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Tuesday, 11 July 2023

TODAY: KSA’s SNB Capital acquires a stake in EV battery manufacturer SK On

Good morning, ladies and gents. The news cycle has slowed down significantly, giving us a quiet morning today.

THE BIG CLIMATE STORY- Saudi Arabia’s SNB Capital has acquired an undisclosed stake worth USD 100 mn in Korean battery manufacturer SK On through its SNB Capital EV Batteries fund. The proceeds from the acquisition will be used to further the Korean company’s expansion plans.

^^ We have more details on this story and more in the news well, below.

THE BIG CLIMATE STORY OUTSIDE THE REGION- With no single climate story dominating international headlines this morning, the European Commission unveiled new measures yesterday aimed at slashing emissions for freight transportation as part of the bloc’s net zero emissions strategy, Reuters reports. The proposal includes new incentives for zero-emission vehicles and offers access to better tools to help companies calculate their carbon footprint. Such measures will help the EU reach its goal of slashing transport emissions by 90% by 2050. Bloomberg also took note of the story.


MARK YOUR CALENDARS- The Enterprise Finance Forum is taking place on 18-19 September at the St. Regis Hotel in Cairo. This flagship forum is the latest in our must-attend series of invitation-only, C-suite-level gatherings that allow senior members of our community to openly and frankly discuss critical issues in key sectors of the economy.

Day one is our Banking Forum, where we’ll dive deep into topics of interest to commercial and investment bankers, from an outlook on the 12 months to come in M&A, IPO, and debt capital markets to the national, regional, and global trends that are (re)shaping our industry.

Day two is all about Fintech and Non-Banking Financial Services. We’ll take a deep dive into everything from the magic of client acquisition to the prospects of consolidation and the coming of challenger banks.

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WATCH THIS SPACE #1- UAE is upping its emission cuts game: The UAE has raised its target for slashing carbon emissions to 40% by 2030, up from its previous 31% target, according to a statement. The target is part of a third update of the Gulf country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs). Net greenhouse gas emissions are set to be lowered to 182 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) by 2030 as announced in the updated second NDC in 2022, the statement said. The target is down from an expected 208 MtCO2e with an emissions reduction of c.19% compared to 2019 base year level.

REMEMBER- The country signed off on an ambitious renewables strategy recently: The UAE government approved its updated National Energy Strategy earlier this month increasing the country’s 2030 renewable capacity goal to 14 GW from 9.2 GW. The new goal represents triple the currently installed renewable energy capacity and will require AED 150-200 bn (around USD 41-55 bn) in funding. The strategy also includes a goal of making renewables account for 30% of the country’s energy mix by 2031, netting AED 100 bn (USD 27 bn) in financial savings by 2030.

ALSO- Could we be seeing more renewables cooperation between the UAE and Japan? The UAE and Japan are discussing tech cooperation to boost regional decarbonization efforts by using green hydrogen and ammonia, The Japan News reports, citing several unnamed governmental sources. The sources said UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Japanese PM Fumio Kishida are expected to approve the agreement at a summit meeting in the UAE next week. The agreement would outline a plan to develop technologies to produce next-generation energy sources like hydrogen and ammonia. Kishida and a delegation of executives from 30 Japanese companies are expected to visit the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar between Sunday, 16 July and Wednesday, 19 July, according to the media outlet.

WATCH THIS SPACE #2- Future of critical mineral supply looking bright on the back of investment surge: The supply of critical minerals could approach the levels that are needed to back climate pledges by 2030 following an investment drive, according to a new International Energy Agency (IEA) report (pdf). Investments in critical mineral development rose by 30% in 2022 after a 20% y-o-y increase a year earlier amid increased spending on critical minerals by mining players to back clean energy deployment. The IEA expects the supply of lithium, a major component of EV batteries, to reach 420k metric tons by 2030, which is slightly below the 443k needed to meet announced government pledges. However, this is still well below the 702k necessary for a net zero scenario. The market size of key energy transition minerals doubled over the past five years, hitting USD 320 mn last year on the back of rising demand and elevated prices.

REMEMBER- Copper, cobalt, nickel, and lithium — critical minerals for EV and battery storage production — are expected to see a massive jump in demand in the coming years as countries roll out their plans for energy transition.

Mining investments are picking up regionally: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) was recently named the leading bidder for a stake in Brazilian miner Vale’s nickel and copper operations. PIF is reportedly seeking a 10% stake in Vale’s base metals unit at an estimated value of c. USD 2.5 bn. Oman is also in on the bonanza, with its copper mining firm Al Hadeetha Resources recently securing USD 15 mn in additional financing from its current project finance lender Sohar International Bank for the completion and commissioning of its Al Washi-hi Majaza copper-gold project. Last April, Luxembourg-based Eurasian Resources Group said it is looking to build up a portfolio of energy transition minerals by investing in mining activities in MENA and the GCC.

WATCH THIS SPACE #3- Global energy demand is expected to grow by 23% by 2045, Reuters reports, citing statements by OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais during a Nigeria-hosted oil and gas conference. Al Ghais said calls to lower or stop the funding of new oil projects are not realistic, but acknowledged the need to use technology to address fossil fuel emissions. “Global primary energy demand is forecast to increase by a significant 23% in the period up to 2045, which means we will need all forms of energy,” he said. “We will require innovative solutions such as carbon capture utilization and storage, and hydrogen projects in addition to a circular carbon economy, which has received a positive endorsement from the G20.”


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Thailand will host the second workshop on addressing loss and damage from Saturday, 15 July to Sunday, 16 July in Bangkok. The workshop will see discussions on pathways to increasing funding for climate-induced loss and damage. The workshop is being held in preparation for the third meeting of the COP27 Transitional Committee in August. The committee is tasked with operationalizing the Loss and Damage Fund, to be approved during the fourth transitional meeting in October.

Egypt will host the Egypt Mining Forum from Tuesday, 18 July to Wednesday, 19 July in Cairo. The event — organized by the country’s Oil Ministry — will gather regional players as well as global mining firms in a bid to attract regional and foreign direct investments in the country’s mining industry.

Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events and news triggers.

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