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YEAR 2000 PRESS RELEASES

Lucent Technologies and Saudi Telecom Co conduct GPRS trials in Saudi Arabia

December 3, 2000
  

Recreational Projects Available in Jeddah

December 1, 2000

Business Opportunity at the Port of Dammam

December 1, 2000

Ministry of Petroleum Announces Project for US Manufacturers of Catalytic Converters and Conversion Kits

November 30, 2000

Saudi Company Seeking U.S. Manufacturers of Classic and Modern Furniture

November 12th, 2000

Al-Alamiah Electronics signs a contract with the High Authority of Tourism

November 9th, 2000

NEWTEK Solutions and Riyad Bank sign Internet banking & WAP deal

Monday, October 16, 2000

SABB Announces Third Quarter 2000 Results

October 2, 2000

KINGDOM STUDYING MORE INVESTMENT BIDS

Monday, September 25, 2000


General Dynamics Wins $28 Million Saudi Aramco Offshore Networking Contract.

August 18, 2000

SAUDI ARABIA APPLIES THE LAW FOR FOREIGN OWNERSHIP OF REAL ESTATE NEXT NOVEMBER.

13th June 2000

Shoura Council approves ownership of real estate by non-Saudis

April 13, 2000

New Investment Law Text

April 10, 2000

Saudi Arabia Approves New Foreign Investment Law

March 9, 2000

Lucent Technologies Wins Optical, Data Network Contracts Valued at $145 Million from Saudi Telecom

February 1, 2000

Saudi Chevron Petrochemical Celebrates Opening of Kingdom's First Totally Private Basic Petrochemical Partnership

YEAR 2001 PRESS RELEASES


PRESS RELEASE --  SUNDAY DECEMBER 03, 2000

Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) announced today that it successfully conducted a trial of its General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) jointly with Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) in the Jeddah GSM network in Saudi Arabia.

Tests of "always on" mobile Internet technology designed as prelude for service launch

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA -- Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) announced today that it successfully conducted a trial of its General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) jointly with Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) in the Jeddah GSM network in Saudi Arabia . GPRS is a high-speed packet data network enhancement that enables mobile Internet access and data communications for a new generation of wireless devices. GPRS technology adds high-speed Internet , email and other data services to GSM cellular networks.

The Lucent GPRS project will enable STC to test-market the service and provide related valuable market research for the launch timing of full-fledged GPRS services for all STC customers. This early deployment of GPRS will place STC and Saudi Arabia in a wireless technology leadership role.

STC currently has over a million subscribers on its GSM dual band (900/1800) network and is expected to grow over two million in the coming year. STC currently offers several advanced wireless services, including short messaging, data and fax services.

Lucent Technologies' strategic product blueprint allows customers to easily migrate their technology and applications from one generation of wireless technology to the next. Initial GPRS-equipped terminals will enable wireless data speeds up to 56 kilobits per second (kpbs), with further evolution up to 115 kbps.

Lucent Technologies has recently conducted successful GPRS trials in Malaysia with CELCOM as well as in Australia with OneTel. In Germany, Lucent Technologies GPRS software is carrying live commercial GPRS traffic in over 8000 base stations in T-Mobil's GSM Network. Lucent is also planning to conduct over 12 GPRS trials with multiple global operators around the world.

Khalid Balkheyour, vice president of Lucent Technologies (Saudi Arabia) said: "The GPRS trials conducted successfully at Jeddah, is another example of Lucent's constant commitment to identify, develop, design and showcase business solutions and define future products specifically for the Saudi telecommunications market. The introduction of advanced products for the Saudi mobile market after proper tests and trials, is bound to strengthen the country's position in advanced wireless technology."

Dr. Ziyad Al-Etaibi, Director General of STC's mobile unit, said: "The success of this trial today, which we conducted jointly with Lucent Technologies, is considered the first trial of its kind and magnitude in the Middle East. It paves the way for STC to introduce high speed data services to our subscribers and strengthens our position as a leading wireless operator in the region."

Lucent Technologies, headquartered in Murray Hill, N.J., USA, designs and delivers the systems, software, silicon and services for next-generation communications networks for service providers and enterprises. Backed by the research and development of Bell Labs, Lucent focuses on high-growth areas such as broadband and mobile Internet infrastructure; communications software; communications semiconductors and optoelectronics; Web-based enterprise solutions that link private and public networks; and professional network design and consulting services. For more information on Lucent Technologies, visit its Web site at http://www.lucent.com.

In Saudi Arabia, Lucent Technologies plays a major role in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's progress by constructing one of the most sophisticated telecommunications networks in the world. It has been broadly and deeply involved in providing the complete spectrum of telecommunications products, services and technologies in the Kingdom through its participation in various projects.

Lucent is at the heart of providing the latest in universal services anywhere in the Kingdom, whether in public switching, GSM, WLL, Internet and data services, optical fiber or satellite networks, with all the required operations and maintenance systems.

Lucent has a multi-national workforce of 2,200 in Saudi Arabia, including more than 600 or approximately 30% who are Saudis in engineering, technical and administrative management and non-management positions.

For more information, reporters may contact:

Sam Gronner - U.S.
Lucent Technologies
+973-386-5065 - office
908-507-2115 - mobile
Email:  samgronner@lucent.com

Mohammed Al Dhalaan - Saudi Arabia
Lucent Technologies
Tel +966-1-2397070 - office


PRESS RELEASE -- December 1, 2000

Saudi Company Seeking U.S. Manufacturers of Classic and Modern Furniture

Rashed M. Thahen & Partners Co. is a Jeddah based company that deals with all types of furniture. The company is an agent distributor for different British furniture manufacturing companies like Spring Vale, Derwant, and Lord Sharetons. They are also an agent distributor for MIKASA the American
tableware manufacturing company. Rashed M. Thahen & Partners Co. own several luxurious show rooms throughout the Kingdom.

Rashed M. Thahen & Partners Co. is seeking American manufacturing companies for classic and modern furniture to form a distributor or agency agreement.  They are specifically looking for bedrooms, living rooms, as well as office furniture.

Interested American companies should send catalogs and price lists to:


Mr. Rashed M. Thahen
General Manager
Rashed M. Thahen & Partners Co.
P.O. Box 23855
Jeddah 21436, Saudi Arabia
Tel: 966-2-667-2740
Fax: 966-2-667-2792

Source: U.S. Commercial Service, 2000


PRESS RELEASE -- December 1, 2000

Business Opportunity at the Port of Dammam

Mr. Ehsan Abdul Jawad, Group Executive Director of Globe Marine Services Company announces an ongoing project to establish a re-export zone at the port of Dammam.   Globe Marine Services Company and four other Saudi companies have formed The Saudi Re-export and Development Group (Dammam FTZ) to operate a re-export zone at the port of Dammam. The company has obtained a lease on a large plot of land within the port of Dammam where it is building a warehouse.  It also hired a former director of Saudi customs to propose a number of revisions to Saudi customs regulations that will facilitate the operations of the re-export zone. The first stage of the re-export zone, open air storage areas, opened for business this past summer.

Dammam FTZ hopes to initially attract dealers in high value imports such as cigarettes and cars.  A re-export zone will allow the owners to bring the goods into Dammam but delay paying custom duties until the goods are actually sold. Dammam FTZ believes it can become the major shipping hub or the upper Gulf because of its position as a port of entry for the largest market in the GCC.

U.S. companies interested in doing business with Dammam FTZ can contact Mr. Ehsan Abdul Jawad at the following address:

Mr. Ehsan Abdul Jawad, Executive Director
Globe Marine Services Co.
P.O. Box 1814
Dammam 31441, Saudi Arabia
Tel: 966/3/831-0000
Fax: 966/3/831-1222

Source: U.S. Commercial Service, 2000


PRESS RELEASE -- November 30, 2000

Recreational Projects Available in Jeddah

Fakieh is one of the leading groups within the tourism and recreational sector in Saudi Arabia.  The company is looking for experienced U.S.companies to jointly work with Fakieh on the following projects:

1. Al-Nawras Island- 93 international standard villas, a themed five star seafood restaurant, social and health club, and three private beaches.

2. Sail Island Water Park-  A tropical island for families. A forest of majestic white 24-meter high
sails shades the whole island area, plus large swimming pools, playgrounds, water fountains, and opened themed food courts.

3. Sagala Restaurant-  A five star seafood restaurant at Abhur on one of the finest seafront location of the Red Sea.

4. Jeddah Aquarium-  The first underwater aquarium in the Middle East with 6,000 cubic water capacity basin. It will also include a five star restaurant, cafeterias and souvenir shops.

5. Al-Shalal Amusement Park-  Al-Shallal is the first large-scale theme park in the Gulf region. It
will be one of the finest place for families to visit. The centerpiece of the park is a vast Amazon jungle theme ride with animated jungle animals.  A 45-meter high waterfall with dancing fountains and large lagoon with boat rides. Other facilities will include an Olympic size ice skating rink, European and Far East villages with outdoor rides, a seafood restaurant overlooking the lagoon, a main entertainment building, arcade games, restaurants and retail sales outlets.

For more information on the above projects please contact the following individual:

Mr. Nehad Muhammed Ameen Ismail
Project Manager-Sail Island
Fakieh Hospitality & Leisure Group
P.O. Box 14220
Jeddah 21424, Saudi Arabia
Tel: 966-2-233-2685/233-2687
Fax: 966-2-233-2584
Cell Phone: 966-556-22266
E-Mail: fakieh@zajil.net or nehad@tri.net.sa

Source: U.S. Commercial Service, 2000


PRESS RELEASE -- November 30, 2000

Ministry of Petroleum Announces Project for US Manufacturers of Catalytic Converters and Conversion Kits

The Minister of Petroleum of Saudi Arabia has announced that Saudi Arabia will switch to unleaded gasoline starting in 2001. New regulations mandating the use of catalytic converters in imported new and used cars are expected to be introduced and enforced. This will create a market approximately valued at $300-400 million for US manufacturers of catalytic converters and conversion kits.

Saudi Aramco has plans to phase out the use of lead in gasoline production.   Tetraethyl lead, which has been used at Saudi Aramco's oil refineries to enhance the octane number in gasoline, will soon be replaced by other additives to produce unleaded, environmentally friendly gasoline. Saudi Aramco is studying the possibility of producing IC5 as one of those additives.  Saudi Aramco will continue to use MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether) and is planning to evaluate the use of an octane enhancer known as MMT (methyl cyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl) in gasoline production at its
refineries. MMT can be used along with other unleaded additives.

It is worthy to mention that Saudi petrochemical facilities produce 2.7 million metric tons per year of MTBE. A portion of the produced MTBE is used by the local petrochemical industries and the rest is exported.

Imported new and used motor vehicles into Saudi Arabia are not currently equipped with catalytic converters because there is no unleaded gasoline in the country. Over three million passenger cars travel the roads in the country and pollute the air with their exhaust fumes.

For more information please contact:
Yanbu' Refining
Executive Director
Tel: 966/4/397-8400, 397-8401
Fax: 966/4/397-8600

US manufacturers of catalytic converters and conversion kits interested in exploring this market can contact:
Principal Commercial Officer
U.S. Consulate General - Dhahran
Unit 66803
APO, AE 09858-6803
Tel: 966-3-330-3200
Fax: 966-3-330-2190

Source: U.S. Commercial Service, 2000


NEWTEK Solutions, the region's leading 'net' business consulting and technology solutions specialist, have recently won a contract to provide Internet Banking & WAP Solutions to RIYAD BANK.
November 9th, 2000


Dubai, UAE
RIYAD BANK is launching a new Internet and mobile banking service for retail, commercial and corporate customers, as an effort to enhance and improve on existing banking systems. The entire project is being developed by NEWTEK and Brokat, building front-end and back-office elements as well as integrating them with the Bank’s existing back-end systems.

“Being one of the major Banks in the region, our prime consideration is our customer reach. Our services need to be available to our customers everywhere, anywhere and immediately. At RIYAD BANK, we believe that through our venture with NEWTEK we will be able to achieve this, and more”, commented Alan Thompson, President & CEO, RIYAD BANK. “Our aim is to provide our customers with an unsurpassed service, that is not available through other banks. We are confident that NEWTEK are providing us with viable solutions for today’s banking world”, he added.

NEWTEK’s Brokat products were chosen over a number of competitor’s products for their proven record of over 2,000 installations worldwide, as well as the fact that their installation is far more straight forward compared with other solutions. In addition, one of the more important features of Brokat is its enhancement of time to market constraints. For example, a website can be edited immediately with no downtime.

“NEWTEK undertook an in-depth study of RIYAD BANK requirements; thus, we know that this project will help build the infrastructure of the Bank, and with its flexibility allow for additional NEWTEK products in the future”, stated Youssef Ward, NEWTEK, President & CEO “We are pleased to announce that this is the largest Brokat project in the Middle East and the first in Saudi Arabia”, he added.


NEWTEK Solutions is the exclusive distributor for Brokat products in Saudi Arabia while holding a strong presence in the Middle East & North Africa Region. NEWTEK understanding of the local business environment and unrivalled experience and team of professionals, make it the obvious partner of choice for ‘net’ business consulting and technology solutions.

Press Contacts:


Ruba Mughrabi
NEWTEK Solutions
PO Box, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4 282 7927
Fax: +971 4 282 7027
Email: ruba_moghrabi@newtekc.com
http://www.newtekc.com

Lucy Davies,
NettResults Management Consultancy
PO Box 2260, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4 331 1593
Fax: +971 4 331 1562
Email: Lucy@NettResults.com
http://www.NettResults.com


Al-Alamiah Electronics announced signing a contract with the High Authority of Tourism with the aim of providing the latter with all computer facilities and accessories.

November 12th, 2000

Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
His Royal Highness, Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, General Secretary of the authority and Mr. Hamed Al-Sharekh, Al-Alamiah’s Chief Director, singed the contract.

The enterprise secures a supporting technological base for utilizing state of the art IT technologies in running the authority’s businesses and facilitating internal cross-departmental communications.

The signed contract also facilitates providing the latest PC technologies and accessories to fully securing and accessing Internet connections.

The project represents one of the positive activities made by the authority to fully promote its human and equipment resources. It will also accelerate procedures to build a huge database for tourism in the Kingdom.

It is worth mentioning that the authority has previously executed an enterprise for utilizing necessary software applications and programs. It also includes establishing a comprehensive database for storing data, documents.


For more information, you are welcome to contact:
Qassim Ali

Tel: 0096614770106
Fax: 0096614784893
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia



SABB Announces Third Quarter 2000 Results

Monday, October 16, 2000

The Saudi British Bank (SABB) has recorded a net profit of SAR560 million (US$149 million) for the nine months ended 30 September 2000. This represents an increase of 14.8 per cent over the SAR488 million (US$130 million) earned in the same period in 1999. Customer deposits increased to SAR27.6 billion (US$7.3 billion) from SAR24.9 billion (US$6.6 billion) at 30 September 1999 as customers responded positively to enhanced products and services. Loans and advances to customers stood at SAR13.8 billion (US$3.7 billion) at 30 September 2000 compared to SAR14.5 billion (US$3.9 billion) at 30 September 1999. The decline was due to weak demand for new corporate borrowing and scheduled repayments of existing loans. Personal lending continued to grow at a steady pace. The total value of SABB’s investment portfolio increased to SAR22.6 billion (US$6.0 billion) at 30 September 2000 from SAR15.2 billion (US$4.0 billion) at 30 September 1999 as the bank deployed available liquidity in a diversified investment portfolio, taking advantage of market opportunities. David Hodgkinson, managing director, said: “Strong oil prices boosted economic confidence and resulted in an improved climate for investment. Our results for the nine months were in line with our expectations and reflect a robust increase in operating revenues from diversified income streams. This is encouraging and we will continue to pursue a strategy aimed at achieving steady growth. Equally, we look forward to prospects arising from the government’s liberalization program. Our continued aim is to deepen our customer relationships with a full range of products and services to meet their requirements. We thank our customers for their support and our staff for their dedication during this period.”

Source: Saudi British Bank Website




KINGDOM STUDYING MORE INVESTMENT BIDS

October 2, 2000

In an interview with Al-Ahram newspaper published in Cairo today, Governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki Al-Saud stated that the Kingdom is studying more foreign bids for investment in the areas of oil, gas, minerals and related services, including operation and maintenance of computer and telecommunications networks. SAGIA, he said, is endeavoring to make the investment climate more attractive and more competitive at regional and international levels.

As of the end of 1999, around U.S. $50 billion was invested in Saudi Arabia from overseas. These investments enjoy the same privileges and incentives as domestic investment, such as the provision of land at a nominal price, right of ownership of real estate, copyright guarantees, freedom of flow of capital and interest, right of litigation whenever disputes erupt, and waiver of confiscation except by judicial order. These are in addition to the reduction of the maximum tax rate from 45 to 30 percent, the transfer of losses to an unlimited deadline, and the right to receive loans from the Saudi Industrial Development Fund. Investment regulations stipulate that the minimum capital for agricultural investment is SR 25 million, for industrial investment, SR 5 million, and for non-industrial investment, SR 2 million.


Source: General Dynamics Corporation (ticker: GD, exchange: NYSE)
               Monday, September 25, 2000


General Dynamics Wins $28 Million Saudi Aramco Offshore Networking Contract

NEEDHAM, Mass. – General Dynamics Worldwide Telecommunication Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), has been awarded a $27.8 million contract to build a new fiber optic network to connect Saudi Aramco’s Arabian Gulf offshore oil platforms to the mainland.

Through this contract, the Offshore Fiber Optic Cable System Project, General Dynamics will replace existing microwave systems on oil platforms in the Arabian Gulf with undersea fiber optic cable. The synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) network will support high-bandwidth voice and data communications, allowing land-based decision authorities to monitor performance of the oil platforms at sea.

Saudi Aramco is the largest oil producing company in the world, responsible for 99 percent of Saudi Arabia’s crude oil reserves of 259 billion barrels – about a quarter of the world’s total.

"We have been working with Aramco for years as they focus on obtaining the appropriate technology to meet their business needs," said Bill Lightfoot, vice president of international programs for General Dynamics Worldwide Telecommunication Systems. "This project will provide Aramco with state-of-the-art solutions, giving them the tools to achieve their information and technology objectives."

General Dynamics Worldwide Telecommunication Systems will provide program management, design, procurement, installation and commissioning of the network. The company is a leading provider of wire line and wireless networks for voice, video and data communications around the world.

General Dynamics Advanced Technology Systems, which operates a fleet of cable-laying ships specifically designed to install and service undersea telecommunications systems, will complete a detailed survey of the Saudi coast seabed. Upon survey completion, General Dynamics will design and install a nonrepeatered undersea fiber optic cabling system, addressing any environmental constraints.

Design and procurement work is planned to begin in November, followed by installation and commissioning of the new network, plus removal of the existing microwave equipment, in 2001. Project completion is scheduled for August 2002.

In addition to this program, General Dynamics is constructing a fiber optic network and associated support facilities for Saudi Aramco’s Hawiyah Gas Plant Development project, and recently completed work on a complete communications infrastructure to support the Shaybah oil and gas production facilities in Saudi Arabia’s "Empty Quarter."

Shaybah, approximately 434 miles from a major urban area, is one of the most foreboding places on the planet, due to summer temperatures exceeding 140 degrees and the violent sandstorms that are routinely experienced in the region. Despite these challenges, employing 50 engineers, technicians and supporting staff and over 200 subcontractor personnel, General Dynamics designed, engineered, installed and commissioned a turnkey telecommunications network in 15 months.

General Dynamics Worldwide Telecommunication Systems has been delivering telecommunications solutions for more than 40 years, in all 50 states and more than 40 countries. With more than 3,200 employees, General Dynamics Worldwide Telecommunication Systems provides worldwide support to commercial and government customers alike.

General Dynamics Advanced Technology Systems has been developing advanced communication, sensor and processing systems for commercial and defense customers for more than 50 years. The company offers photonics and fiber-optic technologies and also provides project planning, management, engineering, installation and maintenance services to the communications industry worldwide, with major emphasis on the undersea cable market.

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, employs approximately 44,000 people worldwide and has annualized sales of approximately $10 billion. The company has leading market positions in telecommunications, shipbuilding and marine systems, land and amphibious combat systems, information systems, and business aviation.


Source: Ain-Al-Yaqeen - August 18, 2000

SAUDI ARABIA APPLIES THE LAW FOR FOREIGN OWNERSHIP OF REAL ESTATE NEXT NOVEMBER.

THE MINISTRY OF INTERIOR PROVIDE LICENSES FOR PRIVATE OWNERSHIP AND SR 30 MILLION IS THE MINIMUM REQUIRED FOR INVESTMENT.


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has unveiled new rules and regulations for the ownership of real estate by foreigners and their investment in the sector and said the new law would come into effect on November 9, i.e. 90 days after the official announcement of the law on August 11.

Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper published extracts from the new law which has been endorsed by the Council of Minister on the 10th of July after it was passed by the Supreme Economic Council and the Shoura Council last May.

There are eight basic articles in the law called "The system of real estate ownership and investment of non-Saudis." Article two allows non-Saudi individuals, who are legal residents in the Kingdom, to own real estate for their private resident with the permission of the Ministry of Interior.

As per Article Two of the system the ownership of real estate properties will not be open to all expatriates. Only those who receives licenses from the Ministry will be entitled to purchase real estate for their personal use.

The Ministry will have the right to either approve or reject their applications.

Article One of the system refers to ownership of real estate by foreign investors to conduct their business activities. Clause (a) of the law allows such investors to own properties required for their accommodation and that of their employees. The investors are also allowed to rent their properties.

According to real estate businessmen, the authority to issue real estate ownership licenses has been given to the ministries, which supervise various economic and business activities. The issuing authority will be either the Ministry of Industry and Electricity or the Ministry of Agriculture and Water or the Ministry of communications, etc.

As per Article 1, Clause (b) at least SR 30 million should be invested for receiving the license for purchasing land and buildings for selling and renting purposes. This article makes it clear that foreign investors in real estate should have a capital of at least SR 30 million. This clause could be changed by a decision of the Council of Ministers.

Marae Ibn Mahfooz, a major real estate investor, said the law would encourage major international companies to enter the Kingdom's real estate market.

"The Kingdom will also attract new real estate developers," Ibn Mahfooz said, adding that the market was lacking capable developers who can cater to the needs of low income groups.

Saad Al-Nefjan, another real estate investor in Jeddah said that the new law prevented illegal competition and artificial price hike in the sector by putting a condition that an investor should invest his property within five years of his ownership. Previous laws allowed an investor to keep the property only for three years.

Article Three is related to the real estate owned by foreign missions in the Kingdom. It allows foreign embassies and consulates to own their headquarters as well as the residences of heads of missions and staff. International and regional organizations should get licenses from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to own buildings for their headquarters.

Article Four of the system allows "ownership of real estate in cases other than previously mentioned with the permission of the Prime Minister."

As reported before Article Five of the new law bans foreigners to own properties in the Two Holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, except through inheritance or endowments. However the law provides foreigners the right to rent buildings within the two holy cities for not more that two years, that could be renewed.

Article Six stressed that officials who endorse deeds should not approve any deeds that contradict the new law.

"The application of the new law does not cancel the rights of foreigners and GCC citizen to own properties as per previous regulations," the new law said.

Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported that the system has been subjected to a study by the ministries concerned, like the Ministry of Finance, National Economy and Planning, and especially to the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, which due to its previous experience in the field of renting lands to investors played a large role. After the Cabinet had issued the resolution, which allows foreigners to own lands belonging to the state, a number of governmental organizations offered real estates and lands for sale to investors.

On the other hand businessmen in the field of real estate reject the idea that foreign investment would cause a sudden outburst that would raise real estate prices. They stressed that the Kingdom is a large country capable of absorbing new comers in the market. They explained that this would enlarge the market to include new areas, and stressed that the new law would terminate the cover phenomenon that affects the real estate market.


 

PRESS RELEASE --13th June 2000

Shoura Council approves ownership of real estate by non-Saudis

The Shoura (Consultative) Council today passed a bill on real estate ownership for non-Saudis at a regular session.
Following the meeting, Dr. Homoud Al-Badr, secretary general of the Council, told the Saudi Press Agency that the meeting gave approval for foreigners to own real estate in all cities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia except Makkah and Madinah. He said the new bill is part of the [developmental] efforts in the economic and social fields in the Kingdom. He drew the attention to the fact that the Council had discussed the bill at several sessions and that the final version of the bill, submitted by the Economic Committee of the Shoura Council today, reflected these previous deliberations.
(Riyadh, 13th June 2000Source: SPA)

 


PRESS RELEASE -- April 13, 2000

New Investment Law Text

Article (1)

Definitions:
by 'Council' is meant the Supreme Economic Council (SEC); by 'Commission' is meant the General Investment Commission (GIC); by 'Governor' is meant the Governor of the General Investment Commission, who is also Chairman of its Board of Directors; by 'foreign investor' is meant any non-Saudi, either an individual or a legal person where all partners are non-Saudis; by 'foreign investment' is meant the investing of foreign capital in an activity licensed by this system; by 'foreign capital' is meant foreign input within this system including, if they are owned by the foreign investor, such items as money and securities; his profits if used in increasing the capital and expansion of the existing projects or establishment of new projects; machinery, equipment, spare parts, means of transportation and requirements for production pertaining to investment; and moral aspects such as licenses, intellectual property, technical knowledge, administrative skills and production methodology; by 'commodity origins' is meant projects for production of both industrial and agricultural goods; by 'service installations' is meant projects for services and contracts; by 'system' is meant the foreign investment system; by 'statute' is meant the executive statute.

Article (2)
Without violation of any regulation, licenses for foreign investment are issued by the Commission either on temporary or permanent basis. The commission should settle any application for investment within thirty (30) days, effective from the date of receipt of the required documents as stipulated in the statute. If the fixed time expires without the settlement of the application, then the commission should issue the required license to the investor. If the commission turns down the application within the fixed time, then such a decision should be based on reasons and justifications. The applicant has the right to appeal in line with the system if his application is rejected.

Article (3)
The Council is authorized to issue the list of activities excluded from foreign investment.

Article (4)
In consideration of Article (2), the foreign investor has the right to obtain more than one license in various activities. The statute determines the required restrictions.

Article (5)
Licensed foreign investments can be either installations owned by a national investor together with a foreign investor, or installations wholly owned by the foreign investor. The legal form for the installation is to be in line with the system and the directives.

Article (6)
Projects licensed in line with this system will enjoy all privileges, incentives and guarantees of national projects.

Article (7)
The foreign investor is authorized to remit abroad his share, either from selling his portion or from the profits earned by a project or to use it in any legal manner. He is also authorized to remit the necessary sums to meet any contractual obligations pertaining to the project.

Article (8)
The licensed foreign company has the right to own the required real estate for practicing the licensed activity or housing some or all of the personnel in line with the real estate regulations for non-Saudis.

Article (9)
The sponsorship of the foreign investor and his non-Saudi employees will be undertaken by the licensed company.

Article (10)
The Commission will provide all interested persons with the required information, clarifications and statistics as well as with the needed services and procedures so as to facilitate all matters pertaining to the investments.

Article (11)
It is not permitted for the investments of the foreign investor to be confiscated either partially or in entirety without a judicial verdict, nor for his property to be expropriated, either partially or in entirety, except for in the public interest in return for fair compensation in line with the system and directives.

Article (12)
In the event of any violation, the foreign investor is informed in writing to eliminate the violation within a certain period that is to be fixed by the Commission. If the violation still remains without correction, the foreign investor will be subject to one of the following punishments: either he will be deprived of all or some of the incentives and privileges, or pay a fine not exceeding SR500,000, or have his foreign investment license revoked. The aforementioned punishments will be carried out by a decision to be issued by the board of directors. The foreign investor has the right to appeal the punishment meted out to him before the Court of Grievances in line with its system.

Article (13)
Without violation of the agreements to which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is party, settlement of disputes between the government and the foreign investor as regard to the latter's licensed investments, in line with the system, is to be carried out in an amicable manner, but if amicable settlement is not reached, the dispute will be settled in line with the regulations.

Article (14)
All licensed foreign investments will be treated in line with the rules of taxes implemented in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Article (15)
The foreign investor will adhere to the systems, statutes and instructions carried out in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to the international agreements to which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is party.

Article (16)
The implementation of the system does not contravene with the acquired rights for foreign investments that were in existence prior to the implementation of the system, but the practicing of these projects with their activities or increasing of their capitals, will be subject to the rules of the system.

Article (17)
The Commission will issue the statute and publish it in the official gazette, and it will be implemented effective from the date of its publication.

Article (18)
The system is to be published in the official gazette and implemented after thirty (30) days, effective from the date of its publication; it will thereby annul the system for investment of foreign capital that was issued by the Royal Decree dated 2/2/1399 H, and will also cancel all matters that contradict with the rules.


PRESS RELEASE -- April 10, 2000

Saudi Arabia Approves New Foreign Investment Law

In a landmark decision, Saudi Arabia Council of Ministers approved a new Foreign Investment Law on Monday, April 10th, following the recommendation of the Supreme Economic Council and the Majlis Al-Shura. King Fahd issued a Royal Decree approving the law, thus significantly revising the way foreign investment has been conducted in the Kingdom for more than 20 years.

The Council of Ministers also approved the establishment of the General Investment Commission, which will be responsible for proposing and implementing policies to promote foreign investment in Saudi Arabia, and for issuing investment licenses to foreign investors. H.R.H. Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki has been appointed as the new investment body governor, with the rank of Minister.

In a dramatic change from the previous investment law, the new Foreign Investment Law allows foreigners 100-percent ownership of the projects, as well as the property required for the project itself or for housing company personnel, while enabling them to retain the same incentives given to national companies. For example, projects that are 100 percent foreign-owned will be eligible for loans from the Saudi Industrial Development Fund. Investors will also be able to hold investment licenses in more than one type of activity. The new law has brought significant changes to the previous sponsorship regulations. Foreign investors and their non-Saudi employees will be sponsored under the new licensed firm.

Another very significant change is the reduction in the corporate tax rate for foreign companies with profits over SR100,000 a year, from 45 percent to 30 percent. The new law also enables companies to carry forward corporate losses for an unspecified number of years.

The General Investment Commission will work towards streamlining the foreign investment application process by creating a one-stop shop facility. It will be required to respond to investment applications within 30 days. If the Commission does not make a decision within this time frame, the license will be issued. If the Commission declines the application for some reason, the foreign investor is allowed to appeal the decision.

The new Foreign Investment Law will become effective 30 days after it is published in the Official Gazette.

 


PRESS RELEASE -- March 9, 2000

Lucent Technologies Wins Optical, Data Network Contracts Valued at $145 Million from Saudi Telecom

Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) today announced that it has won two contracts
from Saudi Telecom Co (STC), the Middle East's largest service provider, to expand its optical transmission and data networks to meet customers' Internet and voice network needs.

The total value of the two contracts is US$145 million (approximately Saudi Riyal 544 million).
"We are proud to have been selected by the Saudi Telecom for these projects," said John Heindel, president of Lucent Saudi Arabia. "They envision the needs of tomorrow's networks while meeting the demands of today's."

In one contract valued at US$110 million (approximately Saudi Riyal 413 million) Lucent will provide its WaveStar™ OLS 80G and WaveStar ADM 16/1 optical networking systems to increase STC's transmission and long distance capacity. This expansion is designed to respond to the growth in Internet traffic, the demand for rapidly growing GSM wireless traffic, and the need for additional land lines.

In another contract valued at US$35 million (approximately Saudi Riyal 133 million), Lucent will also provide its Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), remote access and digital subscriber line (DSL) equipment, enabling STC to more than double its existing Internet capacity and offer DSL services to its customers. Lucent's WaveStar OLS 80G uses a technique known as dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) to simultaneously transmit 16 distinct information streams across the same fiber strand. This enables carriers to increase network capacity, without incurring the cost of laying new fiber.

For the second contract, Lucent will provide the market-leading GX 550™ Smart Core ATM switches and CBX™ 500 and B-STDX 9000™ Multiservice Wide Area Network (WAN) switches. These offer the highest performance, scalability, and capacity for building next generation networks. In addition, Lucent will supply its PacketStar™ Access Concentrators, which when combined with the GX 550 and CBX 500 switches, provide the industry's most comprehensive integrated ATM access and switching solution.

Lucent will also provide Saudi Telecom with the MAX TNT™ carrier-class WAN access switch for remote access at 28 locations. Lucent's NavisFamily network management systems will enable world-
class monitoring and provisioning of the ATM and remote access systems. In addition, Lucent will install xDSLBroadband Access Interface equipment throughout the Kingdom-a first for Saudi Arabia.

Lucent Technologies has a workforce of about 3,100 in Saudi Arabia composed of 760 Saudi nationals as well as expatriates from 41 nations, and has offices in the major Saudi cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar.

Lucent Technologies, headquartered in Murray Hill, N.J., designs, builds and delivers a wide range of public and private networks, communications systems and software, data networking systems, business telephone systems and microelectronic components. Bell Labs is the research and development arm for the company. Lucent provides next-generation network solutions to New Carriers, ISPs and PTTs world-wide - including 90% of the largest PTTs in Europe and 85 of the 100 largest ISPs world-wide. For more information on Lucent Technologies, visit the company's Web site at http://www.lucent.com.

SOURCE: Lucent


 

PRESS RELEASE -- February 1, 2000

Saudi Chevron Petrochemical Celebrates Opening of Kingdom's First Totally Private Basic Petrochemical Partnership

Saudi Chevron Petrochemical today celebrated the opening of the joint venture's $650 million plant to produce benzene and cyclohexane. The petrochemical complex, a 50-50 joint venture of Chevron Chemical Co. and the Saudi Industrial Venture Capital Group, was delivered under budget and with one of the best safety performance records in the worldwide construction industry.

At the dedication ceremony, Vice Chairman of Chevron Corp. Jim Sullivan said, "Today, we celebrate the beginning of a new kind of partnership. Our joint venture, Saudi Chevron Petrochemical, is the first, totally private, basic petrochemical enterprise in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

Sullivan honored the late Sheikh Ahmed Al Juffali and thanked Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Quraishi, both of whom, pioneered and led the venture through project approval and development stages. He cited many Saudi business leaders and investors who formed the Saudi Industrial Venture Capital Group, and he expressed appreciation to the Royal Commission and Saudi Aramco for supporting the project and for providing the vital feedstock needed to ensure success.

The Saudi plant will use Chevron's AROMAX® process to convert naphtha feedstock to benzene and cyclohexane. Saudi Arabian styrene manufacturers need benzene and there are strong cyclohexane markets in Europe and Asia. Chevron Chemical Co. is the marketer for exporting
benzene and cyclohexane. In developing the new plant, Saudi Chevron Petrochemical worked closely with one of Chevron's other AROMAX® plants in Pascagoula, Miss.  As a result, the new plant is expected to show better catalyst performance than other plants.

Chevron's association with Saudi Arabia dates back more than 65 years.  "This plant opening that we celebrate today demonstrates Chevron's continued commitment toward maintaining a long and illustrious relationship with Saudi Arabia," said Sullivan.

SOURCE:  Chevron

 

 

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 December 09, 2001 14:01:50