France's Engie agrees deal with Russia's Gazprom on gas payments

France's Engie agrees deal with Russia's Gazprom on gas payments
It confirmed previous advice that EU sanctions do not prevent companies from opening an account at a designated bank, and companies can pay for Russian gas
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Updated 17 May 2022

France's Engie agrees deal with Russia's Gazprom on gas payments

France's Engie agrees deal with Russia's Gazprom on gas payments
  • Engie declined to comment on whether this meant the utility had opened, or planned to open, an account with Gazprombank

French power company Engie said on Tuesday it has reached an agreement with Gazprom on its scheme to pay for Russian gas in roubles, and at the same time reported higher first-quarter profits and raised its 2022 financial targets.

Engie shares were up 5.4 percent to 12.26 euros at 0733 GMT taking them to the top of France's CAC 40 Index.

CEO Catherine MacGregor told a call with reporters that Engie and Gazprom have agreed on a solution in line with both companies' expectations in terms of currencies and with European sanctions.

Engie declined to comment on whether this meant the utility had opened, or planned to open, an account with Gazprombank.

MacGregor told reporters during the call that the next payments were "imminent".

The European Commission shared updated guidance with EU countries on Friday.

It confirmed previous advice that EU sanctions do not prevent companies from opening an account at a designated bank, and companies can pay for Russian gas — as long as they do so in the currency agreed in their existing contracts and declare the transaction completed when that currency is paid.

The energy group said in a statement that it has taken multiple actions to improve security of supply, including increasing volumes with existing suppliers and contracts with new suppliers, as well as adapting its hedging actions.

Engie said it has reduced its direct exposure to Gazprom from a maximum of 15 terawatt hours (TWh) to just under 5 TWh at the end of March.

In the context of rising power prices, which have increased following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, it upgraded its 2022 financial guidance, saying it expects 2022 group share net recurring income of 3.8-4.4 billion euros ($3.97-$4.59 billion), versus a previous target of 3.1-3.3 billion euros.

Engie's revenue for the first quarter ending March 31 rose 85% from a year ago to 25.6 billion euros, while its earnings before interest (EBIT) grew 74% to 3.5 billion euros.
Analysts at JP Morgan said the first-quarter results were very strong.
"We believe that the company is very well on track to deliver: this will ultimately depend on a number of factors including power prices evolution and the evolution of Russia/Ukraine situation", they said in a note.


Saudi airline Flynas to operate AlUla-Cairo direct flights from October

Saudi airline Flynas to operate AlUla-Cairo direct flights from October
Updated 10 sec ago

Saudi airline Flynas to operate AlUla-Cairo direct flights from October

Saudi airline Flynas to operate AlUla-Cairo direct flights from October

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s budget airline Flynas announced the launch of its first direct flights between its heritage city AlUla and Cairo, starting from 6th October, according to the Saudi Press Agency. 

The airline will operate two direct flights per week, on Saturdays and Thursdays, between AlUla International Airport to Cairo International Airport.

Located in the north-west of Saudi Arabia, AlUla offers tourists a variety of experiences in heritage, art, culture, recreation and adventure.


Saudi Aramco becomes first-ever MENA firm in Clarivate’s top 100 global innovators list

Saudi Aramco becomes first-ever MENA firm in Clarivate’s top 100 global innovators list
Updated 11 min 31 sec ago

Saudi Aramco becomes first-ever MENA firm in Clarivate’s top 100 global innovators list

Saudi Aramco becomes first-ever MENA firm in Clarivate’s top 100 global innovators list

RIYADH: Saudi Aramco has been named one of the top 100 global innovators by American analytics company Clarivate. 

In its report titled “Top 100 Global Innovators 2022,” Clarivate revealed that Saudi Aramco is the first-ever company from the Middle East and North Africa region to be placed in the list. 

“The regional diversity continues to increase, with the first-ever Middle Eastern list entry via energy firm Saudi Aramco,” wrote Clarivate in the report. 

Apart from Saudi Aramco, other new entrants to the list are China’s Alibaba, Germany’s Continental, US’ General Motors, South Korea’s Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors, US’s Philip Morris International, and UK’s Rolls-Royce. 

Clarivate added that companies have been included in the list based on factors like influence, success, globalization, and technical distinctiveness. 


TASI extends losses on fears of economic slowdowns: Closing bell

TASI extends losses on fears of economic slowdowns: Closing bell
Updated 16 min 12 sec ago

TASI extends losses on fears of economic slowdowns: Closing bell

TASI extends losses on fears of economic slowdowns: Closing bell

RIYADH: Saudi stock markets extended losses as investors worried that the latest central bank efforts to curb inflation would lead to rapid economic slowdowns.

The main index, TASI, fell 0.93 percent to reach 11,358, while the parallel market, Nomu, dropped 1.94 percent at 20,672.

Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Co. led the decliners since the market opened with a 9.99 percent fall, followed by Abdulmohsen Alhokair Group for Tourism and Development which fell 9.92 percent.

Saudi Aramco, the largest player on the Saudi oil market, lost 1.29 percent, while Methanol Chemicals Co. fell 2.57 percent.

In the financial sector, the Kingdom’s largest valued bank Al Rajhi, dropped 0.50 percent, while The Saudi National Bank slipped 1.05 percent.

Among the biggest IT companies, Elm Co. gained 0.56 percent and Al Moammar Information Systems Co. edged down 2.08 percent.

Jadwa REIT Saudi Fund led the gainers with 4.75 percent gain, closely followed by Dar Alarkan Real Estate Development Co. with a 4.56 percent rise.

In the energy sector, West Texas Intermediate crude was trading at $109.69 per barrel and Brent crude was trading at $113.12 per barrel as of 3:24 p.m. Saudi time.


Saudi Arabia to help citizens affected by rise in global commodity prices: Crown Prince

Saudi Arabia to help citizens affected by rise in global commodity prices: Crown Prince
Updated 37 min 24 sec ago

Saudi Arabia to help citizens affected by rise in global commodity prices: Crown Prince

Saudi Arabia to help citizens affected by rise in global commodity prices: Crown Prince

RIYADH: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has urged government agencies to think about Saudi Arabia’s neediest citizens in the wake of the increasing cost of some basic needs.

Chairing a meeting of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, the Crown Prince stressed the important roles of ministries and government agencies in monitoring international developments, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

This includes food supply chains, monitoring markets, product availability and price levels, and protecting and encouraging fair competition, as well as combating and preventing monopolistic practices that affect legitimate competition or the interest of the consumer.

During the meeting held in Jeddah, the Council reviewed a number of economic and development issues, including a presentation on the price levels of a number of products in the Kingdom's markets, submitted by the Ministry of Commerce with participation of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, and the Ministry of Economy and Planning.

The Council was also briefed on health developments related to the COVID-19 by the Ministry of Health.

The presentation included an update following the decision to lift the precautionary and preventive measures related to the pandemic, in addition to updates on administering vaccines, the most prominent preparations for this year’s Hajj season, and the state of the epidemiological situation internationally.

The Council also followed up on the periodic presentation submitted by the Ministry of Economy and Planning regarding the analysis of opening economic activities and the impact of the pandemic.

The Council has taken the necessary recommendations on these issues, SPA said.

 


Global sukuk issuance drops to $74.5bn in H1

Global sukuk issuance drops to $74.5bn in H1
Updated 04 July 2022

Global sukuk issuance drops to $74.5bn in H1

Global sukuk issuance drops to $74.5bn in H1

RIYADH: Global sukuk issuance dropped to $74.5 billion in the first half of 2022, compared to $93.3 billion during the same period in 2021, according to a report issued by S&P Global Ratings.

The rating agency predicted that shrinking global liquidity, increasing complexity related to regulatory standards, and lower financing needs in some core Islamic finance markets could hold back the issuance for the remainder of the year as well.

The report further estimated that global sukuk issuances for 2022 will be about $130 billion compared to 147.4 billion in 2021.

In January, S&P predicted that sukuk issuance volumes in 2022 will not grow significantly as global interest rates rise and funding needs for Gulf economies fall.