SMEs grow 15% to 752,600 in Q1 2022 as business climate improves: Monsha’at

Special The report also indicated that SMEs amounted to 62 percent of all employment in the private sector, with each enterprise on average hiring 12 people.
The report also indicated that SMEs amounted to 62 percent of all employment in the private sector, with each enterprise on average hiring 12 people.
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Updated 28 June 2022

SMEs grow 15% to 752,600 in Q1 2022 as business climate improves: Monsha’at

SMEs grow 15% to 752,600 in Q1 2022 as business climate improves: Monsha’at

RIYADH: The number of small and medium enterprises in Saudi Arabia registered a 15 percent growth to 752,600 in the first quarter of 2022 from 650,550 in the corresponding period last year, revealed the Small & Medium Enterprises General Authority, also known as Monsha’at, in its latest report.

According to Monsha’at, SMEs are companies with less than 250 staff members and annual revenue below SR200 million ($53 million).

The report also indicated that SMEs amounted to 62 percent of all employment in the private sector, with each enterprise on average hiring 12 people.

“A change of mindset can partially explain this growth. Saudis today are increasingly willing to venture into entrepreneurship and start and scale their businesses,” Monsha’at Vice Governor of Entrepreneurship Saud Alsabhan told Arab News.

“Our job, as an entity dedicated to SMEs, is to advise, guide and improve these businesses’ chances of success,” he added.

The agency aims to grow SMEs’ contribution to the country’s gross domestic product from 20 percent to 35 percent by 2030.

Sectoral snapshots

In terms of sector, retail, construction and food and beverages were the most active, constituting 14, 13, and 10.2 percent of SMEs, respectively, in the first quarter of 2022.

On the other hand, sectors with the most investments in 2021 were retail, enterprise software, and fintech, which raised over $390 million.

Another reason fueling the rise of SMEs is the surge in capital investments that have flourished in the Kingdom over the past few years.

Local and foreign investors have been eyeing governmental support to startups and SMEs as one in every 33 enterprises received funding.

Monsha’at alone has provided over SR100 billion in value through financing programs and initiatives as of the first quarter of 2022.

Saudi investors were the most active in 2022, in addition to witnessing a record-high increase of 52 percent in 2021 compared to the year before, reported research firm MAGNiTT.

Improving tech know-how

Founder and managing director at Saudi-based venture capital firm Nama Ventures, Mohammed Al-Zubi, told Arab News that the growth of SMEs in the Kingdom is partially attributed to the “unparalleled support” by the government.

“The maturity of Saudi entrepreneurs themselves and the rise of their level of know-how and sophistication is the main aspect of the Kingdom’s growth,” Al-Zubi added.

Monsha’at added that over 239,000 SMEs are located in Riyadh, accounting for 31.8 percent of all SMEs in the country and employing over 1.8 million people, making the capital one of the most dynamic cities in the Kingdom for small businesses. 

Emerging markets in the Middle East and North Africa region have all been performing well, with the importance of startups and SMEs being recognized by governments.

Although the global market has been negatively affected, improvement in the Middle East and North Africa region is still persistent, with a 33 percent increase in SME funding in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the previous quarter, according to a report by MAGNiTT.

The UAE and Egypt have also been focusing on SMEs and supporting startups through funding initiatives, with both countries raising over $450 million in venture capital funding in the first2022, according to MAGNiTT.

The UAE has seen 75 percent quarter-on-quarter growth in 2022 in startup funding, with international investors amounting to 61 percent of all transactions.


Saudi and Uzbek companies sign pacts on various investment opportunities

Saudi and Uzbek companies sign pacts on various investment opportunities
Updated 7 sec ago

Saudi and Uzbek companies sign pacts on various investment opportunities

Saudi and Uzbek companies sign pacts on various investment opportunities

RIYADH: Private sector companies in Saudi Arabia and their Uzbek counterparts have signed 14 agreements and memoranda of understanding covering various investment opportunities.
The signing of the pacts, covering sectors including air transport services, livestock, education, energy and technology, was witnessed by Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, the Saudi minister of investment, and his Uzbeki counterpart Jamshid Khodjaev, state news agency SPA reported.
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev arrived in Jeddah earlier this week and was received by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman prior to their meeting which tackled bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields.
The two countries also signed $12 billion worth of deals, including a wind project in Uzbekistan by ACWA Power.


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 15 min 4 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 30 min 1 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 18 August 2022

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)