Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) has established a new business Verdalia Energy which will invest more than €1bn into Europe’s biomethane sector by 2027, in a boost to the continent's decarbonisation and energy security agenda.

Verdalia Bioenergy will invest in both early stage development projects and larger operational assets, starting in Spain and expanding across Europe. Biomethane is a negative- or low-carbon natural gas produced from organic waste, in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.


“We believe that biomethane is today one of the most compelling segments in the energy transition for infrastructure investors,” said Matteo Botto Poala, the managing director of the infrastructure business within GSAM, in a statement on February 6.

The Goldman Sachs Group, the parent organisation of GSAM, said in early January 2023 that it would reduce its global headcount by around 3200 employees. Due to a slowdown in its investment banking unit, the Wall Street Bank has tried to rein in costs by unwinding its rapid hiring spree of recent years. 

BP boosts 2023 capex guidance 

UK-based multinational energy company British Petroleum (BP) plans to increase its capital expenditure plans in 2023 after higher energy prices helped it post the highest ever annual earnings in the company’s 114-year history.

BP expects to spend between $16bn and $18bn across the board in calendar year 2023, an increase on the $16.3bn spent in 2022, according to the company’s latest quarterly earning report released on February 7. Next year’s spending plans of at least $16bn is up from the previous target of $14bn to $16bn per annum until 2025.

Bernard Looney, CEO of BP, said in the statement that the company continues to focus on its “integrated energy company strategy” by providing the world’s energy needs today while also investing into the energy transition. 


fDi Markets data shows that in 2022 BP announced its highest number of greenfield foreign direct investment (FDI) projects for over a decade since 2011. The majority of these projects were via its solar power subsidiary Lightsource BP, which invested in countries including Trinidad & Tobago, Brazil and France.

Dubai leads global hotels FDI 

US-based hotel brand management company SH Hotels & Resorts said it will open its first luxury hotel in Dubai by 2026, as the Emirate consolidates its position as a target location for foreign hotel groups.

The Baccarat Hotel Dubai will be owned and developed by local diversified investment firm Shamal Holding. The mixed-use development project in the heart of Downtown Dubai will feature 144 guestrooms and 49 Baccarat-branded private residences.

In 2022, Dubai attracted 16 greenfield FDI projects in the hotels and tourism sector, making it the leading city destination globally, according to preliminary figures from fDi Markets. This was the highest number of projects since before the pandemic began and reflects a jump of 33.6% in global tourism FDI projects between 2021 and 2022.

RMB sets up US presence for African flows

South Africa-based Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) has set up a US representative office in New York, due to increased foreign investor interest in Africa’s vast natural resources, young demographics and large markets.

“The new office will link investors in the US with Africa’s extensive business opportunities,” said RMB’s CEO Emrie Brown in a statement on February 6. 

The bank said it will work with US-headquartered multinationals with African subsidiaries and companies with no African presence that intend to establish themselves on the continent. RMB will offer corporate and investment banking products and services including merger and acquisition advisory and foreign-exchange instruments.

In 2022, US-based investors announced 90 greenfield FDI projects in Africa worth an estimated $6.8bn — the highest level of planned capital expenditure across the continent since 2018, according to fDi Markets.