Oil Updates — Crude loses ground; Price cap of Russian oil by December; Crude production resumed in Libya

Update Oil Updates — Crude loses ground; Price cap of Russian oil by December; Crude production resumed in Libya
Brent crude futures dropped 77 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $106.15 a barrel by 0427 GMT. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 21 July 2022

Oil Updates — Crude loses ground; Price cap of Russian oil by December; Crude production resumed in Libya

Oil Updates — Crude loses ground; Price cap of Russian oil by December; Crude production resumed in Libya

RIYADH: Oil prices fell by more than $5 on Thursday after higher US gasoline stockpiles stoked demand worries and returning energy supply from Libya and Russia eased supply concerns.

Brent crude futures lost $5.13, or 4.8 percent, to $101.79 a barrel by 1039 GMT after slipping 0.4 percent in the previous session. 

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down $5.05, or 5.06 percent, at $94.83 after a 1.9 percent drop on Wednesday.

US hopes for global price cap on Russian oil by December

The US hopes to see a global price cap on Russian oil introduced by December, US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said on Wednesday.

“We are following on what the Europeans have done,” he told the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.

“They introduced the idea of looking to do a price cap but they also said by December, they plan to put in place their insurance ban.

“Our goal is to make sure that as that insurance ban is going into place, we’re in a position where there’s a price cap that can be joined onto that that is a global one that helps to drive down global energy prices and also allows Russian energy to flow into the market place,” he said.

Russia will not export oil to the world market if the price is capped below the cost of production, Interfax news agency quoted Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak as telling Russian television earlier.

Iraq discovers new oil wells in Anbar

Iraq discovered new oil wells in the Anbar province, the state news agency said on Wednesday, quoting Governor Ali Farhan.

The governor said the wells were discovered in Al-Nukhayb and Tharthar regions, without specifying their output capacity.

Libya’s NOC says production resumed at several oilfields

Libya’s National Oil Corp. said on Wednesday that crude production had resumed at several oilfields, after lifting force majeure on oil exports last week.

Production has restarted at fields belonging to Waha Oil Company at a rate of 70,000 barrels per day and will be gradually increased until normal rates are achieved, the state-owned NOC said in a statement.

Production has also resumed from the Nafoura, Tibesti, Al-Ghani and Al-Bayda oilfields belonging to Harouge Oil Operations and Arabian Gulf Oil Co.

“Production at the two companies will be increased gradually after restarting the other fields,” NOC said.

A tanker entered Ras Lanuf port to ship 600,000 barrels of crude, it said, while another has arrived at the Zueitina oil terminal and will be loaded with one million barrels on Thursday.

(With input from Reuters) 


Saudi fintech firm secures $3.2m in seed funding

Saudi fintech firm secures $3.2m in seed funding
Updated 15 sec ago

Saudi fintech firm secures $3.2m in seed funding

Saudi fintech firm secures $3.2m in seed funding

RIYADH: EdfaPay, a Saudi-based fintech startup that helps companies use their smartphones for payment, has raised $3.2 million in a seed funding round.

The funding round was led by Sanabil 500 MENA, Nufud Wealth International, Atmiid Investment, Basmah Commercial Investment, and a group of local and international angel investors.

EdfaPay aims to utilize the capital to strengthen its operations in the Kingdom and expand to Pakistan and South American countries.

Founded in 2022 by Ghormallah Alghamdi and Nedal Sabbah, it uses NFC technology to allow companies to collect payments through smartphones.

In February 2022, the firm secured $1.6 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Nuwa Capital, InspireUs VC, and Wallan Investment Group.

The fintech channeled its acquired funds into launching its financial services across the Kingdom and supported its market-entry efforts.

The Kingdom’s fintech investments reached $400 million in 2022, recording a 79 percent increase compared to 2021.

The Saudi Central Bank, also known as SAMA, is one of the country’s key players in enabling fintech across all subsectors.

Earlier this week, SAMA granted licenses to Spotii and Madfu, two fintech companies that aim to offer consumer financing options.


Saudi Central Bank grants open banking certifications to 2 fintech firms 

Saudi Central Bank grants open banking certifications to 2 fintech firms 
Updated 46 min 6 sec ago

Saudi Central Bank grants open banking certifications to 2 fintech firms 

Saudi Central Bank grants open banking certifications to 2 fintech firms 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is fostering personalized financial products and services tailored to customer needs with the Kingdom’s monetary authority, granting open banking certifications to two fintech companies. 

The Saudi Central Bank, or SAMA, has permitted Umg Alholol Trading Co. and Drahim App to test their open banking solutions in its regulatory sandbox, reported the Saudi Press Agency. 

This brings the total number of innovators permitted to operate under the central bank’s regulatory sandbox to 45. 

Of the 45 firms, 18 have graduated effectively and become licensed by SAMA to provide their solutions to consumers. 

On Tuesday, SAMA granted open banking certification to Dubai-based Tarabut Gateway, which aims to intensify its operations in the Kingdom.   

Tarabut Gateway, the region’s leading regulated open banking platform, has become one of the early recipients of SAMA’s permit to operate in Saudi Arabia.   

Talking to Arab News, Abdullah Almoayed, CEO and founder of the fintech company, said that consumers in the Kingdom can now expect a wide range of innovative and personalized financial services.     

“We are aware of the unique challenges faced by small and medium enterprises in Saudi Arabia, particularly regarding cash-flow management and access to funding. We will address this issue head-on by assisting SMEs to access the funding they need via open banking-enabled financial services and products,” Almoayed said.     

He said: “The new era of financial services we stand for is user-centric and contributes to customers’ financial well-being.”     

Those moves and initiatives are projected to help the Kingdom come one step closer to achieving the objectives of the Financial Sector Development Program in making the Kingdom among the leading nations in financial technology.   

The central bank has been working toward increasing the adoption of the fintech sector to boost the effectiveness and flexibility of financial transactions.    

Moreover, it has also been promoting financial inclusion for the various segments of society. 

On Wednesday, SAMA permitted Spotii and Madfu to provide consumer finance through the buy now, pay later platform. 

That said, Saudi shoppers can soon find more flexible payment options as two more BNPL companies enter the consumer finance market.


PwC Middle East inaugurates its regional headquarters in Riyadh

PwC Middle East inaugurates its regional headquarters in Riyadh
Updated 01 June 2023

PwC Middle East inaugurates its regional headquarters in Riyadh

PwC Middle East inaugurates its regional headquarters in Riyadh

RIYADH: PwC Middle East, a leading professional services firm in the region, officially inaugurated its regional headquarters in Riyadh on Wednesday.

This move demonstrates the company’s commitment to the region, including creating 6,000 new jobs and continued investments in digital technology, environmental, social, and governance capabilities.

PwC Middle East obtained its regional headquarters license from Saudi Arabia's investment and commerce ministries.

The company established its headquarters before Jan. 1, 2024, a deadline set by the regional headquarters program commissioned by the Investment Ministry and the Royal Commission of Riyadh.

The inauguration ceremony, held at a local hotel in Riyadh, was attended by Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih, Hazim Zagzoog, a royal court adviser, and Kevin Ellis of PwC EMEA.

“I am delighted to join PwC Middle East as it inaugurates its new regional HQ in Riyadh, which will help to build the RHQ ecosystem in Saudi Arabia and set global standards for how a professional services sector RHQ should operate,” Al-Falih said.

“It is a natural continuation of a longstanding and mutually beneficial relationship. I also commend PwC on its strong record of employing more than 1,000 talented Saudis in its workforce,” he added.

Hani Ashkar, a senior partner at PwC Middle East, expressed enthusiasm about obtaining the license for their regional headquarters and the honor of supporting Saudi Arabia’s remarkable transformation as it progresses toward its Vision 2030 and beyond.

“At PwC Middle East, we are fully committed to supporting Saudi Arabia’s next phase of its transformational agenda as we digitize, decarbonize, localize, privatize and modernize,” Ashkar said.


EV maker Lucid Group plans to raise $3bn, mainly from Saudi PIF 

EV maker Lucid Group plans to raise $3bn, mainly from Saudi PIF 
Updated 01 June 2023

EV maker Lucid Group plans to raise $3bn, mainly from Saudi PIF 

EV maker Lucid Group plans to raise $3bn, mainly from Saudi PIF 

RIYADH: Lucid Group plans to raise $3 billion through a stock offering, 66 percent of which will come from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. 

The California-based EV maker said Ayar Third Investment Co., which is its majority stockholder and an affiliate of the PIF, has agreed to buy as much as 265.7 million shares in a private placement for an estimated $1.8 billion, 

It said the remainder will be raised from a public offering of 173.5 million shares of common stock.  

The private placement is expected to close on June 26 of this year. A private placement is a process whereby stocks are sold privately to investors selected beforehand.  

Following these purchases, Ayar Third Investment Co. anticipates maintaining its 60.5 percent ownership of Lucid’s outstanding common stock.  

From Lucid’s perspective, the proceeds will be utilized for general corporate purposes including capital expenditures and working capital, among others.  

Last year, Lucid signed a deal for the construction of a plant in the Kingdom that will produce 150,000 electric vehicles per year.   

The company signed agreements with the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Industrial Development Fund, and the Economic City at King Abdullah Economic City.  

The American luxury vehicles company is expected to receive financing and incentives of up to $3.4 billion over the next 15 years to build and operate the manufacturing facility in the Kingdom.  

Located in King Abdullah Economic City, AMP-2 is the PIF-backed EV manufacturer’s first production facility outside the US.  

“We are keen to achieve high and sustainable human capital localization in line with Vision 2030,” Global Vice President and Managing Director at Lucid Faisal Sultan told Arab News in April.  

“With our recently launched Lucid Future Talent program — in collaboration with the Human Resources Development Fund — we plan to provide the right training to enrich and prepare local talent to fill future job opportunities in the Kingdom,” Sultan explained. 

 


Closing bell: Saudi main index closes flat as trading turnover hits $1.34m 

Closing bell: Saudi main index closes flat as trading turnover hits $1.34m 
Updated 01 June 2023

Closing bell: Saudi main index closes flat as trading turnover hits $1.34m 

Closing bell: Saudi main index closes flat as trading turnover hits $1.34m 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index was steady on Thursday, as it edged up 0.82 points, or 0.01 percent, to close at 11,014.95.  

A day earlier, the benchmark index had shed 125.85 points, primarily driven by a fall in oil prices.  

While parallel market Nomu gained 134 points to close at 21,415.33, the MSCI Tadawul Index shed 5.73 points to 1,458.68.  

The total trading turnover of the benchmark index was SR5.03 billion ($1.34 billion) as 113 stocks advanced, while 100 retreated. 

The top performer of the day was The Co. for Cooperative Insurance. The firm’s share price rose by 6.33 percent to SR121.  

Alkhaleej Training and Education Co. and Electrical Industries Co. also performed well, as their share prices rose by 5.36 percent and 5.32 percent, respectively.  

Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance Co. emerged as the worst performer, as its share price dropped by 9.87 percent to SR12.42.  

On the announcements front, Obeikan Glass Co. appointed Ibrahim Mohammad Al-Hammad as its new CEO. Al-Hammad will replace the outgoing CEO Fayez bin Jameel Abdulrazzaq.  

In a Tadawul statement, Obeikan Glass said that the new appointment will be effective from June 30. The company’s share price dipped by 0.91 percent to SR78.  

Meanwhile, Bank Aljazira announced its intention to establish a domestic riyal-denominated Tier 1 sukuk issuance program of up to SR5 billion.  

According to a Tadawul statement, the bank has mandated AlJazira Capital as the sole arranger for the establishment of the proposed sukuk program and the potential offer.  

It noted that the offer has been made to strengthen the capital base of the bank and to support its financial and strategic needs. The bank’s share price dropped by 0.34 percent to close at SR17.48.