Saudi inflation rate rose in September from its lowest level in 20 months

Saudi inflation rate rose in September from its lowest level in 20 months
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Updated 14 October 2021

Saudi inflation rate rose in September from its lowest level in 20 months

Saudi inflation rate rose in September from its lowest level in 20 months
  • The inflation rate in September was 0.6 percent, up from 0.3 percent in August

MOSCOW/CAIRO: Saudi Arabian inflation rate accelerated in September after hitting the lowest level in 20 months in August, according to official data.

The inflation rate in September was 0.6 percent, up from 0.3 percent in August, the General Authority of Statistics said today.

The increase was fuelled by a faster growth in prices for food and beverages — the group of items with the second largest weight in the index (19 percent). 

Price growth for the group accelerated to 2.4 percent year-on-year in September from 1.9 percent in August. This reflects the rising costs of vegetables, up 12.5 percent, and poultry, up 2.0 percent, GaStat said in the press release. 

‘Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’, the group with the highest weighting in the index — 26 percent — saw the annual price deflation to have eased as it came in at minus 3 percent compared to minus 3.5 percent in the previous month. 

Annual growth in prices in the ‘Transport’ group items — which has a weighting of 13 percent in the general index — decelerated to 5.9 percent from 6.5 percent in August. 

However, the group remains an important contributor to the headline growth in consumer prices driven by exceptionally high annual growth in gasoline, up 44.9 percent, GaStat pointed out.

It is also noteworthy that the price index for “Education” recorded an annual growth of 0.5 percent after a 12-month long deflation period resulting from the sharp fall in price index for that group in September 2020. 

GaStat cited the 4.4 percent annual increase in prices for secondary education in September this year as the course of price growth in the group.

On a month-on-month basis, the CPI grew by 0.2 percent compared to 0.1 percent in August.

The Saudi Central Bank had projected the inflation rate to remain stable in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the second quarter. 

The Royal Decree issued to fix the maximum local prices for gasoline 91 and gasoline 95 at SR2.18 and SR2.33 per litre respectively is expected to stabilize inflation rate in the coming period, the regulator said in its inflation report issued in August.

Capital Economics, an economic research firm, said that while inflation is likely to edge higher over the rest of the year, it is still expected to remain in the 1-1.5 percent range in 2022-23.

James Swanston, MENA economist at Capital Economics, said that “the recovery in the Kingdom’s non-oil sector is likely to be relatively slow-going” which means that inflationary pressures will remain low over the coming period.

The report added that rising oil prices, along with an increased oil output, are expected to boost oil export revenues, keeping the budget deficit in check. This could further reduce mounting inflationary risks.


Oil prices, government spending see TASI hit highest level since 2006: Market Wrap

Oil prices, government spending see TASI hit highest level since 2006: Market Wrap
Updated 20 October 2021

Oil prices, government spending see TASI hit highest level since 2006: Market Wrap

Oil prices, government spending see TASI hit highest level since 2006: Market Wrap

RIYADH: The Tadawul All Share Index increased on Wednesday by 0.94 percent, or 111.2 points.

Oil prices and the announcement of $2 trillion in government spending contributed to the rise in stocks.

TASI liquidity today amounted to about SR7.2 billion, while 189.8 million shares were traded, in 313,000 deals. 

National Gypsum Co. (NGC) topped the list of companies trading above three month average at 344, followed by Sahara International Petrochemical Co. (Sepchem) at 295.

The petrochemical producer posted a net profit of SR1.029 billion for the third quarter of 2021, the highest profit since inception.

Saudi Arabia’s parallel stock market index, Nomu, gained 81.7 points, or 0.34 percent, closing at 24,449.96 points. 

The biggest risers today were, Al-Rajhi Bank which records the highest level since 2006 to close at SR141.2, up 1.6 percent, and SABIC shares by 2 percent at SR133.6.

Among other shares that rose were NCB by 0.6 percent, and Riyad Bank by 4.4 percent.


Saudi markets surge as M&A activity set to continue until mid-2022: General Authority for Competition

Saudi markets surge as M&A activity set to continue until mid-2022: General Authority for Competition
Updated 20 October 2021

Saudi markets surge as M&A activity set to continue until mid-2022: General Authority for Competition

Saudi markets surge as M&A activity set to continue until mid-2022: General Authority for Competition

RIYADH: The Saudi market saw mergers and acquisitions jump 68 percent to 237 applications in the first nine months of the year — led by the IT, healthcare and petrochemical sectors according to a Saudi expert.

The General Authority for Competition head of mergers and acquisitions Talal Alhogail said the year-on-year comparison shows that it has been an exceptional period for business as it recovers from the pandemic, reported Asharq.

He added he expects the high rate to continue into the middle of 2022.


IMF has most favorable outlook for the Saudi economy in 2021 compared to other organizations

IMF has most favorable outlook for the Saudi economy in 2021 compared to other organizations
Updated 20 October 2021

IMF has most favorable outlook for the Saudi economy in 2021 compared to other organizations

IMF has most favorable outlook for the Saudi economy in 2021 compared to other organizations

The International Monetary Fund expects the Saudi economy to grow by 2.8 percent in 2021 — higher than forecasts by other global and local institutions.

In its latest regional economic outlook, the international organization said that oil exporters such as Saudi Arabia are expected to expand their production after August 2021. 

In addition, strong vaccination campaigns and higher oil prices are projected to boost the non-oil sector of the Kingdom’s economy, prompting an expansion in economic activity.

The Saudi Ministry of Finance expects the Saudi economy to grow by 2.4 percent in 2021, in line with the World Bank's predictions. 

Capital Economics and OECD also had similar forecasts for 2021. 

Jadwa, on the other hand, had the lowest expected rise in output, predicting a 1.8 percent growth rate only despite raising it from the previous 1.3 percent forecast.

As for the 2022 outlook, Capital Economics had the most positive forecast for the Saudi economy, saying it would jump by 7.3 percent. 

The Ministry of Finance posted its projection for 2022 growth at 4.8 percent. The IMF and OECD had the same expectation as well.

Moreover, the World Bank prediction was a slightly higher 4.9 percent. Jadwa also had a similar forecast for Saudi growth at 5.1 percent.


Bitcoin rises to new record high in 'validating' moment for cryptocurrency

Bitcoin rises to new record high in 'validating' moment for cryptocurrency
Updated 20 October 2021

Bitcoin rises to new record high in 'validating' moment for cryptocurrency

Bitcoin rises to new record high in 'validating' moment for cryptocurrency

Bitcoin hit a new record on Wednesday after it took another step towards mainstream status as the world's biggest cryptocurrency forayed onto Wall Street.

A Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF), a type of financial instrument, made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

The Bitcoin Strategy ETF rose nearly five percent in its first day of trading on Tuesday.

The fund should be a more accessible vehicle for mainstream investors, and could therefore boost trading in the cryptocurrency.

At one point on Wednesday, Bitcoin hit surged past $66,000 before receding. 

“It’s a validating moment,” said Jesse Proudman, co-founder and chief executive at Makara, a crypto advisory firm. “It’s no longer a question of does this asset class continue to exist, I think that is a really meaningful mark in the history of the broader digital-asset class.”

More than 24 million shares in the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF — trading under the ticker BITO, changed hands, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

With turnover of almost $1 billion, BITO’s debut was behind only a BlackRock carbon fund for a first day of trading, the latter ranking higher due to pre-seed investments, according to Athanasios Psarofagis at Bloomberg Intelligence.

The Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, explained why the regulator gave the green light to the Bitcoin futures ETF ETF but not a spot bitcoin ETF.

In an interview with CNBC Gary Gensler reiterated that his agency “should be technology neutral, but not policy neutral.”

"What we’re trying to do is ensure to the best we can within our authorities to bring projects into the investor protection perimeter," he said

“Bitcoin futures have been overseen by our sibling agency, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which I was once honored and proud to serve there and that’s been four years.” 


SABB, Green Horizons to plant 10,000 trees to support Saudi Green Initiative

SABB, Green Horizons to plant 10,000 trees to support Saudi Green Initiative
Updated 14 min 55 sec ago

SABB, Green Horizons to plant 10,000 trees to support Saudi Green Initiative

SABB, Green Horizons to plant 10,000 trees to support Saudi Green Initiative

RIYADH: Saudi British Bank (SABB) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Green Horizons Environmental Association to carry on environmental activities to support Saudi Green Initiative starting with implementing a national park in Thadiq, Riyadh region, with the participation of SABB’s employees, as part of planting 10,000 trees, according to a statement.

Tony Cripps, Managing Director of SABB added: “I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Kingdom’s pioneering role towards addressing environmental issues such as climate change. We at SABB, under our new 2025 Strategy, are also working towards developing ESG initiatives that speak towards Vision 2030 environmental objectives.”