Muslim World League hosts ‘Declaration of Peace in Afghanistan’

Muslim World League hosts ‘Declaration of Peace in Afghanistan’
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Updated 10 June 2021

Muslim World League hosts ‘Declaration of Peace in Afghanistan’

Muslim World League hosts ‘Declaration of Peace in Afghanistan’
  • Scholars of Afghanistan and Pakistan meet to discuss reconciliation and peace

The Muslim World League hosted on Thursday in Makkah, the conference “Declaration of Peace in Afghanistan”, with scholars of Afghanistan and Pakistan to discuss achieving reconciliation between the warring factions, under the auspices of Saudi Arabia.

The conference includes five sessions, in which more than 20 key speakers from senior scholars will speak on; peace, tolerance, moderation and reconciliation in Islam.

The opening session will be attended by Sheikh Dr. Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, President of the Association of Muslim Scholars, Sheikh Dr. Noor Al-Haq Qadri, Minister of Islamic Affairs and Tolerance of Religions in the Republic of Pakistan, and Sheikh Muhammad Qasim Halimi, Minister of Hajj, Endowments and Guidance in the Republic of Afghanistan.

Senior scholars of the two countries will also attend this session, Ambassador Lt. Gen. Bilal Akbar, Ambassador of the Republic of Pakistan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ambassador Ahmed Javed Mojadidi, Ambassador of the Republic of Afghanistan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ambassador Rizwan Saeed Sheikh, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Pakistan to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and Ambassador Dr. Shafiq Samim, Permanent Representative The Republic of Afghanistan to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.


Saudi economy to grow by 7.3% next year: Capital Economics

Saudi economy to grow by 7.3% next year: Capital Economics
Updated 1 min 32 sec ago

Saudi economy to grow by 7.3% next year: Capital Economics

Saudi economy to grow by 7.3% next year: Capital Economics

CAIRO: Economic research firm Capital Economics expects the Saudi economy to grow by 2.5 percent this year and by an impressive 7.3 percent in 2022. 

When compared to the firm’s pre-pandemic estimates, the country’s GDP would be about 3 percent higher by the end of 2023.

William Jackson, Chief Emerging Market Economist at CE, added: "This would make the Saudi economy one of the few in the world where GDP will be above its pre-pandemic trend over the forecast period.”

The company predicts that higher oil output, along with a less contractionary fiscal policy, would drive the economy’s recovery next year.

Saudi inflation is also projected to edge a little higher towards 1 percent by the end of this year and the first quarter of 2022. 

Following this period, the rise in consumer prices is expected to be in the 1-1.5 percent range. However, it could fall to a lower level in case the VAT rate dropped, the company pointed out.

The new report also offered an outlook for the whole region. Gulf countries’ economic recovery as a whole is expected to gain momentum due to their strong vaccination rates and higher oil production.

In the UAE, rising oil output and the World Expo are expected to fuel the economy’s growth. 

Despite an expansion in economic activity driven by rising gas output, Qatar’s rebound could prove to be weaker than other GCC countries due to risks in the non-oil sector.

Meanwhile, Oman and Bahrain could face setbacks in their recoveries as they grapple with contractionary fiscal policies and mounting public debt.

In addition, Egypt’s recovery could gain pace in the next quarters as the economy re-opens. However, a weak vaccination campaign and a tight fiscal policy might hamper this trend. 

The firm expects the country’s economy to grow by 4.8 percent and 5.8 percent in 2020 and 2021 respectively.


SACF sign MoU with JSW Sports to develop Cricket in Saudi Arabia

SACF sign MoU with JSW Sports to develop Cricket in Saudi Arabia
Updated 15 min 11 sec ago

SACF sign MoU with JSW Sports to develop Cricket in Saudi Arabia

SACF sign MoU with JSW Sports to develop Cricket in Saudi Arabia
  • The partnership, will see the JSW Group’s sports vertical come on board as a consultant, with the aim to grow and develop cricket in the Kingdom in line with the ‘Saudi Vision 2030’
  • Additionally, the SACF will also aim to establish a high-performance programme to professionalize the structure and setup for cricket in the country, in association with JSW Sports

RIYADH: The Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation (SACF) signed an agreement with the sports management company JSW Sports to develop Cricket in Saudi Arabia focusing on high performance academies.

The SACF announced that they have entered into a MOU with JSW Sports. The partnership, will see the JSW Group’s sports vertical come on board as a consultant, with the aim to grow and develop cricket in the Kingdom in line with the ‘Saudi Vision 2030’.

Through the relationship, JSW Sports will work closely with the SACF and its current key stakeholders, programmes, organization and infrastructure, with a view to prepare a high performance plan with a long-term vision of enhancing cricket in the Kingdom.

JSW will also review key areas such as grass roots development, talent identification, cricket facilities, and events calendar.

Prince Saud bin Mishal Al Saud, Chairman of the Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation said: “ The SACF is delighted to work closely with the vastly experienced and successful sports organization, JSW Sports, at this exciting phase in the transformation of the federation. We are proud to be associated with a leading international high performance entity to benefit the growth of cricket in Saudi Arabia.” 

Headquartered in Riyadh, the SACF became an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2003.

Regionally affiliated with the Asian Cricket Council, SACF was named the 39th associate member of the ICC in 2016.

“We are very excited at this opportunity to partner with the SACF to help them grow the sport of cricket in the country. At JSW Sports, we are either looking to learn from the best or share our knowledge and expertise with those around us, in areas where we are the best, and this partnership underlines that. We look forward to working with the SAFC and making a success out of their programme,” said Parth Jindal, Director, JSW Sports.

Planned in line with the Saudi Vision 2030, the partnership will serve to augment the efforts of the SACF to put Saudi Arabia on the global sporting map. 

Additionally, the SACF will also aim to establish a high-performance programme to professionalize the structure and setup for cricket in the country, in association with JSW Sports.


TASI up 0.3 percent; supported by the banking sector: Market Wrap

TASI up 0.3 percent; supported by the banking sector: Market Wrap
Updated 20 min 39 sec ago

TASI up 0.3 percent; supported by the banking sector: Market Wrap

TASI up 0.3 percent; supported by the banking sector: Market Wrap

RIYADH: The Tadawul All Share Index rose on Tuesday by 0.3 percent, or 34 points, to 11.792 points. 

Some 198.6 million of shares changed hands in 341,000 deals, with heavy trading in ACWA Power, AL Rajhi, and Petro Rabigh. 

The market's rise is supported by an increase in banking shares, led by Al-Rajhi Bank, which rose by 3.1 percent — the highest increase since 2006.

Etihad Etisalat shares also rose by 2.8 percent, supported by the company's profit growth in the third quarter, which amounted to SR281 million — up 56.6 percent. The firm also reported a 7.4 percent growth in revenues.

The biggest winners today were National Buildings and Marketing by 12.1 percent, Shams by 4.3 percent, Al Naqool by 3.5 percent, Al Rajhi by 3.1 percent, Mebco by 2.9 percent, Mobily and Saudi Re by 2.8 percent. 

Other News:

Arabian Contracting Services Co. announced that 1.5 million shares will be offered to individual subscribers, the equivalent of 10 percent of the total shares offered for public subscription. The price of the offering ranges between SR90-100 per share, according to the director of the offering, GIB Capital.

The Arab Company for Internet and Communications Services "Solutions" achieved a net profit with the amount of SR257 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared to SR240 million for the same period last year — an increase of 7.08 percent 

The company said that the profit growth is mainly due to the increase in gross profit by 6.7 percent (SR29 million), thanks to a rise in total revenues by 0.46 percent (SR 9million) and a decrease in revenue costs by 1.3 percent (SR20 million)

The parallel stock market index Nomu closed up 24368.26 points, or 2.23 percent, where 464.4 thousand shares were traded, with 1885 deals. 

The biggest fallers today were Yansab by 3.5 percent, Arabia Insurance cooperative, Alinma Tokio Marine, and Petro Rabigh by 3.1 percent respectively, and Sumou and United Cooperative Assurance by 2.9 percent each.


Bitcoin futures highlight some pitfalls for new exchange-traded funds: Crypto Wrap

Bitcoin futures highlight some pitfalls for new exchange-traded funds: Crypto Wrap
Updated 36 min 29 sec ago

Bitcoin futures highlight some pitfalls for new exchange-traded funds: Crypto Wrap

Bitcoin futures highlight some pitfalls for new exchange-traded funds: Crypto Wrap

RIYADH: Bitcoin hit a six-month high and was within striking distance of its all-time peak on Tuesday, as traders bet an anticipated listing of a futures-based US exchange-traded fund (ETF) could herald investment flows into cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin has been known for its volatility for 13 years and has recently been trading fairly flat, but it has been surging around 40 percent this month on hopes that the emergence of Bitcoin ETFs will see billions of dollars managed by pension funds and other large investors flow into the sector.

ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF is expected to list on Tuesday under the ticker BITO, provided the U.S. regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, does not object.

Analysts said the ETF would also likely simplify access to cryptocurrencies for retail investors.

"It can attract flows from investors who prefer the ease of an ETF over the perceived risk of an exchange," Martha Reyes, head of research at crypto exchange Bequant said.

Other analysts have also cautioned that the fund will not invest directly in bitcoin rather in Chicago-traded futures, so any immediate effects of the flows may be limited.

Crypto ETFs have launched this year in Canada and Europe amid surging interest in digital assets. VanEck and Valkyrie are among fund managers pursuing such products listed in the US, although Invesco on Monday dropped its plans for a futures-based fund.

The Nasdaq on Friday approved the listing of the Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF and Grayscale, the world's largest digital currency manager, is planning to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into a spot bitcoin ETF, CNBC reported.

The launch of the first bitcoin futures ETF on Tuesday marks a major step toward legitimizing the cryptocurrency, but some investors in such funds may face higher costs compared with buying the digital currency itself, Reuters reported.

ProShares will be backed by the CME Group's bitcoin futures instead of the actual virtual asset itself. Its offering is expected to lead to more launches of futures-based ETFs in the coming days and weeks after years of regulatory roadblocks.

Market participants generally praised the relative ease and safety of owning an exchange-traded product instead of buying bitcoin from cryptocurrency exchanges and brokers.

Investors won't have to worry about custody and securing their digital wallets, although analysts said there are top-tier exchanges that offer these services to their customers as well.

Futures

A futures-based ETF price will not necessarily match the current price of the underlying asset.

"In most cases, such futures funds based on commodity assets such as gold tend to underperform physical ones," Mikkel Morch executive director at crypto and digital assets hedge fund ARK36 said.

In addition to the risk of a futures-based bitcoin fund underperforming bitcoin, it also comes with the cost of the futures roll-over, some analysts said. However, analysts believe investors will still buy the futures-based funds despite the higher cost.

Trading

Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency in trading internationally, traded higher on Tuesday, rising by 0.99 percent to $62,494 at 5:20 pm Riyadh time. While Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, traded at $3,813, up 0.57 percent, according to data from Coindesk.


Saudi interior ministry’s high-tech revolution draws crowds at Dubai’s GITEX

Saudi interior ministry’s high-tech revolution draws crowds at Dubai’s GITEX
Updated 39 min 21 sec ago

Saudi interior ministry’s high-tech revolution draws crowds at Dubai’s GITEX

Saudi interior ministry’s high-tech revolution draws crowds at Dubai’s GITEX
  • Saudi pavilions have managed to steal the limelight, receiving the largest turnout of visitors and specialists in the field of technology and smart solutions
  • The ministry’s pavilion is showcasing a revolution in digital transformation and smart solutions in the Kingdom thanks to the Absher platform

DUBAI: The Saudi Ministry of Interior is taking part in the Dubai GITEX Technology Week 2021 held at the Dubai World Trade Centre by showcasing a myriad of entities and companies.

Saudi pavilions have managed to steal the limelight, receiving the largest turnout of visitors and specialists in the field of technology and smart solutions.

The ministry’s pavilion is showcasing a revolution in digital transformation and smart solutions in the Kingdom thanks to the Absher platform.

Eng. Abdullah Al-Rabiah, undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior for security capabilities and chairman of the supervisory committee of the Ministry’s pavilion at the exhibition, said that the ministry is taking part in the event for the seventh time.

This year’s slogan is “Technical Solutions for a Safe Homeland,” and the exhibition is focusing on a unified platform featuring various security and service authorities in the ministry through five main axes, he added.

The topics covered are: Digital enablers and their role in governance to serve customers, ministry services for pilgrims, dealing with events, crises and work procedures, the future of services and security operations, and the role of modern technology in combating crime and making cities safer.

The technology behind the Absher app is also showcased. The mobile service allows people in the Kingdom to use a variety of government services. The app helps ministry staff manage resources and digitally implement internal procedures and support services for employees.

The ministry’s role in preserving the environment and its initiatives in the field of innovation are also being highlighted at the pavilion, with topics and issues presented in interactive ways, introducing visitors to the efforts and achievements of participating sectors.

Al-Rabiah said that the Saudi government has invested in the Ministry of Interior to improve the quality of services provided in light of Saudi Vision 2030.

“Other projects launched under the umbrella of Vision 2030 include the Unified Security Operations Center 911 project, the Midan application, which has witnessed a big deal of digital transformation, as well as the services provided by the Absher platform, one of the largest government platforms in the Kingdom offering 333 services to some 23 million users and beneficiaries,” he added.

The Vision Realization Office in the Ministry of Interior submitted a working paper under the theme “The Ministry of Interior within Saudi Vision 2030” at the Leaders Vision conference held on the sidelines of GITEX Week.

Sultan Al-Mutairi, the head of the Vision Realization Office who submitted the working paper, told Arab News that the research shed light on the ministry’s efforts under the Quality of Life and Doyof Al-Rahman programs, in addition to the contributions of the ministry within Saudi Vision 2030, including the development of e-government and rollout of high-quality services to pilgrims.

“The paper also highlighted the Kingdom’s progress in international security indicators and the contribution of the Ministry of Interior to a number of initiatives and future projects within the Kingdom’s Vision 2030,” said Al-Mutairi.

Col. Adel Al-Asmari, director of the Unified Security Operations Center 911 project in Riyadh, said that the center not only highlighted technical shifts in receiving and passing security communications, but also its efforts in managing crises and disasters through a specialized section comprising all security, service and emergency sectors, which enables it to manage any crises — such as the COVID-19 pandemic — professionally and comprehensively.

The Saudi Export Development Authority is also taking part in GITEX Technology Week 2021 with the participation of more than 26 Saudi ICT companies.

It comes under the umbrella of the “Made in Saudi Arabia” program, a national initiative of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program, which aims to increase domestic consumption and the market share of domestic goods and services, increase Saudi non-oil exports in priority export markets and enhance the attractiveness of the Saudi industrial sector to domestic and foreign investment.

The Saudi Technology and Security Comprehensive Control Co. Ltd. (Tahakom) is also taking part through a package of advanced technical programs and solutions. Tahakom’s pavilion showcases its capabilities in public safety and intelligent mobility by introducing new products and innovative technologies, such as smart city solutions, smart parking solutions, traffic safety software technologies as well as supercomputers.

The exhibition saw also the participation of various Saudi service agencies and companies, including the Sakani program, one of the most prominent technical programs launched in the Kingdom, which offers numerous technical solutions to beneficiaries and people seeking housing.