Al Rajhi Bank net profit jumps 24% to $1.1bn in Q1

Update Al Rajhi Bank net profit jumps 24% to $1.1bn in Q1
1 / 2
Update Al Rajhi Bank net profit jumps 24% to $1.1bn in Q1
2 / 2
Al Rajhi attributed the rise in net profit to an increase in total operating income by 17 percent. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 27 April 2022

Al Rajhi Bank net profit jumps 24% to $1.1bn in Q1

Al Rajhi Bank net profit jumps 24% to $1.1bn in Q1

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Bank has reported a net profit of SR4.1 billion ($1.09 billion) in the first quarter of 2022, up 24 percent from the same period a year ago, according to a bourse filing. 

The total operating profit of the bank rose to SR6.9 billion in Q1, up 16.9 percent from Q1 2021, and up 1.4 percent when compared with the previous quarter.

The bank’s total shareholders’ equity currently stands at SR78 billion, up 32 percent from the same period in the previous year.

Al Rajhi attributed the rise in net profit to an increase in total operating income by 17 percent caused by an increase in net financing and investment income, fees from banking services, other operating income, and exchange income.


Egypt In-Focus — Central bank reluctant to hike interest rates; beverage industry by 30%

Egypt In-Focus —  Central bank reluctant to hike interest rates; beverage industry by 30%
Updated 18 sec ago

Egypt In-Focus — Central bank reluctant to hike interest rates; beverage industry by 30%

Egypt In-Focus —  Central bank reluctant to hike interest rates; beverage industry by 30%

CAIRO: Despite pressure from investors, Egypt’s central bank is hesitant to raise interest rates, reported Bloomberg.

Although the Egyptian pound was devalued five months ago, investors still believe that the currency needs another devaluation to reflect its true value.

Speculations about the weakening of the pound had already been circulating when Egypt requested another loan from the International Monetary Fund in March.

 “The recent communication from the IMF hinted at a clear unhappiness with the lack of FX flexibility ahead of any potential new loan program,” stated Paul Greer, a London-based money manager at Fidelity International.

“To that end, we are expecting the Egyptians to continue to weaken their currency,” he added.

The central bank’s next monetary policy meeting is scheduled for Aug. 18, and after its decision to keep rates unchanged in June, investors have no idea what to expect.

Industrial growth 

Egypt’s beverage industry surged by 30.2 percent month-on-month in May with the beginning of the summer season, according to data from the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics.

Moreover, the manufacturing and extractive industries saw a 3.91 percent month-on-month rise in May.

Also, the food industry witnessed a similar monthly increase of 3.26 percent that month.

Suez Canal Bank 

The growth of the retail banking sector in Egypt had positive effects on profits, bank deposit growth, and lending portfolios in the Suez Canal Bank, according to Hussein Al-Refai, Chairman and Managing Director of the Egyptian Suez Canal Bank.

Its profits grew by 11.2 percent reaching 268 million Egyptian pounds in the first half of 2022, and it induced 1.7 billion Egyptian pounds in investments and assets volume, he added in an interview with CNBC Arabia.


Saudi Maaden, AMAK, Vedanta among qualified bidders for Umm Ad Damar exploration license

Saudi Maaden, AMAK, Vedanta among qualified bidders for Umm Ad Damar exploration license
Updated 3 min 21 sec ago

Saudi Maaden, AMAK, Vedanta among qualified bidders for Umm Ad Damar exploration license

Saudi Maaden, AMAK, Vedanta among qualified bidders for Umm Ad Damar exploration license

RIYADH: Saudi Maaden, AMAK and Vedanta are among 13 qualified bidders in the pre-qualification stage for a license at Umm Ad Damar mining site, the Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources has announced.

The site is located in the Madinah region in Mahd Adh Dhahab Governorate, and is presented to local and international investors.

Other eligible bidders include African Rainbow Metals Co, Abdulrahman Saad Al-Rashed & Sons Co, Barrick Gold, and ERG Arabia, and an alliance between Moshico Resources, Ajlan & Bros Mining Co, Yallmaden Limited, Yancol Australia Limited, UDS Golden Group, Saudi Alara Ventures, and Noreen Mining.

The ministry added that the announcement of qualified bidders marks the end of the first phase of the bidding process, to obtain a license to inspect the Umm Ad Damar site. 

It will also hold a workshop this month for qualified bidders to clarify more details about the upcoming stages.


TASI rises as earning season continues: Closing bell

TASI rises as earning season continues: Closing bell
Updated 17 August 2022

TASI rises as earning season continues: Closing bell

TASI rises as earning season continues: Closing bell

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index rose in the last hours of Wednesday, as the market was boosted slightly by new positive earnings reports.

TASI edged up 0.81 percent to finish at 12,646, while Nomu, the parallel market, declined 2.28 percent to end at 21,533.

This was led by a 9.94 percent leap in Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair following a 26 percent profit surge to SR58 million ($15 million) in the second quarter.

PIF-owned ACWA Power Co. added 0.81 percent, after announcing it will sign a $2.4 billion wind power deal with Uzbekistan's Ministry of Investment & Foreign Trade.

Al Moammar Information Systems Co. added 0.19 percent as it signed a SR39 million contract with the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture

Alamar Foods Co edged down 1.29 percent, despite reporting a SR66 million net profit in the first half of 2022, a 10 percent increase from the first half of last year.

Arabian Centres Co. added 0.19 percent, after reporting a higher second-quarter profit of SR128 million.

Al Jouf Cement Co. rose 0.78 percent, after Abdul Karim Al-Nuhair was appointed CEO after Jamal Al Amer resigned.

In the financial sector, Al Rajhi Bank rose 1.59 percent, while the Saudi National Bank, the Kingdom's largest lender, increased 0.14 percent.

Among the Kingdom’s insurers, Amana Cooperative Insurance Co. gained 0.46 percent while Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance Co. fell 1.30, as both firms reported 50 percent and 53 percent narrowed losses in the first half, respectively.

Wataniya Insurance Co. sank 22.7 percent, after it saw its losses widen by 44 percent to SR37 million in the first half of 2022, while Alinma Tokio Marine Co. gained 1.23 percent, after turning into a profit of SR2.4 million in the first half of 2022.

In the energy market, Brent crude reached $92.14 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate declined to $86.71 a barrel, as of 3:18 p.m. Saudi time.


US asset manager Apollo acquires $400m stake in UAE’s Aldar Properties

US asset manager Apollo acquires $400m stake in UAE’s Aldar Properties
Updated 17 August 2022

US asset manager Apollo acquires $400m stake in UAE’s Aldar Properties

US asset manager Apollo acquires $400m stake in UAE’s Aldar Properties

RIYADH: US asset manager Apollo has acquired a $400 million minority stake in UAE-based Aldar Investment Properties, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi- listed Aldar Properties PJSC.

The acquisition is part of the previously announced $1.4 billion investment by Apollo into Aldar’s transformational growth initiatives, Aldar said in a statement.

“Apollo is a highly respected global investor, and this commitment displays strong belief in Aldar’s transformational growth agenda and reinforces the reputation of the UAE and Abu Dhabi, which are experiencing a trend of increasing capital inflows from long-term institutional investors,” CEO of Aldar Properties, Talal Al Dhiyebi, said.


Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum rise; Crypto hacking losses jumped 60 percent to $1.9bn 

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum rise; Crypto hacking losses jumped 60 percent to $1.9bn 
Updated 17 August 2022

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum rise; Crypto hacking losses jumped 60 percent to $1.9bn 

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum rise; Crypto hacking losses jumped 60 percent to $1.9bn 

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded higher on Wednesday, rising by 1.39 percent to $24,340 as of 10:12 a.m. Riyadh time.

Ethereum, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $1,943.87 rising by 3.41 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

Crypto hacking losses jumped 60% to $1.9bn in first seven months

According to Chainalysis’ blog post released on Tuesday, losses caused by cryptocurrency hacks surged nearly 60 percent in the first seven months of the year to $1.9 billion, Reuters reported.

The stolen funds from hacking totaled $1.2 billion during the same period last year.

Using DeFi applications, which are often based on the Ethereum blockchain, it is possible to provide crypto-denominated lending outside of traditional banking institutions.

Despite the $190 million hack of cross-chain bridge Nomad and the $5 million hack of several Solana wallets in the first week of August, Chainalysis believes the trend will not reverse anytime soon.

Chainalysis said in the blog: “DeFi protocols are uniquely vulnerable to hacking, as their open source code can be studied ad nauseum by cybercriminals looking for exploits and it’s possible that protocols’ incentives to reach the market and grow quickly lead to lapses in security best practices.”

North Korea’s “bad actors,” namely elite hacking units like Lazarus Group, are responsible for much of the money stolen from DeFi protocols, according to a US firm.

Chainalysis estimates that so far this year, North Korea-affiliated groups have stolen approximately $1 billion of cryptocurrency from DeFi protocols.

As a result of the slump in digital assets prices, the blockchain intelligence firm saw a sharp 65 percent decline in crypto scams through July. In the year to July, scam revenue was $1.6 billion, down 65 percent from about $4.46 billion a year ago.

Celsius considers financing proposals amid bankruptcy

An attorney for bankrupt crypto lender Celsius Network said Tuesday that the lender has received multiple offers to help fund its restructuring, according to Bloomberg. 

In a bankruptcy hearing Tuesday, Joshua Sussberg of Kirkland & Ellis said Celsius was considering financing packages of “various shapes and sizes,” Bloomberg said. 

It is expected that several more proposals will be submitted, he said, without providing details about the existing proposals.

If Celsius is to avoid liquidation and restructure or sell its business, it needs to raise additional funds. In court papers, the company expects its liquidity balance to turn negative in October after reaching $66.4 million in August. 

Next week, Celsius will meet with the unsecured creditor's committee and will work expeditiously on the path forward, according to a tweet. The next hearing is slated for September.

Stronghold gives back 26,200 bitcoin mining rigs to reduce debt

With the help of New York Digital Investment Group and WhiteHawk Capital, Stronghold Digital Mining Inc. has eliminated more than half of its debt and added liquidity, according to Bloomberg. Moreover, the company will restructure its convertible note.

It will return about 26,200 Bitcoin mining machines to NYDIG, which will wipe out the outstanding debt of $67.4 million from the original contract, Stronghold said in a statement Tuesday. 

WhiteHawk committed to restructuring and expanding Stronghold’s current equipment financing arrangements, reducing near-term payments, and providing more borrowing capacity of $20 million.

In the wake of the collapse of cryptocurrency prices from record levels reached in November, Bitcoin miners are struggling to raise capital and repay loans backed by the token or their mining rigs. 

The company is the latest Bitcoin miner forced to pay off an outstanding debt with its mining machines.

(With inputs from Reuters)