36 MOUs worth $20 billion signed between Saudi-US companies at CEO Forum

More than 200 business leaders from Saudi Arabia and the US were at the second annual Saudi-US CEO Forum. (SPA)
Updated 28 March 2018
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36 MOUs worth $20 billion signed between Saudi-US companies at CEO Forum

NEW YORK: More than 200 business leaders from Saudi Arabia and the US were at the second annual Saudi-US CEO Forum to create partnerships, strengthen the economic ties between the Kingdom and the US, as well as to promote bilateral trade.
The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 introduced by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has brought wide ranging economic and social reforms to the Kingdom. These reforms are already responsible for numerous changes in the the country and were the catalyst for the 36 MoU signings announced at the forum.
The agreements brought about business totaling more than $20 billion; with more MOU signings pipeline, poised for a later date.
The MOU signings built partnerships across several sectors including health care, manufacturing, entertainment, education and information technology.

A few of the MOU signings announced today included:
An Aramco-Google partnership focused on national cloud services and other technology opportunities
A five year-content-led initiative between ITHRA and National Geographic to propel Saudi Arabia as the region’s center for creativity and entertainment
A partnership between Aramco and Raytheon to establish national cybersecurity services
A MOU between SIDF and JP Morgan to explore collaboration in industrial financing in the Kingdom
A partnership between Al-Rushaid and International SOS to provide medical services in the Kingdom with a focus on remote area clinics.


BMW plans massive cost cuts to keep profits from sputtering

Updated 20 March 2019
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BMW plans massive cost cuts to keep profits from sputtering

  • ‘Our business model must remain a profitable one in the digital era,’ chief executive Harald Krueger said
  • Total number of employees is set to remain flat at around 135,000 worldwide

MUNICH: German high-end carmaker BMW warned Wednesday it expects pre-tax profits “well below” 2018 levels this year as it announced a massive cost-cutting scheme aimed at saving $13.6 billion (€12 billion) in total by 2022.
A spokesman said that “well below” could indicate a tumble of more than 10 percent.
The Munich-based group’s 2019 result will be burdened with massive investments needed for the transition to electric cars, exchange rate headwinds and rising raw materials prices, it said in a statement.
Meanwhile it must pump more cash into measures to meet strict European carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions limits set to bite from next year.
And a one-off windfall in 2018’s results will create a negative comparison, even though pre-tax profits already fell 8.1 percent last year.
Bosses expect a “slight increase” in sales of BMW and Mini cars, with a slightly fatter operating margin that will nevertheless fall short of their 8.0-percent target.
“We will continue to implement forcefully the necessary measures for growth, continuing performance increases and efficiency,” finance director Nicolas Peter said at the group’s annual press conference.
BMW aims to achieve €12 billion of savings in the coming years through “efficiency improvements” including reducing the complexity of its range.
“Our business model must remain a profitable one in the digital era,” chief executive Harald Krueger said.
This year, most new recruits at the group will be IT specialists, while the total number of employees is set to remain flat at around 135,000 worldwide.
Departures from the sizeable fraction of the workforce born during the post-World War II baby boom and now reaching retirement age “will allow us to adapt the business even more to future topics,” BMW said.
All the firm’s forecasts are based on London and Brussels reaching a deal for an orderly Brexit and the United States foregoing new import taxes on European cars.
“Developments in tariffs” remain “a significant factor of uncertainty” in looking to the future, finance chief Peter said, adding that “the preparations for the UK’s exit from the EU will weigh on 2019’s results as well.”
In annual results released ahead of schedule last Friday, BMW blamed trade headwinds and new EU emissions tests for net profits tumbling 16.9 percent in 2018, to €7.2 billion.