Mining and quarrying drives Saudi Industrial Production Index up 21% in June

Update Mining and quarrying drives Saudi Industrial Production Index up 21% in June
The weight of the mining and quarrying sector alone stood at 74.5 percent, showing a dominating effect on the IPI (Shutterstock)
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Updated 10 August 2022

Mining and quarrying drives Saudi Industrial Production Index up 21% in June

Mining and quarrying drives Saudi Industrial Production Index up 21% in June

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Industrial Production Index increased by 20.8 percent from a year ago, according to the General Authority for Statistics.

The Saudi IPI saw an extensive period of negative growth rates in 2019 and 2020, which was in part an effect of the global pandemic, showed the GASTAT report.

In May 2021 the IPI growth flipped to positive and has been accelerating from January through April this year to record a high of 26.7 percent year-on-year. 

Growth slowed to 24 percent in May and a further 20.8 percent in June.

“The IPI continued to show positive growth rates due to the high production in mining and quarrying, and manufacturing activity,” GASTAT said.

The weight of the mining and quarrying sector alone stood at 74.5 percent, showing a dominating effect on the IPI.

“In June 2022 mining and quarrying grew by 19.2 percent compared to June 2021 as Saudi Arabia increased its oil production to its highest level by more than 10 million barrels per day in June 2022,” stated the GASTAT report.

The annual growth in mining and quarrying index has slowed for the second consecutive month from April when it peaked at 28.3 percent, according to data compiled by Arab News.

Although mining and quarrying is the main contributor to the headline IPI with a weight of almost three-thirds, its share contribution declined by almost 7 percentage points compared to April.

The rate of annual growth in manufacturing has been accelerating for the past eight months from 4 percent to 29.3 percent in June, the highest on record, GASTAT data showed.

Given its 22.6 weight in the general index, its share contribution increased by almost a full percentage point in June compared to April.

When compared to October 2021, the increase recorded was almost 6 percentage points, showed the report.

 


Serco opens hub in Riyadh to elevate regional trade

Serco opens hub in Riyadh to elevate regional trade
Updated 18 sec ago

Serco opens hub in Riyadh to elevate regional trade

Serco opens hub in Riyadh to elevate regional trade

RIYADH: British public services firm Serco has opened its new headquarters in Riyadh as the company aims to develop its Saudi-based resources and leverage the location as a driver for local and regional trade.

According to a press release, the new office opened on Sept. 24, a day after Saudi Arabia’s National Day. 

The press release noted that Serco has already formed a specialized team with 15 percent Saudi-national representation, to deliver high-profile contracts with EXPRO and Royal Commission of AlUla. 

The company is also eyeing opportunities in the Kingdom’s smart cities and giga-projects, and these projects will be led by Serco’s Saudi national female country director, Mona Al-Thagafi.

“The opening of this new office, just after National Day on Friday, represents a key milestone for Serco as we fully embrace Saudization. We are already providing rewarding careers for young, local talent and creating many exciting opportunities in the future, for both men and women,” said Al-Thagafi. 

She added that Serco is offering candidates a chance to develop their skills through developmental, graduate and internship programs. 

The press release further added that the new office in Riyadh will also feature an ‘ExperienceLab,’ Serco's user-centered research and design agency, which the company says is “centered around people and innovation.” 

Speaking to Arab News in April 2021, Phil Malem, CEO of Serco for the Middle East region, opened up about the company’s aspirations in the Kingdom. “We are hugely enthusiastic about the potential of the Kingdom and we have tried to grow in line with Saudi Vision 2030. We are passionate about the Saudization program. It’s a key part of our strategy. We have continued to recruit, train and develop skills in Saudi nationals who can make a difference in the organization,” said Malem. 

He also added that Serco is closely following the development of Saudi giga projects including NEOM and The Red Sea Development Co. “We are actively in discussion around the potential of helping,” he said. 


Daman Investments launches UAE IPO fund for institutional investors

Daman Investments launches UAE IPO fund for institutional investors
Updated 38 min 44 sec ago

Daman Investments launches UAE IPO fund for institutional investors

Daman Investments launches UAE IPO fund for institutional investors

RIYADH: Dubai’s Daman Investments has launched a UAE initial public offering fund for professional and institutional investors, according to a statement. 

In line with the Gulf country’s plans to develop financial markets, the move will provide investors with higher returns compared to UAE stock market indices. 

Regulated and supervised by the Securities and Commodities Authority, the fund is expected to attract investment firms, professional investors and private family businesses.

“The fund will invest in the upcoming IPOs and in companies which have been listed during the past two years,” CEO Ahmed Khizer Khan said. 

He added the fund is “designed to meet the needs of professional and institutional investors, as it is expected to distribute quarterly and annual profits, respectively.”

This comes amid the rapid developments in financial markets and liquidity rates in the UAE.

In August, the UAE’s net financial surplus increased by 129 percent during the first quarter of this year, according to data from the UAE Ministry of Finance.

The surplus during the first three months of 2022 amounted to 36.4 billion dirhams ($10.1 billion), compared to 15.9 billion dirhams in the same period last year.


Mediterranean Shipping Co. connects Jeddah Port with 10 global ports

Mediterranean Shipping Co. connects Jeddah Port with 10 global ports
Updated 26 September 2022

Mediterranean Shipping Co. connects Jeddah Port with 10 global ports

Mediterranean Shipping Co. connects Jeddah Port with 10 global ports

RIYADH: Geneva-headquartered Mediterranean Shipping Co. will introduce a new call to its Himalaya Express Service to connect Jeddah Islamic Port with 10 global ports, said the Saudi Ports Authority. 

The new addition will link Jeddah Islamic Port with ports of Colombo, Nhava Sheva, Mundra, Salalah, King Abdullah Port, Valencia, Felixstowe, Rotterdam, Hamburg, and Antwerp, according to a statement. 

The service will include 11 mother ships with a capacity of 14,000 twenty-foot equivalent units for each vessel. Its first vessel sailing is expected to arrive at Jeddah Islamic Port on Oct. 23.

The global transport and logistics firm said it’s part of its commitment to serve the Saudi market and to expand import and export operations in the Kingdom’s ports. 

The cooperation between Mawani and MSC will enhance Saudi ports' performance on the investment and logistical fronts.

It will strengthen connectivity between the Kingdom and the world, reflecting positively on the operational efficiency in line with the objectives of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy of positioning Saudi Arabia as a global logistics hub, Mawani said in a press release.


Egypt aims to raise $6bn by selling stakes in state firms to revive economy

Egypt aims to raise $6bn by selling stakes in state firms to revive economy
Updated 26 September 2022

Egypt aims to raise $6bn by selling stakes in state firms to revive economy

Egypt aims to raise $6bn by selling stakes in state firms to revive economy

RIYADH: Egypt is planning to raise $6 billion by June 2023 through selling stakes in government companies as the nation tries to revive an economy badly affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Bloomberg, citing Egypt’s planning minister Hala El-Said, reported that the move will include share offerings to the public or block sales to strategic investors, backed by the country’s sovereign wealth fund. 

She did not reveal the names of the companies which will be listed for an initial public offering. 

The Bloomberg report further revealed that the stakes of some companies owned by Egypt’s army will be sold as a part of this program. 

Earlier this month, Egypt set up a new fund to assist government companies in getting listed on the stock exchange. The pre-IPO fund aims to restructure some state-owned assets and prepare them for stake sales. 

El-Said revealed that the ultimate target is to transfer assets worth $3 billion to the fund within three to six weeks, and it includes the assets of a power plant co-built by Siemens AG. 

The planning minister said that Egypt will conduct road shows in Europe and Asia at the end of October to showcase the investment opportunities in the country. 

She added that sovereign wealth funds within the Gulf and other regions will be approached to buy stakes in Egyptian entities. 

“Sovereign wealth funds are usually long-term investors, they add value in terms of expertise, finance and technology,” she said. The Bloomberg report further pointed out that Abu Dhabi’s ADQ and a unit of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund have already invested roughly $3 billion to buy shares in Egyptian firms owned by the government. 

Apart from eyeing more foreign investments, Egypt is also negotiating a new loan with the International Monetary Fund. 

Egypt’s fuel and food imports bill has soared as a result of the Ukraine war, and the country witnessed $22 billion in outflows from the local debt market since March 2022. 

Egypt had considered listing 10 government companies on the stock exchange this year, but the Russian-Ukraine crisis apparently delayed the plans. 


UAE healthcare provider Burjeel to sell 11% stake and list on ADX

UAE healthcare provider Burjeel to sell 11% stake and list on ADX
Updated 26 September 2022

UAE healthcare provider Burjeel to sell 11% stake and list on ADX

UAE healthcare provider Burjeel to sell 11% stake and list on ADX

RIYADH: Abu Dhabi healthcare provider Burjeel Holdings said it intends to offer 11 percent of its shares in an initial public offering as it prepares to go public this year.

The company plans to sell 550.7 million shares, including 350.3 million from VPS Healthcare Holdings, which owns 79.8 percent of Burjeel.

Among the offered shares, 10 percent will be allocated under the first tranche, and 90 percent under the second tranche.

The offer period for the first tranche and the second tranche starts on Sep. 30 and will close on Oct. 4, 2022. 

Burjeel is expected to announce the final price on Oct. 5, and the shares are expected to be listed in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 10.

“Our long-term vision focused on increasing access to quality healthcare and clinical excellence across the region has driven our growth over the past 15 years,” chairman of Burjeel Holdings plc, Shamsheer Vayalil Parambath, said.

“As healthcare expenditure continues to increase across the region, Burjeel Holdings is strongly positioned to benefit through our focus on providing complex, specialized medicine for all socioeconomic groups, through a targeted, multi-brand strategy,” he added.

J.P. Morgan Securities plc has been appointed as capital markets advisor to the selling shareholder and company in connection with the offering.

“Today’s announcement builds on our partnership with IHC which will have a transformative impact for Burjeel Holdings through the addition of new capabilities, capital, and access to new markets,” Parambaths said.

Last week, International Holding Co. announced that it has purchased a 15 percent stake in Burjeel Holdings.

“The acquisition will aim to continue to scale and diversify IHC’s investment in the healthcare sector locally and regionally,” IHC said in a statement.

IHC is the largest company in the UAE by market value and it is led by Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE's national security adviser and the brother of UAE’s president.

With a network of 39 hospitals and medical centers, Burjeel Holdings is one of the leading providers of healthcare in the UAE private market with a market share of approximately 17 percent for in-patients and approximately 12 percent for out-patients.

Founded in 2007, the healthcare provider plans to invest $1 billion in Saudi Arabia by 2030 through joint ventures and public-private partnerships.