India In-Focus — Billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala dies at 62; US says India hid Russian origin of fuel shipped to US

India In-Focus — Billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala dies at 62; US says India hid Russian origin of fuel shipped to US
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Updated 14 August 2022

India In-Focus — Billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala dies at 62; US says India hid Russian origin of fuel shipped to US

India In-Focus — Billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala dies at 62; US says India hid Russian origin of fuel shipped to US

RIYADH: Stock investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, dubbed India’s Warren Buffett with an estimated net worth of $6 billion, died on Sunday morning at age 62, local media reported.

A chartered accountant by profession from the desert state of Rajasthan, Jhunjhunwala started dabbling in stocks while in college and went on to manage a stock trading firm, RARE Enterprises.

The cause of death was not immediately known.

The promoter of India’s newest airline, the ultra low-cost Akasa Air, Jhunjhunwala appeared days ago at its public launch. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Major politicians and business leaders mourned his death on social media.

“Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was indomitable,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter.

Former Deutsche Bank co-CEO Anshu Jain dies

Anshu Jain, a top finance executive best known for helping German lender Deutsche Bank AG take on the largest Wall Street firms, died overnight on Saturday after a five-year battle with cancer, his family said. He was 59.

Jain, who was born in India, spent two decades building Deutsche Bank into one of the world’s top universal banks. He was the first non-European to lead the German institution.

In the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008 and the European debt crisis that followed, Jain pushed Deutsche to remain Europe’s “last man standing” as US firms pulled ahead in global banking.

He resigned from the German lender in 2015, and had been the president of US financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald since 2017.

“He will be remembered for his leadership in financial services and his deep commitment to conservation,” said Larry Fink, chief executive of BlackRock Inc, who said he knew Jain well.

Born in the Indian city of Jaipur, Jain earned his bachelors at the University of Delhi before completing an MBA at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

US says India hid Russian origin of fuel shipped to US

The US has expressed concern to India that it was being used to export fuel made from Russian crude, through high-seas transfers to hide its origin, to New York in violation of US sanctions, a top Indian central banker said on Saturday.

The US Treasury Department told India that an Indian ship picked up oil from a Russian tanker on the high seas and brought it to a port in Gujarat on the west coast, where it was refined and shipped on, said Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor Michael Patra.

US sanctions on Moscow for its February invasion of Ukraine prohibit the import to the US of Russian-origin energy products, including crude oil, refined fuels, distillates, coal and gas.

“The refined output was put back on that ship, and it set sail without a destination. In the mid-seas it received the destination so it went to New York,” Patra said at an event to celebrate 75 years of India’s independence.

 

(With input from Reuters) 


MENA Project Tracker — ADNOC receives bids on seawater plant; Saudi and Kuwait inject $256m in housing project in Egypt 

MENA Project Tracker — ADNOC receives bids on seawater plant; Saudi and Kuwait inject $256m in housing project in Egypt 
Updated 04 October 2022

MENA Project Tracker — ADNOC receives bids on seawater plant; Saudi and Kuwait inject $256m in housing project in Egypt 

MENA Project Tracker — ADNOC receives bids on seawater plant; Saudi and Kuwait inject $256m in housing project in Egypt 

RIYADH: Companies have submitted bids for the technical and economic consultancy contract for developing wind power projects in Oman, reported MEED.

Oman Power & Water Procurement Co. originally tendered the contract in July and received its bids on Sept. 27. 

The company announced that the contractor will be selected by early October.

The scope of work includes two stages — undertaking feasibility studies, followed by the provision of technical consultancy services.

This project aims to diversify fuel sources for power generation in Oman.

ADNOC receives bids on seawater plant

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. has received three bids for the contract to develop a seawater treatment plant and transmission pipeline project in Mirfa, according to MEED.

The project’s work includes the development of a nanofiltration plant — which will hold a capacity of 115 million imperial gallons a day in Mirfa.

It also includes seawater intake and outfall facilities for the plant, a pumping station and a 75 km water transmission pipeline to the Bab and Bu Hasa oil fields.

The project, estimated at $2 billion, is part of ADNOC's Project Wave — a huge scheme that plans to replace the current aquifer water injection systems used to maintain reservoir pressure in all onshore oil fields in Abu Dhabi.

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait inject $256m in housing project in Egypt 

Saudi Arabia-based Binladin Group has partnered with Kuwait’s Bukhamseen company in a 5 billion Egyptian pound ($256 million) investment into a large housing project in Egypt.  

Located in Sheikh Zayed City near Cairo, ‘Marascene’ will stretch over 275,000 sq. m, according to Zawya.       

 “This is a large project which will be completed within seven years...we expect revenue to reach 9 billion pounds,” stated Bukhamseen’s CEO Imad Bukhamseen.


Saudi ministry appoints 5 international banks as primary dealers in government debt

Saudi ministry appoints 5 international banks as primary dealers in government debt
Updated 04 October 2022

Saudi ministry appoints 5 international banks as primary dealers in government debt

Saudi ministry appoints 5 international banks as primary dealers in government debt

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance,and the National Debt Management Center signed an agreement with the international banks, including BNP Paribas, to join primary dealers in government debt instruments.

The deal also includes CitiGroup, Goldman Sachs, Standard Chartered and J.P. Morgan, the ministry said in a statement released on Oct 3. 

The Minister of Finance Mohammed Al Jadaan said: “These agreements are a continuation of the developmental steps taken towards achieving Vision 2030 objectives under the umbrella of the Financial Sector Development Program.”

This will be primarily achieved through cooperation between relevant entities, to develop the infrastructure of the local debt market and increase the liquidity of the government's local debt instruments by attracting more capital from foreign investors, he added. 

The five international banks will join five other local banks in that role — the Saudi National Bank, AlJazira Bank, Alinma Bank, and AlRajhi Bank.

The applications for subscription in the primary market for the government's local debt instruments are submitted to the National Debt Management Center.


Egyptian VC firm Algebra Ventures finalizes first close of $100m fund

Egyptian VC firm Algebra Ventures finalizes first close of $100m fund
Updated 04 October 2022

Egyptian VC firm Algebra Ventures finalizes first close of $100m fund

Egyptian VC firm Algebra Ventures finalizes first close of $100m fund

RIYADH: Egypt-based venture capital firm Algebra Ventures has finalized a $100 million first close of its second fund — exceeding the $90 million target.

The company, which is set to invest $15 million in startups by the end of the year, is expecting to make its final close by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

The company’s second fund is backed by existing limited partnerships from the first fund including IFC, EBRD, and EAEF in addition to new investors like FMO, BII, MSMEDA, DGGF and regional family offices.

Founded in 2016, Algebra Ventures has backed a number of startups like Trella, Khazna, Mozare3, Shift EV, elmenus, Halan, and Yodawy.


Saudi Cabinet signs off agreement with UK over energy expertise

Saudi Cabinet signs off agreement with UK over energy expertise
Updated 04 October 2022

Saudi Cabinet signs off agreement with UK over energy expertise

Saudi Cabinet signs off agreement with UK over energy expertise

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet has approved a memorandum of understanding with the UK to share technical knowledge and expertise on energy.

The Cabinet is also discussing a draft MoU with its Finnish counterpart for further cooperation in the fields of information technology, communications, and digital economy.

Moreover, the Cabinet has transferred the licensing competence for the professions of industrial consultancy and mining consultancy from the Ministry of Commerce to the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.


Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade

Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade
Updated 04 October 2022

Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade

Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade

RIYADH: Metaverse is predicted to add $360 billion to the economy in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey over the next 10 years, an official for Meta, the parent company of Facebook, told Asharq Business.

The metaverse is an online world where users can play games, work, and study.

Globally, the metaverse is expected to add $3 trillion to the world’s economy over the next decade, according to Fares Akkad, regional director for Meta in MENA.

Speaking about Meta platforms, he said there are over 300 million users on Instagram, Facebook, and Whatsapp.

Meta is investing more than $1 billion in programs that support creators on these platforms and help them succeed, Akkad said.