Al-Jouf Cement's shareholders approve 24% capital cut to amortize debt – Arab News
RIYADH: Saudi-listed Al-Jouf Cement Co. has received its shareholders’ approval to reduce its capital by 24 percent in order to change its capital structure and amortize its debt.
Its capital has been cut from SR1.43 billion ($381 million) to SR1.09 billion, with 108 million shares being reduced from 143 million, according to a bourse filing. 
The cement producer suffered a 93 percent decline in profits during the first half of 2022 to SR1.8 million.
HOUSTON: Oil prices fell more than $7 a barrel on Tuesday, the steepest decline in about a month, on fears that an inflation-induced weakening of global economies would soften fuel demand and as unrest in Iraq has failed to put a dent in the OPEC nation’s crude exports.
Brent crude futures for October settlement were down $7.12, or 6.8 percent, at $97.97 a barrel by 12:20 p.m. EDT (1620 GMT) after touching a session low of $97.91 a barrel.
The October contract expires on Wednesday and the more active November contract was at $97.10, down 5.7 percent.
US West Texas Intermediate crude dropped by $6.10, or 6.3 percent, to $90.93.
Inflation is near double-digit territory in many of the world’s biggest economies. This could prompt central banks in the US and Europe to resort to more aggressive interest rate increases, which could slow economic growth and weigh on fuel demand.
Prices tumbled after comments from Iraq’s state-owned marketer SOMO that the country’s oil exports are unaffected by unrest, said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo.
Baghdad’s worst fighting in years between different political groups continued for a second day.
Still, SOMO said it can redirect more oil to Europe if required.
Prices felt more pressure when Russia’s fastest-growing oil producer, Gazprom Neft, said it plans to double oil production at its Zhagrin field in Western Siberia to more than 110,000 barrels per day.
Investors will watch the meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, known collectively as OPEC+, on Sept. 5.
Saudi Arabia last week raised the possibility of production cuts from OPEC+, which sources said could coincide with a boost in supply from Iran should it clinch a nuclear deal with the West.
With most producers already operating at or above capacity and growing signs that the global economy may be slowing, some reduction of supply is looking increasingly likely in the coming months, said Matt Weller, head of research at and City Index.
DUBAI: The regulator of Abu Dhabi’s free zone financial center said on Tuesday it had fined the local subsidiary of fintech firm Wise $360,000 for breaching anti-money laundering requirements.
Abu Dhabi Global Market’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority “found that Wise did not establish and maintain adequate AML systems and controls to ensure full compliance with its AML obligations,” it said in a statement.
Wise said in response to a Reuters query that it takes its responsibility to protect its customers and prevent money laundering “very seriously,” and that neither the FSRA nor the company had identified instances of money laundering or other financial crimes.
The FSRA also said its review had not found instances of actual money laundering as a result of Wise’s AML systems and control failures.
It said breaches by Wise Nuqud included it failing to identify and verify the source of funds or wealth held by some customers it had identified as high risk before carrying out transactions on their behalf.
Wise, formerly TransferWise, also did not “consider customer nationality as part of its risk-based assessment of its customers,” along with other breaches, it said.
“Wise did not dispute the FSRA’s findings and agreed to settle at the earliest opportunity, which meant that it qualified for a discount of 20 percent on the financial penalty,” the FSRA said. The fine would have otherwise been $450,000.
Wise said in its statement that it would “continue to invest in maintaining and improving our AML processes to the highest standards in partnership with regulators around the world.”
The regulator said Wise “has taken substantial steps to remediate the issues and deficiencies … including by conducting a gap analysis of its policies, systems and controls against the Regulator’s AML and Federal AML requirements.”
RIYADH: The 2022 Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference will take place in Riyadh on Sept.7 to explore the latest trends in the regional and global financial markets.
It will be the first in-person Euromoney conference since 2019. This year’s conference will focus on the institutionalization of investment and finance, according to a statement.
The event seeks to provide local, as well as international, leaders and experts an opportunity to network and map out the Kingdom’s road to recovery in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.  
It will discuss six main topics including Saudi Arabia’s economy in the context of the global macro-outlook, environmental, social and governance framework and climate change, institutionalization of the real estate market and the digitization of financial services. 
“We have always been strong believers that Saudi Arabia can and should play a leading role in the international capital and investment markets,” said Victoria Behn, commercial director at Euromoney Conferences..
“We are honored to be back in Riyadh at this pivotal time to discuss Saudi Arabia’s ambitious plans to develop a truly new economic paradigm for the region,” she added. 
RIYADH: Tesla chief Elon Musk stressed the need to simultaneously invest in the oil and gas sector and sustainable energy sources for the survival of human civilization.
Speaking at an energy conference on Aug. 29 in Norway, Musk criticized the demonization of oil and gas. “This is not necessary. I do think, we actually need more oil and gas simultaneously as fast as we can to reach a sustainable energy economy,” he said. 
Musk said that the pillars of sustainable energy generation in the future are hydro, geothermal, wind, solar, and nuclear power. He added that there is a massive untapped potential to generate power using ocean waves. 
Talking about the potential of nuclear power, the Tesla chief said: “I am also pro-nuclear. I think we should really keep going with the nuclear plants. Maybe not popular in some quarters, but if you have a well-designed nuclear power plant, you should not shut it down.” 
Musk added that his firm has plans for sustainably producing rocket propellants. 
“We do have a plan for sustainably producing rocket propellants, which is actually almost 80 percent liquid oxygen —  liquid oxygen you can see in the atmosphere. And then we’re going with methane fuel, which is 20 percent of that (sustainable rocket propellant),” he added. 
The South African born billionaire further said that half of the new cars will run on electricity by 2030, and it could hit 80 percent by 2035. 
Musk added that there is no scarcity of raw materials to make batteries for electric vehicles, but it is the process that consumes much time in the transition.
“There is actually no raw material constraint. There is actually a tremendous amount of lithium everywhere. So, it is iron, so it is carbon. And on the iron, you should usually combine phosphorus, that’s iron phosphate. So it’s not so much on the raw materials but it is converting raw materials into the highly purified form that can be used in batteries,” he further noted. 
Musk added that he is planning to get Tesla’s self-driving technology car ready by year end and made it clear that it could be in wide release in the US and possibly in Europe, depending on regulatory approval. 
“The two technologies I am focused on, trying to ideally get done before the end of the year, are getting our Starship into orbit which I think is important for expanding consciousness and then having Tesla cars to be able to do self-driving,” he said. 
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet on Tuesday approved a memorandum of understanding between the Saudi Tourism Ministry and its Jamaican counterpart.
The two countries initiated discussions last year to collaborate in the field of tourism as the world recovers from the pandemic. 
The talks began during a visit of Jamaican Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett to the Kingdom.
During his visit last year, Barlett had told Arab News that establishing air connectivity between the two countries is a priority. “As they say, you don’t swim to Jamaica, you fly,” he had said.
Jamaica is highly dependent on tourism, as the sector contributes 10 percent to the country’s gross domestic product, Bartlett added.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the council of ministers also approved an initial agreement between the Kingdom and Morocco in the field of renewable energy.
The ministers also discussed a draft general agreement for cooperation between the Kingdom and Seychelles and a draft MoU with Colombia to promote investments. 
The council also approved the Kingdom’s accession to an agreement on the establishment of the International Organization for Maritime Aid.


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