Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia major GCC player in sukuk issuance

The revival of investor sentiment and interest in initial public offerings (IPOs) in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries experienced in 2014, slowed down in the first quarter (Q1) of 2015, slightly picking up pace in Q2 and further slowing down in Q3 of the year, according to PwC’s Capital Markets and Accounting Advisory Services team.
Regional IPO activity in Q3 is usually slower due to summer holidays, the holy month of Ramadan and Eid. This seasonal trend was perhaps exaggerated in Q3 as markets absorbed the impact of continued lower oil prices, growing geopolitical concerns and wider economic uncertainty, thus potentially impacting new issuers coming to market.

Saudi Arabia major GCC player in sukuk issuance

The revival of investor sentiment and interest in initial public offerings in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries experienced in 2014, slowed down in the first quarter of 2015, slightly picking up pace in the second and further slowing down in third quarter of the year, according to PwC's Capital Markets and Accounting Advisory Services team.
Regional IPO activity in Q3 is usually slower due to summer holidays, the holy month of Ramadan and Eid. This seasonal trend was perhaps exaggerated in Q3 as markets absorbed the impact of continued lower oil prices, growing geopolitical concerns and wider economic uncertainty, thus potentially impacting new issuers coming to market.

Islamic Bank May Support Green Sukuk for Renewables Projects

The Islamic Development Bank indicated that it may issue green sukuk bonds compliant with religious law and increase lending for climate-related projects with an announcement at the United Nations global warming conference in Paris at the end of the year.
“Estimates for the 2030 agenda indicate that we need to move from billions to trillions of dollars of support annually for sustainable development,” Savas Alpay, chief economist of the IDB, said in a phone interview. “Traditional sources of development finance will not be enough. We must also look at non-traditional sources. We will be using Islamic finance to bring new resources to the table.”
Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Malaysia’s state-owned sovereign wealth fund, issued green sukuk last November after introducing guidelines for socially responsible debt in August 2014. It was the second entity after the London-based International Financial Facility for Immunization announce plans to sell ethical-based sukuk.
Green Sukuk

Maybank Islamic eyeing GCC for sukuk expansion

Maybank Islamic, is one of the leading arrangers of sukuk in the world, has viewed Gulf Cooperation Council, including Qatar, as its priority region in mobilising funds through Shariah-principled bonds.
“The GCC is definitely on our radar. It all depends on what kind of opportunities are available,” said Nor Shahrizan Sulaiman, deputy chief executive of Maybank Islamic, which is wholly-owned by Maybank Group with strong credit ratings from Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.
The lender, a leading Islamic bank in the Asean region with assets to the tune of $42.65bn as on June 30, 2015, has a branch in Bahrain and a 30% stake in Anfaal Capital in Saudi Arabia.
Maybank is exploring opportunities in the Middle East through its stake in the Saudi Arabia’s Anfaal Capital. Almost 90% of the Maybank Islamic’s balance sheet is domestic and the remaining 10% is from overseas operations, according to Sulaiman.

Ernest & Young: Islamic banking to grow despite uncertainty

In a joint press conference with the World Islamic Banking Conference, Ernest & Young highlighted part of its World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report 2015-2016 in Manama. “The growth of the Islamic banking industry in the GCC, specifically in Saudi Arabia, in the past few years can be attributed to the increased public sector spending on the back of oil revenues. It will be interesting to see how banks are affected as governments draw their reserves from the banking sector to narrow the gap on budget deficits due to the drop in the global oil price,” said Muzammil Kasbati, Director, Global Islamic Banking Centre at Ernest & Young.
According to the statement, the GCC Islamic banking profit pool crossed $12 billion, with expectations that the sector will continue to grow amid regional economic uncertainty. Further, the statement says that nine core markets are currently the growth engines for the global Islamic finance industry. Ernest & Young identified a group of 40 banks across these nine core markets that are “systemically important” to the future progress of the industry.

Saudi public spending slowdown will impact banks – Moody’s

The planned slowdown in public spending in Saudi Arabia will prove credit negative for banks in the kingdom, ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service has said in a new report. Following years of high expenditure, the Saudi government is planning to moderate the pace of spending due to the persistent drop in oil revenues. The International Monetary Fund estimates that Saudi will face a budget deficit of over $100bn this year, amounting to 21.6 per cent of gross domestic product. Moody’s anticipates that government spending growth will slow to 2 per cent in 2014 and 4 per cent in 2017, from 14 per cent on average between 2010 and 2014.

Alkhabeer Capital partners with Al-Zamil & Al-Kharashi Law Firm to develop waqf endowments

Alkhabeer Capital, an asset management and investment firm based in Saudi Arabia, announced the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement with waqf incorporation and regulation law firm Al-Zamil & Al-Kharashi. The agreement provides for synergy between Alkhabeer Capital and Al-Zamil & Al-Kharashi Law Firm in the creation and regulation of waqf solutions. The agreement follows Alkhabeer's unveiling of its proprietary "Waqf" program earlier this year, which provides waqf wealth structuring and management advisory services to educational and charitable institutions, family offices, high net worth individuals and philanthropists who aspire to establish waqf entities.

KSA is the regional leader in built asset wealth in 2015, according to Arcadis report

Saudi Arabia is the region's leader in built asset wealth according to the according to the latest Global Built Asset Wealth Index published by Arcadis. The index calculates the value of all the buildings and infrastructure that contribute to economic productivity in 32 countries, which collectively make up 87% of global GDP. On average, countries analyzed have a built asset stock worth 2.9 times GDP. China now has a built asset wealth of US$ 47.6 trillion, overtaking the USA which comes in second place with a wealth of US$ 36.8 trillion. On a regional basis, Saudi Arabia has a built asset wealth of US$ 3.15 trillion, while the UAE and Qatar rank respectively at US$ 1.33 trillion and US$ 0.45 trillion.

The Reports of Saudi Arabia’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

The collapse in oil prices, which have more than halved from their previous peaks, has not been painless for Saudi Arabia. However, it’s far too soon to start writing the kingdom’s obituary: Its economy is far better insulated now than it was during the slump of the 1980s and 1990s, when oil reached below $10 a barrel in 1998. Although spending increased in the oil boom years of the 2000s, Saudi Arabia saved quite a bit of money during this time. Cash reserves as a ratio of GDP reached close to 100 percent in 2014. Saudi Arabia will not incur a fiscal or currency crisis of any sorts for the next few years. Its balance sheet has recently made tremendous improvements.

EXCLUSIVE-Saudi CMA may relax investor rules to join world indices

Saudi Arabia would be open to relaxing its rules on foreigners investing directly in its stock market to help it get included in global indices, the chairman of the Saudi financial-markets regulatory agency, the Capital Market Authority, said. In his first interview with international media since his appointment in January, Mohammed al-Jadaan also defended the limited trading so far by qualified foreign investors (QFIs) and noted the kingdom was already seeing wider benefits from having direct foreign access to its $470 billion stock market. On June 15, the Saudi stock exchange, the Tadawul, became one of the last major emerging markets to let foreigners buy shares directly.

Saudi's Apicorp tightens guidance for benchmark debut sukuk -leads

Saudi Arabia-based Arab Petroleum Investments Corp (APICORP) has tightened price guidance for its debut benchmark U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk issue, which could be priced as early as Monday. Guidance was revised to a range of 105 basis points plus/minus 5 bps over midswaps. Pricing was initially set in the area of 110 bps over midswaps earlier in the day. The sukuk will have a five-year tenor and be classified as a quasi-sovereign issue. The order book for the issue currently stands at $650 million. The wakala-structured sukuk is being arranged by Emirates NBD, First Gulf Bank, Goldman Sachs, NCB Capital, Noor Bank and Standard Chartered.

UPDATE 1-Saudi's Al Rajhi Bank Q3 profit rises on lower expenses

Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Bank posted its first quarterly rise in net profit in nine quarters, helped by lower expenses. Net profit rose 3.6 percent to 1.72 billion riyals ($458.8 million) for the three months to Sept. 30, in line with an average estimate from analysts of 1.77 billion. The bank had posted declining profits in the preceding eight quarters, which it attributed to higher provisioning and higher operating expenses. Al Rajhi said operating income fell by 4.1 percent to 10.15 billion riyals, while profits from special commissions increased 2.4 percent to 7.47 billion riyals. Loans and advances at the end September stood at 209.91 billion riyals, up 3.1 percent, while deposits rose 6.2 percent to 265.48 billion riyals.

NCB capital initiates Tadawul platform

Saudi Arabia’s NCB Capital (NCBC) has launched a new AlAhli Tadawul platform designed to empower clients with more efficient tools and all the support and information they need to stay informed of promising investment opportunities available. The new reports and smart analytical tools include free features that automatically analyze the market and highlight promising opportunities. The availability of various trading channels enables traders to trade and keep track of stocks at any time and from any place. Additionally, the TeleTrading Service enables users to trade anywhere, even without an Internet connection. Live up-to-the-second stock prices are provided to all traders free of charge.

Alkhabeer Capital Appoints Musaad Mohammad Aldrees As Chairman

The Board of Directors of Alkhabeer Capital has accepted the resignation of Mr. Saleh Mohammed Binladen from his position as Chairman of the Board of Directors, for personal reasons. The board also announced the appointment of Mr. Musaad Mohammad Aldrees in his place as Chairman, effective October 7, 2015. Mr. Binladen said he was stepping down to reduce his broad responsibilities. Mr. Aldrees , a member of the board of Alkhabeer Capital since 2008, will serve as Chairman until the appointment of a new Board and Chairman in January 2016.

Arab National Bank places $533m sukuk

Saudi Arabia's Arab National Bank has issued SR2 billion ($533 million) of 10-year sukuk through a private placement, the kingdom's seventh largest lender by assets said in a bourse statement on Thursday. The bank has the right to call the sukuk after five years, it said. The yield was expected to be 140 basis points over the six-month Saudi interbank offered rate, the statement added. The proceeds of the issue will enhance the bank's capital in addition to allowing it to expand its activities through its Islamic window, the bank said.

Azzad Asset Management Participates in U.S.-Saudi Investment Forum

A delegation from Azzad Asset Management joined representatives from the Saudi Arabian and U.S. business communities in Washington, D.C., for a conference designed to foster trade ties between the two nations. Azzad has investments in Saudi Arabia through its international fixed-income fund. The U.S.-Saudi Investment Forum, organized by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority in conjunction with the Council of Saudi Chambers and the U.S.-Saudi Business Council, served as an opportunity for executives and officials to explore investments in energy, transportation, health, education, and financial services. Signing ceremonies between U.S. and Saudi businesses were a feature of the event.

Jadwa Investment completes global distribution agreement with Allfunds Bank

Saudi Arabian investment management and advisory firm Jadwa Investment has completed a distribution agreement with European platform Allfunds Bank (AFB) to offer shariah-compliant mutual funds to international investors across AFB’s global platform. Under the terms of the agreement, Jadwa’s portfolio of public equity and fixed income funds will be accessible across AFB’s worldwide network of 33 countries, including commercial banks, private banking institutions, fund managers, insurance and takaful companies and fund supermarkets. Jadwa Investment will be the only investment firm to provide actively managed and passively managed (indexed) shariah-compliant funds.

Saudi Fransi Capital successfully closes SAR 1.0 billion maiden Sukuk Issuance for Abdullah Al Othaim Real Estate Investment and Development Company

Saudi Fransi Capital announces the successful closing of the SAR 1.0 billion five year Sukuk offering on behalf of Abdullah Al Othaim Real Estate Investment and Development Company "OREIDCO". The Sukuk (senior secured) has been issued through OREIDCO Sukuk Limited, by way of a private placement in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. OREIDCO Sukuk has attracted strong interest from the investors community in the Kingdom, with demand originating from government-owned funds, banks, asset managers, corporates and insurance companies. It was priced at 6-month SAIBOR + 1.7%. OREIDCO plans to use the Sukuk proceeds for meeting its requirements for capital investment and for general corporate purposes.

Fitch revises outlook on four Saudi Arabian banks to negative

Fitch Ratings has revised the Outlooks on Al Rajhi Bank (ARB), National Commercial Bank (NCB), Riyad Bank (RB) and SAMBA Financial Group (SAMBA) to Negative from Stable. The revision of the banks' Outlooks to Negative reflects that their Long-term Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) are at the Support Rating Floor (SRF) for Saudi domestic systemically important banks (D-SIB) of 'A+'. This would be revised down to 'A' in the event of a one-notch downgrade of the Saudi sovereign. The Saudi banks' Support Ratings (SRs) and SRFs reflect the extremely high probability of support from the Saudi authorities, if required. Upward potential for the ratings is limited in light of a weakening sovereign and operating environment.

NCB plans $533m capital-boosting sukuk

National Commercial Bank (NCB), Saudi Arabia's largest lender, is selling SR2 billion ($533 million) of capital-boosting sukuk, two banking sources with knowledge of the matter said on Sunday. The offer, which enhances the bank's Tier 1 - or core - capital and is compliant with Basel III banking regulations, is the third such transaction by NCB since June, and is part of a plan to raise as much as 7 billion riyals of capital before the end of 2015, one of the sources said. NCB didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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