Legal Developments

New incentives for achieving Saudization requirements

The Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), which is an affiliate of the Ministry of Labor (MOL), has proposed a new system to reward companies who meet the Saudization requirements with incentives. The HRDF will be looking at the Saudization percentage, the average wage for Saudis, the percentage of women employed, job sustainability and the average of those with high wages.

Arab News – 3 April 2016

Proposed increase to retirement age for government employees

Several amendments to the Civil Retirement Law (CR Law) were proposed during the weekly Shoura Council meeting. The first proposal was to amend Article 15 of the CR Law by raising the mandatory retirement age from 60 years to 62 years. Other amendments to the CR Law were proposed in view of social and economic changes in the country.

The mandatory retirement age for employees under the Labor Law is 60 years for men and 55 years for women and the CR Law originally had the retirement age at 60 years. However, the CR Law refers to government employees only.

Arab News – 22 March 2016

Suspension of GOSI services for expats

The General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) plans to suspend all services provided to expatriates if they stay abroad for more than a month, with reinstatement occurring only once they return. The structure of how this would work has not yet been determined, only talks were taking place between GOSI and the Ministry of Interior.

Arab News – 22 March 2016

Banking and finance developments

CMA amends listing rules

As part of the Capital Market Authority's (CMA) efforts to develop the capital market in Saudi Arabia, and regulate and monitor the work and activities of entities subject to its supervision, it has adopted the amended Listing Rules. These proposed amendments are part of the various efforts and initiatives to develop the capital market in Saudi Arabia. Under the amended Listing Rules, listed companies are now obliged to disclose any information or material developments half an hour before the start of the trading period.

The amended Listing Rules can be viewed on CMA’s website: www.cma.org.sa

Arab News – 2 April 2016

Floating rate bonds introduced in KSA

The government of Saudi Arabia is planning to start issuing floating rate bonds as a way of encouraging local banks to buy its debt since Saudi Arabia is financing a big budget deficit caused by low oil prices. This will be the first time bonds whose yields move in line with money market rates will be issued by the government of Saudi Arabia.

Arab News – 22 February 2016

MEAHCO IPO

Samba Capital and Investment Management Company (Samba) has announced the closing of the initial public offering (IPO) of the Middle East Healthcare Company (MEAHCO), owner and operator of Saudi German Hospitals in Saudi Arabia. The IPO involved the sale of 27.61 million shares, which represent 30 per cent of MEAHCO's share capital.

Arab News – 28 March 2016

Rawabi Vallianz Offshore services issues Shariah-compliant Sukuk

Rawabi Vallianz Offshore Services (Rawabi), which is an equally-owned joint venture between Rawabi Holding and Vallianz Holdings Limited, issued its first SAR1 billion Shariah-compliant sukuk.

The sukuk were sold through a private placement to investors in full and are to be used to partially finance the marine assets of Rawabi over a period of five years.

Saudi Gazette – 22 February 2016