China In-Focus: Unipec adds 10 vessels to transport crude from Russia; Alibaba’s revenue surges 9%

China In-Focus: Unipec adds 10 vessels to transport crude from Russia; Alibaba’s revenue surges 9%
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Updated 29 May 2022

China In-Focus: Unipec adds 10 vessels to transport crude from Russia; Alibaba’s revenue surges 9%

China In-Focus: Unipec adds 10 vessels to transport crude from Russia; Alibaba’s revenue surges 9%

RIYADH: China’s largest trading company Unipec has added 10 ships this month to transport crude from Russia. Meanwhile, Shanghai authorities unveiled fresh policies to help the economy get back on its feet. 

·      China’s largest trading company China International United Petroleum and Chemical Co., or Unipec, has added at least 10 hired tankers so far this month in order to transport Russian ESPO crude. This reflects a 400 percent increase in the number of ships booked a month earlier for the trade, Bloomberg reported, citing data from shipping analytics company Vortexa.

·      Shanghai authorities have rolled out several fresh policies to help the economy recover from COVID-19 lockdowns repercussions, Bloomberg reported. The policies include tax rebates, allowing manufacturers to resume operations in June, accelerating approvals for property projects, providing new residential developments, reducing purchase tax for some vehicles, subsidizing electric vehicles, among others.

·      Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba’s revenue surged 9 percent when compared to a year earlier, CNN business reported. This comes as a result of an increase in online and mobile shopping demand among consumers. The growth in revenue is also attributed to a 12 percent climb in the firm’s cloud unit. 


Egypt’s central bank governor resigns as economic woes mount

Egypt’s central bank governor resigns as economic woes mount
Updated 6 sec ago

Egypt’s central bank governor resigns as economic woes mount

Egypt’s central bank governor resigns as economic woes mount
CAIRO: Egypt’s central bank governor resigned Wednesday as the Middle East’s most populous nation struggles to curb inflation triggered by Russia’s war in Ukraine, high oil prices and a drop in tourism.
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi accepted the resignation of Tarek Amer and named him a presidential adviser, the Egyptian leader’s office said in a statement. The brief statement offered no explanation for Amer’s resignation.
No replacement was immediately named for Amer, who had been appointed governor of the central bank in November 2015. He has been criticized for his handling of Egypt’s financial challenges.
The currency is under pressure, sliding in value to about 19 Egyptian pounds to the US dollar. That followed a central bank decision allowing the currency to depreciate by around 16 percent in March to try to stem a growing trade deficit.
“It seems there’s a lot of tensions within policymaking circles, and I think that’s ultimately what led to Mr. Amer’s resignation,” said Jason Tuvey, a senior emerging markets economist at Capital Economics.
Tuvey said there are officials that oppose devaluing the pound and instead support measures like rationing gas consumption by curbing electricity usage, which could in turn harm business activity. Amer had traditionally been seen as in the camp that supported the pound’s depreciation as a way to secure a loan from the International Monetary Fund.
The London-based Capital Economics research firm predicts that Egypt’s currency will continue to slide, reaching 25 pounds to the dollar by the end of 2024 amid sustained pressure.
The resignation of the central bank head comes after key ministries were reshuffled Saturday as the government faces mounting pressure from economic challenges. The Cabinet shake-up, which was approved by parliament in an emergency session, affected 13 ministries, including health, education, culture, local development and irrigation. The country’s minister of tourism and antiquities also was replaced.
Egypt’s expansive tourism industry, which employs millions, was hit hard by years of turmoil, the COVID-19 pandemic and then the war in Ukraine. Prior to the conflict, around a third of tourists to Egypt came from Russia.
Russia’s war has been deeply felt in other ways in Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer that sources around 80 percent of it from the Black Sea region.
In the first weeks after the invasion of Ukraine in late February, the price of wheat and other grains skyrocketed, as did the price of fuel. Although prices have come down somewhat, the cost of grains remains at least 50 percent higher than before the pandemic in early 2020. Furthermore, the cost of shipping to export those grains through the Black Sea is high.
Inflation in the country of 103 million people reached 14.6 percent in July, increasing pressure on lower-income households and everyday necessities. Around a third of Egyptians live in poverty, according to government figures.
The World Bank notes that Egypt’s government announced an assistance package worth 130 billion pounds (more than $8 billion) just before devaluing the pound in March to alleviate the impact of rising prices. The package aimed to increase public-sector wages and pensions, as well as expand direct cash assistance programs.
Egypt’s Gulf Arab allies have come to its assistance with multibillion-dollar investments buoyed by high oil prices that have helped their bottom line.
Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, known as the Public Investment Fund, recently established a division in Egypt that has already announced deals worth $1.3 billion with the aim of bringing in $10 billion into Egypt.

MENA Project Tracker — Oman tenders bids on roadworks in Duqm; Penspen wins 7 contracts in Mideast

MENA Project Tracker — Oman tenders bids on roadworks in Duqm; Penspen wins 7 contracts in Mideast
Updated 17 August 2022

MENA Project Tracker — Oman tenders bids on roadworks in Duqm; Penspen wins 7 contracts in Mideast

MENA Project Tracker — Oman tenders bids on roadworks in Duqm; Penspen wins 7 contracts in Mideast

CAIRO: Khatib & Alami— an engineering consultant headquartered in Singapore — submitted the lowest bid of 1.53 million Bahraini dinar ($4 million) for a feasibility study contract to provide engineering services on the Bahrain Northern Link Road.

The bids were tendered by Bahrain’s Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry in March as part of a public-private partnership project.

The road will connect to the King Hamad Causeway— which is a road that is currently being constructed to link Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, reported MEED.

Oman invites bids on Duqm roadworks

Oman’s Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones has tendered  bids for a contract to construct coastal roadworks in Duqm.

Eleven companies will be joining the price bid opening on Sept. 11.

The project’s work includes building 14 km of roadways, extending an existing service road, four roundabouts and other connections, reported MEED.

Penspen secures seven contract in Mideast 

UK-based Penspen  has announced its work on seven new contracts in the Middle East during the second quarter of 2022.

Although the engineering company wasn’t specific about its partners, it disclosed the scope of work which included project management consultancy, engineering services, and asset integrity, reported MEED.

Nass group to construct The Avenue extension

The Avenues Co.—a subsidiary of Al-Sorouh Management Co.—has announced the selection of Nass Group for the main contract of the Bahrain Phase II expansion project.

The project will stretch The Avenues 41,200 sq. meter along the west of Manama’s coastline, allowing the construction of 224 additional units of housing. ,  

In addition to that, the extra space will allow for more recreational activities, and basic amenities., disclosed Trade Arabia.

The Avenues project will be completed by the first quarter of 2024, whereafter it will become the largest shopping and entertainment area residing by the sea.

 

 


NRG Matters — UAE’s Tadweer signs gas-to-energy project deal with KEO; Electric cars charging industry sees $4.8bn investment this year

NRG Matters — UAE’s Tadweer signs gas-to-energy project deal with KEO; Electric cars charging industry sees $4.8bn investment this year
Updated 17 August 2022

NRG Matters — UAE’s Tadweer signs gas-to-energy project deal with KEO; Electric cars charging industry sees $4.8bn investment this year

NRG Matters — UAE’s Tadweer signs gas-to-energy project deal with KEO; Electric cars charging industry sees $4.8bn investment this year

RIYADH: Abu Dhabi Waste Management Center, Known as Tadweer, has signed a consultancy agreement with KEO International Consultants to conduct a feasibility study for extracting greenhouse gases from Al-Dhafra landfill and converting them into green energy. 

This is in line with the centre's plan to achieve an efficient waste management system and use the best methods for processing and handling waste, according to Trade Arabia. 

Solar power

UK’s renewable energy developer TuNur is planning to invest $1.5 billion in building an export-oriented solar power plant in Tunisia with a capacity of 500 MW.

The plan was announced by the company's CEO Daniel Rich during a meeting with Tunisia’s Minister of Economy and Planning Samir Saied,  Reuters reported citing the Tunisian state news agency TAP.

Electric car-charging industry

Investment in the electric car-charging industry has grown this year, with over $4.8 billion in roll-out announcements, investment, debt financing and acquisitions.

This has been driven by the fast growth and huge availability of government funds, Bloomberg reported. 


GASCO mulls JV to set up composite cylinder factory with UK’s Aburi Composites

GASCO mulls JV to set up composite cylinder factory with UK’s Aburi Composites
Updated 17 August 2022

GASCO mulls JV to set up composite cylinder factory with UK’s Aburi Composites

GASCO mulls JV to set up composite cylinder factory with UK’s Aburi Composites

RIYADH: National Gas and Industrialization Co., or GASCO, is studying the feasibility of partnering with UK’s Aburi Composites and Saudi-based Front End Co. to operate a joint cylinder factory.

Once the deal is finalized, the joint factory will be specialized in manufacturing composite cylinders, Nomu-listed GASCO said in a bourse filing.

This aligns with its strategy and experience in the gas supply chain, strengthening its investments in gas supply chains and enhancing localization opportunities.

UK-based Aburi Composites is a leading supplier of composite fiberglass cylinders, while Front End provides advisory services to support the expansion of international companies.


Macro Snapshot — UK inflation tops 10%, Dutch economy grows 2.6 percent in Q2

Macro Snapshot — UK inflation tops 10%, Dutch economy grows 2.6 percent in Q2
Updated 17 August 2022

Macro Snapshot — UK inflation tops 10%, Dutch economy grows 2.6 percent in Q2

Macro Snapshot — UK inflation tops 10%, Dutch economy grows 2.6 percent in Q2

CAIRO: UK’s inflation topped 10 percent recording its highest rate since 1982.

British consumer price inflation jumped to 10.1 percent in July, its highest since February 1982, up from an annual rate of 9.4 percent in June, intensifying the squeeze on households, official figures showed on Wednesday.

The increase was above all economists’ forecasts in a Reuters poll for inflation to rise to 9.8 percent in July, and will do nothing to ease the Bank of England’s concerns that price pressures may become entrenched. 

Spain’s public debt-to-GDP ratio

Spain’s public debt ended the second quarter at the equivalent of 116.8 percent of gross domestic product, the Bank of Spain said on Wednesday.

Spain’s debt-to-GDP ratio at the end of June was lower than the 117.7 percent registered in March and below the 118.7 percent at the end of 2021, the central bank said.

Dutch economy grows 

Economic growth in the Netherlands surprisingly jumped to 2.6 percent in the second quarter compared with the previous three months, as household spending boomed despite soaring inflation and companies increased their investments.

The strong expansion confounded expectations among economists that growth would remain at roughly the same 0.5 percent pace seen in the first quarter of 2022.

“These numbers show that, despite recent worries, a recession is not yet in sight,” Statistics Netherlands chief economist Peter Hein van Mulligen said.

US retail sales flat 

US retail sales were unchanged in July as declining gasoline prices weighed on receipts at service stations, but consumer spending appeared to holding up, which could further assuage fears that the economy was already in recession.

The Commerce Department on Wednesday said that retail sales’ flat reading last month followed a downwardly revised 0.8 percent increase in June. Retail sales in June were previously reported to have advanced 1.0 percent.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast that sales would gain 0.1 percent, with estimates ranging from as low as a 0.3 percent decline to as high as a 0.9 percent increase. Retail sales are mostly goods and are not adjusted for inflation.

(With input from Reuters)