Saudi Fitness Time gym operator seeks to set up investment unit in Riyadh – Arab News
RIYADH: Saudi gym chain operator Leejam Sports Co., owner of Fitness Time, plans to set up an investment unit in Riyadh, aimed at establishing joint ventures and acquiring stakes in existing entities.
Subject to obtaining regulatory approvals, the move to establish a fully-owned subsidiary comes in a bid to achieve the company’s wider goals and strategy, it said in a bourse filing.
The decision to establish a subsidiary was approved by Leejam’s board on June 16, according to the filing.
The Saudi-listed firm has been witnessing an improvement in its financials post-pandemic, supported by fewer restrictions and the reopening of centers.
It swung into a profit of SR46 million ($12.3 million) in the first quarter of 2022, which was mainly attributable to strong revenues.
Revenue was up by SR83 million, due to the opening of new centers and an increase in subscriptions during the quarter as compared to the same quarter last year.
RIYADH: Saudi stocks dipped on Tuesday, as oil prices lost over $7 a barrel on inflation-driven fears over a potential global recession and fuel demand.
The Kingdom’s main index TASI ended 0.6 percent lower at 12,455, while the parallel market Nomu advanced 0.4 percent to 21,595.
In Dubai and Bahrain, the DFMGI and BAX indexes added 0.8 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively.
Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait edged slightly lower, while the Abu Dhabi bourse finished almost flat.
Outside the Gulf, the Egyptian index EGX30 inched up by 0.1 percent following two sessions in the red.
Oil prices partially reversed Tuesday’s losses as Brent crude gained 0.9 percent to $100.21 a barrel, and US West Texas Intermediate traded at $92.5 a barrel by 9:06 a.m. Saudi time on Wednesday.
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RIYADH: Arabian Food and Dairy Factories Co. lost SR198,825 ($52,929) in the first half of 2022, wiping out profits of SR3.6 million ($963,281) it made in the first half of last year.
Despite making losses, FADECO recorded 9.4 percent revenue growth to SR27 million during the first six months of the year, according to its bourse filing.
The Saudi ice cream manufacturer credits its revenue growth to the diversification of its business, the use of electronic marketing channels, and access to a wider segment of individual customers.
In a separate announcement, the company announced it would distribute a quarterly cash dividend of SR0.775 per share.
RIYADH: Saudi Telecom Co., one of the Kingdom’s biggest telecom providers, has received shareholders’ approval to raise capital by 150 percent to support its growth.
Saudi-listed stc will increase its current SR20 billion ($5.33 billion) capital to SR50 billion through issuing bonus shares, it said in a stock exchange filing.
Shareholders are set to receive 1.5 shares for every share owned by capitalizing an amount of SR30 billion from retained earnings.
The increase in stc’s capital will support achieving its growth and expansion strategy along with maximizing its shareholders’ return.
The move comes after the company reported SR5.9 billion in profit at the end of the first six months of the year, along with SR2 billion in quarterly dividends.
KUWAIT: Abdulaziz Dakhil Al-Dakhil, the head of the Kuwaiti Prime Minister’s Office, announced on Tuesday the launch of an advisory economic unit, The Bahrain News Agency reported.
The unit was established on the instructions of Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf Al-Sabah, who will head it. Its members will comprise representatives from government agencies.
The unit reflects the importance the country places on adopting an advanced approach to supporting the national economy, working to attract investment, and enhancing the role of the private sector in line with Kuwait Vision 2035, the BNA reported.
Al-Dakhil said it will review and develop economic, financial and development legislation and policies to help achieve the aims of Vision 2035, among other outcomes.
The unit will also work to strengthen ties between economic, financial, developmental and operational institutions and combine their efforts to promote economic development in the country, he added.
Its members will discuss ways to facilitate the roles of small and medium-sized enterprises in achieving the country’s economic development goals, and work to establish national economic security, provide a safe economic environment, and stimulate growth and investment, the BNA reported.
FRANKFURT/LONDON: Russia will halt gas supplies via a major pipeline to Europe on Wednesday intensifying an economic battle between Moscow and Brussels and raising the prospects of recession and energy rationing in some of the region’s richest countries.
The maintenance on Nord Stream 1 means that no gas will flow to Germany between 01:00 GMT on Aug. 31 and 01:00 GMT on Sept. 3, according to Russian state energy giant Gazprom.
European governments fear Moscow could extend the outage in retaliation for Western sanctions imposed on it after its invasion of Ukraine and have accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of using energy supplies as a “weapon of war.” Moscow denies doing this.
Further restrictions to European gas supplies would heighten an energy crunch that has already sent wholesale gas prices soaring over 400 percent since last August, creating a painful cost-of-living crisis for consumers and businesses and forcing governments to spend billions to ease the burden.
Unlike last month’s 10-day maintenance for Nord Stream 1, the upcoming work was announced less than two weeks in advance and is being carried out by Gazprom not Nord Stream AG, focusing on the last operating turbine at the station.
Moscow, which slashed supply via Nord Stream 1 to 40 percent of capacity in June and to 20 percent in July, blames maintenance issues and sanctions it says prevent the return and installation of equipment.
Gazprom said the latest shutdown is needed to perform maintenance on the pipeline’s only remaining compressor.
Yet Russia has also cut off supply to Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Poland completely, and reduced flows via other pipelines since launching what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
“Given events over recent months, we think the market may disregard Gazprom’s comments and start to consider whether the pipeline may not return to service, or at the very least may (be) delayed for any given reason,” said Biraj Borkhataria, Associate Director of European Research at Royal Bank of Canada.
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, on a mission to replace Russian gas imports by mid-2024, earlier this month said that Nord Stream was “fully operational” and that there were no technical issues as claimed by Moscow.
Klaus Mueller, president of Germany’s network regulator, said that while a resumption of flows would help Germany’s security of supply, no one was able to say what the consequences would be if flows remained at zero.
Europe’s largest economy is making better progress than expected in filling its gas storage facilities, but it’s not enough to get the country through winter, he said.
The reduced flows via Nord Stream have complicated efforts across Europe to fill up vital gas storage facilities, a key strategic goal to make it through the winter months, when governments fear Russia may halt flows altogether.
“It is something of a miracle that gas filling levels in Germany have continued to rise nonetheless,” Commerzbank analysts wrote, adding Germany had so far been successful at buying sufficient volumes at higher prices elsewhere.
In the meantime, however, some Europeans are voluntarily cutting their energy consumption, including limiting their use of electrical appliances and showering at work to save money while companies are bracing for possible rationing.
At 83.26 percent, Germany is already within reach of an 85 percent target for its national gas storage tanks by Oct. 1, but it has warned that reaching 95 percent by Nov. 1 would be a stretch unless companies and households drastically cut consumption.
For the European Union as a whole, the current storage level is 79.94 percent, just short of an 80 percent target by Oct. 1, when the continent’s heating season starts.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs said their base case assumption was that this outage would not be extended.
“If it did, there would be no more element of surprise and reduced revenues, while low (Nord Stream 1) flows and the occasional drop to zero have the potential to keep market volatility and political pressure on Europe higher,” they said.


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