Beehive creates a buzz with Saudi lending platform

Support: Rick Pudner. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 25 July 2020

Beehive creates a buzz with Saudi lending platform

  • Small businesses often find it difficult to tap traditional bank sources of finance, especially startup companies with little trading history

LONDON: A new financing website for small businesses has been launched in Saudi Arabia.
The Kingdom’s Social Development Bank and Gulf International Bank (GIB) have teamed up with fintech company Beehive to offer firms funding between SR100,000 ($27,000) and SR3 million.
Small businesses often find it difficult to tap traditional bank sources of finance, especially startup companies with little trading history.
The sector has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with small firms often lacking the cash reserves to ride out enforced lockdowns that have forced many businesses to shut up shop and lay off staff.
“Saudi Arabia is currently a hotbed for fintech innovation and has a booming untapped MSME economy, making it an obvious destination for a digital lending product for micro and small enterprises,” said Beehive CEO Craig Moore.
Developing the SME sector is a central plank of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 economic reforms, which aim to reduce the country’s reliance on oil revenues and boost private sector participation in the economy.
Beehive was originally established by entrepreneur Craig Moore and supported by Rick Pudner, former group CEO of Emirates NBD bank. The cloud-based online lending platform directly connects businesses looking for finance with investors that can provide funding support for their growth.


Turkey on brink of recession as economy collapses

Updated 13 August 2020

Turkey on brink of recession as economy collapses

  • Consumer debt has increased by 25 percent to more than $100 billion in the past three months

JEDDAH: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s popularity is plunging in lockstep with Turkey’s collapsing economy and the country is on the verge of a potentially devastating recession, financial experts have told Arab News.
The value of the Turkish lira has fallen to 7.30 against the US dollar and the central bank has spent $65 billion to prop up the currency, according to the US investment bank Goldman Sachs.
Consumer debt has increased by 25 percent to more than $100 billion in the past three months as the government moved to help families during the coronavirus pandemic, but the result has been a surge in inflation to 12 percent.
With the falling lira and increased price of imported goods, the living standards of many Turks who earn in lira but have dollar debts have fallen sharply.
The economy is expected to shrink by about 4 percent this year. The official unemployment rate remains at 12.8 percent because layoffs are banned, although many experts say the real figures are far higher.
To complete the perfect storm, tourism revenues and exports have been decimated by the pandemic, and foreign capital has fled amid fears over economic trends and the independence of the central bank.
Wolfango Piccoli, of Teneo Intelligence in London, said logic dictated an increase in interest rates but “this is unlikely to happen.”
Piccoli said central bank officials would strive to avoid an outright rate hike at their monetary policy meeting on Aug. 20. “A mix of controlled devaluation and backdoor policies, such as limiting Turkish lira’s liquidity, remains their preferred approach,” he said.
There is speculation of snap elections, and Erdogan’s view is that higher interest rates cause inflation, despite considerable economic evidence to the contrary.