Doha: The Qatar-US monthly trade exchange witnessed a remarkable growth in November 2019. The bilateral trade volume in goods between the two countries reached at $849.5m (QR3.09bn) in November, registering a sharp jump of over 111 percent compared to $401.6m (QR1.46bn) in the previous month (October 2019), latest official data show.

The combined value of Qatar-US trade exchange during the first 11 months of 2019 (January-November) amounted to QR24.34bn ($6.68bn), with the US trade surplus (for the 11-month period) reaching at QR12.57bn ($3.45bn). This huge trade surplus is nearly 35 percent higher compared to QR10.41bn ($2.86bn) reported for the full year in 2018. With the release of December figures the US trade surplus with Qatar is likely to touch higher level.

The US exports to Qatar during the January-November period stood at $5.07bn, while its imports from Qatar remained at $1.61bn, according to the latest online data available at the US Census Bureau website.

When analysed on a monthly basis, November 2019 recorded the highest trade volume during the 11 month period, which was also one of the highest monthly figures in the past few years. The total US exports to Qatar in November peaked at $773.5m, recoding a nearly 200 percent growth (m-o-m) compared to $263m in October 2019, while its imports from Qatar remained at $76m, down over 82 percent against $138.6m in the previous month.

The trade balance was skewed in favour of the US. The monthly US trade surplus against Qatar for November 2019 stood at $697.5m (QR2.54bn), showing a remarkable jump of over 460 percent compared to $124.3m in the previous month (October 2019).

Bilateral trade volume in goods between Qatar and the US had peaked in 2014 at $6.91bn (QR25.16bn) with US exports to Qatar at $5.17bn and imports at $1.74bn. The US trade surplus with Qatar in 2014 reached at $3.43bn. But this peak trade volume is likely to be breached in 2019. The transportation equipment, including aircraft, accounts for the majority of US exports to Qatar.

US exports to Qatar constitute a major part of the local economy; while the US continue to heavily export advanced technologies such as commercial aircraft, vehicles, heavy equipment, satellite and communications equipment.

The US is a leading investor in Qatar’s oil and gas sector helping produce more than two thirds of the country’s LNG output.

The bilateral trade and economic cooperation is to reach new highs with a significant jump in trade volumes in the coming years as both sides are working very closely and aggressively to expand and deepen the relationship in new areas, including more cooperation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sector.

Doha: Ahli Bank QSC (ABQK) has recorded a net profit of QR 675.2m for the year ended 2019 with an increase of 1.5 percent over 2018.

The bank’s balance sheet grew by 8.7 percent over December 2018 to QR43.91bn. Loans and Advances increased by 14.8 percent over December 2019, while Investment Securities grew by 27.1 percent over December 2019.

Customer Deposits increased by 17.2 percent over December 2019, and Cost to Income Ratio for 2019 improved to 27.3 percent from 28.1 percent in 2018, reflecting efficient management of the Bank’s operations.

The Return on Average Assets (ROAA) and Return on Average Equity (ROAE) stood steady at 1.7 percent and 11.9 percent respectively, despite an increase in balance sheet size and equity base.

Total Capital Adequacy Ratio as of December 2019 stood at a healthy 17.1 percent, reflecting strong capital position of the bank.

Commenting on the results, Ahlibank Chairman and Managing Director Sheikh Faisal bin AbdulAziz bin Jassem Al Thani, said: “We are very pleased with our performance for this year, as the key growth drivers were positively reflected in the overall business growth. The bank has successfully met one of its key strategic objectives of improving stable funding by completing the third bond issuance for $500m under its $1.5bn EMTN Programme in the International Debt Capital markets. The issue was oversubscribed by more than three times with orders from more than 85 investors from Asia, Mena and Europe. This demonstrates the continued vote of confidence from international investors in both Qatar and Ahlibank.”

”As a further testimony to our performance, Ahlibank continues to enjoy higher Credit Ratings A2/P1 from Moodys and is the second highest rated conventional bank in Qatar after QNB. Fitch Ratings has also affirmed Ahlibank’s Long Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘A’.”

The Board of Directors of Ahlibank has proposed a cash dividend of 15 percent (QR0.15 per share) and a bonus share of 5 percent (1 new share for every 20 shares held) as the dividend distribution for the year 2019. The dividend proposal takes into account maximisation of shareholders’ wealth, the bank’s internal capital requirements, liquidity and balance sheet growth projections.

These results are subject to the final approval of the Qatar Central Bank and the shareholders in the General Assembly.

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), the country’s leading shariah-compliant banking services provider, achieved a net profit of QR3.05bn for the year 2019, up 10.9 percent compared to QR2.75bn reported in the previous year (2018).

The basic earnings per share (EPS) of QIB stood at QR1.21 compared to QR1.08 in December 2018, QIB’s Chairman Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, announced yesterday.

The Board of Directors of QIB has proposed a dividend distribution to shareholders of QR0.525 per share, or 52.5 percent of the nominal share value, subject to approval of Qatar Central Bank and QIB’s General Assembly.

Total asset of the Bank has increased by 6.7 percent compared to 2018 and now stands at QR163.5bn driven by a growth in the core banking activities. Financing activities registered a robust growth by 11.3 percent over 2018 to reach QR113.8bn. Investment securities have reached QR33.3bn registering a 5.7 percent growth over 2018. Customer deposits of the Bank now stand at QR111.6bn registering a strong growth by 11 percent compared to December 2018.

Total Income for the year ended December 31, 2019 amounted to QR7.74bn registering 12.4 percent growth compared to QR6.88bn for 2018. Income from financing and investing activities has grown by 15.5 percent to reach QR6.93bn at the end of 2019 compared to QR6bn for 2018, reflecting a healthy growth in QIB’s core operating activities.

Total general and administrative expenses of QR1.10bn for the year ended December 31, 2019 is 3.8 percent below QR1.14bn for the year ended December 31, 2018. Strict cost controls supporting higher operating revenues enabled further enhancement of efficiency, bringing down the cost to income ratio to 22.8 percent for 2019, which is the lowest in the Qatari banking sector.

QIB was able to manage the ratio of non-performing financing assets to total financing assets at 1.3 percent, one of the lowest in the industry, reflecting the quality of the Bank’s financing assets portfolio and its effective risk management framework. QIB continues to pursue the conservative impairment policy maintaining 100 percent coverage ratio for non-performing financing assets as of December 2019.

Total Shareholders’ Equity of the bank reached QR17.1bn, an increase of 11.1 percent as compared to December 2018. As of December 2019 the Total Capital adequacy of the Bank under Basel III guidelines is 19.5 percent, higher than the regulatory minimum requirements prescribed by QCB and Basel Committee.

“I am pleased to announce that QIB has marked yet another remarkable year. In 2019, QIB witnessed several milestones in terms of introduction of new innovative products and services as part of the Bank’s digital transformation program and we achieved growth across all banking activities through the successful implementation of our business strategy”, said Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, QIB Chairman. “This year’s financial results confirm the Bank’s strong position and reflect the firmness, resilience and stability of the Qatari banking sector and the national economy”.

“As we enter into the new fiscal year, we have affirmed our position as the leading Islamic Bank while maintaining the position as the second largest Bank in the country. QIB today has the means, resources and qualifications to continue delivering premium banking services to all QIB customers. We are dedicated to delivering value to all our stakeholders and offering our customers modern, convenient and timely banking solutions”, said Sheikh Jassim.

“The Bank’s future development plans are in line with Qatar National Vision 2030. QIB is committed to support the diversification of Qatar’s local economy and the development of its strong private sector”. He added: “For 2020, we remain focused on continuously improving our products, digital platforms and level of service and helping our customers and partners succeed”.

Sheikh Jassim concluded the Board meeting by expressing his profound gratitude to QIB’s shareholders and customers for their trust in the Bank, and his appreciation to the Board of Directors and all Bank employees for their contribution and continuous efforts towards achieving positive results and continuous improvements”.

The U.S.-China trade deal includes a foreign-exchange agreement that reaffirms the nations’ G-20 commitments to forgo competitive devaluations, while giving Beijing a major concession: removing its tag as a currency manipulator.

The two-page chapter of the accord signed in Washington on Wednesday lays out an enforcement mechanism if either side fails to adhere to International Monetary Fund and Group-of-20 commitments.

The U.S. and China agreed to publicly disclose data including foreign-exchange reserves and figures on imports and exports as proof that neither side is manipulating their currency.

“The parties shall honor currency-related commitments each has undertaken in G-20 communiques, including to refrain from competitive devaluations and the targeting of exchange rates for competitive purposes,” according to the document.

The U.S. Treasury on Monday said China is no longer a currency cheat, a move that’s seen as a win for China. At President Donald Trump’s direction, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in August made an unusual move to name China a currency manipulator as trade tensions rose, and removed it this week.

A commitment from the Americans to make a public promise to remove that tag at a later date was rejected by the Chinese, according to one person familiar with the matter.

“Currency devaluation will now have some very, very strong restrictions,” Trump said during a press conference announcing the deal. “And one of the strongest things, we have total and full enforceability.”

Optimism ahead of the agreement signing and after Treasury’s removal of China from its currency watch list drove the yuan on Tuesday to its strongest since July. The offshore yuan was little changed as the two sides signed the pact, at 6.888 per dollar, close to its strongest level of the day.

Treasury’s foreign-exchange policy report released Monday said China “needs to take the necessary steps to avoid a persistently weak currency.”

Currency policy has emerged as a tool for Trump to rewrite global trade rules that he says have hurt American businesses and consumers. Foreign-exchange policy is a key piece of trade pacts with Mexico, Canada and South Korea.

The Trump administration has considered measures to counter the dollar’s strength, including direct intervention, though at one point last year officials said that step had been ruled out. Still, Trump has continued to lament the greenback’s strength, which is a drag on U.S. companies’ overseas earnings.

If issues arise and there’s a failure to arrive at a resolution, either side may request the IMF to undertake “rigorous surveillance” of the policies agreed to, or initiate formal consultations and provide input.

The U.S. and China signed what they’re billing as the first phase of a broader trade pact on Wednesday amid persistent questions over whether President Donald Trump’s efforts to rewrite the economic relationship with Beijing will ever go any further.

The deal commits China to do more to crack down on the theft of American technology and corporate secrets by its companies and state entities, while outlining a $200 billion spending spree to try to close its trade imbalance with the U.S. It also binds Beijing to avoiding currency manipulation to gain an advantage and includes an enforcement system to ensure promises are kept.

Read the full text of the agreement here.

The ceremony at the White House, which included Trump, dozens of American business people and Chinese officials, was a rare moment of friendship lately between the world’s two largest economies. Acrimonious talks stretching back almost three years have roiled financial markets, cast a cloud of uncertainty over investment decisions and hurt growth in both nations.

“This is a very important and remarkable occasion,” Trump said at the signing. “Together we are righting the wrongs of the past.”

The benchmark S&P 500 Index set an intraday record high for the sixth consecutive trading session.

The deal, sealed on the same day the House prepared to refer articles of Trump’s impeachment to the Senate, has already been criticized for what is missing. It does nothing to address areas like what U.S. authorities have long claimed is China’s state-backed hacking of American companies and government institutions. Nor does it require the Asian nation to reform the vast web of state subsidies that form the spine of its model of state capitalism and have helped fuel the rapid growth of Chinese companies compete internationally.

The administration says many of those issues will be covered in a second phase of a deal, though when those talks will begin and how long they will take remains uncertain. In the meantime, the U.S. is also set to maintain tariffs on roughly two-thirds of imports from China.

“As soon as this kicks in we’re starting phase two,” Trump said. “I will agree to take those tariffs off if we’re able to do phase two, otherwise we don’t have any cards to negotiate with. They will all come off as soon as we finish phase two.”

At the ceremony, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He read a letter from President Xi Jinping, stating the two sides have to implement the agreement “in real earnest.”

“I hope the U.S. side will treat fairly Chinese companies,” he said through an interpreter. In his own comments, Liu said China will “strictly honor” the pact.

Trump’s top negotiator, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, told reporters ahead of the signing that the administration was focused on implementing the initial agreement in the short term. Any further negotiations will only come after that, he said.

Officials also insist that they are harvesting significant commitments from Beijing that mean the phase one agreement will benefit U.S. businesses and workers even if discussions never go any further.

The deal requires China to do more to stop the sale of pirated goods and to apply criminal penalties on anyone caught steeling commercial secrets. It also requires Beijing to deliver an action plan withing 30 days of the deal taking effect on how it intends to meet its commitments.

It also requires China to stop pressuring American companies investing in the country to share technology with local joint-venture partners. The agreement stipulates that the Chinese must stop supporting or directing the acquisition of overseas investment aimed at buying up technologies.

“This is an enormous win,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters ahead of the signing, pointing to Chinese commitments on IP that will affect the technology sector as well as other reforms on currency, the opening up of the financial services sector to U.S. companies and the promised spending spree.

Other supporters of Trump’s trade policies insist that the initial deal goes a long way toward addressing the IP issues that were at the core of the case brought against China. “Anyone complaining that this doesn’t resolve every U.S.-China issue needs to recall that this entire negotiation was based on a report on China’s IP and techtransfer policies,” said Clete Willems, who until last year was a member of Trump’s national economic council and is now at law firm Akin Gump.

China has already moved to address some U.S. complaints on IP. Over the past year, it has made a rapid-fire series of legal changes amid the negotiations to beef up protection. A new foreign investment law that took effect on Jan. 1 bans administrative agencies from forcing companies to transfer technological knowhow as a cost of entry to the Chinese market. It also exposes officials who disclose or leak trade secrets gleaned from regulatory approvals to potential criminal penalties.

The U.S. is also moving to address remaining issues like industrial subsidies in other ways. On Tuesday the U.S., European Union, and Japan said they had agreed on the content of new stricter global rules on subsidies aimed largely at China and would be mounting a joint push to build support for them internationally.

The Trump administration says what separates its deal most from others is the enforcement mechanism it establishes. Rather than rely on a slow-moving World Trade Organization dispute system that Trump in any case has already hobbled by blocking the appointment of top judges, the new agreement with China would allow the administration to move to punish Beijing with tariffs or other measures within 90 days if officials decided it was breaking its promises.

But even Lighthizer acknowledges how effective that mechanism will be depends on Beijing. “This deal will work if China wants it to work,” he said Wednesday.

The deal is also unique in the breadth of specific Chinese purchase commitments it contains, which some critics in the U.S. see as uncomfortably reminiscent of the sort of state-directed central planning American diplomats have spent decades trying to get China to abandon. Even those purchase promises, the details of which are contained in a secret annex to the agreement signed on Tuesday, face questions.

The text of the deal released Wednesday specifies $77.7 billion in Chinese purchases of manufactured goods including aircraft, $32 billion in agricultural products, $52.4 billion in energy and $37.9 billion in services in the two years through December 2021.

Much of the attention has focused on whether U.S. farm exports to China can reach the $40 billion to $50 billion annual level that Trump has promised, which would mean doubling the $24 billion in agriculture and related products it imported from the U.S. in 2017, before the trade war began.

There are also questions over a Chinese commitment to buy an additional $50 billion in U.S. oil and gas over two years and pledges to step up purchases of cars, planes and other manufactured goods.

To meet the energy target, China would have to import roughly one-third of the 3 million barrels a day of crude that the U.S. exported last year over a two year period, according to Bloomberg calculations. Which is why analysts believe meeting that deal may depend heavily on buying natural gas, which is usually traded via long-term contracts rather than spot purchases.

However, China may not have much appetite for any additional gas right now beyond the long-term contracts it has already committed to as it continues to struggle with a slowing economy and a slowdown in demand growth and already-brimming stockpiles. Likewise, U.S. LNG export plants have most of their volumes tied up in their own long-term contracts and would only be able to provide China with a marginal amount of spot supply over the next two years.

Doha: GWC, Qatar’s leading logistics provider, concluded 2019 fiscal with a 9 percent surge in net profit to QR249.1m, as compared with QR227.6m in the end of 2018. The Company’s Board has recommended 20 percent cash dividend to shareholders which is subject for discussion and approval during the company’s Annual General Meeting to be held on February 3, 2020.

Gross revenues of the company reached QR1.2bn at the end of 2019, while EPS increased to QR0.43 at the end of 2019, in comparison with QR0.39 at the end of 2018.

“Our support for Qatar has formed the building blocks of our operational excellence. We are pursuing all opportunities locally and internationally that ensure we are the provider of choice for innovative logistics and supply chain solutions to enable the business community to focus on their core operations and achieve their objectives,” stated GWC Chairman Sheikh Abdulla bin Fahad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani.

The company’s comprehensive solutions have set a benchmark for logistics excellence in the market, which in turn has led to new contracts and opportunities. One such opportunity was the agreement with FIFA making GWC the first Official National Supporter of the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019. GWC was entrusted to carry out the complex logistics requirements for the tournament as the official logistics provider.

The company’s continued excellence in developing logistics infrastructure, such as the Logistics Village Qatar, the GWC Bu Sulba Warehousing Park, and the oil and gas client-specific logistics bases in Ras Laffan Industrial City also led to a new award by Manateq to GWC for a “Develop-Build-Finance-Operate-Transfer” contract for the establishment of the 1.48 million square meter Al Wukair Logistics Park.

GWC has earned the trust of the market by delivering the best in logistics and supply chain solutions in accordance with the highest Quality, Health, Safety, Security, and Environment standards. The company has celebrated several safety milestones during 2019 in Ras Laffan Industrial City, with 1000 days at the RMOP base and 730 days at the WSSA facility passing with no loss-time-injury, all while maintaining the exacting safety standards required by the oil and gas industry.

“Our strong track record of customer approval has created an impressive rate of client retention while attracting new customers from all market segments, as we work together to achieve the nation’s strategies, create a sustainable and diverse economy – an environment that will ensure the best returns for our investors,” commented Ranjeev Menon, Group CEO of GWC.

Doha: For the third consecutive year, Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) has been named the “Best Islamic Bank in Qatar” in the 12th edition of the Middle East Banking Awards, presented by EMEA Finance, the leading finance magazine in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. The prestigious award marks QIB’s strong financial performance and the successful implementation of its business strategy.

Bassel Gamal, QIB’s Group CEO, said: “We are pleased to have the Bank’s commitment and dedication to all its stakeholders recognized by such an established organization. To be awarded the “Best Islamic Bank in Qatar” is a true testament to our customer-centric strategy and continuous investments in innovation and technology.” He added: “Achieving such awards wouldn’t have been possible without the hard-work of all our employees. Having our team’s efforts recognized, keeps us motivated to deliver even more value to our customers and shareholders in future.” The Middle East Banking Awards celebrates the achievements of banking institutions that have reported record profits, demonstrated the highest standards of services, developed innovative products, and achieved overall excellence in the banking industry.

EMEA Finance is a leading bi-monthly global industry publication that reports on major financial events initiated and influenced by the international financial industry active in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The prestigious awards are granted based on thorough evaluation of the performances of regional economies and banking systems, as well as analyses of landmark capital-markets deals from sovereigns and companies. Awards are presented to the top performing Islamic, commercial, and investment banks, as well as asset managers and brokers in countries across the Middle East. In turn, it highlights the successes of banks and individuals that have exceeded expectations by excelling in their performance.

Putting the customer at the heart of its strategy, QIB has embarked on a digital transformation program to provide a seamless experience for its customers on all digital channels. QIB’s digital transformation focuses on improving the customer experience, creating internal efficiencies and contributing positively to the Bank’s results.

The Bank has launched innovative services and features for each customer segment to ensure that key products and services are simpler, faster,and easy to use. QIB has transformed into a 24×7 institution, offering customers the possibility to perform the majority of their daily banking needs through the Bank’s award-winning Mobile App and internet banking, anytime, anywhere, without the need to visit a branch. QIB will continue to diversify and enhance digital offerings, to meet and exceed the expectations of its customers.

Recently, Moody’s Investors Service, (“Moody’s”) has affirmed the Long-term deposit ratings of QIB at “A1”. In November 2019, Fitch Ratings affirmed Qatar Islamic Bank at ‘A’. Also, in May 2019, Capital Intelligence Ratings (CI) has affirmed the Bank’s Long-term Currency Rating (LTCR) of ‘A+’. In March 2019, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) affirmed the Bank’s credit rating at ‘A-’.

Doha: QNB, the largest financial institution in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, reported a net profit of QR14.4bn ($3.9bn) for the full-year 2019, an increase of 4 percent compared to last year. QNB’s Total Assets increased by 10 percent from December 2018 to reach QR945bn ($259bn), one of the best set of results in QNB Group’s history.

The Board of Directors have recommended to the General Assembly the distribution of a cash dividend of 60 percent of the nominal share value (QR0.60 per share). The financial results for 2019 along with the profit distribution are subject to Qatar Central Bank (QCB) approval, QNB said in a statement yesterday.

QNB’s solid growth in loans and advances by 10 percent achieving QR679bn ($186bn), contributed to the growth in Total Assets. This was mainly funded by strong customer deposits generation which helped to increase customer deposits by 10 percent, to reach QR684bn ($188bn) from 31 December 2018. QNB achieved healthy loans to deposits ratio of 99.2 percent as at 31 December 2019.

Operational efficiency resulted in a strong efficiency (cost to income) ratio of 25.9 percent, in addition to achieving sustainable revenue generating sources, which is considered one of the best ratios among large financial institutions in the region.

The ratio of non-performing loans to gross loans amounted to 1.9 percent as at 31 December 2019, one of the lowest amongst financial institutions in the MEA region, reflecting the high quality of the Group’s loan book and the effective management of credit risk. The Group’s conservative policy in regard to provisioning resulted in the coverage ratio at 100 percent as at 31 December 2019.

Total Equity increased by 7 percent to reach QR95bn ($26bn) as at 31 December 2019. Earnings per Share reached QR1.45 ($0.40), compared to QR1.44 ($0.39) in December 2018.

Group Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) as at 31 December 2019 amounted to 18.9 percent, higher than the regulatory minimum requirements of the Qatar Central Bank and Basel Committee. QNB Group serves a customer base of approximately 25 million customers supported by 29,000 staff resources and operating from more than 1,100 locations.

Doha: The CPI-based monthly inflation in December witnessed a marginal increase of 0.46 percent compared to the CPI of November 2019 as result of increase in the prices of recreation and transport services.

When compared on year-on-year, the inflation in December noticed a decline of 0.33 percent against the CPI of corresponding month in previous year (December 2018), data released by the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA) show.

The CPI of December 2019 reached to 108.26 point (base year is 2013).

An analysis (on M-o-M basis) of CPI for December 2019 compared with CPI, November 2019, shows that there are three main groups, where respective indices in this month have increased, namely: “Recreation and Culture” by 4.90 percent, “Transport” by 1.17 percent, and “Restaurants and Hotels” by 0.36 percent.

A decreased has recorded in “Food and Beverages” by 1.34 percent, followed by “Clothing and Footwear” by 1.29 percent, “Housing, Water, Electricity and other Fuel” by 0.37 percent, “Furniture and Household Equipment” by 0.10 percent, and “Miscellaneous Goods and Services” by 0.06 percent. “Tobacco”, “Health”, “Communication”, and “Education” groups had remained flat at the last month’s price level.

A comparison of the CPI, December 2019 with the CPI, December 2018 (annual change), a decrease has been recorded in the general index (CPI), by 0.33 percent.

This (Y-o-Y) price decrease was primary due to the prices decline seen in the five groups namely: “Recreation and Culture” by 2.89 percent, “Housing, Water, Electricity and other Fuel” by 2.61 percent “Transport” by 2.17 percent, “Communication” by 0.11 percent, and “Health” by 0.07 percent.

An increase has been shown in price levels in seven groups namely: “Tobacco” by 127.19 percent, “Miscellaneous Goods and Services” by 3.46 percent, “Clothing and Footwear” by 3.05 percent, “Restaurants and Hotels” by 1.74 percent, “Food and Beverages” by 0.98 percent, “Education” by 0.93 percent, and “Furniture and Household Equipment” by 0.02 percent.

The CPI of December, 2019 excluding “Housing, Water, Electricity and other Fuel” group stands at 109.58 points showing an increase of 0.69 percent when compared to the index of November 2019, and a 0.30 percent when compared to the CPI of December, 2018.

DOHA: Nebras Power Investment Management B.V. (NPIM), a wholly owned affiliate of Nebras Power (Nebras) has successfully completed a transaction with Goldwind Stockyard Hill Wind Farm Limited, a wholly owned Hong Kong affiliate of Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co., Ltd (Goldwind), by acquiring a 49 percent equity stake in Stockyard Hill Wind Farm in Australia.

Located 35 km west of Ballarat in Victoria, Stockyard Hill Wind Farm will have 149 wind turbines with a combined capacity of 527 MW. The wind farm will be the biggest in the southern hemisphere, upon completion in early Q4, 2020.

This first transaction is consistent with Nebras’s strategy to enhance its asset base through fully contracted projects and further marks the company’s inaugural entry into the Australian power sector. Under this agreement, Nebras has secured a 49 percent stake; while Goldwind, through its Hong Kong affiliates, will retain a 51 percent equity stake in Stockyard Hill Wind Farm.

The transaction has been fully backed by Goldwind’s as well as Nebras’s senior management and Board of Directors and is deemed to be in the best interest of both companies and their respective shareholders.

Commenting on the agreement, Fahad Hamad Al Mohannadi, Chairman of the Board of Nebras said: “The acquisition of a large equity stake in Stockyard Hill Wind Farm solidifies Nebras’s foray into the Australian market, which we are pursuing as a major new growth market. In this respect, we are confident that this will be the first of several lucrative investments in Australia’s power industry by Nebras.”

Khalid Mohammed Jolo, Chief Executive Officer of Nebras stated: “The acquisition of Stockyard Hill Wind Farm serves as a landmark deal for Nebras to establish and further expand our presence in Australia and the Asia-Pacific marketplace. Additionally, this deal aligns and bolsters Nebras’s strategic growth objective of becoming a leading international power company.”

Commenting on the transaction, Faisal Al Siddiqi, Chief Business Development Officer of Nebras said: “With the Stockyard Hill Wind Farm, we are entering our next chapter. For this reason, we will aim to develop and diversify the Australian asset portfolio with other renewable energy technologies and gas-to-power projects. In the years ahead, we look forward to jointly positioning this wind farm as a flagship project in Nebras’s global energy portfolio.”