Lockheed Martin doubles the size of its VC fund to $400m

Lockheed Martin has invested in 11 technology startups operating in various sectors, including sensor technology, quantum computing, advanced manufacturing, and space services.
Lockheed Martin has invested in 11 technology startups operating in various sectors, including sensor technology, quantum computing, advanced manufacturing, and space services.
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Updated 02 August 2022

Lockheed Martin doubles the size of its VC fund to $400m

Lockheed Martin doubles the size of its VC fund to $400m

RIYADH: American aerospace firm Lockheed Martin has doubled its venture capital fund from $200 million to $400 million, with plans to use the additional amount in startup technology companies. 

In the year to date, Lockheed Martin has invested in 11 technology startups operating in various sectors, including sensor technology, quantum computing, advanced manufacturing, and space services, according to a press release. 

“The success of our venture capital investments to date is a testament to our strategy and allows Lockheed Martin to continue to deliver innovative solutions across all domains,” said Jay Malave, chief financial officer of the company.

He added: “Doubling our venture fund will allow us to increase the number of startup companies we can work with to advance 21st century security technologies for the benefit of our customers.” 


Saudi Aramco currently studying its portfolio for potential IPOs: CEO

Saudi Aramco currently studying its portfolio for potential IPOs: CEO
Updated 15 sec ago

Saudi Aramco currently studying its portfolio for potential IPOs: CEO

Saudi Aramco currently studying its portfolio for potential IPOs: CEO

RIYADH: Saudi Aramco is currently studying its portfolio for potential listings of some of its units, according to its CEO, Amin Nasser.

“We’re looking at optimizing our capital program and we’re looking at our portfolio. If there is anything that would require listing in the market, it is currently being considered,” Nasser said in a press conference on Sunday after posting a 90 percent surge in second-quarter profit.

The executive added that announcements will be made in due course in case any partly or fully owned entity will be placed in the market, noting that “there is some expectation” to do so.

Earlier this year, Aramco was reported to weigh an initial public offering of its unit Aramco Trading Co. that could potentially raise over $30 billion, slated to become one of the world’s biggest listings in 2022.


Digital payments exceed cash for first time in Saudi Arabia with 94% transaction value 

Digital payments exceed cash for first time in Saudi Arabia with 94% transaction value 
Updated 18 min 21 sec ago

Digital payments exceed cash for first time in Saudi Arabia with 94% transaction value 

Digital payments exceed cash for first time in Saudi Arabia with 94% transaction value 

RIYADH: Electronic payments exceeded the use of cash for the first time in Saudi Arabia in 2021, with these transactions representing 94 percent of all payments when measured by value, a study conducted by the Saudi Central Bank revealed.

In terms of volume, the use of electronic payments increased to 62 percent last year from 44 percent in 2019 across all areas of economic activities.

The Saudi government sector has almost completely converted to electronic payment methods for all outward payments to individuals, business establishments or other government agencies, the report noted. 

The study indicated that cash is no longer the most used method of payment by individuals for the first time in the Kingdom. This comes as electronic payments of individuals have grown significantly to reach 57 percent in 2021 of the total number of transactions executed, compared to just 36 percent in 2019, the report added.

When it comes to the business sector, the share of electronic payments reached a substantial 84 percent of all business payments in 2021, up from 51 percent in 2019, recording a growth of 65 percent over the two years.

In line with Saudi Vision 2030, this comes as part of the government’s efforts to promote digital payment solutions to transform the Kingdom into a less-cash society by reaching 70 percent of non-cash payments by 2025.


Saudi Aramco prepared to increase output to 12m bpd if government asks for, says CEO

Saudi Aramco prepared to increase output to 12m bpd if government asks for, says CEO
Updated 14 August 2022

Saudi Aramco prepared to increase output to 12m bpd if government asks for, says CEO

Saudi Aramco prepared to increase output to 12m bpd if government asks for, says CEO

RIYADH: The Saudi Arabian Oil Co., also known as Aramco, is ready to increase oil production to 12 million barrels per day when the government asks for it, according to its CEO Amin Nasser. 

In a press conference after reporting a 90-percent rise in second-quarter profit on Sunday, Nasser said that oil demand growth is healthy with more demand coming from Asia. 

The CEO said that Aramco is deeply concerned with the lack of investment in oil output capacity globally, along with declining rates in oil fields. 

He noted that Aramco has been responding to this crisis by raising the maximum production capacity, while urging others to join hands with Aramco in this effort. 

The CEO predicted that there could be an additional 2 million bpd crude oil demand next year, but there is no sufficient capacity to meet that. 

He also noted that the market could further tighten if the demand for aviation fuel rises beyond limits. 

Nasser added that the possibility of a potential joint venture with PKN Orlen, along with the existing tri-party agreement between Aramco, SABIC, and PKN Orlen could be the next big thing for the firm in Europe. 

He, however, noted that the growth of the company in Europe is not as good as in Asia, but still, the firm is looking for more opportunities there. 

The CEO further stated Saudi Aramco is looking for more investments in China, along with enhancing cooperation with Chinese entities within the Kingdom. 

He said that Aramco is in talks with China’s Sinopec and others on petrochemicals and liquid to chemicals projects. 

“Chemicals are very important for our strategy,” he emphasized. 

Nasser stated that Aramco has 99.8 percent reliability in delivering crude to its customers, and made it clear that the company has strong contingency plans. 

He added that Aramco has the lowest carbon intensity globally and the company is working toward achieving a sustainable future. 

Nasser also revealed that the Jafura gas project’s first phase will be operational by 2025, followed by the opening of the second phase in 2027.


TASI starts the week higher on the back of strong earnings reports: Opening bell

TASI starts the week higher on the back of strong earnings reports: Opening bell
Updated 15 min 40 sec ago

TASI starts the week higher on the back of strong earnings reports: Opening bell

TASI starts the week higher on the back of strong earnings reports: Opening bell

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s main index started the week higher on the back of strong earnings reports, led by oil giant Aramco reports, which lifted investor sentiment.

TASI edged 0.17 percent higher at 12,552, while the parallel market, Nomu, started flat at 22,020, as of 10:07 a.m. Saudi time.

The Kingdom’s oil giant Saudi Aramco started the day with a 0.49 percent increase, after it announced a record second-quarter profit of $48.4 billion.

Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. gained 3.53 percent, following the announcement last week that its first-half profits jumped 54 percent to SR2.1 billion.

Saudi Tadawul Group Holding Co. declined 1.93 percent, after its first-half profits declined 23 percent to SR278 million.

National Agricultural Development Co. increased 1.73 percent, after it turned into profits of SR43 million during the first half of 2022.

Saudi Chemical Co. declined 1.3 percent, after reporting a 32 percent drop in first-half profits to SR47 million.

National Medical Care Co. added 5.64 percent to lead the gainers, while Arab Sea Information System Co. edged down 4.42 percent to lead the fallers.


Saudi Aramco shares open 0.5% lower despite record profit of $48bn

Saudi Aramco shares open 0.5% lower despite record profit of $48bn
Updated 14 August 2022

Saudi Aramco shares open 0.5% lower despite record profit of $48bn

Saudi Aramco shares open 0.5% lower despite record profit of $48bn

RIYADH: Shares of the world’s largest crude producer Saudi Aramco opened lower on Sunday, following a record second-quarter profit of SR182 billion ($48.4 billion).                                                                                                                       

Aramco’s profit soared 80 percent in the second quarter of 2022 from SR95.5 billion a year earlier, beating the median of analysts’ forecasts with the highest quarterly profit since going public in 2019.

Despite the robust results, its share price edged 0.5 percent lower to SR40.6 by 10:27 a.m. Saudi time on Sunday, down from SR40.8 at the previous close.

This brings Aramco’s market cap to SR8.93 trillion. 

The crude producer attributed the profit hike to rising crude prices which soared to record highs earlier this year, higher volumes sold, and improved downstream margins.