‘Foreign workers’ remittances exceed SR150bn in 2016’

Hussam Abdullah Al-Hayyaf, chief executive officer of Ersal Money Transfer. (Supplied photo)
Updated 29 January 2017
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‘Foreign workers’ remittances exceed SR150bn in 2016’

RIYADH: Estimating more than SR150 billion of remittances sent from the Kingdom in 2016, a top Saudi banker here on Saturday has ranked the country as one of the top remittance-sending nations in the world.
The bulk of the remittances have been sent to different countries by about 10.5 million foreign workers amid predictions that the money transfers will be slightly lower in 2017 compared to last year.
Hussam Abdullah Al-Hayyaf, chief executive officer of Ersal Money Transfer, said: “The money sent out of the Kingdom as per Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) was around SR150 billion by the end of 2016.”
Al-Hayyaf said that he did not foresee major drop in remittances this year. He pointed out that India, Pakistan and Yemen are the top recipients of remittances sent from Saudi Arabia.
Spelling out the expansion plan of Ersal Money Transfer, a SAMA-licensed remittance company formed by Saudi Post and Alinma Bank, Al-Hayyaf said that “Ersal is planning to reach 60 branches by the end of 2017.”
Currently, Ersal has 50 branches across the Kingdom, which facilitates sending remittances directly to the bank accounts of the customers in several countries in different parts of the world.
He said that “we have also tied up with Western Union, which can remit money to any place around the globe instantly and it has about 600,000 outlets around the world.
“Also, as part of new services that we are planning to provide for our valued customers is that our customers can make money transfer online from their homes or places of work or from anywhere in the world,” he added.
“We at Ersal have facilities to send money to any country in the world through Western Union service or through our correspondent banks in different countries in Asia or Africa,” he said, while referring to Pakistan or India or Philippines, where the remittances can reach on the same day or in 30 minutes to a bank account or within minutes through Western Union.
The Ersal CEO also pointed out that there are no charges for sending remittances to Pakistan, whereas Ersal charges only SR15 for money transfer to other countries.
“In fact, we have a good relationship with many reputable and famous banks and we are in continuous process to make stronger ties and build relationships with different banks around the world as per the growth in our customers’ base,” he added.


Moody’s upgrades Egypt’s rating to B2, expects more economic growth

Updated 18 April 2019
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Moody’s upgrades Egypt’s rating to B2, expects more economic growth

  • Moody’s believes Egypt’s large domestic funding base would support its resilience to refinancing shocks
  • The ratings agency expects energy price hikes as part of Egypt’s fuel subsidy reform

CAIRO: Rating agency Moody’s has upgraded Egypt’s sovereign rating, saying ongoing economic reforms will help improve its fiscal position and boost economic growth.
Moody’s upgraded the long-term foreign and local currency issuer ratings of Egypt to B2 from B3. The outlook was changed to stable from positive.
The decision was based on “Moody’s expectation that ongoing fiscal and economic reforms will support a gradual but steady improvement in Egypt’s fiscal metrics and raise real GDP growth,” the agency said in a statement late on Wednesday.
Moody’s also said it believed Egypt’s large domestic funding base would support its resilience to refinancing shocks despite the government’s very high borrowing needs and interest costs.
Moody’s said it expected a steady improvement of Egypt’s fiscal position, “albeit from very weak levels.”
Maintained primary budget surpluses combined with strong nominal GDP growth would help reduce the general government debt/GDP ratio to below 80 percent by the 2021 fiscal year from 92.6 percent in the 2018 fiscal year, it said.
Egypt’s fiscal year runs from July to June.
Moody’s also said it expected energy price hikes as part of Egypt’s fuel subsidy reform, which it believed would be completed in the 2019 fiscal year. This, along with the fiscal reforms implemented in the last few years, would allow the government to maintain the primary budget balance in surplus in the next few years, Moody’s said.
The upgraded rating was expected, but still good news for Egypt, said Allen Sandeep, head of research at Naeem Brokerage.
“It should help its case for new international bond issuances as we move forward,” he said.
Egypt is pushing ahead with tough economic reforms as part of a three-year $12 billion IMF loan deal signed in 2016.
The reforms, aimed at attracting investors who fled during the 2011 uprising, have included new taxes, deep cuts to energy subsidies and a currency devaluation. The reforms have helped the economy recover, but have also put the budgets of tens of millions of Egyptians under strain.