Moody’s affirms DEWA and DP World ratings, but revises outlook for Dubai-owned firms

Moody’s affirms DEWA and DP World ratings, but revises outlook for Dubai-owned firms
DEWA’s credit position has continuously improved since 2011 on a supportive tariff structure and disciplined capital spending. (AFP)
Updated 30 November 2019

Moody’s affirms DEWA and DP World ratings, but revises outlook for Dubai-owned firms

Moody’s affirms DEWA and DP World ratings, but revises outlook for Dubai-owned firms
  • The negative outlook on DEWA and DP World reflects the ratings agency’s expectation of a drawn-out slowdown in the non-oil sectors of the UAE economy

DUBAI: Ratings firm has Moody’s has affirmed the Baa1 ratings of state-owned firms Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) and DP World but revised their outlook to negative from stable.

“The rating action reflects the credit linkages between [the companies] and the government of Dubai. Moody’s expects a growing risk of structurally slower real GDP growth for the emirate of Dubai and deteriorating fiscal strength of the government amid increasing debt levels,” Moody’s commented in its separate ratings action on the Dubai firms.

The negative outlook on DEWA and DP World reflects the ratings agency’s expectation of a drawn-out slowdown in the non-oil sectors of the UAE economy, which Dubai is heavily reliant on for its revenue stream.

 “Together with a limited pipeline of new revenue-raising measures and a counter-cyclical fiscal policy stance, increase the risk that the government’s debt burden will continue to rise,” it noted.

“Given DEWA’s sole operational exposure to Dubai and its full ownership by the government of Dubai, Moody’s considers that DEWA’s credit profile is tied to the economic and fiscal developments of the emirate.”

Moody’s also explained that considering DP World’s material operational concentration in Dubai and the high government ownership, the global port operator’s credit profile was tied to the economic and fiscal developments of the emirate.

The Dubai government indirectly holds 80.45 percent of DP World through Port and Free Zone World FZE, a subsidiary of investment company Dubai World.

DP World’s reported gross debt has increased to $11.6 billion as of June 30, from $7.7 billion as of 31 December 2017.

DEWA’s credit position meanwhile has continuously improved since 2011 as a supportive tariff structure and disciplined capital spending have yielded strong free cash flow generation.

“DEWA enjoys a dominant market position in Dubai’s power and water sectors, and a strong asset base with a 30.5% reserve margin in 2018,” Moody’s said.

The ratings agency expects DEWA’s liquidity to remain very strong over the next 12 to 18 months. Its Dh10.8 billion cash hoard as of mid-year would further be complemented by an expected Dh9.9 billion cash generation from operations over the next 12 months, Moody’s said.

“A stabilization of DEWA’s rating outlook would require an improvement in Dubai’s economic environment and a stabilization of the emirate’s debt burden. DEWA’s ratings could be downgraded in case of a deterioration in Dubai’s economic environment and debt burden,” the ratings agency said.

For DP World, Moody’s said an upgrade of the company was currently unlikely given the negative outlook.

“A stabilization of DP World’s rating outlook would require an improvement in Dubai’s economic environment and a stabilization of the emirate’s debt burden,” it said.

“Furthermore, the rating could be weakened if DP World exceeds its net leverage guidance or undertakes higher-risk development projects or perceived risker M&A activity,” Moody’s said in its closing comment.


Saudi Arabia sees record IPOs requests, 50% rise in managed assets, says CMA chief

Saudi Arabia sees record IPOs requests, 50% rise in managed assets, says CMA chief
Updated 43 min 16 sec ago

Saudi Arabia sees record IPOs requests, 50% rise in managed assets, says CMA chief

Saudi Arabia sees record IPOs requests, 50% rise in managed assets, says CMA chief
  • Elkuwaiz says assets under management by financial institutions have increased by 50 percent

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is seeing a record interests from companies to sell shares to the public, while the size of the assets under management by financial institutions increased by 50 percent to SR600 billion over 3 years, the chairman of the country’s capital market authority said.

The increase in the volume of assets under management (AUM) had impact on the financial market and has contributed to opening new investments areas such as the launch of financial derivatives market, which made a debut last year, Mohammed Elkuwaiz said in panel hosted by the Financial Academy.

The authority received recently 30 requests to sell shares in initial public offerings and this is the highest number the authority, known as CMA, got since its establishment, he added. 

Mohammed Elkuwaiz, CMA chairman

Saudi Arabia is implementing a huge program to modernize and develop its financial sector under the country’s vision 2030 plan. Under this program the CMA had a target to list 20 new companies in 2021 on the Saudi index through public offerings, and the authority had achieved half of this target by the end of the first half of the year, Elkuawiz said.

Interests from companies to sell shares to the public increased over the past few years with the introduction of the parallel market, known as Nomu. Elkuwaiz explained that the main market, Tadawul, targets larger and more mature companies with the ability and willingness to bear big loads in terms of disclosure data, governance, while smaller companies prefer to list on Nomu.

“Listing on Nomu is an exciting window for the small and medium size and entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia as we see the increase in IPOs interest and this is the result of the CMA strategy,” said Mohammed Ramady, an independent economic analyst and former senior banker told the Arab News in comments on Saudi financial development.

Another area where Saudi Arabia is venturing and advancing is Fintech. “We have more than 15 companies licensed as financial technology companies, which facilitates the availability of other types of financing that did not exist in the past, such as crowdfunding, which has become a boost for the financial market,” Elkuwaiz added.

The chairman of CMA also noted that foreign investments in the Saudi stock market have been positive and steady since they were allowed several years ago, with more than SR20 billion has entered Tadawul market since it was included in global indexes.

“The system of governance and disclosure in the financial market has been developed, making the Kingdom one of the world’s top 4 countries in terms of governance – something we are very proud of,” he added.


Fitch revises Egyptian bank’s outlook to stable

Fitch revises Egyptian bank’s outlook to stable
Updated 03 August 2021

Fitch revises Egyptian bank’s outlook to stable

Fitch revises Egyptian bank’s outlook to stable

RIYADH: Fitch Ratings has revised Commercial International Bank (Egypt) S.A.E.’s (CIB) outlook to stable from negative while affirming the bank’s long-term issuer default rating at “B+” and viability rating at “b+.” 

According to the ratings firm, pressures on the domestic environment have eased since the end of the third quarter of 2020 moderating downside risks to Egyptian banks’ credit profiles.

It said this reflects improving foreign currency liquidity, with the banking sector’s net foreign assets reaching $3.5 billion in April 2021, a reversal of a net foreign liability position of $5.3 billion at the end of April 2020. This was supported by a strong increase in foreign holdings of Egyptian treasuries to $29 billion in May 2021.

Fitch expects real GDP growth to accelerate to 6 percent in 2022.


Egypt’s domestic liquidity exceeds $213.9 billion

Egypt’s domestic liquidity exceeds $213.9 billion
Updated 02 August 2021

Egypt’s domestic liquidity exceeds $213.9 billion

Egypt’s domestic liquidity exceeds $213.9 billion

CAIRO: Egypt’s domestic liquidity rose to EGP 5.36 trillion ($213.9 billion) at the end of June 2021.

According to the official data, liquidity grew by 1.9 percent monthly. Domestic liquidity increased by 18.3 percent annually, compared to EGP 4.53 trillion in June 2020.

The money supply rose during June to EGP 1.25 trillion, compared to EGP 1.22 trillion in May 2021.  Money supply includes deposits in local currency and cash in circulation outside the banking system.

Last November, the Central Bank of Egypt decided to reduce both the overnight deposit and lending rate and its main operation rate by 50 basis points, to 8.25 percent, 9.25 percent, and 8.75 percent, respectively.

Last month, the central bank froze the interest rate for the fourth time this year.


Saudi Arabia reiterates its commitment to fight climate change

Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz Bin Salman. (REUTERS file photo)
Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz Bin Salman. (REUTERS file photo)
Updated 02 August 2021

Saudi Arabia reiterates its commitment to fight climate change

Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz Bin Salman. (REUTERS file photo)
  • Prince Abdul Aziz and Sharma discussed the framework of the circular carbon economy adopted by G20 leaders during Saudi Arabia’s presidency in 2020

RIYADH: Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman recently held a meeting with COP26 President-designate Alok Sharma and discussed ways to enhance cooperation in confronting global climate change.
The Saudi minister highlighted the Kingdom’s qualitative initiatives to help reduce emissions and preserve the environment, foremost of which are the Saudi Green and Middle East Green initiatives.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched these initiatives on March 27. These initiatives are aimed at reducing carbon emissions in the region by 60 percent through the use of clean hydrocarbon technologies and the planting of 50 billion trees, including 10 billion in Saudi Arabia.
The “green” initiatives, which are part of the Vision 2030 strategy, will place Saudi Arabia at the center of regional efforts to meet international targets on climate change mitigation, as well as help it achieve its own goals.
Prince Abdul Aziz and Sharma also discussed the framework of the circular carbon economy adopted by G20 leaders during Saudi Arabia’s presidency in 2020.
While the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region has long been a leading global supplier of fossil fuels, renewables are complementing its own energy mix, offering eco-friendly alternatives such as clean hydrogen fuel to decarbonize and reduce gas emissions.
With around 70 to 90 percent of the Arabian Peninsula facing the threat of desertification, owing to past and ongoing human activities, massive afforestation, and land restoration initiatives hold hope for millions of hectares of degraded land.
Unfortunately, in a G20 meeting held in Italian city, Naples on July 22-23, energy and environment ministers failed to agree on the wording of key climate change commitments in their final communique after China and India refused to give way on two key points.
One of these was phasing out coal power, which most countries wanted to achieve by 2025 but some said would be impossible for them.
The other concerned the wording surrounding a 1.5-2 degree Celsius limit on global temperature increases that was set by the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Average global temperatures have already risen by more than 1 degree compared to the pre-industrial baseline used by scientists and are on track to exceed the 1.5-2 degree ceiling.
“Some countries wanted to go faster than what was agreed in Paris and to aim to cap temperatures at 1.5 degrees within a decade, but others, with more carbon-based economies, said let’s just stick to what was agreed in Paris,” said Italy’s Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani.
The G20 meeting was seen as a decisive step ahead of United Nations climate talks, known as COP26, which take place in 100 days’ time in Glasgow in November.


Saudi CITC pushes for more tech listings on Tadawul

Saudi CITC pushes for more tech listings on Tadawul
Updated 02 August 2021

Saudi CITC pushes for more tech listings on Tadawul

Saudi CITC pushes for more tech listings on Tadawul
  • The CITC is aiming to enhance the investment environment in the telecoms and IT sectors

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) signed an initial agreement with the Saudi Stock Exchange pushing for more listing of technology operators in the Kingdom on the Saudi stock market.

The CITC is aiming to enhance the investment environment in the telecommunications and information technology sector, the postal sector and delivery applications, SPA reported.

Financial market listings provide greater investment opportunities and helps companies to expand and enter new markets, and develop products, CITC said.

It also contributes to strengthening corporate governance with a regulatory framework of high quality and institutional value.

This agreement comes in line with the Vision 2030 objectives aimed at making the Kingdom a leading global logistics platform and a connecting hub for the three continents.