Saudi Arabia, Russia cement nuclear energy ties

Rosatom said Russia and Saudi Arabia would look to establish a center for nuclear science and technology in KSA. (Rosatom)
Updated 15 December 2017

Saudi Arabia, Russia cement nuclear energy ties

LONDON: Saudi Arabia and Russia have signed a roadmap deal to implement a civil nuclear cooperation program that was inked in Moscow in October when King Salman met President Vladimir Putin.
A statement from Russian state-owned nuclear company Rosatom said on Thursday the countries aim to cooperate in the field of small and medium-sized nuclear reactors that can be used for both power generation and water desalination.
“The parties also plan to cooperate in training personnel for the Saudi nuclear industry and developing the Kingdom’s nuclear infrastructure,” Rosatom said.
Additionally, Russia and Saudi Arabia would look to establish a center for nuclear science and technology in KSA, one based on a Russian-design research reactor, said Rosatom in an announcement on its website.
Evgeny Pakermanov — president of Rusatom Overseas, a subsidiary of Rosatom responsible for promoting Russian nuclear technologies in overseas markets —  and Maher Abdullah Alodan, chief atomic energy officer of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE), signed the document on behalf of Russia and Saudi Arabia respectively.
Jane Kinninmont, a senior research fellow specializing in the Middle East at London-based Chatham House, told Arab News: “As the Saudi king’s unprecedented visit to Moscow in October indicated, these days most players prefer to hedge their bets, balancing different relationships and avoiding over-aligning with any single power.”
The nuclear roadmap comprises a set of steps to be implemented by the parties in order to promote cooperation in areas designated in the accord, signed into effect in Moscow on Oct. 5, 2017.
The historic summit in the Russian capital indicated a thawing of relations between the two countries, which are on different sides in the Syrian civil war — but which, nevertheless, have a common interest in maintaining a stable oil price and have other joint commercial and geopolitical interests.
At the time of that meeting, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said: “We (and Saudi Arabia) have a vast potential for developing cooperation in nuclear power. Nuclear power may become one of the basic sources and an extra catalyst for the development of various industries and innovation technologies in Saudi Arabia.”
Nabi Abdullaev, associate director at Control Risks in London, told Arab News: “With trade between Russia and Iran being below $2 billion (compared to $40 billion with Turkey), Russia is interested in balancing Tehran politically and in exploring economic opportunities with Saudi Arabia.”

 


UBS fined $51 million by Hong Kong regulator for overcharging clients

Updated 11 November 2019

UBS fined $51 million by Hong Kong regulator for overcharging clients

  • Hong Kong regulator’s investigation exposed ‘serious systemic internal control failures’ at the bank
  • In March, the Securities and Futures Commission banned UBS from leading initial public offerings in Hong Kong for a year

HONG KONG: Swiss bank UBS was fined HK$400 million ($51.09 million) by Hong Kong’s securities regulator for overcharging up to 5,000 clients for nearly a decade, the watchdog said on Monday.
The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said in a statement that an investigation found UBS had overcharged clients on ‘post-trade spread increases’ and charges in excess of standard disclosures and rates between 2008 and 2017.
THE SFC said the investigation exposed ‘serious systemic internal control failures’ at the bank. UBS had failed to disclose conflicts of interests and had overcharged some clients in ‘opaque’ trades, it said.
The overcharging affected 5000 Hong Kong managed client accounts in about 28,700 transactions, it said.
UBS has also agreed to repay the clients HK$200 million, the SFC said.
The regulator said the over-charging occurred in the bank’s wealth management division on bond and structured notes transactions.
UBS was found to have increased the spread charged after the execution of a trade without the clients’ knowledge, it said.
In the statement, the SFC said UBS was also found to have falsified some account statements which were issued to financial intermediaries who were authorized to trade for the clients to “conceal the overcharges.”
UBS said the issues were ‘self-reported’ to the SFC and the results found were against the bank’s standard practice.
“The relevant conduct predominantly relates to limit orders of certain debt securities and structured note transactions, which account for a very small percentage of the bank’s order processing system,” the bank said in a statement.
SFC chief executive Ashley Alder said while each “overcharge represented a fraction of each trade” the bank’s “misconduct involved decisions and a pervasive abuse of trust resulting in significant additional revenue for UBS to which it was not entitled.”
In March, the SFC banned UBS from leading initial public offerings in Hong Kong for a year after it found the bank, and some of its rivals, had failed to carry out sufficient due diligence on a number of deals.
UBS was fined HK$375 million while Morgan Stanley was fined HK$224 million, Merrill Lynch HK$128 million and Standard Chartered (StanChart) HK$59.7 million, all for failures when sponsoring, or leading, public market floats.