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Friday, October 15, 2021

Category: Business

Saudi Arabia to launch special economic zones for cloud computing and manufacturing

Saudi Arabia plans to create special economic zones, which provide incentives to invest in sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, and cloud computing.

Khalid Al-Falih, the Saudi Minister of Investment, announced that more details about the areas and hooves they provide will be announced once they receive final approval later this year or early next year. He added that officials are also ready to review taxes and fees and grant certain exemptions to enhance the country’s competitiveness.

Al-Falih considered that the investment in the Kingdom was “less than expected… We want to attract foreign capital, and return the Saudi capital, which did not find opportunities in the Kingdom earlier.”

technology transfer
The foreign investors that Saudi officials want to attract are those who will transfer technology and expertise to the Saudis, according to Al-Falih.

In turn, Sarah Al-Thari, Advisor to the Ministry, said that one of the areas of focus is health care, life sciences, and biotechnology, with the aim of transforming into a global destination for companies by providing research and development areas and manufacturing centers.

The International Monetary Fund: The growth of the Saudi non-oil economy will rise to 4.3% this year

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is trying to turn the kingdom into a global business and investment hub as part of “Vision 2030” to diversify the economy away from oil.

On Monday, officials revealed a plan to boost foreign direct investment to 388 billion riyals ($103 billion) by 2030 from 5.5 billion dollars last year, while raising domestic investment to 1.7 trillion riyals.

The International Monetary Fund Council meets today to decide the fate of its president

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund plans to consult on the fate of Bank President Kristalina Georgieva on Monday after discussions Sunday with her and with a law firm alleging improper actions while working at the World Bank, according to a person familiar with the conversations.

The board, which includes 24 directors representing 190 countries in the fund, is trying to complete consideration of the issue as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank begin their annual meetings in the presence of finance ministers, as well as central bank governors from around the world in Washington on Monday, and it includes dozens of events.

Sunday’s board meeting with law firm WilmerHale will go on for several hours in the afternoon, according to the insider, who requested anonymity due to the privacy of the conversations.

“The board made significant additional progress today with its evaluation, and plans to complete its consideration very soon,” said Jerry Rice, a spokesman for the fund, in a statement Sunday, confirming that the board had met with both the law firm and Georgieva.

for China?
The council met with Wilmer Hill and Georgieva last week as well. Members discuss an audit conducted by the law firm for the World Bank, based on a review of 80,000 documents and more than 30 interviews. She accuses Georgieva of pressuring employees to manipulate data in favor of China in the annual Doing Business report when she was a senior official at the development bank. Georgieva, who joined the International Monetary Fund in 2019, has denied any wrongdoing.

Treasury officials discussed last week whether the United States, the IMF’s largest contributor, should ask Georgieva to resign, according to a report from Bloomberg News on Wednesday that relied on people familiar with the situation.

“Sports capitalism” is sweeping Europe’s clubs… and hedge funds are mobilizing to grab deals

Just as the match that took place, last Tuesday, between AC Milan and Atletico de Madrid in the Champions League, was highly competitive between the most successful Italian team in the Champions League and the team that won the Spanish League title last year, the competitive match Similar others swirl in the financial sector between a New York-based hedge fund and a Los Angeles-based trust.

Elliott Management Corp. took control of AC Milan in 2018 after Chinese owner Li Yonghong defaulted on debt obligations. In contrast, the funds, managed by Ares Management Corporation, acquired a 34% stake in La Liga champions Atlético in June.

Both companies are highly wealthy alternative investment firms that have gradually gained a foothold in the world’s most popular sport. Companies specializing in private equity, credit, and hedge funds represent the latest wave of investors in sports, after a buying spree among billionaire soccer fans, Middle Eastern petrodollars, and Chinese buyers over the past two decades.

The most recent example of this is the announcement by Miami-based 777 Partners, on September 23, of its purchase of Italian club Genoa.

Some lent money to keep Europe’s most popular clubs alive, while others bought media rights, stable small teams, or took stakes in clubs as high-risk assets. The biggest investment venture has been across the entire league, such as CVC Capital Partners’ deal with La Liga, announced last month.

European football has always been in desperate need of money, but the matter has become even more urgent after the pandemic has kept the crowds off the pitch, leaving some of the continent’s biggest and most successful clubs saddled with huge debts, and that was the catalyst behind the failed European Premier League in April. , which JPMorgan planned to support.

The cascade risk is that football is based on a somewhat unpleasant business model, with many investors failing in an industry riddled with debt and bloated player salaries, and at the mercy of politics and overheated fans.

There are no guarantees in the returns associated with that industry, as a result of the threat of downgrading the team in the league if it fails to perform well enough. This raises a big question mark for US investors about whether European football will be able to reach the US sports ratings.

DP World expects pressure on shipping to continue until 2023

DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, has forecast that supply chain bottlenecks that have disrupted global trade flows will continue for at least another two years.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV at Expo 2020 in Dubai on Friday, the company’s chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, said: “The global supply chain was in crisis at the beginning of the epidemic.” “Maybe in 2023 we will see easing.”

He said that the effects of the accumulated shortages and delays are reflected in the huge rise in freight shipping costs. “Shipping rates will continue to increase and shipping lines are having a great time.”

Global supply chains are struggling to keep up with demand and overcome labor disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The world’s largest shipping line, AP Muller-Maersk, has warned that bottlenecks may last longer than expected, and some companies have vowed to cap spot prices.

DP World is one of the world’s largest operators of seaports and inland shipping terminals, with operations spanning from London and Antwerp to hubs in Africa, Russia, India, and the Americas. The company recently announced a series of deals as it tries to become a more diversified and integrated logistics company.

Meanwhile, the company continues to look for ways to reduce debt and is considering offering an opportunity for international investors to buy into the Jebel Ali Free Zone, a valuable asset that has helped turn Dubai into a global trade hub, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company is also reviewing costs related to office space after effectively weathering the disruptions caused by the pandemic. Bin Sulayem said DP World has canceled plans to build a new headquarters and lease a larger office. “We’re re-engineering the way we work,” he explained. “Do we need all these offices around the world?”

Biden nominates anti-Bitcoin figure to head currency watchdog

President Joe Biden may have dashed any remaining hopes that Washington would welcome cryptocurrencies during his presidency.

Last week, the White House nominated Sula Omarova to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a nomination that offers nothing but assurance that US financial regulators will not have cryptocurrency allies among them for at least the next three years.

The Cornell University law professor’s criticism of crypto-tokens is consistent with recent statements by government regulators, where Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler previously said the market is “rife with fraud, fraud, and abuse,” said Michael Hsu, who was holding the position Acting Chief of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Sept. 21, said virtual currencies could be just as dangerous as the complex derivatives that sparked the global financial crisis in 2008.

Although the outlook for cryptocurrency has changed significantly since the end of the Trump administration, the shift has been particularly sharp in the Office of the Currency Control, which regulates national banks including JPMorgan and Citigroup. Under the leadership of Brian Brooks, who resigned in January, the Office of the Currency Control has granted limited banking privileges to crypto firms, sparking fears among traditional Wall Street players that they may soon face a new slate of competitors. A former Federal Reserve official pulled out the welcome rug.

If the Senate approves Omarova’s nomination, the Office of the Currency Control will likely go further in seeking stricter oversight of crypto-tokens, which is in line with the trend in Washington, where Gensler wants cryptocurrencies to be regulated. Like stock.

The specter of an energy crisis in Europe haunts global markets

Europe is more reliant on natural gas to heat homes and meet the energy needs of factories than ever before, and the increasing demand comes amid efforts to stop reliance on coal, and a general trend to use clean energy sources.

Winter in the northern hemisphere is expected to drive up natural gas prices in most parts of the world.

The sharp rise in natural gas prices has forced some of the fertilizer producers in Europe to cut production, with more factors expected, which may increase costs for farmers, amid the possibility of an increase in global food inflation, according to Bloomberg.

global energy crisis
There is not enough natural gas to fuel the economy recovering from the “post-coronavirus period,” and this poses obstacles to refilling depleted stocks before the December frost arrives. If the winter is cold, “the concern is that there is not enough natural gas” to use for heating in parts of Europe.

Hochstein added that for some countries, “the damage will not only be in the value of the recession but will affect the ability of European countries to provide natural gas for heating, which “affects everyone’s lives.”

Qatar’s Energy Minister, Saad Al-Kaabi, warned at an industry conference this month that the demand for natural gas is unprecedented from all of Qatar’s contractors, but “it is not possible to provide care for everyone,” he said.

It is possible that the “cold surprise” will force more energy companies to plunge into the market to buy emergency supplies of gas at high prices, and that is exactly what happened last December.

Countries are seeking to meet their energy needs in light of fierce competition for natural gas, and natural gas exporters such as Russia are moving in parallel, to increase the supply of natural gas, and the crisis is expected to worsen if temperatures drop.

The crisis in Europe portends trouble for the rest of the world, and the reason is that the lack of energy in Europe was the indicator to warn governments of the possibility of outages and total closure of factories, as for stocks in European warehouses, they reached their lowest levels “historically”, according to Bloomberg.

The concern is over the prospect of calmer weather, which could reduce wind turbine power production, while Europe’s most popular nuclear plants are being phased out, leaving natural gas topping global demand, while pipeline flows from Russia Norway is limited.

LNG importers in Asia are currently paying record prices to secure supplies, with some starting to spill polluting fuels such as coal and heating oil if they don’t get their energy.

The lack of energy in general increases the obstacles to achieving sustainable energy goals. Natural gas emits carbon monoxide, which is emitted by coal when burned.

China has not filled up stocks quickly enough despite being the world’s largest buyer of natural gas, considering that imports were double what they were last year, according to customs data.

Several Chinese provinces are also rationalizing electric power for various industries, in order to achieve President Xi Jinping’s goals in terms of energy efficiency, reducing pollution, and relying on clean energy.

Slowing flows in Brazil’s Parana River Basin have reduced hydropower production, while the Brazilian government is forced to rely more on natural gas.

While Brazil boosted gas imports to their highest levels in July, energy bills also rose. With inflation soaring, President Jair Bolsonaro’s chances in next year’s elections could be damaged.

The cost of securing Japanese government supplies has sparked political controversy in Pakistan, where opposition politicians have demanded an investigation into procurement by the state-owned importer.

The British crisis continues
British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps accused truck industry representatives on Sunday of helping spark a gasoline crisis as he defended “post-Brexit” immigration policy to ease a mounting supply crisis.

High energy prices in Britain have forced many suppliers out of business, with gas prices in Europe rising 500% last year.

The prospect of accelerating energy costs, combined with backlogged supply chains and high food prices over a decade, may make more central bankers wonder whether the jump in inflation is as fleeting as they had hoped.

oil prices
Goldman Sachs raised its year-end Brent price forecast to $90 a barrel, from $80, as demand for fuel recovered at a faster-than-expected rate.

Crude traded at $79.19 a barrel, while the price of West Texas crude was at $75.08 a barrel, according to Reuters.

Goldman Sachs lowered its forecast for oil prices for the second and fourth quarters of 2022 to $80, from $85 a barrel.

While oil producers expect global fuel demand to return to pre-Covid-19 levels by next year, as the economy recovers from the consequences of Covid-19, the excess refining capacity represents an effective pressure, and oil sector leaders said that despite the continued increase in Cases of virus infection in many markets, which harmed the demand for some petroleum derivatives such as jet fuel, the consumption indicators for diesel and gasoline indicate higher growth.

An agreement between the US judiciary and the financial director of “Huawei” to resolve criminal charges against her

Ming Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, and the US Department of Justice have reached an agreement to resolve criminal charges against her.

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, told the US judge presiding over Meng’s case that they would appear in court on Friday afternoon “to consider before this court a decision on the charges against the defendant.”

Ming will get a deferred agreement to prosecute, according to a person familiar with the matter. The agreement means that Ming will not plead guilty. It has not yet been determined whether she will be allowed to return to China. Dow Jones said she would be able to return.

Prosecutors allege that Huawei and Ming lied to HSBC Holdings about Huawei’s relationship with a third company that was doing business in Iran, as part of a scheme to violate US trade sanctions on Tehran. But Huawei has said it is not guilty.

Meng, Huawei’s chief financial officer, was arrested in December 2018 in Vancouver, Canada, as she was resisting a US extradition request.

John Marzolli, a spokesman for Brooklyn’s acting attorney general Jacqueline Casoulis, declined to comment on Meng’s case. US Department of Justice officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A possible solution to the issue comes just days after the Canadian election in which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced harsh criticism from the rival Conservative Party over his handling of relations with China. In the days following Meng’s arrest in Vancouver, Beijing detained two Canadians on national security charges. Trudeau’s current liberals won a third term, but the prime minister was unable to regain majority control of the legislature, and the continued detention of the two men remains a central issue in his government’s foreign policy.

Meng was accused of making a personal presentation in August 2013 to an executive of one of Huawei’s major banking partners, in which she lied about the relationship between her company and the third company. Prosecutors raised the stakes last year by adding conspiracy charges against Huawei, charges the Chinese company said it was innocent of.

Prosecutors and lawyers for Huawei have fought a battle over evidence since the case was revealed in early 2019. The company recently lost a battle to get more evidence from the government based on materials the United States submitted in Canada’s extradition request.

Exorbitant energy prices put Europe’s climate plans to the test

The record rise in energy prices could not have come at a worse time for Europe’s ambitious new climate plan, as politicians are just beginning to talk about how to implement the world’s most comprehensive emissions-reduction strategy.

The energy crisis threatens to send double-digit increases in consumer electricity bills months ahead of the winter cold and is putting pressure on industry giants. As European governments scrambled to mitigate the impact on consumers, Greece, for example, promised support for energy bills, while threats of blackouts in the UK last week were a vivid reminder of the fragility of energy supplies.

for the European Union, which proposes banning new fossil-fuel cars by 2035, and imposing new costs on dirty home heating; The high costs of such an ambitious plan will make it difficult to persuade voters, who are already struggling with high utility bills.

“Of course, the current level of energy prices has the potential to make discussions about the climate package more complex,” said Peter Weiss, senior adviser at Rud Pedersen Public Affairs and former political assistant to the EU’s first climate commissioner. Weakening the package due to today’s energy crisis would detract from the long-term solution to reducing Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels without addressing the cause of the pressure on gas supplies.”

Natural gas and energy prices have risen to all-time highs in the 27-nation region, as the economies of the European bloc recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. The increase in demand comes amid limited gas imports from Norway and Russia, with some countries accusing Moscow of manipulating supplies. At the same time, the EU’s strategy to accelerate emissions reductions in every sector from transport to manufacturing and agriculture has boosted demand for carbon permits, with prices more than doubling over the past two years to new record levels.

The European Union wants to lead the global fight against climate change and to set an example for other major missions such as the United States and China, whose overarching goal of the Green Deal strategy is to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

The green package unveiled in July aims to align the economy with a stricter 2030 target of reducing emissions by at least 55% from 1990 levels. The laws need approval by the European Parliament and member states of the Council of the European Union, with the right to Each institution is in the process of adjusting the plan, a process likely to take about two years.

After gaining 6000% in “Getir”, a Turkish investment company finds a new lover

The investment company that early supported Getir will prepare for its next step after its investment in the Turkish delivery app achieved a gain of nearly 6000% in value.

Re-Bay Asset Management Inc. sees significant opportunities in Turkey’s ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ segment, a business model that is enjoying a global boom moment.

Re-Pay made its latest fintech investment in Colendi, a financial services platform with 2.4 million users, at a valuation of $120 million, just below the valuation that Geter snapped when it backed it. Asset manager in 2018.

“Kolindi fulfills all the ingredients to become the next unicorn company in Turkey,” said Emre Kamilibal, Chairman of RePay’s board of directors, in Istanbul.

Getter, along with e-commerce platform Trendyol, is spearheading a group of technology start-ups shaking up the corporate system structure in Turkey, and Hepsipurada.com, another major online shopping platform, and the first Turkish company to list on Nasdaq. “.

Gulf funds expect strong growth over the next year

Fund managers in the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council expect strong growth over the next year, supported by a growing demand for Islamic products and investments.

A study conducted by “Moody’s” credit rating agency said that half of the investment officials in the largest financing companies in the region expected a growth rate of more than 10 percent in net inflows, while a third of them expected a modest increase. Moody’s did not mention the names of those funds, according to “Reuters”.

Eighty percent of those surveyed expected a modest increase in investments, while 20 percent expected a slight decrease.

“About 25 percent of executives said that they have not yet incorporated environmental, social and corporate governance standards into their investment management decisions,” Moody’s added, noting that “the natural intersection between sustainable investing and Sharia-compliant social principles creates opportunities for the Islamic finance industry.”

More than 60 percent of CEOs said that Islamic financing instruments that are compliant with Islamic principles will see increased demand over the next year. Moody’s highlighted that Sharia principles include the prohibition of investing in tobacco, gambling, and the alcoholic beverage industry.

About half of the GCC-based funds surveyed by Moody’s said they were ready for mergers or acquisitions within the next two years, which the agency described as evidence of the sector’s growing sophistication and fierce competition.

Moody’s said that the decline in oil prices may constrain government spending and reduce economic growth, with negative consequences for asset managers and stock market returns, which in turn affects the assets of funds under management.

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