China ambassador praises Saudi firms for aiding Chinese businesses expansion plans

China ambassador praises Saudi firms for aiding Chinese businesses expansion plans
Chen Weiqing, ambassador of China to Saudi Arabia (File)
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Updated 08 July 2022

China ambassador praises Saudi firms for aiding Chinese businesses expansion plans

China ambassador praises Saudi firms for aiding Chinese businesses expansion plans

China’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia has praised the Kingdom for helping businesses from his country expand across the globe.

Chen Weiqing made the comments during a visit to the headquarters of eWTP Arabia Capital in Riyadh, as he spoke with a range of business leaders.

eWTP Arabia Capital has formed a joint venture company with China’s Alibaba Cloud, among others, called Saudi Cloud Computing Co., with a capital of $238 million. 

Other firms involved include Saudi Telecom Company Group, and the Saudi Company for Artificial Intelligence.

Last month the new business announced the launch of two data centers in the Kingdom, which will cater to the needs of Alibaba’s cloud operations.

They are the first in what will be 16 data centers throughout the administrative regions of Saudi Arabia.

According to a statement: “Ambassador Chen recognized the efforts made by the enterprises to overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and appraised their operations…and expressed his appreciation of eWTP Arabia Capital’s efforts in helping Chinese enterprises with their global expansions through investments and strategic portfolio managements.”

Chen also said the Chinese Embassy will provide continuous support to Chinese enterprises and all of their employees to assist their developments in Saudi Arabia.


UAE In-Focus — Non-oil business growth slips to 12-month low in January  

UAE In-Focus — Non-oil business growth slips to 12-month low in January  
Updated 09 February 2023

UAE In-Focus — Non-oil business growth slips to 12-month low in January  

UAE In-Focus — Non-oil business growth slips to 12-month low in January  

RIYADH: Non-oil private sector growth in the UAE declined in January, registering a 12-month low, revealed the latest S&P Global UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index report.

The seasonally-adjusted S&P Global UAE PMI fell to 54.1, slipping slightly from 54.2 in December and the lowest since January 2022.  

“Weak global conditions weighed on export demand in January, as firms saw foreign sales decrease at the fastest rate since June 2021. Firms were somewhat optimistic about future output prospects,” said David Owen, senior economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, in the report.   

However, output and new orders both rose sharply, while robust supply chains and stable energy prices helped to keep input costs settled. Employment and purchasing activity continued to increase, the report stated.  

“While the UAE PMI was at a one-year low of 54.1 in January, it continued to signal a robust improvement in business conditions at non-oil companies at the beginning of 2023,” added Owen.  

UAE Aramex net profits fall 27% to $44.92m 

Aramex announced a 27 percent decline in net profits to 165 million dirhams ($44.92 million) for the year 2022, even as its revenues fell 2 percent to 5.9 billion dirhams in the corresponding period.  

In the fourth quarter, revenues declined by 5 percent to 1.5 billion dirhams, and net profit fell 27 percent to 33.8 million dirhams.  

The company attributed the decline in revenues to the COVID-19 restrictions in China, the general slowdown in economic growth and the decline in consumer confidence.  

Global inflation and currency depreciation in critical markets such as Lebanon and Egypt also took a toll on the numbers.  

ADNOC Distribution revenues soar 53% to $8.47bn  

ADNOC Distribution’s revenues surged 53 percent to 31.1 billion dirhams in 2022 from 20.9 billion in 2021.  

The company’s profits rose 22 percent to about 2.75 billion dirhams from 2.252 billion dirhams in 2021.  

The fuel distributor witnessed an increase in the total quantities of fuel sold during 2022, as it recorded a growth of 8 percent annually, with a 19 percent rise in the volumes of commercial fuel.  

On Thursday, the company’s board of directors recommended a cash dividend of 1.285 billion dirhams, or 10.285 fils per share, for the second half of 2022. It will be presented to shareholders for approval during the annual meeting of the general assembly to be held in 2023. 


Egypt In-Focus – Investments worth $1.2bn planned for Zohr field in 2023-2024, says Petrobel chairman 

Egypt In-Focus – Investments worth $1.2bn planned for Zohr field in 2023-2024, says Petrobel chairman 
Updated 09 February 2023

Egypt In-Focus – Investments worth $1.2bn planned for Zohr field in 2023-2024, says Petrobel chairman 

Egypt In-Focus – Investments worth $1.2bn planned for Zohr field in 2023-2024, says Petrobel chairman 

RIYADH: Seeking to expand production from the largest Mediterranean gas field, Khaled Mowafi, chairman of Belayim Petroleum Co., has announced Egyptian authorities will invest $1.2 billion during the fiscal year 2023-2024 in the Zohr gas field.

The company, also known as Petrobel, is a joint firm between the Italian giant ENI and the state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corp..

The budget for the next fiscal year includes the implementation of an ambitious plan to intensify the development activities of the field through the expansion of drilling new wells and repairing and re-completing others, Mowafi said during a meeting of the General Assembly of Petroshorouk Co., which is operating in the Zohr gas field.

He went on to say that projects will be undertaken to increase the efficiency of the facilities at the onshore production plant.

Mowafi also reviewed the amended budget of the current fiscal year 2022-2023, noting that work will continue to develop the southern region of the field, the well “Zohr-18,” which was successfully drilled, completed and placed on the production map in December 2022.

Egyptian exports jumped 19.2% in first 11 months of 2022

Egyptian exports increased by 19.2 percent to hit $46.9 billion during the first 11 months of 2022, compared to $39.3 billion during the same period a year earlier, according to government data.

Turkiye topped the countries to which Egyptian exports went during the first 11 months of 2022, with a value of $3.5 billion, followed by Spain with $3.3 billion,  Italy with of $3.1 billion, then Saudi Arabia with $2.2 billion followed, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics said on Feb. 8.

The top 10 countries, which also include the US, the UAE, South Korea, the Netherlands, and China, accounted for 45.1 percent of the total value of Egyptian exports across the globe, at a value of $21.2 billion during the first 11 months of 2022.

Egypt’s headline inflation increased to 25.8% in January 

Egypt’s annual urban consumer price inflation jumped to a higher-than-expected 25.8 percent in January, its fastest in more than five years and up from 21.3 percent in December, data from statistics agency CAPMAS showed.

The rise followed a series of currency devaluations starting in March 2022, a prolonged shortage of foreign currency and continuing delays in getting imports into the country.

January inflation was the highest since December 2017, a year after a steep devaluation.

Economists had expected a reading of 23.75 percent, according to the median forecast in a Reuters poll of 14. Five analysts had forecast that core inflation would climb to 26.6 percent from 24.4 percent in December.

Headline inflation increased across the board, but was driven especially by higher prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, which make up 32.7 percent of the index's basket.

(With input from Reuters) 


Saudi Arabia’s Industrial Production Index rises 7.3% y-o-y in December 2022: GASTAT  

Saudi Arabia’s Industrial Production Index rises 7.3% y-o-y in December 2022: GASTAT  
Updated 09 February 2023

Saudi Arabia’s Industrial Production Index rises 7.3% y-o-y in December 2022: GASTAT  

Saudi Arabia’s Industrial Production Index rises 7.3% y-o-y in December 2022: GASTAT  

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Industrial Production Index rose 7.3 percent year-on-year in December 2022, primarily driven by high production in mining and quarrying, and manufacturing activities, a new report released by the General Authority for Statistics showed.   

After months of negative trends in 2019 and 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Saudi Arabia’s IPI turned positive in May 2021 and has been growing continuously since then.   

GASTAT report noted that the mining and quarrying sector rose by 4.3 percent in December 2022 compared to the same month in 2021.   

Saudi Arabia’s mining and quarrying activities also increased as the Kingdom raised its oil production to more than 10 million barrels per day in December 2022.   

The report further pointed out that manufacturing activities increased by 18.5 percent in December 2022, compared to December 2021.   

According to GASTAT, IPI is an economic indicator that reflects the relative changes in the volume of industrial output, and it is calculated based on the industrial production survey.   

The report said that the relative weights of the mining and quarrying, manufacturing and electricity and gas supply sectors in the IPI are 74.5 percent, 22.6 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.  

“Thus, the trend of the industrial production index in the mining and quarrying sector dominates the trend in the general IPI,” it added.   

In December 2022, Saudi Arabia’s electricity and gas supplies decreased by 6.5 percent compared to the same month in 2021.  

The GASTAT report which was released on Feb. 9, however, noted that overall IPI decreased by 0.3 percent in December 2022 when compared with November 2022.   

This decline was due to the decrease in the mining and quarrying sector which fell by 0.3 percent, it added.   

According to the report, the manufacturing sector remained unchanged in December 2022 compared to the previous month, while electricity and gas supplies decreased by 5.3 percent.   

Even though Saudi Arabia’s IPI is still showing positive trends, its growth has slowed down for the eighth month in a row from a 26.7 year-on-year growth reported in April 2022. 

It should be also noted that Saudi Arabia’s IPI growth in December is the slowest in 2022 as it went below the 11.1 percent year-on-year growth reported in January last year. 


Oil Updates — Crude steady; TotalEnergies net profits double to record $36bn in 2022 

Oil Updates — Crude steady; TotalEnergies net profits double to record $36bn in 2022 
Updated 27 min 59 sec ago

Oil Updates — Crude steady; TotalEnergies net profits double to record $36bn in 2022 

Oil Updates — Crude steady; TotalEnergies net profits double to record $36bn in 2022 

RIYADH: Oil prices were broadly steady on Thursday as the prospect of higher fuel demand in China as it reopens post-COVID curbs was offset by fears that US crude stocks hitting their highest for months may signal weakening demand in the world’s No. 1 economy. 

Brent crude futures gained 06 cents to $85.15 a barrel at 08.35 a.m. Saudi time, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures went up 2 cents to $78.49 a barrel. Both benchmarks have gained more than 6 percent so far this week. 

TotalEnergies net profits double to record $36.2 billion in 2022 

French oil major TotalEnergies posted a record net profit of $36.2 billion in 2022, double the previous year, joining in the sector’s bumper earnings thanks to higher oil and gas prices since Russia invaded Ukraine. 

TotalEnergies’ fourth-quarter adjusted net income was $7.6 billion, including a $4.1 billion impairment related to the deconsolidation of its stake in Russian gas firm Novatek. 

The net income for the last three months of the year was in line with analyst estimates in a consensus by Refinitiv and compared with $6.8 billion a year earlier, and $9.9 billion in the third quarter of 2022. 

The blockbuster profit follows similar reports from rivals BP, Shell, Exxon Mobil and Chevron, prompting new calls to further tax the sector as households struggle to pay energy bills. 

TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne told reporters the global backdrop remained very favorable for energy companies, with the relaxing of COVID-19 measures in China pushing up demand. 

TotalEnergies said it would propose a dividend of 2.81 euros per share, up 6.4 percent from a year earlier and on top of an already announced 1 euro per share special payout. 

As previously announced, it booked a $1.7 billion provision for extraordinary windfall taxes levied in the EU and Britain in the fourth quarter. 

The company said it expected net investments of $16-18 billion in 2023, including $5 billion for low-carbon energy. 

APA strikes oil off Suriname coast 

US oil producer APA Corp. said on Wednesday that it had found oil after drilling Sapakara South-2 appraisal well in Block 58, offshore Suriname. 

Exploration, off the South American country’s coast, has been watched closely as it is just over the border from massive oil discoveries made by an Exxon Mobil Corp.-led consortium in Guyana that is estimated to hold nearly 11 billion barrels of oil equivalent. 

The well is located about 4.6 km south of the Sapakara South-1 appraisal well, where APA found oil in 2021. 

The company had in November wound up drilling operations at the Awari well in Block 58 as it was “deemed noncommercial.” 

TotalEnergies operates Block 58, with a 50 percent working interest, while APA holds the other half. 

(With input from Reuters) 

 


Asia set to use half of world’s electricity by 2025: IEA report

Asia set to use half of world’s electricity by 2025: IEA report
Updated 08 February 2023

Asia set to use half of world’s electricity by 2025: IEA report

Asia set to use half of world’s electricity by 2025: IEA report

BERLIN: Asia will for the first time use half of the world’s electricity by 2025, even as Africa continues to consume far less than its share of the global population, according to a new forecast released on Wednesday by the International Energy Agency.
Much of Asia’s electricity use will be in China, a nation of 1.4 billion people whose share of global consumption will rise from a quarter in 2015 to a third by the middle of this decade, the Paris-based body said.
“China will be consuming more electricity than the European Union, United States and India combined,” said Keisuke Sadamori, the IEA’s director of energy markets and security.
By contrast, Africa — home to almost a fifth of world’s nearly 8 billion inhabitants — will account for just 3 percent of global electricity consumption in 2025.
“This and the rapidly growing population mean there is still a massive need for increased electrification in Africa,” said Sadamori.
The IEA’s annual report predicts that nuclear power and renewables such as wind and solar will account for much of the growth in global electricity supply over the coming three years. This will prevent a significant rise in greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector, it said.
Scientists say sharp cuts in all sources of emissions are needed as soon as possible to keep average global temperatures from rising 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. That target, laid down in the 2015 Paris climate accord, appears increasingly doubtful as temperatures have already increased by more than 1.1 degrees Celsius since the reference period.
One hope for meeting the goal is a wholesale shift away from fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil toward low-carbon sources of energy. But while some regions are reducing their use of coal and gas for electricity production, in others consumption is increasing, the IEA said.
The 134-page also report warned that electricity demand and supply are becoming increasingly weather dependent, a problem it urged policymakers to address.
“In addition to drought in Europe, there were heat waves in India (last year),” said Sadamori. “Similarly, central and eastern China were hit by heat waves and drought. The US also saw severe winter storms in December, and all those events put massive strain on the power systems of these regions.”
“As the clean energy transition gathers pace, the impact of weather events on electricity demand will intensify due to the increased electrification of heating, while the share of weather-dependent renewables will continue to grow in the generation mix,” the IEA said. “In such a world, increasing the flexibility of power systems while ensuring security of supply and resilience of networks will be crucial."