Saudi capital markets set for sustained growth

Updated 29 May 2014
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Saudi capital markets set for sustained growth

Executives meeting for the 9th Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference have been impressed by the confidence and optimism of the Kingdom’s financial sector.
Confidence is seen as one of the key elements for sustained economic growth, and speakers from both within the Kingdom and from international banks and financing groups have all expressed strong confidence during this week’s event.
On the second day, the tone was set by Adel Saleh Al-Ghamdi, CEO of the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), who outlined the dynamic factors supporting the growth of the Arab world’s largest exchange.
The Tadawul is now the ninth largest emerging market stock exchange out of a basket of 24 exchanges in terms of market capitalization, and has the sixth highest liquidity.
“We see strong demand coming from within the Saudi Arabian economy,” said Al-Ghamdi.
“There are currently 35 family-owned businesses in Saudi Arabia exploring their options for IPO with financial advisers at this time.”
A morning session also saw senior executives from leading banks and enterprises, including Saudi Aramco, Manafea Holding Company, Amundi Asset Management, Saudi Kuwait Finance House Bahrain and HSBC Saudi Arabia take part in a major discussion on the direction and evolution of the Kingdom’s capital markets.
In the session about Potential Risks and Future Financial Crises, Robert Parker, senior adviser at Credit Suisse, discussed the significant improvement of bank risk globally over the last 3 years and warned about real estate bubbles: “Real estate bubbles in Singapore, London, Switzerland and other countries are considered as big financial risks.”
He commented: “Other financial risks include youth unemployment, large current account deficits in emerging markets, China’s economic slowdown and shadow banking.”
In addition, Parker identified 3 major geo-political risks that might lead to future financial crises, including the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the negotiations with Iran and the China-Korea-Japan triangle.
In a recent report, Al-Rajhi Capital noted that Tadawul is “ready for foreign investors,” thanks to a strong economy, robust banking system, institutions to manage foreign investment in equity markets, and a track record for managing banking liquidity.
The 9th Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference is the longest-running, largest and most influential financial conference in the Kingdom. It has attracted around 1,300 pre-registrations from all over the region and the world.


Egypt inks deal with Cyprus for power link to Europe

Updated 23 May 2019
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Egypt inks deal with Cyprus for power link to Europe

  • It is estimated the project will take 36 months to implement from the start of construction, with the lowest point 3,000 meters below sea-level
  • Phase 1 will see the interconnector carry a capacity of 1,000 MW which can be upgraded to 2,000 MW at a later stage

NICOSIA: Egypt has signed a deal with a Cypriot firm to lay a 310-kilometer (195-mile) cable under the Mediterranean to export electricity to Europe, the company said on Thursday.
Nicosia-based EuroAfrica described the deal, worth an estimated two billion euros, as a “landmark.”
“Cyprus now becomes a major hub for the transmission of electricity from Africa to Europe,” said company chairman Ioannis Kasoulides.
It is estimated the project will take 36 months to implement from the start of construction, with the lowest point 3,000 meters below sea-level.
Phase 1 will see the interconnector carry a capacity of 1,000 MW which can be upgraded to 2,000 MW at a later stage.
“The national electricity grid of Egypt will be linked to the European electricity system through Cyprus and will contribute to energy security,” Kasoulides said.
Following the crises in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, the EU has been keen to develop alternative sources of energy to reduce its dependence on imports from Russia.
In the past year, gas has started flowing from four major new fields off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, and output is already sufficient to meet domestic needs.
The Arab world’s most populous country is now seeking to develop the infrastructure to export its newfound energy wealth, both as liquefied natural gas and as electricity.
Egypt is also seeking to import gas from fields off Cyprus and Israel to boost the profitability of the new liquefaction and export facilities it is developing on its Mediterranean coast.
In September, Egypt signed a deal with Cyprus to build an undersea pipeline to pump Cypriot offshore gas to Egypt for processing for export to Europe.
The plans have led to closer eastern Mediterranean ties, with Cyprus, Egypt, Greece and Israel holding regular high-level meetings.