The SABB/HSBC Emerging Markets Index (EMI), a monthly indicator derived from the PMI™ surveys, rose to a 17-month high of 52.5 in August, from 51.7 in July. That signalled stronger growth of output across global emerging markets, led mainly by a sharper increase in Chinese service sector activity. The EMI remained below its long-run average of 53.8 (since late-2005), however.
Service sector output in emerging markets rose at a stronger rate in August, with growth almost matching June’s 15-month high. Manufacturing output rose at a rate unchanged from July’s eight-month high.
Among the largest emerging markets, China posted the fastest growth since March 2013. Output in Russia and India rose at weak rates, while a marginal contraction was signalled for the fifth month running in Brazil.
The SABB/HSBC EMI Index registered new business growth regaining the momentum lost in July, and was the joint-fastest in nearly a year-and-a-half. That said, backlogs continued to decline marginally, signalling spare capacity. Employment was broadly stable, in line with the underlying trend shown throughout the past year-and-a-half.
Input price inflation reached a three-month low in August, reflecting a weaker rise in manufacturing input prices. Chinese goods producers reported lower input prices during the month, while input price inflation in Russia accelerated for the first time since March. Meanwhile, prices charged for final goods and services in emerging markets continued to rise at a marginal pace.
The SABB/HSBC EMI Index indicated that the expansion rate of Saudi Arabia’s non-oil producing private sector gained momentum during August, with output, new orders and employment all increasing at stronger rates compared to July. Inventory accumulation also strengthened as companies retained optimism regarding future activity requirements.
The UAE’s non-oil producing private sector companies posted a marked strengthening of business conditions in August, as new orders and output rose at accelerated rates. Furthermore, new business expanded at the second-quickest pace in the series history to date. Meanwhile, the rate of growth in new export business rose to a record high.
Output and new orders in Egypt’s non-oil private sector economy returned to growth in August, following contractions in July. The rates of expansion were sharp and the most marked in eight months. Meanwhile, new business from abroad rose sharply and purchasing activity increased at the fastest pace since data collection began in April 2011.
The Saudi British Bank “SABB” has published the results of the headline SABB/HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™) for August 2014 – a monthly report issued by the bank and HSBC. It reflects the economic performance of Saudi Arabian non-oil producing private sector companies through monitoring a number of variables, including output, orders, prices, stocks and employment.
The expansion of Saudi Arabia’s non-oil producing private sector gained momentum during August, with output, new orders and employment all increasing at stronger rates compared to July. Inventory accumulation also strengthened as companies retained optimism regarding future activity requirements, leading to another marked increase in purchasing activity. Vendors reacted positively to greater requirements for inputs by improving their delivery performance at a marked pace.
The headline index from the report, the seasonally adjusted SABB/HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™), improved in August to a level of 60.7, from July’s 60.1. That was the best reading since July 2011 and signaled acceleration in growth for the third month in a row.
Driving the SABB/HSBC PMI Index higher were stronger gains in both output and new orders. Latest research data showed that output increased to the sharpest degree since June 2011 while the rise in sales was the strongest for nearly two years. Many companies reported an improvement in underlying demand as market conditions strengthened, both at home and abroad. New export sales increased at the strongest pace since March with demand from companies reported to have strengthened. Good reputations for business helped to build client relationships and support sales growth according to research participants.
As incoming new business continued to increase then pressure on capacity was sustained. Backlogs of work rose for a nineteenth successive month, albeit at a rate that was down on July’s survey record.
Participants in the SABB/HSBC Index study responded to the increase in workloads by recruiting more staff. Net employment increased further and at the best rate since March 2013 according to latest data.
Reflective of some optimism for future activity and business requirements, companies continued to increase purchasing activity during August. Growth was again sharp, and accelerated since the previous research period. With delivery times for inputs continuing to shorten, companies were able to replenish their inventories, with stocks of purchases increasing to the greatest degree since March 2013.
Meanwhile, on the price front, average input costs continued to increase during August, albeit at a slower rate. Purchase price increases weakened to a three-month low, but staffing costs rose at a slightly faster pace. Output charge increases remained modest.
The Saudi British Bank “SABB” has published the results of the headline SABB HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™) for July 2014 – a monthly report issued by the bank and HSBC. It reflects the economic performance of Saudi Arabian non-oil producing private sector companies through monitoring a number of variables, including output, orders, prices, stocks and employment.
The monthly-adjusted headline PMI posted 60.1 in July, up from 59.2 in June, which indicates a sustained expansion of the Saudi Arabian non-oil private sector. The pace of growth was the quickest since September 2012 and reflective of a sharp improvement in operating conditions.
As was the case last month, solid output and new order growth helped drive the headline PMI upwards. Output increased at the steepest rate since February 2012, with new orders rising at the fastest pace in ten months. Meanwhile, new business from abroad also increased sharply.
Firms commented on increased numbers of new projects and good market conditions as the primary factors behind strong demand levels within the economy. Firms sought to increase output in order to meet this burgeoning demand, however, the level of outstanding business continued to accumulate during the month. The rate at which backlogs accumulated was quick in light of historical data.
As a result of growing evidence of capacity constraints at their units, firms in the Saudi Arabian non-oil private sector continued to increase their workforce numbers during July. The pace of job creation eased slightly since the previous month, and remained moderate overall.
According to anecdotal evidence, expected output growth was one of the reasons for companies to raise their purchasing activity during the month. That said, the pace of increase slowed slightly when compared to the previous month. In line with the increase in purchasing activity, pre-production inventory growth eased slightly but remained solid overall.
Despite strong demand levels, suppliers’ delivery times improved fractionally during the month, albeit at the slowest pace in the current three-year sequence of improvement. Companies reported that faster delivery times had been agreed with suppliers in order to meet higher business requirements.
Overall input costs increased at the fastest pace in seven months during July, driven mostly by a sharp increase in purchase prices. Meanwhile, wages continued to rise at a moderate pace. Study participants commented on higher levels of demand and rising raw material costs as the primary factors fuelling the increase in purchase prices.
As a result, firms increased their selling prices for the second month in succession as they sought to protect their margins from higher input costs.
The Saudi British Bank - SABB recorded a net profit of SAR 2,238 million for the six months ended 30 June 2014. This is an increase of SAR 285 million or 14.6% compared to SAR 1,953 million for the same period in 2013. SABB recorded a net profit of SAR 1,157 million for the three months ended 30 June 2014, an increase of SAR 76 million or 7.1% as compared to the three months ended 31 March 2014, which amounted to SAR 1,081 million.
Operating income of SAR 3,285 million for the six months ended 30 June 2014 – an increase of SAR 347 million, or 11.8%, compared with SAR 2,938 million for the same period in 2013.
Customer deposits of SAR 138.3 billion at 30 June 2014 – an increase of SAR 12.4 billion, or 9.9% compared with SAR 125.9 billion at 30 June 2013.
Loans and advances to customers of SAR 112.7 billion at 30 June 2014 – an increase of SAR 6.7 billion, or 6.3% from SAR 106.0 billion at 30 June 2013.
The bank’s investment portfolio totalled SAR 41.5 billion at 30 June 2014, an increase of SAR 10.7 billion, or 34.5% from SAR 30.8 billion at 30 June 2013.
Total assets were SAR 175.5 billion at 30 June 2014, compared with SAR 161.9 billion at 30 June 2013, an increase of 8.4% or SAR 13.6 billion.
Earnings per share is SAR 2.24 against SAR 1.95 for the corresponding first half of the previous year.
Sheikh Khaled Olayan, Chairman of SABB, said: “SABB’s strategy of diversifying its income streams and controlling its costs has enabled the bank to record a strong financial performance for the six months ended 30 June 2014. SABB’s continued focus on risk management, asset quality and maintaining strong capital and liquidity positions continues to provide SABB with growth opportunities in line with our strategic objectives.”
“We would again like to thank our customers for their continued support and our staff for their commitment and contribution to the bank's success."
The Saudi British Bank “SABB” has published the results of the headline SABB/HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™) for June 2014 – a monthly report issued by the bank and HSBC. It reflects the economic performance of Saudi Arabian non-oil producing private sector companies through monitoring a number of variables, including output, orders, prices, stocks and employment.
June data signaled the continued expansion of the Saudi Arabian non-oil private sector, with the seasonally adjusted headline PMI recording 59.2, up from 57.0 in May. This highlights a strong improvement in operating conditions and the highest since January.
The improvement in the SABB/PMI Index partly emanated from stronger growth in both output and new orders, while record-high buying activity was recorded. The pace of output growth quickened to a 26-month high. New business from abroad also improved, albeit at a slower pace than total new orders.
Companies sought to meet rising demand by ramping up output. Firms also recorded a further increase in backlogs of work as new business rose sharply. However, the rate of accumulation was slower than in the previous month and was moderate overall.
In response to growing signs of capacity constraints at their units, Saudi Arabian non-oil private sector firms increased their workforce numbers for a third successive month. The net rise in employment was solid overall, with the latest increase the fastest in the current sequence of job creation.
Survey participants signaled strong levels of optimism for growth by continuing to increase their purchasing activity during June. The latest data indicated the sharpest rise in input buying since the survey began in August 2009, as companies expanded their inventories in order to meet current levels of demand and in anticipation of higher future workloads. Consequently, stocks of purchases continued to build in June and the rate of increase was the sharpest in four months. In spite of strong demand for inputs, average delivery times continued to improve. Better vendor performance was encouraged by a competitive market that required shorter delivery times.
The SABB/HSBC PMI Index showed that overall input costs in Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector continued to rise in June. Staff cost increases were marginal, with purchase prices the driving force behind the rise in overall input costs. Survey Participants linked higher purchasing costs to a strong level of demand present in the economy.
In response to increased cost increases, companies raised their selling prices, albeit marginally, during June. The pace of expansion was fractional overall, with the vast majority of the panel reporting no change from the previous month.
The Saudi British Bank “SABB” was named winner across 3 Treasury related categories for 2014 from The Banker Middle East. The awards included, Best Derivatives Solution Provider, Best Foreign Exchange Provider and Best Treasury Management in the Kingdom.
These prestigious awards were given as part of The Banker Middle East’s Product Awards, which are recognised as highly prestigious prizes for financial institutions and regarded as a barometer that reflects a financial institution's position as a leader amongst peers.
The awards were collected by Mr. Saleh Al-Motawa, SABB’s Treasurer, who commented: “We are delighted to be the winner of these awards in the Kingdom. The awards serve to highlight our leadership in providing innovative and customised solutions in an increasingly diverse and challenging marketplace. We are very proud of this recognition by The Banker Middle East”.
In 2014, Treasury continued its focus on product innovation, increased market share and the development of treasury opportunities for clients. SABB provides a wide range of conventional and Shariah-compliant treasury risk management and investment solutions that meet the complex and growing needs of our clients.
The Saudi British Bank (SABB), has been awarded three prestigious awards offered by the International Finance Magazine. The 2014 awards were "Best Commercial Bank in Saudi Arabia", "Best Foreign Exchange Bank in Saudi Arabia", and "Fastest Growing Retail Bank in Saudi Arabia".
SABB's wins in the awards process occurred after a nomination by a panel of experienced and eminent judges, who carefully conducted a thorough assessment of all awards candidates.
SABB's record in public acknowledgements is a testament to the pioneering position it occupies in the Saudi financial services industry. With a strategic focus on the customer experience, SABB offers a fully integrated and comprehensive offering in both the retail and the commercial banking areas to ensure an optimal mix in addressing a full line of financial needs.
The Saudi British Bank "SABB" has published the results of the headline SABB/HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Manager'’ IndexTM (PMITM) for May 2014 – a monthly report issued by SABB and HSBC. It reflects the economic performance of Saudi Arabian non-oil producing private sector companies through monitoring a number of variables, including output, orders, prices, stocks and employment.
Survey participants indicated the continued expansion of the Saudi Arabian non-oil producing sector. After accounting for seasonal factors, the headline PMI recorded 57.0, down from 58.5 in April, to signal another month of strong growth, but at a rate that matched March's recent rate of growth.
The small slip in the PMI largely emanated from a drop in the rate of new order growth in May. Latest data showed that new business rose at a slower rate, with sales from abroad increasing at a much weaker pace.
Nonetheless, total new order growth remained strong and overall demand firm. There were reports that marketing and considerable efforts by private sector sales staff had supported the latest net rise in new business.
Companies continued to respond to growth of new work by increasing output at their units, with the latest growth the sharpest seen for three months. Not only did firms seek to deal with increased new business volumes, but also worked on existing contracts. Backlogs of work increased during May at the sharp rate as well.
Despite evidence of capacity constraints at their units, Saudi Arabia's non-oil producing private sector companies were careful in increasing their net hiring. The employment was up for a second successive month (with workers recruited to deal with increased workloads), but the net rise in payroll numbers was marginal.
Survey participets in the SABB/HSBC Saudi Arabia PMI Index signalled some optimism for growth by continuing to increase their purchasing activity. May's survey indicated the sharpest rise in input buying for six months, with companies not only buying goods to service current workloads but also to boost inventories. Latest data showed that stocks of purchases continued to build in May but at a slower rate.
A low increase in average input prices reduced the pressure on companies to raise their own charges in May, with companies offering a slight net discount for the first time in nine months.
The HSBC Emerging Markets Index (EMI), a monthly indicator derived from the PMTM surveys, continued to indicate only a marginal increase in output across global emerging markets in April. The EMI posted 50.4, from 50.3 in March, well below its eight-and-a-half year long-run trend level of 53.9.
April data indicated falling output in the four largest emerging economies. Overall business activity across the Chinese manufacturing and services sectors declined slightly for the third month running, the longest sequence of contraction in over five years. Meanwhile, private sector output in Russia fell at the fastest rate since May 2009. Indian business activity fell for the ninth time in ten months, albeit marginally, while Brazil posted a fractional decline for the second time in four months.
Manufacturing output across emerging markets was broadly stagnant in April, while services activity growth was unchanged from March's weak rate. The volume of new business across both sectors rose at a rate little-changed from March's eight-month low. Backlogs of work fell for the fourth month running while a marginal cut in employment was signalled.
Cost pressures remained subdued in April, as average input prices increased at the slowest rate since June 2013. Manufacturing input prices continued to fall in China, South Korea and Poland, while Russia and Turkey continued to post the sharpest rates of inflation.
Middle East & Africa
April data signalled a second consecutive record rise in activity in the UAE's non-oil producing private sector, while both total new order orders and new export orders increased at sharp rates. Meanwhile, companies were encouraged to take on additional workers, with the rate of job creation the highest in over four years.
Non-oil activity in Saudi Arabia meanwhile rose at a slightly sharper rate than in March, while the increase in new orders was the quickest since the beginning of the year. New export business also rose in April, but the rate of growth was down from March's joint-series high.
Egyptian non-oil private sector companies reported a renewed drop in output in April, ending a two-month sequence of growth. However, the pace of contraction was only marginal overall. New order intakes declined amid reports of ongoing fragile political conditions.
South African private sector companies reported a sharper fall in activity during April. Survey participants largely attributed the decline to lower new business and disruptions caused by ongoing mining strikes. New order intakes decreased at the fastest rate in the 34-month series history. In addition to the mining strikes, the upcoming elections were mentioned by panellists to have weighed on demand.
The Saudi British Bank, SABB, has announced the launch of the new Debit Card to all new and existing SABB customers. The newly-launched Visa debit card will enable SABB account holders' much wider access to purchasing options and cash withdrawal locally and globally.
SABB's new Visa debit card can be used to pay directly, conveniently, and securely for goods and services at millions of retail outlets in Saudi Arabia and around the world. Furthermore, the card can be used to withdraw cash at over 10,000 ATMs in the Kingdom, as well as over 1,000,000 ATMs throughout the world.
The new SABB Visa debit card is the latest in SABB's efforts to provide its customers with best-in-class products and services, with an aim to secure an optimal customer experience. In addition, the card will be brining online purchases capability in near future, which makes it easier to conduct e-commerce transactions as well as hotel reservations and car rentals.
Ihab Ayoub, Visa General Manager for Middle East and North Africa, said: "SABB is one of the fastest growing banks and we are proud to partner with them on this debit card agreement, which is a milestone in the technology based banking industry in Saudi Arabia and supports our goal of growing the local economy and enhancing our partners’ customer experience".
Majed Najm, General Manager, Retail Banking and Wealth Management at SABB, said: "The new Visa debit card is another example of how SABB seeks the latest technological advances to enhance its line of offerings to our valued customers. We are determined to continue with this strategy to offer a more convenient everyday banking to our customers, and to maintain our pioneering position in the market."
The Saudi British Bank "SABB" has published the results of the headline SABB/HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers' Index(PMI) for April 2014 – a monthly report issued by the bank and HSBC. It reflects the economic performance of the Saudi Arabian non-oil producing private sector companies through the monitoring of a number of variables, including output, orders, prices, stocks and employment.
April data signaled a further solid improvement in operating conditions at Saudi Arabia's non-oil producing private sector companies, with the seasonally adjusted headline PMI Index posting 58.5, rising from March's 57.0.
Improving economic conditions remained one of the main factors behind the latest solid expansions in output and new orders, according to survey participants. Activity rose at a slightly sharper rate than in last March, while the increase in new orders was the quickest since the beginning of the year. New export business also rose in April, but the rate of growth was down from March's levels.
A renewed rise in workforce numbers was reported by Saudi Arabia's non-oil private sector firms, following a month of fractional job shedding. Increased business requirements were the main reason for the rise in staffing levels, according to survey respondents. Meanwhile, backlogs of work rose for a fifteenth straight month, as new order growth imparted further pressure on operating capacity.
Overall input prices increased further in April, but the rate of cost increases eased to the weakest since mid- 2010. While general economic pressures and increased raw material costs accounted for much of the latest rise in purchase prices, average staff costs rose only fractionally, with the vast majority of survey respondents signaling no change.
In response to higher input costs, Saudi Arabia's non-oil private sector firms raised their selling prices in April. Charge increases accelerated to the sharpest in nearly one-and-a-half years.
As has been the case throughout the 57-month survey history, suppliers' delivery times shortened further in April. The latest improvement in vendor performance was, however, the weakest since February.
With output and new orders rising, Saudi Arabia's non-oil private sector companies increased their purchasing activity in April. The latest expansion was the sharpest since November last year, with around 30% of the survey participants reporting higher buying activity.
Meanwhile, the latest survey data signaled a further rise in stocks of raw materials and other pre-production inventories. The latest increase in input stocks was sharper than in March, but remained below the long-run series average.
The SABB/HSBC Emerging Markets Index (EMI), a monthly indicator derived from the PMTM surveys, fell for the fourth month running to 50.3 in March, from 51.1 in February, indicating only a marginal increase in private sector output across global emerging markets.
Notably, output contracted since February in three of the four largest emerging economies. China posted a marginal decline for the second month running, while India slipped back into contraction. Meanwhile, Russian private sector output fell at the fastest rate since May 2009.
Emerging market manufacturing output fell for the first time in eight months in March, albeit marginally. Meanwhile services activity rose at the weakest rate since July 2013. A faster increase in Chinese service sector activity was offset by declines in Russia and India.
New business growth across global emerging markets eased to a fractional pace in March, and backlogs of work continued to decline. Subsequently, employment growth remained weak.
Input price inflation in emerging markets hit a nine-month low in March. Russia bucked this downward trend, seeing the strongest rise in input prices in three years – mainly due to the weakening ruble. In contrast, China posted a fall in average input prices for the third month running.
The March data from the SABB/HSBC index signalled declines in output and new orders in South Africa’s private sector amid reports of disruptions caused by the mining strike and unusually bad weather. However, the rates of contraction were indicative of only marginal reductions. The fall in new orders was driven by lower domestic demand, while new export orders rose for a second successive month.
In the Middle East, PMI data signalled the continued strong expansion of Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector economy in March. Growth was supported by improved demand from abroad, with the rate of expansion a joint-series high amid evidence of an improvement in demand from key export exports.
The UAE’s non-oil private sector companies reported a steep rise in output during March, with the pace of expansion accelerating to the highest since data collection began in August 2009. New order growth also picked up, falling just short of November’s record high. Meanwhile, employment levels rose further and buying activity increased sharply.
Egypt’s non-oil producing private sector companies reported a fractional rise in output in March, while new order intakes declined for the second time in the past three months. Employment levels continued to fall, although at the weakest pace in a year-and-a-half. Meanwhile, companies reduced their output charges, despite an accelerated increase in input costs.
The Saudi British Bank ("SABB") recorded a net profit of SAR 1,081 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2014. This is an increase of SAR 133 million or 14.0% compared to SAR 948 million for the same period in 2013, and an increase of SAR 105 million or 10.8% compared to SAR 976 million for three months ended 31 December 2013.
Operating income of SAR 1,621 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2014 – an increase of SAR 183 million, or 12.8 %, compared with SAR 1,438 million at 31 March 2013.
Customer deposits of SAR 137.0 billion at 31 March 2014 – an increase of SAR 14.9 billion, or 12.2 %, compared with SAR 122.1 billion at 31 March 2013.
Loans and advances to customers of SAR 109.9 billion at 31 March 2014 – an increase of SAR 8.7 billion, or 8.6 %, from SAR 101.2 billion at 31 March 2013.
The bank's investment portfolio increased by SAR 5.7 billion to SAR 38.1 billion at 31 March 2014 - an increase of 17.6 % from 31 March 2013.
Total assets increased by SAR 16.6 billion to SAR 175.4 billion at 31 March 2014 - an increase of 10.5 % from 31 March 2013.
Earnings per share is SAR 1.08 against SAR 0.95 for the corresponding quarter of the previous year.
Sheikh Khaled Olayan, Chairman of SABB, said: "SABB’s strategy of diversifying its income streams and controlling its costs has enabled the bank to record a strong financial performance for the quarter ended 31 March 2014. SABB’s continued focus on risk management, asset quality and maintaining strong capital and liquidity positions continues to provide SABB with growth opportunities in line with our strategic objectives."
"We would again like to thank our customers for their continued support and our staff for their commitment and contribution to the bank's success."
The SABB/HSBC Emerging Markets Index (EMI), a monthly indicator derived from the PMI™ surveys, fell for the third month running to 51.1 in February, from 51.4 in the first month of 2014. That signaled the weakest growth in global emerging market output since last September, with the EMI also remaining well below its long-run trend level of 54.0.
The moderation in growth in the latest period reflected the weakest rise in manufacturing output in five months, in contrast to January when the slowdown reflected weaker expansion in the service sector. Services activity in emerging markets rose at a slightly stronger rate in February, albeit one that remained relatively weak.
Manufacturing output in emerging markets was weighed down by contractions in China, Russia and South Korea. Growth slowed in Mexico and remained weak in Brazil. In contrast, Poland and the Czech Republic posted sharp increases, as did Taiwan.
Conditions are likely to remain subdued in March, with incoming new business rising at the slowest rate in five months. Reflecting this lack of pressure on capacity, employment was broadly unchanged over the month and backlogs of work declined further. Finally, inflationary pressures remained weak overall, despite evidence of cost pressures in Brazil, Russia, Turkey and the Czech Republic linked to exchange rates.
February PMI data indicated the continued expansion of Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector economy with output, new orders, and employment all continuing to rise, albeit at slower rates. Meanwhile, in the United Arab Emirates there were solid expansions in output and new orders at non-oil private sector companies. New export business rose at the quickest pace in the series history and input costs increased at the slowest pace for six months.
SABB/HSBC Emerging Markets Index report signaled renewed expansions in output and new orders at Egyptian non-oil producing private sector firms in February, after declines were reported in January. But new export business fell for the first time in four months, linked to unusually bad weather in export markets and shipping problems.
Private sector output growth in South Africa hit a ten-month high in February, but remained modest overall. New business increased at the fastest rate since November 2012, and new export orders rose for the first time in three months. Notably, average input prices and charges both increased at the fastest rates in the 32-month survey history.
The Saudi British Bank "SABB" has published the results of the headline SABB HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for February 2014 – a monthly report issued by SABB and HSBC. It reflects the economic performance of Saudi Arabian non-oil producing private sector companies through monitoring a number of variables, including output, orders, prices, stocks and employment.
February data indicated the continued expansion of Saudi Arabia's non-oil private sector economy, with output, new orders, and employment all continuing to rise. However, growth rates were a little softer.
Latest data showed that output continued to rise during February, supported by ongoing increases in new orders. Rates of expansions remained sharp, albeit lower than the survey averages. Study participants commented that economic conditions remained supportive for conducting and securing new business, both at home and abroad. February's study results showed that export orders strengthened during the latest survey period, with the rate of growth accelerating to the sharpest for four months.
A number of companies responded to increased workloads and sustained growth in new business by adding to their payrolls. Latest data showed that staffing levels increased for the twenty-ninth successive month. February's net gain in staffing levels was, however, the slowest recorded in recent months.
Higher business requirements also encouraged higher purchasing activity in February. Growth was sharp, as companies not only sought to service current projects but also to build stock in anticipation of continued growth. Latest data showed that inventories of purchases rose to the greatest degree for 11 months.
In spite of continued growth of demand for inputs, suppliers to Saudi Arabia's non-oil private sector economy were again able to exceed average delivery times compared to a month ago. SABB/HSBC study participants commented that vendors improved their performance in response to demands for faster deliveries.
Finally, on the price front, output prices were raised at a modest, but accelerated pace in February. The rate of price increase was the sharpest recorded in a year as companies responded to further rises in average input prices.
Overall input costs continued to rise at a marked pace, albeit one that was the slowest for seven months. Purchase price increase was slightly softer, while average salaries rose to the weakest degree since last September. Where wages were increased, it was to mainly compensate.
SABB was named the winner of "Best Private Banking Services" award for the year 2014, which was offered by Euromoney magazine. The award was offered to SABB for the third consecutive year by the prestigious magazine.
Euromoney magazine’s private banking awards are considered the most prominent recognition in the area of wealth management and it covers over 60 countries each year. Winning the award indicated a high degree of excellence achieved in a competitive environment that can only be attained through a well-thought strategy and meticulous execution that positions the client to be the sole focus of overall business operations.
Commenting on winning the Euromoney awards, Naif Alabdulkareem, General Manager of Branches and Wealth Management at SABB, said "We are delighted to be selected for this prestigious acknowledgment. SABB will continue to be a pioneer in the private banking field, as we continue to seek all means possible to secure the highest client satisfaction levels."
The Saudi British Bank (SABB) has received the "Best Commercial Bank" award in a ceremony held in Dubai recently. The awards event was organized by the UK-based International Finance Magazine.
The criteria utilized to arrive at the winners included profit increases, growth in number of clients, ranges of products offered, innovative product lines, CSR activities, as well as the brand image of the company.
Mohammed Bindawood, General Manager of Commercial Banking at SABB, said: "we are delighted to get this important recognition. At SABB, we seek to understand our clients’ needs thoroughly to better address their needs. An optimal client experience is a central goal for us, as we continue to work towards being the most reliable, knowledgeable, and capable banking partner in the market."
Saudi Company for Tools and Hardware ("SACO"), a pioneer in the hardware retail and wholesale business, and the largest total-solution home improvement superstores in Saudi Arabia, has appointed HSBC Saudi Arabia as financial adviser, lead manager and underwriter for its planned Initial Public Offering.
Established in 1985, SACO currently operates 21 retail outlets, including 3 SACO World superstores, in 12 cities throughout the Kingdom, with over 45,000 different products on display in stores ranging from 2,500 to 24,000 sqm and has over 1,900 employees.
Khaled Al-Hamidi, the Chairman of SACO, stated "We are proud to announce our shareholders’ decision to file for listing SACO on the Tadawul Stock Exchange; this is a strategic milestone in our continued development journey. We are aiming for an efficient and successful process in accordance with applicable regulations, and are excited to offer Saudi investors and citizens the opportunity to participate in and be part of the SACO success story".
Sameer Al-Hamidi, the CEO of SACO, said "SACO is among the most innovative companies in its field throughout the Kingdom, offering its customers a unique one-stop-shop experience with the widest products range at competitive prices. As the exclusive dealer and partner in Saudi Arabia for numerous global brands, SACO offers quality merchandise to its customers from all over the world. SACO has achieved outstanding growth over the last years and has developed a significant and growing market share in the Saudi retail sector".
He added: "This IPO will be a major step forward in our expansion strategy, and we are confident that HSBC Saudi Arabia, with its track-record and reputation as a leading investment company in the Kingdom and internationally, will deliver a successful and seamless IPO process for SACO".
Walid Khoury, the CEO of HSBC Saudi Arabia Ltd, stated "We are delighted to be selected to lead the IPO of SACO, which we believe will be an excellent addition to the Saudi financial markets. This is another testament to our unparalleled track-record in Saudi Arabia, with 20 completed IPOs and equity issues since 2003, based on our unique combination of a strong Saudi-based team supported by the global HSBC platform providing world-class sector expertise".
SABB Takaful’s line of Family Takaful products won an award -for the second time in a row- at the MENA Insurance Awards which was held recently in Dubai. SABB Takaful competed for the award with global providers of conventional insurance, as well as Takaful companies, from 22 Middle Eastern and North African countries.
Winning the award came after a careful consideration of candidates by a panel of independent and world-renowned industry experts, based on clear criteria such as market share growth and quality of product offerings. The "MENA Insurance Awards" were organized by the MENA Insurance Review.
Mr. Yousef Alburshaid, Chairman of SABB Takaful, said "We are delighted by the selection of SABB Takaful for this prestigious award. Our diverse offerings seek to address our client needs in a comprehensive manner. We are committed to promoting a culture of family Takaful to financially and socially improve the standard of living of our clients, while operating in full harmony with Islamic values and principles."
HSBC Saudi Arabia Limited has won "Nine" awards including the coveted 'Saudi Asset Manager of the Year' award for its performance over the year 2013 at the MENA Fund Manager Performance Awards ceremony held recently. The MENA Fund Manager Performance Awards are presented annually based on the performance track record of the asset managers in the GCC region and the ceremony attracts the single largest gathering of the region's asset managers.
In addition to the Saudi Asset Manager for the Year, HSBC Saudi Arabia won the following awards:
HSBC GCC Equity Fund for GCC Equity fund – over $30m 1 & 3 Year performances.
HSBC Saudi Construction and Cement Companies fund for Sector fund for 1 & 3 Year performance
HSBC Saudi Freestyle Equity Fund for Best Saudi Equity fund
HSBC Saudi Freestyle Equity Fund for Best Shariah Compliant Equity fund
HSBC Saudi Companies Equity fund for Best Saudi Equity fund – 3 Year performance
HSBC Saudi Freestyle Equity Fund for Best New Comer fund.
Walid Khoury, the Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Saudi Arabia Limited said: "This is a remarkable achievement for HSBC as no other regional firm has ever won as many awards in one year. HSBC Saudi Arabia is not only the best asset manager in Saudi but also in the MENA region as a whole."
Osama Shaker, Managing Director & Head of Financial Markets at HSBC Saudi Arabia commented: "We are extremely pleased to have won nine awards which reflects our strong commitment to deliver superior investment products and performance. We strive to always deliver excellent investment returns to our clients via our dedicated team of investment professionals by offering comprehensive and unparalleled investment solutions and services."
The Saudi British Bank (SABB) has been named by Global Finance magazine as the “Best Trade Finance Bank” in Saudi Arabia for 2014. This is the 6th consecutive year that SABB has picked up this coveted award, widely acknowledging SABB as the preeminent trade finance bank in the Kingdom.
The recognition from Global Finance magazine comes after an assessment of transaction volumes, scope of global coverage, customer service, competitive pricing and innovation of the leading trade finance providers in the Kingdom. This also takes into account feedback from key decision makers in multinational companies globally, alongside traditional input from industry analysts, corporate executives and technology experts.
In 2013, SABB continued its focus on client service, product innovation, and the development of trade opportunities for clients. During the year, SABB successfully rolled out a number of key initiatives directed towards helping its clients grow their trade-related businesses. SABB provides unrivalled global connectivity through its association with HSBC Group, and a range of sophisticated and customized conventional and Sharia-compliant trade finance solutions to meet growing trade and supply chain needs of its clients.
Commenting on winning the award, Mohammed Bindawood, General Manager of Commercial Banking at SABB, stated "Customer service and experience remains a priority for us and we are delighted to win this award and to be recognized as the leading trade finance bank in the Kingdom. The award serves to highlight that we continue to lead from the front in providing innovative and customized solutions for the increasingly diverse, challenging and complex trade and supply chain needs of our clients and we are proud to be recognized by them and the market in this respect".
The Saudi British Bank - SABB recorded a net profit of SAR 3,774 million for the year ended 31 December 2013. This is an increase of SAR 534 million or 16.5% compared to SAR 3,240 million for the same period in 2012. SABB recorded a net profit of SAR 976 million for the three months ended 31 December 2013, an increase of SAR 161 million or 19.6%, compared to the three months ended 31 December 2012, which amounted to SAR 815 million.
Operating income of SAR 5,815 million for the year ended 31 December 2013 – an increase of SAR 649 million, or 12.6%, compared with SAR 5,166 million for the same period in 2012.
Customer deposits of SAR 139.0 billion at 31 December 2013 – an increase of SAR 18.6 billion, or 15.4%, compared with SAR 120.4 billion at 31 December 2012.
Loans and advances to customers of SAR 106.1 billion at 31 December 2013 – an increase of SAR 10.0 billion, or 10.4%, from SAR 96.1 billion at 31 December 2012.
The bank’s investment portfolio totaled SAR 37.4 billion at 31 December 2013, an increase of SAR 9.8 billion, or 35.6%, from SAR 27.6 billion at 31 December 2012.
Total assets were SAR 177.3 billion at 31 December 2013, compared with SAR 156.7 billion at 31 December 2012, an increase of 13.2% or SAR 20.6 billion.
Earnings per share is SAR 3.77 for the year ended 31 December 2013 against SAR 3.24 at 31 December 2012.
Sheikh Khaled Olayan, Chairman of SABB, said: "SABB’s strategy of diversifying its income streams and controlling its costs ensured another strong financial performance in 2013. SABB’s continued focus on risk management, asset quality and maintaining strong capital and liquidity positions provides SABB with growth opportunities in line with our strategic objectives."
"We would again like to thank our customers for their continued support and our staff for their commitment and contribution to the bank's success."