PIF governor and BlackRock’s CEO leads discussions on ESG in emerging markets in FII’s first regional summit

PIF governor and BlackRock’s CEO leads discussions on ESG in emerging markets in FII’s first regional summit
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Updated 22 May 2022

PIF governor and BlackRock’s CEO leads discussions on ESG in emerging markets in FII’s first regional summit

PIF governor and BlackRock’s CEO leads discussions on ESG in emerging markets in FII’s first regional summit

RIYADH: The Future Investment Initiative Foundation will host its first ever regional summit on Friday, in Rosewood London, England, entitled Inclusive Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance in Emerging Markets.

The most prominent participants in the event include the FII Chairman and Governor of the Public Investment Fund, Yasser Al-Rumayyan, Egypt’s Minister of Environment, Yasmine Fouad and Blackrock CEO Larry Fink.

The summit will bring together international investors, world leaders, thought leaders, policy makers, global CEOs, and chiefs of sustainability to discuss and shape the future of ESG, particularly in emerging markets.

“The planet has major problems with climate, with destruction of nature, peace and security. But we also have tremendous resources, including our common humanity,” Executive Director of the FII Institute, Richard Attias said.

“We believe that ESG is an important tool to bring us together and channel capital to meet these challenges,” he said.

Using ESG standards to make investment decisions is a global boom, with assets expected to reach $53 trillion, about a third of global assets under management, by 2025, a statement showed.

Still, the lack of a framework for the effective implementation of ESG in emerging economies represent a stumbling block for investors. 

The FII says it will finally have the tool needed to develop sustainable investment strategies in these markets, through its proprietary measurement framework, developed in collaboration with investors, global companies, and FII’s strategic partners.

The Foundation works to impact humanity across four focus areas: artificial intelligence, robotics, education, health care, and sustainability.

The event is part of a series of events hosted by the Foundation, which will culminate in the sixth edition of the annual FII Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in October.

 

The PIF view

The PIF understands that being engaged in ESG is the right thing to do, Rania Nashar, head of compliance and governance at the fund, told the conference.

PIF companies are announcing emission reductions but it's not only about the destination, it is about the journey, she added.

“We approach the ESG through multiple aspects. Through creating platforms, sponsoring events and launching initiatives,” she said.

 

 


Dubai fintech YAP raises $41m to expand footprint, eyes Saudi market among others

Dubai fintech YAP raises $41m to expand footprint, eyes Saudi market among others
Updated 17 sec ago

Dubai fintech YAP raises $41m to expand footprint, eyes Saudi market among others

Dubai fintech YAP raises $41m to expand footprint, eyes Saudi market among others

RIYADH: The UAE’s fintech YAP, a leading digital banking platform, has raised $41 million in a funding round led by Saudi Arabia’s Aljazira Capital, Abu Dawood Group, Astra Group and Audacia Capital.

The company plans to complete series A funding by the end of the year and use the funds to expand its regional footprint, it said in a statement.

It recently partnered with Bank AlJazira to launch its consumer and business banking platforms in Saudi Arabia.

“There is incredible demand for fintech products in the region, and we are well placed to be a market leader to address these needs,” said Marwan Hachem, co-founder and group CEO of YAP, in the statement.

Marwan Hachem, co-founder and group CEO of YAP (Supplied)

The company has also received regulatory approval in Pakistan and Ghana to offer similar services and plans to soon launch in Egypt.

YAP offers users a simple interface with a complete view of consumer spending analytics and easy ways to transfer money and pay bills.

With no minimum balance required, the app also provides customers with real-time notifications of purchases, withdrawals, and transfers.

YAP’s product development pipeline includes a new multicurrency offering, products for children and households, equity trading, loans and buy-now-pay-later options through the YAP Store, the YAP Financial Marketplace, and the YAP Hub.

“The momentum and growth we have seen since our launch validate the need for the YAP platform throughout the region. We look forward to expanding into new markets and enhancing our offering in the months ahead with these investments,” Anas Zaidan, co-founder and managing director of YAP, said in the statement.

Since its launch in 2021, the platform has provided over 130,000 users with an extensive database of resources at their fingertips to become expert money managers.


Oil Updates — Crude slips on recession fear; Algeria’s oil, gas earnings climb; Planned strike could cut Norwegian gas output

Oil Updates — Crude slips on recession fear; Algeria’s oil, gas earnings climb; Planned strike could cut Norwegian gas output
Updated 22 min 8 sec ago

Oil Updates — Crude slips on recession fear; Algeria’s oil, gas earnings climb; Planned strike could cut Norwegian gas output

Oil Updates — Crude slips on recession fear; Algeria’s oil, gas earnings climb; Planned strike could cut Norwegian gas output

RIYADH: Oil prices fell on Monday, paring gains from the previous session, as fears of a global recession weighed on the market even as supply remains tight amid lower OPEC output, unrest in Libya and sanctions on Russia.

Brent crude futures for September slipped 36 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $111.27 a barrel at 0300 GMT, having jumped 2.4 percent on Friday.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures for August delivery dropped 34 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $108.09 a barrel, after climbing 2.5 percent on Friday.

Algeria’s oil, gas earnings up 70 percent in first five months of 2022

Algeria’s oil and gas earnings are up 70 percent and have reached $21.5 billion in the five first months of 2022, compared to $12.6 billion in the same period last year, an executive at state oil and gas producer Sonatrach told reporters on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Sonatrach’s CEO, Tewfik Hakkar told reporters on Sunday that the country is negotiating with all its clients to review gas prices. 

Hakkar added that the review of the prices is not targeting a single company or country.

Norway strike could cut gas output by 13 percent next week

A planned strike next week by Norwegian energy sector workers could cut the country’s gas output by 292,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, or 13 percent of output, employers’ group the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association said on Sunday.

Oil output could be cut by 130,000 barrels per day, NOG added, corresponding to around 6.5 percent of Norway’s production, according to a Reuters calculation.

The strike, in which workers are demanding wage hikes to compensate for rising inflation, comes at a time of high oil and gas prices, with supplies of natural gas to Europe particularly tight after Russian export cutbacks.

Members of the Lederne labor union, who make up around 15 percent of the country’s offshore petroleum workers, on Thursday voted down a proposed wage agreement that had been negotiated by companies and union leaders.

As a result, they plan to begin a strike at three offshore fields on July 5, and to add three more fields the following day unless a solution is found.

A seventh field, Tyrihans, will have to shut down because its output is processed from the nearby Kristin field, which will shut down.

The parties have been talking, but no progress has been made.

(With inputs from Reuters)


GCC stocks down for second straight month in June amid recession fears

GCC stocks down for second straight month in June amid recession fears
Updated 46 min 15 sec ago

GCC stocks down for second straight month in June amid recession fears

GCC stocks down for second straight month in June amid recession fears

RIYADH: Stock exchanges in the Gulf Cooperation Council states logged their second straight monthly decline in June as fears over inflation and recession rattled investors.

MSCI GCC Index, which captures the performance of indexes across the region, was down 9 percent as it exited its worst month so far this year, a report by Kamco Invest revealed.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia posted the biggest drop of nearly 11 percent, followed by Abu Dhabi and Qatar with declines of 6.8 and 5.6 percent, respectively.

The Omani benchmark index bucked the trend to close slightly higher, securing a 0.2-percent gain.

This happened amid worries about rising inflation and interest rate hikes as well as the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and China’s COVID-19 lockdowns.

That said, the aggregate index is up 2.8 percent in terms of year-to-date gains, having performed four straight months in the green before dropping in May.


REVIEW: Circlys - saving platform

Photo/Supplied
Photo/Supplied
Updated 03 July 2022

REVIEW: Circlys - saving platform

Photo/Supplied
  • Eligible members must have accounts documented through the national information center “Nafath,” have a fixed income and a Saudi bank account

Many people when they have a certain income worry about having a proper amount of savings in their bank accounts.

Saving is known to be one of the best steps toward a healthy financial status and there are many ways to go about it.

One example is Circlys, an official Saudi closed joint-stock company, headquartered in Riyadh and specializing in financial technology.

It is a certified cooperative saving application provided for customers in Saudi Arabia under the supervision of the Saudi Central Bank, the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Investment.

Eligible members must have accounts documented through the national information center “Nafath,” have a fixed income and a Saudi bank account. Every subscriber must sign a claim in case of defaulting and to guarantee their rights.

Circlys offers different saving opportunities throughout the year with durations varying between six and 12 months. Monthly shares start at SR500. Subscribers can choose the month they would like to receive the sum they register to get, and payments from each subscriber are deducted based on their salary period. Amounts will be received within three days after the salary receiving date.

The idea of the saving platform is inspired by a common saving concept in the Arab region called “Jamea’a,” where a group of three or more individuals agrees on saving the same amount of money in turns, provided that each individual pays the agreed-upon amount in the specified time. It is not permissible to breach the deadline or evade payment.

With a 4.7 rating by users, the savings platform has more than 180,000 beneficiaries and 10,000 saving circles. The phone app is available in English and Arabic on Android and iOS. For more information, visit circlys.com


Algeria to review gas prices with all its clients

Algeria to review gas prices with all its clients
Updated 03 July 2022

Algeria to review gas prices with all its clients

Algeria to review gas prices with all its clients
  • Algeria’s oil and gas earnings are up 70 percent and have reached $21.5 billion in the five first months of 2022

ALGIERS: Algeria is negotiating with all its clients to review gas prices, state oil and gas producer Sonatrach’s CEO, Tewfik Hakkar, told reporters on Sunday.

Hakkar added that the review of the prices is not targeting a single company or country.

The statement comes almost a week after Spain began re-exporting gas to Morocco in reverse flow via the Gazoduc Maghreb-Europe pipeline, marking the first direct flow of piped gas from Europe to Africa.

Spain and Morocco agreed earlier this year to consider using the GME pipeline for reverse flow to the North African country with the gas to be sourced from the global LNG market.

On Nov. 1, Algeria, which has cut off diplomatic ties with Morocco, stopped supplying natural gas to its neighboring country through the GME pipeline.

Algeria is now supplying Spain using the Medgaz undersea pipeline with an annual capacity of 8 billion cubic meters, which does not go through Morocco.

Earnings up

Algeria’s oil and gas earnings are up 70 percent and have reached $21.5 billion in the five first months of 2022, compared to $12.6 billion in the same period last year, an executive at state oil and gas producer Sonatrach told reporters on Sunday.

Along with gas, Algeria is a large oil producer with 12.2 billion barrels of proven oil reserves. The country exports 540,000 barrels per day of its total production of about 1.1 million bpd. All proven oil reserves are held onshore, though offshore exploration is in the early stages.