SABB & HSBC execute first blockchain trade transaction in KSA, Bahrain

Updated 23 November 2019

SABB & HSBC execute first blockchain trade transaction in KSA, Bahrain

The Saudi British Bank (SABB) and HSBC have for the first time used blockchain technology in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to finance international trade. The move is expected to put Saudi Arabia and Bahrain at the forefront of global trade, introducing new levels of efficiency, security and transparency for corporates looking to access new markets.

The transaction involved the shipment of homogenized aluminum billets from Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba) to Saudi Arabia’s Altaiseer Aluminium Corporation (TALCO). A letter of credit was issued by TALCO on a blockchain-based platform using R3’s Corda system.

Majed Najm, deputy managing director, corporate and institutional banking, SABB, said: “There’s been a lot of excitement about the commercial benefits of blockchain, so I’m proud we’re first to use it to improve how Saudi corporates trade internationally. Blockchain can improve many aspects of international trade, so it’s great to be in a position to pioneer these changes for the good of our customers and the economy.”

Melika Betley, CEO, HSBC Bahrain, said: “As the world’s leading bank for trade finance, HSBC is actively supporting the adoption of technologies such as blockchain to make global trade faster, safer and simpler. With intraregional trade continuing to grow, we see tremendous potential for blockchain in the GCC.”

Suliman S. Al-Oufi, general manager, TALCO, said: “We’re delighted to be the first to trial the use of blockchain in this way. We’ve always been innovative in terms of technology related to our product so it is a natural progression to explore innovation that helps us to trade more efficiently with our key overseas partners.”

We’re delighted banks like SABB are exploring new ways to take the hassle out of international trade for Saudi companies.”

Ali Al-Baqali, acting CEO, Alba, said: “Bahrain is on the go to establish itself as a hub for digital solutions specifically in fintech arena within the region. At Alba, we don’t see ourselves just as an aluminum supplier but we want to be also recognized for our progression in selling and trading more efficiently through digital platforms with our key partners such as TALCO.”


MBRSC opens registration for space science camp

Updated 09 August 2020

MBRSC opens registration for space science camp

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has announced the opening of registration for the Deep Learning Camp for university students, which will be held virtually from Aug. 18 to 20. The Deep Learning Camp is part of the initiatives of the MBRSC to support the UAE’s strategic directions in the science and technology fields, promoting the building of a generation capable of adopting advanced technologies to tackle future challenges.

Through the camp, MBRSC aims to provide the youth with a unique experience to explore space science through theoretical and practical lessons, activities conducted by experts and specialists in the field from the center. The camp is a great opportunity for students interested in the field of space sciences to acquire new skills about remote sensing and satellite analysis.

Yousuf Hamad Al-Shaibani, director general, MBRSC, said: “The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre is keen to make effective contributions that support the UAE’s strategic directions in the science and technology field. Young people can explore the important aspect of space science and modern technologies that are the basis for advanced science in all fields through this camp. The UAE’s ambition to strengthen its leadership in the space sector is clear, as the country is taking prominent initiatives in space technology and enhancing its role in this field. This has acted as a catalyst for younger generations to study such scientific disciplines.”

Saeed Al-Mansoori, head of application development and analysis section, MBRSC, said: “Through these initiatives, we are working to prepare the youth and develop their skills to keep pace with the future of deep learning and artificial intelligence technologies. To keep pace with the developments in the field of space sciences and technology in the region and globally, it has become necessary to possess such important skills and knowledge.”

“This camp is a great opportunity for students interested in space science. The camp includes theoretical and practical activities, including sessions on satellite image analysis, remote sensing and artificial intelligence, and other topics related to enriching young people’s knowledge and attracting them to this field,” added Al-Mansoori.

The Deep Learning Camp is divided into theoretical and practical sessions. The theoretical sessions deal with the definition of the principles of deep learning, its applications and the techniques used therein, with focus on satellite image analysis. The practical sessions will involve learning the applied aspects of deep learning through specialized machine learning applications, including Python programming with Google Colab. The practical session will also engage the participants in a technological challenge through a hackathon, with great prizes awaiting the winners.

During the three-day camp, participants will learn 3 key elements: Principles of deep learning and artificial intelligence, how to use satellite imagery, and the ability to analyze and classify satellite images from a set of satellite image data.