Shares of Saudi Chemical decline after profits drop 32% in H1

Update Shares of Saudi Chemical decline after profits drop 32% in H1
The chemical producer attributed the profits decline to a 6 percent decrease in gross profit. (Supplied)
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Updated 14 August 2022

Shares of Saudi Chemical decline after profits drop 32% in H1

Shares of Saudi Chemical decline after profits drop 32% in H1

RIYADH: Shares of Saudi Chemical Co. dropped 0.65 percent at the closing bell of Sunday, after its first-half profit declined 32 percent to SR47 million ($13 million), from SR68 million in the prior-year period, a bourse filing showed.

The chemical producer attributed the profits decline to a 6 percent decrease in gross profit during the first six months of 2022 to SR241 million.

The increase in finance costs combined with losses from interest rate hedging and foreign currency revaluations also contributed to decline.

 

 


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 12 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.”


Saudi telecom operator stc launches $1bn subsidiary to create regional media hub

Saudi telecom operator stc launches $1bn subsidiary to create regional media hub
Updated 44 min 10 sec ago

Saudi telecom operator stc launches $1bn subsidiary to create regional media hub

Saudi telecom operator stc launches $1bn subsidiary to create regional media hub

RIYADH: Saudi telecommunication firm stc has launched a new subsidiary, Center 3, linking Asia, Africa, and Europe through a regional media hub aiming to enhance the growth of the digital economy in the Kingdom.

Center 3 is a group of carrier-neutral data centers and a provider of international communication for the telecommunications sector through a submarine fiber-optic network.

The subsidiary firm was unveiled during a ceremony held in the Hilton hotel, nine months after the Center 3 MENA Hub initiative was initially announced.

“This is an initiative that is solidifying our digital offering not only to Saudi Arabia but far beyond to all of the global and digital ecosystem leveraging on being at the center of three continents,” Olayan Alwetaid, stc group CEO said.

Mohammed Alabbadi, stc group chief carrier and wholesale officer, added: “With an initial investment of $1 billion we are aiming to build the future; a future of unparalleled customer experience, carrier neutrality, and ensuring business continuity backed by a resilient and diverse network of sub-sea cables that connects Europe, Africa, and Asia."

Through the investment of $1 billion, stc aims to drive the growth of the Kingdom's economy and its gross domestic product.

“Today the real journey starts; the journey to solidify Saudi Arabia’s position at the heart of the ICT landscape in the region and the stepping stone beyond the region,” Alabbadi said.

He added: “Our vision is to create a digital community linking and hosting all stakeholders of the industry in one place — carriers, cloud, content, gaming all.”

The stc group chief carrier officer explained that the MENA HUB was inspired by the Kingdom's Vision 2030 in order to be an integral driver of connectivity between the three continents.

He added: “Today we are very proud to see stc deliver on its mission with an aim to help accelerate and drive these results even further.” 

During the ceremony, Fahad Alhajeri, Center 3 CEO, highlighted the subsidiary's business model, which includes the customer segments of hyperscalers and data center players, Tier 2 cloud, content and gaming, content delivery network, international carriers, local and regional carriers, and international enterprises.

“Our main objective is to make Saudi the digital hub in the region,” the Center 3 CEO said.

He noted that Saudi is forecasted to have the highest market share in the region. 

“We will continue in advancing our country's position and we are investing in 16 subsea cables, and nine lading stations by 2025. We will increase our connectivity capacity from 30TB to 130TB, and with our sub cables systems, we have access to more than 100 plus landing cities globally.” 

Center 3 CEO highlighted how the Middle East and Africa are underserved while the average global carrier of international connectivity from 2019 to 2025 is forecasted at 10 percent.

“The Middle East and Africa are growing two times faster than that at 20 percent and of course, among other factors, it's an indication of the gap in content localization. It is evident that a primary digital hub will evolve in the MENA region, creating a well-suited opportunity for the Kingdom,” Alhajeri said.

Center 3 aims to provide the three essential components in establishing a digital hub including media centers to store and process data, international connectivity to connect to international and regional markets, and active internet exchange.

“Usually these components are provided by multiple entities in different countries and regions that are the digital hub, we provide them all. Center 3 is the one-stop shop in the region,” he added.


Cybersecurity negligence from workers putting firms at risk in ME, survey finds

Cybersecurity negligence from workers putting firms at risk in ME, survey finds
Updated 51 min 16 sec ago

Cybersecurity negligence from workers putting firms at risk in ME, survey finds

Cybersecurity negligence from workers putting firms at risk in ME, survey finds

RIYADH: Hybrid working is increasing cybersecurity negligence by employees across the Middle East region, according to a survey. 

Research by global cybersecurity company Proofpoint revealed that some 51 percent of employees in the UAE admit to connecting to home or public Wi-Fi networks without knowing if they are secure, while 44 percent of Saudi Arabia-based employees make use of insecure networks. 

Other risky behaviors include using USB drives, downloading attachments and files from unknown sources, and clicking on malicious URL links.

According to the survey, only 17 percent of employees in the UAE and 14 percent in Saudi Arabia felt that they share the responsibility for cybersecurity in their organization, with a majority believing the information technology team was ultimately responsible for online safety.

Adenike Cosgrove, Proofpoint’s vice president for cybersecurity strategy for the region, said: “Employees must understand that they play a critical role in preventing data breaches and that this isn’t just an IT problem.

“As traditional working models evolve, the old ways of protecting data no longer work.”

It is not just lapses with connections that were unearthed by the survey, with the research showing 38 percent of the participants in the UAE and 36 percent in Saudi Arabia admitting that they would take documents they created with them when they started a new job.

Cosgrove added: “Organizations will need to work together with their employees to up their game and adapt data loss prevention and insider risk solutions to protect endpoints, cloud apps, email, and the web.” 

On the positive side, 53 percent of the participants in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia said that they check the email address of a sender before opening an attachment or clicking a link. 

Moreover, 65 percent of the employees in the UAE and 58 percent in Saudi Arabia said that their organization delivered cybersecurity awareness training to mitigate cyber-attacks. 


UAE In Focus — Multiply Group acquires 80% of International Energy Holding 

UAE In Focus — Multiply Group acquires 80% of International Energy Holding 
Updated 54 min 28 sec ago

UAE In Focus — Multiply Group acquires 80% of International Energy Holding 

UAE In Focus — Multiply Group acquires 80% of International Energy Holding 

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi-based holding company Multiply Group has acquired 80 percent of International Energy Holding LLC, according to Emirates News Agency WAM.

International Energy Holding recently secured a 50 percent stake in Kalyon Enerji Yatrimlari A.Ş., one of Turkey’s leading clean and renewable energy companies.

As part of IEH, Multiply Group intends to continue expanding its global investments in utilities and energy.

Through Kalyon Enerji's portfolio, the company owns a PV power plant with a capacity of 1,347.734 megawatt peak/1,000 megawatt electric in Konya's Karapinar region. 

This facility alone will meet the annual electrical needs of approximately 2 million people when it is completed in 2023, the statement added. 

In addition, the company has a 1 gigawatt wind project in Ankara developed by Turkey’s Renewable Energy Resources Zone, a 100 MW solar project in Nide, a 50 MW solar project in Gaziantep; and other renewable energy projects in Turkey.

A 7.3 percent stake in Abu Dhabi National Energy Company was recently acquired by Multiply Group for 10 billion dirhams ($2.7 billion). 

Additionally, the company owns 100 percent of the district cooling company PAL Cooling Holding, as well as 367 million dirhams in the initial public offering of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, one of the largest fully integrated utility companies in the UAE.

The remaining 20 percent of International Energy Holding has been acquired by Alpha Dhabi Holding, an Abu Dhabi-based conglomerate and subsidiary of the International Holding Company.

Arada awards two contracts valued at $123m to build 740 homes in Sharjah’s Aljada 

Two major contracts have been awarded to Arada for the construction of nine premium apartment blocks in Aljada, the 24 million square foot mixed-use megaproject in Muwaileh, according to Emirates News Agency WAM. 

There are 740 homes in total and nine buildings include five Sokoon blocks, two apartment buildings located near the museum of Aljada, and two Gate buildings.

Sokoon is a newly launched family-friendly development concept by Arada of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments

Airolink Building Contracting LLC won the contract to build the five Sokoon apartment buildings and the two apartment blocks adjacent to the museum for 377 million dirhams.

Building work on the Sokoon buildings, which consists of 482 homes, and the museum-facing buildings, which will include 138 homes, will begin immediately and be completed in 20 months. Aljada's cultural district, Naseej District, is home to both sets of buildings.

As part of the contract, Airolink Building Contracting LLC will also construct The Gate, which consists of two apartment buildings located at the entrance to Aljada, valued at 77 million dirhams. The Gate's 120 homes will also be constructed immediately and will be completed within 16 months.

Arada has completed almost 1,500 homes at Aljada, including all 14 apartment blocks, a garden villa community, and both phases of SABIS International School-Aljada.

A 16-building East Village complex, a 12-building Nest student housing community and a second Sarab villa community at Aljada are also expected to be completed by the end of the year.


Global oil demand is expected to grow until 2030 and beyond, says Aramco CEO

Global oil demand is expected to grow until 2030 and beyond, says Aramco CEO
Updated 04 October 2022

Global oil demand is expected to grow until 2030 and beyond, says Aramco CEO

Global oil demand is expected to grow until 2030 and beyond, says Aramco CEO

RIYADH: Global oil demand is expected to grow until 2030 and beyond, as the world has a flawed plan for energy transition, according to Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser.

Speaking at the Energy Intelligence Forum in London on Oct. 4, Nasser said alternatives to replace oil and gas are not ready yet, and he made clear that measures should be taken to decarbonize oil and gas, along with developing carbon capture and storage technology.

During the speech, he noted that ensuring excess production capacity and output is not the responsibility of Saudi Arabia alone, Reuters reported. 

Nasser also pointed out the oil market is focusing on short-term rather than long-term economics, and global spare capacity to raise oil production is very low.

“(The market is) focusing on what will happen to demand if a recession happens in different parts of the world, they are not focusing on supply fundamentals,” he said, putting spare capacity at 1.5 percent of global demand.

Saudi Aramco, which is one of the biggest players in the global oil market, is now planning to maintain its Asian market, despite rising European demand, Nasser added.

He noted that Aramco is on track to increase its capacity to 13 million barrels a day from 12 million by 2027, a project that is expected to cost billions of dollars.

Nasser warned that the space capacity of producers is running low, and added that there wouldn’t be any left once China ends its Covid Zero strategy.

“The world should be worried. This is where we are heading. If China opens up a little bit you will find out that spare capacity will be eroded completely,” he further said. 

During his speech, Nasser said that the primary problem Europe faces now is related to gas and liquified gas due to the lack of spare capacity.

“We need to build up some spare capacity in oil, gas and LNG. Otherwise, any outages or increased demand will seriously stretch producers and could cause more turmoil in markets,” he added.

Nasser further noted that Aramco is planning to begin gas exports including blue hydrogen, and talks are currently going on with customers in East Asia, Japan, and South Korea.

He made it clear that Aramco is targeting customers who are willing to sign offtake agreements with a validity of 15 to 20 years.

In September, while attending a forum in Switzerland, Nasser said that the insecurity in the energy sector is due to the lack of investments, and capping energy bills and taxing oil companies are not long-term solutions to the global energy crisis.