Inflation in Kingdom still within a reasonable rate, says central bank chief

Delegations attend the 46th ordinary session of the Council of Arab Central Banks and Monetary Authorities Governors in Jeddah, on Sunday. AFP
Delegations attend the 46th ordinary session of the Council of Arab Central Banks and Monetary Authorities Governors in Jeddah, on Sunday. AFP
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Updated 18 September 2022

Inflation in Kingdom still within a reasonable rate, says central bank chief

Inflation in Kingdom still within a reasonable rate, says central bank chief
  • ‘Arab economies are expected to achieve a growth rate of 5.4% in 2022’

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Central Bank Gov. Fahad Al-Mubarak said in a conference on Sunday that inflation in the Kingdom is still within a reasonable rate.

Saudi Arabia’s consumer price index rose 3 percent in August from a year earlier, official data showed on Thursday, accelerating from a 2.7 percent increase in July.

He said the Kingdom’s economy continued to maintain a high growth rate as figures for the second quarter showed a real gross domestic product growth of 11.8 percent on an annual basis.

Al-Mubarak was speaking at the 46th ordinary session of the Council of Arab Central Banks and Monetary Authorities Governors that began in Jeddah. The two-day meeting of the Arab central bank chiefs also seeks to discuss central bank digital currencies and the future of the monetary system.

The SAMA chief said the general unemployment rate continued to decline in Saudi Arabia, reaching 6 percent during the first quarter of 2022, and the unemployment rate among Saudis also continued to drop reaching 10.1 percent in the first quarter of this year. 

Marwan Al-Abbasi, governor of the Tunisian Central Bank, expressed concern over the uncertain global economic conditions resulting in “rapidly rising prices of basic commodities, fluctuations in global supply chains and inflation.”

He said these developments call for a reassessment of the global economic situation by slashing the global economic growth outlook for 2022 to about 3.2 percent.

The Tunisian top banker said the Arab countries need to make extensive efforts to help meet the challenges in the short and medium terms.

As per the estimates of the Arab Monetary Fund, Arab economies are expected to achieve a growth rate of 5.4 percent in 2022 compared to 3.5 percent in 2021, said the fund’s chairman of the board of directors, Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al-Hamidy.

He said the growth is expected to be driven by “relative improvement in global demand levels, the growth of oil and gas sector” and the stimulus packages approved by governments in the Arab world.

Senior officials from the International Monetary Fund, the Financial Stability Board and international experts attended the meeting.


MENA Project Tracker — Egypt starts new gas project; Oman requests bids for port

MENA Project Tracker — Egypt starts new gas project; Oman requests bids for port
Updated 03 October 2022

MENA Project Tracker — Egypt starts new gas project; Oman requests bids for port

MENA Project Tracker — Egypt starts new gas project; Oman requests bids for port

RIYADH: The offshore arm of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. has received a commercial bid from a Saipem-led team on its $1 billion Umm Sheriff Gas Cap condensate development project, reported MEED.

ADNOC Offshore has single-sourced bids from the Italian-based consortium — which also includes China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Co.— to speed up the highly delayed engineering, procurement, and construction phase.

Egypt to begin work on a new gas project

Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla has announced the approval of a project to connect the Raven offshore gas field to the El-Amriya onshore processing plant, reported MEED.

The project will include many different phases, and act as a link between the Raven field and the butane extraction plant, which is operated by the Egyptian Natural Gas Co.

After its completion, the butane plant will receive 100 million cubic feet a day of gas from the Raven field — reaching its maximum capacity, according to Gasco Chairman Yasser Salah El-Din.

Oman requesting bids on development of new port

Oman has requested bids for the development and operations of its Dhalkut Port in the Southern Dhofar Governorate as part of plans to grow its maritime trade, according to Zawya.  

The project will be tendered under a “develop, manage and operate” contract, where both local and foreign firms will be given a chance to bid.

The deadline for the project bids is Oct. 16.

“Bids must be submitted by local and international companies which have experience in port operation and management,” the statement said.


UAE In-Focus — DMCC named Global Free Zone of the Year for eighth consecutive time

UAE In-Focus — DMCC named Global Free Zone of the Year for eighth consecutive time
Updated 03 October 2022

UAE In-Focus — DMCC named Global Free Zone of the Year for eighth consecutive time

UAE In-Focus — DMCC named Global Free Zone of the Year for eighth consecutive time

DUBAI: Dubai Multi Commodities Center has been named the Global Free Zone of the Year 2022 by the Financial Times specialist editorial team and independent judges.

It is the eighth consecutive year that the Financial Times fDi Magazine has recognized Dubai’s authority on commodities trade and enterprise, the statement added.

Award winners are selected based on a comprehensive set of criteria and a review of the free zones’ ecosystems.

Criteria used in making judgments this year included the effectiveness of each free zone’s ecosystems, business and marketing strategies, infrastructure improvements, and COVID-19 response, the statement said.

This year, the DMCC won several awards, including Large Tenant Free Zone of the Year — Global; Large Tenant Free Zone of the Year — Middle East; Middle East Free Zone of the Year; Middle East SME Free Zone of the Year; Global Excellence Award for Environmental, Social, and Governance Practices; and Global Excellence Award for Infrastructure Development.

Executive Chairman and CEO of DMCC Ahmed Bin Sulayem said: “Since DMCC was established in 2002, we have had two core goals – create a global gateway for trade, and comprehensively enhance the ease of doing business for our member companies.”

SAFEEN Feeders and Invictus Investment sign strategic agreement

A major contract has been signed between AD Ports Group’s SAFEEN Feeders and Invictus Investment to launch an international dry bulk shipping service, according to a statement.

The two companies will purchase ships through Special Purpose Vehicles — 85 percent owned by SAFEEN Feeders and 15 percent by Invictus Investment.

To operate the service, SAFEEN Feeders and Invictus Investment will form a joint venture. 

Invictus Investment will own 49 percent of the joint venture and SAFEEN Feeders will own 51 percent.

The two companies are expected to invest approximately 463 million dirhams in the vessels.

From September 2022 through June 2023, five ships will be deployed of varying sizes, with additional vessels planned for the future.

This joint venture will serve as the carrier for Invictus’ dry-bulk trading business, which ships more than three million tons of commodities annually, primarily wheat and complementary grains. This business will occupy the majority of the ships’ capacity.

The agreement will also extend its commercial bulk shipping services to other companies worldwide, initially focusing on the Red Sea and Pacific corridors, the Indian subcontinent, and the Black Sea region, but with the ability to ship to anywhere in the world within international navigating limits.

Due to Invictus’ large existing trading volumes, the program is expected to generate strong returns on investment for Invictus Investment, the statement said.

Shuaa Capital

Shuaa Capital has announced that its Kuwait-based subsidiary Amwal International Investment Co. has agreed to sell 51 percent of its stake in NCM Investment for 200 million dirhams ($54.4 million), according to a statement.

Shuaa Capital, a Dubai Financial Market-listed company, said in a regulatory filing that it expects the sale to close in the fourth quarter of 2022.


Albabtain Food sets offering price at $20 for Nomu listing

Albabtain Food sets offering price at $20 for Nomu listing
Updated 03 October 2022

Albabtain Food sets offering price at $20 for Nomu listing

Albabtain Food sets offering price at $20 for Nomu listing

RIYADH: Abdulaziz & Mansour Ibrahim Albabtain Co., known as Albabtain Food, has set its offering price for a direct listing on Saudi Arabia’s parallel stock market Nomu at SR77 ($20.49) per share.

Yaqeen Capital, the financial adviser and lead manager for the transaction, confirmed the news in a bourse filing. 

Founded in 1998 by the AlBabtain family, AlBabtain Food has 11 branches spread across the Kingdom, allowing the company to provide its customers with a high level of services in the region.

The company manufactures a range of products including bread, pastries, and ice cream. 

 


Arabian Plastic Industrial to start trading on Nomu on Wednesday

Arabian Plastic Industrial to start trading on Nomu on Wednesday
Updated 03 October 2022

Arabian Plastic Industrial to start trading on Nomu on Wednesday

Arabian Plastic Industrial to start trading on Nomu on Wednesday

RIYADH: Jeddah-based Arabian Plastic Industrial Co. will start trading on Saudi Arabia’s parallel stock market Nomu on Oct. 5, a bourse filing showed.

APICO offered 1 million shares, or 20 percent of its valuation, via an initial public offering at SR27 ($7.19) per share. 

The offering coverage was 15.43 times the total shares offered during the subscription period. 

Established in 1996, APICO serves customers across different sectors, including but not limited to Almarai Co., flynas, TotalEnergies, and Nahdi Medical Co.


Kuwait’s Agility to invest $60m to modernize Suez Canal Economic Zone 

Kuwait’s Agility to invest $60m to modernize Suez Canal Economic Zone 
Updated 03 October 2022

Kuwait’s Agility to invest $60m to modernize Suez Canal Economic Zone 

Kuwait’s Agility to invest $60m to modernize Suez Canal Economic Zone 

RIYADH: Kuwaiti supply chain firm Agility Public Warehousing Co. has committed $60 million to build a customs and logistics center in Egypt's Suez Canal Economic Zone.

Agility will work with SCZone on implementing its strategic vision in service, logistics, and support by setting up a technical and logistics arm that will automate customs processes and operations, according to a statement by the company.

The project is scheduled for implementation in the second half of 2023, and the statement added that the return on the investment “cannot be assessed at this time.”