Saudi Arabia closes $2.78bn July sukuk program

Saudi Arabia closes $2.78bn July sukuk program
The Kingdom continues to embrace the capital debt market. (Wikimedia Commons)
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Updated 06 July 2021

Saudi Arabia closes $2.78bn July sukuk program

Saudi Arabia closes $2.78bn July sukuk program
  • Saudi Arabia has been increasingly active in the sukuk markets
  • Ratings agency predicts growth for Kingdom’s debt capital market

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s National Debt Management Center (NDMC) on Tuesday closed the July 2021 issuance for the government’s Saudi riyal-denominated sukuk, valued at SR10.412 billion ($2.78 billion), as the Kingdom continued to embrace the capital debt market.

The sukuk, or Islamic bonds, were divided into two tranches. The first tranche, valued at SR6.462 billion, will mature in 2031, while the second, valued at SR3.95 billion, will mature four years later.

Saudi Arabia has been increasingly active in the sukuk markets recently. The NDMC three weeks ago closed the June 2021 issuance valued at SR8.265 billion.

ACWA Power, the utility developer backed by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), last month announced it had raised SR2.8 billion from its first-ever sukuk issuance. The sukuk will have a seven-year tenor and was 1.8 times oversubscribed, the company said in a statement.

Paddy Padmanathan, president and CEO of ACWA Power, said at the time: “The success of the issuance is proof of the wider market’s faith in Saudi Arabia’s bond market and ACWA Power’s strong credit fundamentals, which have attracted a diverse pool of sophisticated investors.”

At the same time, Saudi Aramco recently raised another $6 billion in its first US dollar-denominated sukuk sale. The energy giant sold $1 billion in a three-year tranche, $2 billion in a five-year portion and $3 billion in 10-year paper. It was Aramco’s third bond issuance, following its debut $12 billion bond in 2019 and an $8 billion, five-part transaction in November last year.

Khalid Al-Bihlal, head of S&P Global Ratings KSA, told Arab News last month that Saudi Arabia’s debt capital market was expected to grow as the Kingdom implemented its Vision 2030 goals.

“Driving growth of the Kingdom’s capital markets will be an increase in bond issuance to help fund the SR12 trillion Vision 2030. We project a gradual rise in the use of Saudi Arabian riyal-denominated bond issuance as the local capital markets develop. The US dollar is currently the currency of choice for such bonds. 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.


Sipchem begins hydrogen supply to Aramco firm

Sipchem begins hydrogen supply to Aramco firm
Updated 20 sec ago

Sipchem begins hydrogen supply to Aramco firm

Sipchem begins hydrogen supply to Aramco firm

RIYADH: Sahara International Petrochemical Co. on Monday began supplying hydrogen to Saudi Aramco Shell Refinery Co., Argaam reported citing the company’s bourse filing.

The company attributed the delay in completing the project to the coronavirus pandemic, which further delayed the process of receiving equipment, thus resulting in productivity loss in construction.

The financial impact of this agreement will reflect on the company’s fourth quarter of 2021 financial results.

The agreement will enhance Sipchem’s presence as a reliable supplier in hydrogen production and open up many areas for the company in the gas industry.

According to data compiled by Argaam, Sipchem signed in May 2019 an agreement with SASREF to supply hydrogen gas for a period of 20 years.


Saudi Arabia to introduce rules to promote continued education, says minister

Saudi Arabia to introduce rules to promote continued education, says minister
Updated 53 min 54 sec ago

Saudi Arabia to introduce rules to promote continued education, says minister

Saudi Arabia to introduce rules to promote continued education, says minister

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is considering introducing new rules to facilitate and encourage the culture of continued education, said Saudi Education Minister Hamad Al-Alsheikh.

He was addressing a conference in Riyadh on Monday launched under the auspices of the Human Capability Development Program, which was recently launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The program’s strategy will be built on three pillars: Developing a resilient and strong educational base, preparing for the future labor market locally and globally, and providing lifelong learning opportunities.

The education minister said the government is taking measures to ensure that graduates find suitable openings in relevant field within 12 months of their graduation.

He also said by 2030 the Saudization percentage in high-skilled positions will increase to 40 percent.

Referring to the national capability development plan, the minister said it aims to develop a guidance system for high school students to help them make career choices based on their aptitudes.

He said efforts are underway to introduce regulations to attract global educational institutions in the Kingdom, which will boost competition between the local and foreign universities.

Ahmad Al-Faheed, governor of the Technical and Vocational Training Corp., said the government in partnership with the private sector will design training programs to increase employment rates and enhance competitiveness among Saudi graduates.

Minister of Human Resources Ahmed Al-Rajhi said that a primary goal of the program is to match talent with demand in the market, and in case of failure of matching candidates with available jobs, the program will upgrade their skills.

Industry Minister Bandar Alkhorayef said the aim of the program launched by the Saudi crown prince is to transform the Kingdom’s industrial sector along modern lines. He said the Kingdom has no dearth of talent and the local companies have the potential to compete with their global counterparts.

The minister stressed the importance of adopting modern technology for strong industrial growth. 


Cryptocurrencies make a quick comeback from last week’s turmoil: Market wrap

Cryptocurrencies make a quick comeback from last week’s turmoil: Market wrap
Updated 27 September 2021

Cryptocurrencies make a quick comeback from last week’s turmoil: Market wrap

Cryptocurrencies make a quick comeback from last week’s turmoil: Market wrap
  • The two major cryptocurrencies regained most of their losses on Monday

RIYADH: The two major cryptocurrencies regained most of their losses on Monday, as the market quickly rebounded from last week’s turmoil sparked by the crackdown in China.

Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency in trading internationally, traded higher on Monday, rising by 3.5 percent to $44,008.57 at 12:32 p.m. Riyadh time.

Ether, the second most-traded cryptocurrency, traded at $3,130.43, up 8.56 percent, according to data from CoinDesk.

Meanwhile, the second-largest stablecoin by market valuation, USDC, has seen its capital increase significantly, rising by more than $10 billion in 125 days.

As of Sept.25, there are $129.3 billion worth of stablecoin assets in existence which represents 6.54 percent of the cryptocurrency economy.

Many US lawmakers see China’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies as a perfect opportunity for American leadership in the crypto space.

“China’s authoritarian crackdown on crypto, including Bitcoin, is a big opportunity for the US. It’s also a reminder of our huge structural advantage over China,” Sen. Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania said.

In comments to media, Indonesia’s Trade Minister Muhammad Luthfi asserted that the Indonesian government would not follow the lead of China, which has confirmed a ban on all cryptocurrency transactions.

Noting that the state will limit itself to ensuring that it is not used in illegal activities, the statement comes after local cryptocurrency exchanges reported a significant increase in trading volume this year. “We don’t prohibit it, but we will tighten the regulations,” said Luthfi

Cryptocurrency trading on 13 local exchanges licensed by the Indonesian Futures Exchange Supervisory Board also increased by 40 percent in the first five months of 2021. During 2020, the volume of transactions reached 65 trillion rupees ($4.5 billion), according to the reports.

 

Crash ahead

Renowned author and investor Robert Kiyosaki, author of the bestselling book “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” predicts that a giant stock market crash is coming in October, noting that gold, silver and bitcoin may also crash.

"Giant stock market crash coming October. Why? Treasury and Fed short of T-bills. Gold, silver, bitcoin may crash too. Cash best for picking up bargains after crash. Not selling gold, silver, bitcoin, yet have lots of cash for life after stock market crash. Stocks dangerous. Careful,” Kiyosaki tweeted.

 

Tipping point

Twitter users on Apple’s iOS will now be able to link third-party tipping services to their profile on the social networking site. This will include the ability to link both Bitcoin and Lightning Network addresses.

The tipping feature will be entirely dependent on third-party payment services such as the Jack Mallers Strike app. The company said that it “is not in the flow of funds" and will not take a percentage of tipping proceeds.

Company representatives said that the Tips feature will be rolling out to the Twitter app for iOS and will be available on Android soon.

Twitter also announced that it will add non-fungible tokens verification features to the platform. No specific timeline has been set for this, which is still under development.


More than 50 companies plan listing on Saudi stocks market, regulator says

More than 50 companies plan listing on Saudi stocks market, regulator says
Updated 27 September 2021

More than 50 companies plan listing on Saudi stocks market, regulator says

More than 50 companies plan listing on Saudi stocks market, regulator says

More than 50 companies are waiting to be listed on the Tadawul, according to the chairman of the Capital Market Authority.

Speaking at the Financial Sector Conference on Monday, Mohammed Al-Quwaiz said he expected to have over 30 listed by the end of the year.

“If we look at the numbers today we have over 50 files that are either offering or listing either in the primary market or the Tadawul market,” he said.

“Our expectation is obviously this is subject to market norms and the readiness of these businesses but we imagine that we will end the year with over 30 listed,” he added.


Switching to renewables will save Kingdom's businesses $13bn, Saudi debt office chief claims

Switching to renewables will save Kingdom's businesses $13bn, Saudi debt office chief claims
Updated 27 September 2021

Switching to renewables will save Kingdom's businesses $13bn, Saudi debt office chief claims

Switching to renewables will save Kingdom's businesses $13bn, Saudi debt office chief claims

The transition to renewable energy will save companies $13billion, the CEO of the National Centre for Debt Management said on Monday.

Speaking at the Financial Sector Conference in Riyadh, Hani Al-Madini said many local entities are already transforming towards sustainable energy, which can decrease expenses by SR50 billion.

His comments were echoed by Mohammed Al Kuwais, chairman of the capital market authority, who said: “Companies are doing this because they recognize their responsibility, and to relate to investors’ demands.”