Saudi companies to export supply chain prowess to GCC countries

Saudi companies to export supply chain prowess to GCC countries
SMSCMC has been handling supply chain and logistics for some of BAE Systems’ defense platforms in the Kingdom. (Supplied)
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Updated 07 August 2022

Saudi companies to export supply chain prowess to GCC countries

Saudi companies to export supply chain prowess to GCC countries
  • We aim to expand our operations to support land services with big companies: SMSCMC’s Ali Alshehri

RIYADH: Five years after Saudi Arabia announced its target to localize 50 percent of its military industries by 2030, companies in the Kingdom are now ready to export their supply chain capabilities.

The Riyadh-based Saudi Maintenance and Supply Chain Management Co. is working on expanding its network with companies around the world.

It is currently in talks with Gulf countries to discuss “the scope of work they can deliver and sign agreements,” Ali Alshehri, head of PR and communication at SMSCMC, told Arab News.




Ali Alshehri

“We have made good progress with some of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. We can’t disclose anything right now, but we have already established some contact and relationships. Hopefully, in the future, we can announce something specific,” he said due to the sensitivity of the talks and government restrictions.

This move comes after the state-owned Saudi Arabian Military Industries disclosed to Arab News that it is looking at opportunities with allied nations to export Saudi capabilities outside the Kingdom.

SMSCMC has been handling supply chain and logistics for some of BAE Systems’ defense platforms in the Kingdom, including the Typhoon, Hawk and Tornado aircraft.

Aside from the capital, SMSCMC operates in Dhahran, Taif and Tabuk with the same aircraft services.

“We would like to expand our operations to support any technology or land services with big companies in Saudi Arabia, the UK and Europe in general,” Alshehri said.

“We are in a very good position right now to support Vision 2030. SMSCMC has been growing rapidly, and the Saudization of our staff is now 72 percent working in the supply chain, which is a very critical yet relatively new sector in Saudi Arabia,” he added.

Strategic partnerships

Alshehri said they have also worked closely with national partners and bodies specialized in realizing the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to increase local procurement, including the General Authority for Military Industries — the Kingdom’s defense regulator, and SAMI.

Alshehri also said that SMSCMC, which has over 300 employees and processes more than 12,000 supply chain requests per year, has acquired several high governance standards, including licenses from the International Organization for Standardization and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

SPEEDREAD

The Riyadh-based Saudi Maintenance and Supply Chain Management Co. is working on expanding its network with companies around the world.

It is currently in talks with Gulf countries to discuss ‘the scope of work they can deliver and sign agreements.’

SMSCMC has been handling supply chain and logistics for some of BAE Systems’ defense platforms in the Kingdom, including the Typhoon, Hawk and Tornado aircraft.

In addition to Riyadh, SMSCMC operates in Dhahran, Taif and Tabuk with the same aircraft services.

Alshehri said SMSCMC has also received an “establishment permit” from GAMI, which will give them the approval to go beyond the contracts of BAE Systems after previously being under the umbrella of the Saudi British Defense Cooperation Program.

With the Kingdom’s vision at its core, Alshehri said the company had been awarded “golden certificates” in supporting women and youth empowerment and people with disabilities in their working environment and has set up a diversity and inclusion committee to maintain these targets. Among these targets is having women in executive positions within five years.

“We now have females working in our offices in Riyadh in the supply chain operations. We also have some females working in our operations in Dhahran. So we are supporting Vision 2030 not only in numbers but also the culture we are trying to create within our organization and empowering people,” he said.

“We have some targets to increase the number of Saudi nationals in the organization, especially in critical roles like, for example, delivering simulator devices,” he added.

There are 60 executive employees at SMSCMC, including 26 Saudi nationals and 34 expatriates. The target will be to increase the number of Saudi citizens to 40 by 2025 and reduce the number of expatriates to 30. Moreover, 72 percent of the company’s workforce are Saudi nationals and there are plans to increase the number to 75 percent by 2025.

SMSCMC last month signed a defense agreement with General Electric Aviation in Riyadh to further opportunities in Saudi Arabia and beyond, which will include training and technology transfer in supply chain operations in the region and creating jobs for Saudi nationals in the Kingdom.

“Since we have established capabilities at SMSCMC’s supply chain and defense, General Electric would like to sign this agreement with us to utilize our capabilities to support them and increase their operations’ efficiency in Saudi Arabia,” Alshehri said.

Training initiatives

SMSCMC provides a wide range of training programs, some long term, and has also signed agreements with major global training companies to transfer technologies and know-how.

Alshehri added: “Training will be done through SMSCMC and BAE Systems because BAE Systems has a big legacy in the supply chain.

“Some of our employees serve time in BAE Systems’ operations in the UK. They spend a few months there and then return to Saudi Arabia with this knowledge.”

SMSCMC has a bureau in the UK, a registered company with about 80 employees supporting the company’s operations in the Kingdom. It facilitates a lot of the procurement in Britain and Europe in general and can transport the goods to the Kingdom faster.

The negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply chains and logistics worldwide, Alshehri said, only affected SMSCMC in terms of operations. However, the company managed to deliver all its key performance indicators on time and fulfill its contractual agreements without any issues from 2020 to this year, which was very difficult for many major companies to meet.

“Of course, there were some challenges in the global economy in terms of new business opportunities, but in terms of delivering and continuity and sustainability, SMSCMC delivered the key performance indicators in a very challenging time, which is something we are proud of.”


Oil prices jump 3% ahead of OPEC+ meeting to discuss supply cuts

Oil prices jump 3% ahead of OPEC+ meeting to discuss supply cuts
Updated 04 October 2022

Oil prices jump 3% ahead of OPEC+ meeting to discuss supply cuts

Oil prices jump 3% ahead of OPEC+ meeting to discuss supply cuts
  • OPEC+ will make a suitable decision to guarantee energy supply, says Kuwait’s oil minister

NEW YORK: Oil prices rose on Tuesday on expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies led by Russia, also known as OPEC+, may agree to a large cut in crude output in its meeting this week, while strong demand and upcoming sanctions on Russian oil also lent some support to prices.

Brent crude gained $2.73, or 3.1 percent, to $91.59 a barrel at 1:35 p.m. EDT

US West Texas Intermediate crude was up $2.76, or 3.3%, to $86.39.

The OPEC+ is expected to cut output by more than 1 million barrels per day at its first in-person meeting since 2020 on Wednesday, according to OPEC sources.

Voluntary cuts by individual members could come on top of this, making it their largest cut since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, OPEC sources said.

“We expect a substantial cut to be made, which will not only help to tighten the physical fundamentals, but sends an important signal to the market,” Fitch Solutions said in a note.

Kuwait’s oil minister said OPEC+ would make a suitable decision to guarantee energy supply and to serve the interests of producers and consumers.

Edward Moya, a senior analyst with OANDA, said: “Despite everything going on with the war in Ukraine, OPEC+ has never been this strong and they will do whatever it takes to make sure prices are supported here.”

Production target 

OPEC+ has boosted output this year after record cuts put in place in 2020 when the pandemic slashed demand.

But in recent months, the organization has failed to meet its planned output increases, missing in August by 3.6 million bpd.

The production target cut being considered was justified by the sharp decline in oil prices from recent highs, said Goldman Sachs, adding that this reinforced its bullish outlook on oil.

Meanwhile, a senior US treasury official said G7 sanctions on Russia will be implemented in three phases, firstly targeting Russian oil, then diesel, and in a third phase lower value products such as naphtha.

Sanctions from the G7 and the EU, which is opting for a two-phase ban, are set to begin on Dec. 5.

Swiss lender UBS said going into the year-end it saw several bullish factors that could send crude prices higher, including “recovering Chinese demand, OPEC+ further supply cut, the end of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve release and the upcoming EU ban on Russian crude exports.”

Top oil traders also said at the Argus European Crude Conference in Geneva on Tuesday that economic headwinds have not yet significantly eroded the world's demand for oil.

“Oil demand ... if you look at the latest data, it’s still doing OK. We were expecting some demand destruction, it did not really happen,” said Frederic Lasserre, global head of market research and analysis at Gunvor Group.

US crude oil stocks were estimated to have increased by around 2 million barrels in the week to Sept. 30, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.


ACI Asia-Pacific to open regional office in Riyadh

ACI Asia-Pacific to open regional office in Riyadh
Updated 04 October 2022

ACI Asia-Pacific to open regional office in Riyadh

ACI Asia-Pacific to open regional office in Riyadh

RIYADH: Airports Council International Asia-Pacific will open an office in Riyadh, which will work closely with its headquarters in Hong Kong to serve member airports in the Middle East, Matarat Holding Co. said in a press release issued on Tuesday.

ACI Asia-Pacific is the largest civil aviation market in the world in terms of traffic volumes. It serves as the voice of 127 airport members, operating 618 airports across 46 countries in Asia-Pacific, and Middle East. Its mission is to advocate for policies and provide services that strengthen its members’ ability to serve their passengers, employees and stakeholders. It also promotes environmental best practices to minimize aviation’s impact on the environment and to recognize airport members who have outstanding accomplishments in their environmental projects.

Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Alduailej, General Authority of Civil Aviation president and Matarat chairman, said: “Today’s announcement of a regional ACI headquarters in Riyadh reflects Saudi Arabia’s leadership on the world stage of global aviation, in line with Vision 2030 and the National Transport and Logistics Strategy.” 

ACI Asia-Pacific also collaborates with other regional offices, including ACI Europe, ACI North America, ACI Africa, ACI Latin America and the ACI World. Founded in 1991 to cater to Asian airports, ACI Asia was merged with ACI Pacific in 2006 and renamed as ACI Asia-Pacific.

Suliman Albassam, acting CEO of Matarat Holding Co., said: “We are pleased to host a new office of the ACI Asia, Pacific, and Middle East in Riyadh. This step comes in continuation of our efforts to achieve the objectives of the Vision 2030 by attracting international companies and institutions to set up their headquarters in Saudi Arabia,” and stressed that this will contribute to improving the passenger experience by replication of the global best practices.


MENA Project Tracker — ADNOC receives bids on seawater plant; Saudi and Kuwait inject $256m in housing project in Egypt 

MENA Project Tracker — ADNOC receives bids on seawater plant; Saudi and Kuwait inject $256m in housing project in Egypt 
Updated 04 October 2022

MENA Project Tracker — ADNOC receives bids on seawater plant; Saudi and Kuwait inject $256m in housing project in Egypt 

MENA Project Tracker — ADNOC receives bids on seawater plant; Saudi and Kuwait inject $256m in housing project in Egypt 

RIYADH: Companies have submitted bids for the technical and economic consultancy contract for developing wind power projects in Oman, reported MEED.

Oman Power & Water Procurement Co. originally tendered the contract in July and received its bids on Sept. 27. 

The company announced that the contractor will be selected by early October.

The scope of work includes two stages — undertaking feasibility studies, followed by the provision of technical consultancy services.

This project aims to diversify fuel sources for power generation in Oman.

ADNOC receives bids on seawater plant

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. has received three bids for the contract to develop a seawater treatment plant and transmission pipeline project in Mirfa, according to MEED.

The project’s work includes the development of a nanofiltration plant — which will hold a capacity of 115 million imperial gallons a day in Mirfa.

It also includes seawater intake and outfall facilities for the plant, a pumping station and a 75 km water transmission pipeline to the Bab and Bu Hasa oil fields.

The project, estimated at $2 billion, is part of ADNOC's Project Wave — a huge scheme that plans to replace the current aquifer water injection systems used to maintain reservoir pressure in all onshore oil fields in Abu Dhabi.

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait inject $256m in housing project in Egypt 

Saudi Arabia-based Binladin Group has partnered with Kuwait’s Bukhamseen company in a 5 billion Egyptian pound ($256 million) investment into a large housing project in Egypt.  

Located in Sheikh Zayed City near Cairo, ‘Marascene’ will stretch over 275,000 sq. m, according to Zawya.       

 “This is a large project which will be completed within seven years...we expect revenue to reach 9 billion pounds,” stated Bukhamseen’s CEO Imad Bukhamseen.


Saudi ministry appoints 5 international banks as primary dealers in government debt

Saudi ministry appoints 5 international banks as primary dealers in government debt
Updated 04 October 2022

Saudi ministry appoints 5 international banks as primary dealers in government debt

Saudi ministry appoints 5 international banks as primary dealers in government debt

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance,and the National Debt Management Center signed an agreement with the international banks, including BNP Paribas, to join primary dealers in government debt instruments.

The deal also includes CitiGroup, Goldman Sachs, Standard Chartered and J.P. Morgan, the ministry said in a statement released on Oct 3. 

The Minister of Finance Mohammed Al Jadaan said: “These agreements are a continuation of the developmental steps taken towards achieving Vision 2030 objectives under the umbrella of the Financial Sector Development Program.”

This will be primarily achieved through cooperation between relevant entities, to develop the infrastructure of the local debt market and increase the liquidity of the government's local debt instruments by attracting more capital from foreign investors, he added. 

The five international banks will join five other local banks in that role — the Saudi National Bank, AlJazira Bank, Alinma Bank, and AlRajhi Bank.

The applications for subscription in the primary market for the government's local debt instruments are submitted to the National Debt Management Center.


Egyptian VC firm Algebra Ventures finalizes first close of $100m fund

Egyptian VC firm Algebra Ventures finalizes first close of $100m fund
Updated 04 October 2022

Egyptian VC firm Algebra Ventures finalizes first close of $100m fund

Egyptian VC firm Algebra Ventures finalizes first close of $100m fund

RIYADH: Egypt-based venture capital firm Algebra Ventures has finalized a $100 million first close of its second fund — exceeding the $90 million target.

The company, which is set to invest $15 million in startups by the end of the year, is expecting to make its final close by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

The company’s second fund is backed by existing limited partnerships from the first fund including IFC, EBRD, and EAEF in addition to new investors like FMO, BII, MSMEDA, DGGF and regional family offices.

Founded in 2016, Algebra Ventures has backed a number of startups like Trella, Khazna, Mozare3, Shift EV, elmenus, Halan, and Yodawy.