Tadawul wins Best Managed Stock Exchange accolade

Updated 21 November 2014
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Tadawul wins Best Managed Stock Exchange accolade

The Saudi stock exchange (Tadawul) has been voted the Best Managed Financial Exchange in the Middle East 2014, for the 3rd consecutive year, according to Euromoney Group.
The award follows Euromoney’s annual best managed companies’ survey, which canvasses bank analysts, fund managers and equity investors in the financial markets around the region.
In response to receiving the award, Adel Al-Ghamdi, CEO of the Saudi stock exchange commended his team, in an internal communique, for their contribution to another significant year in the history of the exchange.
The number of noteworthy events and continuing trading levels over the first 10 months of 2014 suggest that the exchange will end the year registering the second highest trading value in its history in excess of SR2 trillion ($533 billion) reinforcing our position as the most liquid platform in the Middle East and North Africa, and one of the most liquid platforms worldwide (in relative terms), he added.
The recent listing of the National Commercial Bank (NCB), the world’s second largest IPO this year (after Alibaba), added around SR120 billion ($32 billion) in market capitalization to our platform since its listing. “This has strengthened our position as the 21st largest stock market in World Federation of Exchange rankings ahead of Bursa Malaysia, the Mexican Exchange and the Moscow Exchange, which we only recently overtook,” Al-Ghamdi said.
“Recent regulatory policy initiatives are also set to have a transformational impact on our local and global identity;
The implementation of the ongoing project to activate our regulatory responsibilities, pursuant to the Capital Market Law, will transform the exchange into a self-regulating organization (SRO), reinforcing our enshrined duty to continue to carefully balance our commercial aspirations with our responsibilities to act in the public interest,” he said.
The expected approval of the qualified foreign institutional investor framework will transform the Saudi stock exchange from a local platform to a truly international exchange. “This will elevate both our global standing and our opportunity set, but it will also bring us into direct competition with our international peers and position us under the global spotlight — a challenge that we welcome and will grow from,” Al-Ghamdi said.
Successful execution of our 5 year strategic plan will ensure that the organization is aligned and focused on delivering tangible and measurable achievements to harmonize our promise with our aspirations and honor our privilege as the national securities exchange efforts.
Al-Ghamdi added that being granted this award for the 3rd consecutive year, only fueled the need to continue to optimize the way the exchange conducts its business with the aim of becoming a nimbler, more focused organization able to efficiently respond to the demands of the local and global marketplace and the needs of its stakeholders.


Palestinians in financial crisis after Israel, US moves

Updated 22 March 2019
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Palestinians in financial crisis after Israel, US moves

  • A Ramallah-based economics professor said the Palestinian economy more generally, remain totally controlled by and reliant on Israel
  • Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts have been at a standstill since 2014

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories: The Palestinian Authority faces a suffocating financial crisis after deep US aid cuts and an Israeli move to withhold tax transfers, sparking fears for the stability of the West Bank.
The authority, headed by President Mahmud Abbas, announced a package of emergency measures on March 10, including halving the salaries of many civil servants.
The United States has cut more than $500 million in Palestinian aid in the last year, though only a fraction of that went directly to the PA.
The PA has decided to refuse what little US aid remains on offer for fear of civil suits under new legislation passed by Congress.
Israel has also announced it intends to deduct around $10 million a month in taxes it collects for the PA in a dispute over payments to the families of prisoners in Israeli jails.
In response, Abbas has refused to receive any funds at all, labelling the Israeli reductions theft.
That will leave his government with a monthly shortfall of around $190 million for the length of the crisis.
The money makes up more than 50 percent of the PA’s monthly revenues, with other funds coming from local taxes and foreign aid.

While the impact of the cuts is still being assessed, analysts fear it could affect the stability of the occupied West Bank.
“If the economic situation remains so difficult and the PA is unable to pay salaries and provide services, in addition to continuing (Israeli) settlement expansion it will lead to an explosion,” political analyst Jihad Harb said.
Abbas cut off relations with the US administration after President Donald Trump declared the disputed city of Jerusalem Israel’s capital in December 2017.
The right-wing Israeli government, strongly backed by the US, has since sought to squeeze Abbas.
After a deadly anti-Israeli attack last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would withhold $138 million (123 million euros) in Palestinian revenues over the course of a year.
Israel collects around $190 million a month in customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through its ports, and then transfers the money to the PA.
Israel said the amount it intended to withhold was equal to what is paid by the PA to the families of prisoners, or prisoners themselves, jailed for attacks on Israelis last year.
Many Palestinians view prisoners and those killed while carrying out attacks as heroes of the fight against Israeli occupation.
Israel says the payments encourage further violence.
Abbas recently accused Netanyahu’s government of causing a “crippling economic crisis in the Palestinian Authority.”
The PA also said in January it would refuse all further US government aid for fear of lawsuits under new US legislation targeting alleged support for “terrorism.”

Finance Minister Shukri Bishara announced earlier this month he had been forced to “adopt an emergency budget that includes restricted austerity measures.”
Government employees paid over 2,000 shekels ($555) will receive only half their salaries until further notice.
Prisoner payments would continue in full, Bishara added.
Nasser Abdel Karim, a Ramallah-based economics professor, told AFP the PA, and the Palestinian economy more generally, remain totally controlled by and reliant on Israel.
The PA undertook similar financial measures in 2012 when Israel withheld taxes over Palestinian efforts to gain international recognition at the United Nations.
Abdel Karim said such crises are “repeated and disappear according to the development of the relationship between the Palestinian Authority and Israel or the countries that support (the PA).”
Israel occupied the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including now annexed east Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967 and Abbas’s government has only limited autonomy in West Bank towns and cities.
“The problem is the lack of cash,” economic journalist Jafar Sadaqa told AFP.
He said that while the PA had faced financial crises before, “this time is different because it comes as a cumulative result of political decisions taken by the United States.”
Abbas appointed longtime ally Mohammad Shtayyeh as prime minister on March 10 to head a new government to oversee the crisis.
Abdel Karim believes the crisis could worsen after an Israeli general election next month “if a more right-wing Israeli government wins.”
Netanyahu’s outgoing government is already regarded as the most right-wing in Israel’s history but on April 9 parties even further to the right have a realistic chance of winning seats in parliament for the first time.
Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts have been at a standstill since 2014, when a drive for a deal by the administration of President Barack Obama collapsed in the face of persistent Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank.