Saudi pharma SPIMACO secures $335m financing to drive growth

Saudi pharma SPIMACO secures $335m financing to drive growth
SPIMACO is one of the biggest players in the Saudi medical sector, engaged in manufacturing and distributing pharmaceutical products. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 29 August 2022

Saudi pharma SPIMACO secures $335m financing to drive growth

Saudi pharma SPIMACO secures $335m financing to drive growth

RIYADH: Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries and Medical Appliances Corp. has secured SR1.26 billion ($335 million) worth of Shariah-compliant financing to grow the business. 

Better known as SPIMACO Addwaieh, the firm obtained the facilities in the form of short-term loans to finance working capital needs, long-term loans for expansions and investments, and treasury facilities, according to a bourse filing.

Bank Albilad, Gulf International Bank, and Banque Saudi Fransi were the sole financing entities of the transaction, contributing SR550 million, SR485 million, and SR225 million, respectively.

Established in 1986, SPIMACO is one of the biggest players in the Saudi medical sector, engaged in manufacturing and distributing pharmaceutical products and medical appliances.

 


Iraqi PM says banking reforms reveal fraudulent dollar transactions

Iraqi PM says banking reforms reveal fraudulent dollar transactions
Updated 01 February 2023

Iraqi PM says banking reforms reveal fraudulent dollar transactions

Iraqi PM says banking reforms reveal fraudulent dollar transactions
  • Iraq has in recent months been making efforts to ensure its banking system is compliant with the international electronic transfer system known as SWIFT

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s premier said Tuesday that new banking regulations had revealed fraudulent dollar transactions made from his country, as the fresh controls coincide with a drop in the local currency’s value.
Iraq has in recent months been making efforts to ensure its banking system is compliant with the international electronic transfer system known as SWIFT.
Referring to the new controls, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani hailed “a real reform of the banking system,” but denounced “falsified invoices, money going out fraudulently,” in particular as foreign currency payments for imports.
“That is a reality,” he said in an interview on state television.
The adoption of the SWIFT system was supposed to allow for greater transparency, tackle money laundering and help to enforce international sanctions, such as those against Iran and Russia.
An adviser to Sudani had said that since mid-November, Iraqi banks wanting to access dollar reserves stored in the United States must make transfers using the electronic system.
The US Federal Reserve will then examine the requests and block them if it finds them suspicious.
According to the adviser, the Fed had so far rejected 80 percent of the transfer requests over concerns of the funds’ final recipients.
Before the introduction of the new regulations, “we were selling $200 million or $300 million a day,” Sudani said.
“Now, the central bank provides $30 million, $40 million, $50 million,” he said, questioning: “What were we importing in a single day for $300 million?“
“There are products that were entering (Iraq) for prices that make no sense. Clearly, the objective was to take foreign currency out of Iraq,” he said. “This must stop.”
Money may have been transported to Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan province “and from there to neighboring countries,” Sudani said, without specifying whether he was referring to Turkiye, Iran or war-torn Syria.
He said the new controls had been planned for two years, in accordance with an agreement between Iraq’s central bank and US financial authorities, and deplored previous failures to put them in place.
Iraq, which is trying to move past four decades of war and unrest, is plagued by endemic corruption.
The official exchange rate is fixed by the government at 1,470 dinars to the dollar, but the currency was trading at around 1,680 on Tuesday on unofficial markets amid dollar scarcity.
The drop has sparked sporadic protests by Iraqis worried about their purchasing power.
Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein and the new central bank chief will be among a delegation traveling to Washington on February 7 to discuss the new mechanism and the fluctuating exchange rate, Sudani said.


Lebanon to devalue currency by 90% on Feb. 1: Central bank chief

Lebanon to devalue currency by 90% on Feb. 1: Central bank chief
Updated 31 January 2023

Lebanon to devalue currency by 90% on Feb. 1: Central bank chief

Lebanon to devalue currency by 90% on Feb. 1: Central bank chief

BEIRUT: Lebanon will adopt a new official exchange rate of 15,000 pounds per US dollar on Feb. 1, Riad Salameh, the central bank governor, said. 

The new rate marks a 90 percent devaluation from its current official rate. The shift from the old rate of 1,507 to 15,000 is still far off the parallel market, where the pound was changing hands at around 57,000 per dollar on Tuesday.

The change will apply to banks, Salameh said, leading to a decrease in the equity of the institutions at the center of the country’s 2019 financial implosion.

Analysts expect the shift to have less impact on the wider economy, which is increasingly dollarized and where most trades take place according to the parallel market rate.

The pound has lost some 97 percent of its value since it began to split from the 1,507 rate in 2019.

Salameh told Reuters that commercial banks in the country “will see the part of their equity that is in pound decrease once translated into dollars at 15,000 instead of 1,500.”

In order to ease the impact of this shift, banks would be given five years “to reconstitute the losses due to the devaluation,” he said.

Salameh said the change to 15,000 was a step toward unifying the country’s multiple exchange rates, in line with a draft agreement Lebanon reached with the IMF last year that set out conditions to unlock a $3 billion bailout.


Exxon smashes Western oil majors’ profits with $56bn in 2022

Exxon smashes Western oil majors’ profits with $56bn in 2022
Updated 31 January 2023

Exxon smashes Western oil majors’ profits with $56bn in 2022

Exxon smashes Western oil majors’ profits with $56bn in 2022

HOUSTON: Exxon Mobil Corp. posted a $56 billion net profit for 2022, the company said on Tuesday, taking home about $6.3 million per hour last year, and setting not only a company record but a historic high for the Western oil industry.

Oil majors are expected to break their own annual records on high prices and soaring demand, pushing their combined take to near $200 billion. The scale has renewed criticism of the oil industry and sparked calls for more countries to levy windfall profit taxes on the companies.

Exxon’s results far exceeded the then-record $45.2 billion net profit it reported in 2008, when oil hit $142 per barrel, 30 percent above last year’s average price. Deep cost cuts during the pandemic helped supercharge last year’s earnings.

“Overall earnings and cash flow were up pretty significantly year on year,” Exxon Chief Financial Officer Kathryn Mikells told Reuters. “So that came really from a combination of strong markets, strong throughput, strong production, and really good cost control.”

Exxon said it incurred a $1.3 billion hit to its fourth quarter earnings from a EU windfall tax that began in the final quarter and from asset impairments. The company is suing the EU, arguing that the levy exceeds its legal authority.

Excluding charges, profit for the full year was $59.1 billion. Production was up by about 100,000 barrels of oil and gas per day over a year ago to 3.8 million bpd. Adjusted per-share profit of $3.40 beat consensus of $3.29 per share, according to Refinitiv data. Shares were up about 1 percent at $114.70.

“It’s a headline beat,” Biraj Borkhataria from RBC Capital said in a note, despite lower chemical margins, lower-than- expected downstream gains and plans for higher maintenance works in refineries this quarter.


US crude, petroleum products demand rises in November: EIA

US crude, petroleum products demand rises in November: EIA
Updated 31 January 2023

US crude, petroleum products demand rises in November: EIA

US crude, petroleum products demand rises in November: EIA
  • Oil steadies as dollar retreats

NEW YORK/LONDON: Demand for US crude and petroleum products rose 178,000 barrels per day in November to 20.59 million bpd, the highest since August, according to the US Energy Information Administration Petroleum Supply Monthly report on Tuesday

Demand for finished motor gasoline, rose 21,000 bpd to 8.85 million bpd in November, also its highest since November, EIA said.

Monthly crude oil field production rose in November to 12.38 million bpd, down from 12.41 million bpd in October, which was a 31-month high, EIA said.

Trading

Oil prices steadied after moving close to a three-week low on Tuesday, with US wage growth data and a retreating US dollar bolstering risk sentiment ahead of the meetings of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and major central banks.

March Brent crude futures were down 58 cents, or 0.68 percent, at $84.32 a barrel by 1512 GMT. The March contract expires on Tuesday and the more heavily traded April contract rose by 24 cents, or 0.28 percent, to $84.74.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 22 cents, or 0.28 percent, at $78.12.

Brent and WTI earlier touched their lowest prices in almost three weeks on the prospect of further interest rate increases and abundant flows of Russian crude.

But prices steadied after the US dollar pared early gains, with the resulting improvement in risk sentiment also boosting equity markets, said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo.


Green energy investment tops $1tn, matches fossil fuels

Green energy investment tops $1tn, matches fossil fuels
Updated 31 January 2023

Green energy investment tops $1tn, matches fossil fuels

Green energy investment tops $1tn, matches fossil fuels

PARIS: Investment in cleaner energy is on the verge of overtaking spending on fossil fuels for the first time ever after exceeding $1 trillion last year, a report on Tuesday said.

Despite the milestone, spending on energy transition technology must immediately triple to meet the target of net-zero emissions by 2050 to combat climate change, according to research group BloombergNEF.

Investment in sectors such as renewables, nuclear, zero-emission vehicles or recycling projects totaled $1.1 trillion last year, matching spending on fossil fuels, the report found.

This is up 31 percent on the previous year, and marks the first time the investment total has been measured in trillions.

The increase was driven by the energy crisis that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the report said.

“Investment in clean energy technologies is on the brink of overtaking fossil fuel investments, and won’t look back,” said Albert Cheung, head of global analysis at BloombergNEF.

China was by far the largest investor in energy transition, with the US a distant second.

Nearly half of the total global investment was in China, particularly in steel recycling and the renewable energy and electric vehicles sectors.

Germany has retained its place in third position, largely due to a sizable EV market.

But a drop in offshore wind deals saw investment in Britain fall by nearly a fifth, the report found.

Globally, renewable energy was the biggest sector for investment at $495 billion, followed by electrified transport projects.

With the exception of nuclear power, the researchers said all other sectors saw record levels of investment.

The growth in energy transition technology also comes as many countries saw an increase in fossil fuel investment in a bid to shore up energy security.

The war in Ukraine caused disruption to the global power supply as Russia, a major producer of fossil fuels, cut gas supplies to EU countries and was hit by sweeping sanctions over the invasion.

A separate report by Ember, an energy think tank, said on Tuesday that wind and solar energy generated 22 percent of EU electricity, surpassing gas (20 percent) for the first time.

Hydro and nuclear power still represented the biggest share of electricity generation in the 27-nation bloc, accounting for 32 percent.