AS IT HAPPENED: Future Investment Initiative 2021, Day Three

AS IT HAPPENED: Future Investment Initiative 2021, Day Three
Above, venue of the the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh. (Courtesy www.fii-institute.org)
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Updated 29 October 2021

AS IT HAPPENED: Future Investment Initiative 2021, Day Three

AS IT HAPPENED: Future Investment Initiative 2021, Day Three

DUBAI: The Future Investment Initiative holds it final day in Riyadh with discussions ranging from venture capitalism, digital finance, fashion to investments in medical innovations.

The opening plenary will talk about how young companies could thrive with the torrent of venture investment into private markets from non-traditional sources, including hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds and family offices.

Watch the livestream of FII 2021’s third day:

(All times in GMT)

14.13 — Universities are 'late to act' on climate change, the president of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology said as he set out actions his establishment is taking.

11.52 — “The future will be defined by a tech race between the companies that adopt and embrace EV technology and that’s why I would believe Tesla’s value today of over $1 trillion is based on its technological prowess,” said Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson as he gave an update on the Saudi-backed firm. 

11.31 — Electric cars have been under discussion at the Forum, and Maha Achour of Metawave Corp believes self-driving vehicles could be commonplace within a decade

10.39 — Never mind oil, digital healthcare is where investors can get big bangs for their bucks, says Peter Ohnemus, president and CEO of Zurich-based dacadoo. He says there are likely to be returns of up to 35 percent in every year of the next decade.

09.32 —Fawaz Farooqui, MD of Cruise Saudi, has ambitious plans for the sector, and believes a million tourists will come to Saudi Arabia on cruise ships within seven years. 

08.46 — Whenver there is a discussion about artificial intelligence, there's always an undercurrent of 'will the robots overthrow the human race'. Bruno Maisonnier, founder and CEO of AI firm AnotherBrain, said humans have always feared technological advancements, going all the way back to the discovery of fire. 

08.12 — More detail on the comments from Saudi Aramco’s Ahmad Al-Khowaiter on what the company is doing on hydrogen capture. He believes the technology is there to expand the sector, but the issue is how to transport the energy source.

07:24 – Sanford R. Climan, president of Entertainment Media Ventures, Inc.; Ignace Lahoud of Majid Al-Futtaim Holding, and Robert Simonds, CEO and co-chairman of Eros STX Global Corporation meanwhile are on a panel discussion on the future of entertainment in the region, highlighting the growing sophistication of local content and where it sits in international show business.

07:16 – Saudi Aramco’s Al-Khowaiter says “blue hydrogen is ready today to scale.”

07:13 – On carbon capture, Saudi Aramco’s Ahmad Al-Khowaiter says “the question of technology feasibility is not there, the technology is at scale today.”

07:08 – The most optimal production of hydrogen is the combination of blue and green – it’s never going to be one or the other, Aramco’s Ahmad Al-Khowaiter says.

07:04 – Ahmad Al-Khowaiter: “We are looking at $1.5 to $2 a kilogram for low carbon hydrogen, but the biggest challenge is transport, it will take some time to be cost competitive.”

06:45 – A parallel session, which includes Saudi Aramco’s chief technology officer Ahmad Al-Khowaiter, is also being held to explore investing in hydrogen and scaling technology.

06:10 – The scheduled speakers for the opening plenary, John R. Selby, managing director of Thiel Capital; Fadi Ali Ghandour, executive chairman of WAMDA; Ronaldo Mouchawarm, vice president of Amazon MENA; Akash Shah, chief growth officer at The Bank of New York Mellon; Dr. Hani Enaya, the head of private investments at Sanabil Investments, will try to answer how changes are playing out across different markets around the world, and how should founders navigate these new opportunities while continuing to grow and scale.


Egypt’s chemical industry exports rise by 33% to $3.5bn 

Egypt’s chemical industry exports rise by 33% to $3.5bn 
Updated 12 sec ago

Egypt’s chemical industry exports rise by 33% to $3.5bn 

Egypt’s chemical industry exports rise by 33% to $3.5bn 

CAIRO: Egypt's chemical and fertilizer industries’ exports have increased by 33 percent to a record $3.5 billion during the first five months of 2022, compared to $2.6 billion during the same period last year, the latest official data revealed.

According to the Chemical Industries and Fertilisers Export Council, the sector ranked first in terms of the volume of its exports from Egypt's total non-oil exports.

The chemical and fertilizer sector accounted for around 22 percent of Egypt’s total non-oil exports. This was followed by the building materials sector, which accounted for 20 percent of the total exports, with a value of about $3.2 billion.

According to official data, most of the sector's exports witnessed increases in varying proportions.

Fertilizers ranked first, with an estimated export volume of $1.16 billion, compared to $768 million during the same period last year, with a growth rate of 51 percent.

Plastics exports came in second place, with exports estimated at $1.09 billion, an increase of 12 percent over the same period last year when exports amounted to about $970 million.

In third place came the inorganic chemicals, which witnessed a noticeable increase in the volume of their exports by 144 percent, rising from $225 million to $550 million. 


Egypt In-Focus — Fintech startups raise $167m; deal signed to import 180K tons of wheat from India

Egypt In-Focus — Fintech startups raise $167m; deal signed to import 180K tons of wheat from India
Updated 1 min 39 sec ago

Egypt In-Focus — Fintech startups raise $167m; deal signed to import 180K tons of wheat from India

Egypt In-Focus — Fintech startups raise $167m; deal signed to import 180K tons of wheat from India

RIYADH: Fintech startups in Egypt have raised $167 million in the first half of 2022, according to a report published in Fintech Galaxy. 

According to the report, the amount was collected in 31 transactions of which series A and B funding accounted for around 90 percent. 

The growth of the fintech sector in Egypt is primarily driven by the Central Bank of Egypt’s Sandbox and the recent launch of Nclude Fintech fund, the report added. 

Egypt to import 180,000 tons of wheat from India

The Egyptian government has successfully closed a deal to import 180,000 tons of wheat from India, Reuters reported citing Supply Minister Aly Moselhy.

The minister said that the contracted wheat will be shipped once it reaches the Indian ports. 

Strategic reserves

Egypt has strategic reserves of wheat sufficient for 5.7 months, the supply minister said in a news conference on Sunday, adding that the country has procured 3.9 million tons of wheat in the local harvest so far.

Egypt is one of the world’s biggest wheat importers.

He added that the strategic reserves for sugar were sufficient for more than six months and those for vegetable oils are sufficient for 6.2 months, while the country is self-sufficient for rice for 3.3 months.

 

(With input from Reuters) 


UAE In-Focus — First Dubai E-Sports event in October; Etihad Airways to resume direct flights to Beijing

UAE In-Focus — First Dubai E-Sports event in October; Etihad Airways to resume direct flights to Beijing
Updated 3 min 48 sec ago

UAE In-Focus — First Dubai E-Sports event in October; Etihad Airways to resume direct flights to Beijing

UAE In-Focus — First Dubai E-Sports event in October; Etihad Airways to resume direct flights to Beijing

DUBAI: Dubai Silicon Oasis, the technology park in Dubai’s integrated free zone, will host its first E-Sports event in October in partnership with Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority and Seed, according to Emirates News Agency, WAM.

Seed specializes in ecosystem building and has experience in E-Sports, blockchain, and payments.

Seed and DIEZ will also partner with SiGMA, a major E-Sports, artificial intelligence, and blockchain event organizer, to bring to Dubai an E-Sports exhibition annually.

They will also assess the feasibility of building an E-Sports campus arena, which will serve as an educational academy for all stakeholders, including parents, gamers, and corporations, the report said.

The center will also be a training ground for local, regional, and international gamers, as well as anyone interested in pursuing a career as a referee or commentator.

In addition to hosting E-Sports tournaments, the arena will provide a monitored social environment where youth can develop their technical skills and learn from others, the statement concluded.

Etihad Airways to resume direct flights from Abu Dhabi to Beijing

The UAE’s national carrier Etihad Airways will resume direct flights between Abu Dhabi and Beijing from 29th June, Emirates News Agency WAM stated.

This is the first regular direct international passenger flight to recommence for Beijing, under the latest mandate of the Chinese Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council.

Etihad Airways said that the resumption of direct flights between the two capitals is an example of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the UAE and China.

Taking advantage of the world’s most efficient aircraft, it said the airline will operate a weekly flight on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.


MENA Project Tracker: Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City starts work on net-zero tower; EGA becomes UAE’s first silicon metal manufacturer

MENA Project Tracker: Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City starts work on net-zero tower; EGA becomes UAE’s first silicon metal manufacturer
Updated 39 min 43 sec ago

MENA Project Tracker: Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City starts work on net-zero tower; EGA becomes UAE’s first silicon metal manufacturer

MENA Project Tracker: Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City starts work on net-zero tower; EGA becomes UAE’s first silicon metal manufacturer

RIYADH: Abu Dhabi’s technology and innovation hub Masdar City has started the works at its net-zero energy office tower, of Masdar City Square, as the UAE continues its journey to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. 

Also known as MC2, the project is being developed in collaboration with project management firm Woods Bagot, and architectural firm Faithful+Gould, Trade Arabia reported. 

Woods Bagot will handle design and construction supervision, while Faithful+Gould has been awarded a project management consultancy services contract, the report added.

The MC2 development which has an area of 29,000 square meters with a gross floor area of 50,000 square meters includes seven single and multi-tenant office buildings, along with a large parking facility. 

The works of MC2 are expected to be completed by 2024. 

EGA to produce silicon in UAE

Emirates Global Aluminum, also known as EGA, has announced that the company is planning to develop a project to manufacture silicon in the UAE, Trade Arabia reported.

Currently, there are no silicon manufacturing units in the UAE, and EGA is the largest importer of this metal with an annual demand of 60,000 tons.

“Developing a silicon metal manufacturing facility would secure our supply of a strategic raw material. Once we have met our own demand we could expand further, creating a new growth opportunity for our company while supporting the development of new local industries in line with the goals of Operation 300bn and Make it in the Emirates, and the global energy transition,” said Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, CEO of EGL. 

He added that the construction work of this new project is expected to begin next year.

Silicon is a key raw material for premium aluminum.


TASI bounces back after heavy losses: Closing bell

TASI bounces back after heavy losses: Closing bell
Updated 26 June 2022

TASI bounces back after heavy losses: Closing bell

TASI bounces back after heavy losses: Closing bell

RIYADH: Saudi stocks gained in the first trading session of the week, rebounding slightly following steep declines, despite fears about upcoming rate hikes and a recession.

The main index, TASI, gained 1.79 percent to close at 11,513, while the parallel market, Nomu, shed 0.85 percent to 20,681.

Saudi Arabia Refineries Co. and National Gypsum Co. both surged 10 percent to lead the gainers, followed by Saudi Advanced Industries Co. with a 9.98 percent gain.

Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Co. led the decliners with a 6.20 percent decline, followed by Taleem REIT Fund with a 1.86 percent fall.

Saudi Aramco, the largest player on the Saudi oil market, ended today’s trading up 1.21 percent.

In the financial sector, the Kingdom’s largest valued bank Al Rajhi rose 1.93 percent, while Alinma Bank added 3.83 percent.

In the pharma sector, Aldawaa Medical Services Co. improved 2.60 percent, while Nahdi Medical Co. gained 1.04 percent.

Both telecom giants stc and Zain KSA climbed 2.06 percent and 6.08 percent, respectively.

Methanol Chemicals Co. increased 1.93 percent, after reporting that it would pay SR273 million ($73 million) as an early loan payment to SIDF and lenders.

Middle East Healthcare Co. rose 1.70 percent, after reporting that it has opened a Saudi German clinic complex in the Al Samer District of Abha city, accommodating 30 clinics.

Due to tight supply, oil prices on Friday rose to $113.12 a barrel for Brent crude and $107.62 a barrel for West Texas Intermediate crude.