Saudi billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal rejects Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter

Saudi billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal rejects Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal rejected Elon Musk's offer to buy Twitter for $41.39 billion. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 15 April 2022

Saudi billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal rejects Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter

Saudi billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal rejects Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter

RIYADH: Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal rejected Elon Musk's offer to buy Twitter for $41.39 billion.

"I don't believe that the proposed offer by Elon Musk ($54.20) comes close to the intrinsic value of Twitter given its growth prospects," he said in a tweet on his personal account.

Being one of the largest and long-term shareholders of Twitter, Kingdom Holding Co. and I reject this offer," he added.

Billionaire Elon Musk has offered to buy Twitter for $41.39 billion, a regulatory filing showed on Thursday.

Musk’s offer price of $54.20 per share represents a 38 percent premium to the closing price of Twitter’s stock on April 1, the last trading day before the Tesla CEO’s over 9 percent investment in the company was publicly announced.

Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter sparked concerns among Tesla investors and analysts that the electric carmaker could suffer as the chief executive becomes distracted by his takeover play and the possible sales of Tesla shares to fund the deal.

The idea of Musk working to close that deal, possibly by selling even more of his Tesla stake, and then overseeing yet another company has Tesla observers worried.

“Elon is distracted. He’s got a lot of things going on. He’s involved in a lot of different endeavors,” said Gene Munster, managing partner at venture capital firm Loup Ventures, which owns shares in Tesla. “This is a one to three months headwind to Tesla’s stock.”

Shares of Tesla, the world’s most valuable automaker, fell more than 9 percent since he disclosed his more than 9 percent stake in Twitter last Monday. On Thursday, Tesla’s stock fell 3.7 percent.

While Musk has talked about potential changes he would like to see Twitter make, Tesla faces its own challenges — the need to boost production at new assembly plants in Berlin and Texas, analysts said. Meanwhile, Tesla’s Shanghai factory — its largest — has been idled by the COVID-19 crackdown in China.

“Musk is Tesla, and investors don’t want to see Tesla lose that leadership edge,” Roth Capital Partners analyst Craig Irwin said.

And investors have Musk’s own words prior to this foray on which they base their fears. Last year, he said he worked seven days a week — “crazy hours” — splitting time between Tesla and SpaceX. He also leads brain-chip startup Neuralink and tunneling venture the Boring Company.

Another worry is how Musk will finance a potential deal for Twitter, which would include stock sales and massive loans, analysts said.

Wells Fargo analyst Colin Langan said Musk, who holds over a 9 percent stake in Twitter, would need $39 billion to complete the deal and the sale of more Tesla shares could pressure the stock further.


Read More: Arab world reacts to Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter


Tesla executives may pledge their company stock as collateral for loans, but the maximum loan does not exceed 25 percent of the total value of the pledged stock, according to company policy.

This means that he could borrow $42.5 billion by pledging all of his shares worth $170 billion. But he already pledged over half of his Tesla shares as collateral to secure certain personal indebtedness, according to a Tesla filing last year.

Musk said on Thursday he has the assets to buy Twitter, but has not provided details.

The fortunes of the world’s richest person consists largely of stocks at Tesla, and Space X. He sold over $16 billion Tesla shares late last year, $11 billion of which he said would be paid in taxes.

“He is potentially setting himself up for a huge liability down the road,” said Howard Fischer, a partner at law firm Moses & Singer and former senior trial counsel at the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

(With input from Reuters)


Gasoline price surge fuels EV demand in Kingdom: KAPSARC

Gasoline price surge fuels EV  demand in Kingdom: KAPSARC
Updated 30 September 2022

Gasoline price surge fuels EV demand in Kingdom: KAPSARC

Gasoline price surge fuels EV  demand in Kingdom: KAPSARC
  • KSA has implemented energy price reforms to unlock economic and environmental benefits for the country

RIYADH: Growing gasoline prices will play a significant role in increasing the demand for electric vehicles in the Kingdom, according to Anwar Gasim, a King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center researcher.

“The higher the domestic gasoline price, the more a consumer may be incentivized to switch to an electric vehicle,” he told Arab News.

According to Gasim, gasoline prices in the Kingdom seven years ago were a quarter of today’s prices.

“If you look at the 91-octane gasoline, it was SR0.45 ($0.12) per liter. Today, it’s SR2.18,” Gasim said in an exclusive interview with Arab News.

Since 2016, the Kingdom has implemented energy price reforms to unlock economic and environmental benefits for the country.

“Since gasoline prices ended up getting linked with the international price, the government had to put a cap on them when international prices went up very high last year,” said Gasim.

It means there is a limit that domestic gasoline prices will not surpass, no matter how high energy prices may hike internationally.

“I think it was becoming too high for people here, and then the government decided to put a cap,” he said.

According to Gasim, raising domestic energy prices can contribute to the Kingdom’s climate goals.

Saudi Arabia aims to reduce emissions and increase the share of renewables to 50 percent by 2030.

“Higher energy prices can incentivize more efficient behavior, more energy conservation, and therefore it can help save energy and reduce emissions,” he added.

KAPSARC was a part of the regulatory team led by the Ministry of Energy, which on Aug. 22 issued the completion of all legislative and technical aspects to regulate the EV charging market.

These stations will more likely charge the vehicles using the national grid. Still, there are possibilities that off-grid stations will be a requirement.

Some neighborhood distribution networks can no longer accommodate any additional load. They have reached the peak of the transformer capacity.

The only option is using off-grid solutions; renewable sources like solar and hydrogen can supply these off-grids.

Electromin, a wholly owned e-mobility turnkey solutions provider under Petromin, in May announced the rollout of electric vehicle charging points across the Kingdom.

In an earlier interview with Arab News, Kalyana Sivagnanam, the group CEO of Petromin, said that the network includes 100 locations across the Kingdom powered by a customer-centric mobile application.

Sivagnanam said that the company would set up most of its charging stations in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam and eventually branch out across the country.

Electromin’s charging network will offer a complete spectrum of services from AC chargers to DC fast and ultrafast chargers, catering to all customer segments.

The imports of EV charging equipment were permitted in the Kingdom in 2020.

As part of the Kingdom’s sustainability strategy, the Royal Commission of Riyadh launched an initiative last year to ensure that 30 percent of all vehicles in the capital would be powered by electricity by 2030.


Saudia to bring voice recognition technology, augmented reality on board: VP

Saudia to bring voice recognition technology, augmented reality on board: VP
Updated 30 September 2022

Saudia to bring voice recognition technology, augmented reality on board: VP

Saudia to bring voice recognition technology, augmented reality on board: VP

RIYADH: Saudia, Saudi Arabia’s national carrier, is aiming to integrate voice recognition technology and augmented reality to its services, the company announced during the second edition of the Global AI Summit held in Riyadh.

Saudia has signed an agreement, aimed at boosting artificial intelligence in the flight sector, with the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority and the Saudi Company for Artificial Intelligence. Speaking to Arab News on the sidelines of the summit, Dr. Khaled Alhazmi, vice president of IT support and operations at Saudia, said that the agreement is the first step in introducing AI products to the airline’s services.

Alhazmi explained that the company is currently exploring voice recognition technology through one of SDAIA’s products, an app called SauTech.

“It is an amazing app; it currently gives accurate results for the recognition of the dialects of the Arabic language. And right now, we are trying to explore opportunities and use cases, to start implementing it in our services,” he said.

The company is also planning to adopt Internet of Things technology as well as augmented reality to ensure that they are first movers to implement AI into their services.

“Our strategic direction is to build an ecosystem of partners who would enable us to digitize our services to our customers. We are aiming to deliver a first-class experience to our customers,” he added.

Alhazmi believes that the digitalization factor currently in use at the airline such as downloading tickets to personal devices can be greatly expanded on, and that there are huge opportunities to integrate technology into the sector.

“We are digitizing everything under a program, which is adapting the digital first. Right now we believe that we need to put in use all the data science, all the technologies nowadays, and put them into the hands of the customer,” he said. The company wants to improve its self-service options by providing a personalized platform that will enable users to customize their journey according to their needs.

“That’s actually the main goal because we understand right now that we have a new generation of people who are more interested in technology, they are using technology every day,” he added.

Saudia has also recently partnered with agritech company Red Sea Farms to provide sustainable and high-quality meals for its customers.

“We can see that the adoption of technology in Saudi Arabia in general is getting more mature than other countries,” Alhazmi concluded.


Saudi budget surplus is calculated on $76 for brent price

Saudi budget surplus is calculated on $76 for brent price
Updated 30 September 2022

Saudi budget surplus is calculated on $76 for brent price

Saudi budget surplus is calculated on $76 for brent price
  • Real GDP growth is forecasted to increase by nearly 8 percent year-on-year in 2022 and 3.1 percent year-on-year in 2023

RIYADH: Based on the government budget figures, Al-Rajhi Capital assessed the government's 2023 budgeted revenues to likely be based on Brent at $76 per barrel.

Real GDP growth is forecasted to increase by nearly eight percent year-on-year in 2022 and 3.1 percent year-on-year in 2023, according to Al-Rajhi Capital.

Inflation is expected to be 2.6 percent and 2.1 percent in 2022 and 2023 respectively, Al-Rajhi said.

Revised 2022 revenues are mostly in line with estimates, however, the expenditure budget is much higher than from an earlier announcement, it said.

The 2023 spending budget was raised by 18 percent, with a slight fiscal surplus of SR9 billion expected for 2023.


Saudi Arabia to record a budget surplus of $24b in 2022

Saudi Arabia to record a budget surplus of $24b in 2022
Updated 51 min 25 sec ago

Saudi Arabia to record a budget surplus of $24b in 2022

Saudi Arabia to record a budget surplus of $24b in 2022
  • Total revenues expected to reach about SR1.12 trillion in 2023

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is expecting its budget surplus in 2022 to hit SR90 billion ($24 billion), and another SR9 billion next year, the Ministry of Finance announced on Friday.

Looking at the full year 2022 projections, real GDP is expected to grow by 8 percent, while the inflation in 2022 may record about 2.6 percent.

Looking at the next year’s projections, Saudi total revenues are expected to reach about SR1.12 trillion in 2023, while reaching about 1.21 trillion in 2025, according to the Ministry of Finance's preliminary statement of the state's general budget for the year 2023.

Total expenditures are expected to reach about SR1.11 trillion in the next fiscal year 2023, and that the expenditure ceiling will reach about SR1.13 trillion in 2025.

The objectives of the state's general budget for the fiscal year 2023 come as a continuation of the process of work to strengthen and develop the financial position of the Kingdom, the finance minister said.

“The government attaches great importance to enhancing the support and social protection system and accelerating the pace of strategic spending on Vision programs and major projects to support economic growth,” Mohammed Al-Jadaan said.

The Kingdom’s economy has demonstrated its strength and durability by achieving high growth rates, after taking many policies and measures with the aim of protecting the economy from the repercussions of inflation and supply chain challenges, he added.

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Deals worth over $27bn available for Saudi businesses with leading national firms

Deals worth over $27bn available for Saudi businesses with leading national firms
Updated 30 September 2022

Deals worth over $27bn available for Saudi businesses with leading national firms

Deals worth over $27bn available for Saudi businesses with leading national firms

RIYADH: Saudi companies are being encouraged to tap into investment deals and contracts worth more than SR100 billion ($26.62 billion) with two of the Kingdom’s biggest firms.

Representatives from the Saudi Electricity Co. and the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation — also known as SABIC — unveiled various opportunities for firms in the Kingdom to work with them during workshops organized by the Federation of Saudi Chambers, according to Saudi Press Agency.

The Saudi Electricity Co. set out its strategy for the localization of the electricity industries, known as ‘Bena’, which aims to encourage and support local manufacturing.

It also includes three initiatives: to raise the percentage of localization in the company's projects; increase the purchases of materials from national factories; and identify investment opportunities required to be localized.

The firm indicated the volume of future demand for or purchases and contracts is expected to reach SR100 billion.

SABIC explained that the investment opportunities under the umbrella of its Nusaned initiative to enhance local content, contributed to supporting economic development with more than $1 billion of gross domestic product.

The company approved 43 investment opportunities, with the total investment opportunities amounting to 351 opportunities.

The number of investors has reached 183, while the number of feasibility studies has hit 74.