Saudi banks raise investments in treasury bonds to $117.3bn in 2020

Saudi banks raise investments in treasury bonds to $117.3bn in 2020
(Argaam)
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Updated 01 February 2021

Saudi banks raise investments in treasury bonds to $117.3bn in 2020

Saudi banks raise investments in treasury bonds to $117.3bn in 2020

Saudi banks’ investments in treasury bonds increased by SR 56.3 billion ($15 billion) year-on-year (YoY) to SR 440.02 billion in the fiscal year 2020, new data from the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) showed.

Similarly, banks’ investments in treasury bonds rose by around SR 10 billion in December 2020, compared to a month earlier.

SAMA’s foreign assets declined by SR 11.8 billion in December 2020 to around SR 1.8468 trillion.


Morocco to attract foreign renewable energy investment

Morocco to attract foreign renewable energy investment
Updated 4 min 31 sec ago

Morocco to attract foreign renewable energy investment

Morocco to attract foreign renewable energy investment
  • Morocco is working to attract investments in green hydrogen

RIYADH: More than 260 industrial projects have been supplied with new energy during the last three years in Morocco, Asharq Business reported, citing Energy Minister Aziz Rabbah.

A massive water scheme launched by Morocco, which extends over the next five years with investments exceeding $13 billion, will include a number of desalination plants powered by renewables, he said.
Rabbah said that the ministry was also working to attract investments in green hydrogen.
“This investment is accompanied by the development and diversification of the electric power network at the national level and the electrical connection with neighboring markets, based on the open market for electricity, which receives annual investments of about $1 billion,” he said.
Two laws related to the energy sector have been issued, he said — one for hydrogen investments and the other for self-production that allows citizens to produce the electricity they need.
“The legislative reforms that have taken place in the Moroccan energy sector are part of a comprehensive system of reform adopted by the Kingdom of Morocco to create an attractive business environment for investment in all sectors,” he explained.
“Taxes were reviewed, and administrative procedures related to investment were simplified and digital technology has been introduced to boost investors confidence,” he added.
The minerals sector has been restructured and over 3,300 licenses have been issued, with strong demand from local and international companies, Rabbah said.


Emirates NBD profits rise as it expands Saudi branch network

Emirates NBD profits rise as it expands Saudi branch network
Updated 28 min 34 sec ago

Emirates NBD profits rise as it expands Saudi branch network

Emirates NBD profits rise as it expands Saudi branch network
  • The bank reported a net profit of 2.32 billion dirhams ($599 million) in the first quarter of 2021

DUBAI: Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest lender, reported a 12 percent increase in first-quarter net profit amid an improving economic outlook.

The bank reported a net profit of 2.32 billion dirhams ($599 million) in the first quarter of 2021, it said in a statement on Tuesday.
Patrick Sullivan, group chief financial officer said the bank was able to deliver a 12 percent rise in profit, "with the significant impact of lower interest rates being more than offset by significantly lower credit impairment, and good cost discipline."
The bank said it increased its branch network in Saudi Arabia to six and became the first foreign bank to be granted permission to open branches in Madinah and Makkah.
The bank highlighted the improving economic outlook in Saudi Arabia with the Kingdom's economy expected to grow by 0.7 percent this year after contracting 4.1 percent in 2020.  
"Higher oil prices will help to reduce the budget deficit to just 1.4% of GDP this year, and a number of initiatives have been announced to boost domestic investment," it said.

 


Saudi Arabia is biggest 5G adopter in the Gulf, report shows

Saudi Arabia is biggest 5G adopter in the Gulf, report shows
Updated 37 min 3 sec ago

Saudi Arabia is biggest 5G adopter in the Gulf, report shows

Saudi Arabia is biggest 5G adopter in the Gulf, report shows
  • Saudi Arabia’s 5G speed was “much faster than the global average”

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has recorded the highest adoption of 5G technology compared to its Gulf neighbors, a new report showed.
Ookla, an Internet intelligence firm, revealed that the Kingdom had the most number of devices connected to 5G since its commercial release in 2019.
It was measured by looking at the ratio of samples from devices connected to 5G to the number of samples from all 5G-capable devices, which the firm said is an indicator of the maturity of a country’s 5G market.
Qatar came second, followed by the UAE. Oman, which only launched 5G early this year, was at the bottom of the list.
The report also noted Saudi Arabia’s 5G speed was “much faster than the global average.”
Its median download speed was 127 percent faster at 322.42 Mbps.
The Saudi Telecom Company emerged as the fastest operator in the Kingdom, but Mobily recorded the highest rating from customers.


NADEC consortium submits bid for privatized Saudi flour mill

NADEC consortium submits bid for privatized Saudi flour mill
Updated 20 April 2021

NADEC consortium submits bid for privatized Saudi flour mill

NADEC consortium submits bid for privatized Saudi flour mill
  • Saudi Arabia is accelerating plans to privatize key infrastructure in an effort to modernize the economy

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia's National Agricultural Development Company (NADEC) is part of a consortium that has bid for a privatized flour mill in the Kingdom.
It has teamed up with OLAM International Limited, Al Rajhi International for Investment and Abdulaziz Alajlan & Sons Company for Commercial and Real Estate Investment, to bid for one of two mills being privatized, the company said in a stock exchange filing.
The two mills are being offered for privatization by the Saudi Grains Organization.
NADEC said  it has agreed a "term sheet" relating to the creation of a limited liability company to acquire the mill should its bid be successful.
The potential acquisition would be financed through a combination of self-financing by the consortium members and borrowing from local banks, it said.
Saudi Arabia is accelerating plans to privatize key infrastructure in an effort to modernize the economy, speed major infrastructure works and develop its financial services sector.


Dubai’s external food trade hit $14.2bn in 2020

Dubai’s external food trade hit $14.2bn in 2020
Updated 20 April 2021

Dubai’s external food trade hit $14.2bn in 2020

Dubai’s external food trade hit $14.2bn in 2020
  • The emirate imported foodstuff worth 34.7 billion dirhams

DUBAI: Dubai’s external food trade reached 52 billion dirhams ($14.2 billion) in 2020, according to government data.
The emirate imported foodstuff worth 34.7 billion dirhams, Dubai Customs manager Nassim Al-Mehairi said, while exports and re-exports were valued at 10 billion dirhams and 7.3 billion dirhams respectively.
Food security is a major issue in the UAE, which has been investing in technology that will reduce its reliance on importing key staples.
Dubai Customs has streamlined its processes to accelerate the clearance of foodstuff shipments to ensure they are delivered to markets on time, especially during Ramadan when consumption is high, Al-Mehairi said.