Stocks, sterling rally after UK’s tax climbdown injects some confidence

Stocks, sterling rally after UK’s tax climbdown injects some confidence
UK Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng has rowed back from plans to hand a tax break to the country's top earners (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 04 October 2022

Stocks, sterling rally after UK’s tax climbdown injects some confidence

Stocks, sterling rally after UK’s tax climbdown injects some confidence

LONDON: Global stocks climbed for a second day on Tuesday, after Britain’s decision to ditch part of a controversial tax-cut plan and slightly paler expectations for aggressive central bank action returned some confidence to investors, according to Reuters.

UK Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng on Monday announced the government would back down on reversing a tax break for top earners that formed part of a package aimed at boosting growth.

This measure only makes up a small part of the £45 billion ($51b billion) in unfunded tax cuts that sent the pound crashing to record lows and wreaked havoc in the gilts market.

But it was enough to soothe some of the recent angst in the market and, together with emergency bond buying from the Bank of England, sterling was set to make up most of the losses incurred since the mini budget was unveiled on Sept. 23.

Adding to the sense of relief among investors, who endured one of the most volatile quarters in recent history in the three months to September, was Australia’s central bank, which lifted interest rates by far less than expected.

A weaker read of US manufacturing activity helped temper expectations for more hefty rate rises by the Federal Reserve.

However, some analysts said this optimism may be misplaced.

“My firm view, however, is that this will not be the case. While, technically, having a dual mandate, the Fed have effectively become a single-issue central bank; that issue being bringing inflation back to the 2 percent target,” Michael Brown, chief strategist at CaxtonFX, said.

“Unless we see a few months of consecutive improvement in inflation data, it’s tough to envisage any sort of pivot, with another 75 bps hike remaining my base case for next month’s decision. It’s tough to be long risk with that on the radar.”

The MSCI All-World index was last up 0.8 percent on the day, while stocks in Europe enjoyed a decent bounce, with the Stoxx 600 trading almost 2 percent higher and London’s FTSE gaining over 1 percent.

The pound, meanwhile, gained 0.6 percent against the dollar to trade at $1.1390. Sterling has risen by more than 10 percent since the mini-budget.

The dollar slid against a basket of major currencies, as the euro and the pound made upward headway and Treasury yields slipped in light of a shift in investor expectations for the path of US interest rates.

US benchmark 10-year yields fell by nearly 20 basis points on Monday, having topped 4.0 percent just last week. They were last down 7 bps at 3.5795 percent.

“Noticeably, that move lower was entirely driven by a fall in real yields, with inflation breakevens moving higher on the day, which is again a sign that investors are pricing in a much less aggressive reaction from the Fed,” Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid said in a daily note.

In trade thinned by holidays in China and Hong Kong, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.7 percent, led by gains in Australia.

After September, when global bonds witnessed one of the biggest sell-offs in decades and any currency other than the dollar appeared to crumble, market watchers said a snap back, aided by better sentiment in the UK market, was not unusual, but would likely be short-lived.

“The about-face ... will not have a huge impact on the overall UK fiscal situation in our view,” said NatWest Markets’ head of economics and markets strategy John Briggs.

“(But) investors took it as a signal that the UK government could and is at least partially willing to walk back from its intentions that so disrupted markets over the past week.”

S&P 500 futures rose 1 percent, following a 2.6 percent bounce for the index overnight, suggesting a second day of gains may be in the offing on Wall Street later.

Other indicators of market stress are still flashing red. The CBOE Volatility Index remains elevated and above 30. Shares and bonds of Credit Suisse hit record lows on Monday as worry about the bank’s restructuring plans swept markets, although some of these losses reversed on Tuesday.

Japan’s yen hit 145 to the dollar on Monday — a level that prompted official intervention last week — and was last at 144.65, while the euro was up 0.6 percent at $0.9878, about three cents above last week’s 20-year trough.

“More volatility is almost certainly assured as FX markets re-focus on US recession risks, which continue to build,” said ANZ senior economist Miles Workman, with US jobs data on Friday the next major data point on the horizon.

Oil held overnight gains on news of possible production cuts, and Brent futures were last up 43 cents to $89.29 a barrel.

BEEAH Group paves way for a sustainable future in the region

BEEAH Group paves way for a sustainable future in the region
Updated 27 November 2022

BEEAH Group paves way for a sustainable future in the region

BEEAH Group paves way for a sustainable future in the region
  • Group aims to help Sharjah achieve 100% landfill waste diversion: CEO

DUBAI: BEEAH Group, the UAE’s leading sustainability pioneer and digital expert, has achieved a waste diversion rate of 76 percent, the highest in the Middle East, and the remaining 24 percent was disposed of in landfills.

Speaking to Arab News, Group CEO Khaled Al-Huraimel said that BEEAH Group aims to help Sharjah achieve 100 percent landfill waste diversion in 2022, up from 76 percent currently.

BEEAH Group launched the UAE’s first waste-to-energy facility earlier in 2022 as part of its efforts to achieve zero waste, he added.

The facility, located in Sharjah, would divert over 300,000 tons of non-recyclable waste from landfills annually and generate 30 megawatts of clean energy, enough to power almost 30,000 homes.

“Once the facility reaches full operational capacity, Sharjah will become the first city in the Middle East to achieve zero waste,” Al-Huraimel said

All of this is due to BEEAH Group’s operations in Sharjah with 10 different plants.

There are 10 dedicated recycling facilities that process materials such as paper, plastic, tires, old vehicles, metals, construction and demolition waste, organic waste, industrial wastewater, maritime waste and commercial and industrial waste.

Al-Huraimel said BEEAH was established in 2007 to address the environmental challenges the region was facing, including waste. However, at the beginning of 2022, the company changed its name to BEEAH Group and adopted the structure of an investment holding company and a new visual identity. This is part of the group’s strategy to diversify its core business into new sectors.

The Gulf Cooperation Council countries have the highest waste per capita in the world. Therefore, this was the immediate challenge, he added.

“We started in waste management, and today, we’re proud to say we became the first to reach zero waste in the emirate of Sharjah, and today we are also active across the UAE,” he said. “Our new structure as an investment holding group has seen us launch several new business verticals that will capitalize on business opportunities across different industries and countries.”

BEEAH places sustainability and digitization at the heart of the business. This can be seen across several verticals, including BEEAH Tandeef for waste collection and city cleaning and BEEAH Recycling for waste processing and material recovery. There is also BEEAH Energy for clean and renewable power and BEEAH Environment Services for consulting, research and innovation.

Additionally, there is BEEAH Digital for future technologies and digital ventures, BEEAH Transport for green mobility and autonomous transportation, and BEEAH Education, an environmental education and awarding organization for businesses and individuals.

The various verticals will benefit from the collective experience of the BEEAH Group while having more room to grow within their respective industries.

BEEAH Group encourages collective responsibility for sustainability through education and awareness programs. In 2010, BEEAH Group launched the BEEAH Academy of Sustainability to promote environmental education. Today, the academy reaches a network of more than 252,000 students, 6,500 teachers, and 700 schools. Across its areas of operation, the group aims to improve quality of life through a twin-pillared approach that focuses on sustainability and digitalization.

Digitalization of BEEAH Group

During a private meeting at BEEAH Group’s recently built headquarters, designed by the late Zaha Hadid, Al-Huraimel remarked, “It was one of the last buildings she designed.” 

Our new structure as an investment holding group has seen us launch several new business verticals that will capitalize on business opportunities across different industries and countries.

Khaled Al-Huraimel, BEEAH Group CEO

According to him, the organization’s brand-new headquarters reflect BEEAH Group’s identity as a sustainable icon.

The BEEAH Group headquarters is a command center for all BEEAH Group operations, as it has more than 10,000 employees and is growing. “This building is one of the smartest and most sustainable buildings in the region,” he added.

A primary area of focus for BEEAH Group is technology, and the organization believes that technology has many tools to help it achieve its goals, Al-Huraimel said. In that sector, BEEAH Group has three companies: Evoteq,, and One Data Center, a recent joint venture with Khazna to build Sharjah’s first data center.

He said the BEEAH Group headquarters operates using hundreds of artificial intelligence use cases.

At Tandeef, BEEAH Group’s waste collection business, the vehicles are all tracked, and the routing is also optimized by artificial intelligence.

The commercial and industrial recycling facility, a recent facility launched by BEEAH Recycling this year, has a robot with AI vision that can segregate different types of waste.

“So, we believe and embrace technology as it can help us create a better future and meet our targets,” Al-Huraimel said.

As part of its efforts in facilitating digital transformation, BEEAH Group also partnered with Khazna Data Centers recently to build Sharjah’s first Tier 3 data center.

Commenting on their JV with Khazna, the group CEO said that data centers have become necessary with the growth of cloud computing. This requires a great deal of data storage.

He added that Sharjah also needs a data center to support shortages and digitalization and become a more innovative city.

“In today’s world, it’s important to build a strong digital foundation and infrastructure,” said Al-Huraimel.

By harnessing the power of technology and innovative sustainable solutions, the BEEAH Group is paving the way for a better quality of life across the MENA region.

COP27 delegation

BEEAH Group has commenced operations in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh, including sustainable waste management services during the UN Climate Change Conference, also known as COP27.

He said that the organization and Egypt’s Green Planet, an environmental solutions company, signed a contract in September to provide waste management and city cleaning services under the 10-year contract.

“We were awarded the waste management contract for Sharm El-Sheikh, and we have commenced our services before COP27,” he added.

The BEEAH Group also attended COP27 and represented the UAE as part of the UAE delegation.

Besides showcasing the organization’s groundbreaking projects, such as the UAE’s first waste-to-energy plant and the region’s first fully AI-integrated office building, BEEAH Group introduced the conference attendees to its recycling facilities and zero-waste solutions.

“We were proud to participate in COP27 as part of the UAE delegation. As a frontrunner in climate action, the UAE has made huge strides toward zero emissions; we are pleased to show how we support these targets through clean energy, sustainable infrastructure, and integrated waste management solutions,” said Al-Huraimel.

“I believe the UAE and the region have strong sustainability goals. We see that in the UAE, Saudi, Egypt, and so on,” he said, commenting on BEEAH Group’s attendance at COP27.

As the group CEO pointed out, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are two key markets for BEEAH Group, which will continue to expand over the next 18 months.

Geographic growth and diversification have been the main ways the group has grown. BEEAH has diversified into digital, energy consulting and health care.

“We targeted Saudi Arabia and Egypt for future expansion, as they are the two biggest markets for us in terms of size and recognition of the relationship between our countries,” he said.

Currently, the group focuses on growing in Saudi Arabia and Egypt by offering waste management services in both countries.

BEEAH Group also hopes to consolidate its position as a regional leader in waste management while looking at other government and private contracts.

World tourism leaders gather in Riyadh as KSA gears up for WTTC Global Summit 

World tourism leaders gather in Riyadh as KSA gears up for WTTC Global Summit 
Updated 27 November 2022

World tourism leaders gather in Riyadh as KSA gears up for WTTC Global Summit 

World tourism leaders gather in Riyadh as KSA gears up for WTTC Global Summit 

RIYADH: Global leaders in the tourism sector will gather in Riyadh for the World Travel and Tourism Global Summit from Nov. 28-Dec. 1 as the Kingdom steadily pursues its journey to evolve as a global tourist destination, in alignment with its Vision 2030 goals. 

Touted to be one of the biggest tourism events of the year, the global summit is being organized at the King Abdul Aziz International Conference Center under the theme “Travel for a Better Future."

During the event, industry leaders will share their thoughts about the future of the sector and the challenges that should be addressed to ensure a safer, more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable travel and tourism industry. 

According to a press release issued by WTTC, former British Prime Minister Theresa May will be one of the key speakers at the event, along with other prominent personalities in the sector including Jerry Inzerillo, group CEO of Diriyah Gate Development Authority, and Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai International Airports. 

South Korean diplomat Ban Ki-Moon, who served as the eighth secretary-general of the UN between 2007 and 2016, will also address delegates during the event. 

“We are delighted to have such influential speakers already confirmed for our global summit in Riyadh. Our event will bring together many of the world’s most powerful leaders in our sector to discuss and secure its long-term future, which is critical to economies and jobs around the world,” said WTTC's president and CEO Julia Simpson. 

Simpson also lauded Saudi Arabia’s tourism efforts and said that the Kingdom’s tourism sector will be the fastest growing one in the region by the end of this decade.

She added: “The government of Saudi Arabia has been instrumental in the recovery of the global travel and tourism sector following two years of crisis. Set to become a major tourist destination, our latest research shows that Saudi Arabia’s travel and tourism sector will surpass pre-pandemic levels next year and will see the fastest growth across the Middle East over the next decade.”

This year’s WTTC Global Summit is also supported by a metaverse experience created for potential investors to explore investment opportunities and take part in sessions virtually, according to a press release.

“WTTC will arrive in Riyadh as tourism enters a new era of recovery and we welcome the world to join them virtually in our metaverse,” said Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism Ahmad Al-Khateeb.

He added: “Bringing together global leaders from both the public and private sector, the summit will be fundamental in building the better, brighter future the sector deserves and technology and innovation will be key to our collective future success.”

For the first time in history, this year’s WTTC Global Summit will be live streamed to the general public. 

The event in Saudi Arabia is timely with a new global consumer survey carried out by YouGov revealing that the appetite for international travel is now at its highest point since the start of the pandemic. 

According to the survey report, 63 percent of the respondents are planning a leisure trip in the next 12 months, a strong indication of the sector’s bounce back after the economic headwind triggered by the pandemic.

The report also noted that 27 percent of the participants are planning three or more trips in the next 12 months. Earlier in October, while speaking at the Future Investment Initiative, Al-Khateeb said that Riyadh is set to become the capital of the global tourism industry, and the tourist destinations in the Kingdom are being built and will operate in a sustainable manner.

“We have the vision, we put the plan, and we put all the resources, especially the financial resources to deliver the plan,” said Al-Khateeb. 

Dar Al Arkan bags contract to develop ROSHN’s residential units in SEDRA

Dar Al Arkan bags contract to develop ROSHN’s residential units in SEDRA
Updated 27 November 2022

Dar Al Arkan bags contract to develop ROSHN’s residential units in SEDRA

Dar Al Arkan bags contract to develop ROSHN’s residential units in SEDRA

RIYADH: Saudi developer Dar Al Arkan has won a contract to develop residential units in SEDRA, an integrated community project being developed in northern Riyadh by national developer ROSHN, a Public Investment Fund-backed company.

This brings two of the leading property developers in Saudi Arabia together as both look to combine their expertise to bring more variety to ROSHN’s housing offering at SEDRA. 

“We will deliver beautiful and well-appointed villas in the community that will further raise the bar for luxury residences in Saudi Arabia,” said Yousef Al Shelash, chairman of Dar Al Arkan.

Being developed in eight phases, SEDRA is set to add 30,000 residential units to Riyadh’s housing stock once completed in three years. The project is being constructed over 20 million square meters of neighborhoods. 

A flagship development of ROSHN, SEDRA recently won the ‘Residential Project of the Year’ award at the Construction Week Middle East 2022 Awards held in Dubai. 

The project will offer a diverse mix of residences built around a ‘work, live and play’ model, the company said in a press release, adding that it will foster a sustainable community.

ROSHN said it seeks to bring a new concept of integrated, human-centric, livable communities to the Kingdom.  SEDRA’s facades are influenced by the ‘Salmani’ style of architecture, it said. The company said the project will have a blend of tradition and modernity, while it will have natural features including a wadi and an acacia forest. 

“Bringing the ROSHN concept to life requires novel ways of thinking, new partnerships with the top entities in their fields, and innovative solutions to address the challenges of the future. As a development sector enabler, ROSHN leverages its partnerships to ensure we bring the highest quality homes to markets, across the Kingdom,” said ROSHN Group CEO, David Grover. 

Dar Al Arkan Properties is fast growing its portfolio across the Kingdom and expanding its international footprint. It boasts a track record of delivering 15,000 residential units and over 50,000 square meters of commercial space. 

ROSHN's ethos is to develop communities that look both to Saudi heritage and the evolving aspirations of the Saudi people. The master developer operates across a broad range of asset classes and land uses, including residential, retail, commercial, hospitality, and public and civic facilities.

TASI sheds 142 points on dampening business sentiment, closes at 10,796: Closing Bell 

TASI sheds 142 points on dampening business sentiment, closes at 10,796: Closing Bell 
Updated 27 November 2022

TASI sheds 142 points on dampening business sentiment, closes at 10,796: Closing Bell 

TASI sheds 142 points on dampening business sentiment, closes at 10,796: Closing Bell 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index fell on Sunday as investors shied away from the market due to dampening business sentiment and uncertainty in global demand. 

The Tadawul All Share Index fell 142 points to close at 10,796, while the parallel market, Nomu, plunged 300 points to finish at 18,866. 

Of the 219 companies listed on TASI on Sunday, 33 advanced, while 173 declined. The total trading turnover closed at SR2.58 billion ($690 million). It had fallen to SR1.7 billion in the first three hours of trading on Sunday. 

The first important announcement on the bourse came from SNB Capital, the lead manager of Saudi Aramco Base Oil Co., also known as Luberef, intending to proceed with an initial public offering and listing of its ordinary shares on the primary market. 

The statement said the offer is expected to sell existing shares and result in a free float of 29.65 percent of Luberef share capital or 50.05 million ordinary shares. 

The offering price will be determined after the book-building period, the statement added. 

Middle East Paper Co. also announced the approval of its shareholders to its board’s recommendation to increase capital by 33.3 percent by granting one bonus share for every three shares held during an extraordinary general meeting on Nov. 24. 

The company shares, however, fell 2 percent to close at SR28.6 after reaching SR27.70. 

Meanwhile, Yaqeen Capital, the financial adviser and lead manager for the IPO of Molan Steel Co. on the Nomu-Parallel Market, announced that the issue was oversubscribed.  

The steel company offered 532,410 shares, representing 20.02 percent of its capital. The final offer price was set at SR 24 per share, the statement added. 

From an industry standpoint, the Pharma, Biotech & Life Science index fell for the bearish prowl as it fell 44 points to close at 3,015. Interestingly, the Healthcare Equipment & Services index rose 52 points to 8,872.  

Tourism Enterprise Co. has been under the spotlight in the top gainers’ list on TASI for a while now. It increased by 2.9 points to close at SR32.05. The other gainers included Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Services Group, Arabian Drilling Co and Alhokair Group for Tourism and Development. 

The top fallers were Malath Cooperative Insurance Co., United Wire Factories Co., Al Yamamah Steel Industries Co, Red Sea International Co. and Nama Chemicals Co. 

Petromin’s National Motor Co. wins ‘Best Automotive Dealer’ award in the Kingdom for 2022

Petromin’s National Motor Co. wins ‘Best Automotive Dealer’ award in the Kingdom for 2022
Updated 27 November 2022

Petromin’s National Motor Co. wins ‘Best Automotive Dealer’ award in the Kingdom for 2022

Petromin’s National Motor Co. wins ‘Best Automotive Dealer’ award in the Kingdom for 2022

RIYADH: Petromin Corp’s subsidiary, National Motor Co., has been named as the ‘Best Automotive Dealer’ in the Saudi automotive sector for 2022.

The National Motor Co. received the accolade during an awards ceremony held in Jeddah, organized by PR Arabia.

Terence Byrne, CEO, National Motor Co., said, “We are happy to continue on the path of growth, through the resolute processes that were adopted years ago. With the principal aim of serving our customers, we are working to expand the coverage of our sales and after-sales services throughout the Kingdom. We aim to constantly be closer to our clientele in a bid to build bridges of trust and loyalty with them.”

The National Motor Co. holds a structured group of high-profile global automotive brands within its dealership portfolio in Saudi Arabia, such as Nissan, Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler, RAM, Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Fiat, Mopar and Foton.

The National Motor Co.'s parent company, Petromin, is ramping up its electric vehicle interests in the Kingdom with its new venture Electromin.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News earlier this year, Kalyana Sivagnanam, group CEO of Petromin, called it a bold move since customers in the Kingdom are still reluctant to buy EVs.

“While it is a bold move, I think it is very timely. We also have plans to expand this further beyond 100 stations and, in due course, we will make that announcement as well,” Sivagnanam told Arab News.

Saudi Arabia has committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2060. The government wants three of every 10 vehicles in Riyadh to be EVs by 2030. Globally, passenger electric cars are surging in popularity, and the Paris-based International Energy Agency estimates that 13 percent of new cars sold in 2022 will be electric.