Qatar to launch first green bond to secure ESG funds

Qatar to launch first green bond to secure ESG funds
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Updated 26 January 2022

Qatar to launch first green bond to secure ESG funds

Qatar to launch first green bond to secure ESG funds

RIYADH: Qatar intends to launch its first green fund as it aims to secure Environmental, Social, and Governance funding, Bloomberg reported.

The finance ministry is in contact with global banks in an attempt to accrue billions of dollars via green bonds.

Such a move may cause disputes among ESG investors given the Persian Gulf country’s vast carbon emissions on a global level, according to Bloomberg.

Qatar will appoint several banks to develop a plan on how the money is going to be spent.

A potential deal with state owned petroleum firm Qatar Energy could be sealed soon.

The Middle Eastern country aims to cut emissions by 25 percent by 2030.

However, gas remains a crucial commodity and the country is investing an estimated $30 billion to increase production capacity by 50 percent in the upcoming six years.

This comes as the gas shortages in Asia and Europe are partly attributed to the lack of proper spending in fossil fuels, Bloomberg reported, citing Saad Al-Kaabi, Qatar’s energy minister.

 


Oil dips as recession worries outweigh rising demand forecast

Oil dips as recession worries outweigh rising demand forecast
Updated 15 sec ago

Oil dips as recession worries outweigh rising demand forecast

Oil dips as recession worries outweigh rising demand forecast

HOUSTON: Oil prices edged slightly lower on Monday, as worries of a possible recession outweighed an outlook for higher fuel demand with the upcoming US driving season and Shanghai’s plans to reopen after a two-month coronavirus lockdown.

Brent crude futures fell 13 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $112.43 a barrel by 10:46 a.m. ET (1446 GMT). US West Texas Intermediate crude declined 52 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $109.72.

“There are black clouds gathering around the financial markets here and it has started to impact crude oil,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho.

“The economic wellbeing of the global economy is questionable at this point,” he added.

Both benchmarks were down after two straight sessions of gains.

Losses were limited by expectations that gasoline demand would remain high as the US was set to enter its peak driving season beginning on Memorial Day weekend at the end of May.

Despite fears that soaring fuel prices could dent demand, analysts said mobility data from TomTom and Google had climbed in recent weeks, showing more drivers on the road in places such as the US.

To address a major supply crunch and blunt rising prices, the White House is weighing an emergency declaration to release diesel from a rarely used stockpile, an administration official said.

The White House is considering tapping the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, created in 2000 to help with supply issues and used only once in 2012 in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The impact from such a release would be limited by the relatively small size of the reserve, which only contains 1 million barrels of diesel.

The EU’s inability to reach a final agreement on banning Russian oil after its invasion of Ukraine has stopped oil prices from climbing much higher. Hungary continues to hold out against the proposed ban, ensuring no sudden shock to supply for now.

“The persistent squeeze in refined petroleum products in the US and ever-present Ukraine/Russia risk underpinned prices,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

Shanghai, China’s commercial hub, aims to normalize life from June 1 as its coronavirus caseloads decline.

Lockdowns in China, the world’s top oil importer, have hammered industrial output and construction, prompting moves to prop up the economy, including a bigger than expected mortgage rate cut last Friday.


Crypto Wrap — Bitcoin and Ethereum rise; India must establish cryptocurrency regulations, says CoinSwitch CEO

Crypto Wrap — Bitcoin and Ethereum rise; India must establish cryptocurrency regulations, says CoinSwitch CEO
Updated 45 min 16 sec ago

Crypto Wrap — Bitcoin and Ethereum rise; India must establish cryptocurrency regulations, says CoinSwitch CEO

Crypto Wrap — Bitcoin and Ethereum rise; India must establish cryptocurrency regulations, says CoinSwitch CEO

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded higher on Wednesday, rising by 0.88 percent to $30,237.18 as of 5:50 p.m. Riyadh time.

Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $2,056.49 up by 1.93 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

India must set rules for cryptocurrencies, CoinSwitch CEO says 

Despite India’s central bank’s support for a ban on cryptocurrencies because of the risks to financial stability, a move by the federal government to tax Bitcoin income has been interpreted by the industry as a sign of New Delhi’s acceptance of the technology.

CoinSwitch CEO Ashish Singhal said that India must set rules for cryptocurrencies to resolve regulatory uncertainty, protect investors, and boost the sector, according to Reuters. 

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Singhal, a former Amazon engineer who co-founded CoinSwitch, said: “Users don’t know what will happen with their holdings — is the government going to ban, not ban, how is it going to be regulated?.”

CoinSwitch, which is valued at $1.9 billion, has more than 18 million users in India, the company stated on Reuters. Andreessen Horowitz, Tiger Global, and Coinbase Ventures back the company, which is based in Bengaluru, India’s main tech hub.

Private cryptocurrencies have raised serious concerns at India’s central bank, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December 2021 said the technology should be used to strengthen democracy, not undercut it.

Hatta to Mars in the metaverse

Everdome Metaverse is hosting a land auction on May 30, 2022, where investors can bid to own a piece of Mars.

According to a statement, Everdome will launch in three phases throughout 2022, taking users from Hatta in the UAE to Mars.

With Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5 and cutting-edge 3D scanning technology, players won’t be able to tell the difference between reality and gameplay.

Some 12,000 hexagonal plots of land for sale through auctions held over eight weeks. Each auction will feature 1,500 plots and will run for one week, located in-game areas across Everdome’s 6 unique districts.

Over the next eight weeks, 12,000 hexagonal plots of metaverse land will be available for purchase throughout the Everdome ecosystem.

A total of 1,500 plots will be offered per auction, spread out across Everdome’s six districts, and each auction will run for one week.

Rob Gryn, CEO and founder of Everdome and Metahero, said in a statement that “The future is in the metaverse, now more than ever before; people want their real-world experiences available at the press of a button, which is exactly what the metaverse offers.”

He explained that Metaverses offers experiences in sales, marketing, hospitality, and education.

A plot of land within Everdome can be developed in any way the owner sees fit, and the owner has the option of generating revenue or reselling the land, the statement said.

 


UAE’s EGA, GE Gas Power partner to upgrade 4 gas turbines to cut emissions

UAE’s EGA, GE Gas Power partner to upgrade 4 gas turbines to cut emissions
Updated 23 May 2022

UAE’s EGA, GE Gas Power partner to upgrade 4 gas turbines to cut emissions

UAE’s EGA, GE Gas Power partner to upgrade 4 gas turbines to cut emissions

RIYADH: Emirates Global Aluminium and GE Gas Power have partnered to upgrade four existing gas turbines at EGA’s Al Taweelah power plant in a bid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions’ intensity.

GE’s Advanced Gas Path upgrade on the four 9F gas turbines will include hardware and software improvements to drive operational flexibility and increase output, efficiency and availability. 

Upon completion, power output from the four turbines is expected to increase by up to 72 megawatts for the same amount of fuel consumed, according to a statement. 

For the previous power output, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by up to 74,000 tonnes annually, which is equivalent to removing 16,000 cars from the UAE’s roads.

“We are pleased to work with GE to further upgrade the Al Taweelah power plant, and contribute to reducing the carbon intensity of electricity generation in the UAE,” Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, CEO of EGA, said. 

The partnership represents a continuation of the services that GE has already been providing at the site since production began in 2009.


Saudi Arabia’s first fintech unicorn stc pay posts $117m losses for 2021

Saudi Arabia’s first fintech unicorn stc pay posts $117m losses for 2021
Updated 23 May 2022

Saudi Arabia’s first fintech unicorn stc pay posts $117m losses for 2021

Saudi Arabia’s first fintech unicorn stc pay posts $117m losses for 2021

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s leading payments solutions provider stc pay has posted losses amounting to SR440 million ($117 million) for 2021.

Its revenues stood at SR834 million during the year, Argaam reported.

The parent company Saudi Telecom Co.’s share of the total losses was around SR374 million.

stc pay was established back in 2017 by Arabian Internet and Communications Services Co., better known as solutions, and paved its way to becoming the Kingdom’s first fintech unicorn.

It was transferred to telecom giant stc two years later and Western Union acquired a 15-percent stake in the company for $200 million.


TASI lower on mixed earnings and oil price uncertainty: Closing bell

TASI lower on mixed earnings and oil price uncertainty: Closing bell
Updated 23 May 2022

TASI lower on mixed earnings and oil price uncertainty: Closing bell

TASI lower on mixed earnings and oil price uncertainty: Closing bell

RIYADH: The Saudi main index ended Monday with another steep decline, as fluctuating oil prices and mixed earnings reports weighed on investors' sentiment again.

As of the closing bell, TASI edged 0.80 percent lower to reach 12,235, while the parallel market, Nomu, added 0.15 percent at 22,363.

In the energy sector, Brent crude rose to $113.70 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate crude reached $111.34 a barrel, as of 3:08 p.m. Saudi time.

Saudi Industrial Export Co. rallied 9.93 percent to lead the market, while Arab Sea Information System Co. plunged 7.30 percent to lead the laggards.

Saudi Aramco, the largest player on the Saudi oil market, closed today’s trading up 0.77 percent.

Arabian Pipes Co. gained 1.27 percent, after Saudi Aramco awarded the company a SR100 million ($27 million) contract to supply steel pipes.

BinDawood Holding Co. edged down 1.84 percent, despite reporting a 5 percent increase in profit to SR65 million in the first quarter.

Mouwasat Medical Services Co. declined 1.81 percent, following the announcement that it has entered into a nonbinding agreement to acquire Al-Marasem International Hospital in Egypt.

In the financial sector, the Kingdom’s largest valued bank Al Rajhi slipped 2.26 percent, while Alinma Bank fell 0.71 percent.

In the pharma sector, Aldawaa Medical Services Co. gained 0.26 percent, while Nahdi Medical Co. fell 1.68 percent.

Telecom giants Zain KSA and stc saw their share prices decline 0.76 percent and 1.14 percent, respectively.