Mashreq Bank goes nuts over Cashew Payments with $10m investment

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Updated 09 May 2022

Mashreq Bank goes nuts over Cashew Payments with $10m investment

Mashreq Bank goes nuts over Cashew Payments with $10m investment

RIYADH: Spurring a growing trend of traditional banks making investments in fintech, Dubai-based Mashreq Bank announced a $10 million investment in Cashew, one of the leading “buy now, pay later” service providers to consumers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

“It’s the first such investment from a traditional bank in a fintech company in the region. It’s a very strategic investment as well. It’s not only about money; it’s a lot more than that,” Cashew Payments Co-founder and CEO Ammar Afif told Arab News.

As part of the strategic investment, Mashreq will integrate Cashew Payments as an option on NEOPAY, the payments subsidiary of Mashreq, and provide support for the launch of Cashew in Egypt.

“We will offer Cashew BNPL as a payment option for NEOPAY merchants. This will help our merchants give the customers a wider choice of payment options, thereby increasing their business,” Vibhor Mundhada, the CEO of NEOPAY, told Arab News.

He added: “We will build a seamless payment experience for our online and offline merchants to accept Cashew as a payment option. We will also work on building longer tenure BNPL options.”

New products

The deal with Mashreq is unique in the region’s fintech space because it goes beyond just a processing relationship between two financial institutions. 

Cashew and Mashreq will also collaborate and offer new products to the market, including longer tenure and higher ticket-size BNPL options for consumers and introducing the first-of-its-kind point of sale lending options in the region later this year. 

Additionally, Mashreq would offer Cashew services and products to its merchants and business banking customers.

It’s the first such investment from a traditional bank in a fintech company in the region.

Ammar Afif

Launched in 2020, Cashew has more than 200 retailers on the platform and is currently doing $1 million per month in transactions. “This is expected to grow tenfold by the end of the year as a result of the partnership with Mashreq,” Afif informed.

“We are the only BNPL in the region collecting data such as Emirates IDs and tying into banks to get more information to score better so that consumers who are likely to default will be rejected,” he added.

The new partnership will bring a new product to the market with key features.

“Mashreq will bring our customers many benefits as we grow our service offerings,” Afif explained. “This partnership will give consumers the largest merchant network to shop at, larger ticket size and the ability to pay over longer terms. We can only accomplish these goals for our customers by partnering with respected financial institutions like Mashreq that understand and want to be a part of the growing BNPL segment.”

Value-added services

NEOPAY wants to focus on adding more payment options and value-added services for its merchants, and the Cashew deal fits well with its strategy for growth.

“The focus is on using the payment data to drive business outcomes for the company’s merchants, adding more payment options from across the globe, strengthening the omnichannel payment offerings, and providing VAS bundles like enterprise resource management solutions with our payment offerings,” Mundhada said.

“Saudi Arabia obviously is the absolute right market for us to launch POS finance, which is done in a Shariah-compliant manner,” Afif informed while adding that they would offer this service in the Kingdom over the next few months.

Talking about his plans for the Saudi market, Afif reiterated that “there is a big opportunity as there are a lot of people that don’t have credit cards today because they believe credit cards may not be Shariah-compliant.”

With a mission to provide consumers with smart instant financing solutions through an intuitive and frictionless checkout experience, Cashew aims to tap segments such as education, travel, and healthcare that remain largely untapped.

Afif went on to add that he is targeting young millennials, who essentially do not have credit yet. “They have graduated from school; they have their first job; they’re trying to build their credit, but banks won’t give them a loan to buy something over 12 months or so,” he said. 

“That’s where Cashew will help fill that void. Again, the ultimate relationship will be between the consumer, Cashew and the bank. So once they pay off this, they will start to establish credit. Therefore, buying a car or a house one day will become much easier.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Alkhorayef Water expects full-year revenue to hit $224m backed by strong pipeline 

Alkhorayef Water expects full-year revenue to hit $224m backed by strong pipeline 
Updated 10 sec ago

Alkhorayef Water expects full-year revenue to hit $224m backed by strong pipeline 

Alkhorayef Water expects full-year revenue to hit $224m backed by strong pipeline 

RIYADH: Alkhorayef Water and Power Technologies Co. is expected to record SR840 million ($224 million) in revenue for 2022, as it currently has SR4 billion worth of projects in its pipeline.  

The company’s CEO, Rami Moussilli, told Argaam that revenue is anticipated to grow to SR480 million in the second half of the year, and hit as high as SR1.25 billion in the following year.

Alkhorayef Water’s profit reached SR52 million and its revenue stood at SR358 million in the first half of 2022, due to higher income from the water and integrated water solutions sectors by 2.9 and 226 percent, respectively.

Moussilli attributed the profit jump to the implementation of projects awarded last year, including the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz project for Zamzam water in Makkah, and the upgrade of King Khalid International Airport’s sewage network.

According to the executive, the firm has over SR4 billion worth of contracts in its pipeline, with 75 projects in progress across 11 regions in the Kingdom.


Saudi Arabia leads the world in domestic sukuk sales with 185% jump to $14bn  

Saudi Arabia leads the world in domestic sukuk sales with 185% jump to $14bn  
Updated 15 min 7 sec ago

Saudi Arabia leads the world in domestic sukuk sales with 185% jump to $14bn  

Saudi Arabia leads the world in domestic sukuk sales with 185% jump to $14bn  

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s domestic market has recorded $14.4 billion worth of sukuk sales this year, registering a growth of 185 percent over the last year, Bloomberg reported. 

Sukuk, which is also called an Islamic bond, is a debt product issued in accordance with Shariah or Islamic laws. 

This amount represents more than half of global domestic sukuk sales, and the Saudi government alone has sold more than 60 percent of it.

“There are a lot of projects going on in Saudi Arabia driven by their Vision 2030 to diversify their economy away from oil. These all need funding,” Doug Bitcon, the Dubai-based head of credit strategies at Rasmala Investment Bank, said. 

He added: “Local investors are familiar with the local companies and they can often raise liquidity at fine spreads.”


Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Genesis hires an insider as interim chief

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Genesis hires an insider as interim chief
Updated 58 min 23 sec ago

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Genesis hires an insider as interim chief

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Genesis hires an insider as interim chief

DUBAI: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded lower on Thursday, falling by 4.03 percent to $23,371 as of 9:37 a.m. Riyadh time.

Ethereum, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $1,843 falling by 5.33 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

Genesis hires an insider as interim chief and cuts 20 percent of staff

In a statement released on Wednesday, Genesis Trading said its headcount had been reduced by 20 percent and that Chief Operating Officer Derar Islim was appointed interim head of the crypto broker, Reuters reported.

Islim will now replace Michael Moro as CEO.

In recent months, a number of high profile firms have been forced to reduce their workforces due to the so-called “crypto winter.”

According to a Genesis spokesperson, 260 people were employed before the layoffs.

One more victim of the declining interest in digital assets is Genesis Inc., which disclosed exposure to Three Arrows Capital last month.

However, Genesis parent Digital Currency Group took on some of Three Arrows’ liabilities after the crypto broker failed to meet a margin call, outgoing CEO Moro said.

As a senior adviser, Genesis has also hired Tom Conheeney, the former president of SAC Capital and its successor, Point72 Asset Management.

Genesis said it had started searching for a full-time chief executive to guide it through the transition. Moro will advise the company throughout the transition.

Crypto.com gets UK regulatory approval

Crypto.com, a Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform, has registered with Britain’s financial services regulator, Reuters reported.

Crypto.com has been approved to offer crypto asset products and services to customers in the UK in compliance with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing legislation.

“The UK is a strategically important market for us,” said Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek, citing the country’s growing crypto adoption and efforts to make it a hub for crypto assets.

Crypto firms are racing to register with financial watchdogs as authorities around the world grapple with how to regulate the sector.

The UK does not regulate cryptocurrencies, and consumers who lose their digital assets are not compensated.

Crypto companies have previously faced backlash after the FCA denied their registration applications.

When it comes to crypto, the watchdog will always be “hawkish” about consumer protection.

With inputs from Reuters

 

 


China In-Focus — Asian giant opposes trade talks between US and Taiwan; Stocks fall; Aluminum imports fall

China In-Focus — Asian giant opposes trade talks between US and Taiwan; Stocks fall; Aluminum imports fall
Updated 18 August 2022

China In-Focus — Asian giant opposes trade talks between US and Taiwan; Stocks fall; Aluminum imports fall

China In-Focus — Asian giant opposes trade talks between US and Taiwan; Stocks fall; Aluminum imports fall

RIYADH: China firmly opposes trade talks between the US and Taiwan, and says it will take all necessary measures to firmly safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests, the commerce ministry said on Thursday.

Taiwan and the US have said they will start trade talks under a new initiative.
“One China” policy is a prerequisite for Taiwan’s participation in economic cooperation with foreign countries, Shu Jueting, spokeswoman of the ministry, said at a regular press conference.

Stocks down

China and Hong Kong stocks fell on Thursday, hit by increasingly grim growth prospects for the world’s second-largest economy suffering from COVID-19 outbreaks, a property crisis, a record heat wave and limited room for monetary easing.
China’s blue-chip CSI300 Index dropped 0.9 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.5 percent. 

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng benchmark fell 0.6 percent.

China’s July aluminum imports fall 38%
China’s aluminum imports in July slid 38.3 percent from a year earlier, government data showed on Thursday, as domestic production rose to a record and overseas supplies tightened.
The country brought in 192,581 tons of unwrought aluminum and products, including primary metal and unwrought, alloyed aluminum, last month, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.
The fall in imports was partly attributed to a rise in domestic supply this year.
China, the world’s biggest metals producer and consumer, made a record 3.43 million tons of aluminum in July as smelters did not have to contend with the power restrictions imposed last year.
Total imports in the first seven months were 1.27 million tons, down 28.1 percent from the same period a year ago.
Imports of bauxite, the main source of aluminum ore, were at 10.59 million tons last month, up 12.4 percent from June’s 9.42 million, and compared with 9.25 million in July a year earlier, according to the data.

Geely Automobile H1 profit slumps 35%
China’s Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd said on Thursday its first-half net profit fell 35 percent, as the country’s strict COVID-19 restrictions dented sales and disrupted production.
Hangzhou-based Geely, China’s highest-profile automaker globally due to the group’s investments in Volvo Cars and Mercedes-Benz, posted January-June profit of 1.55 billion yuan ($228.3 million), versus 2.38 billion yuan in the same period a year earlier.
China’s auto sector has been hit hard by government efforts to combat COVID-19, with many areas including the commercial hub of Shanghai under lockdowns of varying lengths.

 

(With input from Reuters) 

 


India In-Focus — Macro stability outlook improving; Rupee falls

India In-Focus — Macro stability outlook improving; Rupee falls
Updated 18 August 2022

India In-Focus — Macro stability outlook improving; Rupee falls

India In-Focus — Macro stability outlook improving; Rupee falls

RIYADH: India’s worst period of macro instability is possibly over, and both consumer inflation and trade deficit are expected to moderate albeit gradually, Morgan Stanley said.

“Global commodity prices were largely steady last month, with the exception of oil prices which continued to decline,” Upasana Chachra, chief India economist at Morgan Stanley, said in the note on Wednesday.

“We believe the worst of macro instability is behind us now, though moderation in inflation and narrowing of India’s trade deficit will be gradual.”

The note pointed out that the indexes measuring global commodity prices, food prices and metal prices had stabilized in August and were down 9 percent, 25 percent from their peak. Oil prices, meanwhile, had declined 8 percent month-on-month.

Chachra reckons India’s consumer inflation rate will rise to between 7 percent and 7.2 percent in August and remain at 7 percent in September, before moderating gradually. 

The inflation rate has remained above the Reserve Bank of India’s tolerance band for seven straight months.

The research house reckons India’s trade deficit likely peaked at $30 billion in July. The record trade deficit has prompted economists to revise India’s current account deficit and balance of payments projections.

“We believe that lower commodity prices and a partial rollback of taxes on petroleum products will help improve the trade balance trend,” Chachra said.

Indian rupee falls

The Indian rupee was trading lower against the dollar on Thursday, tracking a Chinese yuan-led decline in Asian currencies.

The rupee was trading at 79.6575 per US dollar by 0524 GMT, down from 79.4450 in the previous session. The local currency opened at 79.60.

India may delay coal plant closures

The Indian government is eyeing to delay the closure of coal plants and is even planning to open more, a move that will potentially stall efforts to hit climate goals, according to a Bloomberg report. 

According to the report, Indian authorities are considering a proposal to shutter less than 5 GW of existing capacity by the end of the decade as the country is facing rising demand for electricity amid a global shortage. In 2020, India decided to shutter about 25 GW by 2030. 

 

(With input from Reuters)