Saudi PIF-owned Savvy makes debut with acquisition of ESL and FACEIT

Saudi PIF-owned Savvy makes debut with acquisition of ESL and FACEIT
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Updated 27 January 2022

Saudi PIF-owned Savvy makes debut with acquisition of ESL and FACEIT

Saudi PIF-owned Savvy makes debut with acquisition of ESL and FACEIT

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia launched a new commercial group on Wednesday to develop the Kingdom’s video gaming and esports industry.

Savvy Gaming Group is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and backed by the Public Investment Fund, the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund. It has already acquired two existing esports companies, ESL Gaming and FACEIT.

The new group aims to be a “pioneer in the development of the gaming and esports industry locally and internationally,” and will contribute “to providing opportunities for development and for promoting diverse sources of economic income,” it said.

Saudi Arabia’s games market was worth $1 billion in 2021, more than any other Gulf state, according to market researcher Niko Partners.

 

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt are forecast to have a total of 85.8 million gamers generating $3.1 billion in revenue by 2025, the researchers said.

In a separate report, the Boston Consulting Group said consumption of video games and esports was projected to reach $6.8 billion by 2030, up from $959 million in 2020.

“Despite the Kingdom being a relatively recent entrant to this space, the industry is vibrant and fast-growing,” BCG partner Povilas Joniskis said. “Passionate gamers are primarily powering its growth and popularity at present, and it is more than feasible for them to embark on full-time careers and become involved on the international stage.”

Prominent Saudi gamers include Musaed Al-Dossary, 21, who won the FIFAe World Cup in 2018 and was runner-up the following year, and was crowned Esports Player of the Year at the 2021 Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai.

 


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 35 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 35 min 17 sec ago

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 40 min 50 sec ago

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.”

 


Egypt In-focus: Trade volume with Brazil stands at $2.6bn; first sovereign sukuk to be issued this year

Egypt In-focus: Trade volume with Brazil stands at $2.6bn; first sovereign sukuk to be issued this year
Updated 50 min 12 sec ago

Egypt In-focus: Trade volume with Brazil stands at $2.6bn; first sovereign sukuk to be issued this year

Egypt In-focus: Trade volume with Brazil stands at $2.6bn; first sovereign sukuk to be issued this year

RIYADH: The bilateral trade between Egypt and Brazil has grown significantly to reach $2.6 billion, making the Latin American country its top trading partner. The North African country is seeking to bolster cooperation in the industrial sector with the UAE, and Jordan. Egypt is also preparing to issue the first sovereign sukuk before the fiscal year ends. Meanwhile, Egypt’s Tatweer Misr and France’s Schneider Electric signed an agreement to help build and manage smart cities in the country.

·      Trade volume between Egypt and Brazil currently stands at $2.6 billion, making Egypt the first trading partner of Brazil amid Arab countries, local newspaper Youm 7 reported, citing Khaled Hanafi, secretary-general of the Federation of Arab Chambers of Commerce. This is mainly attributed to the growth of bilateral relations between the two countries over the past few months.

·      Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has followed up on the government’s efforts to boost cooperation with the UAE and Jordan in the industrial sector during a meeting held on Sunday, local newspaper Daily News Egypt reported. The three countries are eager to foster joint projects that will potentially create added value to their economies and bolster competitive indicators, as well as economic growth rates.

·      Egypt is preparing to issue the first sovereign sukuk before the end of the current fiscal year, local newspaper Youm 7 reported, citing Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait. This will provide the necessary financing for investment projects included in the economic and social development plan in the state’s general budget. Such a move is also expected to lure local and international investors, who prefer financial transactions in line with the Islamic Shariah.

·      Egyptian industrial real estate agency Tatweer Misr and French multinational company Schneider Electric have signed an agreement regarding the integration of technological innovation in projects to build and manage smart cities, local newspaper Daily News Egypt reported. Under the agreement, Tatweer Misr will be able to use Schneider Electric’s iTWO platform which poses as one of the most efficient solutions to manage real estate projects.


Jabal Omar’s losses narrow on improved post-pandemic operations

Jabal Omar’s losses narrow on improved post-pandemic operations
Updated 53 min 50 sec ago

Jabal Omar’s losses narrow on improved post-pandemic operations

Jabal Omar’s losses narrow on improved post-pandemic operations

RIYADH: Jabal Omar Development Co., one of Saudi Arabia’s largest listed property developers, has seen its losses narrow by 47 percent in the first quarter, due to improved post-pandemic business operations.

Makkah-based Jabal Omar posted SR182 million ($49 million) in losses, compared to losses amounting to SR345 million a year earlier, a bourse filing showed.

The slightly improved results accompanied an increase in revenue of 408 percent year-on-year to SR110 million.

The firm said it benefited from the easing of pandemic restrictions, noting that “business operations gained momentum in hotels and malls.”

 It added that day-to-day costs were cut, supported by the company’s implementation of cost optimization initiatives.

“Looking ahead, we remain optimistic, especially as the Hajj season approaches and the increasing number of Umrah pilgrims we have seen, setting a strong indicator for what to expect going forward post-COVID,” said CEO Khalid Al Amoudi.