DAVOS: Algeria and the Maghreb are among “early movers” employing innovative technologies and agricultural practices to improve sustainability, a report by the World Economic Forum says.
The Food, Nature and Health Transitions – Repeatable Country Models report defined actions and investments that can accelerate a country’s transition towards more sustainable food systems with a lower impact on the climate and nature.
Algeria has “more than doubled its per capita food production since 2020” through government programs and farming innovations, the report said. It added that it stands as an example to countries who wish to improve productivity, sustainability and food supply.
“Transforming food systems provide healthy and nutritious diets and dignified jobs for farmers and producers,” said Gim Huay Neo, Managing Director of the WEF’s Centre for Nature and Climate.
“This report shows how economic development with environment protection supports communities in climate adaptation and mitigation efforts,” she added.
India, Ethiopia, Ghana, Vietnam, Canada, and New Zealand were also cited in the report.
The report said that Ghana, India and Vietnam had unlocked and supported small and medium-sized enterprises, particularly those that are farmer-allied and operating in local food chains.
Vietnam had meanwhile intensified rice production in a sustainable manner, while Canada and New Zealand had made their agriculture sectors more climate-friendly.
“Depending on the country context, different pathways could be adopted to transform our agrifood systems for improved food security and nutrition and assuring sustainability,” said Maximo Torero Cullen, Chief Economist at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
“Scaling up climate resilience and strengthening our food environment to promote healthy diets are two key interventions with positive impacts on food security, nature and health.”
“When food fails, everything fails,” added Geraldine Matchett, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Royal DSM, and Co-Chair of the CEO Alliance on Food, Nature and Health.
“We must work to transform our food systems to be resilient, sustainable and healthy.”
Farmers, according to the report, are more likely to adopt new practices if the economics work in their favor, but this requires action from many stakeholders.
Each of the “early mover” profiles in the report illustrated how multiple actors and concurrent levers, across sectors, collaborate to enable large-scale transformation over time. Collectively, they demonstrate the potential for these levers, if applied in tandem and with greater urgency, to accelerate country-led food systems transformation.
RIYADH: Preparations are underway to offer four regional airports in the Kingdom to the private sector, the Saudi Press Agency reported quoting Saudi Minister of Transport and Logistics Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser.
The minister was speaking at the Municipal Investment Forum in Riyadh on Tuesday. The report quoted him as saying that there are currently 22 investment opportunities up for grabs in the Saudi transport sector, which is undergoing a massive expansion in line with the National Transport and Logistics Strategy.
The comprehensive program aims to position the Kingdom as a global logistics hub connecting three continents, and improve all transport services in support of Saudi Vision 2030. The strategy aspires to attract SR600 billion ($160 billion). Al-Jasser said it is necessary to capitalize on the financing sources by strengthening partnership with the private sector.He told the forum that his ministry is also preparing a road code to improve the Kingdom’s road quality index.
HOUSTON: Crude oil prices dipped on Tuesday on concerns about a global economic slowdown and expected build in US oil inventories.
Brent futures for March delivery fell $1.15 to $87.04 a barrel, a 1.3 percent loss, by 11:11 a.m. EST (1611 GMT). US crude fell 96 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $80.66 per barrel.
US business activity contracted in January for the seventh straight month, though the downturn moderated across both the manufacturing and services sectors for the first time since September and business confidence strengthened as the new year began.
The US economy “still could roll over and some energy traders are still skeptical on how quickly China’s crude demand will bounce back this quarter,” OANDA analyst Edward Moya said in a note.
Eurozone business activity made a surprise return to modest growth in January, S&P Global’s flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index showed. Yet British private sector economic activity fell at its fastest rate in two years.
US stocks of crude oil were expected to have risen about 1 million last week while a fall was forecast for distillate stocks, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.
Meanwhile, an OPEC+ panel is likely to endorse the producer group’s current oil output policy when it meets next week, five OPEC+ sources said on Tuesday, as hopes of higher Chinese demand driving an oil price rally are balanced by worries over inflation and a global economic slowdown
Bank JP Morgan raised its forecast for Chinese crude demand but maintained its projection for a 2023 price average of $90 a barrel for Brent crude.
“Absent any major geopolitical events, it would be difficult for oil prices to breach $100 in 2023 as there should be more supply than demand this year,” it said in an analyst note.
Crude oil prices in physical markets have started the year with a rally on increased buying from China after the relaxation of pandemic controls and on trader concern that sanctions on Russia could tighten supply.
US oilfield services firm Halliburton Co. said its shale oil-well fracking equipment remains fully booked with oil prices driving increased drilling.
Investors have also piled back into petroleum futures and options at the fastest rate for more than two years as concerns over a global business cycle downturn have eased.
ABU DHABI: The UAE’s EDGE group has announced a $14 million investment in High Lander, an Israeli drone fleet management company, Emirates News Agency reported.
EDGE has been focusing on the development of autonomous systems, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, smart weapons, and cybertechnologies, as part of its international growth strategy.
Group management said it was eager to continue assisting High Lander in the development of its Universal UTM, a drone-agnostic unmanned traffic management solution that provides the automation, coordination, and safety required in increasingly congested skies.
EDGE board chairman, Faisal Al-Bannai, said: “As EDGE grows rapidly, and with our focus increasingly being directed to the development of world-leading autonomous aerospace solutions, the need for a superior and readily available air traffic management platform could not be more urgent.
“Today’s operating environments require the most advanced unmanned air traffic control systems, and High Lander provides the only truly universal solution for this critical requirement.
“Our investment in High Lander as a major shareholder is logical for EDGE, and mutually beneficial and opportune for both companies, allowing us to grow and perfect these solutions further together, in both the military and civilian domains,” he added.
High Lander chief executive officer, Alon Abelson, said: “We are excited about the strategic partnership with EDGE because it strengthens High Lander’s position as a market leader in drone fleet management and UTM spaces as we begin to scale globally.
“High Lander and EDGE have a mutual goal of creating the most technologically advanced airspace automation systems possible, and we look forward to working with EDGE for many years to come.”
RIYADH: Online marketplace platform Noon has had its purchase of fashion e-commerce venture Namshi approved by Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Competition.
Noon – which is backed by Dubai billionaire Mohamed Alabbar and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – announced that it planned to buy Namshi from Emaar Properties for 1.2 billion dirhams ($335.2 million) in September 2022.
Initially acquiring 51 percent of Namshi in 2017, Emaar then purchased the remaining 49 percent in 2019 in a total deal of 1 billion dirhams.
In June 2022, the Kingdom’s Heritage Commission signed a cooperation agreement with Noon to empower local businesses in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Press Agency reported.
A ceremony was held at the Commission’s headquarters to commemorate this partnership, which was attended by Heritage Commission CEO Jasir Suleiman Alherbish and General Manager of Noon KSA Ahmed Abdel Qader Gadouri.
The agreement allows Saudi artisans to sell craft products and cultural heritage content online, gaining access to a larger audience through Noon’s Mahali program.
The program also aims to assist local entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses improve their product quality.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index on Tuesday gained 29.83 points — or 0.28 percent — to close at 10,795.60.
While MSCI Tadawul 30 Index edged up 3.37 points to close at 1,495.84, the parallel market Nomu slumped 187.73 points to end at 19,164.59.
TASI’s total trading turnover of the benchmark index on Tuesday was SR3.57 billion ($950 million), with 112 stocks of the listed 223 advancing and 90 falling.
Gulf General Cooperative Insurance Co. was the topmost gainer of the day, which rose 9.97 percent to SR7.61. The other top gainers were Tihama Advertising and Public Relations Co., United Cooperative Assurance Co., Arabian Drilling Co., and Maharah Human Resources Co.
The worst performer on Tuesday was Saudi Advanced Industries Co., which fell 3.12 percent to SR31.05. In addition, pipe manufacturer Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co., garment firm Thob Al Aseel Co. and food retailer Savola Group fell by 2 percent each to close at SR41.65, SR38.95 and SR29.20, respectively.
Among sectoral indices, 12 of the 21 listed on the stock exchange declined while the rest advanced. The Diversified Financials Index was the top performer as it rose 1.32 percent to 6,278.99 thanks to Saudi Tadawul Group Holding Co., which jumped 2.76 percent to SR171.20. Investment services firm Kingdom Holding Co. also increased marginally to SR7.92.
The Consumer Durables & Apparel Index was the worst-performing sector of the day as it dropped 1.08 percent to 4,519.07. All key constituents except for Lazurde Co. for Jewelry weighed down on the index.
On the announcements front, Saudi Investment Bank on Tuesday informed the stock exchange that it increased the size of the Tier 1 sukuk program to SR5 billion from SR2 billion, according to the program’s documents.
The bank intends to issue Saudi riyal-denominated Tier 1 sukuk under the program through private placement in Saudi Arabia.
According to the statement, the issuance’s exact value and terms will be determined later, subject to market conditions. It added that the offer aims to enhance the Tier 1 capital and fulfill the bank’s financial and strategic needs.
The bank mandated Alistithmar Capital as the lead manager and book-runner for the potential offer. The share price of SIB fell 1.92 percent to SR17.36.
Al Moammar Information Systems Co. also announced that it bagged an SR49.64 million contract from the Board of Grievances to operate and manage electronic services and computers.
In a statement to Tadawul, the company said the project includes providing a highly qualified team to provide advisory services, maintenance work and support. Its share price increased by 1.81 percent to SR95.6.
Edarat Communication and Information Technology on Jan. 23 awarded a cloud services project with the Government Expenditure & Projects Efficiency Authority, it told Tadawul.
The company said the authority would sign a framework agreement for one year after the award. Edarat’s share price surged 4.51 percent to SR283.
Meanwhile, Jabal Omar Development Co. received on Jan. 23 an order issued by Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority to execute the Appeal Committee for Zakat and Tax Violations and Disputes’ decision for the years 2012–2018, at a total value of SR 357 million.
The company informed the exchange that, in compliance with the rules and regulations of the General Secretariat of the Zakat, Tax and Customs Committees, it will submit a petition to request the Appeal Committee to reconsider the decision. Its share price slipped 1.42 percent to SR18.06.