2012 ‘was a banner year for sukuk in Kingdom’
2012 ‘was a banner year for sukuk in Kingdom’
The conference,which was opened by Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf, was attended by 1,200 senior financiers, business leaders and government officials. Housing Minister Shwaish Al-Duwaihy, Economy and Planning Minister Muhammed Al-Jasser and Abdullatif Al-Zayani also addressed the delegates at the inaugural ceremony.
More than 20 financial institutions including Bank Albilad, HSBC, Muscat Capital and Al-Rajhi Capital displayed their products and services at an exhibition that ran concurrently with the conference.
The panellists during the discussion highlighted the important role played by the stock exchange and sukuk in a nation's economy. They also observed the recovery of the global stock market reflected the economic recovery.
"The year 2012 was a banner year for sukuk, especially for the Kingdom," a speaker said.
In her speech, Rafiza Ghazzali,chief financial officer of the Cagamas-Malaysian National Mortgage Corporation, said her country was harnessing its state mortgage law to boost development in the real estate sector for the benefit of its economy. She pointed out that many of her country's economic policies reflected similarities of the Kingdom's economic efforts.
Ahmed Almeghames, secretary general of the Saudi organization for Certified Public Accountants, pledged that his department would work for the economic development of the country through its concerted efforts.
Paul Louis Gay, chief financial officer of Almarai, said: "Plans are under to turn the establishment into a global company, which will have its branches in Argentina, Ukraine and the United States." He pointed out that the organization would take a decision about globalization during the next three months. He added that such ventures would compel the organization to borrow funds from international banks. The company has long-term plans to expand its business to drinking water, ice cream and confectionery to boost healthy competitiveness in the local market.
Indicating a growth rate of 20 percent, he stated that the company intends investing some SR 6 billion in the next five years. The company, which has 120,000 milking cows and 20 million birds, will ensure food safety and security in all its products.
Abdullah Alsuwelimy, chief executive officer of Tadawul, said the stock exchange has plans to innovate new services to attract investors from the Gulf region. He said that last year, the Kingdom witnessed the issue of sukuk to the value of SR 15 billion, which was a record in the annals of the decade.
The market value of the Saudi financial market was SR 1.4 trillion at the end of 2012, up 10.19 percent compared to the market value recorded at the end of 2011.
Strategic plans helped open the market to foreigners on the recovery of the Saudi bourse in 2012 and pushed trading values to levels approaching SR 21 billion compared to the average values of trading going on between SR 5 billion and 6 billion during the current year.
US unveils new veto threat against WTO rulings
- US tells WTO appeals rulings in trade disputes could be vetoed if they took longer than the allowed 90 days
- Trump, who has railed against the WTO judges in the past, threatens to levy a 20 percent import tax on European Union cars
GENEVA: The United States ramped up its challenge to the global trading system on Friday, telling the World Trade Organization that appeals rulings in trade disputes could be vetoed if they took longer than the allowed 90 days.
The statement by US Ambassador Dennis Shea threatened to erode a key element of trade enforcement at the 23-year-old WTO: binding dispute settlement, which is widely seen as a major bulwark against protectionism.
It came as US President Donald Trump, who has railed against the WTO judges in the past, threatened to levy a 20 percent import tax on European Union cars, the latest in an unprecedented campaign of threats and tariffs to punish US trading partners.
Shea told the WTO’s dispute settlement body that rulings by the WTO’s Appellate Body, effectively the supreme court of world trade, were invalid if they took too long. Rulings would no longer be governed by “reverse consensus,” whereby they are blocked only if all WTO members oppose them.
“The consequence of the Appellate Body choosing to breach (WTO dispute) rules and issue a report after the 90-day deadline would be that this report no longer qualifies as an Appellate Body report for purposes of the exceptional negative consensus adoption procedure,” Shea said, according to a copy of his remarks provided to Reuters.
An official who attended the meeting said other WTO members agreed that the Appellate Body should stick to the rules, but none supported Shea’s view that late rulings could be vetoed, and many expressed concern about his remarks.
Rulings are routinely late because, the WTO says, disputes are abundant and complex. Things have slowed further because Trump is blocking new judicial appointments, increasing the remaining judges’ already bulging workload.
At Friday’s meeting the United States maintained its opposition to the appointment of judges, effectively signalling a veto of one judge hoping for reappointment to the seven-seat bench in September.
Without him, the Appellate Body will only have three judges, the minimum required for every dispute, putting the system at severe risk of breakdown if any of the three judges cannot work on a case for legal or other reasons.
“Left unaddressed, these challenges can cripple, paralyze, or even extinguish the system,” chief judge Ujal Singh Bhatia said.
Sixty-six WTO member states are backing a petition that asks the United States to allow appointments to go ahead. On Friday, US ally Japan endorsed the petition for the first time, meaning that all the major users of the dispute system were united in opposition to Trump.