Saudi Arabia prepares rollout of e-invoicing scheme that could address ‘shadow economy’

Saudi Arabia prepares rollout of e-invoicing scheme that could address ‘shadow economy’
E-invoicing will also support fair competition in the small to medium enterprises (SME) sector. (Reuters)
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Updated 10 September 2021

Saudi Arabia prepares rollout of e-invoicing scheme that could address ‘shadow economy’

Saudi Arabia prepares rollout of e-invoicing scheme that could address ‘shadow economy’
  • The shadow economy costs the Kingdom up to $107 billion annually

JEDDAH: The first phase of Saudi Arabia’s e-invoicing project, Fatoorah, is set to be effective in less than three months, according to Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA).

The project is seen as having major benefits for the Saudi economy, including addressing commercial concealment and the “shadow economy,” which costs the Kingdom up to SR400 billion ($107 billion) annually.

Under the new regulation, buyers and sellers will have a digitized system that allows the smooth exchange and processing of invoices, credit notes, and debit notes.

“It is expected that the project will have a tangible impact on the national economy by curtailing the shadow economy and tackling commercial concealment,” Saudi financial analyst Talat Zaki Hafiz said.

Project manager Abdullah Al-Funtukh said the e-invoicing scheme will be implemented in two phases, with the first one set to happen on Dec. 4 this year.

“The first phase entails generating and storing tax invoices and notes through compliant electronic systems containing the required tax data-fields,” he said.

The next phase will focus on integrating taxpayers into the system, allowing them to access relevant e-invoicing services, Al-Funtukh said.

“ZATCA aims to provide the taxpayers a non-technical overview of the e-invoicing (Fatoorah) and the requirements to facilitate their readiness for phase one,” he added.

The project is in line with an earlier government announcement to better regulate commercial transactions in the Kingdom, introducing strict penalties for violators.

But Hafiz said the scheme also has other benefits for businesses.

“E-invoicing also shortens payment cycles, improves accounts reconciliation, enhances compliance, and cuts the amount of physical storage space required,” he said.

It will also support fair competition in the small to medium enterprises (SME) sector.


Oil market headed for surplus as omicron impact muted: IEA

Oil market headed for surplus as omicron impact muted: IEA
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 7 sec ago

Oil market headed for surplus as omicron impact muted: IEA

Oil market headed for surplus as omicron impact muted: IEA
  • “Supply disruptions and underperformance by OPEC+ are tempering growth expectations for 2022”

Oil supply will soon overtake demand as some producers are set to pump at or above all-time highs, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday, while demand holds up despite the spread of the omicron coronavirus variant.


“This time around, the surge is having a more muted impact on oil use,” the Paris-based IEA said in its monthly oil report.


“While the steady rise in supply could see a significant surplus materialize in 1Q22 and going forward, available data suggest that 2022 is starting off with global oil inventories well below pre-pandemic levels,” it said.


The United States, Canada and Brazil are set to pump at all-time highs for the year while Saudi Arabia and Russia could also break their output records.


“World oil supply in 2022 has the potential for a massive Saudi-driven gain of 6.2 million bpd (barrels per day), provided the OPEC+ alliance continues to unwind the remainder of its record 2020 supply cut.”


OPEC and other producers including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, is unwinding record output cuts put in place last year to counter a fall in demand caused by the pandemic.


Its plan calls for adding back 400,000 bpd of production per month to fully unwind the cuts by the end of September, although some countries are struggling to raise output, with OPEC+ in December falling 790,000 bpd short of its target.


Eased lockdown measures mean mobility remains robust, the IEA added, leading the energy watchdog to increase its oil demand estimate for last year and 2022 by 200,000 barrels per day.


“Supply disruptions and underperformance by OPEC+ are tempering growth expectations for 2022,” it said.


But the IEA warned that with commercial oil and fuel stocks in OECD countries at their lowest levels in seven years, any dents in supply could render the oil market in 2022 volatile.


The impact could be greater given that the ramp-up in pumping means the effective spare capacity of the group is reduced and now centered in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as some smaller OPEC members face output issues.


OPEC+ producers’ effective spare capacity by the second half of the year, excluding Iranian oil which is blocked by sanctions, could shrink to 2.6 million bpd, the IEA said.


Dubai Aerospace leases 14 Boeing 737 MAX jets to customers in Mexico, Iceland

Dubai Aerospace leases 14 Boeing 737 MAX jets to customers in Mexico, Iceland
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 20 min 53 sec ago

Dubai Aerospace leases 14 Boeing 737 MAX jets to customers in Mexico, Iceland

Dubai Aerospace leases 14 Boeing 737 MAX jets to customers in Mexico, Iceland
  • Mexico’s Aeroméxico is to receive 12 jets and Iceland’s Icelainder will receive two jets

RIYADH: Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, or DAE, one of the world’s biggest plane leasing companies, has completed the order of 14 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircrafts for two of its long-term customers in Mexico and Iceland.

The order was placed with Boeing back in March 2021.

As per DAE’s lease agreements, Mexico’s Aeroméxico is to receive 12 jets and Iceland’s Icelainder will receive two jets before the end of the first half of 2022.

The Dubai-based aviation firm, which is owned by sovereign wealth fund Investment Corporation of Dubai, had a total fleet of 153 Boeing aircrafts, with 30 units of Boeing 373 MAX 8 model, as of Dec. 31, 2021.

“We are very pleased to see the pace of recovery in air travel and the associated demand for these new technology, fuel efficient aircraft,” DAE’s chief executive officer Firoz Tarapore said in a statement, commenting on the placement.


Saudi IPO market leads the GCC in 2021: Kamco Invest report

Saudi IPO market leads the GCC in 2021: Kamco Invest report
Updated 26 min 1 sec ago

Saudi IPO market leads the GCC in 2021: Kamco Invest report

Saudi IPO market leads the GCC in 2021: Kamco Invest report

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia topped the region in terms of intial public offering issuances in 2021, with 15 out of 20 GCC IPOs debuting on Tadawul’s main and parallel markets, according to Kamco Invest report.

The report also highlights the Kingdom’s dominance in terms of IPO proceeds, ranking in almost 62 percent of the offerings at around $4.65 billion in 2021. 

Saudi utility provider ACWA POWER marked the region’s largest IPO in 2021, after its float generated $1.21 billion. 

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange came next, amounting to $2.63 billion. 

The GCC countries have stood out in terms of IPOs during the year 2021, totalling 20, up from 7 in the previous year. 

Proceeds from GCC issuers have seen a five-fold leap in 2021, reaching $7.52 billion, up from $1.64 billion in 2020. 

The improved performance has been supported by secondary market valuations and positive global market signals in terms of performance and liquidity.

Global IPOs have witnessed their highest activity in 20 years during 2021, as COVID-19 vaccinations spurred optimism, and a revival in global economic activity. 

Founded in 1998, Kuwait-based Kamco Investment Co. is a non-banking financial powerhouse that released the aforementioned findings in its report: GCC IPOs: 2021 - The Year That Was. 


China Three Gorges Power to invest $6.5bn in off-shore wind farms

China Three Gorges Power to invest $6.5bn in off-shore wind farms
Updated 52 min 35 sec ago

China Three Gorges Power to invest $6.5bn in off-shore wind farms

China Three Gorges Power to invest $6.5bn in off-shore wind farms

Chinese state-owned power firm China Three Gorges Corporation is to spend $6.5 billion on three off-shore wind farms in Guangdong province amid schemes to diversify its portfolio.

Combined, the three plants will give the firm a total of 5 million kilowatts wind power capacity, making it the largest offshore operator worldwide, according to the Financial Times.

While the hydropower giant has a current capacity to generate up to 26 gigawatts of electricity from solar panels and wind turbines, it aims to push this figure to 80GW by 2025, it was further reported by Bloomberg.

As a result, the corporation has also scrutinized potential acquisition of green projects in Mexico and agreed a deal for assets in Spain.

Additionally, projections indicate that China expects a 30 percent growth in power generation from solar and wind plants and zero growth from hydroelectric ones.

This is mainly attributed to the fact that hydro developments are impeded by falling costs of competing energy sources and that optimum places are already being utilized.

That said, China - with offshore wind capacity of 9.4GW - is anticipated to overtake the UK - global leader with capacity of 10.4GW - in 2022. 


Singapore suspends crypto ATMs despite investor appetite: Crypto Moves

Singapore suspends crypto ATMs despite investor appetite: Crypto Moves
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 19 January 2022

Singapore suspends crypto ATMs despite investor appetite: Crypto Moves

Singapore suspends crypto ATMs despite investor appetite: Crypto Moves

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded lower on Wednesday, falling by 0.46 percent to $41,515 at 12:07 p.m. Riyadh time.

Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $3,074, down by 2.60 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

Other News:

To curb Singapore's growing appetite for digital tokens, crypto ATMs are shutting down, as the city-state moves to significantly reduce consumer marketing of cryptocurrencies.

Daenerys & Co, the largest machine operator in Singapore has suspended its services to comply with the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s request, the company said on Tuesday.

Another company, Deodi Pte, shut down its sole machine on Tuesday, the company said on its website.

“The Monetary Authority of Singapore's new guidelines regarding ATMs were an unexpected surprise,” Daenerys said in a reply to questions from Bloomberg.

The machines, which are mostly located in malls across Singapore, provide people with a convenient way to buy cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether using fiat currencies, Bloomberg reported.

However, the notion of a fast and easy way into crypto trading for retail investors didn’t sit well with regulators, who explicitly mentioned the ATMs in guidelines released Monday.

Such offerings could encourage people to trade on impulse, the MAS said.

Meanwhile, Crypto.com said it has suspended all deposits and withdrawals while it investigates unauthorized activity on some accounts, according to Bloomberg.

The crypto wallet provider and trading platform said in a Twitter post that the measure was temporary to allow it to improve security and it would resume activity once the update was complete. The company added that all funds are safe.

Several users on social media have reported that their cryptocurrencies, sometimes worth tens of thousands of dollars, had disappeared from their Crypto.com accounts in recent days.

Technical issues on crypto trading platforms have become commonplace as the hype surrounding digital assets grows.

Providers such as Coinbase, Binance and Kraken have all suffered widespread outages at times of peak demand in the last year, causing trouble for investors who were prevented from making withdrawals or liquidating their positions amid volatile trading periods.