QIA CEO says exploring opportunities in blockchain

QIA CEO says exploring opportunities in blockchain
Bitcoin miners have been forced to tap into their cryptocurrency stashes as a plunge in prices, energy costs and competition bite into profitability. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 28 June 2022

QIA CEO says exploring opportunities in blockchain

QIA CEO says exploring opportunities in blockchain
  • Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund chief says not interested in crypto investment

DUBAI: The chief executive of Qatar Investment Authority said on Tuesday that the sovereign wealth fund is not interested in crypto investments but it is exploring opportunities in blockchain.

Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud was speaking at the Qatar Economic Forum organized by Bloomberg.

The $300 billion sovereign wealth fund owns stakes in Credit Suisse and Volkswagen AG as part of its European portfolio.

Russian exemption

On the other hand, Russian lawmakers approved a draft law that would potentially exempt issuers of digital assets and cryptocurrencies from value-added tax.

Russia has long voiced skepticism of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, with the central bank citing concerns over financial stability.

But in February the regulator gave blockchain platform Atomyze Russia the first license to exchange digital assets. A license for dominant lender Sberbank soon followed.

Unprecedented Western sanctions have hit the heart of Russia’s financial system over events in Ukraine and lawmakers have scrabbled to bring in new legislation to soften the blow.

The draft law, approved by State Duma members in the second and third readings on Tuesday, envisages exemptions on value-added tax for issuers of digital assets and information systems operators involved in their issue.

It also establishes tax rates on income earned from the sale of digital assets.

The current rate on transactions is 20 percent, the same as for standard assets. Under the new law, the tax would be 13 percent for Russian companies and 15 percent for foreign ones.

The draft must still be reviewed by the upper house and signed by President Vladimir Putin to become law.

Bitcoin miners

Bitcoin miners have been forced to tap into their cryptocurrency stashes as a plunge in prices, rising energy costs and increased competition bite into profitability.

The number of coins miners are sending to crypto exchanges has been steadily climbing since June 7, researchers at MacroHive noted, in a sign that “miners have been increasingly liquidating their coins on exchanges.”

Several publicly listed bitcoin miners collectively sold more than 100 percent of their entire output in May as the value of bitcoin tumbled 45 percent, an analysis by Arcane Research found.

“The plummeting profitability of mining forced these miners to increase their selling rate to more than 100 percent of their output in May. The conditions have worsened in June, meaning they are likely selling even more,” said Arcane analyst Jaran Mellerud.

The crypto mining space rapidly expanded in 2021 as bitcoin more than quadrupled in value, but this growth has further pressured margins as the process is designed to grow more difficult as the number of miners increases.

“Over the past six months, hash rate and mining difficulty have increased while the price of bitcoin has dropped. These are both negatives for existing miners as both work to compress margins,” said Joe Burnett, analyst at bitcoin mining firm Blockware Solutions.

High energy prices are also hitting miners, which by some estimates use more electricity than the Philippines, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index.

“If you’re not at a very low-cost electricity area at this point, you’ve got to shut down,” noted Chris Brendler, senior research analyst at D.A. Davidson.

Daily trading

Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded lower on Tuesday, falling by 1.77 percent to $20,811.95 as of 9:15 a.m. Riyadh time.

Ethereum, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $1,192.89 falling by 1.73 percent, according to data from CoinDesk.


Saudi PIF acquires stakes in 4 Egyptian companies for about $1 billion: Asharq sources

Saudi PIF acquires stakes in 4 Egyptian companies for about $1 billion: Asharq sources
Updated 14 sec ago

Saudi PIF acquires stakes in 4 Egyptian companies for about $1 billion: Asharq sources

Saudi PIF acquires stakes in 4 Egyptian companies for about $1 billion: Asharq sources

RIYADH: The Saudi Egyptian Investment Co., affiliated with the Saudi Public Investment Fund, has acquired stakes in 4 Egyptian companies, for about $1 billion, Asharq reported citing sources.

The four companies are E-Finance for Financial and Digital Investments, Abu Qir Fertilizers and Chemical Industries, MOPCO and Alexandria Container & Cargo Handling Co.

 


Saudi Industrial Production Index rose by 21% in June

Saudi Industrial Production Index rose by 21% in June
Updated 17 min 48 sec ago

Saudi Industrial Production Index rose by 21% in June

Saudi Industrial Production Index rose by 21% in June

RIYADH: Saudi Industrial Production Index increased by 20.8 percent from a year ago, according to data from General Authority for Statistics.

"The IPI continued to show positive growth rates due to the high production in mining & quarrying, and manufacturing activity," Gastat said in a statement today.


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

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Wednesday
Updated 10 August 2022

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

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

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s main stock index gained 0.3 percent on Tuesday, buoyed by chemical giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp. which posted higher second-quarter profits.

TASI closed the session at 12,330, while the parallel Nomu market added 0.6 percent to 22,199.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai advanced by 0.2 and 1.1 percent, respectively, while Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait all lost between 0.1 and 0.3 percent. The Bahraini index finished flat.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s EGX30 closed 0.8 percent lower.

Oil prices retreated on Wednesday, with Brent crude down to $95.65 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate reaching $89.73 a barrel by 9:06 a.m. Saudi time.

Stock news

Filling and Packing Materials Manufacturing Co.’s board proposed a SR115 million ($31 million) capital increase through a rights issue

Bupa Arabia for Cooperative Insurance Co. received final approval from the Saudi Central Bank to sell its new insurance product "Bupa Policy Benefit Upgrade" in the Kingdom

National Gas and Industrialization Co. recorded a 14 percent decline in net profit to SR105 million during the first half of 2022

Walaa Cooperative Insurance Co.’s losses widened to SR27 million during the first half of 2022, compared to SR13 million in the same period last year

Abdullah Al-Othaim Markets Co. approved the sale of SR211 million worth of land owned by the company in Al-Madinah Al-Munawarh

Al-Jouf Agricultural Development Co. saw its profits jump 203 percent during the first half of 2022 to SR22 million

Al-Jouf Agricultural will distribute cash dividends of SR0.5 per share to shareholders for the first half of 2022

Saudi miner Almasane Alkobra Mining Co.’s profits dropped 11 percent to SR82 million during the first half of 2022

Southern Province Cement Co. reported a 42 percent profit drop to SR150 million for the first half of 2022

Profits of Theeb Rent a Car Co. rose by 68 percent to SR86 million during the first half of 2022

Baazeem Trading Co.’s half-year profit was down 8.5 percent to SR13.4 million

Shareholders of Baazeem Trading Co. are set to receive SR0.7 per share in cash dividends for the first half of 2022

Calendar

August 14, 2022

Saudi Aramco will announce its financial results for the second quarter of 2022

Close of Naba Alsaha Medical Services Co.’s IPO subscription


Al-Jouf Agricultural profit jumps 203% as sales and margins rise in H1

Al-Jouf Agricultural profit jumps 203% as sales and margins rise in H1
Updated 10 August 2022

Al-Jouf Agricultural profit jumps 203% as sales and margins rise in H1

Al-Jouf Agricultural profit jumps 203% as sales and margins rise in H1

RIYADH: Al-Jouf Agricultural Development Co. saw its profits jump 203 percent during the first half of 2022 driven by higher sales and profit margins.

The Saudi-listed company boosted its profit to SR22 million ($6 million) in the first half of this year, up from SR7 million for the same period a year ago, according to a bourse filing.

The company's revenue increased to SR124 million from SR117 million for the same period last year

In line with the profit, Al-Jouf Agricultural said it will distribute cash dividends of SR0.5 per share to shareholders for the first half of 2022.

Founded in 1988, Al-Jouf Agricultural Development Co. is engaged in the production of strategic agricultural crops such as wheat, potatoes and onions.


TASI-listed GASCO sees 14% decline in H1 profits even as sales edge higher

TASI-listed GASCO sees 14% decline in H1 profits even as sales edge higher
Updated 10 August 2022

TASI-listed GASCO sees 14% decline in H1 profits even as sales edge higher

TASI-listed GASCO sees 14% decline in H1 profits even as sales edge higher

RIYADH: Saudi-listed National Gas and Industrialization Co. saw its profits drop 14 percent during the first half of 2022, despite higher sales.

Profits of the Riyadh-based gas firm reached SR105 million in the first half of 2022, down from SR122 million in the same period last year, according to a bourse filing.

This came despite an increase in revenue which reached SR989 million during the same period.

The company attributed the weak performance to a SR21 million decline in investments’ income and a decrease in investing fund revenues.