American Express joins Amazon network to benefit KSA cardholders

American Express joins Amazon network to benefit KSA cardholders
This comes as e-commerce and digital payments continue to grow in the Kingdom and the wider Middle East. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 20 September 2021

American Express joins Amazon network to benefit KSA cardholders

American Express joins Amazon network to benefit KSA cardholders
  • Amex cardholders in the Kingdom will now be able to use their cards to pay online merchants who are part of the Amazon Payment Services network

DUBAI: Credit card giant American Express has signed a deal with Amazon Payment Services, expanding cardholders’ use for their online payments in Saudi Arabia.

Under the deal, Amex cardholders in the Kingdom will now be able to use their cards to pay online merchants who are part of the Amazon Payment Services network.

“By partnering with Amazon Payment Services, American Express will be able to enhance and expand the online network of merchants in Saudi Arabia where American Express cards can be used,” Peter George, managing director of the payment service, said.

This comes as e-commerce and digital payments continue to grow in the Kingdom and the wider Middle East.


SAMA Governor handed key G20 role overseeing international financial standards

SAMA Governor handed key G20 role overseeing international financial standards
Updated 27 sec ago

SAMA Governor handed key G20 role overseeing international financial standards

SAMA Governor handed key G20 role overseeing international financial standards

RIYADH: The G20's Financial Supervisory Board (FSB) has appointed the Saudi Central Bank Governor Fahd Al-Mubarak as chair of the Standing Committee on Standards Implementation (SCSI), SPA reported.

This came during the FSB's general session virtual meeting on Monday.

The SCSI conducts peer reviews for members of the FSB, encourages global adherence to international financial standards, and reports on the progress made by members in implementing these standards and other agreed commitments of the Group of Twenty (G20) and the FSB.

Two other appointments were also announced during the meeting. 

The Governor of the Bank of England (BoE), Andrew Bailey, was appointed as chair of the Standing Committee on Supervisory and Regulatory Cooperation (SRC).

This committee is responsible for addressing the main financial stability risks related to the development of supervisory and regulatory policies.

Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Jelena McWilliams, was appointed as the chair of the Resolution Steering Group (ReSG), as of November 1 2021.

 


AutoStore, Norway's biggest IPO in two decades, valued at $12.4bn

AutoStore, Norway's biggest IPO in two decades, valued at $12.4bn
Picture: www.autostoresystems.com
Updated 12 min 35 sec ago

AutoStore, Norway's biggest IPO in two decades, valued at $12.4bn

AutoStore, Norway's biggest IPO in two decades, valued at $12.4bn
  • Following the IPO, the free float of AutoStore shares will amount to about 17.4 percent of the overall equity

Norwegian robotics firm AutoStore said on Wednesday it had priced its initial public offering (IPO) at 31 Norwegian crowns per share, the top of its target range, valuing the company at 103.5 billion crowns ($12.4 billion).

SoftBank-backed AutoStore will be Norway's most valuable new listing for two decades when it goes public on Euronext's Oslo Stock Exchange later on Wednesday.

The company raised 2.7 billion crowns in cash from the issue of new shares, while existing owners such as Thomas H. Lee Partners, EQT and others sold stock worth 15.3 billion crowns.

"The money we get from the IPO will be used primarily to deleverage the debt to a level that is more normal for a public company," CEO Karl Johan Lier told Reuters.

He plans to bring down the leverage ratio to around 2.5 from the current ratio of between 5 and 6.

Following the IPO, the free float of AutoStore shares will amount to about 17.4 percent of the overall equity.

Founded in 1996, AutoStore has 20,000 robots deployed across more than 35 countries to automate warehouses. The company, whose customers include ASDA, Gucci and Lufthansa, uses robots to store and retrieve products, allowing customers to store four times the inventory in the same space.

In April, Japan's SoftBank bought a 40 percent stake in the Norwegian company for $2.8 billion, valuing AutoStore at about $7 billion at the time. SoftBank did not sell stock in the IPO.

"SoftBank is a very good partner, ready to help us drive more attention in the APAC region ... they have a large network of companies that can potentially be AutoStore customers so we see a lot of potential with the relationship," Lier said.

AutoStore is Norway's most valuable new listing since the 2001 debut of Statoil, now known as Equinor, which was valued at 151 billion crowns at the time of its IPO.

Four cornerstone investors, Alecta Pensionsforsakring, FIL Investments, Mawer Investment Management and WCM Investment Management, had each committed to invest $200 million ahead of the IPO.

AutoStore reported net revenue of $182.1 million last year and expects revenue of about $300 million in 2021, rising to more than $500 million in 2022 with a project pipeline worth $3.4 billion across 2,000 projects.

Bankers from Carnegie, J.P Morgan, Morgan Stanley, ABG Sundal Collier, Citigroup, Jefferies, Mizuho, SpareBank 1 Markets and Moelis were involved in the deal.


Oil prices down; still trading at multiyear highs

Oil prices down; still trading at multiyear highs
Updated 20 October 2021

Oil prices down; still trading at multiyear highs

Oil prices down; still trading at multiyear highs

RIYADH: Brent crude futures dropped 43 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $84.65 a barrel at 0806 Riyadh time, paring a 75-cent rise in the previous session, but still lingering close to multi-year highs.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for November, which expires on Wednesday, fell 37 cents to $82.59 a barrel. The more active WTI contract for December was down 45 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $81.99 a barrel.

 


Aramco requests bids for new work in the Jafurah field: CNBC Arabia

Aramco requests bids for new work in the Jafurah field: CNBC Arabia
Updated 20 October 2021

Aramco requests bids for new work in the Jafurah field: CNBC Arabia

Aramco requests bids for new work in the Jafurah field: CNBC Arabia

RIYADH: The Saudi oil giant Aramco asked companies to send their technical and financial offers for a water desalination plant project in the Jafurah gas field, with a capacity of about 100,000 cubic meters per day, a banking source told CNBC Arabia.

This reflects the company's latest step to move forward in developing the field to will contribute to energy transition toward cleaner economy by reducing carbon emissions.

The project is expected to be contested by a group of local and international companies, including ACWA Power, Veolia and Suez, the source said. The date for selecting the winning bid to implement the project is expected to be later in mid-March.

The cost of the Jafurah field is estimated at $110 billion and contains reserves estimated at 200 trillion cubic feet. Aramco expects, according to its official website, to start production in 2024.

The company is expected to decide on special offers for power generation in the giant project in early December of this year.


Kuwait’s Boubyan Bank net profits grow by 37%, plans ESG framework

Kuwait’s Boubyan Bank net profits grow by 37%, plans ESG framework
Updated 20 October 2021

Kuwait’s Boubyan Bank net profits grow by 37%, plans ESG framework

Kuwait’s Boubyan Bank net profits grow by 37%, plans ESG framework

RIYADH: Kuwait’s Boubyan Bank net profits rose by 37 percent during the first nine months of 2021 while operating profits recorded a growth of 18 percent to reach 140 million dinars ($145.8 million).

Abdullah Al-Tuwaijri, CEO of personal and digital banking services at the bank, said that fees and commissions were the biggest support for the bank’s performance in the last quarter, as the growth rate exceeded 25 percent, in addition to the financing portfolio, which rose by 18 percent.

In an interview to CNBC Arabia, he said the bank’s current assets have exceeded 7 billion dinars and its market share in individual services sector stands at about 15 percent.

He said the bank plans to expand its digital services with a focus on fintech and also aims to work on developing a framework for environmental, social and governance standards.

He said: “We are still conservative and believe that the economic and operational matters in Kuwait are better, as we noticed during the third quarter business growth, but we still have a conservative view and we are waiting until the end of the year to see the general indicators.”