Jeddah Islamic Port receives 3 ship-to-shore cranes

The new cranes have been procured by the Red Sea Gateway Terminal, which is  a strategic partner of the Jeddah port and the operator of its North Container Terminal.
The new cranes have been procured by the Red Sea Gateway Terminal, which is  a strategic partner of the Jeddah port and the operator of its North Container Terminal.
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Updated 29 January 2023

Jeddah Islamic Port receives 3 ship-to-shore cranes

Jeddah Islamic Port receives 3 ship-to-shore cranes

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s  Jeddah Islamic Port has received a new batch of three ship-to-shore cranes amid efforts to boost operational efficiency of the port, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The new cranes have been procured by the Red Sea Gateway Terminal, which is  a strategic partner of the Jeddah port and the operator of its North Container Terminal.

The cranes cement the Red Sea Gateway Terminal’s commitment to upscale the terminal’s operations and modernize its logistics infrastructure.

Earlier this month, the Saudi Ports Authority , also known as Mawani, announced that Geneva-based international liner operator Mediterranean Shipping Co. has added Jeddah Islamic Port to its new India-West Mediterranean route.  

The new service falls in line with the objectives of the National Strategy for Transport and Logistics Services that aims to consolidate the Kingdom’s position as a global logistics hub connecting three continents.    

Industries between India and the Mediterranean such as clothing, automotive, and pharmaceutical are set to benefit from the new direct communication between the two regions.

Last year, in October, Mawani inked a deal with Globe Group to establish a fully integrated logistics zone at the Jeddah port to enhance its competitive edge and support logistics-related companies on the ground. 


GAMI launches key initiatives including e-platform to boost military sector

GAMI launches key initiatives including e-platform to boost military sector
Updated 17 sec ago

GAMI launches key initiatives including e-platform to boost military sector

GAMI launches key initiatives including e-platform to boost military sector

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Military Industries on Monday launched several initiatives to boost the military industries and enable the Kingdom to achieve its goal to localize more than 50 percent of spending on equipment and services by 2030, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The plans were launched at an event in Riyadh which was attended by Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef, and other top government officials and CEOs of local companies.

The initiatives aim to create an attractive and stimulating investment environment for local and international investors and enable them access opportunities via a national electronic platform. The proposed platform seeks to increase coordination between the government departments and other stakeholders to ensure hassle-free operations.

GAMI Gov. Ahmed Al-Ohali thanked the Kingdom’s leadership for the special attention given to the sector’s development.

He said the initiatives unveiled today will help boost investments in the sector by making opportunities accessible to local and international investors. Commenting on the national platform, the official said it will make it easier for investors to follow up on their requests and help facilitate an investor’s journey.

Al-Ohali said since its establishment the authority has worked to improve and develop the military procurement mechanism.

The GAMI chief said the authority is also working to sign three framework agreements to support and enable local manufacturers.

Several memorandums of understanding were also signed on the sidelines of the event to help expedite localization of the industry and increase the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product.

Deals were also signed with the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones, the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, the Saudi Industrial Development Fund and the Small and Medium Enterprises Bank.

 


NEOM’s ENOWA signs agreement to establish first hydrogen fueling station 

NEOM’s ENOWA signs agreement to establish first hydrogen fueling station 
Updated 4 min 57 sec ago

NEOM’s ENOWA signs agreement to establish first hydrogen fueling station 

NEOM’s ENOWA signs agreement to establish first hydrogen fueling station 

RIYADH: NEOM’s water and electricity subsidiary ENOWA has signed an agreement with Air Products Qudra to build, own, and operate the giga-project’s first hydrogen fueling station. 

Construction on the facility is set to commence in the second half of the year and will help decarbonize heavy modes of transport covering buses and trucks, according to Air Products Qudra’s website. 

“We look forward to contributing our world-leading hydrogen expertise and fueling technology in support of NEOM’s decarbonization goals,” said Ebubekir Koyuncu, Air Products Qudra’s CEO, adding: “Producing and distributing clean hydrogen energy solutions for use in heavy-duty fuel cell vehicles, as well as industrial applications and energy storage, is part of our DNA.”

Air Products Qudra will support NEOM’s environmental development goals by providing a large-scale decarbonizing solution as well as the critical infrastructure for sustainability. 

Peter Terium, CEO of ENOWA, said: “We are delighted to partner with Air Products Qudra in providing hydrogen-powered mobility solutions. Jointly we accelerate innovations in clean technologies fueled by green hydrogen, and we contribute to hydrogen mobility markets and a sustainable future of global decarbonization.”  

NEOM is Saudi Arabia’s $500 billion giga-city that aims to change the traditional residential and work lifestyle through eco-friendly activity, while ENOWA acts as an incubator for developing new, sustainable energy and water businesses while boosting the economic sector regionally.   

Air Products Qudra is a joint venture between development and investment company Air Products Middle East and Qudra Energy, which is Vision Invest’s industrial gasses and composites arm. 

The company also signed a memorandum of understanding last year with the Royal Commission for Jubail to establish the first hydrogen fuel station in Jubail.


SAMA grants Saudi firm license for finance aggregation services 

SAMA grants Saudi firm license for finance aggregation services 
Updated 41 min 34 sec ago

SAMA grants Saudi firm license for finance aggregation services 

SAMA grants Saudi firm license for finance aggregation services 

RIYADH: The Saudi Central Bank has granted Creative Future for Digital Brokerage a license to carry out finance aggregation services in the Kingdom.

The Saudi-based company will provide services through its platform that connects financing companies with clients based on credit obligation and solvency to offer them customized finance solutions. 

This is part of an initiative by the central bank – also known as SAMA – to entice a new segment of investors and companies that can bring added value to the sector while maintaining full adherence to the regulations and guidelines set by the bank. 

“SAMA reiterates its commitment to support the financial sector and FinTech for enhancing operational efficiency to promote financial inclusion for the various segments of the society in the Kingdom,” said a statement on the bank’s website. 

The licensing terms fall under SAMA’s Rules of Licensing Finance Support Activities that control and monitor related activities. 

The granting of licenses comes after Creative Future for Digital Brokerage successfully passed testing its digital solutions in SAMA’s regulatory sandbox – an experimental environment dedicated to innovative financial products and services in Saudi Arabia. 

“Granting licenses to Finance Aggregation Service Providers is a step towards achieving the objectives of the FinTech Strategy in its pursuit to be among the leading countries in FinTech,” SAMA’s website stated.

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

The strategy, published last year, aims to bring the total number of operating fintech companies to 150 by the end of 2023 and to 525 by 2030. 

Last month, Riyadh-based fintech firm Raqamyah received a license from SAMA, to offer its debt-based crowdlending solutions to small and medium enterprises.  

The bank has been keen to promote financial stability in the Kingdom and drive economic growth through the development of the fintech sector. 

The strategy also pointed out that fintech is set to contribute to 20 percent of total foreign investments in the Kingdom. 

“The Kingdom's aspirations to become a global leader in the financial technology sector must be supported by a strategy that focuses on managing the financial transformation of the financial sector to achieve a long-term economic impact,” the strategy stated. 


Saudi Arabia hosts 120m event visitors as entertainment industry gains momentum  

Saudi Arabia hosts 120m event visitors as entertainment industry gains momentum  
Updated 42 min 10 sec ago

Saudi Arabia hosts 120m event visitors as entertainment industry gains momentum  

Saudi Arabia hosts 120m event visitors as entertainment industry gains momentum  

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is fast becoming one of the leading entertainment hubs in the region, with the Kingdom hosting over 120 million people at events in the last four years, according to the chairman of the General Entertainment Authority.

Turki Al-Sheikh acknowledged that the backing received from the Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman for this crucial sector has resulted in GEA receiving numerous Guinness World Records certificates. 

He added that this paved the way for a significant number of employment opportunities in the Kingdom’s entertainment sector.    

This comes as the authority issued 11,136 licenses for a range of entertainment and supporting events following the launch of the new licensing system in August 2019, reported the Saudi Press Agency.   

Saudi Arabia’s new online system was created to simplify the process of applying for entertainment licenses.   

“The purpose of offering this range of licenses is to encourage investment in the entertainment sector, which is a vital and promising sector,” Sultan Al-Fakeer, the GEA’s chief operations officer said at the time of the launch.  

He added that the novel platform offers a clear and simple system through which to apply for the licenses.  

The permits are part of the efforts the Kingdom is making to stimulate investment in the entertainment sector and enhance economic activity to help achieve the strategic objectives of Vision 2030. 

The authority also put together the second edition of the International Qur’an and Adhan Competition — the largest of its kind in the world — during that period, stated Al-Sheikh.   

The event saw over 50,000 contestants, from 165 countries of the world, registering to participate in the competition when registration was opened in January this year.   

The GEA has provided prizes worth a total of SR12 million ($3.19 million), the largest prize money for such a competition globally.   

The chairman further noted that the total activities, taking in events, entertainment shows and live shows in restaurants and cafes, was around 8,732 from 2019 to the first quarter of 2023. As for the number of event days, they exceeded 76,000 with more than 1,381 concerts.   

He also added that a total of 470 entertainment destinations have been licensed in 42 cities and governorates around the country. This is in addition to around 1,402 restaurants with at least 3,728 permits that have been licensed in 50 cities and governorates in Saudi Arabia.   

Also, during that period, around 3,738 institutions regarding recreational and support activities have been issued licenses, 82 plays were held with 350 theatrical performances, and over 6,610 talented performers were permitted to take part in events. 


Saudi National Bank says its Credit Suisse investment has ‘no impact’ on growth plans or profits

Saudi National Bank says its Credit Suisse investment has ‘no impact’ on growth plans or profits
Updated 20 March 2023

Saudi National Bank says its Credit Suisse investment has ‘no impact’ on growth plans or profits

Saudi National Bank says its Credit Suisse investment has ‘no impact’ on growth plans or profits

RIYADH: Credit Suisse's largest shareholder Saudi National Bank has confirmed there is “no impact” on its growth plans or profitability after the troubled Swiss lender was bought out by UBS.

The SNB made a SR5.5 billion ($1.4 billion) investment in the bank in November 2022, but as of a month later it only represented 0.5 percent of the Saudi firm’s total assets and approximately 1.7 percent of its investments portfolio.

Banking giant UBS is buying Credit Suisse for almost $3.25 billion, in a deal orchestrated by regulators in an effort to avoid further market-shaking turmoil in the global banking system.

Swiss authorities pushed for UBS to take over its smaller rival after a plan for Credit Suisse to borrow up to 50 billion francs ($53.76 billion) failed to reassure investors and the bank’s customers.

In a statement to the Saudi stock exchange, SNB said: “Changes in the valuation of SNB's investment in Credit Suisse have no impact on SNB's growth plans and forward-looking 2023 guidance.”

Shares of Credit Suisse and other banks plunged after the failure of two banks in the US sparked concerns about other potentially shaky institutions in the global financial system.

Credit Suisse is among the 30 financial institutions known as globally systemically important banks, and authorities are worried about the fallout if it were to fail.

As of December 2022, the impact on SNB’s Capital Adequacy Ratio from the Mark-to-Market decline in Credit Suisse was an estimated 15 basis points with zero impact with regards to profitability.

However, with the new announcement, the potential impact to SNB’s Capital Adequacy Ratio is around 35 basis points also with zero impact when it comes to profitability.

That said, SNB also assured that any changes in the valuation of its investments in Credit Suisse will have no impact on SNB’s 2023 guidance nor its growth plans in the future.

With assets surpassing SR945 billion, SNB continues to have healthy capitalization and liquidity that remains above the prudential thresholds.