Saudi Arabia ranks 2nd in digital competitiveness among G20 countries

Saudi Arabia ranks 2nd in digital  competitiveness among G20  countries
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Updated 05 September 2021

Saudi Arabia ranks 2nd in digital competitiveness among G20 countries

Saudi Arabia ranks 2nd in digital  competitiveness among G20  countries
  • DGA has instructed all government agencies to reinvigorate their platforms to better serve the public

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has been ranked second among G20 countries in the Digital Competitiveness Report 2021 issued by the European Center for Digital Competitiveness, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The report is based on data issued by the World Economic Forum and backed by statistics issued by the World Bank and the International Telecommunication Union.
In a bid to further improve digital performance, the Kingdom’s Digital Government Authority has called on all government agencies to register their online platforms and websites through the authority’s website within 90 days, a DGA statement said.
On June 30, DGA approved the first regulatory framework of the digital government. 

FASTFACT

On June 30, DGA approved the first regulatory framework of the digital government.

DGA is seeking to issue regulations, policies, and standards that contribute to creating a regulatory environment, which enables reaching advanced levels of maturity in the government's digital transformation.
It has instructed all government agencies to reinvigorate their platforms to better serve the public and improve their digital presence. The authority has also ordered the suspension of a total of 106 inactive domains. A deadline has also been set for government agencies to comply with the authority’s instructions.
The objective of the move is to regulate government domains on the internet, preserve the rights of registered entities and link them to official platforms and websites.
DGA Gov. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Suwayan said the authority seeks to improve the regulatory and investment environment in the Kingdom and ensure reliable and efficient digital services.
He said the authority will assess all existing platforms, apps, and websites according to the regulatory framework.


OPEC+ won’t change its strategy: Saudi energy minister

OPEC+ won’t change its strategy: Saudi energy minister
Updated 14 sec ago

OPEC+ won’t change its strategy: Saudi energy minister

OPEC+ won’t change its strategy: Saudi energy minister
  • Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman stressed that there must be a regulator for the market, in an interview with Asharq. 

OPEC+ will not change its strategy and isn’t obliged to solve a problem it did not create, Asharq reported, citing the Saudi energy minister. 

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman stressed that there must be a regulator for the market, in an interview with Asharq. 

The intergovernmental organization is raising daily oil production by 400,000 barrels per month and has been under pressure from countries including the US to increase supply after cuts last year due to the pandemic.


Greenhouse gas levels reach new record high: UN

Greenhouse gas levels reach new record high: UN
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Updated 17 min 14 sec ago

Greenhouse gas levels reach new record high: UN

Greenhouse gas levels reach new record high: UN
  • The organisation said that as long as emissions continue, global temperatures will continue to rise

Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere reached new record levels last year, the United Nations said Monday in a stark warning ahead of the COP26 summit about worsening global warming.


The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin from the UN's World Meteorological Organization said the annual rate of increase last year was above the yearly average between 2011 and 2020 - and the trend continued in 2021.


The WMO said the economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic triggered a temporary decline in new emissions, but had no discernible impact on the atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases and their growth rates.


The organisation said that as long as emissions continue, global temperatures will continue to rise.


And given the long life of carbon dioxide (CO2), the temperature level already observed will persist for several decades even if emissions are rapidly reduced to net zero.


COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, is being held in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12.


"The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin contains a stark, scientific message for climate change negotiators at COP26," said WMO chief Petteri Taalas.


"At the current rate of increase in greenhouse gas concentrations, we will see a temperature increase by the end of this century far in excess of the Paris Agreement targets of 1.5 to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.


"We are way off track."


The report said that roughly half of the CO2 emitted by human activity remains in the atmosphere, with the other half ending up in the oceans and the land.


"The last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2 was 3-5 million years ago, when the temperature was 2-3C warmer and sea level was 10-20 metres higher than now. But there weren't 7.8 billion people then," said Taalas.

The WMO said that with continued rising greenhouse gas emissions, alongside rising temperatures, the planet could also expect more weather extremes.


That includes intense heat and rainfall, ice melt, sea-level rise and ocean acidification - all of which will have far-reaching socio-economic impacts.


"We need to transform our commitment into action that will have an impact on the gases that drive climate change," said Taalas.


"We need to revisit our industrial, energy and transport systems and whole way of life. The needed changes are economically affordable and technically possible. There is no time to lose."


Euan Nisbet, from the University of London's Greenhouse Gas Group, compared greenhouse gas measurements to "skidding into a car crash".


"The disaster gets closer and closer but you can't stop it. You can clearly see the crash ahead, and all you can do is howl."


Arab National Bank profits fall: Market Wrap

Arab National Bank profits fall: Market Wrap
Updated 30 min 1 sec ago

Arab National Bank profits fall: Market Wrap

Arab National Bank profits fall: Market Wrap

The Tadawul All Share Index, TASI, was down 0.2 percent at 11,845 points in early trade today. 

Here’s a wrap of market movements as of 10:30am Riyadh time:

Arab National Bank profits declined 0.6 percent in the third quarter to SR665 million ($117 million). This fall was due to an increase in salaries, employee expenses and other general and administrative costs, the bank said in a filing.

On a quarterly basis, Arab Bank's net profit increased by 40.59 percent, compared to a net profit of about SR473 million in the second quarter of 2021.

Alinma Bank’s profits rose 15 percent in the third quarter to SR822.9 million ($219.4 million), compared to SR715 million in the third quarter of 2020.

On a quarterly basis, the company's profits increased in the third quarter by 3.9 percent, compared to profits of SR792 million in the second quarter of 2021.

Alarabia launched the retail subscription for 10 percent of its shares on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabian Mining Company, Maaden, returned to a net profit of SR3.1 billion ($830 million) in the first nine months of 2021.

Alkhorayef Water and Power Technologies Company’s board approved establishing a subsidiary company, along with France’s Veolia, to focus on water services in the Riyadh region.

Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Services Group’s two subsidiaries signed two contracts worth SR599.6 million ($159.9 million). 

SIECO signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Development Bank to support Saudi exports to Iraq.

Zahrat Al Waha’s net profit soared 65 percent to SR44.1 million ($11.8 million) for the first nine months of 2021.

Mobile Telecommunication Company Saudi Arabia (Zain Ksa) posted a 36 percent decline in profit in the first nine months of 2021.

Taleem REIT Fund distributed a 1.2 percent cash dividend for Q3 2021. 

CMA announced the approval of the public offering of the "Riyad Opportunities Fund".


German business morale deteriorates further in October

German business morale deteriorates further in October
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Updated 25 October 2021

German business morale deteriorates further in October

German business morale deteriorates further in October
  • "Sand in the wheels of the German economy is hampering recovery"

German business morale fell for the fourth month running in October as supply bottlenecks held back factory output in Europe's largest economy, a survey showed on Monday.


The Ifo institute said its business climate index fell to 97.7 from an upwardly revised 98.9 in September.


The reading was the lowest since April and undershot the figure of 97.9 in a Reuters poll.


"Supply problems are giving businesses headaches," Ifo President Clemens Fuest said, adding that capacity utilisation in manufacturing was falling.


"Sand in the wheels of the German economy is hampering recovery."


The government is expected to slash on Wednesday its forecast for economic growth this year, after leading institutes last week cut their joint forecast to 2.4 percent from 3.7 percent. For 2022, the institutes predicted 4.8 percent growth. 


Saudi Arabia, Blackrock sign $53bn deal to finance Saudi infrastructure

Saudi Arabia, Blackrock sign $53bn deal to finance Saudi infrastructure
Updated 8 min 59 sec ago

Saudi Arabia, Blackrock sign $53bn deal to finance Saudi infrastructure

Saudi Arabia, Blackrock sign $53bn deal to finance Saudi infrastructure

Saudi’s National Development Fund (NDF) and US private equity giant BlackRock have launched a fund tasked with investing SR200 billion ($53 billion) in Saudi infrastructure over the next 10 years, according to a statement on Saudi Press Agency.

Announced on the eve of the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, the deal sets up a National Infrastructure Fund that will help deliver some SR200 billion of essential investment in assets such as schools, hospitals, transport and the digital foundation, between now and 2030.

It is a significant step for the NDF, the lesser-known of the Kingdom’s agents for economic development, in comparison to its high-profile collaborator, the Public Investment Fund.

The institution contributes to Saudi Arabia’s plans to diversify the economy away from oil and develop infrastructure. 

The NDF's vice chairman, Mohammed bin Mazyad Al-Tuwaijri, said: “The joining of the National Infrastructure Fund to the list of government lending institutions in the Kingdom will contribute significantly to supporting infrastructure projects in vital sectors such as transportation, water, energy, health, education, communications, digital infrastructure and others.” 

“It will reflect positively on the development of the national economy and enhance the quality of life of the individual and society,” he added.