CAIRO: Sharply rising prices and currency devaluation have resulted in Egypt’s non-oil private sector’s biggest drop in two years in June. Additionally, the country’s trade balance deficit fell by 53 percent during April.
Egypt’s non-oil private sector
Egypt’s non-oil private sector has seen its biggest drop in two years during the month of June, in the face of sharply rising prices and a devalued Egyptian pound, according to the S&P Global Purchasing Managers’ Index.
The North African country’s PMI registered 45.2 in June, down from 47 during the month earlier.
Trade balance deficit
Egypt’s trade balance deficit fell by 53 percent during April 2022 to reach $1.7 billion compared to April 2021’s $3.62 billion, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics.
According to CAPMAS’ monthly bulletin, the country’s exports rose by 54.2 percent to hit $4.94 billion during April, compared to $3.2 billion in the same period last year.
Cairo-based real estate developer Sixth of October for Development and Investment Co., or Sodic, has submitted a non-binding offer to acquire up to 100 percent of the share capital of state-owned developer Madinet Nasr Housing & Development.
The transaction could value the company, to be acquired, at $328 million, according to MEED.
This comes in line with Sodic’s strategy to expand its portfolio of mixed-use residential communities in Cairo.
Sodic is majority-owned by a consortium comprising Abu Dhabi-based Aldar and ADQ.
Saudi PIF supported Lucid during times of supply crunch, says top official
Updated 6 min 40 sec ago
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has been supportive of Lucid Group Inc. during times when the firm faced a supply crunch which led to two production target cuts, said a top official.
Earlier this month, Lucid cut its production targets to 6,000 to 7,000 cars from an original target of 20,000 cars due to supply chain issues.
Faisal Sultan, managing director of global operations at Lucid, said that PIF — which owns over 60 percent share in the electric car manufacturing firm — understands the challenges around supply chain issues and costs.
“The PIF have been very supportive. When the world re-emerges from the pandemic and the supply chain catches up, we will be ready,” Sultan told Bloomberg TV.
Sultan, however, noted that supply chain issues will be solved soon, and conditions will improve by the end of this year.
“We’re a new company, so definitely there will be challenges in the next three-four months, but we’re hoping things will get better by the end of this year,” he added.
In the first quarter of 2022, Lucid sold 360 cars to Saudi Arabian customers, and in April alone, 300 cars were delivered in the Kingdom.
Lucid has inked a deal with Saudi Arabia to deliver 100,000 cars over the next decade, as the Kingdom continues its focus to achieve a sustainable future.
Sultan noted that Lucid has huge opportunities in the Kingdom.
“The government is very serious and they’ve been working very hard with us to make sure the environment is ready,” added Sultan.
On May 18, Lucid signed an agreement to build a production factory in King Abdullah Economic City, the western part of the Kingdom, with an annual capacity of 150,000 zero-emission electric vehicles.
India In-Focus — Shares hit 4-month high; HDFC to issue nearly 1-year CP; India to produce ethanol from farm waste
Updated 37 min 30 sec ago
RIYADH: Indian shares scaled four-month highs on Thursday, with technology and banking stocks leading the pack after softer-than-expected US inflation data eased fears of aggressive rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.
The NSE Nifty 50 index, with most of its major sub-indexes in the positive territory, climbed 0.83 percent to 17,681.05, as of 0449 GMT, and the S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.94 percent at 59,371.43.
India’s HDFC to issue nearly 1-year CP: traders
India’s Housing Development Finance Corp. Ltd. plans to raise funds through commercial papers maturing in nearly one year, three merchant bankers said on Thursday.
The housing finance company will offer a yield of 6.90 percent on this issue, and has received commitments worth around five billion rupees ($63.06 million), the bankers said.
The notes are rated A1+ by CRISIL and will mature in July 2023. The terms of the deal were set on Wednesday.
SIDBI to issue 3-year-plus bonds
Small Industries Development Bank of India plans to raise at least 15 billion rupees through issuance of bonds maturing in three years, six months and 10 days, three merchant bankers said on Thursday.
The state-run company has invited coupon and commitment bids from bankers and investors for the same on Friday, they said.
The notes are rated AAA by CARE Ratings and the issue will close for subscription on Aug. 17.
The issue has a greenshoe option to retain an additional 25 billion rupees and will mature on Feb. 27, 2026.
Oil costs spur India to produce ethanol from farm waste
India opened its first factory to produce ethanol from rice straw or stubble on Wednesday as part of measures to reduce its reliance on oil imports and meet its net zero carbon goal.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the project will help cut pollution in India’s capital New Delhi, which has been blanketed by smog from stubble burning in recent winters, as well as in the northern states of Haryana and Punjab.
India, one of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gasses, has set a 2070 goal for net zero carbon emissions and has expedited steps to switch to cleaner energy to cut projected emissions by a billion tons by 2030.
Modi said India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer, could not remain insulated from disruption in global markets, adding that the Panipat project would boost farmers’ incomes.
A combination of oil prices rising well above $100 per barrel and a strong US dollar have piled pressure on countries which are dependent on crude imports to drive their economies.
Indian state-run oil firms have announced plans for 12 plants in several states to produce ethanol using farm waste.
Apart from financial savings, the new plant will also help in disposing of rice crop-waste, which is a major source of air pollution when farmers burn stubble.
The new plant will use 200,000 tons of rice straw.
Dubai utility DEWA earns $3.3bn in first-half revenue after record IPO
Updated 11 August 2022
RIYADH: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has reported 12.08 billion dirhams ($3.3 billion) in first-half revenue, which is 12 percent up from the prior-year period, driven by increased energy demand after a record $6.1 billion initial public offering earlier this year.
With a market cap of nearly 127 billion dirhams, the state utility’s profit grew 33 percent on the year to 3.3 billion dirhams in the first half of 2022, according to a statement.
“Continued focus on project delivery, innovation, and accelerating our digital transformation has bolstered our results through the first six months of 2022,” said CEO Saeed Al Tayer, commenting on the results.
The demand for energy during the six-month period hit 23.3 terawatt-hours, compared to 21.9 in the same period in 2021, of which solar contributed 10 percent.
Similarly, DEWA’s water demand in the same period rose by 6.4 percent, whereas its peak demand was up 7 percent to 9.4 gigawatts.
French utility giant EDF gets to the forefront of the Saudi energy market
Updated 11 August 2022
The year 2022 marks a decade of growth for the EDF Group in Saudi Arabia. Active in the Kingdom since 2012, the group’s initial focus was on a single line of business for the Saudi National Atomic Energy Project, as announced by the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy.
In line with the Saudi Vision 2030 and EDF’s 2030 sustainability strategy, the group began to diversify its lines of business, a total of five, and expand in the Kingdom to support its sustainability and energy transition objectives beyond the civil nuclear program.
In 2017, the EDF Group, through EDF Renewables, participated in all public renewable energy tenders organized by the Saudi Ministry of Energy to develop utility-scale projects in the Kingdom.
In 2019, EDF was awarded the development of the largest and most powerful wind farm in the Middle East: the 400 megawatts Dumat Al Jandal Wind Farm. The fully operational project provides clean energy to more than 70,000 Saudi households. In 2021, the 300 MW South Jeddah Noor Solar Project had also been awarded to the French giant, positioning EDF as the first non-regional foreign investor within the Saudi renewable energy market.
EDF’s growth and development in the Kingdom were further strengthened in 2021 by establishing the regional headquarters of the group’s energy services arm, Dalkia Middle East, in Riyadh. The group is also expanding its operations within the Saudi low-carbon energy services sector to incorporate energy efficiency, district cooling networks, operations and maintenance, and exploring the geothermal energy potential in the Kingdom.
Dalkia Middle East is currently in the execution phase of the District Cooling Project, based on a design, build and operate model with the Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Nonprofit City. In addition, the EDF subsidiary is actively involved in Tarshid’s Energy Efficiency Program and leading the operation and maintenance of the Kingdom Tower in Riyadh.
As one of the leading operators of hydropower plants in the world, through EDF Hydro, the group firmly believes in the NEOM landscape and considers it to be the perfect location to utilize pumped storage hydropower. “We have completed pre-feasibility site selection studies in NEOM and are eager to provide further support and expand our cooperation with this ambitious city.
The EDF Group has, beyond the technical services provided by EDF Hydro for PSH, the ambition to invest in such assets in the Kingdom,” said Omar Aldaweesh, EDF general manager for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
From low-carbon energy generation to energy services for industrial clients, the EDF International Network, which represents the EDF-owned French Distribution Service Operator on the international scale, is currently executing a project management office contract with the Saudi Electricity Co. to support the digitalization of their distribution network in the Kingdom.
The EDF Group has empowered its subsidiaries and various divisions’ expansion in the Saudi market while maintaining its mandate concerning civil nuclear energy and other complex projects in the Kingdom.
The EDF Group, alongside its partner MASDAR, is launching Emerge KSA, a 50 percent-owned joint venture between the two leading companies, with its ongoing pipeline, which will be officially established in the Kingdom by the end of 2022.
The JV, providing turnkey energy solutions, is currently active in the UAE to develop combined renewable power solutions alongside energy efficiency services within the commercial and industrial market, with major projects already in operation in Abu Dhabi.
“Emerge KSA has massive potential in Saudi Arabia, not only in the C&I market but in off-grid overall. We have seen many projects exceed dozens of MW capacity. The objective is to target more integrated solutions within Emerge KSA by enabling the hybridization of existing carbonized power systems,” said Aldaweesh.
The C&I market in the Kingdom is known to be the largest in the region, with various prospects presently under assessment by Emerge KSA.
EDF’s engagement across the Saudi energy value chain
The EDF’s “raison d’etre” aims to build a carbon-free future by generating clean electricity and offering innovative solutions to the global energy market. “The group’s targets are certainly in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 and the Saudi Green Initiative’s objectives,” said Aldaweesh.
“We are proud of our engagement throughout the entire Saudi energy value chain, from generation to end user, and our ever-expanding cooperation with the Saudi government in that regard,” he added.
Moreover, and with respect to low-carbon resources, the EDF Group is currently in discussion with the Saudi government on the development of geothermal energy and hydroelectricity in the Kingdom.
EDF is also exploring electrical network investments in the Kingdom, such as transmission and distribution.
The group is targeting opportunities for two of its main subsidiaries involved in smart city solutions: Urbanomy, for urban planning services to support the decarbonization of the Saudi real estate sector, and Citegestion, which has the expertise to provide city monitoring services that could be highly beneficial for projects under the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
Active in the global hydrogen value chain, EDF announced in April of 2022 a plan to develop 3 gigawatts of low-carbon hydrogen projects worldwide by the end of the decade, derived from renewable or nuclear power. “We believe that Saudi Arabia offers the perfect ground to be a worldwide hydrogen player, and the group is eager to be part of the Kingdom’s vision on that front,” confirmed Aldaweesh.
Challenges and opportunities
The current rise in oil prices does not seem to constitute a challenge. Aldaweesh believes there will be no impact on EDF’s activities in the Kingdom, as the Saudi government has already revealed its clear sustainability plans and will provide the necessary support to reach the set targets.
The first Saudi appointed general manager within EDF, added, “The group continues its commitment to support the decisive energy transition in Saudi Arabia, and we truly believe that we have merely begun scratching the surface in terms of our potential in the Kingdom, as well as our diverse wide-ranging capabilities which can position the EDF Group as an essential player in the Saudi energy sector.”