South Korea’s Kakao Pay loses its three most senior executives

South Korea’s Kakao Pay loses its three most senior executives
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Updated 20 January 2022

South Korea’s Kakao Pay loses its three most senior executives

South Korea’s Kakao Pay loses its three most senior executives

South Korean fintech firm Kakao Pay Corp. saw three of its leading executives quit on Thursday amid shareholder rebellion.

According to Bloomberg, the company's CEO, chief financial officer and chief business officer all resigned.

This comes as the CEO, along with other executives, faced criticism from by shareholders for selling down some of their stakes in the stock market after its November debut.

This dragged down investor sentiment in the process, slashing a total of $25 billion off the market value of the firm and its affiliates.

While the resignation of chief executive officer Alex Ryu was anticipated, that of chief financial officer Kijoo Chang and chief business officer Jin Lee came as a surprise.

The IT giant’s listed vehicles saw a 6.3 percent jump — its largest in three weeks — in shares on Thursday, after severe losses experienced a day earlier.

 


African central banks halt interest rates for two weeks to support recovery

African central banks halt interest rates for two weeks to support recovery
Updated 9 sec ago

African central banks halt interest rates for two weeks to support recovery

African central banks halt interest rates for two weeks to support recovery

RIYADH: Central banks in five of eight major African nations will most likely hold interest rates in the next two weeks, Bloomberg has reported. 

According to Tatonga Rusike, an economist at the Bank of America, countries like Kenya, Zambia and Angola where inflation is slowing or within target may leave interest rates unchanged to support the recovering economy. 

On the other hand, countries like South Africa that are more connected with the global markets through asset flows and commodity prices may most likely hike the interest rates, stated Rusike. 

Several factors, including the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine and the rising COVID-19 cases in China, have clouded the outlook for Africa’s post-pandemic recovery. 

Now, African policymakers should also consider portfolio outflows and exchange-rate weakness in emerging markets as they work on interest rate decisions this month.


Aramco shares see second straight day of gains thanks to record Q1 profit

Aramco shares see second straight day of gains thanks to record Q1 profit
Updated 1 min 59 sec ago

Aramco shares see second straight day of gains thanks to record Q1 profit

Aramco shares see second straight day of gains thanks to record Q1 profit
  • Aramco has recently been in a race with Apple Inc. for the world’s top-valued firm spot

RIYADH: Shares in the world’s largest oil producer Saudi Aramco saw their second straight day of gains on Monday, rising 1.42 percent so far, a day after the giant posted record quarterly earnings.

Aramco’s profit was up 82 percent in the first quarter of 2022 to SR148 billion ($40 billion), beating analysts' forecasts with the highest quarterly profit since it joined the Saudi Exchange.

In response to the results, shares soared 4.2 percent last session and extended gains to SR42.95 as of 1:22 p.m. Saudi time, Monday 16 May .

Aramco has recently been in a race with Apple Inc. for the world’s top-valued firm spot.

With the tech major being pressured by rising inflation, strong oil prices drove state-owned Aramco to claim the top position globally in terms of market cap last week.


Saudi Arabia’s Almosafer, Thai tourism body sign deal to boost cooperation

Saudi Arabia’s Almosafer, Thai tourism body sign deal to boost cooperation
Updated 6 min 9 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s Almosafer, Thai tourism body sign deal to boost cooperation

Saudi Arabia’s Almosafer, Thai tourism body sign deal to boost cooperation

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s omni-channel travel brand Almosafer has signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to boost tourism between the Southeast Asian state and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. 

With Thailand ranking among the top 5 international destinations for Saudis, the demand for travel to the country has surged following the lifting of a travel ban in March 2022, according to a statement. 

Since the announcement, demand for travel from Saudi Arabia to Thailand increased by 470 percent compared to January 2022 and  268 percent compared to February 2022, the statement added. 

“The signing of the memorandum of cooperation with the Tourism Authority of Thailand is an important step in meeting the growing demand for tourism from the GCC to Thailand,” Muzzammil Ahussain, executive vice president of Almosafer said. 
Both parties will focus on key niche markets including sport tourism, luxury tourism, and health and wellness tourism in a bid to develop the quality of GCC travelers’ tourism experience in Thailand. 

The two countries turned a new page in their relations in January earlier this year with the restoration of full diplomatic ties.


McDonald’s to sell its Russian business, try to keep workers

McDonald’s to sell its Russian business, try to keep workers
Updated 22 min 43 sec ago

McDonald’s to sell its Russian business, try to keep workers

McDonald’s to sell its Russian business, try to keep workers
  • Last month, McDonald’s reported that it earned $1.1 billion in the first quarter, down from more than $1.5 billion a year earlier

McDonald’s said Monday that it has started the process of selling its Russian business, which includes 850 restaurants that employ 62,000 people, making it the latest major Western corporation to exit Russia since it invaded Ukraine in February.

The fast food giant pointed to the humanitarian crisis caused by the war, saying holding on to its business in Russia “is no longer tenable, nor is it consistent with McDonald’s values.”

The Chicago-based company announced in early March that it was temporarily closing its stores in Russia but would continue to pay employees. On Monday, it said it would seek to have a Russian buyer hire those workers and pay them until the sale closes.

It did not identify a prospective buyer.

CEO Chris Kempczinski said the “dedication and loyalty to McDonald’s” of employees and hundreds of Russian suppliers made it a difficult decision to leave.

“However, we have a commitment to our global community and must remain steadfast in our values,” Kempczinski said in a statement, “and our commitment to our values means that we can no longer keep the arches shining there.”

As it tries to sell its restaurants, McDonald’s said it plans to start removing golden arches and other symbols and signs with the company’s name. It said it will keep its trademarks in Russia.

The first McDonald’s in Russia opened in the middle of Moscow more than three decades ago, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was a powerful symbol of the easing of Cold War tensions between the United States and Soviet Union.

McDonald’s was the first American fast food restaurant to open in the Soviet Union, which would collapse in 1991.

McDonald’s decision to leave comes as other American food and beverage giants including Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Starbucks have paused or closed operations in Russia in the face of Western sanctions.

Corporations from British energy giants Shell and BP to French carmaker Renault have pulled out of Russia, taking a hit to their bottom lines as they seek to sell their holdings there.

Other companies have stayed at least partially, with some facing blowback.

McDonald’s said it expects to record a charge against earnings of between $1.2 billion and $1.4 billion over leaving Russia.

Its restaurants in Ukraine are closed, but the company said it is continuing to pay full salaries for its employees there.

McDonald’s has more than 39,000 locations across more than 100 countries. Most are owned by franchisees — only about 5 percent are owned and operated by the company.

McDonald’s said exiting Russia will not change its forecast of adding a net 1,300 restaurants this year, which will contribute about 1.5 percent to companywide sales growth.

Last month, McDonald’s reported that it earned $1.1 billion in the first quarter, down from more than $1.5 billion a year earlier.

Revenue was nearly $5.7 billion.


Egypt In-Focus — Cairo invites African countries to consolidate position ahead of COP27

Egypt In-Focus — Cairo invites African countries to consolidate position ahead of COP27
Updated 23 min 30 sec ago

Egypt In-Focus — Cairo invites African countries to consolidate position ahead of COP27

Egypt In-Focus — Cairo invites African countries to consolidate position ahead of COP27

RIYADH: Egypt is urging its African neighbors to meet ahead of COP27 to coordinate a position on climate and energy. Meanwhile, the new Indian wheat shipment is seen complying with the required standards signaling good news in light of the Russia-Ukraine war. The North African country is also working with Libya to bolster trade ties. 

  • Egypt has invited African countries to attend a session on climate and energy in an attempt to consolidate the continent’s position ahead of the UN climate conference, COP27, to be held in November 2022, local newspaper Egypt Today reported. 
  • The new Indian wheat shipment to Egypt has been reported to be in compliance with the required standards, Egypt Today reported. The North African country has selected India to be its new wheat supplier to curb the effects of the war between Russia and Ukraine. 
  •  Libya’s central bank has announced that it will permit local banks to receive land shipping documents to import Egyptian goods through Musaid crossing. Both countries have agreed to boost trade exchange with each other, Egypt Today reported, citing Mukhtar Al-Tawil, the director of the banking supervision and monetary department at the Central Bank of Libya.
  • The sixth “Egypt Can by Industry” conference is set to tackle artificial intelligence, digitalization, and programming, Egypt Today reported, citing the country’s minister of immigration and Egyptian expatriate affairs. The conference will also discuss the technology industry on a local level, how to deepen it and ways to promote it.