Egypt hikes train fares to pay railway debt

Egypt hikes train fares to pay railway debt
Commuters are seen inside Sadat metro station underneath Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, June 17, 2015. (Reuters)
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Updated 03 August 2022

Egypt hikes train fares to pay railway debt

Egypt hikes train fares to pay railway debt
  • Outstanding loan of over $262.8m to upgrade lines
  • Consumers to pay up to 25% more, says transport minister

CAIRO: Egypt’s government has announced that it would raise train and metro fares by up to 25 percent by the end of August to reduce the debt of the Railway and Subway Authority, according to local reports.

In televised statements, Kamel Al-Wazir, Egypt’s minister of transport, said the increase would cover the loans taken out to develop the rail system, and to offset rising fuel and repair costs.

Al-Wazir said the total debt of the railway entity amounted to LE83 billion (over $4.3 billion), part of which was repaid. The authority still owes LE5 billion (over $262.8 million) to the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.

Experts have reportedly indicated that ticket prices have to be increased to pay for the development of the country’s ageing railway system.

The government initially said it would raise fares at the beginning of August, but later decided to delay the increase until the end of the month when “studies on the decision are complete.”

Official statistics by the Transport Ministry state that the three metro lines carry 4.6 million passengers daily, while other trains transport 1.1 million passengers every day.

The minister said students and veterans would be exempted from the increase.


Majority of Saudi executives worry workers’ transformation concerns are underestimated: Dell survey

Majority of Saudi executives worry workers’ transformation concerns are underestimated: Dell survey
Updated 17 sec ago

Majority of Saudi executives worry workers’ transformation concerns are underestimated: Dell survey

Majority of Saudi executives worry workers’ transformation concerns are underestimated: Dell survey

RIYADH: Close to two-thirds of business leaders in Saudi Arabia believe their organizations underestimate how to engage with workers properly when planning transformation programs, according to a survey conducted by Dell Technologies.

According to the Dell Technologies Breakthrough study, 63 percent of executives feel this concern, with 55 percent also believing employees' resistance to change can lead to failure in their businesses.

The report argues that a rapid shift towards digitizing workplaces has left many employees struggling to keep up with the pace of transformation. 

Mohamed Talaat, vice president at Dell Technologies, said: “In today’s do-from-anywhere world, organizations depend on their employees to drive change that leads to impactful growth. In Saudi Arabia, as the nation charts its long-term growth plans, this confidence is even more evident.”

He added: “While decision makers see their talent as their greatest business asset, a large majority of the staff are overwhelmed with the staggering transformation that has taken place over the last two years.” 

When it comes to employees, 72 percent of respondents in Saudi Arabia look forward to learning new skills which include leadership skills, courses in machine learning, or focusing on more strategic opportunities to elevate their role. 

Some 38 percent of participants said their work is stimulating and not repetitive, as several businesses delegate repetitive tasks to automated processes and free-up people to focus on enriching, higher-value work. 

“By understanding human behaviors, their preferences, and encouraging them with appropriate technology, businesses in Saudi Arabia can turn employees into highly motivated partners in growth,” Talaat further noted. 

Some 10,500 senior business decision-makers, information technology decision-makers and knowledge workers were surveyed for the report.


Saudi cloud-based platform ZenHR raises $10m in growth funding round

Saudi cloud-based platform ZenHR raises $10m in growth funding round
Updated 32 min 4 sec ago

Saudi cloud-based platform ZenHR raises $10m in growth funding round

Saudi cloud-based platform ZenHR raises $10m in growth funding round

RIYADH: Saudi-based human resource software provider ZenHR raised $10 million in a growth funding round, led by Rua Growth Fund with participation from venture capital firm Endeavor Catalyst and existing investors.

The company will utilize the funding to strengthen its presence across the 12 markets it currently serves as well as enhance its product offering.

Established in 2017 by Yousef Shamoun and Mohamed Haj Hassan, ZenHR is a cloud-based HR platform designed to streamline and automate the entire HR function from hiring to retirement.

Shamoun and Haj Hassan were also the founders of the online Arabic card gaming platform, Jawaker, which was acquired in 2021 for $205 million after raising one seed round of $500,000.


GCC market regulators approve plan to facilitate investment accounts opening  

GCC market regulators approve plan to facilitate investment accounts opening  
Updated 38 min 25 sec ago

GCC market regulators approve plan to facilitate investment accounts opening  

GCC market regulators approve plan to facilitate investment accounts opening  

RIYADH: Gulf Cooperation Council countries have approved an executive plan that facilitates the requirements to open investment accounts.

The heads of the countries’ capital market authorities also activated the Know Your Customer model — a process by which banks periodically obtain personal and financial information of customers for a greater understanding of their financial position.

The decisions were taken during the 25th meeting of the Ministerial Committee for Financial Markets in the GCC countries, held virtually, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The meeting discussed a number of topics, the foremost of which is the adoption of the regulatory framework for the inter-registration of financial products between the financial market regulators in the GCC countries.

The meeting also reviewed the findings of the work team of those responsible for training in the financial market regulators in the GCC countries regarding activating the knowledge portal for the Gulf financial markets to benefit from it in a better way.


Anaam International seeks to pay off its debt through capital increase

Anaam International seeks to pay off its debt through capital increase
Updated 05 October 2022

Anaam International seeks to pay off its debt through capital increase

Anaam International seeks to pay off its debt through capital increase

RIYADH: Saudi poultry processing firm Anaam International Holding Group seeks to increase its capital to pay off a large part of its SR154 million ($41 million) loan in order to reduce the debt cost in light of high-interest rates.

The loan was used to purchase an administrative building in Jeddah for Anaam, said its CEO, Hassan Saad Al-Yamani.

Earlier this week, Anaam Group announced its board recommendation for SR158 million capital increase through a rights issue.

The capital hike is subject to the approval of the relevant official authorities and the company’s shareholders.

Wasatah Capital was appointed to act as the financial advisor to the offering.


Tech entrepreneurs supported by new $53m Saudi initiative

Tech entrepreneurs supported by new $53m Saudi initiative
Updated 05 October 2022

Tech entrepreneurs supported by new $53m Saudi initiative

Tech entrepreneurs supported by new $53m Saudi initiative

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s National Technology Development Program has launched a new drive  to enable technology entrepreneurs to develop, accelerate, and kick off their projects.

The MVPLab initiative aims to launch 1,000 minimum viable product prototypes with the aim of transforming them into emerging technology companies by providing financial, knowledge and guidance support to beneficiaries.

The program is aiming to provide financial incentives and benefits with a total of up to SR200 million ($53 million) over the next three years.

The initiative has also partnered with The Garage, the Center of Digital Entrepreneurship, NAMA Ventures, SEEDRA Ventures, Rawahel, and BUNAT Ventures.