NEOM pitches investment opportunities to more than 700 US business leaders

NEOM pitches investment opportunities to more than 700 US business leaders
NEOM’s CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr (Supplied)
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Updated 24 April 2022

NEOM pitches investment opportunities to more than 700 US business leaders

NEOM pitches investment opportunities to more than 700 US business leaders

RIYADH: More than 700 US business, sustainability, and investment leaders attended a series of showcase events to highlight the development of NEOM, the $500 billion project owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, according to the project’s CEO.

The “Discover NEOM” events followed on from a similar exercise in London last year.

NEOM’s CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr said: “We came to the US to explore the significant market opportunities that NEOM presents to American corporations, to showcase the great progress NEOM has made and to discuss how we can best support the collaborative international effort to address global challenges.”

As well as the “Discover NEOM” events, the organization held a special reception at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC to honor students on NEOM’s scholarship program, in the presence of the Saudi Ambassador to the US, Princess Reema bint Bandar.

NEOM plans to expand its events to reach more destinations all over the globe, it said in a statement.

FASTFACTS

The NEOM project is being developed in Tabuk, in the northwest of Saudi Arabia.

More than $500 billion will be invested, with money coming from the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund as well as private businesses.

A smart city known as ‘The Line’ will be part of the project, and will have no carbon emissions, as well as no streets and cars.

A floating industrial city known as ‘Oxagon’ will be focused on manufacturing and research.

The US programme comes a month after the CEO of PIF-backed Saudi Jada announced it planned to double investments in NEOM.

Adel Al-Ateeq was speaking in March after it was announced the project had struck a partnership agreement with the US city of Miami.

“We are looking to increase the volume of investment 100 percent, by more than SR4 billion ($1.06 billion),” Al-Ateeq said.

The NEOM megaproject aims to transform the Kingdom’s northwest Red Sea coast to a high-tech hub.

This falls in line with Saudi Vision 2030 to drift away from crude, raise investments, and untie social restrictions.

Earlier this week it was reported the solar and wind power projects aimed at supplying electricity to the $6.5 billion planned green hydrogen-based ammonia plant in NEOM are expected to be situated in northwest Saudi Arabia — close to the border with Jordan, reported Meed, citing an industry source. 

According to the report, the engineering, procurement and construction, also known as the EPC contract, will be awarded as one tranche.

The report said four firms including Energy China, Power China Huadong, Sepco 3, and Larsen and Toubro India are vying for the contract which could be awarded by the end of this month. 


ACWA Power starts operations at $797m desalination plant in UAE

ACWA Power starts operations at $797m desalination plant in UAE
Updated 15 sec ago

ACWA Power starts operations at $797m desalination plant in UAE

ACWA Power starts operations at $797m desalination plant in UAE

RIYADH: ACWA Power Co., which is part-owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, has announced the start of operations at the Umm Al-Quwain desalination plant in the UAE.

The $797 million plant, known as Umm Al-Quwain IWP, has the capacity to generate 682,000 cubic meters per day of desalinated potable water, according to a bourse filing.

The Saudi-listed utility provider holds a 40 percent stake in the project, from which it expects a positive financial impact starting from the ongoing quarter onward.


Eastern Province Cement’s half-year profit down 41% on lower sales

Eastern Province Cement’s half-year profit down 41% on lower sales
Updated 4 min 18 sec ago

Eastern Province Cement’s half-year profit down 41% on lower sales

Eastern Province Cement’s half-year profit down 41% on lower sales

RIYADH: Eastern Province Cement Co. has posted a 41 percent profit drop for the first half of 2022, dragged down by lower sales.

The Saudi-listed cement producer’s profit went down to SR72 million ($19 million) from SR122 million in the same period a year earlier, a bourse filing revealed.

The profit drop was mainly driven by a decline in cement sales, higher selling and other expenses, and a decrease in the share of profit of associates.

Total sales fell by 17 percent on the year to SR357 million, compared to SR429 million in the first half of 2021.


TASI ends higher as profit reports roll in: Closing bell

TASI ends higher as profit reports roll in: Closing bell
Updated 19 min 47 sec ago

TASI ends higher as profit reports roll in: Closing bell

TASI ends higher as profit reports roll in: Closing bell

RIYADH: Saudi stocks market ended higher on Wednesday after more companies revealed their earnings for the first half of the year.

The Saudi benchmark index, TASI, edged 0.82 percent higher to finish at 12,431, and the parallel market Nomu added 0.13 percent to end at 22,227.

The Kingdom’s oil giant Saudi Aramco added 0.13 percent, while the country's biggest lender Saudi National Bank gained 0.68 percent.

Al-Jouf Agricultural Development Co. dropped 0.77 percent, despite seeing its profits jump 203 percent during the first half of 2022 to SR22 million ($6 million).

National Gas and Industrialization Co. fell 1.04 percent after a 14 percent decline in net profit to SR105 million during the first half of this year.

Bupa Arabia for Cooperative Insurance Co. increased 1.15 percent, after it received final approval from the Saudi Central Bank to sell its new insurance product in the Kingdom.

Filling and Packing Materials Manufacturing Co. climbed 1.52 percent, after its board proposed a SR115 million capital increase through rights issues.

Walaa Cooperative Insurance Co. lost 0.40 percent, after its losses widened to SR27 million during the first half of 2022, compared to SR13 million in the same period last year.

Abdullah Al-Othaim Markets Co. gained 3.99 percent, after approving the sale of SR211 million worth of land owned by the company in Al-Madinah Al-Munawarh.

Baazeem Trading Co. declined 2.63 percent, after its half-year profit was down 8.5 percent to SR13.4 million.

Theeb Rent a Car Co. gained 3.19 percent, after its profit rose by 68 percent to SR86 million during the first half of 2022.

Southern Province Cement Co. slipped 1.19 percent, after reporting a 42 percent profit drop to SR150 million for the first half of 2022.

Saudi miner Almasane Alkobra Mining Co. dropped 1.66 percent, after its profits dropped 11 percent to SR82 million during the first half of 2022.


Russian oil shipments to central Europe expected to resume

Russian oil shipments to central Europe expected to resume
Updated 27 min 33 sec ago

Russian oil shipments to central Europe expected to resume

Russian oil shipments to central Europe expected to resume
  • “I expect the oil shipments to resume in hours,” Slovakia’s Economy Minister said
  • Transneft cited complications due to European Union sanctions for its action on Aug. 4

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia: Oil shipments from Russia through a critical pipeline to several European countries should resume soon after a problem over payments for transit was resolved, Slovakia’s Economy Minister Richard Sulik said on Wednesday.
“I expect the oil shipments to resume in hours,” Sulik said.
Russian state pipeline operator Transneft said Tuesday it halted shipments through the southern branch of the Druzhba, or Friendship, pipeline, which runs through Ukraine to the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. The northern leg of the Druzhba pipeline, which runs through Belarus to Poland and Germany, was unaffected, Transneft said.
Transneft cited complications due to European Union sanctions for its action on Aug. 4, saying its payment to the company’s Ukrainian counterpart was refused.
Sulik said the payments would be made Wednesday by Slovak refiner Slovnaft after both the Russian and Ukrainian sides agreed to the solution.
Slovnaft is owned by Hungary’s MOL energy group.
MOL confirmed the money has been transferred.
Slovakia receives practically all its oil through the Druzhba pipeline. Sulik said the payment is worth some 9–10 million euros (up to $10.2 million).
He said his country would work on a long-term solution to the problem which he said was caused by the refusal of an unnamed bank in Western Europe to transfer the money due to the sanctions imposed by the EU on Russia for its war against Ukraine.
“I wouldn’t look for a political context behind it, there’s none,” Sulik said.
However, Simone Tagliapietra, an energy expert at the Bruegel think tank in Brussels, said Russia has weaponized natural gas heading to Europe by claiming technical issues, and “this opens questions on whether it might now do the same with oil.”
Russia has blamed equipment repairs for its decision to slash flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany, whose government has called it a political move to sow uncertainty and push up prices amid the war in Ukraine.
EU leaders agreed in May to embargo most Russian oil imports by the end of the year as part of the bloc’s sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
The embargo covers Russian oil brought in by sea, but allowed temporary Druzhba pipeline shipments to Hungary and certain other landlocked countries in central Europe, such as Slovakia and the Czech Republic.


Abu Dhabi conglomerate IHC seeks takeovers in ‘buyers’ market’

Abu Dhabi conglomerate IHC seeks takeovers in ‘buyers’ market’
Updated 30 min 1 sec ago

Abu Dhabi conglomerate IHC seeks takeovers in ‘buyers’ market’

Abu Dhabi conglomerate IHC seeks takeovers in ‘buyers’ market’

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi conglomerate International Holding Co. expects to increase its takeover activity, including in India and Turkey, as global market turbulence has created “a buyers’ market,” its chief executive told Reuters on Wednesday.

IHC, the most valuable company on the Abu Dhabi bourse with a market capitalization of around $167 billion, is aiming for publicly-listed companies in growth markets, Syed Basar Shueb said, adding that it was also looking in South America and Indonesia.

“The public domain market has really corrected itself in some of the assets,” he said.

“But in the private domain, it is still difficult to negotiate with the owners because they all are still living in a year-old world where the valuations were extremely high. It’s not a sellers’ market, it’s a buyers’ market now.”

IHC, which straddles sectors from healthcare to real estate to IT and utilities, made 70 acquisitions at a total value of 10 billion dirhams ($2.72 billion) this year.

Its highest profile deals include a 7.3 billion-dirham investment in three of India’s Gautam Adani companies in May this year.

Rising interest rates and predictions of a global downturn have made IHC more selective as valuations in private markets do not reflect current market conditions, Shueb said.

The company on Monday reported a 137 percent year-on-year increase in net profit for the first half of the year to 10.35 billion dirhams.

IHC’s stock has risen over 120 percent so far this year to trade at 348 dirhams a share.

The company is chaired by Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the UAE’s national security adviser.