Saudi Arabia to boost mining sector to $64bn GDP contribution

Khalid Al-Falih, minister of energy, industry and mineral resources, said the Kingdom’s strategy includes 42 initiatives to structure the sector . (SPA)
Updated 28 November 2018
0

Saudi Arabia to boost mining sector to $64bn GDP contribution

  • Al-Falih said the Arab Mineral Resources Conference aims to encourage mining investments in the Arab world

CAIRO: Saudi Arabia is seeking to develop its mining sector to increase its current GDP contribution from $17 billion to $64 billion.

Khalid Al-Falih, minister of energy, industry and mineral resources, said the Kingdom’s strategy includes 42 initiatives to structure the sector and raise its contribution to the economy.

Speaking at the International Arab Mineral Resources Conference in Cairo on Monday, Al-Falih said Saudi Arabia planned to create 160,000 jobs in the sector by 2030.

He said the strategy would also work on increasing the value added to minerals, and developing under-developed regions, so that the mining sector becomes the third pillar of the Saudi economy along with oil and petrochemicals.

“The Kingdom has the resources to achieve these goals, with what God had granted this territory with unique geological diversity and abundance of mineral resources,” Al-Falih said.

Most of these resources lie in the Arabian Shield region, in the western part of the Kingdom.

Al-Falih said the Arab Mineral Resources Conference aims to develop the mining sector and encourage mining investments in the Arab world.


Barclays payments to Qatar would have been ‘unacceptable’ to market, London court hears

Updated 19 February 2019
0

Barclays payments to Qatar would have been ‘unacceptable’ to market, London court hears

  • The UK Serious Fraud Office alleges that four bankers agreed to pay £322 million in secret fees to Qatar
  • It is claimed that Barclays agreed to pay Qatar more than double the standard 1.5 percent investment commission and hid this from other investors

LONDON: Former Barclays Chairman Marcus Agius could not remember if he was told the bank was paying higher fees to Qatar than other investors during an £11.2 billion ($14.6 billion) fundraising in the depths of the 2008 financial crisis, a London court heard on Tuesday.

However he said that paying such commission to one set of underwriters and not the other would have been “unacceptable to the market.” Agius is not accused of any wrongdoing.

He was the first witness to testify in the trial of four former Barclays executives, who include the then CEO John Varley.

“I would have wanted to understand why it would’ve been necessary,” he told the court.

The UK Serious Fraud Office alleges that the four bankers agreed to pay £322 million in secret fees to Qatar.

During the fraud trial — which began in January — the prosecution told the court that the then Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim demanded a personal fee for investing in Barclays.

It is claimed that Barclays agreed to pay Qatar more than double the standard 1.5 percent investment commission and hid this from other investors by making the payments through what prosecutors alleged were bogus Advisory Services Agreements, or ASAs, Southwark Crown Court heard.

Agius also told the court that he feared resignations from the board in 2008.

“Any one of them might have said, ‘This wasn’t what I signed up for, how do I get out of here?,’” he said.

“I’m clear that in June 2008 we at Barclays did not anticipate how much worse things were going to get. I don’t think we thought it was going to go as badly as it ultimately did.”