China In-Focus — Stocks fall; Premier African Minerals to send lithium shipments to China

China In-Focus — Stocks fall; Premier African Minerals to send lithium shipments to China
The CSI300 index fell 1.9 percent to 4,344.26 at the end of the morning session (Shutterstock)
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Updated 11 July 2022

China In-Focus — Stocks fall; Premier African Minerals to send lithium shipments to China

China In-Focus — Stocks fall; Premier African Minerals to send lithium shipments to China

RIYADH: China stocks fell on Monday as a rise in domestic cases of COVID-19 dented sentiment, while concerns over policymakers exiting crisis-mode monetary easing also weighed.

The CSI300 index fell 1.9 percent to 4,344.26 at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.5 percent to 3,307.23.

The Hang Seng index dropped 2.7 percent to 21,130.67. The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 3 percent to 7,324.46.

Auto sales surged in June

China’s auto sales surged 23.8 percent in June from a year earlier, the first increase in four months after authorities cut taxes and offered subsidies to encourage car purchases as COVID-19 restrictions eased.

Sales in the world’s biggest car market rose to 2.5 million vehicles in June, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed on Monday.

Sales for the first half of the year, hit hard by stringent lockdowns in Shanghai and other Chinese cities between March and May, were 6.6 percent lower than the same period in 2021.

June sales were up 34.4 percent from May, with sales of new energy vehicles such as electric vehicles, plug-in petrol-electric hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles climbing 129.2 percent from the previous year.

However,  a slump in commercial-vehicle demand led China’s automobile industry association on Monday to downgrade its sales forecast, as anti-pandemic measures weighed on the economy and its car market, the world’s largest, according to Reuters.

Premier African Minerals to ship spodumene to China

Premier African Minerals will start shipping spodumene concentrate from its Zulu lithium mine in Zimbabwe to China by March 2023 after signing an offtake deal with Suzhou TA&A Ultra Clean Technology Co., its CEO George Roach told Reuters.

Zimbabwe holds some of the world’s biggest hard-rock lithium deposits, and Suzhou joins a growing list of Chinese firms that have invested in the southern African country’s battery minerals projects, including Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt and Sinomine Resource Group.

Roach said Suzhou is injecting $35 million for constructing a high-capacity pilot plant at Zulu, with an output of nearly 50,000 tons of spodumene concentrate annually.

The plant aims to ship the mineral by March next year and ramp up production to around 48,000 tons of spodumene concentrate a year.

In March, Suzhou became a 13.38 percent shareholder in Premier through a private placement in which it injected 12 million pounds ($14.37 million) into the company. 

The deal secures spodumene concentrate supply for Yibin Tianyi, China’s leading lithium chemicals producer, which Suzhou jointly owns with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., the world’s largest electric vehicle battery maker.

The prices of lithium minerals, critical components in the manufacture of electric batteries, have soared in recent months thanks to a growing demand for clean energy sources. Zimbabwe, starved of investment for more than two decades, hopes its lithium resources will recharge its moribund economy.

(With input from Reuters)


Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade

Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade
Updated 17 sec ago

Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade

Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade

RIYADH: Metaverse is predicted to add $360 billion to the economy in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey over the next 10 years, an official for Meta, the parent company of Facebook, told Asharq Business.

The metaverse is an online world where users can play games, work, and study.

Globally, the metaverse is expected to add $3 trillion to the world’s economy over the next decade, according to Fares Akkad, regional director for Meta in MENA.

Speaking about Meta platforms, he said there are over 300 million users on Instagram, Facebook, and Whatsapp.

Meta is investing more than $1 billion in programs that support creators on these platforms and help them succeed, Akkad said.

 


TASI sees sixth session of gains: Closing bell

TASI sees sixth session of gains: Closing bell
Updated 7 min 11 sec ago

TASI sees sixth session of gains: Closing bell

TASI sees sixth session of gains: Closing bell

RIYADH: The Saudi main index closed on a positive note for the sixth trading session in a row as investors’ recession fears faded.

The Tadawul All Share Index ended 1.49 percent higher to reach 11,780; the parallel market Nomu edged 1.32 percent higher to 20,339.

Saudi oil giant Aramco ended with a 0.70 percent decline, while Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. edged up 4.9 percent.

The Saudi National Bank, the Kingdom’s largest lender, fell 2.36 percent, while Saudi British Bank increased by 1.73 percent.

The Kingdom’s most valued bank Al Rajhi gained 1.81 percent, while Alinma Bank gained 1.05 percent.

Arabian Internet and Telecommunication Co., known as solutions by stc, gained 7.67 percent to lead the gainers, after it completed all necessary procedures to acquire a $158 million stake in Egypt's Giza Systems Co.

Gulf General Cooperative Insurance Co. declined 2.58 percent to lead the fallers, followed by Alamar Foods Co. which fell 1.45 percent.

Among the gainers, Arabian Pipes Co. increased 7.54 percent, while Jabal Omar Development Co. added 6.67 percent.


Saudi Arabia explores opportunities in South Africa to become global supplier of hydrogen

Saudi Arabia explores opportunities in South Africa to become global supplier of hydrogen
Updated 10 min 34 sec ago

Saudi Arabia explores opportunities in South Africa to become global supplier of hydrogen

Saudi Arabia explores opportunities in South Africa to become global supplier of hydrogen

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is working to boost its mining sector by attracting investments, spreading digital and advanced technologies, and applying sustainable standards, said the Kingdom’s vice minister for mining affair at the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.

Khalid Al-Mudaifer is heading a Saudi delegation in South Africa, where the Kingdom seeks to explore investment opportunities to become a global supplier of hydrogen and emerge as a hub for green mineral and highly competitive manufacturing.

The delegation, comprising Saudi investors, is visiting South African capital Pretoria to meet local investors, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The report said the Kingdom has many opportunities for integration with South Africa since it is one of the biggest economies in the continent.

One of the reasons for cooperation with South Africa is its strategic location, serving as a gateway to the entire African continent, as well as a link between the East and the West, Al-Mudaifer told Argaam.

South Africa is the hub for West Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa and the site for the export and trade of the Kingdom’s minerals. It also has great experience in mining, tourism, and other sectors.

Al-Mudaifer emphasized that Saudi Basic Industries Corp. and Saudi Arabian Mining Co. have representative offices in South Africa, which presents numerous opportunities for Saudi companies there.

“We can cooperate with South Africa to serve the Kingdom’s mining sector,” the vice minister noted.

The Kingdom has 14 mining sites with quantities of copper and zinc that will be auctioned after Al-Khunayqiyah and Umm Al-Damar. It needs marketing campaigns worldwide to attract companies, he added.

There are several South African firms operating in the Kingdom, including ADL, the official said, adding that some agreements were signed at Indaba. In addition to signing pacts with South African firms, other deals will be signed to transfer business into the Kingdom during this visit.

 


Mawani, Globe sign contract for integrated logistics zone at Jeddah Islamic Port 

Mawani, Globe sign contract for integrated logistics zone at Jeddah Islamic Port 
Updated 23 min 17 sec ago

Mawani, Globe sign contract for integrated logistics zone at Jeddah Islamic Port 

Mawani, Globe sign contract for integrated logistics zone at Jeddah Islamic Port 

RIYADH: The Saudi Ports Authority, Mawani, has inked a deal with Globe Group to establish a fully integrated logistics zone at Jeddah Islamic Port to enhance its competitive edge and support logistics-related companies on the ground.

This comes as a continuation of Mawani’s initiative to turn the Kingdom into a global logistics hub by creating such zones inside and outside ports.

Mawani said it aims to increase the contribution of the private sector to economic development and diversification in Jeddah Islamic Port, as well as provide and localize job opportunities in the logistics sector.

Jeddah Islamic Port is witnessing development operations aimed at improving its operational processes and increasing its capacity in an effort to make it among the top 10 ports in the world.

The port accounts for 75 percent of inbound maritime and transshipment trade in the Red Sea, making it the first re-export point in the region.

Recently, Mawani announced the signing of exceptional agreements to establish five promising logistic areas in Jeddah Islamic Port with an investment value of approximately SR2 billion ($532 million).

It also provides 6,000 direct and indirect job opportunities in the first phase, in an integrated partnership with local and international companies, including Maersk, CMA CGM, LogiPoint, DB World, Bahri.


B.TECH to drive more growth and expansion following investment by SEIC

B.TECH to drive more growth and expansion following investment by SEIC
Updated 45 min 34 sec ago

B.TECH to drive more growth and expansion following investment by SEIC

B.TECH to drive more growth and expansion following investment by SEIC

RIYADH: Egypt’s omnichannel retailer and consumer finance platform B.TECH is expected to drive more growth and expansion following the investment by the Saudi Egyptian Investment Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund, its CEO told Al-Arabiya.

B.TECH aims to increase its revenues by 30 percent by the end of 2022 to $1.5 million, while it aims to increase its locations to 153 by the end of the year.

Currently, B.TECH opens one location every ten days, according to B.TECH CEO Mahmoud Khattab.

B.TECH CEO Mahmoud Khattab (Supplied)

SEIC has acquired 34 percent of Egypt’s omnichannel retailer and consumer finance platform B.TECH.

SEIC’s acquisition was made via the purchase of a minority stake from African Development Partners II, a fund advised by Development Partners International.

B.TECH is 34 percent owned by DPI, while the remaining 66 percent belongs to BT Holding which is owned by the Khattab family that founded the company.

“In recent years, we have achieved significant milestones, rapidly expanded our e-commerce business and grew our store footprint, distribution and service centers, while also enhancing our digital capabilities,” Khattab said.

Working with SEIC, he said B.TECH will continue to accelerate its innovative growth strategy, its digitization efforts, while scaling new business verticals and existing core operations. 

Khattab added: “B.TECH will also invest in increasing financial inclusion efforts, supported by the growth of B.TECH’s digitally-enabled MiniCash consumer finance services, which will expand customer access to a wide range of financing solutions.”