Saudi Arabia needs private investments to keep logistics on the move: NIDLP CEO

Exclusive Saudi Arabia needs private investments to keep logistics on the move: NIDLP CEO
Saudi Arabia's Jeddah port (Shutterstock)
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Updated 14 June 2022

Saudi Arabia needs private investments to keep logistics on the move: NIDLP CEO

Saudi Arabia needs private investments to keep logistics on the move: NIDLP CEO

RIYADH: “Saudi Arabia’s logistics sector needs a huge investment combined between the government and private sector by 2030, as Vision 2030 targets to become a global logistic hub,” said Sulaiman Al-Mazroua, CEO of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program.

During an exclusive interview with Arab News, Al-Mazroua said that upgrading the existing ports will help the Kingdom serve three continents: Asia, Africa, and Europe. He added that the Kingdom would provide the right environment and regulations to attract world transportation companies which will help Saudi Arabia emerge as one of the world’s busiest logistics centers.

He added: “We still need more upgrading to some of our facilities, including our airports and ports.” 




Suliman Al-Mazroua, CEO of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program. (AN)

The vitality of SMEs

Al-Mazroua added that small and medium enterprises in the Kingdom should develop innovative technological ideas to fill gaps in logistics. 

He noted that tapping into cutting-edge technologies is necessary to achieve the Vision 2030 goal of becoming an industrial powerhouse and global logistics hub.

“This area (technology) in logistics, specifically, is very attractive to small and medium businesses, and innovation in that area is extremely open. So with more SMEs coming in to fill gaps in logistics, you will need less time and cost to produce. And whenever there’s competition, innovation comes to play,” Al-Mazroua told Arab News.

We will be capitalizing on our smart youth

Suliman Al-Mazroua, CEO of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program

Prime Movers of Logistics

He also noted that  Saudi Arabia is capitalizing on its youth to revolutionize the sector, in addition to cooperating with private companies.

“We will be capitalizing on our smart and capable youth. And our government will enable this logistic hub with the infrastructure requirements. The private sector be an important partner with its technologies. We have seen Apple and Amazon come up with own their technologies. We also have major Saudi companies in the technology field developing their own.”

Strategic Location for A Global Logistics Hub

According to Al-Mazroua, Saudi Arabia’s geographical location is a crucial factor that could elevate the country’s spot on the logistics map in the future.

The Kingdom lies in a strategic location between the three continents, on the coast of the Red Sea, where more than 13 percent of the world’s logistic traffic passes yearly

Talking about the plans to transform the Kingdom into a top global logistics hub, he said, “Privatization of the ports with free zones will attract the right investments, build the right regulations and policies for investors to come and get connected with the world through trade agreements. So that is just a summary of our plans guided by Vision 2030, an ambitious yet achievable blueprint for our future.”


Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum rise; Celsius prepares for bankruptcy; $100m heist hits crypto firm Harmony

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum rise; Celsius prepares for bankruptcy; $100m heist hits crypto firm Harmony
Updated 39 sec ago

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum rise; Celsius prepares for bankruptcy; $100m heist hits crypto firm Harmony

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum rise; Celsius prepares for bankruptcy; $100m heist hits crypto firm Harmony

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded higher on Sunday, rising by 0.93 percent to $21,420.15 as of 8:10 a.m. Riyadh time.

Ethereum, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $1,237.88, rising by 1.38 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

Celsius Network hires advisers to prepare for bankruptcy 

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Celsius Network LLC hired restructuring experts from Alvarez & Marsal to advise on a potential bankruptcy filing.

Early this month, the New Jersey-based cryptocurrency lending company froze withdrawals and transfers due to “extreme” market conditions.

CoinDesk reported that Goldman Sachs plans to raise $2 billion from investors to buy Celsius’ distressed assets.

If the cryptocurrency lender files for bankruptcy, investors can buy the assets at potential discounts, according to a report citing two sources.

As of last month, Celsius had assets worth $11.8 billion.

Investors have dumped risky assets amid fears that rate hikes could plunge the economy into recession, leading to extreme volatility in digital assets in recent months.

A $100 million heist hits US crypto firm Harmony

In the latest cyber heist on a long-targeted sector, US-based crypto firm Harmony said hackers stole around $100 million in digital coins from one of its key products, Reuters reported.

The company develops blockchains for decentralized finance, peer-to-peer sites offering loans and other services without banks’ traditional gatekeepers, and non-fungible tokens.

According to the company, the heist targeted its Horizon bridge, which transfers crypto between different blockchains.

According to Harmony, it has been working with forensic experts and national authorities to identify the culprit and retrieve the stolen funds.

Harmony said its global team was “working around the clock to address the issue.”

According to Elliptic, which tracks publicly visible blockchain data, the hackers stole Ether, Tether, and USD Coin from Harmony, which they later traded for ether using decentralized exchanges.

(With inputs from Reuters)

 

 


Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Sunday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Sunday
Updated 4 min 31 sec ago

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Sunday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Sunday

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's stock market declined to one of its lowest levels in months last week due to concerns that rising interest rates could push the global economy into recession.

TASI, the main index, fell for a second consecutive day on Thursday to end 0.1 percent lower at 11,311 points, while the parallel Nomu market added 0.4 percent to 20,728.

Qatar led the fall in the Gulf with a 1.6 percent decline, followed by a 1.1 percent drop in Dubai’s stock index.

Stock exchanges of Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait all lost between 0.2 and 0.7 percent.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s index EGX30 closed 01.8 percent lower.

Oil prices rose on Friday, buoyed by tight supply. Brent crude settled at $113.12 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate reached $107.62 a barrel.

Stock news

Mouwasat Medical Services Co. closed a SR295 million ($79 million) deal with Tareg Al-Jaafari Contracting Co. for the construction of a hospital in Yanbu industrial city

Methanol Chemicals Co. said it would pay SR273 million in total as an early loan repayment to the Saudi Industrial Development Fund and lending banks

The Saudi Stock Exchange will launch futures trading on single stocks on July 4, as its second derivatives product after introducing index futures in late 2020

Calendar

June 26, 2022

Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co.’s subscription to new shares ends

June 27, 2022

End of Alamar Foods’ IPO book-building

Retal Urban Development Co. will start trading its shares on TASI

June 28, 2022

End of the Saudi Investment Bank’s Sukuk offering

July 4, 2022

Start of single-stock futures trading on Tadawul


Saudi Exchange to allow single-stock futures in July on selected shares to bolster liquidity

Saudi Exchange to allow single-stock futures in July on selected shares to bolster liquidity
Updated 38 min 22 sec ago

Saudi Exchange to allow single-stock futures in July on selected shares to bolster liquidity

Saudi Exchange to allow single-stock futures in July on selected shares to bolster liquidity

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange will launch futures trading on single stocks on July 4, amid efforts to bolster liquidity and lure investors into the region’s biggest bourse.

It added that the first tranche of the futures contracts will include Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Aramco, Saudi National Bank, Alinma Bank, SABIC, Saudi Kayan, Saudi Telecom Co., Saudi Electricity Co., Almarai, and Ma’aden. 

A single-stock future is a type of futures contract between two parties to exchange a specified number of stocks in a company for a price agreed today with delivery occurring at a specified future date.

The move will “enable local and international investors to hedge and manage portfolio risks more effectively as well as diversify products available for trading and hedging in the market,” Tadawul said in a statement.

Single-stock futures will be the second derivatives product on the Kingdom’s bourse, after the launch of index futures in late 2020.


Oil Updates — Oil settled up; G7 considering ways of capping Russian oil price; US drillers add oil and gas rigs for a record 23 months

Oil Updates — Oil settled up; G7 considering ways of capping Russian oil price; US drillers add oil and gas rigs for a record 23 months
Updated 53 min 26 sec ago

Oil Updates — Oil settled up; G7 considering ways of capping Russian oil price; US drillers add oil and gas rigs for a record 23 months

Oil Updates — Oil settled up; G7 considering ways of capping Russian oil price; US drillers add oil and gas rigs for a record 23 months

RIYADH: Oil prices settled up by more than $3 a barrel on Friday, supported by tight supply, but they notched their second weekly decline on concern that rising interest rates could push the world economy into recession.

Brent crude settled up $3.07, or 2.8 percent, at $113.12 a barrel by 12:10 p.m. EDT. US West Texas Intermediate crude settled up $3.35, or 3.2 percent, at $107.62.

No government guidance on pricing policy: Incoming Petrobras CEO 

The incoming CEO of Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras told a corporate committee he has not received any guidance from the government on changing the firm’s fuel pricing policy, a document showed on Saturday.

Caio Mario Paes de Andrade, a former economy ministry official appointed by President Jair Bolsonaro to run Petrobras, was approved by the eligibility committee on Friday, a key step for him to take the reins of the company.

The minutes of the meeting, published by Petrobras on Saturday, showed the committee had asked Andrade about the company’s pricing policy, a topic that helped bring down three CEOs during Bolsonaro’s tenure as price hikes created tensions with the far-right leader.

“I have no specific or general guidance from the controlling shareholder or any other shareholder in the sense of changing the company’s pricing policy,” Andrade said.

He is on the verge of taking over as CEO a month after he was named by Bolsonaro, awaiting a board vote on June 27.

G7 considering ways of capping Russian oil price

Leaders of the Group of Seven rich democracies are having “very constructive” discussions on a possible cap on Russian oil imports, a German government official said on Saturday shortly before the start of the annual three-day G7 summit.

The proposal is part of broader G7 discussions on how to further crank up the pressure on the Kremlin over its invasion of Ukraine without stoking global inflationary pressures.

The Ukraine war, energy and food shortages and the darkening global economic outlook are expected to dominate the agenda of the summit that is taking place this year in Schloss Elmau, an alpine castle resort in southern Germany.

The US, Canada and Britain have already banned imports of Russian oil while EU leaders have agreed on an embargo that will take full effect by the end-2022 as part of sanctions on the Kremlin over its invasion of Ukraine.

With energy prices soaring though, the West fears such embargoes will not actually put a dent in Russia’s war chest as the country earns more from exports even as volumes fall.

A price cap could solve that dilemma, while also avoiding further restricting oil supply and fueling inflation, officials say, but for it to work, it requires buy-in from heavy importers like India and China.

“We are on a good path to reach an agreement,” the official said.

The official said the G7 was also discussing the need to combine ambitious climate goals with the need for some countries to explore new gas fields as Europe rushed to wean itself off Russian gas imports.

US drillers add oil and gas rigs for a record 23 months

US energy firms this week added oil and natural gas rigs for a second week in a row, in a record 23-month streak of increases, as high crude prices and prodding by the government prompted drillers to return to the well pad.

The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, rose 13 to 753 in the week to June 24, its highest since March 2020, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co. said in its closely followed report on Friday.

Baker Hughes said that puts the total rig count up 283, or 60 percent, over this time last year.

US oil rigs rose 10 to 594 this week, their highest since March 2020, while gas rigs gained three to 157, their highest since September 2019.

That put the overall oil and gas rig count up for a record 23 months in a row, gaining 26 in June. It also put the count up for seven quarters in a row, the longest streak of gains since 2011.

The oil rig count was up for a record 22 months in a row, rising 20 in June. It also increased for the seventh quarter, the most quarters since 2012.

The gas rig count rose by six in June, rising for a 10th month in a row, tying the record set in May 2010. It also put the gas count up for seven quarters in a row, matching the record set in 2004.

(With inputs from Reuters) 

 


NATO summit host Spain seeks focus on southern security

NATO summit host Spain seeks focus on southern security
Updated 26 June 2022

NATO summit host Spain seeks focus on southern security

NATO summit host Spain seeks focus on southern security
  • When NATO leaders convene in Madrid on June 28-30 they are due to revamp the alliance’s strategic concept

MADRID: Spain is lobbying for NATO to pay more attention to security threats on its southern flank when the military alliance gathers for a summit in Madrid later this week.
But with the war in Ukraine entering its fifth month, the priority for Spain’s NATO partners remains firmly on deterring Russian in the east.
When NATO leaders convene in Madrid on June 28-30 they are due to revamp the alliance’s strategic concept, which outlines its main security tasks and challenges but has not been revised since 2010.
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares has been pushing for NATO to broaden its scope to help deal with non-military threats such as “the political use of energy resources and illegal immigration” in Africa.
“The threats are as much from the southern flank as from the eastern flank,” he told a Madrid news conference on Wednesday.
Madrid is also concerned about lawlessness and violent Islamist movements in the Sahel region, a vast territory stretching across the south of the Sahara Desert.
“We have this war in Europe, but the situation in Africa is really worrying,” said Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles.
The issue is particularly acute for Spain, a main gateway into Europe for irregular migration from Africa and a country which relies on Algeria for gas supplies.
Last year Morocco allowed thousands of migrants to enter Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta during a diplomatic crisis over the disputed Western Sahara, prompting Madrid to accuse Rabat of “blackmail.”
Although the two countries recently normalized their relations after Spain ended its decades-long position of neutrality over Western Sahara to publicly support Morocco’s stance, the migration crisis hasn’t come to an end.
On Friday at dawn, around 2,000 African migrants tried to storm the border with Melilla, the other Spanish enclave on Morocco’s northern coast. At least 23 died in the incursion, making it the deadliest incident to occur at the borders of the two Spanish enclaves — the only borders between the EU and Africa.
And earlier this month Morocco’s arch-rival Algeria suspended a co-operation treaty with Spain in response to Madrid’s U-turn over Western Sahara.
But with an active conflict on NATO’s eastern flank, it is going to be “an uphill struggle” to convince member states to make a commitment to the southern flank, said Sinan Ulgen, a NATO expert at the Carnegie Europe think-tank in Brussels.
“The war in Ukraine has changed the equation. The threat from Russia has become the main preoccupation for almost all the countries,” the former Turkish diplomat said.
In Washington, US national security spokesman John Kirby said “the focus right now is on the eastern flank.”
“But there remains a continued effort to make sure we are also paying attention to the southern flank,” he added.
In an interview published Saturday by Spanish daily El Pais, NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said the Alliance would “strengthen (its) cooperation with southern countries,” mentioning Mauritania in particular.
Aside from Russia, Washington’s other major concern is China, which is expected to be mentioned in NATO’s strategic concept for the first time.
To try to convince its NATO allies, Spain has sounded the alarm over the growing presence of Russian mercenaries in African nations like Mali and the Central African Republic, arguing instability could increase African migration to Europe.
Madrid has also suggested that Russia was behind Spain’s recent diplomatic spat with Algeria.
“Unfortunately the threats from the south are increasingly Russian threats from the south,” Albares said.
Ulgen said that another difficulty is that while other southern European nations want a greater NATO engagement in Africa, they have different priorities, making it hard to set a common alliance-led strategy.
“Rome, Paris, Madrid, Ankara still assess the political and security challenges differently. That is the fundamental reason why there is not a stronger push for NATO to have a bigger role” in the southern flank, said Ulgen.
In addition, many top US policymakers believe NATO should focus on territorial defense, not non-conventional threats, said Angel Saz, the director of the Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics at Spain’s Esade business school.
“And the only threat to territorial defense is Russia. The Sahel can destabilize Europe, but it will not conquer Spain or Italy,” he said.
Spain has “perhaps put too much emphasis” on the call for a greater NATO role in the southern flank and “it runs the risk of under accomplishing,” he added.