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Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala says investing in crypto ecosystem: Report

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Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala has invested in the ecosystem around cryptocurrencies, such as block-chain technology, given the increase in the digital currency's market value, its CEO Khaldoon al-Mubarak told CNBC in an interview.

“I think, you know, this is a business that had, what $200 billion worth of crypto value two years ago, and it's two and a half trillion dollars today and growing,” Mubarak said.

“So I think while many people are sceptics, I don't fall in that category.”

Mubadala has $243 billion in assets.

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Mubarak did not give any indication of how much the fund would spend, but said the focus was on the related infrastructure.

“From our perspective, I think we look at the ecosystem around crypto. And I think we are investing in that ecosystem. That could be that's in the block-chain technology, energy usage, etc.,” he said.

The rapid growth of cryptocurrencies and in particular stablecoins – digital assets pegged to traditional currencies – has caught the attention of regulators that fear they could put the financial system at risk if not properly monitored.

Financial technology firm Halo Investing said in October it had raised over $100 million in “Series C” funding from investors such as Owl Capital and the $1 billion Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners, which is backed by Mubadala.

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Saudi Aramco signs 50 agreements during IKTVA conference

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Saudi Aramco has signed 50 agreements during the sixth IKTVA (In-Kingdom Total Value Add Program) in Dhahran, the company said.

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The IKTVA program is part of the Kingdom’s drive to provide more local jobs and diversify the economy away from oil.

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Iraq schedules crude shipments for March loading amid strong demand: Official

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Iraq has already scheduled some oil shipments for loading in March due to projections of strong demand, Ali Nizar, deputy head of Iraq’s State Organization for Marketing of Oil (SOMO), told reporters on Sunday.

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On the subject of oil prices, Nizar said it was still too early to say if prices will exceed $100 per barrel, as some analysts have forecast.

Oil prices hit a seven-year high just above $89 a barrel on Wednesday. Any price increase will not last, Nizar said, but the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was taking the current fluctuations into consideration.

OPEC+, the group of producers comprising OPEC and allies including Russia, have aimed to raise output by 400,000 bpd a month but production has increased by less than that as some producers struggle to pump more, according to OPEC’s monthly report in January.

The market could need additional quantities of oil and OPEC+ will offer more to the market if needed, Nizar said. He added that Iraq’s average oil exports are expected to rise to 3.3 million barrels per day in February, from 3.2 million barrels per day in January.

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Saudi Arabia supports sustainability while ensuring global energy security: Al-Jadaan

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Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan said on Friday that the Kingdom supports sustainability while ensuring energy security and the inevitability of moving to a green and sustainable global economy, “based on a flexible and thoughtful approach, to ensure energy security and economic stability in the long term.”

Al-Jadaan remarks came during his participation in the virtual panel discussion organized by the World Economic Forum, Davos Agenda under the title: Building Future Preparedness.

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He said the past two years have provided many lessons to build economic resilience and a better future preparedness, like the “the need for a bold, decisive, data driven action in risk mitigation, while balancing public health, social, and economic needs simultaneously,” according to a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Al-Jadaan said: “G20 agreed to form a joint task force from the ministries of health and finance to ensure the world is better prepared for the future, and it is important that we support these efforts,” pointing that the COVID-19 pandemic provided the world with a clear lesson that no country can fight the epidemic alone since any pandemic requires greater international cooperation.

The Minister of Finance also clarified that the transformation in the field of energy and sustainable development are two main factors to be able to build a resilient global economy, but the threat that is often ignored is the need to ensure energy security, so that the matter is not negatively affected by the transformation.

Al-Jadaan stressed that the “G20 is working with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other multilateral institutions to find a way to better prepare for potential crises in the future by continuing structural reforms and managing risks, noting that in the past, it took years to produce vaccines, yet today, with collective cooperation, whether from the private sector or the government, we were able to deal well with the crisis, we were able to provide support to low-income countries and we were able to provide relief efforts in agreement with the G20 and Paris Club, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to distribute the equivalent of $650 billion from its special drawing rights to support liquidity,” according to SPA.

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