Saudi-British joint business council unveils new initiatives

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hold a meeting with other members of the British government and Saudi ministers and delegates inside number 10 Downing Street. The visit aims to strengthen business ties between the two countries. (Pool)
Updated 07 March 2018
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Saudi-British joint business council unveils new initiatives

LONDON: The Saudi-British Joint Business Council (SBJBC) on Wednesday unveiled a number of initiatives to develop two-way trade with the UK.
The disclosures, following a special meeting in London, were designed to coincide with the visit to Britain by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Developments included a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Council of Saudi Chambers, British Chambers of Commerce and SAGIA (Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority) to facilitate trade and investment; an MoU between SBJBC UK and Institutional Investor to promote deal flow and knowledge exchange in the technology sector and further action to support SME development including SBJBC’s third SME Partnership Forum in London on April 24.
That event aims to bring together innovative Saudi and British SMEs in sectors spanning smart cities, fintech, cybersecurity and e-commerce.
Also, support was expressed for conferences in London on April 9 to promote opportunities under Saudi Aramco’s IKTVA local content program, and on April 16 to present opportunities under Saudi Arabia’s renewable energy program.
Majed Al-Qasabi, minister of commerce, Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, minister of economy & planning and Ibrahim Al-Omar, governor of SAGIA, attended the meeting and updated members on recent reforms.
Members expressed their determination to build on the Crown Prince’s visit to increase business-to business cooperation in support both of Saudi Vision 2030 implementation, and the UK’s post-Brexit trade relations.
SBJBC is a not for profit and private sector membership association with over 150 Saudi and British members dedicated to the development of business relations at all levels between Saudi Arabia and the UK.


Thyssenkrupp workers urge thoroughness over speed in Tata Steel talks

Updated 57 min 45 sec ago
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Thyssenkrupp workers urge thoroughness over speed in Tata Steel talks

FRANKFURT/DUISBURG: Thyssenkrupp workers on Thursday urged management to solve outstanding issues in talks with Tata Steel to create a European joint venture, signaling they would not be opposed to a further delay of the transaction if necessary.
The remarks come as Thyssenkrupp Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger finds himself under pressure from all sides to present a deal that will satisfy employees and investors, which have grown increasingly frustrated with the lengthy negotiations.
“There are still a number of unresolved issues until a possible signing,” Tekin Nasikkol, chairman of Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe’s works council and a member of Thyssenkrupp AG’s supervisory board, said in a statement.
“We expect all parties to focus on diligence rather than speed in fixing the problems.”
Talks to create a European steel joint venture have dragged on for more than two years and have hit a snag after the diverging performance of the two businesses prompted Thyssenkrupp’s activist shareholders Elliott and Cevian to ask for better terms.
Hiesinger has several options to address the valuation gap and is seeking approval for the venture from Thyssenkrupp’s 20-member supervisory board, where half of the seats are held by labor representatives, by the end of next week.
“If Mr. Hiesinger needs more time he can have it as far as I’m concerned,” Nasikkol said.
Hiesinger’s options range from changing the 50-50 ownership structure, possibly to 55-45 or 60-40 in favor of Thyssenkrupp, transferring more Thyssenkrupp debt onto the venture, excluding Tata Steel from dividend payments or securing a cash payment from the Indian firm to settle the difference.
Nasikkol confirmed labor leaders would not support the venture taking on more debt. So far, Thyssenkrupp plans to transfer €4 billion ($4.6 billion) in liabilities, compared with Tata Steel’s €2.5 billion.