Saudi stock exchange to start options trading on single stocks for more liquidity: Bloomberg

Saudi stock exchange to start options trading on single stocks for more liquidity: Bloomberg
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Updated 18 February 2022

Saudi stock exchange to start options trading on single stocks for more liquidity: Bloomberg

Saudi stock exchange to start options trading on single stocks for more liquidity: Bloomberg

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will soon introduce options trading on single stocks to further boost liquidity in its stock market, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Middle East’s biggest stock market plans to allow options trading in five to 10 companies initially over the next few weeks, according to the people, who asked to remain unidentified for information privacy.

This move would reflect the last Saudi step towards liberalizing Riyadh’s stock exchange and encouraging participation from foreign investors, according to Bloomberg.

The bourse will start registering more stocks when they meet certain criteria, the people said, while Tadawul did not respond to requests for comments.

Tadawul planned to introduce futures contracts in single stocks, CEO Khalid Al-Hussan said in September 2021. Index futures started trading in Riyadh in August that year.

The Kingdom started opening its stock market to international investors over five years ago, and later started allowing them to buy into initial public offerings.

The Saudi benchmark index has jumped about 11 percent this year, building on a 30 percent gain in 2021. 

Riyadh has led the region in IPOs, and the pipeline for listings is “deeper than ever,” Al-Hussan said after Tadawul surged on its own trading debut in December. 

 


Saudi National Development Fund launches operations at SME Bank 

Saudi National Development Fund launches operations at SME Bank 
Updated 8 sec ago

Saudi National Development Fund launches operations at SME Bank 

Saudi National Development Fund launches operations at SME Bank 

RIYADH: In a move to bridge the financing gap in the small and medium enterprises sector, Saudi Arabia’s National Development Fund has announced the start of operations at the Small and Medium Enterprises Bank.

The opening of the new bank will help the SME sector contribute as much as 35 percent to Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product in line with the Saudi Vision 2030. 

Launched in 2021, the bank focuses on providing all its products and services in digital form without the need to establish branches. 

In an attempt to create partnerships and further enhance the contribution of financial institutions in terms of financing SMEs, the bank signed a total of 15 cooperation agreements, worth an accumulated SR3 billion ($797 million), with several financial institutions, Alarabiya reported. 

Overall, Saudi Arabia is witnessing an acceleration in licensing SME factories while taking advantage of government facilities to stimulate specific sectors and industries related to the fourth industrial revolution. 

In November, Saudi Arabia’s cabinet approved the Small and Medium Enterprises Bank System, according to the Saudi Press Agency.     

Ministers signed off the transfer of Kafalah SME Loan Guarantee Program from Monsha'at to SME Bank.

This comes as industrial SMEs in Saudi Arabia are urged to transform into resilient and technologically savvy operations in order to go global and be able to compete internationally, according to a report by the multinational professional services network KPMG. 

Moreover, the SME sector is perceived as a vital economic engine, a key generator of new employment, and the foundation of the global economy, senior vice president of technical services at Aramco, Ahmad Al Sa’adi said, in an exclusive interview with Arab News earlier. 

In addition to this, SMEs are set to play a significant role in achieving Saudi Arabia’s objectives of lowering the unemployment rate from 11.6 percent to 7 percent, and increasing women’s participation in the workforce from 22 percent to 30 percent. 

In October, the Saudi Arabian Oil Co, also known as Aramco, announced the launch of the Taleed Program, which aims to maintain and further grow the SME sector, Al Sa’adi added. 

 

 


Oman’s Jindal Shadeed to invest $3bn to produce green steel at Port of Duqm 

Oman’s Jindal Shadeed to invest $3bn to produce green steel at Port of Duqm 
Updated 45 min 59 sec ago

Oman’s Jindal Shadeed to invest $3bn to produce green steel at Port of Duqm 

Oman’s Jindal Shadeed to invest $3bn to produce green steel at Port of Duqm 

RIYADH: Omani steel giant Jindal Shadeed Group intends to set up a $3-billion factory to produce “green steel” using renewable energy in the Special Economic Zone at the Port of Duqm on the country’s southeastern coast, SEZAD. 

The new operation aims to produce five million tons of green steel a year, creating over $800 million per annum in value addition, it said in a press release. 

The company, a part of the $22-billion Jindal Group, will supply high-quality steel products to sectors such as automotive, wind energy and consumer durables. It sees a booming demand for green steel from environmental, social, and corporate governance-conscious customers around the world, especially in Europe and Asia, who have already committed to a significant reduction in Scope 3 emissions by 2030, according to Group CEO Harssha Shetty. 

An MoU was signed by Shetty and Ahmed bin Hassan Al Dheeb, deputy chairman of the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones, while a land reservation agreement for the site for the project was also signed between the Group and Reggy Vermeulen, the port’s CEO.  

The Group, which claims to be Oman’s largest steel producer, also signed an MoU with the centralized utility provider, Marafiq, to provide the plant with the utilities necessary to operate the project such as water services and seawater for cooling purposes.  

Commenting on the agreements, Al Dheeb said: “The signing of the MoU and agreement is a testament to the importance of SEZAD and emphasizes its position as a leading and attractive destination for large strategic projects that will benefit from renewable energy and green hydrogen.”   

He said the availability of solar energy and wind resources throughout the year will encourage more investments in green industries and renewable energy projects in Duqm.   

Oman is making efforts toward using cleaner sources of energy to meet industrial requirements. Al Dheeb said the efforts are in line with the priorities of Oman Vision 2040 to use alternative energy and sustainable natural resources. “The project also serves the comprehensive national strategy to reduce emissions and achieve carbon neutrality,” he added. 

Shetty revealed that Jindal Shadeed Group has already obtained the necessary approvals to secure the land for our green hydrogen-ready steel project.    

Reggy Vermeulen added: “This green steel project aligns very well with the port’s economic diversification and reduction in reliance on the oil and gas sector. It will not only attract foreign investment, but also provide work opportunities for local talent.” 


TASI sheds 98 points; Aramco’s Luberef IPO to raise $1.32bn: Closing bell  

TASI sheds 98 points; Aramco’s Luberef IPO to raise $1.32bn: Closing bell  
Updated 04 December 2022

TASI sheds 98 points; Aramco’s Luberef IPO to raise $1.32bn: Closing bell  

TASI sheds 98 points; Aramco’s Luberef IPO to raise $1.32bn: Closing bell  

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index shed 98 points on Sunday as investors shied away from the market due to uncertainties in the global economy, triggered by ongoing geopolitical tensions and soaring inflation.  

The Tadawul All Share Index, known as TASI, was down 0.91 percent to 10,723, while the parallel market Nomu slipped 14 points or 0.99 percent to 1,485.  

Of the 219 companies listed on TASI on Sunday, 31 advanced, while 176 declined.  

According to the data from Tadawul, the total trading turnover closed at SR2.9 billion ($770 million) on Sunday.  

The most crucial announcement that came during the early hours of trading on Sunday was from Saudi Aramco Base Oil Co., also known as Luberef, which decided to raise up to SR4.95 billion from its initial public offering.  

According to a statement, Luberef will sell nearly 30 percent of the firm’s issued share capital, or 50.045 million shares, at between 91 and 99 riyals each.  

The final share price is expected to be unveiled next Sunday, with subscriptions for individual investors running from Dec. 14 -18.  

A date is not yet been finalized for shares to begin trading on the Tadawul exchange. 

Saudi Aramco owns 70 percent of Luberef, while Saudi investment bank Jadwa holds the remaining 30 percent.  

According to the statement, Jadwa Investment is selling the entire stake it acquired in 2007 from Exxon Mobil Corp. 

SNB Capital, Morgan Stanley, HSBC Holdings Plc and Citigroup Inc. are managing the IPO for Luberef.  

On Sunday, share prices of Allied Cooperative Insurance Group, rose 7.09 percent to lead the gainers, followed by the Power and Water Utility Co. for Jubail and Yanbu, known as Marafiq which went up 2.56 percent.  

Aramco, the largest player in the Saudi oil market, was down 0.30 percent at the end of Sunday’s trading session. 

The top fallers were Theeb Rent a Car Co., Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co., Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance Co., and Etihad Atheeb Telecommunication Co.  

In the banking sector, Alinma Bank and Al Rajhi Bank went down 2.37 percent, and 0.12 percent respectively.  

In the food and beverage sector, Almarai Co. went up 0.37 percent. 


OPEC+ maintains status quo on output amid fresh price cap on Russian oil 

OPEC+ maintains status quo on output amid fresh price cap on Russian oil 
Updated 04 December 2022

OPEC+ maintains status quo on output amid fresh price cap on Russian oil 

OPEC+ maintains status quo on output amid fresh price cap on Russian oil 

RIYADH: The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and its allies, known as OPEC+, has agreed to roll over its existing output policy, just a day after the Group of Seven nations decided to put a price cap on Russian energy supplies.  

The decision was made at the 34th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting, which was held virtually, on Dec. 4, 2022.  

Earlier in October, OPEC+ had agreed to cut output by 2 million barrels per day, which equals to about 2 percent of world demand, from November until the end of 2023.  

Mohammed Al Suwayed, CEO of investment advisory company Razeen Capital, said OPEC+ is being cautious about committing to any production cut while the EU price cap for Russian oil is going into effect this week. "We might see a different decision by the next meeting after the assessment of the Russian oil price cap implications." He added. 

OPEC+'s decision to adopt a wait-and-see approach appears to be a very well-thought-out decision, according to Hassan Balfakeih, the former chief oil demand analyst at OPEC Secretariat.

He added: "Given the growing uncertainty in the oil markets on both the supply and demand side, OPEC+'s decision to adopt a wait-and-see approach appears to be a very well-thought-out decision. Among these are the hazy price-cap policy for Russian oil, the global gloomy economic outlook, a rise in COVID-19 cases in China, and fluctuations in demand throughout the winter season in the western hemisphere."  

OPEC+'s key ministers will next meet on Feb. 1 for a monitoring committee while a full meeting is scheduled for June 3-4.

On Friday, G7 nations and Australia agreed to put a price cap on Russian oil at $60 a barrel, a price higher than where Russia already sells most of its crude, ultimately aimed at maintaining Russian oil flowing to global markets.  

Post the EU decision, a senior Ukrainian presidential aide said that the price cap on Russian seaborne crude oil agreed to by the G7 countries and Australia should be lowered to $30 per barrel, Reuters reported.  

“This was everything that was proposed by the McFaul-Yermak group, but it would be necessary to lower it to $30 to destroy the enemy’s economy quicker,” Andriy Yermak, head of Ukraine’s presidential administration, wrote on Telegram.  

Meanwhile, Russia said that it will not accept the price cap imposed by G7 countries and Australia.  

“We will not accept this ceiling,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Russian news agency Tass reported.  

Kremlin also noted that Russia will not send its oil under the energy cap proposed by G7, and added that the country is analyzing how to respond to these fresh sanctions.  

Leonid Slutsky, chair of the Russian lower house’s foreign affairs committee, told the Tass news agency that the EU jeopardized its own energy security by setting a price cap on Russian seaborne oil.  

He also added that the EU's decision is violating the market's laws. Amid these developments, Russia seems confident regarding the demand for its oil.  

In comments published on Telegram, Russia’s embassy in the US criticized the move by the G7 and made it clear that the country will continue to find buyers for its oil.  

“Regardless of the current flirtations with the dangerous and illegitimate instrument, we are confident that Russian oil will continue to be in demand,” the Russian embassy said.  

(With inputs from Reuters)


Saudi Arabia clears 725 industrial projects worth $265bn in 9 months to build domestic capacity 

Saudi Arabia clears 725 industrial projects worth $265bn in 9 months to build domestic capacity 
Updated 04 December 2022

Saudi Arabia clears 725 industrial projects worth $265bn in 9 months to build domestic capacity 

Saudi Arabia clears 725 industrial projects worth $265bn in 9 months to build domestic capacity 

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has issued permits for 725 industrial projects worth an accumulated SR1.37 trillion ($265 billion) in the first nine months of 2022, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.  

This comes as the Kingdom is pushing to develop domestic industrial and manufacturing sectors as part of its strategy to diversify away from the oil-based economy.  

In September alone, the ministry issued permits for 79 industrial projects estimated to be SR3.1 billion with up to 1,882 licensed workers, the data revealed.  

While national investors accounted for 84 percent of the projects in September, 16 percent were foreign-owned or joint ventures with foreign nations.  

Moreover, as many as 68 factories started production in September with a volume of investment of SR3.5 billion. The data revealed that the commencement of those factories also generated up to 4,219 jobs during September.  

By the end of September, the total number of industrial projects in the Kingdom hit 10,728, up from the 10,192 recorded same period a year earlier, according to data.  

In August 2022, the MIMR announced that the Kingdom issued permits for non-oil industrial projects worth an accumulated SR4.1 billion, MEED reported.  

Some 115 licenses were issued for non-oil industrial projects — 20 percent higher than those granted in July.  

Toward the end of August, the total number of industrial units in the Kingdom reached 10,707.  

Until September, the licensed projects covered several small and medium industries, including metals, chemicals, home appliances, paper, etc.  

Saudi Arabia is set to become the world leader in sustainable metal production as the Kingdom explores its mining potential, according to Khalid Al-Mudaifer, vice-minister for Mining Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources. He further emphasized that the economic diversification was in line with the goals outlined in Vision 2030. 

Speaking at the Mines and Money conference earlier this month in London, Al-Mudaifer said that minerals are indispensable to the energy transition from hydrocarbons to renewables.      

“Decarbonization – the net-zero transition – cannot happen without minerals and metals: a lot of minerals and metals. We need to scale up discoveries, and we need to scale up production,” said Al-Mudaifer.  

The vice-minister added that mineral and metal supply chains need to become more resilient to meet rising demands and noted that the ongoing geopolitical tensions have exposed the vulnerabilities in the sector, which may result in “cost spikes of some minerals by 350 percent.”