Thu. Jun 8th, 2023

https://arab.news/wpyjs
ABU DHABI: The UAE is Germany’s most important trading partner in the region, with exports from the European country totaling $8.4 billion in 2021, says a top German diplomat.
The new German Ambassador to the UAE Alexander Schonfelder said: “For the year 2022, Germany’s imports from the UAE increased 67 percent year on year, already reaching $1.3 billion.”
Schonfelder told the Emirates News Agency that bilateral trade figures showed the strength of the relationship, while cooperation in decarbonization to tackle climate change will open an opportunity for both countries to look forward to a hydrogen future.
The German diplomat added: “I think those trade figures show exactly what the strength of our relationship is.
“In addition to that, I think there is also an enormous prospect for economic relations when we talk about tackling climate change and supporting economic growth in the area of decarbonization, and making both our economies fit for the hydrogen future that we are looking for.”
Establishing an international hydrogen value chain is very important for both economies, he said.
“This is the basis for the decarbonization of the energy sector, and it is also part of what we have to achieve according to the Paris climate accords,” he added.
He went on to say that UAE-Germany cooperation is a catalyst for accelerating the energy transition, not only by facilitating the scaling up of green hydrogen production that both countries had agreed upon, but also for the large-scale export of the product from the UAE to Germany and Europe.
He said: “We see the UAE as a country with a very good capacity to become a key exporter of renewable energy to the world, and this is exactly where Germany and other European countries would like to contribute to.”
The ambassador was speaking in the wake of the arrival of the first hydrogen-based ammonia test cargo from the UAE to Germany for the company Aurubis AG in Hamburg in October.
Copper producer Aurubis is using the blue ammonia supplied by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in its climate-neutral conversion of energy-intensive copper rod production using low-emission ammonia.
The delivery from the UAE is an important step in the establishment of a comprehensive hydrogen value chain between the two countries.
Further ammonia test cargoes are due to arrive in Germany later this year and will play an important role in building a future hydrogen supply chain.
Schonfelder said that the initiative plays an important role in preparing German ports for a new era of hydrogen imports.
The envoy added that the energy security and industry accelerator agreement, signed in Abu Dhabi on Sept. 25, was an attempt to promote projects with political support.
Schonfelder said that the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure’s agreement with GHD Group, in partnership with Germany’s Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, to develop the UAE’s National Hydrogen Strategy, which focuses on achieving climate goals, would further strengthen Germany’s ties with the UAE in this area.
RIYADH: Oil edged lower on Wednesday after slumping in the previous session, weighed down by concerns about weak demand due to the state of the global economy. 
Brent futures for March delivery fell 13 cents to $81.97 a barrel, a 0.1 percent loss, by 0511 GMT. US crude dropped 28 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $76.65 per barrel. 
Both benchmarks plunged more than 4 percent on Tuesday, with Brent suffering its biggest one-day loss in more than three months. 
Chevron to send 500,000-barrel cargo of Venezuelan oil to its Pascagoula refinery 
US oil producer Chevron Corp. plans to export this month its first cargo of Venezuelan crude to its Pascagoula, Mississippi refinery following a US license granted last year, according to shipping documents seen by Reuters on Tuesday. 
The 500,000-barrel cargo of Hamaca heavy crude, to be loaded at state-run PDVSA’s Jose port, comes from the Petropiar oil joint venture operated by both companies. 
As of Tuesday, the tanker scheduled to carry the shipment, the Bahamas-flagged Caribbean Voyager, was waiting to load near Jose, Refinitiv Eikon data showed. 
Iraq exported more than $115bn of oil in 2022: Ministry 
Iraq exported more than 1.209 billion barrels of oil in 2022 worth more than $115 billion, the oil ministry said on Twitter on Tuesday, quoting Oil Minister Hayan Abdel-Ghani. 
Iraqi oil exports averaged 3.32 million barrels per day in 2022, it added. 
(With input from Reuters) 
 
BENGALURU: Gold started the new year on a solid note after ending a volatile 2022 largely unchanged, with prices rallying to a more than six-month peak on Tuesday as investors positioned for the Federal Reserve’s latest policy minutes.
Spot gold rose 0.8 percent to $1,838.54 per ounce by 1000 GMT, having hit a high since June 17 last year. US gold futures gained 1 percent to $1,844.70.
Benchmark US 10-year Treasury yields fell to their session lows, reducing the opportunity cost of holding gold, which does not pay any interest.
“Alternatively, the new year is supporting new inflows into all asset classes,” said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo.
However, “we continue to see rising US interest rates and lower US inflation as a headwind for gold, but look for higherprices later in the year, when the Fed rate hikes are expected to end,” Staunovo said.
The market focus now turns to the minutes from the Fed’s December policy meeting due on Wednesday and other economic data expected this week.
While gold is seen as a hedge against economic uncertainty, it tends to loose its appeal in a higher interest rate environment.
Bullion posted a yearly loss in 2022, albeit a small one, as hawkish Fed policies fueled a dollar rally that challenged the precious metal’s role as a safe haven.
“The de-dollarization seen by several central banks last year, when a record amount of gold was bought look set to continue, thereby providing a soft floor under the market,” according to a Saxo Bank note.
On a technical front, above $1,842, the 50 percent of the 2022 correction, gold will be looking for resistance at $1,850 and $1,878 next, the note said.
Elsewhere, spot silver rose 1.6 percent to $24.37 per ounce, platinum scaled 1.4 percent to $1,083.98, and palladium advanced 0.6 percent to $1,805.01.
 
TUNIS: The Tunisian government on Tuesday presented a three-year development plan that relies heavily on private sector investment, particularly in industry, and boosting phosphate production.
The cash-strapped North African country is battling 10 percent inflation alongside slow growth, high unemployment and shortages of basic goods, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
The 2023-2025 plan “puts forward a new model of development” to reset Tunisia’s economy and battle poverty, which currently affects around a fifth of the 12 million population, Economy Minister Samir Saied said.
Tunisian authorities are hoping to secure a nearly $2-billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund they hope will unlock other sources of international financing.
Saied said the plan unveiled Tuesday, which is based on growth of 2.1 percent this year — compared to 1.8 percent last year — was “realistic and prudent.”
He predicted a fall in unemployment of just one percentage point to 14 percent between 2022 and 2025.
Saied said private sector investment should be the “engine of growth,” calling for improvements to Tunisia’s closed business climate.
He laid out plans for $12.3 billion in public investments over the three years, two-thirds via the state budget and the remainder through publicly owned companies.
Industry Minister Neila Gonji, who presented part of the plan, said increased investment in industry could see the sector grow from 15 to 18 percent of gross domestic product by 2025, with exports growing by a third to $18 billion a year.
The plan also seeks to boost production of phosphates, one of Tunisia’s rare natural resources, from 3.7 million tons last year to 12 million tons in 2025.
The government also plans to allow farming land to be used for solar and wind energy generation, as well as allowing small-scale solar projects in a market that is currently dominated by state-owned firm STEG.
The plan lays out a program of improvements to the social security system, with payouts for families looking after elderly non-relatives, and investments in education for school dropouts.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority is organizing a conference on Feb.8-9 in Riyadh to discuss the latest global taxation trends.
Top Saudi officials, heads of international tax authorities, and local, regional, and global experts will take part in the two-day event to be held under the theme “An Integrated Digital Ecosystem for Sustainable Economy and Improved Security.”
The conference will discuss key global and local experiences in the tax, zakat, and customs sector. Registration for the first Zakat, Tax, and Customs Conference has started online.
Registration will be allowed for members of the business sector, including taxpayers, importers, exporters, experts, and researchers from around the world. The event seeks to promote a joint line of action for the sector and discuss new visions and developments in the field.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index dialed up 82.60 points — or 0.78 percent — to close at 10,660.94 on Tuesday, as the monthly Purchasing Managers’ Index from Riyad Bank reported a sharp demand recovery and strongest job growth in almost five years. 
Tadawul All Share Index’s total trading turnover also increased to SR3.88 billion ($1.03 billion) from Monday’s SR3.67 billion. The market saw 162 of the listed 223 firms rise, while 44 lagged. 
“Saudi market witnessed gains for the third consecutive day resulting in a year-to-date gain of 1.7 percent in 2023 as it saw positive returns for the bulk of the sectors after the monthly PMI survey report,” Junaid Ansari, head of investment strategy and research at Kamco Invest, told Arab News. 
The sectoral pulse on Tuesday also revved up gains, as 19 of the 21 indices were northbound. The topmost gainer was the Food & Staples Retailing Index, which advanced 112.15 points to close at 8,802.64.  
Almost all large-cap stocks closed higher, with Saudi Arabian Mining Co. and ACWA Power Co. closing 1.34 percent and 1.4 percent up to SR68.10 and SR158.60, respectively. 
Parallel market Nomu and MSCI Tadawul 30 Index also rose 0.64 percent and 0.76 percent to close at 19,559.56 and 1,484.37, respectively. 
“The market sentiments were also positive thanks to the Hong Kong benchmark index gaining 1.8 percent on the first trading day of the year,” said Ansari. 
The move assumes significance as the Hang Seng Index braved a weak manufacturing survey from China and the dismal infection figures. Also noteworthy to mention is the overall gains happened even as oil prices took a hit. 
Brent crude futures fell $1.18 to $84.73 a barrel by 3.15 p.m. Riyadh time, while the US West Texas Intermediate crude slipped $1.10 to $79.16. 
Stock markets in the Gulf Cooperation Council region on Jan. 3 clocked mixed performance as Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Muscat posted marginal gains while Dubai, Kuwait and Bahrain closed lower. 
On the announcements front, Wafrah for Industry and Development Co. informed on Jan. 3 that it had signed a contract with Saudi Dairy and Foodstuff Co. for SR11.85 million. 
In a statement to Tadawul, Wafrah said it would produce frozen french fries under SADAFCO’s trade name, and the six-month contract is likely to increase its revenues. The breakfast food company became the best performer of the day as it closed 7.93 percent to end at SR29.95. 
On Tuesday, construction company Enma Al Rawabi Co. also announced that it signed an SR45.71 million contract with Saudi Mining Services Co. to lease a commercial building located on Takhassusi Street, Olaya District, Riyadh. The five-year contract will be effective as of May 15, 2023. 

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