Commercial Bank of Kuwait plans to digitize, says CEO

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Updated 24 May 2022

Commercial Bank of Kuwait plans to digitize, says CEO

Commercial Bank of Kuwait plans to digitize, says CEO

DUBAI: Elham Mahfouz, CEO of the Commercial Bank of Kuwait, said robots would play a major role in the future, with 85 million jobs expected to be taken over in the next two to three years.

Speaking to Arab News at the Arab Women Forum, Mahfouz said the bank’s next plan was digitization and in the next two to three years the look of banks would be different.

CBK is the only bank to have SwatchPAY, which is a smart-watch payment service, she said. 

Starting her career in banking about 35 years ago, Mahfouz climbed the ladder after starting as a credit analyst. She has been the CEO of the bank for the past eight years, she said.

“Being in a high position can favor the institution if you want to implement certain kinds of dreams that you have to get the institution in a certain way and pave the way with the team,” she added.

Mahfouz told Arab News that one of the things that stood out to her as a woman working in the banking sector was getting more support from males than females.

Self-development, focus, and patience are factors that had influenced her journey to reaching the top post, Mahfouz said.

She added that the following generations were tech-savvy and smart when it came to technological advances. However, Mahfouz said they had to have patience and read more.


Honeywell signs up with Anchorage Investments for $2bn petro complex in Egypt 

Honeywell signs up with Anchorage Investments for $2bn petro complex in Egypt 
Updated 15 sec ago

Honeywell signs up with Anchorage Investments for $2bn petro complex in Egypt 

Honeywell signs up with Anchorage Investments for $2bn petro complex in Egypt 

RIYADH: American multinational conglomerate Honeywell has signed an initial agreement with industrial company Anchorage Investment to construct the planned $2 billion Anchor Benitoite Petrochemicals Complex in Egypt’s Suez Canal Economic Zone.

As per the memorandum of understanding, the companies will enter preliminary discussions to appoint Honeywell Process Solutions as the Integrated Main Automation Contractor for the facility, MEED reported.

As part of the contract, HPS would also supply Anchorage Investments with a range of technologies designed to enhance operational safety, security, and efficiency at the complex.

Once completed, Anchor Benitoite production units are expected to produce 1.75 million tons a year of petrochemical products and intermediates, including propylene, polypropylene, crude acrylic acid, n-butanol and butyl acrylate. 

Honeywell has been operating in Egypt for over 60 years, with works with government-owned and private sector entities in many fields including oil and gas, refining and petrochemicals, automation and defense. 


Yamama Cement beats out negative market trend to register growth in output

Yamama Cement beats out negative market trend to register growth in output
Updated 2 min 6 sec ago

Yamama Cement beats out negative market trend to register growth in output

Yamama Cement beats out negative market trend to register growth in output

Saudi Arabia’s cement producers saw their output fall in May, with the exception of Yamama Cement, according to the latest figures.

In the first five months of 2022, the volume of cement output across all companies fell 12.0 percent from the same period of 2021.

April saw a 13.7 percent fall — the deepest since January 2019.

It was only Yamama that saw a rise, surging 53.5 percent year-on-year  — a cumulative increase of about 1 million tons of cement.

From January to May, Yamama managed to boost shipments by 1.1 millions tons, or 58.2 percent year-on-year.

It is also the only company that managed to achieve year-on-year increases in each of the first five months of 2022.

Responding to the figures, Mashael Alhuthaily, equity analyst at AlJazeera Capital told Arab News: “This can be attributed to the transfer plan to a new plant in Al Kharj Governorate in Riyadh, where the company provided a significant discount on its sale prices in Q1-22 of SR 106.9/ton ($28.49/ton) — a 19.4 percent decrease year-on-year — and to offload its inventory from the old plant, which in turn also helped the company gain greater market share.” 

Only two other companies achieved some improvement over the same period  – Tabuk and As-Safwa.

Tabuk increased sales by 88,000 tons, while As-Safwa saw a 25,000 tons rise.

Market Share

In the period from January to the end of May, Yamama’s share of the Saudi cement market has improved noticeably compared to the results for 2021.

Its share in the Kingdom’s total cement output increased by 3.5 percentage points to 13.4 percent, while in domestic cement sales it grew by 3.9 percentage points to 14 percent.

This has led to a reshuffle in the group of the three largest companies, as Yamama overtook both Southern and Saudi in terms of both output and domestic sales.

Saudi managed to retain second place in terms of cement output, while its market share slipped 0.1 percentage points to 11.6 percent.

Southern shifted down from first to third place as it saw its share fall 1.3 percentage points to 11.1 percent.

In terms of domestic cement sales, Southern ceded first place to Yamama and took second place with its share having declined 1.4 percentage point to 11.4 percent. Saudi took third place with 10.6 percent share.

Based on market data for May, Yamama's shares were the most expensive based on enterprise value per ton valuation in the group of three largest companies, according to a research note issued by AlJazeera Capital earlier this year. 

The multiple for Yamama was $307 per ton compared to $277 and $219 for Saudi and Southern, respectively.


OPEC meeting ends without making any policy decisions

OPEC meeting ends without making any policy decisions
Updated 17 min 45 sec ago

OPEC meeting ends without making any policy decisions

OPEC meeting ends without making any policy decisions

OPEC meeting ends without making any policy decisions, according to a delegate, Reuters is reporting.

At its last meeting in early June OPEC+ decided to speed up production cuts and to raise output each month by 648,000 barrels per day in July and August, up from earlier increases of 432,000 bpd.

OPEC+ consists of OPEC and allies such as Russia.

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US firm Franklin Templeton planning to establish office in Saudi Arabia

US firm Franklin Templeton planning to establish office in Saudi Arabia
Updated 46 min 47 sec ago

US firm Franklin Templeton planning to establish office in Saudi Arabia

US firm Franklin Templeton planning to establish office in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: US multinational holding company Franklin Templeton could transfer employees from Dubai to a new office in Saudi Arabia, Bloomberg reported, quoting people familiar with the matter. 

People who wished to stay anonymous revealed that Franklin Templeton’s CEO Jenny Johnson considers Saudi Arabia as a potential market for a major expansion. 

The report further added that the asset management company is planning to start the regulatory process to affirm its presence in Riyadh. 

The office in Riyadh will have investment teams and some sales and support on the ground, the people said. 

The workforce will be a mix of new recruits and internal transfers from the company’s employees in Dubai. 

Responding to the Bloomberg report, a spokeswoman for Franklin Templeton said: “While we have not announced any new office openings, we are currently exploring options to grow our regional footprint and will share details in due course.” 

She also added that Saudi Arabia is an important market in the region.

 


World Bank approves $500m loan for emergency food security project in Egypt

World Bank approves $500m loan for emergency food security project in Egypt
Updated 29 June 2022

World Bank approves $500m loan for emergency food security project in Egypt

World Bank approves $500m loan for emergency food security project in Egypt

RIYADH: The World Bank has approved a $500-million loan to help Egypt ensure an uninterrupted supply of bread as the country faces food security concerns amid rising prices and supply disruption due to the Russia-Ukraine war.

“This project supports the government’s strong commitment to ensuring that the needs of citizens continue to be met even amid a very challenging global context caused by concomitant crises such as COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine,” said Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, in a press statement.

The loan given under the Emergency Food Security and Resilience Support Project will help Egypt finance the public procurement of imported wheat. This would be equivalent to one month of supply for the Bread Subsidy Program which supports around 70 million low-income Egyptians, including 31 million people who live under the national poverty line, said a press release.

Bread is a staple in Egypt and the World Bank said this new project will link wheat imports to direct assistance to the poor and vulnerable population through Egypt’s Bread Subsidy Program.

“As always we are keen to continuously support Egypt in overcoming obstacles to its ambitious sustainable development plans and to further enable the country to pave the way for a prosperous and productive future for all its citizens,” said Marina Wes, World Bank country director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti.