‘Several projects’ already launched in wake of new Saudi privatization law

Jeddah corniche. (Shutterstock image)
Jeddah corniche. (Shutterstock image)
Short Url
Updated 18 March 2021

‘Several projects’ already launched in wake of new Saudi privatization law

‘Several projects’ already launched in wake of new Saudi privatization law
  • Registry of Privatization Projects will include a comprehensive central database of information on opportunities

RIYADH: Further details have emerged regarding plans by the Saudi Cabinet to privatize 16 key industries, in a move intending to boost private sector involvement in the development of the Kingdom’s economy.

Part of the country’s new Private Sector Participation (PSP) program, the initiative was announced on Wednesday by Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan, who chairs both the privatization program committee and board of the National Center for Privatization (NCP).

Hani Alsaigh, Director General of Strategic Communication and Marketing at the National Privatization Center (NCP), gave Arab News more detail about the sectors that stand to benefit from the new Private Sector Participation (PSP) Law.

The 16 main sectors targeted for privatization are: environment, water and agricultural, transportation, energy, industry and mineral wealth, labor and social development, housing, education, health, municipalities, Hajj and Umrah, communications and information technology, media, sports, interior and finance.

“We are working with all the sectors targeted for privatization… Several projects have been recently selected and launched in the sectors of health, education, transport, municipalities, environment, water and agriculture and human resources and social development,” Alsaigh said.

The new system aims to support target sectors by working to enhance private sector participation in the Kingdom’s economy and provide investment opportunities. The NCP will handle the organization of all procedures related to privatization projects, as well as facilitating the provision of those opportunities to the private sector in a transparent and fair manner.

“The NCP is the competent authority that is responsible for applying the privatization law in cooperation and coordination with the targeted sectors and their supervising committees,” Alsaigh said.

The new regulations will promote “transparency, fairness and integrity of procedures related to contracts, as well as increasing the levels of inclusiveness and quality of services and the efficiency of assets related to privatization projects and improving their management level,” he added.

The NCP aims to become a “world-class center of excellence”, facilitating the process of allocating services in the aforementioned government sectors by providing assistance and support in drafting regulations, developing legislative frameworks, preparing implementation plans and time programs, overcoming obstacles and maintaining quality through continuous monitoring of privatization projects.

Additionally, the NCP announced the creation of the Registry of Privatization Projects, a register of privatization projects that constitutes the comprehensive central database of data and documents related to privatization projects.

The registry will serve as a means of preserving documents and information related to privatization projects, organizing the subject of disclosure of record information, and protecting confidential information related to privatization projects.

According to Alsaigh, the new system seeks to better enhance the existing privatization system, and one of the most important roles of the new system will be to strengthen the existing governance and ensure fairness and transparency.

“The law allows participants from the private sector to submit grievances related to the bidding and selection procedures of privatization projects, to set up a committee of experts to address the grievances related to the bidding and selection procedures of privatization projects and lay the regulatory basis to compensate the aggrieved in case the gap could not be addressed,” he said.


UK hosting Africa investment summit for green transition

UK hosting Africa investment summit for green transition
Updated 20 January 2022

UK hosting Africa investment summit for green transition

UK hosting Africa investment summit for green transition
  • The conference aims to unlock millions of pounds of new investment, especially in clean energy industries in the UK and Africa
  • Britain will launch a digital tool to link African and British businesses to the UK government

LONDON: The UK is hosting an investment conference on Thursday to boost sustainable economic cooperation with African countries and to support the continent’s transition to clean growth.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will open the one-day event, which will be attended by UK and African ministers, business leaders and and heads of international organizations.
The conference, in its second edition, aims to unlock millions of pounds of new investment, especially in clean energy industries in the UK and Africa.
“Two years on from the inaugural UK-Africa Investment Summit, the UK’s ambition to be Africa’s investment partner of choice has never been stronger,” said Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
“This year’s conference focuses on the importance of resilient, sustainable investment to support Africa as it pivots toward a more environmentally friendly growth trajectory, and I look forward to working with leaders from the continent as they continue on this path to a greener future,” she added.
During the conference, the UK will launch a new Growth Gateway — a digital tool to link African and British businesses to UK government trade, finance, investment services and opportunities.
UK Export Finance — Britain’s export credit agency — has significantly increased support for markets in Africa in the past year from about £600 million ($817 million) in 2018-19 to more than £2.3 billion in 2020-21, supporting a range of infrastructure projects in countries from Cote d’Ivoire to Uganda, the Department for International Trade said.
Minister for Africa Vicky Ford said that the UK is “deepening its economic ties with African nations” and “there is a lot more that can be done,” adding: “Growth Gateway will make it easier than ever for African and British businesses to access the support they need to boost two-way trade and investment.”
This year’s conference also comes after Britain hosted the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26. The country is looking to build on its commitment to providing £11.6 billion of its International Climate Finance program to help developing countries tackle climate change over the next five years.
Last year’s virtual conference was attended by more than 2,800 delegates from over 40 African countries. Across the UK, 27 trade and investment deals worth £6.5 billion were announced, on top of further commitments worth £8.9 billion.


Turkey Dream Games triples in valuation after raising $255m in funding

Turkey Dream Games triples in valuation after raising $255m in funding
Updated 19 January 2022

Turkey Dream Games triples in valuation after raising $255m in funding

Turkey Dream Games triples in valuation after raising $255m in funding
  • Turkish mobile gaming start-up Dream Games raised an unprecedented $255 million in its latest Series C funding round

RIYADH: Turkish mobile gaming start-up Dream Games raised an unprecedented $255 million in its latest Series C funding round, almost tripling its valuation to $2.75 billion in six months, MAGNiTT reported.

This round of funding was led by Index Ventures, subscribed by returning investors such as Makers Fund, IVP, Kora, Balderton Capital and managed by BlackRock.

The company plans to use the funds for doubling its headcount to 200 people and launch a new game this year.

Founded in 2019, Istanbul-based Dream Games is a mobile gaming company that developed Royal Match — one of the highest grossing mobile games.


UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar top competitive economies in the Arab World: AMF

UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar top competitive economies in the Arab World: AMF
Updated 19 January 2022

UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar top competitive economies in the Arab World: AMF

UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar top competitive economies in the Arab World: AMF
  • The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar were ranked the most competitive Arab economies

RIYADH: The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar were ranked the most competitive Arab economies for the period between 2017 until 2020, according to a report launched by the Arab Monetary Fund.

The fifth Arab economies competitiveness report showed that the UAE maintained its top ranking in the general index as it benefited from high scores in the business environment and infrastructure category as well as the organizational and government governance category.

The Kingdom ranked second after having performed well in the overall economic index, the external activities sector and the official reserves index.

Qatar followed in third place, after attaining first place in the real economy sector, the inflation index and GDP per capita index.

Four Arab nations advanced in terms of competitiveness compared to the previous period, including Sudan, Egypt, Morocco, and Mauritania.

Arab states and other non-Arab countries — such as Singapore, Malaysia, Turkey — are included also in the calculation of the index.

The report monitors the economic competitiveness of Arab countries and sheds light on the economic and political measures applied by decision makers for that purpose.


TRSDC closes financing for $3.76bn loan from four Saudi banks

TRSDC closes financing for $3.76bn loan from four Saudi banks
Updated 19 January 2022

TRSDC closes financing for $3.76bn loan from four Saudi banks

TRSDC closes financing for $3.76bn loan from four Saudi banks

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's The Red Sea Development Co., or TRSDC, announced the financial closure of a SR14.12 billion ($3.76 billion) loan with four Saudi banks.

The financing will be in a form of a term loan facility and a revolving credit facility.

TRSDC, which is developing the world's largest sustainable tourism project, has obtained the loan from Saudi National Bank, Riyad Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi, and Saudi British Bank, according to a statement.

“This year, we have proceeded at pace with the delivery of our flagship project, all the while mindful of our commitment to not only reduce our impact on the environment but actively deliver a 30 percent net conservation benefit by 2040,” explained John Pagano, chief executive officer of The Red Sea Development Company.

GFC Media Group have recently awarded TRSDC’s Green Financing as Project Finance Deal of Year in the Capital Markets Saudi Arabia Awards.


Egypt achieves a $204m initial budget surplus in six months 

Egypt achieves a $204m initial budget surplus in six months 
Updated 19 January 2022

Egypt achieves a $204m initial budget surplus in six months 

Egypt achieves a $204m initial budget surplus in six months 

RIYADH: Egypt’s general budget achieved an initial surplus of 3.2 billion Egyptian pounds ($204 million) during the first six months of the 2021/22 fiscal year, the minister of finance said. 

Mohamed Maait added that revenues grew by 10.3 percent on an annual basis during that period, while tax revenues increased by 15.7 percent, the Middle East News Agency reported. 

He also said that Egypt targets a budget deficit of 6.6 percent in the 2021/22 fiscal year and a primary surplus of 1.5 percent of gross domestic product. 

The minister’s comments came during the cabinet meeting held on Wednesday by the prime minister Mostafa Madbouly, to review the financial performance indicators during the six months period.