JEF to focus on national transformation

Updated 29 January 2016

JEF to focus on national transformation

JEDDAH: This year’s Jeddah Economic Forum (JEF) will reflect Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman’s vision for realizing national transformation, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.
Stating that the activities of the 15th edition of the forum being held in March are being planned in accordance with King Salman’s vision, the JEF’s organizing committee said the forum will also focus on the programs of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, aiming to reinforce the Kingdom’s economic capacity for diversification and thus secure it against future challenges.
The JEF will be themed "Cooperation for a stronger economy featuring both the public and private sector companies.”
The forum’s presentations will address responsible bodies, especially the Council of Economic and Development Affairs.
Moreover, the forum activities will present 20 internationally acclaimed modules for privatization. The exposition will aim to scrutinize the best of methods and benefits from them, and avoid loopholes the other methods have experienced.
Lama Al-Sulaiman, elected deputy chairwoman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), who will also be supervising the JEF, stated that the activities will include presentations from international experts on possible strategies for transforming the Saudi economy.
The JEF is now considered to be the second largest global economic event, and claimed to be second only to the annual Davos World Economic Forum.
Al-Sulaiman pointed out that the forum sessions will be programmed in partnership with the Ministry of Economy and Planning, covering three phases.
There will be general sessions on the subject of privatization and all its relevant aspects in the first phase.
The second phase, which will be sector-oriented, will have presentation in 10 main sectors and their outlook on education, health, power, water, municipal affairs, housing, terrestrial transportation, airports, sea ports, and youth sponsorship.
The third phase of sessions will be closed, exclusive sessions, bringing official figureheads together with the private sector, during which the concerned parties will present the most important projects to be witnessed in the upcoming period.
The JEF will also feature the first round of eight sessions dedicated for privatization of sectors and partnerships, and how they can impact locally and globally. Project presentations related to the Saudi economy will be held behind closed doors.


Aramco profits fall in tough quarter, but sees partial recovery from COVID-19 impact

Updated 09 August 2020

Aramco profits fall in tough quarter, but sees partial recovery from COVID-19 impact

  • Aramco see’s “partial recovery” from pandemic impact
  • Aramco president says company remains resilient

DUBAI: Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, reported a net income of $6.57bn for the second quarter of 2020, the period which witnessed the most volatile oil market conditions for many decades.

The result, announced to the Tadawul stock exchange in Riyadh where the shares are listed, compared with income of $24.7 bn last year.

Amin Nasser, president and chief executive, said: “Despite COVID-19 bringing the world to a standstill, Aramco kept going. We have proven our financial resilience and operational reliability, setting a record in our business operations, while at the same time taking steps to ensure the health and safety of our people.”

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Aramco’s dividend - a big attraction for the investors who bought into the world’s biggest initial public offering last year - will remain as pledged, Nasser added. Cash flow in the quarter amounted to $6.106 bn.

““Strong headwinds from reduced demand and lower oil prices are reflected in our second quarter results. Yet we delivered solid earnings because of our low production costs, unique scale, agile workforce, and unrivalled financial and operational strength. This helped us deliver on our plan to maintain a second quarter dividend of $18.75 billion to be paid in the third quarter,” he said.

Aramco said the loss was “mainly reflecting the impact of lower crude oil prices and declining refining and chemicals margins, partly offset by a decrease in production royalties resulting from lower crude oil prices and a decrease in the royalty rate from 20 per cent to 15 per cent, lower income taxes and zakat as a result of lower earnings, and higher other income related to sales for gas products.”

Sales and revenue in the period - which saw oil prices collapse on “Black Monday” in April - fell 57 per cent to $32.861 bn from the comparable period last year. 

Nasser said he was cautiously optimistic that the world economy was slowly recovering from the depths of the pandemic lockdowns.

“We are seeing a partial recovery in the energy market as countries around the world take steps to ease restrictions and reboot their economies. Meanwhile, we continue to place people’s safety first and have adapted to the new normal, implementing wide-ranging precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 wherever we operate.

“We are determined to emerge from the pandemic stronger and will continue making progress on our long-term strategic journey, through ongoing investments in our business – which has one of the lowest upstream carbon footprints in the world,” he added.

Aramco expects capital expenditure to be at the lower end of the $25bn to $30bn range it has already indicated for this year.