Nahed Taher has goal of funnelling investments in infrastructure and public private partnership (PPPs) projects

24/10/2017 12:55 AST

Nahed Taher, the first female Saudi senior economist at National Commercial Bank and the founder of Gulf One Investment Bank, has set up a joint investment vehicle with the investment arm of one the largest pension funds in the United States that will deploy as much as US$100 billion in capital towards financing projects, leveraging the kingdom’s privatisation agenda.

“It’s been hard to finance projects in the past because it has been short term debt and very expensive,” Ms Taher, who now heads Seeds Consulting, told The National. “So the solution is to increase the long-term debt for profitable projects with a return on equity and investment that is much above the interest rate, and create serious amount of jobs to compensate for the loss of employment while restructuring, and new jobs for newcomers."

Ms Taher’s teamed up with the fund about four months ago with the goal of funnelling investments in infrastructure and public private partnership (PPPs) projects. The fund, which she requested not be named, has an investment portfolio that includes convention centres, tourism related projects, sporting venues and stadiums, hospitals and healthcare facilities, as well as airports and public transportation, public works and utilities in addition to universities and colleges.

Ms Taher is presently working with Saudi ministries with a view to investing in build-operate-transfer projects, PPPs, semi- privatisation projects and industries in the kingdom and across the Islamic world.

Her initiative comes at an important juncture as Saudi Arabia vies to diversify its economy for a post-oil 21st century. Under king Salman and crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s realignment under Vision 2030 involves fiscal sustainability through energy reform, the reduction of subsidies and reducing the country's inflated public servant wage bill. The overhaul of the economy also includes widening the country’s manufacturing base, creating jobs, privatising state-controlled assets and boosting foreign direct investment.

The listing of entities in the transport sector and a 5 per cent planned sale of Aramco, the world’s largest energy company, in a public offering that is expected to reap US$100 billion are but a few examples of the kingdom’s changing strategic imperatives.

The joint venture between the fund and Ms Taher’s Seeds Consulting, which is set to start providing financing by year-end, will offer leverage financing to large-scale projects across various industries related to water, health care, power, renewable energy, oil and gas, petrochemicals and education. The financing comes with long-term maturity of up to 40 years with interest rate payments that are lower than commercial banks in the region, she said.

"The government ministries are working hard, I have no doubt, busy with restructuring, fighting corruption and so forth, but this takes years to happen,” Ms Taher said. “I personally think that what should be happening in parallel is launching mega projects to get income and have the PIF [Public Investment Fund] or government funds to be partners with the private sector and bring international intelligent money to the country to launch these projects."

To date, four contracts have been awarded on a PPP basis in the transportation sector, including for the new Taif airport. There are about $40bn worth of PPP projects in the pipeline related to power, desalination and other sectors, according to National Commercial Bank estimates.

Click here for more


The National

NCB’s net income jumps 10.5% in Q1

08/05/2018

The National Commercial Bank (NCB) announced that net income for the first quarter of 2018 reached SR2,987 million compared to SR2,703 million for the same quarter of the previous year, an increase o

Saudi Gazette

NCB board recommends increase in capital through bonus shares

31/12/2017

The Board of Directors of NCB has recommended on 28-12-2017 corresponding to 10-04-1439H to an Extraordinary General Shareholders Assembly (EGAM) an increase the Banks capital through bonus shares as

Tadawul

Lower costs propel Saudi Arabia's NCB Q3 profit up 8.4 pct

22/10/2017

Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank (NCB), the kingdom’s largest lender, reported a 8.4 percent rise in third-quarter net profit on Sunday, helped by a fall in expenses and provisions for bad loa

Reuters

Ticker Price Volume
WALAA 28.15 175,461
TAWUNIYA 71.70 246,979
SABIC 128.60 1,877,983
SAICO 15.12 141,192
QNBK 154.00 316,895
KAYAN 14.90 8,193,872
BURUJ 31.75 85,667
NCB Sector Market
P/E
Price/BookValue
Dividend Yield (%)
Relative Strength
  • 1-Month
  • 3-Month
  • 1-Year
Volume Change
  • 10D Avg Vs 90D Avg
Price Vs…
  • 52-w high
  • 50-day moving avg.
  • 200-Day Moving Avg
Ticker Price Change
RJHI 87.60 2.00 (2.33%)
FAB 12.05 0.10 (0.83%)
SAMBA 32.00 0.85 (2.72%)
EMIRATESNBD 9.90 0.00 (0.00%)
NBK 746.00 0.00 (0.00%)
Fitch upgrades outlook of Doha Bank to stable

24/06/2018

Fitch Ratings has upgraded the outlook of Doha Bank from negative to stable and affirmed the long-term Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) at ‘A’, it was announced in a statement.

“The upgrade to

Gulf Times

Bahrain Islamic relaunches premium banking services

24/06/2018

Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) has announced the relaunch of its Al Thuraya Premium Banking Services with a selection of new unique features tailored to cater to the needs of High Net Worth Individuals

Trade Arabia

Barwa Bank and International Bank of Qatar in advanced merger talks

21/06/2018

Qatari lenders Barwa Bank and International Bank of Qatar are in advanced talks to merge after discussions for a three-way merger with another bank collapsed last week, sources told Reuters on Wednes

The Peninsula

Aldar picks Marriott to manage Abu Dhabi luxury hotel

21/06/2018

Aldar Properties, a leading developer in Abu Dhabi, UAE, said it has signed up global hospitality giant Marriott International to manage one of its most strategically located hotels on Yas Island.

Trade Arabia

SABIC takes part in IFA Conference in Berlin

20/06/2018

SABIC participated in the 86th annual conference of the International Fertilizer Association (IFA) in Berlin on June 18-20 as the Gold sponsor to underline the vital role played by the company in mee

Saudi Gazette