Geely’s Emgrand X7 SUV set to enter Saudi market

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Updated 18 April 2013
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Geely’s Emgrand X7 SUV set to enter Saudi market

Haji Husein Alireza & Co. Ltd. is gearing up to launch Chinese auto manufacturer Geely’s first SUV Emgrand X7 model into the Saudi market in June.
Husam Al-Hanbali, general manager — sales and marketing at Haji Husein Alireza & Co., while visiting the Geely’s Chengdu SUV assembly plant with the media group from Saudi Arabia, told Arab News that Geely’s line of new models are very popular in Saudi Arabia.
“After the successful Emgrand X7’s launch in China last year, it is coming to Saudi Arabia for the first time,” Al-Hanbali said.
He said four Geely models — LC Panda, GX2, EC7 and EC8 — have already been launched in Saudi Arabia since September 2011.
“We launched Geely cars into the Saudi market when prices of other Japanese cars were very high. We provided right products with equivalent Japanese technology at the right time,” he added.
He said sales of Geely vehicles were very satisfactory in the first year after their launch.
Al-Hanbali said Haji Husein Alireza & Co., the sole distributor of Geely vehicles across the Kingdom, sold 13,000 Geely vehicles in Saudi Arabia and took the market share of 1.7 percent in 2012.
“Our expectations are high this year after the launch of Emgrand X7 SUV model in June. We are targeting to sell 18,000 vehicles this year in the Saudi market and take the market share of over two percent,” he added.
“Last year it ranked No. 8 among car distributors in Saudi Arabia, but this year our aim is to rank No. 7,” he stressed.
“Our distribution network is excellent in the Kingdom,” he said.
“We have 20 branches throughout the Kingdom and our aim is to open four more branches in Jeddah, Taif, Hofuf and Jubail,” he added.
Haijing Hou, group vice president of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. Co. Ltd. and general manager of Geely’s Chengdu SUV assembly plant, said the production capacity at present is about 80,000 units at this plant annually because it is working in one shift.
But Hou, who joined the company last April, said: “We will launch another night shift soon, so the production capacity will double to 160,000 units per year. So from present 250 cars per day, the production will increase to 500 cars daily.”
“Because of huge demand in China, we sell about 85 percent of our vehicles in the domestic market and 15 percent overseas,” Hou added.
But he said: “We are aiming for half and half. So we will sell half of vehicles in the domestic market and half overseas in future.”
Earlier, Leon Chang, project manager at Geely International Corporation, gave a briefing to visiting Saudi delegation about the Geely Chengdu plant, which is located in the economic and technological development zone in east Chengdu, Sichuan Province.
He said the plant was registered in October 2007 with capital of 50 million yuan.
The first stage construction started in February 2009 and completed in the same year at the same time, the plant successfully started producing Geely’s first SUV model.
Chang said at present the plant had built up automobile production lines that composed of four automobile manufacturing processes which are pressing, welding, painting and assembling and a wide range of supporting facilities.
The first SUV model GX7 was launched at Beijing auto show in April 2012.
GX7 was designed by the globally renowned car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro.
He said, in July 2012, Geely Chengdu plant was granted the title of “Safety Culture Construction Model enterprise” by Chengdu government.
It was also awarded as the “Innovative Enterprise” in the 18th Chinese machinery manufacturing industry management modernization competition.


NMC Health’s $450 million bond to boost Saudi expansion

Updated 23 April 2018
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NMC Health’s $450 million bond to boost Saudi expansion

  • The new capital structure — which will feature a mixture of unsecured bank and bond financing — will aid the company’s continued growth into Saudi Arabia.
  • The company first secured a foothold in the Kingdom in 2016 after acquiring a 70 percent stake in As Salama Hospital in Al-Khobar.

LONDON: The UAE-based private health care operator NMC Health has launched a $450 million senior unsecured guaranteed bond to help pay off an existing $1 billion bridge facility and support its expansion plans into Saudi Arabia.

The earlier bridging loan was part of the $2 billion capital structure refinancing put in place at the start of the year, the company said.

The bond is due in 2025 and is convertible into ordinary shares. JP Morgan is the sole bookrunner on the issuance. Bonds will have a fixed coupon rate of 1.875 percent, paid semi-annually.

The new capital structure — which will feature a mixture of unsecured bank and bond financing — will aid the company’s continued growth into Saudi Arabia, with NMC having been one of the first private health care providers to capitalize on the Saudi government’s health care privatization plans.

The company first secured a foothold in the Kingdom in 2016 after acquiring a 70 percent stake in As Salama Hospital in Al-Khobar.

Since then, NMC won regulatory approval last September for a new long-term care facility, the Chronic Care Specialty Medical Center, in Jeddah. It is though to be the first greenfield medical facility in the Kingdom to be set up by a non-Saudi company.

Earlier this year, NMC said it acquired an 80 percent stake in the Riyadh-based Al-Salam Medical Group.

NMC’s acquisition-led expansion strategy aims to ensure the company retains its recently-won place on London’s FTSE 100 index. It was one of the first Middle Eastern companies to join the index when it qualified last September. It first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2012.

The company posted strong growth in the last year, reporting $209.3 million in net profit for 2017, an increase of 38.2 percent on the previous year. The company paid out a total of $641 million in acquisitions last year.

“2017 proved to be a year of tremendous achievements for NMC,” said the firm’s chief executive Prasanth Manghat, in a statement in March.

NMC also secured secured its first public ratings of BB+ with a stable outlook from S&P on April 20, while Moody’s gave the firm rating of Ba1 with a stable outlook on April 20, 2018. The bonds are not expected to be rated.

“The company continues to strive to meet self-imposed standards that are higher when compared to what is expected of it by various regulators. This approach supports in turn its resilient business model, loyal customer base, strong brand recognition and market leading position,” according to a statement from Moody’s Investors Service.

Investors are so far reacting favorably to NMC’s strategy, with the company closing at a record high on April 20, according to Bloomberg reports, with a market value of $10.8 billion.

The company is now one of 24 equities in the region to have achieved a market capitalization of more than $10 billion, the report said.

Healthcare is seen as a lucrative sector in the Gulf due to its relatively wealthy population becoming increasingly at risk of problems related to obesity and diseases such as type 2 diabetes.