Oil Updates – prices rise, tight supply back in focus

Oil Updates – prices rise, tight supply back in focus
Brent crude futures climbed 69 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $93.96 a barrel by 9:46 a.m. Saudi time. Shutterstock.
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Updated 25 September 2023
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Oil Updates – prices rise, tight supply back in focus

Oil Updates – prices rise, tight supply back in focus

LONDON: Oil prices rose on Monday as investors focused on a tighter supply outlook after Moscow issued a temporary ban on fuel exports while remaining wary of further rate hikes that could dampen demand, according to Reuters.

Brent crude futures climbed 69 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $93.96 a barrel by 9:46 a.m. Saudi time after settling 3 cents lower on Friday.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures extended gains for a second session, trading at $90.57 a barrel, up 54 cents, or 0.6 percent.

“Crude oil prices have started the week on the front foot, as the market continues to digest Russia’s temporary ban on diesel and gasoline exports, into an already tight market, offset with the Fed’s hawkish message that rates will stay higher for longer,” IG Markets analyst Tony Sycamore said.

Both contracts fell last week, snapping a three-week winning streak, after a hawkish Federal Reserve stance rattled global financial sectors and raised oil demand concerns.

Prices had rallied more than 10 percent in the previous three weeks on forecasts of a wide crude supply deficit in the fourth quarter after Saudi Arabia and Russia extended additional supply cuts to the end of the year.

Last week, Moscow temporarily banned gasoline and diesel exports to most countries in order to stabilize the domestic market, fanning concerns of low supply especially for heating oil as the Northern Hemisphere heads into winter.

“The Russian fuel export ban news appears to be priced in for the time being but the undercurrent of global oil supply tightness runs deep, with an intense focus on diesel shortages and fears over unanticipated LNG (liquefied natural gas) supply disruptions likely to persist, especially in the European markets,” said Vandana Hari, founder of oil market analysis provider Vanda Insights.

In the US the number of operating oil rigs fell by eight to 507 last week, their lowest since February 2022, despite higher prices, a weekly report from Baker Hughes showed on Friday.

Expectations of better economic data this week from China, the world’s largest crude importer, also lifted sentiment. However, analysts flagged that oil prices face technical resistance at the November 2022 highs that were hit last week.

The Asian country’s manufacturing sector is expected to return to expansion mode in September, with the purchasing manufacturing index forecast to rise above 50 for the first time since March, Goldman Sachs analysts said.

In a positive sign, China’s oil demand increased 0.3 million barrels per day to 16.3 million bpd last week, partly due to a gradual recovery in jet fuel demand for international flights, they added.


RSG partners with Amazon Payment Services to introduce online transactions

RSG partners with Amazon Payment Services to introduce online transactions
Updated 14 sec ago
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RSG partners with Amazon Payment Services to introduce online transactions

RSG partners with Amazon Payment Services to introduce online transactions

RIYADH: Saudi tourist destinations, The Red Sea and AMAALA, will soon offer online transaction options through a recent partnership with Amazon Payment Services. 

Initiated by its developer Red Sea Global, the deal aims to provide a comprehensive suite of payment solutions tailored to meet the needs of RSG’s customers, according to a statement. 

This aligns with RSG’s vision of providing exceptional experiences for its travelers, as stated by Ahmed Ali Al-Sohaily, group head of technology at RSG. 

He said: “By collaborating with Amazon Payment Services, its best-in-class technology ensures convenient, secure, and efficient payment processes for our guests.”  

RSG said it seeks to collaborate with partners who share similar values in making a positive impact on both people and the planet. Currently, more than 90 percent of Amazon Payment Services’ electricity comes from renewables, with a goal to reach 100 percent by 2025, the release added. 

“We are excited to support Red Sea Global and its customers through this new partnership that allows us to enhance the payment experience for luxury travelers through our innovative and tailor-made payment solutions,” said Peter George, managing director at Amazon Payments Services.


Australia’s University of Wollongong joins top global institutes in Riyadh expansion 

Australia’s University of Wollongong joins top global institutes in Riyadh expansion 
Updated 42 min 46 sec ago
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Australia’s University of Wollongong joins top global institutes in Riyadh expansion 

Australia’s University of Wollongong joins top global institutes in Riyadh expansion 

RIYADH: Saudi students will gain increased access to high-quality higher education as reputable institutes, including Australia’s University of Wollongong, secure licenses for branches within the Kingdom. 

The Saudi Ministry of Education and its investment counterpart announced the issuance of an approval to the Australian public research university during the recently concluded Human Capability Initiative Conference in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported.  

This move is a part of the preparations to establish its branch in the Kingdom, in collaboration with the Digital Knowledge Co., to provide innovative, globally recognized education for international and local students across various higher schooling levels. 

The collaboration with Digital Knowledge Co., known for its high-quality expertise in schooling and training, aligns with Saudi Vision 2030, aiming to attract foreign university branches and increase private sector involvement in higher education by 2030. 

The University of Wollongong holds the 14th position among the best modern universities worldwide, ranking in the top 1 percent of institutes according to the 2024 QS World Index. 

The SPA report added that, during the same event, the two ministries also signed a memorandum of understanding with Arizona State University and Cintana Education to establish a new institute and an affiliated school in Riyadh. 


 


WTO’s Abu Dhabi Declaration to empower least developed nations  

WTO’s Abu Dhabi Declaration to empower least developed nations  
Updated 20 min 45 sec ago
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WTO’s Abu Dhabi Declaration to empower least developed nations  

WTO’s Abu Dhabi Declaration to empower least developed nations  

RIYADH: The least developed countries are set to benefit from the Abu Dhabi Declaration at the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference, improving global supply chain access. 

Trade deals, aimed at fostering new agreements, will extend international trading system benefits to more nations, following intensive negotiations, as reported by the UAE’s official news agency, WAM. 

Members have agreed to implement Special and Preferential Treatment for Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Technical Barriers to Trade. This effort supports producers in the least developed countries, facilitating their global supply chain access, the WAM report stated. 

The report added that the current measures of SPS constitute a staggering 90 percent of non-tariff trade barriers, posing a significant obstacle for smaller nations and being viewed as discriminatory. 

In a significant development for developing countries, ministers approved a decision responding to a 23-year-old mandate. The aim is to revamp special and differential treatment provisions for improved precision, effectiveness, and operational functionality. 

The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade and MC13 Chair, Thani Al-Zeyoudi, described the declaration as a significant milestone for the UAE and global trade. 

“It has been a momentous week for Abu Dhabi, for the UAE, and for global trade. I would like to thank the delegations from every member for their diligence and dedication to the negotiation and for their ceaseless efforts in making the global trading system more robust, more efficient and, most importantly, more accessible,” he said. 

The minister added that even in areas where final agreements have not been reached, issues that previously seemed unsolvable can now be unlocked — clearing the way for further progress in the coming months.  

Substantial progress has also been achieved in dispute resolution, as there is now an agreement to fulfill the MC12 mandate by establishing a comprehensive and efficient Dispute Settlement system by the end of 2024. This entails the adoption of various reform pathways by the participating members. 

Regarding e-commerce, members have agreed to extend the moratorium on customs duties for electronic transmissions for an additional two years. This decision implies that trade involving purely digital products and services will remain tariff-free until MC14 in Cameroon. 

Ministers also adopted a ministerial decision to extend the moratorium on non-violation and situation complaints related to the agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights until MC14. 

“Delivering the Abu Dhabi Declaration of outcomes is a true testament to the value that members continue to attach to the WTO and its pivotal role in ensuring an orderly global system of trade rules,” said Al-Zeyoudi. 

“With the adopted Abu Dhabi Declaration, we have demonstrated that we can deliver to ensure the global trading system remains a vital engine of growth and development for nations around the world. We must build on these significant achievements and remain united for global trade,” he added.  

The WAM report quoted Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director-general of the World Trade Organization, stating that the global body serves as a foundation of stability and resilience in an economic and geopolitical landscape filled with uncertainties and exogenous shocks. 

“Trade remains a vital force for improving people’s lives, and for helping businesses and countries cope with the impact of these shocks. Let us get some rest, then regroup and resume,” she said. 

MC13, hosted by the UAE’s Ministry of Economy and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, took place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center from Feb. 26 to March 2. 


Larger declines in oil prices or extended OPEC+ cuts could weigh on Iraq’s fiscal account, IMF says 

Larger declines in oil prices or extended OPEC+ cuts could weigh on Iraq’s fiscal account, IMF says 
Updated 03 March 2024
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Larger declines in oil prices or extended OPEC+ cuts could weigh on Iraq’s fiscal account, IMF says 

Larger declines in oil prices or extended OPEC+ cuts could weigh on Iraq’s fiscal account, IMF says 

CAIRO: The International Monetary Fund said on Sunday that larger declines in oil prices or extended OPEC+ cuts could weigh on Iraq’s fiscal and external accounts. 

“Iraq needs to increase non-oil exports and government revenue, and reduce the economy’s vulnerability to oil price shocks,” they said in a concluding statement. 


Saudi ‘Sah’ savings product second round opens, offering 5.63% return 

Saudi ‘Sah’ savings product second round opens, offering 5.63% return 
Updated 03 March 2024
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Saudi ‘Sah’ savings product second round opens, offering 5.63% return 

Saudi ‘Sah’ savings product second round opens, offering 5.63% return 

RIYADH: Saudi residents can once again boost their savings rates with the commencement of the second round of subscriptions for the savings product “Sah” on March 3. 

The Shariah-compliant, government-backed sukuk offers a return of 5.63 percent, and redemption amounts are scheduled to be paid within a year, as disclosed by the National Debt Management Center in a release on X. 

These sukuk are issued by the Ministry of Finance and organized by the NDMC. 

The second-round subscription started on March 3 at 10 a.m. and runs until March 5 at 3 a.m. 

Hani Al-Madini, CEO of the NDMC, explained that the sukuk serves as a catalyst for private sector cooperation and participation in developing and launching various savings products tailored to diverse demographics. These initiatives could involve partnerships with banks, fund managers, financial technology companies, and more. 

Sah, the first savings product designed for individuals, adheres to Islamic Shariah principles. It takes the form of bonds under the Kingdom’s local bonds program, denominated in Saudi riyals. 

It supports the Financial Sector Development Program, part of Saudi Vision 2030, aimed at raising the savings rate among residents from as low as 6 percent to the international standard of 10 percent by 2030. 

The minimum subscription amount is set at SR1,000 ($266), equivalent to the value of one bond, while the maximum is SR200,000 for total issuances per user during the program period. 

The product is allocated for individuals, with returns provided on a monthly basis in accordance with the issuance calendar. 

The saving period is one year with a fixed return, and accrued yields are disbursed at the end of the sukuk’s term. Future returns will be determined based on month-to-month market conditions. 

The product is open to Saudi nationals aged 18 and above. To participate, individuals must open an account with either SNB Capital, Aljazira Capital, Alinma Investment, SAB Invest, or Al Rajhi Capital.