Muscat bourse to target oil, logistics sectors for listings this year, CEO says

Muscat bourse to target oil, logistics sectors for listings this year, CEO says
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Updated 18 January 2022

Muscat bourse to target oil, logistics sectors for listings this year, CEO says

Muscat bourse to target oil, logistics sectors for listings this year, CEO says

RIYADH: The Muscat stock exchange will target the logistics and oil sectors for listings during the second half of 2022, CEO of the bourse, Haitham Al Salmi, told Al Arabiya.

Oman’s MSX, as it is known, is expected to see 200 new listings, Al Salmi added.

He said that this comes amid efforts to incorporate big companies and diversify as the bourse is currently mainly concentrated in the financial sector.

Earlier in the week the Oman News Agency reported the bourse would seek an upgrade from a frontier status to that of an emerging market. 


Google drives digital business worth $3.5 billion in Saudi Arabia in 2021

Google drives digital business worth $3.5 billion in Saudi Arabia in 2021
Updated 16 sec ago

Google drives digital business worth $3.5 billion in Saudi Arabia in 2021

Google drives digital business worth $3.5 billion in Saudi Arabia in 2021

DUBAI: Google drove SR12.2 billion ($3.5 billion) in economic activity in Saudi Arabia in 2021, signaling a new era of digital enterprises powering the economy of the Kingdom.

The search engine giant announced the figures in its latest impact report released on Tuesday. The report was based on public polling, economic modeling and third-party data.

“Saudi Arabia is young, smart and digital, and we’re proud to be an engine of growth in the country and an enabler in its digital transformation journey,” said Anthony Nakache, the new managing director of Google MENA.

“We’re excited to see what great things people can do there given the right tools and skills, and we are committed to doing more through programs and local partnerships.”

The report further stated that people in the Kingdom were using Google to learn new skills (75 percent), research COVID-19 (72 percent), and entertain their children with YouTube Kids (64 percent).

It further highlighted that 61 percent used Google to find new jobs, including an astounding 5 million Saudi women every month.

“Women were disproportionately hit by the pandemic,” said Nakache. “And so, being able to give them an opportunity to find a job and stay in the workforce is something that we are proud of and can have a massive impact.”

HIGHLIGHTS

Sixty-one percent people in Saudi Arabia used Google to find new jobs, including an astounding 5 million Saudi women every month.

Job search was also crucial for people in the UAE, with 67 percent turning to the search engine to look for employment opportunities, including 1.8 million women.

The total number of developers making $10,000 per month on Google Play grew by 15 in the Kingdom and 16 percent in the UAE last year.

In October 2020, Google announced a $13 million fund to help 1 million people and businesses in the MENA region learn advanced digital skills and grow their businesses by the end of 2021.

Fueling the economy in UAE

Job search was also crucial for people in the UAE, with 67 percent turning to the search engine to look for employment opportunities, including 1.8 million women.

On the other hand, businesses also turned to Google and YouTube for their needs, with 71 percent of people in the UAE using Google Maps to find a local business.

The company drove 11.3 billion dirhams ($3.08 billion) in economic activity in the UAE in 2021.

Saudi Arabia is young, smart and digital, and we’re proud to be an engine of growth in the country and an enabler in its digital transformation journey.

Anthony Nakache

“So, to put things in perspective, this is the GDP contribution of Portugal and Denmark together,” said Nakache. “This is a big number.”

The tech giant is also working with the creator and developer ecosystem. For example, internal Google data showed that YouTube channels making six figures or more in revenue are up by 20 percent year-on-year in Saudi Arabia and 40 percent in the UAE.

According to Google data, the total number of developers making $10,000 per month on Google Play grew by 15 in the Kingdom and 16 percent in the UAE last year.

The Android Developer ecosystem supports at least 50,000 jobs in the UAE and 29,000 in Saudi Arabia.

“That’s a sign of a very healthy developer ecosystem,” said Nakache. “As the region attracts more developers, the contribution to the overall economy will grow. Developers often learn and study our technologies through some of our learning programs.”

Anthony Nakache, the new managing director of Google MENA, said: “We're excited to see what great things people can do there (Saudi Arabia) given the right tools and skills. Supplied

Encouraging startups in MENA

Google for Startups Accelerator in the Middle East and North America has also harnessed local entrepreneurial spirit. A case in point is Lamsa World, an Arabic education platform for children between the ages of two and eight.

Badr, the founder of Lamsa, built the app to encourage more Arabic-speaking children to read and learn Arabic. He took part in the Google startup program and registered a 300 percent increase in content downloads.

In October 2020, Google announced a $13 million fund to help 1 million people and businesses in the Middle East and North Africa learn advanced digital skills and grow their businesses by the end of 2021.

The program aims to accelerate the MENA region’s economic recovery through digital transformation by offering digital tools, training and financial grants to support local businesses and job seekers.


Saudi recycling firm Tadweeer to start trading on Nomu this week

Saudi recycling firm Tadweeer to start trading on Nomu this week
Updated 7 min 25 sec ago

Saudi recycling firm Tadweeer to start trading on Nomu this week

Saudi recycling firm Tadweeer to start trading on Nomu this week

RIYADH: National Environmental Recycling Co. will start trading on Saudi Arabia’s parallel market Nomu on, May 26, according to a statement by the Saudi Exchange.

The company, known as Tadweeer, has set its price guidance for direct listing at SR65 ($17.3) per share.

Established in 2015, Tadweeer is specialized in recycling electronics and electrical waste in support of the Saudi Green Initiative.


Mining industry won’t cope with rising demand without circularity, Eurasian Resources CEO says

Mining industry won’t cope with rising demand without circularity, Eurasian Resources CEO says
Updated 28 min 34 sec ago

Mining industry won’t cope with rising demand without circularity, Eurasian Resources CEO says

Mining industry won’t cope with rising demand without circularity, Eurasian Resources CEO says

RIYADH: The mining industry will not be able to cope with rising demand without circularity, the CEO of Eurasian Resources group has said.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum session in Davos, Benedikt Sobotka added that this would mean higher prices and more inflation for consumers in the developing world. 

“The demand is incredibly wasteful. To give you just one number per year, there’s about 50,000,000 tons of electronic waste being thrown away,  17 percent of that is being recycled,” he said.

“The time of cheap commodities is over,” Sobotka said, pointing to minerals and metals, as they have energy cost increases that make them more expensive. 

The global mining industry needs more attention and investment from external investors which were not seen, he said, adding that it is valued at $1.5 trillion, which is a fraction of what it is actually worth in terms of value creation for the world. 


Qatar Investment Authority cannot exit Russian market, says official

Qatar Investment Authority cannot exit Russian market, says official
Updated 24 May 2022

Qatar Investment Authority cannot exit Russian market, says official

Qatar Investment Authority cannot exit Russian market, says official

DOHA: The Qatar Investment Authority cannot exit the Russian market and is waiting to assess its position there because of the Ukraine crisis, the sovereign wealth fund’s chief investment officer for Europe, Russia and Turkey said on Tuesday. 

“We can’t do much in Russia ... We have to really assess where to stand on those opportunities there. I think it is a very difficult position for us, being an investor with one name,” said Ahmed Ali Al-Hammadi. 

QIA owns a 19 percent stake in Russian state-backed oil giant Rosneft, which Al-Hammadi said is the fund’s only holding “of significance” in Russia. 


MENA to face high inflation at 14% in 2022 on account of Russia-Ukraine war: IMF

MENA to face high inflation at 14% in 2022 on account of Russia-Ukraine war: IMF
Updated 24 May 2022

MENA to face high inflation at 14% in 2022 on account of Russia-Ukraine war: IMF

MENA to face high inflation at 14% in 2022 on account of Russia-Ukraine war: IMF

RIYADH: Food prices are projected to increase by another 14 percent in 2022, after hitting historic highs in 2021, said the International Monetary Fund. 

In its latest World Economic Outlook, the international agency noted that the commodity markets in the Middle East and North Africa are being impacted by the Russia-Ukraine war inflation, with prices sharply rising.

In a blog published on the IMF website, its economists warned that “higher commodity prices, propelled upwards by war in Ukraine, will have a significant economic impact on the region.”

The IMF expects the regional inflation rate to remain high at 13.9 percent in 2022, a substantial increase from last year.

Following the Russian invasion, oil prices skyrocketed to $130 per barrel, and are expected to average $107 by 2022, up $38 from 2021, it added.

In its Regional Economic Outlook, the IMF had revised its forecast for growth in the MENA as a whole by 0.9 percentage points to 5 percent, but it said: “This reflects improved prospects for oil exporters helped by rising oil and gas prices.”

For oil-importing countries, the agency marked down its projections, “as higher commodity prices add to the challenges stemming from elevated inflation and debt, tightening global financial conditions, uneven vaccination progress, and underlying fragilities and conflict in some countries.”