Dubai Financial Market to launch carbon credits trading platform at COP28

Dubai Financial Market to launch carbon credits trading platform at COP28
The DFM said that the platform would be developed in partnership with the Dubai Future Foundation. DFM
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Updated 23 November 2023
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Dubai Financial Market to launch carbon credits trading platform at COP28

Dubai Financial Market to launch carbon credits trading platform at COP28

RIYADH: New businesses and environmentally conscious companies stand to benefit from a new carbon credits mechanism set to be launched in Dubai during the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference. 

The Dubai Financial Market announced its plans to launch a trial platform during the COP28 at the end of this month, aiming to contribute to the development of a low-carbon economy by providing a tool to assist companies in managing unavoidable carbon emissions. 

In a statement, the DFM said that the platform would be developed in partnership with the Dubai Future Foundation. It emphasized the participation of reputable companies including Arqaam Capital, BHM Capital and EFG Hermes, as well as Emirates NBD Securities, all of whom have been approved as brokers on the platform. 

Hamed Ali, CEO of DFM and Nasdaq Dubai, said: “Capital markets play a pivotal role in driving the development of a low carbon economy by facilitating project capital raising, enhancing price discovery and transparency, and centralizing liquidity.” 

The platform, catering to qualified institutional investors, is scheduled to commence trading from Dec. 4 to 8, 2023, with the settlement of carbon credit transactions concluding on Jan. 10, 2024. 

He added: “The launch of carbon credit trading represents a logical progression for DFM as a platform for ESG-focused themes and building on our existing track record.” 

As the global economy accelerates its decarbonization, Ali stressed the demand for carbon project financing is poised to surge and the necessity to trade credits will grow in tandem. 

He invited other Dubai businesses and project developers to join DFM in this pilot endeavor. 

The initiative will witness the participation of 17 UAE-based companies and institutions including the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Dubai World and Dubai Municipality.  

This will also encompass Dubai International Financial Centre, Emirates NBD Bank and Majid Al Futtaim.  

Additionally, Shuaa Capital, Al Ansari Financial Services and Emaar Properties will also be part of the initiative along with Salik and Tabreed. 

Credits traded on the DFM will originate from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and the company My Carbon, involving internationally accredited projects worldwide, with a focus on avoiding and reducing emissions. 

“DEWA is leading in this aspect, and we’re delighted to play a pivotal role in DFM’s pioneering carbon pilot initiative, set to launch during COP28,” said Saeed Mohammed Al-Tayer, CEO of DEWA. 

He added that their participation aligned with the UAE’s vision of building a green economy. 

It also aimed to achieve the goals of the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, and the Dubai Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy 2050. 

Al-Tayer said the objective is to provide 100 percent of Dubai’s total power production capacity from clean energy sources by 2050. 

The launch of this trading platform marks a significant step for Dubai in contributing to global efforts to combat climate change and transition toward a more sustainable and environmentally conscious economy. 


Australia, Saudi Arabia trade expo to be held in Riyadh in October

Australia, Saudi Arabia trade expo to be held in Riyadh in October
Updated 16 sec ago
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Australia, Saudi Arabia trade expo to be held in Riyadh in October

Australia, Saudi Arabia trade expo to be held in Riyadh in October

RIYADH: Agriculture, healthcare, and education are among the sectors that will benefit from a new conference aiming to boost partnership deals between Saudi Arabia and Australia. 

Set to be held from Oct. 21 to 22 at the KAFD Conference Centre in Riyadh, the inaugural Aussie Expo will also see a focus on technology, infrastructure, and mining.

The event is being organised by the Trademark Group of Companies – a conglomerate dedicated to facilitating the expansion of Australian businesses into the Kingdom and the broader Gulf Cooperation Council region, as well as supporting businesses from these areas in entering the domestic market.

On June 1, Trademark Group of Companies opened its office in Riyadh, eyeing economic opportunities in Saudi Arabia and providing a platform for Australian companies to explore and deepen trade ties with the Kingdom.

Guided by the theme “Accelerating Partnerships, Unlocking New Opportunities,” Aussie Expo Riyadh 2024 will showcase excellence across various industries, according to its website. 

This will be achieved through a series of conference sessions and workshops during which key government officials, industry leaders, decision-makers, and entrepreneurs from both countries will converge. 

These networking opportunities are expected to be a major draw for attendees, providing a platform to explore potential partnerships that drive mutual success.

Renewable energy and sustainability as well as tourism and hospitality, retail and consumer goods, and transport and logistics will be discussed at the evemt

Talking to Arab News on the sidelines of the Australian Saudi Business Networking Event in Riyadh earlier in June, Australian Ambassador Mark Donovan said the opening of the Trademark Group of Companies’ office in the Kingdom  would help both countries explore investment opportunities in various sectors.

Earlier in May, Saudi Arabia and Australia signed an agreement to improve cooperation across multiple sectors and strengthen bilateral trade ties.

The Australia Saudi Business Council and Forum and the Export Council of Australia signed an agreement to boost collaboration in industry, mining, food, technology, and artificial intelligence, with an aim to enhance opportunities for Australian exporters to work with Saudi entities, strengthening bilateral cooperation.


Saudi Arabia expands access for Chinese tourists with new agreement

Saudi Arabia expands access for Chinese tourists with new agreement
Updated 32 min 4 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia expands access for Chinese tourists with new agreement

Saudi Arabia expands access for Chinese tourists with new agreement

RIYADH: Chinese tourist groups will now find it easier to visit Saudi Arabia following the implementation of the Approved Destination Status arrangement, effective July 1.  

This initiative marks a key step toward the Kingdom’s goal of positioning China as its third-largest source market for international arrivals by 2030, according to a statement.  

This initiative aligns with Saudi Arabia’s goal of attracting 5 million Chinese tourists by 2030, facilitated by new direct flights from Air China, China Eastern, and China Southern, alongside existing Saudia flights. 

Moreover, it highlights Saudi Arabia’s commitment to strengthening its economic ties with China, leveraging opportunities in the tourism sector, and promoting mutual understanding, cooperation, and economic growth between the two nations. 

The Kingdom’s Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb said the agreement “demonstrates Saudi Arabia’s readiness for Chinese visitors.”

He added: “The Saudi Tourism Authority has played a crucial role in visa facilitation, reduced fees, improving air connectivity, and ensuring destination readiness with Mandarin-language information available on www.visitsaudi.cn, Mandarin signage at airports, and Mandarin-speaking tour guides and hotel staff.”  

China’s ADS policy is a bilateral agreement between countries that allows its citizens to travel to specific overseas destinations for tourism purposes in organized groups.

It was first introduced in the early 1990s to accommodate the growing interest of Chinese citizens in international travel and the increase in disposable income among the population.  

“By strengthening bilateral ties with China, the ADS agreement opens doors for economic development across sectors, benefiting both nations,” added Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to China Abdulrahman bin Ahmed Al-Harbi. 


‘Historical transformation’ in Saudi Arabia fueling $141.5bn construction output: Knight Frank

‘Historical transformation’ in Saudi Arabia fueling $141.5bn construction output: Knight Frank
Updated 24 June 2024
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‘Historical transformation’ in Saudi Arabia fueling $141.5bn construction output: Knight Frank

‘Historical transformation’ in Saudi Arabia fueling $141.5bn construction output: Knight Frank

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s construction output value is projected to have seen an annual rise of 4.3 percent in the first half of 2024, propelled by growth in Riyadh.

According to a recent analysis by global property consultancy Knight Frank, the $141.5 billion figure takes into account the Kingdom’s activities in the residential, institutional, and infrastructure sectors as well as industrial, energy, utilities, and commercial divisions.

This substantial investment in transforming the sector also serves to strengthen the Kingdom’s position as a global hub for tourism, commerce and trade.

This is further propelled by Saudi Arabia’s giga-projects and goals to deliver over 660,000 residential units, more than 320,000 hotel keys, over 5.3 million sq. m. of retail space, and more than 6.1 million sq. m. of new office space by the end of the decade.

Mohamed Nabil, head of Project and Development Services for the Middle East and North Africa at the body, said: “We are currently witnessing a historical transformation unfolding in Saudi Arabia with construction projects standing out in their design scale and value. 

“Given the scale of the development pipeline, the government is hoping to attract over $3 trillion in investments by 2030, a figure recently confirmed by the Minister of Investment during the inaugural Sino-Gulf Cooperation for Industries and Investments Forum in China last month.”


Oil Updates – crude eases as strong dollar weighs on commodities markets

Oil Updates – crude eases as strong dollar weighs on commodities markets
Updated 24 June 2024
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Oil Updates – crude eases as strong dollar weighs on commodities markets

Oil Updates – crude eases as strong dollar weighs on commodities markets

SINGAPORE: Oil prices inched down on Monday as concerns of higher-for-longer interest rates resurfaced and lifted the dollar, offsetting support for oil markets from geopolitical tensions and OPEC+ supply cuts, according to Reuters.

Brent crude futures slipped 3 cents to $85.21 a barrel by 9:32 a.m. Saudi time, after settling down 0.6 percent on Friday. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $80.71 a barrel, down 2 cents.

“The US dollar has opened bid this morning and appears to have broken higher following better US PMI data on Friday night and political concerns ahead of the French election,” said Tony Sycamore, a Sydney-based markets analyst at IG.

A stronger greenback makes dollar-denominated commodities less attractive for holders of other currencies.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major currencies, climbed on Friday and was up slightly on Monday after purchasing managers index data showed US business activity was at a 26-month high in June.

However, both benchmark crude contracts gained about 3 percent last week on signs of stronger oil products demand in the US, world’s largest consumer, and as cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, kept supply in check.

US crude inventories fell while gasoline demand rose for the seventh straight week and jet fuel consumption has returned to 2019 levels, ANZ analysts said in a note.

ING analysts led by Warren Patterson said speculators have also become more constructive toward oil into summer and increased their net-long positions in ICE Brent.

“We remain supportive toward the oil market with a deficit over the third quarter set to tighten the oil balance,” the analysts said in a note.

Geopolitical risks in the Middle East from the Gaza crisis and a ramp-up in Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian refineries are also underpinning oil prices.

In Ecuador, state oil company Petroecuador has declared force majeure over deliveries of Napo heavy crude for exports following the shutdown of a key pipeline and oil wells due to heavy rains, sources said on Friday.

In the US, the number of operating oil rigs fell three to 485 last week, their lowest since January 2022, Baker Hughes said in its report on Friday. 


Saudi Arabia’s trade surplus hits yearly high of $11bn in April amid surge in non-oil exports

 Saudi Arabia’s trade surplus hits yearly high of $11bn in April amid surge in non-oil exports
Updated 24 June 2024
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Saudi Arabia’s trade surplus hits yearly high of $11bn in April amid surge in non-oil exports

 Saudi Arabia’s trade surplus hits yearly high of $11bn in April amid surge in non-oil exports

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s trade balance surplus hit a year-high of SR41.4 billion ($11.04 billion) in April, a 36 percent increase from the previous month, fueled by a surge in non-oil exports. 

According to the General Authority for Statistics, the Kingdom’s non-oil shipments rose by 12.4 percent in April compared to the same month last year. 

This comes as the Kingdom intensifies its efforts to boost non-oil exports to reduce its reliance on the energy sector and diversify its economy. The significant growth underscores Saudi Arabia’s commitment to strengthening other sectors and achieving a more balanced economic structure. 

National non-oil exports, excluding re-exports, saw a modest rise of 1.6 percent in April this year compared to April 2023, while re-exported goods experienced a substantial increase of 56.4 percent over the same period. 

In contrast, overall outbound merchandise supply fell by 1.0 percent, primarily due to a 4.2 percent decline in oil exports. As a result, the proportion of oil in total outbound supply decreased from 80.6 percent in April 2023 to 78.0 percent in April this year. 

Imports also saw a slight decline of 1.3 percent, and the merchandise trade balance surplus dropped by 0.5 percent compared to the previous year. 

Month-over-month comparisons show a decrease in the value of merchandise exports by 1.7 percent, non-oil exports by 6.3 percent, and imports by 17.4 percent. However, the Kingdom’s trade balance still saw a substantial increase. 

The ratio of non-oil merchandise exports to imports improved significantly, rising to 37.1 percent in April from 32.6 percent in April 2023. This improvement is attributed to the increase in non-oil exports and the decrease in imports. 

Plastics, rubber, and their products were among the top non-oil exports, making up 26.2 percent of the total and growing by 20.5 percent compared to April 2023. 

Chemical products also constituted a significant portion, accounting for 25.7 percent of non-oil exports, although they saw a 13.8 percent decrease from the previous year. 

On the import side, machinery, electrical equipment, and parts were the leading category, representing 26.6 percent of total imports and increasing by 32.4 percent compared to April 2023. 

Transportation equipment and parts followed, making up 11.7 percent of imports but decreasing by 24.5 percent from the previous year. 

China remained Saudi Arabia’s largest trading partner, receiving 16.6 percent of total exports in April 2024. Japan and India followed with 9.2 percent and 8.1 percent of total exports, respectively. 

These top three countries, along with South Korea, the UAE, and the US, alongside Poland, Bahrain, Malaysia, and Singapore, collectively accounted for 65.6 percent of the Kingdom’s total exports. 

China also led in imports to Saudi Arabia, constituting 22.4 percent of total imports. The US and India followed, with 8.3 percent and 6.6 percent of total imports, respectively. 

Imports from the top ten countries made up 62.2 percent of the total. 

The main entry points for imports into the Kingdom included King Abdulaziz Sea Port in Dammam with 29.7 percent, Jeddah Islamic Sea Port with 18.4 percent, and King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh with 14.3 percent. 

Other ports included King Abdulaziz International Airport with 7.6 percent and King Fahad International Airport in Dammam with 5.9 percent. 

Together, these five ports handled 76.0 percent of Saudi Arabia’s total merchandise imports. 

These statistics are based on administrative records from the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority and the Ministry of Energy, with classifications according to the Harmonized System maintained by the World Customs Organization.