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Ministry of Investment to launch 'Invest in Saudi Arabia Forum' at Expo 2020 Dubai – Arab News

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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Investment, in cooperation with the Kingdom’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, will organize a forum to introduce investment opportunities in promising sectors.
The “Invest in Saudi Arabia Forum,” which will be held on Monday, will promote opportunities in the Kingdom in a number of fields, including education, culture, tourism, sports, entertainment, communications and information technology.
Representatives from several government agencies will also participate in the forum, including the ministries of culture, education, human resources, and sport, the Digital Government Authority, the General Entertainment Authority, the Royal Commission for AlUla.
The Royal Commission for Riyadh, the National Center for Academic Accreditation and Assessment, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, the Public Investment Fund, and the Human Resources Fund, as well as a number of Saudi pioneering companies, will also be in attendance.
The forum will feature presentations and discussions to highlight investment opportunities, and a workshop to explore the investor’s journey and the services and incentives provided to investors.
The forum aims to build bridges of communication with investors and strategic partnerships to increase local and foreign investment, raise awareness of structural reforms in the Kingdom, and introduce the role of the national investment strategy in promoting local and foreign investments.
RIYADH: Motorists in Egypt have seen petrol prices rise by EGP0.25 ($0.016) after the country’s fuel pricing committee signed off on an increase.
The fuel price increase took effect starting Friday morning, and will last till March, the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources said, citing the committee.
The decision stated that the price of 80-octane gasoline rose to EGP7.25 per liter, 92 octane gasoline to EGP8.50 per liter and 95 octane gasoline to EGP9.50 per liter. 
The price of diesel was fixed at EGP6.75 per liter.
RIYADH: Emaar the Economic City Co. — also known as Emaar EC — has signed a rescheduling agreement with the Saudi British Bank revising the terms of SR976.25 million ($260.2 million) Shariah-compliant outstanding long-term Tawarruq facility.
The original loan amounted to SR2 billion, while the total current facilities amounted to SR1.28 billion, according to bourse filing.
The amended terms of the facility also include a grace period up to June 2023 and a repayment starting from June 2023 until December 2029 in semi-annual installments.
Before rescheduling, the financing period was from September 2014 until September 2021, the company said in a statement to the Saudi stock exchange, Tadawul. 
This came to facilitate Emaar EC’s cash flow position and enhance its ability to move forward with its growth plans, the company said.
The collaterals included lands located within King Abdullah Economic City and a promissory note for the amount of the facilities.
The current facility also includes an existing working capital facility amounting to SR300 million, which includes short-term Tawarruq, letters of guarantee and letter of credit facilities.
NEW YORK: Oil prices surged in late-day trading Thursday, sending the US crude benchmark through $90 a barrel for the first time since 2014 due to ongoing supply worries and as frigid weather cascades across the United States, Reuters is reporting.
Global benchmark Brent crude settled at $91.11 a barrel, up $1.64, or 1.8 percent, while West Texas Intermediate crude soared $2.01, or 2.3 percent, higher to end at $90.27 a barrel, the first time the US benchmark has closed above the $90-level since Oct. 6, 2014.
Analysts attributed the late rally to growing concerns that extended cold weather could hit production in Texas, exacerbating the tightness in world crude markets.
More than 200,000 people have lost power across the United States due to the cold thus far, and recollections of Storm Ida a year ago that knocked out power to millions of Texans, remain at the fore.
“It’s hysteria or a kind of fear,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho. “In the last hour, the talk has started to drive (oil) higher.”
The market was also watching developments between Russia and the West over the former’s aggressive posture towards Ukraine.
The United States warned that Russia was planning to use a staged attack as justification for invading the neighboring nation. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has blamed NATO and the West for increased tensions, even as he has moved thousands of troops near to Ukraine’s border.
“The tensions around the Ukraine conflict are providing support, and we have growing global demand and we’re not really ramping up supply to meet it,” said Gary Cunningham, director of market research at Tradition Energy.
Crude benchmarks have been pointing upward for weeks on expectations that supply will tighten further even after OPEC+ producers stuck to planned moderate output increases. Demand remains on the upswing, with the Omicron coronavirus variant only temporarily denting consumption in major economies.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, known as OPEC+, this week agreed to stick to monthly increases of 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) in output despite pressure from consumers to raise supplies more quickly.
Goldman Sachs analysts forecast Brent topping $100 a barrel in the third quarter. The brokerage had predicted that OPEC+ may consider a faster unwinding of its production cuts.
Several OPEC members are struggling to pump more despite prices being at seven-year highs.
Iraq pumped 4.16 million bpd of oil in January, below its limit of 4.28 million bpd under the OPEC+ deal, data from state-owned marketer SOMO seen by Reuters showed.
Analysts have looked to United States output as a salve, though production slipped to 11.5 million bpd in the most recent week, and is far off the 2019 record of 12.3 million bpd, according to federal data.
ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Ryan Lance, however, said high prices may lead US oil producers to add production too quickly, leading to oversupply.
“If we are getting back to the level of growth in the US” comparable to the 2014-2015 shale boom, said Lance, and “you’re not worried about it, you should be,” he told investors during a conference call.
— Reuters
NEW YORK: Amazon pulled the veil off its sprawling advertising business for the first time on Thursday, revealing a business larger than that of Google’s YouTube.
Amazon reported ad revenue of $9.7 billion for the fourth quarter, up 32 percent from last year, and $31 billion for the year.
YouTube posted $28.8 billion in ad revenue for 2021.
Analyst Benedict Evans on Twitter said that made Amazon’s ad revenue similar in size to the entire global newspaper industry, and Statista put global newspaper annual ad spending at $29.5 billion.
Amazon, known for e-commerce, has a lucrative cloud business, AWS, and the ad business is seen as extremely profitable, although Amazon did not break out those profit numbers.
Amazon serves ads on its website and wake screens of some of its tablets, using search queries by its customers to help target ads. Those ads are often by companies selling on its marketplace.
“Selling digital add space is a cash generative nice-to-have in times of uncertainty,” said Sophie Lund-Yates, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
Meta Platforms Inc. shattered confidence in the online advertising industry on Wednesday, saying privacy changes by Apple Inc. had made it harder for advertisers.
An Amazon official however told reporters that brands’ ability to reach consumers across its ad properties was “largely unchanged” after Apple’s changes.
Lund-Yates saw Amazon’s ad business more in line with Google parent Alphabet, which also has its own data about customers from its search system, and shrugged off the Apple changes.
Amazon’s ad revenue growth has been decelerating from 88 percent in the second quarter. But the totals also make it larger by sales than Pinterest and Snap, which also reported strong results on Thursday.
Pinterest posted revenue of $846.7 million for the fourth quarter and Snap reported $1.3 billion. 
 
 
 
Sneaker giant Nike sued online reseller StockX in New York federal court on Thursday for selling unauthorized images of Nike shoes, marking the latest lawsuit over digital assets known as non-fungible tokens.
Nike said StockX’s NFTs infringe its trademarks and are likely to confuse consumers. Its lawsuit asked for unspecified money damages and an order blocking their sales.
Detroit-based StockX, a platform for reselling sneakers, handbags and other goods, was valued at more than $3.8 billion last year.
A representative for the company did not respond to a request for comment, nor did Nike or its attorneys.
Nike said StockX last month began selling unauthorized NFTs of its sneakers, telling buyers they would be able to redeem the tokens for physical versions of the shoes “in the near future.”
The complaint said StockX has sold over 500 Nike-branded NFTs. The lawsuit said complaints about the NFTs’ “inflated prices and murky terms of purchase and ownership” and buyers’ doubts about the legitimacy of StockX’s model have hurt Nike’s business reputation.
Nike said it will release “a number of virtual products” later this month in conjunction with the digital art studio RTFKT, which it acquired in December.
NFTs have recently exploded in popularity, and lawsuits over them have begun to hit US courts. Miramax sued director Quentin Tarantino in November over his plans to auction NFTs related to the 1994 film “Pulp Fiction,” which he directed and the studio distributed.
Last month, Hermes sued artist Mason Rothschild over his “MetaBirkin” NFTs of the French company’s Birkin bags. 

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