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May 18, 2024
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Mining industry won't cope with rising demand without circularity, Eurasian Resources CEO says – Arab News

RIYADH: The mining industry will not be able to cope with rising demand without circularity, the CEO of Eurasian Resources group has said.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum session in Davos, Benedikt Sobotka added that this would mean higher prices and more inflation for consumers in the developing world. 
“The demand is incredibly wasteful. To give you just one number per year, there’s about 50,000,000 tons of electronic waste being thrown away,  17 percent of that is being recycled,” he said.
“The time of cheap commodities is over,” Sobotka said, pointing to minerals and metals, as they have energy cost increases that make them more expensive. 
The global mining industry needs more attention and investment from external investors which were not seen, he said, adding that it is valued at $1.5 trillion, which is a fraction of what it is actually worth in terms of value creation for the world. 
RIYADH: With Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 blueprint stirring up the entrepreneurial landscape, startups in the Kingdom are all steamed up to take their businesses to the next level.
A case in point is the widening scope of the Kingdom in Microsoft for Startups, a global incentive program of Microsoft Corp. dedicated to helping startups to scale their growth. 
“Ten percent of our startups in the region right now are in Saudi Arabia, and the numbers will grow way more because the ecosystem in the Kingdom is really heating up,” Roberto Croci, managing director at Microsoft for Startups, the Middle East and Africa, told Arab News.

Ten percent of our startups in the region right now are in Saudi Arabia, and the numbers will grow way more because the ecosystem in the Kingdom is really heating up.
Roberto Croci
The program supports entrepreneurs with the technology, tools and resources required to build and run their business, besides leveraging its corporate and enterprise network to provide startups with market intelligence and mentorship. It essentially bridges the gap between startups and big companies.
“If we can make these resources accessible to startups, I think we’re unlocking a huge potential,” said Croci.
He further added: “This is where we want to differentiate. At the top of the technology pillar, we want to help startups build great products that can scale and integrate with third-party applications.”
The hunt for talent 
The company has been diligently driving accelerator programs such as Founders Hub and GrowthX, focusing on improving company performance rather than funding.
“The two main pillars of our programs are centered around access to technology and markets,” Croci said while adding that the platform will launch a new accelerator program to focus on sustainability startups in the Middle East and North Africa.
The platform plans to widen its horizon by focusing not only on the funding aspect of a startup but also on the impact it leaves on society at large.
“We always read about funding rounds in the news, but what about the funding outcome? Are these startups growing? We should talk about successful startups, not those that raise huge sums, but those that leave a lasting impact on society,” opined Croci.
The company focuses on startups in stages between pre-seed and series B, especially pre-series A and series A.
Microsoft does not directly invest in startups, but when the company finds growth potential, it recommends them to M12, a venture capital fund under its fold.
The company also hosts “demo day” for the fledgling companies, an event that directly connects them with the investors.
Thanks to the encouragement, fintech and healthcare firms have emerged on top of Microsoft’s startup mountain and are well poised to unleash a growth wave in the economy. 
As they say in the angel funding circles, there is no greater joy than catching them young and watching them grow.
LONDON: Britain’s top CEO salaries are back to pre-pandemic levels, with an average of £3.62 million ($4.58 million) for the bosses of the biggest companies on the London Stock Exchange, according to a study.
That figure represents the median FTSE-100 CEO package for 2021, according to research provided by the accountancy firm Deloitte on Monday.
It is still below the 2017 peak of £4.04 million, said Deloitte.
In 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, median pay for FTSE-100 executives fell for the fourth year in a row to £2.78 million following reduced or cancelled bonuses, voluntary pay cuts, and in some cases protests from investors.
The FTSE-100 was up 14 percent in 2021 and that the rebound in CEO pay is largely due to the return of bonuses, Deloitte noted.
“UK listed companies are subject to the highest remuneration governance standards globally, and the UK has not followed countries like the US in terms of executive pay inflation in recent years,” said Deloitte Vice Chairman Stephan Cahill.
The report also pointed out that the 2022 annual general meeting season had seen a higher level of votes in favor of proposed salaries compared to last year, reflecting less opposition from investors.
But Cahill added that with “the rising cost of living and the uncertain geopolitical environment,” such support might wane this year.
Shareholders, he said, might be scrutinizing company performance more closely before approving generous pay packages.
LONDON: Oil prices climbed above $120 a barrel on Monday, hitting their highest in more than two months as traders priced in expectations that the EU will eventually reach an agreement to ban Russian oil imports.
The Brent crude futures contract for July, which will expire on Tuesday, was up $1.35, or 1.1 percent, at $120.78 a barrel by 1616 GMT. The August Brent contract, which is more active, rose $1.27, or 1.1 percent, to $116.81 a barrel.
The US West Texas Intermediate crude futures jumped $1.11, or 1 percent, to $116.18 a barrel, extending solid gains made last week.
The EU is meeting on Monday and Tuesday to discuss a sixth package of sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation.”
“Europe has been haggling about this for the better part of a month, but increasingly the market is pricing (additional sanctions) in as a risk,” said Daniel Ghali, senior commodity strategist at TD Securities in Toronto.
EU countries failed to agree on a Russian oil import ban despite last-minute haggling before the summit got under way in Brussels on Monday. But leaders of the 27 EU countries will agree in principle to an oil embargo, a draft of their summit conclusions showed, while leaving the practical details and hard decisions until later.
“It’s still quite difficult for the European group to reduce its energy dependency on Russia in the near term,” said Leona Liu, an analyst at Singapore-based DailyFX.
Any further ban on Russian oil would tighten a crude market already strained for supply amid rising demand for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel ahead of the peak summer demand season in the US and Europe.
Underscoring market tightness, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, a group dubbed OPEC+, are set to rebuff Western calls to speed up increases in output when they meet on Thursday.
They will stick to existing plans to raise their July output target by 432,000 barrels per day, six OPEC+ sources told Reuters.
THE HAGUE: Russia’s Gazprom will halt gas supplies to the Netherlands’ partly state-owned energy firm GasTerra on Tuesday after it refused to pay in rubles following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Dutch company said.
Moscow has asked clients from “unfriendly countries” — including EU member states — to pay for gas in rubles, a way to sidestep Western financial sanctions against its central bank over the Feb. 24 offensive.
GasTerra had “decided not to comply with Gazprom’s unilateral payment requirements” as they would breach EU sanctions and create “financial and operational risks,” the Dutch firm said in a statement Monday.
“In response to this decision by GasTerra, Gazprom has announced that it will discontinue supply with effect from May 31, 2022,” it said.
The Russian energy giant’s move means that 2 billion cubic meters of gas will not be supplied to the Netherlands between now and October, GasTerra said, adding that it “has anticipated this by purchasing gas elsewhere.
“GasTerra has repeatedly urged Gazprom to respect the contractually agreed payment structure and delivery obligations, unfortunately to no avail,” it said.
The Dutch state directly owns a 10 percent stake in GasTerra plus another 40 percent through state-owned gas firm EBN. The rest is owned by energy giants Shell and Esso.
The Dutch government said it “understands” GasTerra’s decision.
“This decision has no consequences for the physical supply of gas to Dutch households,” Climate and Energy Minister Rob Jetten said on Twitter.
RIYADH: The Central Bank of Kuwait has issued bonds and tawarruq with an accumulated value of 360 million Kuwaiti dinars ($1.2 billion).
Tawarruq is a financing arrangement where the buyer can obtain cash immediately through a series of sale transactions.
CBK issued a statement to the Kuwait News Agency announcing the maturity period will be six months, with a rate of return standing at 2 percent.
Most recently, the bank allocated bonds and tawarruq valued at 240 million Kuwaiti dinars on May 23 with three-month maturity and a yield rate of 1.625 percent.


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