Carrefour CEO steps up digital push, inks deal in China

The logo of Carrefour. (Reuters/Stephane Mahe)
Updated 23 January 2018
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Carrefour CEO steps up digital push, inks deal in China

PARIS: Carrefour’s new chief executive on Tuesday pledged to slash costs, step up investment in e-commerce in the face of competition from Amazon and to open up the capital of Carrefour China to local investors, as part of a plan to boost growth at the world’s second-largest retailer.
Alexandre Bompard, at the helm since July, faces the challenge of improving business in Carrefour’s core French market, where it has been losing market share to unlisted rival Leclerc.
He is also aiming to boost profitability and cash flow, and speeding up the company’s expansion into e-commerce, where Carrefour was late to invest..
Carrefour, Europe’s largest retailer and the second-biggest in the world behind Wal-Mart, will invest 2.8 billion euros ($3.43 billion) by 2022 to accelerate its online offer, while also cutting costs by 2 billion euros on a full year basis by 2020.
Carrefour, the largest private sector employer in France, said a voluntary redundancy plan would be offered to 2,400 employees at its head office in France.
Bompard unveiled the plan after Carrefour said last week that its 2017 operating profit could fall by 15 percent amid weak sales. This marked its second profit warning in six months.
($1 = 0.8165 euros)


Saudi Arabia and UAE launch a new joint cryptocurrency

Updated 20 January 2019
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Saudi Arabia and UAE launch a new joint cryptocurrency

  • The cryptocurrency will be limited to banks during its first stages
  • The program will also help the two countries evaluate the monetary policies of a centralized currency

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have launched a joint cryptocurrency during the first meeting of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination council Saturday in Abu Dhabi, UAE’s national press agency WAM said.

The cryptocurrency will be limited to banks during its first stages, until the governments have a better understanding of how Blockchain technology operates cross-borders.

The currency operates on the use of a “distributed database between the central banks and the participating banks from both sides,” aiming to protect customer interests, set technology standards and assess cybersecurity risks. The new program will also help evaluate the impacts of a central currency on monetary policies.

During the meeting, representatives of Saudi Arabia and the UAE also signed the Joint Supply Chained Security Cooperation program, which tests the two countries abilities to provide vital supplies during times of crisis and national emergencies, as well as share expertise and knowledge in the field.

All 16 members of the executive committee of the council followed up on the execution of the initiatives mentioned in the Strategy of Resolve.

Representatives also set five other initiatives to enhance the cooperation between the two countries, such as facilitating the traffic between ports, improving airports to make it easier for people with disabilities to travel, creating a financial awareness program for children aged 7-18, starting a joint platform to support local SMEs, and the integration of civil aviation markets,

The committee was headed by Mohammad bin Abdullah Al-Gergawi, minister of cabinet of affairs and the future of UAE, and Mohammed bin Mazyad Al-Twaijri, minister of economy and planning in Saudi. The committee will also monitor the implementation of the initiatives.