Saudi-Ukrainian businessmen to explore investment

Updated 22 January 2016

Saudi-Ukrainian businessmen to explore investment

RIYADH: The first meeting of the Saudi-Ukrainian businessmen will be held in Riyadh on Feb.1.
Describing the meeting as a private sector initiative, Ukrainian Ambassador Vadim Vakhrushev told a press conference here on Tuesday that the businessmen dialogue will aim to introduce the most important investment areas in Ukraine.
He said he had invited the most prominent Saudi businessmen to attend the first bilateral businessmen’s meeting to apprise them with the opportunities available in Ukraine, especially in the agriculture field in general, and the industrial, real estate and tourism sectors in particular, especially after the Saudi authorities lifted the embargo on poultry imports from Ukraine.
The envoy said the main objective of businessmen's meeting is to find the appropriate environment for successful negotiations through direct contacts between the businessmen of the two countries.
Vakhrushev revealed that the commercial and political relations between Saudi Arabia and Ukraine are good and growing continuously.
The bilateral trade volume has exceeded $1.2 billion during the past two years.
“The volume of trade, certainly, will increase, especially that the volume of exports from Ukraine to Saudi Arabia exceeded $ 800 million. These exports are related to the agricultural area, including cereals, oils and other exports. Furthermore, Ukraine exports 40 to 70 percent of iron to Saudi Arabia. I expect a rise of Saudi investments in Ukraine exceeding 30 percent this year,” the envoy added.
Vakhrushev said that his country is optimistic that in 2016 the commercial and economic relations between the two countries will be solid and strong. During the current year, broad partnerships with huge investments will be established, especially as agreements exist to protect and encourage investments between the two countries, he said.
He pointed out that changing laws related to trade and investment in Ukraine will increase the Saudi turnout to invest there in various fields, including agricultural, industrial, real estate and tourism, as those laws are becoming more flexible, transparent and clear.
“They aim to promote the economy of Ukraine under the umbrella of its new young government that is keen to attract investments into the country.”
Istiqtab Investment International Company GM Ahmed Hassan Al-Baijan said the objective of organizing this meeting, between the businessmen of the two countries is to enhance commercial relations and provide investment opportunities at the beginning of 2016, especially because Ukraine is considered an attractive and rich environment for agricultural, industrial, real estate and tourism investment opportunities as well as other areas.


Turkey hikes interest rate for first time since 2018

Updated 20 min 14 sec ago

Turkey hikes interest rate for first time since 2018

  • The bank said the one-week repo rate would go from 8.25 percent to 10.25 percent
  • The coronavirus pandemic has forced nations worldwide to cut rates to revive their stalled economies

ANKARA: Turkey’s central bank raised Thursday its main interest rate for the first time since September 2018, boosting it by two percentage points to haul the lira up from historic lows.
The bank said the one-week repo rate would go from 8.25 percent to 10.25 percent.
The lira gained around one percent in value against the US dollar within minutes of the announcement, after touching a record low of 7.71 earlier in the day.
“Massive surprise, and positive,” said Timothy Ash, an analyst at BlueBay Asset Management.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced nations worldwide to cut rates to revive their stalled economies.
But Turkey has been burning through its hard currency reserves to support the lira, which has lost nearly 22 percent of its value against the dollar this year and is one of the world’s worst performing emerging market currencies.
The Moody’s ratings agency estimated on Monday that Turkey’s hard currency reserves were now at a 20-year low.
A central bank statement said it “decided to increase the policy rate by 200 basis points to restore the disinflation process and support price stability.”
Inflation edged up to 11.77 percent in August from 11.76 percent in July but it has remained stubbornly in the double digits in the past few years.
This means that Turkey is running a negative real interest rate, where bank deposits and bonds lose value over time, forcing investors out of the market and Turkish nationals to convert their liras into dollars or euros.
The bank last increased its main rate in September 2018 from 17.75 percent to 24 percent owing to a currency crisis caused by tense relations with the United States.
But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opposes high rates, once describing them as “the mother and father of all evil,” and called for them to be lowered to stimulate growth.
Erdogan last year sacked the bank’s governor and appointed Murat Uysal, under whose direction the rate has been cut nine times.
Ash said the rate decision “suggests the (bank) listened to the market and decided they had to move to avoid a disorderly devaluation and potential balance of payments crisis.”
“They are not out of the woods yet, but they have given themselves a fighting chance.”