Saudi Arabia, Iraq helping Europe’s oil refineries with more crude supply  

Saudi Arabia, Iraq helping Europe’s oil refineries with more crude supply  
Over 1 million barrels a day of crude has made its way during the first three weeks of July to Europe from the Middle East through a pipeline that crosses Egypt. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 24 July 2022

Saudi Arabia, Iraq helping Europe’s oil refineries with more crude supply  

Saudi Arabia, Iraq helping Europe’s oil refineries with more crude supply  

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Iraq are helping Europe’s oil refiners with more crude in an effort to help the continent reduce its reliance on Russia, Bloomberg reported.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg, over 1 million barrels a day of crude has made its way during the first three weeks of July to Europe from the Middle East through a pipeline that crosses Egypt.

Volumes have almost doubled compared to a year earlier.

This comes as European companies are halting dealing with Moscow, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 


TASI sheds 142 points on dampening business sentiment, closes at 10,796: Closing Bell 

TASI sheds 142 points on dampening business sentiment, closes at 10,796: Closing Bell 
Updated 14 sec ago

TASI sheds 142 points on dampening business sentiment, closes at 10,796: Closing Bell 

TASI sheds 142 points on dampening business sentiment, closes at 10,796: Closing Bell 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index fell on Sunday as investors shied away from the market due to dampening business sentiment and uncertainty in global demand. 

The Tadawul All Share Index fell 142 points to close at 10,796, while the parallel market, Nomu, plunged 300 points to finish at 18,866. 

Of the 219 companies listed on TASI on Sunday, 33 advanced, while 173 declined. The total trading turnover closed at SR2.58 billion ($690 million). It had fallen to SR1.7 billion in the first three hours of trading on Sunday. 

The first important announcement on the bourse came from SNB Capital, the lead manager of Saudi Aramco Base Oil Co., also known as Luberef, intending to proceed with an initial public offering and listing of its ordinary shares on the primary market. 

The statement said the offer is expected to sell existing shares and result in a free float of 29.65 percent of Luberef share capital or 50.05 million ordinary shares. 

The offering price will be determined after the book-building period, the statement added. 

Middle East Paper Co. also announced the approval of its shareholders to its board’s recommendation to increase capital by 33.3 percent by granting one bonus share for every three shares held during an extraordinary general meeting on Nov. 24. 

The company shares, however, fell 2 percent to close at SR28.6 after reaching SR27.70. 

Meanwhile, Yaqeen Capital, the financial adviser and lead manager for the IPO of Molan Steel Co. on the Nomu-Parallel Market, announced that the issue was oversubscribed.  

The steel company offered 532,410 shares, representing 20.02 percent of its capital. The final offer price was set at SR 24 per share, the statement added. 

From an industry standpoint, the Pharma, Biotech & Life Science index fell for the bearish prowl as it fell 44 points to close at 3,015. Interestingly, the Healthcare Equipment & Services index rose 52 points to 8,872.  

Tourism Enterprise Co. has been under the spotlight in the top gainers’ list on TASI for a while now. It increased by 2.9 points to close at SR32.05. The other gainers included Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Services Group, Arabian Drilling Co and Alhokair Group for Tourism and Development. 

The top fallers were Malath Cooperative Insurance Co., United Wire Factories Co., Al Yamamah Steel Industries Co, Red Sea International Co. and Nama Chemicals Co. 


Petromin’s National Motor Co. wins ‘Best Automotive Dealer’ award in the Kingdom for 2022

Petromin’s National Motor Co. wins ‘Best Automotive Dealer’ award in the Kingdom for 2022
Updated 1 min 7 sec ago

Petromin’s National Motor Co. wins ‘Best Automotive Dealer’ award in the Kingdom for 2022

Petromin’s National Motor Co. wins ‘Best Automotive Dealer’ award in the Kingdom for 2022

RIYADH: Petromin Corp’s subsidiary, National Motor Co., has been named as the ‘Best Automotive Dealer’ in the Saudi automotive sector for 2022.

The National Motor Co. received the accolade during an awards ceremony held in Jeddah, organized by PR Arabia.

Terence Byrne, CEO, National Motor Co., said, “We are happy to continue on the path of growth, through the resolute processes that were adopted years ago. With the principal aim of serving our customers, we are working to expand the coverage of our sales and after-sales services throughout the Kingdom. We aim to constantly be closer to our clientele in a bid to build bridges of trust and loyalty with them.”

The National Motor Co. holds a structured group of high-profile global automotive brands within its dealership portfolio in Saudi Arabia, such as Nissan, Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler, RAM, Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Fiat, Mopar and Foton.

The National Motor Co.'s parent company, Petromin, is ramping up its electric vehicle interests in the Kingdom with its new venture Electromin.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News earlier this year, Kalyana Sivagnanam, group CEO of Petromin, called it a bold move since customers in the Kingdom are still reluctant to buy EVs.

“While it is a bold move, I think it is very timely. We also have plans to expand this further beyond 100 stations and, in due course, we will make that announcement as well,” Sivagnanam told Arab News.

Saudi Arabia has committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2060. The government wants three of every 10 vehicles in Riyadh to be EVs by 2030. Globally, passenger electric cars are surging in popularity, and the Paris-based International Energy Agency estimates that 13 percent of new cars sold in 2022 will be electric.


ACWA Power signs MoU to back Thailand’s decarbonization journey 

ACWA Power signs MoU to back Thailand’s decarbonization journey 
Updated 24 min 24 sec ago

ACWA Power signs MoU to back Thailand’s decarbonization journey 

ACWA Power signs MoU to back Thailand’s decarbonization journey 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia-based energy company ACWA Power has entered into an agreement to support Thailand’s decarbonization ambitions through a green hydrogen and derivatives development project. 

The firm signed a memorandum of understanding with PTT Public Co. Limited, Thailand’s national integrated energy company; and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, an electric power-related state-owned enterprise, according to a press release. 

As part of the terms of the MoU, ACWA Power, PTT, and EGAT will begin collaborating exclusively on a comprehensive plan to establish large-scale, renewable-powered green hydrogen and derivatives production facilities in Thailand for local energy consumption and global market export purposes.  

With an estimated investment of $7 billion, the Southeast Asian country is targeting hydrogen production of around 225,000 tons annually which is equivalent to 1.2 million tons of green ammonia yearly. 

Paddy Padmanathan, vice chairman and CEO of ACWA Power, said: “We are excited at the prospect of supporting green hydrogen and derivatives exploration and advancement in Thailand, a nation that shares our vision for reliably and responsibly delivering clean energy that drives the sustainability agenda and complements essential climate action worldwide.” 

Thailand is aiming to use green hydrogen as an alternative energy source in the upcoming years in an attempt to fulfill its vow of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and net zero emissions by the year 2065, the press release said. 

Moreover, it added that using green hydrogen will help in supporting emissions abatement imperatives and in building a low-carbon circular economy at a domestic level. 

ACWA Power has been expanding its portfolio rapidly, with its asset hitting $75 billion as it posted a 110 percent profit jump in 2022 so far, according to Padmanathan. 

The company is set to reach assets of $230 billion by 2030, the executive told CNBC Arabia. 

While the firm’s current capacity currently stands at 42 gigawatts, he said there exists the capacity to increase the volume by up to three times to reach 150 gigawatts. 

Currently, the company produces 6 million cubic meters of desalinated water, but that figure is estimated to hit 15 million cubic meters by 2030, Padmanathan revealed. 

ACWA Power, which is part-owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, is also currently producing up to 240,000 tons of green hydrogen, he added.   

A recent bourse filing revealed the energy giant’s profits reached SR883.4 million ($235.1 million) during the first nine months of 2022, up from SR419.9 million during the same period last year. 

The rise was driven by lower costs of development, provisions, and write-offs during the current period. 

It was also attributed to robust growth in ACWA Power’s operating income before impairment and other expenses, as well as lower profit on account of one-off or non-routine expenses during the same period in the year prior, according to a statement. 

Operating income in the nine-month period was SR1.8 billion, an 11 percent increase of SR189 million, compared to the same period last year, which was achieved despite plant outages in four facilities. 


Trade remedies system to boost competitiveness, says Saudi commerce minister 

Trade remedies system to boost competitiveness, says Saudi commerce minister 
Updated 27 November 2022

Trade remedies system to boost competitiveness, says Saudi commerce minister 

Trade remedies system to boost competitiveness, says Saudi commerce minister 

RIYADH: A trade remedies system for international trade is set to lure investment and boost the competitiveness of domestic products, said the Saudi Minister of Commerce Majid Bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi.

The trade remedies will also help curb potential damage subsequent to an increase in imports by imposing measures against these imports at the Kingdom’s customs borders, the minister highlighted.

Al-Qasabi who is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Authority for Foreign Trade stressed that the trade remedies system will play a crucial role in shielding the Kingdom’s national industry from the damage that comes as a result of the dumped as well as subsidized imports.

Moreover, the system will also ensure maintaining the Kingdom’s exports that are subject to trade remedies procedures, the minister emphasized.

The minister said the cabinet’s approval related to the system is also set to create new industries and generate job opportunities, all in line with the goals and objectives of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, reported Saudi Press Agency.

Last month, the Saudi General Authority for Foreign Trade, in collaboration with the World Trade Organization, hosted a workshop in Riyadh from Oct. 25-27. 

The workshop, titled “Market Access,” was held by a group of international experts at the WTO. It included a number of representatives from government agencies. 

The event aimed to build the skills of specialists in government agencies through an understanding of market access, customs and non-tariff procedures, and the work of the WTO.  

It also demonstrated how participants can benefit from WTO databases.

The workshop aimed to foster technical expertise and knowledge of the basic principles and rules of the WTO related to tariffs and concession schedules, ongoing issues being discussed at WTO, the Kingdom’s obligations toward other countries in trade agreements and the best practices of other countries.

Established in Jan. 2019, the General Authority of Foreign Trade is accountable for enhancing international commercial gains and investment activities in the Kingdom while defending its interests in the foreign trade field, thus contributing to the development of its national economy.

 


Middle East Asia-Pacific to account for 58% of global air passengers by 2040: ACI

Middle East Asia-Pacific to account for 58% of global air passengers by 2040: ACI
Updated 27 November 2022

Middle East Asia-Pacific to account for 58% of global air passengers by 2040: ACI

Middle East Asia-Pacific to account for 58% of global air passengers by 2040: ACI

RIYADH: Air passenger demand is likely to double globally over the next 20 years, with Asia-Pacific and the Middle East accounting for 58 percent of the volume, according to a report by Airports Council International.

Global passenger numbers are forecast to rise from 9.2 billion in 2019 to about 19 billion in 2040 predicted the ACI Asia-Pacific's Airport Industry Outlook, a quarterly assessment of the airports' performances.

Of this volume, Middle Eastern airports are expected to handle 1.1 billion passengers by 2040 – a significant increase of nearly 300 percent of the combined traffic of 505 million they handled in 2019.

ACI Director General of ACI Asia-Pacific Stefano Baronci said that the region must prepare itself for the oncoming influx: "The consistent improvement in passenger volumes in the region is a positive indication of a sustained recovery of the industry following prolonged efforts towards rebuilding passenger confidence in air travel." 

He said restoring international connectivity will take longer and will be partly dependent on the decision of China to re-connect to the World.  "The macroeconomic headwinds, less acute in Asia than other western regions, should not hamper a process of growth, subject to continue to maintain the freedom to travel without restrictions." 

"All the stakeholders engaged in the aviation ecosystem must prepare to the surge in traffic,” insisted the ACI director general.

The Middle East is an ideally located axis for travel — aircraft flying from the geographical crossroads can reach almost all of Asia, Africa, and Europe within eight hours.

Tourism is one of the pillars of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, to contribute to diversifying the base of the national economy, attracting investments, increasing sources of income, and providing job opportunities for citizens, as the sector is witnessing rapid growth as a result of plans to promote the tourism sector.

Last month, a report by the World Tourism Organization listed Saudi Arabia as top of the Group of 20 countries for the flow rating of international tourists in the first seven months of 2022.

The report, released during the G20 tourism ministers’ meeting held in Bali, Indonesia, did not detail the exact number of travelers who visited the Kingdom, but claimed the sector saw a growth rate of 121 percent in the first half of 2022.

During the event, Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb said the surge in tourist inflow aligns with the Kingdom’s economic diversification policies and aims to increase tourism’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product, as outlined in Vision 2030, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Calling Saudi Arabia one of the fastest-growing markets for tourism, Al-Khateeb said the Kingdom’s tourism sector is accelerating at a rate of 14 percent compared to the pre-coronavirus pandemic period.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 450,000 tourist visas were issued, since the Kingdom’s Tourism Authority launched the tourist visa program in 2019, by targeting 49 countries in the initial stage, and facilitated access to tourist visas electronically or through entry points to the Kingdom within specific regulatory controls.

Earlier in June, Al-Khateeb said that Saudi Arabia has allocated $100 million to provide training for 100,000 people to work in the tourism and sustainability sector.

He added that 90 hotels were launched in the Kingdom as a part of its tourism strategy, and more hotels will be opened soon, with 70 percent being funded by the private sector.

Al-Khateeb, in June, told AFP that the Kingdom is hoping to attract 12 million foreign visitors in 2022, up from the 4 million tourists who visited Saudi Arabia in 2021.

“Saudi Arabia will change the tourism landscape globally. The destinations that Saudi will offer by 2030, it’s something completely different,” he said.