APICORP acquires TAQA stake

APICORP acquires TAQA stake
Updated 28 December 2013

APICORP acquires TAQA stake

APICORP acquires TAQA stake

The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) said it has acquired a 5.62 percent equity stake in the Saudi-based Industrialization and Energy Services Company (TAQA) from Arabian Pipes Company (APC).
The Saudi government owns a 17 percent stake in APICORP.
APICORP is now the joint third largest shareholder in the company with over 11.2 million shares.
A closed joint stock company established in 2003 as part of Saudi Arabia’s privatization strategy,
TAQA is owned 45 percent by the Saudi government, with the reminder owned by several institutional, private and industrial investors.
The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation is the multilateral development bank owned by the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC).
Ahmad bin Hamad Al-Nuaimi, APICORP’s CEO and GM, said: “The TAQA equity acquisition is a perfect fit for our investment strategy.”
He said: “It is consistent with our commitment to supporting prominent Arab energy companies that show significant growth and value-creation potential. At the same time, it dovetails well into our objective of diversifying into sectors that provide vital support services for the hydrocarbon industry. TAQA has achieved robust growth over the last decade and its development has also brought tangible economic benefits.”
“As part of our mandate, we are keen to invest in companies like TAQA that play a crucial role in helping Arab countries maximize efficiencies in the energy value chain. As the company gears to expand its operations, we look forward to supporting its growth along with other key shareholders.”
APICORP has a long and successful track record in participating as an equity stakeholder in companies in the Arab world.
Riyadh-based TAQA has a substantial portfolio of subsidiaries and affiliates established in joint ventures with global leaders. These companies are today leading operators in fields such as drilling, geophysical services, oilfield services, seamless pipe manufacturing, industrial gases, and oil and gas offshore platform fabrication.
Joint ventures in which it is a majority shareholder include Arab Drilling Company (ADC), one of Saudi Arabia’s largest drilling companies, established in alliance with Schlumberger; Arabian Geophysical & Surveying Company (ARGAS) formed in partnership with CGG Veritas; and Al-Jubail Energy Services Company (JESCO), the GCC region’s first seamless pipes manufacturing company.


Remittances from KSA surge as expats help families in lockdown

Updated 11 min 18 sec ago

Remittances from KSA surge as expats help families in lockdown

Remittances from KSA surge as expats help families in lockdown
  • Foreign workers defy World Bank forecasts by sending home $32.9bn in first 10 months of year, an 18.58% rise on 2019

RIYADH: Expats in Saudi Arabia sent SR123.4 billion ($32.9 billion) in remittances to their home countries in the first 10 months of this year, a rise of 18.58 percent compared with 2019.

The surge in payments came as foreign workers in the Kingdom looked to support their families during the coronavirus pandemic.

The growth is despite forecasts from the World Bank in April estimating that remittances to low- and middle-income countries would decline by 19.6 percent in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region this year as workers struggled to cope with the impact of the global health crisis.

Expat workers make up three-quarters of the 13.6 million workers in the Kingdom, with most coming from countries such as Syria, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka.

Figures from the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) showed that while remittances by expats in the Kingdom rose by 18.58 percent year-on-year between January and October, the biggest spike was in June when the monthly amount surged 60 percent compared with June 2019.

July also witnessed a rise of 32 percent, while August, September, and October saw monthly levels increase 24.7 percent, 28.5 percent, and 19.2 percent, respectively, compared with the equivalent months last year.

Mazen Al-Sudairi, head of research at Riyadh-based financial services company Al Rajhi Capital, told Arab News: “Debt to GDP (gross domestic product) ratio in emerging economies has increased up to 70 percent recently, and the unemployment rate led by COVID-19 has also increased in countries such as India and the Philippines, which are the countries forming the majority of the expat population in the Kingdom.

“Therefore, we believe that increased remittances are due to rising unemployment and difficult economic conditions back in the home countries of expats.”

He said another reason why expats may have been sending more funds home was because their surplus income had increased as a result of being unable to travel or spend as much as normal due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“Once the unemployment risks recede for expats in KSA, as well as in home countries, this level should normalize in our view,” Al-Sudairi added.

While the expats’ remittances increased in the 10-month period, the relative amount sent abroad by Saudi nationals declined by 17.5 percent to $12.58 billion during the same period, compared with $10.38 billion between January and October 2019.

Coronavirus travel restrictions were introduced in the Kingdom in March, leading to a 41.7 percent drop in funds transferred overseas by Saudi nationals in April compared with the same month last year. While domestic travel resumed in late May, funds sent overseas by Saudi nationals still fell 52 percent that month compared with May 2019.

FASTFACT

13.6 million

Expat workers make up three-quarters of the 13.6 million workers in the Kingdom.

Remittances briefly spiked by 17 percent in June, before reducing to declines again for the remainder of the year.

Al-Sudairi said that the drop in Saudis forwarding money out of the country was also due to the pandemic and travel restrictions.

“This affected tourism and medical treatment-related remittances. Even the business-related remittances were impacted in the earlier months of lockdown due to negative confidence.”

He added that he was “expecting the trend to be better next year” once international travel resumed.

The World Bank, despite its pessimistic outline in April, also predicted that remittances would recover in 2021 and rise by 5.6 percent globally and 1.6 percent in the MENA region.

In a statement issued in April, Michal Rutkowski, global director of the World Bank’s social protection and jobs global practice, said: “Effective social protection systems are crucial to safeguarding the poor and vulnerable during this crisis in both developing countries as well as advanced countries.

“In host countries, social protection interventions should also support migrant populations,” he added.