Saudi Arabia to enact new e-commerce legislation to boost SMEs

Saudi Arabia to enact new e-commerce legislation to boost SMEs
Revenue in the Saudi e-commerce market is projected to reach $7.05 billion in 2021, according to data firm Statista. Social media
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Updated 12 September 2021

Saudi Arabia to enact new e-commerce legislation to boost SMEs

Saudi Arabia to enact new e-commerce legislation to boost SMEs

RIYADH: The E-Commerce Council is working on the so-called ‘e-commerce journey’ to create infrastructure and issue legislation covering the import of consumer products.

The council is working on measures to develop e-commerce infrastructure, enabling payment systems, postal and logistic services, and providing a package of services to medium and small enterprises.

Abdul Malik Al-Tuwaijri, director general of product safety at the Standards and Metrology Authority, pointed out that objectives have been set to control products received through e-commerce, according to Al-Eqtisadiah.

The council regulates the relationship between shoppers and online stores, and enables people who do not have a commercial license to practice the activity according to specific regulations.

According to a recent study conducted by analytics company SAS, almost half (48 percent) of consumers in Saudi Arabia will continue to use online shopping and banking more than they did before COVID-19, even as the pandemic abates.

The study indicated that 75 percent of the respondents have permanently changed their shopping habits as a result of the pandemic, while only 17 percent of consumers in the Kingdom expect to return completely to how things were before.

New digital consumers increased 27 percent in the MENA region since the pandemic, the highest of any region surveyed, SAS said. 

More than half of the respondents (56 percent) are digital channel users, which is also the highest rate in any region.

Revenue in the Saudi e-commerce market is projected to reach $7.05 billion in 2021, according to data firm Statista. 

The numbers are expected to show an annual growth rate of 5.38 percent in the coming years, resulting in a projected market volume of $8.69 billion by 2025.

 


Naqi Water to debut on TASI market early next week following strong IPO

Naqi Water to debut on TASI market early next week following strong IPO
Updated 12 sec ago

Naqi Water to debut on TASI market early next week following strong IPO

Naqi Water to debut on TASI market early next week following strong IPO

RIYADH: Naqi Water Co. will start trading its shares on Saudi Arabia’s stock market on Aug. 15, after attracting huge demand during the initial public offering, according to a bourse filing.

The Saudi-based water producer generated SR560 million ($150 million) worth of subscriptions as it offered 600,000 shares to retail subscribers.

Prior to that, the final offer price was set at the top end of an indicated range of SR69, following a strong bidding period.

Naqi Water will float a 30 percent stake, representing six million shares, on the Kingdom’s main stock index TASI.


Savola Group to sell all shares in Knowledge Economic City for $122m

Savola Group to sell all shares in Knowledge Economic City for $122m
Updated 14 min 56 sec ago

Savola Group to sell all shares in Knowledge Economic City for $122m

Savola Group to sell all shares in Knowledge Economic City for $122m

RIYADH: Savola Group has entered into an SR459-million ($122 million) agreement to sell its stake in Knowledge Economic City Co. and Knowledge Economic City Developers Co. Limited.

This move came in light of Salove’s strategy of focusing on investing in its main operations in the food and retail sectors, while ending investments in non-core businesses, the group said in a bourse filing.

Knowledge Economic City is owned by Savola Group directly and indirectly at an approximate share of 11.47 percent.

Knowledge Economic City’s shares ended Wednesday’s trading session 6.12 percent higher at SR14.56.


Jordan, Qatar lift restrictions on passenger, cargo flights 

Jordan, Qatar lift restrictions on passenger, cargo flights 
Updated 31 min 44 sec ago

Jordan, Qatar lift restrictions on passenger, cargo flights 

Jordan, Qatar lift restrictions on passenger, cargo flights 
  • The MoU is expected to have significant positive outcomes on the overall economic and investment activity and increase the volume of air transport between the two countries

Jordan and Qatar have lifted all restrictions on the capacity and number of passenger and cargo flights operating between the two countries, the Jordan News Agency (Petra) reported on Wednesday. 

Chief Commissioner and CEO of the Jordan Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission (CARC) Haitham Misto and the President of Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to fully resume direct air transport between the two countries. 

The MoU is expected to have significant positive outcomes on the overall economic and investment activity and increase the volume of air transport between the two countries, Petra said. 

The move is also in line with Jordan’s gradual liberalization policy of air transport under the National Air Transport Strategy, according to Petra. 


Saudi Astra Industrial H1 profit zooms 202% to $85m as sales rise

Saudi Astra Industrial H1 profit zooms 202% to $85m as sales rise
Updated 40 min 53 sec ago

Saudi Astra Industrial H1 profit zooms 202% to $85m as sales rise

Saudi Astra Industrial H1 profit zooms 202% to $85m as sales rise

RIYADH: Saudi Astra Industrial Group saw its profit soar 202 percent to SR318 million ($85 million) during the first half of 2022, bolstered by a rise in sales.

The company’s net profit almost tripled from SR105 million in the same period in 2021, driven by revenue growth of over 10 percent, according to a bourse filing.

Its revenue surged to SR1.24 billion, compared to SR1.12 billion a year earlier, while the profit per share went up to SR3.97 from SR1.32.

During the second quarter, Astra Industrial Group’s Al Tanmiya Steel sold its stake in Iraqi unit Al Anmaa for Construction Materials Production in a SR731 million deal.

Its companies are involved in various industrial segments including pharmaceuticals, steel construction, specialty chemicals and mining.


Saudi Arabian Mining Co. emerges as TASI’s 5th-best performer

Saudi Arabian Mining Co. emerges as TASI’s 5th-best performer
Updated 11 August 2022

Saudi Arabian Mining Co. emerges as TASI’s 5th-best performer

Saudi Arabian Mining Co. emerges as TASI’s 5th-best performer
  • Analysts expect Ma’aden to maintain its solid performance throughout 2022, owing to its expansion plans

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian Mining Co., known as Ma’aden, ranked fifth among the top share price gainers this year on the Saudi stock index TASI buoyed by strong results and a thriving mineral sector.

Ma’aden’s share price in 2022 opened at SR39.25 ($10.5) and climbed to SR59 on Aug. 4, surging 53 percent.

A booming mineral industry fueled this rise in Saudi Arabia as, in recent years, the Kingdom has shifted its focus toward discovering and extracting minerals and metals to support its mining industry.

“There is over $3-trillion worth of minerals to be exploited in the Kingdom, which opens huge opportunities for minerals companies,” said Peter Leon, a partner in Johannesburg-based law firm Herbert Smith Freehills.

Leon advised the Kingdom’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources on drafting its new mining law.

Khalid Almudaifer, vice minister of MIMR, told Arab News that the ministry had established the mining sector’s infrastructure, allowing the Kingdom to leapfrog in both mining and sustainable mining.

FASTFACTS

• The company’s share price in 2022 opened at SR39.25 ($10.5) and climbed to SR59 on Aug. 4, surging 53 percent.

• Ma’aden reported a 185 percent surge in profit during the first quarter of 2022, hitting SR2.17 billion.

• The mining company has a market capitalization of over SR100 billion.

As the Kingdom revealed that it could be sitting on untapped mineral deposits worth $1.3 trillion, Almudaifer added that the $1.3 trillion estimate of untapped minerals is only a starting point and that underground minerals are likely worth even more.

In March, the state-owned firm announced its plans to increase production capacity and invest in exploration to tap into $1.3 trillion mineral reserves, a reason economist Ali Alhazmi believes that made Ma’aden shares lucrative, further leading to high performance.

Speaking to Arab News, Alhazmi explained that one of the reasons could be attributed to Ma’aden turning into probability last year, reaching SR5.2 billion, compared to SR280 million in losses in 2020.

The other reason could relate to its plan to double its capital by distributing three shares to shareholders, which has attracted investors to buy Ma’aden shares.

According to Abdullah AlRebdi, CEO of Rassanah Capital, the beginning of the third line of its ammonia production also helped the company’s fortune, especially when there was a considerable shortage of raw material for fertilizer. It is worth mentioning that the ammonia plant expansion is set to add over 1 million tons of ammonia production to reach 3.3 million tons, making Ma’aden one of the largest ammonia producers east of the Suez Canal.

Ma’aden reported a 185 percent surge in profit during the first quarter of 2022, hitting SR2.17 billion, amid a jump in commodity prices.

Analysts expect Ma’aden to maintain its solid performance throughout 2022, owing to its expansion plans and gold mining projects in Mansoura and Masarrah.

“By the end of 2022, Ma’aden will achieve SR9 billion in profit, a growth of 50 percent from 2021,” Alhazmi predicted.

As one of the fastest-growing mining companies worldwide, Ma’aden has a market capitalization of over SR100 billion and is one of the Kingdom’s 10 most prominent players.