Saudi-South Korean trade hits SR176bn

Updated 29 October 2014

Saudi-South Korean trade hits SR176bn

Trade exchange between Saudi Arabia and South Korea has exceeded $47 billion (SR176.25 billion), or 11 times of the trade that existed in 1991, a senior Saudi government official told a forum in Seoul, South Korea, Saudi Press Agency reported.
Addressing the Saudi-South Korean business forum, which kicked off here Wednesday, Minister of Economy and Planning Mohamed Al-Jasser stressed the need to boost cooperation in all areas, notably in IT and health fields.
He said cooperation between the two countries expanded to cover political, economic, cultural, educational, health, oil and minerals in addition to a number of deals signed with South Korean contracting firms worth $11 billion (SR41.25 billion) besides a service company set up by Saudi Aramco in Seoul.
The minister enumerated a number of privileges, which have made the Kingdom one of the best investment destinations globally, including its ideal geographical location, outstanding economic status (19th biggest at the global level), abundance of energy sources (25 percent of global oil reserves), and huge renewable energy potentials.
The Kingdom has pumped huge investments in infrastructure projects estimated at nearly SR 2 trillion (or more than $530 billion), the minister told the forum.
The three-day forum and exhibition is being organized by the Saudi Ministry of Commerce, Saudi Exports Development Authority (SEDA) and the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC).
For his part, Head of Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Yong-man Park lauded the progressing relations between the two countries, especially trade, business and investment areas.
CSC board Chairman Abdulrahman Al-Zamil appreciated the role played by the South Korean companies in establishment mega infrastructure projects related to energy, oil, water, petrochemicals in the Kingdom. This forum clearly sends a message of the existence of true partnership between the two countries, he said calling on South Korean investors to enter Saudi market and avail from the huge investment opportunities in the Kingdom.
Meanwhile, Korean Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance and Strategy Choi Kyoung-hwan said the forum reflects deep partnership between the two countries where the Kingdom, he said, is the fourth biggest partner in terms of exports and imports.
On the other hand, Minister of Commerce and Industry Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said Saudi-Korean relations were substantially progressing.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the forum, Al-Rabiah expressed optimism over the future of business and trade relations between the two countries.


UBS fined $51 million by Hong Kong regulator for overcharging clients

Updated 11 November 2019

UBS fined $51 million by Hong Kong regulator for overcharging clients

  • Hong Kong regulator’s investigation exposed ‘serious systemic internal control failures’ at the bank
  • In March, the Securities and Futures Commission banned UBS from leading initial public offerings in Hong Kong for a year

HONG KONG: Swiss bank UBS was fined HK$400 million ($51.09 million) by Hong Kong’s securities regulator for overcharging up to 5,000 clients for nearly a decade, the watchdog said on Monday.
The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said in a statement that an investigation found UBS had overcharged clients on ‘post-trade spread increases’ and charges in excess of standard disclosures and rates between 2008 and 2017.
THE SFC said the investigation exposed ‘serious systemic internal control failures’ at the bank. UBS had failed to disclose conflicts of interests and had overcharged some clients in ‘opaque’ trades, it said.
The overcharging affected 5000 Hong Kong managed client accounts in about 28,700 transactions, it said.
UBS has also agreed to repay the clients HK$200 million, the SFC said.
The regulator said the over-charging occurred in the bank’s wealth management division on bond and structured notes transactions.
UBS was found to have increased the spread charged after the execution of a trade without the clients’ knowledge, it said.
In the statement, the SFC said UBS was also found to have falsified some account statements which were issued to financial intermediaries who were authorized to trade for the clients to “conceal the overcharges.”
UBS said the issues were ‘self-reported’ to the SFC and the results found were against the bank’s standard practice.
“The relevant conduct predominantly relates to limit orders of certain debt securities and structured note transactions, which account for a very small percentage of the bank’s order processing system,” the bank said in a statement.
SFC chief executive Ashley Alder said while each “overcharge represented a fraction of each trade” the bank’s “misconduct involved decisions and a pervasive abuse of trust resulting in significant additional revenue for UBS to which it was not entitled.”
In March, the SFC banned UBS from leading initial public offerings in Hong Kong for a year after it found the bank, and some of its rivals, had failed to carry out sufficient due diligence on a number of deals.
UBS was fined HK$375 million while Morgan Stanley was fined HK$224 million, Merrill Lynch HK$128 million and Standard Chartered (StanChart) HK$59.7 million, all for failures when sponsoring, or leading, public market floats.