ADQ invests $125m in Aliph Capital’s fund

ADQ invests $125m in Aliph Capital’s fund
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Updated 24 October 2022

ADQ invests $125m in Aliph Capital’s fund

ADQ invests $125m in Aliph Capital’s fund

RIYADH: Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Co., or ADQ, has invested $125 million in a fund launched by the private equity firm Aliph Capital. 

Based in Abu Dhabi Global Market, Aliph Fund I is a $250 million target private equity fund that aims to invest in high quality mid-sized companies in the UAE and across the Gulf region, according to a statement. 

This comes as the fund seeks to accelerate its expansion and growth plans.

Aliph Capital intends to acquire sizable, active positions in privately owned mid-market companies across the Gulf Cooperation Council countries that possess strong business fundamentals. 

It will scale up companies by helping founders adopt technology platforms and tools to grow revenues, optimize operations, and cut costs.

“The timing is perfect for GCC based private equity to invest in the region’s mid-market growth stars, who — when fully equipped with digital and tech enablement levers — will generate significant returns and power the ongoing diversification and transformation of the GCC economy,” CEO Huda Al-Lawati said.

Oil rises on US crude draw and Iraqi supply risks

Updated 10 sec ago

Oil rises on US crude draw and Iraqi supply risks

Oil rises on US crude draw and Iraqi supply risks
LONDON: Oil prices rose on Thursday as a surprise drop in US crude stockpiles and a halt to exports from Iraq’s Kurdistan region offset a smaller than expected cut to Russian supplies.
Brent crude futures rose 57 cents, or 0.73 percent, to $78.85 a barrel by 1327 GMT, while West Texas Intermediate crude rose 82 cents, or 1.12 percent, to $73.79.
US crude oil stockpiles fell unexpectedly in the week to March 24 to a two-year low, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
Crude inventories dropped by 7.5 million barrels, compared with expectations for a rise of 100,000 barrels in a Reuters poll of analysts.
The continuing halt to exports from Iraq’s northern region provided further support.
Producers have shut in or reduced output at several oilfields in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq after the northern export pipeline was shut, with more outages on the horizon, company statements showed.
But the Kurdistan-Iraq premium in oil prices could vanish sooner than expected, Citi analysts said Thursday.
The “changes in Iraq’s domestic politics may lead to a durable political settlement very soon,” Citi said, estimating that pipeline flows could increase by 200,000 barrels per day (bpd).
These factors offset bearish sentiment after a lower than expected cut to Russian crude oil production in the first three weeks of March.
The 300,000 bpd production decline compared with targeted cuts of 500,000 bpd, or about 5 percent of Russian output, sources familiar with the data told Reuters.
Markets are now waiting for US spending and inflation data due on Friday and the resulting impact on the value of the US dollar.
Meanwhile, OPEC+ is likely to stick to its existing deal on reduced oil output at a meeting on Monday, five delegates from the producer group told Reuters.
“While we think oil prices may remain volatile in the near term, we still expect rising Chinese crude imports and lower Russian production to lift prices over the coming quarters,” UBS said on Thursday.
China’s refined fuel consumption this year is likely to grow 3 percent from 2019 pre-COVID levels, state energy giant PetroChina said on Thursday.
“If all goes as expected, and we manage to avoid a recession, oil prices will dance around $75-$85/bbl in the coming months,” FGE analysts said in a note.

Closing bell: Saudi bourses edge up 

Closing bell: Saudi bourses edge up 
Updated 27 min 9 sec ago

Closing bell: Saudi bourses edge up 

Closing bell: Saudi bourses edge up 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index rose for the sixth session in a row on Thursday, up by 86.92 points – or 0.83 percent – to 10,590.10, driven by favorable market conditions. 

Parallel market Nomu also went up by 288.68 points – 1.47 percent – to close at 19,892.03, while the MSCI Tadawul 30 Index rose 1.09 percent to 1,435.05.

The total trading turnover of the benchmark index was SR6.2 billion ($1.65 billion).

The top gainer of the day was Gulf Union Alahlia Cooperative Insurance Co. whose shares went up by 9.93 percent to SR9.74. 

Other top gainers of the day were BinDawood Holding Co. and Batic Investments and Logistics Co. whose share prices rose 8.39 percent and 5.99 percent respectively. 

Meanwhile, Red Sea International Co. announced that it will not be able to publish its annual financial results ending on Dec. 31, 2022 as the firm is still working with the external auditor to issue the annual financial statements. 

It also noted that it will complete the audit work and publish the annual financial statements before April 27, 2023. 

Red Sea International Co. was also the worst performer on Thursday, as the company’s share prices dropped by 3.82 percent to SR25.15. 

On the announcements front, Saudi Real Estate Co., posted a net profit of SR110.5 million in 2022, almost double the earnings of SR 54.9 million in 2021. As the profits surged, the company’s share prices ticked up on Thursday by 0.16 percent to SR12.38. 

Raydan Food Co. also announced its financial report. The company narrowed its 2022 net losses to SR 24.6 million, from SR 42.2 million in 2021.The shares of the firm, however, dropped by 2.69 percent to 25.35. 

Horizon Food Co. reported a 12 percent dip in its earning to SR8.88 million in 2022, compared to SR10.16 million in 2021. The company attributed the decrease in net profit to a rise in selling and marketing expenses due to increased sales and geographical expansion. Horizon Food Co.’s share prices remained unchanged on Thursday at SR40.35. 

Another company which announced its financial report was MOBI Industry Co. The firm reported a 13.68 percent fall of net profit year-on-year to SR13.92 million. Despite a fall in net profit, the company’s share prices rose 0.35 percent on Thursday to SR58. 

Fesh Fash Snack Food Production Co. reported that its net profit surged 54.67 percent to SR2.16 million in 2022, compared to SR1.40 million in 2021. Amid a rise in profit, the company’s share prices dropped 1.2 percent to SR144 million. 

Natural Gas Distribution Co. also announced its financial results. The firm’s net profit rose by 32.66 percent in 2022, compared to SR2.48 million in 2021. The company’s share prices fell by 0.97 percent SR51.

Saudi capital market regulator gives nod for 4 new listings on stock exchange

Saudi capital market regulator gives nod for 4 new listings on stock exchange
Updated 30 March 2023

Saudi capital market regulator gives nod for 4 new listings on stock exchange

Saudi capital market regulator gives nod for 4 new listings on stock exchange

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Capital Markets Authority approved First Milling Co.’s application for an initial public offering of 30 percent of its share capital on the Saudi Stock Exchange, also known as Tadawul.  

The company was the first of several flour milling privatizations in Saudi Arabia, sold to Raha AlSafi consortium for $540 million in 2020.  

The consortium was led by Saudi Arabian firm Almutlaq Group and also included Al Safi, Abunayyan Holding and UAE-based Essa Al Ghurair Investment, with investment bank Canaccord Genuity acting as a financial adviser, it was reported at the time. 

The CMA also gave the green light to Lumi Rental Co. to register and offer 16.5 million shares, or 30 percent of its share capital, on Tadawul. 

In December 2022, Seera Group Holding approved, during an extraordinary general meeting, the demerger of Lumi from the group in order to offer 16.5 million ordinary shares, or 30 percent of Lumi’s capital, on Tadawul.   

During the same month, Seera Holding submitted an application to the CMA for Lumi’s Tadawul IPO.   

Lumi is specialized in car rental in Saudi Arabia. It has 25 branches, of which nine are in the Kingdom's airports.   

In addition, CMA approved both Saudi Call Trading’s application to float 675,000 shares, or 15 percent of the company’s share capital, on the parallel market Nomu.  

Another firm that received CMA approval is Abdul Aziz Al-Tuwaijri Trading Co. which applied for the registration and offering of 600,000 shares representing 13.04 percent of the company’s share capital on Nomu. 

The approval for IPOs of the four companies is valid for six months, said CMA. 

This comes as companies from the Middle East raised some $21.9 billion through IPOs in 2022, accounting for more than half the total from wider Europe, the Middle East and Africa, according to Dealogic data.  

Alrasheed Greenhouses partners with Dutch firm Plantlab in Saudi food security boost 

Alrasheed Greenhouses partners with Dutch firm Plantlab in Saudi food security boost 
Updated 30 March 2023

Alrasheed Greenhouses partners with Dutch firm Plantlab in Saudi food security boost 

Alrasheed Greenhouses partners with Dutch firm Plantlab in Saudi food security boost 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will see a cut in the imports of leafy crops thanks to a new partnership between agricultural firms in the Kingdom and Dutch food products supplier Plantlab.  

As per the agreement, local production of such food in the Kingdom will be set at the highest international indoor farming standards, thus limiting imports of leafy greens into the Saudi market.  

This deal comes as the Kingdom seeks to improve its food security in line with Vision 2030 goals, as it promotes the diversification of domestic exports.

The partnership took place between the Saudi Greenhouses Management and Agri Marketing Co., also known as Alrasheed Greenhouses, and Plantlab, reported the Saudi Press Agency.  

The Saudi-Dutch collaboration reflects the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture’s efforts to increase agricultural production in greenhouses, with SR4 billion ($1.1 billion) worth of investments planned until 2025.     

Ahmed Al-Ayada, the undersecretary of MEWA, attended the ceremony at the ministry’s headquarters in Riyadh.  

The partnership will also pave the way for enhancing the production efficiency of indoor farming, restricting irrigation water and energy consumption and trading foreign technology.    

In addition, it will shift the Saudi industrial sector’s paradigm by developing indoor farms using locally manufactured materials.  

Alrasheed Greenhouses is one of the largest agricultural production and consultancy firms in Saudi Arabia.    

It has been known for its dedication to food safety and biocontrol programs that drive the engine of the almost 75 hectares of greenhouses under its management.    

The firm develops environmentally responsible agricultural schemes, delivers agro-support services and renders technical advice while maintaining quality and sustainability.  

The Dutch company Plantlab, on the other hand, owns the biggest indoor farming facility specially designed for research and development.  

The company weighs heavily on the potential of the partnership to enhance the agricultural sector in the Kingdom generally and the indoor farming sector in particular.

Unemployment rate among Saudis falls to all-time low of 8%

Unemployment rate among Saudis falls to all-time low of 8%
Updated 22 min 40 sec ago

Unemployment rate among Saudis falls to all-time low of 8%

Unemployment rate among Saudis falls to all-time low of 8%

RIYADH: The unemployment rate among Saudis has dropped to its lowest levels since records began in 1991.

It fell to 8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022, from 9.9 percent in the previous three months, according to the General Authority for Statistics’ labor force survey.  

The Kingdom targets unemployment rate of 7 percent by 2030.

The country’s overall employment rate, including non-citizens, fell to 4.8 percent in the final three months of 2022, from 5.8 percent the previous quarter, the General Authority for Statistics said in a statement.

“The impressive decrease in the unemployment rate resulted from a double effect of the decrease in labor force participation and at the same time the employment growth,” Gastat said in its report.

The overall unemployment rate includes foreign residents of the Kingdom, who comprised just over a third of the total population in 2021, the majority of whom need an employment contract to live there.

Job creation, especially for Saudi nationals, over 60 percent of whom are under the age of 35, is a key part of the ambitious economic agenda known as Vision 2030, spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to cut reliance on oil.

Joblessness among Saudis fell 3 percentage points from 11 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Workforce participation among female citizens is also on the rise. Unemployment among Saudi women dropped to 15.4 percent in the final three months of 2022 from 20.5 percent in the previous quarter, though their labor force participation rate fell 1 percentage point to 36 percent.

The labor force participation rate and the employment-to-population ratio of Saudi males increased to 65.7 percent and 68.5 percent, respectively.

Expansion of the non-oil private sector is a key pillar of Vision 2030, with a wide-ranging program of privatizations and other government-supported initiatives to spur growth.

The latest data showed that 94.1 percent of unemployed Saudis would accept jobs in the private sector, slightly higher than in the third quarter of 2022. Historically, the public sector has been the principal employer of Saudi citizens. 

Moreover, 57.8 percent of unemployed Saudi females and 43.6 percent of unemployed Saudi males would accept a maximum commuting time to work of one hour.

Similarly, 73 percent of unemployed Saudi females and 89.1 percent of unemployed Saudi males indicated they would accept work for eight hours or more per day.