TASI closes down 2.7% points: Market wrap 

TASI closes down 2.7% points: Market wrap 
(Getty)
Short Url
Updated 22 November 2021

TASI closes down 2.7% points: Market wrap 

TASI closes down 2.7% points: Market wrap 

RIYADH: The Saudi stock market ended the session on Monday, down 2.7 percent or 314 points, to close at 11,172 points.

Today’s decline is the largest in percentage terms and points since October 2020, when the market fell by 4.1 percent and 351 points. 

It follows yesterday’s fall after 14 drone attacks by Houthis in Yemen on a number of Saudi cities and Aramco facilities.

Some 206.1 million shares changed hands in 400,000 deals, with heavy trading in Al Rajhi bank, Alinma Bank, Nayifat Finance Company.

The fallers today were led by Al Rajhi Bank diving 5 percent to SR135.20 ($36), while SABIC, Saudi Aramco, Saudi National Bank, Maaden, Alinma Bank slipped between 2 and 5 percent.

Taiba fell to SR36.90 after the end of the eligibility period for a cash dividend of SR4 per share for Q3 2021.

Among the risers, Nayifat rose 4 percent to SR35.25 on debut amid heavy trading exceeding 40 million shares worth SR1.4 billion, The listing price was SR34.

The parallel Nomu index was down 251.42 points, or 1.05 percent, it closed at 23,719.84 points, after 214,000 trades.


Aleph Hospitality eyes travel, tourism opportunities in KSA

Bani Haddad. (Supplied)
Bani Haddad. (Supplied)
Updated 17 sec ago

Aleph Hospitality eyes travel, tourism opportunities in KSA

Bani Haddad. (Supplied)
  • Haddad said that the internal market is quite strong from a demand standpoint

RIYADH: Aleph Hospitality, a leading Dubai-based independent hotel management company, is planning to open offices in Jeddah,
Makkah and Madinah to tap Saudi Arabia’s growing travel and tourism industry.
“Saudi Arabia represents about 30 million domestic travelers.
Our expectations from the Kingdom are quite high,” Bani Haddad, the founder and managing director of Aleph Hospitality, told Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia represents about 30 million domestic travelers. Our expectations from the Kingdom are quite high.

Bani Haddad

Haddad said that the internal market is quite strong from a demand standpoint. The situation is highly encouraging if one includes religious tourism, open visa policies, development in the region’s secondary cities, and expansion of the airlines and airlifts.
“So, the fundamentals are becoming more and more solid for the hospitality sector to flourish,” he added.
Because Aleph Hospitality is an independent operator, Haddad said the company services properties ranging from two- to five-stars in city centers and small to large resorts.
He explained that the company’s flexibility allows them to service investors in that sector.

 


Hospitality business trained to deal with pandemics: Azadea official

Mert Askin
Mert Askin
Updated 9 min 50 sec ago

Hospitality business trained to deal with pandemics: Azadea official

Mert Askin
  • Lebanon-based retail chain Azadea Group sells fashion, sports, home furnishings and food and drink

RIYADH: The hospitality industry has steeled itself for another pandemic after suffering the effects of the last health crisis, said Mert Askin, Azadea Group’s president of food and beverage.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh, Askin said that the industry is yet to recover from the pandemic because certain restrictions remain in place, such as some regulated air travel.
Askin added: “We are recovering. We are growing. And I’m optimistic about the future because this pandemic taught us a lot of things. This is not going to be the last pandemic, there may be more to come. But we are now trained to manage this kind of difficult situation.”
Lebanon-based retail chain Azadea Group sells fashion, sports, home furnishings and food and drink. Its food brands include Paul, Columbus Cafe & Co. and Eataly. The group, founded in 1978, employs over 10,000 staff across more than 550 stores in 13 countries including Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar and the UAE.

I’m optimistic about the future because this pandemic taught us a lot of things.

Mert Askin

The group’s food and drinks head pointed out that the firm’s core business had not changed despite the pandemic.
Askin said: “Our core is people — our team. As well as the customer, and how we operate together. That core will not change. But we definitely have a lot more technology tools at our disposal.”
He added that the group’s revenues are climbing and are close to pre-pandemic levels.
Saudi Arabia is Azadea Group’s second-largest market, and Askin added that the business wants to change with the Kingdom as it opens up and transforms its hospitality sector.
Askin said: “Saudi (Arabia) is changing, and we want to change with Saudi (Arabia). We believe in Vision 2030. We are committed to it, and we want to be a part of the program by growing with the country as it opens up. There is a lot of investment flooding into the industry. And we want to benefit from that tailwind and grow our business.”
Saudi nationals currently make up around a quarter of the staff the group employs.
Askin added: “Today, approximately 20 to 25 percent of our team members are Saudis. And one thing that we use to attract more Saudis is recognizing and sharing their success stories, as well as providing growth opportunities.”


Rotana Hotels to triple Saudi Arabia presence to 6,000 rooms by 2026, says president & CEO

Rotana Hotel Management Corp. President and CEO Guy Hutchinson says visitor numbers to the region are beginning to normalize.
Rotana Hotel Management Corp. President and CEO Guy Hutchinson says visitor numbers to the region are beginning to normalize.
Updated 21 min 2 sec ago

Rotana Hotels to triple Saudi Arabia presence to 6,000 rooms by 2026, says president & CEO

Rotana Hotel Management Corp. President and CEO Guy Hutchinson says visitor numbers to the region are beginning to normalize.
  • This is one of the most exciting and dynamic regions in terms of hospitality, says Hutchinson

RIYADH: Rotana Hotels plans to build seven new hotels in Saudi Arabia, which will almost triple the number of rooms it runs to in the Kingdom to 6,000 over the next four years, says its president and CEO.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh, Rotana Hotel Management Corporation President and CEO Guy Hutchinson said its move was prompted by Saudi’s growing tourism market.

He said: “Without doubt, this is one of the most exciting and dynamic regions at the moment anywhere in the world in terms of hospitality development.”

FASTFACTS

• The hotel chain also backs the Kingdom’s sustainability program to cut CO2 emissions and energy waste.

• It plans to source local agricultural and farm products that will be served in its hotels.

The Abu Dhabi-based business currently operates seven hotels in the Kingdom — in Alkhobar, Jeddah, Makkah and Riyadh — hosting 2,100 rooms.

Sector growth

The move by the business is in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 program, which bids to diversify the country’s economy, making it less reliant on oil, while boosting such areas as IT, business startups and tourism.

Vision 2030’s goal of attracting 100 million visitors to the Kingdom by the end of the decade is a key driver of the growth in the country’s hospitality sector, according to Hutchinson.

He added that the opening up of the country’s heritage cities and towns — such as AlUla and Jeddah — will attract more tourists over the coming years.

Hutchinson noted that visitor numbers to the region are beginning to normalize after almost grinding to a halt following the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said: “You’re seeing this pent up demand from people wanting to reclaim their lifestyles and to reclaim travel at a really unprecedented speed.”

Local produce to drive sustainability

The hotel chain also backs the Kingdom’s sustainability program to cut CO2 emissions and energy waste.

It plans to source local agricultural and farm products that will be served in its hotels.

Hutchinson said: “Sustainability is an enormous part of what we do as it is embedded in our culture. That’s an important part of being part of sustainable communities.”


Macro Snapshot — Britain’s private sector activity slows; Japan’s May factory activity grows at slowest rate in 3 months 

Macro Snapshot — Britain’s private sector activity slows; Japan’s May factory activity grows at slowest rate in 3 months 
Updated 24 May 2022

Macro Snapshot — Britain’s private sector activity slows; Japan’s May factory activity grows at slowest rate in 3 months 

Macro Snapshot — Britain’s private sector activity slows; Japan’s May factory activity grows at slowest rate in 3 months 

RIYADH: Momentum in Britain’s private sector slowed much more than expected this month, adding to recession worries as inflation pressures ratcheted higher, according to a business survey on Tuesday that showed rising pessimism.

S&P Global’s flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index, a monthly gauge of the services and manufacturing industries, slumped to 51.8 in May from 57.6 in April, its lowest level since February last year.

The preliminary reading was worse than all forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists, which had pointed to a drop to 57, and the scale of the fall was bigger than any seen pre-COVID-19.

“The collapse in the composite PMI in May is the clearest sign yet that demand is faltering in response to the intense squeeze on households’ real disposable incomes,” said Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Until now, most surveys of British business activity had been fairly robust, despite record-low consumer confidence after inflation hit a 40-year high of 9 percent.

US new home sales fall

Sales of new US single-family homes tumbled to a two-year low in April, likely as higher mortgage rates and soaring prices squeezed first-time buyers and those in search of entry-level properties out of the housing market.

New home sales plunged 16.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 591,000 units last month, the lowest level since April 2020, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. March’s sales pace was revised down to 709,000 units from the previously reported 763,000 units.

Sales have now declined for four straight months. New home sales dropped 5.9 percent in the Northeast and tumbled 15.1 percent in the Midwest. They plummeted 19.8 percent in the densely populated South and decreased 13.8 percent in the Midwest.

Nigeria raises interest rate 

Nigeria’s central bank on Tuesday raised the benchmark interest rate by 150 basis points to 13 percent, its first hike in more than two years, to combat rising inflation, sending markets tumbling.

The move surprised analysts and traders who expected the Monetary Policy Committee to keep the rate on hold.

But Gov. Godwin Emefiele told a news briefing that the rate hike was necessary to tame inflation, which quickened to 16.82 percent in April, its highest in eight months, amid a fragile economic recovery.

Indonesia holds rates

Indonesia’s central bank announced on Tuesday more aggressive hikes in the reserve requirement ratio for banks, expecting inflation to rise slightly above its target band this year, but kept interest rates unchanged at a record low.

Bank Indonesia announced a quicker pace in RRR hikes, ordering banks to park 7.5 percent of their reserves starting July and 9 percent from September. This compared with BI’s previously announced policy path, in which BI had set three staggered RRR hikes this year from 3.5 percent to 6.5 percent in September.

BI left the benchmark 7-day reverse repurchase rate at a record low of 3.50 percent, as expected by 25 of 27 economists polled by Reuters. Its two other main rates were also unchanged. 

Poland budget surplus

Poland had a budget surplus of 9.2 billion zlotys ($2.14 billion) at the end April, state-run news agency PAP quoted Finance Minister Magdalena Rzeczkowska as saying on Tuesday.

Poland had a deficit of 0.3 billion zlotys at the end of March.

Separately, a government spokesman said that the deficit at the end of 2021 was 26.4 billion zlotys, 65.1 percent of what had been planned for in the budget.

Philippines narrows growth target 

The Philippines has revised its 2022 gross domestic product growth target to 7 percent-8 percent from the previous range of 7 percent-9 percent to take into account external risks, the government said on Tuesday.

It also slightly lowered the budget deficit target to 7.6 percent of GDP from 7.7 percent, among revisions that it said took into account the impact of Russia-Ukraine conflict, China’s slowdown, and monetary policy normalization in the US.

The government, however, kept the GDP growth target at the 6 percent-7 percent range for 2023 and 2024, as it expects the domestic economy to sustain its strong recovery in the medium term.

GDP would grow at the same pace in 2025, the economic managers on the Development Budget Coordination Committee said.

German inflation to reach 7%

Germany’s 2022 inflation rate will more than double from last year’s 3.1 percent as already high energy and food prices are pushed up by the war in Ukraine, the country’s Chambers of Industry and Commerce said on Tuesday.

DIHK said it now expects the inflation rate to hit 7 percent, after initially forecasting a rise of 3.5 percent in its February forecast.

Germany’s Economy Ministry said in April it saw an inflation rate of 6.1 percent in 2022 and 2.8 percent next year, citing the effects of energy prices in Europe’s biggest economy.

French business activity 

French business activity slowed slightly in May compared to the previous month, a preliminary survey showed on Tuesday, as inflationary pressures took the shine off fewer COVID-19 restrictions.

S&P Global said its flash May Purchasing Managers’ Index for France’s services sector was 58.4 points — down from a final number of 58.9 in April. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 58.6 for the May flash reading.

Japan’s factory activity grows 

Japan’s manufacturing activity expanded at the slowest pace in three months in May, as supply bottlenecks due to parts shortages and China’s COVID-19 lockdowns caused output and new orders growth to slow.

Activity in the services sector improved for the second consecutive month on stronger domestic demand due to the fading impact of the pandemic, though service-sector firms faced a drag from the sharpest rise in input prices on record.

 

(With input from Reuters) 


ITFC boosts funds for Egypt by $3bn to deal with rising wheat prices

ITFC boosts funds for Egypt by $3bn to deal with rising wheat prices
Updated 24 May 2022

ITFC boosts funds for Egypt by $3bn to deal with rising wheat prices

ITFC boosts funds for Egypt by $3bn to deal with rising wheat prices

RIYADH: The International Islamic Trade Finance Corp. has provided Egypt an additional $3 billion to support the North African country amid soaring wheat prices fueled by the Ukraine war.

As per the new agreement, Egypt’s total funding is now doubled to $6 billion, Bloomberg reported citing Egypt’s Supply Minister Aly El-Moselhy in his interview with the MBC TV channel.

The government is also offering incentives to farmers to produce wheat and also setting an output quota to tackle the shortage of the grain primarily driven due to the ongoing tensions in Ukraine. Farmers will not be allowed to sell the rest of their crops outside the official procurement system without a license. 

Egypt is one of the biggest importers of wheat in the world, and most of the grains come from Ukraine and Russia. 

After Russia started invading Ukraine wheat prices soared, and the Egyptian government is seeking to maintain price stability and secure reserves of basic foodstuffs amid the fallout from the war.