World Economic Forum to return in-person as it aims to shed light on ‘History at a Turning Point’

World Economic Forum to return in-person as it aims to shed light on ‘History at a Turning Point’
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Swiss soldiers build fences in front of the Kongress Hotel Davos ahead of the upcoming World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (Reuters)
World Economic Forum to return in-person as it aims to shed light on ‘History at a Turning Point’
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The national flag of Ukraine flies along with other countries' flags at the congress center, the venue of the upcoming World Economic Forum 2022 in Davos, Switzerland. (Reuters)
World Economic Forum to return in-person as it aims to shed light on ‘History at a Turning Point’
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A general view of the congress center, the venue of the upcoming World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (REUTERS)
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Updated 22 May 2022

World Economic Forum to return in-person as it aims to shed light on ‘History at a Turning Point’

World Economic Forum to return in-person as it aims to shed light on ‘History at a Turning Point’
  • This year’s meeting will bring together about 2,500 leaders and experts from around the world, including more than 50 heads of state and government, more than 1,250 leaders from the private sector and nearly 100 Global Innovators and Technology Pioneers

LONDON: The World Economic Forum has announced that the theme of its annual meeting for 2022 will be ‘History at a Turning Point: Government Policies and Business Strategies’ in its return to an in-person conference since the pandemic forced it to go virtual since 2020.

“The Annual Meeting is the first summit that brings global leaders together in this new situation characterized by an emerging multipolar world as a result of the pandemic and war,” said Klaus Schwab, the WEF’s founder and executive chairman.

This year’s meeting — which is happening in the spring rather than its usual January slot — returns after a two-year hiatus and will bring together about 2,500 leaders and experts from around the world, including more than 50 heads of state and government, more than 1,250 leaders from the private sector and nearly 100 Global Innovators and Technology Pioneers.

“The fact that nearly 2,500 leaders from politics, business, civil society and media come together in person demonstrates the need for a trusted, informal and action-oriented global platform to confront the issues in a crisis-driven world,” Schwab said.

Civil society will be represented by more than 200 leaders from NGOs, social entrepreneurs, academia, labour organizations, faith-based and religious groups, and at least 400 media leaders and reporting press. The Annual Meeting will also bring together younger generations, with 100 members of the Forum’s Global Shaper and Young Global Leader communities participating.

Against a backdrop of the global pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and geo-economic challenges, the meeting convenes at a strategic point where public figures and global leaders will meet in person to reconnect, exchange insights, gain fresh perspectives and advance solutions.

Topics that will be discussed at the annual meeting range from COVID-19 and climate change to education, technology and energy governance.

These include the Reskilling Revolution, an initiative to provide 1 billion people with better education, skills and jobs by 2030; an initiative on universal environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics and disclosures to measure stakeholder capitalism; and the One Trillion Trees initiative, 1t.org, to protect our trees and forests and restore the planet’s ecosystems.

The programme will have six thematic pillars, including fostering global and regional cooperation; securing the economic recovery and shaping a new era of growth; building healthy and equitable societies; safeguarding climate, food and nature; driving industry transformation, and finally; harnessing the power of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


Saudi tech firm Sure Global sets price guidance at $19 for Nomu listing

Saudi tech firm Sure Global sets price guidance at $19 for Nomu listing
Updated 16 sec ago

Saudi tech firm Sure Global sets price guidance at $19 for Nomu listing

Saudi tech firm Sure Global sets price guidance at $19 for Nomu listing

RIYADH: Sure Global Technology Co. announced the publication of the registration document for a direct listing on the Nomu-Parallel Market, setting its price guidance for the listing at SR70 ($19) per share.

Sure International reached an agreement with its shareholders to allocate 1.284 million shares, representing 25 percent of its capital, to offer and sell in the market to natural or legal persons in order to meet liquidity requirements.

Sure received approval from the Capital Market Authority on June 30 for its registration to trade on Nomu-Parallel Market.

Established in 2006, Sure International Technology offers a wide range of services, including wholesale and retail sales of computers and accessories, printers and inks, systems analysis, software design and programming, and senior management consulting.

 


Oil Updates — Crude falls; Ecopetrol selling more Colombian oil to Europe

Oil Updates — Crude falls; Ecopetrol selling more Colombian oil to Europe
Updated 25 min 27 sec ago

Oil Updates — Crude falls; Ecopetrol selling more Colombian oil to Europe

Oil Updates — Crude falls; Ecopetrol selling more Colombian oil to Europe

RIYADH: Oil prices fell for a second day on Monday on fears of lower fuel demand from an expected global recession sparked by rising worldwide interest rates and as a surging US dollar limits the ability of non-dollar consumers to purchase crude.

Brent crude futures for November settlement slipped 54 cents, or 0.63 percent, to $85.61 a barrel at 0511 GMT. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures for November delivery dropped 48 cents, or 0.61 percent, to $78.26.

Both contracts slumped around 5 percent on Friday to their lowest since January.

Ecopetrol selling more Colombian oil to Europe 

Colombian state energy company Ecopetrol is selling more of its oil production to Europe, replacing Russian supplies, while it sees growing competition for market share in Asia.

About 40-50 percent of Ecopetrol’s crude production is exported to Asia this year compared with 60 percent last year, Ecopetrol’s CEO Felipe Bayon told Reuters on the sidelines of the 38th Annual Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference in Singapore.

Bayon said there is growing competition with Russian, Mexican, Canadian Heavy and Venezuelan crude in Asia.

Vitol expects Russian oil to flow to Asia and Mideast

Russian oil is expected to come to Asia and the Middle East, while refined fuel produced in these regions will flow to the West as the global oil trade is disrupted by sanctions, Vitol’s CEO Russell Hardy said on Monday.

The Russia-Ukraine war has made energy security the top issue for governments as they grapple with inflation. With bans on Russian oil looming and Moscow slashing gas supplies to Europe, policymakers are setting aside sustainability concerns for now.

“Energy security is number one. Price is number two. Sustainability is number three,” Hardy said of key priorities in the short term.

More than a million barrels per day of US crude is expected to go to Europe to fill the gap in Russian supplies, he told a forum at the APPEC conference, adding that Russian commodities would need to find a home in places outside the UK, US and EU. 

“It’s going to go further and longer distances and find different markets, and in doing that it’s going to have to trade at a discount,” Hardy said.

“You’re beginning to see that with fuel coming East that would otherwise have stayed in Europe, and fuel in the East going to the West to cover the shortfall.”

(With input from Reuters) 


 


Indian currency seen at record low as dollar, US yields surge; RBI eyed

Indian currency seen at record low as dollar, US yields surge; RBI eyed
Updated 26 September 2022

Indian currency seen at record low as dollar, US yields surge; RBI eyed

Indian currency seen at record low as dollar, US yields surge; RBI eyed
  • The rupee is tipped to open at around 81.30 per US dollar, down from 80.9900 in the previous session

MUMBAI: The Indian rupee is poised to hit a new lifetime low against the US currency on Monday, as worsening risk sentiment and a tumbling pound lifted the dollar index to its highest since 2002.
The rupee is tipped to open at around 81.30 per US dollar, down from 80.9900 in the previous session.
The local unit had reached a record low of 81.2250 on Friday, prompting the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to sell dollars, according to traders. The RBI’s intervention had aided the rupee to turn briefly higher on Friday.
“It will be another choppy and volatile session. All eyes will be on state-run banks at open,” a trader at a Mumbai-based bank said, alluding to intervention from the RBI through these banks.
“The intervention by RBI at 81.20 was quite forceful and markets will want to know if that level will be protected again,” the trader said, adding, the RBI may not be too inclined to intervene given the “carnage” across Asian currencies.
The dollar index in Asia trading climbed above 114.50, the highest since May 2002, thanks to demand for safe-haven assets and a collapsing British pound.
The pound tumbled to a record low on Monday on fears the new government’s economic plan will stretch its finances to the limit. The rout prompted speculation of an emergency response from the Bank of England.
Asian equity gauges fell by as much as 2.4 percent and futures pointed to more losses for the S&P 500 Index. The offshore Chinese yuan declined below 7.16 to the dollar and the Korean won dropped more than a percent.
Treasury yields continued to march higher, not benefiting from the risk-off sentiment. The 2-year Treasury yield reached a fresh multi-year high of 4.27 percent on bets that the Federal Reserve will continue to hike rates aggressively despite the mounting growth risks. 


Bahrain’s GDP grows at 6.9% in Q2 2022

Bahrain’s GDP grows at 6.9% in Q2 2022
Updated 25 September 2022

Bahrain’s GDP grows at 6.9% in Q2 2022

Bahrain’s GDP grows at 6.9% in Q2 2022
  • The Gulf country will see modest hike in oil production in 2022 to 0.19 mbpd

RIYADH: Bahrain’s gross domestic product grew 6.9 percent year on year in the second quarter of 2022, posting the biggest annual increase since 2011, Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa said on Twitter on Sunday.

In the first quarter, the Gulf country’s GDP grew 5.5 percent year on year at constant prices. The country’s non-oil economy recorded growth of 7.8 percent in the same period.

According to the latest Economic Insight report for the Middle East, commissioned by ICAEW and compiled by Oxford Economics, Bahrain’s oil sector growth will be driven by higher oil production, despite a decline in the first quarter. Since 2015, the annual real growth of Bahrain’s oil sector has only expanded once relative to the previous year, in 2019. Based on the current OPEC+ agreement, Bahrain will see a modest increase in oil production in 2022 to 0.19 million barrels per day from 0.17 million bpd.

This small increase, combined with elevated prices, will return the oil sector to growth in 2022 before stagnating again as the government continues its diversification efforts. The forecast is for oil production to expand by 5.8 percent in 2022, compared to 2.4 percent in 2021.

Scott Livermore, ICAEW economic adviser, and chief economist and managing director, Oxford Economics Middle East, said: “The surge in oil prices and introduction of a 10 percent VAT is supporting Bahrain’s revenues and will help authorities come close to balancing the budget in 2022, two years earlier than the 2024 target set in the Fiscal Balance Program.”

The rise of inflationary pressures and rate hikes by the US Fed will force the Central Bank of Bahrain into more rate increases, beyond the 225 basis points cumulative increase in the key policy rate already this year.

Inflation averaged 3.4 percent in the first half this year, a level not seen since 2016, before rising to 3.9 percent in July.

ICAEW expects inflation to average 3.9 percent this year after prices fell annually in both 2020 and 2021.

Consumer spending is likely to be increasingly constrained going into 2023, leading to a GDP growth slowdown to below 2 percent by 2024.

As of now, the central bank has sufficient reserves to maintain the currency peg with the US dollar and is likely to follow policy moves by the Fed closely so it’s not expected to have significant pressure to devalue the dinar.

The current account returned to surplus in 2021 at 6.7 percent of GDP, the largest surplus since 2013. ICAEW expects the higher price of oil exports and a continued resurgence of international travel to push this surplus above 10 percent in 2022.


Saudi ministry begins localization of amusement parks, leisure centers

Saudi ministry begins localization of amusement parks, leisure centers
Updated 25 September 2022

Saudi ministry begins localization of amusement parks, leisure centers

Saudi ministry begins localization of amusement parks, leisure centers

RIYADH: In a bid to create more jobs for Saudi nationals, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has started the implementation of its localization program at amusement parks  and entertainment centers.

The ministry aims to localize 70 percent of the jobs in that area. It also seeks to localize entertainment centers within closed commercial complexes by 100 percent. The ministry has published on its website a step-by-step guide for the implementation of its decision. Failure to comply with the decision after the grace period, which is 180 days from April 4, 2022, will result in penalties.

The ministry also said the localization decision is applicable to all leisure centers across the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia is working to localize 18 professions over the next year, as the Kingdom steadily progresses in its efforts to create more jobs in line with Vision 2030, according to Saudi Transport Minister Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser.

In June, the ministry issued six decisions to localize a number of professions and activities, in cooperation with the regulatory authorities.

In a statement, the ministry said the localized professions include licensed aviation, optics, customer service, regular inspection activities, outlets of postal and parcel delivery services, and outlets of seven business activities across the Kingdom.

The move aims to provide Saudi nationals with more than 33,000 job opportunities.

The decision to localize the licensed aviation professions will be implemented in two phases: The first starts on March 15, 2023 and includes the 100 percent localization of copilots, air controllers, and dispatchers. Meanwhile, the aviation transport pilot and air host professions will be 60 percent and 50 percent localized, respectively.

The second phase will start on March 4, 2024, and includes the localization of airline transport pilot and air host professions by 70 percent and 60 percent, respectively. The decision applies to all private establishments, which have five or more employees in the specified professions.