India In-Focus — Rupee hits record low; Shares fall; UltraTech Cement paying for Russian coal in Chinese yuan

India In-Focus — Rupee hits record low; Shares fall; UltraTech Cement paying for Russian coal in Chinese yuan
The rupee has lost more than 6 percent against the dollar so far this year. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 29 June 2022

India In-Focus — Rupee hits record low; Shares fall; UltraTech Cement paying for Russian coal in Chinese yuan

India In-Focus — Rupee hits record low; Shares fall; UltraTech Cement paying for Russian coal in Chinese yuan

MUMBAI: The Indian rupee on Wednesday touched record lows for a second straight session on persisting concerns about rising inflation and weak growth, even as the central bank sold dollars to limit losses.

The partially convertible rupee ended at 78.9650 per dollar after touching a lifetime low of 78.97. The currency had closed at 78.77 on Tuesday.

The rupee has lost more than 6 percent against the dollar so far this year, and analysts believe it is likely to weaken further.

“The Indian Rupee has been adversely affected mainly by the FIIs pulling out funds from the equity market, rising crude prices, the deteriorating trade balance and dollar strengthening,” analysts at Emkay Wealth Management said in a note.

Indian shares fall

Indian shares fell on Wednesday to snap a four-day winning streak as worries over inflation resurfaced amid surging oil prices, while domestic explorers rose in late trade after the country approved a plan to give marketing freedom to sell crude.

The NSE Nifty 50 index closed 0.32 percent lower to 15,799.10 and the S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.3 percent to 53,026.97. 

India cement maker paying for Russian coal in Chinese yuan

Indian cement producer, UltraTech Cement, is importing a cargo of Russian coal and paying using Chinese yuan, according to an Indian customs document reviewed by Reuters, a rare payment method that traders say could become more common.

UltraTech is bringing in 157,000 tons of coal from Russian producer SUEK that loaded on the bulk carrier MV Mangas from the Russian Far East port of Vanino, the document showed. It cites an invoice dated June 5 that values the cargo at 172,652,900 yuan ($25.81 million).

Two trade sources familiar with the matter said the cargo’s sale was arranged by SUEK’s Dubai-based unit, adding that other companies have also placed orders for Russian coal using yuan payments.

The increasing use of the yuan to settle payments could help insulate Moscow from the effects of western sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and bolster Beijing’s push to further internationalize the currency and chip away at the dominance of the US dollar in global trade.

(With inputs from Reuters)


Saudi cement producer Umm Al-Qura’s profit drops 55% as sales slump

Saudi cement producer Umm Al-Qura’s profit drops 55% as sales slump
Updated 14 sec ago

Saudi cement producer Umm Al-Qura’s profit drops 55% as sales slump

Saudi cement producer Umm Al-Qura’s profit drops 55% as sales slump

RIYADH: Saudi cement producer, Umm Al-Qura Cement Co. has posted a 55 percent decline in net profit during the first half of 2022 owing to lower cement sales.

Profits in the first half dropped from SR49 million in the same period last year to SR22 million ($5.9 million), according to a bourse filing.

The company attributed the decline in net profit to a decrease in sales value and an increase in selling, marketing, and administrative expenses.

Its revenue declined 19 percent to SR125 million during the current period from SR154 million during the previous period.


TASI ends in red as investor mood sours over oil price shifts: Closing bell

TASI ends in red as investor mood sours over oil price shifts: Closing bell
Updated 10 min 41 sec ago

TASI ends in red as investor mood sours over oil price shifts: Closing bell

TASI ends in red as investor mood sours over oil price shifts: Closing bell

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index ended the week’s final session lower after investors’ mood turned negative as oil prices fluctuated during the week.

TASI finished 0.20 percent lower at 12,621, while the parallel Nomu market finished 0.19 percent higher at 21,574.

The Kingdom’s largest valued bank, Al Rajhi, ended the session with a 1.68 percent gain, while the Saudi National Bank, the country's largest lender, ended with a 1.10 percent decline.

Saudi Aramco lost 0.75 percent, despite achieving its highest quarterly profit since going public in 2019 with SR182 billion ($48.4 billion), a 90 percent jump over analysts' expectations.

Among the Kingdom's leading information technology firms, Elm climbed 6.08 percent to lead the gainers in the market, while Al Moammar shed 1.30 percent.

Abdullah Al Othaim Markets Co. slipped 4.25 percent, despite reporting a 31 percent increase in profits for the first half of the year to SR138 million.

Red Sea International Co. dropped 2.12 percent, after it secured financing from SABB worth SR35 million.

Taiba Investments Co. fell 0.82 percent, despite turning into a profit of SR55 million in the first half, wiping out losses of SR14.8 million from the same period last year.

Sadr Logistics Co. declined 0.95 percent, after it turned into losses of SR3 million during the first six months of 2022.

Saudi Arabian Mining Co., known as Ma’aden, ended the week’s session with a 1.11 percent gain.

 


Saudi insurer Allied Cooperative names new CEO

Saudi insurer Allied Cooperative names new CEO
Updated 10 min 52 sec ago

Saudi insurer Allied Cooperative names new CEO

Saudi insurer Allied Cooperative names new CEO

RIYADH: Allied Cooperative Insurance Group has announced the appointment of Mohammad Al-Gadhi as its CEO.

The appointment is subject to approval by the Saudi Central Bank, the insurer said in a bourse filing.

Al-Gadhi served as the company’s head of operations and technical affairs since 2012 and held several technical and administrative positions, it said.


Egypt In-Focus — Egypt launches low-cost airline Air Sphinx; Deal signed for high-speed rail line; SCZONE signs MOU with Toyota Tsusho

Egypt In-Focus — Egypt launches low-cost airline Air Sphinx; Deal signed for high-speed rail line; SCZONE signs MOU with Toyota Tsusho
Updated 19 min 45 sec ago

Egypt In-Focus — Egypt launches low-cost airline Air Sphinx; Deal signed for high-speed rail line; SCZONE signs MOU with Toyota Tsusho

Egypt In-Focus — Egypt launches low-cost airline Air Sphinx; Deal signed for high-speed rail line; SCZONE signs MOU with Toyota Tsusho

CAIRO: Egypt will be launching another airline, under the title of Air Sphinx by the end of this year.

After EgyptAir’s massive losses during the pandemic, the new low-cost airline is an effort to revive the aviation sector and increase profits, reported CNBC Arabia.

Additionally, it will encourage the flow of tourism within and outside of Egypt, according to Elhamy El-Zayat, the former head of the Egyptian Tourism Federation.  

Air Sphinx will operate from the Sphinx Airport in the 6th of October city, he added.

High-speed rail line

Egypt-based Elsewedy Electric, in partnership with Germany’s Deutsche Bahn International Operation, has signed a deal to operate and maintain the Egyptian high-speed rail line.

The scope of work includes the railway’s principle line and cargo rail networks, reported MEED.

SCZONE signs MOU with Toyota Tsusho

The Suez Canal Economic Zone has signed a memorandum of understanding with Japanese tycoon Toyota Tsusho Corp.

This comes as part of a plan to increase Japan’s presence in infrastructure and renewable energy-related projects, reported Egypt today.

Both sides will benefit from this deal, according to the general manager of Energy Infrastructure Projects at Toyota Tsusho Corp.


Aramco’s chemicals JV Sadara reports 88% profit drop as higher feedstock costs drag

Aramco’s chemicals JV Sadara reports 88% profit drop as higher feedstock costs drag
Updated 24 min 10 sec ago

Aramco’s chemicals JV Sadara reports 88% profit drop as higher feedstock costs drag

Aramco’s chemicals JV Sadara reports 88% profit drop as higher feedstock costs drag

RIYADH: Sadara Chemical Co., a joint venture between oil major Saudi Aramco and US Dow Chemical Co., has posted an 88 percent drop in profit for the first half of 2022.

On the back of higher feedstock prices, profits of the giant JV went down from SR2.2 billion ($592 million) to SR275 million, a bourse filing showed.

This was coupled with revenues amounting to SR8.3 billion during the six-month period, almost unchanged from the same period in 2021.

“The decrease in net profit in the current period compared to the same period of the last year is mainly attributable to the recognition of modification gain of SR1.05 billion from debt reprofiling during the previous year,” Sadara said in the filing.

 Specialized in producing a wide range of specialty chemicals, the firm added that its profits were hit by an increase in feedstock costs and lower average sales prices.