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“The U.S. is a strategic partner and it has a big role in terms of international security….We are leaving it to our friends of the U.S. to conduct themselves in a manner they see fit in attending to a situation like this.”

-Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, discussing the recent heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran with CNBC’s Hadley Gamble. The Prince also said Saudi Arabia “will continue to do all it can do to ensure stable oil markets.” [CNBC.com]

TOP STORY

Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures Prepares New $500m Fund, Opens Office in China

aramco-oil-gas-energy-field

Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV), a unit of the kingdom’s energy company, is preparing to start a new $500 million fund this year after completing $500m in investments, Bloomberg reports. [more]

 

MORE TOP STORYLINES

Saudi Aramco exercises 'greenshoe' option to raise IPO by $3.8 billion

Via Clare Duffy in cnn.com : An over-allotment — also called a greenshoe option — allows a company to issue a certain percentage of additional shares above what it had initially planned for an IPO. The option can act as a stabilizing mechanism to keep shares from falling below their offering price.

Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power plans $10 billion of investments in 2020: CEO

Via Dahlia Nehme in reuters.com : Saudi Arabian utility developer ACWA Power is planning to invest about $10 billion in 2020 as it eyes new projects in some 10 countries, the company’s chief executive said on Saturday. The company, which builds power and desalinated water plants and has 50% of its portfolio in Saudi Arabia, plans to expand into new markets, Paddy Padmanthan told Reuters on the sidelines of an energy event in Abu Dhabi.

Tributes pour in as Oman mourns Sultan Qaboos

in bbc.com : Crowds gathered at the capital’s Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque on Saturday before Qaboos was buried in a family cemetery. No cause of death has been confirmed but media reports suggest he was suffering from colon cancer.

 

MORE ON THE KINGDOM AND BEYOND

Saudi Aramco IPO

Interview at Davos: Aramco International Listing ‘Still on the Cards,’ Saudi Arabia Finance Minister Says

Saudi Arabian Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan discusses the recent $5 billion debt issuance, the state of the Saudi economy, and the prospect of an international...[via bloomberg.com]

 

T20

More efforts needed to bridge gender, generation gaps in labor market: Saudi conference

The two-day T20 Inception Conference brought together experts from all over the world to discuss a range of essential issues covering climate, energy, migration, youth,...[By Rashid Hassan via arabnews.com]

 

Saudi Bonds

Saudi Arabia Issues $5 Billion of Bonds as Gulf Tensions Ease

The kingdom issued $5 billion of debt, taking advantage of low borrowing costs globally. It’s seeking to plug part of its growing budget deficit by...[By Archana Narayanan and Matthew Martin via bloomberg.com]

 

Saudi Youth Development Survey of 2019

Youth make up over two-thirds of Saudi Arabia: Survey

Youth, categorized as individuals aged 0-34 years, make up 67.02 percent of the total population of Saudi Arabia, according to a report released by the...[By Matthew Amlôt via alarabiya.net]

 

Pensacola Shooting

At Florida base, a mix of relief, anxiety in Saudi shooting aftermath

With an FBI investigation underway, Navy security officer David Link still is not allowed to talk about what he saw when a Saudi gunman killed...[By Phil Stewart via reuters.com]

 

Security

Saudi Arabia to Screen Travelers From China After Virus Outbreak

Saudi Arabia will start screening passengers arriving from China and take other preventive measures following the outbreak of the new coronavirus in China, the kingdom's...[via nytimes.com]

 

Women in the Workforce

First military section for women introduced in Saudi Arabia

Under the initiative to incorporate more women into the field, previously announced in October 2019, women can now join the military as lance corporals, corporals,...[via thenews.com]

 

Study Abroad

From the field: The new student recruitment landscape in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi government began to wind down the KASP scholarship programme in 2016, and Saudi numbers in all major receiving countries began to drop off...[via icef.com]

 

Saudi Projects

Fifteen of the top projects currently shaping Saudi Arabia

The kingdom is pouring billions into a suite of gigaprojects, transport and mobility schemes, such as Riyadh Metro, designed to wean the country off its...[By Gavin Gibbon via arabianbusiness.com]

 

NEOM

Teneo Signs Up to Manage PR Unit of Saudi Mega-City

The New York-based firm’s duties include leading and staffing Neom’s PR unit to ensure that the development’s corporate messages and positioning are effectively communicated. It also...[By Kevin McCauley via odwyerpr.com]

 

Ukraine International Airlines

Under pressure, Iran admits it shot down jetliner by mistake

The plane, en route to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries, including 82 Iranians, 57...[By Nasser Karimi and Joseph Krauss via apnews.com]

 

Iran

‘Clerics get lost!’: Iran protests rage on over plane disaster

Protesters denouncing Iran’s clerical rulers took to the streets and riot police deployed to face them on Monday, in a third day of demonstrations after...[By Babak Dehghanpisheh via reuters.com]

 

Trump Foreign Policy

Esper says he’s seen no hard evidence embassies under threat

Defense Secretary Mark Esper explicitly said Sunday that he had seen no hard evidence that four American embassies had been under possible threat when President...[By Robert Burns via apnews.com]

 

Yemen

US targeted Iran’s man in Yemen on night Sulimani killed in Iraq

Before dawn on January 3, as a United States drone fired missiles that killed Iran’s Quds Force head Qassem Suleimani in Baghdad, a separate strike...[By Ali Mahmood via thenational.ae]

 

U.S.-Iraq

U.S. Warns Iraq It Risks Losing Access to Key Bank Account if Troops Told to Leave

Iraq, like other countries, maintains government accounts at the New York Fed as an important part of managing the country’s finances, including revenue from oil sales....[By Ian Talley and Isabel Coles via wsj.com]

 

Yemen

Fresh banknotes spark new economic war in Yemen

In November 2019, freshly printed banknotes arrived in Aden, headquarters of the UN-recognized government of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. From there they were pumped onto...[via al-monitor.com]

 

OPEC+

OPEC Is Making Even Deeper Cuts Than Planned

As in all previous months, Saudi Arabia overcomplied significantly with its share of the cuts, helping the cartel achieve the new quota effective January a...[By Tsvetana Paraskova via oilprice.com]

 

Global Oil Markets

Commentary: Energy markets underestimate Middle East supply vulnerability

Complacency over risks and the belief that the market is abundantly supplied has meant that oil prices can no longer be used as a barometer...[By Adal Miles via atlanticcouncil.org]

 

Oil Prices

Oil price slides as hedge funds’ buying fades

Despite the increase in tensions across the Middle East after the killing of an Iranian general by a U.S. air strike, hedge fund managers added...[By John Kemp via reuters.com]

 

Trump Travel Ban

White House considering dramatic expansion of travel ban

The White House is considering dramatically expanding its much-litigated travel ban to additional countries amid a renewed election-year focus on immigration by President Donald Trump,...[via apnews.com]

 

Israel

In blow to Netanyahu, Knesset panel to commence immunity debate – Israel News

Legal adviser's opinion says speaker cannot keep lawmakers from convening a panel on prime minister's immunity request, which most lawmakers are expected to vote against...[By Jonathan Lis via haaretz.com]

 

Security

Trump Brags About Serving Up American Troops to Saudi Arabia for Nothing More Than Cash

“Saudi Arabia is paying us for . We have a very good relationship with Saudi Arabia,” Trump said. “I said, listen, you’re a very...[By Peter Wade via rollingstone.com]

 

Israel-Palestine

‘Jeopardy!’ sees backlash for answer picking Israel over Palestine

“Jeopardy!” has received a wave of backlash on social media after a contestant answered a question about where Bethlehem was located by saying Palestine and...[via thehill.com]

 
 

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