King Salman approves $5.32bn to help citizens affected by rise in global commodity prices

Update King Salman approves $5.32bn to help citizens affected by rise in global commodity prices
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman chairs a meeting of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs. (SPA)
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Updated 04 July 2022

King Salman approves $5.32bn to help citizens affected by rise in global commodity prices

King Salman approves $5.32bn to help citizens affected by rise in global commodity prices
  • The fund includes SR 10 billion for beneficiaries of social security and the Citizen Account Program
  • Crown prince stressed need to focus on Kingdom’s neediest citizens in the wake of increasing cost of some basic needs

RIYADH:  Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Monday issued a royal order approving allocation of SR20 billion ($5.32 billion) to help citizens mitigate the impacts of rising global prices. 
Half of the allocated money will go to social insurance beneficiaries and the Citizen Account Program.
Earlier, while chairing a meeting of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stressed the need to focus on the Kingdom’s neediest citizens in the wake of the increasing cost of some basic needs.
He laid emphasis on the important roles of ministries and government agencies in monitoring international developments, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
It includes issues related to food supply chains, monitoring markets, product availability and price levels, and protecting and encouraging fair competition, as well as combating and preventing monopolistic practices that affect legitimate competition or the interest of the consumers.
During the meeting held in Jeddah, the council reviewed several economic and development issues. The ministries of commerce, environment, water and agriculture and economy and planning jointly gave a presentation on the price levels of different products in the Kingdom.
The Health Ministry also briefed the council on the developments related to the coronavirus disease. The ministry’s presentation included an update following the decision to lift the precautionary measures related to COVID-19 and updates on administering vaccines. The council was also briefed about this year’s Hajj preparations and the state of the epidemiological situation internationally.
The top body also followed up on the periodic presentation submitted by the Ministry of Economy and Planning containing the analysis of economic activities and the impact of the pandemic.
The council has taken the necessary recommendations on these issues, SPA said. 

OECD forecast

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development recently predicted that Saudi Arabia is expected to enjoy lower levels of inflation at a time when the world’s economies are suffering from a spike in global food and commodity prices.

Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product is expected to grow by more than double the rate of other G20 economies, the OECD said.

 The Saudi economy will grow by 7.8 percent in 2022, while G20 economies are expected to grow by 2.9 percent, reported OECD in its economic outlook.

The OECD also revised up the Saudi gross domestic product growth in 2023 to 9.0 percent, tripling the G20 average growth, while the Kingdom’s inflation rate will remain below the G20 average of 6.3 percent.

Saudi Arabia, Argentina, and Turkey are among the few rare cases showing positive GDP growth since the Ukraine war started.

Saudi inflation

Saudi Arabia’s annual consumer inflation slowed to 2.2 percent in May, from 2.3 percent in April, according to the latest data released by the General Authority for Statistics.
The slowdown in headline inflation is driven mainly by the deceleration of growth in miscellaneous goods, transport as well as clothing and footwear prices, data compiled by Arab News revealed.  
In May, the main components of the CPI inflation were food and beverages (+4.2 percent) and transport (+4 percent), according to GASTAT. 


Saudi agricultural fund signs $40m deal to finance import of 130K tons of barley

Saudi agricultural fund signs $40m deal to finance import of 130K tons of barley
Updated 13 sec ago

Saudi agricultural fund signs $40m deal to finance import of 130K tons of barley

Saudi agricultural fund signs $40m deal to finance import of 130K tons of barley

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Agricultural Development Fund has signed a SR150 million ($39.8 million) contract to finance the import of around 130,000 tons of barley.

It is part of the fund’s initiative to finance the import of agricultural products, according to the Saudi Press Agency. 

The fund aims to enhance the strategic stock of agricultural products and compensate for any agricultural commodities’ supply shortages, as well as ensuring the stability of food supply chains.


Saudi healthcare provider Naba Alsaha reports 24% profit growth ahead of IPO

Saudi healthcare provider Naba Alsaha reports 24% profit growth ahead of IPO
Updated 9 min 21 sec ago

Saudi healthcare provider Naba Alsaha reports 24% profit growth ahead of IPO

Saudi healthcare provider Naba Alsaha reports 24% profit growth ahead of IPO

RIYADH: Naba Alsaha Medical Services Co. has posted 24 percent profit growth for the first half of 2022, ahead of an initial public offering on Saudi Arabia’s stock market.

This was coupled with a year-on-year revenue jump of 13 percent, CEO Nathir Al-Jishi told Argaam.

The executive noted that Naba Alsaha will open a new pharmacy in Riyadh, adding that it’s studying opening new branches in other neighborhoods.

The company is also looking to expand in non-medical operation segments by providing medical maintenance services as well as cleaning healthcare facilities and complexes, Al-Jishi said.

This comes amid plans to float 1.4 million shares on Saudi Exchange’s parallel market. With an IPO price of SR57 ($15), the subscription period is currently in progress and will end on Aug. 14.


Green bond sales drop 19-month low to $24bn amidst tight issuance windows: Bloomberg 

Green bond sales drop 19-month low to $24bn amidst tight issuance windows: Bloomberg 
Updated 25 min 12 sec ago

Green bond sales drop 19-month low to $24bn amidst tight issuance windows: Bloomberg 

Green bond sales drop 19-month low to $24bn amidst tight issuance windows: Bloomberg 

RIYADH: Global sales of green bonds, the largest category of sustainable debt by amount issued, fell to a 19-month low in July. 

According to data compiled by Bloomberg, green bond sales fell to about $24 billion in July from more than $45 billion the previous month. 

This is the lowest since December 2020, when companies and governments issued about $7.7 billion in green debt.

This happened as opportunistic borrowers have also preferred traditional bond offerings that are faster to complete, Bloomberg reported. 

This is also because July, August and December are historically considered the slowest issuance months for green bonds.

 


India In-Focus — Shares inch higher; Bajaj Housing Finance to issue 3-year bonds; DLF Cyber City to issue 2-year bonds

India In-Focus — Shares inch higher; Bajaj Housing Finance to issue 3-year bonds; DLF Cyber City to issue 2-year bonds
Updated 10 August 2022

India In-Focus — Shares inch higher; Bajaj Housing Finance to issue 3-year bonds; DLF Cyber City to issue 2-year bonds

India In-Focus — Shares inch higher; Bajaj Housing Finance to issue 3-year bonds; DLF Cyber City to issue 2-year bonds

RIYADH: Indian shares edged higher on Wednesday — led by the consumer goods and banking sectors — while losses in tech stocks kept gains in check as traders looked ahead to US inflation data for clues on the pace of rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.07 percent at 17,538.10, as of 0357 GMT, and the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.09 percent to 58,904.24, having hit a near four-month high in the previous trading session. Indian markets were closed on Tuesday for a holiday.

Nifty’s private bank index was up 0.38 percent and the fast-moving consumer goods index advanced 0.34 percent.

India’s Bajaj Housing Finance to issue 3-year bonds

India’s Bajaj Housing Finance Ltd. plans to raise at least 100 million rupees ($1.26 million) through a sale of bonds maturing in three years, three merchant bankers said on Wednesday.

The housing finance company has invited bids from bankers and investors for the same on Thursday, they said.

The notes are rated AAA by CRISIL and the issue will close for subscription on Friday.

The issue has a greenshoe option to retain an additional 9.90 billion rupees and will mature on Aug. 12, 2025.

DLF Cyber City to issue 2-year bonds

India’s DLF Cyber City Developers Ltd. plans to raise 5 billion rupees ($62.86 million) through the sale of bonds maturing in two years, three merchant bankers said on Wednesday.

The real-estate company will pay a coupon of 7.80 percent on this issue and has invited commitment bids from bankers and investors for the same on Thursday, they said.

The notes are rated ‘AA’ by CRISIL and the issue has a call option at the end of one year and nine months.

The issue will close for subscription on Friday and will mature on Aug. 12, 2024.

(With input from Reuters)


Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Coinbase posts loss amid crypto market turmoil

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Coinbase posts loss amid crypto market turmoil
Updated 10 August 2022

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Coinbase posts loss amid crypto market turmoil

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Coinbase posts loss amid crypto market turmoil

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded lower on Wednesday, falling 3.69 percent to $22,981 as of 7:46 a.m. Riyadh time.

Ethereum, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $1,683 falling by 5.46 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

Coinbase posts loss amid crypto market turmoil

In response to this year’s rout in risky assets, Coinbase Global Inc. reported a bigger than expected quarterly loss after the bell on Tuesday, sending its shares down 6 percent, Reuters reported.

Retail trading fell by 68 percent at the cryptocurrency exchange in the second quarter, while institutional trading dropped by 46 percent.

The cryptocurrency exchange’s trading volumes also dropped more than half to $217 billion.

Despite the collapse of certain crypto ventures and a broad selloff in financial markets, Coinbase expects trading volumes to fall further in the current quarter.

The downturn in 2022 has sent Bitcoin 50 percent lower, forced Coinbase to cut jobs and raised fears of a drop in small-scale trading interest.

In the April-June quarter, Coinbase’s monthly transacting users decreased by 2 percent to 9 million.

Based on Refinitiv data, the adjusted loss for the quarter was $4.76 a share. Analysts had expected $2.65 a share. Market expectations were missed by 63 percent.

Despite a 37 percent increase in operating expenses, the company lowered its technology, development, and administration expenditure forecast to between $4 billion and $4.25 billion from $4 billion to $5 billion.

First cryptocurrency import order from Iran

Iran’s semi-official Tasnim agency reported on Tuesday that the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade has registered its first official order to import $10 million worth of cryptocurrency, Reuters reported.

Alireza Peymanpak, head of the country’s Trade Promotion Organization said: “This week, the first official import order registration worth 10 million dollars was successfully completed using cryptocurrency.

“By the end of September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widely used in foreign trade with target countries.”

(With inputs from Reuters)