Kuwait’s Gulf Investment House to list 4 firms on Tadawul, ADX in 2 years

Kuwait’s Gulf Investment House to list 4 firms on Tadawul, ADX in 2 years
As of Sep. 30, the company announced the successful dual listing of its shares on the ADX. (Supplied)
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Updated 03 October 2022

Kuwait’s Gulf Investment House to list 4 firms on Tadawul, ADX in 2 years

Kuwait’s Gulf Investment House to list 4 firms on Tadawul, ADX in 2 years

RIYADH: Kuwait-listed Gulf Investment House, one of the leading investors in real estate properties, targets the listing of four firms on the Saudi Stock Exchange and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in the next two years, its chairman told CNBC Arabia.

The listing consists of companies with a capital of between 15 million Kuwaiti dinars ($48 million) and 50 million Kuwaiti dinars.

While global markets are facing challenging conditions, this will positively affect the region's markets, as it will be a destination for foreign companies, not just local companies, Abdulaziz Alsanad said.

The first and main benefit that GIH is trying to achieve by diversifying its listing in other markets is that the company will be able to create other opportunities for investors in the company, as well as its subsidiaries and associates.

This will in turn increase the investor's share value as well as the company’s value, the chairman stated.

GIH has received the approval of its shareholders for the listing of the firm's shares on the Tadawul as well as the ADX in May of this year.

As of Sep. 30, the company announced the successful dual listing of its shares on the ADX.

GIH has become the first Kuwaiti company to be listed on the ADX since the Kuwait Boursa was established.

Asserting the importance of the Kuwait group’s move, ADX noted that GIH will benefit from a broader investor base and increased liquidity because of the dual listing.

With GIH having subsidiaries and associates covering various economic activities, the Kuwaiti group has the ability to offer flexibility and openness to a wide range of economic sectors in Abu Dhabi and benefit from keeping pace with the effective transformation plan in the country’s economic foundation.

Founded in 1998, GIH has been listed on Kuwait’s bourse since May 2002 with a subscribed and paid-up capital of 40.6 million Kuwaiti dinars.

GIH has access to significant capital for private equity, real estate, and direct investments which constitute the core business activities of the company. GIH has investments in the Gulf Cooperation Council, the US, and other selected markets.

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Green energy exports at heart of new deal with Saudi EXIM Bank and Korea Trade Insurance Corp

Green energy exports at heart of new deal with Saudi EXIM Bank and Korea Trade Insurance Corp
Updated 12 sec ago

Green energy exports at heart of new deal with Saudi EXIM Bank and Korea Trade Insurance Corp

Green energy exports at heart of new deal with Saudi EXIM Bank and Korea Trade Insurance Corp

 RIYADH: More green energy produced in Saudi Arabia will be exported to South Korea thanks to a new agreement signed between the two countries.

 The Saudi Export-Import Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea Trade Insurance Corp which will see eco-friendly fuels, including green hydrogen and green ammonia, traded with the Asian nation, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

 As a part of the MoU, both nations will also engage in mutual information exchange on markets and projects.

 According to the report, this deal will also help Saudi’s EXIM Bank to promote the development and diversification of exports to the Republic of Korea, along with providing export financing and guarantee services, securing export credit, and aiding the entry of Saudi products into the Korean market.

 Korea Trade Insurance Corp., also known as K-SURE, is the official export credit agency of the Republic of Korea.

 In October, Saad Al-Khalb, CEO of EXIM Bank, told Arab News that it provided SR20 billion ($5.3 billion) to support the Kingdom’s exports since its establishment in 2020.

 Al-Khalb also noted that the main mandate of EXIM is to support the economy and flow of goods, trades, infrastructure and long-term projects.

 He also added that EXIM Bank always tries to ensure that no Saudi cross-border export fails due to a lack of insurance or financing.

 In May, Saudi EXIM Bank launched its five-year strategic plan, from 2022 to 2026.

 The strategy seeks to close financing gaps and reduce export risks which will help facilitate Saudi non-oil exports to reach various global markets.


UAE In-Focus – Global trade surges 19% in first 9 months of 2022 

UAE In-Focus – Global trade surges 19% in first 9 months of 2022 
Updated 2 min 39 sec ago

UAE In-Focus – Global trade surges 19% in first 9 months of 2022 

UAE In-Focus – Global trade surges 19% in first 9 months of 2022 

RIYADH: The UAE’s global trade increased by 19 percent in the first nine months of 2022, Dubai ruler Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum revealed on Wednesday. 

The country's foreign trade volume is expected to reach 2.2 trillion dirhams ($599 billion) by the end of 2022, he said in the tweet, compared to 1.9 trillion dirhams in 2021. 

The UAE's non-oil foreign trade also grew by 18.9 percent in the first nine months of 2022 year-on-year to reach 1.637 trillion dirhams, the minister of state for foreign trade Thani Al Zeyoudi tweeted on Wednesday. 

DIFC-based FinTech firms secure $559m in first 9 months of 2022 

FinTech firms based in the Dubai International Finance Center have raised as much as 2 billion dirhams during the first nine months of 2022, according to the DIFC FinTech Hive’s 2022 FinTech Report. 

In 2021, funding activity associated with finTech almost doubled. In addition to this, startups in the Middle East and North Africa region also secured $998 million in 2021, reflecting a 78 percent surge when compared to 2020 figures. 

The total number of finTech and innovation companies joining DIFC in 2022 has exceeded those that have established operations in 2021. 

ADNOC’s signs $272m worth of food catering agreements  

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company has signed food catering agreements with four UAE firms worth an accumulated 1 billion dirhams. 

Under the agreements, food catering services will be provided to all companies under ADNOC Group from 2022 up until 2027.  

The four firms are Royal Catering, Apex National Catering, National Corporation for Tourism & Hotels, and Sodexo Kelvin. 

As part of ADNOC’s In-Country Value program, over half of the value from the four contracts will be redirected into the UAE’s economy.  

Abu Dhabi Ports and African Finance Corporation sign agreement  

Abu Dhabi Ports has signed a cooperation agreement with the African Finance Corporation to address infrastructure gaps across Africa, including integrated ports, warehouses, maritime and logistics hubs. 

The agreement comes as the African Union projected that the production capacity of African ports is anticipated to hit two billion tons of goods by 2040.  

This poses a challenge for port work considering that the average waiting time for shipments currently reaches 20 days compared to the current global average of just four.  

In the past 15 years, the African Finance Corporation has invested over $10 billion in infrastructure projects in 37 African countries.


Private education in Saudi Arabia has ‘significant room’ for growth and investment, says global consulting firm

Private education in Saudi Arabia has ‘significant room’ for growth and investment, says global consulting firm
Updated 41 min 48 sec ago

Private education in Saudi Arabia has ‘significant room’ for growth and investment, says global consulting firm

Private education in Saudi Arabia has ‘significant room’ for growth and investment, says global consulting firm

RIYADH: Strong growth drivers in Saudi Arabia have resulted in the Kingdom’s education sector becoming an attractive investment opportunity, says a new report.

According to research by global consulting firm L.E.K, released at the Education Investment Saudi being held in Riyadh on Dec. 7, rapidly increasing household disposable income and growth in the youth demographic shows significant headroom for a return on investments in the Kingdom’s schools.

The analysis revealed that the Kingdom is the largest education market in the Gulf Cooperation Council region, with as many as 8.3 million students enrolled in schools and higher education facilities.

However, Saudi Arabia has a lower share of enrollment in private schools compared to other GCC countries, according to Chinmay Jhaveri, partner at L.E.K. Consulting’s Global Education Practice, adding: “This leaves significant room for growth in the region. As a part of Vision 2030, the government aims to transition to a knowledge-based economy, with education as a critical component, the market is expected to become more favorable for private operators.”

The education sector is one of the main pillars of the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan, with a special focus on enabling the private sector to play an active role in developing it.  

The significance with which the Kingdom takes education was directly reflected by the portioning the lion’s share of the country’s budget allocation for 2022 to the sector. 

Saudi Arabia’s finance ministry announced 19.37 percent of the Kingdom’s budget, or SR185 billion ($49.2 billion), would be invested in education in 2022.

“A multitude of underlying growth drivers make the KSA education landscape an attractive destination for private investors. Positive macroeconomic factors point to a bright future for the region’s education sector, with the demographic outlook suggesting a sizable market opportunity and an increase in household income, creating a demand for quality private education,” said Danish Faruqui, partner at L.E.K. Consulting, and a founding member of the firm’s Global Education Practice.  


PIF’s National Water Co. launches $23m environmental project in Qassim

PIF’s National Water Co. launches $23m environmental project in Qassim
Updated 55 min 48 sec ago

PIF’s National Water Co. launches $23m environmental project in Qassim

PIF’s National Water Co. launches $23m environmental project in Qassim

RIYADH: National Water Co., a joint stock firm fully owned by the Public Investment Fund, has announced the completion of an SR89.8 million ($23 million) environmental project in Saudi Arabia’s central Qassim region. 

The new project will provide sanitation services to a projected 27,000 recipients across 29 neighborhoods in the region. 

In a press release, NWC indicated that networks with a length of 108,634 meters were extended, and 3,519 household connections were implemented across the governorates of Onaizah, Al-Rass, Al-Muthnab, Al-Bukairiyah, Al-Bada’i, Al-Khubra and Riyadh. 

Its sanitation project also includes the construction of a pumping station in Al Bukayriyah Governorate with an estimated capacity of 7,280 cubic meters per day. The station is anticipated to serve over 27,207 citizens. 

The project also falls in line with NWC’s goal to elevate the level of customer service, expand coverage rates for sanitation services, and raise the operational efficiency of services. 

Earlier this year, in August, NWC announced plans to roll out 1,429 projects for tender with a total value exceeding SR108 billion, as part of its strategy to support the Kingdom's five-year plan to develop the sector's infrastructure.   

Terming this as the largest package of projects ever in the water distribution sector, NWC said the announcement is part of its continued plans and programs for developing water and environmental infrastructure.   

This includes expanding the coverage of water and wastewater networks and increasing sewage treatment plant’s capacity, in addition to extending water services coverage to all citizens and residents across the Kingdom regions, it said.   

“The projects will contribute to the realization of the National Water Strategy and Vision 2030’s objectives, diversify the economy and boost overall development,” NWC Acting CEO Nemer M. Al-Shebl said in a statement. 

He noted that these projects will greatly complement the sustainability of water and environmental services. “The water and wastewater coverage will be immensely increased in all Saudi regions following the completion of these projects,” added Al-Shebl. 


Driven by economic diversification, KSA’s construction industry leads the MENA region: JLL

Driven by economic diversification, KSA’s construction industry leads the MENA region: JLL
Updated 07 December 2022

Driven by economic diversification, KSA’s construction industry leads the MENA region: JLL

Driven by economic diversification, KSA’s construction industry leads the MENA region: JLL

RIYADH: Despite macroeconomic conditions impacting the sector globally, the construction industry in the Kingdom continues to lead the Middle East and North African region, said a recent report.
Demonstrating its commitment to driving economic diversification and transforming the Kingdom in line with its Vision 2030, the Kingdom witnessed the highest value of project awards in 2022, according to JLL’s Q4 2022 KSA Construction Market Intelligence Report.  

Construction output growth in Saudi Arabia is anticipated to rise by 3.2 percent in 2022, with a further annual average growth rate of 4 percent between 2023 to 2026 as indicated by Global Data.  

Not surprisingly, the Kingdom has maintained its position as the strongest market across the MENA region with the highest total value of project awards for four consecutive years.
As of October 2022, the Kingdom holds a 35 percent market share with a recorded $31 billion worth of contract awards against an overall MENA total of $87 billion as tracked by MEED Projects.  

Saudi Arabia’s pipeline value of unawarded (pre-execution) projects is estimated at $1.1 trillion, which includes projects from the study stage through to the main contractor bid. Approximately 70 percent comprise ‘construction’ sector projects with residential, cultural, leisure and hospitality as sub-sector leaders, which is the driving force behind the Vision 2030 strategy.
In the second half of 2022, 13,000 hotel keys are expected to be delivered in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Makkah, accentuating the continuation of the Kingdom’s hospitality sector development.  

The top 10 contractors in the Kingdom are responsible for $400 billion in projects that are currently in the execution stage, accounting for 40 percent of the total future pipeline value of $1.1 trillion.
According to MEED Projects, the total value of projects awarded in the Kingdom between 2021 and 2025 will reach $569 billion, with a total of $85 billion (15 percent) awarded to date across 2021 and 2022 (October end).  

JLL’s market intelligence data further revealed that global economic volatility in the first two quarters of 2022 created challenges in the local construction market in terms of delivery lead times and instant price increases, with suppliers reluctant to guarantee prices for extended periods of time.  

“Given the volatile market conditions and rising construction material prices, which reached a significant peak during the second quarter of this year, there is a need for robust mitigation strategies,” said Laura Morgan, market intelligence lead MEA at JLL.  

She added: “Moving forward, the construction sector will prioritize development needs that are aligned with evolving trends and demands, with an emphasis on innovation and digitization playing a significant role within the segment and in powering Vision 2030 projects.”