RIYADH: Nahdi Medical Co., the operator of one of the largest pharmacy chains in Saudi Arabia, caught the market by surprise in in its first annual results post-listing.
The firm recently made a strong debut on the Kingdom’s stock exchange with an initial public offering price of SR131, raising $1.36 billion in the biggest Saudi IPO since oil giant Aramco.
On Monday it reported that its profits fall by 4.3 percent last year.
Profits dropped to SR813 million ($217 million) from SR849 million a year earlier, according to a bourse filing.
The Jeddah-based operator attributed the results to lower revenue, which declined by 6.7 percent to SR8.1 billion during the year.
“The impact of the decline in revenue was partially offset by the favorable product mix, and a reversal of inventory provision for corona-related items,” Nahdi said.
Its shares were trading at SR158 on Monday, implying a market valuation as high as SR20.5 billion.
DUBAI: OPEC+ doesn’t mix politics and economics, Saudi and UAE energy ministers told World Government Summit in Dubai.
OPEC+ will continue its role to stabilize energy market and ensures supply security, Saudi and UAE ministers said in a panel.
Saudi Arabia’s minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said that the Kingdom and the UAE are role model when it comes to energy policy and producing clean energy.
UAE, Saudi Arabia and other countries including Norway are working on hitting net zero carbon goals, he said.
“The Vikings are coming and the Bedouins too,” he said, to assure that the Norway, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are committed to their targets.
RIYADH: Saudi stocks saw their second straight day of gains on Monday, with TASI reaching 13,064 points for the first time since 2006 as investor fears abated.
TASI was up 0.5 percent during the session and the parallel market, Nomu, surged 3.8 percent to 25,135.
GCC bourses were topped by Dubai’s DFMGI which gained 2.1 percent, followed by Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.
Stock exchanges in Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman edged lower.
Elsewhere in the Middle East, Egypt’s EGX30 dipped 2.6 percent, shrugging off gains from a week earlier.
Oil prices fell on Tuesday with Brent crude oil reaching $110.72 per barrel and US benchmark WTI crude oil trading at $104.49 per barrel at 8:00 a.m. Saudi time.
March 29, 2022
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia reported an 11.61-percent rise in the number of Umrah performers in 2021, reaching 6.5 million, according to official data.
More to follow...
RIYADH: The Global Entrepreneurship Congress witnessed several investment initiatives launched worth almost $8 billion on its second day in Riyadh.
Major announcements on the second day included $3.2 billion in investments from the Small and Medium Enterprises Bank to finance new businesses.
New business licenses and cooperation agreements
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Investment issued six new business licenses and signed two Memorandum of Understanding, along with investments estimated at $1 billion on the second day of GEC 2022.
Monsha’at, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, signed a cooperation agreement with Al Rajhi Bank worth $533 million, and another agreement with the same bank to launch point-of-sale and fleet financing products.
Monsha’at also signed cooperation agreements with the Saudi National Bank, one to support innovation worth $700,000, and another on financing products worth $266 million.
Monsha’at signed another agreement with Saudi Organization for Auditors and Accountants and THIQAH Company to provide advice to entrepreneurs and launch the new “Etkal” platform.
“GEC 2022 marks the entrepreneurial rise of the Middle East, and of Saudi Arabia’s potential as an innovation hub for the region,” said Saleh Ibrahim Alrasheed, Governor of Monsha’at.
Credit cards for SMEs
On the second day of GEC 2022, the Arab National Bank launched a credit card for SMEs and other financial products and programs worth $293 million.
Albilad Bank also signed an agreement to provide financing products worth $520 million.
RIYADH: As a bleak first quarter draws to a close, crypto seems to have the wind in its sails. It has pushed through the $2 trillion barrier and is proving surprisingly resilient amid global chaos.
Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded higher on Tuesday, rising 0.71 percent to $47,566.68 as of 8:00 a.m. Riyadh time.
Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $3,394.58 up by 1.86 percent, according to data from Coindesk.
At Monday’s high of $47,765, market leader bitcoin broke above the narrow $34,000-$44,000 range it’s traded in for most of 2022. Through a steady grind higher from a low just above $40,000 on March 21, it has gained 18 percent.
Its comparative steadiness, versus previous performance at least, contrasts with stock markets, traditional currencies and even safe-haven gold, which have been shaken by the Russian invasion of Ukraine as well as the Federal Reserve’s tightening.
Bitcoin’s jumpiness has waned of late.
Its 30-day volatility is around 4 percent, about two-thirds the level it was in June 2021, according to futures trading platform Coinglass. The highest this year was 4.56 percent on March 16.
This measures its deviation from its own standard levels, and bitcoin has still had wild swings, such as a 17 percent jump on March 1. But it’s distinctly tamer than in 2021 when it could move as much as 40 percent in a day.
By comparison, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has whipsawed 5-6 percent on numerous days in 2022, and was down 20 percent for the year as of March 14, before it rallied to cut half that loss.
“The largest conflict we’ve seen in Europe since World War Two has really rocked global markets,” said Pierce Crosby, General Manager at charting platform TradingView in New York.
“What we have seen across other major assets is a huge fallout — from both the US equity markets as well as global markets,” he added. “Bitcoin has more or less stayed in a pretty tight range … but actually, in terms of the relative strength, it’s very bullish.”
$2 TRILLION CRYPTO
The total value of the cryptocurrency market rose above $2 trillion on Friday, according to analytics platform CoinMarketCap. To put that in context, the market briefly hit $3 trillion on Nov. 10, when bitcoin reached $69,000.
The meandering climb back above $2 trillion has been slow and has also been helped by a mushrooming in coins and tokens — the number CoinMarketCap counts has risen by almost 5,000 since November to stand at 18,511 cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin’s market capitalization has reached $902 billion, but it still has a ways to go to reclaim the $1 trillion it commanded in November. While still the dominant crypto, its market share has also fallen gradually from as much as 70 percent of the total capitalization in early 2021 to 42 percent now.
WHAT LIES AHEAD?
Many a crypto investor has thought they could divine bitcoin’s direction before the fickle cryptocurrency left them sprawled in the financial dust.
“Although bitcoin is remaining strong in the short term, rising oil prices increase the likelihood of a recession over the coming year or so,” said Marcus Sotiriou, analyst at UK-based digital asset broker GlobalBlock.
“Oil has increased by around 25 percent in the past six days alone, and bitcoin bulls will want to see this tail off for continued strength.”
That said, certain other technical factors are pointing to bitcoin bullishness.
Funding rates, which measure the cost of holding bitcoin via futures, have turned marginally positive after being negative for most of this year, indicating investors are prepared to pay to be long. It stands at 0.003 percent on analytics platform CryptoQuant, though still below a peak of 0.06 percent hit in October.
Coinglass’s longs-to-shorts ratio has also climbed from 0.95 on March 20 to 1.1, the highest level in at least four weeks.
Blockchain data provider Chainalysis said an increasing proportion of bitcoin – nearly 60 percent of total supply – was being held for longer than 52 weeks, up from 54.72 percent in the last 25 weeks.
Yet Ashwath Balakrishnan, vice president of research at Delphi Digital in Bengaluru, cautioned that it was difficult to identify a lasting market direction.
“Everyone’s a little cautious,” he said. “If (bitcoin) rejects off of $46k and goes back down then it probably means we’re stuck with range-bound conditions for at least another month or so.”
(With input from Reuters)