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)


Qatar sees 12-fold jump in surplus on energy profit

Qatar sees 12-fold jump in surplus on energy profit
(Getty)
Updated 19 August 2022

Qatar sees 12-fold jump in surplus on energy profit

Qatar sees 12-fold jump in surplus on energy profit

RIYADH: Qatar witnessed a 12-fold jump in its budget surplus to 47.3 billion riyals ($12.8 billion) in the first half of 2022, compared to 4 billion riyals in the same period last year, driven by soaring energy revenues.

Oil and gas revenue surged 58 percent to 150.7 billion riyals during the period, recompensating the increased government spending on wages and salaries, Bloomberg reported citing data.

Qatar revenues are mainly generated by long-term contracts to supply liquefied natural gas, typically tied to the price of oil. 

The Gulf country is benefiting from Europe’s interest in diversifying its gas supply away from Russia in the long-term. Qatar tries to tie up buyers for new LNG contracts for very long period, Bloomberg said.

The International Monetary Fund projected the country’s economy will grow 5.4 percent this year and generate a surplus equivalent to about $45 billion. 

Qatar is preparing to host this year’s soccer World Cup.

The World Cup organizers have said they’re anticipating a $17 billion boost to the country from hosting the soccer tournament.


Abu Dhabi eyes double money through Miami Hotel record selling price

Abu Dhabi eyes double money through Miami Hotel record selling price
(Shutterstock)
Updated 19 August 2022

Abu Dhabi eyes double money through Miami Hotel record selling price

Abu Dhabi eyes double money through Miami Hotel record selling price

RIYADH: Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund is exploring the sale of the Miami Beach Edition Hotel in which the property could fetch more than $580 million, as it is seeking to more than double its money.

This deal would mark a record on a price-per-room basis for the Miami market, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter.

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, also known as ADIA, acquired the Edition for $230 million in 2015 from Marriott International. 

The hotel has 294 rooms and suites including oceanfront bungalows, and restaurants designed by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, according to its website.

ADIA is working on exploring the interest of potential buyers with an adviser, one of the people said, asking to be anonymous. ADIA spokesman declined to comment to Bloomberg. 


Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan sign agreement in the energy field

Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan sign agreement in the energy field
Updated 19 August 2022

Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan sign agreement in the energy field

Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan sign agreement in the energy field

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy signed a memorandum of understanding with its Uzbek counterpart on August 18, to develop cooperation and exchange information and experiences between both countries, in the energy field, Saudi Press Agency reported.

This comes on the second day of the Saudi-Uzbek Business Council in Jeddah, that was held on the sidelines of the visit of the Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the Kingdom.

This deal covers the areas of petroleum, gas, electricity, renewable energy, energy efficiency, petrochemicals, and hydrogen.

It also includes the circular carbon economy and its technologies with the aim of limiting the effects of climate change, such as carbon capture, reuse, transport and storage.

Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan have already signed over 10 investment agreements, worth over SR45 billion ($12 billion), on Wednesday, covering different sectors.


IsDB, Uzbekistan strengthen cooperation

IsDB, Uzbekistan strengthen cooperation
Updated 19 August 2022

IsDB, Uzbekistan strengthen cooperation

IsDB, Uzbekistan strengthen cooperation

JEDDAH: Islamic Development Bank President Mohammed Al-Jasser met with Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on August 18 to discuss strengthening cooperation between both parties, Saudi Press Agency reported.

A letter of intent was signed during the meeting to provide a framework for facilitating cooperation, promoting rapid processing and approval of projects and operations that are part of the work program of the IsDB Group for Uzbekistan in 2022.

The meeting comes on the second day of the Uzbek President's visit to the Kingdom.

Mirziyoyev stressed that his government has implemented comprehensive reforms with the aim of improving the business and investment environment, enhancing regional cooperation, improving the agricultural sector, and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship to reach the goal of achieving dignity for all people by 2026.

Both parties reviewed views on the National Development Strategy of Uzbekistan 2026, and agreed on the need to align the bank's country strategy with the national document, a task that will be worked on as a priority, according to Al-Jasser.

The two sides also emphasized the need to facilitate the joining of more co-financiers to participate in financing larger projects.


Standard Chartered appoints Ayesha Abbas UAE Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking 

Standard Chartered appoints Ayesha Abbas UAE Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking 
Updated 19 August 2022

Standard Chartered appoints Ayesha Abbas UAE Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking 

Standard Chartered appoints Ayesha Abbas UAE Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking 

RIYADH: Standard Chartered Bank appointed on Friday Ayesha Abbas as Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking in the UAE. 

Abbas will be responsible for executing the bank’s strategy and building the business in the retail banking business across the UAE, a statement showed.

She will also focus on growing the Bank’s digital offering, wealth management and affluent proposition in addition to strengthening client relationships. 

Abbas has over two decades of experience spanning wealth management, priority and consumer banking. 

She joined Standard Chartered in February 2019 serving as General Manager, Head of Priority and Premium Banking and Branch Network in the UAE, also covering Pakistan, Oman and key African markets. 

Prior to joining Standard Chartered, Abbas spent 18 years at HSBC, the statement said.