SNB board recommends dividends of over $1bn for the second half of 2021

SNB board recommends dividends of over $1bn for the second half of 2021
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Updated 27 January 2022

SNB board recommends dividends of over $1bn for the second half of 2021

SNB board recommends dividends of over $1bn for the second half of 2021

RIYADH: Saudi National Bank, the Kingdom’s biggest lender, said its board has recommended cash dividends of SR4.03 billion ($1.1 billion), or 9 percent of capital, for the second half of 2021.

SNB’s shareholders will receive SR0.9 per share, with a total amount of 4.48 billion shares eligible for dividends, a bourse statement by the bank revealed.

This brings the annual dividend yield to 2.12 percent, based on a share price of SR73, given the bank paid out SR0.65 per share for the first half of the same year.

The distribution date is yet to be disclosed, according to the statement.


UK announces 25 percent windfall tax on energy producers’ profits

UK announces 25 percent windfall tax on energy producers’ profits
Updated 5 sec ago

UK announces 25 percent windfall tax on energy producers’ profits

UK announces 25 percent windfall tax on energy producers’ profits
  • Earlier this week the energy regulator said that a cap on gas and electricity bills was set to rise by another 40 percent in October

LONDON: Britain announced a 25 percent windfall tax on oil and gas producers’ profits on Thursday, alongside a package of support for households struggling to meet rising energy bills.

The announcement marks a change of heart for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government which had previously resisted windfall taxes and called them a deterrent to investment.

Facing intense political pressure to provide more support for billpayers coping with what political opponents and campaigners have called a cost-of-living crisis, finance minister Rishi Sunak said energy firms were making extraordinary profits while Britons struggled.

“We are introducing a temporary, targeted Energy Profits Levy charged on profits of oil and gas companies at a rate of 25 percent,” Sunak said.

“We’re also building in a new investment allowance that doubles the relief for the energy companies that invest their profits in the UK.”

Earlier this week the energy regulator said that a cap on gas and electricity bills was set to rise by another 40 percent in October.


EU working on gas deal with Egypt, Israel to support supplies

EU working on gas deal with Egypt, Israel to support supplies
Updated 8 min 26 sec ago

EU working on gas deal with Egypt, Israel to support supplies

EU working on gas deal with Egypt, Israel to support supplies
  • Since the EU imported about 40 percent of its gas from Russia last year, it will need to tap into multiple fuel sources

RIYADH: The EU is working on a deal to import Israeli gas through Egypt, as the bloc accelerates to reduce its dependence on Russian supplies, Bloomberg reported. 

The fuel will be converted into liquefied natural gas at processing plants in Egypt, before being shipped to the EU, according to Bloomberg. 

The agreement will boost European market opportunities for Israel, where domestic gas prices are much lower than the prices it could charge on the continent.

Since the EU imported about 40 percent of its gas from Russia last year, it will need to tap into multiple fuel sources, in addition to increasing production of renewable energy to meet demand.

The EU, Israel, and Egypt will also work to increase cooperation on clean energy projects.


MENA Project Tracker: Kuwait to start construction on $120m petroleum center, biggest of its kind worldwide

MENA Project Tracker: Kuwait to start construction on $120m petroleum center, biggest of its kind worldwide
Updated 14 min 34 sec ago

MENA Project Tracker: Kuwait to start construction on $120m petroleum center, biggest of its kind worldwide

MENA Project Tracker: Kuwait to start construction on $120m petroleum center, biggest of its kind worldwide

RIYADH: Kuwait is set to launch the world’s largest petroleum center yet. Saudi real estate firm Roshn to kick off second community development in Northern Jeddah. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources has opened a pre-qualification round for a new mineral site. Contractors have also submitted bids for the third phase of Emaar’s Creek Beach in Dubai. Additionally, Saudi’s Modon and National Centre for Privatization and PPP are partnering to introduce three logistics parks in the Kingdom. Meanwhile, contractors are preparing bids for Saudi’s SABIC and Aramco’s petrochemicals plant in Yanbu.

·      Kuwait is on track to start construction on the largest petroleum research center worldwide worth $120 million before the end of 2022, MEED reported, citing the country’s oil ministry. The facility — which aims to develop advanced production and refining techniques — is set to have around 28 laboratories and will be located in Al-Ahmadi town. 

·      Public Investment Fund-backed Saudi real estate firm Roshn has unveiled its second community development to be located in Northern Jeddah, Trade Arabia reported. Also referred to as Al Arous, the new integrated community will be spread over a 4 million square meter area. It will entail an estimated 18,000 residential units as well as parks, walkways for foot travelers, bicycle paths, restaurants, cafes, schools, and mosques.

·      Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources has invited firms to submit prequalification documents for the Umm Ad Damar Exploration License site worth an estimated $533 million, according to a statement. The site — which will cover an area of over 40 square kilometers — will include copper, zinc, gold, and silver deposits, according to the ministry.

·      Contractors have submitted bids for the third phase of the Emaar Creek Beach project in Dubai. With Kuwait-based architecture and engineering consultant SSH acting as the project’s consultant, the scope of the work includes the building of 14 medium-rise buildings to cater to an estimated 900 residential units. Contractors include domestic Al-Basti, Mukhta, ASGC, among others.

·      The Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones, also known as Modon, is collaborating with the National Centre for Privatization and PPP to launch three logistics parks in Saudi Arabia’s northern region, MEEED reported. UK-based multidisciplinary professional services organization EY has signed the contract for the project to develop the three logistics parks. The contract also includes the construction of four buildings for Modon employees in addition to the parks.

·      Contractors are preparing bids for Saudi chemical manufacturing company SABIC and Aramco’s petrochemicals facility in Yanbu city, MEED reported. The bids involve the engineering, design, and feed works for the integrated facility. Bidders include America’s Fluor, UK’s Wood, and Australia’s Worley, among others.


Third gas link between Spain and France in 2.5 years; Qatar, UK sign energy deal: NRG matters 

Third gas link between Spain and France in 2.5 years; Qatar, UK sign energy deal: NRG matters 
Updated 18 min 1 sec ago

Third gas link between Spain and France in 2.5 years; Qatar, UK sign energy deal: NRG matters 

Third gas link between Spain and France in 2.5 years; Qatar, UK sign energy deal: NRG matters 

RIYADH: A third gas link between Spain and France is expected to be completed in two and a half years with the right push. Qatar and the UK sign a cooperation deal in the energy field. Also, natural gas in the US climbed over $9 for the first time since 2008. On another note, America’s Lucid Motors will launch one of three major electric vehicle plants in Saudi later this year. Meanwhile, the UK’s National Grid Plc has asked wind turbines to reduce output due to the lack of enough room for electricity storage.

Looking at the bigger picture: 

·      A third gas link between Spain and France that will be worth between 600 and 700 million euros ($640 and $746 million) is expected to be completed within two and a half years, if the correct procedures are facilitated, Reuters reported, citing the chief executive of Spain’s grid operator. This comes as interconnection projects have received great attention recently, as the EU attempts to drift away from Russian supplies.

·      Qatar and the UK have signed a memorandum of understanding in the energy field, MEED reported, citing state-owned petroleum company QatarEnergy. The cooperation deal aims to strengthen the Gulf country’s gas supply in Europe. In addition to this, Qatar is aiming to invest as much as $12.5 billion in the UK over the next five years, according to a statement from the UK government.

·      Natural gas in the US climbed over $9 per million British thermal units on Wednesday reflecting the highest increase since 2008. The increase in prices is mainly attributed to the low inventory, which is consequently pushing prices up. Small output growth, high liquified natural gas exports, and storage levels that are 17 percent below the five-year average are all contributing to the surge in prices, CNBC reported, citing the head of natural gas and power services for North America at Argus Media, David Givens.

·      American electric vehicle manufacturer Lucid Motors, which is 60 percent wholly owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, is on track to construct an electric vehicle assembly plant in the Kingdom later this year. The plant, which is anticipated to be one of three potential electric vehicle plants in the Kingdom, will have the capacity to produce as many as 150,000 vehicles per year.

Through a micro lens:

·      British multinational electricity grid operator National Grid Plc has asked several wind farms in Scotland that are connected to the local network to diminish output by 25 megawatts, Bloomberg reported. Despite record wind in Scotland, more electricity is being produced than the grid there can handle, also demonstrating that the UK is unable to deal with or store big amounts of electricity. 


Alibaba beats revenue estimates as lockdowns spur online demand

Alibaba beats revenue estimates as lockdowns spur online demand
Updated 32 min 15 sec ago

Alibaba beats revenue estimates as lockdowns spur online demand

Alibaba beats revenue estimates as lockdowns spur online demand

China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. on Thursday beat market expectations for fourth-quarter revenue, powered by demand for its ecommerce and cloud services as lockdowns in the country’s biggest cities forced offices to shift to remote work.

US-listed Alibaba shares, which have lost roughly a third of their value so far this year, were up about 2 percent in premarket trading.

The e-commerce giant’s strong results come as Beijing extends support to its tech companies to avoid a hit from new COVID-19 outbreaks.

Demand for online services ranging from shopping to cloud-based products has skyrocketed in China as strict lockdowns prompt people to work, shop and keep themselves entertained from homes.

Overall, revenue rose 9 percent to 204.05 billion yuan ($30.35 billion) in the quarter.

Revenue in the cloud computing division rose 12 percent to 18.97 billion yuan in the reported quarter.

At the core commerce unit, its largest, revenue rose 8 percent to 140.33 billion yuan.

Analysts on average had expected revenue of 199.25 billion yuan, according to Refinitiv data.