China In-Focus — Philippines terminates joint energy exploration talks with China; CATL to produce next-gen EV battery

China In-Focus — Philippines terminates joint energy exploration talks with China; CATL to produce next-gen EV battery
Philippines terminates joint energy exploration talks with China in the South China Sea. (Shutterstock)
Short Url
Updated 23 June 2022

China In-Focus — Philippines terminates joint energy exploration talks with China; CATL to produce next-gen EV battery

China In-Focus — Philippines terminates joint energy exploration talks with China; CATL to produce next-gen EV battery

BEIJING: The Philippines’ outgoing foreign minister said on Thursday that talks over joint energy exploration between his country and China in the South China Sea had been terminated, citing constitutional constraints and issues of sovereignty.

The two countries have sparred for decades over maritime sovereignty and had since 2018 pledged to jointly explore oil and gas assets in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, despite China also laying claim to them.

“We got as far as it is constitutionally possible to go. One step forward from where we stood on the edge of the abyss is a drop into a constitutional crisis,” Teodoro Locsin said in a speech.

“Three years on and we had not achieved our objective of developing oil and gas resources so critical for the Philippines — but not at the price of sovereignty; not even a particle of it.”

It was not clear when the decision was taken. 

CATL to produce next-generation EV battery in 2023

Chinese battery giant CATL will start mass production next year of its latest generation product, with greater efficiency that lets electric cars drive longer distances on each charge, the company said on Thursday.

The world’s biggest battery maker is scrambling to retain its top position against competition from rivals such as BYD, which will soon start supplying batteries to Tesla.

CATL’s new battery, called Qilin, will boost volume utilization rate to 72 percent, the world’s highest, versus 50 percent for its first-generation launched in 2019, the firm said, and increase the battery system’s energy density to 255 Wh/kg.

But the firm did not say if any electric vehicle maker had placed orders for the new battery.

CATL, which supplies batteries to automakers such as Tesla, Volkswagen, BMW and Nio suffered a fall of 24 percent in first-quarter net profit, hit by soaring metal costs.

In May, the company said it expected a better profit margin in the second quarter, after raising prices and passing on costs to automaking clients.

(With inputs from Reuters) 


Saudi Alkhabeer Capital partners with Wamid to launch trading platform

Saudi Alkhabeer Capital partners with Wamid to launch trading platform
Updated 13 sec ago

Saudi Alkhabeer Capital partners with Wamid to launch trading platform

Saudi Alkhabeer Capital partners with Wamid to launch trading platform

RIYADH: Jeddah-based Alkhabeer Capital has signed a strategic agreement with Wamid, a subsidiary of Saudi Tadawul Group, as part of its strategy to provide investors with advanced trading services.

This follows Alkhabeer Capital’s preparations to launch the Alkhabeer Brokerage Platform in the near future, according to a press release.

With this partnership, aspiring investors will be able to harness the latest technological advancement and trade efficiently, it said.

“Our strategic partnership with Wamid will enhance our capabilities in providing innovative investment solutions,” said Alkhabeer Capital CEO Ahmed Saud Ghouth.

The company aims to make Alkhabeer Brokerage one of the Kingdom’s fastest platforms for executing orders.


Saudi Grains Organization finalizes tenders to import 495K tons of wheat

Saudi Grains Organization finalizes tenders to import 495K tons of wheat
Updated 18 min 31 sec ago

Saudi Grains Organization finalizes tenders to import 495K tons of wheat

Saudi Grains Organization finalizes tenders to import 495K tons of wheat

RIYADH: The Saudi Grains Organization has completed the procedures for the third tender of imported wheat for 2022 from Europe, North and South America and Australia.

A total of 495,000 tons of wheat will arrive during November 2022 and January aboard eight ships on different Saudi ports including the Jeddah Islamic Port, Yanbu Commercial Port and King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam, according to a statement.

SAGO did not identify the entities awarded the contract for the final batch.  

SAGO Gov. Ahmad Al-Fares said the Kingdom’s ports continue to receive wheat shipments according to the approved supply schedules. 

A week earlier, the organization awarded the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co., also known as SALIC, a contract to import 300,000 tons of wheat between November 2022 and January 2023. 


Saudi EXIM Bank offered over 50% of its $450m loans to SMEs in 2021

Saudi EXIM Bank offered over 50% of its $450m loans to SMEs in 2021
Updated 21 min 24 sec ago

Saudi EXIM Bank offered over 50% of its $450m loans to SMEs in 2021

Saudi EXIM Bank offered over 50% of its $450m loans to SMEs in 2021

RIYADH: The Saudi Export-Import Bank, also known as Saudi EXIM, approved loans worth SR1.7 billion ($450 million) in 2021, with 51 percent of the total financing given to small and medium enterprises, according to the bank’s CEO, Saad Alkhalb.

The bank also reported a total revenue of SR39.48 million in 2021.

Citing its annual report, Argaam reported that this financing helped Saudi products reach more than 50 countries including India, Germany, China, the US, Indonesia, etc.

Out of the total, 24.5 percent of the loans were issued to the food products sector, followed by iron and steel, and rubber and plastics sectors with 10.5 percent and 8.4 percent respectively.

Alkhalb added that the bank’s flexible financing products contributed to increasing the import of Saudi products through direct bank payment to suppliers, and pre-export financing through confirmed purchase orders for Saudi export production inputs.

He further noted that the bank also issued guarantees, import financing, international supply chains, structural financing for international projects, and working capital financing.

In its annual report, Alkhalb revealed that the bank also launched an insurance protection plan for Saudi exporters who face risks of non-payment by international buyers due to commercial reasons or geopolitical tensions.


Saudi Arabia invites Italian investors to take part in Kingdom's energy transition

Saudi Arabia invites Italian investors to take part in Kingdom's energy transition
Updated 49 min 40 sec ago

Saudi Arabia invites Italian investors to take part in Kingdom's energy transition

Saudi Arabia invites Italian investors to take part in Kingdom's energy transition

RIYADH: Italian investors are invited to be part of Saudi Arabia's energy and economic transformation, according to Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan. 

He made the appeal while speaking at the Saudi-Italian Investment Forum currently being held in Riyadh.

According to Al-Jadaan, the world’s biggest energy exporter has rapidly increased the production of renewable energy — something that is expected to offer huge investment opportunities for Italian entities in the future. 

“The opportunities here are exciting and I’m delighted to be part of this effort to deepen the ties between our nations,” the minister said. 

Saudi Arabia is also undergoing an economic transformation with the diversification of its economy by concentrating more on non-oil sectors, he noted.

“Italian investors with their expertise, experience and innovation are invited to be a part of our transformation,” the minister further added.


UAE’s TECOM secures $463m in IPO, sets final price at $0.73 per share

UAE’s TECOM secures $463m in IPO, sets final price at $0.73 per share
Updated 27 June 2022

UAE’s TECOM secures $463m in IPO, sets final price at $0.73 per share

UAE’s TECOM secures $463m in IPO, sets final price at $0.73 per share

RIYADH: Dubai business park operator TECOM Group has raised $454 million by selling 625 million shares in an initial public offering.

The shares were offered at 2.67 dirhams ($0.73) each, Bloomberg reported.

The global offer attracted substantial demand from both qualified institutional and UAE retail investors, with a total gross demand of 35.4 billion dirhams — 21 times oversubscription.

This price implies a dividend yield of approximately 6 percent, as well as a market capitalization of 13.4 billion dirhams.