Hilton to open 59 more hotels in Saudi Arabia in the next 10 years

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Updated 02 June 2022

Hilton to open 59 more hotels in Saudi Arabia in the next 10 years

Hilton to open 59 more hotels in Saudi Arabia in the next 10 years
  • Hilton's top exec for MENA says Saudi Arabia has enormous potential for growth in the hospitality sector
  • Assures that the hospitality chain will work closely with the Saudi Tourism Authority

RIYADH: Hilton Hotels & Resorts will add 59 more hotels across various asset classes in Saudi Arabia in the next five to 10 years. The hospitality group currently has 16 in the region.

In an interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Hospitality Summit, Hilton’s managing director for the Middle East and North Africa, Amir Lababedi, said that Hilton will reach 75 hotels within the next five to 10 years and probably exceed that number as well.

“We will surpass 75 hotels in the next five to 10 years because of all the Kingdom’s efforts. These hotels will be spread across a range of asset classes and brands, serving a broad range of demographics,” said Lababedi.

He further added that the Kingdom has enormous potential for growth in the hospitality sector thanks to the wholehearted support offered by the government, including the Tourism Development Fund and the Public Investment Fund.

“The Hilton in Jeddah, Makkah and Medina are properties that are part of the fabric of the tourism industry, right from the start of domestic and international tourism,” Lababedi said.

As a result of Vision 2030, the market has changed in the last few years with regard to tourism and economic development, and Lababedi said that the company would fully support the goals and initiatives of the Ministry of Tourism.

He added that the hospitality chain works closely with the Saudi Tourism Authority to bring its performance engine to support the industry’s growth.

Hilton’s goal is to infuse a sense of local culture into all of its brands.

“We are looking to infuse the Diriyah property with the essence of its history, bringing the story of this unique location to life,” Lababedi added. “And we call these properties the heroes, and it’s part of a shared principle of brand sharing,” he said.

When it comes to hiring Saudis, he said the company needs to hire locals not just because of regulations and Saudization quotas but also because guests appreciate the gesture when a company can bring a local culture into their hotels.

 “We work very closely with the authorities in training and developing Saudis to find a career in hospitality, get them ready for a work-life, and provide them with the basic life skills to go out into the workforce and prepare them for that,” said Lababedi.


TASI starts flat as investors assess the lower oil prices and higher inflation: Opening bell

TASI starts flat as investors assess the lower oil prices and higher inflation: Opening bell
Updated 16 August 2022

TASI starts flat as investors assess the lower oil prices and higher inflation: Opening bell

TASI starts flat as investors assess the lower oil prices and higher inflation: Opening bell

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's benchmark index started Tuesday’s trading session flat as more earnings reports came out; investors tried to assess the impact of rising inflation and weaker oil prices on the index.

As of 10:06 a.m. Saudi time, the Tadawul All Share Index and the parallel market Nomu opened at 12,542 and 22,111, respectively.

In the energy market, Brent crude fell to $94.20 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate declined to $88.82 a barrel, as of 10:12 a.m. Saudi time.

The country's biggest lender Saudi National Bank increased 0.28 percent, while the Kingdom’s largest valued bank Al Rajhi added 0.11 percent.

Saudi Aramco lost 0.87 percent, despite achieving its highest quarterly profit since going public in 2019 with SR182 billion ($48.4 billion), a 90 percent jump over analysts' expectations.

Dallah Healthcare Co. edged up 0.17 percent, after posting a 52 percent gain in profit during the first half of 2022, reaching SR152 million.

KEIR International rose 1.92 percent, after it partnered with US-based Quadratics Development to deploy its eco-friendly building system and technology in Saudi Arabia

Qassim Cement Co. dropped 2.08 percent, after reporting a 73 percent decline in first-half profits to SR54 million.

Al-Etihad Cooperative Insurance Co. shed 2.76 percent after its profits dropped 93 percent to SR2 million in the first half.

Abo Moati for Bookstores Co rose 1.63 percent, following a 125 percent profit surge to SR4.3 million for the second quarter of 2022.

Saudi Industrial Development Co. edged down 1.60 percent, after its losses widened by 88 percent to SR11 million during the first half.

Al Kathiri Holding Co. declined 1.35 percent, after it turned into losses of SR5.5 million in the first half of 2022.


Commodities Update — Gold ekes out gains; Corn, soybean down; Copper up; Five more grain ships leave Ukrainian port; 

Commodities Update — Gold ekes out gains; Corn, soybean down; Copper up; Five more grain ships leave Ukrainian port; 
Updated 16 August 2022

Commodities Update — Gold ekes out gains; Corn, soybean down; Copper up; Five more grain ships leave Ukrainian port; 

Commodities Update — Gold ekes out gains; Corn, soybean down; Copper up; Five more grain ships leave Ukrainian port; 

RIYADH: Gold prices edged higher on Tuesday, supported by a dip in US bond yields, although a stronger dollar and concerns over further rate hikes by the Federal Reserve kept gains in check.

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,781.40 per ounce, as of 0241 GMT.

US gold futures eased 0.1 percent to $1,796.70.

Silver slips

Spot silver slipped 0.3 percent to $20.20 per ounce, while platinum fell 0.1 percent to $932.01. 

Palladium was up 0.1 percent at $2,148.76.

Corn down, wheat up

Chicago soybean and corn futures lost more ground on Tuesday, with expectations of crop-friendly US weather conditions and declining demand in top importer China weighing on the market.

Wheat ticked higher after two sessions of losses.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade lost 0.7 percent to $14.02-1/4 a bushel, as of 0309 GMT.

Corn gave up 0.3 percent to $6.26-1/4 a bushel, while wheat added 0.8 percent to $8.07-1/2 a bushel.

Copper rises

Copper rose on Tuesday, tracking upbeat sentiment in the US markets on prospects that the Federal Reserve can achieve a soft landing for the economy, but gains were limited as weak China data clouded the demand outlook in the biggest consumer.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.8 percent at $8,040 a ton, as of 0307 GMT, having dropped 2.8 percent in the previous session, the steepest daily decline in a month.

The most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed 0.6 percent to $9,180.38 a ton.

Turkey says five more grain ships leave Ukrainian ports

Five more ships have left Ukrainian ports carrying corn and wheat, three from Chornomorsk and two from Pivdennyi, under an UN-brokered grain export deal, Turkey’s defense ministry said on Tuesday.

It added that four more ships bound for Ukraine were to be inspected on Tuesday by the joint co-ordination center, set up by Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN in Istanbul.

One of the ships leaving on Tuesday was the Brave Commander, carrying the first cargo of humanitarian food aid bound for Africa from Ukraine since Russia’s invasion, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

(With input from Reuters)


Saudi PIF buys shares in Alphabet, Zoom and Microsoft in US shopping spree

Saudi PIF buys shares in Alphabet, Zoom and Microsoft in US shopping spree
Updated 24 min 49 sec ago

Saudi PIF buys shares in Alphabet, Zoom and Microsoft in US shopping spree

Saudi PIF buys shares in Alphabet, Zoom and Microsoft in US shopping spree

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund bought shares in Alphabet, Zoom Video and Microsoft as part of a wider pick of US stocks, bringing the sovereign wealth fund’s second-quarter investments to about $40.8 billion.

The PIF acquired 213,000 class A shares in Alphabet, 4.7 million class A shares in Zoom and 1.8 million shares in Microsoft, a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing showed.

It also acquired shares in JPMorgan and BlackRock, buying 3.9 million shares and 741,693 shares respectively.

The fund bought 6.3 million shares in Starbucks, and added other stocks including Adobe Systems, Advanced Micro Devices, Salesforce, Home Depot, Costco, Freeport-McMoRan, Datadog and NextEra Energy.

The PIF, which manages $620 billion in assets, is at the center of Saudi Arabia’s plans to transform the economy by creating new sectors and diversifying revenues away from oil.

The PIF is pursuing a two-pronged strategy, building an international portfolio of investments while also investing locally in projects that will help to reduce Saudi Arabia’s reliance on oil.

Apart from these firms, Saudi Arabia’s PIF is also the majority stakeholder in Lucid Motors, headquartered in California. Currently, PIF owns more than 60 percent share in the electric vehicle manufacturer.

In the first quarter of this year, PIF reduced its ownership of US equities by 22 percent to $43.6 billion, against the $55.9 billion it held a quarter earlier.

A filing by the US Securities and Exchange Commission by the end of the first quarter suggested that PIF cut its stake in three companies which includes Visa Inc., Plug Power, and Walmart.

PIF, however, increased its holdings in Take-Two Interactive, PayPal, Alibaba, and Farfetch Ltd.

Data released by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, in April, had revealed that PIF is currently in the fifth spot among the largest sovereign funds in the world with assets valued at $620 billion. 

(With inputs from Reuters)

 


Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Tuesday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Tuesday
Updated 16 August 2022

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Tuesday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Tuesday

RIYADH: Saudi stocks reversed losses to close Monday’s session higher, as investor sentiment was boosted by positive earnings from listed companies.

TASI, the main index, edged up 0.23 percent to 12,543, while the parallel market, Nomu, gained 0.3 percent to 22,110.

The Saudi index outperformed peers in the Gulf, with most markets finishing lower on Tuesday.

Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, and Bahrain all recorded losses between 0.1 and 0.7 percent, while Dubai and Oman added 0.1 and 0.4 percent, respectively.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, the Egyptian blue-chip index dropped 0.7 percent.

Oil prices continued to drop on Tuesday, with brent crude losing 1 percent to $94.06 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate down to $88.63 a barrel by 9:08 a.m. Saudi time.

Stock news

Dallah Healthcare has posted solid profit growth of 52 percent to SR152 million ($40 million) for the first half of 2022, supported by an increase in patient occupancy rates

Al-Etihad Cooperative Insurance Co. saw its profits drop 93 percent to SR2 million in the first half of 2022

Qassim Cement Co. reported a 73 percent decline in first-half profits to SR54 million

Saudi Industrial Development Co.’s losses widened by 88 percent to SR11 million during the first half of 2022

Abo Moati for Bookstores Co. reported a 125 percent surge in quarterly profit to SR4.3 million

Al Kathiri Holding Co. turned into losses of SR5.5 million in the first half of 2022

Arabian Food and Dairy Factories Co. signed a contract with Nana Co. to expand the former’s distribution network and facilitate product delivery to customers

Aljouf Mineral Water Bottling Co.’s half-year profit rose 8 percent to SR2.8 million

Walaa Cooperative Insurance Co. published the shareholders’ circular, the offer document, and the timeline for its merger with SABB Takaful Co.

KEIR International partnered with US-based Quadratics Development to deploy its eco-friendly building system and technology in Saudi Arabia

Calendar

August 17, 2022

Saudi Networkers Services Co. will start trading its shares on Nomu


KEIR to bring US-based Quadratics’ eco-friendly building system to Saudi Arabia

KEIR to bring US-based Quadratics’ eco-friendly building system to Saudi Arabia
Updated 16 August 2022

KEIR to bring US-based Quadratics’ eco-friendly building system to Saudi Arabia

KEIR to bring US-based Quadratics’ eco-friendly building system to Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Telecom services provider KEIR International has partnered with US-based Quadratics Development to bring its eco-friendly construction and building technology to the Saudi market.

Quadratics’ efficient and sustainable building system, using light gauge steel and lightweight concrete, aligns with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, KEIR said in a filing to the Saudi Exchange.

“It is a system widely accepted by real estate developers and government entities in Saudi Arabia after having been developed to provide cost-effective and high-specifications building and construction solutions,” it added.

With this partnership, Riyadh-based KEIR aims to strengthen its presence in the telecom, power, and renewable industries as a leading infrastructure company.