Saudization programs to create 213,000 jobs in 2021, says minister

Saudization programs to create 213,000 jobs in 2021, says minister
The Nitaqat localization program reduced the number of classified activities to 32 and linked the Saudization rates to an equation based on the number of workers to facilitate the private sector’s interaction with the program. File
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Updated 06 September 2021

Saudization programs to create 213,000 jobs in 2021, says minister

Saudization programs to create 213,000 jobs in 2021, says minister

RIYADH: Saudization programs aim to create 213,000 jobs for Saudis during the year 2021, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Ahmed Al-Rajhi said during a meeting with businessmen and members of the Chamber of Commerce in Al-Jouf region.

Al-Rajhi emphasized that the ministry has partnered with the Federation of Saudi Chambers in all its decisions related to the labor market, Al Watan newspaper reported. “This is what gives it quality and comprehensiveness,” he said. 

“We realize the importance of accelerating businesses and raising the quality of services provided, and we have a serious move toward digital transformation, Al-Rajhi said. Over 21,000 operations are currently carried out via electronic platforms per day, compared to a maximum of 700 transactions previously through the labor offices,” he said.

“Ahead of the launch of the Future Work Company, we have also initiated the self-employment platform and issued more than 800,000 self-employment work documents,” he said.

The minister also pointed out that over 52,000 citizens, men and women, are expected to benefit from the remote work platform.

Al-Rajhi pointed out that the Nitaqat localization program reduced the number of classified activities to 32 and linked the Saudization rates to an equation based on the number of workers to facilitate the private sector’s interaction with the program and increase the participation of more Saudis in the labor market.


Facebook parent company Meta makes it easier to run cryptocurrency ads

Facebook parent company Meta makes it easier to run cryptocurrency ads
Updated 7 sec ago

Facebook parent company Meta makes it easier to run cryptocurrency ads

Facebook parent company Meta makes it easier to run cryptocurrency ads

RIYADH: Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has updated the criteria for running ads about cryptocurrency on its platform, according to Bloomberg.

The tech giant announced on Wednesday its decision to reverse a long-standing policy that prevented most cryptocurrency companies from running ads on its services.

The move came after Meta’s marquee crypto-related effort had been downsized.

Previously, many marketers who wanted to promote cryptocurrency or related businesses had to submit an application detailing any licenses they have obtained and whether they are traded on a public stock exchange, among other information. 

Now, the company will make it easier to run ads about cryptocurrency by expanding the number of regulatory licenses that it accepts, which will allow more retail investors to access cryptocurrencies than ever before.

Meta will still require prior written approval for crypto exchanges and trading platforms, crypto wallets and mining-related hardware and software companies.

“Cryptocurrency continues to be an evolving space and we may refine these rules over time as the industry changes,” the company said in a blog post.


Omicron is an opportunity for investors: JPMorgan

Omicron is an opportunity for investors: JPMorgan
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 6 min 53 sec ago

Omicron is an opportunity for investors: JPMorgan

Omicron is an opportunity for investors: JPMorgan
  • “We view the recent selloff in these segments as an opportunity to buy the dip in cyclical”

Turmoil in global equity markets due to the new omicron variant could be an opportunity for investors to rebuild positions, JPMorgan has said. 

 According to Bloomberg, the American investment bank suggested the latest evolution of the COVID-19 virus might ultimately be a positive for risk markets because it could signal that the end of the pandemic is in sight.

“Omicron could be a catalyst for steepening (not flattening) the yield curve, rotation from growth to value, selloff in Covid and lockdown beneficiaries and rally in reopening themes,” Bloomberg reported, citing strategists.

“We view the recent selloff in these segments as an opportunity to buy the dip in cyclical, commodities, and reopening themes, and to position for higher bond yields and steepening,” they added.

Earlier this year, Kolanovic, JPMorgan’s chief global markets strategist, has advocated reopening trades and defended value stocks as the pandemic has evolved, also claiming that markets overreacted to the threat of the delta variant, Bloomberg reported.


Saudi Aramco and Raed invests $5.5m in emerging fintech startup Lamaa

Saudi Aramco and Raed invests $5.5m in emerging fintech startup Lamaa
Updated 18 min 57 sec ago

Saudi Aramco and Raed invests $5.5m in emerging fintech startup Lamaa

Saudi Aramco and Raed invests $5.5m in emerging fintech startup Lamaa

RIYADH: Riyadh-based fintech startup Lamaa has secured a $5.5m investment from Saudi Aramco’s entrepreneurship arm Wa’ed and Raed Ventures.

The deal represents one of the largest seed funding rounds in Saudi Arabia.

Lamaa provides financing solutions, such as supply chain finance and Buy Now Pay Later schemes, for small and medium enterprises.

Wa'ed and Raed's investment will assist Lamaa in developing its Trade Receivables Discounting System platform, which will enable factoring across thousands of suppliers at the same time.

Lamaa was established in early 2021 by Sumeet Khutale, who relocated from London to Riyadh after working with global firms such as Barclays Capital and JP Morgan.

“Since our initial launch in March 2021, Lamaa has grown dramatically, with over 100 corporate clients in the pipeline and a projection of over $1 billion dollars’ worth of invoices to be soon launched in its marketplace,” said Khutale.

He added: “In addition to supply chain finance, we will soon start offering B2B Buy Now Pay Later plans, which would be the first offering of its kind in the region. We also plan to expand our company into Egypt, UAE and Qatar in the next few months.”

Fahad Alidi, the managing director at Wa’ed, praised Lamaa’s “impressive growth” since it was established, and said: “Lamaa presents the type of entrepreneurial business that not only empowers its own team and start-up sector, but can also promote a stronger foundation for other emerging local SMEs who use the platform for financing solutions.

“We’re proud to support Lamaa’s founding team as they continue to break new grounds in the local fintech space.”


Grab’s $40bn Nasdaq debut to set tone for Southeast Asian tech listings

Grab’s $40bn Nasdaq debut to set tone for Southeast Asian tech listings
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 02 December 2021

Grab’s $40bn Nasdaq debut to set tone for Southeast Asian tech listings

Grab’s $40bn Nasdaq debut to set tone for Southeast Asian tech listings
  • Grab’s listing brings a payday bonanza to early backers such as Japan’s SoftBank and Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing

Grab, Southeast Asia’s biggest ride-hailing and delivery firm, makes its market debut on Thursday after a record $40 billion merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), in a listing that will set the tone for other regional offerings.


The backdoor listing on Nasdaq marks the high point for the nine-year-old Singapore company that began as a ride-hailing app and now operates across 465 cities in eight countries, offering food deliveries, payments, insurance and investment products.


The biggest US listing by a Southeast Asian company follows Grab’s April agreement to merge with US tech investor Altimeter Capital Management’s SPAC, Altimeter Growth Corp. and raise $4.5 billion, including $750 million from Altimeter.


There is scope for many players in the fragmented food delivery and financial services markets in Southeast Asia, a region of 650 million people, but the road to profitability could be a long one, analysts say.


Grab’s flotation “will provide a bigger cash buffer” to its “cash burn,” S&P Global Ratings said in a note. But the company’s “credit quality continues to be constrained by its loss-making operations, and free operating cash flows could be negative over the next 12 months.”


Southeast Asia’s Internet economy is forecast to double to $360 billion in gross merchandise value by 2025, prompting Grab’s rivals, including regional Internet firm Sea Ltd. and Indonesia’s GoTo Group, to bulk up.


GoTo plans a local IPO in 2022 after completing an expected $2 billion private fundraising, sources have told Reuters. A US listing will follow the Jakarta offering.


“Longer term, we’re really excited about Grab Financial Group,” a unit of the company, said Chris Conforti, partner at Altimeter Capital. “I think the bell curve on that is much wider in terms of what the outcome could be, but it could be extremely large.”

Grab was founded by Anthony Tan, its chief executive, and Tan Hooi Ling, who developed the firm from an idea for a Harvard Business School venture competition in 2011. The two Tans are not related.


CEO Tan, 39, expanded Grab into a regional operation with a range of services, after launching it as a taxi app in Malaysia in 2012.

It later moved its headquarters to Singapore.


“What we have shown to the world is that home grown tech companies can develop great technology that can compete globally, even when international players are in town,” Tan told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday. “We can compete and win.”


He will end up with 60.4 percent voting rights along with Grab’s co-founder, and president Ming Maa, but control only 3.3 percent stake with them.


To mark the New York listing, Grab and Nasdaq will hold a bell-ringing in a luxury hotel in Singapore in the middle of the Asian night. About 250 people, including executives from the exchange, Grab’s investors and other partners are to attend.


Grab’s listing brings a payday bonanza to early backers such as Japan’s SoftBank and Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, which invested as early as 2014.


They were later joined by the likes of Toyota Motor Corp. , Microsoft Corp. and Japanese megabank MUFG .

Uber became a Grab shareholder in 2018 after selling its Southeast Asian business to Grab following a five-year battle.


In September, Grab cut its full-year adjusted net sales forecasts, citing renewed uncertainty over pandemic curbs on movement.


Third-quarter revenue fell 9 percent from a year earlier and its adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) widened 66 percent to $212 million.

GMV in the quarter rose to a record $4 billion.


It aims to turn profitable on an EBITDA basis in 2023.


JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley were the lead placement agents on the fundraising, while Evercore and UBS were the co-placement agents.


SADR shares leading TASI market amid volatility, up by almost 10 percent: Midday Market Update

SADR shares leading TASI market amid volatility, up by almost 10 percent: Midday Market Update
Updated 56 min 47 sec ago

SADR shares leading TASI market amid volatility, up by almost 10 percent: Midday Market Update

SADR shares leading TASI market amid volatility, up by almost 10 percent: Midday Market Update

RIYADH: Overall Saudi market performance is almost flat despite the newly confirmed omicron case, as TASI – Tadawul’s main index – rose by 0.25 percent and Nomu – the parallel market – declined by 0.69 percent as of 12noon Saudi time on Thursday.

The biggest moving stocks of the day are Sadr Logistics and Development Works Food, rising by 9.96 percent and 8.10 percent respectively, according to a bourse filing.

Shares of Sadr are expected to go higher, following the approval to raise SR175 million ($46.64 million) through a rights issue worth SR150 million to expand its logistics services.

The Mediterranean and Gulf Insurance and Reinsurance Co., or MEDGULF, signed a one-year contract to grant health insurance to Saudi Electricity Co.’s employees and their families.

MEDGULF’s deal is expected to yield better financial results for the fiscal year 2022, hence moving the share value up.

Al Khaleej Training and Education Co. and Naseej International Trading Co. came on top of the top losers list, declining by 4.2 percent and 0.66 percent respectively.