lift wheat export ban; Vedanta to finalize $20bn chip unit site soon
Updated 25 min 22 sec ago

India In-Focus — Shares reverse early gains; Country has no immediate plans to lift wheat export ban; Vedanta to finalize $20bn chip unit site soon

India In-Focus — Shares reverse early gains; Country has no immediate plans to lift wheat export ban; Vedanta to finalize $20bn chip unit site soon

MUMBAI: Indian shares gave up early gains to trade lower on Thursday, as losses in metal and energy stocks outweighed gains in financial counters, while persistent concerns over global inflation also weighed on investor sentiment.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.36 percent at 15,967.80, as of 0502 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.18 percent to 53,652.27.

India has no immediate plan to lift wheat export ban

India has no immediate plans to lift a ban on wheat exports, but will continue with deals that are done directly with other governments, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal told Reuters.

The world’s second-biggest producer of wheat banned private overseas sales of the grain on May 14 after a scorching heatwave curtailed output and domestic prices hit a record high. Global wheat prices surged after the decision.

“Currently there’s instability in the world, if we were to do that (lift the ban), it would only help black marketeers, hoarders and speculators. Neither will it help the really vulnerable and needy countries,” Goyal said when asked if New Delhi had any plans to allow private exports to resume.

“The smarter way to do it is through the government to government route, by which we can give affordable wheat grain to the most vulnerable poor,” he said in an interview on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Vedanta to finalize $20 billion Indian chip, display unit site by mid-June

Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal said the first chip product will be ready in two years. (AFP/File)

Vedanta will finalize a location for its $20 billion semiconductor and display plants in India by mid-June and will have the first chip product ready in two years, its Chairman Anil Agarwal said on Wednesday.

Oil-to-metals conglomerate Vedanta said in February it will diversify into chip manufacturing and announced plans to form a joint venture with Taiwan’s Foxconn to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s drive to make India a semiconductor manufacturing hub.

Vedanta has a total planned investment outlay of $20 billion for two separate units for chip and display manufacturing.

“Foxconn is our technical partner. We may not take equity partner for the fab,” Agarwal told Reuters in an interview in Davos, adding that the Apple contract manufacturer will have technical responsibility for the operation, from providing the tech to making semiconductors.

Vedanta is seeking incentives from the government and is also in talks with several Indian states on the unit’s location.

(With input from Reuters)


HSBC weighs IPO of Indonesia business: Bloomberg News

HSBC weighs IPO of Indonesia business: Bloomberg News
Updated 36 min 21 sec ago

HSBC weighs IPO of Indonesia business: Bloomberg News

HSBC weighs IPO of Indonesia business: Bloomberg News
  • The IPO news comes a month after HSBC’s largest shareholder, Chinese insurance giant Ping An, called for a spin off of the bank’s Asian operations in a move to boost returns

HSBC Holdings PLC is considering an initial public offering of its Indonesian business, as the bank aims to target the growing investment demand in the country, Bloomberg news reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The London-based bank is yet to file a formal IPO application in Jakarta but the talks for a share sale are at an advanced stage, according to the report.

Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority declined to comment on the report, while HSBC did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for a comment.

The IPO news comes a month after HSBC’s largest shareholder, Chinese insurance giant Ping An, called for a spin off of the bank’s Asian operations in a move to boost returns.


TASI gains on optimism among investors: Opening bell

TASI gains on optimism among investors: Opening bell
Updated 26 May 2022

TASI gains on optimism among investors: Opening bell

TASI gains on optimism among investors: Opening bell

RIYADH: Saudi stocks extended their gains on Thursday as investor optimism increased following a strong earnings season.

The main index, TASI, gained 0.53 percent to reach 12,656, while the parallel market, Nomu, started flat at 22,020, as of 10:08 a.m. Saudi time.

Buruj Cooperative Insurance Co. gained 2.39 percent, leading the market gainers; Wataniya Insurance Co. fell 4.23 percent, leading the fallers.

Ataa Educational Co. gained 1.98 percent, after it received Capital Market Authority approval to increase capital to $112m for the acquisition of Naba'a.

Among the gainers on the list, the Saudi Industrial Export Co. rose 1 percent, and Elm Co. edged up by 0.41 percent.

In the financial sector, the Kingdom’s largest valued bank Al Rajhi edged up 0.85 percent, while Alinma Bank climbed 0.79 percent.

Among the telecom giants, stc added 0.38 percent and Zain KSA was down 0.15 percent

In the pharmaceutical sector, Aldawaa Medical Services Co. and Nahdi Medical Co. both opened flat.

Saudi Aramco, the largest player on the Saudi oil market, opened today’s trading up 0.37 percent.

The energy market saw Brent crude trading at $114.46 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate crude reached $110.85 a barrel, as of 10:10 a.m. Saudi time.