Saudi firms to boost Korean trade

Updated 11 October 2014

Saudi firms to boost Korean trade

Seoul will host the next Saudi-South Korea business forum from Oct. 29 to 31, which aims to further enhance economic cooperation between the two countries.
Announcing this in Riyadh on Saturday, South Korean Ambassador Kim Jin-soo, said bilateral investment would top the agenda during the three-day long business forum in the South Korean capital.
He added that the high-profile business meet will be attended by Minister of Commerce and Industry Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, Minister of Economy and Planning Muhammad Al-Jasser, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) Gov. Abdullatif A. Al-Othman and Yoon Sang-Jick, minister of trade, industry and energy for South Korea, to discuss formidable collaborations in order to bolster bilateral ties.
He stated that 51 Saudi companies have confirmed their participation for the significant business forum, which seeks comprehensive cooperation between the Kingdom and South Korea. The final agenda of the forum, which is spread over nine sessions, is yet to be finalized. However, sources said, energy will be a key issue to be discussed comprehensively.
Notably Hashim Abdullah Yamani, president of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), will also participate in the forum, which is expected to have the huge presence of the Saudi-South Korean business community.
KACARE is a dream project aiming to build a sustainable future for the Kingdom by developing a substantial alternative energy capacity fully supported by world-class local industries.
Apart from the B2B sessions, the forum will host an accompanying exhibition during the same period, from Oct. 29 to 31, to exhibit the products of mutual interest as the forum aims at promoting closer cooperation between the two countries.
Saudi Arabia and South Korea have expanded the scope of cooperation across the sectors by carrying out joint investment projects in vital sectors, economy and planning, and the two friendly countries are now the fourth largest trade partners, with the volume of trade reaching $46.5 billion in 2013.
According to organizers, the forum is expected to change the direction of economic ties from reliance on trade to trade plus investment.

Bank jobs go as HSBC and Emirates NBD reduce costs

Updated 15 November 2019

Bank jobs go as HSBC and Emirates NBD reduce costs

  • Others have also reduced headcount amid economic downturn and property market weakness

DUBAI: HSBC Holdings has laid off about 40 bankers in the UAE and Emirates NBD is cutting around 100 jobs, as banks in the Arab world’s second-biggest economy reduce costs.

The cuts come amid weak economic growth, especially in Dubai, which is suffering from a property downturn.

HSBC’s redundancies came after the London-based bank reported a sharp fall in earnings and warned of a costly restructuring, as interim CEO Noel Quinn seeks to tackle its problems head-on.

HSBC has about 3,000 staff in the UAE, part of a nearly 10,000-strong workforce in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.

The cuts at Dubai’s largest lender Emirates NBD came in consumer sales and liabilities, one source said, while a second played down the significance of the move.

HSBC and Emirates NBD declined to comment.

“The cuts are part of cost cutting and rationalizing to drive efficiencies in a challenging market,” the second source said.

Other banks have also reduced staff this year. UAE central bank data shows local banks laid off 446 people in the 12 months until the end of September. Foreign banks added staff in the same period.

Staff at local banks account for over 80 percent of the 35,518 banking employees in the country.

The merger between Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Union Commercial Bank and Al Hilal Bank saw hundreds of redundancies.

Commercial Bank International (CBI) said it would offer voluntary retirement to employees in September, which sources said saw over 100 departures. Standard Chartered, too, cut over 100 jobs in the UAE in September.

Rating agency Fitch warned in September a weakening property market would put more pressure on the UAE’s banking sector.