Saudi Arabia

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.

UPDATE 1-Saudi bank NCB selling 2 bln riyal sukuk -sources

Saudi Arabia's National Commercial Bank (NCB) is selling a 2 billion riyal ($533.3 million) sukuk as part of its plans to raise capital. 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. In the same way as the previous two issues, the latest sukuk is structured with a perpetual tenor but with a clause in the documentation which allows the bank to redeem the Islamic bond after a certain date. NCB Capital is acting as sole arranger. The transaction will be privately placed with one or more government-owned investment funds.

Saudi Arabia’s Almarai to issue 2 bln riyal sukuk

Saudi Arabian dairy producer Almarai will issue a senior sukuk of up to 2 billion riyals ($533 million) to help finance investment plans, it said on Tuesday in a statement published on the bourse website. The sukuk will be offered to local investors and is subject to market conditions, it said in its statement, adding it had mandated HSBC Saudi Arabia and Samba Capital and Investment Management Co to act as joint lead managers.

Ijmal to build a world-class Sharia compliant portfolio of real-estate developments

Saudi's Ijmal LLC has hired Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB), to help achieve Sharia Compliance in all its business activities. In this role, SRB will lead and oversee the company's Sharia compliant operations with global standards. Ijmal was incorporated in 2014 by Al Deghaither Group, Al-Othaim Holding, ICD and Nizwa Bank. Ijmal partners with real estate developers through a hybrid structure that incentivizes developers to achieve better quality products. Ijmal started its operations targeting developments located in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Khobar. So far, Ijmal has partnered with one developer building 68 sea-front apartments in Kohbar Saudi Arabia.

INTERVIEW-Former Saudi official presses for change in managing oil wealth

Khalid Alsweilem, a former senior official at Saudi Arabia's central bank says he believes the kingdom may soon change the way it manages its oil wealth as part of efforts to protect its financial reserves in an era of cheap crude. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency ( SAMA ) manages the vast bulk of petrodollars earned by the world's top oil exporting country; net foreign assets at the central bank totalled $664.5 billion in June. Alsweilem, who managed the assets as chief investment officer at SAMA , argues the arrangement is dangerous because the finance ministry can draw freely on the reserves when it wants to cover budget deficits caused by periods of low oil prices.

Saudi's Othaim Malls targets up to 1 bln riyal debut sukuk issue - sources

Saudi Arabia's Al Othaim Real Estate and Investment Co, owner of five shopping malls in the kingdom, is marketing a five-year debut sukuk issue which could raise up to 1 billion riyals ($267 million) for the company. The firm, also known as Othaim Malls, is part of Al Othaim Holding, a family-owned conglomerate which includes listed food retailer Abdullah Al Othaim Markets Co. Othaim Malls launched the transaction last week, with pricing earmarked at between 165 basis points and 175 basis points over the six-month Saudi interbank offered rate. Part of the proceeds will be used to fund its expansion plans.

Challenges and Opportunities for the Wealth Sector in Saudi Arabia 2015, New Report Launched

Market Research Reports, Inc. has published the research report “Challenges and Opportunities for the Wealth Sector in Saudi Arabia 2015” on their website The report focuses on HNWI performance between the end of 2010 and the end of 2014. This enables us to determine how well the country's high net worth individuals (HNWI) have performed through the crisis. This report is a thorough analysis of Saudi Arabia's Wealth Management and Private Banking sector, and the opportunities and challenges that it faces. The report also includes comprehensive forecasts to 2019.

The National Commercial Bank (NCB) announces the successful completion of subordinated tier 1 Sukuk by way of private placement

The National Commercial Bank ( NCB ) has successfully settled an issuance of subordinated Additional Tier I capital Sukuk, in the amount of SAR 2 Billion, and compliant with Islamic Sharia principles through a private placement offer in Saudi Arabia. Sukuk issuances such as this are intended to strengthen the Bank's capital base in accordance with the Basel III framework and sustain its growth while maintaining healthy capital adequacy levels. Additionally, the Sukuk will continue to extend the maturity profile of NCB 's liabilities while continuing to diversify its sources of funding. NCB Capital Company acted as sole Lead Manager.

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