100 global business chiefs confirmed for Saudi PIF gathering

Updated 22 October 2018
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100 global business chiefs confirmed for Saudi PIF gathering

  • Business chiefs and technology innovators to gather in Riyadh
  • Annual meet reflect's Kingdom's technological ambitions

LONDON: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has confirmed more than 100 global investors, CEOs and disruptive innovators as speakers at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh next month.
The meeting which debuted last year, will run between Oct. 23 to Oct. 25 and focus on three core themes of Investing in Transformation, Technology as Opportunity and Advancing Human Potential.
Last year’s event made global headlines when a robot called “Sophia” took to the stage and engaged in an entertaining exchange with the host. Her appearance underscored the Kingdom’s ambitions to become a driving force in artificial intelligence and robotics as part of a push to add high tech jobs and diversify away from oil.
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase is among the speakers attending the FII.
He said: “Technology is the greatest thing that has ever happened to mankind. Artificial intelligence, big data and machine learning are helping JPMorgan Chase reduce risk and fraud, upgrade service, improve underwriting and enhance marketing across the firm. We know technology has been a great force, and for the benefit of all of us, that force should not be left unleashed.”
Nicknamed “Davos in the Desert,” a reference to the annual gathering of thought leaders at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, the FII attracts both established industry titans and emerging entrepreneurs working in disruptive sectors.
Next month’s event will explore a number of subjects, including how leaders from business and government can develop a collective vision for the future, how venture capital is changing the future of innovation, and how immersive technology is changing the way we live, work and create.
Among the speakers set to attend the event are BlackRock boss Larry Fink, JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Uber Technologies.
IMF president Christine Lagarde will also make an appearance along with Steven Mnuchin, US Treasury Secretary.


Moody’s upgrades Egypt’s rating to B2, expects more economic growth

Updated 18 April 2019
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Moody’s upgrades Egypt’s rating to B2, expects more economic growth

  • Moody’s believes Egypt’s large domestic funding base would support its resilience to refinancing shocks
  • The ratings agency expects energy price hikes as part of Egypt’s fuel subsidy reform

CAIRO: Rating agency Moody’s has upgraded Egypt’s sovereign rating, saying ongoing economic reforms will help improve its fiscal position and boost economic growth.
Moody’s upgraded the long-term foreign and local currency issuer ratings of Egypt to B2 from B3. The outlook was changed to stable from positive.
The decision was based on “Moody’s expectation that ongoing fiscal and economic reforms will support a gradual but steady improvement in Egypt’s fiscal metrics and raise real GDP growth,” the agency said in a statement late on Wednesday.
Moody’s also said it believed Egypt’s large domestic funding base would support its resilience to refinancing shocks despite the government’s very high borrowing needs and interest costs.
Moody’s said it expected a steady improvement of Egypt’s fiscal position, “albeit from very weak levels.”
Maintained primary budget surpluses combined with strong nominal GDP growth would help reduce the general government debt/GDP ratio to below 80 percent by the 2021 fiscal year from 92.6 percent in the 2018 fiscal year, it said.
Egypt’s fiscal year runs from July to June.
Moody’s also said it expected energy price hikes as part of Egypt’s fuel subsidy reform, which it believed would be completed in the 2019 fiscal year. This, along with the fiscal reforms implemented in the last few years, would allow the government to maintain the primary budget balance in surplus in the next few years, Moody’s said.
The upgraded rating was expected, but still good news for Egypt, said Allen Sandeep, head of research at Naeem Brokerage.
“It should help its case for new international bond issuances as we move forward,” he said.
Egypt is pushing ahead with tough economic reforms as part of a three-year $12 billion IMF loan deal signed in 2016.
The reforms, aimed at attracting investors who fled during the 2011 uprising, have included new taxes, deep cuts to energy subsidies and a currency devaluation. The reforms have helped the economy recover, but have also put the budgets of tens of millions of Egyptians under strain.