Microsoft’s new SQL Server 2019 supports Saudi business sector

Microsoft Arabia launched the new version of its database server, SQL Server 2019, during an event hosted in Riyadh on Wednesday.
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Updated 30 December 2019

Microsoft’s new SQL Server 2019 supports Saudi business sector

Microsoft Arabia has launched the new version of its database server, SQL Server 2019, during an event hosted in Riyadh recently.

The “SQL Server 2019 Saudi Arabia Launch” event was attended by Chief Operating Officer of Microsoft Arabia Rayan Zahid and a number of tech experts and executives.

“The new version of SQL Server 2019 provides one of the most efficient databases in the market by investing in key capabilities such as intelligent query processing, and is one of the most secure databases in the world,” said Microsoft Arabia President Thamer Al-Harbi. He added that it works to upgrade security levels through the Always Encrypted feature, and to protect most sensitive data while allowing robust operations to be executed without losing the encryption, which protects data during storage and use.

“The biggest of enterprises across all industry verticals in Saudi Arabia are embarking on deep innovation and transformation using data, analytics and AI. The Kingdom is well on its way to be a data-driven nation in its journey toward achieving its ambitious Vision 2030 by undergoing massive makeover on all social, economic and digital fronts,” said Microsoft Arabia Data and AI Solutions Evangelist Shakeel Mohammed.

Describing the new version as “revolutionary and game-changing” in the data and AI space, he said it will help to drive the digital metamorphosis of Saudi Arabia.

“It can now be the hub for your entire data estate, with the ability to query any database relational in a highly secure and highly performant way — all without moving or copying the data,” Mohammed added.

Al-Harbi said the new version’s hybrid cloud system will help Saudi companies to grow and drive them to innovation.

‘When deploying from the hybrid cloud, businesses have more control over their IT, improving reliability of their services.’ This would make hybrid cloud a particularly attractive option for businesses operating in the Middle East and North Africa, which is one of the most underrepresented areas in the world when it comes to per capita internet connectivity,” he added.


Arab National Bank reports net profit before zakat and income tax of $947mn for 2019

Updated 29 February 2020

Arab National Bank reports net profit before zakat and income tax of $947mn for 2019

Arab National Bank (ANB or the Bank) reported a net profit before zakat and income tax of USD 947 million for 2019 compared to USD 883 million in 2018, an increase of 7.3%.

ANB total operating income reached USD 1,795 million compared to USD 1,743 million for the same period last year, an increase of 3%, whereas net special commission income reached USD 1,481  million against USD 1,374 million for the same period last year, an increase of 7.8%.

Net profit after zakat and income tax reached USD 806 million compared to USD 1,058 million last year.

It is worth mentioning that the decrease in net profit after zakat and income tax in 2019 resulted from the change in the accounting standards relating to zakat and income tax and not reflecting a real decrease in profits. Due to the settlement reached with the General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) in 2018 for the period 2006 – 2017, a saving of USD 297 million was achieved, which in turn resulted in an increase of the same amount in 2018 equity.

With the change in the accounting standards for reclassifying zakat and income tax to the statement of income instead of shareholders' equity in 2018, the amount of USD 297 million was recognized in the statement of income, accordingly, the 2018 net income was amplified by the same amount to reach USD 762 million before the settlement and USD 1,058 million after the settlement.

By the end of 2019, assets reached USD 48.9 billion compared to USD 47.6 billion for the same period last year, and investments reached USD 10.1 billion compared to USD 7.4 billion last year an increase of 36.5%, while the loans portfolio reached USD 31.7 billion against USD 32.3 billion for the same period last year, a decrease of 1.8%  and customers’ deposits reached USD 37.9 billion maintaining the same level of last year.