French green bank expands into Saudi Arabia

French green bank expands into Saudi Arabia
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Ammar Bukhamsin is Natixis’ newly appointed CEO for Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
French green bank expands into Saudi Arabia
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Natixis has expanded its operations into Saudi Arabia in order to mediate between international investors and regional borrowers who want to focus on more sustainable ways of doing business. (File/AFP)
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Updated 19 December 2020

French green bank expands into Saudi Arabia

French green bank expands into Saudi Arabia
  • Natixis was awarded a license to operate in the Kingdom by the Capital Market Authority in May this year
  • Ammar Bukhamsin is the company’s newly appointed CEO for Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: French corporate and investment banking company Natixis has expanded its operations into Saudi Arabia in order to mediate between international investors and regional borrowers who want to focus on more sustainable and environmentally friendly ways of doing business.
While the company has had a presence in the Middle East for over 20 years, it was awarded a license to operate in the Kingdom by the Capital Market Authority in May this year.
Barbara Riccardi, the company’s regional head in the Middle East, said it was an obvious move as the Kingdom is “one of the largest contributors” to the region’s economy.
Ammar Bukhamsin, the company’s newly appointed CEO for Saudi Arabia, said its expansion aims “to further grow this franchise and bring our expertise and our market-leading solutions closer to our clients and support the needs of borrowers and Islamic investors.”
Headquartered in Paris, where 196 countries signed a ground-breaking climate change agreement in 2015, Natixis has a strong focus on green, sustainable projects and financing.
Riccardi said: “We’re all in toward supporting the country’s development into a more green, sustainable future, which is particularly key in Saudi’s Vision 2030.”
She added that the Kingdom is already making progress as part of its drive to diversify its economy away from a reliance on hydrocarbons.
Bukhamsin said: “We’re very keen to bring our global and market expertise, which I think are directly linked to all these diversification ambitions that the country has.”
He took up his post at Natixis in Saudi Arabia in November, having worked in the finance sector for more than 16 years.
His career started in 2004 at Citi, before moving to UBS in London in 2010 and Goldman Sachs in Dubai in 2013.
In 2015 Bukhamsin joined Natixis, and was appointed head of global markets sales for the Middle East in 2019.


Innovest Properties launches $200m Al-Ahssa Real Estate Investment Fund

Innovest Properties launches $200m Al-Ahssa Real Estate Investment Fund
Updated 46 min 43 sec ago

Innovest Properties launches $200m Al-Ahssa Real Estate Investment Fund

Innovest Properties launches $200m Al-Ahssa Real Estate Investment Fund
  • nnovest Properties has previously developed the residential communities in Al-Bayraq in the Eastern Province

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Innovest Properties, one of the Kingdom’s largest investment and property companies, has launched the SR755 million ($200 million) Al-Ahssa Real Estate Investment Fund with Lebanon’s Blominvest.

Innovest Properties has previously developed the residential communities in Al-Bayraq in the Eastern Province, which provided more than 1,100 housing units under the Sakani Program, it said in a statement.

Al-Ahssa Real Estate Investment Fund is a closed private investment fund licensed by the Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA) and compliant with the regulations of the Shariah Supervisory Board.

The fund aims to invest in the urban area west-south of Al-Ahsa city. The plan is to acquire a sector of raw land to be developed and marketed in the form of residential plots and commercial facilities.

“The launch of this fund is a major tributary that contributes to the development and consolidation of the real-estate sector in the region and crowns our investment successes in the residential real estate sector,” said Innovest Properties Chairman Mohammed Alkhars.


Buy-now-pay-later fintech leads 2021 Saudi venture capital financing

Buy-now-pay-later fintech leads 2021 Saudi venture capital financing
Updated 05 August 2021

Buy-now-pay-later fintech leads 2021 Saudi venture capital financing

Buy-now-pay-later fintech leads 2021 Saudi venture capital financing
  • Tamara is best-funded startup in Saudi Arabia this year
  • B2B marketplace Sary is second in list

RIYADH: Tamara, a financial technology company that allows consumers to spread out payments for their purchases, has received the most venture capital funding of any Saudi startup this year, according to a report by MAGNITT.

The buy now, pay later company raised $110 million in April via a Series A round led by global payment processor Checkout.com, adding to $6 million it raised earlier in the year.

In second place is Sary, a business-to-business e-commerce marketplace targeting grocery stores, which attracted $30.5 million in May. The Series B round was led by Silicon Valley’s Rocketship.vc, Saudi Arabia’s largest VC investor STV and returning investors Raed Ventures, MSA Capital and Derayah VC. Sary has now raised $37 million altogether.

The third best funded Saudi startup this year is Foodics, which specializes in restaurant management systems. The Riyadh-based business received $20 million in Series B funding in February in a round co-led by PIF subsidiary Sanabil Investments and STV.

Endeavor Catalyst, Elm and Derayah Ventures also joined the round, which and takes its total funding to date to $28 million.

Fourth of MAGNITT’s list is Azom, a developer of electronics and computer software, which raised $9.5 million in February. The Series A round from distribution company Assr AlJawal and an undisclosed individual investor brings total funding for the company to $10.7 million.

In fifth place was Lendo, which offers instant invoice financing to SMEs through its Shariah-complaint lending marketplace. It raised $7.2 million in March from investors led by Derayah Ventures and including Seedra Ventures, Shorooq Partners, 500 Startups, and Impact46.

 


Qatar Airways grounds 13 Airbus A350s as fuselage degrading

Qatar Airways grounds 13 Airbus A350s as fuselage degrading
Updated 05 August 2021

Qatar Airways grounds 13 Airbus A350s as fuselage degrading

Qatar Airways grounds 13 Airbus A350s as fuselage degrading
  • Aircraft to be removed “from service until such time as the root cause can be established"

DOHA: Qatar Airways says it has grounded 13 Airbus A350s over degradation of the plane’s fuselage.
Qatar Airways made the announcement on Thursday, further escalating a monthslong dispute with the European airplane maker.
It says the aircraft will be removed “from service until such time as the root cause can be established and a satisfactory solution made available to permanently correct the underlying condition.”
Airbus did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Qatar Airways, based in the energy-rich Arabian Peninsula nation of the same name, is a major East-West long-haul carrier. It is one of the biggest buyers of the twin-aisle aircraft.


Saudi Arabia digital content market to hit $5.3bn by 2030

Saudi Arabia digital content market to hit $5.3bn by 2030
Updated 05 August 2021

Saudi Arabia digital content market to hit $5.3bn by 2030

Saudi Arabia digital content market to hit $5.3bn by 2030
  • Investment in digital video in KSA to read SR1.2 billion

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s digital content market is expected to grow to between SR16 and SR20 billion ($5.3 billion) by 2030, according to a report by the Trend Corporation in cooperation with the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

An initiative to invest in video content creation aims to attract major companies specialized in visual content, and the investment rate in video in Saudi Arabia is expected to reach SR1 billion to SR1.2 billion.

Video generated $175 million in revenue locally, with video streaming $127 million, and the expected market size is $262 million in 2025.

Videos make up 79 percent of global Internet traffic. In the Middle East and Africa, video traffic has grown eight-fold, and the region is estimated to have created 169 billion minutes of video content every month by the end of 2020.

The Digital Media Committee was created in Saudi Arabia, and it’s meant to activate the digital media to contribute to developing the business sector, create partnerships, and to benefit from the media experts.


PIF-backed developer Roshn launches 30,000 home Saudi community

PIF-backed developer Roshn launches 30,000 home Saudi community
Updated 05 August 2021

PIF-backed developer Roshn launches 30,000 home Saudi community

PIF-backed developer Roshn launches 30,000 home Saudi community
  • 30,000-home development spread across 20 million sq m north of Riyadh
  • 4,500 of the units will be built in phase one

RIYADH: Roshn, the community developer backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, has launched its first project in the Kingdom.

Sedra will be a 30,000-home development spread across an area of 20 million square meters north of Riyadh, south of King Khalid Airport, Roshn said in a statement.

More than 4,500 of the units will be built in phase one of construction, providing homes of various sizes and facades. They will be delivered ready to live in and come with kitchens, split unit ACs, water heating systems, and LED light fixtures, among other amenities.

“Our communities will represent a global exemplar in residential living and will play a vital role in further advancing the nation’s flourishing infrastructure and real estate sectors, which are crucial to the Kingdom’s economic diversification and growth goals,” said Roshn Group CEO David Grover.