Morocco, OPEC Fund ink deal to provide funding for Nigeria gas pipeline

Morocco, OPEC Fund ink deal to provide funding for Nigeria gas pipeline
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Updated 05 May 2022

Morocco, OPEC Fund ink deal to provide funding for Nigeria gas pipeline

Morocco, OPEC Fund ink deal to provide funding for Nigeria gas pipeline

Morocco has signed a deal with the OPEC Fund for International Development to provide funding of $14.3 million for a gas pipeline project that connects the country with Nigeria, according to a Meed report. 

The agreement for studying the front-end engineering and design of the pipeline project was signed by the Moroccan minister of economy and finance Nadia Fettah, director-general of the OPEC Fund Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, and the general director of Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines, Amina Benkhadra. 

The study is co-financed by the Islamic Development Bank, and it involves finalizing the related technical, financial and legal analysis.

The project was launched in 2017, and is expected to operate at a flow rate of 30 billion cubic square meters a year.


India In-Focus — Indian shares rise; RBI to raise rates again in June; Adani to become second-biggest Indian cement maker with $10.5bn deal

India In-Focus — Indian shares rise; RBI to raise rates again in June; Adani to become second-biggest Indian cement maker with $10.5bn deal
Updated 11 sec ago

India In-Focus — Indian shares rise; RBI to raise rates again in June; Adani to become second-biggest Indian cement maker with $10.5bn deal

India In-Focus — Indian shares rise; RBI to raise rates again in June; Adani to become second-biggest Indian cement maker with $10.5bn deal

MUMBAI: Indian shares jumped on Monday after five consecutive weeks of losses, with Ambuja Cements and unit ACC up as conglomerate Adani Group said it would buy Holcim AG’s controlling stake in the companies.

The NSE Nifty 50 index gained 0.96 percent to 15,934.40 by 0510 GMT and the S&P BSE Sensex advanced 0.85 percent to 53,240.26, even as broader Asia struggled to sustain a minor rally after shockingly weak data from China. 

On Friday, both the Sensex and the Nifty marked their longest weekly losing streak since 2020.

RBI to raise rates again in June: Reuters poll

The Reserve Bank of India will follow its surprise May rate rise with another hike at its meeting next month, according to a majority of analysts polled by Reuters who were exceptionally split on the size of the move.

India’s retail inflation accelerated to an eight-year high in April, remaining above the central bank’s tolerance limit for the fourth month in a row, and is likely to stay elevated.

The sudden change in views on surging inflation and how to tame it means the RBI will likely take the repo rate, currently at 4.40 percent, back to at least its pre-pandemic level next quarter and not in 2023 as previously thought.

In the latest Reuters poll, over a quarter of economists, 14 of 53, expected the RBI to hike by 35 basis points to 4.75 percent next month, while 20 expected a larger move ranging from 40-75 basis points, including ten who forecast a 50 basis point hike.

Twelve respondents forecast a modest rate rise (10 to 25 basis points) while seven saw no move at the June 6-8 meeting.

Adani to become India's second-biggest cement maker

Asia’s richest person Gautam Adani’s conglomerate acquired 63.19 percent of Ambuja Cements Ltd. and its subsidiary ACC. (AFP)

India’s Adani Group acquired a controlling stake in Holcim AG’s cement businesses in India in a $10.5 billion deal to become the second-biggest cement producer in the country, Adani Group said in a statement on Sunday.

Asia’s richest person Gautam Adani’s conglomerate acquired 63.19 percent of Ambuja Cements Ltd. and its subsidiary ACC in fierce bidding with local companies.

Ambuja and ACC have a combined capacity to produce at least 70 million tons of cement annually, second to UltraTech Cement which has 120 million tons capacity.

The Adani family, through an offshore special purpose vehicle, had entered into definitive agreements for the acquisition of Holcim Ltd’s entire stake in Ambuja and ACC, the Adani Group said in a statement.

Holcim said in a statement it had signed a binding agreement for the Adani Group to acquire Holcim’s business in India, comprising its stake in Ambuja Cement, which owns a 50.05 percent interest in ACC, as well as its 4.48 percent direct stake in ACC. Holcim would receive nearly $6.4 billion for the stakes.

The Adani Group said it would acquire more shares through an open offer.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2022, Holcim said.

(With input from Reuters) 


Oman’s OQ invites banks to pitch for gas pipeline network IPO: sources

Oman’s OQ invites banks to pitch for gas pipeline network IPO: sources
Updated 2 min 15 sec ago

Oman’s OQ invites banks to pitch for gas pipeline network IPO: sources

Oman’s OQ invites banks to pitch for gas pipeline network IPO: sources
  • The reforms and a shake-up of state entities are being driven by Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al-Said, who took the throne in early 2020 after the death of Sultan Qaboos

DUBAI: Oman’s state energy company OQ is considering an initial public offering of its gas pipelines network, four sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The company has invited local and international banks to pitch for roles in a potential offering, according to the sources, who declined to be named as the matter is not public.

OQ did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by Reuters on Monday.

The company is considering local listings for some of its downstream and upstream assets but has no plan to float the parent company at present, a senior executive told Reuters in November.

Oman follows Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia in looking at sales of stakes in energy assets, capitalizing on a rebound in crude prices to attract foreign investors.

Oman aims to list 35 state-owned enterprises in the next five years and plans to take one or two oil companies public this year, the CEO of the Muscat Stock Exchange told CNBC Arabia in March.

Oman, which according to S&P gets 75 percent of fiscal receipts from hydrocarbon products, has introduced some reforms to diversify revenues, including introducing a 5 percent value-added tax last year.

The reforms and a shake-up of state entities are being driven by Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al-Said, who took the throne in early 2020 after the death of Sultan Qaboos, who ruled the small oil producer for nearly five decades.


Adani in $10.5bn deal for Holcim India cement business

Adani in $10.5bn deal for Holcim India cement business
Updated 19 min 3 sec ago

Adani in $10.5bn deal for Holcim India cement business

Adani in $10.5bn deal for Holcim India cement business
  • The deal marks Holcim’s exit from the Indian market after 17 years and is a part of a global restructuring strategy

Indian billionaire Gautam Adani struck a $10.5 billion deal to buy Swiss cement giant Holcim’s local business, the companies said, betting on a construction boom predicted in coming decades.

In his biggest acquisition to date, the deal will give coal-to-ports magnate Adani — who vies with fellow Indian Mukesh Ambani for the title of Asia’s richest person — a controlling stake in India’s second-largest cement manufacturer.

“Our move into the cement business is yet another validation of our belief in our nation’s growth story,” Adani, 59, said in a statement late Sunday.

“Not only is India expected to remain one of the world’s largest demand-driven economies for several decades, India also continues to be the world’s second largest cement market,” he added.

The deal marks Holcim’s exit from the Indian market after 17 years and is a part of a global restructuring strategy after the Swiss cement giant’s 2015 merger with France’s Lafarge.

Once approved by regulators and shareholders, the firm will acquire Holcim’s stakes in local producers Ambuja Cements and ACC.

The acquisitions will make Adani the country’s second-biggest cement maker with a capacity of 70 million tons per year.

India, already home to 1.4 billion people, is projected by the United Nations to become the planet’s most populous nation by the middle of the decade.

The International Energy Agency said in a report last year that an estimated 270 million people will be added to India’s urban population by 2040 — the equivalent of adding a new city the size of Los Angeles each year.

This will also likely increase emissions in the world’s third-biggest polluter, since the manufacture of cement produces carbon dioxide.

Shares in Ambuja Cements were up 3.80 percent, while shares in ACC Ltd. rose six percent in Mumbai following the announcement.


Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul’s trading session on Monday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul’s trading session on Monday
Updated 32 min 19 sec ago

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul’s trading session on Monday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul’s trading session on Monday

RIYADH: Saudi stocks reversed the prior session’s losses to start the week higher on Sunday, after oil giant Aramco beat analysts’ expectations with record profits.

The main TASI index closed 2.5 percent higher at 13,149, and the Kingdom’s parallel Nomu market was up 0.9 percent to 22,845.

Shares of Aramco surged 4.2 percent intraday in response to an 82-percent increase in first-quarter profit to SR148 billion ($40 billion).

Bahrain’s BAX also recorded gains of 0.6 percent on Sunday, while stock indexes of Qatar and Egypt lost 2 and 1.4 percent, respectively. The Omani bourse ended the session almost flat.

In energy trading, Brent crude was priced at $109.76 a barrel, and US benchmark WTI traded at $109.04 a barrel at 9:00 a.m. Saudi time.

Stock news

Taiba Investments Co. turned into a profit of SR20 million in the first quarter, supported by post-pandemic recovery

Saudi Azm was awarded a project to provide advisory services to the ministry of communications and information technology’s digital transformation unit

Azm got its board’s approval to establish an office with a capital of SR500,000 for software development in Poland 

Insurance firm Tawuinya’s net profit before Zakat declined 49 percent to SR41 million last quarter

Saudi Steel Pipe Co. closed a deal valued at SR139 million to supply oil and gas steel pipes to Uruguay’s Tenaris Global Services

AXA Cooperative Insurance Co. got shareholders’ approval to pay out an annual cash dividend of SR1 per share

Saudi Printing and Packaging Co. narrowed losses to SR3.3 million in its quarterly earnings as general and administrative costs fell

First-quarter profit of National Medical Care Co. was down 16 percent to near SR30 million

Alinma Investment Co. said unitholders of Alinma Retail REIT Fund will receive dividends amounting to SR11.8 million for 2021

Al-Etihad Cooperative Insurance Co. saw its net profit before Zakat drop 95 percent to SR689,910 last quarter

Saudi Vitrified Clay Pipes Co.’s profit soared 452 percent to SR1.27 million during the first quarter of 2022

Arabian Cement Co. reported a profit drop of 37 percent to SR41.9 million for the first quarter of 2022

Theeb Rent a Car Co. made SR42.6 million in first-quarter profit, up 64 percent from SR26 million a year ago

Shareholders of Nayifat Finance Co. are set to receive half-year dividends of SR0.75 per share

Middle East Healthcare Co.’s profits were up nearly 70 percent last quarter to SR20.5 million

Dur Hospitality Co.  signed a deal worth SR181 million to expand and develop Rixos Jeddah resort

Calendar

May 22, 2022

Start of Amwaj International Co.’s IPO subscription

Start of Ladun Investment Co.’s IPO subscription

May 25, 2022

End of Amwaj International Co.’s IPO subscription

May 26, 2022

End of Ladun Investment Co.’s IPO subscription


Saudi energy minister says oil capacity may hit 13.4m bpd with increased output from Neutral Zone

Saudi energy minister says oil capacity may hit 13.4m bpd with increased output from Neutral Zone
Updated 41 sec ago

Saudi energy minister says oil capacity may hit 13.4m bpd with increased output from Neutral Zone

Saudi energy minister says oil capacity may hit 13.4m bpd with increased output from Neutral Zone

Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman has said the Kingdom could produce between 13.2-13.4 million barrels of oil per day by the end of 2026 or beginning of 2027 thanks to increased output in divided zone.

While talking at the opening of the 29th Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference in Bahrain, the energy minister revealed that oil demand has increased post-pandemic, but there is no refining capacity commensurate with the current demand.

He also made it clear that there are no issues surrounding the availability of crude. 

Abdulaziz bin Salman also took a swipe at world leaders claiming there is a transition to cleaner energy sources, saying that countries are buying coal for almost four times the previous price and also telling France not to push ahead with new nuclear energy provisions.

Abdulaziz bin Salman added that Saudi Arabia is working together with countries like Kuwait to return to old oil output capacities. 

The minister stated that power generation using gas and renewables domestically will help free a million barrels of oil per day for export. 

He noted that the Kingdom is running out of capacities at all levels which is truly a matter of concern for the whole world. The minister added that more hydrocarbon investments are needed to resolve issues surrounding energy generation.