Biden says will see Saudi crown prince, won’t push directly on oil

Biden says will see Saudi crown prince, won’t push directly on oil
Joe Biden wants all Gulf states to increase oil production (AFP)
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Updated 13 July 2022

Biden says will see Saudi crown prince, won’t push directly on oil

Biden says will see Saudi crown prince, won’t push directly on oil

MADRID: US President Joe Biden on Thursday said he would see Saudi Arabia’s king and crown prince during a visit to the country next month but that the purpose of his trip was not to press them to increase oil output.

Asked at a press conference in Spain if he would ask the Saudi leaders to increase oil production, Biden said “No.”

He said he had indicated that all the Gulf states should be increasing oil production generically, not Saudi Arabia particularly.

He said he hoped the countries would conclude that it was in their own interest to do so.

His comments came as The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, agreed on Thursday to stick to earlier approved oil output increases in July and August and refrained from any policy discussions for September.

The decision to stick to the planned increases comes despite calls for bigger increases to tame crude prices.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated concerns about oil supplies, sending prices to record highs this year.

In their monthly video conference, which lasted about an hour, the 23 members of OPEC+ agreed to add another 648,000 barrels per day in August, the same as for July.


Saudi banks' import financing to private sector exceeds pre-pandemic levels to $10.6bn in Q2

Saudi banks' import financing to private sector exceeds pre-pandemic levels to $10.6bn in Q2
Updated 15 sec ago

Saudi banks' import financing to private sector exceeds pre-pandemic levels to $10.6bn in Q2

Saudi banks' import financing to private sector exceeds pre-pandemic levels to $10.6bn in Q2

CAIRO: Saudi Arabia’s private sector import financing surpassed pre-pandemic levels totaling SR39.6 billion ($10.6 billion) in the second quarter of 2022 year-on-year, according to data released by the Saudi Central Bank, also known as SAMA.

Private sector imports financed through settled letters of credit and bills received increased by SR5 billion in the second quarter of 2022 year-on-year, surpassing the pre-pandemic aggregate of SR34.8 billion.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, import financing dropped to SR30 billion in the second quarter of 2020, the data showed.

It then recovered to SR34.6 billion in the second quarter of 2021 as the global economy started to rebound. In 2022, import financing hit its highest level since the third quarter of 2016.

Financing to import building materials, machinery, and textiles and clothing saw an increase of SR815 million, SR551 million, and SR38 million respectively in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period a year ago.

HIGHLIGHTS

Private sector imports financed through settled letters of credit and bills received increased by SR5 billion in the second quarter of 2022 year-on-year.

Financing to import building materials, machinery, and textiles and clothing saw an increase of SR815 million, SR551 million, and SR38 million respectively.

The main driver of positive change in the value of the private sector’s imports financed through settled LCs and bills received was the 'other goods.'

Food grains, and fruits and vegetables both increased by SR451 million and SR65 million year on year in the second quarter respectively.

The three sectors accounted for 10 percent, 3.7 percent and 0.5 percent respectively of the total import financing.

The main driver of positive change in the value of the private sector’s imports financed through settled LCs and bills received was the “other goods.” This category totaled half of the total financing and increased by SR4.3 billion year on year this quarter.

Nevertheless, LC and bill financings for the Saudi importers of foodstuffs declined by SR214 million in the second quarter compared to the same period of 2021, showed the data.

Foodstuff, which made up 12.7 percent of the total financing for the private sector’s imports, had categories that both grew and shrunk in the past year.

Food grains, and fruits and vegetables both increased by SR451 million and SR65 million year on year in the second quarter respectively.

Sugar, tea and coffee, livestock and meat and other foods all saw a yearly decline in imports financed through settled LCs and bills by Saudi commercial banks. Sugar, tea and coffee made up 0.4 percent of the total financing, and fell by SR147 million in this quarter compared to the same quarter in 2021.

Livestock and meat made up 0.82 percent of the total, and witnessed a year-on-year decline  by SR212 million in the second quarter of 2022. Whereas other foodstuffs made up 6.5 percent of the total, and dropped by SR371 million in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, showed the data.

Apart from the fall in value of agricultural imports financed through LCs and bills, the financing for motor vehicle imports also fell by SR265 million, and appliances also fell by SR144 million year on year in the second quarter. 

Looking at suppliers’ geography, the Gulf Cooperation Council contributed 40 percent of imports financed through LCs settled at Saudi banks (excluding bills), totaling SR10.1 billion in the second quarter of 2022.

A report published by the International Trade Administration stated: “Saudi Arabia has signed various trade agreements (especially with the GCC) that allow member countries total exemption from customs duties.”

Asian countries other than China, Japan and South Korea came in second with 22.9 percent of settled LCs which recorded SR5.7 billion in the second quarter.

Western Europe, China and South Korea followed with 10.2 percent, 8.4 percent, and 7.1 percent.

 


Saudi and Uzbek companies sign pacts on various investment opportunities

Saudi and Uzbek companies sign pacts on various investment opportunities
Updated 48 min 21 sec ago

Saudi and Uzbek companies sign pacts on various investment opportunities

Saudi and Uzbek companies sign pacts on various investment opportunities

RIYADH: Private sector companies in Saudi Arabia and their Uzbek counterparts have signed 14 agreements and memoranda of understanding covering various investment opportunities.
The signing of the pacts, covering sectors including air transport services, livestock, education, energy and technology, was witnessed by Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, the Saudi minister of investment, and his Uzbeki counterpart Jamshid Khodjaev, state news agency SPA reported.
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev arrived in Jeddah earlier this week and was received by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman prior to their meeting which tackled bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields.
The two countries also signed $12 billion worth of deals, including a wind project in Uzbekistan by ACWA Power.


Alkhorayef Water expects full-year revenue to hit $224m backed by strong pipeline 

Alkhorayef Water expects full-year revenue to hit $224m backed by strong pipeline 
Updated 18 August 2022

Alkhorayef Water expects full-year revenue to hit $224m backed by strong pipeline 

Alkhorayef Water expects full-year revenue to hit $224m backed by strong pipeline 

RIYADH: Alkhorayef Water and Power Technologies Co. is expected to record SR840 million ($224 million) in revenue for 2022, as it currently has SR4 billion worth of projects in its pipeline.  

The company’s CEO, Rami Moussilli, told Argaam that revenue is anticipated to grow to SR480 million in the second half of the year, and hit as high as SR1.25 billion in the following year.

Alkhorayef Water’s profit reached SR52 million and its revenue stood at SR358 million in the first half of 2022, due to higher income from the water and integrated water solutions sectors by 2.9 and 226 percent, respectively.

Moussilli attributed the profit jump to the implementation of projects awarded last year, including the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz project for Zamzam water in Makkah, and the upgrade of King Khalid International Airport’s sewage network.

According to the executive, the firm has over SR4 billion worth of contracts in its pipeline, with 75 projects in progress across 11 regions in the Kingdom.


Saudi Arabia leads the world in domestic sukuk sales with 185% jump to $14bn  

Saudi Arabia leads the world in domestic sukuk sales with 185% jump to $14bn  
Updated 18 August 2022

Saudi Arabia leads the world in domestic sukuk sales with 185% jump to $14bn  

Saudi Arabia leads the world in domestic sukuk sales with 185% jump to $14bn  

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s domestic market has recorded $14.4 billion worth of sukuk sales this year, registering a growth of 185 percent over the last year, Bloomberg reported. 

Sukuk, which is also called an Islamic bond, is a debt product issued in accordance with Shariah or Islamic laws. 

This amount represents more than half of global domestic sukuk sales, and the Saudi government alone has sold more than 60 percent of it.

“There are a lot of projects going on in Saudi Arabia driven by their Vision 2030 to diversify their economy away from oil. These all need funding,” Doug Bitcon, the Dubai-based head of credit strategies at Rasmala Investment Bank, said. 

He added: “Local investors are familiar with the local companies and they can often raise liquidity at fine spreads.”


Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Genesis hires an insider as interim chief

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Genesis hires an insider as interim chief
Updated 18 August 2022

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Genesis hires an insider as interim chief

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Genesis hires an insider as interim chief

DUBAI: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded lower on Thursday, falling by 4.03 percent to $23,371 as of 9:37 a.m. Riyadh time.

Ethereum, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $1,843 falling by 5.33 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

Genesis hires an insider as interim chief and cuts 20 percent of staff

In a statement released on Wednesday, Genesis Trading said its headcount had been reduced by 20 percent and that Chief Operating Officer Derar Islim was appointed interim head of the crypto broker, Reuters reported.

Islim will now replace Michael Moro as CEO.

In recent months, a number of high profile firms have been forced to reduce their workforces due to the so-called “crypto winter.”

According to a Genesis spokesperson, 260 people were employed before the layoffs.

One more victim of the declining interest in digital assets is Genesis Inc., which disclosed exposure to Three Arrows Capital last month.

However, Genesis parent Digital Currency Group took on some of Three Arrows’ liabilities after the crypto broker failed to meet a margin call, outgoing CEO Moro said.

As a senior adviser, Genesis has also hired Tom Conheeney, the former president of SAC Capital and its successor, Point72 Asset Management.

Genesis said it had started searching for a full-time chief executive to guide it through the transition. Moro will advise the company throughout the transition.

Crypto.com gets UK regulatory approval

Crypto.com, a Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform, has registered with Britain’s financial services regulator, Reuters reported.

Crypto.com has been approved to offer crypto asset products and services to customers in the UK in compliance with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing legislation.

“The UK is a strategically important market for us,” said Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek, citing the country’s growing crypto adoption and efforts to make it a hub for crypto assets.

Crypto firms are racing to register with financial watchdogs as authorities around the world grapple with how to regulate the sector.

The UK does not regulate cryptocurrencies, and consumers who lose their digital assets are not compensated.

Crypto companies have previously faced backlash after the FCA denied their registration applications.

When it comes to crypto, the watchdog will always be “hawkish” about consumer protection.

With inputs from Reuters