National Water Co. awards $95.4m contract to manage Riyadh water services

National Water Co. awards $95.4m contract to manage Riyadh water services
Saudi Arabia is in the process of restructuring its water and sewage sector. (SPA)
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Updated 17 September 2021

National Water Co. awards $95.4m contract to manage Riyadh water services

National Water Co. awards $95.4m contract to manage Riyadh water services
  • Contract awarded to Alkhorayef Group and France's Veolia
  • Restructuring of Saudi water sector almost complete

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s National Water Company has awarded a seven-year contract to manage water services and environmental treatment in Riyadh to a consortium of Alkhorayef Water and Power Technologies and France’s Veolia, Argaam reported.

The SR358 million ($95.4 million) contract is tied to 14 main indicators, including improving and developing the customer experience, raising operational efficiency through cost savings and reducing water losses, and improving network management, according to a statement by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Management contracts are one of the main pillars to improve the sector and prepare it for full privatization, said National Water Company CEO Mohammed Al-Mowkley.

NWC has completed 92 percent of its project to restructure the 13 administrative regions into six sectors, and as of November 2021, the process will be complete when the northern sector has been created, he said.

Management contracts to improve the performance of the sector’s services will all have been awarded by the end of 2021, he said.

If the targets are achieved after the third year of the contract, the National Water Company will be able to move directly to the stage of concession contracts, in which the private sector will take full responsibility for water services, and not wait until the seven years are over, he said.


TASI crosses 11,822 point mark in early trade: Market wrap

TASI crosses 11,822 point mark in early trade: Market wrap
Updated 17 sec ago

TASI crosses 11,822 point mark in early trade: Market wrap

TASI crosses 11,822 point mark in early trade: Market wrap

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s main market, Tadawul, traded up 0.3 percent on Wednesday morning, at 11,822 points.

Here’s a wrap of market movements as of 10:30 a.m. Riyadh time:

Saudi Fisheries Co. signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with the Arabian Agricultural Services Co. to consider future cooperation regarding the factory at Al-Huraydah in Aseer region.

National Agricultural Marketing Co. (Thimar) signed a framework agreement with AlKhair Capital for advisory services.

Sipchem recorded a net profit of SR2.270 billion in the most recent nine-month period.

Advanced Petrochemical Co.’s board recommended a 6.5 percent cash dividend for Q3 2021. 

Al Rajhi REIT Fund appointed a legal counsel, after negotiations and judicial sessions, for the litigation against Al-Fouzan Trading & Contracting Co.

The board of Gulf Union Alahlia Cooperative Insurance has announced plans to increase capital by offering right issues

 


China raises $4bn in U.S. dollar bond after attracting strong investor demand

China raises $4bn in U.S. dollar bond after attracting strong investor demand
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Updated 12 min 49 sec ago

China raises $4bn in U.S. dollar bond after attracting strong investor demand

China raises $4bn in U.S. dollar bond after attracting strong investor demand
  • The strong appetite came after finance ministry officials told investors on a call on Monday they were confident cash-strapped developer Evergrande posed no systemic risk

China has raised $4 billion through a U.S. dollar sovereign bond issue, a term sheet showed, with the offer attracting robust demand from offshore investors despite an ongoing regulatory crackdown across industries and problems in the property market.


Investor bids for the four tranche deal reached $23.2 billion, nearly six times the amount raised, official statistics published by advisers showed on Wednesday.


The sale comes at a tricky time for China: its economy is slowing, while investors are worried about a regulatory crackdown and potential contagion from China Evergrande Group's debt problems.


The strong appetite came after finance ministry officials told investors on a call on Monday they were confident cash-strapped developer Evergrande posed no systemic risk, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

The sources could not be named as the information had not been made public.


The Finance Ministry did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for a comment.


A People's Bank of China official also said on Friday that the spillover effect of Evergrande's debt problems is controllable and individual financial institutions' risk exposures are not big.


Evergrande shares remain in a trading halt on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after it missed a number of offshore bond interest repayments in the past few weeks. It is grappling with more than $305 billion worth of liabilities.


The pricing for China's dollar-denominated sovereign bond was set at 6 basis points (bps) above U.S. Treasuries for the three-year tranche, 12 bps over for the five-year, 23 bps higher for the 10-year and 53 bps above for the 30-year tranche.


Final pricing for the deal was significantly lower than first flagged.


Initial pricing guidance was given to investors at 35 bps over Treasuries for the three-year tranche, 45 bps on the five-year tranche, 55 bps on the 10-year tranche and 85 bps on the 30-year tranche.


The spreads on each of the tranches were the lowest ever for a sovereign bond issue from China, the three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.


The three- and 10-year tranches each raised $1 billion, the 5-year raised $1.5 billion and the 30-year $500 million, the term sheet showed.


Asian banks were strong buyers of the shorter dated bonds because of their capital requirements, while U.S. investors were more active in purchasing the longer dated tranches, statistics on the deal showed.


The bond offering comes as the world's second-largest economy posted its slowest pace of growth in a year in the third quarter, hurt by power shortages, sporadic COVD-19 outbreaks and a weakening property sector.


Investors questioned the economic implications of the power cuts but were assured China's fundamentals remained strong, the sources with direct knowledge said.


The finance ministry also flagged that China would likely carry out a euro denominated bond before the end of the year, copying the pattern of issuance it initiated in 2020, the sources said.


The ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 


Iraq oil minister sees oil prices at $100 in early 2022

Iraq oil minister sees oil prices at $100 in early 2022
Updated 23 min 12 sec ago

Iraq oil minister sees oil prices at $100 in early 2022

Iraq oil minister sees oil prices at $100 in early 2022

Crude oil prices could reach $100 per barrel in the first or second quarter of next year as global inventories are at their lowest level, Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said on Wednesday.


UAE-based Fintech Galaxy closes $2m seed round for Open Finance development

UAE-based Fintech Galaxy closes $2m seed round for Open Finance development
Updated 34 min 40 sec ago

UAE-based Fintech Galaxy closes $2m seed round for Open Finance development

UAE-based Fintech Galaxy closes $2m seed round for Open Finance development

RIYADH: The first UAE-based open finance platform, Fintech Galaxy, has successfully raised $2 million in its latest funding round, MAGNiTT reported.

Payouts were led by Jordan’s Ahli Fintech, with Saudi Raz Holding Group, OMQ Investments, EFG EV Fintech Fintech, and INSEAD Saudi Angel Investors also contributing.

Fintech Galaxy plans to utilize its newly acquired funds to further bolster the development and rollout of its Open Finance platform, as it looks to expand its reach and boost financial inclusion across key Middle East and North Africa (MENA) markets.  

Founded in 2018, the platform will provide access to customer data from partner banks through its Open Banking APIs, while allowing developers to build new apps and services. 

This comes as Open Finance is the next step in the Open Banking journey, which is widely adopted now in many countries, including Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) is launching a framework for Open Banking in the Kingdom during the first half of 2022, according to MAGNiTT.

By the third quarter of 2021, every fourth transaction in the UAE was closed by a UAE-based FinTech, observing more than 700 percent year-on-year growth in funding to rank as the top industry by volume of funding and number of deals, according to a MAGNiTT report.

Major rounds by Tabby, BitOasis, and Sarwa paved the way for an impactful conversation around the new generation of finance in MENA, the report revealed.


Fertiglobe sets mid-range IPO price, gross proceeds of around $795m

Fertiglobe sets mid-range IPO price, gross proceeds of around $795m
Updated 38 min 56 sec ago

Fertiglobe sets mid-range IPO price, gross proceeds of around $795m

Fertiglobe sets mid-range IPO price, gross proceeds of around $795m
  • Its shares are expected to list on the Abu Dhabi stock market on October 27

 Fertiglobe, a joint venture between Abu Dhabi National Oil Co and chemical producer OCI, said its initial public offering was priced at 2.55 dirhams ($0.6943) a share, raising around $795 million for its shareholders.

The price is in the middle of the 2.45-2.65 dirhams per share range the company had set out and gives it a market capitalisation of about $5.8 billion, Fertiglobe said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The final offer price was set in the middle of the range by the selling shareholders, with the objective of providing an attractive investment opportunity for new shareholders," the statement said.

The maker of fertilisers and clean ammonia products said the offering received strong demand from international, regional and local investors.

Its shares are expected to list on the Abu Dhabi stock market on October 27, the statement said.