Prince Alwaleed announces SR1bn deal with music streaming service Deezer

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal described the Deezer share purchase as a 'premium investment'. (File photo Reuters)
Updated 02 August 2018
0

Prince Alwaleed announces SR1bn deal with music streaming service Deezer

  • Shares will be bought through Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding investment company and Rotana Group
  • Deezer is a Dutch music streaming service with 53 million available tracks

LONDON: Prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced on Thursday a SR1 billion ($267 million) deal to buy newly issued shares in the Dutch music streaming service Deezer.

The shares will be bought through Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding investment company and Rotana Group, the entertainment company owned by the businessman.

Rotana and Deezer also signed an exclusive long-term agreement to distribute Rotana’s popular audio and video content in the Middle East and North Africa, the Kingdom Holding statement said.

“The investment of Kingdom Holding and Rotana Group in Deezer represents one of the many premium investments that we have always sought for our shareholders and the signing of this distribution agreement will move Rotana to the international arena,”   Prince Alwaleed said.

Deezer says it provides one of the largest and most diverse music streaming services with 53 million tracks available to 14 million active users a month.

Prince Alwaleed has investments in a number of international companies including Citigroup Inc and Twitter.


Mideast plays key role in Chinese export of armed drones, report says

Updated 17 December 2018
0

Mideast plays key role in Chinese export of armed drones, report says

  • China has exploited America’s selective drone export policy to become an increasingly influential player in meeting demand
  • The report is entitled “Armed Drones in the Middle East: Proliferation and Norms in the Region”

BEIRUT: The use of armed drones in the Middle East, driven largely by sales from China, has grown significantly in the past few years with an increasing number of countries and other parties using them in regional conflicts to lethal effects, a new report said Monday.
The report by the Royal United Services Institute, or RUSI, found that more and more Mideast countries have acquired armed drones, either by importing them, such as Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, or by building them domestically like Israel, Iran and Turkey.
China has won sales in the Middle East and elsewhere by offering drones — otherwise known as UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles — at lower prices and without the political conditions attached by the United States.
The report , entitled “Armed Drones in the Middle East: Proliferation and Norms in the Region,” said that by capitalizing on the gap in the market over the past few years, Beijing has supplied armed drones to several countries that are not authorized to purchase them from the US, and at a dramatically cheaper price.
“China, a no-questions-asked exporter of drones, has played and is likely to continue playing a key role as a supplier of armed UAVs to the Middle East,” it said.
The report explored where and how each of the states have used their armed drones and whether they have changed the way these countries approach air power. It found that Iran, the UAE and Turkey all changed the way they employ airpower after they acquired armed drones.
For Turkey and the UAE, armed drones enabled them to conduct strikes in situations where they would not have risked using conventional aircraft, it said. Iran developed armed drones from the outset specifically to enable to project power beyond the reach of its air force, which is hamstrung by obsolete aircraft and sanctions, the report added.
The report said it remains to be seen whether and how the loosening of restrictions on the exportation of armed drones by the Trump administration will alter dynamics in the region.
“Nonetheless, proliferation in armed UAVs in the Middle East is unlikely to stop and could, in fact, even accelerate,” the report said.