Gulfood marks its 19th year in Dubai

Updated 04 March 2013
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Gulfood marks its 19th year in Dubai

Gulfood, claimed to be the world’s biggest food and hospitality show, sealed its 19th year in Dubai last week. The annual exhibition is famed to be a platform to combine the most important food companies and businesses from around the world like the GCC, the United States, Brazil, France, Italy, and North Africa.
The long-known event includes forums and conferences such as a global food leaders summit, franchising workshops, food inspection conference, and food processing and packaging forum. Additionally Gulfood provides side-activities that are supported by the exhibition like Gulfood cooking competition and professional networking opportunities through Gulfood Majlis, which is a premier networking club for the industry’s most senior professionals.
Many Saudi companies for food were part of Gulfood exhibitors. Arab News had a brief discussion with Ali Jabak, export manager of Saudi-based Forsan Foods & Consumer Products about its participation in the exhibition. “This is our third year in a row to exhibit at Gulfood. It’s the most important food exhibition in the region and is recognized to attract many industry experts, food-business entrepreneurs and visitors from around the world. The footfall for Gulfood is very high in rates and along our three years of being part of it, we were able to make some important deals and create beneficial collaborations for the company.”
He added: “We are planning to expand our exhibit area in Gulfood next year to show more of extended product lines of Forsan. We are keen to be part of it because of the significant outcomes of business deals; thanks to Allah, we were able to achieve 80 percent of the set goals of exhibiting at Gulfood.”
Jabak said: “Dairy items are Forsan’s main line of products. The dairy products are well-distributed among all GCC countries and we have been able to reach other Middle East spots like Lebanon and Iraq — a major credit to Gulfood — in addition to some markets in North Africa such as Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. However, Saudi market is our largest in terms of distribution and brand recognition; we have branches in Riyadh, Dammam, Jeddah, Qasim, Khamis Mushayit and many more.”
Gulfood Show 2014 will mark its 20th anniversary when it takes place from Feb. 23-27, 2014, at Dubai World Trade Center.


Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi lowers target as it kicks off IPO

Updated 30 min 5 sec ago
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Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi lowers target as it kicks off IPO

HONG KONG: Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi kicked off its initial public offering Thursday but the firm is likely to pull in about $6.1 billion, far less than originally expected, with investors having mixed views about its main business.
Xiaomi had hoped to raise $10 billion with the Hong Kong IPO, making it the biggest since Alibaba’s $25 billion New York debut in 2014 and valuing the company at about $100 billion.
However, the firm is offering 2.18 billion shares at HK$17-HK$22 apiece, according to Bloomberg News, which values it at about $53.9-$69.8 billion.
Xiaomi had hoped to be the first company to list shares in Hong Kong at the same time as launching new Chinese Depository Receipts (CDRs) in Shanghai under new rules announced in April by mainland authorities to open up markets in the world’s number two economy.
But on Tuesday it put off its decision on listing the CDRs until it completes its IPO in Hong Kong. The China Securities Regulatory Commission said it has canceled a listing review originally scheduled for June 19.
This delay, as well as differing market views about Xiaomi’s business model, were also among reasons for the lower valuation.
CEO Lei Jun claimed it was an Internet services company making money via online games and advertisements despite 70 percent of its revenues coming from selling hardware, particularly smartphones.
The firm, which mainly sells cheap but high-quality smartphones in China, is looking to push into Europe — recently opening its first flagship store in Paris — as the home market reaches saturation point.
China Mobile and US wireless-chip giant Qualcomm are among the cornerstone investors and it is expected to list on July 9.
Chinese authorities devised the CDR program, under which homegrown companies listed abroad can simultaneously list at home, after watching technology heavyweights Alibaba and Baidu list on Wall Street.
The objectives of the plan include helping to develop China’s still relatively immature and volatile share markets while allowing domestic investors to invest in the country’s big tech champions.
Alibaba and Hong Kong-listed Tencent have expressed an interest in the plan.
Xiaomi shipped 28 million smartphones worldwide from January to March, an 88-percent surge year-on-year.
That was fourth in the world after Samsung, Apple and China’s Huawei, according to figures from the International Data Corporation.