Saudi Arabia’s parallel market to help boost SMEs’ growth: Report

Saudi Arabia is the first country in the Gulf region to launch a parallel market but such markets have existed since the 1970s in many mature economies. (Reuters)
Updated 27 March 2017
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Saudi Arabia’s parallel market to help boost SMEs’ growth: Report

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s parallel market Nomu is likely to help boost the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), said a report issued by Jadwa Investment on Monday.

According to the Small and Medium Enterprise Authority (SMEA), bringing the Kingdom’s SMEs contribution in line with global peers could add a further SR1.1 trillion ($293.3 billion) to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The report said: “Although Nomu is open to all types of companies, the number of SME listings is expected to rise in line with the government initiatives to drive up SMEs contribution to the GDP.”
The National Transformation Program (NTP 2020) has also pinpointed three strategic areas through which SMEs can help the Saudi economy. These include: Increasing the culture of entrepreneurship, raising the contribution of SMEs to the GDP and contributing to the creation of employment opportunities.
As a result, a number of initiatives have recently been launched to boost the growth of SMEs. The recently launched program, Musharakah, aims at facilitating the growth of SMEs, especially at the start-up level. The program is part of a larger government-backed SR4 billion fund.
“Looking at the Musharakah program and Nomu together, we can see the strategic thinking behind government policy in trying to develop a path for SMEs that allows them to progress,” said the report.
Saudi Arabia is the first country in the Gulf region to launch a parallel market, but such markets have existed since the 1970s in many mature economies. Perhaps the best example of a parallel market is the US NASDAQ, which was established in the early 1970s.
During the mid to late 1990s, many European exchanges also went about launching their own versions of a parallel market, including AIM (UK), Neuer Markt (Germany) and the Nouveau Marché (France). By and large, such markets have been a relative success, helping spawn a number of prosperous companies, which have ultimately sought full listing in the main market.
“If the success of the US and some European parallel markets is replicated by Nomu, then we expect not only to see deeper and more diverse capital markets but also a more favorable business environment,” said the report.
The report said that replicating the success of some of the more established parallel markets would not be easy.
The example of the Neuer Markt in Germany illustrates how the perception of weak regulatory oversight combined with inherently riskier and volatile nature of parallel markets can be detrimental, it added.
The report goes onto to state that despite this, “the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has published very detailed and concise provisions related to Nomu. Although these regulations are looser than Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) requirements, they are stricter than international equivalents and underline the CMA’s approach in giving priority to sound regulation ahead of hurried implementation.”


Apple China says it will push software update in bid to resolve Qualcomm case

Updated 16 min 6 sec ago
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Apple China says it will push software update in bid to resolve Qualcomm case

  • Apple will carry out the software updates at the start of next week “to address any possible concern about our compliance with the order”
  • Qualcomm has said that a court in China found Apple infringed two patents held by the chipmaker and ordered an immediate ban on sales of older iPhone models

SHANGHAI/SAN FRANCISCO: Apple Inc. , facing a court ban in China on some of its iPhone models over alleged infringement of Qualcomm Inc. patents, said on Friday it will push software updates to users in a bid to resolve potential issues.
Apple will carry out the software updates at the start of next week “to address any possible concern about our compliance with the order,” the firm said in a statement sent to Reuters.
Earlier this week, Qualcomm said a Chinese court had ordered a ban on sales of some older Apple iPhone models for violating two of its patents, though intellectual property lawyers said the ban would still likely take time to enforce.
“Based on the iPhone models we offer today in China, we believe we are in compliance,” Apple said.
“Early next week we will deliver a software update for iPhone users in China addressing the minor functionality of the two patents at issue in the case.”
The case, brought by Qualcomm, is part of a global patent dispute between the two US companies that includes dozens of lawsuits. It creates uncertainty over Apple’s business in one of its biggest markets at a time when concerns over waning demand for new iPhones are battering its shares.
Qualcomm has said that the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China found Apple infringed two patents held by the chipmaker and ordered an immediate ban on sales of older iPhone models, from the 6S through the X.
Apple has said that all of its phone models remained on sale in mainland China and that it had filed a request for reconsideration with the court. All the models appeared to be available to buy on Apple’s China website on Friday.
Qualcomm, the biggest supplier of chips for mobile phones, filed its case in China in late 2017, arguing that Apple infringed patents on features related to resizing photographs and managing apps on a touch screen.