India In-Focus — Palm oil imports surging to 10-month high; Sri Lanka to organize roadshows in India

India buys palm oil mainly from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, while soybean oil is mainly sourced from Argentina, Brazil and the United States. India imports sunflower oil from Ukraine and Russia.
India buys palm oil mainly from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, while soybean oil is mainly sourced from Argentina, Brazil and the United States. India imports sunflower oil from Ukraine and Russia.
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Updated 06 July 2022

India In-Focus — Palm oil imports surging to 10-month high; Sri Lanka to organize roadshows in India

India In-Focus — Palm oil imports surging to 10-month high; Sri Lanka to organize roadshows in India

RIYADH: India’s palm oil imports in July are set to jump to a 10-month high due to a hefty correction in prices and as Indonesia allows more exports of the product, four dealers told Reuters.

Higher purchases by India, the world’s biggest importer of vegetable oils, may add support for Malaysian palm oil prices, which are trading near a one-year low.

India’s palm oil imports in July may rise to between 700,000 to 800,000 tons, the highest since September 2021, the dealers said.

Indian buyers contracted to purchase nearly 250,000 tons of palm oil for prompt shipment last week, but this week’s drop in prices has confused many buyers and they are waiting for prices to stabilize, said another one of the dealers, who is based in New Delhi with a global trading firm.

India buys palm oil mainly from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, while soybean oil is mainly sourced from Argentina, Brazil and the United States. India imports sunflower oil from Ukraine and Russia.

Sri Lanka looks to Indians visitors

Sri Lanka will hold road shows in five key Indian cities to attract more visitors from its populous northern neighbor in a bid to bring more foreign currency into the crisis-hit island, its tourism minister said on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka is grappling with its worst financial crisis in seven decades, partly triggered by economic mismanagement and the coronavirus disease pandemic, which wiped out its lucrative tourism industry.

The country of 22 million people is now without enough foreign currency to import essentials, leading to shortages of medicine, food, and fuel.

Despite the turmoil, Sri Lanka has seen a steady trickle of 61,951 Indian tourists — the most from any foreign country — in the first five months of this year, and the government is keen to bring in more Indians.

“Sri Lanka must have tourism revenue if it is to emerge from this crisis. That is essential,” Tourism Minister Harin Fernando told reporters.

Sri Lanka’s Tourism Ministry will hold road shows in five major Indian cities, seeking to draw business and leisure travelers, besides destination weddings, Fernando said.

“India is a very important market for us,” he said.

SpiceJet warned over safety lapses

India’s aviation regulator has issued a warning notice to SpiceJet Ltd. after a review of recent incidents by the watchdog showed “poor internal safety oversight and inadequate maintenance actions.”

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation, also known as DGCA, said that a review of several incidents involving SpiceJet’s planes since April 1 showed that “the aircraft either turned back to its originating station or continued landing to the destination with degraded safety margins.”

“The review transpires that poor internal safety oversight and inadequate maintenance actions (as most of the incidents are related to either component failure or system related failure) has resulted in degradation of the safety margins,” the DGCA said in its letter.

The airline has been given three weeks to respond to the regulator’s warning notice before any action is taken.

The letter dated July 5 was made public by India’s civil aviation ministry on Twitter on Wednesday.

 

(With input from Reuters) 


India In-Focus — Bond yields end higher; India mulls blocking Chinese firms from sub-$150 phone market 

India In-Focus — Bond yields end higher; India mulls blocking Chinese firms from sub-$150 phone market 
Updated 14 sec ago

India In-Focus — Bond yields end higher; India mulls blocking Chinese firms from sub-$150 phone market 

India In-Focus — Bond yields end higher; India mulls blocking Chinese firms from sub-$150 phone market 

RIYADH: Indian government bond yields ended higher on Monday for a second consecutive session tracking a hike in key policy rate from the Reserve Bank of India as well as rise in US Treasury yields.

The 10-year benchmark bond yield ended at 7.3485 percent. It had closed 14 basis points higher at 7.3005 percent on Friday, when it posted the biggest single-day gain in three months.

India’s ICICI Securities to issue 3-month CP: traders

India’s ICICI Securities plans to raise funds by selling commercial papers maturing in three months, three merchant bankers said on Monday.

The company will offer a yield of 6.15 percent on this issue and it has received commitments worth around 11.75 billion rupees ($147.54 million), the bankers said.

The notes are rated A1+ by CRISIL.

L&T Finance to issue intra-month CP

India’s L&T Finance plans to raise funds selling commercial papers maturing within August, Reuters reported quoting three merchant bankers.

The company will offer a yield of 5.80 percent on this issue, and it has received bids worth around three billion rupees so far, the bankers said.

The notes are rated A1+ by CARE Ratings and have a value date of Aug. 10.

India seeking to block Chinese firms from its sub-$150 phone market: ET Now

India is seeking to oust Chinese firms from its sub-$150 phone market, broadcaster ET NOW said on Monday citing unnamed news agencies.

The report said the move would come as a blow to Chinese companies Xiaomi and Realme.

(With input from Reuters) 


Bahri partners with Aventra Group to accelerate digital transformation

Bahri partners with Aventra Group to accelerate digital transformation
Updated 18 min 42 sec ago

Bahri partners with Aventra Group to accelerate digital transformation

Bahri partners with Aventra Group to accelerate digital transformation

RIYADH: Bahri, formally known as the National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia, has partnered with Singapore-based Aventra Group to accelerate its digital transformation journey.

According to a press release, Bahri’s partnership with Aventra Group includes building a maritime-based data orchestration platform solution to securely store, sort, and combine data across the firm’s business units.

The orchestration platform is expected to help the company streamline and automate data-driven decision-making, the release added.

“Data is the core to all digital transformation, and this partnership enables Bahri to accelerate its strategy to ensure that we further strengthen its comprehensive logistics and transportation offerings,” said Waleed Alsobayel, acting chief technology officer of Bahri.


Saudia offers up to 40% discounts on domestic and international routes

Saudia offers up to 40% discounts on domestic and international routes
Updated 48 min 35 sec ago

Saudia offers up to 40% discounts on domestic and international routes

Saudia offers up to 40% discounts on domestic and international routes

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian Airlines, known as Saudia, has announced a discount of up to 40 percent for some of its local and international flights, including destinations in Europe, and the US. 

Reservations for the discounted flights will be available from Aug. 7 to 12, while guests can travel from Sept. 15 to Nov. 15, the airline said in a statement. 

As the Kingdom seeks to boost tourist arrivals, this comes as part of the airline’s strategy to connect Saudi Arabia with the world.

By 2030, Saudi Arabia targets the tourism sector to contribute 10 percent of the economic output, up from its current 3 percent. 


China In-Focus — Stocks down; New tax probe on independent oil refiners

China In-Focus — Stocks down; New tax probe on independent oil refiners
Updated 08 August 2022

China In-Focus — Stocks down; New tax probe on independent oil refiners

China In-Focus — Stocks down; New tax probe on independent oil refiners

RIYADH: China stocks flitted in a tight range on Monday, with the energy sector being partially countered by losses in consumer shares, as domestic COVID-19 outbreaks and tensions with the US kept market sentiment fragile.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.2 percent to 4,148.07, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3 percent to 3,236.93 points.

The Hang Seng index fell 0.8 percent to 20,045.77, while the China Enterprises Index lost 1.2 percent to 6,821.52.

Tax probe on oil refiners

China is set to begin another round of tax inspections on independent refiners that will last months, adding to pressure on refinery operations which are already running well below capacity, five trading and refinery executives told Reuters.

The world’s top crude oil importer has been clamping down on independent refiners since early last year, including probes into quota trading and fuel tax evasion, as Beijing seeks to curb excessive fuel processing and recoup state tax revenue losses.

With fuel demand already sluggish under Beijing’s zero-COVID policy, the probes hastened a rare annual decline in the nation’s crude oil imports and refinery production.

Independent refiners, mostly located in eastern refining hub of Shandong, account for roughly a fifth of the total Chinese crude oil imports.

The new inspections, due to start later this month, will be led by 15 state agencies including macroeconomic planner the National Development and Reform Commission, the State Taxation Administration and the National Audit Office, the sources said.

“We were informed last week of the upcoming inspections and are getting ready for that,” said a trading executive with an independent refiner based in Shandong.

July meat imports down 

China, the world’s top meat buyer, imported 643,000 tons of meat in July, General Administration of Customs data on Sunday showed.

July’s meat imports were down 24.7 percent from the same month a year earlier, but up 6.6 percent from June 2022.

Meanwhile, meat imports for January to July were 4.10 million tons, down 30.9 percent from a year ago, according to official data.

 

(With input from Reuters)


Apple to open distribution center at Riyadh airport, says minister

Apple to open distribution center at Riyadh airport, says minister
Updated 08 August 2022

Apple to open distribution center at Riyadh airport, says minister

Apple to open distribution center at Riyadh airport, says minister

RIYADH: US tech firm Apple will soon open a center for the distribution of its products and spare parts in the logistics zone at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, the Saudi investment minister told Al-Arabiya. 

Khalid Al-Falih said several international companies, including Google, Alibaba, Microsoft and IBM, have invested or intend to invest in the Kingdom.

These investments will be coupled with the development of human resources through partnership of these companies with academies, universities and training centers, he added.