Crypto Moves — Bitcoin & Ethereum rise; Sony takes Metaverse Seriously; Portugal plans to implement crypto taxes – Arab News

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded higher on Sunday, rising by 0.36 percent to $29,364 as of 9:00 a.m. Riyadh time.
Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $1,972.15 up by 0.35 percent, according to data from Coindesk.
Sony takes Metaverse Seriously
Sony, one of the largest manufacturers of electronic products, has announced its interest in including more metaverse-inspired experiences to attract customers.
The company is now trying to integrate metaverse experiences —a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection— to entice more users to enter their ecosystems. 
“The metaverse is at the same time a social space and live network space where games, music, movies and anime intersect,” Kenichiro Yoshida, CEO of Sony said. 
Sony intends to use its Playstation brands to secure a place among the leaders in the metaverse industry, reported. 
The Sony Playstation has one of the biggest install userbases in the world, so it might serve as a tool for this new metaverse push. 
Portugal to tax crypto 
The Portuguese finance minister said on Thursday the government is preparing to fill the legal gap that prevents the taxation of virtual assets, AFP reported. Investors are attracted to cryptocurrencies because of the lack of taxation.
During a meeting of foreign journalists in Lisbon, Fernando Medina said, “The government intends to legislate on this matter, we are not going to maintain this vacuum.” 
According to a 2016 ruling by the tax administration that remains in effect, Portugal is currently one of the few countries in Europe that do not tax crypto transactions because they do not qualify as foreign currencies or financial assets, the AFP report added.
Neither purchasers nor sellers of crypto assets are subject to the value added tax or capital gains taxes, and only business activity paid for with crypto assets is taxed.
The government plans to introduce “as soon as possible” a new legal framework that would balance fair taxation with international competitiveness, Medina said.
(With inputs from AFP)
RIYADH: Tabuk Agricultural Development Co. has widened losses by 654 percent in the first quarter of 2022 owing to an increase in costs.
The company’s net losses widened to SR10 million ($3 million) during the first quarter, compared to SR1.34 million in the same period last year, according to a bourse filing.
This rise in losses was caused by a higher cost of sales and general expenses, a higher share of losses suffered by associates, and increasing zakat provision. 
Tabuk Agriculture is one of the leading agricultural companies in the Middle East and North Africa. It manages its operations regionally from Tabuk city of Saudi Arabia.
LONDON: The ‘E’ element in ESG, which stands for ‘environment’ is not just a choice now, but a necessity, according to Vincent Keaveny, Lord mayor, City of London.
While speaking at the Future Investment Initiative Institute regional summit in London on Friday, Keaveny said that environmental, social and governance has been a priority for London city for several years.
Assuring a strong economic relationship between the UK and Saudi Arabia, Keaveny shared his excitement that FII chose London to host the first regional summit outside Saudi Arabia.
According to Keaveny, decarbonization in emerging markets is very crucial which demands investments and infrastructure to drive the transition.
He also added that London “will be a supportive partner to improve inclusive ESG across the world.” 
LONDON: Adequate investments and necessary infrastructure is required for an effective sustainability transition, according to Bob Maughon, chief technology and sustainability officer at Saudi Basic Industries Corp. 
While speaking at the Future Investment Initiative Institute regional summit in London on Friday, Maughon said, “If we don’t invest in energy supply, we can’t make it happen. We have to leverage blue and green hydrogen. They are complex to implement and we need the infrastructure to make this transition happen.” 
He noted that Saudi Arabia is committed to investing in energy capture and hydrogen, and is moving very fast in the Kingdom to achieve sustainability. 
Maughon added that SABIC is working hard to achieve decarbonizing by using renewable and cleaner energy sources. 
RIYADH: Larry Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock investments, said his statement from a 2020 investment letter that “climate risk is investment risk” is truer than ever, though he admits any energy transition is not going to be a straight line. 
Fink made these statements during a panel discussion last week at the Future Investment Initiative Institute’s regional summit, “Inclusive ESG for Emerging Markets.”
“In the last two years,” said Fink, “there has been a remarkable change in attitude worldwide.” He added: “Every energy company understands the need to be moving forward,” as seen in the high demand for decarbonization and carbon capture technologies. 
Fink said one of the biggest shifts he has witnessed is more money going into sustainable strategies. “I believe in the long run, some of these strategies will prove to be successful while others may not, but that’s the case with any investment in new technologies.” 
He emphasized the importance of providing pathways to sustainability for traditional energy companies. It has to be a “fair and just transition,” said Fink. 
RIYADH: Two South Korean firms are set to sign a joint development agreement to advance a major green hydrogen project in Abu Dhabi. Additionally, the UAE’s Etihad Rail has received bids for a planned high-speed rail project connecting Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Also, UAE’s Dubal Holding is partnering with Canada’s Nature Alu to launch a high-purity aluminum plant in the UAE. Meanwhile, Qatar Energy is undertaking clarification discussions with bidders regarding two solar power plants it intends to build.
·      South Korean electric power distribution firm Kepco and South Korean construction company Samsung C&T are expected to sign a joint development agreement later this month to propel the first phase of the 3.7 billion dirhams ($1 billion) green hydrogen-based ammonia production facility to be located in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi. This comes after the technical study and land lease agreements were completed in March, MEED reported. 
·      The UAE’s national railway network, Etihad Rail has received bids for a contract to offer preliminary consultancy services for a high-speed rail project, MEED reported. The project aims to develop a high-speed rail line linking Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The bidders include the US engineering company Aecom, French construction engineering firm Egis, among others. In addition to this, Etihad Rail is also contemplating two more lines: one that joins Abu Dhabi with Al-Ain and another connecting Dubai and Sharjah.
·      The UAE-based investment company, Dubal Holding and Canadian aluminum supplier Nature Alu have signed a memorandum of understanding to launch the UAE’s first of its kind high-purity aluminum production plant, MEED reported. Under the collaboration, both parties will team up to develop the scope of work for the feasibility study with a special focus on technical, commercial, operational, and regulatory details. 
·      State-owned petroleum firm Qatar Energy is set to be undergoing clarification discussions with bidders for the contract to design and construct two solar photovoltaic power projects in the Gulf country. To be located in Ras Laffan and Mesaieed respectively, each solar power plant will have a capacity accumulating to 400 MW, MEED reported, citing industry sources.


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