Saudi Arabia outpaces Asian giants with $18bn foreign equity inflow

Saudi investors monitor stocks at the recently opened exchange market department at the National Commercial Bank in Riyadh. (AFP)
Updated 29 August 2019

Saudi Arabia outpaces Asian giants with $18bn foreign equity inflow

  • Saudi Arabia has attracted $18 billion in foreign equity inflows so far this year
  • MSCI added Saudi stocks to its emerging markets index in June

LONDON: Saudi Arabia became the top equity investment destination among emerging markets this summer according to the Institute of International Finance (IIF)

Supported by its upgrade to emerging market status, Saudi Arabia has attracted $18 billion in foreign equity inflows so far this year, the IIF said.

“The inclusion of local stocks to broad equity benchmarks acknowledges the progress made by Saudi Arabia in reforming its capital
market system,” the institute said in its latest report.

FASTFACT

$4.5 bn

Saudi Arabia attracted more than $4.5 billion in foreign equity inflows in May and $2 billion in the first three weeks of August.

MSCI added Saudi stocks to its emerging markets index in June, while the index will complete the upgrade by the end of August.

“We expect the second phase of the upgrade to attract an additional $5 billion in equity inflows,” IIF said. While the ongoing trade war between the US and China negatively impacted investment flows to some emerging markets in recent months, Saudi Arabia bucked the overall bearish trend.

The Kingdom attracted more than $4.5 billion in foreign equity inflows in May, and $2 billion in the first three weeks of August, it said.

The inclusion of Tadawul-listed shares to both the MSCI and FTSE emerging market indexes has attracted billions of dollars from global investment funds this year.


Etihad launches more fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Updated 7 min 20 sec ago

Etihad launches more fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner

  • Etihad’s CEO Tony Douglas described the aircraft as a flying laboratory for testing that could benefit the entire industry
  • This year, Etihad flew the world’s first passenger flight using sustainable biofuel made from a plant that grows in saltwater
DUBAI: Abu Dhabi’s flagship carrier Etihad Airways announced on Monday it is launching one of the world’s most fuel-efficient long-haul airplanes as the company seeks to save costs on fuel and position itself as a more environmentally-conscious choice for travelers.
Etihad’s “Greenliner” is a Boeing 787 Dreamliner that will depart on its first route from Abu Dhabi to Brussels in January 2020. Etihad’s CEO Tony Douglas described the aircraft as a flying laboratory for testing that could benefit the entire industry.
With fuel costs eating up around a quarter of airline spending, Douglas said the goal of the Greenliner is to be 20 percent more fuel efficient than other aircraft in Etihad’s fleet.
“This is not just a box-ticking exercise,” he told reporters at the unveiling of the initiative at the Dubai Airshow alongside executives from Boeing.
Douglas said the aircraft “not only makes sense economically from a profit and loss account point of view, but because it also directly impacts the CO2 because of the fuel burn.”
Etihad has reported losses of $4.75 billion since 2016 as its strategy of aggressively buying stakes in airlines from Europe to Australia exposed the company to major risks.
Despite its financials, the airline continues to be among the most innovative.
This year, Etihad flew the world’s first passenger flight using sustainable biofuel made from a plant that grows in saltwater. It also became the first in the Middle East to operate a flight without any single-use plastics on board to raise awareness of the effects of plastic pollution.
Aviation accounts for a small but rapidly growing share of greenhouse-gas emissions — about 2.5 percent worldwide. But forecasters expect air travel to grow rapidly in the coming years.
Etihad says it plans to make the Greenliner a “social media star” to bring under sharper focus its developments and achievements worldwide. Douglas said anything that Eithad learns with Boeing from this aircraft’s operations will be open domain knowledge “because it’s about moving the industry forward in a responsible fashion.”
“We’re like a millennial and like all good millennials, they’re really focused on the environment and the sustainability agenda,” Douglas said, referring to Etihad’s 16 years in operation.
The Greenliner will be the only aircraft of its kind in Etihad’s fleet of Dreamliners. The company currently has 36 of the 787s in its fleet with plans to operate 50.
“This is a small step today, but in a very, very long journey,” Douglas said.