Macro Snapshot — Canada’s Q1 growth disappoints; China services activities shrink 

Canada's economic growth was not as robust as expected in the first quarter, dragged by lower export volumes.
Canada's economic growth was not as robust as expected in the first quarter, dragged by lower export volumes.
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Updated 31 May 2022

Macro Snapshot — Canada’s Q1 growth disappoints; China services activities shrink 

Macro Snapshot — Canada’s Q1 growth disappoints; China services activities shrink 

RIYADH: Canada’s first quarter growth reportedly missed the mark mainly due to a drop in export volumes. The Czech economy expanded quicker than expected in the first quarter driven by household consumption whereas China’s services sector activity contracted less sharply in May. Portugal’s May inflation level recorded the highest in almost 30 years, while French inflation hit a new record of 5.8 percent in May.

Canada’s growth

Canada's economic growth was not as robust as expected in the first quarter, dragged by lower export volumes, official data showed on Tuesday, though activity was bang-on central bank projections and unlikely to sway plans for an oversized rate hike in June.

The Canadian economy grew at an annualized rate of 3.1 percent in the first quarter, below analyst predictions of 5.4 percent but in line with the Bank of Canada’s forecast of 3 percent, Statistics Canada data showed.

Real gross domestic product likely rose 0.2 percent in April, preliminary data showed, as a drop in resale real estate activity was offset by gains in mining and oil and gas. March GDP rose 0.7 percent, beating expectations of 0.5 percent.

Czech economy grows faster 

The Czech economy expanded faster than expected in the first quarter, with household consumption a main growth driver before high inflation and interest rate hikes expected this year trigger a slowdown.

The Czech economy posted 0.9 percent quarter-on-quarter growth in the first three months of 2022, higher than a flash estimate of 0.7 percent. In year-on-year terms, growth reached 4.8 percent, above the preliminary estimate of 4.6 percent reported last month.

Central Europe’s economies have started 2022 in high gear, propelled largely by home-grown demand after COVID-induced lockdowns ended, while companies are still working through global supply disruptions and soaring energy and material costs.

But a slowdown is coming, with firms continuing to face constraints and consumers becoming more pessimistic amid price growth at its highest in decades, fast-rising borrowing costs and utility bills, and new uncertainties due to war in Ukraine.

Portugal inflation soars

Portuguese consumer prices spiked 8 percent year-on-year in May, at their fastest pace since February 1993, after rising 7.2 percent in April, flash data from the National Statistics Institute showed on Tuesday.

Core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, clocked 5.6 percent year-on-year, its highest level since October 1994.

Sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine last month have pushed energy prices to record highs across Europe, stoking overall inflation and sapping confidence.

China’s services sector 

China’s services activity shrank less sharply in May, an official survey showed on Tuesday, as COVID-19 restrictions in some cities were relaxed.

The official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 47.8 in May, from 41.9 in April, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

A reading above the 50-point mark indicates expansion in activity while a reading below indicates contraction.

Even with an easing in COVID-19 curbs across China, consumers likely avoided shopping and dining out due to fears of contracting COVID-19 and potentially being quarantined.

(With input from Reuters)


Macro Snapshot — China unexpectedly cuts key rates as economic data disappoints; Japan’s economy expands

Macro Snapshot — China unexpectedly cuts key rates as economic data disappoints; Japan’s economy expands
Updated 22 sec ago

Macro Snapshot — China unexpectedly cuts key rates as economic data disappoints; Japan’s economy expands

Macro Snapshot — China unexpectedly cuts key rates as economic data disappoints; Japan’s economy expands

CAIRO: China’s central bank cut key lending rates in a surprise move on Monday to revive demand as data showed the economy slowing in July, with factory and retail activity squeezed by Beijing’s zero-COVID policy and a property crisis.

The grim set of figures indicate the world’s second largest economy is struggling to shake off the June quarter’s hit to growth from strict COVID-19 restrictions, prompting some economists to downgrade their projections.

Egypt’s unemployment rate  

Egypt’s unemployment rate in April to June remained unchanged from the previous quarter at 7.2 percent, the country’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization And Statistics announced on Monday.

Thai GDP grows 

Thailand’s economy expanded at the fastest pace in a year in the second quarter as eased COVID-19 restrictions boosted activity and tourism, reinforcing views that more rate hikes will be needed to curb inflationary pressures.

The Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy is making a steady recovery after the lifting of pandemic curbs but still faces headwinds ranging from inflation at 14-year highs to China’s slowdown and weaker global demand. Read full story

The government slightly revised its 2022 economic growth forecast to 2.7 percent to 3.2 percent from an earlier 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent range. Last year’s 1.5 percent growth was among the slowest in Southeast Asia.

Japan’s economy expands

Japan’s economy expanded an annualized 2.2 percent in the April-June period to mark the third straight quarter of expansion on solid private consumption, government data showed on Monday.

The increase in gross domestic product was slower than a median market forecast for a 2.5 percent expansion. It translated into quarterly growth of 0.5 percent against market forecasts for a 0.6 percent rise.

Private consumption rose 1.1 percent in the April-June period from the previous quarter, compared with a median market forecast for a 1.3 percent increase, the data showed.

 

 


Fitch upgrades Oman rating to BB

Fitch upgrades Oman rating to BB
Updated 39 min 26 sec ago

Fitch upgrades Oman rating to BB

Fitch upgrades Oman rating to BB

DUBAI: Global rating agency Fitch Ratings upgraded the long-term foreign currency issuer default rating on Oman to BB from BB-.

The outlook on Oman is stable, Fitch said on Monday.

The agency said the upgrade “reflects significant improvements in Oman’s fiscal metrics, a lessening of external financing pressures and ongoing efforts to reform public finances.”

A relatively small crude producer when compared to its wealthier Gulf neighbors, Oman is more sensitive to oil price swings, meaning it was hit especially hard by the pandemic-driven price crash in 2020.

But higher oil prices this year along with fiscal reforms, Fitch said, will support the sultanate to register its first budget surplus since 2013 and contain debt levels over the next few years.

“Higher oil revenue will underpin budget surpluses in 2022 and 2023,” Fitch said.


IT consulting firm Saudi Networkers to list on Nomu on Aug. 17

IT consulting firm Saudi Networkers to list on Nomu on Aug. 17
Updated 15 August 2022

IT consulting firm Saudi Networkers to list on Nomu on Aug. 17

IT consulting firm Saudi Networkers to list on Nomu on Aug. 17

RIYADH: Saudi Networkers Services Co., a Riyadh-based technical consulting services provider, will list its shares on the Kingdom’s parallel Nomu market on Aug. 17, according to a bourse filing.

The initial public offering price was earlier set at SR71 ($19) per share, yielding strong demand from qualified investors with the IPO being 223 percent oversubscribed.

Led by Aldukheil Financial Group, the offering of 1.5 million shares, or a 25 percent stake, was limited to qualified investors.

Ahead of its IPO, Saudi Networkers posted a 28 percent drop in profit, from SR39.1 million to SR28.3 million, for the year 2021, due to a rise in the cost of revenue. 

 


MENA Project Tracker— ACWA bids on PPP projects; Kahramaa EOI on new project; Iraq requests bids on water dam

MENA Project Tracker— ACWA bids on PPP projects; Kahramaa EOI on new project; Iraq requests bids on water dam
Updated 15 August 2022

MENA Project Tracker— ACWA bids on PPP projects; Kahramaa EOI on new project; Iraq requests bids on water dam

MENA Project Tracker— ACWA bids on PPP projects; Kahramaa EOI on new project; Iraq requests bids on water dam

CAIRO: Saudi-based ACWA Power has submitted a bid to develop the Amaala Utilities Public-Private Partnership as part of the Amaala giga-tourism project in Saudi Arabia, reported Zawya.

ACWA Power has been going strong with bids on many projects, such as a solar photovoltaic independent power plant project in Uzbekistan, an independent water plant project in Saudi Arabia, and many more.

While the prolonged war has caused disruptions in the project's progress, ACWA said it is confident that its work will experience only a very minor delay.   

Kahramaa EOI on new project

Kahramaa— Qatar state utility General Electricity & Water Corporation—has received expressions of interest from developers for the planned Facility E independent water and power producer project.

While two consortiums and two other companies withdrew their EOI, Japan-based Marubeni Corp. has committed to its bid.

Moreover, Kahramaa is considering swapping out the original project for an independent water project instead, according to MEED.

Iraq requests bids on water dam

Iraq's Water Resources Ministry has requested bids from three companies— Serbian-based Energoprojekt, Italy’s Hydronova, and the Dutch Deltares Co.—for the construction of its $3.7 million water dam on the Southern Shatt Al-Arab River.

“The Ministry asked those companies to submit their bids for the first phase of the project before September 25,” according to Zawya.

 


NRG Matters — Share of renewables in Jordan’s energy mix jumps; India’s clean power industry may miss annual target

NRG Matters — Share of renewables in Jordan’s energy mix jumps; India’s clean power industry may miss annual target
Updated 15 August 2022

NRG Matters — Share of renewables in Jordan’s energy mix jumps; India’s clean power industry may miss annual target

NRG Matters — Share of renewables in Jordan’s energy mix jumps; India’s clean power industry may miss annual target

RIYADH: Jordan recorded a 3 percent hike in renewable energy’s share of its total energy mix since the beginning of 2022.

According to Jordan’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Saleh Al-Kharabsheh, renewable energy sources contributed 29 percent to the total power generation in the country up from 26 percent during the same period last year.

Al-Kharabsheh said the total installed capacity of electric power generation projects from renewable energy sources reached about 2,526 MW until the end of July 2022. 

India’s renewable energy target 

India will miss its renewable energy target for the end of the year, with experts saying “multiple challenges,” including a lack of financial help and taxes on imported components are stalling the clean energy industry.

The country has installed just over half of its planned renewable energy capacity, a high level parliamentary report found last week, according to AP News. 

Enlight’s JV

The publicly traded company, Enlight is planning to create a joint venture with Israeli natural gas producer, NewMed, to develop renewable energy projects in North Africa and the Middle East, Bloomberg reported. 

“The venture will exploit what we see as a very large opportunity in the region that began with natural gas, a development led to a large extent by NewMed,” Enlight CEO Gilad Yavetz told Bloomberg. 

The venture targets the region’s markets namely Saudi Arabia, Morocco, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Korean and Egypt. 

New Zealand’s Contact Energy

New Zealand's Contact Energy said it would spend $300 million New Zealand dollar ($193.29 million) to build a 51.4 MW geothermal power unit near its Te Huka power station in Taupo.

The investment would help bolster the firm’s renewable power generation amid high demand, according to Reuters.