Riyadh Cables Group eyes business in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is looking to encourage more foreign investment. (AFP)
Updated 19 October 2019

Riyadh Cables Group eyes business in Bangladesh

  • RCGC exports its electricity cables worldwide and the company is the fourth largest electric cable producer in the world

DHAKA: Riyadh Cables Group Company (RCGC), a Saudi cable producer, has expressed interest in expanding its corporate footprint in Bangladesh. A high-powered RCGC delegation completed a 6-day visit to Bangladesh on Thursday.

RCGC exports its electricity cables worldwide and the company is the fourth largest electric cable producer in the world.

The visiting delegation comprising Engineer Moaaz Ali Younes, business development manager at RCGC, and Bassam Maes, the marketing director, visited different government agencies in Dhaka with a view to exploring investment opportunities.

During their meeting with officials of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) on Wednesday, the RCGC delegation expressed potential interest in investing in the overhead electricity cable producing sector of the country.

“We had a successful discussion with the RCGC, although it is still at a primary level. We have briefed them about all the benefits for the foreign investors ensured by the Bangladesh government,” director of BIDA Mohammad Ariful Hoque told Arab News.

Hoque said that after returning to Saudi Arabia the RCGC will move forward with the investment proposal and submit the final idea to the Bangladesh embassy in Saudi Arabia.

“Most probably, it is going to be a joint venture form of investment with the state-owned Eastern Cable Company. If everything goes well, we hope the investment will start coming into Bangladesh by next year,” Hoque said.

“The amount of investment from RCGC is yet to be finalized. However, we can expect it will be around $30 million,” another source from BIDA said, requesting not to be named.

Bangladeshi economists said they welcomed the investment proposal from RCGC, stating it will work as a “confidence builder” and create a “signaling value” among other foreign investors.

Zahid Hussain, former lead economist of the World Bank in Dhaka, said that Bangladesh’s economy was expanding at a very fast rate and there was a huge internal demand for overhead cables for building new transmission and distribution lines.

“This new investment will help the country in rebuilding the image crisis in terms of FDI (foreign direct investment). We are still not doing very well in attracting FDI. If this sort of foreign investment starts coming here, it will definitely boost the economy at a significant level,” Hussain said.


Alibaba confirms huge Hong Kong public listing worth at least $13bn

Updated 14 min 24 sec ago

Alibaba confirms huge Hong Kong public listing worth at least $13bn

  • Over-allocation options could take the total value to more than $13 billion, making it one of the biggest IPOs in Hong Kong for a decade
  • Alibaba Chief Executive Officer said the group wanted to participate in Hong Kong’s future

HONG KONG: Chinese technology giant Alibaba on Friday confirmed plans to list in Hong Kong in what it called a $13 billion vote of confidence in the turbulent city’s markets and a step forward in its plans to go global.
The enormous IPO, which Hong Kong had lobbied for, will come as a boost for authorities wrestling with pro-democracy protests that have tarnished the financial hub’s image for order and security and hammered its stock market.
Alibaba will offer 500 million shares at a maximum of HK$188 apiece to retail investors, the company said. The number eight is considered auspicious in China.
Over-allocation options could take the total value to more than $13 billion, making it one of the biggest IPOs in Hong Kong for a decade after insurance giant AIA raised $20.5 billion in 2010.
Alibaba had planned to list in the summer but called it off owing to the city’s long-running pro-democracy protests and the China-US trade war. The US and China are now working on sealing a partial trade deal.
Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Chief Executive Officer, said the group wanted to “contribute, in our small way, and participate in the future of Hong Kong.”
“During this time of ongoing change, we continue to believe that the future of Hong Kong remains bright,” he said.
The firm’s shares are already traded in New York. A second listing in Hong Kong is expected to curry favor with Beijing, which has sought to encourage its current and future big tech firms to list nearer to home after the loss of companies such as Baidu to Wall Street.
In the statement, Zhang said that when Alibaba went public in 2014 it “missed out on Hong Kong with regret.”
Mainland authorities have also stepped up moves to attract such listings, including launching a new technology board in Shanghai in July.
The listing comes after the city’s exchange tweaked the rules to allow double listings, while Chief Executive Carrie Lam had also been pushing Alibaba’s billionaire founder Jack Ma to sell shares in the city.
“The listing in Hong Kong will allow more of the company’s users and stakeholders in the Alibaba digital economy across Asia to invest and participate in Alibaba’s growth,” the company said.
It has long been expected to launch a multibillion-dollar stock listing in Hong Kong but appeared to postpone the offering because of political and economic turmoil.
Hong Kong’s key Hang Seng Index rose 0.48 percent in morning trading following the announcement
Chinese shoppers set new records for spending on Monday’s annual 24-hour “Singles’ Day” buying spree, despite an economic slowdown in the country and the worries over the US trade war.
It said consumers spent $38.3 billion on its platforms over that stretch, up 26 percent from the previous all-time high mark set last year.
Alibaba also said it saw record amounts of cross-border sales, underlining its plans to expand globally.
“Globalization is the future of Alibaba Group. We firmly believe the marriage of digital technology and commerce will bring about unprecedented change that will not be limited by borders,” Zhang said.