Jordan’s draft 2022 budget forecasts $15 billion in state spending

Jordan’s Cabinet approves the draft general budget law, and the government unit budgets draft law for the fiscal year 2022. (Petra)
Jordan’s Cabinet approves the draft general budget law, and the government unit budgets draft law for the fiscal year 2022. (Petra)
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Updated 28 November 2021

Jordan’s draft 2022 budget forecasts $15 billion in state spending

Jordan’s draft 2022 budget forecasts $15 billion in state spending
  • The government foresaw total revenues next year at 8.9 billion dinars, with 848 million in foreign grants
  • It has raised capital spending to 1.5 billion dinars, a 43 percent rise from the previous year

AMMAN: Jordan’s Finance Minister Mohamad Al-Ississ said on Sunday that the draft 2022 budget forecasts 10.6 billion dinars ($15 billion) in state expenditure and paves the way for a rebound in growth to 2.7 percent after the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Al-Ississ told a media briefing that Jordan had also last week successfully concluded the third review of a four-year program of International Monetary Fund (IMF) backed reforms to help it restore fiscal prudence for a sustained recovery.
Al-Ississ said that the government had increased its local revenues last year without raising taxes through a rare campaign to combat tax evasion and by a major restructuring of the tax and customs administration that ended exemptions.
It foresaw total revenues next year at 8.9 billion dinars, with 848 million in foreign grants.
Jordan’s economy was particularly hard hit last year by the shutdowns aimed at containing the virus, with unemployment at a record 24 percent amid the worst contraction in decades.
Inflation was, however, expected to rise to 2.5 percent next year from a projected 1.6 percent this year, Al-Ississ said.
Most state expenditure goes on salaries and pensions in a country which has among the highest government spending relative to the size of its $45 billion economy.
The government has raised capital spending to 1.5 billion dinars, a 43 percent rise from the previous year to help spur growth and improve infrastructure to help attract more investment, the finance minister said
Jordan’s commitment to IMF reforms and investor confidence in the country’s improved outlook helped it to maintain stable sovereign ratings at a time when other emerging markets were being downgraded, Al-Ississ said.
Al-Ississ said debt servicing on 29.4 billion dinars of public debt would drop next year with a push to expand preferential loans and grants away from more expensive commercial lending.


Al Qatif beach in Eastern Province sold at $1bn in KSA’s ‘largest real estate transaction’

Al Qatif beach in Eastern Province sold at $1bn in KSA’s ‘largest real estate transaction’
Updated 13 sec ago

Al Qatif beach in Eastern Province sold at $1bn in KSA’s ‘largest real estate transaction’

Al Qatif beach in Eastern Province sold at $1bn in KSA’s ‘largest real estate transaction’

RIYADH: A five-million-square-meter beach in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province has been sold for over SR4 billion ($1 billion), in what was described as one of the largest real estate transactions in the Kingdom. 

Saudi Real Estate Contributions Commission, known as Tasfiah, has concluded the sale of the Al Qatif beach in a public auction in the governorate of Al Khobar, the Saudi Press Agency reported. 

The beach covers more than 5 million square meters on Tarout Island, one of the oldest settlements in the Arabian gulf. 

Tasfiah has so far reached a total of SR15 billion as a return to shareholders through its public auctions and sale of land contributions. 


Saudi shipping firm Bahri starts operations of $203m water desalination project

Saudi shipping firm Bahri starts operations of $203m water desalination project
Updated 11 min 14 sec ago

Saudi shipping firm Bahri starts operations of $203m water desalination project

Saudi shipping firm Bahri starts operations of $203m water desalination project
  • Bahri said the project is expected to be finalized by the fourth quarter of 2022

RIYADH: A Saudi-based provider of logistics and transportation services, Bahri, has started trial commissioning of the first barge under its SR760 million ($203 million) deal with Saline Water Conversion Corp., or SWCC.

The barge is located near the port of Al Shuqaiq on the Western coast of the Kingdom, Bahri said in a bourse statement on Sunday.

Signed in 2019, the deal involves establishing three floating stations, to supply and transfer desalinated water from the stations to desalination tanks.

Each station will have a capacity of 50,000 cubic meters per day with a total capacity of 150,000 cubic meters a day. 

Bahri said the project is expected to be finalized by the fourth quarter of 2022 and attributed the delay in commercial operations to COVID-19 constraints.

Established in 1978, Bahri is a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and the Public Investment Fund. It owns and manages a fleet of 89 tankers and container ships dedicated to transporting oil, petrochemicals, dry bulk, and other cargo.


Abu Dhabi takes a step towards emerging ETF industry in the Gulf region

Abu Dhabi takes a step towards emerging ETF industry in the Gulf region
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 23 January 2022

Abu Dhabi takes a step towards emerging ETF industry in the Gulf region

Abu Dhabi takes a step towards emerging ETF industry in the Gulf region
  • The fund tracks the S&P Saudi Arabia Shariah Liquid Top 30 35/20 Capped Index

RIYADH: A new investment product will allow traders in the UAE to track Saudi stocks via the local bourse — a first for the Gulf region’s fledgling ETF market.

Chimera Capital LLC, an Abu-Dhabi-based investment management firm and a subsidiary of Chimera Investment LLC, has launched its Chimera S&P Saudi Arabia Shariah Compliant Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).

The fund tracks the S&P Saudi Arabia Shariah Liquid Top 30 35/20 Capped Index, which is up 44 percent over the past year.

The gauge tracks the top 30 largest and most liquid Shariah-compliant stocks listed in Saudi Arabia.

“We are pleased to have launched our fifth ETF, which is the first to track non-UAE-listed equities. The fund will cater to the growing appetite for diversified investments among UAE and regional investors, providing them with an innovative tool to capitalize on the economic prospects of Saudi Arabia,” Sherif Salem, Chief Investment Officer – Public Markets at Chimera Capital said

The fund’s assets under management rose to 70 million dirhams ($19 million) by the end of the week, he said.

Gulf investors can choose between eight different equity-focused ETFs in the region, with three in Saudi Arabia, two in Qatar and three in the UAE.


IPO bidding gets into full swing amid listing wave

 IPO bidding gets into full swing amid listing wave
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 23 January 2022

IPO bidding gets into full swing amid listing wave

 IPO bidding gets into full swing amid listing wave

RIYADH: Amid a wave of initial public offerings in the Kingdom, many companies are to kick off the book-building process on Saudi Arabia’s main and parallel indexes this month.

Al Dawaa Medical Services Co. has announced its intention to debut 25.5 million shares, representing 30 percent of capital, on the main stock index, TASI.

The pharmaceutical retailer will allocate the full offer during the IPO bidding session, which will run from Feb. 13 to Feb. 17, 2022, according to a statement by the company.

Dammam-based Gas Arabian Services started the qualified investors’ book-building session today, Jan. 23, amid plans to list 790,000 shares on Saudi Arabia’s parallel market, Nomu.

The session will take place for four days until Jan. 27, 2022, the bookrunner of the offer, FALCOM Financial Services Co., said in a bourse statement.

The offering price range has been set between SR75 and SR90 per share.

Qualified investors will be entitled to the full offer of 790,000 shares and each shall subscribe to a minimum of 10 shares and a maximum of 789,990 shares.

Arabian International Healthcare Holding Co., better known as Tibbiyah, will begin the book-building process on Jan. 30. The period will last for five days, offering 5 million shares, or 25 percent of capital, on the parallel market Nomu.

Fully owned by Al Faisaliah Group, Tibbiyah is a leading healthcare provider in Saudi Arabia and the region.


Egyptian ready-made garments exports hit an all-time high at $2.49bn 

Egyptian ready-made garments exports hit an all-time high at $2.49bn 
Updated 23 January 2022

Egyptian ready-made garments exports hit an all-time high at $2.49bn 

Egyptian ready-made garments exports hit an all-time high at $2.49bn 
  • The Ready-made Garments Export Council has attracted 23 new factories in 2021

The value of Egyptian ready-made garment exports set an all-time high record during 2021.

They increased to $2.49 billion, up from $1.457 billion the previous year, amounting to a 41 percent increase.

The Ready-made Garments Export Council has attracted 23 new factories in 2021, with 11 facilities from small and medium factories re-attracted, the head of the council, Marie Lewis, revealed. 

Lewis added that services provided by the council are being expanded, to include promotional and marketing services. It has prepared a number of initiatives to develop e-marketing tools for its exporters.

The council has also participated in four international and local exhibitions, and has provided 33 export opportunities. It also arranged 22 bilateral meetings between its exporters and buyers.

It organised 32 workshops and training programs to enhance the export capabilities and production efficiency of the council's exporters, she added.