Aramco sets financing plan for industrial push

Updated 28 April 2016
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Aramco sets financing plan for industrial push

ALKHOBAR: Saudi Aramco, the biggest energy company, outlined financing plans on Wednesday that will support its expansion into new areas under a sweeping economic reform plan released by Riyadh this week.

The reforms envisage Aramco transforming itself from an oil and gas firm into a “global industrial conglomerate” involved in many sectors and services, using its vast financial resources to create jobs and help diversify the Saudi economy beyond oil.
“We will continue to build on our accelerated transformation and serve as a pillar, role model and champion of transformation in the Kingdom,” Aramco’s official magazine, Arabian Sun, quoted chief executive Amin Nasser as saying.
Aramco’s board, which met in Tokyo last week, decided to provide interim financing for a planned shipyard at the town of Ras Al-Khair on Saudi Arabia’s east coast, the magazine said without giving details.
In January, Aramco signed an MoU to establish the shipbuilding and repair complex with National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia (Bahri), a subsidiary of Lamprell Plc, a UAE-based engineering firm, and South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries.
Aramco’s board also decided to set up joint ventures for onshore and offshore drilling rig services, the magazine said without giving details of those ventures.
Aramco wants to control more of those businesses to create jobs for Saudis, stimulate local demand and control costs. The board approved an additional equity contribution for its Sadara petrochemical joint venture with US firm Dow Chemical, Arabian Sun said.
Aramco also approved the creation of a program to issue Islamic bonds (sukuk), the magazine added.
Aramco officials welcomed the IPO plan as a way to participate in the reform program. Also announced on Wednesday were several appointments to senior posts in Aramco, including four people to the level of vice president.
Nabeel Al-Mansour was appointed general counsel, the first Saudi to hold that post. One goal of the reform program is to move local citizens into jobs, both senior and junior.

— With input from Reuters


Two killed, dozens injured in Gaza City rallies and clashes

Palestinians take part in a Hamas rally in the Gaza Strip’s Jabalia refugee camp on Dec. 8, 2017, against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Israel deployed hundreds of additional police officers following Palestinian calls for protests after the main weekly Muslim prayers against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)
Updated 09 December 2017
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Two killed, dozens injured in Gaza City rallies and clashes

GAZA CITY: Tens of thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in the Gaza Strip after the end of Friday prayers, while clashes broke out between hundreds of youths and Israeli forces along the border between Gaza and Israel. At least two Palestinians were killed and dozens injured.
The Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, staged military parades in which masked men wearing military uniforms carried rifles and ammunition. The participants chanted slogans condemning America’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and calling for a revolt to “liberate Jerusalem from occupation.”
Fathi Hammad, a member of the Hamas political bureau, told demonstrators in the northern Gaza Strip: “Today we declare an uprising against the occupation, and there are no half solutions.
“We call upon all the free people of the world to boycott America and Israel, and we call on the Arab and Islamic countries to take a serious stand and support our people.”
He added that a US Embassy in Jerusalem would be “an occupation entity like any other.”
He also called for the return of the Palestinian diaspora: “Isn’t it time for anyone who (has believed) in this alleged peace for more than a quarter of a century to return to embrace his people and to join us in the trench of resistance?”
In East Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip, clashes broke out along the border with Israel. As Palestinian youths burned tires, Israeli forces reportedly responded with tear gas and live rounds. At least two Palestinians were killed and dozens were injured, some critically.
Senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan said during another march in Gaza City: “The Palestinian Authority must take urgent decisions, by declaring the failure of Oslo Accords and the end of that period, ending security coordination (with Israel) and permitting resistance in the West Bank.


“Hamas leaders declare the intifada for the freedom of the West Bank and Jerusalem, in response to President Trump’s decision,” he said. “Jerusalem will remain the capital of the state of Palestine.” 
“Trump’s decision ended any mediation role the United States could play in the political process, destroyed the peace process, and destroyed any talk about a deal to bring peace to the region,” Osama Al-Qawasmi, a Fatah spokesman, said in a statement.
Friday sermons in the Gaza Strip addressed the issue of Jerusalem and the American decision to transfer its embassy there, and urged the rejection of any attempt to harm “the sanctity of the city.” 
One of the protesters, Ahmed Al-Aksh, blamed “the weakness of the Palestinian people because of the division between Fatah and Hamas” for the US decision, “as well as the preoccupation of Arab countries with internal issues.”
Now, Al-Aksh said: “We must go out to the streets and face that decision.”​