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Saudi ex-energy minister bounces back as investment chief – National Post

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RIYADH — The man sacked as Saudi Arabia’s energy minister in September has been tapped to head a new investment ministry, in a cabinet reshuffle announced on Tuesday that also created ministries for tourism and sports.

Khalid al-Falih, who previously chaired state oil company Saudi Aramco and oversaw more than half the economy of the world’s top oil exporter, was widely seen as having fallen out of favor when he was removed from the energy ministry.

Attracting billions of dollars in foreign investment is key to ambitious plans championed by de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to end the economy’s dependence on crude exports and open up its long-cloistered society.

According to royal orders published in state media, Falih’s new ministry replaces the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), which had been responsible for issuing investment licenses to foreign companies but did not control other key regulations.

“Falih’s return is a small surprise,” said Hasnain Malik, a managing director at Tellimer. “More important is the upgrade of the General Investment Authority to a full ministry, which underlines the importance of private sector home-grown and foreign direct investment (FDI) for the future of Saudi.”

It was not immediately clear if the restructuring would expand investment entity’s authorities. As energy minister, Falih had one of the highest international profiles of any Saudi official.

FDI rose to $3.50 billion in the first nine months of 2019 from $3.18 billion a year earlier, but still lags behind Riyadh’s ambitions.

The cornerstone of Prince Mohammed’s plans to open the gates of foreign capital was supposed to be the initial public offering of Aramco, but many global investors steered clear when the oil giant debuted on the Riyadh bourse in December.

Falih was privately opposed and had lobbied against it, fearing he would have to step down as chairman of the company, sources close to the matter told Reuters last year.

He was ultimately removed from that position three months before the listing, replaced by Yasir al-Rumayyan, governor of the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund PIF.

Other royal orders on Tuesday elevated commissions into ministries for tourism and sports, identified by Riyadh as two big growth areas. Ahmed al-Khateeb and Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki al Faisal were named ministers respectively.

The civil service ministry, which is responsible for millions of public employees, was also merged into the labor ministry.

The media minister was removed and the file given to Commerce Minister Majid al-Qasabi, while Housing Minister Majid al-Hoqail was handed additional responsibility for municipalities and rural affairs. (Additional reporting by Nafisa Eltahir and Davide Barbuscia in Dubai; editing by John Stonestreet and Ed Osmond)

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Bitcoin back over $50,000, as market calms after weekend turmoil

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Bitcoin rose 1.5% in early Asia on Tuesday, after firming overnight in line with equity markets and other risk assets, but many crypto traders remained on edge after Saturday’s sharp and sudden plunge.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency was last around $50,800, having closed a choppy day on Monday 2.2% higher.

“The general confidence in crypto is still high and market sentiment is coming back as we saw a general risk-on mood on Monday. Omicron’s effect looks a lot milder than the market has digested,” said Edison Pun, senior market analyst at Saxo Markets in Hong Kong.

Tuesday’s calm followed quite a storm.

Bitcoin fell as much as 22% to just under $42,000 on Saturday on a combination of profit-taking and macro-economic concerns, but rebounded somewhat later in the session, with thin weekend liquidity exacerbating price moves.

Cryptocurrency analysts were not quite sure what triggered the heavy selling. But they pointed to a plunge in margin borrowing and in fresh futures positions, as well as to activity by large holders of bitcoin as evidence of mass liquidation.

That crash was the biggest since a 31% collapse in bitcoin’s price on May 19. According to cryptocurrency analytics platform Coinglass, bitcoin’s market capitalisation has fallen to about $932 billion from $1.25 trillion on Oct. 21.

Bitcoin set a new record high of $69,000 on Nov. 10.

Ether, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency, was last down 0.3% to $4,340.

Against its larger peer, ether sat at 0.085 bitcoin, just off Monday’s near four year top.

 

(Reporting by Alun John; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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TSX rallies as investors see recent volatility as overdone

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Canada‘s main stock index rose on Monday as investors took the view that the recent selloff driven by worries about the new Omicron coronavirus variant and potentially tighter monetary policy went too far.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended up 227.83 points, or 1.1%, at 20,861.10. It fell 2.3% last week, its biggest weekly decline since January.

“I think people woke up over the weekend and said the volatility of last week was perhaps overdone,” said Philip Petursson, chief investment strategist at IG Wealth Management.

“It’s not just limited to what’s going on in Toronto, it’s also going on in the United States.”

Wall Street’s major averages closed higher with economically sensitive sectors and travel-related stocks soaring as investors were encouraged by some optimistic comments from a top U.S. official on the new variant.

All 11 of the Toronto market’s main sectors gained ground, including a 1.7% advance for energy as oil prices rallied. U.S. crude oil futures settled 4.9% higher at $69.49 a barrel.

Consumer cyclical shares rose 2.1%, while the technology group ended 1% higher.

It was led by a 9.3% jump in the shares of Dye & Durham Ltd after the cloud-based software company said it has acquired Telus Corp’s financial solutions business.

“Markets are probably going to be volatile until we get through the Federal Reserve meeting,” said Gregory Taylor, a portfolio manager at Purpose Investments.

U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers meet next week and will consider speeding the reduction of their bond-buying program, which currently is on track to end by June 2022.

The Bank of Canada is due to make a policy decision on Wednesday.

 

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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Lumina Gold Announces Signing of an Exploration Investment Protection Agreement – Yahoo Canada Finance

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VANCOUVER, BC, Dec. 6, 2021 /CNW/ – Lumina Gold Corp. (TSXV: LUM) (OTCQX: LMGDF) (the “Company” or “Lumina”) is pleased to announce the signing of an Exploration Investment Protection Agreement (“EIPA”) for the Cangrejos project (the “Project”). This groundbreaking agreement between the Government of Ecuador and Lumina Gold provides a foundation that the parties can build on as the Project advances towards development and a future negotiation of the Exploitation Agreement and Exploitation Investment Protection Agreement required for mining. This negotiation would occur after the completion of a Pre-Feasibility study for the Project.

The EIPA explicitly covers an investment commitment by Lumina totaling a minimum of US$36M for the period 2019-2024 and also covers investments by the Company in Ecuador from December 2010 to the end of 2018. The agreement also extends to any additional investments made by Lumina during the term and beyond. The Company has invested approximately US$18M from January 1, 2019 to September 30, 2021 in Ecuador and just completed a financing to continue work on drilling and engineering in order to complete a Pre-feasibility study by early 2023.

Image 1: Marshall Koval and Guillermo Lasso, President of Ecuador and key foreign investment ministers at the Ecuador Open For Business conference.

Image 1: Marshall Koval and Guillermo Lasso, President of Ecuador and key foreign investment ministers at the Ecuador Open For Business conference. (CNW Group/Lumina Gold Corp.)

Image 1: Marshall Koval and Guillermo Lasso, President of Ecuador and key foreign investment ministers at the Ecuador Open For Business conference. (CNW Group/Lumina Gold Corp.)

Image 2: Marshall Koval and Guillermo Lasso, President of Ecuador at the Open For Business conference.

Image 2: Marshall Koval and Guillermo Lasso, President of Ecuador at the Open For Business conference. (CNW Group/Lumina Gold Corp.)Image 2: Marshall Koval and Guillermo Lasso, President of Ecuador at the Open For Business conference. (CNW Group/Lumina Gold Corp.)

Image 2: Marshall Koval and Guillermo Lasso, President of Ecuador at the Open For Business conference. (CNW Group/Lumina Gold Corp.)

Under the terms of the EIPA, the Government of Ecuador pledges to maintain legal certainty and stability for the investment, as well as to provide non-discriminatory treatment compared to other similar projects with regards to the administration, operation, expansion, and transfer of the Company’s investments. In addition, the Government commits that it will not subject the Company and its investments to arbitrary or discriminatory measures. The guarantee also extends to property rights, which bars any confiscation or other termination of rights without fair compensation, and also forbids restrictions on the legal transfer of the investment (e.g., the project or local holding companies) by the Company or its shareholders. The agreement also contains detailed procedures for dispute resolution, with arbitration in London pursuant to the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce.

The process of entering into this EIPA was greatly accelerated under the leadership of Guillermo Lasso´s administration, particularly following the issuance of Decree 151, which defined the national Mining Action Plan. It involved direct negotiations with the Ministry of Production, Foreign Commerce, Investments and Fishing. In addition, approvals were obtained from the Strategic Committee for Promotion and Attraction of Investments, as well as the Ministry of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and, lastly the State Attorney General in relation to the approval of the international arbitration clause.

About Lumina Gold

Lumina Gold Corp. (TSXV: LUM) is a Vancouver, Canada based precious and base metals exploration and development company focused on the Cangrejos Gold-Copper Project located in El Oro Province, southwest Ecuador. Lumina has an experienced management team with a successful track record of advancing and monetizing exploration projects.

Further details are available on the Company’s website at https://luminagold.com/

Please click here and subscribe to receive future news releases: https://luminagold.com/contact

LUMINA GOLD CORP.

Signed: “Marshall Koval”

Marshall Koval, President & CEO, Director

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information

Certain statements and information herein, including all statements that are not historical facts, contain forward-looking statements and forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Such forward-looking statements or information include but are not limited to statements or information with respect to completing an Exploitation Agreement, Exploitation Investment Protection Agreement and a Pre-feasibility study. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements or information can be identified by the use of words such as “will” or “projected” or variations of those words or statements that certain actions, events or results “will”, “could”, “are proposed to”, “are planned to”, “are expected to” or “are anticipated to” be taken, occur or be achieved.

With respect to forward-looking statements and information contained herein, the Company has made numerous assumptions including among other things, assumptions about general business and economic conditions, the prices of gold and copper, and anticipated costs and expenditures. The foregoing list of assumptions is not exhaustive.

Although management of the Company believes that the assumptions made and the expectations represented by such statements or information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that a forward-looking statement or information herein will prove to be accurate. Forward-looking statements and information by their nature are based on assumptions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information. These factors include, but are not limited to: risks associated with the business of the Company; business and economic conditions in the mining industry generally; the supply and demand for labour and other project inputs; changes in commodity prices; changes in interest and currency exchange rates; risks relating to inaccurate geological and engineering assumptions (including with respect to the tonnage, grade and recoverability of reserves and resources); risks relating to unanticipated operational difficulties (including failure of equipment or processes to operate in accordance with specifications or expectations, cost escalation, unavailability of materials and equipment, government action or delays in the receipt of government approvals, industrial disturbances or other job action, and unanticipated events related to health, safety and environmental matters); risks relating to adverse weather conditions; political risk and social unrest; changes in general economic conditions or conditions in the financial markets; and other risk factors as detailed from time to time in the Company’s continuous disclosure documents filed with Canadian securities administrators. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

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View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lumina-gold-announces-signing-of-an-exploration-investment-protection-agreement-301437706.html

SOURCE Lumina Gold Corp.

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View original content to download multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2021/06/c1772.html

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