Saudi Arabia’s PIF takes 15.2 percent direct stake in ACWA Power

Saudi Acwa Power-generating windmills are pictured in Jbel Sendouq, on the outskirts of Tangier, Morocco, June 29, 2018. (REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal)
Updated 04 July 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s PIF takes 15.2 percent direct stake in ACWA Power

  • The investment will be in the form of a capital increase and proceeds will be used to support ACWA’s growth strategy and investment plan
  • ACWA is poised to be a main beneficiary of one pillar of that reform program, which is a plan to develop Saudi Arabia’s power industry

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has taken a 15.2 percent direct stake in Riyadh-based ACWA Power, a developer and operator of power and water plants, the two announced in a joint statement on Wednesday.
The PIF already owns a 9.8 percent stake in ACWA through a subsidiary, Sanabil Direct Investments Company, bringing its total shareholding in the company to 25 percent, the statement said.
The investment will be in the form of a capital increase and proceeds will be used to “support ACWA’s growth strategy and investment plan,” it said.
Plans for the stake sale have been in the works since 2016, when the PIF hired HSBC to advise it on the purchase.
ACWA has also been planning to sell a 30 percent stake in an initial public offering in Riyadh by the end of the year and has hired JP Morgan, Citigroup, Natixis and Riyad Capital to advise on that process, sources have told Reuters.
Saudi Arabia aims to expand the PIF into the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, while also deploying its investments to boost strategic companies inside the kingdom in a bid to grow and diversify the economy.
ACWA is poised to be a main beneficiary of one pillar of that reform program, which is a plan to develop Saudi Arabia’s power industry, particularly renewable energy.
In February the company won a contract to develop a 300 megawatt (MW) solar project in Sakaka worth $300 million, the kingdom’s first such award as it prepares generate 9.5 gigawatts of electricity from renewable energy annually by 2023.
“(The PIF’s) endorsement underlines the central role we play in the Saudi economy and our successful international expansion all geared toward achieving the objectives of Vision 2030,” said ACWA chairman Mohammad Abunayyan, referring to the reform program.


South Korea imports no Iran oil in November despite sanctions waiver

Updated 16 December 2018
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South Korea imports no Iran oil in November despite sanctions waiver

SEOUL: South Korea did not import any Iranian oil for the third straight month in November, customs data showed on Saturday, even though it has a waiver from sanctions targeting crude supplies from the Middle Eastern country.
South Korea and seven other countries were in early November granted temporary waivers from US sanctions that kicked in that month over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.
But it kept imports at zero as buyers have been in talks with Iran over new contracts, with industry sources previously saying they expected arrivals to resume in late January or February.
With no Iranian cargoes arriving for three months, South Korea’s imports of oil from the nation were down 57.9 percent at 7.15 million tons in January-November, or 157,009 barrels per day (bpd), the customs data showed. That compares to nearly 17 million tons in the same period in 2017.
South Korea is usually one of Iran’s major Asian customers. Although the exact volumes it has been allowed to import under the waiver have not been disclosed, sources with knowledge of the matter say it can buy up to 200,000 bpd, mostly condensate.
Condensate is an ultra light oil used to make fuels such as naphtha and gasoline.
But as Iranian condensate supply has been limited due to the sanctions and rising domestic demand in Iran, South Korean buyers have been looking for alternatives from places such as Qatar.
In total, South Korea imported 12.71 million tons of crude oil in November, up 1.2 percent from 12.59 million tons a year earlier, according to the data.
South Korea’s crude oil imports from January to November inched up 0.6 percent from the year before to 131.23 million tons.
Final data on November crude oil imports is due later this month from state-run Korea National Oil Corp. (KNOC).