PIF — driving force behind economic diversification: Year in Review

Special PIF — driving force behind economic diversification: Year in Review
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Updated 05 January 2022

PIF — driving force behind economic diversification: Year in Review

PIF — driving force behind economic diversification: Year in Review
  • Several non-oil sectors have been identified as priority sectors in the fund’s diversification plan

DUBAI: This was a crunch year for Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth body, the Public Investment Fund, as it announced a five-year strategy to push the Kingdom’s diversification drive.

It picks up from the body’s first five-year plan launched in 2017, when the Saudi government chose the PIF to “lead the charge in building a national economic transformation.”

The fund posted around SR1.5 trillion ($400 billion) in assets under management, at the end of 2020 — growing nearly threefold from SR570 billion from 2015.

The Saudi sovereign wealth fund aims to more than double this growth — targeting around SR4 trillion in assets under management by 2025, with a focus on contributing billions of dollars to the Kingdom’s non-oil gross domestic product.

Opinion

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Several non-oil sectors have been identified as priority sectors in its diversification plan, such as housing, healthcare and financial services.

But it was tourism that saw the first major announcement from the PIF in 2021.

HIGHLIGHTS

In January, the fund launched Cruise Saudi, which bids to establish a leisure liner industry in the Kingdom.

Another major project in tourism, the Soudah Development Co. in the Asir region, was announced the following month with an investment of SR11 billion.

Other notable PIF announcements in tourism include The Rig — a 150,000 square meter offshore oil-themed tourism destination, the fund partnered with E1 Series to create the world’s first electric powerboat championship and two PIF-owned companies — The Red Sea Development Co. and Amaala — merged to create a Red Sea tourism powerhouse.

In January, the fund launched Cruise Saudi, which bids to establish a leisure liner industry in the Kingdom, in line with the government’s Vision 2030 aspirations of opening Saudi Arabia up to the world.

Another major project in tourism, the Soudah Development Co. in the Asir region, was announced the following month with an investment of SR11 billion.

Other notable PIF announcements in tourism include The Rig — a 150,000 square meter offshore oil-themed tourism destination, the fund partnered with E1 Series to create the world’s first electric powerboat championship and two PIF-owned companies — The Red Sea Development Co. and Amaala — merged to create a Red Sea tourism powerhouse.

The next few months saw the PIF make internal moves to expand its team to capture more domestic and international investment opportunities.

Two deputy governors joined the fund in June — Turqi Al-Nowaiser and Yazeed Alhumeid. Three other senior executives also came into the business — Eyas Al-Dossari, Omar Al-Madhi, and Abdulla Shaker.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the fund invested around SR84 billion this year as it bids to boost the Saudi economy, which has run a deficit for several years and last year was hit by record-low oil prices.

In December, the crown prince announced that around SR75 billion will be invested in the project, led by the PIF’s Central Jeddah Development. The new destination will feature thousands of hotel rooms and residential units, surrounded by major lifestyle and tourism projects over 5.7 million square meters.  

This project aims to add SR47 billion to the Kingdom’s economy by 2030. 

This year also saw major movements in the PIF’s stakes in major companies — including acquiring a 25 percent share in Emaar The Economic City, and publicly offering some of its stake in stc, the Kingdom’s largest telecoms operator.

An eye-catching move saw the PIF, alongside other investors, finally seal a $410 million deal to buy English Premier League football club Newcastle United.

After the high-profile transaction, the Saudi fund assumed a dominant position in the North East club’s new ownership structure, owning 80 percent of shares.

The fund invests outside the Kingdom as a way of bringing value to the Saudi economy, and in 2021, it almost tripled its holdings of US-listed stocks to $43.45 billion in the third quarter – buying shares in retail giant Walmart and social media firm Pinterest among others.

The next four years will be key for the PIF as the Kingdom draws ever nearer to 2030.


Oil Updates — Brent oil stalls; Dragon Oil extends  $1bn Turkmenistan deal; Ecuador oil output rebounds

Oil Updates — Brent oil stalls; Dragon Oil extends  $1bn Turkmenistan deal; Ecuador oil output rebounds
Updated 19 sec ago

Oil Updates — Brent oil stalls; Dragon Oil extends  $1bn Turkmenistan deal; Ecuador oil output rebounds

Oil Updates — Brent oil stalls; Dragon Oil extends  $1bn Turkmenistan deal; Ecuador oil output rebounds

RIYADH: Brent oil prices were little changed on Tuesday, reversing earlier gains of $1, as investors weighed supply concerns, highlighted by a potential production cut in Norway, and worries about a possible global recession curtailing fuel demand.

Brent crude futures for September settlement edged up 0.2 percent, or 22 cents, to $113.73 a barrel by 0432 GMT.

US West Texas Intermediate crude climbed $1.95, or 1.8 percent, to $110.38 a barrel, from Friday’s close. There was no settlement for WTI on Monday because of the Independence Day public holiday in the US.

Dragon Oil extends Turkmenistan partnership in $1 billion deal

Dubai-based Dragon Oil signed a $1 billion deal to renew its production partnership in Turkmenistan with state-owned Turkmen Oil for 10 years after the current contract expires in May 2025, state news agency WAM said on Monday.

Of the total value, $500 million will be paid in cash while the remaining $500 million will be paid over 13 years.

Ecuador oil output recovers by about 90 percent 

Ecuador’s oil output has recovered by about 90 percent since a deal between the government and demonstrators ended nationwide protests late last week, the ministry of mines and energy said on Monday.

Protests erupted in Ecuador in June to demand lower fuel prices and limits on the expansion of the mining and oil industries. The demonstrations led to at least eight deaths and devastated the country’s oil production.

Last Thursday, the government of President Guillermo Lasso and indigenous leaders signed a pact to end the crisis. At the time, oil output was around 262,000 barrels per day. It has since rebounded to 461,637 bpd, the ministry of mines and energy said in a statement.

“Some 952 oil wells have been reactivated, which means that about 10 percent of the suspended wells still need to be recovered,” Ecuador’s Energy Minister Xavier Vera said in the statement.

State-run oil company Petroecuador on Monday also reported a 90 percent recovery in production.

While the company on Friday estimated it would take a week to recover 90 percent of its output, production had risen to 361,535 bpd as of Sunday, it said.

“Thanks to these efforts, just 82 wells remain closed, of the almost 1,000 that were affected by acts of vandalism,” Petroecuador’s manager Italo Cedeno said in a statement.

The company was forced to issue a wide force majeure declaration across the oil industry on June 18 amid the protests.

The notice, enforced at the end of June, is expected to be lifted on July 7, once the company can assure customers that supply contracts will be fulfilled.

Norwegian oil and gas workers start strike, cutting output

Norwegian offshore workers on Tuesday began a strike that will reduce oil and gas output, the union leading the industrial action told Reuters.

The strike, in which workers are demanding wage hikes to compensate for rising inflation, comes amid high oil and gas prices, with supplies of natural gas to Europe especially tight after Russian export cutbacks.

“The strike has begun,” Audun Ingvartsen, the leader of the Lederne trade union said in an interview.

The Norwegian government has said it was following the conflict “closely.” It can intervene to stop a strike if there are exceptional circumstances.

On Tuesday, oil and gas output will be reduced by 89,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, of which gas output makes up 27,500 boepd, Equinor has said.

On Wednesday, the strike will deepen the cut to the country’s gas output to a total of 292,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, or 13 percent of output, NOG said on Sunday. 

From Wednesday oil output will be cut by 130,000 barrels per day, the lobby had said, corresponding to around 6.5 percent of Norway’s production, according to a Reuters calculation.

(With inputs from Reuters) 

 


TASI trades higher, while investors fret about inflation: Opening bell

TASI trades higher, while investors fret about inflation: Opening bell
Updated 49 min 41 sec ago

TASI trades higher, while investors fret about inflation: Opening bell

TASI trades higher, while investors fret about inflation: Opening bell

RIYADH: Saudi stocks opened higher on Tuesday’s opening bell, but investors were still worried about the impact inflation will have on the economy.

The main index, TASI, gained 0.18 percent to reach 11,378, while the parallel market, Nomu, started flat at 20,684, as of 10:09 a.m. Saudi time.

This was led by a 1.29 percent rise in Saudi chemicals maker Petro Rabigh and 0.26 percent gain in Saudi Aramco, the largest player on the Saudi oil market.

In the banking sector, Al Rajhi, the Kingdom’s largest valued bank, rose 0.75 percent, and Saudi National Bank climbed 0.30 percent.

Saudi British Bank lost 1.10 percent of its share price in early trading.

Saudi Research and Media Group and Saudi Fisheries Co. led gainers with 2.25 percent and 3.31 percent gains, respectively.

Ataa Educational Co. topped the decliners in the early morning session, shedding 2.68 percent.

In the energy sector, West Texas Intermediate crude was trading at $110.01 per barrel and Brent crude was trading at $113.36 per barrel as of 10:03 a.m. Saudi time.


Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Tuesday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Tuesday
Updated 05 July 2022

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Tuesday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Tuesday

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s stock market extended losses on Monday as recession and inflation risks continue to bother investors.

The main benchmark index TASI lost 0.9 percent to close at 11,358, hit by a 1.3-percent fall in oil giant Aramco, while the parallel market Nomu dropped 1.9 percent to 20,672.

Likewise, the stock exchanges of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Qatar, and Kuwait all shed between 0.2 and 1.4 percent.

Bahrain and Oman bucked the downward trend to close 0.5 and 0.2 percent higher, respectively.

Apart from the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index EGX30 continued its losing streak as it slipped 3.6 percent.

Oil prices were slightly changed on Tuesday due to lingering supply concerns and worries over a potential global recession.

Brent crude futures edged down to $113.28 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate rose almost 1.5 percent to $110.02 a barrel by 9:16 a.m. Saudi time.

Stock news

Petro Rabigh’s rump offering generated a total of SR390 million ($104 million) in proceeds after selling over 23 million shares

Middle East Specialized Cables Co. appointed Yahiya Al-Qunaibit as board chairman and Saad Al-Shammari as vice-chairman

Two substantial shareholders in Wataniya Insurance Co. have executed an off-market deal where SNIC Insurance Co. sold a 2.5 percent stake to E.A. Juffali and Brothers for SR16.5 million

Jadwa Investment Co. sold a property located in Riyadh, namely Raud Al Jenan School, for SR27 million

National Industrialization Co. elected Mubarak Al-Khafrah as its chairman and Talal Al-Maiman as its vice-chairman

Gulf General Cooperative Insurance Co. has signed a one-year deal with Al-Rashid Trading and Contracting Co. to provide medical insurance services

Calendar

July 7, 2022

Saudi Exchange will close for the Eid Al Adha holidays and resume trading on July 13


Aramco sets for $44bn profit amid mixed Q2 earnings of Saudi firms: Al-Rajhi Capital 

Aramco sets for $44bn profit amid mixed Q2 earnings of Saudi firms: Al-Rajhi Capital 
Updated 05 July 2022

Aramco sets for $44bn profit amid mixed Q2 earnings of Saudi firms: Al-Rajhi Capital 

Aramco sets for $44bn profit amid mixed Q2 earnings of Saudi firms: Al-Rajhi Capital 

RIYADH: Saudi-listed companies are expected to see mixed earnings in the second quarter of 2022, amid rising oil prices, looming economic slowdown risks, and interest rate hikes, according to Al-Rajhi Capital.

The Riyadh-based financial service firm which has analyzed the performance of all industrial sectors expects the Kingdom’s oil giant Aramco to post SR164.8 billion ($44 billion) in profits in the second quarter of 2022, up 81 percent from a year earlier. It estimates the chemical giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp.’s profit to slightly slip by 1 percent to SR7.6 billion.

Apart from SABIC, petrochemical companies will see pressure on earnings, weighed down by higher feedstock costs amid stable polymer prices, the report added.

In the healthcare sector, Al Rajhi Capital forecasts leaps in performance for two major players on improved capacity utilization, as Dallah Health and Sulaiman Al Habib are expected to see a profit surge of 50 percent and 10 percent respectively.

For the cement sector, however, the outlook is negative. All companies including, but not limited to, Saudi Cement, Southern Cement, and Yamama Cement are expected to see a drop in profit due to lower cement volumes.

The investment bank’s forecast for Saudi Telecom Co., known as stc, revealed an 8-percent increase in net profit, reaching SR3.07 billion.


Saudi non-oil sector sees robust improvement in business conditions in June: S&P Global 

Saudi non-oil sector sees robust improvement in business conditions in June: S&P Global 
Updated 34 min 31 sec ago

Saudi non-oil sector sees robust improvement in business conditions in June: S&P Global 

Saudi non-oil sector sees robust improvement in business conditions in June: S&P Global 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has seen a robust improvement in business conditions across the non-oil sector in June, as the Kingdom steadily advances in its path of economic transition, according to the latest PMI data from S&P Global.

It said new business rose at the sharpest rate for eight months, despite evidence that intensifying cost pressures had led companies to mark up their prices. 

David Owen, Economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said: "Saudi Arabia's non-oil economy continued to go from strength to strength in June, with the PMI picking up to an eight-month high of 57.0 and posting well above the 50.0 no-change mark. 

He said the upturn was underlined by a robust increase in new business levels, which encouraged firms to expand their output sharply and make greater input purchases.