Saudi Arabia strikes $1bn Korean engineering deal

Updated 25 October 2017

Saudi Arabia strikes $1bn Korean engineering deal

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has shelled out $1 billion for a 38 percent stake in Posco E&C, the construction arm of the giant South Korean steelmaker Posco.
The deal is driven by the Korean company’s drive to expand in the Middle East and comes as Posco E&C, in which Posco holds an 89.53 percent stake, plans to go public to bolster its balance sheet.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative forum in Riyadh on Tuesday, Posco head Ohjoon Kwon confirmed earlier media reports that the South Koreans would make a meaningful contribution to the Kingdom’s “Saudi Vision 2030” economic program by engaging in various construction projects.
The company has already invested $14 million for a 40 percent share in a joint venture with PIF called “Posco E&C Saudi Arabia,” revealed Kwon. The PIF holds the remaining 60 percent.
“Posco aspires to create business opportunities and contribute to the Saudi National Transformation Program through knowledge transfer and best practice sharing,” Kwon said.
He said he looked forward to sharing the means by which South Korea undertook economic diversification after being as reliant on agriculture as Saudi Arabia is on oil today.
He believed KSA had a taken a first step towards the development of its steel industry, “which is the very foundation of any industrialization effort.”
Posco, he added, was currently working with a Saudi Arabian developer on an urban development project within the Riyadh metropolitan region. 


‘Dare to dream,’ football hero Thierry Henry tells Saudi fans

Footballing great Thierry Henry thrills fans as he signs 10 footballs on stage and tosses them to the audience. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 7 min 32 sec ago

‘Dare to dream,’ football hero Thierry Henry tells Saudi fans

  • Fans got up close and personal with the former champion during a segment called the lightning round, where Henry had to answer questions in 10 seconds

DHAHRAN: Stepping onto the Tanween stage in front of a sold-out venue full of cheering fans, footballing great Thierry Henry was quick to say how “hyped” he was to meet his Saudi supporters.
As a guest and speaker at Tanween Season, the former Arsenal striker and French international faced a busy schedule on Saturday after arriving at King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran.
First, he had a “meet and greet” with fans, many wearing Arsenal shirts, which was quickly followed by a discussion of the theme for this year’s event, “Play.”
After two young footballers from Riyadh performed a series of tricks that included balancing a football on one leg, then kicking it in the air to land on their backs, Henry said: “I would have broken my back trying to do that. It’s not easy.”
On his second visit to Saudi Arabia — the first was to Riyadh last year — Henry said that he was impressed by this year’s Tanween theme since he had seen firsthand the results of a children’s quality-of-life program at Tanween.
“What I liked most was to see the smiles on the faces of those children when I was walking around the impressive building. Being able to dream is key for me, but seeing how the youngsters were interacting, and how happy they were with their families walking around, was just priceless,” he said.
Growing up, Henry’s father played an important role in his development. The footballer did not miss a beat when answering that his father was his idol. “My dad was the hardest man to please; to put a smile on his face was the hardest thing to do,” he said.
Although the footballer grew up in a “not so great” Paris neighborhood, he considered it an enriching cultural experience. “It was great for me at the time because it allowed me to travel, although I wasn’t really traveling,” he said.
France’s colonial history meant he was exposed to different cultures early in his life.
“If I going upstairs to have couscous, to the second floor to have Senegalese food, or to eat with the Portuguese downstairs, it allowed me to travel, staying where I was,” he explained.
During his talk Henry showed that his Arabic extends to common niceties such as “shukran,” “afwan” and “alsalamau alaikum.”
Having an impact on the English Premier League and his role in Arsenal’s record-breaking era almost two decades ago are more important to him that being considered the world’s best striker, he said. As for his favorite stadium, Henry was quick to choose Highbury.
Offering advice to younger Saudis in the audience, Henry urged them to face their problems calmly and cleverly.
“Don’t run away. Face it and don’t be scared to fail. Come back again, but smarter,” he said.
Fans got up close and personal with the former champion during a segment called the lightning round, where Henry had to answer questions in 10 seconds. That revealed that he has always admired Muhammad Ali as the greatest, Messi is his current favorite football player and winning the World Cup was the most memorable moment in his career.
After the talk, Henry thrilled the crowd — a reminder of his playing days — by tossing 10 footballs to lucky fans who cheered as he left the stage.