Aramco appoints new heads for upstream and downstream businesses  

Update Aramco appoints new heads for upstream and downstream businesses  
The newly created positions and appointments have been approved by the company’s board of directors, and the appointments will be effective from July 1, 2023.  (File)
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Updated 18 May 2023
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Aramco appoints new heads for upstream and downstream businesses  

Aramco appoints new heads for upstream and downstream businesses  

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian Oil Co. has named new presidents for its upstream and downstream businesses as the oil giant looks to materialize its long-term strategies across the global portfolio and value chain.   

According to a press statement, Saudi Aramco has appointed Nasir K. Al-Naimi as the president of its upstream business and Mohammed Y. Al-Qahtani as the president of the downstream business.   

The company’s board has approved the newly created positions and appointments of directors, and the changes will be effective from July 1, 2023.   

Al-Naimi and Al-Qahtani will report to Amin Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco.   

“I am delighted to announce these appointments, which demonstrate our emphasis on the upstream and downstream components of our business as Aramco continues to transform to meet the world’s energy demand,” said Nasser.   

He added: “We expect this decision to help drive operational and financial performance, supporting our upstream capacity growth and our downstream expansion, together with our ambition to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions across wholly-owned operated assets by 2050.” 

Both Al-Naimi and Al-Qahtani have been handling crucial roles in Saudi Aramco for the past few years.  

Al-Naimi has been the executive vice president of the upstream business since April 2021, while Al-Qahtani has served as the executive vice president of downstream since September 2020.

“We continue to identify ways to further optimize and innovate across the Aramco group, and I am confident these newly created roles will help us deliver on our objectives,” Nasser added.  

Earlier this month, Aramco reported a net profit of SR119.54 billion ($31.88 billion) in the first quarter of 2023, up 3.75 percent from SR115.22 billion recorded in the previous quarter.    

This was more than three-quarters of the $40.5 billion in combined first-quarter profits reported by five oil majors: BP and Shell in Britain, ExxonMobil and Chevron in the US, and TotalEnergies in France.  

The company, in a Tadawul statement, noted that the rise in quarter-on-quarter net profit was driven by lower income taxes and zakat, lower operating costs, and higher finance and other income.


S&P upgrades Oman’s credit rating to BB+ with stable outlook  

S&P upgrades Oman’s credit rating to BB+ with stable outlook  
Updated 14 sec ago
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S&P upgrades Oman’s credit rating to BB+ with stable outlook  

S&P upgrades Oman’s credit rating to BB+ with stable outlook  

RIYADH — In a new development signaling a shift in Oman’s economic landscape, global credit rating giant Standard & Poor has upgraded the nation’s long-term credit rating from “BB” to “BB+.”  

S&P’s assessment underscores a transformation in Oman’s non-oil sector, promising substantial growth in the years ahead, particularly between 2023 and 2026. This shift is poised to play a pivotal role in enhancing the country’s economic prosperity. 

Additionally, positive signs within the oil sector are expected to further fuel Oman’s economic expansion.  


PIF-owned real estate firm ROSHN launches sales for SEDRA Phase 3  

PIF-owned real estate firm ROSHN launches sales for SEDRA Phase 3  
Updated 20 min 48 sec ago
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PIF-owned real estate firm ROSHN launches sales for SEDRA Phase 3  

PIF-owned real estate firm ROSHN launches sales for SEDRA Phase 3  

RIYADH: Saudi real estate developer ROSHN has announced expanding its footprint in the Kingdom with the launch of sales for the third phase of its flagship development, SEDRA, located in Riyadh. 

The Public Investment Fund-owned company has introduced 3,438 new residences and a wide range of amenities within this 20 million sq. meter residential project. 

Prospective residents of SEDRA Phase 3 will be able to choose from a wide array of floor plans and facades, the Saudi Press Agency reported. These options encompass single or multi-family configurations, three- and four-bedroom townhouses, duplexes, and spacious four- and five-bedroom villas. 

With the introduction of the project, ROSHN Group is poised to meet the surging demand for modern, sustainable living spaces in the Kingdom. 

David Grover, CEO of ROSHN Group, emphasized the significance of launching the sales of the new offering, underscoring the company’s commitment to enhancing living standards in alignment with Saudi Vision 2030. 

The new development is equipped with advanced insulation, solar-powered water heaters, and energy-efficient air-conditioning systems, all contributing to substantial energy and water conservation. 

Furthermore, the project boasts that 12 percent of its total area is dedicated to open and green spaces, enabling residents to enjoy the natural beauty of the community, including a wadi and acacia forest. 

Located in the northern part of Riyadh, SEDRA offers easy access via Kaden Road, with nearby metro stations F2 and A7, along with key landmarks such as the SAR railway station, Princess Nourah University, Imam Mohammed Ibn Saud University, and King Khalid International Airport. 

The development also provides direct access to ROSHN Front’s shopping, leisure, and business areas, delivering an integrated “live, work, play” lifestyle. 

SEDRA is planned in eight phases, with a scope of adding over 30,000 residential units to Riyadh’s housing stock. Each phase will incorporate elements of nature and local heritage into its design, reflecting a blend of tradition and modernity. 

This development aligns with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030, aiming to elevate living standards across the Kingdom. 

By 2030, ROSHN’s ambitious plans include the development of over 400,000 homes, along with the establishment of 1,000 kindergartens and schools, and over 700 mosques. 

In a recent move, ROSHN launched MARAFY, a mixed-use development in northern Jeddah, featuring the Kingdom’s first canal project linked to the Red Sea. It encompasses more than 300 sq. km of waterfront promenade, covering a total area exceeding 2 million sq. meters.


Structural reforms in Saudi Arabia’s economy to continue: Finance minister  

Structural reforms in Saudi Arabia’s economy to continue: Finance minister  
Updated 30 min 27 sec ago
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Structural reforms in Saudi Arabia’s economy to continue: Finance minister  

Structural reforms in Saudi Arabia’s economy to continue: Finance minister  

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will continue its fiscal and structural reforms as the Kingdom is steadily embarking on its economic diversification journey in line with the goals outlined in Vision 2030, said a top government official.  

Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that continuous implementation of the ambitious plan is necessary for the Kingdom to catalyze its economic growth and maintain fiscal sustainability.  

The minister added that the government program will help Saudi Arabia develop promising economic sectors, enhance investment attractions, stimulate industrial growth, raise the percentage of local content and promote non-oil exports, according to the pre-budget statement from the Ministry of Finance.  

“The Kingdom continues to support social protection programs and shows continued progress toward the objectives of the Fiscal Sustainability Program,” said the ministry in the pre-budget statement.  

It added: “These objectives were achieved by directing expansionary spending to accelerate the implementation of major programs, projects and sectoral and regional strategies to contribute toward gross domestic product growth, attract investments, and stimulate the local economy.”  

According to Al-Jadaan, Saudi Arabia remained financially resilient over the past few years when the world faced economic headwinds for various reasons, including the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions.  

He further pointed out that the Kingdom is well equipped with strong government reserves and sustainable levels of public debt that can accommodate any crises that may occur in the future.  

The minister noted that Saudi Arabia’s agile nature of additional spending will help the Kingdom to have control in the medium term, allowing an extension of implementation periods for projects and strategies.  

Al-Jadaan added that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is crucial as the Kingdom is pursuing its economic transformation program.  

The Public Investment Fund has spearheaded this economic diversification journey by investing in various strategic sectors.  

According to the fund’s annual report, it currently holds assets worth SR2.23 trillion ($595 billion).  

The fund has established 70 companies, 25 of them, including Saudi Coffee Co. and Halal Products Development Co. were founded in 2022.  

PIF’s annual report added that these companies offered 1,81,000 jobs in 2022. 


Saudi Arabia revises budget estimates for 2023 and pre-budget statement for 2024

Saudi Arabia revises budget estimates for 2023 and pre-budget statement for 2024
Updated 01 October 2023
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Saudi Arabia revises budget estimates for 2023 and pre-budget statement for 2024

Saudi Arabia revises budget estimates for 2023 and pre-budget statement for 2024
  • Preliminary budget statement says the government expects total revenues at 1.172 trillion riyals ($312.51 billion) in 2024 and total spending of 1.251 trillion riyals

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has lowered its growth forecast and expects to post a budget deficit this year rather than an earlier projected surplus, a preliminary budget statement showed on Saturday.

The largest Arab economy expects real gross domestic product to grow by 0.03 percent this year, the document released by the Ministry of Finance showed, compared with a previous forecast for growth of 3.1 percent.

The report said the government is also now expecting a SAR82 billion deficit for 2023 instead of a SAR16bn surplus projected earlier.

For 2024, the government expects total revenues at 1.172 trillion riyals ($312.51 billion) and total spending of 1.251 trillion riyals. An earlier projection put revenue this year at 1.130 trillion riyals and spending at 1.114 trillion riyals.

Saudi Arabia has sharply cut its oil production for what the world’s largest oil exporter says is meant to stabilize the oil market. Oil prices remain below last year’s average of $100 a barrel.

The document also projected the government would post a budget deficit of 1.9 percent of GDP in 2024, 1.6 percent of GDP in 2025 and 2.3 percent of GDP in 2026. It said “limited budget deficits” would continue in the medium term due to expansionary spending policies and conservative revenue estimates.

Real GDP was projected to grow by 4.4 percent in 2024, 5.7 percent in 2025 and 5.1 percent in 2026.

Saudi Arabia’s economy grew 8.7 percent last year on the back of high oil prices, allowing it to record its first budget surplus in almost a decade.

Commenting on the revised projections, Alrajhi Capital said the "increased spending by the government is not only driven by higher revenues but also supported by additional debt levels."

"For 2023, we reiterate that oil revenues could reach SAR749bn led by Aramco’s recent hike in PLD. Nevertheless, we increase our expectations for non-oil revenues at SAR440bn (versus the earlier estimates of SAR421bn) as H1 2023 non-oil revenues have already surpassed that of H1 2022, led by traction in non-oil GDP growth," it said.

"Furthermore, as per IMF Country Report the non-oil GDP growth is expected to comfortably stay above the 4% mark in the near future. We believe this will underpin higher spending by the Government going forward.

"Acceleration of spending (SAR1,262bn versus SAR1,114bn) can be regarded as a strategic move by the Government and is reflective of its support towards the Vision 2030 target. We believe Government spending to play a pivotal role in realizations of Vision 2030 objectives," Alrajhi Capital said.

"In our view the government will manage to maintain healthy reserve levels (SAR410mn as of 2Q2023) and will support spending by way of higher non-oil revenues and increased leverage," it further said.

(With Reuters)

 

 


Feathering the nest: Saudi Arabia sees poultry production as key for food security

Feathering the nest: Saudi Arabia sees poultry production as key for food security
Updated 30 September 2023
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Feathering the nest: Saudi Arabia sees poultry production as key for food security

Feathering the nest: Saudi Arabia sees poultry production as key for food security
  • Kingdom is achieving breakthroughs in the production of vital crops which could open up new trade markets

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia aims to reach 80 percent food security in chicken, poultry, and protein supplies by 2025 as demand for hatching eggs increases, according to a leading industry figure.

Ahmed Osilan, managing director and executive board member at Tanmiah Food Co., told Arab News that agricultural and scientific developments mean the Kingdom can now export products it previously needed to import.

He made it clear that Saudi Arabia is also on the cusp of achieving breakthroughs in the production of vital crops which could open up new trade markets for the Kingdom.

Osilan revealed Saudi Arabia has reached above 100 percent food security in table eggs, meaning his company is now able to export outside of the Kingdom.

“We have realized that Saudi cannot have sustainable food security if we continue importing hatching eggs from outside of the country,” he said, adding: “Growing corn and soya in Saudi Arabia is now our only challenge left to achieve 100 percent food security in Saudi Arabia.”

In 2018, Saudi Arabia had a self-sufficiency rate of 45 percent in food production. This has now hit 67 percent, Osilan said.

One of the reasons behind the boost is a shareholder agreement signed by Desert Hills Veterinary Services Co. — a fully owned subsidiary of Tanmiah Food Co, — with MHP SE, a food and aggrotech group, to invest more than SR200 million ($53.33 million) in agricultural activities in the Kingdom.

This included a state-of-the-art hatchery and a chicken feed mill, with a capacity of more than 1 million parent stock projected to produce around 175 million hatching eggs yearly. 

FASTFACT

Corn and soybeans are two of the main foodstuffs, and in order to grow these items, Saudi Arabia is using advanced agricultural methods such as vertical farming and cloud seeding, as well as optimizing wastewater reuse.

The partnership is expected to provide Tanmiah with an extensive and comprehensive insight into the process, and the company plans to collaborate closely with their partners in research and development and knowledge transfer.

Osilan explained: “We will work with them on the R&D side to understand how the research work happens and we will also work with them on the knowledge transfer by incubating this whole investment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

He continued: “Ultimately we are genetically making sure that the supply of hatching eggs in the Kingdom becomes local and that will solve the bigger issue of food security.”

The development is a welcome move for a nation that has traditionally relied on imports to fulfill the demand for various stages of poultry production.

Another key area of reform needed is in the area of crop cultivation — a vital component in chicken feed.

Corn and soybeans are two of the main foodstuffs, and in order to grow these items, Saudi Arabia is using advanced agricultural methods such as vertical farming and cloud seeding, as well as optimizing wastewater reuse.

The executive believes it might be possible to cultivate these crops successfully in Saudi Arabia, and said: “We’re one step away from achieving the highest level of food security.”

This achievement would not only benefit the Kingdom but also have positive implications for other Arab countries, including Lebanon, Algeria, and Morocco, which currently rely entirely, or to a significant extent, on food imports.

 Importantly, Saudi Arabia is striving to achieve these goals independently, by “developing all of this in-house,” said Osilan.

“Saudi Arabia taking the lead and being able to develop all of this in-house will then (show) … that Saudi Arabia is now not only concerned about food security for the Kingdom, but also concerned for food security for the entire Arab region, in fact, for the entire globe,” he added.

Osilan also stated that Saudi Arabia has a high per capita consumption of chicken, second only to the US and the EU.

This robust demand for poultry protein is continuously rising, due to its perceived health benefits, and there are no indications that it will decrease in the near future.