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Saudi Aramco replaces tech giant Apple as most valuable firm amid stock sell-off

Investors have been selling shares in technology firms as they move into what they see as less risky assets

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Saudi Aramco replaces tech giant Apple as most valuable firm amid stock sell-off
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Apple has lost its position as the world's most valuable company amid a broad sell-off of technology stocks.

Saudi Arabian oil and gas producer Aramco has reclaimed the top spot from the iPhone maker for the first time in almost two years.

Investors have been selling shares in technology firms as they move into what they see as less risky assets.

Bitcoin, other major cryptocurrencies and digital assets have also continued to fall sharply.

Shares in Apple fell by more than 5% in New York on Wednesday to end the trading day with a stock market valuation of $2.37 trillion (£1.94tn).

That meant it lost its position as the most valuable company in the world to oil and gas producer Aramco, which was valued at $2.42tn.

It is the first time that Aramco has held the top spot since 2020. Shares in energy producers have risen this year as the cost of crude oil and natural gas have gone up.
Meanwhile Apple's shares have fallen by almost 20% since the start of the year after a sell-off in technology stocks.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq closed 3.2% lower in New York on Wednesday after official data showed that US inflation remained near a more than 40-year high.

Rising prices have been the single biggest threat to the recovery of the global economy as it emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Central banks around the world have responded to the problem by raising interest rates, which has triggered a move out of riskier investments over concerns that the higher cost of borrowing will slow down economic growth.

On Thursday, Japan's SoftBank Group reported a record loss of $26.2bn at its Vision Fund business as the value of its technology investments slid.

The loss was a stark contrast to a year ago when the company posted record annual profit.

Since then a number of companies SoftBank has stakes in, including ride-hailing firms Didi and Grab, have tumbled in value.

The move out of what are seen as risky assets also helped to push the price of Bitcoin below $27,000.

The world's biggest and best-known cryptocurrency has now lost about 60% of its value since hitting a record high in November last year.

Ether, the digital coin linked to the ethereum blockchain network, also fell sharply again and has now lost more than 40% of its value in the last week.

-- Pandemic impact --

In January, Apple became the first company to hit a stock market valuation of $3tn (£2.2tn). It was one of the big winners of the pandemic, as coronavirus lockdowns saw spending on gadgets jump.

The record meant Apple's value was greater than the $2.76tn size of the UK economy, according to World Bank data.

During lockdowns the world's biggest technology companies saw demand soar as people became more reliant on smartphones, tablets and laptops. In a period of just over 16 months, Apple's stock market valuation jumped from $2tn to $3tn.

Meanwhile, state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco has benefited from rising energy prices.
Saudi Arabia is the largest producer in the Opec oil cartel and Saudi Aramco more-than doubled its net profit to $110bn in 2021, up from $49bn in 2020.

The reopening of economies from pandemic measures led to a sharp increase in energy prices in 2021, and this year the war in Ukraine has pushed prices even higher as countries seek alternatives to Russia for supplies.

SOURCE: BBC NEWS

Faisal Ali Ghumman

Mr. Ghumman is a seasoned journalist who has 19 years of diversified experience in print, electronic and digital media. He has worked with 92 News HD, Daily Pakistan Today, Daily The Business, Daily Dawn, Daily Times and Pakistan Observer as News Reporter, Feature Writer, Editor, Web Content Editor and Article Writer. Mr Ghumman has graduated from the Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan and is currently enrolled in M.Phil in Mass Communication at the University of Punjab.

Pakistan

Pakistan’s progress linked with Constitution’s supremacy, rule of law: PM

He lauded Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Defence Minister Khwaja Asif for dealing with the challenge effectively.

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Pakistan’s progress linked with Constitution’s supremacy, rule of law: PM

Islamabad: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said the progress of Pakistan was linked with the supremacy of the Constitution and ensuring the rule of law.

The prime minister expressed these views in an interaction with the personnel of law enforcement agencies, who were deployed in the Red Zone to ensure law and order during the long march of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

PM Sharif lauded the personnel of Rangers, Islamabad Police, and the capital’s Traffic Police for rendering their duties professionally and protecting the lives and property of the people.

The prime minister appreciated the dedication of the law enforcement personnel to performing their official duties regardless of their political affiliation.

He lauded Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Defence Minister Khwaja Asif for dealing with the challenge effectively.

The prime minister emphasized unity among all the ranks of the nation to eliminate the scourge of anarchy and chaos.

He stressed everyone to demonstrate the spirit of sacrifice and patriotism to make the homeland a citadel of peace.

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Pakistan

Pakistan and Iran should tap vast scope in bilateral trade, economic cooperation: Bilawal

In meeting with his Iranian counterpart the foreign minister underscores the importance of the earliest completion of border markets to improve livelihood in the border region

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Pakistan and Iran should tap vast scope in bilateral trade, economic cooperation: Bilawal

Davos: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Thursday emphasized that Pakistan and Iran should tap the existing vast scope in bilateral trade and economic cooperation through various institutional mechanisms and innovative ways to identify new sectors.

The foreign minister, in a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Dr. Hossein Amir Abdollahian, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire to strengthen Pak-Iran fraternal ties in all areas of mutual interest.

He underscored the importance of the earliest completion of border markets to improve livelihood in the border region.

The foreign minister appreciated Iran’s steadfast support for the Kashmir cause, especially at the Supreme Leader level.

Foreign Minister Bilawal also thanked Foreign Minister Abdollahian for sending an Iranian aircraft to Pakistan which helped in extinguishing the forest fire in Balochistan.

In the context of the situation in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari noted that as neighbours, Pakistan and Iran had been closely coordinating.

He underlined that sustained engagement between the international community and the Interim Afghan government was critical to advance shared objectives of peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Abdollahian extended an invitation to the foreign minister to undertake a visit to Iran.

SOURCE: APP

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Sports

Former Pakistan Pacer Umar Gul Appointed Bowling Coach

The 37-year-old is widely regarded as one of the finest pacers, particularly in T20 cricket

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Former Pakistan Pacer Umar Gul Appointed Bowling Coach

Kabul: Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has appointed former Pakistan speedster, Umar Gul, for a period of one year. Gul’s first assignment with the Afghanistan side will be on their limited-overs tour of Zimbabwe next month.

The former pacer has earlier worked with the board as a bowling consultant for their three-week training camp held in Dubai in April alongside mate Younis Khan as the batting coach.

However, on seeing his performance with the team, ACB is delighted to announce the extension in the role.

This will be Gul’s first coaching assignment in international cricket after serving as the bowling coach of Quetta Gladiators in the 2021 season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

The 37-year-old is widely regarded as one of the finest pacers, particularly in T20 cricket. Gul had an exceptional record in T20Is as he picked up 85 wickets at an average of 16.97 and an economy rate of 7.19 in 60 matches in a T20I career spanning almost 9 years. Gul retired from all forms of cricket in 2019 and has since worked as a coach.

The former pacer has previously coached in Pakistan’s premier T20 tournament, Pakistan Super League (PSL), as a bowling coach for Quetta Gladiators. He has also worked as a coach in the Kashmir Premier League (KPL) and was the head coach of Galle Gladiators in the previous edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL).

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