Saudi Arabia’s National Debt Management Center appoints acting CEO

Hani Al-Medaini
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Hani Al-Medaini
Saudi Arabia’s National Debt Management Center appoints acting CEO
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Updated 05 July 2021

Saudi Arabia’s National Debt Management Center appoints acting CEO

Saudi Arabia’s National Debt Management Center appoints acting CEO
  • Banking exec Hani Al-Medaini takes over from Fahad Al-Saif, who has joined the Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF

JEDDAH: Hani Al-Medaini has been appointed acting CEO of the National Debt Management Center, chaired by the Saudi Finance Minister Mohammad Al-Jadaan.

Al-Medaini, a former head of the investment division at Saudi British Bank, takes over from Fahad Al-Saif, who recently joined the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Al-Medaini, who has also worked as a dealer at Samba Financial Group, joined the National Debt Management Center in September 2019 as head of portfolio management and was appointed acting deputy CEO in March. The center was set up in 2015 following the decline in oil prices as part of efforts to help the government tap into the global debt markets.

Last month, the center closed the June 2021 issuance for the government’s Saudi riyal-denominated sukuk, valued at SR8.265 billion ($2.2 billion). The sukuk — or Islamic bonds — were divided into three tranches. The first amounted to SR2.755 billion and will mature in 2028, the second tranche of SR4.650 billion will mature in 2031, and the third of SR860 million in 2035.

Saudi Arabia has been increasingly more active in the sukuk markets. ACWA Power and Aramco have both had successful issuance in recent weeks.

Khalid Al-Bihlal, head of S&P Global Ratings KSA, told Arab News that Saudi Arabia’s debt capital market was expected to continue to grow. “A gradual deepening of the local capital markets would likely increase their transparency and could reinforce corporate governance practices in Saudi Arabia in coming years,” he said.

 

 


SABIC stock hits 7-year high

SABIC stock hits 7-year high
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 17 sec ago

SABIC stock hits 7-year high

SABIC stock hits 7-year high

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) recorded its highest price on Sunday since September 2014, at SR 134.60, according to Argaam. 

The stock is currently trading up just under 1 percent, with trading exceeding 500,000 shares so far. 

Today’s rise has pushed the stock up a staggering 120 percent since March 2020. 

The Saudi company operates in the petrochemical, fertilizer, iron, steel and aluminum industries with Saudi Aramco the largest investor, with a share of 70 percent. 


FTSE adds ADNOC Drilling to three of its global equity indices

FTSE adds ADNOC Drilling to three of its global equity indices
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 43 min 12 sec ago

FTSE adds ADNOC Drilling to three of its global equity indices

FTSE adds ADNOC Drilling to three of its global equity indices

Index publisher FTSE Russell has added ADNOC Drilling to three of its global equity indices.


ADNOC Drilling has been added to the FTSE Global Large Cap Index, the FTSE Emerging Index, and the FTSE All-World Index, according to a statement from ADNOC Drilling.


The index publisher, against whose indexes funds benchmark trillions of dollars of assets, earlier announced the same to clients on October 4.


ADNOC Drilling is a unit of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. Baker Hughes retains a 5 percent share in the company.


ADNOC Drilling went public earlier this month via a $1.1 billion initial public offering through the sale of a 11 percent share in the company to investors.


Saudi Arabia issues penalties in crack down on electronic employment platforms

Saudi Arabia issues penalties in crack down on electronic employment platforms
Getty Images
Updated 17 October 2021

Saudi Arabia issues penalties in crack down on electronic employment platforms

Saudi Arabia issues penalties in crack down on electronic employment platforms
  • Penalties can be doubled according to the frequency of violations

Saudi Arabia issued penalties in a move to regulate employment in electronic employment platforms as demand for mobile and web applications is booming in the Kingdom.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Human Development issued four penalties for violations on electronic platforms that range between SR5,000 ($1333) and SR50,000 ($13,333), Okaz paper reported.

The violations include the platforms enabling non-Saudi workers to work directly through the platform, platforms not verifying that the worker does not work on behalf of other people, platforms with incorrect data for workers, and those that have not supplied the requested data and information to the ministry.

Penalties can be doubled according to the frequency of violations.

The Minister, Ahmed Alrajhi, had previously obligated electronic platforms to limit direct interactions to Saudi nationals only and not to deal directly with non-Saudi workers except through the operating establishments.


Saudi food group Savola completes $260m acquisition of UAE’s Bayara

Saudi food group Savola completes $260m acquisition of UAE’s Bayara
Updated 17 October 2021

Saudi food group Savola completes $260m acquisition of UAE’s Bayara

Saudi food group Savola completes $260m acquisition of UAE’s Bayara
  • The transaction, paid in cash according to a stock exchange filing, was part of a five-year strategy to expand Savola’s regional operations.

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s Savola Group has completed the full acquisition of Emirati snack maker Bayara Holding, in a deal worth SR975 million ($260 million).

The transaction, paid in cash according to a stock exchange filing, was part of a five-year strategy to expand Savola’s regional operations.

Bayara is a major manufacturer and distributor of branded snacks in the UAE and the Kingdom.


Harsh reality of net-zero commitments under scrutiny

Harsh reality of net-zero commitments under scrutiny
Updated 16 October 2021

Harsh reality of net-zero commitments under scrutiny

Harsh reality of net-zero commitments under scrutiny
  • Call to set clear goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions

LONDON: The current spike in oil and gas prices could not have come at a worse time. On the eve of the UN COP26 global climate conference in Scotland this month, soaring energy prices are resulting in increased investor interest in fossil fuel companies.

The S&P 500 energy sector is up around 50 percent this year and has been the wider index’s best-performing group.

Indeed, a recent report stated financial institutions in the G20 are carrying almost $22 trillion of exposure to carbon-intensive sectors despite increasing pressure for companies to disinvest in polluting industries.

The report, by Moody’s Investors Service, warned banks and asset managers need to “ramp up” climate risk assessments and “set clear goals for reaching net-zero in their financed emissions.”

Moody’s warning comes after the London Financial Times reported this week that global banks have refused to commit to the International Energy Agency’s road map for cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

The FT said negotiators for the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, an initiative led by UN special envoy for climate action and finance Mark Carney to encourage finance groups to stop funding fossil fuel companies, have struggled to convince banks to agree to end financing of all new oil, gas and coal exploration projects this year.

Many analysts believe the huge rises in gas and oil prices is evidence of the risks of phasing out fossil fuel production too quickly while renewable energy remains unable to pick up the slack of global demand.

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman criticized the IEA’s call for the energy sector to be net zero by 2050, calling it a “la-la-land” scenario.

Last week, Qatari Energy Minister Saad Al-Kaabi criticized governments for making statements about eliminating emissions without adopting clear plans to achieve net-zero.

Al-Kaabi’s comments followed an announcement by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, that the country planned to become the first Middle East oil producer to achieve net zero by 2050.

The UAE’s emissions averaged almost 21 metric tons per person in 2018.

As a comparison, the figure in France, which is also committed to net zero by 2050, is 4.6.

Along with the UAE, Russia and Turkey also announced recently that they could be net-zero by 2060 and 2053 respectively although there were no details outlining they will move their economies away from fossil fuels.

The move follows EU plans to impose a carbon-border tariff that could force Russian and Turkish companies to pay for excess emissions in key industries.

However, for Russia to achieve net-zero by 2060 would require a massive overhaul of its economy.

Russia’s oil and gas sales contribute between 15 to 20 percent of the country’s GDP and fossil fuel exports account for more than 50 percent of all exports. The country’s coal industry contributes around 12 percent to GDP.

Achieving net-zero in Russia by 2060 will require a 65 percent reduction in its emissions according to research institute the World Resources Institute. Yet Russia’s most recent submission to the UN under the Paris Agreement suggested its emissions would increase 30 percent by the end of the decade compared to 1990 levels.

Meanwhile Turkey, which last week became the last G20 country to ratify the Paris accord, would have to slash its emissions by around 30 percent by the end of the decade to reach its 2053 target. The WRI had forecast Turkey was set to double its current emissions by the end of the decade.

While governments step up their commitments to sustainability to fend off new regulations and respond to growing pressure from investors the reality looks very different.

Moody’s report said G20 banks’ exposure to carbon-intensive sectors amounted to $13.8 trillion, while equities held by asset managers were worth $6.6 trillion.

Regionally, Asia and the Americans led the way with $9 trillion and $8 trillion respectively, with EMEA accounting for $5 trillion. There was no country breakdown.

By sector, manufacturing, power and other utilities, transportation, and oil and gas feature heavily among the G20 financial institutions’ top carbon-intensive exposures.

Companies and governments remain under increasing pressure from both climate-focused regulations and shareholder pressure to disinvest in polluting industries.

However, in a report published last month the WRI said G20 countries still account for 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Helen Mountford, vice president, Climate & Economics, WRI said: “Action or inaction by G20 countries will largely determine whether we can avoid the most dangerous and costly impacts of climate change.”