Saudi Shoura calls for national debt center's independency from Finance Ministry

Saudi Shoura calls for national debt center's independency from Finance Ministry
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Updated 12 October 2021

Saudi Shoura calls for national debt center's independency from Finance Ministry

Saudi Shoura calls for national debt center's independency from Finance Ministry

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's Shoura Council called on the National Debt Management Center (NDMC) to study the possibility of having the center report to the Council of Economic and Development Affairs instead of the Ministry of Finance (MoF), Argaam reported.

The council members said that this move will improve the governance of NDMC and ensures the independence of the center in performing its tasks to achieve the desired goals.

Chaired by the Ministry of Finance, the NDMC secures Saudi Arabia’s financing needs with best financing costs in the short, medium, and long term under acceptable degree of risk in compliance with the financial policies. 

The Council of Economic and Development Affairs is one of two Saudi sub cabinets that aims at establishing the overall governance, the mechanisms and measures necessary to achieve Saudi Vision 2030. 


UBER, Careem have their tax dues settled, Asharq reports

UBER, Careem have their tax dues settled, Asharq reports
Updated 12 sec ago

UBER, Careem have their tax dues settled, Asharq reports

UBER, Careem have their tax dues settled, Asharq reports

RIYADH: Uber and Careem have settled their tax dues in Saudi Arabia, and they are committed to and work according to the tax system in force in the country, Asharq reported, citing a source it didn't name.

Both companies had a different understanding of the tax system in the Kingdom, and learned the right mechanism of work in the local market after communicating with the General Authority for Zakat, the source said.
"Both companies obtained the necessary clarification at the time, and for a long time, and paid their tax obligations in this framework, and they are currently working according to the system," the source said.

The source added that Uber and Careem may have a previous objection to the tax assessment, and the decision in this regard is subject to the competent judicial authorities.

Bloomberg Agency had reported citing its own sources that Uber and its subsidiary Careem are facing tens of millions of dollars in tax payments in Saudi Arabia. 

It also revealed that both companies are facing a combined tax bill in the Kingdom of about $100 million.

These claims are linked to a dispute over how to calculate the value-added tax (VAT) due over the past few years, and the mechanism for sharing it between temporary work companies and individual contractors. The claims also include heavy fines due to late payments by these companies, according to Bloomberg.


Saudi Central Bank launches consultation on insurance fintech rules

Saudi Central Bank launches consultation on insurance fintech rules
Updated 8 min 26 sec ago

Saudi Central Bank launches consultation on insurance fintech rules

Saudi Central Bank launches consultation on insurance fintech rules

RIYADH: The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has invited the public to submit feedback on its draft insurance financial technology rules.

The new regulations aim to allow insurance FinTechs to work within a regulatory framework that “keeps pace with developments in the insurance industry in general, and insurance technology services in particular,” SAMA said in a statement.

The guidance covers such features as encouraging fair competition, obligations for practitioners, the accuracy and preservation of customer information as well as other consumer rights.

The central bank said its framework is designed to “stimulate innovation."

Members of the public have until Nov. 16 to send in feedback on the draft insurance fintech rules, after which SAMA will adopt its final guidance.


Toyota to build $1.29bn battery plant for hybrids, EVs in US

Toyota to build $1.29bn battery plant for hybrids, EVs in US
Updated 12 min 26 sec ago

Toyota to build $1.29bn battery plant for hybrids, EVs in US

Toyota to build $1.29bn battery plant for hybrids, EVs in US

DETROIT: Toyota plans to build a new $1.29 billion factory in the US to manufacture batteries for gas-electric hybrid and fully electric vehicles.

The plant location was not announced, but the company said it eventually will employ 1,750 people and start making batteries in 2025, gradually expanding through 2031.

The plant is part of $3.4 billion that Toyota plans to spend in the US on automotive batteries during the next decade. It did not detail where the remaining $2.1 billion would be spent, but part of that likely will go for another battery factory.

It comes amid a flurry of global announcements about shoring up production of batteries for electric vehicles. Most automakers are working to transition away from internal combustion engines to zero emission battery vehicles.

Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler, and LG Energy Solution said Monday that they plan to build a battery manufacturing facility to help the automaker get 40 percent of its US sales from electric vehicles by 2030. They did not say where the plant would be.

Ford, General Motors and Toyota have announced large investments in U.S. battery factories. GM plans to build battery plants in Ohio and Tennessee, while Ford has plans for plants in Tennessee and Kentucky.

Toyota will form a new company to run its new US battery plant with Toyota Tsusho, a subsidiary that now makes an array of parts for the automaker. The company also will help Toyota expand its US supply chain, as well as increase its knowledge of lithium-ion auto batteries, Toyota said on Monday.

“Today's commitment to electrification is about achieving long-term sustainability for the environment, American jobs and consumers,” Ted Ogawa, Toyota’s North American CEO, said in a statement.

The new plant would likely be near one of the company’s US assembly plants in Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama or Texas.

Toyota plans to sell 2 million zero emission hydrogen and battery electric vehicles worldwide per year by 2030. In the US, Toyota plans to sell 1.5 million to 1.8 million vehicles by 2030 in the US that are at least partially electrified.


Crown Prince transfers military land ownership in Asir to government

Crown Prince transfers military land ownership in Asir to government
Updated 27 min 5 sec ago

Crown Prince transfers military land ownership in Asir to government

Crown Prince transfers military land ownership in Asir to government

RIYADH:The Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, agreed to transfer the ownership of the land belonging to the Ministry of Defense south of Bisha, in Asir governate, to be government land in support of the region's strategic goals, Asir governate official Twitter account revealed.

The land extends on an area of 22,580,225 sqm, it said.


Saudi fast-food franchise operator Alamar Foods considers IPO: Reuters

Saudi fast-food franchise operator Alamar Foods considers IPO: Reuters
Getty Images
Updated 37 min 44 sec ago

Saudi fast-food franchise operator Alamar Foods considers IPO: Reuters

Saudi fast-food franchise operator Alamar Foods considers IPO: Reuters
  • Alamar is the master operator for the U.S. pizza chain, with 455 stores in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan

Saudi fast-food franchise operator Alamar Foods considers IPO, sources say

DUBAI, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's Alamar Foods, the regional franchise operator for Domino's Pizza, is considering an initial public offering (IPO) that would allow The Carlyle Group sell some of its stake, three sources familiar with the matter said.

Alamar Foods has hired HSBC to arrange the share sale, the sources told Reuters. They said deliberations were at an early stage and no final decision had been made.


Alamar Foods did not immediately respond to a request for comment. HSBC declined to comment. Carlyle, which has $276 billion in assets under management and holds 42 percent of Alamar, did not respond to a request for comment.

Alamar is the master operator for the U.S. pizza chain, with 455 stores in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan. It also has the franchise rights for U.S. chain Dunkin' Donuts in North Africa.

Carlyle invested in Alamar in 2011, acquiring a 42 percent stake for an undisclosed amount from the AlJammaz family.

The sources said Carlyle would use the IPO to stage a partial exit, with one source saying it planned to sell about 30 percent. AlJammaz family aimed to retain their majority ownership, the sources said.

Private equity firms generally seek to exit their investments five to seven years after buying in.

Saudi Arabia's food and beverage industry is the largest in the Middle East, consultancy JLL said in a report last year.

The Saudi Arabian General Authority for Investment (SAGIA) estimated that spending on food service would grow by 6 percent a year over the next five years.

Saudi Arabia's stock market, whose shares have climbed more than 35 percent this year, is expected to have several new listings in the next 12 months, including the stock exchange owner Tadawul and the specialty chemicals business of Saudi Basic Industries Corp.

Saudi Arabia's Capital Markets Authority said in September about 45 companies were waiting for listing approval.