SARCO plans to build the world's largest algae farm, says chairman 

SARCO plans to build the world's largest algae farm, says chairman 
SARCO has signed an alternative energy development agreement with Christoph Global. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 23 June 2022

SARCO plans to build the world's largest algae farm, says chairman 

SARCO plans to build the world's largest algae farm, says chairman 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia Refineries company plans to build the world's largest algae farm on 1,400 hectares of land, Chairman Aiad Mohammad Mushaikh told Asharq. 

He said SARCO has signed an alternative energy development agreement with Christoph Global, adding that the agreement is very important for their entry into investments in this sector.

The benefit that the Kingdom will gain from this project is that it will help reduce carbon emissions by a very large percentage while providing many job opportunities for Saudi youth, Meshaikh added.


US Stocks — Futures up as easing price pressures set Wall St. for weekly gains

US Stocks — Futures up as easing price pressures set Wall St. for weekly gains
Updated 12 August 2022

US Stocks — Futures up as easing price pressures set Wall St. for weekly gains

US Stocks — Futures up as easing price pressures set Wall St. for weekly gains

BENGALURU: US stock index futures rose on Friday, setting the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq for a fourth straight week of gains on easing bets of another super-sized interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

The S&P 500 is up 15 percent from mid-June, with the latest boost coming from a slower-than-expected rise in consumer prices and a surprise drop in producer prices in July.

The benchmark index is within sight of a 50 percent retracement of its bear market loss and investors are watching the 4,231 level. The index last closed at 4,207.27.

While policymakers remain firm about a further tightening in monetary policy until inflation pressures fully abate, traders see a 63.5 percent chance of the Fed raising rates by 50 basis points next month instead of a 75 basis points hike.

The Fed has raised its policy rate by 225 basis points since March as it battles to cool demand without sparking a sharp rise in layoffs.

High-growth and technology stocks such as Tesla and Nvidia rose 1 percent each in trading before the bell as investors flocked back to riskier assets.

Growth stocks have underpeformed their value counterparts so far this year on worries that rising Treasury yields due to aggressive rate hikes will pressure their valuation.

Investors bought $7.1 billion in equities in the week to Wednesday, according to a Bank of America note, with US growth stocks recording their largest weekly inflow since December last year.

Meanwhile, banks looked set to extend their rally for sixth straight week, with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs gaining 0.4 percent each in premarket trading.

At 07:28 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 106 points, or 0.32 percent, S&P 500 e-minis were up 13.75 points, or 0.33 percent, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 42 points, or 0.32 percent.

Rivian Automotive Inc. slipped 0.2 percent even as the electric-vehicle maker reported better-than-expected second quarter revenue.

The University of Michigan’s preliminary survey of consumer sentiment for August is expected at 10:00 am ET. 


Gold eyes fourth straight weekly gain on dollar weakness

Gold eyes fourth straight weekly gain on dollar weakness
Updated 12 August 2022

Gold eyes fourth straight weekly gain on dollar weakness

Gold eyes fourth straight weekly gain on dollar weakness

LONDON: Gold prices inched lower on Friday but were still on track for a weekly rise, as an overall weakness in the dollar offset pressure from an uptick in bond yields and expectations of further rate hikes from the US Federal Reserve.

Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,786.06 per ounce, as of 1200 GMT.

Bullion was still headed for its fourth straight weekly gain, up nearly 1 percent in its longest weekly rally in almost a year.

US gold futures fell 0.3 percent to $1,801.10.

The dollar edged 0.4 percent higher on the day, but was down about 1 percent for the week.

A weaker greenback makes bullion less expensive for overseas buyers.

“Inflation easing a little has aided gold’s rally to $1,800. But risk assets were quickly preferred and gold’s rally stalled. If risk appetite fades over the next couple of weeks, that could support a move above $1,800,” OANDA analyst Craig Erlam said.

Market participants have toned down expectations of an aggressive rate hike by the Fed after cooler-than-expected inflation data released earlier this week.

However, recent comments by some Fed officials continue to highlight a hawkish tilt. Gold’s appeal tends to dim amid high-interest rate environment, as the metal yields no interest.

Fed’s Mary Daly said on Thursday that while a half-percentage-point interest rate hike in September “makes sense,” she is open to the possibility of a bigger hike.

“The ongoing tightening of monetary policy is still having a braking effect on gold... Market participants remain correspondingly cautious and have been withdrawing funds from the gold ETFs of late,” Commerzbank said in a note.

Weighing on gold, US Treasury yields hovered near a three-week high.

Spot silver fell 0.1 percent to $20.28 per ounce, palladium slipped 1.5 percent to $2,242.90. Platinum fell 0.8 percent to $948.29 per ounce.


Egypt in preliminary talks to raise $2.5bn amid intensifying economic pressure: Bloomberg

Egypt in preliminary talks to raise $2.5bn amid intensifying economic pressure: Bloomberg
Updated 12 August 2022

Egypt in preliminary talks to raise $2.5bn amid intensifying economic pressure: Bloomberg

Egypt in preliminary talks to raise $2.5bn amid intensifying economic pressure: Bloomberg

RIYADH: Egypt is in talks with regional and international banks as it ponders a loan of around $2.5 billion to relieve growing economic pressure, Bloomberg reported citing people with knowledge of the plans.

Government officials said they had no information on the issue, and the sources quoted by Bloomberg said that discussions may not result in a deal.

First Abu Dhabi Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank are leading the loan discussions and have invited other banks to participate, they added.

Two of the people said that the borrowing is expected to be priced at around 400 basis points over the three-month secured overnight financing rate.

Egypt is seeking to garner $41 billion to pay for its current account deficit and maturing debt by the end of 2023, Bloomberg said.

The African country needs to urgently secure more foreign currency in its $400 billion economy to plug gaping deficits.

The world's largest wheat importer has been hit hard by the soaring oil and commodity prices, and by the loss of tourists from Russia and Ukraine, leading to pressure on the country and pushing it to seek International Monetary Fund assistance.  

Egypt has also secured financing from the Gulf, with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar pledging more than $22 billion in deposits and investments in the struggling economy.

The Saudi Egyptian Investment Co., a company wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund, acquired minority stakes in four Egyptian companies for $1.3 billion earlier this week.

This deal comes as part of the Kingdom’s commitment to channel resources.


Emaar to buy Dubai Creek Harbour from Dubai Holding for $2bn, half in shares

Emaar to buy Dubai Creek Harbour from Dubai Holding for $2bn, half in shares
Updated 12 August 2022

Emaar to buy Dubai Creek Harbour from Dubai Holding for $2bn, half in shares

Emaar to buy Dubai Creek Harbour from Dubai Holding for $2bn, half in shares

RIYADH: Dubai's biggest listed developer, Emaar Properties, will acquire Dubai Creek Harbour from Dubai Holding for 7.5 billion dirhams ($2 billion).

The deal, to be paid equally in cash and shares of Emaar Properties, will make Dubai Holding the second largest shareholder of Emaar, the company said in a statement.

Emaar recorded sales of 4.2 billion dirhams in 2021 and 3.6 billion dirhams sales in Dubai Creek Harbour in the first half of 2022. 

Located along the historic Dubai Creek waterfront, Dubai Creek Harbour has approximately 100 million sq. ft of future development which will provide future profit potential to Emaar, the statement said.

“We are pleased to announce the sale of Dubai Creek Harbour to Emaar, subject to finalisation,” a spokesperson of Dubai Holding said.

“We look forward to our investment in Emaar as a reference shareholder and the diversification benefits it offers, and we are confident that Dubai Creek Harbour will continue to reach greater heights and success,” the spokesperson said.

“We are determined to support the Government’s vision for sustainable urban development in Dubai while providing a redefined experience for residents and visitors,” a spokesperson of Emaar said.

Emaar Properties is a global property developer, with a land bank of 1.7 billion sq. ft. in the UAE and key international markets. 

The developer has delivered over 86,200 residential units in Dubai and other global markets since 2002.


SISCO sticking to expansion plans despite huge profit drop: CEO

SISCO sticking to expansion plans despite huge profit drop: CEO
Updated 12 August 2022

SISCO sticking to expansion plans despite huge profit drop: CEO

SISCO sticking to expansion plans despite huge profit drop: CEO

RIYADH: Saudi Industrial Services Co. is going to push ahead with its expansion plans despite seeing its profits plunge 93 percent in the first half of the year.

The firm’s CEO, Mohammed Al Mudarres, told Argaam that SISCO is continuing with its proposed strategy in acquisitions and expansion to achieve its strategic objectives for 2025 and 2026.

Al-Mudarres pointed out challenges in the port and logistics sector during the first half of the year, due to threats related to supply chains between China and Europe, rising shipping rates, and closures in China and shutdown of some plants.

While the firm pulled in just SR3.9 million in the first six months of 2022 compared to SR54.7 million during the same period the previous year, the second quarter of this year did see a rally in profits.

Gains over those three months stood at SR3.1 million, compared to SR0.8 million in the first quarter, driven by higher profitability at its subsidiary Kindasa Co. coupled with performance improvement from associate companies.  

The firm is expected to achieve better results in the second half of 2022, on improved performance of the ports, logistics, water and other sectors, according to Al-Mudarres.

The top official indicated that customs duties and inflation in commodity prices were among the reasons that led to certain challenges faced by the import sector.

He concluded that this is a temporary period, as the market will become accustomed in the coming months and adapt to the current price rates.

SISCO declared a 4 percent interim dividend for 2022, as per its dividend policy.