Middle East investors eye improving business conditions in Saudi Arabia, says survey

The skyline of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is seen at night in this aerial photograph from a helicopter. (AFP)
Updated 23 February 2018
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Middle East investors eye improving business conditions in Saudi Arabia, says survey

LONDON: Gulf-based investors said economic diversification in Saudi Arabia and increasing ease of doing business in the Kingdom are top areas of interest for 2018, according to a survey by global investment analysts.
Efforts by the government in Saudi Arabia to improve liquidity are attracting regional and international investors, said respondents to the survey carried out by the CFA Institute in the region.
Regional equities, private equity or venture capital will be the most attractive assets across the Middle East this year, those surveyed by CFA Society Emirates said.
More than two-thirds of respondents (70 percent) said regional geopolitical issues would remain the most significant challenge for the regional investor industry this year. They also also called for greater transparency of investment decisions and improved corporate governance to support growth.
“As our members highlighted in the survey, improving corporate governance is a crucial element in ensuring the sustainable growth of the region’s financial services market since this will put interest the interests of investors first, while aiming to generate returns in an ethical and transparent manner,” said Amer Khansaheb, president of CFA Society Emirates.

Regional investors were also bucking the trend toward increased investment in artificial intelligence (AI) technology to support companies’ internal operations, Khansaheb added, as 70 percent of CFA members reported that their organization was not investing in AI.
“This is despite global trends which suggest that there are increasing levels of AI adoption in investment management due to the cost and efficiency benefits which technology affords,” said Khansaheb.


Samsung delays Galaxy Fold media events in China

Updated 22 April 2019
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Samsung delays Galaxy Fold media events in China

  • Instead of plaudits ahead of the phone’s launch on April 26 in the US, Samsung has instead received brickbats
  • The hashtag #foldgate trended on Twitter because of the smartphone issues

SEOUL: Smartphone maker Samsung postponed media events for its Galaxy Fold planned for this week in Hong Kong and Shanghai, a company official said, days after reviewers of the foldable handset reported defective samples.
The official did not elaborate on reasons or rescheduling.
Instead of plaudits ahead of the phone’s launch on April 26 in the United States, the South Korean conglomerate has been blighted by technology journalists reporting breaks, bulges and blinking screens after using their samples for as little as a day.
Samsung said it received “a few” reports of damage to the displays of samples of the $1,980 handset, raising the specter of the combustible Galaxy Note 7 three years ago which the firm ultimately pulled from shelves at massive cost.
The reviewers’ reports of broken screens went viral online and prompted the creation of hashtag #foldgate on Twitter.
Samsung has hailed the folding design as the future in a field that has seen few surprises since Apple’s iPhone in 2007. Chinese rival Huawei Technologies has also announced a folding handset, the Mate X.
The Samsung official on Monday said it had no change to its previously announced release date in the United States.
It plans to begin South Korean and European sales in May, and Chinese sales from an undisclosed date.