Finance shake-up with Saudi derivatives market to launch in Q3

Capital Market Authority chairman Mohammed El-Kuwaiz. (Reuters/File photo)
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Updated 10 July 2020

Finance shake-up with Saudi derivatives market to launch in Q3

  • Launch of futures contracts to be made before the end of the third quarter of this year

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority (CMA) plans to launch a derivatives exchange in the latest move to modernize the Kingdom’s financial landscape.

An announcement about the launch of futures contracts will be made before the end of the third quarter of this year, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported, citing CMA Chairman Mohammed El-Kuwaiz.

“We are in the phase of developing the derivatives market with intensive work on the options contracts and the futures contracts” he said.

He was speaking in an online discussion panel organized by the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (Monshaat).

The markets chief said that the impact of the coronavirus on the market would be more visible in second quarter earnings and that the regulator was working on easing some of its procedures in response.

Tadawul is planning to launch additional derivative products gradually as part of its strategy to diversify its product offering and provide more investment opportunities for global investors.

Separately, Tadawul CEO Khalid Al-Hussan disclosed that the bourse has received a number of requests for new share offerings that are currently being reviewed. He said three companies had been approved to list on the parallel market known as “Nomu.”

 

 

Decoder

Derivative

A derivative is a financial instrument that acts as contract between two or more parties whose value is based on an agreed-upon underlying asset such as a stock or a bond.


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.”

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.