Saudi salaries forecast to increase as economy recovers from pandemic

The 2021 Saudi Arabia Salary & Employment report released on Monday was based on a survey of about 600 Saudi employers and employees in late 2020. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
The 2021 Saudi Arabia Salary & Employment report released on Monday was based on a survey of about 600 Saudi employers and employees in late 2020. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
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Updated 08 March 2021

Saudi salaries forecast to increase as economy recovers from pandemic

The 2021 Saudi Arabia Salary & Employment report released on Monday was based on a survey of about 600 Saudi employers and employees in late 2020. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
  • More than half of employers expect to award pay rises, with most increasing earnings by up to 5 percent

JEDDAH: More than half of Saudi employers and employees expect salaries to increase this year, according to a survey by global agency Hays.

The 2021 Saudi Arabia Salary & Employment report released on Monday was based on a survey of about 600 Saudi employers and employees in late 2020.

Despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic’s negative impact on salaries last year, 39 percent of surveyed employees said they received a pay increase, while only 9 percent said their salary was reduced, compared with 4 percent in 2019.

The report forecast that most salaries will remain the same, but Saudi employees were more optimistic, with 56 percent of respondents saying they expect an increase, 41 anticipating no change and just 3 percent believing they will get a pay cut.

The survey found that 53 percent of employers anticipate they will award pay raises to staff, with most increasing earnings by up to 5 percent.

Chris Greaves, managing director of Hays in the Middle East, said that salary offerings have always been fundamental to attracting workers to the Kingdom.

He said that there was likely to be more movement of employees in the labor market this year, due to the upcoming Iqama reforms, which allow expat employees working in private sector to freely change jobs without the employer’s consent. As a result, more expats will be willing to leave an organization based on pay offered by another.

Hays said that salary was the leading factor in 44 percent of professionals looking to move jobs in the next 12 months.

“Employers will need to be competitive with salaries, paying more than others to secure the top talent,” Greaves said.

Around 21 percent of businesses said they were either unaffected or positively affected by the crisis, but 33 percent said they had reduced staff due to reduced revenues from March 2020.

However, 81 percent of employers said they were already in recovery, or their business is as usual or at a growth phase. Moreover, 62 percent are expecting business activity to increase in 2021.

About 60 percent of employers expect staffing levels in their organization to increase in the next 12 months, while 29 percent of respondents said they had increased head count at the end of 2020 compared with 12 months earlier.

Over the next 12 months, Hays said it expected to see a lot of recruitment activity in the life sciences, health care, manufacturing and real estate sectors. IT is also expected to see high demand, as Hays said there was a shortage of skilled Saudi workers in this sector.

Greaves said that although organizations were forced to make redundancies and reduce salaries to maintain their operations amid the pandemic, this was primarily only during the height of the pandemic. “When looking on a global scale, Saudi Arabia’s job market has fared very well,” he said.

The report also showed that pay cuts and redundancies had been lower in Saudi Arabia than other countries in the region. For instance, 18 percent of professionals in the UAE faced salary decreases compared with 9 percent in Saudi Arabia. Almost half of employers in the UAE (45 percent) were forced to lay off staff compared with 32 percent in the Kingdom.

“Thanks to the government’s investment in non-oil revenue streams in accordance with Vision 2030, many organizations have continued to operate in the country successfully and there is much positive sentiment ahead,” Greaves said.


Saudi SABIC, ExxonMobil begin operations of petrochemical JV on US Gulf Coast

Saudi SABIC, ExxonMobil begin operations of petrochemical JV on US Gulf Coast
Updated 20 January 2022

Saudi SABIC, ExxonMobil begin operations of petrochemical JV on US Gulf Coast

Saudi SABIC, ExxonMobil begin operations of petrochemical JV on US Gulf Coast

RIYADH: Riyadh-based Saudi Basic Industries, also known as SABIC, one of the leading petrochemical firms worldwide, announced the start of operations of its petrochemical joint venture with US ExxonMobil.

US Texas is to witness the launch of an ethylene production unit – operating an annual capacity of around 1.8 million tons, the homegrown petrochemical company said in a statement.

The new production unit, which started construction in 2019, will produce materials to be utilized in packaging, agricultural film, construction materials, clothing, and automotive coolants.

This project is in line with SABIC’s strategy, aimed at diversifying its feedstock as well as strengthening its position in North America.

“This is a remarkable achievement that positions us well to help meet growing global demand for performance products while providing meaningful investment in the US Gulf Coast,’ president of ExxonMobil Karen McKee said, commenting on the partnership.

SABIC noted that the deal’s financial impact is expected to roll out on the company’s financial statements during the ongoing quarter.

In the latest trading session, shares of the company edged down by 0.2 percent to close at SR126 ($33.6).


Mastercard, Coinbase partner to make NFTs more accessible

Mastercard, Coinbase partner to make NFTs more accessible
Updated 20 January 2022

Mastercard, Coinbase partner to make NFTs more accessible

Mastercard, Coinbase partner to make NFTs more accessible

RIYADH: Payments giant Mastercard has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to make non-fungible tokens more accessible.

Mastercards can be used to make purchases on Coinbase’s upcoming NFT marketplace.

“We’re excited to announce today that we’re partnering with Coinbase to let people use their Mastercard cards to make purchases on Coinbase’s upcoming NFT marketplace,” Mastercard said in a statement.

“Getting more people involved safely and securely is perhaps the best way to help the NFT market thrive.”

Mastercard also sees greater potential for core NFT technology to go beyond art and collectibles in many other areas.

Coinbase announced in October last year that it is launching an NFT marketplace.

“Coinbase NFT, as a peer-to-peer marketplace that will make minting, purchasing, showcasing and discovering NFTs easier than ever,” Coinbase said.

“We’re making NFTs more accessible by building user-friendly interfaces that put the complexity behind the scenes. We’re adding social features that open new avenues for conversation and discovery. And we’re going to grow the creator community exponentially, a win for artists and for fans.” 


Saudi Wafrah appoints Khaled Saleh Al Amoudi as CEO

Saudi Wafrah appoints Khaled Saleh Al Amoudi as CEO
Updated 20 January 2022

Saudi Wafrah appoints Khaled Saleh Al Amoudi as CEO

Saudi Wafrah appoints Khaled Saleh Al Amoudi as CEO

RIYADH: Saudi food firm Wafrah for Industry and Developments has appointed Khaled Saleh Al Amoudi as CEO on Thursday, according to a bourse statement. 

The decision follows recommendation from the Remuneration and Nomination Committee.

With a M.Sc.in Financial Management, Al Amoudi currently holds the chief financial officer position at the firm, with more than 20 years of accumulated experience as CFO and in the governmental and bank sectors.


Tadawul approves $755m government debt listing

Tadawul approves $755m government debt listing
Updated 20 January 2022

Tadawul approves $755m government debt listing

Tadawul approves $755m government debt listing

RIYADH: Saudi stock exchange Tadawul approved listing of SR2.83 billion ($755 million) worth of government debt instruments, submitted by the Ministry of Finance, according to a bourse filing.

The first issuance dated January 8, amounts to SR1.25 billion, Tadawul said in a statement.

The second issuance dated January 12, is valued at SR1.59 billion.


Profits of Saudi-based SADAFCO drop 28.6% as pandemic hits sales

Profits of Saudi-based SADAFCO drop 28.6% as pandemic hits sales
Updated 20 January 2022

Profits of Saudi-based SADAFCO drop 28.6% as pandemic hits sales

Profits of Saudi-based SADAFCO drop 28.6% as pandemic hits sales

RIYADH: Saudia Dairy and Foodstuff Co., or SADAFCO, reported a 28.6 percent decline in profit during the nine months ending Dec. 31, 2021. 

Profits dropped to SR146 million ($38.9million), compared to SR205 million in the corresponding period a year earlier, the company announced in a bourse statement.

SADAFCO attributed the lower profit figures to lower sales volumes driven by the pandemic, an increase from 5 percent to 15 percent in VAT, and higher material and logistics costs.

The financial statements of the company indicated a healthy cash flow, with a strong cash position of SR679 million.

SADACFO’s share price edged down by 0.12 percent in today’s session to close at SR167.

Earlier, the company’s board recommended cash dividends at SR3 per share for the first half of the fiscal year ended Mar. 31, 2022.

Jeddah-based SADAFCO operates sales and distribution depots in 24 locations across Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, and Kuwait. Its products are also exported to several countries in the MENA region.