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RIYADH: Shares of the world’s largest oil producer Saudi Aramco saw their second straight day of gains on Monday, thanks to record quarterly earnings.
Aramco’s profit was up 82 percent in the first quarter of 2022 to SR148 billion ($40 billion), beating analysts’ forecasts with the highest quarterly profit since it joined the Saudi Exchange.
In response to the results, shares soared 4.2 percent last session and extended gains by 0.4 to end the trading day at SR42.5 on Monday.
Aramco has recently been in a race with Apple Inc. for the world’s top-valued firm spot.
With the tech major being pressured by rising inflation, strong oil prices drove state-owned Aramco to claim the top position globally in terms of market cap last week.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism has signed two agreements to enhance joint cooperation and support training and localization programs to qualify those wishing to work in the hospitality sector.
The move, which aims to support workers in the food, beverage and accommodation sectors, in support of achieving the Kingdom’s’ tourism human capacity development strategy.
Bandar bin Mohammed Al-Safir, director general of training and localization at the ministry, stressed that these two agreements aim to develop human resources in the tourism sector through quality training programs that will contribute to developing localized skills in the tourism sector.
Under the two agreements, which were signed with Kempinski Al-Othman Hotel and Carlton Al-Moaibed Hotel, the ministry will support dualifying Saudi nationals in the tourism sector within the “Your Future has Arrived” initiative.
DUBAI: Mohamed Khammas, CEO of Al Ahli Holding Group, said that startup businesses are an excellent opportunity for investment in venture capital funds and microfinance banks.
During an interview with Arab News at the Top CEO event in Dubai, Khammas Mohamed Khammas, CEO of Al Ahli Holding Group, highlighted that startups are a good investment idea because the “ticket size is smaller, and the product ranges are higher.”
Khammas pointed out the risks that arise for startups are not in their early stages but rather when they become successful.
“The challenge is not when they’re trying to have a major impact on the economy; the problems occur when they become successful. All of those are calculated risks,” he said.
Khammas continued to add that regardless of these risks, investing in new, innovative startups is “absolutely the best opportunity.”
Also, during his talk at the event, Khammas  urged banks to fund new and innovative products and ideas in the area after he shed light on how banks are hesitant to invest in creative ideas.
DUBAI: Even though the business world is increasingly fascinated by the Metaverse, Noah Raford, futurist-in-chief and chief of Global Affairs at Dubai Future Foundation, claimed games, Web3 and virtual economies is where the smart money is.
While speaking at the Top CEO event in Dubai, Raford argued that people should invest in video games, as it is the only successful digital economy so far.
In a statement to Arab News a day after the event, he said: “The metaverse has extraordinary potential and Dubai is moving rapidly to take advantage of it. Virtual assets and digital economies are a huge growth area. There is a lot of hype and wasted investment, but the best examples at the moment are video games and in-game virtual economies – especially connected to NFTs & Web3.”
Fady Kassatly, partner of Enterprise Solutions and Cloud, KPMG, said the Metaverse is nothing but the next evolution, which will make people live differently.
He also added the Metaverse is going to evolve quickly in different directions, and this is just the beginning of the journey.
On his part, Philippe Blanchard, founder of Futurous, stated the Metaverse will change the relationship between humans and nature.
Predicting an inevitable Metaverse future, Valerie Hawley, director of Sorbonne Center for Artificial Intelligence, said every business will look at the Metaverse space and consider using it in the coming years.
She also added the Metaverse is a projection of the world that humans would like to live in.
CAIRO: The Central Bank of Egypt on Thursday raised its overnight interest rates by 200 basis points, seeking to contain inflation expectations after prices soared by their quickest in three years.
The bank’s Monetary Policy Committee increased the deposit rate to 11.25 percent from 9.25 percent and the lending rate to 12.25 percent from 10.25 percent, it said in a statement accompanying the decision.
It cited an increase in annual urban inflation to 13.1 percent in April from 10.5 percent in March, its highest since May 2019.
Prices were pushed up in part by a currency depreciation and higher wheat prices after the Ukraine crisis, the statement added.
“The MPC decided that raising policy rates is necessary to contain inflationary pressures which is consistent with achieving price stability over the medium term,” it said.
“The elevated annual headline inflation rate will be temporarily tolerated relative to the CBE’s pre-announced target” of between 5 percent and 9 percent before declining after the fourth quarter, it said.
Eighteen analysts polled by Reuters had expected the bank to raise the median deposit rate to 11 percent and its lending rate to 12.25 percent.
RIYADH: At least eight workers were injured in an explosion at an S-Oil refinery in Ulsan on Thursday, reported The Korean Herald.
Aramco Overseas Co., a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, is S-Oil’s major shareholder. According to the local media, firefighters were notified of an explosion at the S-Oil refinery at 8:52 p.m. The facility is situated some 400 km southeast of Seoul.
The injured workers were shifted to a nearby hospital. The exact cause of the accident has yet to be determined. The Korean Herald quoted fire authorities as saying “the accident occurred inside S-Oil’s refinery at Onsan industrial park while crude oil was being processed into petroleum.”
The injured workers who were transferred to the hospital are being treated for second-degree burns to the face and the palms, according to authorities. S-Oil is the third-largest oil refiner in Korea.
The firefighters at the refinery appeared to be having trouble fighting the blaze, according to local reports.

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