Saudi Arabia Seeks to Attract $32 Billion Investments in Minerals Sector

Saudi Arabia is seeking to become a major player in the production of minerals worldwide. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Saudi Arabia is seeking to become a major player in the production of minerals worldwide. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Saudi Arabia Seeks to Attract $32 Billion Investments in Minerals Sector

Saudi Arabia is seeking to become a major player in the production of minerals worldwide. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Saudi Arabia is seeking to become a major player in the production of minerals worldwide. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Arabia can play a global role in providing the strategic minerals necessary for the transition to renewable energy, and achieving the goals of net zero emissions, said a report by the Payne Institute for Public Policy, affiliated with the Colorado School of Mines.

The report was published by the Institute on Thursday, in partnership with the International Mining Conference, the second edition of which will be hosted in Riyadh on Jan. 10-12.

According to the report, the world will likely face a shortage in the production of minerals that are needed for future developments, pointing out that Saudi Arabia is in a strong position that qualifies it to become a major player in the field of renewable energy.

It stressed the need to reach a long-term international agreement to make the most of the mineral resources available in the emerging region extending from Africa to West and Central Asia.

The report emphasized that the transition to clean energy economy depends on the supply of strategic minerals. It added that the sector is witnessing a significant growth in demand for minerals, such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, copper, graphite, silicon, platinum group metals and rare earth metals, which is expected to increase five-fold over the next two decades.

It explained that the new estimates indicate that more than 3 billion tons of strategic minerals will be needed to create the necessary infrastructure to achieve the 2050 goals and reach net zero emissions.

With regard to investments in the field of minerals, the report said despite the significant rise in investments throughout the Middle East in the field of hydrocarbons, the Kingdom plans to attract $32 billion in new investments in the mineral sector as part of its efforts to become a major player in the production of minerals worldwide.



Egypt's Central Bank Leaves Key Interest Rates Unchanged

A general view of Dahab Island or Gold Island (Gezirit el-Dahab) in the middle of the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2024. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
A general view of Dahab Island or Gold Island (Gezirit el-Dahab) in the middle of the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2024. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
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Egypt's Central Bank Leaves Key Interest Rates Unchanged

A general view of Dahab Island or Gold Island (Gezirit el-Dahab) in the middle of the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2024. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
A general view of Dahab Island or Gold Island (Gezirit el-Dahab) in the middle of the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2024. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Egypt's central bank left its overnight interest rates unchanged on Thursday, as expected, saying economic growth remained slow but that inflation has been decreasing.
The bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) left the deposit rate at 27.25% and the lending rate at 28.25%.
All but one of 18 analysts in a Reuters poll had expected rates to remain unchanged, with the sole analyst forecasting a cut of 100 basis points (bps).
The decision keeps the overnight deposit rate below that of headline inflation, which was 27.5% in June. Real interest rates have been negative since January 2022. Inflation declined in June for a fourth straight month after soaring to a record 38% in September.
The MPC expects inflation to come down sharply in the first half of 2025.
"The gradual unwinding of food inflation along with the improvement of inflation expectations suggest that inflation is on a sustained downward trajectory," the MPC said.
Gross domestic product inched down to an annualized 2.2% in the first quarter from 2.3% in the final quarter of 2023, the MPC added.
"Leading indicators for Q2 2024 suggest that economic activity remains subdued. Consequently, real GDP growth is expected to slow down in FY 2023/24 compared to the previous fiscal year, before recovering in FY 2024/25," it said.
Egypt reported GDP of 3.8% in 2022/23.
The central bank raised interest rates by 600 bps on March 6 as part of an agreement with the IMF, bringing total increases since the beginning of the year to 800 bps. Egypt also sharply devalued its currency against the dollar under its IMF accord.