Saudi point-of-sale transactions plunge in post-Ramadan month 

Saudi point-of-sale transactions plunge in post-Ramadan month 
Sales have fallen for the second consecutive month following a 3 percent decline in April and a growth of 31.2 percent in March (Shutterstock)
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Updated 13 July 2022

Saudi point-of-sale transactions plunge in post-Ramadan month 

Saudi point-of-sale transactions plunge in post-Ramadan month 

CAIRO & MOSCOW: The value of Saudi Arabia’s point-of-sale transactions fell in May by SR7 billion ($1.9 billion) month-on-month to SR42.4 billion, according to data from a recent monthly report issued by the Saudi central bank, also known as SAMA.

This translates to a month-on-month decline of 14.3 percent, the biggest since February 2021, when the value of transactions fell 16.7 percent.

Sales have fallen for the second consecutive month following a 3 percent decline in April and a growth of 31.2 percent in March.

On a year-on-year basis, Saudi Arabia’s PoS increased by 5.2 percent in May 2022, the lowest annual rate since June 2021.

May this year coincided with the Islamic month of Shawwal, the first post-Ramadan month and Eid holidays, however, the consumer spending posted a significant decrease in contrast to last year. Last year when only the second half of May coincided with the post-Ramadan period, and the first half fell on the last two weeks of Ramadan at that, sales increased by 2.8 percent from April.

Ramadan is usually associated with lower levels of consumer spending as consumers prefer to feast within the comfort of their own homes.  

The PoS transactions include a variety of sectors, none of them compare with the weight of the top three sectors in terms of sales value i.e. restaurants and cafés which contributed 16 percent in May, followed by food and beverages at 15.5 percent, and miscellaneous goods and services at 10.5 percent.

From the alluded to sectors above, sales in the food and beverages sector decreased in May by 8.2 percent from April, goods and services by 13.5 percent, while restaurants and cafés increased by 35.3 percent.

The three worst performing sectors were clothing and footwear, furniture, and the telecommunication sector, which plummeted in May by 62.5 percent, 34.6 percent and 30 percent month-on-month, respectively.

It would be pertinent to mention that clothing and footwear contributed 5.9 percent of the total value of sales in May, while furniture and telecommunications made up a lower portion of 2.5 and 0.8 percent respectively.

The sectors which showed steepest increases in sales value were restaurants and cafés, miscellaneous goods and services, and hotels at a growth rate of 29.8 percent, 27.6 percent, and 16.8 percent respectively.

On the other hand, clothing and footwear exhibited the sharpest decline of 44.7 percent, which comes as no shock after its poor performance in May of 2022.

Similarly, jewelry and furniture also showcased massive year-on-year decreases of 39.6 and 20.3 percent respectively. 


Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade

Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade
Updated 17 sec ago

Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade

Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade

RIYADH: Metaverse is predicted to add $360 billion to the economy in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey over the next 10 years, an official for Meta, the parent company of Facebook, told Asharq Business.

The metaverse is an online world where users can play games, work, and study.

Globally, the metaverse is expected to add $3 trillion to the world’s economy over the next decade, according to Fares Akkad, regional director for Meta in MENA.

Speaking about Meta platforms, he said there are over 300 million users on Instagram, Facebook, and Whatsapp.

Meta is investing more than $1 billion in programs that support creators on these platforms and help them succeed, Akkad said.

 


TASI sees sixth session of gains: Closing bell

TASI sees sixth session of gains: Closing bell
Updated 7 min 11 sec ago

TASI sees sixth session of gains: Closing bell

TASI sees sixth session of gains: Closing bell

RIYADH: The Saudi main index closed on a positive note for the sixth trading session in a row as investors’ recession fears faded.

The Tadawul All Share Index ended 1.49 percent higher to reach 11,780; the parallel market Nomu edged 1.32 percent higher to 20,339.

Saudi oil giant Aramco ended with a 0.70 percent decline, while Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. edged up 4.9 percent.

The Saudi National Bank, the Kingdom’s largest lender, fell 2.36 percent, while Saudi British Bank increased by 1.73 percent.

The Kingdom’s most valued bank Al Rajhi gained 1.81 percent, while Alinma Bank gained 1.05 percent.

Arabian Internet and Telecommunication Co., known as solutions by stc, gained 7.67 percent to lead the gainers, after it completed all necessary procedures to acquire a $158 million stake in Egypt's Giza Systems Co.

Gulf General Cooperative Insurance Co. declined 2.58 percent to lead the fallers, followed by Alamar Foods Co. which fell 1.45 percent.

Among the gainers, Arabian Pipes Co. increased 7.54 percent, while Jabal Omar Development Co. added 6.67 percent.


Saudi Arabia explores opportunities in South Africa to become global supplier of hydrogen

Saudi Arabia explores opportunities in South Africa to become global supplier of hydrogen
Updated 10 min 34 sec ago

Saudi Arabia explores opportunities in South Africa to become global supplier of hydrogen

Saudi Arabia explores opportunities in South Africa to become global supplier of hydrogen

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is working to boost its mining sector by attracting investments, spreading digital and advanced technologies, and applying sustainable standards, said the Kingdom’s vice minister for mining affair at the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.

Khalid Al-Mudaifer is heading a Saudi delegation in South Africa, where the Kingdom seeks to explore investment opportunities to become a global supplier of hydrogen and emerge as a hub for green mineral and highly competitive manufacturing.

The delegation, comprising Saudi investors, is visiting South African capital Pretoria to meet local investors, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The report said the Kingdom has many opportunities for integration with South Africa since it is one of the biggest economies in the continent.

One of the reasons for cooperation with South Africa is its strategic location, serving as a gateway to the entire African continent, as well as a link between the East and the West, Al-Mudaifer told Argaam.

South Africa is the hub for West Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa and the site for the export and trade of the Kingdom’s minerals. It also has great experience in mining, tourism, and other sectors.

Al-Mudaifer emphasized that Saudi Basic Industries Corp. and Saudi Arabian Mining Co. have representative offices in South Africa, which presents numerous opportunities for Saudi companies there.

“We can cooperate with South Africa to serve the Kingdom’s mining sector,” the vice minister noted.

The Kingdom has 14 mining sites with quantities of copper and zinc that will be auctioned after Al-Khunayqiyah and Umm Al-Damar. It needs marketing campaigns worldwide to attract companies, he added.

There are several South African firms operating in the Kingdom, including ADL, the official said, adding that some agreements were signed at Indaba. In addition to signing pacts with South African firms, other deals will be signed to transfer business into the Kingdom during this visit.

 


Mawani, Globe sign contract for integrated logistics zone at Jeddah Islamic Port 

Mawani, Globe sign contract for integrated logistics zone at Jeddah Islamic Port 
Updated 23 min 17 sec ago

Mawani, Globe sign contract for integrated logistics zone at Jeddah Islamic Port 

Mawani, Globe sign contract for integrated logistics zone at Jeddah Islamic Port 

RIYADH: The Saudi Ports Authority, Mawani, has inked a deal with Globe Group to establish a fully integrated logistics zone at Jeddah Islamic Port to enhance its competitive edge and support logistics-related companies on the ground.

This comes as a continuation of Mawani’s initiative to turn the Kingdom into a global logistics hub by creating such zones inside and outside ports.

Mawani said it aims to increase the contribution of the private sector to economic development and diversification in Jeddah Islamic Port, as well as provide and localize job opportunities in the logistics sector.

Jeddah Islamic Port is witnessing development operations aimed at improving its operational processes and increasing its capacity in an effort to make it among the top 10 ports in the world.

The port accounts for 75 percent of inbound maritime and transshipment trade in the Red Sea, making it the first re-export point in the region.

Recently, Mawani announced the signing of exceptional agreements to establish five promising logistic areas in Jeddah Islamic Port with an investment value of approximately SR2 billion ($532 million).

It also provides 6,000 direct and indirect job opportunities in the first phase, in an integrated partnership with local and international companies, including Maersk, CMA CGM, LogiPoint, DB World, Bahri.


B.TECH to drive more growth and expansion following investment by SEIC

B.TECH to drive more growth and expansion following investment by SEIC
Updated 45 min 34 sec ago

B.TECH to drive more growth and expansion following investment by SEIC

B.TECH to drive more growth and expansion following investment by SEIC

RIYADH: Egypt’s omnichannel retailer and consumer finance platform B.TECH is expected to drive more growth and expansion following the investment by the Saudi Egyptian Investment Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund, its CEO told Al-Arabiya.

B.TECH aims to increase its revenues by 30 percent by the end of 2022 to $1.5 million, while it aims to increase its locations to 153 by the end of the year.

Currently, B.TECH opens one location every ten days, according to B.TECH CEO Mahmoud Khattab.

B.TECH CEO Mahmoud Khattab (Supplied)

SEIC has acquired 34 percent of Egypt’s omnichannel retailer and consumer finance platform B.TECH.

SEIC’s acquisition was made via the purchase of a minority stake from African Development Partners II, a fund advised by Development Partners International.

B.TECH is 34 percent owned by DPI, while the remaining 66 percent belongs to BT Holding which is owned by the Khattab family that founded the company.

“In recent years, we have achieved significant milestones, rapidly expanded our e-commerce business and grew our store footprint, distribution and service centers, while also enhancing our digital capabilities,” Khattab said.

Working with SEIC, he said B.TECH will continue to accelerate its innovative growth strategy, its digitization efforts, while scaling new business verticals and existing core operations. 

Khattab added: “B.TECH will also invest in increasing financial inclusion efforts, supported by the growth of B.TECH’s digitally-enabled MiniCash consumer finance services, which will expand customer access to a wide range of financing solutions.”