• Monday, 23 July 2018
  • Published inJuly 2018

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Country Risk Update
Saudi Arabia
Risk Indicator – DB3c
Risk Level – Slight
Ratings Trend – Stable

Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves, which have allowed it to build up huge financial buffers, will support short-term government spending. Longer-term growth will be driven by government reforms under its Vision 2030, which aims to reduce its dependence on oil export revenues and boost the private sector.

Market Overview

China’s Silk Road Fund to invest in Dubai solar project
China’s Silk Road Fund has acquire a 24.01% equity interest in the 700MW DEWA concentrated solar power (CSP) project in Dubai.The DEWA CSP project, which was awarded to an ACWA Power led consortium in 2017, is the 4th phase of the Mohamed bin Rashid Solar Park, the largest single-site concentrated solar power plant in the world.The project uses a state-of-the-art combination of a central tower and parabolic trough technologies to collect energy from the sun, store it in molten salt and produce steam as required to generate electricity during the day and throughout the night.The project is projected to deliver electricity at a tariff of US $7.30 cents per kilowatt-hour 24 hours a day – a cost level that competes with fossil fuel generated electricity without subsidy for reliable and dispatchable solar energy around the clock.The agreement will see the project jointly invested and developed by DEWA, Silk Road Fund, and ACWA Power.

First Bahrain announces appointment of new acting CEO
First Bahrain, the developer which owns or holds rights to over 1,000,000 square feet of land in the Gulf kingdom, has announced the appointment of a new acting CEO.The company has appointed its current chairman Waleed Ahmed Alkhaja who will succeed Amin Al Arrayed who recently was appointed to serve as the CEO for Edamah, the real estate arm of Mumtalakat Holding Company, the sovereign wealth fund.With the selection of Alkhaja as the interim CEO, the board desired to send a message of stability and confidence to the market, a statement said.Alkhaja has served as chairman of First Bahrain since May 2014 during which time the company has doubled the value of its income generating assets and quadrupled its net rental income, as it developed a series of new projects in Janabiya and Seef. The company said it has clear plans for expansion as it begins work on the first phase of a retail project in Seef and looks closely at opportunistic acquisitions.

Saudi construction sector hardest hit by expat exodus
Saudi Arabia’s construction sector was hardest hit by an outflow of expat workers during the first three months of 2018, according to new research.Jadwa Investment latest update on the Saudi labour marker said the largest number of foreign workers leaving the Gulf kingdom were unskilled and on low wages.It said the number of foreigners leaving the market in Q1 was not equally met by the number of Saudis hired, probably due to the wage gap between Saudis and expats.Overall, Saudi Arabia’s inched up to 12.9 percent in the first three months of 2018, according to official figures from the General Authority for Statistics. During Q1, the labour market saw the implementation of expat levies, which raised expat labour costs, six months after the implementation of expat dependent fees. The total number of foreigners in the Saudi labour market has declined by around 796,000 since the start of 2017, with about 221,000 leaving the market during Q1, Jadwa said. At the same time, a new wave of Saudization was announced, by enforcing Saudi employment in 12 retail sectors by September.

First state-owned Chinese financial firm sets up in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has announced the establishment of the first Chinese state-owned financial services firm to provide investment and financial support to Chinese enterprises as part of the Belt-and-Road initiative. The state-owned financial services firm, known as the Industrial Capacity Cooperation Financial Group Limited (ICCFG), is the first such Chinese company to be approved by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM, to provide and arrange credit via the ADGM platform.The firm, which is expected to be up and running by the end of 2018, is set to manage about $2 billion of investment. It also intends to scale up its services and presence in other Belt and Road-related industrial capacity zones in the near future.State news agency WAM reported that the ICCFG will play a critical role in providing lending facilities to support the investment and financial needs of Chinese enterprises established in the zone located in the Khalifa Industrial Zone of Abu Dhabi (KIZAD).

Emirates, Etihad Airways said be in talks with South African Airways
Two UAE airlines have held talks with South African Airways about a partnership that it says is needed to revive its business, City Press reported, citing the UAE ambassador to South Africa. Talks between Emirates Airline and SAA, which have been going on for some months, are being facilitated by the UAE’s embassy in Pretoria, the Johannesburg-based newspaper cited Mahash Alhameli as saying. Etihad Airways has also been holding separate negotiations with SAA, he said. An investment in the unprofitable carrier would come after the UAE pledged to invest as much as $10 billion in South Africa’s economy, a commitment made during a visit by the nation’s President Cyril Ramaphosa this month. Ramaphosa has started an aggressive push to attract foreign investment since taking over from Jacob Zuma in February.SAA Chief Executive Officer Vuyani Jarana has repeatedly said an aviation investor could be the answer to the financial crisis at SAA, which hasn’t made a profit since 2011 and received a government bailout last year to avoid a debt default.

Commodity Tracker
Business Events this Week In UAE

HostApp Summit 2018
@ Sheikh Rashid Hall C&D,
Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre
06 August – 07 August 2018
Business Updates

We are proud to be part of Forbes Italy magzine in it’s July edition.
“The next level of decision-making” a page dedicated to CRIF which higlights CRIF’s vision, strategies and value proposition and how these allow the company to promptly satisfy the increasingly sophisticated needs of markets on a global level with incerpts from Carlo Gheradi and Eugenio Bonomi.


Introducing D&B’s Express BIR
D&B Express Business Information Reports helps to take day-to-day credit decisions, analyse a company’s financial strength and discover commercial opportunities.

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