Deloitte: Family-owned businesses make up largest sector of GCC economy

Updated 30 June 2014

Deloitte: Family-owned businesses make up largest sector of GCC economy

Around 80 percent of nonoil GDP within the Middle East region is accounted for by family-owned business groups. Typically, these privately-owned organizations span multiple business, are vertically integrated, own sizable real estate portfolios and their operational control is still maintained by the original founding family member or the second generation.
For many families in business, the rapid pace of change and growth in the marketplace presents significant concerns regarding the manner in which they will continue to safeguard and preserve their heritage and wealth.
Family-owned businesses in the Middle East face a range of challenges that affect not only the success of the business itself, but also the professional and personal goals of their owners and their stakeholders at large.
Walid S. Chiniara, an international lawyer with over 30 years’ experience across the five continents and a leading family business adviser, has joined Deloitte as the partner in charge of its Private Client Services practice (PCS) across the Middle East.
PCS is a private client-focused practice, that brings in Deloitte’s multi-disciplinary professionals to offer families in business and next generation family business entrepreneurs in the GCC and the MENA region bespoke and region-specific solutions in the area of family governance, succession planning and generational change, wealth management, tax structures and exit strategies.
“This is an exciting time for the Deloitte family and I am pleased that Walid Chiniara, one of the most experienced Family Office Advisers in the Middle East, is joining the firm to lead the Private Client Service (PCS) unit,” said Omar Fahoum, chairman and chief executive at Deloitte Middle East.
Deloitte recently conducted a survey on family-owned businesses to assess two specific areas that have an impact on their companies’ operations and growth: governance and succession.
The findings of the survey based on the input of 222 survey respondents indicate gaps in governance, board operations, and succession planning.
Other key findings of the survey include:
Nearly half (49 percent) of respondents say they only review succession plans when a change in management requires it and 41 percent do not have leadership contingency plans.
More than 80 percent of respondents say their boards have no term or age limits on membership and one-third do not evaluate board members’ performance.
Deloitte believes that the needs of families in business are different from those of public corporations. Therefore, Deloitte Middle East’s Private Client Services offering is continuously adapting to ensure that it addresses all facets of a family’s wealth, including its human, intellectual, cultural, and financial capital.
Nauman Ahmed, regional tax leader at Deloitte Middle East, comments: “The aim of the PCS division is to provide business families with the tools they need to preserve and grow their wealth — both now and for generations to come. The appointment of Walid, with his extensive experience working closely with families in business, will further support our ability to better serve our clients and build on the technical capability that Deloitte is renowned for”.


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.