Saudi Arabia’s flynas eyes expansion with new units in two more countries: Report

Saudi Arabia’s flynas eyes expansion with new units in two more countries: Report
The airline’s move comes in line with its goal to become the Middle East’s largest discount airline and one of the five biggest globally. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 16 January 2023

Saudi Arabia’s flynas eyes expansion with new units in two more countries: Report

Saudi Arabia’s flynas eyes expansion with new units in two more countries: Report

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian low-coast air carrier flynas is eyeing to expand its global presence by opening new units in two countries, according to a report.  

The airline’s move comes in line with its goal to become the Middle East’s largest discount airline and one of the five biggest globally, Bloomberg reported citing a company statement. 

The report further noted that flynas would seek Air Operator Certificates in two unidentified countries, in an attempt to double its scale of operations.   

Saudi Arabia is pumping billions of dollars into the aviation sector, as tourism is set to be one of the main pillars of its economy in the future. This comes as the Kingdom is steadily diversifying its revenue in line with the goals outlined under Vision 2030.  

The Riyadh-based airline is looking to play part in the Kingdom’s aviation push, with a plan to expand its existing fleet to 250 while also adding widebody models such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus SE A350 to its existing array of narrowbody carriers.   

Earlier in January, flynas revealed that it doubled its annual growth in operation and performance during 2022, as passengers increased by 91 percent to 8.7 million, flights by 45 percent to 66,000 and seat capacity by 46 percent. 

“The annual results confirm the progress in the company’s strategic plan with receiving of 8 new Airbus A320neo and joining 2 Airbus A330 aircraft, which will contribute to serving the pilgrims and Umrah performers as well as expanding to new markets,” Bander Almohanna, CEO and managing director of flynas, said in a press statement. 

Some of the key initiatives of the Kingdom’s National Aviation Strategy include opening a new airport in Riyadh and launching a new airline to cater to the increased demand.  

Both the airport and the airline will be owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund which holds $607 billion worth of assets under management, according to data from the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.  

Saudi Arabia’s National Aviation Strategy aims to increase air connectivity to 250 destinations, reaching 330 million passengers, and double air cargo capacity to 4.5 million tons by 2030.   


Modon to develop 14 automated warehouses in Jeddah 

Modon to develop 14 automated warehouses in Jeddah 
Updated 8 sec ago

Modon to develop 14 automated warehouses in Jeddah 

Modon to develop 14 automated warehouses in Jeddah 

RIYADH: The Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones, also known as Modon, is set to establish, develop and operate 14 warehouses in Jeddah 1st Industrial City.  

The new warehouses will be based on smart automated systems to provide quick and temporary logistical solutions to support industrialists and entrepreneurs as well as stimulate investment in the retail sector.  

According to Modon, the project involves the construction of fully digital and automated warehouses that do not need human intervention, using the latest technology and equipment that provides access to storage units via a smartphone app.  

The project is set to offer 24-hour customer service to provide immediate and thorough support.  

The warehouses will be operated based on the public-private partnership model, which is expected to enhance quality standards and operational efficiency of services and products and stimulate investment. 


Saudi fintech firm Raqamyah gets SAMA license to offer crowdlending solutions  

Saudi fintech firm Raqamyah gets SAMA license to offer crowdlending solutions  
Updated 5 min 2 sec ago

Saudi fintech firm Raqamyah gets SAMA license to offer crowdlending solutions  

Saudi fintech firm Raqamyah gets SAMA license to offer crowdlending solutions  

CAIRO: Riyadh-based fintech firm Raqamyah has received a license from the Saudi Central Bank, also known as SAMA, to offer its debt-based crowdlending solutions to small and medium enterprises.  

The license was granted after the company successfully passed testing its solutions within the SAMA’s regulatory sandbox, an experimental environment dedicated to innovative financial products and services in Saudi Arabia.  

Founded in 2017, Raqamyah enables SMEs to access Shariah-compliant financing of up to $1.3 million from individual and institutional lenders through its online platform and has been part of SAMA’s regulatory sandbox since 2019.  

SMEs apply for financing applications with the firm and receive approval within three working days to list their business on the platform where lenders start funding the request.  

The financers then receive monthly payments and profits as the businesses make their repayments. The platform also offers lenders to automate their lending investments so whenever there’s an opportunity that fits the criteria.  

In February 2021, Raqamyah secured $2.3 million in a funding round led by Impact46 which was used to comply with SAMA’s licensing requirements. 

The bank said its licensing of fintech companies contributes to achieving the objectives of the Financial Development Sector strategy aligned with Vision 2030.   

“SAMA reiterates its commitment to support the finance sector, increase the efficacy and flexibility of financial transactions and enable innovation in financial services to promote financial inclusion in the Kingdom and provide easy and secure access to financial services to all segments of society,” it said in a press release. 

Last month, the central bank issued licenses to two fintech firms — Forus and Tameed — both specializing in debt-based crowdfunding.  

Also earlier in January, the central bank announced the launch of a new lab to allow businesses to test their products against an established framework.   

The service is a new concept that enables consumers of financial institutions to securely share their data with a third-party provider, facilitating innovative services and products. 


Aldar joins with Dubai Holding to build 9,000 new homes

Aldar joins with Dubai Holding to build 9,000 new homes
Updated 15 min 3 sec ago

Aldar joins with Dubai Holding to build 9,000 new homes

Aldar joins with Dubai Holding to build 9,000 new homes

RIYADH: Abu Dhabi based Aldar Properties is set to begin devlopments in Dubai after signing a joint venture agreement with Dubai Holding to build 9,000 new homes across three communities in Dubai.

The developments will take place in the suburban heart of the city along the E311 and E611 corridors across 38.2 million sq. ft of land. according to a press release.

Work is set to begin this year, according to a press release.

“Our entry to Dubai is a milestone moment for Aldar, and we are excited about our long-term growth potential in the emirate alongside Dubai Holding, a prominent and strategic partner,” said Group CEO at Aldar Properties Talal Al Dhiyebi.  

Aldar will be in charge of the entire development cycle, including concept design, sales, delivery, and management of the developments.

“The JV with Aldar demonstrates Dubai Holding’s unparalleled track record of being the strategic ‘partner of choice’ for strong regional and institutional investors. In line with our vision to operate For the Good of Tomorrow, we will continue to unlock opportunities that position Dubai as a leading destination for investments from across the globe,” noted Amit Kaushal, CEO of Dubai Holding.

“By joining forces with Aldar, one of the market leaders in this field, we are delivering on a shared objective of driving the UAE’s economic growth and creating long-term, sustainable value for all our stakeholders,” Kaushal added.


Saudi-based AJA Pharma and the UAE’s Bioventure agree deal to license and supply new pharmaceuticals

Saudi-based AJA Pharma and the UAE’s Bioventure agree deal to license and supply new pharmaceuticals
Updated 02 February 2023

Saudi-based AJA Pharma and the UAE’s Bioventure agree deal to license and supply new pharmaceuticals

Saudi-based AJA Pharma and the UAE’s Bioventure agree deal to license and supply new pharmaceuticals

RIYADH: Saudi-based AJA Pharma has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UAE’s Bioventure FZ-LLC to license and supply new pharmaceutical products.

According to a bourse filing, the new additional selected pharmaceutical products in the Middle East region are set to be used in the Saudi Export stand at the upcoming Arab Health Expedition 2023.

Under the terms of the new MoU, Bioventure, a subsidiary of GlobalOne Healthcare Holding, is set to focus and develop various delivery forms including complex-to-develop formulations, diabetes, oncology, and biosimilars.

In addition to this, the biopharmaceutical company is also expected to advance and propel therapeutic categories that are projected to be among the largest and fastest-growing within the global pharma sector over the coming years.

The financial impact of the one-year agreement which was signed on Feb. 1 is yet to be disclosed.

Commenting on the agreement, Thamer Al-Muhid, CEO of investment firm Saudi Chemical Co. Holding – of which AJA Pharma is a subsidiary – said: “SSCH aspires to develop its manufacturing arm in the pharma sector, AJA Pharma, through such investment which will contribute to strengthening its position as a Saudi pharmaceutical manufacturer in the field of Oncology, Diabetes and Specialty products, to serve and meet community needs.”

Also, Ashraf Radwan, CEO of GlobalOne Healthcare, said: “Bioventure is committed to improving access to quality healthcare for patients in the Middle East, and this MoU with AJA Pharma marks a significant step towards achieving that goal. By expanding our licensing and supply capabilities, we can bring a wider range of innovative, effective treatments to the people who need them most. I am thrilled to be working with AJA Pharma to bring these solutions to patients in the Middle East and make a meaningful difference in their lives”.

Bioventure is a biopharmaceutical company with a global network focused on biotech as well as a wide range of pharmaceutical activities.


SAMA among Gulf central banks to mirror US Fed 25 bps interest rate hike  

SAMA among Gulf central banks to mirror US Fed 25 bps interest rate hike  
Updated 50 min 30 sec ago

SAMA among Gulf central banks to mirror US Fed 25 bps interest rate hike  

SAMA among Gulf central banks to mirror US Fed 25 bps interest rate hike  

RIYADH: The Saudi Central Bank has increased its interest rate by 25 basis points to 5.25 percent, echoing Wednesday’s move by the US Federal Reserve to curb inflation. 

A statement from the bank, also known as SAMA, noted its Reverse Repo rate has also increased to 4.75 percent.  

Inflation is on the rise in the Kingdom, with the annual rate rising to 3.3 percent in December, up from 2.9 percent in November.  

The Fed’s quarter-point interest rate hike follows months of larger increases, as it hiked 50 basis points in December, and 75 basis points in November, September, July and June.

Despite recent signs of a slow down in the US economy, prices are running at their highest level since the early 1980s. 

Rising interest rates increase the cost of borrowing for consumers, leading to more expensive mortgage bills and loan repayments – something that can lead to reduced spending on other items as people try to reduce costs.

However, savers benefit from the interest rates rise, with money stored away gaining a greater return. Yet, with inflation across the globe still running hot, any extra interest gained by savings is lower than the rising cost of goods and services.

While the US Central Bank’s decision was driven by its desire to lower high inflation, this played a part in driving the Gulf region’s monetary policy, as most of the region’s currencies are pegged to the dollar.  

Following the US Fed’s decision, regional central banks also swung into action to raise their interest rates – although Qatar chose to hold. 

The UAE's central bank increased its base rate to 4.65 percent, effective on Thursday, while the Central Bank of Oman hiked its Repo rate to reach 5.25 percent.

Bahrain also raised its main rate by 25 basis points, with its one-week deposit facility rate rising to 5.5 percent, while the overnight deposit rate hit 5.25 percent. 

Qatar’s Central Bank said in a press release Wednesday that it would keep its rates unchanged, keeping its deposit rate at 5 percent, its lending rate at 5.5 percent, and its repo rates at 5.25 percent. 

As it was predicted that the country would mirror the Fed in early 2023 by the credit ratings agency Fitch in a report last month, this decision came somewhat as a surprise. 

The Central Bank of Kuwait, which raised its interest rate by 50 basis points last month, often acts separately and does not necessarily follow the Fed’s hikes.  

In addition, the Central Bank of Egypt is forecast to raise its overnight interest rates by 150 basis points at its regular monetary policy committee meeting on Thursday, a Reuters poll showed last Monday.  

The CBE increased its interest rates by an unprecedented 800 basis points over the last year alone, and has been involved in a constant series of currency devaluations.  

A poll of 13 analysts anticipated the bank to increase its deposit rate to 17.75 percent and its lending rate to 18.75 percent.