Retail sector surges 1.37%

Updated 16 May 2013
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Retail sector surges 1.37%

The Saudi stock market recorded nominal gains yesterday, as the Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) closed higher to 7,147.42, adding 8.11 points or 0.11 percent for the entire day.
After falling over 53.9 points during the session it bottomed out at 7,090.12 points level and started to rise again and finally crossed the break-even line.
The market cap indices ended the day in mixed territories.
Sector indices performed in a mixed fashion, with eight sectors accumulating an aggregate of 227 points and seven sectors trimming 145.7 points jointly.
Retail showed the best performance among sectoral indices, rising 118.6 points or 1.37 percent to close the day at 8,773.43. Real Estate Development was other significant advancer which gained 1.01 percent for the day.
Media and Publishing sector, on the other hand, posted the largest losses, falling 2.2 percent to 2,923.21.
Insurance sector also continued its downward fall, declining further by 1.72 percent and closing at 1,147.69.
Again heavyweights’ performance remained almost balanced with small positive/negative changes.
The market breadth remained unfavorable, with 48 stocks witnessing advances and 86 others marking a decline.
Saudi Indian Company for Co-operative Insurance (WAFA Insurance) dominated the top gainers chart at Tadawul, surging by 6.78 percent to finish at SR 126.
Market activity was high, specifically SR 6.0 billion were poured into the market. Trading volume was impressive, with about 225 million shares changed hands in the market, a significant 24.3 percent growth over the previous level. The 50-day average for trading volume is closer to 201.4 million shares.
Jabal Omar Development Company and Bank Albilad were significant gainers among most active stocks, moving upward by 2.3 percent and 1.3 percent respectively.
Albilad with trades over 21.9 million shares worth SR 525.5 million topped the volume and value charts, capturing 9.7 percent of the overall market volume.


Jordanian cabinet approves new IMF-guided tax law to boost finances

Updated 21 May 2018
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Jordanian cabinet approves new IMF-guided tax law to boost finances

AMMAN: Jordan’s cabinet on Monday approved major IMF-guided proposals that aim to double the income tax base, as a key part of reforms to boost the finances of a debt-burdened economy hit by regional conflict.
“When only 4 percent of Jordanians pay (personal) income tax, this may not be the right thing,” Finance Minister Omar Malhas said in remarks after the cabinet meeting, adding the goal was to push that to eight percent. The draft legislation was submitted to parliament.
The IMF’s three-year Extended Fund Facility program aims to generate more state revenue to gradually bring down public debt to 77 percent of GDP in 2021, from a record 95 percent.
A few months ago Jordan raised levies on hundreds of food and consumer items by unifying general sales tax (GST) to 16 percent — removing exemptions on many basic goods.
In January subsidies on bread were ended, doubling some prices in a country with rising unemployment and poverty among its eight million people.
The income tax move and the GST reforms will bring an estimated 840 million dinars ($1.2 billion) in extra annual tax revenue that will help reduce chronic budget shortfalls normally covered by foreign aid, officials say.
Corporate income tax on banks, financial institutions and insurance companies will be pushed to 40 percent from 30 percent. Taxes on Jordan’s phosphate and potash mining industry will be raised to 30 percent from 24.
The government argues the reforms will reduce social disparities by progressively taxing high earners while leaving low-paid public sector employees largely untouched.
“This is a fair tax law not an unfair one,” said Malhas, who shrugged off criticism the law is lenient on many businesses connected to politicians whose transactions are not subject to tax scrutiny.
Husam Abu Ali, the head of the Income and Sales Tax Department, said a proposed IMF-recommended Financial Crime Investigations Unit will stiffen penalties for tax evaders. Critics say it will not tackle pervasive corruption in state institutions.
Abu Ali said the government could be losing hundreds of millions of dollars through tax evasion, which is as high as 80 percent in some companies.
The amendments lower the income tax threshold and raise tax rates. Unions said the government was caving in to IMF demands and squeezing more from the same taxpayers.
“It is penalizing a group that has long paid what it owes the state,” the unions syndicate said in a statement.
“It imposes injustice on employees whose salaries have barely coped with price hikes rising madly in recent years.”