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.


John Kerry to attend Middle East Green Initiative Summit in Saudi Arabia

John Kerry to attend Middle East Green Initiative Summit in Saudi Arabia
Updated 6 sec ago

John Kerry to attend Middle East Green Initiative Summit in Saudi Arabia

John Kerry to attend Middle East Green Initiative Summit in Saudi Arabia
  • Kerry will “engage with government counterparts and private sector leaders on climate crisis

LONDON: US climate envoy John Kerry will travel to Saudi Arabia on Sunday to take part in the Middle East Green Initiative Summit.

During his two-day visit to the Kingdom, Kerry will “engage with government counterparts and private sector leaders on efforts to address the climate crisis,” the State Department said.

Kerry’s meetings will “bolster the United States’ bilateral and multilateral climate diplomacy” ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow that starts on Oct. 31.

Saudi Arabia will host the inaugural Saudi Green Initiative Forum and Middle East Green Initiative Summit in Riyadh on Oct. 23-25.

The environmental initiatives were launched in March by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Together they aim to plant 50 billion trees in the region and reduce Middle East carbon emissions by 60 percent.


NEOM’s green hydrogen plant to operate in 2026: Air Product’s CEO

NEOM’s green hydrogen plant to operate in 2026: Air Product’s CEO
Updated 21 October 2021

NEOM’s green hydrogen plant to operate in 2026: Air Product’s CEO

NEOM’s green hydrogen plant to operate in 2026: Air Product’s CEO
  • Seifi Ghasemi noted that the project is the biggest in the world and that it is the first time for the company to handle a project with this scale, echoing a similar comment from ACWA Power CEO to Arab News. 

NEOM’s green hydrogen plant will start operations in 2026, the chief executive officer of Air Products & Chemicals revealed in an interview with Alarabiya.

The project will export hydrogen in the form of liquid ammonia to the world market for use as a biofuel that feeds transportation systems.

Seifi Ghasemi noted that the project is the biggest in the world and that it is the first time for the company to handle a project with this scale, echoing a similar comment from ACWA Power CEO to Arab News. 

This comes amid the Kingdom’s directions towards green energy. 

 


US jobless claims fall; Turkey’s central bank slashes interest rate again: Economic wrap

US jobless claims fall; Turkey’s central bank slashes interest rate again: Economic wrap
Updated 21 October 2021

US jobless claims fall; Turkey’s central bank slashes interest rate again: Economic wrap

US jobless claims fall; Turkey’s central bank slashes interest rate again: Economic wrap

Americans applying for jobless benefits declined to 290,000 in the week ending 16 October, compared to the previous seven day's 296,00 claims, official data showed. 

This is the lowest level since March 2020 as job hirers hold on to their employees as a result of worker shortages.

Turkish interest rate falls once more

The Turkish Central Bank decided to cut its interest rate again from 18 percent to 16 percent, despite rising inflation and a depreciating currency. 

This decision came after the president renewed calls to alleviate borrowing costs to promote economic growth. Economists considered this confirmation of the bank's loss of independence as the president sacked the last three central bank governors.

South Korea's exports

Based on data released by its customs agency, South Korea's exports jumped in the first 20 days of October by 36.1 percent compared to a year earlier, while imports soared by 48 percent, causing a provisional trade deficit of $2.49 billion.

Exports rose the most for petroleum products and vessels as they leapt by 128.7 percent and 93.5 percent respectively.

The data showed that exports to China, the United States and the European Union increased during this period by 30.9, 37.1 and 42.1 percent respectively.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s recovery at risk 

The IMF said that the weak vaccination rollouts in sub-Saharan Africa could setback the region’s economic recovery in the coming period.

While higher commodity prices and favorable harvests were beneficial for some countries, the overall outlook is pessimistic as the region is likely to considerably lag behind developed countries.

The international organization expects sub-Saharan economic growth to be 3.7 percent in 2021 and 3.8 percent in 2022. 

Russia’s producer prices

Russian producer prices went up by a 26.3 percent annual rate in September, official data revealed. This is the lowest level since March and was mainly driven by a 41.4 percent surge in costs of raw materials extraction and a 25.4 percent jump in manufacturing costs.

China’s investments abroad

China's non-financial outbound direct investment (ODI) grew by 2.4 percent in the first nine months of 2021 compared to the same period last year to reach $80.78 billion, the commerce ministry said.

Ukraine’s interest rate 

The Central Bank of Ukraine kept the interest rate on hold at 8.5 percent. However, the bank said there was a possible chance to increase the rate in December if needed to manage rising inflationary pressures.


TASI closes 0.3 percent higher at 11,940 points: Market Wrap

TASI closes 0.3 percent higher at 11,940 points: Market Wrap
Updated 21 October 2021

TASI closes 0.3 percent higher at 11,940 points: Market Wrap

TASI closes 0.3 percent higher at 11,940 points: Market Wrap

RIYADH: The Tadawul All-Share Index was up 35 points on Thursday, or 0.3 percent, closing at 11,939,58 points.

Some 202.4 million of shares changed hands in 305,000 deals.

Al Rajhi Bank, SABIC and Saudi Aramco rose by 1 percent.

Baazeem was the top gainer, rising 5.6 percent, to SR124.80, with about 2.2 million shares traded.

Sulaiman Al Habib jumped 5.2 percent, to SR178.20.

Alinma Bank, Arab Sea, Sipchem and Saudi National Bank recorded their highest closings since the listing.

The parallel market index “Nomu” decreased by 719.49 points, or 2.94 percent, and closed at 23730.47 points. The liquidity amounted to about SR15.6 million.

Makkah Construction declined 1.9 percent to SR77.10. In Q3 2021, the company recorded a net profit of SR12 million.

NADEC and National Gypsum closed at SR34.95 and SR46.80, respectively.


Cryptocurrencies benefit from Bitcoin's gains: Crypto wrap

Cryptocurrencies benefit from Bitcoin's gains: Crypto wrap
Updated 21 October 2021

Cryptocurrencies benefit from Bitcoin's gains: Crypto wrap

Cryptocurrencies benefit from Bitcoin's gains: Crypto wrap

RIYADH: Leading cryptocurrencies have mirrored Bitcoin’s gains with strong performances in the past 24 hours.

Ethereum and Solana are up more than 10 percent, after Bitcoin surged above $66,000 on Wednesday.

Edan Yago, the lead contributor to the Bitcoin DeFi protocol Sovryn, said: “As big as Bitcoin is now, it’s a mere fraction of what it will be.

“An entire borderless economy will be powered by sound money. An economy far larger than our current global economy. Why? Bitcoin finally brings property rights and economic access to billions of people.”

 Ruud Feltkamp, CEO of cloud-based automated crypto trading bot Cryptohopper predicted that Bitcoin’s value will continue to grow.

“As expected, Bitcoin reached its all time high. It’s expected that the long volatile route to the top starts now, where I expect Bitcoin’s peak around Christmas. We often see that when Bitcoin makes a move, the altcoins follow in the two weeks after, which could explain the latest surge in Ethereum and Solana,” he said.

Trading
 

Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency in trading internationally, traded lower on Thursday, falling by 0.55 percent to $65,286 at 4:49 pm Riyadh time.

Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, traded at $4,251 up 6.74 percent, according to data from Coindesk.