‘Foreign workers’ remittances exceed SR150bn in 2016’

Hussam Abdullah Al-Hayyaf, chief executive officer of Ersal Money Transfer. (Supplied photo)
Updated 29 January 2017
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‘Foreign workers’ remittances exceed SR150bn in 2016’

RIYADH: Estimating more than SR150 billion of remittances sent from the Kingdom in 2016, a top Saudi banker here on Saturday has ranked the country as one of the top remittance-sending nations in the world.
The bulk of the remittances have been sent to different countries by about 10.5 million foreign workers amid predictions that the money transfers will be slightly lower in 2017 compared to last year.
Hussam Abdullah Al-Hayyaf, chief executive officer of Ersal Money Transfer, said: “The money sent out of the Kingdom as per Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) was around SR150 billion by the end of 2016.”
Al-Hayyaf said that he did not foresee major drop in remittances this year. He pointed out that India, Pakistan and Yemen are the top recipients of remittances sent from Saudi Arabia.
Spelling out the expansion plan of Ersal Money Transfer, a SAMA-licensed remittance company formed by Saudi Post and Alinma Bank, Al-Hayyaf said that “Ersal is planning to reach 60 branches by the end of 2017.”
Currently, Ersal has 50 branches across the Kingdom, which facilitates sending remittances directly to the bank accounts of the customers in several countries in different parts of the world.
He said that “we have also tied up with Western Union, which can remit money to any place around the globe instantly and it has about 600,000 outlets around the world.
“Also, as part of new services that we are planning to provide for our valued customers is that our customers can make money transfer online from their homes or places of work or from anywhere in the world,” he added.
“We at Ersal have facilities to send money to any country in the world through Western Union service or through our correspondent banks in different countries in Asia or Africa,” he said, while referring to Pakistan or India or Philippines, where the remittances can reach on the same day or in 30 minutes to a bank account or within minutes through Western Union.
The Ersal CEO also pointed out that there are no charges for sending remittances to Pakistan, whereas Ersal charges only SR15 for money transfer to other countries.
“In fact, we have a good relationship with many reputable and famous banks and we are in continuous process to make stronger ties and build relationships with different banks around the world as per the growth in our customers’ base,” he added.


BMW picks insider Zipse as CEO to catch up with rivals

Oliver Zipse
Updated 19 July 2019
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BMW picks insider Zipse as CEO to catch up with rivals

  • German giant has lost ground to Mercedes-Benz and Tesla as tech steps up

FRANKFURT: BMW has named Oliver Zipse as its new CEO, continuing the German carmaker’s tradition of promoting production chiefs to the top job even as the auto industry expands into new areas such as technology and services.
Hailing Zipse’s “decisive” leadership style, BMW hopes the 55-year-old can help it win back its edge in electric cars and the premium market  from rival Mercedes-Benz.
But some analysts questioned whether Zipse was the right choice with new fields such as software and services like car-sharing becoming increasingly important.
“What is intriguing is the cultural bias to appoint the head of production. It works sometimes but ... being good at building cars is not a defining edge the way it was 20 years ago,” said Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois.
Current CEO Harald Krueger, and former chiefs Norbert Reithofer, Bernd Pischetsrieder and Joachim Milberg were all former production heads.
Zipse joined BMW as a trainee in 1991 and served as head of brand and product strategies and boss of BMW’s Oxford plant in England before joining the board.
He will become chief executive on Aug. 16, taking over from Krueger who said he would not be available for a second term.
“With Oliver Zipse, a decisive strategic and analytical leader will assume the Chair of the Board of Management of BMW. He will provide fresh momentum in shaping  the future,” said Reithofer.
Zipse helped expand BMW’s efficient production network in Hungary, China and the US, in a move that delivered industry-leading profit margins.
Under Krueger, BMW was overtaken in 2016 by Mercedes-Benz as the best-selling luxury car brand.
It also had an early lead over US  rival Tesla in electric cars, but scaled back ambitions after its i3 model failed to sell large numbers.
Reithofer initially championed Krueger’s low-key consensus-seeking leadership, but pressured him to roll out electric vehicles more aggressively, forcing Krueger to skip the Paris Motor Show in 2016 to reevaluate BMW’s electric strategy.
Krueger’s reluctance to push low-margin electric vehicles led to an exodus of talented electric vehicle experts, including Christian Senger, now Volkswagen’s (VW) board member responsible for software, and Audi’s Markus Duesmann, who is seen as a future CEO of the company.
Both were poached by VW CEO Herbert Diess, a former BMW board member responsible for research who was himself passed over for BMW’s top job in 2015.
VW has since pushed a radical 80 billion euro ($90 billion) electric car mass production strategy, and a sweeping alliance with Ford.

Other skills
“A CEO needs to have an idea for how mobility will evolve in the future. This goes far beyond optimising an existing business,” said Carsten Breitfeld, chief executive of China-based ICONIQ motors, and former BMW engineer. “He needs to build teams, attract talent, and promote a culture oriented along consumer electronics and internet dynamics.”
German manufacturers have dominated the high-performance market for decades, but analysts warn shifts towards sophisticated technology and software is opening the door to new challengers.
“Tesla has a lead of three to four years in areas like software and electronics. There is a risk that the Germans can’t catch up,” UBS analyst Patrick Hummel said.
Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport car magazine, normally quick to champion German manufacturers, this week ran a cover questioning BMW’s future.
“Production expertise is important, but if you want to avoid ending up being a hardware provider for Google or Apple, you need to have the ability to move up the food chain into data and software,” a former BMW board member said.