Saudi Arabia considers selling stake in utility Saudi Electricity to SoftBank Vision Fund

A man looks at the logo of SoftBank Group Corp at the company's headquarters in Tokyo, in this June 30, 2016 file photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 25 October 2017
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Saudi Arabia considers selling stake in utility Saudi Electricity to SoftBank Vision Fund

KHOBAR: Saudi Arabia will consider selling a large stake in Saudi Electricity to SoftBank Vision Fund, but the Saudi government would retain a controlling shareholding, the utility said on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which holds a 74 percent stake in Saudi Electricity, signed a memorandum of understanding with SoftBank Vision Fund, the world’s largest private equity fund, for SEC to develop 3 gigawatts of solar energy in 2018, SEC said.
No financial details of the agreement were made public.
The statement said “the parties” would also evaluate the possibility of SoftBank Vision Fund, which is backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group and Saudi Arabia’s main sovereign wealth fund, acquiring a big stake in Saudi Electricity.
The Saudi government would retain a controlling stake, it said.
SEC’s assets are estimated to be $100 billion. The Saudi government has been considering privatizing the company for years. It is not clear how the possible transaction will affect those plans.
Oil giant Saudi Aramco currently owns nearly 7 percent of Saudi Electricity, while the rest is held by the public.
The Public Investment Fund and SoftBank Vision Fund will also build manufacturing and storage solar facilities and create jobs in the Kingdom.
Due diligence will be completed by the end of February next year, the company said.
SoftBank Vision Fund has raised more than $93 billion to invest in technology sectors such as artificial intelligence and robotics.
— Reuters


Houthis accused of looting humanitarian aid

A worker unloads aid packages from a Saudi air force cargo plane, at an airfield in the northern province of Marib, Yemen, in this January 22, 2018 photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 23 July 2018
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Houthis accused of looting humanitarian aid

JEDDAH: The Yemen Scholars Association on Saturday blamed the Iranian-backed Houthi militias for the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Yemen.
The associated accused the Houthis of looting humanitarian aid.
According to the Yemeni scholars, Houthi actions have resulted in the suspension of salaries of hundreds of thousands of employees for nearly two years.
The Association praised the efforts and humanitarian support of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), which provides, directly and indirectly, most of the humanitarian relief support for the Yemeni people.
The Yemen Scholars Association condemned the Houthi militia for looting relief aid in areas under its control.
According to a human rights report, At least 113 people have been tortured to death in detention centers in Yemen run by the Houthis since the coup began
Yemeni Human Rights Minister Mohammed Askar told Arab News that the figures in the report were only estimates and that the real figures were much higher.