World’s largest wheat importer Egypt achieves 62% self-sufficiency: minister

World’s largest wheat importer Egypt achieves 62% self-sufficiency: minister
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Updated 21 February 2022

World’s largest wheat importer Egypt achieves 62% self-sufficiency: minister

World’s largest wheat importer Egypt achieves 62% self-sufficiency: minister

RIYADH: Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, has achieved 62 percent self-sufficiency in the grain this season, according to the Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation.

The country cultivates 3.7 million acres with wheat, producing 9.5 to 10 million tons, Mohamed El Quseir told Asharq during Expo 2020 Dubai.

El Qusier noted that this area is the largest ever set aside for the grain in Egypt’s history.

The wheat planting season starts from mid-November until the end of January, while the harvest season starts from mid-April until mid-July, according to Asharq.

Amid efforts to reduce reliance on imports, especially of wheat and corn, Egypt plans to expand its agricultural area, which stands at 9.7 million feddans, the minister noted.

"We aim to increase the agricultural area by about 3 to 3.6 million acres, through horizontal expansion projects, such as the new delta, Toshka, and the development of North and Central Sinai,” he said.

Most recently, Egypt said it will launch a new tender to import wheat next week as it prepares for possible grain market disturbance in the light of rising tensions between Ukraine and Russia. 

 


Saudi edtech startup AlGooru raises $1.8m in seed funding

Saudi edtech startup AlGooru raises $1.8m in seed funding
Updated 15 sec ago

Saudi edtech startup AlGooru raises $1.8m in seed funding

Saudi edtech startup AlGooru raises $1.8m in seed funding

RIYADH: AlGooru, a Saudi-based edtech startup, raised $1.8 million in a seed funding round with participation from Saudi venture capital firms, RAZ Group, RZM Investments, 100 Ventures, and RAY Investments.

The company provides an educational platform for students to easily connect with a pool of private tutors.

“Our team is rapidly expanding and through the wealth of data that we’ve accumulated, we know what the market needs and how we can capitalize on it,” Omer Awad, founding member and head of product, said in a statement.

Founded in 2021, the company is planning to utilize its funding by widening its offerings as well as expanding further in the Kingdom, MAGNiTT reported.

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TASI finishes H1 5% higher despite recent losses, market fears

TASI finishes H1 5% higher despite recent losses, market fears
Updated 59 min 2 sec ago

TASI finishes H1 5% higher despite recent losses, market fears

TASI finishes H1 5% higher despite recent losses, market fears

RIYADH: The Tadawul All Share Index managed to end the first half of 2022 higher than the previous year, despite market fears that have surfaced recently as investors’ optimism was dampened by interest rate hikes.

Saudi Arabia’s main index increased 4.9 percent during the first half of 2022 to close at 11,523, an increase of 539 points from the same period last year, the Saudi Exchange reported.

Total equity market capitalization grew 17.72 percent to reach SR11 trillion ($3 trillion) at the end of the first half.

The share trading value dropped 22.5 percent to SR1 trillion for the same period, while the total number of volumes traded fell 41.96 percent to 25.3 billion shares.

The total number of transactions executed in the first half decreased 10 percent to 46.97 million from 52.19 million a year earlier.

A total of 124 trading days were recorded during the first half of 2022, compared to 125 during the same period in 2021.

 


TASI ends lower, expanding June losses: Closing bell

TASI ends lower, expanding June losses: Closing bell
Updated 03 July 2022

TASI ends lower, expanding June losses: Closing bell

TASI ends lower, expanding June losses: Closing bell

RIYADH: Saudi stocks ended their first trading session of July in red, expanding on the market’s 11 percent loss in June as investors' optimism was dampened by the fear of interest rate hikes.

As of Sunday’s closing bell, TASI fell 0.51 percent to reach 11,464, while the parallel market, Nomu, plunged 2.33 percent to 21,082.

This was led by a 0.39 percent decline in Saudi Aramco, the largest player on the Saudi oil market, and a 2.55 percent drop in the Kingdom’s largest valued bank Al Rajhi.

Saudi National Bank, one of the Kingdom’s biggest lenders, added 0.91 percent, after announcing SR4.92 billion ($1.31 billion) in dividends for the first half of 2022.

Wafrah for Industry and Development Co. lost 6.82 percent to lead the fallers, followed by Al-Baha Investment and Development Co., which fell 6.04 percent.

Abdullah Al Othaim Markets Co. edged up 2.13 percent, following the news that its mall unit had canceled its initial public offering.

Al Moammar Information Systems Co. added 0.74 percent, after being awarded SR34 million ($9 million) by Saudi Co. for Comprehensive Technical and Security Control as well as SR21.9 million by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.

Oil prices closed Friday with US West Texas Intermediate crude at $108.43 per barrel and Brent crude at $111.63 per barrel.


Royal Commission for AlUla signs train design deal with French firm SYSTRA 

Royal Commission for AlUla signs train design deal with French firm SYSTRA 
Updated 03 July 2022

Royal Commission for AlUla signs train design deal with French firm SYSTRA 

Royal Commission for AlUla signs train design deal with French firm SYSTRA 

RIYADH: The Saudi Royal Commission for AlUla has signed a contract with Paris-based public transport company SYSTRA Group to design the AlUla train for the heritage province, according to a tweet. 

Powered by sustainable energy, the train will travel 50 km, starting from the international airport in the south and ending at Al-Hajar city in the north.

The first phase of the design is set to be complete in 2023, Alsharq Al-Awsat reported.  

 


China In-Focus — Shimao misses repayment on $1bn bond; Tesla Q2 deliveries fall

China In-Focus — Shimao misses repayment on $1bn bond; Tesla Q2 deliveries fall
Updated 03 July 2022

China In-Focus — Shimao misses repayment on $1bn bond; Tesla Q2 deliveries fall

China In-Focus — Shimao misses repayment on $1bn bond; Tesla Q2 deliveries fall

BEIJING: Chinese developer Shimao Group has missed the interest and principal payment of a $1 billion offshore bond due on Sunday in the latest blow to China’s embattled property market.

Shimao was unable to pay a total of $1.023 billion in principal and interest to creditors of a senior note listed on the Singapore Exchange, the developer said in a Sunday filing on the Hong Kong bourse, citing “market uncertainties over debt refinancing” and “challenging operating and funding conditions.”

With a coupon rate of 4.75 percent, the bond matured on July 3 this year.

The developer has not received notice of acceleration of repayment from its lenders, it said, suggesting the debt holders have not moved to take enforcement actions.

Shimao hired Admiralty Harbor Capital as its financial adviser and Sidley Austin its legal adviser to help assess and explore ways to manage the liquidity crisis.

Meanwhile, creditors of its two syndicated loans have agreed to give the cash-strapped Chinese developer a breather.

Shimao said it has received written notice of support from the majority of the lenders of two syndicated loans agreed upon in 2018 and 2019, in which HSBC acted as the lead facilitator for dual currency loans.

Tesla Q2 deliveries fall on China’s COVID-related shutdown

Tesla Inc. delivered 17.9 percent fewer electric vehicles in the second quarter from the previous quarter, as China’s COVID 19-related shutdown disrupted its production and supply chain.

The world’s biggest electric car maker said on Saturday that it delivered 254,695 vehicles in the April to June period, compared with 310,048 vehicles in the preceding quarter, ending a nearly two-year-long run of record quarterly deliveries.

A resurgence in COVID-19 cases in China had forced Tesla to temporarily suspend production at its Shanghai factory and also affected suppliers’ facilities in the country.

Tesla is ramping up production at the Shanghai factory with the easing of the COVID-19 lockdown, which will help boost deliveries in the second half.

Early in June, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told executives that he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy and needed to cut about 10 percent of staff at the electric car maker.

China loosening entry restrictions for US citizens

China will loosen entry restrictions on US citizens, allowing entrance in case of transit via a third country, notices issued late on Friday by the Chinese Embassy in Washington said, relaxing rules imposed in Beijing’s drive to curb COVID-19.

According to an updated policy statement, US citizens with valid negative COVID test results looking to enter China may now apply for and receive a green health code for travel in from either the US or a third country. In the past, the embassy would only grant the codes to US citizens flying directly from the US.

China has loosened the same restrictions recently for citizens of other countries.

The restrictions, coupled with a limited number of direct flights from the US to China, caused ticket prices to cost as much as $10,000.

The changes follow a similar slight relaxation of COVID-19 testing rules for people arriving in China from countries including the US announced on May 18.

 

(With input from Reuters)