Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; 10X SPAC and Prime Blockchain complete $1.25bn merger deal

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; 10X SPAC and Prime Blockchain complete $1.25bn merger deal
Bitcoin traded lower on Tuesday, falling by 3.44 percent to $24,008. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 16 August 2022

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; 10X SPAC and Prime Blockchain complete $1.25bn merger deal

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; 10X SPAC and Prime Blockchain complete $1.25bn merger deal

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded lower on Tuesday, falling by 3.44 percent to $24,008 as of 7:57 a.m. Riyadh time.

Ethereum, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $1,874 falling by 5.51 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

10X SPAC and Prime Blockchain complete $1.25bn merger deal

Prime Blockchain and blank-check vehicle 10X Capital Venture Acquisition Corp. II have ended their $1.25 billion merger deal, Reuters reported.

It demonstrates waning enthusiasm for special purpose acquisition companies that were startups’ preferred route to initial public offerings.

As a result of sky-high inflation and recession fears this year, several companies have canceled their SPAC mergers, which were announced in April.

Despite some hope last week, analysts have cautioned against over-optimism, arguing that before slowing rate hikes, the Federal Reserve will seek more solid evidence that inflation is declining.

Hodlnaut seeks judicial management for reorganization

As part of its efforts to restructure its business, Hodlnaut, a Singapore-based crypto currency lender and borrower, filed an application to be placed under judicial management on Tuesday, Reuters said.

In a petition filed with the Singapore High Court, the crypto company said it suspended withdrawals, swaps, and deposits last week.

The collapse of two paired tokens, Luna and TerraUSD, in May sparked a selloff in crypto assets.

Dragonfly Ventures buys hedge fund and rebrands

Venture capital firm Dragonfly announced it acquired cryptocurrency fund MetaStable Capital and rebranded, according to Bloomberg.

Haseeb Qureshi, the managing partner at Dragonfly, said the acquisition coincides with consolidation in the digital asset industry, Bloomberg added.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Under a new logo, Bloomberg said that Dragonfly has dropped “Capital” from its name.

Qureshi, a former partner at MetaStable, said in a Telegram message: “The bear market has caused a lot of traditional funds and crossover funds to exit the crypto market.”

“We’re the opposite: we’re going deeper, and committing to our crypto-native roots,” he added.

With tightening monetary policy, the crypto market suffered a painful rout resulting in spectacular leveraged losses., Bloomberg added. This shakeout is resulting in a rise in mergers and acquisitions.

Leon Li, the founder of crypto exchange Huobi, is interested in selling his majority stake. Crypto.com, a digital currency platform, also announced acquisitions in South Korea recently.

As of July 31, MetaStable had over $400 million in assets under management, co-founded by Naval Ravikant, according to Bloomberg. Many well-known digital-asset projects, such as Ethereum, were invested in by the fund early on. Venture capital firms including Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia, Union Square Ventures, and Founders Fund backed the company.

“Dragonfly has grown a lot since it launched, and so has the crypto industry," Qureshi said.

He added: “The traditional VCs will be back eventually, but the space will have moved on even further by then, and so will we.” 

According to public records, Dragonfly manages regulatory assets worth more than $3 billion, said Bloomberg. In a statement, general partner Tom Schmidt said the new brand represents the firm’s “cyberpunk, hacker-first roots.”

(With inputs from Reuters)


Saudi Arabia developing national capabilities in nuclear technology: Minister 

Saudi Arabia developing national capabilities in nuclear technology: Minister 
Updated 17 sec ago

Saudi Arabia developing national capabilities in nuclear technology: Minister 

Saudi Arabia developing national capabilities in nuclear technology: Minister 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is working to enhance people’s skills and abilities in the nuclear technology sector and its regulatory aspects, the Kingdom’s minister of energy said.

Speaking at the 66th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Austria, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman spoke of the importance of his government developing peaceful uses for nuclear technology with the highest standards of transparency, reliability and the highest levels of safety. 

“As a result of these programs, national capabilities have grown rapidly to keep pace with the best international standards,” he said, later adding: “We are also working in cooperation and coordination with the agency to develop national plans to enable nuclear energy to contribute to the national energy mix.” 

Prince Abdulaziz praised the agency’s role in developing countries' capabilities in facing nuclear threats.

He said the Kingdom would continue to back the agency’s efforts and initiatives in harnessing nuclear technology to find solutions to global challenges in terms of a safe environment from nuclear threats.

Speaking of Saudi Arabia’s support, he said the Kingdom has contributed an amount of $2.5 million to support the IAEA’s initiative to modernize its laboratories. 

This is In addition to $1 million handed over to back the agency's initiative in the work of combating zoonotic diseases to prevent the outbreak of infectious diseases from animals. 

The 66th Annual Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference is being held from Sept. 26 to 30 at the Vienna International Center.


Global hospitality brand voco becomes first Riyadh hotel to offer EV charging station

Global hospitality brand voco becomes first Riyadh hotel to offer EV charging station
Updated 12 min 28 sec ago

Global hospitality brand voco becomes first Riyadh hotel to offer EV charging station

Global hospitality brand voco becomes first Riyadh hotel to offer EV charging station

RIYADH: International hospitality brand voco claims to have become the first hotel to offer an electric vehicle charging station in Saudi Arabia’s capital.

voco Riyadh, which is owned and operated by the InterContinental Hotels Group, said in a press release that it has launched the charging station as part of its series of new initiatives to protect and preserve the environment.

The press release noted that the installation of this new charging station is in line with the Saudi government’s direction toward supporting and developing the electric car industry.

“voco aims to be the leading destination for sustainable tourism in the Kingdom, in line with Vision 2030 goals, which have placed sustainability among its most important pillars, as the Kingdom aims to reach zero-carbon neutrality by 2060,” said Mark Allaf, regional general manager of IHG and general manager of voco Riyadh.

He added: “voco’s care for the environment is seen in practices such as serving guests drinks and coffee in biodegradable glasses and cups or providing them with the opportunity to refresh and bathe under energy-efficient ventilated shower heads.”

Earlier in May, the Saudi Ministry of Investment announced an investment of more than SR12.3 billion ($3.27 billion) to build a Lucid Motors electric vehicle factory in Saudi Arabia, with an annual production capacity of 155,000 cars.

With the launch of an EV charging station, voco said it looks to affirm its commitment to being an eco-friendly hotel that implements environmental sustainability practices, uses energy-saving heating, cooling, and lighting systems, and rationalizes water usage. 

“The overall aim is to improve human well-being and maintain the continuity of life by protecting natural resources, such as the atmosphere and soil,” it said in the press release..

In August, the Saudi Ministry of Energy, in cooperation with other governmental agencies, completed all legislative and technical aspects to regulate the electric vehicle charging market.

The regulating team which comprises the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Transport and Logistics, the Ministry of Commerce, the Saudi Electricity Co., and the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, will monitor and follow up on the activity to ensure that investors comply with the infrastructure requirements for EV charging stations.

In June, Kalyana Sivagnanam, group CEO of Petromin, during an exclusive interview with Arab News, said that its electric charging station arm Electromin is planning to open new charging stations, in addition to the existing 100 to end Saudis’ reluctance to EVs.

 

 


Saudi Arabia issues 115 permits for new industrial units with $1bn investments: Data

Saudi Arabia issues 115 permits for new industrial units with $1bn investments: Data
Updated 13 min 10 sec ago

Saudi Arabia issues 115 permits for new industrial units with $1bn investments: Data

Saudi Arabia issues 115 permits for new industrial units with $1bn investments: Data

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources issued 115 industrial licenses with investments worth SR4 billion ($1.06 billion) in August 2022, official data showed. 

The data from the ministry revealed that the number of industrial units across the Kingdom reached 10,707, up from 10,685 in July 2022.

In August 2021, the number of industrial facilities across Saudi Arabia was 10,159.

According to the data, 68 factories became operational in August 2022, with an investment volume of SR2.3 billion.

Forty-one licenses were issued to industrial units in the Riyadh region followed by 26 in the Eastern Province and 22 in the Makkah region.

In the Madinah region, eight new factory licenses were issued in August, and it was followed by the Qassim region with seven, four in Asir,  three each in Tabuk and Hail regions and one license for a factory in the Jazan region.


War in Ukraine drags on global economy into 2023, OECD says

War in Ukraine drags on global economy into 2023, OECD says
Updated 14 min 29 sec ago

War in Ukraine drags on global economy into 2023, OECD says

War in Ukraine drags on global economy into 2023, OECD says

PARIS: Russia’s war in Ukraine and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are dragging down global economic growth more than expected and driving up inflation that will stay high into next year, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Monday in a darkening outlook, according to AP.

The Paris-based organization projects worldwide growth to be a modest 3 percent this year before slowing further to just 2.2 percent next year, representing around $2.8 trillion in lost global output in 2023.

The war in Ukraine has driven up food and energy prices worldwide, with Russia a key global energy and fertilizer supplier and both countries major exporters of grain for millions of people worldwide already facing hunger.

Meanwhile, China’s COVID-19 lockdowns have shuttered large parts of its economy.

“The war, the burden of high energy and food prices, as well as zero COVID-19 policies from China, mean that growth will be lower, and inflation will be higher and more persistent,” OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann told reporters in Paris.

The inflation and energy supply shock led the OECD to project annual economic growth to slow to around 1.5 percent in the United States this year and just 0.5 percent next year.

The group expects the economy to grow 1.25 percent this year in the 19 countries using the euro currency, with risks of deeper declines in several European economies during the winter months, and 0.3 percent in 2023.

It noted the specter of energy shortages in Europe after Russia reduced supplies of natural gas needed to heat homes, generate electricity and power factories. Shortages could send energy prices up worldwide and force businesses to ration, pushing many European countries into a recession next year, the OECD said.

Growth in China is expected to drop to 3.2 percent this year. Except in 2020 when the pandemic emerged, it would be the lowest growth rate in China since the 1970s. The group projected it would rise slightly to 4.7 percent next year.

Inflation is expected to drop gradually through next year in most Group of 20 countries as central banks keep raising interest rates and global growth slows. Headline inflation is projected to ease from 8.2 percent this year to 6.6 percent in 2023 in the G-20 economies, but that’s still far above many central banks’ targets of 2 percent.

“These challenging economic situations will require bold, well-designed and well-coordinated policies,” Cormann said.

The OECD called for short-term help for people hurt the most by rising prices, further interest rate hikes by central banks, climate policies that follow countries’ search for alternate energy sources and international cooperation to strengthen food supplies.


TASI drops below 11k for the first time in over 9 months as the market trembles: Closing bell

TASI drops below 11k for the first time in over 9 months as the market trembles: Closing bell
Updated 39 min 53 sec ago

TASI drops below 11k for the first time in over 9 months as the market trembles: Closing bell

TASI drops below 11k for the first time in over 9 months as the market trembles: Closing bell

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s main index dropped below 11,000 points for the first time in nearly nine months thanks to falling oil prices and global recession fears.

The Tadawul All Share Index dipped 2.26 percent at the end of Monday’s trade, reaching 10,909 for the first time since Dec. 12, while the parallel market Nomu shed 0.84 percent to 19,708.

“The markets are likely to continue to be volatile and in jittery mode until inflation is under control.” Fawaz Al-Fawaz, a Saudi-based independent economist and columnist told Arab News.

Oil prices sank to sub-$85 for the first time since January, hot on the heels of aggressive interest rate rises across the world, including by the US Federal Reserve and the Saudi Central Bank.

The market fall was led by a 2.85 percent decline in oil behemoth Saudi Aramco and a 3.92 percent drop in the Kingdom's most valued bank Al Rajhi.

Riyad Bank slid 6.74 percent to lead the fallers, closely followed by Saudi petrochemicals maker Sipchem which was down 6.51 percent.

The Saudi National Bank, the Kingdom’s largest lender, decreased by 1.45 percent, while Saudi British Bank declined by 1.73 percent.

National Agricultural Development Co. shed 1.76 percent, following signing a non-binding memorandum of understanding with the Leha Agricultural Co. to produce potato seeds in Saudi Arabia.

Retal Urban Development Co. gained 3.39 percent, after selling its share in a land located in Al Khobar city for SR67 million ($18 million) to Maali Holding Co.

Anaam International Holding Group gained 5.6 percent to continue leading the gainers since early trade, after reporting that it turned into profits of SR1.6 million during the first half of 2022.

Saudi economist Ali Alhazmi told Arab News that the market direction is unpredictable, but he anticipated the decline to continue this week.

“The decline is from the uncertainty about the global economics, or also the decline of growth and the existence of recession in major economies, especially the US and the EU.”

“We cannot avoid the continued closure in China, which affects supply chains. We also have the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.”