Iraq to supply Lebanon with fuel for electricity for another year: Lebanese PM

Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati speaks following his meeting with the president at the presidential palace in Baabda, east of the capital Beirut. (File/AFP)
Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati speaks following his meeting with the president at the presidential palace in Baabda, east of the capital Beirut. (File/AFP)
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Updated 11 August 2022

Iraq to supply Lebanon with fuel for electricity for another year: Lebanese PM

Iraq to supply Lebanon with fuel for electricity for another year: Lebanese PM
  • Iraq has agreed to renew a one-year deal to provide Lebanon with fuel for its power plants in exchange for in-kind services, Lebanon’s Najib Mikati says
  • Iraq signed an agreement in July 2021 to give cash-strapped Lebanon one million tons of fuel oil to help keep the lights on

BEIRUT: Iraq’s government has agreed to continue supplying Lebanon’s electricity company with heavy fuel oil for another year in exchange for in-kind services, Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister said on Thursday, alleviating pressure on Lebanon’s struggling power grid.
Najib Mikati said he had made the request to Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, who agreed to extend the same terms of the agreement signed last year.
Iraq signed an agreement in July 2021 to give cash-strapped Lebanon one million tons of fuel oil to help keep the lights on, in exchange for services including health care for Iraqi citizens, as the country grapples with power cuts up to 23 hours a day during an unprecedented economic crisis.
“The Iraqi government, headed by Mr.Mustafa Al-Kadhemi, approved in a meeting today... to extend the supply of fuel to Lebanon... for a period of one year, under the same conditions as before,” Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s office said in a statement.
For the past year, Lebanon’s power plants have depended on the deal with Iraq to produce one to two hours of electricity per day.
Residents in the poverty-stricken country largely rely on expensive private generators for power the rest of the time.
The Iraqi oil cannot be used directly by Lebanon’s power stations, so Beirut will continue to buy compatible fuel from other providers which will receive the Iraqi oil in exchange.
At the time of signing, last year’s deal was worth $300-$400 million, Raymond GHajjar, the Energy minister at the time had said.
As fuel prices shot up, the deal is now worth an estimated $570 million, Lebanon’s Energy Minister Walid Fayad told AFP last month.
An Iraqi ministerial delegation is expected to visit Beirut shortly to agree on the in-kind services that Baghdad wants in return for the fuel, Fayad said.
Iraq is a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) but suffers from its own electricity shortages.
Lebanon is battling one of the planet’s worst economic crises since the 1850s, and the state-run electricity company faces dire cash shortages.
(With AFP and Reuters)


KPMG to add non-Saudi senior directors as shareholders

KPMG to add non-Saudi senior directors as shareholders
Updated 15 sec ago

KPMG to add non-Saudi senior directors as shareholders

KPMG to add non-Saudi senior directors as shareholders

RIYADH: Global accounting firm KPMG Professional Services has introduced a new shareholding structure to include non-Saudi senior directors as shareholders of the company. 

The proposal was approved in the company’s extraordinary general meeting held on Oct. 1.

The move comes as KPMG obtained the license from the Kingdom’s Ministry of Investment, the company said in a statement. It added that the capital increase associated with this expansion of the ownership will be used to support the firm's future growth.

KPMG revealed that its headcount in Saudi Arabia has grown to over 2,000, with people from different nations working across all levels.

The accounting firm has prioritized diversity and inclusion strategy, focusing extensively on developing Saudi nationals and attracting talent from around the world, the press release added.

“The establishment of this new shareholding structure is part of our strategy and commitment to the Saudi market, and will enable us to further our growth trajectory and attract more talent and expertise to support our clients,” said Abdullah Hamad Al-Fozan, chairman and CEO of KPMG.

Abdullah Hamad Al-Fozan, chairman and CEO of KPMG. (Supplied)

Earlier in August, KPMG became the first professional services organization to join as an official observer in Saudi Arabia’s Digital Cooperation Organization, the intergovernmental organization established to enable digital prosperity. 


World Petroleum Congress to be held in Riyadh in 2026

World Petroleum Congress to be held in Riyadh in 2026
Updated 24 min 38 sec ago

World Petroleum Congress to be held in Riyadh in 2026

World Petroleum Congress to be held in Riyadh in 2026

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is set to host a get-together of global leaders from the oil and gas industries after Riyadh was named as the venue for the 2026 edition of the World Petroleum Congress.

As well as industry insiders, the triennial event will bring representatives from governments, other sectors, non-governmental organizations and international institutions to the Kingdom’s capital.

This conference aims to bring together countries and international organizations every three years to enhance cooperation between them in the fields of energy, and find solutions to the main challenges facing the development of this sector.

The Riyadh event will follow the 24th edition of the conference, set to be held in Calgary, Canada, from Sept. 17 to 21, 2023.

That event will focus on end-to-end chemical market outlooks, end-use market analysis, mobility, energy transition, and climate strategies.

It will also see discussions on new tracks on carbon intensity, carbon markets, clean fuels and clean tech. 

The World Petroleum Council, which is the organizer of the conference, was established in 1933, and is a neutral platform for discussing issues facing the oil and gas sector among all stakeholders from around the world.  

The council works to employ scientific developments in the oil and gas sectors, and technology transfer and sustainable use of the world's petroleum resources for the benefit of all

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Simaat platform signs technical integration agreement with Ejar Network

Simaat platform signs technical integration agreement with Ejar Network
Updated 03 October 2022

Simaat platform signs technical integration agreement with Ejar Network

Simaat platform signs technical integration agreement with Ejar Network

RIYADH: Real estate technology provider Simaat platform has signed a technical integration agreement with Ejar Network, a comprehensive system that aims to develop the housing sector in Saudi Arabia.

According to a press release, the agreement was signed in the presence of Majid Al-Hogail, the minister of the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing — who is also the chairman of the Real Estate Authority, and Ahmed Mohammed Al-Suwaiyan, governor of the Digital Government Authority.

Integrating the Simaat platform with the Ejar network will boost efficiency by simplifying documentation procedures with the aim of reducing the user experience period from 15 minutes on average to less than one minute.

“By virtue of this agreement, the Simaat platform will become the first real estate property management platform linked to a rental network for direct documentation of rental contracts on the Simaat platform,” said Dhaifallah Al-Hassani, CEO of the Simaat platform.

Executive Vice President of the Simaat platform Sami Al-Sharekh said the platform involves the largest real estate property management companies in Saudi Arabia and is linked and integrated with various government agencies such as the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Commerce, Sadad and Mada.

The press release added that Simaat platform is expected to announce its partnerships with government entities with the aim of promoting the transformation of the real estate sector into a digital market in line with Vision 2030.

Apart from Simaat platform, Ejar also signed digital integration agreements including the Aqar platform, Mojzyah Investment, Nufouth, and AtarCloud, Saudi Press Agency reported. 

“The authority works through these real estate partnerships with the private sector to activate its role in supervising the non-governmental real estate sector,” said Abdullah Al-Hammad, CEO of the Real Estate General Authority. 

He also added that the integration agreement will bolster investors in the digital real estate solutions sector. 


Saudi PIF subsidiary SEIC acquires 34% of Egypt’s B.TECH for $150mn

Saudi PIF subsidiary SEIC acquires 34% of Egypt’s B.TECH for $150mn
Updated 03 October 2022

Saudi PIF subsidiary SEIC acquires 34% of Egypt’s B.TECH for $150mn

Saudi PIF subsidiary SEIC acquires 34% of Egypt’s B.TECH for $150mn

RIYADH: The Saudi Egyptian Investment Co., a subsidiary of the Saudi Public Investment Fund, has acquired 34 percent of Egypt’s omnichannel retailer and consumer finance platform B.TECH, in a deal worth $150 million.

SEIC’s acquisition was made via the purchase of a minority stake from African Development Partners II, a fund advised by Development Partners International.

B.TECH is 34 percent owned by DPI, while the remaining 66 percent belongs to BT Holding which is owned by the Khattab family that founded the company.

DPI acquired the 34 percent stake in B-Tech in July 2016 for about $34 million.

B.TECH seeks to increase its revenues by 30 percent this year to about $562 million, as well as to increase its branch count to about 153 by the end of the year.

In 2021, B-Tech experienced a 30 percent growth rate to reach SR444 million, up from SR327 billion in 2020.

B-Tech was able to secure foreign investment in 2017 with a $15 million partnership contract with DPI.


Dubai bourse DFM to introduce changes to indices in Q4

Dubai bourse DFM to introduce changes to indices in Q4
Updated 03 October 2022

Dubai bourse DFM to introduce changes to indices in Q4

Dubai bourse DFM to introduce changes to indices in Q4

DUBAI: 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, Sharia 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.

The changes follow a flurry of initial public offerings from state-linked entities this year, part of a government program intended to attract investors and boost activity on the stock exchange.

Toll-road operator Salik , which listed last week, raised 3.735 billion dirhams ($1.02 billion) by selling a 24.9 percent stake in its initial public offering, giving the company a market value of 15 billion dirhams.

Dubai business park operator TECOM Group in June raised 1.7 billion dirhams through the sale of 625 million ordinary shares, equivalent to 12.5 percent of the company in an IPO.

Dubai’s Water and Electricity Authority, known as DEWA, in April raised over $6 billion for its IPO, the region’s biggest since Saudi Aramco.