Saudi banks’ real estate lending grows to $161bn in Q1

Analysis Data compiled by Arab News shows a 27.6 percent year-on-year growth in total real estate lending, but the growth rate has slowed in comparison to 44.1 percent in the same period last year.
Data compiled by Arab News shows a 27.6 percent year-on-year growth in total real estate lending, but the growth rate has slowed in comparison to 44.1 percent in the same period last year.
Short Url
Updated 04 July 2022

Saudi banks’ real estate lending grows to $161bn in Q1

Saudi banks’ real estate lending grows to $161bn in Q1
  • 79% of the loans were issued to individuals, remaining 21% constituted corporate loans: SAMA

RIYADH: Saudi banks’ real estate lending witnessed a year-on-year increase of SR131 billion ($34.9 billion) to SR605.5 billion in the first quarter of 2022, from SR474.5 during the same period last year, according to latest figures released by the Saudi Central Bank, also known as SAMA.


Data compiled by Arab News shows a 27.6 percent year-on-year growth in total real estate lending, but the growth rate has slowed in comparison to 44.1 percent in the same period last year.


On a quarterly basis, the total loan credit increased by SR36.7 billion, or 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2022 from SR568.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021. The loan credit has grown for the 15th consecutive month. 

In the breakdown of real estate loans — 79 percent of the loans were issued to individuals, and the remaining 21 percent constituted corporate loans.
On an annual basis, the retail segment showed a 33 percent year-on-year increase while corporate loans grew 11 percent.

Additionally, the total value of real estate loans given to individuals witnessed a quarterly growth of 6.8 percent to SR476.2 billion, while corporate loans increased by 5.1 percent over the same period.


Over the past two years, the corporate loans experienced a decline of 10 percentage points in terms of their share in the total real estate lending by Saudi banks. It would be pertinent to mention here that any percentage lost in the corporate sector means a percentage gained in the retail segment.

Regardless, corporate loans seem to be on the rise — as they have grown 3.2 percentage points in this quarter. This is a 5.1 percent growth in the first quarter of 2022 against 1.9 percent growth recorded in the fourth quarter of 2021.

On the other hand, retail loans experienced a slight decline in growth rates, from 8 percent in the last quarter to 6.8 percent growth in the first quarter of 2022.

The outstanding balance of real estate loans provided by Saudi banks rose 6 percent quarter-on-quarter, SAMA data revealed.


Dubai real estate market records $435.6m in real estate transactions

Dubai real estate market records $435.6m in real estate transactions
Updated 6 sec ago

Dubai real estate market records $435.6m in real estate transactions

Dubai real estate market records $435.6m in real estate transactions
  • Market saw 376 sales transactions worth 897.38m dirhams

DUBAI: According to data released by Dubai’s Land Department, the Dubai real estate market recorded transactions worth over 1.6 billion dirhams ($435.6 million), Emirates News Agency reported.

The market saw 376 sales transactions worth 897.38 million dirhams, 122 mortgage transactions worth 704.22 million dirhams, and 13 gift deals worth 23.3 million dirhams.

Villas and apartments worth 602.04 million dirhams and 78 land plots worth 295.34 million dirhams were sold.

On the other hand, mortgages were obtained for 92 villas and apartments worth 226.63 million dirhams and 30 land plots worth 477.59 million dirhams.

 


Saudi Arabia launches program to develop cybersecurity sector

Saudi Arabia launches program to develop cybersecurity sector
Updated 08 August 2022

Saudi Arabia launches program to develop cybersecurity sector

Saudi Arabia launches program to develop cybersecurity sector

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s National Cybersecurity Authority on Monday launched the “CyberIC” program to develop the Kingdom’s cybersecurity sector, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The program aims to develop national capabilities in the field of cybersecurity, localize cybersecurity technology through training.

According to the authority, the first phase of the  program includes several initiatives including training of employees of national authorities, accelerating cybersecurity activities to stimulate the sector, and encouraging the development of national cybersecurity products, services and solutions. 

The program will also see the launch of the second version of the cybersecurity challenge and programs for chief information security officers in cooperation with international universities. The courses will include a set of cyber exercises that take place in a virtual environment that simulates real cyberattacks and incidents.

HIGHLIGHTS

The program will also see the launch of the second version of the cybersecurity challenge and programs for chief information security officers in cooperation with international universities.

It will support more than 40 startups through the cybersecurity accelerator and establish more than 20 startups through the cybersecurity challenge.

Around 10,000 Saudis in the cybersecurity sector will receive support through CyberIC.

More than 5,000 Saudis will be trained through advanced cyber exercises.

The initiative is based on six main tracks: Innovation and entrepreneurship, cybersecurity officers, cybersecurity trainers, fresh graduates, cybersecurity specialists, and law enforcement agencies. 

The first phase of CyberIC seeks to raise the number of cybersecurity startups in the sector by assisting more than 60 national companies. The program will support more than 40 startups through the cybersecurity accelerator and establish more than 20 startups through the cybersecurity challenge. 

In addition, around 10,000 Saudis in the cybersecurity sector will receive support through CyberIC, including more than 1,500 beneficiaries in national authorities; 150 cybersecurity officials, who will be offered leadership skills training; and more than 5,000 Saudis will be trained through advanced cyber exercises.


Goldman sees strong case for higher oil prices despite negative shocks

Goldman sees strong case for higher oil prices despite negative shocks
Updated 08 August 2022

Goldman sees strong case for higher oil prices despite negative shocks

Goldman sees strong case for higher oil prices despite negative shocks
  • The investment bank kept its 2023 outlook of $125 unchanged

BENGALURU: Goldman Sachs said the case for higher oil prices was still strong with current supply shortfalls well above its expectations in recent months, despite a recent retreat led by factors including global recession concerns.

The market will remain in unsustainable deficits at current prices and balancing it will still require “demand destruction on top of the ongoing economic slowdown,” the investment bank said in a note dated Aug. 7.

Oil prices hovered near multi-month lows on Monday, pressured by lingering worries about an economic slowdown.

Goldman said a divergence between benchmark Brent prices, which averaged $110 a barrel in June and July, and the corresponding Brent-equivalent global retail fuel price of $160 per barrel was not enough to trigger enough demand destruction to end the supply deficit.

“The unprecedented discount of Brent prices, even wider than we expected, can be explained by the worsening Russian energy crisis, as it boosts the costs of transforming crude out of the ground (Brent) into retail pump prices around the world through surging EU gas prices, freight rates, USD and global refining utilization,” it said.

Goldman trimmed its Brent price forecasts for the third and fourth quarters to $110 and $125 a barrel, respectively, versus previous forecasts of $140 and $130. It kept its 2023 outlook of $125 unchanged.

The investment bank forecast US retail gasoline and diesel prices to rebound to $4.35 and $5.50 per gallon, respectively, by the fourth quarter and average $4.40 and $5.25 in 2023.

“We forecast that US retail fuel prices will rally into year-end then decline from 2Q23 onward as refining and marketing margins start to normalize,” Goldman said.

The US average retail gasoline price hit a peak of $5.02 a gallon in mid-June, data from the American Automobile Association motorist advocacy group showed. 


India may scrap wheat import duty to cool domestic prices, say sources

India may scrap wheat import duty to cool domestic prices, say sources
Updated 08 August 2022

India may scrap wheat import duty to cool domestic prices, say sources

India may scrap wheat import duty to cool domestic prices, say sources

MUMBAI: India could scrap a 40 percent duty on wheat imports and cap the amount of stocks traders can hold to try to dampen record high domestic prices in the world’s second-biggest producer, government and trade officials told Reuters on Monday.

Late in the day, the Trade Ministry said it would restrict the export of some wheat-derived products like finely milled “maida” and semolina from Aug. 14, with only an inter-ministerial committee allowed to clear their shipment. Exports of the items are generally small.

India barred wheat exports in May after the crop suffered a heatwave, but domestic prices still rose to a record high. Yet, international prices are still way above the domestic market, making it unviable for traders to buy from abroad.

If the government does remove the duty, and international prices also fall, then traders say they could start importing, especially during the upcoming festival season, when higher demand typically drives domestic prices higher.

“We are exploring all possible options to bring down the prices,” said a senior government official who held a discussion with industry officials last week.

New Delhi could scrap the 40 percent import duty and impose stock limits on wholesalers and traders to signal to the market that the government will do everything in its power to keep prices in check, said the official, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the subject.

Domestic wheat prices ended last week at a record 24,000 rupees ($301.57) per ton, having risen 14 percent from lows struck after the government surprised markets on May 14 by banning exports, ending hopes that India could fill the market gap left by missing Ukraine grain.

Domestic prices are still nearly a third lower than global prices, said a Mumbai-based trader with a global trading firm, who described Indian wheat as the cheapest in the world.

India last imported wheat in the April 2017 to March 2018 financial year.

“If global prices fall by another 20 percent and Indian prices continue their rally, then maybe, sometime after a few months, imports might become feasible,” the trader said.

The government has limited options to intervene in the market this year since its procurement has fallen 57 percent to 18.8 million tons, said a New Delhi-based dealer with a global trading firm.


Oil edges up on strong economic data but trade choppy

Oil edges up on strong economic data but trade choppy
Updated 34 min 38 sec ago

Oil edges up on strong economic data but trade choppy

Oil edges up on strong economic data but trade choppy
  • Russian crude, oil products exports continue to flow ahead of an impending EU embargo

LONDON: Oil prices hovered near multi-month lows on Monday as lingering worries about demand weakening on the back of a darkened economic outlook outweighed some positive economic data from China and the US.

Erasing earlier gains, Brent crude futures were down 55 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $94.37 a barrel by 1331 GMT. US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $88.25 a barrel, down 76 cents, or 0.9 percent.

Front-month Brent prices last week hit the lowest since February, tumbling 13.7 percent and posting their largest weekly drop since April 2020, while WTI lost 9.7 percent, as concerns about a recession hitting oil demand weighed on prices.

“Last week’s price action left no doubt that recession-driven demand concerns have the upper hand over supply fears. One could even go as far as saying the war premium has evaporated,” PVM analyst Stephen Brennock said.

Both contracts recouped some losses on Friday after jobs growth in the US, the world’s top oil consumer, unexpectedly accelerated in July.

On Sunday, China also surprised markets with faster-than-expected growth in exports.

China, the world’s top crude importer, brought in 8.79 million barrels per day of crude in July, up from a four-year low in June, but still 9.5 percent less than a year earlier, customs data showed.

In Europe, Russian crude and oil products exports continued to flow ahead of an impending embargo from the EU that will take effect on Dec. 5.

Last week, the Bank of England warned of a protracted recession in Britain.

Gasoline demand in the US continues to weaken despite falling prices at the pump, and stockpiles are rising.

In terms of US production, energy firms last week cut the number of oil rigs by the most since September in the first drop in 10 weeks.

The US clean energy sector received a boost after the Senate on Sunday passed a sweeping $430 billion bill.