World Business Quick Take - Taipei Times
Wed, May 09, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agenies

SAUDI ARABIA

Non-oil revenue skyrockets

The country’s non-oil revenue climbed 63 percent in the first quarter of this year, propelled by improved tax collection as part of a drive to reduce the economy’s reliance on income from oil exports. Revenue rose to 52.3 billion riyals (US$14 billion), partly due to the introduction of the value-added tax (VAT) and measures taken over the past two years, including a levy on expatriates working in the world’s biggest oil exporter, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday. The collection of zakat, an Islamic tax, also “significantly improved,” it said. In addition to the VAT, the government has raised fuel and utility prices and briefly curtailed public-sector allowances.

ENERGY

Shell unit agrees stake sale

A unit of Royal Dutch Shell PLC has agreed to sell its entire stake in oil sands producer Canadian Natural Resources Ltd for more than US$3 billion, which would be used to reduce debt. Shell Gas BV is to sell its 97.6 million shares in Canadian Natural for total pretax proceeds of US$3.3 billion, and the transaction is expected to be completed by today, The Hague, Netherlands-based Shell said in a statement. The shares are being offered at US$34.10 each, according to a person familiar with the matter, a 2.9 percent discount to its close on Monday in New York. Canadian Natural shares closed at US$35.11.

BANKING

AfDB seeks to close gap

The African Development Bank (AfDB) seeks investments from global pensions and commercial financiers to help fund the continent’s infrastructure gap of as much as US$170 billion a year. The Abidjan-based lender yesterday launched its Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg. The forum would host its first meeting in November in South Africa’s commercial hub and would have “no speeches,” but rather present bankable projects to investors, AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina said. The continent has an infrastructure funding gap of US$87 billion to US$112 billion annually, AfDB estimated.

TECHNOLOGY

Snap replaces CFO

Snap Inc said chief financial officer (CFO) Drew Vollero is stepping down, and named Amazon.com Inc executive Tim Stone as his replacement. The Los Angeles-based company, owner of the Snapchat mobile photo-sharing app, said Vollero would depart on Tuesday next week. Stone, 51, is to join Snap from e-commerce giant Amazon, where he has worked since 1998 in various roles, including vice president of finance and vice president of physical stores. He has also been overseeing the integration of Whole Foods Markets Inc. Snap has struggled since its initial public offering early last year.

EMPLOYMENT

Traders citing crypto skills

The latest line Wall Street job applicants are using to stand out: conversant in crypto. More quantitative and algorithmic traders are using personal experience with cryptocurrencies to boost their status in the job market, even as banks remain hesitant to plunge into the trade, recruitment firm Selby Jennings Ltd said. While figures on CV entries are hard to come by, Ben Hodzic, a recruiter at the firm who focuses on the quantitative and algorithmic openings, estimated that about 5 to 8 percent of resumes he has seen this year cite experience with cryptocurrency. That compares with about 2 percent last year, he said.

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