10 things you need to know on Tadawul today

10 things you need to know on Tadawul today
AXA Cooperative Insurance Co. announced that AXA Group decided to sell its insurance operations in the Gulf region. (File/AFP)
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Updated 01 December 2020

10 things you need to know on Tadawul today

10 things you need to know on Tadawul today

Here are a few things you need to know as Saudi stocks start trading on Tuesday.

1) Saudi Aramco started paying Q3 2020 cash dividend at SAR 0.352 ($0.0939) a share, to shareholders of record on Nov. 9.

2) Aramco signed six memoranda of understanding (MoUs) within the framework of expansion, which includes plans for new international partnerships and establishing companies through an Industrial Investment Program.

3) AXA Cooperative Insurance Co. announced that AXA Group decided to sell its insurance operations in the Gulf region.

4) Saudi Investment Bank’s (SAIB) shareholders approved mandating the board of directors to extend the maximum period within which the bank can retain the shares acquired from JP Morgan International Finance and Mizuho Bank Ltd as treasury shares.

5) Citigroup Saudi Arabia and Goldman Sachs Saudi Arabia announced receiving a notification from NatWest Markets Plc and Banco Santander S.A. about the proposed secondary sale of up to nearly 116 million ordinary shares, or 5.6 percent of Saudi British Bank (SABB).

6) Alinma Tokio Marine Co. received a claim notice of Offshore Oil Engineering Co. regarding an accident when a package of underwater cables owned by Saudi Aramco was damaged when a pipeline near it was being removed on June 25, 2019.

7) National Building & Marketing Co. signed a memorandum of understanding to fully acquire Ajeej Steel Manufacturing Co. for SAR 180 million.

8) Jadwa Investment announced that Jadwa REIT Saudi Fund invested SAR 450 million in a closed-ended Shariah-compliant private real estate investment fund.

9) Baazeem Trading Co. received letters from the General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) seeking adjustment of Zakat reports from 2014 to 2018 and pay differences of SAR 8.57 million.

10) Crude oil prices fell on Tuesday morning. Brent crude slipped 1.2 percent to $47.59/bbl, while WTI crude lost 0.9 percent to $44.95/bbl.

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Indonesia campaign helps SMEs enter Saudi market

Indonesia campaign helps SMEs enter Saudi market
Updated 19 January 2021

Indonesia campaign helps SMEs enter Saudi market

Indonesia campaign helps SMEs enter Saudi market
  • They will be the main target of the export initiative, which is estimated by the Indonesian Ministry of Trade to be able to generate $60 million

JAKARTA: Indonesia has launched a campaign to help small firms in the country compete for millions of dollars-worth of food trade in Saudi Arabia.

The government aims to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) improve the quality and competitiveness of their products to meet the Kingdom’s required standards, Indonesian trade and commerce officials have said.

Under normal circumstances, before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, around 1.5 million Indonesians a year make the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj and Umrah and hundreds of thousands work in the Kingdom.

They will be the main target of the export initiative, which is estimated by the Indonesian Ministry of Trade to be able to generate $60 million.

To meet the Saudi food regulator’s standards, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (Kadin), the Ministry of Trade, and the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small-Medium Enterprises have teamed up to assist SMEs in improving products such as bottled chili sauce, soya sauce, coffee, tea, and sugar that are in highest demand among Indonesians in Saudi Arabia.

Kadin chairman, Rosan Roeslani, told Arab News: “We have facilitated five small-medium enterprises that produce soya sauce to obtain Saudi Food and Drug Authority approval for distribution, while nine tea and coffee producers are in the pipeline to also obtain a license. We have also submitted the application for four bottled chili sauce producers.”

While travel and pilgrimage restrictions remain in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak, he said that the time before things get back to normal will be used to prepare the SMEs — which contribute 60 percent to the country’s gross domestic product and employ up to 90 percent of its workforce — for expansion into the Saudi market as soon as the pilgrimage sector resumes.

“We still have time to groom them as there are many aspects such as hygiene, and consistency in their product quality and quantity that they need to improve,” Roeslani added.

In 2014, the Ministry of Religious Affairs issued a regulation obliging catering companies that provided food and drink to Indonesian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia to source their products from Indonesian producers whenever possible.

Indonesia’s vice religious affairs minister, Zainut Tauhid Sa’adi, said that as each Indonesian pilgrim received food from caterers an average 75 times during his or her pilgrimage, demand was high but supply in Saudi Arabia remained limited and similar products from India and Thailand had been used instead.

Kasan Muhri, director general for export development at the Ministry of Trade, told Arab News that the program to prepare the SMEs had been in the making since 2017 and officials eventually decided to launch it this year despite the COVID-19 restrictions.

“Just because there are few Umrah pilgrims now and this year’s Hajj remains uncertain, it does not mean that the market is gone.

“People from around the world would still go to Saudi Arabia to perform the pilgrimage, not just Indonesians, so we are doing this to anticipate the market when the economy revives, and things are recovered. We don’t want to be left behind,” Muhri said.

Besides food and beverage products, officials say they are also looking into the possibility of exporting items such as goodie bags, prayer beads, and other pilgrimage accessories made by Indonesian SMEs.