China plans $75bn infrastructure fund to revive economy — sources

China plans $75bn infrastructure fund to revive economy — sources
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Updated 05 July 2022

China plans $75bn infrastructure fund to revive economy — sources

China plans $75bn infrastructure fund to revive economy — sources

BEIJING: China will set up a state infrastructure investment fund worth 500 billion yuan ($74.69 billion) to spur infrastructure spending and revive a flagging economy, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

China’s economy has started a slow recovery from the supply shocks caused by extensive lockdowns since the second quarter, although headwinds to growth persist, including from a still subdued property market, soft consumer spending and fear of any recurring waves of infections.

The fund is expected to be set up in the third quarter, the sources said.

China has unveiled a raft of economic support measures in recent weeks, although analysts say the official gross domestic product target of around 5.5 percent for this year will be hard to achieve without doing away with its strict zero-COVID strategy.

Much of the economic support has come from fiscal stimulus to counter the impact from COVID-19 this year, with the central bank steadily easing liquidity conditions to lower financing costs.

Authorities are doubling down on an infrastructure push, dusting off an old playbook to revive the economy, pledging 800 billion yuan in new credit quota and 300 billion yuan in financial bonds for policy banks to support big projects.

Sources told Reuters that China will issue 2023 advance quota for local government special bonds in the fourth quarter, with the new quota likely bigger than 1.46 trillion yuan for 2022.

The Ministry of Finance and the National Development and Reform Commission did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

The cabinet has told local governments to ensure 3.45 trillion yuan in special bond issuance for infrastructure — part of the 2022 special bond quota of 3.65 trillion yuan — is completed by the end of June.

 


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

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Thursday
Updated 13 sec ago

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

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

RIYADH: Saudi stocks jumped on Wednesday, thanks to strong first-half earnings despite mixed results from the insurance and cement sectors.

TASI the main index added 0.8 percent to 12,646, while the parallel Nomu market lost 2.3 percent to 21,533, as information technology consulting firm Saudi Networkers Services Co. made a weak stock market debut.

Gulf peers advanced in line with the Kingdom's main benchmark index, led by a 1.8 percent jump for the Qatari bourse.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi gained 1.3 and 0.7 percent, respectively, followed by Kuwait and Bahrain. While the Omani index edged 0.1 percent lower.

Elsewhere, Egypt’s EGX30 soared 2.2 percent after the country’s president accepted the resignation of central bank governor Tarek Amer, the presidential office said.

In energy trading, Brent crude traded at $93.7 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate slipped to $88.08 a barrel as of 9:14 a.m. Saudi time on Thursday.

Stock news

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

Malath Cooperative Insurance Co. posted a 216 percent higher net loss before Zakat of SR25 million for the first half of 2022

Taiba Investments Co. was back to a profit of SR55 million in the first half of 2022 as hospitality sales rose post the pandemic

Red Sea International Co. secured SR35 million worth of financing from SABB 

CHUBB Arabia Cooperative Insurance Co.'s half-year profit before Zakat declined 54.8 percent to SR3 million

Gulf General Cooperative Insurance Co.’s losses narrowed by 20 percent to SR35 million in the first half of 2022

SABB Takaful issued its board’s circular regarding the offer document for the merger with Walaa Cooperative Insurance Co.

National Gas and Industrialization Co. announced it is studying the feasibility of partnering with UK’s Aburi Composites and Front End Co. to operate a joint composite cylinder factory

Naba Alsaha’s initial public offering for listing on Nomu was concluded with 531 percent coverage

Andalus Property Co. appointed Mashal Ibrahim Abuneef as its acting CEO effective Sep. 1

Tabuk Agricultural Development Co. signed a contract to sell its industrial potatoes to Wafrah for Industry and Development Co. for SR4.3 million

Calendar

August 18, 2022

Rawasi Albina Investment Co. will start trading its shares on Nomu


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 35 min 2 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 46 min 7 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.