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.”


AbbVie spotlights pharma sector at KAU workshop

Updated 20 January 2020

AbbVie spotlights pharma sector at KAU workshop

In partnership with AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company, King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) hosted an educational workshop to encourage more of its students to enter pharmaceutical careers after graduation. The workshop offered unique insights into the scientific role of a pharmacist to more than 100 male and female students from the university. 

Dr. Hani Asfour, dean of the College of Pharmacy at KAU, said: “It was a rewarding experience to see our students participate in this workshop for the first time. With the support of AbbVie, our students were able to learn more about the promising careers which await them in the pharmaceutical sector. They are now extremely eager and excited about their future prospects. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for them.” 

Ashraf Daoud, general manager of AbbVie in Saudi Arabia, said: “At AbbVie, we are proud to continue investing in the Saudi national pharmacists of tomorrow. Through our many partnerships with local universities, such as KAU, we are highly dedicated to supporting the Kingdom’s goals, as expressed in Vision 2030, and helping our aspiring Saudi pharmacists in reaching their full potential.” 

The workshop covered topics such as an overview of the pharmaceutical industry landscape, the importance of the medical representative role, key marketing concepts in pharma, as well as tips and advice on how to write a CV and prepare for interviews. Students also had the opportunity to speak to the AbbVie in-field team of pharmacists who answered their career questions and queries.

Khaled Fageha, HR director of AbbVie in Saudi Arabia, said: “As a global pharmaceutical company, there is an ever-growing need to attract the brightest Saudi talent and increase the talent pool of pharmacists. There is so much potential in the Kingdom, which we are always striving to unlock at AbbVie. Through initiatives like this, we are able to equip students across Saudi Arabia with the tools and knowledge to help them thrive in the health care industry, as well as ignite their passion for a career in pharmacy.”

Students said they found the workshop informative. “I’ve always been passionate about a role in pharmacy, but I was a bit unsure about what awaits after graduation. Thanks to this workshop, I was able to hear about the exciting prospects of working at a pharmaceutical company, such as AbbVie. I was able to ask all my questions, and now I am excited to continue working hard so I can begin my journey as a pharmacist,” said Sondos Alkhthlan, a student.

Another student, Nawaf Alharthi said: “This was an engaging workshop which has cemented my interest in becoming a pharmacist after graduating from KAU.”