One in every four investment deals in Middle East goes to fintech: Report

One in every four investment deals in Middle East goes to fintech: Report
Adoption is high in payments and remittances at more than 40 to 50 percent. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 30 August 2021

One in every four investment deals in Middle East goes to fintech: Report

One in every four investment deals in Middle East goes to fintech: Report
  • Fintech stood out above other sectors on funding volume and value

DUBAI: One in four investment deals was made in the fintech sector, pulling nearly 30 percent of all the funding raised during the year, which was $2.1 billion in 220 deals, according to a year-to-date report by consultancy firm RedSeer.

A “favorable regulatory environment” has pushed the Middle East’s financial technology (fintech) scene to be the most-funded sector, according to the report.

RedSeer said financial free zones such as the Abu Dhabi Global Market and the Dubai International Financial Centre have contributed to this growth, particularly with initiatives including regulatory sandboxes and accelerators.

“This has allowed regional fintech companies to innovate at a fast pace and partner with leading companies to create new products and services,” the report said.

Consumers in the region have also shown positive adoption rates in recent months, the report showed, with “very high adoption” in payments and remittances.

FASTFACTS

The fintech sector pulled nearly 30 percent of all the funding raised during the year.

Financial free zones have contributed to this growth.

Consumers in the region have also shown positive adoption rates in recent months.

Other fintech products such as lending and insurtech “are more nascent,” but consumers said they are willing to use the technology more in the future.

Payments and remittances emerged the most successful in the value and volume of deals within the sector, followed by lending.

The report also stated that early stage funding rounds contributed 65 percent to the total number of deals struck in the Middle East and Africa region. Early stage and Series A investments dominated the mix with over 83 percent of the total deals, it added.

But large investments in Series B+ rounds and debt funding “has also been observed in 2021,” it said.

The average value of deals also jumped across stages, the report showed, which Red Seer said is an indicator of “more sizable funding inflow, which will enable the robust growth over the medium term.” Companies are also scaling up faster year-to-date, as average time between funding rounds have reduced.

“The average time between subsequent rounds has been decreasing consistently over the years now, falling below the one-year mark in 2021,” the report said.

 

 


US supply chain woes to stretch into 2022, warns top official

US supply chain woes to stretch into 2022, warns top official
Updated 17 October 2021

US supply chain woes to stretch into 2022, warns top official

US supply chain woes to stretch into 2022, warns top official

WASHINGTON: The US transportation secretary on Sunday warned that America’s supply chain woes including clogged ports will drag into next year, potentially cramping the upcoming holiday shopping season in the world’s largest economy.

Pete Buttigieg did the rounds on US political talk shows to stress that President Joe Biden’s administration was doing everything it could to alleviate congestion at the country’s overloaded ports, railways and roads, and that the government will “re-evaluate all of our options” to relieve the bottlenecks.

But “a lot of the challenges that we have been experiencing this year will continue into next year,” the transport chief and former presidential candidate told CNN’s “State of the Union” show.


Saudi Arabia gets a boost in maritime connectivity rankings

Saudi Arabia gets a boost in maritime connectivity rankings
Updated 17 October 2021

Saudi Arabia gets a boost in maritime connectivity rankings

Saudi Arabia gets a boost in maritime connectivity rankings

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia made impressive progress in maritime connectivity at the regional level, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development report for the third quarter of 2021.

The Kingdom achieved 70.68 points in the Maritime Connectivity Index, which is the highest in the region, said the report.

The Saudi Ports Authority, also known as Mawani, has forged partnerships with operators and major international shipping lines to develop the Kingdom’s seaports and contribute to the national goal of transforming Saudi Arabia into a global logistics hub.

Omar bin Talal Hariri, president of Mawani, said the authority is proud of the achievement and will intensify its efforts to meet the aspirations of the Kingdom’s leadership.

The index includes several sub-indicators, most notably, the number of scheduled visits by ships to the country within a week, capacity of the ships in standard units, in addition to the number of regular service paths provided by shipping lines to and from the country.


UAE-based Al Dahra to open 3 plants in Eastern Europe


UAE-based Al Dahra to open 3 plants in Eastern Europe

Updated 17 October 2021

UAE-based Al Dahra to open 3 plants in Eastern Europe


UAE-based Al Dahra to open 3 plants in Eastern Europe


RIYADH: Al Dhara Holding, an Abu Dhabi-based agricultural company, will establish five new animal feed plants in Eastern Europe.

The new plants will be established in Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. The new facilities are part of the company’s efforts to expand its horizons and diversify its sources of production.

The company has opened its first plant for compressing and drying animal feed in Serbia with a production capacity of 120,000 tons and storage capacity of 20,000 tons.

 


Foreign investments in Egypt’s oil sector see 26.02% decline, says minister

Foreign investments in Egypt’s oil sector see 26.02% decline, says minister
Updated 17 October 2021

Foreign investments in Egypt’s oil sector see 26.02% decline, says minister

Foreign investments in Egypt’s oil sector see 26.02% decline, says minister

CAIRO: Egypt's oil minister said on Sunday that foreign investments in the sector fell 26.02% to $5.4 billion in the financial year 2020-21, versus $7.3 billion a year earlier.

“The coronavirus crisis led to a slowdown in investments from international oil companies worldwide,” Tarek El Molla said in a speech to the Egyptian Petroleum Association. 


Over 86,000 Saudi families benefit from Sakani subsidized loans

Over 86,000 Saudi families benefit from Sakani subsidized loans
Updated 17 October 2021

Over 86,000 Saudi families benefit from Sakani subsidized loans

Over 86,000 Saudi families benefit from Sakani subsidized loans

RIYADH: More than 86,000 Saudi families benefited from the Housing Ministry’s Sakani program subsidized real estate loans since the beginning of the year till September, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

The program offers two types of subsidized loans, one for ready-made housing units and the other meant for under-construction buildings.

Of the total, 69,497 families benefited from the loan offered for ready-made housing units.

The Ministry of Housing and the Real Estate Development Fund formed Sakani in 2017 to facilitate homeownership in the Kingdom through the creation of new housing stock, allocating plots and homes to nationals, and financing their purchase. It has a goal of reaching 70 percent homeownership by 2030.

The program also launched new e-services to serve people effectively.