Kingdom aims to quadruple mining, renewables and logistics says Al-Falih

Saudi Arabia' oil minister Khalid Al-Falih and foreign minister Adel Al-Jubeir on their way to meet Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May in Downing Street. (Reuters)
Updated 08 March 2018
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Kingdom aims to quadruple mining, renewables and logistics says Al-Falih

LONDON: Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih has revealed the Kingdom aims to quadruple the size of its mining, renewables and logistics sectors.
He was speaking at the Saudi-UK CEO Forum in London to mark the state visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to London.
“One of our programs is the development of the Kingdom’s industrial energy and logistics. These are right at the heart of creating investment opportunities. We have $1.3 trillion of mining endowment. We want to quadruple our mining statistics and supply chains. As we quadruple some of these sectors, the focus is on quality not quantity. This will require the best collaboration between us,” Al-Falih said.
“The chemicals sector, which has grown fantastically in the last few decades, now needs to grow in terms of technology content and value added projects.”
Earlier, Liam Fox, the UK trade secretary said Britain was committed to helping Saudi Arabia become a “global investment powerhouse.”
Fox said he hoped Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) would find Britain a key investment opportunity that could work for both countries, and that would boost London’s status as a world financial center.
Fox also said the first Saudi/UK education dialogue will take place, to “establish a government to government policy exchange.”
Peter Mandelson, former EU trade minister, said the key to understanding KSA investment opportunities for Britain was the realization that Saudi Arabia was a staging post between and East and West, and “a jumping off point to Africa,” said Mandelson, former minister in Tony Blair’s Labour government.


Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co. plans up to $1.07bn sukuk sale this year

Updated 23 April 2019
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Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co. plans up to $1.07bn sukuk sale this year

  • The plan by SRC, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign Public Investment Fund, comes as it prepares to purchase more home loan portfolios
  • SRC, formed in 2017, is also keen to tap foreign institutional investors for its debt sale this year

RIYADH: Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co. (SRC), modelled on US mortgage finance firm Fannie Mae, aims to issue up to 4 billion riyals ($1.07 billion) of long-term sukuk this year, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

The plan by SRC, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign Public Investment Fund, comes as it prepares to purchase more home loan portfolios from mortgage financing companies and banks to boost the Kingdom’s secondary mortgage market.

SRC, formed in 2017, is also keen to tap foreign institutional investors for its debt sale this year, Fabrice Susini told Reuters in an interview.

“Our strategy is clearly to tap the market twice this year,” he said. “We are really looking at probably issuing something between ... 2 and 4 billion riyal that we may be issuing in two tranches.

He said SRC was looking at sukuk in the 10 to 15-year range, to help minimize refinancing risks. “Generally speaking we are trying to issue as long as possible,” Susini said.

He said the company was assessing whether it could also issue bonds in currencies other than the local riyal.

In March, SRC completed a 750 million riyal sukuk issue with multiple tenors, under a program that allows it to issue up to 11 billion riyals of local currency denominated Islamic bonds.

“The rule of the game for us is, like many projects across the Kingdom, attract liquidity from foreign investors,” Susini said.

He said SRC had spent 1.2 billion riyals from its balance sheet buying mortgages from local mortgage financing companies and provided liquidity to these firms.

It has also signed initial accords with several commercial banks to acquire housing mortgage portfolios.

Saudi Arabia’s housing ministry is targeting the mortgage market to reach a total value of 502 billion riyals by 2020 from around 300 billion riyals now.

The government wants to increase activity in the real estate market as it moves to revitalize the economy and is taking steps to reform the sector as part of its 2030 reform plan.

It has been working with developers and local banks to counter a shortage of affordable housing — one of the country’s biggest social and economic problems. Saudi Arabia wants 60 percent of its nationals to own homes by 2020, up from 47 percent in 2016.

The size of real estate financing relative to its gross domestic product is 5 percent in Saudi Arabia compared to 69 percent in the United States, 74 percent in the United Kingdom and 43 pct in Canada, the housing ministry has said.

“The goal of SRC in this market was to make sure that we will be able to refinance at least around 10 percent of the market in 2020, and 20 percent of the market by 2028,” Susini told Reuters.