Demand concerns send chemical giant SABIC’s shares down despite profit jump

Despite a 33 percent profit jump, the chemical major said it expects a drop in demand and rising costs to weigh on earnings for the rest of the year.
Despite a 33 percent profit jump, the chemical major said it expects a drop in demand and rising costs to weigh on earnings for the rest of the year.
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Updated 12 May 2022

Demand concerns send chemical giant SABIC’s shares down despite profit jump

Demand concerns send chemical giant SABIC’s shares down despite profit jump

RIYADH: Shares of the Saudi Basic Industries Corp. went down on Thursday after the chemical giant’s CEO revealed concerns about the outlook for chemicals' demand amid rising inflation.

The Riyadh-based firm saw its share price drop by 1.6 percent to SR121 ($32.3) at the closing bell, hours after it announced a surge in first-quarter profit.

Despite a 33 percent profit jump, the chemical major said it expects a drop in demand and rising costs to weigh on earnings for the rest of the year.

CEO Yousef Al-Benyan said that the global economic slowdown is anticipated to weigh on demand for chemicals in the second half of the year.

He said in the previous quarter the average cost “increased by 3 percent compared to the fourth quarter in 2021, and by 90 percent in the first quarter of 2021.”


Saudi Social Development Bank allocates $3.5bn to freelancer, productive families

Saudi Social Development Bank allocates $3.5bn to freelancer, productive families
Updated 15 sec ago

Saudi Social Development Bank allocates $3.5bn to freelancer, productive families

Saudi Social Development Bank allocates $3.5bn to freelancer, productive families

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Social Development Bank has disbursed around SR13.2 billion ($3.5 billion) loans to freelancers and productive families, supporting 342,000 beneficiaries, as the lender looks to increase their contribution to the national economy. 

This takes the bank’s total financing since it started providing loans to SR138 billion while benefiting over 3 million citizens, Aleqtisadiah reported. 

SDB CEO Ibrahim Al-Rashid said that the bank continues to support the role of productive families and freelance work as it is important to promote local products and improve citizens’ quality of life.

The Saudi lender is conducting its Souq Addar exhibition to promote “microenterprises” in 36 cities. The exhibition provides entrepreneurs a platform to display their handmade and unique goods until Oct. 7, while helping the bank promote its products locally and internationally.

Al-Rashid, who inaugurated the event, confirmed that there is an expansion in support for freelancers and micro-enterprises.

SBD’s products and program development manager, Shereen Al-Abdulrahman, told Arab News that the bank hopes to enable businesses to grow big enough to participate in regional and international exhibitions.

The Souq Addar exhibition aims to explore other paths to enable families to benefit from development opportunities and resources through the non-profit sector.

Saeed Al-Zahrani, the CEO’s advisor, added that organizing such events enhances the bank’s great efforts to promote family products locally and internationally, as well as financing and supporting productive families in various fields.

In March, the SDB announced at the Gulf Entrepreneurship Congress in Riyadh that it will allocate more than SR11 billion ($2.9 billion) to support over 680,000 entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia.

The bank supports many financing, training and sponsorship programs for entrepreneurs to help them develop their projects, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

SDB also signed several agreements with strategic partners to provide training to Saudi entrepreneurs. 

Also, in March, it signed a SR1.1 billion financing agreement with the ride-hailing firm Careem to provide 7,500 job opportunities to Saudi drivers. 

As per the agreement, SR150,000 in financing will be offered for each driver’s vehicle, in low installments for a period of three years, Alarabiya reported.


Saudi POS transactions value up for the first time in three weeks

Saudi POS transactions value up for the first time in three weeks
Updated 44 min 13 sec ago

Saudi POS transactions value up for the first time in three weeks

Saudi POS transactions value up for the first time in three weeks

CAIRO: Saudi Arabia’s value of Point Of Sale transactions increased by SR181.6 million ($48.4 million) last week to SR10.4, according to data from the Saudi Central Bank.

The Kingdom’s POS transaction value grew 1.8 percent in the week ending on Sept. 24, the first rise in three weeks. 

The largest driver of the rise in POS transactions was the SR100.2 billion increase in so-called ‘other’ sectors, which constitutes the subordinate sectors not mentioned in the report. 

  • Clothing and footwear —Up SR90.3 million; was down SR16.7 million previous week 
  • Restaurants and cafes — Up SR86.3 million; was down SR34.2 million previous week  
  • Furniture — Up SR61.9 million; was down SR28.5 million previous week

The most significant drop in POS Transactions was that of food and beverages which amounted to SR118.9 million last week, showed the data. 

  • Education — down SR102.5 million; was down SR214 million previous week
  • Transportation — down SR30.7 million; was down SR8.1 million previous week
  • Gas stations— down SR26.1 million; was down SR4.1 million previous week

The report recorded 5.1 million less POS transactions in the past week, primarily due to a drop in food and beverage transactions of 2.4 million. 

  • Miscellaneous goods and services — down 1 million; down 92,000 previous week
  • Health — down 0.5 million; Up 285,000 previous week 
  • Restaurants and cafes — down 0.5 million; down 63,000 previous week 

Riyadh, which includes the largest share of POS transactions, saw a 3.1 percent drop in the number of sales, but a 0.3 percent rise in their value.

The Kingdom’s capital recorded a total POS value of SR3.3 million, up by SR8.7 million from the week before. 

The number of POS transactions fell by 2.5 million from the previous week, reaching 49.9 million last week. 

Jeddah followed with SR1.6 million worth of POS which increased by SR47.5 million, whereas the number of transactions reached 19.9 million, down 603,000 from the week before.


Big insurance firms needed in Saudi Arabia to invigorate sector: Minister of Finance

Big insurance firms needed in Saudi Arabia to invigorate sector: Minister of Finance
Updated 47 min ago

Big insurance firms needed in Saudi Arabia to invigorate sector: Minister of Finance

Big insurance firms needed in Saudi Arabia to invigorate sector: Minister of Finance

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia needs large insurance companies capable of expanding to provide new services in the Kingdom, according to Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan.

Speaking at the Saudi Insurance Symposium in Riyadh on Sept. 28, Al-Jadaan noted that the insurance sector is relatively small in the Kingdom, but the government is concentrating on developing it .

Al-Jadaan noted that strong and large entities need to enter the insurance sector, and made it clear that countries which dominate the insurance sector are all home to large insurance firms.

The finance minister said that a competitive national insurance sector is a necessity for individuals, companies, institutions, and for the country’s gross domestic product.

He also noted that several mergers and acquisitions are happening in the insurance sector and the Capital Markets Authority has developed better rules for these deals.

Khaled Al-Dhaher, deputy governor for control and technology at the Saudi Central Bank, said the insurance sector also has the scope of participatory cooperation between companies along with acquisitions.


‘Saudization’ in the insurance sector at 77%, says Bupa Arabia chairman

‘Saudization’ in the insurance sector at 77%, says Bupa Arabia chairman
Updated 28 September 2022

‘Saudization’ in the insurance sector at 77%, says Bupa Arabia chairman

‘Saudization’ in the insurance sector at 77%, says Bupa Arabia chairman

RIYADH: The share of Saudi employees in the Kingdom’s insurance sector has hit 77 percent, according to Loay Nazer, chairman of Bupa Arabia.

Speaking at the Saudi Insurance Symposium in Riyadh on Sept. 28, Nazer said the insurance sector has created 17,000 jobs in the Kingdom, while Bupa’s market size has reached SR42 billion ($11.16 billion) since its launch 18 years back.

Saudi Arabia launched the ‘Saudization’ labor market strategy to enhance the economic participation of its citizens, with the aim of reaching 60 percent by 2030.

Nazer pointed out that Saudi Central Bank’s cooperation has helped elevate Saudization in the executive category of the insurance sector from 90 to 95 percent.

Nazer added that Bupa was the first in the Kingdom to introduce a 24/7 call center for customers around 17 years ago.

The Saudi Insurance Symposium is one of the largest forums for insurance companies across the Middle East.

The event will be conducted from Sept. 28 to 29, with more than 1,000 insurance specialists, local officials, international managers and executives gathering to discuss developments in the sector.

 


Saudi Maharah’s unit acquires 41% of Care Shield for $90m

Saudi Maharah’s unit acquires 41% of Care Shield for $90m
Updated 28 September 2022

Saudi Maharah’s unit acquires 41% of Care Shield for $90m

Saudi Maharah’s unit acquires 41% of Care Shield for $90m

RIYADH: Growth Avenue Investment Co., a unit of Maharah Human Resources Co., closed the acquisition of a 41 percent stake in Care Shield Holding Co. in a deal valued at SR307 million ($90 million).

The title to the shares was transferred to the buyer, Maharah said in a bourse filing.

The deal was financed in part by the company’s own resources and in part by a loan from Al Rajhi Bank.

Growth Avenue Investment qualifies for a profit share from the acquired stake as of Jan. 1, 2022.

In August, Maharah announced that Growth Avenue had received the General Authority of Competition’s nod to proceed with acquiring Care Shield Holding.