Qatar delays LNG shipments to Europe amid Red Sea conflict, Bloomberg News says 

Qatar delays LNG shipments to Europe amid Red Sea conflict, Bloomberg News says 
Qatar has not reduced exports, even though some cargoes are taking longer to reach their destinations, the report said. Shutterstock
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Updated 24 January 2024
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Qatar delays LNG shipments to Europe amid Red Sea conflict, Bloomberg News says 

Qatar delays LNG shipments to Europe amid Red Sea conflict, Bloomberg News says 

Qatar, one of the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas exporters, is delaying some shipments to Europe as conflict in the Red Sea forces longer travel times, Bloomberg News reported. 

Qatar informed some European buyers of delays and rescheduled shipments, the report said, citing traders with knowledge of the matter. 

According to the report, the traders said that Qatar is reshuffling global supply to meet contractual obligations, diverting deliveries from elsewhere and swapping for available cargoes near Europe. 

As per the report, Qatar has diverted at least six shipments destined for Europe around the Cape of Good Hope in southern Africa since Jan. 15, instead of the shorter route through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. 

Qatar has not reduced exports, even though some cargoes are taking longer to reach their destinations, the report said. 


stc Group top workplace in Saudi Arabia, LinkedIn study finds

stc Group top workplace in Saudi Arabia, LinkedIn study finds
Updated 9 sec ago
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stc Group top workplace in Saudi Arabia, LinkedIn study finds

stc Group top workplace in Saudi Arabia, LinkedIn study finds

RIYADH: Telecommunications major stc Group has been named the best workplace in Saudi Arabia by the professional networking platform LinkedIn. 

According to a press statement, the firm was followed in second place by hospitality giga-project Red Sea Global, with energy giant Saudi Arabian Oil Co., also known as Aramco, ranked third.

Motor vehicle manufacturing company Ceer took fourth place on the list, while ROSHN, backed by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, and Riyad Bank, secured fifth and sixth spots, respectively. 

“LinkedIn top companies is an annual list created by data on its platform, which will help professionals identify the top workplaces to grow their careers. The list uncovers the organizations leading the way in growth and learning opportunities for their employees, equity in the workplace, and strong company culture,” according to the report. 

Business consulting firm Bain & Co. was named the top organization in the UAE, followed by Mastercard and Procter & Gamble. 

“This year’s lists show how companies in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are continuing to grow and expand, which further cements the region’s reputation as a leading business hub,” said Salma Altantawy, senior news editor at LinkedIn. 

She added: “Our research has previously indicated professionals’ appetite for new career moves in 2024, and this list recognizes those employers that can be a top choice for professionals looking to make those moves.” 

Saudi Entertainment Ventures, also known as SEVEN, was named the tenth-top company in Saudi Arabia, an indication of the sector’s growth in the Kingdom. 

“Entertainment companies Miral and Saudi Entertainment Ventures have joined the top 15 companies in the UAE and Saudi Arabia in 2024. Both companies took 10th place in their respective countries, which shows the rise of the entertainment industry across the region,” said LinkedIn in the report. 

According to the survey, a majority of regional professionals are considering switching jobs this year and the UAE has seen a growth in hiring over the last 12 months. 

In February, stc Group revealed that its net profit in 2023 rose 9 percent to SR13.3 billion ($3.55 billion) compared to the previous year. 

In a Tadawul statement, the company revealed that the rise in profit was driven by an SR4.90 billion year-on-year rise in revenues. 


ACWA Power secures landmark $80m bridge loan from Bank of China for Uzbekistan projects

ACWA Power secures landmark $80m bridge loan from Bank of China for Uzbekistan projects
Updated 42 min 59 sec ago
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ACWA Power secures landmark $80m bridge loan from Bank of China for Uzbekistan projects

ACWA Power secures landmark $80m bridge loan from Bank of China for Uzbekistan projects

RIYADH: Saudi energy giant ACWA Power has secured an $80 million equity bridge loan from the Bank of China for its Uzbekistan initiatives.

According to an official press release, the payment is split equally between Chinese yuan and US dollars, marking the first loan cooperation deal by a bank from the Asian country using its native currency involving a company from the Kingdom.

ACWA Power said the fund will boost its Tashkent 200 megawatts solar photovoltaic power plant and 500 MW per hour battery energy storage system project in Uzbekistan.

“This transaction culminated the initial agreement reached during the 3rd BRF (Belt and Road Forum) summit in October 2023, where ACWA Power was represented by its chairman as a keynote speaker,” the company said in a statement.

ACWA Power’s Chief Financial Officer, Abdulhameed Al-Muhaidib, highlighted the significance of this milestone, citing its alignment with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and China’s Belt and Road initiative. 

He said: “We are delighted to deepen our cooperation with Bank of China to bring renewable energy at competitive tariffs to our key markets, including Uzbekistan.”

ACWA Power has a longstanding relationship with Chinese entities, dating back over 15 years, with investments from the Asian country in the company’s projects exceeding $10 billion.

The General Manager of the Bank of China, Pan Xinyuan, said: “I believe that the Belt and Road Initiative is in harmony with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. Bank of China will further leverage its strengths to support the cooperation between Saudi enterprises like ACWA Power and their Chinese partners for win-win objectives.”

He added: “Looking ahead, Bank of China will continue to improve financial connectivity to push the Belt and Road economies on a track of sustainable and high-quality development.”

ACWA Power has been collaborating with multiple countries to develop its plants.

Earlier this month, the company signed a $800 million agreement with Senegal’s Ministry of Water to develop a desalination facility.  

It announced the inking of a water purchase agreement for the construction of the facility in Dakar, Senegal in a statement on the Saudi stock exchange, Tadawul.  

ACWA Power will be responsible for the infrastructure, design and financing as well as construction, operation and maintenance of the Grande Cote seawater desalination plant in the West African country.


Microsoft to invest $1.5bn in UAE-based AI firm G42 

Microsoft to invest $1.5bn in UAE-based AI firm G42 
Updated 4 min 3 sec ago
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Microsoft to invest $1.5bn in UAE-based AI firm G42 

Microsoft to invest $1.5bn in UAE-based AI firm G42 

RIYADH: Global tech giant Microsoft will invest $1.5 billion in the UAE-based artificial intelligence technology company G42, aiming to offer the latest AI solutions and skilling initiatives.  

As part of the deal, G42 will grant the US firm a minority stake and Brad Smith, Microsoft’s vice chair and president, will join the Emirati firm’s board of directors, according to a press release. 

Smith said: “Our two companies will work together not only in the UAE, but to bring AI and digital infrastructure and services to underserved nations.”  

He added: “We will combine world-class technology with world-leading standards for safe, trusted, and responsible AI, in close coordination with the governments of both the UAE and the United States.” 

The deal will see G42 utilizing Microsoft Azure to run its AI applications and services, partnering to deliver advanced solutions to global public sector clients and large enterprises.  

Moreover, the companies will collaborate to bring advanced AI and digital infrastructure to nations in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa, ensuring equitable access to services, the release added.  

“Microsoft’s investment in G42 marks a pivotal moment in our company’s journey of growth and innovation, signifying a strategic alignment of vision and execution between the two organizations,” said Tahnoon bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, chairman of G42. 

“This partnership is a testament to the shared values and aspirations for progress, fostering greater cooperation and synergy globally,” he added. 

The agreement also encompasses a $1 billion investment in a fund for developers, which aims to bolster the creation of a skilled and diverse AI workforce, as well as foster innovation and competitiveness for the UAE and the broader region. 


UAE grocery store chain Spinneys to float 25% stake on Dubai Financial Market

UAE grocery store chain Spinneys to float 25% stake on Dubai Financial Market
Updated 16 April 2024
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UAE grocery store chain Spinneys to float 25% stake on Dubai Financial Market

UAE grocery store chain Spinneys to float 25% stake on Dubai Financial Market

RIYADH: UAE-based grocery store operator Spinneys 1961 Holding PLC has announced its intention to proceed with an initial public offering on the Dubai Financial Market.

Al Seer Group, Spinney’s parent company and the selling shareholder, expects to sell 25 percent of the total issued share capital of the firm, equivalent to a total of 900 million shares.

The IPO’s subscription period will begin on April 23 and the DFM listing is set for May 9, the company said in a release.

The offering will be made available to UAE retail investors with 5 percent or 45 million shares in the first tranche, while the second tranche will provide professional stakeholders with 855 million shares.


Dubai’s high-end property sales rise on overseas demand

Dubai’s high-end property sales rise on overseas demand
Updated 16 April 2024
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Dubai’s high-end property sales rise on overseas demand

Dubai’s high-end property sales rise on overseas demand

DUBAI: Sales of homes in Dubai worth $10 million or more rose 6 percent in the first quarter versus last year, an industry report showed on Tuesday, as demand from the international ultra-rich for homes in the emirate showed little sign of abating, according to Reuters. 

A total of 105 homes worth an overall $1.73 billion were sold from January to March, up from around $1.6 billion a year earlier, according to property consultancy Knight Frank.

Activity was dominated by cash buyers, with palm tree-shaped artificial island Palm Jumeirah the most sought-after area, accounting for 36.3 percent of sales by total value, followed by Jumeirah Bay Island and Dubai Hills Estate.

Home to the world’s tallest tower, the UAE’s Dubai is seeking to grow its economy through tourism, building a local financial center and by attracting foreign capital, including into property.

The recent property boom has shown signs of fizzling out, however, with developers, investors and brokers worrying whether a painful correction akin to the slump that rocked the emirate in 2008 can be avoided.

Last year, Dubai ranked first globally for number of home sales above $10 million, selling nearly 80 percent more such properties than second-placed London, according to Knight Frank.

The city also bucked the trend of falling luxury prices seen in cities like London and New York last year, posting double-digit gains, Knight Frank said in February.

“The level of deal activity in Dubai continues to strengthen, particularly at the top end of the market, where the near constant stream of international high-net-worth-individuals vying for the city’s most expensive homes persists,” said Faisal Durrani, Knight Frank’s head of research for Middle East and Africa.

Durrani told Reuters Dubai was aided by the relative affordability of its luxury homes, where well-heeled buyers can purchase about 980 sq. feet of residential space for $1 million, “about three or four times more than you would get in most major global gateway cities.”

The strong demand suggests many international investors are acquiring Dubai property for second homes rather than “constant buying to flip,” he said, referring to the past practice of buying in order to sell to others quickly for more money.