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

FII: MISA says investment in jobs and supply chains secure pandemic growth
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Updated 26 October 2021

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.


Italy hits Amazon with $1.3bn antitrust fine

Italy hits Amazon with $1.3bn antitrust fine
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Updated 8 sec ago

Italy hits Amazon with $1.3bn antitrust fine

Italy hits Amazon with $1.3bn antitrust fine
  • As Europe powers ahead with antitrust litigation, US regulators are closely watching its approach to big tech firms

Italian regulators hit Amazon with a 1.1 billion euro ($1.3 billion) antitrust fine Thursday for allegedly abusing its dominance in the market, the latest action against US Big Tech in the EU.


US technology giants have been in the firing line in the European Union over their business practices.


In the latest salvo, Italy’s competition watchdog said Amazon abused its dominant position by promoting its own logistics service on its Italian platform to the detriment of third-party sellers who did not use it.


“The abusive strategy adopted by Amazon is particularly serious, since it is likely to discourage, if not eliminate competition in the relevant markets,” read the 250-page decision.


The move comes two weeks after the same authority imposed a 68.7 million euro fine on Amazon for infringing EU laws through restrictions that penalized sellers of Apple and Beats products.


In the same action, Apple was ordered to pay 134.5 million euros.


As Europe powers ahead with antitrust litigation, US regulators are closely watching its approach to big tech firms, after Washington pledged to intensify scrutiny of the technology industry.


Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Italian watchdog said Thursday that third-party sellers who do not use Amazon’s logistics service are excluded from “a set of advantages essential for obtaining visibility and better sales prospects.”


Those included better access to Amazon’s “most loyal and high-end customers” who use Amazon Prime, the e-commerce giant’s loyalty program.


Moreover, a tough performance measurement system is reserved for sellers who do not use Amazon’s logistics system, which can lead, if failed, to suspension of the seller’s account.


“In doing so, Amazon has harmed competing e-commerce logistics providers by preventing them from presenting themselves to online sellers as service providers of comparable quality to Amazon’s logistics,” said the watchdog, adding that such conduct had “increased the gap between Amazon’s power and that of its competitors.”


In its decision, the authority said it had imposed measures on Amazon subject to review by a monitor.


The company must grant sales privileges and visibility to all third-party sellers who meet fair and non-discriminatory standards for fulfilment, and must decide and publish such standards, it said.


Last month, EU legislation to impose unprecedented restrictions on how US tech giants do business passed a first, significant hurdle, with a European Parliament committee approving their version of the Digital Markets Act.


That would slap far-reaching rules on companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft.


Such tech companies have been variously accused of stifling competition, not paying enough taxes, stealing media content and threatening democracy by spreading fake news.


Vegetable price cuts helps slow Egypt’s inflation in November

Vegetable price cuts helps slow Egypt’s inflation in November
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 8 min 18 sec ago

Vegetable price cuts helps slow Egypt’s inflation in November

Vegetable price cuts helps slow Egypt’s inflation in November
  • Transportation also cost 4.3 percent more in November compared to the same period last year

A drop in vegetable prices helped slow Egypt's inflation in November, with the rate dropping from 7.3 percent to 6.2 percent, data by the country’s official statistics agency, Capmas, showed.

The cost of the foodstuff declined by 12.6 percent compared to the 22.8 percent surge it experienced in the previous month.

Alongside this, the prices of food and beverages in general saw a slowdown, rising by a yearly rate of 9.3 percent in November compared to a higher 13.7 percent a month earlier.

Prices of clothing and footwear edged up by an annual rate of 2.2 percent in November, up from 1.9 percent in October. 

Transportation also cost 4.3 percent more in November compared to the same period last year. 

In October, the yearly rise in prices for this component was a slightly lower 4 percent.

Prices of housing, water, electricity, gas and fuels rose by 4.3 percent on higher costs of the latter three components.

Education costs went up by a notable 13.9 percent while the group of culture and entertainment surged by 11.6 percent.

Meanwhile, consumer prices in the North African country remained unchanged in November compared to the previous month.

Prices of food and beverages were down by 0.8 percent from a month ago while transportation was 0.3 percent higher.

Clothing and footwear experienced the highest monthly increase, as prices rose by 2.2 percent.

 


Saudi Arabia signs four agreements to localize production of medical products

Saudi Arabia signs four agreements to localize production of medical products
Updated 12 min 25 sec ago

Saudi Arabia signs four agreements to localize production of medical products

Saudi Arabia signs four agreements to localize production of medical products
  • The deals are expected to cover about 70 percent of the government health authorities’ need for these products

RIYADH: Four agreements were signed to localize the manufacture of medical personal protection products, SPA reported citing the Local Content and Government Procurement Authority.

The 3-5-year agreements were signed between the National Unified Procurement Company for Medical Supplies and a group of private investors, to localize medical masks, eyeglasses, and medical isolation uniforms.

The deals are expected to cover about 70 percent of the government health authorities’ need for these products, in addition to contributing to the gross domestic product with approximately SR180 million ($47,98 million), LCGPA CEO, Abdulrahman Al Samari said.

The agreements aim to cover the government demand for the health sector in light of the ongoing developments of the pandemic, maximize the development benefit of the national purchasing power, and increase local content in the private sector. 

They also aim to encourage local factories to go to export markets, and transfer new technologies to the Kingdom, SPA said.


Chinese property giant Evergrande defaults for first time: Fitch

Chinese property giant Evergrande defaults for first time: Fitch
Updated 5 min 19 sec ago

Chinese property giant Evergrande defaults for first time: Fitch

Chinese property giant Evergrande defaults for first time: Fitch

Chinese real estate behemoth Evergrande was declared in default on Thursday by Fitch Ratings agency, citing the debt-laden property developer’s failure to pay more than $1.2 billion in bond repayments.

“The non-payment is consistent with an ‘RD’ (restricted default) rating, signifying the uncured expiry of any applicable grace period, cure period or default forbearance period following a payment default on a material financial obligation,” Fitch said in a statement.

Chinese property developer Kaisa Group Holdings was also declared in default by Fitch, according to Bloomberg.

The agency cited missed dollar bond interest payments in Evergrande’s case and failure to repay a $400 million dollar bond in Kaisa’s.

Evergrande’s inability to meet its obligations is a market event and will be dealt with in a market-oriented way, the People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang said on Thursday.

The interests of investors should be handled according to seniority of their capital, he said.


Brazil’s digital Nubank raises $2.6bn in US IPO to become Latin America’s most valuable bank

Brazil’s digital Nubank raises $2.6bn in US IPO to become Latin America’s most valuable bank
Updated 51 min 38 sec ago

Brazil’s digital Nubank raises $2.6bn in US IPO to become Latin America’s most valuable bank

Brazil’s digital Nubank raises $2.6bn in US IPO to become Latin America’s most valuable bank

RIYADH: Brazilian digital bank Nu Holding, also known as Nubank, has raised $2.6 billion in a US initial public offering, making it the most valuable financial institution in Latin America. 

The company, whose backers include Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, sold 289 million shares on Wednesday Dec. 8 for $9 each after offering them for $8 to $9, a statement revealed.

This IPO price gives Nubank a market value of $41 billion.

Nubank had lowered the proposed range last week after earlier seeking to raise $3.18 billion.

Berkshire bought 10 percent of the shares in the offering, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg, asking not to be identified because it wasn’t public. 

The shares are expected to begin trading on Thursday Dec. 9 on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NU, Bloomberg said. Its Brazilian depositary receipts, known as BDRs, will trade on the Sao Paulo stock exchange under the ticker NUBR33.

The offering is being led by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group and Citigroup.