Morgan Stanley banker who advised on Aramco IPO to join Saudi Fransi Capital: Reuters

Morgan Stanley banker who advised on Aramco IPO to join Saudi Fransi Capital: Reuters
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Updated 14 October 2021

Morgan Stanley banker who advised on Aramco IPO to join Saudi Fransi Capital: Reuters

Morgan Stanley banker who advised on Aramco IPO to join Saudi Fransi Capital: Reuters
  • He will join Saudi Fransi Capital as head of the investment banking team

One of Morgan Stanley's top dealmakers, who helped advise oil giant Saudi Aramco on its initial public offering (IPO), is leaving to join the investment banking arm of Banque Saudi Fransi.


Motaz Alangari, who is based in Riyadh, is leaving the Wall Street Bank after more than five years leading its Saudi investment banking business, according to a Morgan Stanley memo seen by Reuters.


He will join Saudi Fransi Capital as head of the investment banking team, said a source familiar with the matter, who declined to be named as the matter is not public.


A spokesperson for Morgan Stanley declined to comment.


Banque Saudi Fransi, which is 16.2 percent owned by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's Kingdom Holding, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Investment banks operating in the Gulf are beefing up their presence and demand for investment bankers is on the rise amid a deals bonanza as economies recover from last year's COVID-19 linked contraction.


Alangari was involved in some of Morgan Stanley's largest deals in the region including Aramco's record $29.4 billion IPO. More recently, he was involved in the public share sale of Solutions by STC, a unit of Saudi Telecom, which raised around $966 million in September.


"During his time at Morgan Stanley, Motaz has helped greatly develop our franchise in Saudi Arabia, working tirelessly to promote the firm's interests in the kingdom across divisions," the memo circulated on Wednesday said.


He was previously at Samba Capital, the investment banking arm of Samba Financial Group, which was merged with National Commercial Bank to create Saudi National Bank earlier this year.


Deal activity in the Gulf region has been booming in the last two years, mostly in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as governments seek to monetise assets and diversify their economies away from oil.


Saudi Arabia's Capital Markets Authority said in September that around 45 companies were waiting for approval to list.


Algerian gas to Spain will bypass Morocco: Ministers

Updated 3 sec ago

Algerian gas to Spain will bypass Morocco: Ministers

Algerian gas to Spain will bypass Morocco: Ministers
ALGIERS: Algeria will from now on deliver its natural gas to Spain exclusively through an undersea pipeline, ministers from both countries reportedly said Wednesday, after Algiers abandoned use of a line through Morocco.
In August Algeria cut diplomatic ties with its Maghreb neighbor Morocco which it accused of “hostile actions.”
Algeria, Africa’s biggest natural gas exporter, had been using the Gaz-Maghreb-Europe (GME) pipeline since 1996 to deliver several billion cubic meters (bcm) per year to Spain and Portugal.
But the GME contract is due to expire at the end of October, and Algiers decided not to renew it because of the diplomatic tensions with Rabat.
Experts had said the alternative undersea line, known as Medgaz, does not have the capacity to make up the shortfall. They earlier feared that supplies could be cut, just as energy prices soar in Europe ahead of winter.
Medgaz is already operating near its full capacity of eight bcm per year — around half total Algerian gas exports to Spain.
Algeria’s Minister of Energy and Mines Mohamed Arkab, speaking after talks with Spain’s Minister for Ecological Transition Teresa Ribera, said his country, through state energy firm Sonatrach, “will honor its commitments to Spain,” according to the official APS news agency.
“The Spanish partners were reassured that Algeria will provide all the supply expected. We equally commit ourselves to making all deliveries through Algerian installations, via the Medgaz pipeline and gas conversion complexes,” Arkab said.
He spoke of extending capacity of the Medgaz line and an expansion of liquefied natural gas exports by sea.
Sonatrach and its Spanish partner Naturgy have vowed to boost Medgaz’s capacity to 10 bcm per year in the coming months, but that still falls far short of the total needed at current levels.
Maghreb geopolitics expert Geoff Porter earlier told AFP that the shipping option did not make financial sense.
According to APS, Ribera said she had been assured by her Algerian counterpart of “arrangements taken to continue to assure, in the best way, deliveries of gas through Medgaz according to a well determined schedule.”
Algeria and Morocco had seen months of tensions, partly over Morocco’s normalization of ties with Israel in exchange for Washington’s recognizing Rabat’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.
Rabat rejected the various accusations of hostile acts which Algeria levelled at its neighbor.

DWF Group to open regional headquarters in Riyadh, says global CEO

DWF Group to open regional headquarters in Riyadh, says global CEO
Updated 27 October 2021

DWF Group to open regional headquarters in Riyadh, says global CEO

DWF Group to open regional headquarters in Riyadh, says global CEO

RIYADH: DWF Group, UK’s largest listed legal business, will set up its regional headquarters in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh.

Sir. Nigel Knowles, the group’s global CEO, made the announcement at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh on Wednesday.

“We’re here in Riyadh, and it’s great to be back once again to announce that we’re going to make Riyadh our regional headquarters for our Mindcrest and connected businesses to offer those professional services to businesses in the region,” Knowles told Arab News.

“But specifically Saudi Arabia, which is a very dynamic country and we’re absolutely certain that we can be relevant to all the people and businesses here with positive outcomes for everyone,” he added.

He explained that the group is  divided into three divisions on a global basis.

“One is legal advisory, which is the traditional law firm services, the next one is Mindcrest, which deals with document management, e-discovery and a whole heap of money services requirements for clients,” he said.

They also have a connected services business which offers a whole range of services which are not legal services, but closely connected to legal services. 

“So we’ve got three offerings effectively, which makes us a legal business, not a law firm,” he said.

Mohab Khattab, DWF Arabia’s incoming CEO, said DWF is a very unique law firm as it is publicly traded and for what it offers in its three different types of businesses. 

“One is legal advisory — but what we’re doing for Saudi Arabia is we’re working in association with a local law firm to provide legal advisory services,” he told Arab News.

“The other two are more of quasi legal types of services, almost consulting like services. The first one is through a company called Mindcrest, which provides managed legal services. So, for example, offering contracts, management, risk management or compliance types of services — and so this offers a more commercially oriented service to the client that is very unique to  Saudi Arabia and actually the region,” he added.

Khattab said the existing operations with Dubai and with Doha will now come under the Saudi regional headquarters.

“The other, which is the third business, is called connected, and we’re offering them through applications, even mobile applications for companies,” he said.

“So for example, corporate governance, types of services for companies, services, for example, for companies who have incidence management. So as an example, an insurance company can use this for their insurance investigators for accidents or, for example, any kind of incidents at an industrial complex,” he explained.


Bitcoin slips on profit-taking but on track for biggest gain in 8 months

Bitcoin slips on profit-taking but on track for biggest gain in 8 months
Updated 27 October 2021

Bitcoin slips on profit-taking but on track for biggest gain in 8 months

Bitcoin slips on profit-taking but on track for biggest gain in 8 months

LONDON: Bitcoin fell on Wednesday to its lowest level in 1-1/2 weeks, taking losses since hitting a record high last week to around 12 percent — though the digital currency is still on track for its best month since February.

Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, fell as much as 3.7 percent to $58,100, its lowest since Oct. 15. It has lost 12.1 percent since it hit an all-time high of $67,016 on Oct. 20.

By 1413 GMT, bitcoin was trading down 2.3 percent at $58,965. Smaller coins such as ethereum and ripple which tend to move in tandem with bitcoin also fell between 3.5-7 percent.

Bitcoin’s losses were down to traders taking profit from its recent rally, said Tony Sycamore, analyst at City Index. The digital currency has notched up gains of almost 35 percent so far this month, which if maintained would be its best performance in eight months.

Bitcoin is facing “a short-term downtrend,” said Du Jun, co-founder of major crypto exchange operator Huobi Group, adding that further falls may be limited given relatively low trading volumes.


Oil drops more than 1% as US stockpiles rise sharply

Oil drops more than 1% as US stockpiles rise sharply
Updated 27 October 2021

Oil drops more than 1% as US stockpiles rise sharply

Oil drops more than 1% as US stockpiles rise sharply

NEW YORK: Oil prices fell on Wednesday after US crude oil stockpiles rose more than expected, even as fuel inventories dropped and tanks at the nation’s largest storage hub emptied further.

The bigger-than-expected rise in US crude stocks gave some investors an impetus to unload long positions after strong gains in recent weeks brought both the Brent and US crude benchmarks to multiyear highs.

Brent oil futures were down $1.89, or 2.2 percent, to $84.51 a barrel as of 1:02 p.m. EDT (1702 GMT), after ending at a seven-year high on Tuesday. US West Texas Intermediate crude lost $1.97, or 2.3 percent, to $82.68 a barrel.

Both benchmarks closed on Friday with a seventh straight weekly gain as major producers hold back supply and demand rebounds after the easing of pandemic restrictions.

Crude oil inventories rose by 4.3 million barrels last week, according to the US Energy Department, more than the expected 1.9 million-barrel gain. Gasoline stocks dropped by 2 million barrels, bringing them to levels not seen in nearly four years, as US consumers grapple with rising prices to fill their vehicles’ tanks.

Storage tanks at the WTI delivery hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, are more depleted than they have been in the past three years, with prices for longer-dated futures contracts pointing to supplies staying at those levels for months.

The selling on Wednesday was more pronounced in Brent, continuing a narrowing in the discount between WTI and the international benchmark as inventories at the Cushing hub have dropped sharply.

“The market continues to deplete Cushing crude oil inventories and that is impacting the Brent-WTI spread and ultimately we're going to see crude oil diverted from the Permian up to Cushing rather than going to the Gulf Coast,” said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.

However, a patchy recovery around the world from the worst health crisis in 100 years, has often led to doubts over the sustainability of oil prices.

“(Some) countries are falling into an autumn COVID-19 case spike,” said Louise Dickson, senior oil markets analyst at Rystad Energy, “which poses downside risk for oil demand growth in the very near-term and could provide a soft pressure on oil prices.”


Petrochemical shares lead TASI decline by 0.33%: Market wrap

Petrochemical shares lead TASI decline by 0.33%: Market wrap
Updated 27 October 2021

Petrochemical shares lead TASI decline by 0.33%: Market wrap

Petrochemical shares lead TASI decline by 0.33%: Market wrap

RIYADH: Falling petrochemical shares saw the Tadawul All-Share Index finish down by 39 points on Wednesday, or 0.33 percent, closing at 11,807 points.

The market's decline was led by SABIC, which fell by 1.2 percent. 170 company shares in total were down, led by Petro Rabigh, after it fell to the minimum. This coincided with the company's announcement of profits of SR221 million.

174.4 million of shares changed hands in 298.000 deals, with heavy trading in Saudi Aramco, AlRajhi Bank, National Industrialization Co. 27 company shares rose during today's session, led by Banque Saudi Fransi, and Herfy's share, which rose by 2.8 percent.

Atheeb Telecom recorded its lowest close since last February, after the stock fell today by 9.1 percent. Also, Riyad Bank's profits increased to SR4408 million or 15 percent by the end of September. Saudi Aramco recorded a gain of 0.8 percent, which is the highest closing since December 2019. 

Arab Sea recorded the highest closing since its debut at SR171 amid trading of about 540,000 shares. Among the other risers, Banque Saudi Fransi's shares were up by 4 percent after it announced profits in the third quarter grew 172 percent to reach SR907 million.

The parallel market index Nomu ended the day down 39.01 points, or 0.16 percent. It closed at 23,912.22 points, after 1,114 trades.