Saudi Arabia launches new investment marketing authority to support $3.2 trillion plan

Update Saudi Arabia launches new investment marketing authority to support $3.2 trillion plan
Saudi King Salman attending today's session of the cabinet (SPA)
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Updated 03 August 2022

Saudi Arabia launches new investment marketing authority to support $3.2 trillion plan

Saudi Arabia launches new investment marketing authority to support $3.2 trillion plan

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet has announced the establishment of the Saudi Investment Marketing Authority as the Kingdom plans to inject more than SR12 trillion of investments in the economy by 2030.

It will also hold the responsibility of marketing and attracting investments to the Kingdom through preparing plans and programs, locally and internationally, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The new authority aims to upgrade all business and services related to investment marketing and achieve cooperation between entities, according to the Ministry of Investment’s statement. 

Saudi Arabia’s Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih wrote on Twitter: “The Saudi Investment Marketing Authority will be a strong driver for the investment system, in accordance with the National Investment Strategy that aims to lure and develop national and foreign investments.”

Commenting on the creation of the authority, Mohammed Alsuwayed, former head of vision realization office at the Ministry of Transport, told Arab News: “It’s important to increase the synergy needed to implement the ministry’s initiatives and achieve the vision goals.”

“The authority was needed to get other entities involved and (held) accountable.”

Under its newly launched National Investment Strategy, Saudi Arabia aims to attract more investments from abroad as it seeks to diversify its economy away from the oil sector.

In December, Al-Falih said the Kingdom was aiming to attract SR1.8 trillion in foreign investment over the next nine years.

The minister said Saudi Arabia would be looking to secure investments in untapped business sectors, including green hydrogen, renewable energy, and information technology.

The government has adopted a four-pillar strategy: Creating awareness of investments; empowering different types of investors, like PIF; boosting financing instruments; and  tackling regulatory issues to make sure the Kingdom is competitive.

 

Food and water security

With regards to foreign matters, the council approved an initial agreement between the government and Oman in the field of food and water security.

Additionally, it approved two agreements in the fields of employment between the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development and Thailand’s Ministry of Labor. 


Standard Chartered appoints Ayesha Abbas UAE Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking 

Standard Chartered appoints Ayesha Abbas UAE Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking 
Updated 2 min 28 sec ago

Standard Chartered appoints Ayesha Abbas UAE Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking 

Standard Chartered appoints Ayesha Abbas UAE Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking 

RIYADH: Standard Chartered Bank appointed on Friday Ayesha Abbas as Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking in the UAE. 

Abbas will be responsible for executing the bank’s strategy and building the business in the retail banking business across the UAE, a statement showed.

She will also focus on growing the Bank’s digital offering, wealth management and affluent proposition in addition to strengthening client relationships. 

Abbas has over two decades of experience spanning wealth management, priority and consumer banking. 

She joined Standard Chartered in February 2019 serving as General Manager, Head of Priority and Premium Banking and Branch Network in the UAE, also covering Pakistan, Oman and key African markets. 

Prior to joining Standard Chartered, Abbas spent 18 years at HSBC, the statement said.


Oil dips as slowdown worries limit price gains

Oil dips as slowdown worries limit price gains
(Shutterstock)
Updated 19 August 2022

Oil dips as slowdown worries limit price gains

Oil dips as slowdown worries limit price gains
  • US crude stocks fall by 7.1 mln bbl, far more than expected
  • US oil refiners aim to run full-bore, spurning recession fears
  • OPEC chief says blame policymakers, lawmakers for price rises (Recasts, updates prices)

SINGAPORE: Oil prices dipped on Friday after two days of gain, as market participants weighed worries about global economic slowdown — that could dampen fuel demand — against expectations of tighter supplies toward year-end.

Brent crude futures fell 36 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $96.23 a barrel by 0309 GMT after settling 3.1 percent higher on Thursday. US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $90.29 a barrel, down 21 cents, or 0.2 percent, following a 2.7 percent increase in the previous session.

Still, the benchmark contracts were headed for weekly losses of about 1.5 percent.

While bullish US weekly data bolstered optimism for improved fuel demand for the near-term, lingering recession fears and a possible increase in output by OPEC+ will likely limit oil price’s upside, said Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst with Rakuten Securities.

US crude inventories fell sharply as the nation exported a record 5 million barrels of oil a day in the most recent week, with oil companies finding heavy demand from European nations looking to replace crude from warring Russia.

Keeping crude supplies snug, US oil refineries plan to keep running near full throttle this quarter, according to executives and estimates, as refiners set aside worries about recession and sliding retail prices to deliver more fuel.

The rise in US fuel production could partly offset lower oil products exports from China this year as Beijing prioritizes the local market to curb domestic fuel inflation.

On supplies, Haitham Al Ghais, new secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, told Reuters that policymakers, lawmakers and insufficient oil and gas sector investments are to blame for high energy prices, not his group.

The group together with allies such as Russia, known as OPEC+, are due to meet on Sept. 5 to adjust production. OPEC is keen to ensure Russia remains part of the OPEC+ oil production deal after 2022, Al Ghais said.

In a sign of improving supplies, the price gap between prompt and second-month Brent futures narrowed about $5 a barrel from the end of July.

Record US crude exports, the resumption of Libya’s production and sustained exports from Russia and Iran have eased global supply tightness ahead of peak refinery maintenance.

Russia forecasts rising output and exports until the end of 2025, an economy ministry document seen by Reuters showed, saying revenue from energy exports will rise 38 percent this year, partly due to higher oil export volumes.

Iran, meanwhile, increased its oil exports in June and July and could raise them further this month by offering a deeper discount to Russian crude for its main buyer China, firms tracking the flows said. 


UK’s Liz Truss says defining mission will be reviving the economy

UK’s Liz Truss says defining mission will be reviving the economy
Updated 19 August 2022

UK’s Liz Truss says defining mission will be reviving the economy

UK’s Liz Truss says defining mission will be reviving the economy

LONDON: The frontrunner to be Britain’s next prime minister Liz Truss said her government’s defining mission would be to revive the economy as she set out a series of measures to help parts of northern England.
Britain’s economic performance has lagged behind those of the United States, Italy and France in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The economy is expected to enter a long downturn at the end of the year amid surging inflation and rising interest rates.
“The defining mission of my government will be to get our economy growing again, cutting taxes to put more money into the pockets of hardworking people,” Truss said.
Outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson had said reducing regional economic inequality was his main goal. But public spending in the north of England fell behind the national average in the first two years of his government, research by the Institute for Public Policy Research has shown.
Truss said she was committed to the current government’s goal of reducing economic inequalities but would do so in a “Conservative way,” interpreted as meaning a focus on tax cuts and deregulation.
Speaking ahead of election hustings in Manchester in northern England on Friday, Truss pledged to provide more devolution, to ensure poorer areas receive the government funding they need, and to build two new vocational colleges in the north of England that will be “the vocational equivalent of Oxford and Cambridge,” dubbed “Voxbridge.”
Truss has portrayed herself as a radical insurgent who would overturn the current failed orthodoxy and has proposed to reverse more than £30 billion ($36 billion) of tax rises.


UAE-based tech firm launches $10bn fund in partnership with Abu Dhabi Growth Fund

UAE-based tech firm launches $10bn fund in partnership with Abu Dhabi Growth Fund
Updated 18 August 2022

UAE-based tech firm launches $10bn fund in partnership with Abu Dhabi Growth Fund

UAE-based tech firm launches $10bn fund in partnership with Abu Dhabi Growth Fund

RIYADH: G42, a UAE-based technology company, launched a $10 billion G42 Expansion Fund in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Growth Fund to invest in late-stage companies.

Managed by a G42 subsidiary, the fund will focus on growth companies in computing, communication technology, intelligent mobility, clean tech, digital infrastructure, fintech, healthcare, and life sciences, Wamda reported.

“With the G42 Expansion Fund, we aim to accelerate our global impact not only through the deployment of capital, but also by providing unique access to our networks, management, and operational assets to our portfolio companies,” Peng Xiao, group CEO at G42 and chairman of the G42 Expansion Fund’s Investment Committee, said in a statement.

 


Saudi-based fintech partners with SNB to support SMEs 


Saudi-based fintech partners with SNB to support SMEs 

Updated 18 August 2022

Saudi-based fintech partners with SNB to support SMEs 


Saudi-based fintech partners with SNB to support SMEs 


RIYADH: CASHIN, a Saudi-based fintech and point-of-sale provider, signed a partnership with the Saudi National Bank to support small and medium enterprises.

The partnership will facilitate management of transactions for business activities like receiving payments and sales with immediate bank settlements.

“We are proud to be an active element in the national transformation journey within the financial sector by providing innovative products in the field of fintech and information systems,” CASHIN CEO Omar Al-Ramah said in a statement.

Founded in 2021, CASHIN is providing its services to over 10,000 businesses in more than 30 sectors with transactions at around $800 million, MAGNiTT reported.