OPEC secretary general Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo joins Atlantic Council 

OPEC secretary general Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo joins Atlantic Council 
Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, secretary general of OPEC. (AFP)
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Updated 03 July 2022

OPEC secretary general Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo joins Atlantic Council 

OPEC secretary general Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo joins Atlantic Council 

RIYADH: Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, secretary general for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, will join the Atlantic Council as a distinguished fellow in the Global Energy Center.

Barkindo will take part in the Atlantic Council after the conclusion of his term at OPEC on July 31, according to a statement. 

Serving as OPEC’s secretary general for six years, Barkindo has also played a crucial role in enhancing the cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC countries on stabilizing oil markets. 

The fellowship at the Atlantic Council comes amid an unprecedented rise in energy prices driven by geopolitical tensions, climate change impacts, and volatile markets.

“Barkindo brings a deep understanding of geopolitics in a volatile world that will further enhance the Atlantic Council’s approach to shaping solutions to global energy-security challenges,” said Frederick Kempe, president and CEO of the Atlantic Council.

The Washington-based center promotes energy security by working alongside governments, industry leaders, civil society, and public stakeholders.

Barkindo said: “I look forward to contributing to the organization’s work on a plethora of energy-related issues, at a time when the world’s eyes are focused on both short- and long-term energy market outlooks.”

 


Taiba Investments returns to profits of $15m on pandemic recovery in H1

Taiba Investments returns to profits of $15m on pandemic recovery in H1
Updated 12 sec ago

Taiba Investments returns to profits of $15m on pandemic recovery in H1

Taiba Investments returns to profits of $15m on pandemic recovery in H1

RIYADH: Taiba Investments Co. has turned into a profit of SR55 million ($15 million) in the first half of the year, wiping out losses of SR14.8 million from the same period last year.

The results are primarily due to the gradual recovery of Taiba’s activities from the COVID 19 pandemic, it said in a bourse filing.

Its revenues soared 103 percent to SR134 million during the first six months of 2022.

Ramadan and the Hajj season contributed to increased hospitality revenues and improved lease performance for the company's properties during the period, it said.

Listed in the Saudi main index, Taiba Investments Co. specializes in investing in real estate, tourism, maintenance, operations, industry, mining, agriculture, and trade.


Saudi retailer Al Othaim Markets’ profit jumps 31% to $37m as sales soar in H1

Saudi retailer Al Othaim Markets’ profit jumps 31% to $37m as sales soar in H1
Updated 11 min 17 sec ago

Saudi retailer Al Othaim Markets’ profit jumps 31% to $37m as sales soar in H1

Saudi retailer Al Othaim Markets’ profit jumps 31% to $37m as sales soar in H1

RIYADH: Abdullah Al-Othaim Markets Co. reported a higher profit of SR138 million ($37 million) for the first half of 2022 on the back of sales growth.

Owing to an 11 percent rise in revenue to SR4.7 billion, profit surged 31 percent from SR106 million in the same period last year, according to a bourse filing.

The retail major noted that its share in the profit of its associate Gulf Flour Milling Co. boosted this period’s results, as it was not recorded in the prior year.

However, it incurred higher costs from opening new stores and enhancing competencies in senior positions, in addition to the fact that profits from its mall unit, Abdullah Al-Othaim Investment Co., were derecognized.

In a separate filing, the retailer declared a dividend payout for the first half of the year amounting to SR180 million, representing SR2 per share, to be paid in September.


Dubai sees air travel surge, expects World Cup boost

Dubai sees air travel surge, expects World Cup boost
Updated 17 August 2022

Dubai sees air travel surge, expects World Cup boost

Dubai sees air travel surge, expects World Cup boost
  • The airport handled 160 percent more traffic over the past six months compared to the same period last year

DUBAI: Dubai International Airport saw a surge in passengers over the first half of 2022 as pandemic restrictions eased and the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar will further boost traffic to the city-state’s second airfield, its chief executive said Wednesday.

Paul Griffiths, who oversees the world’s busiest airport for international travel, told The Associated Press that the airport handled 160 percent more traffic over the past six months compared to the same period last year, part of an air travel rebound around the world.

The nearly 28 million people who traveled through the airport over the past six months represent some 70 percent of the airport’s pre-pandemic levels, even as Dubai’s key source market of China remains closed due to severe pandemic restrictions. Griffiths said he expects the airport’s traffic to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of next year.

“It’s a very, very welcome surge of traffic,” Griffiths said.

The first World Cup in the Middle East, he added, will send foreign soccer fans flocking to Al-Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central, or DWC. From there, they will travel daily to Qatar, a tiny neighbor that faces a hotel squeeze.

“We’ve actually seen a huge demand at DWC for slot filings for airlines wanting to operate a shuttle service,” he said. “I think the city has a lot to offer and a lot to gain from the World Cup.”

Among the airlines buying extra slots to shuttle soccer fans to the tournament from DWC are Qatar Airways, low-cost carrier FlyDubai and budget airline Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, he said.

During the first half of 2022, Dubai International Airport dealt with nearly 56 percent more flights than the same period in 2021, when contagious coronavirus variants clobbered the industry.

Now, in a sign of the health of the industry, Emirates said on Wednesday that it would pour billions of dollars into retrofitting much of its Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 fleet. At the height of the pandemic, the airline received a $4 billion government bailout.


Russian consumer prices dip for 6th straight week

Russian consumer prices dip for 6th straight week
Updated 17 August 2022

Russian consumer prices dip for 6th straight week

Russian consumer prices dip for 6th straight week

MOSCOW: Consumer prices in Russia declined for the sixth week running, data showed on Wednesday, as the rubles appreciation in the past few months and a drop in consumer demand weighed on the pace of price growth.

The consumer prices index dipped 0.13 percent in the week to Aug. 15 after easing 0.08 percent a week earlier, the federal statistics service Rosstat said.

Inflation remains high but is slowing after prices of nearly everything, from vegetables and sugar to clothes and smartphones, have jumped sharply since Feb. 24 when Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine.

The CPI extended its decline even after the central bank slashed its key rate by 150 basis points to 8 percent last month and indicated it was ready to consider further monetary easing to limit the depth of economic recession.

A separate set of Rosstat’s data showed on Wednesday that the producer price index, the gauge of prices that suppliers are charging their clients, fell sharply in annual terms to 6.1 percent in July from 11.3 percent in June, well below levels above 30 percent seen in April.

High inflation has been the key concern among households for several years as it dents living standards, something that this year will be aggravated by recession in the economy.

Russia’s economy will contract less than expected and inflation will not be as high as projected three months ago, the Economy Ministry forecasts seen by Reuters showed, suggesting the economy is dealing with sanctions better than initially feared.

So far this year, consumer prices have risen 10.72 percent compared with a 4.69 percent increase in the same period of 2021, Rosstat data showed. 


Emirates steps up plans for ‘biggest-ever’ fleet retrofit

Emirates steps up plans for ‘biggest-ever’ fleet retrofit
Updated 17 August 2022

Emirates steps up plans for ‘biggest-ever’ fleet retrofit

Emirates steps up plans for ‘biggest-ever’ fleet retrofit
  • Multibillion-dollar project will aim to refurbish four aircraft per month over next two years

DUBAI: Emirates has moved forward with plans to revamp the interior cabins of 120 Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft, two of the largest commercial aircraft types in service today.

The multibillion-dollar project will begin in November and will be managed entirely by Emirates Engineering, which aims to totally refurbish four aircraft each month over the next two years.

On completion in April 2025, almost 4,000 new premium economy seats will be installed, 728 first-class suites refurbished and over 5,000 business-class seats  upgraded to a new style and design.

Carpets and stairs will also be upgraded, and cabin interior panels will be given new tones and design motifs, including the ghaf trees native to the UAE.

Emirates said that no other airline has attempted an in-house retrofit of this magnitude. 

Engineering teams have carried out extensive planning and testing to streamline processes, and anticipate any potential roadblocks. 

Trials began on an A380 in July, with engineers disassembling each cabin piece by piece and logging every step.

“From removing seats and paneling to bolts and screws, every action was tested, timed and mapped out,” the airline said on Wednesday.

A cross-disciplinary team has been assembled to monitor the planning process until the start of the project in November.