Dubai road-toll operator Salik seeks to raise up to $1bn through IPO

The Dubai government has previously said that it will retain a 60 percent stake in Salik if it goes public. 
The Dubai government has previously said that it will retain a 60 percent stake in Salik if it goes public. 
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Updated 09 August 2022

Dubai road-toll operator Salik seeks to raise up to $1bn through IPO

Dubai road-toll operator Salik seeks to raise up to $1bn through IPO

DUBAI: The Dubai government is seeking to raise $1 billion by selling the shares of its road-toll operator Salik as soon as next month. 

Ahead of the sale, Salik has taken out a $1.1 billion loan from Emirates NBD to pay a special dividend to the government, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter. 

The people who wished to remain anonymous revealed that other candidates for initial public offering in Dubai have taken out similar loans. 

The report further noted that the toll operator aims to stage the listing in September. 

Even though the number of shares that will be offered is still unclear, the Dubai government has previously said that it will retain a 60 percent stake in Salik if it goes public. 


MENA region economy expected to grow 5.5% in 2022 — fastest in six years: World Bank

MENA region economy expected to grow 5.5% in 2022 — fastest in six years: World Bank
Updated 22 sec ago

MENA region economy expected to grow 5.5% in 2022 — fastest in six years: World Bank

MENA region economy expected to grow 5.5% in 2022 — fastest in six years: World Bank

CAIRO: The Middle East and North African region’s economy is set to grow 5.5 percent this year, in what would be its fastest rate since 2016, according to a World Bank report.

However, the same area is forecast to see growth fall to 3.5 percent in 2023.

As oil prices rise, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries are expected to witness a growth of 6.9 percent in 2022, which will then steady to 3.7 percent in the following year with the subsiding hydrocarbon prices.

The report identified Saudi Arabia as the primary driver of GCC growth, with a forecast 8.3 percent growth rate in 2022.

Non-oil sectors in the GCC region are also expected to witness growth to varying extents in the coming year — from 2.6 percent in Oman to 7.7 percent in Kuwait.

Among developing oil exporters, economists anticipated a moderate growth of 4.1 percent this year, with Iraq leading the pack at a growth rate of 8.2 percent.

However, Iraq’s non-oil gross domestic product growth between 2022 and 2024 is set to be less than 3 percent due to political instability and water and electricity shortages.

Algeria’s GDP growth is forecast to reach 3.7 percent by the end of this year, aided by European efforts to diversify energy sources. In comparison, Iran’s expected growth was recorded at 2.9 percent, limited by global economic sanctions.

World Bank economists averaged the developing oil exporters’ growth at 2.7 percent in 2023 as the hydrocarbon high subsides.

The report further said that developing oil importers are projected to grow by 4.5 percent in 2022, led by Egypt’s 6.6 percent growth by the end of its fiscal year in June.

Despite the country’s progress in tourism, telecom and gas exports, Egypt’s GDP is expected to drop significantly to 4.8 percent in 2023.

Jordan’s GDP growth should fall slightly to 2.1 percent in 2022 and up to 2.3 percent the following year, also supported by tourism, according to the report.

Apart from Egypt and Lebanon, the oil exporting countries are said to grow by only 0.7 percent this year and then slightly up to 2.5 percent in 2023.

The report pointed out that six of the 18 MENA countries will have recovered from pre-pandemic GDP growth levels in 2022, and three additional countries will catch up the following year.

The current account of the MENA region is expected to advance notably in 2022 to reach 10.5 percent of GDP compared to only 4.5 percent the year before.

The region’s fiscal balance is said to reach 1.9 percent of GDP, up from a deficit of 3.5 percent in 2021, stated the World Bank report.

Gulf countries’ current account alone is projected to reach 17.2 percent in 2022 and 14.6 percent the following year, while their fiscal balance will touch 5.3 percent in 2022, up from a deficit of 2.2 percent the year before.


MENA Project Tracker — Qatar to inaugurate 800MW solar farm

MENA Project Tracker — Qatar to inaugurate 800MW solar farm
Updated 26 min 5 sec ago

MENA Project Tracker — Qatar to inaugurate 800MW solar farm

MENA Project Tracker — Qatar to inaugurate 800MW solar farm

RIYADH: Qatar is preparing to inaugurate its 800 megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant in Al-Kharsaah in mid-October, according to MEED.

Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, QatarEnergy’s president and CEO, and the country’s minister of state for energy affairs, said at the Energy Intelligence Forum in London that it is fully ready and operational, MEED added.

He added: “This week we are fully done with the project. I visited it last week. The emir will be inaugurating it in mid-October.”

According to Al-Kaabi, it is one of the world’s largest individual solar plants.

He said: “That power plant, in a gas country known for being the biggest gas producer, will be supplying about 10 percent of our power for the national grid, which is quite substantial for a gas producer.”

Qatar’s solar power goal is to reach 5GW by 2035, Al-Kaabi said.

Qatar to sign three gas project deals

QatarEnergy, Qatar’s state-owned energy company, is about to sign project deals with three partners to further develop the North Field, MEED reported Al-Kaabi as saying.

“We see three partners entering this project,” he said.

The North Field is the largest natural gas field globally, MEED said.

“We are done with almost everything. We are just defining the date when my counterpart can come to Qatar to celebrate,” Al-Kaabi added.


ExxonMobil wants more development of $8bn Upper Zakum oil field

ExxonMobil wants more development of $8bn Upper Zakum oil field
Updated 38 min 7 sec ago

ExxonMobil wants more development of $8bn Upper Zakum oil field

ExxonMobil wants more development of $8bn Upper Zakum oil field

RIYADH: ExxonMobil is planning to meet with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. regarding the development of the $8 billion Upper Zakum oil field.

The company is looking to expand the project further, according to a statement by Liam Mallon, president of upstream ExxonMobil, during the Energy Intelligence Forum in London.

“It’s been an extraordinary journey with extraordinary technology and innovation – unlocking enormous potential in that field," Mallon added about the project. 

Upper Zakum is the second-largest offshore oil field in the world — and fourth-largest overall.

The work on the first phase of project UZ1000 commenced in 2020 — with an aim to increase oil production of the offshore Upper Zakum field to 1 million barrels a day by 2024.  

The field is located 84 kilometers from offshore Abu Dhabi and is owned predominantly by Zakum Development Co. — a joint venture between ADNOC and ExxonMobil.


UAE In-Focus — Dubai-based Help AG launches first cybersecurity center in Saudi Arabia

UAE In-Focus — Dubai-based Help AG launches first cybersecurity center in Saudi Arabia
Updated 06 October 2022

UAE In-Focus — Dubai-based Help AG launches first cybersecurity center in Saudi Arabia

UAE In-Focus — Dubai-based Help AG launches first cybersecurity center in Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: The cybersecurity arm of e& enterprise, Help AG, has launched an operation center in Riyadh to provide managed security services in compliance with local data regulations. 

The Cybersecurity Operations Center is also having 24/7 security monitoring and events management solutions, according to a statement.

Its launch coincides with Saudi Arabia’s accelerated digital transformation and focuses on developing a collaborative ecosystem to become a global investment powerhouse, a critical pillar of its 2030 Vision, it said.

“Featuring our next-generation security operations framework for enterprises and governmental entities, as well as offering flexible deployment through a cloud, on-premise or a hybrid model, the CSOC in Riyadh will enable our Saudi clients to take timely action based on threat intelligence feeds and through our security orchestration and automation platforms,” said Help AG’s CEO Stephan Berner.  

CSOC analysts monitor complex information technology security infrastructures, analyze security events, and interpret abnormal behavior.

DAE signs agreement to acquire Sky Fund I Irish, Ltd.

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise Ltd. announced that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Sky Fund I Irish, Ltd. and its subsidiaries.

Sky Fund I owns and leases 36 aircraft to 14 airline customers in 11 countries, a statement said. More than 90 percent of the portfolio comprises next-generation technology aircraft.

DAE’s CEO Firoz Tarapore said: “We are delighted to acquire this unique portfolio of new technology, fuel-efficient aircraft on lease to 14 airlines, including six new airline customers for DAE.”

Subject to regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2022.

TAQA enters into agreement with Waldorf Energy Netherlands BV

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. has entered into definitive agreements with Waldorf Energy Netherlands BV to sell 100 percent of its ownership in the upstream oil and gas business in the Netherlands through its wholly-owned subsidiary, TAQA Energy BV, according to a statement.

Approval by regulatory authorities and other third parties is still required for this transaction.

AI-based Realiste launched in UAE and Saudi Arabia

Realiste, an Artificial Intelligence-based real estate market development company, was launched in the UAE and Saudi Arabia as part of its Middle East North Africa expansion.

Using AI technology, investors from all over the world can sign up, and invest in real estate in major capital cities, including New York, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh, and London, according to a statement

Realiste customers can buy cheaper, up to 25 percent off market price, be notified when it’s the right time to buy or sell, and finally invest in properties abroad without having to travel or deal with third parties.

Since launching in December 2021, the company has established operations in Riyadh, Dubai, London, New York, and Moscow, and plans to expand further.

Abu Dhabi to host Middle East Blockchain Awards

The Middle East Blockchain Awards will be held in Abu Dhabi in November 2022 to recognize and reward outstanding efforts in the fields of blockchain and Web 3.0.

The Awards will be hosted by Hok Agency the Middle East, in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Global Market’s flagship platform, Abu Dhabi Finance Week, and the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Crypto and Blockchain Association, according to a statement.


Saudi Central Bank to finalize finance companies control law by consulting the public

Saudi Central Bank to finalize finance companies control law by consulting the public
Updated 06 October 2022

Saudi Central Bank to finalize finance companies control law by consulting the public

Saudi Central Bank to finalize finance companies control law by consulting the public

RIYADH: The Saudi Central Bank has launched a public consultation on on draft amendments to the Finance Companies Control Law.

In order to ensure transparency and wider participation, the bank, also known as SAMA, invited stakeholders and the public to submit suggestions and observations on the draft through the National Competitiveness Center’s Public Consultation Platform.

This regulatory function falls under SAMA’s oversight responsibilities, as well as its role in supporting the development of the finance sector and keeping pace with the growth of the global finance industry.

The move aims to strengthen SAMA’s commitment to upkeep relevant international principles and standards. As well as contributing to the growth of the sector, the regulation will help attract new investors to achieve one of Saudi Vision 2030’s goals.

To enable SAMA to assess its relevance in finalizing the text, the contributors are expected to provide their input on the draft within 30 days of this publication.