Day 5 of COP28: Saudi Green Initiative Forum begins

Day 5 of COP28: Saudi Green Initiative Forum begins
Saudi Green Initiative Forum will highlight Saudi Arabia’s projects and initiatives to promote sustainability and mitigate climate action. (AN Photo: Philip Ekladyous)
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Updated 06 December 2023
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Day 5 of COP28: Saudi Green Initiative Forum begins

Day 5 of COP28: Saudi Green Initiative Forum begins
  • The 3rd edition of the forum discussed critical sustainability, primarily energy transition, protecting the seas, and unlocking climate finance

DUBAI: The Saudi Green Initiative Forum kicked off on Monday as COP28 continues to mobilize world leaders towards serious action against climate change.

Held under the slogan “From Ambition to Action”, the third edition of the forum discussed critical sustainability, primarily energy transition, protecting the seas, and unlocking climate finance to enable climate action at the UN climate summit.

READ MORE: Click here for our coverage of COP28

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15.10 GMT

That concludes over coverage of the first day of the SGI Forum. There were many talking points, including how Riyadh is set to transform into a global sustainability hub thanks to substantial investments earmarked to prepare the Saudi capital for the upcoming Expo 2030.  

There was also a warning from the Aramco CEO that not enough renewable energy is being produced to meet global demand.

14:50 GMT

David Edmond, CEO of NEOM Green Hydrogen, told Arab News the first phase of his company is focused on exports, as there is not yet a sufficient demand for the fuel in Saudi Arabia. However, he said the Kingdom is at a “turning point” and the next phase will be centered on the local market. 

12:50 GMT

Amin Nasser, CEO of Aramco, said the demand for hydrogen power is still not there as it is still an expensive source of energy. He added that there still needed to be investment in oil and gas because there is more demand for those fuels.

Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of TotalEnergies, echoed this by saying that the demand for oil and gas is tied to the global population growth.

12.15 GMT

The success of COP gatherings is often measured, initially at least, in dollars and cents. The Dubai event has so far seen pledges of around $57 billion from various sectors, with commitments covering finance, health, food, nature and energy.

These include:

  • $3.5 billion to replenish the Green Climate Fund 
  • $2.7 billion pledged for health
  • $2.6 billion for food systems transformation
  • $2.6 billion to protect nature
  • $467 million for urban climate action
  • $1.2 billion has been committed for relief, recovery and peace.

Read more about the pledges here.

11:45 GMT

Ziyad Al-Shiha, CEO of the Saudi Investment Recycling Company, tells Arab News that vision is not enough. Execution is key to achieve tangible results in the battle against climate change.

11:36 GMT




Dilma Rousseff, President, New Development Bank

“There is a problem in the global south countries: The burden of public death. The public death is rising too much and too fast.”

“Deforestation is a question of will and resources.”

11:30 GMT




Faisal Alibrahim, Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning

“The challenge or the complication is that climate action will require a lot of funding from now until 2050.”

“What we did in Saudi Arabia, to put it simply is Vision 2030. Vision 2030 was our blueprint to diversify our economy, empower the youth and build stronger institutions.”

“Our non-oil economy has grown 20 percent since the start of Vision 2030, which is higher than the EU and the US that stand at around 14 and 10 percent.”

“We’re very experimental. We’re very humble about learning from others experiences including our own experiences immediately after we decide to take an action so I'd say step one is looking inwards, upgrading our institutional capabilities, unlocking the potential that we have in all sectors.”

“We need stable growing economies in order to achieve climate action.”

“I think, from our point of view, the thing that we don’t regret doing is building institutional capabilities and educating people. The more educated people are, the stronger our institutions are in terms of their ability to push the right policy.”

“We have the cleanest oil in the world, being produced in Saudi Arabia. and we still want to be the most reliable and cleanest conventional hydrocarbon energy producer, but also, we have the cheapest wind and solar energy. In Saudi Arabia, we have the largest green hydrogen project in NEOM.”

“Let’ not forget most of the innovation that happened globally came from countries where there was a young population that was serious about making a difference. I think the windfall in our battle against climate change could be coming from these countries.”

11:06 GMT

“In recent years there has been a major transformation to enable investments to be able to de-risk investors investing in IPP projects, particularly renewable projects. This year alone, we have signed 15 power purchase agreements, which would not have been possible without providing the right de-risking mechanisms for investors to feel comfortable that their investments are safe, secure and stable.”

“We do not really have to subsidize renewable energy; it is actually competitive. We achieved the lowest renewable energy prices in the world with Shuaibah at 1.04 cents per kilowatt-hour.”

11:00 GMT





 

“Ultimately our business of developing renewable energy is you look at projects and attempt to de-risk it as much as possible so you can reach a point where you can pass on the savings to the end user, and you can make these projects affordable and reliable. It is very easy to talk about markets like Saudi Arabia, but if you want renewable energy to be available in many more countries price becomes very, very important. And price is a function of risk, and availability of credit.”

10:36 GMT




Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of the Public Investment Fund

“The Public Investment Fund is the main engine of the Saudi economy.”

“Saudi Arabia last year was the fastest growing in GDP among the G20 member states. We had grown by 8.7 per cent.”

“By the first quarter of next year, we are designing a net zero transition plan. So, we will start to see how we are going to go from the current status quo to the net zero emission.”

“PIF moved from rank 73 to the seventh, among all the other sovereign wealth funds.”

“On the India-Middle East-Europe corridor announced by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US President Joe Biden earlier during the G20 Summit: “One of the things that we get to have in the corridor, in addition to the railways and the communication lines, is green hydrogen and renewable energy.”

“We are doing our part, and I hope the rest of the world will do theirs.”

“I think the world should start being more practical to look into the solutions that will make us live a happier and healthier life, not for us only, but for our children and their children and their children's children.”

10:09 GMT





“Sixty percent of the critical variables of climate information come from space. There is a lot of discussion today on how to protect our planet, but also let us think about how to protect critical infrastructure where we get the data to protect our planet.”

“There is also a problem of space debris… these debris moving between around 20,000 and 30,000 kilometers per hour. If we have to protect our investments, we have to address the space debris issue.”

“In Saudi Arabia, we stand with all nations thinking about harnessing the power of space technology to combat the problem of space debris. Realizing the urgency of this global challenge, we have embarked on an ambitious journey to develop and deploy innovative space solutions that will encourage a better sustainable future.”

“We are planning a workshop in the first quarter of next year tackling specifically space debris because we believe this is a global problem and this needs global coordination to fix it.”

“People right now are talking about a new space era, a huge shift from a government-centric space sector to commercialization. Over the last 30 years, we have been tracking over $37 billion direct funding to the private sector, 60 percent of these coming in the last three to four years. There is a huge shift to the private sector to fund and participate in space activities.”

“We understand space economy is a growing economy, 80 percent of that economy would be coming from the downstream [segment] which is easy in capex so the appetite for the private sector and entrepreneurs will be higher. The third thing is the cost of launch: 10 years ago it cost $37,000 to send a kilo into space, now it costs only $1,500 is expected that by 2040 it will be $10 only.”

“There should be innovative regulation, meaning there is cooperation between there regulator and the private sector as well as between the regulator and other agencies. Any ICT regulator should not work independently by itself, in isolation of the private sector or in isolation of another national regulator. There should be a concept of innovative regulation.”

08:47 GMT

Angela Wilkinson, CEO of the World Energy Council, tells Arab News about the impact of Saudi Arabia’s initiatives.

08:34 GMT





Ray Dalio, founder and mentor CIO of Bridgewater Associates, who also founded an ocean exploration organization called OceanX:

“We have discovered in the Red Sea a coral that is estimated to be a thousand years old, we discovered species, remnants of other civilizations. That kind of discovery in the Red Sea, the way it is being done, to work with scientists, it is exciting to see these discoveries. The Red Sea is such a treasured environment that has been underutilized and it will be handed in the most pristine way.”

“The ocean is 72 percent of the world’s surface and twice the size of all continents combined but it remains unexplored. It is the biggest natural resource that we have, it has the biggest effect on our lives, but it is totally ignored. As much as 120 percent times as much money is being spent for space exploration that to ocean exploration. It is much cost effective to go there, ocean exploration.”

 “My mission is not only to show [ocean exploration], but to make it infectious. And it is becoming an infectious thing in Saudi Arabia, there will be amazing things that would be done in Saudi Arabia. And then it will be done globally. So my aspiration is to discover and think about the ocean.”

“I want to emphasize that [being custodians of the ocean] do not happen without great partnership. I would say could not getter partnership than in Saudi Arabia in the ways that we are doing it. I think you have to have an excellent leadership of a government to say: how do you make it pervasive?”

08:23 GMT




Dr. Lisa Levin, Distinguished Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography

“Deep-sea is as diverse as ecosystems on land. Each one of this high species diversity. There is a lot of evolutionary novelty down there, that we may be able to benefit from in the form of medicines and pharmaceuticals.”

“In terms of the animal life, the ecology of the deep see, we probably have seen less than five percent after about 150 years or more of exploration. So, there is a lot of exploration left to do.”

“The UN High Seas Treaty to the Rescue of Marine Biodiversity could be a very powerful treaty if nations could be behind it and use it to its full capacity. It creates the opportunity to create vast protected areas. It creates marine resources as the common heritage of mankind, and gives benefit sharing to all nations of the world.”

“So much of the deep sea is pristine, and this treaty will help us keep it that way and prevent it from being a dumping ground or a resource extraction site.”

07:42 GMT




Mohammad Al Tayyar, Program Director, Oil Sustainability Program

“If you focus on the four R’s - reduce, reuse, recycle and remove - you can achieve a lot of your mitigation and abatement activities.”

07:36 GMT

Bandar Alkhorayef, Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, reaffirms to Arab News the Kingdom’s commitment towards energy transition.  

07:24 GMT




Nadhmi Al-Nasr, CEO of NEOM

“We are starting from zero. We have no legacy. We have nothing to undo. And that’s a blessing, but a big responsibility.”

“First, we want the nature reserve to govern how NEOM will be done. We then immediately decided to make 95% of this whole region untouched nature reserve, which left us only 5% of the whole area to build on to house 9 to 10 million people in it.”

“We need to build the city or this NEOM by having it all energized by renewable energy, which is the base of NEOM.”

“We have hundreds of nationalities in NEOM.

Basically, we have the world in NEOM and I see many of them here. They are scientists, they are engineers, they are here because they are passionate about it. It's not just a job, it's a responsibility.”

 

07:20 GMT




Princess Haifa bint Muhammad Al-Saud, Saudi Vice Minister of Tourism

“International arrivals grew from around 680 million international arrivals to 1.5 billion, and that number is only going to increase to 1.8 billion by 2030.”

“Those are the types of commitments that we need to start proactively doing, and it starts from a role as individuals, all the way to the rules of the communities, to the roles of government and the roles of private sector alike.”

“Today the world is suffering from over tourism, $1 trillion spent annually is the cost of over tourism. So definitely preserving heritage sites is critical.”

A statement from the SGI team later elaborated on her comments, saying that the Riyadh Sustainability Strategy will see carbon emissions in the city reduced by 50 percent. In addition, there will be SR 346 billion ($92 billion) invested in sustainability initiatives and projects, stimulating the private sector.

 

07:00 GMT




Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Minister of Investment

“My key point about sustainability is economic sustainability, and that’s where I think investment comes in.”

“We have global policies, and we’re at COP. This is where global policies are being written and architected.”

“The future is about responsible climate action in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

“We’re building the world's largest and most ambitious and cleanest green hydrogen project in Neon with a partnership from our leading renewable company, ACWA Power.”

“The Ministry of Energy is keeping Aramco and its trajectory of being the world's lowest emitting company.”

“The Saudi government is a top three on every metric that allows industries and consumers to be as efficient and least emitting as possible.”

“We are under no illusion that that fossil fuels will be switched off, constraining it and allowing us to preserve our hydrocarbons for the future, I think is a gift for us.”

“The kingdom has great endowments. One of them is our hydrocarbon endowment. The next is our location solar wind renewables converging together. Being able to produce green hydrogen blue hydrogen at a fraction of what would it cost at high consumption rates. The third endowment is our young great people who are the most innovative, the most productive, the most loyal, the most patriotic people and the fourth endowment is our private sector.”

“As we move forward, we believe that scaling would be more economical. This is why we have already announced that we are planning to get to 44 megatons of CO2 by 2035, which is almost equivalent to the total capacity in existence today.”

6:53 GMT




Mohammed Alibrahim, Saudi Arabia’s Assistant Minister for Oil and Gas


On balancing out carbon management: “What dictates what solution takes place depends a lot on the circumstances because at the end of the day when you select a solution it has to be the most economical for this location. There is no one path for every one.”

“When you are planning your power sector, you need a baseload and sometimes renewable energy could not provide that baseload and we have to be realistic about it what we’re planning moving forward. We do not see any competition, we believe that all these solutions are necessary moving forward, but what dictates the mix would be different from on country to another.”

On carbon capture scaling: “We understand that different technologies are in different stages of their life right now, but we believe also in paving a level playing field in these technologies. We do not play favorites; we do not say one technology is better than the other. We understand what we need to solve for, and it reduces emissions regardless what technology works.”

6:45 GMT




Adel Aljubeir, Saudi Minister of State and Envoy for Climate

“I believe we can work in terms of carbon capture and sequestration. I believe we can do a lot in terms of how we manage our lives and how we live, how we design our cities to reduce commuting time and to reduce pollution.”

“I believe our approach has to be comprehensive, not just in specific areas, there is room for reducing waste.”

“There is room for increasing efficiencies there is room for planting trees. There is room for combating desertification, there is room for combating plastics, there is room for carbon capture and sequestration.”

“I would say that the approach that we have used in Saudi Arabia is a whole of government all of society approach we don't believe that you can segment different areas we have to work, so to speak on all cylinders.”

“I believe that there's a need to provide resources to countries that have a lack of resources, and also providing them with expertise.”

“I believe we have the financial resources, I believe we're developing the political will in order to put in place ambitious policies and ambitious pathways towards achieving the objectives that we all aspire towards.”

“We have launched more than 80 programs and committed almost $200 billion, 186 to be precise on programs this far. We will continue to see what else we can do.”

“I would say the key elements are open dialogue and trust. And if we have an open dialogue and we have trust, and we can have a rational conversation about how they solve the problems and how we tackle the challenges that we're facing. We can come up with credible pathways forward.”

“The key is to express different opinions and the key is to see how we can all combine our collective wisdom to move forward.”

6:00 GMT





 

- “I want to celebrate the fact that Saudi Arabia put it on the G7 agenda. Desertification and land degradation is an issue that is affecting millions of people and billions of hectares of land.”

- “It is a real issue and we have to also accept that we need land to have agriculture to have urbanization etc. So how are we going to ensure that our lands are as fertile as possible.”

“The Middle East green initiative that is also Saudi-led is something to celebrate. There are resources, obviously, from the GCF, the Green Climate Fund, etc. But these are small resources, the bigger resources will come from communities themselves.”

05:48 GMT





Dr. Khaled Alabulqader, CEO, National Center For Vegetation Cover Development And Combating Desertification, said Saudi Arabia is taking climate change “very importantly and seriously”.

“The Kingdom has taken big initiatives in the world stage and the local stage and on the regional stage.”

“We have done a very good job in the Kingdom in the last few years, where we reduced the [climate] impacts, especially in the coastal areas, vegetation cover and the rangelands. And now we have a policy to also manage the grazelands where we can convert to organized grazing practices with some incentives given to the local community and people.”

“We encourage the development of NGOs. NGOs are really increasing in numbers in the kingdom. For example, when we started the initiative for a plantation in the Kingdom, in the last two years, we have reached to a number 150,000 volunteers.”

“Land degradation is responsible for the 40 percent of global emissions.”
“We just finished the study and the roadmap for the Kingdom to take on the initiative of planting 10 billion trees from 2024 to 2100.”

05:34 GMT





Jukka Petteri Taalas, Secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, said this year would be the warmest year on record, and we have also broken records of main greenhouse gas concentrations of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.

Taalas added that sea level rise is affecting this part of the world. “We are seeing more weather extremes, more droughts. This part of the world is very sensitive, people are facing more risks in this part of the world.”

“We know that the biggest problem with climate mitigation is consumption of fossil fuels. That’s two thirds of the problem. Then about 20 percent of the problems related to release of methane, especially from tropical wetlands, from rice paddies and from cattle. And about 10 percent of the problem that we have having in climate is related to deforestation, especially deforestation of the tropical rain forests in Africa, and sub parts of Southern Asia.”

“And we should stop this deforestation and instead, plant more trees is a way to absorb carbon dioxide from the from the atmosphere.”

“Then there’s a second challenge that we are having. It’s the fact that we have started seeing growing amount of dust and sand storms also in your parts of the world and these tree plantation to be one positive act against this growing amount of sand and dust storms. And this as you all know, sand and dust storms are having negative impacts on human health.”

 

5:00 GMT




Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman

During his opening speech, the Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the Kingdom will work with international partners to develop tech-based initiatives to advance the implementation of effective climate action.

He said the Kingdom’s concrete action on implementing renewables are reflected by its ability to quadruple its capacity from 700 megawatts last year to two gigawatt with more than eight gigawatts of renewable under construction and around 13 gigawatts in various development stages.

“We are also planning to tender an additional 20 gigawatt by 2024 as part of our commitment to accelerate the development to renewable energy project.”

The Kingdom, the minister said, aims to become a key exporter of green hydrogen.

The NEOM green hydrogen project, he said, has successfully completed its initial phase securing investments of about $8.5 billion to produce 1.2 million tonnes per annum.

Through panel discussions, the forum highlighted Saudi Arabia’s projects and initiatives to promote sustainability and mitigate climate action under SGI, which was launched by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2021.  

More than 80 initiatives are being implemented to contribute to achieving the SGI’s goals of the Saudi Green Initiative.

SGI Forum is an annual platform convening policy makers, thought leaders and climate experts from around the world to share insights, and discuss the best solutions to reach a more sustainable regional and global future.

It comes this year as the UN climate summit continues with key pledges from world leaders to mobilize efforts to combat the rising threats.

The annual UN Conference of the Parties, known as COP28, in the UAE featured about 150 presidents, prime ministers, royals and other leaders who are presenting their plans to cut heat-trapping emissions and mostly seek unity with other nations to avert climate catastrophe that seemed to draw closer than ever in 2023.


NEOM to launch new guest retreat Elanan

NEOM to launch new guest retreat Elanan
Updated 21 February 2024
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NEOM to launch new guest retreat Elanan

NEOM to launch new guest retreat Elanan

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Gulf of Aqaba coastline is poised for enhancement with the introduction of a new guest retreat, Elanan. 

The latest addition to NEOM features 80 bespoke rooms and suites and is designed with a well-being theme, offering a nature resort.

Elanan adopts a contemporary approach to wellness, incorporating new technologies that promote relaxation.

Moreover, Elanan’s innovative architecture seamlessly integrates with the surrounding environment. By incorporating these unique design methods, Elanan also showcases detailed sculptures that merge with the outdoor areas. 

Although the overall design is modern, the development is committed to preserving the natural landscape.

Elanan follows the recent announcements of Leyja, Epicon, Siranna, and Utamo, all of which are sustainable tourism destinations in the Gulf of Aqaba.

On Feb. 18, the Kingdom’s $500 billion giga-project introduced a luxury resort in Trojena. It is set to unveil a 105-key hotel with Raffles Hotels and Resorts in northwestern Saudi Arabia.

Scheduled to open in 2027, Raffles Trojena aims to provide guests with opportunities to engage with the region’s natural beauty through its ring-shaped architecture.

Omer Acar, CEO of Raffles Hotels & Resorts, said: “We are thrilled to collaborate with NEOM on the creation of Raffles Trojena, an architecturally significant resort that will showcase the very best in modern luxury hospitality and underscores Raffles’ commitment to growing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” 

He added: “Trojena is set to be a destination unlike any other, and this mountainside retreat continues the Raffles legacy of growing in the world’s most compelling locales, providing our guests with an opportunity to ignite their passions through highly personalized service and experiences.”  

The company said the property will embody the brand’s distinctive characteristics, encompassing its renowned butler service, diverse dining experiences, and a dedicated focus on local arts and culture.

It joins as the latest hospitality collaborator within NEOM’s Hotel Division, located in the Discover cluster — a segment of Trojena dedicated to natural exploration.


Saudi Arabia ranks 3rd in Global Retail Development Index: Kearney 

Saudi Arabia ranks 3rd in Global Retail Development Index: Kearney 
Updated 21 February 2024
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Saudi Arabia ranks 3rd in Global Retail Development Index: Kearney 

Saudi Arabia ranks 3rd in Global Retail Development Index: Kearney 

RIYADH: An increase in non-cash transactions has helped Saudi Arabia rise nine places to third in the Global Retail Development Index.  

The GRDI leverages a comprehensive set of criteria, including economic health, consumer wealth, and regulatory framework, to gauge the retail potential of 35 to 40 emerging economies, according to a statement. 

The 2023 edition of the bi-yearly survey findings, launched by the US consulting firm, mirrors the upward trajectory of global retail development in the Middle East and North Africa region.

They also cement the country’s strategic pivot away from oil dependency, which currently accounts for approximately 40 percent of its gross domestic product, and the establishment of a favorable business climate.

“The MENA region, and notably the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, are at the forefront of retail’s next wave of growth,” said Debashish Mukherjee, partner at Kearney Middle East and Africa and Consumer and Retail Practice Lead.

“The 2023 GRDI illustrates how these markets are redefining the retail ecosystem with strategic digital adoption and consumer-centric approaches,” Mukherjee added. 

Mukherjee also stressed that the rise in this year’s GRDI is a clear indicator of its dynamic retail environment as well as its strategic initiatives to foster a competitive and diverse economic landscape. 

Moreover, the report attributed the Kingdom’s climb in the index to non-cash retail transactions surging from 16 percent in 2016 to 62 percent in 2022, aiming for 70 percent by 2030.

An additional reason for the jump was the country’s growth in the employment of Saudi nationals in high-skilled jobs and doubling female workforce participation, exceeding Vision 2030 targets.

On top of that, the growing popularity and adoption of buy now pay later services and the significant increases in investment deals and licenses in 2022 aided the Kingdom’s jump in the index. 

Other reasons entailed digital and artificial intelligence integration within the Saudi consumer market, the entry of international brands, and the expansion of entertainment and lifestyle sectors. 

The GRDI acts as a guide for retailers looking to navigate the complexities and capitalize on the prospects within these emerging markets.


Closing Bell: TASI closes in green with trading volume at $2.2bn

Closing Bell: TASI closes in green with trading volume at $2.2bn
Updated 21 February 2024
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Closing Bell: TASI closes in green with trading volume at $2.2bn

Closing Bell: TASI closes in green with trading volume at $2.2bn

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index concluded Wednesday’s trading session at 12,634.33, marking an increase of 27.83 points or 0.22 percent. 

MSCI Tadawul 30 Index also increased slightly by 1.84 to close at 1,628.17 points. On the other hand, the parallel market, Nomu, closed the day at 25,507.66 points, reflecting a decrease of 80.45 or 0.31 percent.

TASI reported a trading volume of SR8.60 billion ($2.294 billion), with 90 stocks gaining and 130 losing steam. 

The best-performing stock was Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co., whose share price surged 9.83 percent to SR26.6.  

Today’s second top performer was Al-Baha Investment and Development Co., whose share price soared 7.14 percent to SR0.15.   

Other gainers included Salama Cooperative Insurance Co. and Etihad Atheeb Telecommunication Co., as their share prices increased by 4.89 and 4.41 percent to SR26.80 and SR101.8.

The worst performer was Al Gassim Investment Holding Co., whose share price dropped by 3.96 percent to SR19.40. It was followed by Maharah Human Resources Co., whose share price decreased by 3.26 percent to reach SR6.83.

On the parallel market, Nomu, WSM for Information Technology Co., emerged as the top gainer, with its initial share price surging by 26.53 percent to SR62, as it was the company’s first day of listing and commencement of trading.

International Human Resources Co. was the major loser on Nomu, as its share price slipped by 3.76 percent to SR4.10.  

On the announcement front, the Saudi National Bank announced the completion of its US dollar-denominated sukuk offer under its international sukuk program.

The bank raised $850 million from the sale of five-year dollar bonds. 

The financial institution received applications amounting to $3.6 billion, bringing the issuance coverage to more than four times or 4,250 total bonds.

According to a statement on Tadawul, these bonds’ final yield came in at 5.129 percent per annum with five years of maturity.

“The sukuk may be redeemed prior to the scheduled maturity date in certain cases and the sukuk will be listed on the London Stock Exchange’s International Securities Market,” the bank stated.


Saudi retail sector expected to have experienced robust net profit growth: Al Rajhi Capital

Saudi retail sector expected to have experienced robust net profit growth: Al Rajhi Capital
Updated 21 February 2024
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Saudi retail sector expected to have experienced robust net profit growth: Al Rajhi Capital

Saudi retail sector expected to have experienced robust net profit growth: Al Rajhi Capital

RIYADH: The retail sector in Saudi Arabia is projected to have experienced robust net profit growth in the fourth quarter of 2023, driven by strong sales, according to Al Rajhi Capital.  

In its latest report covering earnings previews for leading firms in Saudi Arabia, the Riyadh-based investment advisory service provider anticipates there was a 44.3 percent year-on-year increase in the fourth-quarter net profit of supermarket chain BinDawood Holding, reaching SR85 million ($22.66 million). 

The financial services firm added that this substantial increase in the net profit of BinDawood Holding is attributed to a surge in sales from its Harmain stores. 

It forecasts that Leejam Sports Co., another key player in the Kingdom’s retail sector, is expected to have achieved a net profit of SR124 million in the last three months of 2023, indicating a 15.3 percent increase compared to the preceding year. 

The report projects that the net profit of Abdullah Al-Othaim Markets, another prominent entity in the Kingdom’s retail sector, is expected to have experienced a marginal 0.8 percent year-on-year decline in the fourth quarter, reaching SR170 million. 

The investment advisory firm also noted that the revenue of energy firms in the Kingdom was likely to have fallen in the last quarter of 2023, with Saudi Aramco expected to report a net profit of SR113 billion in the period, reflecting a 9.8 percent year-on-year drop. 

The projection attributes the decline to the crude production cuts implemented by Saudi Arabia, in alignment with the decision of the Organization of the Petroleum Production Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+.  

In an effort to maintain market stability, Saudi Arabia reduced oil output by 500,000 barrels per day from April 2023, a measure that has been extended until the end of December 2024. 

The Kingdom also committed to an additional oil output cut of 1 million bpd in July, which continued until the end of December 2023.  

On the other hand, ADES Holding, which went public in 2023, is expected to report a net profit of SR1.29 billion in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period of the previous year. 

However, Al Rajhi Capital pointed out that the net profit of Saudi Basic Industries Corp. is anticipated to have declined by 24.6 percent year-on-year over the final three months of 2023, reaching SR704 million.  

On a positive note, the projections suggest that SABIC’s net profit will have experienced a 31.3 percent increase in the fourth quarter compared to the previous three months. 

Saudi International Petrochemical Co., also known as Sipchem, is expected to register a significant decrease in net profit, with a decline of 52.1 percent to SR229 million in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in the previous year.  

Additionally, several prominent names in the Saudi cement sector are anticipated to have seen a decline in net profit during the same period. 

Al Rajhi Capital predicts there was a significant drop in the net profit of Arabian Cement Co. by 49.9 percent to SR18 million. Similarly, Yamama Cement Co.’s net profit is expected to have declined by 40.4 percent to SR80 million by end of 2023. 

In the fourth quarter of 2023, Saudi Telecom Co.’s net profit is anticipated to have stood at SR2.69 billion, reflecting a 2.4 percent decrease compared to the same period in 2022 and a 36.9 percent decline from the previous quarter. 

Meanwhile, Mobily’s net profit report is expected to show an increase of 0.4 percent to SR608 million during the last three months of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. 

In the food and agriculture sector, National Agricultural Development Co.’s net profit is projected to have risen by 201.8 percent year-on-year to SR76 million, and Savola Group’s net profit is anticipated to have surged 88.2 percent, reaching SR88.2 million. 


GCC keen on working with OPEC to ensure stable global oil markets

GCC keen on working with OPEC to ensure stable global oil markets
Updated 21 February 2024
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GCC keen on working with OPEC to ensure stable global oil markets

GCC keen on working with OPEC to ensure stable global oil markets

RIYADH: The Gulf Cooperation Council has reiterated its resolve to collaborate with oil-producing nations to stabilize global energy markets and ensure secure and stable supplies.

The confirmation was made during a gathering hosted by GCC Secretary-General Jasem Al-Budaiwi in Riyadh for the secretary-general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Haitham Al-Ghais.

The reception took place on Feb. 20 at the General Secretariat headquarters in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

During the meeting, ways to enhance cooperation between the GCC and OPEC in several areas were discussed, specifically the continuous coordination of oil policies between the GCC and the organization.

This coordination aims to ensure secure and stable energy supplies, especially in light of the rapid regional and international developments, as well as circumstances that have impacted global energy markets.

Al-Budaiwi praised OPEC for its significant contributions and indispensable role in ensuring stability and equilibrium in the oil markets and for its proactive approach to addressing future challenges in collaboration with member nations.

On Feb. 20, the price of OPEC basket of 12 crudes stood at $82.82 a barrel, compared with $82.89 the previous day, according to calculations by the organization’s secretariat, published on its website on Feb. 21.

The Brent crude oil benchmark has risen about 6 percent since the start of the year as attacks on shipping in the Red Sea have raised supply fears, with January outages in major non-OPEC oil-producing countries such as the US adding to concerns.