Six Saudi teams enter MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition finals

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Updated 11 April 2016
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Six Saudi teams enter MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition finals

JEDDAH: Six Saudi teams have qualified for the final stages of the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition 2016.
A total of 76 competing teams from 15 Arab countries have reached the semifinal stage, with the competition’s finalists and ultimate winners set to be revealed at a gala event to be held in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) on April 14.
The MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition is organized in partnership with Community Jameel, the social enterprise arm of Abdul Latif Jameel, and Zain Group, a major mobile telecom innovator across the Middle East and Africa.
This year’s final ceremony and conference is supported by government partner the Economic Cities Authority of Saudi Arabia and hosting partner KAEC as well as global technology provider Huawei.
The Saudi semifinalists span two of the competition’s three tracks — Startup, Ideas and Social Entrepreneurship — with total prize money on offer in excess of $150,000.
Each of the three tracks will award the first three ranked winners with cash prizes in addition to many other benefits, including top tier training, mentorship, coaching, media exposure, and great networking opportunities.
Both Community Jameel and Zain Saudi Arabia possess a strong affinity for youth development, entrepreneurship, and innovation, so their support of the competition is something both entities believe aligns perfectly with their respective core values.
Fady Jameel, president of Community Jameel International, commented: “At Community Jameel, we are committed to enabling the next generation of young entrepreneurs and we will remain focused on creating and enabling an environment in which young entrepreneurs can achieve their aspirations. We are proud of these six Saudi-based winners who were selected from a wealth of talents and promising entrepreneurs. It is with great pleasure that Community Jameel pledges its continuous support to the entrepreneurs in the MENA region.”
Hassan Kabbani, Zain Saudi Arabia CEO, said: “We at Zain are proud to foster the growth of this competition as we recognize that much of the region's future development will be driven by innovative youth in technology, whose ideas and their constructive and sustainable projects have been and will continue to be the success story of modern society.”
Kabbani continued, “We are happy that six Saudi teams reached the semifinals and confident that they will perform well in the finals. We are also looking forward to interacting with this year’s aspiring entrepreneurs and taking the opportunity to capitalize on the promising innovative ideas in the digital space supporting our evolution to become a digital lifestyle provider.”
The launch of the MITEF Saudi Chapter last year provided an extra opportunity for the Saudi-based entrepreneurs to apply for the Saudi Startup Competition.
The six winners from the Saudi Arabia Competition vying to make it to the final and be crowned winners in the Startup track include Artistia, a project to have a centralized destination that features the work of artists and designers where they can have the same features of a social media interface and e-commerce making it more interactive for both the buyers and sellers.
B8ak is a smart phone app-based home maintenance delivery company in Saudi Arabia, allowing users to order quality home maintenance services conveniently with only few clicks in a mobile app.
Rola Badkook Establishment believes playfulness is our way back to ourselves, our beloved ones, and our education and passion thus focus on offering a unique playful experience through their products.
The three idea tracks applicants include Every Drop Counts (EDC), a real-time system which consists of a sensor device and an application to monitor and control the water usage within a single water consuming source.
Kool Snacks provides healthy, natural, wholesome, and easy to carry snacks being designed with no added sugar, as the sugar comes from the natural ingredient.
ReBraille is a pure mechanical Braille typewriter that allows the typist to save his time and paper by typing, checking the whole text and edit it if needed before embossing the paper. In addition it can copy the same page without the need of retyping the text again.
In the lead-up to the finals, MITEF Startup Competition semi-finalists benefited from a Six Sigma training bootcamp’s program that were held in four cities across the region.


Saudi stocks receive landmark emerging markets upgrade from MSCI

Updated 21 June 2018
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Saudi stocks receive landmark emerging markets upgrade from MSCI

  • Market authorities in Saudi Arabia have introduced a series of reforms in the past 18 months
  • MSCI’s Emerging Market index is tracked by about $2 trillion in active and global funds

LONDON: Saudi Arabian equites are poised to attract up to $40 billion worth of foreign inflows, following a landmark decision by index provider MSCI to include the Kingdom’s stocks in its widely tracked Emerging Markets index.

"MSCI will include the MSCI Saudi Arabia Index in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, representing on a pro forma basis a weight of approximately 2.6% of the index with 32 securities, following a two-step inclusion process," the MSCI said in a statement late on Wednesday night Riyadh time.

“Saudi Arabia’s inclusion in MSCI’s EM Index is a milestone achievement and will likely bring with it significant levels of foreign investment,” Salah Shamma, head of investment for MENA at Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity, told Arab News. 

“It is a recognition of the progress Saudi Arabia has made in implementing its ambitious capital markets transformation agenda. The halo effect of such a move will be felt across the stock exchanges of the entire Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).”

Market authorities in Saudi Arabia have introduced a series of reforms in the past 18 months to bring local capital markets more in line with international norms, including lower restrictions on international investors, and the introduction of short-selling and T+2 settlement cycles.

Such reforms prompted index provider FTSE Russell to upgrade the Kingdom to emerging market status in March, opening the country’s stocks up to billions worth of passive and active inflows from foreign investors.

MSCI’s Emerging Market index is tracked by about $2 trillion in active and global funds. The inclusion of Saudi stocks in the index, alongside FTSE Russell’s upgrade, is forecast to attract as much as $45 billion of foreign inflows from passive and active investors, according to estimates from Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes. 

The upgrade announcement was widely expected by the region’s investment community, following a similar emerging markets upgrade announcement by fellow index provider FTSE Russell in March. 

“MSCI index inclusion will be a historic milestone for the Saudi market as it will allow for sticky institutional money to make an entry in 2019 which will help deepen the market,” said John Sfakianakis, director of economic research at the Gulf Research Center in Riyadh.