Macro Snapshot — Spain’s May jobless claims fall to lowest since 2008; Ukraine raises key rate to 25 percent

Spain added 33,366 net jobs during the month, separate data from the Social Security Ministry showed.  Reuters/File
Spain added 33,366 net jobs during the month, separate data from the Social Security Ministry showed. Reuters/File
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Updated 02 June 2022

Macro Snapshot — Spain’s May jobless claims fall to lowest since 2008; Ukraine raises key rate to 25 percent

Macro Snapshot — Spain’s May jobless claims fall to lowest since 2008; Ukraine raises key rate to 25 percent

RIYADH: Spain’s number of jobless claims dropped 3.29 percent in May reaching its lowest level since 2008. 

The number of people registering as jobless in Spain fell 3.29 percent in May from April, by 99,512 people, leaving 2.92 million people out of work, the lowest number since November 2008, when the financial crisis hit the country, Labour Ministry’s data showed on Thursday.

The total number of jobless had not dropped below three million people since December 2008.

Spain added 33,366 net jobs during the month, separate data from the Social Security Ministry showed. The number of formal jobs had already hit an all-time record in April.

Ukraine raises key rate 

Ukraine sharply hiked its main interest rate to 25 percent from 10 percent on Thursday, tightening monetary policy for the first time since the Russian invasion to tackle double digit inflation and protect incomes and savings during the war.

Ukraine had frozen its key interest rate at 10 percent following Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24 despite surging inflation, citing the high level of uncertainty and limited effect of monetary transmission in wartime.

US productivity tumbles

US worker productivity fell at its steepest pace since 1947 in the first quarter, while growth in unit labor costs accelerated, the government confirmed on Thursday, signs that strong wage gains will likely persist and contribute to inflation staying uncomfortably high for a while.

Nonfarm productivity, which measures hourly output per worker, tumbled at a 7.3 percent annualized rate last quarter, the deepest since the third quarter of 1947, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That was an upward revision to the 7.5 percent pace of decline estimated last month.

Productivity grew at a 6.3 percent rate in the fourth quarter.

Unit labor costs — the price of labor per single unit of output — accelerated at a 12.6 percent rate. That was revised up from the 11.6 percent growth pace reported in May and followed a 3.9 percent expansion rate in the October-December quarter.

Pakistan’s central bank reserves fall 

The State Bank of Pakistan said on Thursday that its liquid foreign exchange reserves had fallen by $366 million to $9.7 billion.

In the week to May 27, reserves decreased due to an external debt repayment, the bank said in a press release.

Total liquid foreign reserves stood at $15.7 billion, of which commercial banks held 6 billion.

(With input from Reuters)


Qatar sees 12-fold jump in surplus on energy profit

Qatar sees 12-fold jump in surplus on energy profit
(Getty)
Updated 17 sec ago

Qatar sees 12-fold jump in surplus on energy profit

Qatar sees 12-fold jump in surplus on energy profit

RIYADH: Qatar witnessed a 12-fold jump in its budget surplus to 47.3 billion riyals ($12.8 billion) in the first half of 2022, compared to 4 billion riyals in the same period last year, driven by soaring energy revenues.

Oil and gas revenue surged 58 percent to 150.7 billion riyals during the period, recompensating the increased government spending on wages and salaries, Bloomberg reported citing data.

Qatar revenues are mainly generated by long-term contracts to supply liquefied natural gas, typically tied to the price of oil. 

The Gulf country is benefiting from Europe’s interest in diversifying its gas supply away from Russia in the long-term. Qatar tries to tie up buyers for new LNG contracts for very long period, Bloomberg said.

The International Monetary Fund projected the country’s economy will grow 5.4 percent this year and generate a surplus equivalent to about $45 billion. 

Qatar is preparing to host this year’s soccer World Cup.

The World Cup organizers have said they’re anticipating a $17 billion boost to the country from hosting the soccer tournament.


Abu Dhabi eyes double money through Miami Hotel record selling price

Abu Dhabi eyes double money through Miami Hotel record selling price
(Shutterstock)
Updated 8 min 1 sec ago

Abu Dhabi eyes double money through Miami Hotel record selling price

Abu Dhabi eyes double money through Miami Hotel record selling price

RIYADH: Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund is exploring the sale of the Miami Beach Edition Hotel in which the property could fetch more than $580 million, as it is seeking to more than double its money.

This deal would mark a record on a price-per-room basis for the Miami market, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter.

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, also known as ADIA, acquired the Edition for $230 million in 2015 from Marriott International. 

The hotel has 294 rooms and suites including oceanfront bungalows, and restaurants designed by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, according to its website.

ADIA is working on exploring the interest of potential buyers with an adviser, one of the people said, asking to be anonymous. ADIA spokesman declined to comment to Bloomberg. 


Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan sign agreement in the energy field

Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan sign agreement in the energy field
Updated 19 August 2022

Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan sign agreement in the energy field

Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan sign agreement in the energy field

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy signed a memorandum of understanding with its Uzbek counterpart on August 18, to develop cooperation and exchange information and experiences between both countries, in the energy field, Saudi Press Agency reported.

This comes on the second day of the Saudi-Uzbek Business Council in Jeddah, that was held on the sidelines of the visit of the Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the Kingdom.

This deal covers the areas of petroleum, gas, electricity, renewable energy, energy efficiency, petrochemicals, and hydrogen.

It also includes the circular carbon economy and its technologies with the aim of limiting the effects of climate change, such as carbon capture, reuse, transport and storage.

Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan have already signed over 10 investment agreements, worth over SR45 billion ($12 billion), on Wednesday, covering different sectors.


IsDB, Uzbekistan strengthen cooperation

IsDB, Uzbekistan strengthen cooperation
Updated 19 August 2022

IsDB, Uzbekistan strengthen cooperation

IsDB, Uzbekistan strengthen cooperation

JEDDAH: Islamic Development Bank President Mohammed Al-Jasser met with Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on August 18 to discuss strengthening cooperation between both parties, Saudi Press Agency reported.

A letter of intent was signed during the meeting to provide a framework for facilitating cooperation, promoting rapid processing and approval of projects and operations that are part of the work program of the IsDB Group for Uzbekistan in 2022.

The meeting comes on the second day of the Uzbek President's visit to the Kingdom.

Mirziyoyev stressed that his government has implemented comprehensive reforms with the aim of improving the business and investment environment, enhancing regional cooperation, improving the agricultural sector, and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship to reach the goal of achieving dignity for all people by 2026.

Both parties reviewed views on the National Development Strategy of Uzbekistan 2026, and agreed on the need to align the bank's country strategy with the national document, a task that will be worked on as a priority, according to Al-Jasser.

The two sides also emphasized the need to facilitate the joining of more co-financiers to participate in financing larger projects.


Standard Chartered appoints Ayesha Abbas UAE Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking 

Standard Chartered appoints Ayesha Abbas UAE Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking 
Updated 19 August 2022

Standard Chartered appoints Ayesha Abbas UAE Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking 

Standard Chartered appoints Ayesha Abbas UAE Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking 

RIYADH: Standard Chartered Bank appointed on Friday Ayesha Abbas as Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking in the UAE. 

Abbas will be responsible for executing the bank’s strategy and building the business in the retail banking business across the UAE, a statement showed.

She will also focus on growing the Bank’s digital offering, wealth management and affluent proposition in addition to strengthening client relationships. 

Abbas has over two decades of experience spanning wealth management, priority and consumer banking. 

She joined Standard Chartered in February 2019 serving as General Manager, Head of Priority and Premium Banking and Branch Network in the UAE, also covering Pakistan, Oman and key African markets. 

Prior to joining Standard Chartered, Abbas spent 18 years at HSBC, the statement said.