Riyadh conference to discuss growing role of sukuk

Updated 26 April 2013
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Riyadh conference to discuss growing role of sukuk

The Kingdom’s increasingly high-profile role as a regional and global financial power will again come under the spotlight at a high-profile conference to be held in Riyadh next month.
One of the key areas under discussion will be the role of sukuk in the development of debt capital markets.
The rate of sukuk issuance accelerated significantly throughout 2012 and into 2013, particularly as new players entered the market. 
According to KFH, Saudi Arabia issued $ 10.5 billion in sukuk in 2012, representing a 278 percent year-on-year increase, positioning the Kingdom as the second major global issuer of sukuk after Malaysia.
The amounts raised through sukuk are also becoming more substantial — total sukuk issuance in the Gulf increased to $ 24 billion last year.
Bankers, thought-leaders and government officials take part in the Ministry of Finance/Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference, according to event organizers.
The Ministry of Finance/Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference, taking place in Riyadh on May 7 and 8 at Al Faisaliah Hotel. They will attend one of the most important regional financial events of 2013.
In a major panel discussion held at the event, the issues of Saudi sovereign sukuk and how the sukuk market fits into the Kingdom’s government plans for economic development will be analyzed.
The panel will review the progress of sukuk in Saudi Arabia this year, and will review the pipeline for 2013 as well as the emerging yield curve.
Richard Banks, director, emerging markets, Euromoney Conferences, said: “The major areas of focus for the event will be government finance, corporate finance, and the financial system structure, and all three are strong associated with rise of sukuk and the wider development of the Islamic financial industry.” He said 2012 marked a significant step-change in the rate of sukuk issuance, and it’s important that we evaluate what this means for the Kingdom and the wider financial sector.
Confirmed keynote speakers at the event include:
Ibrahim Al-Assaf, minister of finance, Shwaish Al-Duwaihi, minister of housing, Muhammad Al-Jasser, minister of economy and planning,
Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, minister of commerce and industry, Abdullatif Al-Othman, governor and chairman of the board of directors, SAGIA, and
Mohamad Al-Sheikh, chairman of Capital Markets Authority.
The Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference is being held in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, with lead sponsors including Aseer, BNP Paribas, Gulf International Bank, HSBC and NCB.


Toyota captures data goldmine in $1 billion Grab bet

Updated 24 sec ago
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Toyota captures data goldmine in $1 billion Grab bet

  • Grab already monitors driving behavior through its app to increase ride safety, sending emails about speed and braking, for instance, to its drivers
  • Toyota and Grab will be able to use the data for possible collaboration on data-driven services such as vehicle diagnostics and customized insurance plans based on driver usage
TOKYO/SINGAPORE: By pumping $1 billion into ride-hailing firm Grab, Toyota Motor stands to gain a passenger-side view of tens of thousands of cars across Southeast Asia, tracking how fast they drive, how far they travel and the time they spend stuck in traffic.
The Japanese automaker said it aims to install its TransLog driving recorder devices into Grab’s fleet of lease cars to access the data on driving patterns that will be crucial to its push into the nascent mobility-as-a-service industry.
“Only ride-hailing companies have good, extensive data on usage, so automakers want to be connected with that,” said Egil Juliussen, director of research for automotive infotainment and advanced driver assistance systems at IHS Markit.
Grab already monitors driving behavior through its app to increase ride safety, sending emails about speed and braking, for instance, to its drivers, such as Singapore’s Rennu MaHajjan.
“With this system, it keeps me in check,” said MaHajjan, 57.
It will get even more vehicle data with Toyota, which has been harvesting data through TransLog since 2016 in sales and trials with taxi firms and car-hailing operators including Grab. The data gives Toyota insight into fleet management as it develops services including futuristic concepts such as pay-per-use mobile restaurants.
The latest deal, announced last week, gives Toyota access to a single pool of vehicles which potentially eclipses all others. That will allow it to capture a volume of data that would be difficult to collect from private cars which are only used for under 5 percent of any given day, often on routine commutes.
In return, Grab will be able to expand services such as food delivery and digital payments using Toyota’s $1 billion investment — the biggest by a traditional automaker in a ride-sharing app maker.
The deal reflects how automakers are clamoring for access to ride-hailing firms’ extensive user bases through a spate of partnerships, as they compete with technology companies to develop autonomous cars and next-generation transport services.
Toyota’s vision of such services includes convoys of shuttle bus-sized, self-driving multi-purpose vehicles used, for instance, as pay-per-use mobile restaurants and hotels, which the automaker plans to develop and customize for retail customers.
“There’s data about the car, and then there’s also data about the service — how many customers drivers have, what’s the average mileage, where the rides are concentrated,” said Juliussen. “Having that picture in all the major (Southeast Asian) cities, that becomes very valuable.”
Toyota and Grab will be able to use the data for possible collaboration on data-driven services such as vehicle diagnostics and customized insurance plans based on driver usage.
The data will also help Grab maintain efficiency in fleet maintenance as it expands deeper into Southeast Asia where it operates in over 200 cities. It has said it wants build the region’s largest car rental fleet by the fourth quarter of 2018.
“Vehicle maintenance costs, insurance costs, these are bread-and-butter issues for ride-hailing drivers,” said Chua Kee Lock, chief executive of Vertex Venture Holdings in Singapore, an early Grab investor.
Industry experts said Toyota could expand its data service to more mobility firms such as Didi Chuxing, Uber Technologies Inc. and Amazon.com Inc, with which it has separate partnerships.
“This partnership with Toyota will keep Grab’s platform ‘sticky’ and give drivers less incentive to switch to competitors,” said Chua. “This is Grab’s edge over the long-run.”