SABB’s profits grow 3.5% on higher operating income

SABB’s profits grow 3.5% on higher operating income
The bank made profits of $268 million (Shutterstock)
Short Url
Updated 26 April 2022

SABB’s profits grow 3.5% on higher operating income

SABB’s profits grow 3.5% on higher operating income

RIYADH: The Saudi British Bank, known as SABB, has recorded a slight profit growth of 3.5 percent during the first quarter of 2022, thanks to higher operating income, according to a bourse filing.

The bank made profits of SR1 billion ($268 million), against SR970 million in the same period in 2021, despite a drop in gains from financing and investment activities.

The profit increase was “primarily driven by higher total operating income and further contributed by an increase in share in earnings of associates,” SABB said.

Its total expenses rose to SR940 million at the end of the quarter from SR907 million a year ago. Provision for expected credit losses also increased to SR60 million.


Saudi Arabia’s Future Minerals Forum partners with global think tanks ahead of January conference

Saudi Arabia’s Future Minerals Forum partners with global think tanks ahead of January conference
Updated 05 December 2022

Saudi Arabia’s Future Minerals Forum partners with global think tanks ahead of January conference

Saudi Arabia’s Future Minerals Forum partners with global think tanks ahead of January conference

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s global conference Future Mineral Forum has partnered a host of major think tanks to drive innovation and thought leadership, according to a statement.

Launched in 2022 by the Kingdom’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, the FMF has now joined forces with the Development Partner Institute, the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, Clareo, and the Payne Institute at the Colorado School of Mines.

Through these partnerships with the think tanks and research institutions, the FMF is targeting to provide dynamic insights that propel the development of the industry in line with strict environmental, social and governance principles.

This comes as the FMF is preparing for its second edition which is set to kick off on Jan. 10, 2023 and end on Jan. 12, with An estimated 200 speakers from around the world are expected to attend the event. 

Development Partner Institute is a global organization that aims to accelerate the delivery of a new future of the mining sector while maximizing the contribution of mining to economic as well as social development.

Similarly, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy is a nonpartisan, data-driven think tank, and its Center for Energy Studies works on providing new insights on the role of economics, policy, and regulation while taking into consideration the performance and evolution of energy markets.

Moreover, Clareo poses a growth and innovation firm that aids firms and entities into transforming the challenges they face in terms of innovation, value growth, environmental, social, and governance, as well as energy transition into potential opportunities and competitive advantages.

Likewise, the Payne Institute at the Colorado School of Mines is a research institute with the aim of serving clients with expert public policy advice on topics including natural resources, energy, and the environment.

The FMF’s main objective is to untap potential mining opportunities from Africa all the way to West and Central Asia.

That said, all insights extracted are set to be published in multiple research papers and will shape several discussions at the FMF event.

The FMF is anticipated to tackle several topics, including sustainability, the future of mining, energy transition, the contribution of minerals to the development of societies, digital transformation, and integrated value chains.

The conference will also tackle global bottlenecks that could potentially affect the supply of mineral and energy, the future of mining on a domestic level and worldwide, as well as the contribution of mining projects, and any growth opportunities for the sector. 

The Kingdom’s mining sector is witnessing a rapid transformation and is attracting investors from around the globe since the launch of a new mining law earlier this year. 

According to geological surveys dating back 80 years, the Kingdom is thought to have an estimated reserve of untapped mining potential valued at $1.3 trillion.

However, with the prices of valuable minerals, especially gold, copper and zinc rising, Saudi Arabia expects the value of its current mineral wealth to double from the previously estimated $1.3 trillion, CEO of the Saudi Geological Survey Abdullah Al-Shamrani said in September.


Saudi Arabia explores opportunities with Netherlands on energy, circular economy in key meeting

Saudi Arabia explores opportunities with Netherlands on energy, circular economy in key meeting
Updated 05 December 2022

Saudi Arabia explores opportunities with Netherlands on energy, circular economy in key meeting

Saudi Arabia explores opportunities with Netherlands on energy, circular economy in key meeting

RIYADH: Senior officials and business leaders from Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands have met to discuss potential collaborations regarding the energy and circular economy fields.

The Kingdom’s National Competitiveness Center hosted a meeting in its Riyadh headquarters attended by representatives from Dutch embassies across the Gulf Cooperation Council region, and officials from major firms such as global consumer goods company Unilever, multinational conglomerate corporation Philips, and lighting company Signify.

From Saudi Arabia, the Deputy Minister of Commerce and CEO of the Center Iman Al-Mutairi attended, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Resources Human and Social Development, and executives from the Saudi Investment Company for Recycling.

During the meeting, prospects between both countries were discussed, including cooperation between business sectors in the fields of energy and its transportation as well as discussions of partnership in the circular economy.

The meeting also shed light on potential opportunities in the Kingdom, specifically in addition to discussions on the development in the labor market and women’s participation in the workforce.

By building a Saudi economy based on inclusiveness, the NCC aims to achieve competitiveness in its broadest sense, according to Mutairi.

Moreover, companies should be aware of any offers through what is referred to as the “Istiqla” platform which allows opinions to be taken on laws and regulations prior to their approval, the CEO of the center stressed.

Through the meeting, the NCC sought to emphasize the importance of the Saudi and Dutch business sectors to enhance economic cooperation between both countries.

Since its establishment in 2019, the NCC monitors the challenges facing the Kingdom’s private sector from various channels.

It works in integration with more than 60 government entities in order to address them in line with best practices that keep pace with global developments.

The NCC also helps both the public and private sector adopt new innovations, establish sustainability, create growth methods, and effectively use their resources.


Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 ‘winners’ need more private sector funding: S&P Global

Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 ‘winners’ need more private sector funding: S&P Global
Updated 05 December 2022

Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 ‘winners’ need more private sector funding: S&P Global

Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 ‘winners’ need more private sector funding: S&P Global

RIYADH: Transport, tourism, and technology are among the sectors set to benefit from massive investments as Saudi Arabia pushes ahead with its Vision 2030 economic diversification plan, according to a report from S&P Global.

The ratings agency argues these industries, as well as healthcare and energy, will see significant spending growth over the medium and long term. 

However, in line with previous reports, S&P Global warned that the banking sector and the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund will not be able to provide all the investments required, with debt-capital markets needed to step in.

“It will fall to the debt-capital markets to support a large portion of these new opportunities, as the government and the banking sector alone will not be able to meet all the required funding needs,” said the report.

In its analysis of individual sectors, the report says that as one of the region’s largest countries, and with a significant young population, Saudi Arabia has planned out massive investment in the real estate sector as it continues to launch new programs to provide local housing. 

This is supplemented by a similar focus to develop the business and financial sectors through investments in commercial real estate as the Kingdom wants to become a regional industrial hub.  

On energy supply, the report says: “Utilities face the mammoth task of reducing Saudi Arabia’s fossil fuel dependency and meeting 70 percent of energy needs from renewables by 2030. We expect more public-private partnerships (PPPs) and significant investments in the country's grids.”

The Kingdom’s goal to become a technology hub will see digital infrastructure becoming a key enabler of transformational growth, with telcos staying at the heart of investments, stated the report, adding that high speed broadband, 5G, and a strategic digital hub will drive this change.  

Saudi Arabia’s push to become self-sufficient on food will see investments in the agriculture sectors as the Kingdom aims to increase local production and adopt modern farming techniques.  

“Despite strong demand and price increases, profitability in these sectors remains lower than before the pandemic, with rising input costs obscuring the path to recovery,” said the report.

The report also highlighted the developing tourism sector, “which has already received a substantial boost via aviation developments as well as projects intended to help attract 100 million visitors per year by 2030”. 

In the sector of healthcare, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health will soon assume a regulatory role, stated the report, adding that the private sector is expected to play a more important part in this sector, attracting more than $65 billion in investments.  

“We do not anticipate taking any immediate rating actions on Saudi corporates — even as they carve out significant capital spending budgets over the next two-to-five years — given their healthy balance sheets and strong liquidity,” said the agency, adding: “Over time, however, we will reassess our ratings as projects are executed.”


TASI sheds 304 points as investors’ fears continues pushing the market to ‘red’: Closing bell

TASI sheds 304 points as investors’ fears continues pushing the market to ‘red’: Closing bell
Updated 05 December 2022

TASI sheds 304 points as investors’ fears continues pushing the market to ‘red’: Closing bell

TASI sheds 304 points as investors’ fears continues pushing the market to ‘red’: Closing bell

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index slipped 304 points on Monday, as investors shied away from the market due to dampening business sentiments, inflationary pressures, and looming uncertainties surrounding the future of the global economy. 

The Tadawul All Share Index, known as TASI, was down 2.84 percent at 10,419 on Monday, while the parallel market Nomu shed 44 points or 2.98 percent to 1441. 

TASI slipped below 11,000 on Nov. 21 and has been hovering under that mark since then.

On Monday, of the 219 listed companies on TASI, 190 retreated, while 20 advanced. 

Etihad Atheeb Telecommunication Co. rose 2.88 percent to lead the gainers, followed by Saudi Industrial Investment Group and Theeb Rent a Car Co., whose share prices surged 2.09 percent and 1.60 percent respectively. 

Prior to the market opening Saudi Industrial Investment Group declared a 7.5 percent cash dividend, at SR0.75 ($0.20) per share, totaling SR566.1 million. 

Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance Co. led the fallers, as it was down 9.93 percent at the end of Monday’s trading session. 

Other top fallers were Saudi Arabia Refineries Co., Al-Rajhi Company for Cooperative Insurance, Riyad Bank, and Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Services Group. 

In the banking sector, Alinma Bank and Al Rajhi Bank fell 3.03 percent and 3.75 percent respectively. 

Saudi Aramco, one of the biggest energy producers in the world slipped 2.12 percent when the session closed on Monday. 

In the food and beverage sector, Almarai Co. went down 2.43 percent. 

Meanwhile, Jeddah-based Middle East Paper Co. announced it had restored the production capacity and operations of its plant in Al Khumrah on Dec. 1, ahead of the previously projected date to complete restoration works. 

Last week, MEPCO revealed the record rainfall in Jeddah had resulted in a stoppage of work at the plant on Nov. 24.

According to a statement, MEPCO incurred a decline in sales worth SR18 million, which equals to almost 7 percent of the projected figures for the fourth quarter. 

In another major development, Al-Saif Stores for Development & Investment Co., known as Alsaif Gallerym announced the successful completion of the book-building process for institutional investors, where the final offer price was set at SR115 per share, with a coverage ratio amounting to 1550 percent of the total offer shares. 


UAE In-Focus — UAE, Japan to set up joint business council; Dubai Future Labs signs 3 deals 

UAE In-Focus — UAE, Japan to set up joint business council; Dubai Future Labs signs 3 deals 
Updated 05 December 2022

UAE In-Focus — UAE, Japan to set up joint business council; Dubai Future Labs signs 3 deals 

UAE In-Focus — UAE, Japan to set up joint business council; Dubai Future Labs signs 3 deals 

RIYADH: In an effort to increase trade ties, the UAE and Japan agreed to set up a joint business council that will promote cooperation and facilitate greater movement of business communities between both countries.   

The Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and Japan External Trade Organization in Dubai, also known as JETRO Dubai, signed an agreement to set up the proposed bilateral business council by the first quarter of 2023, the Emirates News Agency reported.

The council will work toward developing joint projects and exchanging the expertise of the two sides. 

This came during a meeting that brought together Humaid Mohammed bin Salem, secretary general of FCCI, and Masami Ando, managing director of JETRO Dubai, in the presence of officials from both sides. 

Bin Salem urged Japanese companies to invest in the UAE and take advantage of government incentives, as well as the favorable investment climate and legislation. He called on Emirati and Japanese businesses to explore business opportunities in the two countries and develop active partnerships to boost trade exchange. 

Dubai Future Labs signs 3 deals  

Dubai Future Labs, a part of Dubai Future Foundation, signed three agreements with Emirates, DP World, and dnata to deploy advanced future technologies across aviation and logistics – two vital non-oil sectors for Dubai and the UAE. 

These national partnerships aim to activate the Dubai Robotics and Automation Program that was launched last September to boost the development, testing and adoption of robotics and automation and accelerate its deployment in key economic sectors, WAM reported. 

Dubai Future Labs’ deal with DP World will include developing smart, autonomous electric vehicles for terminal operations that can serve as a more sustainable, reliable, efficient and safer alternative. 

Its agreement with Emirates work will facilitate various innovative pilot projects including a robot check-in agent that leverages facial recognition and interacts with passengers as well as a robot waiter serving in airport lounges.  

Whereas the deal between Dubai Future Labs and dnata will promote research, development and trial innovations to further improve safety, efficiency and sustainability across the company’s ground handling and cargo operations at Dubai International and Dubai World Central airports. 

Integrated platform for investment 

Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum approved the establishment of an integrated national platform that highlights opportunities for investors in various sectors, such as financial technology, tourism, manufacturing, and renewable energy.  

The platform will be supervised by the Ministry of Economy. 

He also approved the national building regulations and standards, which includes sustainability standards for roads, buildings, and housing, to decrease the consumption of natural resources and reduce the carbon footprint of the UAE. 

The UAE Cabinet meeting also approved the foreign investor compass project, which represents one of the transformative projects of the Ministry of Economy, WAM reported. 

The new project includes an electronic platform, guides and promotional tools that highlight various opportunities for foreign investors in the sectors of financial technology, agricultural technology, healthcare, education among others.