CAIRO: Egypt’s annual urban consumer price inflation eased to 4.3% in January from 5.4 percent in December, the official statistics agency CAPMAS said on Wednesday.
RIYADH: South Korean Ambassador Jo Byung-Wook has invited Saudi Arabia to attend the Global Infrastructure Cooperation Conference (GICC2021).
The annual conference provides an opportunity to present projects to potential Korean partners, and to hold personal consultations.
The ambassador met Prince Saud bin Talal bin Badr, undersecretary at the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing for housing subsidies, and general supervisor of the International Cooperation Department at the ministry in Riyadh.
GICC2021 is scheduled for “later this year,” the ambassador told Arab News, adding that the meeting “reviewed the close, friendly and cooperative relations” between the two countries, and “agreed to continue to expand bilateral cooperation in the housing sector.”
He said: “I commended the Saudi government’s efforts to help Saudi families own their house through the Sakani program, taking note of the signing of four agreements during the Sakani Forum held last Thursday in Riyadh.”
The Sakani program helped 70,000 families in the first quarter of 2021, surpassing its target of serving 51,000 families.
It was formed in 2017 by the Ministry of Housing and the Real Estate Development Fund, with the aim of facilitating home ownership in the Kingdom by creating new housing stock, allocating plots and homes to nationals, and financing their purchase. It has a goal of reaching 70 percent home ownership by 2030.
The program aims to serve 220,000 Saudi families this year by creating 50,000 housing units, facilitating the reservation of 30,000 residential land plots, and arranging 140,000 real estate loans. To date, Sakani has enabled more than 350,000 families to own homes.
LONDON: Fitch Learning, the knowledge and training arm of global financial leader Fitch Group, has announced a partnership program with the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) to boost financial education in the Kingdom.
The delivery of the Certified Investment Financing Professional (CIFP) training program will “enrich the financial skills of local talent,” and “provide them with a better insight into the increasingly complex global financial landscape,” Fitch Learning said in a statement.
The program will be delivered in cooperation with SIDF Academy, which aims to build knowledge in key sectors in line with Saudi Arabia’s industrial vision.
It will “allow CIFP participants to keep pace with the Saudi economy, and also offer them a pathway to building global expertise and qualifications,” Fitch Learning said.
The CIFP program will target employees in the finance, credit and investment industries. It will include three levels with 18 distinct training modules, including financial accounting, financial analysis, lending, business development and financial modeling.
“Saudi Arabia is a key strategic market for the Fitch Group, and we are delighted to play a key role helping the Kingdom enrich financial training skills across the Kingdom,” said Fitch Learning CEO Andreas Karaiskos.
“We will deliver exactly the right international financial certification opportunities via our CIFP program to set professionals on the fast track for success.”
SIDF Academy Director Dr. Kholod Ashgar said: “We are proud to be working together with Fitch Learning, a leading global provider of professional development courses for the financial services industry, to deliver this CIFP program via SIDF Academy.
“This collaboration represents a major step on our path to train and develop our keen talent to stimulate future prosperity, jobs and growth in this vital sector of the Saudi economy.”
SIDF Academy has more than 47 years’ experience in training employees in the finance, technology, industry, mining, energy and logistics industries.
In 2019, SIDF was aligned with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 reform plan, enabling the fund to play a vital role in shaping the Kingdom’s future.
RIYADH: Abu Dhabi is seeking private sector partners for three new schools and a street lighting project.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) has advertised the procurement of the schools and phase 2 of its street lighting upgrade program, WAM reported.
Potential bidders can now submit expressions of interest.
“Collaboration with the private sector is an integral part of the Abu Dhabi leadership’s vision to drive long-term economic growth in the emirate. In 2020, ADIO laid the foundations to supercharge collaboration between business and government,” said the director-general of ADIO, Tariq Bin Hendi.
The Zayed City Schools PPP project will provide three new schools with a capacity of 5,360 students in Abu Dhabi’s Zayed City.
The contract will include the design, build, finance, maintenance and transfer of three schools with a concession period of 22 years, inclusive of a construction period of 24 months and a maintenance period of 20 years.
Phase 2 of the Street Lighting LED PPP program will see approximately 140,000 of the emirate’s streetlights replaced with energy-efficient LED technology.
This will offer a 76 percent reduction in their power consumption — equivalent to cost savings of 705 million dirhams — and will be structured as a 12-year concession agreement with the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT).
ADIO is the central Abu Dhabi government authority with responsibility for delivering infrastructure projects through a PPP framework.
DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s biggest gym chain swung to a first quarter loss as the pandemic forced the closure of thousands of fitness clubs worldwide.
Leejam Sports Company reported a net loss of more than SR6.9 million in the first quarter compared to a profit of SR6.2 million a year earlier, it said in filing to the Tadawul stock exchange where its shares are listed.
Overall revenues dipped by about a quarter over the period to SR148.5 million, it said.
Total gym memberships, personal training revenues and rental income fell by more than SR49 million as a result of gym closures in the Kingdom from Feb.5, 2021 to March 6, 2021, it said.
Meanwhile the need to apply precautionary measures in response to the pandemic reduced the number of members joining the clubs.
Leejam operates some 135 Fitness Time centers in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
DUBAI: Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al-Baker has warned that many more airlines will be forced out of business by the pandemic.
In an exclusive interview on CNN’s Quest Means Business, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al-Baker gave a bleak assessment of the challenges facing the industry as it struggles to recover the collapse in global air travel.
“By the time this pandemic is over, there will only be few airlines that are strong and will continue operating,” he said. “A lot of other airlines will go under. And this will continue to happen, because we have not seen the worst of it over yet.”
He said that returning the airline industry to full strength should be a key priority to boost the global economic outlook.