GEN plans first overseas office in Saudi Arabia as Kingdom ‘leapfrogs’ entrepreneur rivals

Special GEN plans first overseas office in Saudi Arabia as Kingdom ‘leapfrogs’ entrepreneur rivals
Jonathan Ortmans speaking to Arab News
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Updated 31 March 2022

GEN plans first overseas office in Saudi Arabia as Kingdom ‘leapfrogs’ entrepreneur rivals

GEN plans first overseas office in Saudi Arabia as Kingdom ‘leapfrogs’ entrepreneur rivals

RIYADH: The Global Entrepreneurship Network plans to establish its first overseas office in Saudi Arabia, GEN founder and president Jonathan Ortmans told Arab News.

The GEC, which concluded on March 30, recorded investments worth almost $8 billion on its second day alone.

The founder of the organization, which provides a platform for new firms and entrepreneurs to start and scale up their businesses, wants to work towards developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Saudi Arabia.

“What’s important for us is chapter two of GEN. So chapter one was leading up to the GEC. Chapter two is, we will be registering as a company and establishing ourselves in Saudi Arabia,” said Ortmans.

Talking about Saudi’s evolving entrepreneurial ecosystem, he said there is a very sophisticated understanding of the dynamics of what it means to build and create a company here. 

“An even more world-class level of sophistication on behalf of the investors, all of these funds, I see that they’re very smart about how they’re going about it,” he said.

Acknowledging Saudi’s rising entrepreneurial ecosystem, Ortmans added, “I think Saudi Arabia is not just leapfrogging other ecosystems. You’re pole-vaulting over them.”

The GEN founder elaborated: “We hope to be contributing to this great effort that’s underway here in the Kingdom, to be able to advance the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Jonathan Ortmans speaking to Arab News

Ortmans, who launched GEN’s initiative, Global Entrepreneurship Week in 2008 alongside former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, explained that the GEC 2022 took place in Riyadh to show the world what is really happening in the Kingdom.

He added that this is a “critical moment in history,” and as Saudi Arabia is embracing entrepreneurship and innovation “we wanted to come here to be part of Saudi Arabia’s support to entrepreneurs.”

In terms of growth areas, Ortmans highlighted the importance of the space sector in the Kingdom, calling it a “huge opportunity for astropreneurs.”

“Startups that are focusing on products and services as a result of the lower cost of getting to space and back. We think that’s going to be one of the most important sectors.”

He added there is no nation on earth that owns that right now. “We’re actually trying to foster through our GEN space initiative, actually a global collaborative way to do that (in Saudi Arabia) which has never been done before.”

In partnership with the Misk Foundation and Monshaat, GEN will host its Entrepreneurship World Cup competition this year in the Kingdom, as Saudi Arabia has been hosting the finals of the competition for the past four years.


PIF, Cain International invest $900m in Aman Group to boost its global expansion

PIF, Cain International invest $900m in Aman Group to boost its global expansion
Updated 12 sec ago

PIF, Cain International invest $900m in Aman Group to boost its global expansion

PIF, Cain International invest $900m in Aman Group to boost its global expansion

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Cain International have invested $900 million in Aman Group to help accelerate the global expansion of the hospitality and lifestyle brand management company.

The investment will be used to enhance the existing portfolio, drive the construction of the pipeline of Aman and Janu destinations, as well as support the acquisition and development of additional sites, according to a statement issued on Monday. 

Following the new funding, the company is now valued at over $3billion.

Aman is a renowned collection of 34 hotels across 20 countries, 12 of which include Aman Branded Residences, with nine further hotels and residences projects under construction and a committed pipeline of additional destinations in countries including USA, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and European destinations, among others. 

Vlad Doronin, owner, chairman and CEO of Aman Group, said: “The investment from PIF and Cain International is a vote of confidence in my vision and the work the team has done over the last eight years, cementing the brand’s evolution and ability to deliver this vision at pace.”

Commenting on the investment, Turqi Al-Nowaiser, deputy governor and head of International Investments Division at PIF, said: “The investment is in line with PIF’s strategy to invest in promising sectors to achieve sustainable, attractive returns in Saudi Arabia and globally.”

“We are excited to be investing in this phenomenal brand and look forward to building upon our longstanding partnership with Vlad and his team,” said Jonathan Goldstein, CEO and co- founder of Cain International. 


PIF-owned Helicopter Co. to add Airbus ACH160 to its fleet 


PIF-owned Helicopter Co. to add Airbus ACH160 to its fleet 

Updated 15 August 2022

PIF-owned Helicopter Co. to add Airbus ACH160 to its fleet 


PIF-owned Helicopter Co. to add Airbus ACH160 to its fleet 


RIYADH: The Helicopter Co., fully owned by the Public Investment Fund, has announced that Airbus ACH160 multi-purpose Helicopter will become part of its fleet in early 2023.

The new ACH160 is one of the world’s most technologically advanced helicopters with a new rotor blade design that results in significantly reduced noise, according to a statement posted on LinkedIn.

The company will obtain six new ACH160 helicopters, with the first being set to join the fleet early in 2023.

The new helicopter comes in line with the firm’s aims to deliver an improved environmental footprint and lower fuel consumption.


Macro Snapshot — China unexpectedly cuts key rates as economic data disappoints; Japan’s economy expands

Macro Snapshot — China unexpectedly cuts key rates as economic data disappoints; Japan’s economy expands
Updated 15 August 2022

Macro Snapshot — China unexpectedly cuts key rates as economic data disappoints; Japan’s economy expands

Macro Snapshot — China unexpectedly cuts key rates as economic data disappoints; Japan’s economy expands

CAIRO: China’s central bank cut key lending rates in a surprise move on Monday to revive demand as data showed the economy slowing in July, with factory and retail activity squeezed by Beijing’s zero-COVID policy and a property crisis.

The grim set of figures indicate the world’s second largest economy is struggling to shake off the June quarter’s hit to growth from strict COVID-19 restrictions, prompting some economists to downgrade their projections.

Egypt’s unemployment rate  

Egypt’s unemployment rate in April to June remained unchanged from the previous quarter at 7.2 percent, the country’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization And Statistics announced on Monday.

Thai GDP grows 

Thailand’s economy expanded at the fastest pace in a year in the second quarter as eased COVID-19 restrictions boosted activity and tourism, reinforcing views that more rate hikes will be needed to curb inflationary pressures.

The Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy is making a steady recovery after the lifting of pandemic curbs but still faces headwinds ranging from inflation at 14-year highs to China’s slowdown and weaker global demand. Read full story

The government slightly revised its 2022 economic growth forecast to 2.7 percent to 3.2 percent from an earlier 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent range. Last year’s 1.5 percent growth was among the slowest in Southeast Asia.

Japan’s economy expands

Japan’s economy expanded an annualized 2.2 percent in the April-June period to mark the third straight quarter of expansion on solid private consumption, government data showed on Monday.

The increase in gross domestic product was slower than a median market forecast for a 2.5 percent expansion. It translated into quarterly growth of 0.5 percent against market forecasts for a 0.6 percent rise.

Private consumption rose 1.1 percent in the April-June period from the previous quarter, compared with a median market forecast for a 1.3 percent increase, the data showed.

 

 


Fitch upgrades Oman rating to BB

Fitch upgrades Oman rating to BB
Updated 15 August 2022

Fitch upgrades Oman rating to BB

Fitch upgrades Oman rating to BB

DUBAI: Global rating agency Fitch Ratings upgraded the long-term foreign currency issuer default rating on Oman to BB from BB-.

The outlook on Oman is stable, Fitch said on Monday.

The agency said the upgrade “reflects significant improvements in Oman’s fiscal metrics, a lessening of external financing pressures and ongoing efforts to reform public finances.”

A relatively small crude producer when compared to its wealthier Gulf neighbors, Oman is more sensitive to oil price swings, meaning it was hit especially hard by the pandemic-driven price crash in 2020.

But higher oil prices this year along with fiscal reforms, Fitch said, will support the sultanate to register its first budget surplus since 2013 and contain debt levels over the next few years.

“Higher oil revenue will underpin budget surpluses in 2022 and 2023,” Fitch said.


IT consulting firm Saudi Networkers to list on Nomu on Aug. 17

IT consulting firm Saudi Networkers to list on Nomu on Aug. 17
Updated 15 August 2022

IT consulting firm Saudi Networkers to list on Nomu on Aug. 17

IT consulting firm Saudi Networkers to list on Nomu on Aug. 17

RIYADH: Saudi Networkers Services Co., a Riyadh-based technical consulting services provider, will list its shares on the Kingdom’s parallel Nomu market on Aug. 17, according to a bourse filing.

The initial public offering price was earlier set at SR71 ($19) per share, yielding strong demand from qualified investors with the IPO being 223 percent oversubscribed.

Led by Aldukheil Financial Group, the offering of 1.5 million shares, or a 25 percent stake, was limited to qualified investors.

Ahead of its IPO, Saudi Networkers posted a 28 percent drop in profit, from SR39.1 million to SR28.3 million, for the year 2021, due to a rise in the cost of revenue.