Wa’ed announces $2.39m funding for startups in final roadshow

Wa’ed announces $2.39m funding for startups in final roadshow
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Updated 08 December 2021

Wa’ed announces $2.39m funding for startups in final roadshow

Wa’ed announces $2.39m funding for startups in final roadshow

A creatives’ marketplace, a quick way to share internet discoveries, and a scalability platform were some of the startups to receive investment from Saudi Aramco’s entrepreneurship arm at its final roadshow event in Makkah.
 
The sixth stop on Wa’ed’s nationwide tour — organized in collaboration with investment joint stock company Wadi Makkah Ventures — welcomed tech-focused startups from different industrial sectors on Dec. 6.
 
Some SR7.65 million ($2.39 million) were assigned by Wa’ed, including SR75,000 to the first-place winner Slates, a web browser extension that allows people to save, curate, and share their internet discoveries in organized collections with notes in a single URL.
 
CensorIT, a platform which focuses on increasing efficiency and scalability, was awarded SR50,000, while Naseej Market, a creative online marketplace that connects shoppers with local artists, designers, and small businesses, received SR25,000.
 
Wa’ed also announced a SR7.5 million venture capital investment in Lamaa, a fintech startup that provides finance solutions for small and medium enterprises.
 
Fahad Alidi, managing director at Wa’ed, said: “By supporting the most disruptive and tech-focused Saudi-based startups and opening applications to all qualified entrepreneurs, Wa’ed’s Entrepreneurship roadshow represented the ideal platform to showcase emerging innovations led by younger entrepreneurs, and the perfect opportunity for Wa’ed to provide them with the needed financial and entrepreneurial support to grow.”
 
The latest allocations bring Wa’ed’s total financial support to local entrepreneurs during the roadshow campaign to over SR43.65 million, divided among 28 Saudi entrepreneurs.
 
Wa’ed was founded in 2011 and has invested over SR400 million in venture capital deals, incubation programs, and loan agreements to empower Saudi entrepreneurs and assist them in leading initiatives that could further pursue the Kingdom’s economic diversification plan.

 


UK inflation accelerates to near 30-year peak

UK inflation accelerates to near 30-year peak
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Updated 7 sec ago

UK inflation accelerates to near 30-year peak

UK inflation accelerates to near 30-year peak
  • Economies worldwide are battling against decades-high inflation that is forcing central banks to hike interest rates

British annual inflation accelerated in December to its highest level for almost three decades, official data showed Wednesday, fuelled by price gains for clothing, food and furniture.


The rate hit 5.4 percent last month after striking a decade-high in November on jumping fuel costs, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.


Inflation was last higher in March 1992 when it had stood at 7.1 percent.


Economies worldwide are battling against decades-high inflation that is forcing central banks to hike interest rates, including the Bank of England which last month raised its key borrowing cost.


"The inflation rate rose again at the end of the year and has not been higher for almost 30 years," said ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner.


"Food prices again grew strongly while increases in furniture and clothing also pushed up annual inflation.


"These large rises were slightly offset by petrol prices, which despite being at record levels were stable this month, but rose this time last year."


Fitzner added that last year's Covid lockdowns had impacted some items but the overall impact on headline inflation rate was "negligible".


Saudi Arabia’s US treasury holdings fall to a 5-year low

Saudi Arabia’s US treasury holdings fall to a 5-year low
Updated 24 min 3 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s US treasury holdings fall to a 5-year low

Saudi Arabia’s US treasury holdings fall to a 5-year low

MOSCOW: Saudi Arabia's holding of US Treasuries decreased by $1.5 billion in November to hit $115 billion, the lowest level since January 2017.

The relatively marginal monthly drop followed a bigger decline of $7.8 billion recorded in October driven by a $6.8 billion decrease in short-term U.S. Treasury bills. The $1.5 billion slip experienced in November was driven mainly by the disposal of the long-term U.S. Treasuries from the country's portfolio.

In the group of other oil-exporters, it's worth noting that Norway continued its disposal of treasuries as its holding fell for the second month in row. The country's holding of US Treasuries fell by $4.8 billion in November to $100.2 billion after a much bigger drop of $15.8 billion in October.

The UAE also continued selling its treasury holdings, falling by $5 billion in November after a similar $5.1 billion drop in October. This represents quite a significant share of the country's total UST holding which fell to $48 billion in November from $58.7 billion in August.

In addition, Kuwait's holdings declined by $1 billion in November to $45 billion.

As for China, the world's second largest holder of US Treasuries, its holding grew in November by $15.4 billion to $1.08 trillion.

Japan, the number one holder, increased its US treasuries by $20.2 billion, the second consecutive monthly rise.

Globally, the total holding of US Treasuries by non-US residents increased by $88.8 billion to $7.75 trillion.


Will TASI wrap up two straight weeks of gains? Here’s what to know for Jan. 19

Will TASI wrap up two straight weeks of gains? Here’s what to know for Jan. 19
Updated 19 January 2022

Will TASI wrap up two straight weeks of gains? Here’s what to know for Jan. 19

Will TASI wrap up two straight weeks of gains? Here’s what to know for Jan. 19

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s main stock index was up for the eighth consecutive day on Tuesday as benchmark oil prices surged to record 7-year highs.  

TASI edged up 0.2 percent to close at 12,194 points, whereas the parallel Nomu market was down 0.5 percent to 26,058 points.

In the GCC region, Qatar’s QSI and Abu Dhabi’s FTSE ADX General index led the gains, both up 0.8 percent, followed by TASI.

Bourses of Dubai, Bahrain, and Kuwait edged down, while Oman’s MSX30 ended flat.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, the Egyptian index EGX30 closed 0.1 percent higher.

In energy trading, Brent crude jumped in early morning to its highest level in seven years, reaching $88.4, and US WTI crude oil traded at $86.5 per barrel as of 8:43 a.m. Saudi time.

Stock news

  • United Wire Factories Co. reported estimated 2021 profits at SR46 million ($12.3 million), down 26 percent from a year earlier
  • Red Sea International Co. has signed a SR60.5 million deal with The Red Sea Development Co., TRSDC, to design, manufacture, supply, and install three complexes in the Saudi Western region
  • Yamama Cement Co. is to sell its sixth production line which produces a capacity of 3,000 tons of clinker per day
  • Saudi oil giant Aramco signed one agreement and nine MoUs with leading Korean entities to advance its downstream strategy and support development of low-carbon energy solutions, while creating new financing options for the company

Calendar

Jan. 19, 2022

  • Allied Cooperative Insurance Group’s rump offering ends

Jan. 20, 2022

  • National Co. for Learning and Education will start paying out dividends of SR0.8 per share for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2021

Jan. 25, 2022

  • Saudia Dairy and Foodstuff Co., SADAFCO, to pay cash dividends at SR3 per share for the first half of its fiscal y

 


Oil highest since 2014 as Turkey outage adds to tight supply outlook

Oil highest since 2014 as Turkey outage adds to tight supply outlook
Updated 19 January 2022

Oil highest since 2014 as Turkey outage adds to tight supply outlook

Oil highest since 2014 as Turkey outage adds to tight supply outlook


SINGAPORE:  Oil prices rose for a fourth day on Wednesday as an outage on a pipeline from Iraq to Turkey increased concerns about an already tight supply outlook amid worrisome geopolitical troubles in Russia and the United Arab Emirates.
Brent crude futures rose 87 cents, or 1 percent, to $88.38 a barrel at 0543 GMT, adding to a 1.2 percent jump in the previous session. The benchmark contract climbed to as much as $89.05, its highest since Oct. 13, 2014.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures climbed $1.03, or 1.2 percent, to $86.46 a barrel, adding to a 1.9 percent gain on Tuesday. WTI earlier jumped to a high of $87.08, its highest since Oct. 9, 2014.
Turkey's state pipeline operator said it put out a blaze following an explosion that cut oil flow at the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, adding that it would be operational "as soon as possible". The cause of the explosion is not known.
The pipeline carries crude out of Iraq, the second-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, to the Turkish port of Ceyhan for export.
The loss comes as analysts are forecasting tight oil supply in 2022, driven in part by demand holding up much better than expected as the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant spreads, with some predicting the return of $100 oil.
Concerns over Russia, the world's second-largest oil producer, and the UAE, OPEC's third-largest producer, are adding to the supply fears.
The UAE late on Tuesday called for a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to condemn an attack on Abu Dhabi on Monday by Yemen's Houthi movement, which has threatened further attacks.
Meanwhile, Russian troops are lined up on the border of Ukraine, with the White House calling the crisis extremely dangerous and saying Russia could invade at any point.
The tensions raise the prospect of supply disruptions at a time when OPEC, Russia and their allies, together called OPEC+, are already having difficulty meeting their agreed target to add 400,000 barrels per day of supply each month.
"OPEC+ is falling short of hitting their production quotas and if geopolitical tensions continue to heat up, Brent crude might not need much of a push to get to $100 a barrel," OANDA analyst Edward Moya said in a note.
Jet fuel consumption is rising with growth in international flights, while road traffic is much higher than the same time last year, Commonwealth Bank commodities analyst Vivek Dhar said in a note.
"OPEC+ supply constraints and the ongoing increase in global oil demand will likely keep oil prices well supported in coming months," Dhar said.
OPEC officials have told Reuters that oil's rally may continue in the next few months due to recovering demand and limited capacity in OPEC+, and prices could break $100 a barrel.


Saudi Arabia kicks off the year with a $755 million sukuk issuance

Saudi Arabia kicks off the year with a $755 million sukuk issuance
Updated 19 January 2022

Saudi Arabia kicks off the year with a $755 million sukuk issuance

Saudi Arabia kicks off the year with a $755 million sukuk issuance

RIYADH: The Saudi government offered sukuk denominated in Saudi riyals worth SR2.83 billion ($755 million) in its first issuance for the year 2022, the National Debt Management Center announced on Tuesday.

The issuance comes under the Kingdom’s riyal-denominated sukuk program.

The first tranche had a size of SR1.25 billion and matures in 2030 while the second tranche was valued at SR1.59 billion and matures in 2034.

Saudi Arabia collected a total amount of SR75.2 billion of sukuk in monthly issuances for the previous year.

The Saudi Finance Ministry established the sukuk program through the NDMC in July 2017.

Saudi public debt stood at SR948.3 billion at the end of this year’s third quarter, according to the ministry’s latest quarterly budget report. Domestic debt accounted for 59.1 percent while external debt made up 40.9 percent of the debt.

In its 2022 budget statement, the ministry predicted that public debt will reach SR938 billion next year.