Saudi private sector growth surges to 13-month high: PMI survey

The PMI survey noted that employment growth rose slightly to 51 from December’s 20-month low, as 2.5 percent of the firms surveyed reported increased hiring. (AFP)
Updated 05 February 2019
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Saudi private sector growth surges to 13-month high: PMI survey

  • The increase was driven by a surge in new orders and a rebound in output and employment
  • ‘Firms were able to reduce selling prices as their purchasing costs also declined in January’

DUBAI: Growth in Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector rose to a 13-month high in January, lifted by an acceleration in new orders growth, a survey showed on Tuesday.
The seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 56.2 in January from 54.5 in December, hitting its highest level since December 2017. Any level above 50 indicates expansion.
The increase was driven by a surge in new orders and a rebound in output and employment. The new orders sub-index rose to 62.8 in January from 58.4 a month earlier.
New order growth appeared to be “domestically driven, as export orders remained broadly flat month-on-month”, said Khatija Haque, Head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD.
Part of the growth was probably due to price discounts, as output prices continued to drop for the sixth time in the past seven months, and with the highest rate of decline since February last year.
“Firms were able to reduce selling prices as their purchasing costs also declined in January,” Haque added.
The output sub-index increased slightly, to 58.6 from 58.2.
Employment growth rose slightly to 51 from December’s 20-month low, as 2.5 percent of the firms surveyed reported increased hiring.


China to lure foreign investment in state giants

Updated 3 min 19 sec ago
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China to lure foreign investment in state giants

  • China began a new round of reforms in 2016 aimed at streamlining its lumbering state-owned enterprises

BEIJING: China will seek to attract foreign investment in its larger state-owned enterprises (SOEs), which are undergoing reforms to make them more competitive, the head of the country’s state asset regulator said.
China began a new round of reforms in 2016 aimed at streamlining its lumbering SOEs by introducing private capital, curbing overcapacity, shutting down “zombie” subsidiaries and restructuring assets.
Private and foreign firms should “actively participate in reform and development of central enterprises, and jointly explore ways of deep cooperation including mixed-ownership,” Xiao Yaqing, chairman of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), said on the regulator’s website on Sunday.
China has been promoting “mixed-ownership” reforms aimed at introducing private capital and management methods into giant central government SOEs. The SASAC will also support investment by state giants in private and foreign firms, Xiao said, without giving details.