PIF’s shares in 18 listed firms reach SR297bn

Updated 20 July 2013

PIF’s shares in 18 listed firms reach SR297bn

The Public Investments Fund's (PIF's) acquired shares in 18 companies listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) valued at SR297 billion at the end of the first half of 2013, according to a report released by Al-Joman Center for Economic Consultancy (JCEC).
The report, quoted by local media, said the value of the acquired shares dropped slightly by 0.1 percent during the first half, or SR 296 million, despite rise of the Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) by 10.2 percent.
The volume of the PIF acquired shares in the listed companies remained unchanged during the first half of the year, the report said.
The imbalance between the PIF performance and the TASI was ascribed to the drop of the shares of Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) and Saudi Arabian Mining Co. (Maaden) by 7.9 percent and 10.5 percent respectively during the first half of 2013, the report said.
The shares of the two companies constituted high rates of concentration in the portfolio of the PIF by 18.8 percent and 4.5 percent respectively of its total acquired shares declared at the end of the first half, the report said.
The index of SABIC (Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corp.) share rose by 1.9 percent during the same period which constituted the highest concentration rate at 64.7 percent of the PIF acquired shares declared at the end of the first half, according to the report.
The value of major shares acquired by the PIF was led by SABIC at SR192.2 billion, followed by the STC (SR55.9 billion), Maaden (SR 13.5 billion), Samba Financial Group (SR 10.3 billion), and Riyad Bank (SR 8.1 billion), the report said.
The ratio of concentration of the above five companies of the 18 firms whose shares are partially owned by the PIF stood at 94 percent valued at SR279.9 billion whereas the ratio of concentration of the remaining 13 companies stood at 6 percent valued at SR17.1 billion, the report said.

It is to be recalled that the purpose of establishing PIF was to provide financing support to productive projects which are of a commercial nature and are strategically significant for the development of the national economy and cannot be implemented by the private sector alone either because of insufficient experience or inadequate capital resources or both.

Greece reopens cafes, restaurants as summer season nears

Updated 6 min 8 sec ago

Greece reopens cafes, restaurants as summer season nears

  • Travel to all the Greek islands was also restored on Monday

ATHENS: Greece allowed cafes and restaurants to reopen on Monday as part of a gradual lifting of its coronavirus restrictions to reboot its tourism-dependent economy and help draw in foreign visitors ahead of the summer season.

The country, which has emerged from a decade-long financial crisis in the last couple of years, is relying on tourism to help it recover from a nationwide lockdown that brought its economy to a near standstill.

With tables set far apart and waitresses wearing masks, restaurants served the many Greeks keen to get out and enjoy food and a cup of coffee again after roughly two months of confinement.

“We have missed this, this is psychological therapy for us, so of course it’s important, very, very important,” said Katerina Stravaridi from a cafe in Athens.

So far, the country has managed to contain the spread of COVID-19 infections to just 2,878 cases and 171 deaths — low numbers compared with elsewhere in the EU — mainly by imposing an early nationwide lockdown in March.

Athens mayor Kostas Bakoyannis said reopening the food services sector is a prelude for the summer holiday season.

“Greece is open and safe. It’s a destination where one can enjoy one’s holiday while at the same time securing one’s health,” he said.

Travel to all the Greek islands was also restored on Monday, with passenger ferries operating at 50 percent of their capacity, as the country prepares to reopen year-round hotels on June 1.

Seasonal hotels will be open from June 15, when some direct international flights from the Athens International Airport will also resume.