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 
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Updated 19 August 2022

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.


‘Hold back emissions, not progress’ says ADNOC chief as he issues energy security warning

‘Hold back emissions, not progress’ says ADNOC chief as he issues energy security warning
Updated 13 sec ago

‘Hold back emissions, not progress’ says ADNOC chief as he issues energy security warning

‘Hold back emissions, not progress’ says ADNOC chief as he issues energy security warning

RIYADH: The CEO of one of the region’s largest oil firms believes people in his position have a responsibility for energy security as he hit out at suggestions oil and gas production should be reduced.

Speaking at the Energy Intelligence Forum in London, Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, managing director and group CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., insisted that firms such as his need to be “in the room” when energy transition plans are drawn up.

Al-Jaber, who also serves as the UAE’s minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, warned that pulling the plug on current energy systems before developing new ones is misguided, as abandoning oil and gas production could take a toll on energy security. 

“We have seen that all progress starts and ends with energy security. And, as the world’s energy leaders, our responsibility in maintaining that energy security has never been more evident,” said Al-Jaber. 

He added: “We must all commit to mitigating the impact of global energy supplies, but let’s keep our focus on capturing carbon, not canceling production. Let’s hold back emissions, not progress.” 

According to Al-Jaber, energy transition is the most complex and capital-intensive project in human history, and a partnership with the energy sector is necessary to ensure a successful transformation. 

“For the energy transition to succeed, the energy professionals need to be in the room, as equal partners alongside all other stakeholders,” he said. 

He further noted that substantial investments are required in hydrocarbons, the energy source the world will rely upon in the future.

Al-Jaber revealed that the UAE is open to working with partners to mitigate the impact of hydrocarbons on the climate and build on its expertise to emerge as a reliable energy leader with zero carbon emissions. 

He noted that ADNOC is making use of advanced technologies, along with renewable solar and nuclear energy to reduce the carbon intensity of its oil and gas by a further 25 percent by the end of this decade. 

Al-Jaber added that ADNOC will also expand the use of carbon capture and storage. 

Speaking at the same event on Oct 4, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said that global oil demand is expected to grow until 2030 and beyond, as the world has a flawed plan for the energy transition. 

During the speech, Nasser noted that alternatives to replace oil and gas are not ready yet and added that measures should be taken to decarbonize oil and gas, along with developing carbon capture and storage technology.  


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 23 min 5 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 40 min 55 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 45 min 55 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 47 min 33 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.