Egypt launches new fund to prepare government companies for IPOs – Arab News
RIYADH: The Egyptian government has launched a new fund to assist government companies in getting listed on the stock exchange, the country’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said told Bloomberg.
The “pre-proposal” fund will own stakes in a number of public institutions in order to attract more investment, said Elsaid who is also the Chair of Egypt’s Sovereign Wealth Fund.
The Egyptian government is preparing to relaunch its initial public offering program, coinciding with the call for the meeting of the Governmental IPOs Committee to convene this week.
The government was planning to list 10 government companies on the stock exchange this year, but the Russian-Ukrainian crisis delayed the plan.
CAIRO: A consortium led by US-based Bechtel has been selected for the front-end engineering and design contract for a unified power system that will link gas infrastructure in Egypt, reported MEED.
The clients of this project are UK-based oil and gas company Shell, the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co., and publicly owned Petronas in Malaysia.
The scope of work includes linking an onshore gas processing plant for the West Delta Deep Marine gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea to the Egyptian Liquefied Nitrogen Gas export terminal on the east of Alexandria. 
“The synergies will include optimization of the number of running gas turbine generators, modeling the most efficient operating mode for both plants, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and economizing the fuel consumption in the entire hub,” disclosed Bechtel.
Bahrain’s EWA receives bids for Al DUR IWPP
Deloitte and Touche, KPMG Fakhro, and Ernst & Young Middle East have submitted technical bids for the consultancy services contract for the third phase of Al Dur Independent Water and Power Plant.
The client on the project is Bahrain’s Electricity and Water Authority.
Through this third phase, the project aims to achieve an additional 1,500 to 1,800-megawatt capacity combined cycle power plant and a 50 million imperial gallons per day desalination plant.  
Sharjah to begin work on the first Tier 3 data center
A joint venture formed between Khazna Data Centres and BEEAH Digital is on its way to creating the first Tier 3 data center in Sharjah, reported Construction Review Online.
This project will align with the government’s digital transformation initiative, and pave the way for other data centers in the UAE to follow this path. 
The nine-Megawatt center will include full redundancy grade power, in addition to environmental control systems and high-tech security.
RIYADH: The Saudi Grains Organization has deposited SR33.7 million ($8.9 million) to 49 local farmers who supplied wheat quantities allocated for this season.
The payment constitutes the thirteenth batch for purchasing 19,266 tons of wheat, according to SAGO’s statement. 
It noted that the total amount spent this season so far has reached SR783.7 million.
DUBAI: The UAE’s tourism revenue reached 19 billion dirhams ($5.17 billion) in the first half of 2022, its vice president tweeted.
The number of hotel guests rose 42 percent year on year to 12 million, and there will be “a strong tourism recovery during the upcoming winter season,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and the UAE’s prime minister.
Over 7 million international visitors visited Dubai during the first half of 2022, an increase of over 183 percent year-on-year, according to Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism.
The official Emirates News Agency WAM said that Dubai is on track to meet its tourism goals for 2022 due to tourist visits and activity increasing.
In the first half of this year, the emirate recorded a similar number of tourists to what it recorded in the first half of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the city of the future and the world’s best place to live, work and invest in has resulted in a resurgence of Dubai’s tourism sector,” Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum said in a statement.
A rise in tourists reflected the emirate’s economic resilience and dynamism, he said.
During the period between January and June this year, the Middle East and North African region accounted for 34 percent of the 7.12 million tourists, Western Europe accounted for 22 percent, South Asia accounted for 16 percent, and Russia, Commonwealth of Independent States countries, and eastern Europe accounted for 11 percent.
All key hospitality metrics, including occupied room nights, average daily rates, and revenue per room, outperformed pre-pandemic levels.
During this period, Dubai hotels delivered 18.47 million occupied room nights, an increase of 30.4 percent year-over-year and 18 percent over pre-COVID levels in the first half 2019 of 15.71 million.
“The rapid rise in international tourist arrivals puts Dubai on track to achieve its ambitious target of becoming the world’s most visited destination. In the years ahead, Dubai will continue to develop itself further as a destination that offers compelling value to international travelers,” Sheikh Hamdan said.
RIYADH: Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co. is raising SR3 billion ($810 million) additional sukuk to boost home mortgages in the Kingdom, according to a top official. 
In an exclusive with Arab News on the sidelines of the Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference in Riyadh last week, Fabrice Susini, CEO of SRC, said that the sukuk transactions will be closed soon. 
“We expect to close the transaction (sukuk) either by the end of this week or the beginning of next week,” he told Arab News last week. 
Susini noted that the mortgage market has been experiencing tremendous growth since 2017. 
“If I look at the numbers between 2017 and the second quarter of 2022, the number of mortgages has been multiplied by four. And the amount of mortgages granted by the banks, and the mortgage finance companies has been multiplied by three,” said Susini. 
He added: “There is a volume increase which is significant. That means you have more Saudis today who own a home, and that is a great achievement by the Ministry of Housing, and all stakeholders in the housing ecosystem.” 
Susini pointed out that the concept of Saudis regarding owning big luxurious homes is changing over recent years.
“Younger Saudis are realizing that they can be perfectly happy and have a nice livelihood in slightly smaller units, well-built and well-constructed. In a community, whether vertical or horizontal, slightly smaller, cheaper to maintain homes allow Saudis to have more money available to do something else. It is changing progressively,” he said.
Susini added that SRC is a hybrid entity, privately owned by shareholders and receiving subsidies and grants given by the budget or the Public Investment Fund. 
He added: “We have a role in public policy implementation. We are there to contribute to Vision 2030, making access to mortgages affordable to all citizens.”
Susini added that SRC is trying to reduce the cost of mortgages, while the housing ministry is trying hard to reduce the cost of the land. 
“Cost of mortgages has decreased a lot over the past year and a half. And then you have the price of the land. It is something the ministry is working on with the rest of the ecosystem,” said Susini. 
He further noted, “I can’t commit that the price will remain flat, the environment is changing. But what I can say is there is a great deal of effort to make sure that any increase is as minimal as possible.” 
Established in 2017, SRC, backed by the PIF, aims to boost the rate of Saudi homeownership to 70 percent by 2030 in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 initiative.
SRC is a key market player that ensures the stability of the real estate finance market by providing liquidity and facilitating access to sustainable financing solutions for homebuyers in the Kingdom.
“What we are trained to do with our product of in-house solutions is to create incentives or limits to lower the cost of the mortgages so as to be as competitive as possible for the benefit of the borrower,” he added.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank has approved $1.12 billion for financing development projects for various sectors in nine member countries, according to a statement. 
It has also approved a grant worth $1.79 million for a number of other projects including market access readiness in Yemen and special assistance grants to Muslim communities in three non-member countries.
The bank’s board of executive directors approved this funding during its 347th session held on Sept. 10 in Jeddah.
In the session, headed by the bank’s president and chairman Muhammad Al-Jasser, the bank also discussed the existing financing gap in the energy infrastructure of some of the member countries.
Accordingly, the lender approved two energy sector public-private partnership projects for Uzbekistan and Uganda.
This happens as the countries’ governments use the PPP financing model to attract private sector investment expertise to deliver improved public services and accelerate economic growth.
The 100 million euro ($101 million) Surkhandarya Combined Cycle Power Plant Project in Uzbekistan is expected to meet the growing demand for the country’s energy consumption. 
It will also enable the country to phase out its aging and inefficient fleet of gas-fired thermal power plants, the lender said.
With regards to Uganda, the $100 million financing, which is part of the Islamic tranche, will allow the country to capitalize on its oil reserves and export oil to international markets through a 1443-kilometer cross-border buried-heated crude oil pipeline.
In the sustainable transport sector, IsDB approved $601.7 million as sovereign financing for transport projects in Guyana, Uzbekistan, and Uganda. 
These projects are expected to enhance transport infrastructure, facilitate market access for farmers and traders, and boost tourism.
In August, the bank’s President Mohammed Al-Jasser met with Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to discuss strengthening cooperation between both parties, Saudi Press Agency reported.
A letter of intent was signed during the meeting to provide a framework for facilitating cooperation, promoting rapid processing and approval of projects and operations that are part of the work program of the IsDB Group for Uzbekistan in 2022.
During their meeting, the two sides also emphasized the need to facilitate the joining of more co-financiers to participate in financing large projects.


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