India In-Focus — Shares reverse early gains; Country has no immediate plans to lift wheat export ban; Vedanta to finalize $20bn chip unit site soon

India In-Focus — Shares reverse early gains; Country has no immediate plans to lift wheat export ban; Vedanta to finalize $20bn chip unit site soon
India has no immediate plans to lift a ban on wheat exports, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos. (AFP)
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Updated 26 May 2022

India In-Focus — Shares reverse early gains; Country has no immediate plans to lift wheat export ban; Vedanta to finalize $20bn chip unit site soon

India In-Focus — Shares reverse early gains; Country has no immediate plans to lift wheat export ban; Vedanta to finalize $20bn chip unit site soon

MUMBAI: Indian shares gave up early gains to trade lower on Thursday, as losses in metal and energy stocks outweighed gains in financial counters, while persistent concerns over global inflation also weighed on investor sentiment.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.36 percent at 15,967.80, as of 0502 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.18 percent to 53,652.27.

India has no immediate plan to lift wheat export ban

India has no immediate plans to lift a ban on wheat exports, but will continue with deals that are done directly with other governments, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal told Reuters.

The world’s second-biggest producer of wheat banned private overseas sales of the grain on May 14 after a scorching heatwave curtailed output and domestic prices hit a record high. Global wheat prices surged after the decision.

“Currently there’s instability in the world, if we were to do that (lift the ban), it would only help black marketeers, hoarders and speculators. Neither will it help the really vulnerable and needy countries,” Goyal said when asked if New Delhi had any plans to allow private exports to resume.

“The smarter way to do it is through the government to government route, by which we can give affordable wheat grain to the most vulnerable poor,” he said in an interview on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Vedanta to finalize $20 billion Indian chip, display unit site by mid-June




Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal said the first chip product will be ready in two years. (AFP/File)

Vedanta will finalize a location for its $20 billion semiconductor and display plants in India by mid-June and will have the first chip product ready in two years, its Chairman Anil Agarwal said on Wednesday.

Oil-to-metals conglomerate Vedanta said in February it will diversify into chip manufacturing and announced plans to form a joint venture with Taiwan’s Foxconn to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s drive to make India a semiconductor manufacturing hub.

Vedanta has a total planned investment outlay of $20 billion for two separate units for chip and display manufacturing.

“Foxconn is our technical partner. We may not take equity partner for the fab,” Agarwal told Reuters in an interview in Davos, adding that the Apple contract manufacturer will have technical responsibility for the operation, from providing the tech to making semiconductors.

Vedanta is seeking incentives from the government and is also in talks with several Indian states on the unit’s location.

(With input from Reuters)


US firm Franklin Templeton planning to establish office in Saudi Arabia

US firm Franklin Templeton planning to establish office in Saudi Arabia
Updated 16 sec ago

US firm Franklin Templeton planning to establish office in Saudi Arabia

US firm Franklin Templeton planning to establish office in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: US multinational holding company Franklin Templeton could transfer employees from Dubai to a new office in Saudi Arabia, Bloomberg reported, quoting people familiar with the matter. 

People who wished to stay anonymous revealed that Franklin Templeton’s CEO Jenny Johnson considers Saudi Arabia as a potential market for a major expansion. 

The report further added that the asset management company is planning to start the regulatory process to affirm its presence in Riyadh. 

The office in Riyadh will have investment teams and some sales and support on the ground, the people said. 

The workforce will be a mix of new recruits and internal transfers from the company’s employees in Dubai. 

Responding to the Bloomberg report, a spokeswoman for Franklin Templeton said: “While we have not announced any new office openings, we are currently exploring options to grow our regional footprint and will share details in due course.” 

She also added that Saudi Arabia is an important market in the region.

 


World Bank approves $500m loan for emergency food security project in Egypt

World Bank approves $500m loan for emergency food security project in Egypt
Updated 52 min 15 sec ago

World Bank approves $500m loan for emergency food security project in Egypt

World Bank approves $500m loan for emergency food security project in Egypt

RIYADH: The World Bank has approved a $500-million loan to help Egypt ensure an uninterrupted supply of bread as the country faces food security concerns amid rising prices and supply disruption due to the Russia-Ukraine war.

“This project supports the government’s strong commitment to ensuring that the needs of citizens continue to be met even amid a very challenging global context caused by concomitant crises such as COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine,” said Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, in a press statement.

The loan given under the Emergency Food Security and Resilience Support Project will help Egypt finance the public procurement of imported wheat. This would be equivalent to one month of supply for the Bread Subsidy Program which supports around 70 million low-income Egyptians, including 31 million people who live under the national poverty line, said a press release.

Bread is a staple in Egypt and the World Bank said this new project will link wheat imports to direct assistance to the poor and vulnerable population through Egypt’s Bread Subsidy Program.

“As always we are keen to continuously support Egypt in overcoming obstacles to its ambitious sustainable development plans and to further enable the country to pave the way for a prosperous and productive future for all its citizens,” said Marina Wes, World Bank country director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti. 


Pivot Engineering wins $168m contract for Damac Lagoons development

Pivot Engineering wins $168m contract for Damac Lagoons development
Updated 29 June 2022

Pivot Engineering wins $168m contract for Damac Lagoons development

Pivot Engineering wins $168m contract for Damac Lagoons development

DUBAI: Emirati property development company Damac has awarded a $168.2 million construction contract for the Costa Brava cluster within its Damac Lagoons development to Pivot Engineering and General Contracting Co., MEED reported.

According to the report, the scope of work under this contract includes the construction of 976 townhouses for the project.

It was in November 2021 that the development works of the Damac Lagoons Project began in the inland Dubailand area.

The project also includes villas, townhouses, artificial beaches, and community facilities. Damac Lagoons Project which spans 45 million square feet also includes clusters named Venice, Morocco, Nice, Malta, Andalucia and Portofino.

Pivot Engineering and General Contracting Co. is headquartered in Abu Dhabi, and it has been working in the region for 44 years, according to the company website. 


Saudi Cabinet approves new companies law to drive entrepreneurship

Saudi Cabinet approves new companies law to drive entrepreneurship
Updated 43 min 5 sec ago

Saudi Cabinet approves new companies law to drive entrepreneurship

Saudi Cabinet approves new companies law to drive entrepreneurship

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet has approved a law allowing the creation of a new type of company in the Kingdom to boost entrepreneurship.

The new Companies law was signed off on Tuesday, and will regulate all provisions related to companies, whether commercial, non-profit or professional.

It allows a new form of company — called a Simplified Joint Stock Company — that meets the needs of entrepreneurship and venture capital growth.

It also allows the issuance of a family charter that regulates ownership in family businesses, in addition to governance, management, work policy, employment of family members and cash profits to ensure the sustainability of these companies.

“The new law will improve the financing and business dynamics in every sector in the economy, it should have a great positive impact on the economy for the next decades,” CEO of Razeen Capital, Mohammed Al Suwayed, told Arab News.

 “I can't point out a single impact because the impact is going to be happening in all of the sectors gradually,” he said.

It also reduces the legal requirements and procedures for small and medium enterprises, and simplifies the procedures for establishing companies.

Under this law, many restrictions in the incorporation, practice and exit phases and restrictions on company names have been removed.

According to the Ministry of Investment, the changes will also enhance the diversity and strength of the local market, and raise the level of competitiveness of the Saudi investment environment.

“The new corporate system came to achieve the hopes of family businesses, organize their business by concluding the family charter, encourage bold investment and address the challenges of entrepreneurs by approving the simplified joint stock company,” the Minister of Commerce Majid Al-Kassabi said. 

Real Estate Brokerage law

Another law signed off was the Real Estate Brokerage law, which aims to regulate the brokers business and provide innovative and high-quality services to beneficiaries.

“The Saudi Cabinet’s ratification of the real estate brokerage law will help ensure the reliability of real estate transactions through the Real estate General Authority,” Majid Al-Hogail, Minister of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing said on Twitter.

He added that It will also help raise the level of services provided and preserve the rights of customers in the sector through standards and procedures for doing business.

Al-Hogail indicated that real estate brokerage services are limited to brokers licensed by the General Real Estate Authority, and brokerage contracts and real estate transactions must be submitted electronically.

He said the commission and prepayment must be determined, and that violators will be subject to penalties under the law.

Abdullah Al-Hammad, CEO of the Real Estate General Authority, described the law as a “positive addition.”

“This law complements the legislative system that the General Real Estate Authority is working on to regulate the real estate market in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” he told CNBC.  

 


Commodities Update — Gold buoyed by fall in US bond yields; Wheat up; Copper slips

Commodities Update — Gold buoyed by fall in US bond yields; Wheat up; Copper slips
Updated 29 June 2022

Commodities Update — Gold buoyed by fall in US bond yields; Wheat up; Copper slips

Commodities Update — Gold buoyed by fall in US bond yields; Wheat up; Copper slips

RIYADH: Gold prices treaded water on Wednesday, with lower US Treasury yields lending support, as bullion struggled to break out of range-bound trading.

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,821.53 per ounce by 0550 GMT. US gold futures firmed 0.1 percent at $1,822.10. 

Silver dips

Spot silver dipped 0.1 percent to $20.81 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.9 percent to $918.32. 

Palladium gained 2 percent to $1,911.72.

Wheat up, corn down

Chicago wheat futures extended gains on Wednesday, lifted by signs of improving demand and bargain-buying after three straight sessions of losses pushed the contract to its lowest since February.

Corn and soybeans edged lower.

The most active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade rose 0.53 percent to $9.41 a bushel.

Corn fell 0.38 percent to $6.56-3/4 a bushel and soybeans edged down 0.5 percent to $14.55-1/4 a bushel.

Copper down

Copper prices slipped on Wednesday, as downbeat US consumer confidence data and prospects of rapid rate hikes to control a surge in inflation fanned fears of a global economic slowdown, impacting metals demand.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.6 percent at $8,314 a ton, as of 0702 GMT.

Prices of the metal, which are used as a gauge of economic health by investors, have fallen 23 percent since scaling a peak of $10,845 in March.

The most-traded August copper contract in Shanghai ended daytime trading down 0.9 percent to $9,466.07 a ton.

(With inputs from Reuters)