Saudi March inflation drops to 2 percent

Saudi March inflation drops to 2 percent
Updated 15 April 2015

Saudi March inflation drops to 2 percent

Saudi March inflation drops to 2 percent

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Central Department of Statistics has released the March consumer price data, showing inflation at its lowest level since at least September 2012, when the current data series began.
The March inflation was at 2 percent down from 2.1 percent in February and 2.6 percent in January.
Prices of housing and utilities increased 2.2 percent from a year earlier in March, while food and beverages rose 1.7 percent.
The data are based on the 2007 consumer basket with the series beginning in September 2012, Reuters reported.
In a recent report, Jadwa Investment said Saudi inflation has been consistently falling for six consecutive months to reach 2.1 percent in February.
The continued deflationary trend in international food prices has meant that prices for foodstuffs remained below 2 percent year-on-year.
A strengthening US dollar also played a part in adding to downward pressure on import costs, and consequently, inflation.
Since the beginning of the year, the US dollar continues to strengthen against most other major currencies
“Nevertheless, we see an upside risk to inflation for the remainder of the year, driven mainly by domestic inflationary pressures,” Jadwa researchers said the quarterly Oil Market Update.
“The liquidity injection as a result of the January royal decrees have already pushed up monetary aggregates, and are likely to contribute to further inflation in the short-term,” stated the report.
“This should leave housing inflation as the major source for inflationary pressure during 2015 as rents rise due to the continued shortage in housing units. We expect inflation to average 2.5 percent this year,” said the report.


Saudi fintech startup secures $1.2m seed funding

Saudi fintech startup secures $1.2m seed funding
Updated 26 January 2021

Saudi fintech startup secures $1.2m seed funding

Saudi fintech startup secures $1.2m seed funding
  • The Kingdom has proved to be a fruitful market for investment in startups

RIYADH: A Saudi financial technology company has raised $1.2 million in seed funding.

Hakbah’s success comes six months after the Riyadh-based startup received regulatory approval from the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) to operate in the Kingdom.

The specific investors behind the financing have not been revealed.

Founded in late 2018 by Naif AbuSaida, Hakbah specializes in alternative saving and savings groups.

On its LinkedIn profile, the firm describes its mission “is to digitize financial habits by developing innovative savings products that help increase financial inclusion, support a non-cash society, and bridge the gender gap in savings.”

Hakbah graduated from the DIFC Fintech Accelerator Program 2019 in Dubai.

The Kingdom has proved to be a fruitful market for investment in startups. Saudi Arabia recorded a 35 percent year-on-year increase in the number of investment deals in the technology startup sector last year, according to a new industry report.

A study by data research platform Magnitt found that the Kingdom accounted for 18 percent of the 496 investment deals throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region last year.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt were the largest markets, accounting for 68 percent of total deals. However, while the Kingdom saw the number of investment deals increase by more than one-third, the UAE and Egypt witnessed volume decreases of 17 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

When it came to the monetary value of the deals, Saudi Arabia recorded a surge of 55 percent year-on-year to $152 million.

Nabeel Koshak, CEO at Saudi Venture Capital Co., said: “Saudi Arabia is witnessing an increase in the quality and quantity in the deal flow of startups. I am thrilled by the distinguished entrepreneurs who are creating fast growth and scalable startups.

“Despite the slowdown of (the coronavirus disease) COVID-19, Saudi Arabia saw a record increase in venture capital funding (55 percent) in 2020 compared with 2019.”

In its predictions for this year, Magnitt forecast that Saudi Arabia would overtake Egypt by total number of investments and capital deployed and become second only to the UAE in the rankings.