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

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

NCB first Saudi bank to join SWIFT GPI

19/09/2017

SWIFT said on Monday that Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank (NCB) has signed up for its global payments innovation (GPI) service.

“The shift towards real-time payments is a global phe

Gulfnews

National Commercial Bank first Saudi Arabian bank to join SWIFT gpi

18/09/2017

SWIFT announces today that Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank (NCB) has signed up for its global payments innovation (gpi) service. The bank is the first in the country to join forces with over

Press Release

Ticker Price Volume
QNBK 119.00 298,550
BURUJ 29.45 47,373
SABIC 99.70 898,292
ALMARAI 52.40 64,035
STC 69.20 51,698
TAWUNIYA 89.00 4,697
SPIMACO 27.60 15,267
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
FAB 10.20 0.05 (0.49%)
RJHI 63.10 0.41 (0.65%)
NBK 718.00 -2.00 (-0.28%)
EMIRATESNBD 8.15 0.05 (0.61%)
SAMBA 22.74 0.08 (0.35%)
WiFi UAE Continues to Extend its Complimentary WiFi service

22/11/2017

People in the UAE will now be able to enjoy more innovation and connectivity through complimentary Internet access from new WiFi UAE sites throughout the UAE. These seven newly activated sites, inclu

Press Release

Al Khazna says matter of share suspension private with ADX

22/11/2017

Al Khazna said on Tuesday the matter regarding the share suspension of its publicly listed company on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) was “a confidential matter” with the bourse.

S

Gulf News

Batelco chairman meets top Guernsey officials

22/11/2017

Batelco Chairman Shaikh Mohamed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa and senior Batelco officials recently met with Guernsey government officials to discuss the company's unwavering commitment to Guernsey.

Trade Arabia

Dana Gas seen returning to table after London ruling

22/11/2017

Dana Gas plans to appeal a UK court ruling on $700mn of its Islamic bonds, whose holders include Goldman Sachs Group Inc and BlackRock Inc.

The decision by the London court on Friday is “fla

Gulf Times

Bank Muscat, IMD join forces for best practices in banking sector

22/11/2017

Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, in partnership with the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) from Switzerland, one of the leading internati

Oman Daily Observer