Regional Domino’s Pizza franchiser Alamar to start trading on TASI this week

Regional Domino’s Pizza franchiser Alamar to start trading on TASI this week
The company raised 42 percent of its capital, representing 10.6 million ordinary shares, in an initial share sale. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 07 August 2022

Regional Domino’s Pizza franchiser Alamar to start trading on TASI this week

Regional Domino’s Pizza franchiser Alamar to start trading on TASI this week

RIYADH: Fast-food chain operator Alamar Foods Co. will start trading its shares on the Saudi Exchange on Aug. 9, after a SR1.2 billion ($326 million) initial public offering, according to a bourse filing.

The company raised 42 percent of its capital, representing 10.6 million ordinary shares, in an initial share sale to join the Kingdom’s primary market TASI.

Following the bidding period and strong demand from investors, the IPO was priced at the top end of an indicative range of SR115.

Alamar is a fast-food restaurant franchiser of two globally recognized brands: Domino’s Pizza and Dunkin, with operations across 11 Middle Eastern, North African countries, and in Pakistan.


Digital payments soar in Saudi Arabia as preference for cash dips: report

Digital payments soar in Saudi Arabia as preference for cash dips: report
Updated 17 sec ago

Digital payments soar in Saudi Arabia as preference for cash dips: report

Digital payments soar in Saudi Arabia as preference for cash dips: report

 

RIYADH: Digital payment penetration is continuing its high growth in Saudi Arabia, as a report reveals more than one in ten Saudis spend money online at least once a day via e-commerce platforms.

According to global payment solutions provider Checkout.com’s report titled ‘Digital Transformation in MENA 2022’, Saudis who prefer cash for payments reduced from 27 percent in 2021 to 20 percent in 2022.

The report further noted that 91 percent of Saudi shoppers regularly buy from e-commerce platforms, and 14 percent of them shop at least once per day.

Some 78 percent of consumers in Saudi Arabia who took part in the survey said they will maintain or increase their current level of e-commerce spending into 2023.

The popularity of digital wallets is also steadily increasing in Saudi Arabia, as 26 percent of consumers consider these payment platforms the most preferred method for e-commerce, a near doubling of the figures from 2021.

Some 10 percent of the participants said that Buy Now Pay Later is their most preferred payment method for online shopping.

The report further added that consumers between the age of 25 and 45 have significantly less attachment to cash on delivery, while it is the youngest and oldest shoppers who rely on this payment method.

“The Kingdom is the largest economy in the Middle East, with a mature retail sector and a relatively affluent, digitally savvy population that is moving in the direction of digital payments steadily,” said Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo, senior vice president for MENA at Checkout.com.

He added: “The growing trust in online payments by shoppers means the digital transformation of the region’s retail sector is well underway.”

Saudi Arabia’s youth population has a growing affinity toward crypto currencies post the appointment of Mohsen AlZahrani by Saudi Arabia’s central bank to lead the Kingdom’s virtual assets and central digital currency program.

The report revealed that 44 percent of Saudis aged between 18 and 40 have held digital assets such as crypto, stablecoins and NFTs, while 54 percent of them would like to be able to pay for goods and services in crypto or stablecoins in the next 12 months.


Saudi-based SaaS startup raises $1.3m in seed funding

Saudi-based SaaS startup raises $1.3m in seed funding
Updated 18 min 7 sec ago

Saudi-based SaaS startup raises $1.3m in seed funding

Saudi-based SaaS startup raises $1.3m in seed funding

RIYADH: Saudi-based SaaS startup Glamera raised $1.3 million in a seed funding round led by venture capital firm Riyadh Angels Investors.

Established in Egypt in 2020, Glamera relocated to Saudi Arabia where it covers Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Taif, Qassim, Madinah, Tabuk as well as Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt.

The company is an all-in-one platform for beauty and lifestyle service providers where consumers can find and book sessions.

Since its establishment, the platform has managed to achieve huge growth in the region as it facilitated a gross merchandise value of $45 million in addition to continued growth in revenue and client acquisition.

“Now we can confidently work toward leading the market with our fully integrated solutions and play a part in the Saudi Digital Transformation Vision 2030. We aim to work with over 2,500 clients and achieve $500 million GMV by the end of 2023,” Mohamed Hassan, founder and CEO, said in a statement.

Omar Fathy, co-founder and chief technical officer of the startup, said that the company will use its funding to develop and launch new services as well as expand into Gulf markets.


UAE’s Ajman Bank signs deal to implement payment solutions

UAE’s Ajman Bank signs deal to implement payment solutions
Updated 23 min 7 sec ago

UAE’s Ajman Bank signs deal to implement payment solutions

UAE’s Ajman Bank signs deal to implement payment solutions

RIYADH: Ajman Bank, one of the leading Shariah-compliant banks in the UAE, has signed an agreement with VaultsPay, a fintech company, to provide digital financial solutions for businesses and individuals.

The partnership will expand the bank’s payment capabilities by introducing digital access to financial services for its clients in the UAE.

“Our goal is to develop a robust electronic payment ecosystem driven by data and insights to increase the safety and security of electronic payments,” Ajman Bank CEO Mohamed Amiri said in a statement. Founded in 2020, VaultsPay is a UAE-based payment gateway platform.


Brent to reach $100 a barrel quicker than previous estimation: Morgan Stanley

Brent to reach $100 a barrel quicker than previous estimation: Morgan Stanley
Updated 24 min 44 sec ago

Brent to reach $100 a barrel quicker than previous estimation: Morgan Stanley

Brent to reach $100 a barrel quicker than previous estimation: Morgan Stanley

RIYADH: Brent crude could reach $100 per barrel, much quicker than the previous estimation, as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and its allies, known as OPEC+, agree to cut oil output by 2 million barrels from November, according to Morgan Stanley analysts.

According to a Bloomberg report, analysts including Martijn Rats noted that the reduction of output will tighten the market, and added that the prices will be also dependent on the EU’s decision on Russian energy exports.

Morgan Stanley also increased its Brent price forecast by $5 to $100 a barrel for the first three months of 2023.

Echoing similar views, Damien Courvalin, head of energy research at Goldman Sachs told Bloomberg TV that energy prices will surely increase by the end of this year.

“All the developments we have seen on the supply side at this point very much sets the stage for what we believe will be higher prices into the end of this year,” said Courvalin.

Goldman Sachs also increased its fourth-quarter estimate for Brent crude by $10 to $110 per barrel.

UBS Group AG said that the current output cuts, along with the European ban on Russian crude imports will squeeze the market in the coming months.

On the other hand, Citigroup Inc. noted that this output ban will be mostly on paper, as the effective cut will be much smaller as OPEC+ is already failing to fulfill their quotas.

Citigroup also warned that the move to reduce output could backfire on OPEC+ if it hits economic activity and oil demand further.


MENA region economy expected to grow 5.5% in 2022 — fastest in six years: World Bank

MENA region economy expected to grow 5.5% in 2022 — fastest in six years: World Bank
Updated 06 October 2022

MENA region economy expected to grow 5.5% in 2022 — fastest in six years: World Bank

MENA region economy expected to grow 5.5% in 2022 — fastest in six years: World Bank

CAIRO: The Middle East and North African region’s economy is set to grow 5.5 percent this year, in what would be its fastest rate since 2016, according to a World Bank report.

However, the same area is forecast to see growth fall to 3.5 percent in 2023.

As oil prices rise, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries are expected to witness a growth of 6.9 percent in 2022, which will then steady to 3.7 percent in the following year with the subsiding hydrocarbon prices.

The report identified Saudi Arabia as the primary driver of GCC growth, with a forecast 8.3 percent growth rate in 2022.

Non-oil sectors in the GCC region are also expected to witness growth to varying extents in the coming year — from 2.6 percent in Oman to 7.7 percent in Kuwait.

Among developing oil exporters, economists anticipated a moderate growth of 4.1 percent this year, with Iraq leading the pack at a growth rate of 8.2 percent.

However, Iraq’s non-oil gross domestic product growth between 2022 and 2024 is set to be less than 3 percent due to political instability and water and electricity shortages.

Algeria’s GDP growth is forecast to reach 3.7 percent by the end of this year, aided by European efforts to diversify energy sources. In comparison, Iran’s expected growth was recorded at 2.9 percent, limited by global economic sanctions.

World Bank economists averaged the developing oil exporters’ growth at 2.7 percent in 2023 as the hydrocarbon high subsides.

The report further said that developing oil importers are projected to grow by 4.5 percent in 2022, led by Egypt’s 6.6 percent growth by the end of its fiscal year in June.

Despite the country’s progress in tourism, telecom and gas exports, Egypt’s GDP is expected to drop significantly to 4.8 percent in 2023.

Jordan’s GDP growth should fall slightly to 2.1 percent in 2022 and up to 2.3 percent the following year, also supported by tourism, according to the report.

Apart from Egypt and Lebanon, the oil exporting countries are said to grow by only 0.7 percent this year and then slightly up to 2.5 percent in 2023.

The report pointed out that six of the 18 MENA countries will have recovered from pre-pandemic GDP growth levels in 2022, and three additional countries will catch up the following year.

The current account of the MENA region is expected to advance notably in 2022 to reach 10.5 percent of GDP compared to only 4.5 percent the year before.

The region’s fiscal balance is said to reach 1.9 percent of GDP, up from a deficit of 3.5 percent in 2021, stated the World Bank report.

Gulf countries’ current account alone is projected to reach 17.2 percent in 2022 and 14.6 percent the following year, while their fiscal balance will touch 5.3 percent in 2022, up from a deficit of 2.2 percent the year before.