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Saudi non-oil private sector continues to expand in November
  + stars: | 2022-12-05 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
DUBAI, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's non-oil business activity expanded at the fastest rate in seven years in November, supported by a sharp rise in new orders and continued confidence in the growth outlook, a survey showed on Monday. The output sub-index rose to 64.6 in November from 61.3 the previous month while the new orders sub-index accelerated to 65.7 from 62.9 in October. The manufacturing, construction, wholesale & retail and services sectors all recorded strong growth, the survey said. Aside from strong domestic conditions, new export business also saw the fastest increase since November 2015. "The Saudi economy is continuing its expansion in the non-oil sector in November, business conditions have improved across the board in light of rising demand," said Naif Al-Ghaith, chief economist at Riyad Bank.
This has led to two IHC subsidiaries rounding out the three biggest companies on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX). ITH was expected to turn over half a billion dirhams ($136 million) and have $1 billion in assets by the second quarter, Shueb said. Pure Health, under Alpha Dhabi, aims to raise more than $1 billion in a first-quarter IPO delayed from this year. Its merger with state-owned Abu Dhabi Health Services (SEHA), which Shueb said has almost 24,000 employees, is taking longer than expected, delaying the IPO. IHC, which completed four IPOs this year and plans a similar number in 2023, has yet to appoint banks for the Pure Health IPO, Shueb said, adding it is considering a possible 2023 IPO of International Energy Holding.
ABU DHABI, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Binance Chief Executive Changpeng Zhao said on Wednesday there was significant interest from industry players in a recovery fund his company plans to launch to help crypto projects facing a liquidity squeeze following the collapse of rival FTX. Speaking at a conference in Abu Dhabi, Zhao said he doesn't have an exact figure in mind for the size of the recovery fund. Zhao said Binance has healthy reserves but he did not say how much the company would contribute to the fund. The crypto industry is reckoning with the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried's rival exchange FTX, which filed for bankruptcy on Friday after users rushed to withdraw $6 billion in crypto tokens in just 72 hours. "Obtaining this license is a pivotal step in the growth of Binance in Abu Dhabi, and a reflection of the city's progressive stance on virtual assets," Dominic Longman, senior executive officer at Binance Abu Dhabi, said in a statement.
DUBAI, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Saudi National Bank's (1180.SE) investment in Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) is tactical rather than strategic, its chairman said on Wednesday, adding that the Saudi lender expects to hold its stake in the Swiss bank for at least two years. SNB announced in October that it was taking part in Credit Suisse's capital raising and committed to investing up to 1.5 billion Swiss francs ($1.5 billion) to take a stake of up to 9.9%. Chairman Ammar Al Khudairy, speaking to Al Arabiya TV, said majority government-owned SNB would not consider selling its stake in the Swiss lender in the short-term. When asked whether the bank would raise its stake above 9.9%, Khudairy said there was no plan to do so. He also said the Saudi lender did not seek a seat on the Credit Suisse board.
Most Gulf central banks raise interest rates after Fed's move
  + stars: | 2022-11-02 | by ( )   time to read: +2 min
REUTERS/Hamad I MohammedDUBAI, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Most Gulf states said on Wednesday they would increase their key interest rates after the Federal Reserve raised its key policy rate by three-quarters of a percentage point for the fourth straight time. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the region's two largest economies, both increased rates by 75 basis points. The Saudi central bank, also known as SAMA, lifted its repo and reverse repo rates to 4.5% and 4%, respectively. Bahrain also raised its main rate by 75 basis points while Qatar increased rates by between 50 and 75 basis points. The impact of higher interest rates among Gulf oil exporters in 2022 has so far been limited.
DUBAI, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Economic activity in the Middle East and Central Asia was resilient with recovery continuing in 2022 but the region must guard against growing global headwinds and push ahead with reforms, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday. Countries should be on alert as "headwinds are growing, vulnerabilities are growing" with a global economic slowdown, volatile food and energy prices and tightening financial conditions, IMF Middle East and Central Asia Director Jihad Azour told Reuters ahead of the October report's release. An urgent policy challenge was tackling the cost-of-living crisis by restoring price stability, protecting vulnerable groups through targeted support and ensuring food security. Economic growth in 2023 was forecast by the IMF at 4% percent and likely narrow to 3.5% in the medium term. "Spillovers from the war could put the CCA's progress toward reducing poverty and inequality at risk," the report said.
REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El GhanyDUBAI, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Egypt's move to raise interest rates is a step in the right direction and a flexible exchange rate will help protect its economy from shocks at a time of tightening global financial conditions, an International Monetary Fund official said. Egyptian authorities pledged a "durably flexible" exchange rate in conjunction with a staff-level agreement for a $3 billion IMF extended fund facility. The central bank also raised interest rates by 200 basis points in an out-of-cycle meeting. "The measures that the central bank took last week in hiking interest rates. He said the $5 billion for FY2022-23 would be in addition to the extension of Gulf states' deposits in Egypt's central bank.
[1/3] A helmet with logo of Saudi Aramco is pictured at the oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/FilesRIYADH, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Oil giant Saudi Aramco launched a $1.5 billion fund to support an inclusive global energy transition on Wednesday while Saudi officials said the switch from hydrocarbons could take decades, necessitating continued investment in conventional resources. What we need is an optimal, realistic transition plan," Aramco CEO Amin Nasser told a business forum, where he announced the new fund managed by Aramco Ventures. Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan told the FII gathering that thinking around the global energy transition has "now became more realistic that actually transition will take... possibly 30 years", and that conventional resources remained important to ensure security of supply. Saudi sovereign wealth fund the Public Investment Fund (PIF) has established five regional investment companies in Jordan, Bahrain, Sudan, Iraq and Oman, PIF said on Wednesday, following a similar move for an investment subsidiary in Egypt.
DUBAI, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's finance minister said on Wednesday the energy transition away from fossil fuels would take years, possibly 30 years. Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan was speaking at Saudi Arabia's flagship investment conference FII. Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi and Rachna Uppal in Riyadh and Nadine Awadalla in Dubai; Writing by Yousef Saba; Editing by Andrew HeavensOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
RIYADH, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Former U.S. treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin said on Wednesday he believed the United States was in a recession and said this would continue. Speaking at Riyadh's flagship investment conference FII, he said: "I think we'll probably see a peak of 4.5% 10-year rates." "I think you are going to see inflation in the U.S. begin to come under control, it will probably be a two-year period," he added. He added that the Middle East's economic issues need to be dealt with regionally. Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi and Rachna Uppal in Riyadh and Ghaida Ghantous in Dubai; Writing by Yousef Saba, Editing by William MacleanOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Companies Saudi Arabian Oil Co FollowRIYADH, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said on Wednesday planned European embargoes on Russian crude and products were adding to uncertainty in the global oil market. Nasser also said that market realignments were taking place with discounts being offered by Russia. The Group of seven countries agreed last month to cap Russian oil sales at an enforced low price by Dec. 5 but have faced consternation from main players in the global oil industry. Nasser said the market for blue hydrogen was "building up" but that it was so far costly at around $200-$300 per barrel of oil equivalent. Blue hydrogen is obtained through capturing carbon from crude oil, storing it underground and mixing it with ammonia.
Wall Street bankers in Riyadh renew warnings over world economy
  + stars: | 2022-10-25 | by ( )   time to read: +2 min
RIYADH, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Top Wall Street bankers renewed their warnings about the world economy on Tuesday amid geopolitical tensions and steep interest rate hikes to tackle decades-high inflation. Goldman Sachs boss David Solomon said economic conditions would "tighten meaningfully from here" and the U.S. Federal Reserve could hike rates beyond 4.5-4.75% if it does not see real changes in behaviour. "If they don't see real changes – labour is still very, very tight – they're obviously just playing with the demand side by tightening. But if they don't see real changes in behaviour, my guess is they'll go further," he said. Dimon said the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and tensions between the United States and China were more worrisome than a potential U.S. recession.
SummarySummary Companies OPEC+ oil output cut led to U.S., Saudi spatSaudi Arabia and U.S. "solid allies" – ministerBig Wall St turnout at flagship Saudi investment summitRIYADH, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia decided to be the "maturer guys" in a spat with the United States over oil supplies, the kingdom's energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Tuesday. "We keep hearing you 'are with us or against us', is there any room for 'we are with the people of Saudi Arabia'?" Biden pledged that "there will be consequences" for U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia after the OPEC+ move. JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, speaking at the gathering, voiced confidence that Saudi Arabia and the United States would safeguard their 75-year-old alliance. It recovered the next year, attracting leaders and businesses with strategic interests in Saudi Arabia, after which the pandemic hit the world.
General view of Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia May 21, 2018. JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs made nearly $77 million and $42 million respectively in investment banking fees in Saudi Arabia last year, Refinitiv data showed. "For the most part, I do not see U.S. companies actively avoiding Saudi Arabia due to recent political tensions," said Adel Hamaizia, managing director at Highbridge Advisory and a visiting fellow at Harvard University. FDI FLATForeign direct investment still lags behind targets, though there has been movement in new sectors as the kingdom opens up. As Boeing netted an $80 million defence contract last year, Fedex announced a $400 million 10-year investment plan in the country, the Arab world's biggest economy.
UAE sovereign wealth fund ADIA to launch new data lab
  + stars: | 2022-10-18 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
DUBAI, Oct 18 (Reuters) - The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), the largest sovereign wealth fund in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), plans to open an advanced data research centre, an independent entity within the fund with goals not linked to investment applications. ADIA Lab will formally launch on Dec. 2 and is part of moves across the government to promote digitalisation and advanced technological applications. It will be headed by Simon Horst as director, who was previously at Berkeley Lab and at the U.S. Department of Energy. The UAE is trying to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbons and investing in increasing the contribution of digital innovation and advanced technology to overall economic growth. It is also seeking to attract high skilled professionals globally in these and other data science-led sectors.
Zain Saudi Arabia moves ahead on towers sale to PIF-led group
  + stars: | 2022-10-16 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
DUBAI, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Mobile telecommunications company Zain Saudi Arabia (7030.SE) said on Sunday it had transferred ownership of its unit Zain Business Limited to the Public Investment Fund (PIF), paving the way for the sale of the company's towers infrastructure. PIF has changed the unit's name to the Golden Lattice Investment Company (GLI), a statement posted on the Saudi stock exchange said, which will become the holding company in charge of the sale of Zain KSA's towers infrastructure units. The sale of 8,069 tower assets over to a PIF-led consortium was approved in February, with the deal valued at just over $800 million. As part of the asset purchase agreement, Zain Saudi will receive a cash amount of 2.4 billion riyals and a 20% stake in GLI. Register now for FREE unlimited access to RegisterReporting by Rachna Uppal Editing by Raissa KasolowskyOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
UAE, Oman to boost trade and investment ties
  + stars: | 2022-09-28 | by ( )   time to read: +2 min
DUBAI, Sept 28 (Reuters) - The UAE and Oman are exploring investment opportunities worth 30 billion dirhams and will increase bilateral economic cooperation in strategic sectors, according to a statement released during President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed's visit to the Sultanate. Considered one of the Gulf's weaker economies, increased trade and investment support from a regional heavyweight - the UAE is the Gulf's second biggest economy - will help the Sultanate progress with plans to diversify its economy away from oil. Register now for FREE unlimited access to RegisterADQ and OIA have previously signed a 10 billion dirham investment partnership agreement. The UAE and Oman have committed to long term economic development plans to diversify revenue away from hydrocarbons. The UAE, through funds such as ADQ, has intensified regional investments in sectors seen as strategic to the domestic economy.
The Central Bank of Bahrain is seen in Manama, October 27, 2013. The Saudi Central Bank, also known as SAMA, lifted its repo and reverse repo rates by 75 bps to 3.75% and 3.25%, respectively. The UAE's central bank will from Thursday hike its base rate by three-quarters of a percentage point to 3.15%. Qatar's central bank will from Thursday increase its lending rate to 4.5%, deposit rate to 3.75% and repo rate to 4.0%. Bahrain raised its key policy interest rate on its one-week deposit facility to 4%.
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