Islamic Development Bank launches Saudi-backed $100m fund in Uzbekistan

Islamic Development Bank launches Saudi-backed $100m fund in Uzbekistan
The new economic fund is part of the IsDB’s series of development activities in Uzbekistan, which so far stand at $2.4 billion in value. (Shutterstock)
Short Url
Updated 03 September 2021

Islamic Development Bank launches Saudi-backed $100m fund in Uzbekistan

Islamic Development Bank launches Saudi-backed $100m fund in Uzbekistan
  • The fund has an initial capital of $100 million, and will target 34 micro, small, and medium enterprises

TASHKENT: The Islamic Development Bank is launching an economic development fund in Uzbekistan backed by Saudi private-sector investors.  

The Economic Empowerment Fund for Uzbekistan (EEFU has an initial capital of $100 million, and will target 34,000 micro, small, and medium enterprises, with the aim of rising to $500 million, the IsDB said in a press release.

It is expected to generate 102,000 jobs, and help address poverty in the country.

The government of Uzbekistan will contribute 35 percent to the initial $100 million, the IsDB will contribute 20 percent and the remaining 45 percent will mainly come from Saudi investors. 

"The ultimate goal of the Fund is to foster widespread economic empowerment in Uzbekistan by targeting the bottom of the economic pyramid through involving the marginalized populations in productive projects across entire value chains locally," the IsDB said.

"The Fund will be equipped with an annexed Technical Assistance (TA) facility to bring additional support and address major non-financial constraints faced by prospective beneficiaries including business engineering, capacity building programs, access to market, building partnerships etc.," it said.

The new economic fund is part of the IsDB’s series of development activities in Uzbekistan, which so far stand at $2.4 billion in value.


FII: MISA says investment in jobs and supply chains secure pandemic growth

FII: MISA says investment in jobs and supply chains secure pandemic growth
Getty Images
Updated 13 sec ago

FII: MISA says investment in jobs and supply chains secure pandemic growth

FII: MISA says investment in jobs and supply chains secure pandemic growth
  • Last month, the Kingdom forecast economic growth of 2.6% this year and 7.5% in 2022


RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih said the Kingdom put maintaining jobs and securing supply chains as one of its top priorities during the height of the pandemic, reported Argaam.
 

Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh he added that the Kingdom’s economy was able to remain flexible and grow as the health crisis eased.
 

The Minister said: “The pandemic came as a shock to the business enterprise sector; it taught us different lessons in various fields.”
 

Last month, the Kingdom forecast economic growth of 2.6% this year and 7.5% in 2022, in a pre-Budget statement, after a 4.1% contraction in 2020.


UPS Q3 earnings beat estimates as revenue grows 9%

UPS Q3 earnings beat estimates as revenue grows 9%
Getty Images
Updated 50 min 35 sec ago

UPS Q3 earnings beat estimates as revenue grows 9%

UPS Q3 earnings beat estimates as revenue grows 9%
  • The results exceeded Wall Street expectations

United Parcel Service Inc. on Tuesday reported third-quarter profit of $2.33 billion.


On a per-share basis, the Atlanta-based company said it had profit of $2.65. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were $2.71 per share.


The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $2.52 per share.


The package delivery service posted revenue of $23.18 billion in the period, which also beat Street forecasts. Five analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $22.61 billion.


‘Let the unicorns come!’ PIF advisor says Saudi's economic ‘pie’ is growing

‘Let the unicorns come!’ PIF advisor says Saudi's economic ‘pie’ is growing
Updated 51 min 26 sec ago

‘Let the unicorns come!’ PIF advisor says Saudi's economic ‘pie’ is growing

‘Let the unicorns come!’ PIF advisor says Saudi's economic ‘pie’ is growing

Entrepreneurship is the new growth economy, according to a leading figure in Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) as he called for business “unicorns” to come to the country.

Andrew Liveris, special advisor to the governor of the PIF, made the remarks as he discussed how economies need to diversify to embrace the digital age.

Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh, Liveris insisted the economic “pie will get bigger”, but workers will need to be retrained to carry out the new, less traditional, jobs of the future.

Referring to start-ups that go on to achieve market valuations of over a billion dollars, Liveris said: “Let the unicorns come.”

His comments chime with those made by billionaire businessman Larry Fink at the Middle East Green Initiative Summit on Monday.

The chairman of US asset management giant BlackRock told delegates at the forum in Riyadh it will be firms producing environmentally-friendly goods and systems that will become the next billion dollar companies.

Fink said: "It’s my belief that the next 1,000 unicorns - companies that have a market valuation over a billion dollars - won’t be a search engine or media company. They will be businesses developing green hydrogen, and green agriculture, and green steel and green cement."


A slowdown in Korean economic activity; interest rates remain unchanged in Japan: Economic wrap

A slowdown in Korean economic activity; interest rates remain unchanged in Japan: Economic wrap
Getty Images
Updated 26 October 2021

A slowdown in Korean economic activity; interest rates remain unchanged in Japan: Economic wrap

A slowdown in Korean economic activity; interest rates remain unchanged in Japan: Economic wrap
  • Producer prices in Spain leaped by an annual rate of 23.6 percent in September

South Korea’s economy jumped by 4 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2021, slowing from the 6 percent increase it experienced in the prior period, a preliminary estimate by The Bank of Korea showed. 

Jumps in Covid-19 cases across the country have caused both private consumption and fixed investment to slow in this year’s third quarter. Meanwhile, government expenditure increased by 6.3 percent, up from last quarter's 5.3 percent growth rate.

In addition, the country’s GDP recorded a quarterly growth of 0.3 percent, dropping from 0.8 percent in the previous period, according to preliminary estimates.   

Rates to remain steady in Japan

Unlike other central banks that hiked their interest rates, the Bank of Japan is set to keep its rates on hold.

Japan has been experiencing high producer prices in the last period, yet consumer inflation remained at zero due to weak domestic demand.

The bank is expected to maintain its targets for short-term interest rate and 10-year bond yields at -0.1 percent and 0 percent respectively.

Producer prices in Europe 

Producer prices in Spain leaped by an annual rate of 23.6 percent in September, up from 17.6 percent in the previous month, official data showed. This is the highest rate since December 1977.

The hike in prices was driven by supply chain disruptions, energy shortages and last year’s low base effects.

Similarly, Sweden's producer prices soared to a record high of 17.2 percent on a yearly basis in September, expanding from 15.8 percent in August, Statistics Sweden said. 

Producer inflation has now risen for the eighth month in a row as costs of natural gas and crude oil helped fuel the increase in prices.

Singapore’s manufacturing

Singapore’s manufacturing output fell by 3.4 percent year-on-year in September, declining sharply from last month’s growth of 11 percent. Singapore Economic Development Board also said that a rise in the Delta variant cases contributed to the slip in production.

Biomedical manufacturing slumped by 35.9 percent while general manufacturing output declined by 2.7 percent in September, down from a growth rate of 6.4 percent in August. 

Manufacturing output also declined on a monthly basis in September, decreasing by 2.8 percent.


Saudi Arabia aims for 4000 factories to be automated within 5 years: Minister of industry

Saudi Arabia aims for 4000 factories to be automated within 5 years: Minister of industry
Getty Images
Updated 26 October 2021

Saudi Arabia aims for 4000 factories to be automated within 5 years: Minister of industry

Saudi Arabia aims for 4000 factories to be automated within 5 years: Minister of industry
  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is a fusion of advances in artificial intelligence, blockchain, robots, 3D-printing and the internet of things

The Saudi ministry of industry and mineral resources plans to convert 4000 factories from heavy reliance on expatriate workers to digital automation within 5 years, Bandar Al Khorayef told Alarabiya. 

This comes amid the ministry’s efforts to build a conducive industrial environment for SMEs, as they account for over 80 percent of the total industrial new licenses since the beging of 2021, El Khorayef noted in a previous statement. 

The minister highlighted the importance of investing in Fourth Industrial Revolution’s applications, due to its role in changing the shape of the industrial sector, in his interview to Alarabiya. 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is a fusion of advances in artificial intelligence, blockchain, robots, 3D-printing and the internet of things, that is expected to support Saudi’s transformation towards an innovation-based economy.