PIF seeks global footing as it launches Saudi Coffee Co. with $320m investment

PIF seeks global footing as it launches Saudi Coffee Co. with $320m investment
The statement added that the launch of Saudi Coffee Co. will play a crucial role in developing sustainable coffee production in the southern Jazan region, home to the world-famous Coffea Arabica. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 15 May 2022

PIF seeks global footing as it launches Saudi Coffee Co. with $320m investment

PIF seeks global footing as it launches Saudi Coffee Co. with $320m investment
  • The launch of the Saudi Coffee Co. comes at a time when Saudi Arabia is showing considerable growth in the coffee market

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund announced the launch of Saudi Coffee Co., aimed at turning Saudi coffee beans into a global product, PIF said in a statement.

In the statement the Public Investment Fund revealed that the company intends to invest SR1.2 billion ($320 million) in the next 10 years.

The statement added that the launch of Saudi Coffee Co. will play a crucial role in developing sustainable coffee production in the southern Jazan region, home to the world-famous Coffea Arabica.

“The launch of the Saudi Coffee Company aligns with PIF’s strategy, which focuses on developing and enabling 13 promising sectors, including food and agriculture, as part of broader efforts to diversify sources of income for the local economy,” the statement added.

The launch of the Saudi Coffee Co. comes at a time when Saudi Arabia is showing considerable growth in the coffee market.

Citing a Euromonitor International report, PIF revealed that coffee consumption in Saudi Arabia grew by approximately 4 percent a year between 2016 and 2021 and is forecast to increase by a further 5 percent per annum up to 2026, reaching an expected annual consumption of 28,700 tons.

 


TASI ends lower, expanding June losses: Closing bell

TASI ends lower, expanding June losses: Closing bell
Updated 25 sec ago

TASI ends lower, expanding June losses: Closing bell

TASI ends lower, expanding June losses: Closing bell

RIYADH: Saudi stocks ended their first trading session of July in red, expanding on the market’s 11 percent loss in June as investors' optimism was dampened by the fear of interest rate hikes.

As of Sunday’s closing bell, TASI fell 0.51 percent to reach 11,464, while the parallel market, Nomu, plunged 2.33 percent to 21,082.

This was led by a 0.39 percent decline in Saudi Aramco, the largest player on the Saudi oil market, and a 2.55 percent drop in the Kingdom’s largest valued bank Al Rajhi.

Saudi National Bank, one of the Kingdom’s biggest lenders, added 0.91 percent, after announcing SR4.92 billion ($1.31 billion) in dividends for the first half of 2022.

Wafrah for Industry and Development Co. lost 6.82 percent to lead the fallers, followed by Al-Baha Investment and Development Co., which fell 6.04 percent.

Abdullah Al Othaim Markets Co. edged up 2.13 percent, following the news that its mall unit had canceled its initial public offering.

Al Moammar Information Systems Co. added 0.74 percent, after being awarded SR34 million ($9 million) by Saudi Co. for Comprehensive Technical and Security Control as well as SR21.9 million by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.

Oil prices closed Friday with US West Texas Intermediate crude at $108.43 per barrel and Brent crude at $111.63 per barrel.


Royal Commission for AlUla signs train design deal with French firm SYSTRA 

Royal Commission for AlUla signs train design deal with French firm SYSTRA 
Updated 6 min 13 sec ago

Royal Commission for AlUla signs train design deal with French firm SYSTRA 

Royal Commission for AlUla signs train design deal with French firm SYSTRA 

RIYADH: The Saudi Royal Commission for AlUla has signed a contract with Paris-based public transport company SYSTRA Group to design the AlUla train for the heritage province, according to a tweet. 

Powered by sustainable energy, the train will travel 50 km, starting from the international airport in the south and ending at Al-Hajar city in the north.

The first phase of the design is set to be complete in 2023, Alsharq Al-Awsat reported.  

 


China In-Focus — Shimao misses repayment on $1bn bond; Tesla Q2 deliveries fall

China In-Focus — Shimao misses repayment on $1bn bond; Tesla Q2 deliveries fall
Updated 7 min 42 sec ago

China In-Focus — Shimao misses repayment on $1bn bond; Tesla Q2 deliveries fall

China In-Focus — Shimao misses repayment on $1bn bond; Tesla Q2 deliveries fall

BEIJING: Chinese developer Shimao Group has missed the interest and principal payment of a $1 billion offshore bond due on Sunday in the latest blow to China’s embattled property market.

Shimao was unable to pay a total of $1.023 billion in principal and interest to creditors of a senior note listed on the Singapore Exchange, the developer said in a Sunday filing on the Hong Kong bourse, citing “market uncertainties over debt refinancing” and “challenging operating and funding conditions.”

With a coupon rate of 4.75 percent, the bond matured on July 3 this year.

The developer has not received notice of acceleration of repayment from its lenders, it said, suggesting the debt holders have not moved to take enforcement actions.

Shimao hired Admiralty Harbor Capital as its financial adviser and Sidley Austin its legal adviser to help assess and explore ways to manage the liquidity crisis.

Meanwhile, creditors of its two syndicated loans have agreed to give the cash-strapped Chinese developer a breather.

Shimao said it has received written notice of support from the majority of the lenders of two syndicated loans agreed upon in 2018 and 2019, in which HSBC acted as the lead facilitator for dual currency loans.

Tesla Q2 deliveries fall on China’s COVID-related shutdown

Tesla Inc. delivered 17.9 percent fewer electric vehicles in the second quarter from the previous quarter, as China’s COVID 19-related shutdown disrupted its production and supply chain.

The world’s biggest electric car maker said on Saturday that it delivered 254,695 vehicles in the April to June period, compared with 310,048 vehicles in the preceding quarter, ending a nearly two-year-long run of record quarterly deliveries.

A resurgence in COVID-19 cases in China had forced Tesla to temporarily suspend production at its Shanghai factory and also affected suppliers’ facilities in the country.

Tesla is ramping up production at the Shanghai factory with the easing of the COVID-19 lockdown, which will help boost deliveries in the second half.

Early in June, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told executives that he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy and needed to cut about 10 percent of staff at the electric car maker.

China loosening entry restrictions for US citizens

China will loosen entry restrictions on US citizens, allowing entrance in case of transit via a third country, notices issued late on Friday by the Chinese Embassy in Washington said, relaxing rules imposed in Beijing’s drive to curb COVID-19.

According to an updated policy statement, US citizens with valid negative COVID test results looking to enter China may now apply for and receive a green health code for travel in from either the US or a third country. In the past, the embassy would only grant the codes to US citizens flying directly from the US.

China has loosened the same restrictions recently for citizens of other countries.

The restrictions, coupled with a limited number of direct flights from the US to China, caused ticket prices to cost as much as $10,000.

The changes follow a similar slight relaxation of COVID-19 testing rules for people arriving in China from countries including the US announced on May 18.

 

(With input from Reuters) 

 

 

 


India In-Focus — China’s Great Wall Motor halts $1bn India plans; Ban on single-use plastic; Toyota unveils hybrid car

India In-Focus — China’s Great Wall Motor halts $1bn India plans; Ban on single-use plastic; Toyota unveils hybrid car
Updated 03 July 2022

India In-Focus — China’s Great Wall Motor halts $1bn India plans; Ban on single-use plastic; Toyota unveils hybrid car

India In-Focus — China’s Great Wall Motor halts $1bn India plans; Ban on single-use plastic; Toyota unveils hybrid car

MUMBAI: China’s Great Wall Motor has shelved plans to invest $1 billion in India and laid off all employees at its operations there after failing to obtain regulatory approvals, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Friday.

Without directly commenting on the exit, a Great Wall statement said the company “would like to thank all the members of the Indian team for their contribution,” adding that it would continue to study the Indian market and look for opportunities in the future.

Great Wall’s India entry plan was announced with great fanfare during the country’s biennial auto show in January 2020. India was a key market for the Chinese SUV manufacturer’s global expansion plans and the company had envisioned a plant that would be its biggest outside China.

Months later, after Great Motor began hiring staff in India, New Delhi increased scrutiny of investments from countries with which it shares a land border to deter opportunistic takeovers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crackdown deepened after a border clash between India and China later that year, which has since held up billions of dollars of capital inflow in the auto and technology sectors among others.

The sources, who declined to be named, said that Great Wall laid off about a dozen employees at its Indian business on Friday after telling them it had failed to obtain foreign direct investment approval from the government to buy a former General Motors plant in the country.

India imposes ban on single-use plastics

India on Friday imposed a ban on single-use plastics on items ranging from straws to cigarette packets to combat worsening pollution in the country whose streets are strewn with waste.

Announcing the ban, the government dismissed the demands of food, beverage and consumer goods companies to hold off the restriction to avoid disruptions.

Plastic waste has become a significant source of pollution in India, the world’s second-most populous country.

Rapid economic growth has fueled demand for goods that come with single-use plastic products, such as straws and disposable cutlery.

But India, which uses about 14 million tons of plastic annually, lacks an organized system for managing plastic waste, leading to widespread littering.

India’s ban on single-use plastic items includes straws, cutlery, earbuds, packaging films, plastic sticks for balloons, candy and ice cream, and cigarette packets, among other products, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government said in a statement.

PepsiCo., Coca-Cola Co, India’s Parle Agro, Dabur and Amul had lobbied for straws to be exempted from the ban. 

Toyota unveils first mass-market hybrid car

Toyota Motor Corp. on Friday unveiled its first mass-market hybrid car for India, a sport utility vehicle, charting a new course for the Japanese automaker in one of the world’s fastest-growing car markets.

The Urban Cruiser Hyryder SUV, the first car to be built by Toyota as part of a global alliance with Suzuki Motor Corp., will compete with Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motor Corp. in a segment that accounts for a large portion of auto sales in India.

The new model will be an “ultimate game-changer” for the company in India’s electrified auto space, Vikram Kirloskar, vice chairman of local unit Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said at a launch event in New Delhi.

It also reinforces Toyota’s decision to take the hybrid route in developing markets like India, where it says infrastructure is not ready for battery electric vehicles and much of the electricity is generated using coal or other fossil fuels.

The new SUV is expected to be 40 percent to 50 percent more fuel-efficient than a comparable gasoline-powered car and reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent, Toyota said. 

About 90 percent of the car’s parts are sourced from local suppliers — a move that will help it price the car competitively when it goes on sale later this year. 

(With inputs from Reuters)


UAE raises fuel prices for 5th time in a year

UAE raises fuel prices for 5th time in a year
Updated 03 July 2022

UAE raises fuel prices for 5th time in a year

UAE raises fuel prices for 5th time in a year

RIYADH: The UAE has raised fuel prices for the fifth time this year to further widen the gap with other oil producers who subsidize gasoline costs, Bloomberg reported. 

As oil prices jumped, gasoline prices in the UAE have surged by around 80 percent since the beginning of the year, while crude has increased almost 50 percent to reach over $100 a barrel. 

Gasoline in the UAE now costs three times more than in Kuwait and prices are more than double the average in the Gulf Cooperation Council members. 

According to data from globalpetrolprices.com, fuel prices in the UAE are below the global average.