Saudi Arabia’s ‘stc’ becomes one of Moody’s highest rated telecom operators 

Saudi Arabia’s ‘stc’ becomes one of Moody’s highest rated telecom operators 
The ratings agency factors in financial profile, market dominance, and liquidity in deciding on companies’ BCA. (Shutterstock)
Short Url
Updated 23 September 2021

Saudi Arabia’s ‘stc’ becomes one of Moody’s highest rated telecom operators 

Saudi Arabia’s ‘stc’ becomes one of Moody’s highest rated telecom operators 
  • The telecom company’s BCA was revised from a1 to a2, and Moody’s also affirmed its A1 long-term issuer rating

DUBAI: Bond credit rating firm Moody’s has upgraded the baseline credit assessment (BCA) of Saudi Arabia’s “stc”, saying it has maintained “very strong financial metrics.”

The telecom company’s BCA was revised from a1 to a2, and Moody’s also affirmed its A1 long-term issuer rating. 

“The upgrade reflects stc's leading position in the Saudi telecom sector, which has considerable growth opportunities,” Julied Haddad, a senior analyst at Moody’s, said in a recent report.

The ratings agency factors in financial profile, market dominance, and liquidity in deciding on companies’ BCA. 

According to the report, “stc” was able to maintain a conservative financial profile, as well as maintain strong metrics despite several economic factors, including an oil price crash and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The company has sustained its debt to EBITDA ratio, and has built a strong balance sheet over the years, Moody’s said in a report.

This has given “stc” a headroom to grow organically through investments, the report explained, as well as develop its footprint outside the Kingdom through acquisitions.

“As of June 2021, stc had SR7.7 billion ($2.1 billion) in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents, in addition to SR2.9 billion ($0.8 billion) of short-term Murabaha and SR3.9 billion ($1.0 billion) in the form of investments in a sukuk issued by the Government of Saudi Arabia, which the company can liquidate, should the need arise,” it added. 

The BCA also looked at the competition within the telecom industry in the Kingdom, where “stc” holds 70 percent of market share. 

“Following the upgrade of stc's BCA to a1, the company is now one of the highest rated telecom operators on a stand-alone basis globally,” the report said.

The new “stc” rating could be affected positively if the sovereign rating of the Kingdom is upgraded, Moody’s said.


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 28 sec ago

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 5 min 43 sec ago

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.


'stc' profits hit $2.3 billion in 9 months, an increase of 3.5%

'stc' profits hit $2.3 billion in 9 months, an increase of 3.5%
Updated 2 min 58 sec ago

'stc' profits hit $2.3 billion in 9 months, an increase of 3.5%

'stc' profits hit $2.3 billion in 9 months, an increase of 3.5%
  • stc attributed the increase during the third quarter of 2021 to the rise in revenues by and a decrease in operating expenses. 

Saudi telecom giant 'stc’ reported a 3.5-percent increase in its net profit for the first 9 months of 2021, compared to the same period last year, reaching SR8.7 billion ($2.32 billion). 

The company’s net profit in the third quarter alone of 2021 increased by 5.71 percent, reaching SR2.9 billion. 

stc attributed the increase during the third quarter of 2021 to the rise in revenues by and a decrease in operating expenses. 


India's Reliance gets shareholders' nod to add Aramco chairman as director

India's Reliance gets shareholders' nod to add Aramco chairman as director
Updated 15 min 50 sec ago

India's Reliance gets shareholders' nod to add Aramco chairman as director

India's Reliance gets shareholders' nod to add Aramco chairman as director

BENGALURU: India's Reliance Industries Ltd said on Thursday that a required majority of its shareholders have passed a resolution to appoint Saudi Aramco Chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan as an independent director to the conglomerate's board.
A little over 98% of the total votes polled on the resolution were in favour of Al-Rumayyan's addition, Reliance said in a statement https://bit.ly/3B233xd.
Last month, Reliance said Al-Rumayyan met all regulatory criteria for his appointment as an independent director, pending the shareholder vote on the decision.
That announcement came after media reports of shareholder California State Teachers' Retirement Fund saying it would vote against the move, based on U.S. proxy advisory research firm Glass Lewis' recommendation.
Al-Rumayyan's inclusion was earlier widely seen as part of a process to formalise Reliance's agreement to sell a 20% stake in its oil-to-chemical business to Aramco for $15 billion. The Indian conglomerate, however, said last month that his appointment has no connection to the deal.
Al-Rumayyan has been the governor of the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia since 2015. 


Potential $100 per barrel oil price is unlikely to be sustainable: Jadwa

Potential $100 per barrel oil price is unlikely to be sustainable: Jadwa
Updated 21 October 2021

Potential $100 per barrel oil price is unlikely to be sustainable: Jadwa

Potential $100 per barrel oil price is unlikely to be sustainable: Jadwa

Riyadh: Oil prices could surge to $100 per barrel but only for a brief period, according to Saudi-based capital market company Jadwa.

The firm’s quarterly oil market report said the rise was conditional on an acceleration in gas-to-liquid substitution during the winter months, combined with any unforeseen outages in oil production.

However, this soaring level of prices is unlikely to persist, if it does indeed hit $100, Jadwa said.

The high level of prices would possibly drive OPEC+ to increase production over the current stated levels to stabilize the markets. Moreover, OPEC expects a decrease in global oil demand in the first quarter of 2022. Both of these developments will diminish the possibility of oil prices remaining at $100 in the short term, Jadwa explained.

Jadwa kept their expectation for 2022 Brent oil at $65. Meanwhile, they stated that there is an increasing risk on their full-year 2021 Brent oil forecast of $67.