Young Saudis reluctant to take risks at work compared to older generation, new study reveals

Young Saudis reluctant to take risks at work compared to older generation, new study reveals
Thompson and Al-Moaibed conducted a series of interviews from July to October 2020 to look at variations in attitudes and priorities to work with reference to cultural factors. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 14 September 2021

Young Saudis reluctant to take risks at work compared to older generation, new study reveals

Young Saudis reluctant to take risks at work compared to older generation, new study reveals
  • The perception of good and bad jobs are influenced by social factors such as educational background or socioeconomic class or gender, according to Dr. Mark Thomspon

JEDDAH: Young Saudis need educating about risk-taking in seeking work or starting a business, and linking this to traditions, values and aspirations can help remove some of the stigma and reluctance around risk-taking, a virtual conference on Monday heard.

What is perceived to be ‘a good job,' or ‘a bad job' is evolving in society all the time, the Good Jobs and Bad Jobs”: Employment Attitudes, Perceptions and Priorities in Saudi Arabia virtual conference hosted by King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies heard.

The perception of good and bad jobs are influenced by social factors such as educational background or socioeconomic class or gender, according to Dr. Mark Thomspon, senior research fellow and head of the socio economic unit at the center, who Dr. conducted research and focus groups with Hanaa Al-Moaibed, research fellow at the center.

Between the younger and older generation, the research showed that a common factor is risk taking.

“Older interviewees talked about leaving their families from a very young age and moving somewhere where there was an economic opportunity and there’s great risk in that,” said Al-Moaibed.

She explained there is a risk that one might not come home, and there is also a risk that one might fail there and not be able to send back remittances, which was for many the purpose of taking the risk.

“There’s also a risk that you get to wherever it was that you were going and you wouldn’t find anybody that wanted to partner with you and do business with you, whether it was traveling for a job or traveling to create business partnership in places like India,” she said.

“We know that there are many people who also consider the impact work has on their family life or social integration, and health. We’ve got historical or deep rooted perceptions of work. These can influence the way that people respond to job opportunities and which employment sectors they prefer,” said Thompson.

She added: “We are focusing so much on what young people are doing today. Linking it back to historical traditions and actual values and aspirations would probably then alleviate some of that stigma. It would really allow young people to fully understand that there is a great reward in taking risks.”

Thompson and Al-Moaibed conducted a series of interviews from July to October 2020 to look at variations in attitudes and priorities to work with reference to cultural factors including region of origin, access to education and employment opportunities.

They also conducted a multiple choice question survey online with approximately 700 respondents, around 70 percent of these were male and 30 percent female, “and this actually mirrors the official Saudi labor market statistics for the second quarter of 2020,” Thompson said.

He said: “This particular paper follows on previous research by both myself and Dr. Hanaa about employment attitudes in Saudi Arabia particularly amongst young people. During my travels around the Kingdom doing research and focus groups, employment has always been a number one priority for young Saudis.”


Dubai real estate sales in 2021 record highest value since 2009

Dubai real estate sales in 2021 record highest value since 2009
Dubai skyline
Updated 16 January 2022

Dubai real estate sales in 2021 record highest value since 2009

Dubai real estate sales in 2021 record highest value since 2009

Dubai real estate deals were worth approximately 151 billion dirhams ($41.1 billion) in 2021, their highest value since 2009.

The total number of deals last year reached 61,241, the largest number since 2013, according to Al Arabiya.

This value jumped by 110 percent compared to 2020, while the total number of deals increased over the course of 2021 by 74 percent compared to 2020.

Of these deals, ready made properties accounted for 60 percent of total real estate transactions in Dubai in 2021, while the rest was made up of off-plan properties.


Egypt sees first private issuance of green bonds 

Egypt sees first private issuance of green bonds 
Updated 16 January 2022

Egypt sees first private issuance of green bonds 

Egypt sees first private issuance of green bonds 

A Norwegian clean energy company Is working on what wiuld be the first private issuance of green bonds in Egypt. 

Norway's Scatec plans to issue around $340 million in green bonds, secured by its six solar energy plants in Benban complex that has a production capacity of 390 megawatts, Alarabiya reported citing banking sources. 

This comes amid Egypt’s boom in clean infrastructure projects during the last decade.  

 


China plans to increase consumption during the holiday season: Macro snapshot 

China plans to increase consumption during the holiday season: Macro snapshot 
Getty Images
Updated 16 January 2022

China plans to increase consumption during the holiday season: Macro snapshot 

China plans to increase consumption during the holiday season: Macro snapshot 
  • German gross domestic product rose by 2.7 percent in 2021 compared to 2020

Despite a rise in COVID-19 cases, China is planning to uplift consumption during the holiday season, the country’s National Development and Reform Commission said.

China will still maintain pandemic control, yet its effect would be mitigated through the fine-tuning of those regulations to each area, Bloomberg reported.

The commission also called on e-commerce vendors and online entertainment channels to introduce more sales promotions during the season.

South Korea Interest Rates

In a bid to combat inflation, the Bank of Korea decided to raise its interest by 0.25 percent to the pre-pandemic level of 1.25 percent.

The bank also signaled that further hikes would take place in the remainder of the year, according to The Wall Street Journal. The country’s annual inflation rate reached 3.7 percent in December, noticeably above the central bank’s target of 2 percent.

Inflation is set to remain above the 3 percent mark for a while and would average more than 2.5 percent for the full year, the bank’s governor, Lee Ju-yeol, said.

German GDP growth

German gross domestic product rose by 2.7 percent in 2021 compared to 2020, according to first calculations by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis).


“Economic development has been largely dependent on the infection rates of Covid-19 and associated preventive measures also in 2021,” said Dr. Georg Thiel, head of the Federal Statistical Office, at the press conference on the 2021 GDP in Wiesbaden. 

“Despite the continuing pandemic situation, more delivery bottlenecks and material shortages, the German economy has managed to recover from the sharp decline last year, even though the economic performance has not yet reached the pre-crisis level agai,” Thiel continued.

Moreover, GDP in 2021 was still 2.0 percent lower than it was in 2019 the year before COVID-19 started.

UK economy

Britain's economy grew 0.9 percent faster than expected in November, before the latest wave of coronavirus infections and restrictions on many businesses, and was 0.7 percent larger than it was in February 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics.


“It's amazing to see the size of the economy back to pre-pandemic levels in November – a testament to the grit and determination of the British people,” finance minister Rishi Sunak said.


Government deposits with SAMA in biggest monthly drop since 2016  

Government deposits with SAMA in biggest monthly drop since 2016  
Updated 16 January 2022

Government deposits with SAMA in biggest monthly drop since 2016  

Government deposits with SAMA in biggest monthly drop since 2016  
  • Compared to December 2020, SAMA's net foreign assets fell 2.4 percent

The government’s deposits with the Saudi Central Bank fell by SR74.7 billion ($19.9 billion) during December to reach SR538, preliminary data posted by SAMA revealed.

This change represents the biggest monthly drawdown of government deposits with SAMA since November 2016 when they fell by SR90.3 billion.

At the same time during December 2021, net foreign assets held by the Saudi Central Bank dropped by 2 percent from November to SR1.64 trillion, according to preliminary data.

Compared to December 2020, SAMA's net foreign assets fell 2.4 percent.

In addition, the Kingdom’s monetary base – which is the sum of currency outside banks, cash in vaults and bank deposits with SAMA – edged up by 0.5 percent in December on a month-on-month basis to reach SR356 billion.


Sixth Street Partners in final talks to buy stake in Eni's power unit: sources

Sixth Street Partners in final talks to buy stake in Eni's power unit: sources
Updated 16 January 2022

Sixth Street Partners in final talks to buy stake in Eni's power unit: sources

Sixth Street Partners in final talks to buy stake in Eni's power unit: sources
  • The companies all declined to comment

US investment firm Sixth Street Partners has emerged as the leading bidder for the power generation unit of Italian energy group Eni and is in advanced talks to buy a minority stake in the business, three sources told Reuters on Friday.

Eni, advised by JPMorgan, is looking to sell a stake of up to 49 percent in Enipower in a deal that could value the business at up to 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion), one of the sources familiar with the matter said.

The sale is expected to be wrapped up by the end of the first quarter, the source said.

BlackRock also studied a bid for the asset but a source close to the discussions said the fund's interest had cooled.

The companies all declined to comment.

Enipower, one of Italy's biggest power producers, runs five gas-fired plants and one co-generation plant in Italy with an overall capacity of more than 5 gigawatts.

As concerns about climate change push economies toward a lower carbon future, investing in fossil fuel assets is seen by some as a riskier bet than it used to be.

Eni, which has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050, is selling the stake to help fund its shift away from oil and gas into cleaner businesses.

The group has merged its retail and renewable businesses and is planning to list part of the unit this year in what could be one of Italy's biggest IPOs of the year.