Oil prices drive Saudi quarterly budget to record first surplus in 6 years

Update Oil prices drive Saudi quarterly budget to record first surplus in 6 years
Revenues reached SR278 billion while expenses worth SR220 billion were recorded during the period. (File/AFP) 
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Updated 17 May 2022

Oil prices drive Saudi quarterly budget to record first surplus in 6 years

Oil prices drive Saudi quarterly budget to record first surplus in 6 years
  • The surplus is attributed to the rising oil prices. Oil production in the Kingdom was 10.3 million bpd in March
  • Non-oil revenues reached SR94.26 billion during the first quarter of 2022.

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia recorded its highest quarterly budget surplus in six years during the first quarter of 2022, amounting to SR57.5 billion ($15.3 billion), the Ministry of Finance announced on Sunday. 

The surplus is attributed to the rising oil prices.

Revenues reached SR278 billion while expenses worth SR220 billion were recorded during the period.  

According to the Finance Ministry report, the Kingdom’s non-oil revenues reached SR94.26 billion.

This is the highest quarterly surplus since the ministry began announcing the budget on a quarterly basis since the beginning of 2016. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Non-oil revenues reached SR94.26 billion during the first quarter of 2022.

Public debt rose to SR958.64 billion in the first quarter.

Public spending amounted to SR22.46 billion.

The economy expanded by 2.2% quarter-on-quarter in Q1.

The Kingdom’s public debt rose to SR 958.64 billion in the first quarter, from SR 938 billion in the same quarter last year while public spending amounted to SR22.46 billion, the ministry said. 

Saudi Arabia’s economy expanded by a robust 2.2 percent quarter-on-quarter in Q1, which translates into year-on-year growth of 9.6 percent, the fastest rate since 2011.

This expansion resulted from a rise in output from all sectors, but was mainly driven by a sharp rise in the oil sector which grew 2.9 percent over the quarters, reported the General Authority for Statistics.

Oil production in the Kingdom was 10.3 million bpd in March, which translated into a growth of 26.7 percent year-on-year.


Saudi Jamjoom Pharma to invest $52m in Uzbekistan as it eyes Central Asia expansion

Saudi Jamjoom Pharma to invest $52m in Uzbekistan as it eyes Central Asia expansion
Updated 15 sec ago

Saudi Jamjoom Pharma to invest $52m in Uzbekistan as it eyes Central Asia expansion

Saudi Jamjoom Pharma to invest $52m in Uzbekistan as it eyes Central Asia expansion

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical firm Jamjoom Pharma has signed an agreement to invest over $52 million in Uzbekistan, as the firm continues its expansion into the Central Asian region, the company's vice chairman said.

In an exclusive interaction with Arab News on the sidelines of the fourth meeting of the Saudi-Uzbeki Business Council in Jeddah, Mahmoud Jamjoom, vice chairman of Jamjoom Pharma, said that launching its operations in Uzbekistan is a gateway to the region.

“Already, we are in 30-plus countries. Now, we are trying to focus on this area (Central Asia). We are covering Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan. So, this will be the gate to cover the area,” said Jamjoom.

He said that the operations in Uzbekistan will begin soon once they receive approvals from regulators.

“We will be submitting the files. We will then start presenting the product in Uzbekistan. And step by step, we will have local manufacturing,” added the vice chairman.


PIF-owned SRC, Riyad Bank sign $133m deal to acquire real estate financing portfolio

PIF-owned SRC, Riyad Bank sign $133m deal to acquire real estate financing portfolio
Updated 11 min 12 sec ago

PIF-owned SRC, Riyad Bank sign $133m deal to acquire real estate financing portfolio

PIF-owned SRC, Riyad Bank sign $133m deal to acquire real estate financing portfolio

RIYADH: The Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co., wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund, signed a SR500 million ($133 million) agreement with Riyad Bank to acquire a real estate financing portfolio affiliated with the lender.

As the second largest real estate refinancing transaction in the Saudi banking sector, the agreement aims to achieve sustainability, provide long-term liquidity in the residential real estate finance market, the Saudi Press Agency reported. 

The deal comes as part of SRC’s ongoing efforts to expand its partnerships with real estate financiers in the Kingdom, CEO Fabrice Susini said. 

Such agreements will support real estate finance service providers by providing them with liquidity management solutions to provide affordable real estate financing to Saudi families wishing to own homes.

This contributes to achieving the goals of the Iskan Program, which is part of Saudi Vision 2030, that aims to  to raise the percentage of home ownership of Saudi families to 70 percent by 2030.


Macro Snapshot — Turkey’s central bank slashes interest rate; Spain’s trade deficit widens almost to $32bn 

Macro Snapshot — Turkey’s central bank slashes interest rate; Spain’s  trade deficit widens almost to $32bn 
Updated 14 min 45 sec ago

Macro Snapshot — Turkey’s central bank slashes interest rate; Spain’s trade deficit widens almost to $32bn 

Macro Snapshot — Turkey’s central bank slashes interest rate; Spain’s  trade deficit widens almost to $32bn 

CAIRO: Turkey’s central bank shocked markets on Thursday by cutting its main interest rate by 100 basis points to 13 percent, saying it needed to keep driving economic growth despite inflation hitting nearly 80 percent and a monetary tightening trend among its peers worldwide.

The lira dropped more than 1 percent as the bank took its latest step down the unorthodox policy path advocated by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that aims to provide targeted cheap credit to help boost Turkish exports.

There had been virtually no signal that another rate cut was in the works and no economist polled by Reuters had predicted one, given that inflation has soared to 24-year highs, eating deeply into Turks’ earnings and savings.

US weekly jobless claims dip 

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week and data for the prior period was revised sharply down, suggesting labor market conditions remain tight, though higher interest rates are slowing momentum.

The weekly unemployment claims report from the Labor Department on Thursday added to strong industrial production in July and underlying retail sales growth in allaying fears that the economy was in recession. The claims report, the most timely data on the economy’s health, could give the Federal Reserve ammunition to deliver another hefty rate hike next month.

“Fears of broad-based layoffs have yet to materialize,” said Mahir Rasheed, a US economist at Oxford Economics in New York. “Still, we doubt claims will accelerate sharply as labor demand remains well ahead of labor supply, while the outlook for the economy remains relatively positive despite elevated uncertainty regarding inflation and growth.”

Chile’s economy grows 

Chile’s economy expanded 5.4 percent in the second quarter of 2022 from a year earlier, central bank data showed on Thursday, below expectations of a 5.7 percent increase from economists polled by Reuters.

The gross domestic product showed no growth from the previous three months in seasonally adjusted terms. Economists were expecting a 0.3 percent rise.

Spain’s trade deficit widens 

Spain’s trade deficit in the first six months of the year widened almost six-fold from the same period a year earlier to €32 billion ($32.6 billion), the Industry Ministry said on Thursday.

The outcome was wider than the deficit for the whole of 2021 and compared with a €5.4 billion deficit in the first six months a year ago, the ministry said in its monthly report.

Excluding energy imports and exports, the trade deficit in the period was €6.1 billion, the ministry said.

 

(With input from Reuters)


Saudi recruiter iHR to list its shares on Tadawul early next week

Saudi recruiter iHR to list its shares on Tadawul early next week
Updated 16 min 40 sec ago

Saudi recruiter iHR to list its shares on Tadawul early next week

Saudi recruiter iHR to list its shares on Tadawul early next week

RIYADH: International Human Resources Co. will start trading its shares on the Saudi Exchange on Aug. 22, after completing the offering of a 20 percent stake or 500,000 shares.

The final offer price for listing on Nomu was set at SR34 ($9) per share, following 19.45 times coverage by qualified investors, according to a bourse filing.

The listing of iHR comes amid a spree of companies rushing to sell shares to the public and join the Saudi Exchange, also known as Tadawul.

This week alone saw three new listings of Naqi Water Co., Saudi Networkers Services Co., and Rawasi Albina Investment Co.

Established in 2005, iHR offers human resources solutions and employment-related consultancy to businesses.


Private sector can bolster Saudi-Uzbek economic ties, says minister 

Private sector can bolster Saudi-Uzbek economic ties, says minister 
Updated 20 min 54 sec ago

Private sector can bolster Saudi-Uzbek economic ties, says minister 

Private sector can bolster Saudi-Uzbek economic ties, says minister 

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s economic cooperation with Uzbekistan can be bolstered through greater participation from the private sector, as the Kingdom deepens its political and business ties with the Central Asian nation, said Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih. 

In an exclusive interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the fourth meeting of the Saudi-Uzbeki Business Council in Jeddah, Al-Falih revealed that Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev met with leaders of the business community in the Kingdom, and laid out his vision of transforming his nation. 

“He (the president) asked about the ambitions of the companies to use Uzbekistan as a growth market for them, and what are the challenges they might face. For two hours, he listened and he got the feedback which is very very positive,” said Al-Falih. 

He added: “As is the case anywhere, there are some challenges and regulations to access the market. He committed to removing those challenges and open opportunities.”

Al-Falih noted that 15 agreements were signed between companies of both countries during the meeting, including ACWA Power’s $2.4 billion wind project. 

“I am confident that Uzbekistan will be one of the top destinations for Saudi investments in the next decade,” he added.  

The minister further added that foreign direct investments coming to Saudi Arabia are rising rapidly, and the trend is likely to continue in the future.