Saudi Arabia increases areas covered by 5G

Saudi Arabia increases areas covered by 5G
The Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has the biggest coverage in the Kingdom when it comes to 5G deployment. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 19 August 2021

Saudi Arabia increases areas covered by 5G

Saudi Arabia increases areas covered by 5G
  • The total number of governorates covered with 5G now is 60, up by seven from the first quarter of the year

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia increased the number of areas covered by fast internet and mobile technology of 5G as the country continues its plan to expand digital infrastructure with private companies.\

The total number of governorates covered with 5G now is 60, up by seven from the first quarter of the year, the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced in a report.

The Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has the biggest coverage in the Kingdom when it comes to 5G deployment, with 56 governorates. It is followed by Zain, which covers 43 governorates, and Mobily with 21 governorates.

Meanwhile, download speeds in the Kingdom recorded an average of 370.12 mbps, the report said, with STC recording the highest average download speed with its mobile 5G service.

Zain had an average of 251.25 mbps, while Mobily recorded an average download speed of 280.59 mbps.


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.” 


Consortium signs financing deals for world’s largest IGCC complex in Jazan

Consortium signs financing deals for world’s largest IGCC complex in Jazan
Updated 27 September 2021

Consortium signs financing deals for world’s largest IGCC complex in Jazan

Consortium signs financing deals for world’s largest IGCC complex in Jazan
  • The JV is purchasing the ASUs, gasification, syngas cleanup, utilities and power assets from Aramco

RIYADH: A consortium of Saudi Aramco, Air Products, ACWA Power and Air Products Qudra on Monday signed asset acquisition and project financing agreements for a $12 billion air separation unit, gasification and power joint venture in Jazan Economic City, said a press release.

“This JV is meant to be central to the self-sufficiency of our megaprojects at Jazan,” said Mohammed Al-Qahtani, senior vice president of downstream, Saudi Aramco.

It serves Aramco’s Jazan Refinery, a megaproject to process 400,000 barrels per day of the crude oil to produce the main products such as ultra-light sulfur diesel, gasoline, and other products.

All parties under the joint venture expect asset transfer and funding to occur during October 2021. Air Products intends to conduct a public investor call at that time.

Seifi Ghasemi, Air Products chairman, president and CEO, said the project is a “perfect fit with our growth strategy.”

The JV is purchasing the ASUs, gasification, syngas cleanup, utilities and power assets from Aramco. The JV owns and operates the facility under a 25-year contract for a fixed monthly fee. Aramco will supply feedstock to the JV, and the JV will produce power, steam, hydrogen and other utilities for Aramco.

Mohammad Abunayyan, chairman of ACWA Power, said:  “Jazan IGCC is set to be the largest integrated project for gasification and combined cycle energy production in the world.”

Aramco via its subsidiary Saudi Aramco Power Co. has a 20 percent share in the JV; Air Products 46 percent; ACWA Power 25 percent; and Air Products Qudra 9 percent. Air Products’ total ownership position is 50.6 percent by owning an additional 4.6 percent through Air Products Qudra.


Dubai's Amanat eying up $272m of investments in Middle East, says CEO

Dubai's Amanat eying up $272m of investments in Middle East, says CEO
Updated 27 September 2021

Dubai's Amanat eying up $272m of investments in Middle East, says CEO

Dubai's Amanat eying up $272m of investments in Middle East, says CEO

RIYADH: Dubai-based Investment firm Amanat Holdings can call on a billion dirhams warchest to fund new acquisitions across the Middle East, its chief executive has revealed.

Speaking on CNBC Arabia, Mohamad Hamade said his firm will target investments in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt as he claimed Amanat’s investment portfolio delivered achieved returns of 235 million dirhams in the first half of the year, representing about 10 percent of the value of the portfolio.

"Currently, the liquidity has reached more than 700 million dirhams as cash for investment, but we can increase this amount to one billion or more if we borrow from the banks," Hamade said.

On Sunday, Amanat completed the sale of its minority 13.13 percent share in Jeddah Hospital International Medical Center for SR443 million ($118 million).

The divestment resulted in a cash return of 100 million dirhams, and is expected to report a gain of 40 million dirhams, Amanat said in a statement.

Amanat Holdings acquired Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center — a local rehabilitation firm for an enterprise value of $232 million, Bloomberg reported last February.

The Cambridge acquisition deal amounted to 850 million dirhams and was half financed by banks, Hamade said.  

 


Saudi Arabia set to issue green bonds, says head of Kingdom's debt office

Saudi Arabia set to issue green bonds, says head of Kingdom's debt office
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 27 September 2021

Saudi Arabia set to issue green bonds, says head of Kingdom's debt office

Saudi Arabia set to issue green bonds, says head of Kingdom's debt office
  • The Gulf has seen a surge of interest in ESG-related initiatives and deals amid growing awareness
  • Saudi Arabia has recently hired banks to advise it on a sustainability financing framework

Saudi Arabia will soon issue green bonds as part of its drive to diversify its economy by embracing environmental, social and governance concerns, an official said on Monday.

Hani Al-Medaini, acting chief executive officer of the Finance Ministry’s National Debt Management Center, said the government will also be looking at financing backed by export credit agencies, in addition to conventional and Islamic bonds — known as sukuk.

He made the comments at an investment conference in Riyadh.

The Gulf has seen a surge of interest in ESG-related initiatives and deals amid growing awareness among global investors about such risks.

“We issued in 2020 a green bond transaction to King Abdulaziz Project for Public Transport, which is only a beginning for a long journey of sustainable finance ” said Al-Madani.

Saudi Arabia has recently hired banks to advise it on a sustainability financing framework, and sovereign fund Public Investment Fund said it planned to announce soon its first green debt deal.

Mohammed El-Kuwaiz, the chairman of Saudi Arabia’s Capital Markets Authority, speaking at the same conference, said he expected an increase in green financing instruments in the kingdom, supported by growth in the domestic debt markets and higher participation of foreign investors.

— Additional reporting by Reuters.