Oil Update — Crude edges up; Vitol sends ESPO crude to UAE; BNP Paribas ends oil drilling financing in Amazon rainforest

Oil Update — Crude edges up; Vitol sends ESPO crude to UAE; BNP Paribas ends oil drilling financing in Amazon rainforest
The gains came on the back of news from Tuesday that the European Union is working on new sanctions against Russia. (Image: Shutterstock)
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Updated 04 May 2022

Oil Update — Crude edges up; Vitol sends ESPO crude to UAE; BNP Paribas ends oil drilling financing in Amazon rainforest

Oil Update — Crude edges up; Vitol sends ESPO crude to UAE; BNP Paribas ends oil drilling financing in Amazon rainforest
  • BNP Paribas said for upstream oil and gas refining, its financed emissions intensity will fall by at least 10 percent by 2025

RIYADH: Oil prices rose at the start of Asian trade on Wednesday after industry data showed drawdowns in US crude and fuel stockpiles, raising supply concerns and offsetting worries about slowing demand from top importer China.

Brent crude futures rose 89 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $105.86 a barrel by 0223 GMT. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 97 cents, or 1 percent, to $103.38 a barrel.

The gains came on the back of news from Tuesday that the European Union is working on new sanctions against Russia for waging war on Ukraine that will target Moscow’s oil industry.

Vitol sends first shipment of Russian ESPO crude to UAE

The world’s largest independent oil trader, Vitol, loaded a Russian ESPO Blend crude cargo for the United Arab Emirates this week, the first such voyage for the grade, Reuters reported citing data from several analytics firms.

Suezmax tanker Kriti Breeze chartered for $2.3 million, loaded the 740,000-barrel cargo from the Far East port of Kozmino on May 3, and is heading to the port of Fujairah, data from Refinitiv, Kpler and Vortexa showed.

According to the data, the tanker is expected to discharge the cargo at Fujairah in late May or early June.

Two traders who regularly track ESPO crude said the crude is typically sold to North Asia.

The shipment is “very creative, and free-on-board discounts must be huge for it to work,” one of the traders said, referring to the crude’s spot discount to Dubai quotes, excluding freight cost.

BNP Paribas ends financing for Amazon rainforest oil drilling

France’s BNP Paribas pledged on Tuesday to end the newest financing for oil production in the Amazon rainforest.

They said it would reduce its “financed emissions intensity” in the energy and auto sectors.

Emissions intensity measures emissions relative to output that some climate activists have said does not go far enough.

BNP Paribas and more than 100 other banks have pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 but are under pressure to provide details on the deep shorter-term cuts to “financed emissions” that are needed if they have any chance of meeting their goal.

BNP Paribas said for upstream oil and gas refining, its financed emissions intensity will fall by at least 10 percent by 2025; for automotive clients by at least 25 percent; and for power generation businesses by at least 30 percent.

“Our strategy is threefold: align our portfolio with our net-zero commitment; measure and pilot our carbon-related risks; and broaden and deepen client relationships to support them as they make their low-carbon transition,” CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafe said.

BNP said the targets were determined using International Energy Agency climate scenarios and the Net Zero Banking Alliance framework.

The NZBA is a voluntary group of banks committed to aligning lending and investment portfolios with net-zero emissions by 2050.

BNP said it would hit its oil and gas-related targets by reducing its credit exposure to the sector by 12 percent from a 2020 baseline.

It had already reduced its exposure in 2021 by 6 percent as it toughened its stance on lending to unconventional oil and gas.

Its pledge to end Amazon oil financing includes new oil and gas production and companies developing related infrastructure.

However, BNP Paribas left open the door to some continued financing in the Amazon by adding that the exclusions would “not apply to companies with the most credible transition plans toward a net-zero economy by 2050.”

Climate campaigners have said banks must stop backing fossil fuel extraction in the Amazon rainforest, the world’s largest, given its importance for biodiversity and its vital role in regulating the Earth’s climate by absorbing carbon dioxide.

(With input from Reuters)


NRG Matters — GAC Bahrain installs 552 solar panels to generate power, Egypt mulls energy cooperation with Slovenia

NRG Matters — GAC Bahrain installs 552 solar panels to generate power, Egypt mulls energy cooperation with Slovenia
Updated 17 sec ago

NRG Matters — GAC Bahrain installs 552 solar panels to generate power, Egypt mulls energy cooperation with Slovenia

NRG Matters — GAC Bahrain installs 552 solar panels to generate power, Egypt mulls energy cooperation with Slovenia

RIYADH: GAC Bahrain, a shipping and forwarding agency, will install photovoltaic solar panels on the rooftop of its warehouse in Bahrain Investment Wharf in Al Hidd, Trade Arabia reported. 

It has partnered up with renewable energy construction firm Al-Mannai Projects to install 552 solar panels that will generate around 300 kilowatts to meet the facility’s electricity needs.

It is part of the company’s commitment to environmental protection and reducing its carbon footprint across the maritime and logistics industries. 

Japanese JERA

Japan’s power generator JERA will spend around 15 billion yen ($112 million) to buy a 35.1 percent stake in Vietnamese renewable energy company Gia Lai Electricity JSC to expand its overseas business.

Egypt’s energy cooperation with Slovenia

Egypt is mulling cooperation with Slovenia in the fields of electricity, new energy and green hydrogen, according to the State Information Service. 

Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker has affirmed the country’s efforts to become a clean energy hub in the African continent.

This came during a meeting between the minister and Slovenia’s Ambassador to Cairo Mateja Prevolšek to discuss ways to reinforce cooperation between the two countries.


Nasdaq-listed Anghami's revenue jumps 29% boosted by collaboration with Arab artist Amr Diab

Nasdaq-listed Anghami's revenue jumps 29% boosted by collaboration with Arab artist Amr Diab
Updated 11 min 3 sec ago

Nasdaq-listed Anghami's revenue jumps 29% boosted by collaboration with Arab artist Amr Diab

Nasdaq-listed Anghami's revenue jumps 29% boosted by collaboration with Arab artist Amr Diab

RIYADH: A collaboration with Egyptian artist Amr Diab, who has over 1.2 billion streams on the platform, pushed Abu Dhabi’s streaming platform, Anghami Inc. to record higher revenues and user growth for the first half of the year. 

The Nasdaq-listed platform reported a 29 percent jump in revenues to $21.1  million in the first six months of 2022, while its first-half active users jumped 46 percent to reach 19.5 million, it said in a statement.

Its monthly paying subscribers increased 41 percent year-on-year, driven by improved customer retention.

Angamis began the year by partnering with Rotana Music, one of Arab music's premier labels, and with Saudi media company MBC Group, one of the Middle East and North Africa region's largest.

On July 5, Anghami completed the acquisition of Spotlight Events, which creates and manages events and concerts in the MENA, further strengthening its position.


TASI settles flat amid uncertainty over oil prices, higher inflation: Closing bell

TASI settles flat amid uncertainty over oil prices, higher inflation: Closing bell
Updated 19 min 52 sec ago

TASI settles flat amid uncertainty over oil prices, higher inflation: Closing bell

TASI settles flat amid uncertainty over oil prices, higher inflation: Closing bell

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index settled flat on Tuesday’s trading session, as investors scramble to assess the impact of declining energy prices and higher inflation on the index

The Tadawul All Share Index ended the session flat at 12,545, while the parallel market, Nomu, edged 0.34 percent lower to finish at 22,034.

In the energy market, Brent crude reached $95.55 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate declined to $90.14 a barrel, as of 3:24 p.m. Saudi time.

The country’s biggest lender Saudi National Bank increased 0.55 percent, while the Saudi British Bank decreased 0.35 percent.

Saudi Aramco lost 1.61 percent, despite achieving its highest quarterly profit since going public in 2019 with SR182 billion ($48.4 billion), a 90 percent jump over analysts’ expectations.

Dallah Healthcare Co. edged up 0.85 percent, after posting a 52 percent gain in profit during the first half of 2022, reaching SR152 million.

KEIR International fell 1.92 percent, after it partnered with US-based Quadratics Development to deploy its eco-friendly building system and technology in Saudi Arabia

Qassim Cement Co. dropped 2.45 percent, after reporting a 73 percent decline in first-half profits to SR54 million.

Al-Etihad Cooperative Insurance Co. shed 1.45 percent after its profits dropped 93 percent to SR2 million in the first half.

Abo Moati for Bookstores Co. rose 0.68 percent, following a 125 percent profit surge to SR4.3 million for the second quarter of 2022.

The Saudi Industrial Development Co. edged down 1.23 percent, after its losses widened by 88 percent to SR11 million during the first half.

Al Kathiri Holding Co. declined 2.71 percent, after it turned into losses of SR5.5 million in the first half of 2022.

 


Uber appoints regional general manager for Middle East and Africa

Uber appoints regional general manager for Middle East and Africa
Updated 16 August 2022

Uber appoints regional general manager for Middle East and Africa

Uber appoints regional general manager for Middle East and Africa

RIYADH: Uber has appointed Frans Hiemstra as the new regional general manager for the Middle East and Africa region.

Based in Dubai, Frans will hold the responsibility to lead the next phase of growth for Uber’s ride-sharing business across the region, which spans 15 countries, according to a statement.

He will aid in identifying areas of growth, lay down regional priorities, and drive operational excellence to fuel the Uber business, it added. 

Having been with Uber since 2015, most recently Hiemstra was the general manager of the Sub-Saharan Africa region. 

“I’m honored to be tasked with leading the Middle East & Africa region as we focus our efforts on growing our shared mobility business, committing to our sustainability goals, and creating more earnings opportunities for drivers and couriers who use the Uber app,” Hiemstra said.


UAE In-Focus: Peninsula acquires 17 leased warehouse buildings; Dubai sees rental growth

UAE In-Focus: Peninsula acquires 17 leased warehouse buildings; Dubai sees rental growth
Updated 16 August 2022

UAE In-Focus: Peninsula acquires 17 leased warehouse buildings; Dubai sees rental growth

UAE In-Focus: Peninsula acquires 17 leased warehouse buildings; Dubai sees rental growth

DUBAI: Peninsula Real Estate Management Limited has acquired 17 leased warehouse buildings at the AL MARKAZ Industrial Development from Waha Capital, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Waha Land, for 555 million dirhams ($151 million), according to a statement.

AL MARKAZ is a mixed-use industrial development developed by Waha Land in Al Dhafra, 35 km west of Abu Dhabi. It features Grade “A” industrial and logistic facilities and first-class infrastructure, the statement said.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two parties are expected to close the all-cash deal by the end of 2022.

Peninsula CEO James Gallon said in a statement: “This acquisition is one of a number of transactions that Peninsula will be announcing in the months ahead, as we continue to build a portfolio with diversified and highly visible cash flows.”

Along with the five plots that make up 362,000 sq. m, Peninsula has also agreed to purchase an additional 136,000 sq. m of industrial properties currently under development by Waha Land, with leasing expected to begin in the third quarter of 2023 after construction is completed.

Waha Land will continue to develop its remaining land bank assets following the sale. AL MARKAZ’s land and built assets will also continue to be developed, leased, and monetized through Waha Land’s comprehensive asset development and management capabilities.

Aleph Hospitality enters Congo and creates job opportunities

Dubai-based Aleph Hospitality signed a management contract with Congo-based Sokerico Group to operate Kertel Suites in Kinshasa, according to a statement.

The boutique property is set to open in the first quarter of 2023, setting a new benchmark for the hospitality sector in Kinshasa. Across eight African countries, Aleph Hospitality now operates 12 properties, the statement said.

Founder and Managing Director of Aleph Hospitality, Bani Haddad, said: “It’s an interesting time to secure a presence in the heart of Africa, as the Democratic Republic of the Congo is currently investing in the hospitality sector, restoring historical sites and strengthening sustainability within their ecosystem.”

According to Ritesh Hemnani and Kenny Rawtani, owners of Sokerico Group and developers of the project, Kertel Suites will create vast employment opportunities for Congolese residents as part of Aleph’s rapidly growing hospitality group.

Dubai’s rental growth, highest level since May 2014: CBRE 

CBRE’s August 2022 Dubai Residential Market Snapshot shows that Dubai’s residential market recorded 6,524 transactions in July 2022, up 58 percent.

Off-plan sales increased by 59 percent and secondary market sales by 57.1 percent during this period. While the total volume of transactions reached 45,793, a record high since 2009, the report said.

In the year to July 2022, the average price increased by 9.9 percent. During this period, average apartment prices increased by 8.7 percent and average villa prices increased by 17.8 percent, the report added.

In July 2022, the average apartment price in Dubai was 1,114 dirhams ($303) per square foot, while the average villa price was 1,335 dirhams per square foot.

In comparison to late 2014 highs, these rates per square foot are 25.1 percent and 7.6 percent lower, respectively.