RIYADH: The Emirates National Oil Co. has no immediate plans for an initial public offering, Meed reported quoting a company’s spokesperson as saying.
The official, however, said the firm is planning to list its shares on a stock market in near future.
“As a wholly-owned company of the government of Dubai, we are aligned with the UAE’s national agenda. We will continue to serve our customers and fuel the energy needs of the UAE in compliance with the vision and regulations of the government,” Meed reported, citing the spokesperson.
The firm currently has 164 fuel stations in the UAE and the number is projected to hit 186 by the end of 2022.
In Saudi Arabia, ENOC operates as many as 27 service stations and plans to raise this number to 124 by 2030.
In addition to this, the energy group has been recently investing in Egypt as part of a bigger long-term scheme to further expand its footprint in the region.
DUBAI: Green finance — an effort to factor sustainability into a traditional banking industry — made a big foray into the private sector for the first time in the Gulf. The retail giant Landmark Group became the first private company in the UAE to sign a sustainability-linked loan with Standard Chartered.
The loan was seen as a pledge to move toward sustainable green finance for the majority of the company’s operations.
“We have a team based on the ground in the region who are at the forefront of green finance, having structured the very first loan of this kind in the Middle East and North Africa region as long ago as 2018 for DP World,” explained Rola Abu Manneh, CEO at Standard Chartered Bank, in an interview with Arab News.
“These sustainable finance solutions allow companies to highlight their environmental, social and governance, or ESG, credentials to their stakeholders, potentially tap into new pools of liquidity, and help secure long term market access as ESG and climate become increasingly integrated into the financial markets,” she added. The agreement is significant as it demonstrates the keenness of the private sector toward greener practices in the traditional finance industry.
As it currently stands, the green finance sector in the Gulf Cooperation Council has made significant progress within the public sector.
According to recent data from Bloomberg, green and sustainability-linked debt issuance in the MENA region reached $6.4 billion in the first half of 2021, a 37-percent increase compared to $4.7 billion in 2020. “Therefore, one can only imagine how much impact the involvement of the private sector will have,” Jelena Janjusevic, associate professor, Academic Head of Accountancy, Economics and Finance and Executive Education, at Heriot-Watt University Dubai. “There is no doubt that this is a significant step for the MENA region.”
Janjusevic stressed that the Kingdom has made significant strides in procuring renewable projects as part of its Vision 2030 in which renewable sources are set to account for 50 percent of Saudi Arabia’s energy production by 2050. There has been a strong incentive in the Kingdom in recent years to attract private sector involvement.
Last year, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced a new program to strengthen the partnership with the private sector.
This is part of the county’s economic diversification strategy to invest SR5 trillion ($1.3 trillion) until 2030 in this program.
“Combined with the Kingdom’s renewable energy agenda, the prospective investment of the private sector in green finance will undoubtedly create a boom in green finance,” she said.
A recent study by Bloomberg shows that the region’s syndicated market for green and sustainability-linked bonds and loans will continue to mature and deepen as the total issuance reached $18.64 billion in 2021, compared with $4.5 billion in 2020.
“Although the market accounts for a small percentage of international volumes, there is no doubt that the MENA region significantly outpaced growth in comparison to 2021,” she said.
“The sustainable finance market has erupted globally over the last few years and we have seen a number of landmark deals in the region which have actually been world firsts,” said Abu Manneh. “With the recent commitments from several regional governments (Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain) to become net zero, we expect to see a greater focus from companies in the region on their ESG agenda and how they can play their part in meeting net zero. Sustainable finance is a key tool for realizing their goals and we expect to see continued growth in this space as a result.”
The delay in developing the required regulatory and institutional framework for green finance projects are among the main reasons for its slow progress
in the region.
However, this is now changing and one of the reasons behind the boom in the total issuance of sustainability-linked loans in 2021 is the increased involvement of banks, including Riyad Bank, National Bank of Kuwait and Qatar National Bank.
“Implementing sustainable finance frameworks and setting up the infrastructure required to ESG debt financing is the first step that should be undertaken for green finance to flourish,”
said Janjusevic. “Despite the nascence of green finance in
the region, continuous initiatives and private sector involvement is sure to yield outstanding results in the near future.”
RIYADH: The Saudi Green Initiative is developing creative solutions to tackle climate change, besides consulting the Kingdom in evolving into an international leader in sustainability.
The forum’s three primary goals are to cut carbon emissions by 278 million tons per year till 2030, plant 10 million trees across the country, and safeguard 30 percent of land and sea.
The first wave of more than 60 programs planned under the SGI represents a total investment of over SR700 billion ($187 billion) to flourish the green economy.
By lowering carbon emissions, afforestation of places in Saudi Arabia, and conserving land and marine areas, the forum intends to build a sustainable future.
The SGI collaborates with institutions and groups across the Kingdom to scale up existing climate programs and develop new ones. It also identifies the potential for collaboration and innovation between public and commercial sustainability activities.
Saudi Arabia is a critical player in global initiatives such as the Global Ocean Alliance, which aims to protect at least 30 percent of the world’s ocean in marine protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures by 2030.
The Kingdom is also keen on collaborating with the UN Sports for Climate Action Initiative and the Global Methane Pledge.
An energy leader for decades, the KSA is now positioning itself at the vanguard of environmental action. This effort is encapsulated in the SGI.
RIYADH: Saudi Islamic real estate financier Amlak International has appointed Abdullah bin Turki Al-Sudairy as managing director, in addition to his current CEO position.
Al-Sudairy has served as the company’s CEO since 2007 and has a wide range of experience in the financial sector, according to a bourse filing.
The Saudi-listed company said it received the Saudi central bank’s no-objection on April 21.
Amlak, regulated by the Saudi central bank, offers a range of financing solutions to institutions, high net worth individuals, and real estate developers.
LONDON: OPEC told the International Monetary Fund’s steering committee on Thursday that the surge in oil prices was largely due to the Ukraine crisis, in the latest signal that the producer group would not take further action to add supply.
In a statement to the International Monetary and Financial Committee, or IMFC, seen by Reuters, OPEC said the price of global benchmark Brent crude had averaged near $98 a barrel in the first quarter, up about $18 from the last three months of 2021.
“Oil prices have been on the rise, particularly in March this year … mainly due to the escalating geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe and concerns this might result in large oil supply shortages, amid trade dislocations,” OPEC told the IMFC.
The IMFC is part of the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund—IMF—and the World Bank’s Board of Governors.
OPEC, which took part in a meeting of the IMFC last year, has been resisting calls by the United States and European Union to pump more oil to cool prices, which reached a 14-year peak above $139 last month after Washington and Brussels imposed sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
OPEC+, which consists of OPEC and other producers including Russia, will raise output by about 432,000 barrels per day in May, as part of a gradual unwinding of output cuts made during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
OPEC said that OPEC+ had shown its commitment to ensuring that oil supply and demand fundamentals were in balance during the Ukraine crisis to support the global economy.
OPEC also highlighted the negative short-term impact of the Ukraine crisis and ongoing pandemic, adding: “The strong rise in commodity prices, in combination with ongoing supply chain bottlenecks and COVID-19-related logistical constraints are fueling already high global inflation.”
RIYADH: The Red Sea Development Co. is pushing the envelope on sustainability by adopting biofuels to operate all its tourist facilities.
TRSDC will be procuring 25 biofuel-optimized gensets with a total generating capacity of 112 MW from the German firm MAN Energy Solutions. These generators will power the project at six tourist locations.
“Biofuels are considered a carbon-neutral fuel. They can reduce carbon emissions by 20-30 percent compared to heavy fuel oil,” Ghassan Saab, head of power plants in the Middle East and Africa region at MAN Energy Solutions, told Arab News.
All 25 MAN engines are optimized to use climate-neutral B100 biofuel with a small efficiency loss compared to conventional fuel operation. The installation will be the first of its kind in the Middle East though they have footprints of biofuel engines in other regions.
As Saudi Arabia’s iconic tourist destination will rely on renewable energy supplies rather than the national electricity grid, the infrastructure of The Red Sea Project will be powered by solar plants that will include storage batteries powered by MAN gensets.
“The Red Sea Project will primarily be powered by solar power plants combined with battery storage. Our MAN gensets will serve as a valuable back-up to step-in if solar energy is not available,” added Saab.
As biofuel is derived mainly from organic waste, the fuel mix from solar power and biofuel production will make TRSDC’s energy system truly sustainable and independent.
The development of the comprehensive infrastructure for renewable energy supplies was implemented by a consortium led by ACWA Power, a leading Saudi company in developing, investing, and operating projects in the fields of generating power and water desalination.