GFH to list shares on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in May

GFH to list shares on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in May
Hisham Alrayes, CEO of GFH
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Updated 26 April 2022

GFH to list shares on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in May

GFH to list shares on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in May

GFH Financial Group B.S.C has announced that the targeted cross listing of its shares on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange is expected to take place in May, subject to the final regulatory approvals. This will be the group’s fourth regional listing, with GFH shares already actively traded on the Bahrain Bourse, Dubai Financial Market and Boursa Kuwait.

The move is expected to further enhance liquidity in GFH’s shares, benefiting shareholders, and enable the group to gain access to a broader base of retail and institutional investors that trade on the exchange. ADX is one of the most attractive and largest GCC exchanges in terms of liquidity, trading volumes and shareholder return. It also ranked first among GCC exchanges in 2021 for the highest year-on-year increase in trading volumetrics.

Hisham Alrayes, CEO of GFH, said: “We are delighted to announce another significant milestone for the group by listing GFH shares on ADX, which is considered one of the most vibrant and fast-growing markets in the GCC. We are set to become the first issuer to be listed on four main GCC stock exchanges and our aim is to continue to enhance the liquidity of our shares, our investor mix and to ensure the highest levels of disclosure and transparency for the benefit of shareholders. In line with our strategy, we also look forward to achieving a more entrenched presence in Abu Dhabi, tapping into growth both on ADX and in the local economy. With this listing, we will be better positioned to serve our existing shareholders in UAE and Abu Dhabi and to attract new ones from among ADX’s sizable retail and institutional investor base.”

Current shareholders of the group will also be able to transfer shares from existing markets where they hold shares to ADX.

Headquartered in Bahrain, GFH is one of the most recognized financial groups in the Gulf region. Its businesses include asset management, wealth management, commercial banking and real estate development. The group’s operations are focused in the GCC, North Africa and India.


SCE, Schneider sign deal to expand engineering training

SCE, Schneider sign deal to expand engineering training
Updated 27 November 2022

SCE, Schneider sign deal to expand engineering training

SCE, Schneider sign deal to expand engineering training

Schneider Electric, a global leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Council of Engineers to launch an accredited training program to build digital skills across energy and automation systems.

Both partners will provide specialized training courses for SCE’s membership. Doing so will create highly skilled professionals, strengthen the economy, and ensure that one in five private sector engineering jobs are held by Saudis.

“As the world moves toward a green power transition, we are committed to working with regional partners to ensure today and tomorrow’s generation of engineers has the skills and technologies they need for a new era of energy management. The Saudi Council of Engineers is one such trusted partner in this endeavor as we focus on delivering top-quality training within the Kingdom,” said Mohamed Shaheen, cluster president, Schneider Electric, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Abdulnasser Saif Al-Abdullatef, secretary-general of the SCE, said: “We are committed to promoting engineering within Saudi Arabia and upgrading its standards with a view to enhance the level of engineering talent and encourage innovation and creativity in the field. Our collaboration with Schneider Electric builds on our commitment and strategic efforts in this regard. Through a concerted and collaborative top-quality training in the Kingdom, we hope to build the next generation of engineers in Saudi Arabia.”

The MoU builds on a collective vision to enhance the capabilities of engineering and technical talent across the country, as well as to facilitate an exchange of engineering expertise and knowledge that will play a key role in the successful delivery of the Kingdom’s ambitious construction pipeline.

Schneider Electric aims to drive digital transformation by integrating world-leading process and energy technologies, end-point to cloud connecting products, controls, software and services, across the entire lifecycle, enabling integrated company management, for homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industries.


Ensuring a long drive for electric vehicles in Saudi Arabia

Ensuring a long drive for electric vehicles in Saudi Arabia
Updated 27 November 2022

Ensuring a long drive for electric vehicles in Saudi Arabia

Ensuring a long drive for electric vehicles in Saudi Arabia

Transportation is a major polluter, causing a significant chunk of greenhouse gas emissions. Greener ways of getting goods and people around are urgently needed and leaders gathering at COP27 in Egypt must make this a focus.

More electric vehicles are expected to hit the roads soon, followed swiftly by electric trains, hydrogen-powered planes and more sustainable shipping. By 2035, the largest automotive markets are expected to be fully electric — hardly a surprise as EVs tend to be up to four times more energy-efficient than the internal combustion engine-based vehicles.

When Saudi Arabia announced plans to achieve net-zero status by 2060, widespread adoption of EVs was always expected to go up a gear. With more than 15 million vehicles in Saudi Arabia in 2020 and nearly four-fifths of these being cars and other light vehicles, numbers are expected to go up in the coming years.

This is critical because the transportation sector consumes more than a fifth of the country’s total energy use, claims the Saudi Energy Efficiency Center. The Saudi government clearly — and rightly — wants to promote EVs in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

The Kingdom plans to ensure that 30 percent of the vehicles on the roads of Riyadh are electric by 2030. EV adoption is also fundamental to meeting the Saudi Green Initiative objectives, which include reducing carbon emissions by more than 278 million tons per annum by 2030.

In pursuit of this goal and wider economic diversification, boosting domestic production of EVs has come into sharp focus: The Kingdom plans to produce 150,000 EVs annually, and just rolled out its first homegrown electric vehicle brand Ceer, which will create 30,000 jobs and add billions of dollars to the economy.

Offering a comprehensive nationwide charging infrastructure to precede the introduction of EVs in the Kingdom has become paramount.

The recent EV Auto Show in Riyadh provided a glimpse of things to come — from promoting electric mobility to charging technology and the infrastructure required to make it possible.

We were proud to debut Schneider Electric’s EVlink Smart Charger in Saudi Arabia for the first time at the EV Auto Show to highlight our electric mobility and sustainability goals, alongside Abunayyan Trading Corporation, one of the most trusted names in the energy and water space in Saudi Arabia and the wider Gulf. This technology helps highlight the benefits of managing heavy EV energy load and reiterates our priority on renewable energy sources.

This technology stands out with its smart charging experience at home, in buildings, for fleets or in transit, helping customers and partners set the path of efficient planning and execution of projects — by going beyond the charging station and getting a comprehensive solution for an efficient EV charging experience.

The Saudi government is ramping up its efforts to develop EV infrastructure in a bid to increase efficiencies within the EV ecosystem in the Kingdom. Strategic partnerships are central to these efforts and as a key player in energy and automation, we see great value in partnering with government-backed giga-projects and smart cities to support and power the future of mobility in the Kingdom.

• The writer is cluster president, Schneider Electric, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.


Geidea launches CFP program to boost role of Saudi women in fintech

Geidea launches CFP program to boost role of Saudi women in fintech
Updated 27 November 2022

Geidea launches CFP program to boost role of Saudi women in fintech

Geidea launches CFP program to boost role of Saudi women in fintech

Saudi fintech company Geidea is launching an open and fully sponsored training program in partnership with The London Institute of Banking and Finance to support women in fintech in Saudi Arabia.

The six-week part-time course begins in February 2023 and is open to women who work in tech, fintech, or financial services. GeideAct is part of the company’s commitment to accelerate building an inclusive fintech sector. Graduates will receive a Certified Fintech Practitioner qualification.

The program covers key fintech topics, including how fintech impacts business models across banking and finance, different strategies for growth, and how risk and regulation affect fintech development across the globe. Participants will also learn about the latest technologies and how they impact product design and distribution.

Renier Lemmens, group CEO at Geidea, said: “By providing women in Saudi Arabia with access to training and development, GeideAct delivers a more inclusive, and diverse Saudi fintech talent bank. GeideAct is all about accelerated learning, and as the largest fintech in Saudi Arabia, we are giving back to a vast pool of young talents to help them to become future fintech leaders.”

The CFP program is for early to mid-career professionals and entails twice-weekly 45-minute sessions for six weeks, so that working professionals can fit their studies around their schedules.

Lemmens added: “We view the CFP qualification from LIBF as the first of many GeideAct programs. The program enables women to participate in the growth opportunities that the fintech sector offers. We are launching the GeideAct program in Saudi Arabia, and planning to introduce the initiative across all markets where we operate.”

Kareem Refaay, managing director of GCC and MENA at LIBF, said: “Leveraging over 140 years of excellence in the banking and finance industry, LIBF is delighted to partner with Geidea. Through collaboration on the Certified Fintech Practitioner qualification and the provision of world-class faculty expertise, we look forward to advancing female professional development in Saudi Arabia’s fintech sector.”

Course enrollment requires intermediate English language skills and a managerial role with exposure to fintech, technology, or financial services.

Interested participants can submit their application online via https://careers.geidea.net/job-invite/1002/ before Dec. 16; places are limited.


Beauty salon opens at LuLu Hypermarket in Jeddah

Beauty salon opens at LuLu Hypermarket in Jeddah
Updated 27 November 2022

Beauty salon opens at LuLu Hypermarket in Jeddah

Beauty salon opens at LuLu Hypermarket in Jeddah

Pinnacle Beauty Salon opened its fourth branch at LuLu Hypermarket, Al-Marwah in Jeddah. The parlor was inaugurated by South Indian film actress Anu Sithara. The opening ceremony was also attended by Nasser Abdulla Al-Sarami, chief adviser of the Royal Guard; Yasmeen Al-Maimani, Saudi Arabia's first female commercial pilot; Rafeeq Yarathingal, regional director of LuLu Hypermarket, western province; Musafir from Malayalam News; Junais Babu; Shalfeena; and Rasila Ashok. Members of LuLu’s management and staff were also present on the occasion.

Pinnacle is a popular beauty parlor in Jeddah, which has amassed a huge pool of customers in the past three years of its foundation. Experienced beauticians, application of modern technologies in all its services, state-of-the-art equipment, and hygienic infrastructure make Pinnacle one of the most trusted salons in the region.


SABB participates in Saudi Green Initiative Forum

SABB participates in Saudi Green Initiative Forum
Updated 26 November 2022

SABB participates in Saudi Green Initiative Forum

SABB participates in Saudi Green Initiative Forum

The Saudi British Bank participated in the Saudi Green Initiative Forum under the theme “From Ambition to Action,” held alongside the global climate summit COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The participation is in line with the bank’s efforts and effective contributions in the environmental, social, and governance field.

The second edition of the forum brought together climate leaders and experts who highlighted the steps taken over the past year toward achieving the Kingdom’s ambitious national targets and laid out the roadmap for the coming years.

Tony Cripps, managing director and CEO of SABB, spoke about the Kingdom’s movement toward sustainability and SABB’s commitment to these principles, as well as its role as a leading financial institution in supporting various institutions in the public, private and nonprofit sectors to achieve sustainable development and providing supportive financing solutions for its corporate clients. He also commended the Saudi Central Bank for its role in regulating and assisting the financial sector toward achieving sustainable growth in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

Cripps highlighted current collaboration with the Saudi Central Bank in forming an ESG advisory committee to drive a standardized set of ESG taxonomies and green solutions.

He also emphasized that SABB is committed to allocating capital to sustainable loans and green funds, especially given the growing interest of institutions in the Kingdom to implement sustainability principles and standards, including financial solutions in their various forms, such as loans, bonds, deposits, and green funds, as these markets have grown exponentially over the past years.

SABB’s participation comes from its pioneering role in environmental projects, most notably the implementation of its initiative to plant 1 million trees across the Kingdom, the largest environmental initiative in the financial sector, in cooperation with Murooj Foundation, the executive arm of the National Center for the Development of Vegetation Cover and Combating Desertification.

ESG and sustainability are key to SABB’s five-year strategy, along with supporting new projects that will help the Kingdom achieve a more sustainable future.

SABB is one of the leading banks in financial innovation, established in 1978 as a Saudi joint stock company. It is an associate company of the HSBC Group.

It offers integrated financial and banking services including personal banking, corporate banking, private banking and investment and treasury services. SABB’s paid-up capital is SR20.5 billion ($5.46 billion).