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. 


Sharp slowdown in UK business activity rings recession alarm

Sharp slowdown in UK business activity rings recession alarm
Updated 7 sec ago

Sharp slowdown in UK business activity rings recession alarm

Sharp slowdown in UK business activity rings recession alarm
  • Financial markets still expect the BoE to double interest rates to at least 2 percent by the end of the year from 1 percent now

LONDON: Momentum in Britain’s private sector slowed much more than expected this month, adding to recession worries as inflation pressures ratcheted higher, according to a business survey on Tuesday that showed rising pessimism.

S&P Global’s flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a monthly gauge of the services and manufacturing industries, fell to 51.8 in May from 57.6 in April, its lowest level since February last year.

The preliminary reading was worse than all forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists, which had pointed to a drop to 57.0.

Sterling fell sharply against the US dollar after the data, and was 0.9 percent down on the day at $1.2480 at 0855 GMT, while short-dated British government bond prices jumped.

“The collapse in the composite PMI in May is the clearest sign yet that demand is faltering in response to the intense squeeze on households’ real disposable incomes,” said Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Until now, most surveys of British business activity had been fairly robust, despite record-low consumer confidence after inflation hit a 40-year high of 9 percent.

“The latest data indicate a heightened risk of the economy falling into recession as the Bank of England fights to control inflation,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Financial markets still expect the BoE to double interest rates to at least 2 percent by the end of the year from 1 percent now.

The slowdown was most acute in the services sector, where business optimism about the coming 12 months fell to its lowest since May 2020, during the first coronavirus lockdown.

“Companies cite increasingly cautious moods among households and business customers, linked to the cost-of-living crisis, Brexit, rising interest rates, China’s lockdowns and the war in Ukraine,” Williamson said.

Reports of rising costs paid by businesses were more widespread than at any point since the services PMI started in 1996.

Williamson said there were some signs cost pressures may be peaking, and businesses reported resistance from customers to higher prices and a related reduction in demand.

The flash PMI for the manufacturing sector also fell in May to its lowest level since January 2021 at 54.6 , down from 55.8 in April. New export orders declined at the fastest rate since May 2020.

A number of manufacturers cited Brexit trade frictions as the main reason for the drop. 


Saudi IT firm Naseej's shares drop 1.4% on stock market debut

Saudi IT firm Naseej's shares drop 1.4% on stock market debut
Updated 5 min 3 sec ago

Saudi IT firm Naseej's shares drop 1.4% on stock market debut

Saudi IT firm Naseej's shares drop 1.4% on stock market debut

RIYADH: Riyadh-based Naseej for Communication and Information Technology Co.’s shares were down 1.4 percent on its stock market debut on May 24.

The stock price reached SR20.5 ($5.5) per share at noon Riyadh time, as it started trading on Saudi Arabia’s parallel Nomu market.

The company joined the Kingdom’s stock exchange as a direct listing.

Founded in 1989, Naseej is mainly specialized in computer programming, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and information technology-related activities.


Hilton plans to grow olive oil locally in Saudi Arabia

Hilton plans to grow olive oil locally in Saudi Arabia
Updated 9 min 31 sec ago

Hilton plans to grow olive oil locally in Saudi Arabia

Hilton plans to grow olive oil locally in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: American hospitality giant Hilton plans to grow olive oil locally in Saudi Arabia, as the hotel chain is encouraged by Saudi Arabia’s efforts to push for local sourcing as part of its strategy to develop non-oil sectors including tourism, a senior executive at the company has revealed. 

While speaking at the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh on May 24, Emma Banks, vice president, F&B Strategy & Development EMEA, at Hilton also revealed that the company has signed a deal with Nadec, one of the largest agricultural and food-processing companies in the Middle East, to purchase 200 tons of tomatoes.

She also affirmed Hilton’s commitment to protecting the community in which it operates.

Banks revealed that Hilton has been working hard to reduce carbon emissions by implementing strategic measures in its operations. 


Saudi food chain Raydan narrows losses by 49% in Q1

Saudi food chain Raydan narrows losses by 49% in Q1
Updated 11 min 3 sec ago

Saudi food chain Raydan narrows losses by 49% in Q1

Saudi food chain Raydan narrows losses by 49% in Q1

RIYADH: Raydan Food Co.’s losses narrowed by 49 percent in the first quarter of 2022, helped by higher sales and revenues.

Net losses reached SR4.7 million ($1.3 million) in the first quarter of 2022, from SR9.2 million in the prior-year period, according to bourse filing.

The company attributed the results to an increase in quarter one revenue by 14 percent to SR37,338.

In a separate announcement, Raydan Food announced that accumulated losses reached 48 percent of capital, amounting to almost SR162 million.


Saudi Arabia has its own unique food heritage, says Culinary Art Commission CEO Mayada Badr

Saudi Arabia has its own unique food heritage, says Culinary Art Commission CEO Mayada Badr
Updated 40 min 51 sec ago

Saudi Arabia has its own unique food heritage, says Culinary Art Commission CEO Mayada Badr

Saudi Arabia has its own unique food heritage, says Culinary Art Commission CEO Mayada Badr

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has its own unique food heritage and there is no necessity to copy from other regions, according to Mayada Badr, CEO of the Culinary Arts Commission. 

“We want to do a lot more in Saudi cuisine. We have our own heritage and we don’t want to copy it. We are using what we have,” she said. 

While speaking at the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh on May 24, Badr revealed that several young Saudi nationals are entering the culinary art sector. 

According to Badr, international brands have made their presence felt in the Saudi market along with local brands, which is ultimately resulting in healthy competition in the food and beverage industry. 

Talking about the impact of Vision 2030 on the F&B sector, she added, “With Vision 2030, we Saudis decided to share more than ever. You go to those tiny towns and you feel welcomed. They share food and you get exposed to all sorts of traditional food.”