Closing Bell: Saudi main index rises to close at 11,103

Closing Bell: Saudi main index rises to close at 11,103
The total trading turnover of the benchmark index was SR4.26 billion ($1.01 million). Shutterstock.
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Updated 29 November 2023
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Closing Bell: Saudi main index rises to close at 11,103

Closing Bell: Saudi main index rises to close at 11,103

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index rose on Wednesday, gaining 2.13 points, or 0.02 percent, to close at 11,103.05.

The total trading turnover of the benchmark index was SR4.26 billion ($1.01 million) as 119 of the listed stocks advanced, while 96 retreated. 

Similarly, the Kingdom’s parallel market Nomu also rose 450.85 points, or 1.83 percent, to close at 25,082.06. This comes as 30 of the listed stocks advanced while as much as 19 retreated.

On the other hand, the MSCI Tadawul Index slipped 0.58 points, or 0.04 percent, to close at 1,430.21.

The best-performing stock of the day was Anaam International Holding Group. The company’s share price surged 9.09 percent to SR0.96.

Other top performers include Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries and Medical Appliances Corp. and Al-Baha Investment and Development Co., whose share prices soared by 8.25 percent and 7.14 percent to stand at SR37.40 and SR0.15, respectively.

In addition to this, other top performers included National Agricultural Development Co. and Saudi Fisheries Co.

The worst performers were Naseej International Trading Co. as well as Lumi Rental Co., whose share prices dropped by 3.57 percent and 3.16 percent to stand at SR54 and SR94.90, respectively.

Moreover, other worst performers include Development Works Food Co. and National Co. for Learning and Education.

On the announcements front, Meyar Co. announced that it had obtained financing from the Italian Export Credit and Insurance Agency “SACE-Rome” to purchase new production lines from the Italian company SIMEM S.P.A.

Meanwhile, Saudi Cable Co. announced the signing of a tripartite agreement to transfer the debt of Al-Rajhi Banking and Investment Co. and Tathmeer Investment Co.

According to a statement, it is expected that this agreement will have a positive financial impact on the company in general and on the Financial Restructuring Proposal, particularly in the first quarter of 2024.


World leaders in business, finance and tech gather in Miami for the 2nd FII Priority Summit

World leaders in business, finance and tech gather in Miami for the 2nd FII Priority Summit
Updated 20 February 2024
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World leaders in business, finance and tech gather in Miami for the 2nd FII Priority Summit

World leaders in business, finance and tech gather in Miami for the 2nd FII Priority Summit
  • The two-day summit at the Faena Forum features a comprehensive agenda around the theme: “On the edge of a new frontier”
  • Attendees will explore how the latest breakthroughs in everything from sustainability to AI can address shared challenges

MIAMI: From conflict and climate change to the rise of disruptive new technologies like artificial intelligence, humanity faces an array of challenges. That is why world leaders in business and finance are meeting in Miami this week to discuss potential solutions.

The second edition of the Future Investment Initiative Priority Summit kicks off in the US city on Feb. 22, featuring a comprehensive agenda centered around the theme: “On the edge of a new frontier.”

According to FII, the summit offers an interactive program designed to showcase disruptive technology, connect ideas to investments, help changemakers align, and accelerate innovation for the betterment of business and society.

Running for two days at the Faena Forum, Miami Beach, FII Priority Miami 2024 will provide a platform for more than 800 global business and finance leaders, including CEOs, investors, academics, scientists, cultural icons, policymakers, entrepreneurs, media professionals, and members of the FII Institute.

This year’s program will explore how disruptive technologies and innovation can address humanity’s fundamental priorities and challenges.

“The world feels like an increasingly troubled place, with violent conflicts, cost of living crises, climate change, AI uncertainties, pandemic threats and other big problems,” Richard Attias, the CEO of the FII Institute, told Arab News.

“And so, it has never been more important to convene leaders from investment, business and government to address the root causes and come up with practical answers. The call for leadership and unity has never echoed more urgently.”

The organizers of FII Priority say the world stands at a crossroads where the interplay between investment, economic growth, and rapidly emerging technologies can either unlock extraordinary benefits or pose an ominous threat to humanity’s collective future.

The accelerating pace of technological advancements, from AI to biotechnology, holds immense promise in addressing global challenges, improving quality of life, and propelling economic growth to new heights.

However, experts are concerned that the unchecked pursuit of these innovations, devoid of ethical considerations and thoughtful governance, has the potential to lead societies down a perilous path.

The summit is committed to fostering positive change through effective solutions across various domains, including global connectivity, mining, AI, health-tech, sports, circular economy, food, economies of the future, art, culture, and other key areas.

This year’s program will explore how disruptive technologies and innovation can address humanity’s fundamental priorities and challenges. (Shutterstock)

Over the course of 36 sessions featuring some 85 speakers, attendees will explore how the latest breakthroughs in AI, robotics, healthcare, finance, and sustainability can be seamlessly incorporated into the international community’s response to collective challenges.

Topics the event will cover include how innovators can act to resolve citizen concerns at a global level, the role of vibrant cities — such as Miami — in bridging economic opportunities and promoting market growth, in addition to AI safety and regulation, human-centered macro-finance, supply chains, and climate solutions.

The three-part “AI Town Hall” discussion will bring together industry experts and thought leaders to delve into the multifaceted landscape of AI.

Speakers will engage in conversations on the efficient scaling of AI businesses, the substantial investment opportunities presented by AI, and establishing alignment among all sectors in AI governance issues, spanning ethics, data, and intellectual property rights.

Over the course of 36 sessions featuring some 85 speakers, attendees will explore how the latest breakthroughs in AI, robotics, healthcare, finance, and sustainability can be seamlessly incorporated into the international community’s response to collective challenges. (Shutterstock)

The intersection of macroeconomic challenges and geopolitical tensions poses a threat to global prosperity and security. The FII Institute, which scrutinizes global citizen priorities, engaging leaders in finance, policymaking, business, and governance, will integrate its insights into the relevant strategic decisions.

This is considered an especially hot topic, as this year sees national elections involving nearly half the world’s population, making citizens’ attitudes an important consideration.

Building on conversations that took place in Hong Kong and Riyadh, the sessions will also discuss workable environmental, social and governance solutions in the Global South with the support of developed markets, driving global alignment on AI regulation and investment for more equitable access to education and healthcare.  

The FII Miami Summit will feature a traditional one-hour “board of changemakers” session with leading financiers discussing the global macroeconomic picture. Speakers include Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone, Jenny Johnson of Franklin Templeton, and Mary Callahan Erdoes of JP Morgan to name but a few.

Other distinguished speakers exploring global economic trends, financial markets, and policy dynamics include Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the Saudi Public Investment Fund and the chairman of FII Institute; Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US; and Khalid A. Al-Falih, the Saudi minister of investment.

Richard Attias, the CEO of the FII Institute, said “The FII Miami Summit is a call for action and for investing in humanity before opportunities slip away.” (Shutterstock) 

Moreover, the summit will explore the transformative power of sports, as new global sporting partnerships aim to leverage US sporting expertise and traditions to benefit societies where sports have not been a priority in the past.

“The FII Miami Summit is a call for action and for investing in humanity before opportunities slip away,” Attias said. “The clock is ticking, and there is no time like the present to make a difference.”

Last year’s FII Priority Summit in Miami built on the dialogue started after the results of a worldwide survey titled the “PRIORITY Report.”

In October 2023, Saudi Arabia hosted the seventh FII Summit in Riyadh, drawing more than 5,000 delegates. The summit showcased perspectives from an illustrious lineup of 500 speakers, delving into pivotal sectors aligned with the overarching theme, “The New Compass.”

It was during this summit that the findings of a global poll, titled “FII Priority Compass,” sampling 50,000 people from 23 countries, highlighted increasing discontent across a range of issues.

Commissioned by the FII Institute, in partnership with Accenture, the survey identified predominant issues of concern to citizens across the world. The data plays a role in shaping year-round discussions, policy advisory, and investment decisions at the FII Institute.

During the seventh FII Summit last October in Riyadh, the findings of a global poll, titled “FII Priority Compass,” sampling 50,000 people from 23 countries, highlighted increasing discontent across a range of issues. (FII)

The annual research exercise, which polls individuals from a range of ages, backgrounds and countries, informs policy development and provides data for leaders, CEOs, policymakers, and organizations to identify with accuracy the sentiments of 60 percent of the world’s population.

The October 2023 report found a 20 percent drop in people’s satisfaction with their personal lives compared to 2022. It found that 65 percent are distressed about the cost of living and quality of life.

It also discovered that 38 percent view social disconnection and lack of inclusion as a priority concern, that pollution is a concern for 75 percent, and that 44 percent globally are concerned about how to afford healthcare.

While 72 percent of those surveyed recognize that technology has democratized access to information, 47 percent of Africans worry about misleading information.

The findings of this survey will no doubt guide the discussions and policy solutions explored this week in Miami.

 


Energy transition not just confined to climate change, says Aramco official 

Energy transition not just confined to climate change, says Aramco official 
Updated 20 February 2024
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Energy transition not just confined to climate change, says Aramco official 

Energy transition not just confined to climate change, says Aramco official 

RIYADH: Energy security and equitable transition should be prioritized along with climate change as the world sails toward a sustainable future, according to an Aramco official. 

Speaking at a panel discussion during the Saudi Capital Market Forum in Riyadh on Tuesday, the vice president of energy and economic insight at Saudi Aramco, Musaab Al-Mulla, said that the Kingdom is making significant strides in its transition journey by adopting new technologies like carbon capture, usage and storage. 

“According to the latest World Economic Forum’s Energy Transition Index, energy transition is not only sustainability. It has three dimensions; sustainability, energy security, and equitable energy transition,” said Al-Mulla. 

He added: “People think energy transition is only about climate. No, you have to solve for energy security and equitable energy transition.” 

The executive highlighted that Saudi Aramco is the most reliable energy supplier in the world, and the company is working toward achieving its net-zero target by 2050. 

Al-Mulla revealed that Aramco’s upstream carbon intensity figure remains among the lowest in the industry at 10.31 kilograms of carbon dioxide per barrel.

He added that Aramco is aiming to further reduce the carbon intensity figure.

The Aramco official also highlighted the importance of embracing advanced technologies like CCUs to ensure sustainability in the future. 

“The world needs to scale up CCUs by 200-fold to meet climate change and maintain the temperature below 2 degrees. Although you are reducing emissions to the lowest, you will still have emissions remaining. So, offset is a great solution,” said Al-Mulla. 

He added: “We are planting mangroves. We have put a target of planting 650 million mangroves in the Kingdom and out of the Kingdom to make sure that we are offsetting our operations to meet the target.” 

Al-Mulla also noted that the global south will be driving the energy transition narrative in the future, as these countries will be facing the adverse effects of climate change, along with a scarcity of renewable investments. 

“In 2050, how the energy mix globally will be 72 percent of the energy needed in the Global South, not in the Global North. So, the narrative will be led by the global south in the future,” added Al-Mulla. 

During the same panel, Abdulaziz Al-Muhaiza, senior vice president, finance and group chief financial officer at Saudi Electricity Co., said the Kingdom has set a clear energy strategy to ensure a smooth transition. 

Al-Muhaiza further noted that SEC is working to guarantee a reliable and sustainable power supply across the system, as it is pouring investments to connect all renewable projects within the Kingdom. 

“Today, the energy mix for the power sector is oil and gas-based. And the energy transition target for 2030 is basically to have renewables and gas with carbon capture technology,” said Al-Muhaiza. 

He added: “Our major investment will come in transmission and distribution. When we talk about transmission, we have a huge amount of investments from now until 2030. This is basically to connect all the renewable projects that are being built here in the Kingdom and to make sure that the system is reliable.” 

Abdulhameed Al-Muhaidib, chief financial officer at ACWA Power, said that environmental, social, and corporate governance are part of the company’s business model. 

He also added that ACWA Power is currently focusing on four pillars, which are renewables, water desalination, storage capacity, and converting traditional power plants into sustainable facilities. 

When discussing ACWA Power’s power generation capacity, Al-Muhaidib said: “ACWA Power has more than 23 GW of renewables in our portfolio. Just to put it in perspective, this is almost the installed capacity of Oman, Bahrain and Qatar combined.”


New players adding to Saudi financial market’s diversity: top executive

New players adding to Saudi financial market’s diversity: top executive
Updated 20 February 2024
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New players adding to Saudi financial market’s diversity: top executive

New players adding to Saudi financial market’s diversity: top executive

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s financial market is seeing new entries that were not present six years ago, including schools and hospitals, according to a Tadawul Group official.

The Saudi Capital Market Forum, held in Riyadh, has demonstrated its significance on the global financial stage, with Nayef Al-Athel, group chief of sales and marketing officer at Tadawul Group, affirming its importance in an interview with Arab News.

Emphasizing market diversification, Al-Athel said: “What I think is beautiful is whatever you see coming into the market is of sectors that are away from what the market is focused on today.” 

Al-Athel added: “If you look at the market, there are companies that are unlocking sectors that have never been part of the market before. Example, we’ve seen an e-commerce business come to the market, we’ve seen schools, we’ve seen hospitals, these companies five, six years ago were not part of the market.”

Reflecting on Tadawul Group’s accomplishments, Al-Athel emphasized its role as an “equity capital markets powerhouse,” with a prolific track record of over 150 listings in the past five years.

When discussing the forum, he described it as “one of, if not the largest financial forum in the world.” 

He added: “We had in totality more than 15,000 people that wanted to attend this conference. We couldn’t accommodate for all of them, unfortunately.”

Al-Athel went on to explain: “We accommodated 4,500, which was a stretch in comparison to last year. But what is more impressive is that we’ve managed to organize more than 4,200 meetings between corporates and investors. There are 75 meeting rooms that are fully occupied from 8 a.m. in the morning till 8 p.m. at night conducting these bilateral meetings between investors and corporates.”

In a significant development, the top executive unveiled CMF Connect during a fireside chat, with its inaugural session slated for Hong Kong. Al-Athel elaborated on the expansion plans, highlighting the forum’s evolution into an international platform transcending geographical confines.

He said: “The ambition for that conference to happen in Hong Kong and to happen in other cities as well. So, we’ll continue to expand our wings. It’s very noticeable that the international leg of the conference doesn’t have the word Saudi.”

Al-Athel added: “We’ve built a brand for it to stand out as a standalone capital market forum that can execute its initiatives, strategies anywhere it goes.”

Emphasizing the word “connect,” he explained that it resembles the connection that “will continue to happen between Saudi corporate, Saudi investors and the international society of financial firms, international issuers, and international investors.”

Al-Athel also shed light on the burgeoning debt capital markets, which are vital for financing future projects. With government sukuk listings setting the stage, corporate issuances are gaining momentum, hinting at a promising future for DCM transactions.

“The importance of DCM or the debt capital markets. There’s no way for us as a country to finance our potential, finance our future projects without a very solid DCM market,” he insisted.

Amid these advancements, Al-Athel acknowledged the symbiotic relationship between market performance and broader economic trends, buoyed by Saudi Arabia’s transformative Vision 2030.

“We are quite uniquely lucky because everything that happens in the country, from transformation and tourism, entertainment, it all spills over into the market because the market in the end of the day is a reflection or a mirror of the economy, and all the excitement that comes with Saudi holistically is being dragged into the market,” he said.

Beyond finance, Al-Athel shared insights into the group’s strategic pivot toward sustainability, citing a new agreement: “We want to build our brand around sustainability and being green, and there’s nothing that serves the purpose of being green, but actually planting trees.”

He explained: “The MoU is pretty straightforward, with every listing in the main market, we’re going to plant 50 trees. With every listing in Nomu, we will plant 25 trees. With every member that joins the exchange, whether a derivatives member, a clearing member, a custodian, a brokerage member, we will plant 50 trees. With each and every conference, 30 trees will be planted.”

Al-Athel highlighted there’s a plot of land on the outskirts of Riyadh where the trees will be planted, creating a green plot in two to three years, which he called the “Tadawul oasis.”

He also emphasized an upcoming initiative that involves establishing a digital art lab, empowering Saudi youth to showcase their creativity globally.

He said: “We want to pivot ourselves around themes and the theme of art is a theme that excites us and a theme that is very much starting up in the country still in its very I would say its in a nuance in the country. And we want to build the name of the Saudi Tadawul Group around arts and more specifically around digital art.”

An MoU has been signed to help build the lab to assist young Saudis in creating digital art that will be displayed at the group’s future conferences.

“We believe pivoting the name of the Saudis Tadawul Group around art will be very beneficial for the way our brand evolves,” Al-Athel commented.

As the Saudi Capital Market Forum continues to evolve and expand its global footprint, its role as a nexus for financial innovation and collaboration remains unassailable, embodying Saudi Arabia’s ascendance as a financial powerhouse on the world stage.


Saudi Arabia inks 6 MoUs to enhance education, investment, and sustainability

Saudi Arabia inks 6 MoUs to enhance education, investment, and sustainability
Updated 20 February 2024
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Saudi Arabia inks 6 MoUs to enhance education, investment, and sustainability

Saudi Arabia inks 6 MoUs to enhance education, investment, and sustainability

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is set to enhance its education, investment, securities trading, and sustainability landscape with the signing of six agreements, aligning with Vision 2030 goals. 

In the first deal, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development and Saudi Exchange signed a new cooperation agreement on the sidelines of the third Saudi Capital Market Forum to launch a Social Responsibility Index.  

The pact will serve as a vital tool to assess and promote corporate social responsibility practices within listed companies on the Saudi Exchange.  

The launch aligns with national sustainability standards being developed by the Ministry of Economy and Planning, the Capital Market Authority, and the Saudi Tadawul Group.  

Additionally, the Index will provide valuable insights into companies’ dedication to social responsibility, featuring a rating system to assist investors and stakeholders supporting sustainable businesses.   

During the event, five additional agreements were signed, addressing key sector drivers such as education, investment, securities trading, sustainability, and tree planting.  

Furthermore, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Saudi Tadawul Group and Atrum, supporting artistic initiatives, educational programs, and cultural exchanges within the Kingdom.   

This will happen through a strategic alliance leveraging both parties’ strengths and reach. The MoU underlines five key highlights: artistic collaboration, educational outreach, art investment, public art projects, and cultural exchange.  

The MoU highlights bringing art into public spaces, aiming to beautify Saudi cities with engaging installations. Atrum will take the creative lead, while Saudi Tadawul Group will provide logistical and promotional support.  

It will also prioritize educational outreach, nurturing local talent through art education programs, training, and creative workshops.   

Overall, this partnership reflects a shared commitment to cultivating a dynamic and diverse artistic landscape in Saudi Arabia.  

An MoU was signed between Riyad Capital and E Fund, a Chinese asset management firm, to foster knowledge sharing on local investment expertise and stimulate collaboration on developing future investment products.  

The agreement will serve as the foundation for any anticipated binding agreements related to the sharing of local investment expertise.   

Meanwhile, the Saudi Capital Market, Muqassa and Swiss cash management company Instimatch Global signed an agreement to launch a Repo Trading Platform for the Kingdom’s market.  

Under the terms of the MoU, Muqassa will play a crucial role as the central clearing entity for all Repo transactions on the new platform, ensuring a secure and efficient process for market participants.  

With Muqassa’s support, Instimatch Global AG will be responsible for continuously enhancing the trading platform to adapt to the ever-changing needs of its consumers.   

The MoU’s broad scope paves the way for future cooperation between the two parties in launching new goods and services on the Saudi capital market.  

In the realm of sustainability, Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co., wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund, has inked an MoU with the Saudi Exchange. The collaboration aims to delve into opportunities for sustainability, encompassing joint initiatives such as educational programs, awareness campaigns, and investor outreach activities. 

The agreement outlines a cooperative strategy to coordinate strategic activities, share knowledge through educational initiatives, and enhance transparency in sustainability efforts. 

To underscore the significance of sustainable development and its integration into corporate operations, both parties will engage in regular communications and collaborative marketing initiatives.  

The signing session concluded with an MoU between the Saudi Tadawul Group and Shatlat to support forestation in the Kingdom.  

This joint endeavor aims to address critical environmental issues and promote sustainable practices in Saudi Arabia.  

Tadawul Group will plant 300 trees for each occurrence of the Saudi Capital Market Forum and 50 trees for every company listing on the main market.   

The tree planting initiative extends to 10 trees for each company listing on the Nomu-Parallel market, among other initiatives in Riyadh to enhance the local ecosystem. Meanwhile, Shatlat will oversee the maintenance, irrigation, and provision of seeds. 

To enhance environmental sustainability, data and information will be shared between the Saudi Tadawul Group and Shatlat. The parties will collaborate on programs to enhance environmental preservation efforts across the Kingdom.


PIF’s Alat to help Saudi Arabia develop tech ecosystem, official explains  

PIF’s Alat to help Saudi Arabia develop tech ecosystem, official explains  
Updated 20 February 2024
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PIF’s Alat to help Saudi Arabia develop tech ecosystem, official explains  

PIF’s Alat to help Saudi Arabia develop tech ecosystem, official explains  

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will soon be ready for future global trends thanks to the Public Investment Fund company Alat, according to the minister of industry and mineral resources. 

Speaking during the firm’s press launch event, Bandar Alkhorayef explained how Alat will help create a complete ecosystem in the Kingdom, reduce imports, and increase localization. 

This falls in line with the aim of making Saudi Arabia a global hub for sustainable manufacturing that focuses on advanced technologies and electronics, the Kingdom's official press agency reported.  

“Saudi Arabia is no longer going to buy technology, it’s going to develop the technology, the ecosystem,” Alkhorayef said.

“In each industrial sector, you need certain pillars, large pillars, that can actually pull with them so many activities,” he added.

Also speaking at the event, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah bin Amer Al-Swaha shed light on how to drive leadership in the generative artificial intelligence era. 

Al-Swaha clarified that it requires three components, including AI leadership, the diffusion of these technologies across industries from a software and hardware perspective, and the ecosystem.

When discussing the ecosystem, the minister further explained: “How industries, minerals, innovation, technology can come together, led by the private sector, with Alat to make sure that tomorrow is made better.”

Al-Swaha stressed: “Whether we’re talking about healthcare and wellness, sustainability in the environment, industry and energy, or the future of economies across the board, Alat has a unique opportunity to disrupt those industries and make sure that the Kingdom and the region takes its fair share.” 

Earlier in February, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the launch of Alat.

The organization will focus on manufacturing products that serve local and international markets within seven key strategic business units, including advanced industries, semiconductors, and smart appliances, among others, the Saudi Press Agency reported at the time. 

The company, chaired by the crown prince, aims to enhance the capabilities of the Saudi technology sector, increase its contribution to local content, and boost the nation’s attractiveness and ability to create investment opportunities.   

Alat will also build partnerships to enable the transformation of the global industrial sector by providing sustainable industrial solutions based on clean energy sources.