Saudi-listed Al Arabia’s unit secures $2.4m deal to install 174 billboards in Egypt

Saudi-listed Al Arabia’s unit secures $2.4m deal to install 174 billboards in Egypt
Al Arabia has closed a one-year deal to install 174 billboards on Egypt’s north coast. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 03 August 2022

Saudi-listed Al Arabia’s unit secures $2.4m deal to install 174 billboards in Egypt

Saudi-listed Al Arabia’s unit secures $2.4m deal to install 174 billboards in Egypt

RIYADH: Outdoor advertising provider Arabian Contracting Services Co., known as Al Arabia, has closed a one-year deal to install 174 billboards on Egypt’s north coast through its arm Arabiya United for Advertising Service.

Listed on the Egyptian stock exchange, Arabiya United for Advertising Service signed the SR9 million ($2.4 million) contract for the rental of 17 sites where the billboards will be installed, according to a bourse filing.

Of the 17 sites, 11 will be billboards on roads and six sites will be for inaugurating digital billboards on bridges.

The move comes in a bid to boost the advertising sector in Egypt, with the north coast being one of the country’s most popular travel and tourism destinations.


Egypt’s non-oil economy under strain as inflationary pressure grows: S&P Global

Egypt’s non-oil economy under strain as inflationary pressure grows: S&P Global
Updated 13 sec ago

Egypt’s non-oil economy under strain as inflationary pressure grows: S&P Global

Egypt’s non-oil economy under strain as inflationary pressure grows: S&P Global

RIYADH: Business conditions in Egypt’s non-oil economy continue to be under strain with the country’s Purchasing Managers’ Index staying unchanged at 47.6 in September compared to the previous month, according to S&P Global.

According to S&P Global, a PMI above 50.0 marks growth, while those below 50.0 signals contraction.

Egypt’s PMI signals a solid deterioration in business conditions, albeit one that was the joint-weakest for seven months, as inflationary pressures, energy rationing, import restrictions, and weak demand continue to impact the country’s non-oil economy.  

“Non-oil activity in Egypt continued to suffer from weak demand, geopolitical tensions and surging inflation in the final month of the third quarter,” said Shreeya Patel, an economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

She added: “Firms nevertheless remain hopeful that macroeconomic conditions would improve in the medium-term, but for now, non-oil Egyptian businesses are challenged to operate in an environment which includes persistently high prices, weak demand and growing uncertainty.”


Saudi Arabia’s non-oil economy continues to maintain growth as PMI hits 56.6% in Sept: S&P

Saudi Arabia’s non-oil economy continues to maintain growth as PMI hits 56.6% in Sept: S&P
Updated 17 min 1 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s non-oil economy continues to maintain growth as PMI hits 56.6% in Sept: S&P

Saudi Arabia’s non-oil economy continues to maintain growth as PMI hits 56.6% in Sept: S&P

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia continues to maintain ongoing expansion in its non-oil economy as both of its key indicators — output and new orders — recorded gains, registering the Kingdom’s Purchasing Managers’ Index at 56.6 in September, the latest data from S&P Global revealed.

Although down on August's 57.7, Saudi Arabia managed to maintain this growth for the 25th successive month as the Kingdom steadily progresses in its journey to diversify its economy in line with Vision 2030.

According to S&P Global, readings above 50.0 mark growth, while those below 50.0 signals contraction. 

“Albeit down on August, Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector economy retained an impressive pace of growth during September, especially against the backdrop of increasingly challenging global economic conditions,” said David Owen, an economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence. 

He added: “Both output and new orders rose at rates above their averages for their current 25-month growth sequences, whilst confidence in the quality of goods and services provided meant firms expect to successfully convert into hard contract wins a high proportion of what is an extremely positive pipeline of new business.”


Global alliance on green economy launched in Dubai

Global alliance on green economy launched in Dubai
Updated 04 October 2022

Global alliance on green economy launched in Dubai

Global alliance on green economy launched in Dubai
  • UAE’s Economy Ministry is setting up shop inside the immersive virtual world

DUBAI: A “Global Alliance on Green Economy” was launched at the 8th World Green Economy Summit, which concluded in Dubai.

The summit was held under the theme “Climate action leadership through collaboration: The roadmap to net-zero.” A large number of ministers, experts, decision-makers, officials, representatives of institutions, and the academic community from around the world took part in the summit.

The alliance aims to build a coalition of countries, prioritizing a green economy in the context of climate action and sustainable development, to enhance the capacity of developing countries, provide support for their green economy transition projects and exchange knowledge on implementation.

“If we want to fast-track our transition to a green economy, we must all work together, and to do so, we need one platform with one common objective. The UAE Global Alliance on Green Economy seeks to provide such a platform,” said Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE minister of climate change and environment.

Bet on tech

The UAE, which already boasts the world’s tallest skyscraper and has launched a bold Mars mission, now hopes to become a pioneer in the depths of the metaverse.

In a project launched at Dubai’s gleaming Museum of the Future, it announced that the UAE’s Economy Ministry was setting up shop inside the immersive virtual world that is now taking shape. 

If we want to fast-track our transition to a green economy, we must all work together.

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE minister of climate change and environment

Those who don their virtual reality goggles or use other means to venture within will find a ministry open for business with companies and even ready to sign bilateral agreements with foreign governments, officials said.

The metaverse is an online world where users will eventually be able to game, work and study, its proponents say — although it is still in a “test” phase, the UAE’s economy minister conceded.

Abdulla bin Touq Al-Marri was speaking at the inaugural Dubai Metaverse Assembly, held at the museum whose innovative ring shape decorated with Arabic calligraphy flanks the city’s main thoroughfare.

Representatives of tech giants mingled with entrepreneurs and developers exploring the potential of the metaverse, a network of digital spaces intended as an extension of the physical world.

DFM adopts new methodology

Dubai Financial Market said on Monday it planned to adopt a new methodology for its main equities indices, which will come into effect in the fourth quarter, according to Reuters.

The Dubai bourse’s general index, Shariah index and sector indices, will be calculated by S&P Dow Jones Indices, it said in a statement.

A key improvement among the changes is a limit on the weighting of a listed company to 10 percent from 20 percent, which should result in a larger representation of companies on the DFM’s benchmarks, it said.

The Dubai bourse said the index calculation will be based on actual free float adjusted market capitalization, and that the indices will be rebalanced on a quarterly basis, from semi-annually currently.

The bourse plans to align its sectors with an industry classification standard which is followed by institutional clients, it said.

DFM will have seven sectors: Financials, industrials, real estate, utilities, communication services, materials and consumer staples.

The bourse has invited market participants for consultations on the index methodology ahead of possible changes, with the revised indexes to be launched in Q4, it said.


Egyptian pound weakens the most in four months

Egyptian pound weakens the most in four months
Updated 03 October 2022

Egyptian pound weakens the most in four months

Egyptian pound weakens the most in four months
  • Foreign currency has dried up in Egypt over the last six months, forcing banks and importers to scramble to find dollars to pay for imports and putting pressure on the central bank to let its value weaken

CAIRO: Egypt weakened its currency on Monday by the most in more than four months, with the Egyptian pound falling by more than 0.10 pounds to the dollar, according to Refinitiv data.

The pound was trading at 19.62 to the dollar at 1337 GMT, down from 19.49 at the open.

Foreign currency has dried up in Egypt over the last six months, forcing banks and importers to scramble to find dollars to pay for imports and putting pressure on the central bank to let its value weaken.

Dollars have disappeared in part because of the higher cost of imported commodities, a drop in Russian and Ukrainian tourists and a flight of dollars from Egyptian treasury markets.

The last time the central bank allowed the currency to weaken so quickly was from May 22 to May 25, when it fell by 0.34 pounds against the dollar in three days.

The pound weakened to a record low on Dec. 21, 2016, when it traded at 19.80 pounds per dollar during intraday trade, according to Refinitiv. But in subsequent years it rebounded.

Egypt since March has been negotiating a financial support package from the IMF, which has long been urging it to allow greater exchange rate variability.


Oil jumps $3 as OPEC+ weighs biggest output cut since 2020

Oil jumps $3 as OPEC+ weighs biggest output cut since 2020
Updated 03 October 2022

Oil jumps $3 as OPEC+ weighs biggest output cut since 2020

Oil jumps $3 as OPEC+ weighs biggest output cut since 2020

RIYADH: Oil prices jumped $3 a barrel on Monday as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, considered reducing output by more than 1 million barrels per day to buttress prices with what would be its biggest cut since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude futures for December delivery rose $2.99 to $88.13 a barrel, a 3.5 percent gain, by 12:50 p.m. ET (1650 GMT). US West Texas Intermediate crude rose $3.33, or 4.2 percent, to $82.82 a barrel.

Citing OPEC+ sources, Reuters reported that the organization is planning an output cut of more than 1 million bpd ahead of its meeting in Vienna on Oct.05 to decide on the next phase of the production policy. 

It should be also noted that the upcoming meeting on Wednesday will be the first in-person meeting of OPEC ministers since 2020, which clearly indicates its significance. 

If the meeting agrees to the output cut, it will be the organization’s second consecutive monthly cut after reducing output by 100,000 bpd last month.

“If OPEC+ does decide to cut output in the near term, the resultant increase in OPEC+ spare capacity will likely put more downward pressure on long-dated prices,” energy consultancy FGE said in a note, as reported by Reuters. 

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs, on Sept. 28 had cut its 2023 oil price forecast due to expectations of weaker demand and a stronger US dollar. 

Analysts at Goldman Sachs now see Brent crude averaging $100 a barrel from October to December and $108 a barrel in 2023, down from the previous prediction of $125 for both time periods. 

Post the Ukraine conflict, oil prices had rallied to over $120 a barrel, as the western allies led by the US and EU weaned themselves from Russian oil imports. 

Oil prices, however, have been tumbling since July, as the pandemic lockdown in China negatively impacted the demand, along with a surging US dollar weighed on global financial markets. 

Goldman Sachs said a production cut under consideration by OPEC+ was justified by the sharp decline in oil prices from recent highs and supported its bullish view.

“We reiterate both our bullish oil view as well as our preference for long crude timespread positions into year-end,” the bank’s commodities research division wrote in note on Monday.

Despite one of the tightest markets in recorded history, Goldman said the cut could be justified by the 40 percent decline in prices from their June peak and enabled by the lack of supply elasticity, given slowing shale activity and exhausted spare capacity.

“The collapse in investor participation, driving liquidity and prices lower, is also a likely strong catalyst for such a cut, as it would increase the carry in oil and start to claw back investors who have instead turned to USD cash allocation following the aggressive Fed hikes.”