Arab Bankers Association in UK hosts investor networking event at Battersea Power Station

A slice of tranquillity in the sky on Boiler House Square, designed by Andy Sturgeon and LDA Design. (Supplied/John Sturrock)
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A slice of tranquillity in the sky on Boiler House Square, designed by Andy Sturgeon and LDA Design. (Supplied/John Sturrock)
Arab Bankers Association in UK hosts investor networking event at Battersea Power Station
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Arab Bankers Association in UK hosts investor networking event at Battersea Power Station
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Arab Bankers Association in UK hosts investor networking event at Battersea Power Station
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Updated 05 August 2022

Arab Bankers Association in UK hosts investor networking event at Battersea Power Station

Arab Bankers Association in UK hosts investor networking event at Battersea Power Station
  • The event aimed to promote BPS’ newly unveiled Sky Villas and get attendees acquainted with the power station’s project
  • The £9 billion development, which is set to open in autumn, has seen strong levels of interest from Middle East investors

LONDON: The London-based Arab Bankers Association hosted a summer networking event for Arab investors last week to promote real estate opportunities in one of the UK capital’s most coveted residences.

The event was sponsored by Battersea Power Station to sell their newly unveiled Sky Villas, get attendees acquainted with the power station’s project, and included a hard-hat tour of the plant.

“The ABA has a close relationship with the Battersea Power Station,” George Kanaan, CEO of ABA, told Arab News. “The project was immense, it was structured interestingly, and it was quite a challenge.”

He said that many of his member banks were involved in the funding and execution, and also got close to the developers. ABA’s members include private bankers and advisers to Middle Eastern investors actively deploying capital in UK real estate.




Design features such as contemporary steel staircases, Crittall-style interior windows and herringbone flooring connect the Sky Villas to the Power Station’s rich industrial history (Supplied/Taran Wilkhu)

“We had them present at some of our seminars on real estate in London as an example of how a project of this size could be structured,” he said. “We invited them to speak at another seminar because we liked their insights into the market and how they’re approaching the marketing end.”

Since BPS was decommissioned in 1975, several unfulfilled plans were made to make use of the coal-fired power station located on the River Thames up until it fell into near ruin.

In 2012, it was bought by a Malaysian consortium to develop the site to include 254 apartments, restaurants, shops, offices and cinemas.

The £9 billion ($10,8 billion) development, which is set to open in autumn, has seen strong levels of interest from Middle East high-net-worth individuals and property investors seeking trophy assets in London, BPS said.




Architect and Interior Designer, Natalia Miyar, has dressed a new Sky Villa show apartment, bringing her signature style to these coveted properties (Supplied/Taran Wilkhu)

Middle East buyers are also looking to take advantage of the weak pound as well as the strong fundamentals of the prime central London property market, with prices in Battersea going up by 2.8 percent in the past 12 months according to real estate consultants Knight Frank; a seven year high, it added.

“The whole area of Battersea has been regenerated and that along with the move of the American embassy to the area gave birth to a lot of other projects and the place is beginning to look pretty wonderful. It’s a real estate project that actually made a district in my opinion, is how you describe it,” Kanaan said.

He said the event featured representation of bankers and investment officials from across the region, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE , Bahrain and Egypt, as well as big local banks such as Lloyds. “So, we had a good cross-section of the city and a good cross-section of the region.”

Matthew Sansom, director of residential sales at BPS, said that he was impressed by the number of attendees and the good turnout, adding everyone was keen to find out more about the power station.

“For some of the attendees, it’s the first time they’ve ever come to Battersea Power Station, they’re sort of overwhelmed, and quite impressed with what we’ve created, not just the apartments, but the wider estate as well,” he said.




The iconic decommissioned coal-fired Battersea Power Station located on the south bank of the River Thames is the centre of a major redevelopment project in the inner-city district of South West London. (File/AFP)

“More broadly, even the investors in the project or the buyers, whether they’re buying for their own use or for investment, the project sort of carries a lot of appeal to various different people for a lot of reasons,” Sansom said.

He said their ultimate goal was to leave behind a legacy by turning Battersea into a new village and destination within London and build awareness of the station’s location, noting that there is still a lot of the site yet to be developed.

“As a developer, we have a responsibility to leave a legacy and we’ve made a very conscious focus on placemaking and creating a destination here that people want to come, and it’s not just for the people who live here, it’s for the wider communities of London and beyond,” he said.

Most of the 18 luxurious Sky Villas, which feature three ensuite bedrooms, a study, ground floor and rooftop gardens and 360-degree views of the city, have been sold with only a handful remaining as they have received a lot of sales traction, Sansom said, which is “a great position to be in, and testament to the products that we’re delivering.”


Oil dips as slowdown worries limit price gains

Oil dips as slowdown worries limit price gains
(Shutterstock)
Updated 19 August 2022

Oil dips as slowdown worries limit price gains

Oil dips as slowdown worries limit price gains
  • US crude stocks fall by 7.1 mln bbl, far more than expected
  • US oil refiners aim to run full-bore, spurning recession fears
  • OPEC chief says blame policymakers, lawmakers for price rises (Recasts, updates prices)

SINGAPORE: Oil prices dipped on Friday after two days of gain, as market participants weighed worries about global economic slowdown — that could dampen fuel demand — against expectations of tighter supplies toward year-end.

Brent crude futures fell 36 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $96.23 a barrel by 0309 GMT after settling 3.1 percent higher on Thursday. US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $90.29 a barrel, down 21 cents, or 0.2 percent, following a 2.7 percent increase in the previous session.

Still, the benchmark contracts were headed for weekly losses of about 1.5 percent.

While bullish US weekly data bolstered optimism for improved fuel demand for the near-term, lingering recession fears and a possible increase in output by OPEC+ will likely limit oil price’s upside, said Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst with Rakuten Securities.

US crude inventories fell sharply as the nation exported a record 5 million barrels of oil a day in the most recent week, with oil companies finding heavy demand from European nations looking to replace crude from warring Russia.

Keeping crude supplies snug, US oil refineries plan to keep running near full throttle this quarter, according to executives and estimates, as refiners set aside worries about recession and sliding retail prices to deliver more fuel.

The rise in US fuel production could partly offset lower oil products exports from China this year as Beijing prioritizes the local market to curb domestic fuel inflation.

On supplies, Haitham Al Ghais, new secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, told Reuters that policymakers, lawmakers and insufficient oil and gas sector investments are to blame for high energy prices, not his group.

The group together with allies such as Russia, known as OPEC+, are due to meet on Sept. 5 to adjust production. OPEC is keen to ensure Russia remains part of the OPEC+ oil production deal after 2022, Al Ghais said.

In a sign of improving supplies, the price gap between prompt and second-month Brent futures narrowed about $5 a barrel from the end of July.

Record US crude exports, the resumption of Libya’s production and sustained exports from Russia and Iran have eased global supply tightness ahead of peak refinery maintenance.

Russia forecasts rising output and exports until the end of 2025, an economy ministry document seen by Reuters showed, saying revenue from energy exports will rise 38 percent this year, partly due to higher oil export volumes.

Iran, meanwhile, increased its oil exports in June and July and could raise them further this month by offering a deeper discount to Russian crude for its main buyer China, firms tracking the flows said. 


UK’s Liz Truss says defining mission will be reviving the economy

UK’s Liz Truss says defining mission will be reviving the economy
Updated 19 August 2022

UK’s Liz Truss says defining mission will be reviving the economy

UK’s Liz Truss says defining mission will be reviving the economy

LONDON: The frontrunner to be Britain’s next prime minister Liz Truss said her government’s defining mission would be to revive the economy as she set out a series of measures to help parts of northern England.
Britain’s economic performance has lagged behind those of the United States, Italy and France in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The economy is expected to enter a long downturn at the end of the year amid surging inflation and rising interest rates.
“The defining mission of my government will be to get our economy growing again, cutting taxes to put more money into the pockets of hardworking people,” Truss said.
Outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson had said reducing regional economic inequality was his main goal. But public spending in the north of England fell behind the national average in the first two years of his government, research by the Institute for Public Policy Research has shown.
Truss said she was committed to the current government’s goal of reducing economic inequalities but would do so in a “Conservative way,” interpreted as meaning a focus on tax cuts and deregulation.
Speaking ahead of election hustings in Manchester in northern England on Friday, Truss pledged to provide more devolution, to ensure poorer areas receive the government funding they need, and to build two new vocational colleges in the north of England that will be “the vocational equivalent of Oxford and Cambridge,” dubbed “Voxbridge.”
Truss has portrayed herself as a radical insurgent who would overturn the current failed orthodoxy and has proposed to reverse more than £30 billion ($36 billion) of tax rises.


UAE-based tech firm launches $10bn fund in partnership with Abu Dhabi Growth Fund

UAE-based tech firm launches $10bn fund in partnership with Abu Dhabi Growth Fund
Updated 18 August 2022

UAE-based tech firm launches $10bn fund in partnership with Abu Dhabi Growth Fund

UAE-based tech firm launches $10bn fund in partnership with Abu Dhabi Growth Fund

RIYADH: G42, a UAE-based technology company, launched a $10 billion G42 Expansion Fund in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Growth Fund to invest in late-stage companies.

Managed by a G42 subsidiary, the fund will focus on growth companies in computing, communication technology, intelligent mobility, clean tech, digital infrastructure, fintech, healthcare, and life sciences, Wamda reported.

“With the G42 Expansion Fund, we aim to accelerate our global impact not only through the deployment of capital, but also by providing unique access to our networks, management, and operational assets to our portfolio companies,” Peng Xiao, group CEO at G42 and chairman of the G42 Expansion Fund’s Investment Committee, said in a statement.

 


Saudi-based fintech partners with SNB to support SMEs 


Saudi-based fintech partners with SNB to support SMEs 

Updated 18 August 2022

Saudi-based fintech partners with SNB to support SMEs 


Saudi-based fintech partners with SNB to support SMEs 


RIYADH: CASHIN, a Saudi-based fintech and point-of-sale provider, signed a partnership with the Saudi National Bank to support small and medium enterprises.

The partnership will facilitate management of transactions for business activities like receiving payments and sales with immediate bank settlements.

“We are proud to be an active element in the national transformation journey within the financial sector by providing innovative products in the field of fintech and information systems,” CASHIN CEO Omar Al-Ramah said in a statement.

Founded in 2021, CASHIN is providing its services to over 10,000 businesses in more than 30 sectors with transactions at around $800 million, MAGNiTT reported.


Global tech event LEAP22 receives 5 Gold Awards for its inaugural edition


Global tech event LEAP22 receives 5 Gold Awards for its inaugural edition

Updated 18 August 2022

Global tech event LEAP22 receives 5 Gold Awards for its inaugural edition


Global tech event LEAP22 receives 5 Gold Awards for its inaugural edition


RIYADH: The inaugural LEAP22 International Technology Conference won five Gold Awards at the 19th Annual International Business Awards, according to a statement. 

Competing with over 3,700 nominations from organizations across 67 countries, LEAP clinched the best award for Tech Event, B2B Event, Launch Event, Conference Event, and Exhibition Experience.

In its first edition held in early February 2022 for three days, under the theme “An Eye on the Future,” over 509 speakers speakers participated in the event with over 100,000 conference’s visits.

It also announced investments worth $6.4 billion, in the presence of more than 700 international companies, over 1,500 startups, and 330 investment funds.

The Annual International Business Awards, also known as Stevie Awards, were created in 2002 to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals.

LEAP Conference was organized by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, in cooperation with the Saudi Federation of Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones.