UAE In-Focus – UAE launches ‘NextGen FDI’; Dubai’s hotel profitability soars; AD Ports signs JV with Uzbekistan’s SEG 

UAE In-Focus – UAE launches ‘NextGen FDI’; Dubai’s hotel profitability soars; AD Ports signs JV with Uzbekistan’s SEG 
Dubai’s gross operating profit per available room came in seven times higher than 2019 (Shutterstock)
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Updated 06 July 2022

UAE In-Focus – UAE launches ‘NextGen FDI’; Dubai’s hotel profitability soars; AD Ports signs JV with Uzbekistan’s SEG 

UAE In-Focus – UAE launches ‘NextGen FDI’; Dubai’s hotel profitability soars; AD Ports signs JV with Uzbekistan’s SEG 

The UAE’s Ministry of Economy has launched the ‘NextGen FDI’ initiative to bring more than 300 digital-focussed businesses to the country within six to 12 months, Gulf News reported. 

The project will enable these companies to launch and scale up their businesses from within the UAE by providing them with the necessary market entry support, it added. 

As part of the program, companies looking to establish a presence in the UAE will receive faster incorporation processes, bulk visa issuance, and accelerated banking services, as well as commercial and residential real estate incentives for relocating employees.

Software development, data science, computer programming, and digital asset entrepreneurs will be the focus of the program, it added. 

Hotel profitability in Dubai is seven times higher than in 2019

Dubai’s gross operating profit per available room, termed as GOPPAR, came in seven times higher than the 2019 comparable, according to global hospitality research firm STR.

Its P&L data for May 2022 revealed that Dubai’s GOPPAR reached 423.77 dirhams ($115.37) with the help of strong international arrivals and an earlier Ramadan. 

The level was 776 percent higher than pre-pandemic levels. In Ramadan, the market was at 79 percent of the 2019 level, the report stated. 

AD Ports signs JV and MoU with Uzbekistan’s SEG 

Abu Dhabi Ports has formed a joint venture with Uzbekistan’s SEG to open logistics and freight facilities.

A memorandum of understanding was also signed to develop a food trading hub in Uzbekistan, according to MEED.

The joint venture will provide logistics and freight forwarding services, including road, rail, and air transportation, warehousing, contract logistics, and customs clearance.

SEG-Marakand Logair will develop an integrated food storage and distribution hub near Samarkand International airport through the memorandum. In Uzbekistan, AD Ports will open its first overseas office.

The project aims to improve food security in Central Asia by enhancing Uzbekistan’s food trade. The memorandum will cover food storage, transportation, and security, MEED concluded. 


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

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Wednesday
Updated 12 sec ago

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

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

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s main stock index gained 0.3 percent on Tuesday, buoyed by chemical giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp. which posted higher second-quarter profits.

TASI closed the session at 12,330, while the parallel Nomu market added 0.6 percent to 22,199.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai advanced by 0.2 and 1.1 percent, respectively, while Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait all lost between 0.1 and 0.3 percent. The Bahraini index finished flat.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s EGX30 closed 0.8 percent lower.

Oil prices retreated on Wednesday, with Brent crude down to $95.65 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate reaching $89.73 a barrel by 9:06 a.m. Saudi time.

Stock news

Filling and Packing Materials Manufacturing Co.’s board proposed a SR115 million ($31 million) capital increase through a rights issue

Bupa Arabia for Cooperative Insurance Co. received final approval from the Saudi Central Bank to sell its new insurance product "Bupa Policy Benefit Upgrade" in the Kingdom

National Gas and Industrialization Co. recorded a 14 percent decline in net profit to SR105 million during the first half of 2022

Walaa Cooperative Insurance Co.’s losses widened to SR27 million during the first half of 2022, compared to SR13 million in the same period last year

Abdullah Al-Othaim Markets Co. approved the sale of SR211 million worth of land owned by the company in Al-Madinah Al-Munawarh

Al-Jouf Agricultural Development Co. saw its profits jump 203 percent during the first half of 2022 to SR22 million

Al-Jouf Agricultural will distribute cash dividends of SR0.5 per share to shareholders for the first half of 2022

Saudi miner Almasane Alkobra Mining Co.’s profits dropped 11 percent to SR82 million during the first half of 2022

Southern Province Cement Co. reported a 42 percent profit drop to SR150 million for the first half of 2022

Profits of Theeb Rent a Car Co. rose by 68 percent to SR86 million during the first half of 2022

Baazeem Trading Co.’s half-year profit was down 8.5 percent to SR13.4 million

Shareholders of Baazeem Trading Co. are set to receive SR0.7 per share in cash dividends for the first half of 2022

Calendar

August 14, 2022

Saudi Aramco will announce its financial results for the second quarter of 2022

Close of Naba Alsaha Medical Services Co.’s IPO subscription


Al-Jouf Agricultural profit jumps 203% as sales and margins rise in H1

Al-Jouf Agricultural profit jumps 203% as sales and margins rise in H1
Updated 14 min 20 sec ago

Al-Jouf Agricultural profit jumps 203% as sales and margins rise in H1

Al-Jouf Agricultural profit jumps 203% as sales and margins rise in H1

RIYADH: Al-Jouf Agricultural Development Co. saw its profits jump 203 percent during the first half of 2022 driven by higher sales and profit margins.

The Saudi-listed company boosted its profit to SR22 million ($6 million) in the first half of this year, up from SR7 million for the same period a year ago, according to a bourse filing.

The company's revenue increased to SR124 million from SR117 million for the same period last year

In line with the profit, Al-Jouf Agricultural said it will distribute cash dividends of SR0.5 per share to shareholders for the first half of 2022.

Founded in 1988, Al-Jouf Agricultural Development Co. is engaged in the production of strategic agricultural crops such as wheat, potatoes and onions.


TASI-listed GASCO sees 14% decline in H1 profits even as sales edge higher

TASI-listed GASCO sees 14% decline in H1 profits even as sales edge higher
Updated 51 min 40 sec ago

TASI-listed GASCO sees 14% decline in H1 profits even as sales edge higher

TASI-listed GASCO sees 14% decline in H1 profits even as sales edge higher

RIYADH: Saudi-listed National Gas and Industrialization Co. saw its profits drop 14 percent during the first half of 2022, despite higher sales.

Profits of the Riyadh-based gas firm reached SR105 million in the first half of 2022, down from SR122 million in the same period last year, according to a bourse filing.

This came despite an increase in revenue which reached SR989 million during the same period.

The company attributed the weak performance to a SR21 million decline in investments’ income and a decrease in investing fund revenues.


Oil Updates — Crude slips; US assistance in cleaning up oil spill-off in Louisiana; Oil depot fire in Cuba under control

Oil Updates — Crude slips; US assistance in cleaning up oil spill-off in Louisiana; Oil depot fire in Cuba under control
Updated 10 August 2022

Oil Updates — Crude slips; US assistance in cleaning up oil spill-off in Louisiana; Oil depot fire in Cuba under control

Oil Updates — Crude slips; US assistance in cleaning up oil spill-off in Louisiana; Oil depot fire in Cuba under control

RIYADH: Oil prices eased on Wednesday after industry data showed US crude inventories unexpectedly rose last week, signaling a potential hiccup in demand, though concerns over supply kept losses in check.

Brent crude futures fell 23 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $96.08 a barrel at 0323 GMT.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures declined 28 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $90.22 a barrel.

US Coast Guard vessels aid in cleanup of oil spill off Louisiana

The US Coast Guard on Tuesday said it has deployed three skimming vessels and five response vessels to help clean up a spill of thousands of gallons of oil spilled into Terrebonne Bay, Louisiana when a Hilcorp oil tank platform collapsed.

Hilcorp estimated that around 13,944 gallons of crude oil entered the water, the Coast Guard said, adding that there was no reported impact on wildlife.

The Coast Guard said it has deployed 6,200 feet of containment boom along with the vessels.

It said the platform was removed as of Aug. 8, and the exact cause of the spill remained under investigation.

“Automated systems ... secured the facility and alerted operators to the collapsed tank. The platform remains secured,” a US Coast Guard spokesperson said.

According to officials, the spill occurred nearly a week after 4,000 gallons of oil were dumped into a swamp near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as the WCC Energy Group LLC was moving oil in a storage tank, the New York Daily News reported.

The Coast Guard was still overseeing the removal efforts of that spill.

Cuba brings oil depot fire under control

Firefighters on Tuesday finally overcame what officials described as the worst fire in Cuba’s history that over five days destroyed 40 percent of the Caribbean island’s main fuel storage facility and caused massive blackouts.

Reuters witnesses reported the raging flames that ravaged a four-tank segment of the Matanzas supertanker port had died down and the towering plumes of thick black smoke streaming from the area were diminished and now mostly gray.

Matanzas is Cuba’s largest port for receiving crude oil and fuel imports. Cuban heavy crude, as well as fuel oil and diesel stored in Matanzas in 10 huge tanks, are mainly used to generate electricity on the island.

Lightning struck one fuel storage tank on Friday evening. The fire spread to a second by Sunday and engulfed the four-tank area on Monday, accompanied by huge explosions and despite efforts by local firefighters supported by more than 100 Mexican and Venezuelan reinforcements.

Firefighter Rafael Perez Garriga told Reuters on the steaming outskirts of the disaster that he worries the fire would impact the power situation in the country.

“The situation is going to be more difficult. If the thermoelectric plants are supplied with that oil, we are going to have the whole world affected, it is electricity and it affects everything,” he said.

US oil refiners, pipeline companies expect strong demand 

US oil refiners and pipeline operators expect energy consumption to be strong for the second half of 2022, even though analysts and industry watchers have worried that demand could falter if the global economy enters a recession or high fuel prices deter travelers.

The company outlooks suggest a stronger view than recent data showing weakness in US fuel demand, particularly in gasoline, where consumption recently hit its lowest level since February even though this is the middle of the peak summer driving season.

US gasoline products supplied over the past four weeks recently fell below 2020’s level for the same time of year, when the US was in the depths of the pandemic.

Energy companies including Energy Transfer and PBF Energy say energy demand will be strong in the second half of 2022, according to a Reuters review of company earnings calls.

(With input from Reuters) 


Musk sells Tesla shares worth $6.9 billion, cites chance of forced Twitter deal

Musk sells Tesla shares worth $6.9 billion, cites chance of forced Twitter deal
(AFP/File)
Updated 10 August 2022

Musk sells Tesla shares worth $6.9 billion, cites chance of forced Twitter deal

Musk sells Tesla shares worth $6.9 billion, cites chance of forced Twitter deal

REUTERS: Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk sold $6.9 billion worth of shares in the electric vehicle maker, saying the funds could be used to finance a potential Twitter deal if he loses a legal battle with the social media platform.

“In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close *and* some equity partners don’t come through, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock,” he said in a tweet late on Tuesday.

Musk in early July tore up his April 25 agreement to buy Twitter for $44 billion.

Twitter has sued Musk to force him to complete the transaction, dismissing his claim that he was misled about the number of spam accounts on the social media platform as buyer’s remorse in the wake of a plunge in technology stocks.

The two sides head to trial on Oct. 17.

“Street will read through this poker move that chances of Twitter deal more likely now,” Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, tweeted.

In other comments on Twitter on Tuesday, Musk said “yes” when asked if he was done selling Tesla stock, and also said he would buy Tesla stock again if the Twitter deal does not close.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Musk, the world’s richest person, sold $8.5 billion worth of Tesla shares in April and had said at the time there were no further sales planned. But since then, legal experts had suggested that if Musk is forced to complete the acquisition or settle the dispute with a stiff penalty, he was likely to sell more Tesla shares.

Musk sold about 7.92 million shares between Aug.5 and Aug.9, according to multiple filings. He now owns 155.04 million Tesla shares or just under 15 percent of the automaker according to Reuters calculations.

The latest sales bring total Tesla stock sales by Musk to about $32 billion in less than one year.

Tesla shares have risen nearly 15 percent since the automaker reported better-than-expected earnings on July 20, also helped by the Biden administration’s climate bill that, if passed, would lift the cap on tax credits for electric vehicles.

Musk also teased on Tuesday that he could start his own social media platform. When asked by a Twitter user if he had thought about creating his own platform if the deal didn’t close, he replied: “X.com”