Qatar Airways considers placing another order for Boeing 777X jetliner

Qatar Airways considers placing another order for Boeing 777X jetliner
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker. (AFP/File)
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Updated 29 August 2022

Qatar Airways considers placing another order for Boeing 777X jetliner

Qatar Airways considers placing another order for Boeing 777X jetliner

RIYADH: Qatar Airways, the state-owned flag carrier, is considering another order of Boeing 777X jetliners as it plans to expand its fleet, according to a Bloomberg report. 

Until now, Boeing has landed just 376 orders in total for the 777X, and questions over the jet’s market are looming as delays mount. 

But Qatar Airways has expressed its willingness to stick with Boeing 777X.

“Absolutely, we will even give them a bigger order,” said Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker while talking to reporters at the Farnborough International Airshow. 

Qatar Airways is the launch customer of Boeing 777X, a member of the 777 family and an heir to the hump-backed 747 jumbo, whose production will end in the coming months. 

Even though Al Baker expressed his interest in the 777X, he did not specifically mention which version he is considering or the potential deal size.

The delivery of Boeing 777X is already behind schedule, and its commercial debut is expected to happen in 2025. 

 


Diriyah Gate, National Housing Co. join efforts to enhance Saudi housing sector

Diriyah Gate, National Housing Co. join efforts to enhance Saudi housing sector
Updated 21 sec ago

Diriyah Gate, National Housing Co. join efforts to enhance Saudi housing sector

Diriyah Gate, National Housing Co. join efforts to enhance Saudi housing sector

RIYADH: Diriyah Gate Development Authority has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi National Housing Co. to enhance cooperation in common areas that serve the housing sector.

Through this deal, Diriyah and NHC aim to elevate quality of life, improve the urban landscape, and provide designs models that are compatible with the urban code of Wadi Hanifa — a valley in Riyadh — and its tributaries, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The deal also aims at supporting the integration of efforts to increase the supply of designs for beneficiaries of NHC's services within Diriyah authority’s supervisory scope, based on the importance of coordination between them and seeking to expand areas of cooperation, which include initiatives, workshops, joint projects, exchange of data, experiences and statistics between the two parties.

Diriyah CEO Jerry Inzerillo stressed the importance of the MoU, as it includes holding a workshop entitled 'Design Studio', as well as NHC's notification to the authority of all its initiatives within the supervisory scope of the authority.

Workshops will be held by the authority regarding participation in the initiatives to explain the urban code of Wadi Hanifa, Inzerillo said.

The cooperation includes allocating a page on the company’s Sakani platform for beneficiaries of residential villa models within the supervisory scope of Diriyah under the title ‘Engineering designs compatible with the Wadi Hanifa code and its tributaries’, with the ability to display the designs of the authority on the Sakani platform through the same page, in addition to Diriyah platforms, NHC CEO Mohammad Albuty said.


Oil steady as focus turns to US economic data

Oil steady as focus turns to US economic data
Updated 33 min 19 sec ago

Oil steady as focus turns to US economic data

Oil steady as focus turns to US economic data

REUTERS: Oil prices steadied on Friday ahead of key US economic data after rising over 1 percent in the last session on cuts to OPEC+ production targets.

Brent crude futures slipped 11 cents to $94.31 a barrel by 0339 GMT. WTI crude futures were down 5 cents to $88.40 a barrel, after earlier hitting $89.37 per barrel, the highest since Sept. 14.

A stronger dollar added pressure on oil prices amid a chorus of hawkish Federal Reserve speakers signaling further aggressive central bank policy tightening.

Fed officials showed no intention of backing down from the most aggressive rate hike campaign in decades, with Fed Governor Lisa Cook, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari all stressing that the

inflation fight was ongoing and they were not prepared to change course.

Markets are keenly watching the US nonfarm payrolls report due later on Friday, with economists forecasting 250,000 jobs to have been added last month, compared with 315,000 in August.

“Oil is leaking lower in Asia, which is not so unusual after a big run-up heading into the weekend, especially against rising US yields and a stronger dollar providing the downdraft and triggering some pre-weekend and pre-nonfarm payroll profit-taking,” Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management said in a note.

However, both benchmarks were headed for weekly gains, fueled by production cut announcement by OPEC+.

The cut from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, together known as OPEC+, is the largest reduction since 2020 and comes ahead of a European Union embargo on Russian oil. The decision would squeeze supplies in an already tight market, adding to inflation.

“Market sentiment was already bearish in anticipation of a weakening global economy, and this decision should further tighten the market,” analysts at ANZ Research said in a note.

Tightening monetary policy and China’s ongoing COVID-related movement restrictions mean global demand growth is expected to come under pressure, ANZ added.

US President Joe Biden expressed disappointment on Thursday over OPEC+’s plans and he and officials said the United States was looking at all possible alternatives to keep prices from rising.

Some of those options include releasing more oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve or exploring a curb on energy exports by US companies. 

 


Riyadh tops global cities with fastest millionaire population growth

Riyadh tops global cities with fastest millionaire population growth
Updated 06 October 2022

Riyadh tops global cities with fastest millionaire population growth

Riyadh tops global cities with fastest millionaire population growth

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh has recorded the fastest millionaire population growth globally in the first half of 2022, as the Kingdom’s economic growth progresses in line with the goals outlined in Vision 2030, according to London-based investment migration consultancy Henley & Partners. 

According to the report, the number of millionaires grew by 20 percent in Riyadh in the first half.

In the first half, Riyadh created 1,700 new high-net-worth individuals who have assets worth $1 million, while 850 people are multimillionaires with assets worth $10 million.

In the same period, 47 people became centi-millionaires with assets worth $100 million, while five people turned into billionaires.

According to the World Wealth Report 2022 issued by the Capgemini Research Institute for Financial Services in June, Saudi Arabia has the largest number of millionaires in the Middle East with more than 224,000 millionaires living in the Kingdom.

The report also suggested that Saudi Arabia is ranked 17th globally in the number of millionaires, with the number of high-net-worth individuals rising from 210,000 in 2020 to 224,000 in 2021. Sharjah also topped the list with a 20 percent growth, followed by Zambia's Lusaka and Dubai in the second spot, as both cities registered a growth of 18 percent.

Angola’s Luanda and Abu Dhabi secured the third spot, both cities reporting growth of 16 percent, followed by Nigeria’s Lagos at 15 percent and Austin at 14 percent in the fourth and fifth spots respectively.


Biden says he is surveying options after OPEC+ decision to cut output

Biden says he is surveying options after OPEC+ decision to cut output
Updated 06 October 2022

Biden says he is surveying options after OPEC+ decision to cut output

Biden says he is surveying options after OPEC+ decision to cut output

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK: US President Joe Biden expressed disappointment on Thursday over announced plans by OPEC+ nations to cut oil output and said the US was looking at its alternatives.

OPEC+ agreed to steep oil production cuts on Wednesday, curbing supply in an already tight market and raising the possibility of higher gasoline prices right before the US midterm elections in November, when Biden’s Democrats are defending their control of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

“We’re looking at what alternatives we may have,” Biden told reporters at the White House when asked about the OPEC decision. “There’s a lot of alternatives. We haven’t made up our minds yet,” he said.

“But it is a disappointment,” he added of the OPEC+ decision, and indicates problems.

Prices

Oil prices held at three-week highs on Thursday after OPEC+ decision. Brent crude futures gained 88 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $94.25 per barrel by 11:19 a.m. EDT (1519 GMT) after settling 1.7 percent up in the previous session. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 79 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $88.55 after closing 1.4 percent up on Wednesday.

Separately on Wednesday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said Russia could cut oil output in an attempt to offset the effects of price caps imposed by the West over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine. 

A draw in US oil stockpiles last week also supported prices. Crude inventories dropped by 1.4 million barrels to 429.2 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 30, the Energy Information Administration said.


Saudi Arabia’s point-of-sale value rises to $3.4bn as food spending increases: SAMA

Saudi Arabia’s point-of-sale value rises to $3.4bn as food spending increases: SAMA
Updated 06 October 2022

Saudi Arabia’s point-of-sale value rises to $3.4bn as food spending increases: SAMA

Saudi Arabia’s point-of-sale value rises to $3.4bn as food spending increases: SAMA

CAIRO: Food and drink sales helped drive a 23 percent rise in point-of-sale transactions in Saudi Arabia in the week ending Oct. 1, the latest weekly data from the Saudi Central Bank revealed.

Sales grew by SR2.4 billion ($640 billion) last week to reach SR12.8 billion in what was the highest percentage rise since the week ending July 30.

POS is an economic term used to describe what is spent by consumers using their ATMs and credit cards in retail stores, shopping malls, and pharmacies, among others. 

This five-week peak fell just below SR13.5 billion worth of POS transactions recorded in the week ending on Sept. 3, showed the SAMA data. 

This spike was mainly driven by increased spending on food and beverage services, with the sector’s total POS transaction rising by SR681.3 million to reach SR2.1 billion in the week ending on Oct. 1, recording 47.9 percent growth over the previous week.

Of the 17 sectors, 16 saw a rise in the value of POS transactions:

  • Other — Up SR382.3 million; up SR1.2 million previous week
  • Miscellaneous goods and services — Up SR342.9 million; down SR4.9 million last week
  • Health — Up SR219.6 million; down SR7.6 million previous week 
  • Transportation — Up SR164.3 million; down SR30.7 million previous week 
  • Gas stations — Up SR102.3 million; down SR26.1 million last week 

The education sector witnessed the biggest percentage change in the week ending on Oct. 1 in both transaction value and number of transactions. 

The sector’s POS transaction value went up by 115.6 percent to reach SR184 million, while the number of POS transactions went up by 51.9 percent to hit 170,000. 

The only sector that recorded less POS transactions – both in number and value – in that week was the hotels. 

This sector’s POS value dropped by SR23.2 million to reach SR215.9 million, while the number of transactions dropped by 42,000 to reach 562,000 transactions. 

With regards to the number of POS transactions, food and beverages also led the way with an increase of 4.4 million transactions in that week to reach 37.2 million transactions. 

  • Restaurants and cafes — Up 3.7 million; down 0.5 million previous week
  • Miscellaneous goods and services — Up 2.9 million; down 0.9 million previous week
  • Other— Up 2.6 million; down 0.4 million previous week
  • Health — Up 1.6 million; down 0.5 million previous week
  • Gas stations — Up 1 million; down 0.4 million previous week

The city of Riyadh, which records the largest share of POS transactions, saw a 11.4 percent increase in the number of transactions in the week ending Oct. 1, compared to a 3.1 percent fall the week prior. 

The city witnessed a 20.2 percent rise in POS transaction value in the week ending Oct. 1, compared to only 0.3 percent the previous week. 

The Kingdom’s capital recorded a total POS value of SR4 billion, up by SR1 billion from the week before. 

As for the number of POS transactions in Riyadh, it rose by 7.7 million from the previous week, reaching 57.6 million in the week ending on Oct. 1. 

Jeddah followed with SR1.9 billion worth of POS transitions which increased by SR253.8 million in the week ending on Oct. 1.

The number of transactions in the city reached 21.9 million, up 1 million from the week before.