BUSSINESS | Saudi Aramco Third – Quarter Profit Slumps 44.6% As Pandemic Chokes Demand

RIYADH | SAUDIA RABIA – Saudi Arabian state oil giant Aramco on Tuesday reported a 44.6% drop in third-quarter net profit as the coronavirus crisis continued to choke demand and weight on crude prices.

Share prices of global oil companies have been hammered this year as investors fret over the impact of the pandemic on energy demand and the long – term shift away from fossil fuels.

Oil prices have recovered only slightly since tumbling to their lowest in almost  two decades in March, prompting Aramco and other majors such as Shell and BP Plc to slash capital expenditure this year and next.

Weaker refining chemicals margins also hit Aramco’s net profile, which feels to 44.21 billion riyals ($11.79 billion) for the three months ended Sept.30, in line with an analyst estimate of 44.6 billion riyals provided by Refinitiv but down from 79.84 billion riyals in the same period of last year.

‘We saw early signs of a recovery in the third quarter due to improved economic activity, despite the headwinds facing global energy markets’, Saudi Aramco Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser said in a statement.

Aramco’s shares rose as much as 1% and were 0.6% higher at 33.4 riyals by 0830 GMT. Although down 2.3.% year to date, Aramco has outperformed the likes of Exxon, BP and Shell, which are down by more than 50% while Chevron is down by 40%.

Analysts say that is partly because of the broader performance of the Saudi stock market, on which Aramco is listed, but also because the company has guaranteed its dividend payment.

Aramco said it would distribute a dividend of $18.75 billion for the quarter, in line with its plan to play a base dividend of $75 billion for 2020.

But equity analyst Yousef Husseini at investment bank EFG – Hermes said Aramco would likely have to increase its debt financing in the short – to medium – term, or further cut capital expenditure, in order to be able to maintain the dividend unless oil prices recovered to at least $55 a barrel.

Dividends from the world’s top oil producing company, which went public last year, play a critical role in helping the Saudi government manage its fiscal deficit.

Aramco’s net profit almost doubled from 24.62 billion riyals in the second quarter, which the company attributed to higher oil prices, although it noted that was partly offset by a drop in volumes sold.

Saudi Arabia has slashed its crude production since May under a global supply cut pact with OPEC and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, to support oil prices and demand.

Aramco had free cash flow of $12/4 billion in the third quarter, compared with $6.1 billion in the second quarter.

BUSINESS | Nestle To Invest 3.2 Billion Sfr To Cut Carbon Emissions

Zurich – – Nestle said on Thursday it plans to invest 3.2 billion Swiss francs ($3.58 billion) over the next five years to reduce its climate impact and help it get to net zero emissions by 2050. The world’s biggest food company said it would work with farmers and suppliers to promote regenerative agriculture, plant … Continue reading BUSINESS | Nestle To Invest 3.2 Billion Sfr To Cut Carbon Emissions

NEWS ALERT | Iran Ready To Show Goodwill If U.S., Europe Abide By Nuclear Deal: Zarif

MILAN – – Iran will fully comply with a 2015 deal aimed at preventing it from developing nuclear weapons if both the United States and Europe honour their original commitments, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday. U.S. President Donald Trump quit the pact in 2018, saying it did not do enough to … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | Iran Ready To Show Goodwill If U.S., Europe Abide By Nuclear Deal: Zarif

BREAKING NEWS | Multiple Casualties At English Warehouse Blast, Fire Brigade Says

LONDON – – A large blast in a warehouse near Bristol in England has caused multiple casualties, a spokeswoman for the fire brigade said on Thursday. The fire service had previously said on Twitter that it was responding to an incident after being called to a large explosion in Avonmouth, south west England. It said … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Multiple Casualties At English Warehouse Blast, Fire Brigade Says

BREAKING NEWS | WHO Looks at possible ‘E-Vaccination certificates’ for travel

GENEVA – – The World Health Organization does not recommend countries issuing ‘immunity passports’ for those who have recovered from COVID-19, but is investigating the prospects of using e-vaccination certificates, a WHO medical expert said on Thursday. ‘We are looking very closely into the use of technology in this COVID-19 response, one of them how … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | WHO Looks at possible ‘E-Vaccination certificates’ for travel

ECONOMY | Saudi Arabia To Issue Executive Regulations On Labor Reform Initiative Soon: Ministry Official

The Minister of Human Resources and Social Development will issue soon the executive regulations of the Labor Reform Initiative (LRI), Sattam Alharbi, Deputy Minister for Inspection and development of work environment, was cited by Saudi Press Agency as saying. The initiative, which falls under the Kingdom’s National Transformation Program, was launched by the ministry last … Continue reading ECONOMY | Saudi Arabia To Issue Executive Regulations On Labor Reform Initiative Soon: Ministry Official

CULTURE | Red Sea Film Festival Presents Restored Al – Naami Works

JEDDAH – – The Red Sea Film Festival will host an exhibition celebrating the work of photographer and cinematographer Safouh Al – Naamani (1926 – 2016) and a screening program of contemporary Saudi and Arab cinema as part of Misk Art Week 2020, which will take place from Dec. 3-7 at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Fine Arts Gallery, Riyadh. The … Continue reading CULTURE | Red Sea Film Festival Presents Restored Al – Naami Works

BUSINESS | Saudi International Airshow Postponed Due To Covid -19

The 2021 edition of the Saudi International Airshow has been postponed in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Saudi Press Agency has to reported. The Saudi Aviation Club said the cancellation was necessary to prioritize the safety of participants and visitors of the event, which was initially set to happen early next year at the … Continue reading BUSINESS | Saudi International Airshow Postponed Due To Covid -19

POLITICS | Ivanka Trump Questioned Under Oath In Lawsuit Over Use Of Inauguration Funds

NEW YORK – – Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and adviser, was questioned under oath this week as part of a civil lawsuit alleging misuse of nonprofit funds for Donald Trump’s inauguration four years ago.  District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine’s office disclosed in a court filing on Tuesday that the deposition had taken … Continue reading POLITICS | Ivanka Trump Questioned Under Oath In Lawsuit Over Use Of Inauguration Funds

BUSINESS| Oil Drops As OPEC+ Resume Talks On Output Cut Extension After Impasse

Oil prices fell on Thursday as producers including Saudi Arabia and Russia locked horns over the need to extend record production cuts set in place in the first wave of the COVID -19 pandemic. Brent crude was down 15 cents, or 0,3%, at $48.10 a barrel by 0155 GMT, after gaining 1,8% on Wednesday. U.S … Continue reading BUSINESS| Oil Drops As OPEC+ Resume Talks On Output Cut Extension After Impasse

BUSINESS | U.S States Plan To Sue Facebook Next Week: Sources

WASHINGTON – A group of U.S. states led by New York is investigating Facebook Inc. for possible antitrust  violations and plans to fill a lawsuit against the social media giant next week, four sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. The complaint would be the second major lawsuit filed against a Big Tech company … Continue reading BUSINESS | U.S States Plan To Sue Facebook Next Week: Sources

TRAVEL | Saudi Interior Ministry To Announce Date Of Lifting Of Travel Restrictions

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry said on Tuesday it will later announce a date of lifting restrictions on citizens traveling to and from the Kingdom. The Kingdom partially lifted a suspension of international flight on Sept.15, six months after travel restrictions were imposed because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Saudi authorities had originally … Continue reading TRAVEL | Saudi Interior Ministry To Announce Date Of Lifting Of Travel Restrictions

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