India In-Focus — Shares rise; India buys discounted Venezuelan petcoke; Volkswagen, Mahindra deepen EV cooperation 

India In-Focus — Shares rise; India buys discounted Venezuelan petcoke; Volkswagen, Mahindra deepen EV cooperation 
India’s consumer inflation dipped to 6.71 percent in July, aided by a slower increase in food and fuel prices. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 16 August 2022

India In-Focus — Shares rise; India buys discounted Venezuelan petcoke; Volkswagen, Mahindra deepen EV cooperation 

India In-Focus — Shares rise; India buys discounted Venezuelan petcoke; Volkswagen, Mahindra deepen EV cooperation 

RIYADH: Indian shares traded higher on Tuesday, with the NSE Nifty 50 index trading above 17,800 for the first time since April 8, helped by softening consumer inflation that eased for a third straight month in July.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.7 percent at 17,827.25, as of 0500 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex was 0.7 percent higher at 59,888.24. Indian markets were closed on Monday for a holiday.

India’s consumer inflation dipped to 6.71 percent in July, aided by a slower increase in food and fuel prices and adding to expectations that the central bank may rein in the pace of its policy rate hikes from next month.

Auto stocks were up, and the Nifty Auto index hit a record high with its 1.8 percent gain.

Shares of Hero MotoCorp. rose as much as 3 percent after strong June-quarter results.

Life Insurance Corporation of India rose 2.5 percent after the country’s biggest insurer posted a 20 percent jump in June-quarter premium income on Friday.

India buys discounted Venezuelan petcoke to replace coal

Indian companies are importing significant volumes of petroleum coke from Venezuela for the first time, trade sources and shipping data showed.

India’s growing appetite for Venezuela’s petcoke – a byproduct from oil upgrading and an alternative to coal — is being driven by a scramble for inexpensive fuel to power industries as global coal prices have surged.

This could boost cash flow for the South American producer, where state and private companies have increased exports of petrochemicals and oil byproducts, and the more competitively-priced Venezuelan supplies could displace cargoes from traditional suppliers.

Indian cement companies imported at least four cargoes carrying 160,000 tons of petroleum coke from April to June, according to three trade sources, Refinitiv ship-tracking data and Venezuelan shipping schedules.

Another 50,000-ton cargo is expected to reach the port of Mangalore on India’s southwestern coast in the coming days while a 30,000-ton shipment is scheduled to depart later in August, the data showed.

Volkswagen, Mahindra deepen electric vehicle component cooperation

Volkswagen and Mahindra & Mahindra on Monday expanded their cooperation and signed a term sheet under which the German carmaker will supply electric components to its Indian peer.

The agreement covers components of Volkswagen’s open platform for electric vehicles, called MEB, to be supplied to Mahindra’s new electric platform INGLO, the companies said.

The INGLO platform, which will power all of Mahindra’s EVs, offers options ranging from 60-80 kilowatt-hour battery capacity and fast-charging of up to 80 percent in less than 30 minutes, Mahindra said, without specifying the range of the EVs.

The cooperation aims for a volume of more than 1 million vehicles by 2030 and includes the equipment of five electric sports utility vehicles based on INGLO, the companies said.

“The partnership not only demonstrates that our platform business is highly competitive, but also that the MEB is well on track to become one of the leading open platforms for e-mobility,” Volkswagen management board member Thomas Schmall said.

(With input from Reuters) 


Biden says he is surveying options after OPEC+ decision to cut output

Biden says he is surveying options after OPEC+ decision to cut output
Updated 20 sec ago

Biden says he is surveying options after OPEC+ decision to cut output

Biden says he is surveying options after OPEC+ decision to cut output

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden said on Thursday he was surveying his options after OPEC+ nations announced plans to cut oil output, a decision he said was disappointing.

Benchmark Brent crude was trading around $94 per barrel on Thursday, after gaining 1.7 percent in the previous session.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 14 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $87.90 after closing 1.4 percent up on Wednesday.

The agreement between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, a group known collectively as OPEC+, comes ahead of a EU embargo on Russian oil and would squeeze supplies in an already tight market, adding to inflation.

“We believe that the price impact of the announced measures will be significant,” said Jorge Leon, senior vice-president at Rystad Energy.


Saudi Arabia’s point-of-sale value rises to $3.4bn as food spending increases: SAMA

Saudi Arabia’s point-of-sale value rises to $3.4bn as food spending increases: SAMA
Updated 46 min 11 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s point-of-sale value rises to $3.4bn as food spending increases: SAMA

Saudi Arabia’s point-of-sale value rises to $3.4bn as food spending increases: SAMA

CAIRO: Food and drink sales helped drive a 23 percent rise in point-of-sale transactions in Saudi Arabia in the week ending Oct. 1, the latest weekly data from the Saudi Central Bank revealed.

Sales grew by SR2.4 billion ($640 billion) last week to reach SR12.8 billion in what was the highest percentage rise since the week ending July 30.

POS is an economic term used to describe what is spent by consumers using their ATMs and credit cards in retail stores, shopping malls, and pharmacies, among others. 

This five-week peak fell just below SR13.5 billion worth of POS transactions recorded in the week ending on Sept. 3, showed the SAMA data. 

This spike was mainly driven by increased spending on food and beverage services, with the sector’s total POS transaction rising by SR681.3 million to reach SR2.1 billion in the week ending on Oct. 1, recording 47.9 percent growth over the previous week.

Of the 17 sectors, 16 saw a rise in the value of POS transactions:

  • Other — Up SR382.3 million; up SR1.2 million previous week
  • Miscellaneous goods and services — Up SR342.9 million; down SR4.9 million last week
  • Health — Up SR219.6 million; down SR7.6 million previous week 
  • Transportation — Up SR164.3 million; down SR30.7 million previous week 
  • Gas stations — Up SR102.3 million; down SR26.1 million last week 

The education sector witnessed the biggest percentage change in the week ending on Oct. 1 in both transaction value and number of transactions. 

The sector’s POS transaction value went up by 115.6 percent to reach SR184 million, while the number of POS transactions went up by 51.9 percent to hit 170,000. 

The only sector that recorded less POS transactions – both in number and value – in that week was the hotels. 

This sector’s POS value dropped by SR23.2 million to reach SR215.9 million, while the number of transactions dropped by 42,000 to reach 562,000 transactions. 

With regards to the number of POS transactions, food and beverages also led the way with an increase of 4.4 million transactions in that week to reach 37.2 million transactions. 

  • Restaurants and cafes — Up 3.7 million; down 0.5 million previous week
  • Miscellaneous goods and services — Up 2.9 million; down 0.9 million previous week
  • Other— Up 2.6 million; down 0.4 million previous week
  • Health — Up 1.6 million; down 0.5 million previous week
  • Gas stations — Up 1 million; down 0.4 million previous week

The city of Riyadh, which records the largest share of POS transactions, saw a 11.4 percent increase in the number of transactions in the week ending Oct. 1, compared to a 3.1 percent fall the week prior. 

The city witnessed a 20.2 percent rise in POS transaction value in the week ending Oct. 1, compared to only 0.3 percent the previous week. 

The Kingdom’s capital recorded a total POS value of SR4 billion, up by SR1 billion from the week before. 

As for the number of POS transactions in Riyadh, it rose by 7.7 million from the previous week, reaching 57.6 million in the week ending on Oct. 1. 

Jeddah followed with SR1.9 billion worth of POS transitions which increased by SR253.8 million in the week ending on Oct. 1.

The number of transactions in the city reached 21.9 million, up 1 million from the week before. 


Saudi GAC approves Al Hilal’s acquisition of Etihadat Abyan assets 

Saudi GAC approves Al Hilal’s acquisition of Etihadat Abyan assets 
Updated 06 October 2022

Saudi GAC approves Al Hilal’s acquisition of Etihadat Abyan assets 

Saudi GAC approves Al Hilal’s acquisition of Etihadat Abyan assets 

RIYADH: Saudi pharmaceutical firm Al Hilal Trading Co. has received the General Authority for Competition’s approval to acquire the assets of Etihadat Abyan Co..

Under the formal approval by the regulator, the acquired assets by Al Hilal Trading Co. include S Team and Mawj Al Hilal brands and the related four stores.

The deal will not significantly affect the sportswear market in the Kingdom, GAC said in a statement according to Argaam on Oct. 6. 

The intended acquisition will be done by transferring the assets to Al Hilal Trading Co., a subsidiary of Al Hilal Club Investment Co.. 

Last August, the Tadawul-listed online food delivery platform Jahez International Co for Information Systems Technology, partnered with Al Hilal Investment to set up an online marketing and sales firm.


MENA total startup funding drops 54% month-on-month: Wamda 

MENA total startup funding drops 54% month-on-month: Wamda 
Updated 06 October 2022

MENA total startup funding drops 54% month-on-month: Wamda 

MENA total startup funding drops 54% month-on-month: Wamda 

RIYADH: Startups in the Middle East and North Africa region raised $173 million across 51 deals in September, marking a 54 percent decrease compared to the month before. 

Saudi Arabia’s logistics startup TruKKer was responsible for the bulk of that funding as it secured a $100 million pre-initial public offering round, according to Wamda.

The Kingdom raised a total of $114 million in startup funding in just six deals, while the UAE had 12 deals with a total of $27 million. 

Aside from Trukker’s fundraise, fintech companies managed to get the highest amount of funding with $28 million followed by food tech startups with $22 million. 

Foreign investment was high in September as US investors participated in 11 deals while UK investors were the second active with seven deals. 


TASI ends the week lower on watch of unstable oil prices: Closing bell

TASI ends the week lower on watch of unstable oil prices: Closing bell
Updated 06 October 2022

TASI ends the week lower on watch of unstable oil prices: Closing bell

TASI ends the week lower on watch of unstable oil prices: Closing bell

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s main index ended the last trading session of the week lower as investors kept a keen eye on the unstable oil prices this week.

The Tadawul All Share Index slipped 0.11 percent to end Thursday at 11,757, while the parallel market Nomu finished almost flat at 20,223.

In the energy sector, Brent crude reached $93.22 per barrel, while WTI crude traded at $87.61 per barrel as of 3:14 p.m. Saudi time.

Saudi oil giant Aramco ended the session with a 0.14 percent increase, while Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. edged up 1.21 percent.

The Saudi National Bank, the Kingdom’s largest lender, dropped 0.77 percent, while Saudi British Bank declined by 2.31 percent.

The Kingdom’s most valued bank Al Rajhi fell 0.71 percent, while Alinma Bank shed 0.26 percent.

Despite leading Wednesday’s fallers, Tihama Advertising and Public Relations Co. surged 9.81 percent, topping the market, after receiving the Capital Market Authority’s clearance to hike its capital by 700 percent.

Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Co. declined 2.87 percent to lead the fallers, closely followed by Riyad REIT Fund with a decline of 2.76 percent.