’I love sport and money:’ Saudi tycoon to buy French club

’I love sport and money:’ Saudi tycoon to buy French club
Chateauroux has only spent one season in the French top flight, in 1997/1998. (Supplied)
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Updated 08 March 2021

’I love sport and money:’ Saudi tycoon to buy French club

’I love sport and money:’ Saudi tycoon to buy French club
  • Saudi already owns Sheffield United
  • United World to make club purchase

NICOSIA: A self-confessed lover of “sport and money,” Saudi Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad is about to become the owner of humble French second division club Chateauroux.
Already the owner of Premier League strugglers Sheffield United, Beerschot in Belgium, India’s Kerala United and Al Hilal United in the UAE, the 56-year-old will soon have a new team in his portfolio.
“We have been interested in Chateauroux for some time, and negotiations have taken a long time,” Prince Abdullah told AFP in a Zoom interview.
“The club’s position in the second division table is now very difficult, but I am optimistic about its future.”
Chateauroux are currently bottom of the French second division with just four wins all season in 28 games.
The third division is beckoning.
The prince  has given the green light for the purchase of the club to his company United World.
“I love sport and money,” added the man whose personal fortune is estimated at €200 million ($240 million).
“When I invested in England and Belgium, I was happy. But for France, I have a special feeling because it’s a country that reminds me of childhood.
“My memories are numerous and my brother (the prince) Abdulrahman was born there.
“I know that Chateauroux is not far from Paris (about 270 kilometers), another reason to please me when I am in France, besides the restaurants, the cafes and walks in beautiful Paris.”
He added: “Under normal circumstances, I would visit the club (at the time of acquisition), especially since I really like France, but because of the travel conditions, I can’t go.”
United World’s chief executive Abdallah Al-Ghamdi “saw the last game and reached an agreement with club officials and the board of directors,” Abdullah said.
French media have estimated that the Chateauroux club will be bought for around €2.8 million, a bargain basement price in global football economics.
“I think the amount is higher but I do not want to divulge it,” said Abdullah of a club staring at relegation after four seasons in the second tier.
Chateauroux has only spent one season in the French top flight, in 1997/1998 but they did reach the French Cup final in 2004 where they lost 1-0 to Paris Saint Germain.
“When we buy a club, we have several objectives,” added Abdullah.
“To raise the level of the club, the facilities and the level of the team. The most important thing is to do it over time.
“I’m happy that we own clubs from three of the four countries that reached the last semifinals of the World Cup — England, Belgium and France.”
The prince said he has followed French football closely over the years, citing Michel Platini as his idol.
“I remember the French team of Platini, Giresse, Tigana and Rocheteau. When I was young, Platini was my favorite player when he was playing in Italy with Juventus.”
So, after buying Chateauroux, what next?
“We will now stop investing for about a year, to consolidate our clubs. Managing a club is not easy. We do not want to expand beyond our human potential.”
 


Saudi SABIC, ExxonMobil begin operations of petrochemical JV on US Gulf Coast

Saudi SABIC, ExxonMobil begin operations of petrochemical JV on US Gulf Coast
Updated 20 January 2022

Saudi SABIC, ExxonMobil begin operations of petrochemical JV on US Gulf Coast

Saudi SABIC, ExxonMobil begin operations of petrochemical JV on US Gulf Coast

RIYADH: Riyadh-based Saudi Basic Industries, also known as SABIC, one of the leading petrochemical firms worldwide, announced the start of operations of its petrochemical joint venture with US ExxonMobil.

US Texas is to witness the launch of an ethylene production unit – operating an annual capacity of around 1.8 million tons, the homegrown petrochemical company said in a statement.

The new production unit, which started construction in 2019, will produce materials to be utilized in packaging, agricultural film, construction materials, clothing, and automotive coolants.

This project is in line with SABIC’s strategy, aimed at diversifying its feedstock as well as strengthening its position in North America.

“This is a remarkable achievement that positions us well to help meet growing global demand for performance products while providing meaningful investment in the US Gulf Coast,’ president of ExxonMobil Karen McKee said, commenting on the partnership.

SABIC noted that the deal’s financial impact is expected to roll out on the company’s financial statements during the ongoing quarter.

In the latest trading session, shares of the company edged down by 0.2 percent to close at SR126 ($33.6).


Mastercard, Coinbase partner to make NFTs more accessible

Mastercard, Coinbase partner to make NFTs more accessible
Updated 20 January 2022

Mastercard, Coinbase partner to make NFTs more accessible

Mastercard, Coinbase partner to make NFTs more accessible

RIYADH: Payments giant Mastercard has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to make non-fungible tokens more accessible.

Mastercards can be used to make purchases on Coinbase’s upcoming NFT marketplace.

“We’re excited to announce today that we’re partnering with Coinbase to let people use their Mastercard cards to make purchases on Coinbase’s upcoming NFT marketplace,” Mastercard said in a statement.

“Getting more people involved safely and securely is perhaps the best way to help the NFT market thrive.”

Mastercard also sees greater potential for core NFT technology to go beyond art and collectibles in many other areas.

Coinbase announced in October last year that it is launching an NFT marketplace.

“Coinbase NFT, as a peer-to-peer marketplace that will make minting, purchasing, showcasing and discovering NFTs easier than ever,” Coinbase said.

“We’re making NFTs more accessible by building user-friendly interfaces that put the complexity behind the scenes. We’re adding social features that open new avenues for conversation and discovery. And we’re going to grow the creator community exponentially, a win for artists and for fans.” 


Saudi Wafrah appoints Khaled Saleh Al Amoudi as CEO

Saudi Wafrah appoints Khaled Saleh Al Amoudi as CEO
Updated 20 January 2022

Saudi Wafrah appoints Khaled Saleh Al Amoudi as CEO

Saudi Wafrah appoints Khaled Saleh Al Amoudi as CEO

RIYADH: Saudi food firm Wafrah for Industry and Developments has appointed Khaled Saleh Al Amoudi as CEO on Thursday, according to a bourse statement. 

The decision follows recommendation from the Remuneration and Nomination Committee.

With a M.Sc.in Financial Management, Al Amoudi currently holds the chief financial officer position at the firm, with more than 20 years of accumulated experience as CFO and in the governmental and bank sectors.


Tadawul approves $755m government debt listing

Tadawul approves $755m government debt listing
Updated 20 January 2022

Tadawul approves $755m government debt listing

Tadawul approves $755m government debt listing

RIYADH: Saudi stock exchange Tadawul approved listing of SR2.83 billion ($755 million) worth of government debt instruments, submitted by the Ministry of Finance, according to a bourse filing.

The first issuance dated January 8, amounts to SR1.25 billion, Tadawul said in a statement.

The second issuance dated January 12, is valued at SR1.59 billion.


Profits of Saudi-based SADAFCO drop 28.6% as pandemic hits sales

Profits of Saudi-based SADAFCO drop 28.6% as pandemic hits sales
Updated 20 January 2022

Profits of Saudi-based SADAFCO drop 28.6% as pandemic hits sales

Profits of Saudi-based SADAFCO drop 28.6% as pandemic hits sales

RIYADH: Saudia Dairy and Foodstuff Co., or SADAFCO, reported a 28.6 percent decline in profit during the nine months ending Dec. 31, 2021. 

Profits dropped to SR146 million ($38.9million), compared to SR205 million in the corresponding period a year earlier, the company announced in a bourse statement.

SADAFCO attributed the lower profit figures to lower sales volumes driven by the pandemic, an increase from 5 percent to 15 percent in VAT, and higher material and logistics costs.

The financial statements of the company indicated a healthy cash flow, with a strong cash position of SR679 million.

SADACFO’s share price edged down by 0.12 percent in today’s session to close at SR167.

Earlier, the company’s board recommended cash dividends at SR3 per share for the first half of the fiscal year ended Mar. 31, 2022.

Jeddah-based SADAFCO operates sales and distribution depots in 24 locations across Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, and Kuwait. Its products are also exported to several countries in the MENA region.