Foreign investors capture 5% Saudi shares worth SR108bn

Updated 13 June 2015
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Foreign investors capture 5% Saudi shares worth SR108bn

RIYADH: Foreign investors in the Saudi stock market are holding 5.1 percent of the market shares, or SR108.9 billion compared to its market capitalization of SR2.12 trillion, according to a financial report.
Shares of the foreign investors were distributed between “strategic founders” in the Saudi companies valued at SR83.7 billion (3.94 percent of the market capitalization of Saudi stock market) and foreign investments through mid-swap deals worth SR25 billion (1.18 percent of the market), the report filed and analyzed by Al-Eqtisadiah daily said.
According to the report, foreign investors have shares in 166 listed companies whereas they are banned from investment in four companies, namely Taibah Holding Company, Makkah Construction and Development Company, Jabal Omar, and Knowledge Economic City, complying with foreign investment law, which bans real estate investment in the holy cities (Makkah and Madinah).
GCC investments in the Saudi stock market are not considered foreign investments while Arab investments fall within foreign investments category, the report said.
Four Saudi banks captured the biggest portion of foreign investments in the Saudi companies in terms of value topped by Saudi British Bank (SABB) at SR23.1 billion, followed by Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF) at SR14.7 billion, Arab National Bank (ANB) at SR13.9 billion, Saudi Holland Bank (SHB) at SR11.3 billion, PetroRabigh at SR7.8 billion, Samba Financial Group (SFG) at SR3.7 billion, Bupa Arabia at SR3.3 billion, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) at SR2.2 billion, and Jarir at SR1.8 billion, the report said.
In terms of foreign share ownerships in the Saudi companies, there are four companies in which foreign investors have more than 40 percent of the total shares as follows: SHB at 41.8 percent, SABB (41.6 percent), ANB (40.9 percent), and Arabia Insurance Company (40.3 percent).
Meanwhile, foreigners retain more than 30 percent of shares in eight companies: PetroRabigh (38.6 percent), Bupa Arabia (33.4 percent), SABB Takaful (33.3 percent), Allianz SF (33.2 percent), Arabian Insurance (32.4 percent), BSF (31.9 percent), ACE Arabia Cooperative Insurance Company (30.7 percent), and Alinma Tokio Marine Company (30.1 percent), the report said.
As regards mega companies, foreign investors retain 0.7 percent of shares in SABIC (SR2.2 billion), 1.2 percent in Al-Rajhi Bank and National Commercial Bank (SR1.6 billion and SR1.3 billion respectively), 0.2 percent in Saudi Telecom Company (SR273 million), and 0.1 percent in Saudi Electricity Company (SR79 million), the report said.


China’s Xi promotes building initiative amid debt worries

Updated 1 min 8 sec ago
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China’s Xi promotes building initiative amid debt worries

  • Xi says Beijing wants “open, green and clean cooperation” with “zero tolerance for corruption”
  • High costs have prompted complaints some are falling into a “debt trap”
BEIJING: President Xi Jinping has promised to set high standards for China’s Belt and Road infrastructure-building initiative, seeking to dispel complaints the many billion dollars in projects leave developing countries with too much debt.
Xi avoided mentioning debt complaints in a speech opening a forum attended by leaders from some three dozen countries to celebrate his signature foreign initiative. But he said Beijing wants “open, green and clean cooperation” with “zero tolerance for corruption.”
Developing countries welcome the initiative to expand trade by building roads, ports and other facilities across Asia and Africa to Europe. But high costs have prompted complaints some are falling into a “debt trap.”
The United States, Russia, Japan and India also worry Beijing is trying to build a trade and political network centered on China and expand its strategic influence at their expense.
Xi’s government is trying to revive the initiative’s momentum after the number of new projects plunged last year. That came after Chinese officials said state-owned banks would step up scrutiny of borrowers and some governments complained projects do too little for their economies and might give Beijing too much political sway.
Countries including Malaysia and Thailand have canceled or scaled back projects while Ethiopia and others have renegotiated debt repayment.
Xi noted China’s finance ministry on Thursday issued guidelines for assessing debt risks for borrowers. The ministry said those “debt sustainability guidelines” are based on the standards of the International Monetary Fund and other international institutions.
The president tried to allay complaints about lack of economic benefits and political influence, saying Belt and Road is “not an exclusive club” and promotes “common development and prosperity.”
“We need to pursue open, green and clean cooperation,” Xi said. “Everything should be done in a transparent way and we should have zero tolerance for corruption.”
His audience at a Beijing conference center included Prime Ministers Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, Lee Hsien-Loong of Singapore and Adiy Ahmed of Ethiopia and leaders or envoys from Greece, Serbia and Malaysia.
Xi said Beijing also wants to expand the scope of its initiative by encouraging cooperation among Belt and Road countries on health, water resources, agriculture and science and technology. He promised to fund scholarships for students from Belt and Road countries.