BMG forum spotlights strong Saudi economy

The Annual Polo Cup was held outside London with the participation of Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex.
Updated 21 July 2019

BMG forum spotlights strong Saudi economy

The strength and attractiveness of Saudi Arabia’s economy and the Kingdom’s global position on the world stage was in the spotlight at the 13th BMG Economic Forum, held recently at the London Stock Exchange headquarters.
Speaking at the event, on July 9, Prince Turki Al-Faisal underlined the ongoing rise in the Kingdom’s annual GDP and the country’s important international role, with an emphasis on the G20 being hosted by Saudi Arabia in 2020.
“The Kingdom is witnessing a comprehensive and strong renaissance of the future in all fields. There are excellent opportunities for all companies to participate in supporting the implementation of the Kingdom’s projects and for its cooperation with its counterparts in the Kingdom,” Prince Turki said.
The event was attended by CEOs and directors of Saudi and British financial institutions and companies, as well as Nikhil Rathi, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange.
The forum was inaugurated by Basil Al-Ghalayini, chairman of BMG Financial Group, who spoke about the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
A number of specialists and stakeholders in the financial and investment fields discussed the strength of the Saudi economy as well as the drive and appeal of both inward and outward foreign investment. Speakers expressed their optimism about the ambitious plans that have been put into motion, including Neom, Qiddiya, the Red Sea Project, Amaala and others, which will require the specialized companies to work independently, in partnerships with Saudi companies or through an alliance between several companies to contribute effectively to the implementation of the projects.
Chris Woods, managing director governance, risk & policy, FTSE Russell, said: “The Saudi Capital Market Authority is witnessing a remarkable development of legislation, regulations and listing mechanisms, including levels of transparency, disclosure and protection of investors’ rights.”

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The event was attended by CEOs and directors of Saudi and British financial institutions and companies, as well as Nikhil Rathi, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange.

The FTSE Russell index began its first phase in March this year and will continue in five stages. With the end of the third phase of the accession, he underlined the satisfaction of foreign investors investing in the Saudi market.
Al-Ghalayini concluded the forum by thanking Prince Turki, the sponsors and their representatives as speakers, including Dr. Hatem Bugshan from Big Innovation Center, Nasser Al-Shawaf from Regent’s Crescent Holding Company Ltd., Tariq Alrefaie from 5th Pillar Holding Limited, and Philip Pauley from Pauley Co. Other sponsors include: American Express Saudi Arabia, Future Solutions Limited and Xrail.
The following day, the Annual Polo Cup was held outside London with the participation of Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex.
“We had the pleasure and honor of the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex visiting BMG Foundation’s quarter. During our discussion with the Dukes, the history of BMG Foundation’s Annual Polo Cup was explored as the oldest, charitable, equestrian, social and diplomatic joint event between the two countries. The Dukes thanked BMG Foundation’s strategic partner representatives —  including Prince Abdul Aziz bin Faisal bin Abdulmajeed, Hatem Bugshan and Priyan Attygalle — for their participation and support of noble causes,” Al-Ghalayini added.
The event was attended by Prince Abdul Aziz as well as sponsors of the BMG Economic Forum, business leaders, representatives of charitable initiatives and polo enthusiasts.


Second edition of Misk500 Accelerator concludes

Updated 15 December 2019

Second edition of Misk500 Accelerator concludes

500 Startups and Misk Innovation recently hosted an invite-only Demo Day event at the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) Conference Center to mark the conclusion of the second edition of the Misk500 Accelerator program. A total of 18 companies had the opportunity to pitch their business concepts to more than 300 investors, government representatives, delegates and members of the media.

The Batch 2 companies came from across the MENA region including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt. They represented a variety of sectors including recruitment, retail and e-commerce, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, food, fashion, professional services, construction, payments, education and beauty.

Osama Alraee, executive manager at Misk Innovation, said: “At Misk, we’re on a mission to empower young people across the world to activate their entrepreneurial ambitions and achieve real impact. The quality of the startups taking part is testament to the depth of talent and ambition in the MENA region, and the success of this Demo Day is a testament to our partnership with 500 Startups, part of our commitment to working with sector-leaders to empower young people.”

“We are delighted to host the Demo Day for Batch 2 in partnership with Misk Innovation. Our partnership has fostered a collaborative environment that will continue to spur innovations and investments that contribute to the robust and highly innovative MENA ecosystem,” said Sharif El-Badawi, managing partner at 500 Startups MENA. “Misk500 Accelerator is a key element of our strategy to back the region’s most talented founders, help them create successful companies at scale. We are impressed with the quality of the tech startups present in this batch that are helping to solve real-world challenges.”

As part of the program, the participating companies underwent extensive training by 500 Startups’ global team of experts, covering multiple topics including: Fundraising strategy, growth strategy, marketing strategy and ways to target and attract customers. They also received one-on-one mentoring with notable tech founders, pitch coaching, investment readiness training, investor introductions, and access to investment from 500 Falcons, which is dedicated to fostering the growth and development of diverse pre-seed and seed tech startups in the MENA region. 

The Batch 2 Demo Day built on the success of the Batch 1 Demo Day held in May. Also held at the KAFD Conference Center, 19 tech startup companies pitched to more than 300 investors, invited guests and representatives of both local and international media.

Applications are open for the Batch 3 of the Misk500 Accelerator until Dec. 14. Pre-seed and seed tech startups based in the MENA region are eligible to submit applications at: https://www.misk.500.co