UK-GCC trade deal could be finished in a year: Minister

UK-GCC trade deal could be finished in a year: Minister
Anne Marie Trevelyan is confident a trade deal can be agreed with 18 months at the most (AFP)
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Updated 24 June 2022

UK-GCC trade deal could be finished in a year: Minister

UK-GCC trade deal could be finished in a year: Minister

RIYADH: UK trade talks with the Gulf countries would be concluded in 12 to 18 months, Britain’s Minister of International Trade Anne Marie Trevelyan has revealed. 

The UK has started talks on a free trade agreement with six Gulf countries in the latest round of negotiations aimed at strengthening its relations outside the EU after its exit.

“It is difficult to determine the time period for discussing free trade agreements, but we believe a period of one to one and a half years is a realistic time period and we have identified it as a starting area,” she told Al Arabiya.

The Gulf Cooperation Council visions work to help the business sector grow, use digital tools to help emerging companies find new markets, and to diversify the economy away from oil and gas in the long term, Trevelyan said.

“We want to make sure that with the removal of obstacles to food, beverages and other goods, we will see companies in both directions benefit,” she said. 

She added: “It is also important to support the flow of investments in both directions, and we want to see the investment flowing between our countries grow more so that companies in UK, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain to work closely together to the fullest extent, in order to be able to achieve the visions, and it was really exciting to see the developments during my visit, and that these opportunities for companies not only for our generation, but for future generations.”

UK-US trade agreement

As well as countries in the Gulf, the UK is also in talks with the US, pending President Joe Biden administration's readiness to negotiate a federal trade agreement, Trevelyan said.

“I and a number of ministers are working with a number of US states on topics such as mutual recognition of qualifications and governor-controlled policies to help our companies increase trade and remove some of the existing barriers,” she said.

Trevelyan added: “We look forward to a federal agreement, but President Biden wanted to focus his efforts internally in his first year, and we respect that decision.”

“I'm working with my counterparts to remove barriers to market entry, and we have a resolution on the steel fees and a resolution on the fees related to the Boeing-Airbus dispute. We have done a lot and are waiting for the Biden administration to be ready to begin the federal agreement,” she said.


Saudi annual inflation rate rises to 2.7% in July driven by high food prices

Saudi annual inflation rate rises to 2.7% in July driven by high food prices
Updated 16 sec ago

Saudi annual inflation rate rises to 2.7% in July driven by high food prices

Saudi annual inflation rate rises to 2.7% in July driven by high food prices

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s annual inflation rate accelerated to 2.7 percent in July, from 2.3 percent in June, according to the recent data released by the General Authority for Statistics, also known as GASTAT.

The uptick in the inflation rate is driven by a rise in food and beverage prices, GASTAT added. 


Saudi IT firm solutions by stc gets approval to acquire Egypt’s Giza Systems

Saudi IT firm solutions by stc gets approval to acquire Egypt’s Giza Systems
Updated 4 min 45 sec ago

Saudi IT firm solutions by stc gets approval to acquire Egypt’s Giza Systems

Saudi IT firm solutions by stc gets approval to acquire Egypt’s Giza Systems

RIYADH: Arabian Internet and Telecommunication Co., known as solutions by stc, received approval from Saudi Arabia’s General Authority For Competition to buy a $158 million stake in Egypt's Giza Systems Co., a bourse filing revealed.

The Saudi-listed company had earlier entered a binding deal for the takeover of an 89.49 percent stake in Giza Systems in addition to 34 percent of its unit, Giza Arabia.

Subject to other regulatory conditions, solutions by stc said the transaction is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2022, adding that any developments will be announced in due course.

 


Iran’s top automaker sets sights on Russian market

Iran’s top automaker sets sights on Russian market
Updated 14 August 2022

Iran’s top automaker sets sights on Russian market

Iran’s top automaker sets sights on Russian market

TEHRAN: Iran’s leading automaker is seeking to prioritize exports to Russia, its CEO said on Sunday, as both countries reel under Western economic sanctions.

Iran Khodro unveiled the latest model of its crossover Rira vehicle at its factory west of Tehran, where CEO Mehdi Khatibi announced the manufacturer’s ambitions for the Russian market.

“We are going to pay special attention to the Russian market, and we are also thinking of partnering with Russian investors,” he said.

“We have held good negotiations with Moscow. The Russian market, with its capacities, will be one of our important markets,” Khatibi added.

“We will begin exporting this year” to Russia, he said.

Iran Khodro had previously exported vehicles to Russia, notably between 2007 and 2009, Iranian media said.

The two countries have responded to the sanctions by boosting cooperation in key areas to help prop up their economies.
The company’s vice president, Kianoush Pourmojib, struck an optimistic note on Sunday, pointing to increased exports to Azerbaijan over the past five years.

“We are ambitious about improving the quality of our vehicles,” he told AFP.

He added that while the manufacturer hopes to compete in markets such as Azerbaijan, Oman and Iraq, “in volume, it is of course Russia that is the most important.”

“This year, we will produce more than 500,000 vehicles and our goal within three years is to export 100,000 vehicles annually,” compared with fewer than 20,000 currently, he said.


Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding unveils $3.4bn investment program

Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding unveils $3.4bn investment program
Updated 14 August 2022

Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding unveils $3.4bn investment program

Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding unveils $3.4bn investment program

RIYADH: Kingdom Holding Co.unveiled its investment program worth SR12.8 billion ($3.4 billion), according to a bourse filing.

In June, the company announced that it completed its investment program during the period between the second quarter of 2020 and Q2 2022. The program invested in companies operating in diverse sectors with a proven track-record of growth and strong financial position.

The company’s total investments amounted to SR4.33 billion in 2020, SR3.75 billion in 2021 and SR4.73 billion in 2022.

 

 

 


UAE In-Focus — SWVL announces a $20m private placement; Dubai developer plans to raise $4.6bn loan

UAE In-Focus — SWVL announces a $20m private placement; Dubai developer plans to raise $4.6bn loan
Updated 14 August 2022

UAE In-Focus — SWVL announces a $20m private placement; Dubai developer plans to raise $4.6bn loan

UAE In-Focus — SWVL announces a $20m private placement; Dubai developer plans to raise $4.6bn loan

DUBAI: SWVL, Dubai-based mobility and transport solutions provider, announced on Wednesday that it had entered into a deal with US-based institutional investors to sell and buy over 12 million shares and securities for 73.4 million dirhams ($20 million) at 6.06 dirhams a share.

The sale of securities and private placement will take place on Friday, the statement said.

It said warrants issued under Series A and Series B will expire five and two years from the date of issuance, respectively.

The company will receive additional 110 million dirhams if the warrants are exercised during this period, it added.

Earlier this year, a special purpose acquisition company bought the transport startup.

Since its founding in Egypt in 2017, it has raised a total of 969 million dirhams.

Dubai developer plans to raise $4.6bn loan

The developer of Dubai’s artificial palm-shaped islands, Nakheel, plans to refinance existing debt by raising 17 billion dirhams ($4.6 billion), according to Bloomberg.

In addition to Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates NBD, Mashreqbank is seeking financing from the company, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.

Aside from regional and global lenders, the banks arranging the loan are also asking them to participate.
 
Emaar reports $1.8bn in H1 revenues

Emaar Development had its highest property sales during the first half of 2022, supported by recent successful launches that will create value for years to come, according to Emirates News Agency, known as WAM.

Compared to 2021, real estate sales increased by 10 percent to 15.216 billion dirhams ($4.143 billion) in the first half of 2022, WAM said.

It added that the Emaar Properties-owned build-to-sell business launched 15 projects in different master plans during the first half of 2022.

The earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization at Emaar Development was 2.564 billion dirhams in the first half of 2022, up 15 percent from the same period in 2021, while revenue was 7.282 billion dirhams, WAM said.

Emaar now has a robust backlog of 32.753 billion dirhams, which will be recognized as future revenue for the company.

Over 3,100 residential units have been delivered by Emaar Development across prime locations, including Dubai Hills Estate, Dubai Creek Harbor, Downtown Dubai, Emaar Beachfront, Arabian Ranches, and Emaar South. 

Currently, Emaar is developing over 26,100 residences in the UAE, with more than 55,100 being delivered as of June 2022.