GE strengthens Saudi presence with new initiatives

Updated 06 October 2012
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GE strengthens Saudi presence with new initiatives

US giant General Electric broke new ground yesterday when it launched the second phase of its high-tech GE Manufacturing Technology Center (GEMTEC) at Dammam's Second Industrial City.
The company also inaugurated a new and advanced pressure control facility, and signed a cooperation agreement with Wa'ed, Saudi Aramco's new entity focused on financing and incubating new businesses in the Kingdom.
The tie-up with Wa'ed will help identify and nurture local small and medium enterprises and develop them into competitive suppliers of the company in the energy sector as part of GE's focus on developing a Saudi-based supply chain for the manufacturing sector.
As part of GE's SR 3.75 billion investment in Saudi Arabia, the localization initiative will further strengthen the manufacturing sector of the Kingdom. The agreement to promote SMEs will also lead to indirect job creation for Saudis by driving robust demand for local suppliers and services. Together, the new investment in the energy sector of the Kingdom by GE complements the Saudi Vision 2020 to promote local manufacturing, economic diversification, exports and job creation.
Currently over 170,000 sq ft in area, the second phase will mark the expansion of the technology center by more than double to about 390,000 sq ft. The facility has recently completed its first year of operations, and serves more than 50 customers in the Kingdom, the rest of the Middle East, Africa and Europe. In the first year, GEMTEC extended service support to drive the efficiencies of over 450 gas turbines that are central to power generation.
After the expansion, GE's most advanced technology center of its kind will feature five key components - a modern manufacturing facility of high end equipment for the power, water and oil and gas industries; a service and repair center for advanced turbine equipment; a training center that offers the latest technology and managerial courses for college students, field engineers and other power industry professionals throughout the region; a repair development center; and a state-of-the-art high-speed balance facility.
Along with the introduction of new components, the office space of the center will also be expanded. Both the office space expansion and construction of the high-speed balance facility will be completed next year, while the rest of the components will be completed in phases in 2014.
GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt said: "The expansion of GEMTEC will contribute significantly to enhancing manufacturing and localization in the power sector of Saudi Arabia. Through the second phase investment and the opening of the pressure control facility, we are delivering on our promise to strengthen our investment and partnership commitment to our valued customers in the Kingdom."
According to him, it will also create jobs for young Saudi professionals and promote the Kingdom's human capital through advanced training on cutting edge technologies. "We are delighted to join hands with our long-term partner Saudi Aramco to further develop a Saudi-based supply chain in the manufacturing sector that will promote entrepreneurship among young Saudis," said Immelt.
Steve Bolze, president and CEO, GE Power and Water, said one of the significant advantages offered by GE's new investment is its ability to offer localized design, engineering and repair services for all sectors of the energy industry through active collaboration with its partners.
"This is of critical value in driving the overall operational efficiencies, and now our partners can benefit from significant time-savings with local cutting-edge repair and technical expertise. Additionally, by investing in talent, GE will play a key role in developing a pool of skilled technologists who can partner in meeting the energy sector growth requirements of the Kingdom," he said.
A top official of Saudi Electric Company, who was speaking on behalf of Ali Saleh Al-Barrak, president and CEO, said: "We have been working closely with GE for nearly four decades and the expansion of the Manufacturing Technology Center will enable us to experience high-quality integrated services of gas turbines locally. This will support SEC in meeting the growing electricity need in the Kingdom while furthering Saudi Arabia's ambitions of becoming a technology hub for the energy sector."
Complementing GE's goal of promoting localized job creation and human capital development, GEMTEC currently employs more than 350 technologists and is training more than 100 others under the Technical & Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) agreement.
The participants are being trained in key areas of maintenance and repair of gas turbines, electrical motors and generators that are critical to the efficient generation of electricity in the Kingdom. Over 50 percent Saudization has been achieved to date at the center.


Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co. plans up to $1.07bn sukuk sale this year

Updated 23 April 2019
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Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co. plans up to $1.07bn sukuk sale this year

  • The plan by SRC, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign Public Investment Fund, comes as it prepares to purchase more home loan portfolios
  • SRC, formed in 2017, is also keen to tap foreign institutional investors for its debt sale this year

RIYADH: Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co. (SRC), modelled on US mortgage finance firm Fannie Mae, aims to issue up to 4 billion riyals ($1.07 billion) of long-term sukuk this year, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

The plan by SRC, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign Public Investment Fund, comes as it prepares to purchase more home loan portfolios from mortgage financing companies and banks to boost the Kingdom’s secondary mortgage market.

SRC, formed in 2017, is also keen to tap foreign institutional investors for its debt sale this year, Fabrice Susini told Reuters in an interview.

“Our strategy is clearly to tap the market twice this year,” he said. “We are really looking at probably issuing something between ... 2 and 4 billion riyal that we may be issuing in two tranches.

He said SRC was looking at sukuk in the 10 to 15-year range, to help minimize refinancing risks. “Generally speaking we are trying to issue as long as possible,” Susini said.

He said the company was assessing whether it could also issue bonds in currencies other than the local riyal.

In March, SRC completed a 750 million riyal sukuk issue with multiple tenors, under a program that allows it to issue up to 11 billion riyals of local currency denominated Islamic bonds.

“The rule of the game for us is, like many projects across the Kingdom, attract liquidity from foreign investors,” Susini said.

He said SRC had spent 1.2 billion riyals from its balance sheet buying mortgages from local mortgage financing companies and provided liquidity to these firms.

It has also signed initial accords with several commercial banks to acquire housing mortgage portfolios.

Saudi Arabia’s housing ministry is targeting the mortgage market to reach a total value of 502 billion riyals by 2020 from around 300 billion riyals now.

The government wants to increase activity in the real estate market as it moves to revitalize the economy and is taking steps to reform the sector as part of its 2030 reform plan.

It has been working with developers and local banks to counter a shortage of affordable housing — one of the country’s biggest social and economic problems. Saudi Arabia wants 60 percent of its nationals to own homes by 2020, up from 47 percent in 2016.

The size of real estate financing relative to its gross domestic product is 5 percent in Saudi Arabia compared to 69 percent in the United States, 74 percent in the United Kingdom and 43 pct in Canada, the housing ministry has said.

“The goal of SRC in this market was to make sure that we will be able to refinance at least around 10 percent of the market in 2020, and 20 percent of the market by 2028,” Susini told Reuters.