SABB reports net profit of $259m for Q1

SABB reports net profit of $259m for Q1
The Saudi British Bank operates under the Saudi Central Bank’s supervision and control. SABB was established in 1978 as a Saudi joint stock company.
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Updated 01 May 2021

SABB reports net profit of $259m for Q1

SABB reports net profit of $259m for Q1

The Saudi British Bank (SABB) recorded a net profit after Zakat and income tax of SR970 million ($259 million) for the three months ending March 31. This is a decrease of SR1 million or 0.1 percent compared to SR971 million for the same period in 2020. 

The operating income was SR2.01 billion for the three months ending March 31, a decrease of SR361 million or 15 percent, compared to SR2.37 billion for the same period in 2020.

The loans and advances stood at SR156.7 billion on March 31, an increase of SR1.5 billion or 1 percent from SR155.2 billion on March 31, 2020.

The customers’ deposits amounted to SR183.7 billion for the first quarter of 2021, a decrease of SR4.6 billion or 2.4 percent compared with SR188.3 billion for the same period last year.

The investments stood at SR63.2 billion on March 31, an increase of SR2.7 billion or 4.4 percent from SR60.5 billion on March 31, 2020.

The total assets were SR271.6 billion, an increase of SR5.9 billion or 2.2 percent from SR265.7 billion on March 31, 2020.

The earnings per share of SR0.47 remained stable compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

Lubna Suliman Olayan, board chair of SABB, said: “As the first quarter of 2021 drew to a close, we completed the last major milestone of the process of integrating SABB and Alawwal bank — ‘Customer Day 1’ — the migration of our retail customers previously served through the Alawwal bank channels onto SABB’s infrastructure. So from March 14 onwards all of our customers — retail, corporate and institutional — are enjoying the same single, seamless quality experience, underpinned by SABB’s systems and infrastructure.

“SABB’s financial performance remained resilient during a period of continued economic challenges posed by the persistence of the global pandemic and heightened competition domestically. Despite these challenges, our lending to customers grew, our funding, liquidity and capital levels remained strong, our costs stayed well controlled, and our cost of credit risk remained low.” She added: “Having delivered a positive return for shareholders in the first quarter, we shall continue to build and remain fully focused on executing our strategic plan and supporting the national economic transformation goals of Vision 2030. The board remains excited about that strategic plan and its ambitious outcomes for our customers, shareholders, staff, and community.” 

Olayan also bid farewell to the outgoing CEO of SABB and welcomed the new chief.

“As he nears his retirement in the second quarter of 2021, we are especially grateful to David Dew for his leadership of SABB over these many years, well positioning the bank to achieve those ambitious outcomes under the leadership of our new CEO, Tony Cripps. I have no doubt that under Tony’s leadership, combined with the support of our management team and board, SABB will deliver those outcomes. As we begin this second quarter, we remain grateful to our customers, management team, staff and shareholders for their continued support and commitment, and to our regulators and government ministries for their continued guidance and vision,” she said.


LuLu offers great discounts & much more for Eid

LuLu offers great discounts & much more for Eid
Updated 09 May 2021

LuLu offers great discounts & much more for Eid

LuLu offers great discounts & much more for Eid

In anticipation of the Eid shopping rush among citizens and residents, regional retailer LuLu has launched a number of exclusive offers in its stores and on e-commerce platforms, including both its website and mobile app. Shoppers can benefit from great discounts, including more than 50 percent off, on a wide variety of products, from grocery to fresh food, mobile phones, fashion essentials, toys and much more. 

Shehim Mohammed, director of LuLu Hypermarkets Saudi Arabia, said: “This is our biggest promotion yet this year. It’s such a timely campaign coinciding with Eid, as we have seen a rising demand in shopping for grocery essentials and gadget upgrades, especially during this festive season. Shoppers can look forward to massive discounts on the majority of our product categories. Apart from extending delivery hours, we also increased our fleets to widen our reach across the Kingdom, even in the outskirt areas.” 

As the holy month is nearing its end, LuLu is all geared up with well-stocked stores and value promotions on cooking essentials that are commonly consumed during the much-awaited long weekend of feasting, as well as gifting supplies. Eid offers along with big promotions on groceries, garments and mobile phones are now available in stores.

With 209 stores operating worldwide, LuLu has always been committed to offering the highest quality products from around the world, along with a dynamic shopping experience through monthly festivals and special events.

Serving more than 1,600,000 shopping patrons every day, it is the fastest growing retail chain across 10 countries that include the GCC, India, Egypt, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Founded in the early 90s, it has successfully expanded to different parts of the world and currently operates with a staff of more than 57,000.


Amazon Payment Services partners with Zurich

Amazon Payment Services partners with Zurich
Updated 09 May 2021

Amazon Payment Services partners with Zurich

Amazon Payment Services partners with Zurich

Amazon Payment Services (APS), a payment processing services provider in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with a mission to empower businesses with simple, affordable, and trusted online payment experiences, has partnered with Zurich International Life Limited to offer digital payments for its customers in the Middle East on Zurich’s digital customer onboarding platform ZurichPro.

Zurich International Life Limited (a part of Zurich Insurance Group) is a multiline insurer providing a wide range of life, savings and investment solutions for multinational corporations, mid-sized and large companies, small businesses, and individuals in the Middle East.

Omar Soudodi, managing director of APS, said: “It is a privilege to be part of the digital transformation journey of Zurich International Life Limited, enabling them to become one of the first life insurance companies in the Middle East to launch an end-to-end digital payment and customer onboarding experience.”

Through the services provided by APS, Zurich’s customers can now digitally pay insurance premiums across all products in local currencies without incurring conversion fees with the highest levels of customer data security. 

Walter Jopp, CEO of Zurich in the Middle East, added: “Partnering with Amazon Payment Services has enabled us to provide a seamless digital payment experience for our customers that offers more payment flexibility while optimizing operating costs, ultimately benefiting the end customer. Zurich’s instant life and critical illness insurance solutions, YourLife and YourCare, can now be purchased online in a matter of minutes with absolute peace of mind.”

The digital payment integration delivers a safe and secure environment for receiving and processing customer data. APS acts as the single point of contact for managing Zurich’s digital payment needs, providing end-to-end support by interacting with various parties in a card payment ecosystem.

The new service has been available to customers in the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain since January this year.


AEC CEO extends Eid greetings to Saudi leadership

AEC CEO extends Eid greetings to Saudi leadership
Updated 09 May 2021

AEC CEO extends Eid greetings to Saudi leadership

AEC CEO extends Eid greetings to Saudi leadership

Ziad Al-Musallam, CEO of Advanced Electronics Company (AEC), a Saudi Arabian Military Industries company, extended sincere wishes in his name and on behalf of the company’s employees, to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and the people of Saudi Arabia, on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr.

He prayed for the preservation of peace in all Arab and Islamic nations and for the Kingdom’s security, stability and prosperity.

Al-Musallam expressed appreciation for Saudi Arabia’s wise leadership and their extraordinary care in preserving public health and combating the novel coronavirus. He also thanked the leadership for promoting social cohesion within Saudi society, which he said is the true purpose of Eid.

Al-Musallam said that AEC strives to achieve the goals of the ambitious Saudi Vision 2030, promoting economic diversification and the non-oil economy as one of the vision’s main enablers. The company aims to provide digital solutions, intelligent platforms and technical support to upgrade the industrial sector and create new job opportunities.

The company’s leading position in electronics, technology, and industries, especially in the four primary sectors of defense and aerospace, information and communications technology, energy, and security, makes it a key player in achieving the vision’s objectives.


Virtual summit to explore GCC-UK trade opportunities

Virtual summit to explore GCC-UK trade opportunities
Updated 40 min 3 sec ago

Virtual summit to explore GCC-UK trade opportunities

Virtual summit to explore GCC-UK trade opportunities

British government figures indicate that the UK trade with the Middle East amounts to $57.2 billion annually, with the Gulf region accounting for $50.8 billion. The two regions are experiencing a time of advantageous trade opportunities and a period of rapid growth and diversification.

With so many opportunities for bilateral trade and investment, the upcoming virtual GCC-UK Trade Summit, organized by Add Enterprise International, will bring together commercial opportunities, experts, live projects, and potential suppliers to explore and encourage trade and investment over the next decade. The event, on June 29, will include the participation of more than 40 speakers and 400 attendees.

The GCC-UK Trade Summit aims to facilitate foreign direct investment, business, and trade between the GCC and the UK, providing a platform for businesses to expand into new markets and build networks. It will present some of the most prominent projects currently underway in the GCC, providing updates and highlighting investment and cooperation opportunities.

The summit will also host insightful discussions and presentations on subjects that are most relevant to the UK and GCC business communities, delivering key insights through expert speaker panels, case studies, sectoral analysis, high-level conversations, interviews, and networking opportunities.

Delegates will hear from a lineup of industry-leading figures, interviewers, and senior management of megaprojects including: Dr. Abdel-Aziz Aluwaisheg, assistant secretary-general for political and negotiation affairs, GCC; Jay Rosen, chief financial officer of The Red Sea Development Company and AMAALA; Julian Lynn, regional head, Middle East and Asia Pacific, UK Export Finance; Alistair Gosling, advisory board member, Qiddiya; Frank Kane, senior business editor and anchor of Frankly Speaking, Arab News; Khalid Al-Zayani OBE, chairman, Bahrain British Business Forum; and Saud Abu Al-Shawareb, managing director, Dubai Industrial City.

The agenda explores important topics including the GCC economies and investment overview, investing in the UK, stimulating economic growth and development, attracting foreign investment, environmental sustainability, future economic outlooks, and regional opportunity sector developments.

It will be held virtually via a dual-language English and Arabic event platform, Malga. Delegates will be able to choose which language they attend in to ensure a seamless, engaging and successful event of collaboration, business, and networking.

Tickets are available here 

 


French butter enhances iftar recipes this Ramadan

French butter enhances iftar recipes this Ramadan
Updated 08 May 2021

French butter enhances iftar recipes this Ramadan

French butter enhances iftar recipes this Ramadan

French butter is lauded as one of the true flavor enhancers of the world. It is now making its way into the most important meal of the day during Ramadan as chefs look to utilize the versatile ingredient through a range of iftar dishes.

One such chef is Ahmed Ali, head chef of Middle Eastern restaurant Ninive, who has developed an entire iftar menu using the finest French butter. The menu showcases how the 100 percent natural ingredient can be used in traditional and local recipes to make it more flavorful and colorful, transporting a classic dish into a taste sensation.

Discussing the benefits of using French butter in cooking, Chef Ali said: “For me, it is a mainstay whenever I’m cooking. Its versatility means I can use it any dish to elevate the taste, which was particularly relevant during this challenge to take the standard iftar menu and add a butter twist. 

“Because the manufacturing principles of French butter have remained the same for centuries, I know the ingredients’ quality remains at the very highest level therefore significantly adding to all attributes of the dish.

“With each dish on the menu, I used a range of techniques to incorporate the butter. For the soup, I whisked in the ingredient for a creamier finish while for the spiced carrot dukkah (an Egyptian spice blend), I blended it in for a richer consistency. I was also able to use butter to create a golden color on the chicken birwat.”

In addition, Chef Ali created a range of flavored butter with bread and roasted dates in butter to break the fast. Bread coated in butter and then placed in the oven accompanied a Fattoush salad. Baby gem lettuce and mujadara (a Middle Eastern lentils and rice dish) and sardines were given the butter treatment to add taste, color and consistency.

For the main course, Chef Ali panfried all meats with butter before being placed in the oven to create a succulent mixed grill. The vegetable tagine was sauteed in butter, creating a melt-in-the-mouth sensation rounded out by a fish sayadieh (a Lebanese fish and rice dish), onion rice, nuts and raisins, all enhanced by butter.

And what iftar would be complete without the staple dessert of Umm Ali? Chef Ali glazed the puff pastry in French butter to add to the taste and round off the menu.