Abu Dhabi identifies $2bn in investment opportunities in South Korea
Abu Dhabi identifies $2bn in investment opportunities in South Korea /node/2307921/business-economy
Abu Dhabi identifies $2bn in investment opportunities in South Korea
The UAE pledged during South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s visit to Abu Dhabi in January to invest up to $30 billion in the Asian country in sectors including energy and information technology. (File)
SEOUL: Abu Dhabi organizations have identified about $2 billion of investment opportunities in South Korea after the two sides agreed to expand business ties in January, a joint statement said on Monday.
The UAE pledged during South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s visit to Abu Dhabi in January to invest up to $30 billion in the Asian country in sectors including energy and information technology.
“To date, Abu Dhabi organisations have helped identify approximately $2 billion of potential investment opportunities in Korea,” read the statement on Monday from Korea Development Bank and Mubadala Investment Co.
It did not elaborate on the potential investments.
The two agencies have been exploring follow-up investments since the summit.
Two nations, one vision: Saudi Arabia and UK celebrate achievements, discuss future collaborations at London forum
Updated 27 sec ago
LONDON: Economic and trade relations between the UK and Saudi Arabia were further cemented in London this week as delegations from the two countries convened to mark the progress of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 initiative and explore fresh avenues for collaboration.
The UK Saudi Business, Trade and Partnership Forum, hosted at Mansion House in the heart of the City of London by the Saudi British Joint Business Council and the Saudi National Competitiveness Center, drew government officials, business leaders, and experts from both nations.
While acknowledging the accomplishments thus far, Emad Al-Thukair, co-chairman of the Saudi British Joint Business Council, emphasized that the partnership between the two countries has only “scratched the surface.”
“The opportunities are huge,” Al-Thukair told Arab News, adding: “On one hand, the UK seeks more markets, while Saudi Arabia craves technology and opportunities, fostering a wealth of knowledge transfer.
“On the flip side, the UK’s current economic landscape presents abundant opportunities for Saudi funds on the lookout.”
Al-Thukair expressed optimism that the $21.4 billion trade volume figure will multiply significantly over the next two to three years, with opportunities flourishing in both Saudi Arabia and the UK.
In 2022, trade exchanged between the countries experienced a surge of 68 percent compared to the previous year, with the UK’s exports to Saudi Arabia reaching a value of $15.17 billion, while imports from the Kingdom amounted to $6.39 billion.
Discussions at the event revolved around investment opportunities and trade agreements, as well as private sector cooperation in various sectors such as finance, clean energy, education, healthcare, and creative industries.
Speaking to Arab News, UK Minister for Investment Dominic Johnson shared an upbeat perspective on UK-Saudi Arabia business relations, with a special focus on the opportunities in asset management and financial services.
The former entrepreneur argued the UK can bring diverse investment expertise to Saudi Arabia, helping it to branch out from broad-based equity investments into specialized fields like private equity and venture capital.
“I always strive to place my team in the region, as it creates a powerful ripple effect,” said Johnson.
“It brings in individuals with knowledge of various investment types, crucial for transitioning from broad-based equity investments to more specialized, illiquid infrastructure like private equity, venture capital, and the like – all of which will fuel the economy,” he added.
While Johnson acknowledged London’s central role in Saudi Arabia’s financial growth, he expressed his desire to see more Saudi investments spread throughout the UK, particularly the northeast of England.
The UK ambassador to Saudi Arabia Neil Crompton echoed similar sentiments in his opening remarks, saying: “I take great pleasure in witnessing the people-to-people connections in these new development areas.”
He added: “SABIC (Saudi Basic Industries Corp) invested heavily in ICI (Imperial Chemical Industry), alfanar put money into Teesside for clean energy fuel, and Newcastle United, who were struggling 16 months ago, managed to secure a spot in the Champions League this year.
“As a Sunderland supporter is a source of considerable pain to me, but someone once proudly mentioned that the value of their investment has doubled since then.”
Last year, Saudi group alfanar invested $1 billion to launch Lighthouse Green Fuels Energy, the UK’s first company to produce sustainable aviation fuel from waste on a large scale, creating 240 jobs in North England’s Port Clarence site.
In 2021, Saudi petrochemical giant SABIC announced a $1.37 billion investment at its Teesside facility in the northeast of England, targeting decarbonization.
During the event, participants also seized the moment to reflect upon and celebrate the achievements made under the Vision 2030 initiative.
Launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2016, Vision 2030 is currently at the halfway point of its timeline, working towards revitalizing the Kingdom’s economy and enhancing key sectors such as health, tourism, infrastructure, and education.
Majid Al-Kassabi, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Commerce, declared to the forum that “today, Saudi Arabia is a different Saudi Arabia,” emphasizing the rapid advancements made towards the Kingdom’s development and transformation agenda.
Al-Kassabi credited the Kingdom’s leadership for the initiative’s success, stating: “It’s not a strategy, it’s all about execution which is the key success factor.”
He added: “Why did we succeed so far? Leadership. Change does not come from the bottom; change has to come from the top. Anybody can steer a ship, but it takes a captain to navigate a course.”
Further private sector participation was also one of the key topics raised during the forum.
Al-Kassabi highlighted that while governmental relations remain strong and continue to foster a thriving business ecosystem, private sector participation is becoming increasingly vital.
To make it easier for foreign private enterprises to enter the Kingdom, Saudi authorities have introduced a range of initiatives, including the Saudi Business Centre, a one-stop-shop offering bureaucratic support to businesses looking to embark on ventures in the Kingdom.
Al-Kassabi encouraged potential investors to visit the Kingdom, assuring them that they would be connected with the right people, government officials, or private sector representatives to explore opportunities based on their interests. “Because seeing is believing,” he added.
Both the Saudi and UK delegations emphasized the importance of visiting Saudi Arabia to truly grasp the vast opportunities available.
Prince Khalid bin Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the UK, was among several speakers urging British businesspeople who have not yet visited Riyadh to do so.
“Certainly not in my lifetime have I seen anything like what’s happening in Saudi today,” he said, adding: “What we have managed to accomplish in Saudi Arabia over the last seven years is revolutionary.
“You must get there. There are flights every day. Get on one and come and see for yourself.
“It is magnificent what’s happening. It is remarkable. It’s exciting. The energy in the country could power a rocket to the moon.”
Hailed as a triumph by both parties, the forum is expected to pave the way for even more fruitful collaboration between Saudi Arabia and the UK in the years ahead.
During an interview with Arab News, Saudi British Joint Business Council’s CEO Chris Innes-Hopkins praised the atmosphere that filled the room as participants gathered to engage in discussions, celebrate achievements, and explore new possibilities related to Saudi Vision 2030.
Innes-Hopkins highlighted the Council’s ability to foster collaborations between Saudi Arabia and the UK through the organization of network-led events, with a specific focus on emerging sectors such as clean technology and health tech.
He further emphasized the mutually beneficial nature of the Saudi-British relationship, citing the example of Lean Technologies, a successful fintech company that not only found traction in Saudi Arabia but also established an office in London to leverage the talent pool and serve as a gateway to the Middle East market.
Expressing his pride, Innes-Hopkins acknowledged the presence of numerous smaller companies in the audience, recognizing their vital role in forging connections and driving the conversation forward.
“After all, this is what the council is all about. We are not just a chamber of commerce; we are a dynamic business network that connects, inspires, and collaborates for a brighter future,” concluded Innes-Hopkins.
Oil Updates — prices head for second straight weekly loss on demand fears
Updated 09 June 2023
SINGAPORE: Oil prices looked set to post their second straight weekly loss as they continued to fall on Friday over demand concerns and skepticism that the US and Iran could strike a nuclear deal, according to Reuters.
Brent crude futures dropped 35 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $75.61 a barrel by 7:04 a.m. Saudi time, while the US West Texas Intermediate crude futures eased 35 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $70.94.
“Oil prices are expected to stay in a range of about 3 dollars above and below $70 for WTI in the near term,” Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst with Rakuten Securities.
Both benchmarks slid by around $1 on Thursday, rebounding from their earlier losses of more than $3, after the US and Iran both denied a report by the Middle East Eye that they were close to a nuclear deal.
For the week, they were on track for losses of about 1 percent losses, after shedding about the same amount in the previous week.
Oil prices had risen early in the week following Saudi Arabia’s pledge over the weekend for deep output cuts, but they pared gains after rising US fuel stocks and weak Chinese export data.
Yoshida said factors such as fears over tighter supply and higher demand as the US enters driving season which could drive prices higher were being offset by worries over a slow pickup in China’s fuel demand.
“Crude prices didn’t get any favors from China as their economic recovery has disappointed,” OANDA analyst Edward Moya said.
While a Reuters poll of economists showed the US Federal Reserve could skip a rate hike at its June 13-14 meeting, the absence of similar signals from other major central banks was weighing on the oil demand outlook, Moya added.
Saudi Arabia’s voluntary production cuts support oil prices
Updated 08 June 2023
RIYADH: Oil prices rose on Thursday as tighter supply resulting from Saudi Arabia’s pledged production cut and a potential pause to US interest rate hikes offset worries over demand weakness and a global economic slowdown.
At a recent meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, Saudi Arabia said it will cut its crude output by 1 million barrels per day in July on top of a broader deal to limit supply into 2024 as the producer group seeks to boost flagging prices.
Brent crude rose 25 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $77.20 a barrel by 1328 GMT. US West Texas Interme- diate crude gained 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $72.73.
“With the OPEC+ meeting out of the way, focus is now shifting toward the next move the Fed will make when it meets next week,” said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.
There is growing consensus that the central bank will skip a rate hike, which could lift oil prices even before falling supply starts draining global oil inventories, Varga added. OPEC+ cooperation praised
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman praised their collaboration during a phone call on Wednesday in a discussion of the work of OPEC+, the Kremlin said.
“The topic of ensuring stability on world energy markets was discussed in detail,” according to a Kremlin statement on the Telegram messaging app.
“Both sides praised cooperation within the framework of OPEC+, allowing for the adoption of timely and effective steps to ensure a balance between supply and demand for oil.”
The statement noted the impor- tance of agreements reached at the group’s meeting this week. UAE ship insurance rules
Tougher requirements for some ship insurers covering the UAE ships are aimed at boosting environmental safety amid growing concerns over unregu- lated shipping, reported the state- run news agency WAM.
The UAE’s Energy and Infrastructure Ministry, in a June 2 circular, announced it would tighten insurance criteria for vessels registered under its flag for insurers that are not part of the leading ship insurers, known as the International Group of Protec- tion and Indemnity Clubs, which cover 90 percent of the world’s ocean-going fleet.
“By prioritizing stringent P&I standards, we ensure the safety, financial security, and environ- mental stewardship of our maritime activities, attracting reputable investors,” said Hessa Al Malek, adviser to the minister for maritime transport affairs.
The WAM report added that the move would reduce the risk of accidents and oil spills, leading to a safer and more secure marine environment.
Saudi Arabia’s M3 money supply jumps 4.7% since Dec. 31
Updated 08 June 2023
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s M3 money supply has surged 4.71 percent since December 2022, according to data released by the Saudi Central Bank, also known as SAMA.
The M3 money supply — the broadest measure of liquidity in the monetary system — reached SR2.61 billion ($697 billion) in the week ending June 1, up from SR2.5 billion on Dec. 31.
However, the money supply for the week ending June 1 dropped 0.29 percent compared to $2.62 billion in the week ending June 25.
The SAMA data also showed that the money supply has been stable at SR2.6 billion in the past six weeks.
Central banks use M3 money supply figures to direct monetary policy, thereby controlling inflation, consumption, growth, and liquidity over medium- and long-term periods.
Meanwhile, the M2 money supply recorded a 4.53 rise compared to Dec. 31 and a 0.57 percent weekly increase.
The M2 poses a measurement of the nation’s money supply that estimates all the cash individuals have in hand or short-term bank deposits. It is usually used to indicate possible increases or decreases in inflation levels.
As for the M1 money supply during the week ending June 1, it jumped 1.45 percent from the end of December 2022 and 1.52 percent against the preceding week.
The M1 money supply comprises currency, demand and other liquid deposits.
It contains currency and assets that can be quickly converted to cash.