MERS kills another expat in Jeddah

Updated 16 April 2014

MERS kills another expat in Jeddah

Five more MERS cases, including one fatality, were reported in Jeddah on Monday. An official from the Ministry of Health said the latest victim was a 70-year-old expat living in the Western Province.
“Three citizens and a 56-year-old foreign worker have also been affected by the virus; their condition is said to be stable,” the official told Arab News.
The three Saudis who were infected were in their early 50s and are being treated at the ICU of a local hospital, while the other two, aged 28 and 45, are undergoing clinical tests.
Sources said at least 30 paramedics in Jeddah have been infected over the past week, four of whom are in the ICU. There is a huge demand for masks and gloves at pharmacies.
A laboratory tested around 190 suspected samples on Monday and only five were found positive, the official said.
Meanwhile, private schools in the capital have alerted their teachers to look for children showing symptoms of MERS and quarantine them promptly.
Insurance companies have refused to cover MERS cases. Abdul Kareem Al-Tamimi, a member of the health insurance committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said international organizations have classified MERS as an infectious disease.
“Insurance companies deal with infectious diseases like natural calamities and will not cover them,” he said. “The cost of health insurance is expected to reach SR15 billion this year, a five-percent increase since 2013. Several service providers will incur losses.”
However, an insurance specialist, who requested anonymity, told Arab News that insurance companies could cover MERS cases in coordination with the ministry and reclaim the extra costs incurred from the government.
“Epidemic cases are generally covered by the government since it will take measures to prevent the spread of the disease,” he said.
The Kingdom has reported 194 cases of MERS since September 2012, with the death toll reaching 69 on Monday.


Saudi investors share expertise on Saudi corporate VC opportunities

Updated 27 November 2020

Saudi investors share expertise on Saudi corporate VC opportunities

JEDDAH: The two-day Step Saudi 2020 event featured two prominent Saudi figures in the field of investment on the second day.
Hashim Al-Awadi, CEO of Tech Invest, and Salman Jaffery, chief investment officer at Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures, both shared their expertise, with the latter saying it is more beneficial for corporations to start a venture capital (VC) arm than invest from their current mergers and acquisitions arm (M&A).
Managing partner at Class 5 Global, Zach Finkelstein, who moderated the session on the second day of the event, said the San Francisco-based venture fund invested in a number of companies in the Middle East.
“The Middle East is particularly interesting to us, and in the past, our partners have invested in such regional companies as Careem. We’re excited to explore the development of the corporate VC space and how it can impact places like Saudi Arabia,” he added.
When asked why a corporation should start a VC arm instead of investing from an M&A team, and why have a separate corporate Venture Capital arm in the first place, Jaffery answered that “it brings faster results.”
“I think the easiest answer to that is just speed and agility,” he said. “Getting that response quickly to the market. VC deals can take weeks or months whereas an M&A transaction can take up to a year or longer, and also similarly, if you’re trying to then come out of it, it’s harder to come out of a joint venture agreement or an M&A as opposed to a VC.”
Al-Awadi explained his opinion a traditional VC perspective, and said: “We like the fact that corporations can invest from both their M&A arms and their VC arms if they have them.”
He highlighted that VC arms can invest in a greater variety of companies. “You have the intelligence, you know the market and if you’re looking at specific technology where we don’t have a lot of expertise we trust that you (other venture capitalists) know the market and you can evaluate that technology better to see if it has the capability and potential for growth or not.
“Eventually, you do have an M&A arm that will provide an exit for us, for an incentive for this company to work hard to grasp the intention after having been invested in by the VC arm of this big corporate to maybe look into making a partial agreement or complete acquisition, which really adds an incentive for the company to grow and attracts other investors and also attracts talent to join the company and help it grow even more.”
He said both the VC and M&A arm are important for company growth. “We tend to look at corporate investors through both arms as complementary to what we do when we have both of them around.”
The Kingdom has obtained a high reputation among investors internationally through the years, especially after the economic and social reforms of Saudi Vision 2030.
Step Saudi is home to the Kingdom’s best entrepreneurs, investors, creatives and digital enthusiasts. The last edition of Step Saudi featured four content tracks, more than 100 startups and over 1,500 attendees.