DUBAI: The International Monetary Fund will grant Morocco a $1.3 billion loan, Morocco’s state media reported on Tuesday.
Number of Saudis in private sector rises 10.5% in Q2
RIYADH: The number of Saudi nationals in the private sector rose 10.5 percent in the second quarter of 2023 to reach 2.2 million, a report by the National Labor Observatory showed.
It revealed an average quarterly growth of about 42,000 citizens in the private sector until the current year's second quarter.
The rise was attributed to a strong economic rebound that led to an increase in the workforce.
The report also reviewed industry changes and Saudization figures for jobs in private sector establishments based on different regions across the Kingdom.
It showed that the number of Saudi employees recorded the most significant increase for both genders, with males standing at 1.3 million, compared to about 900,000 females, bringing the total Saudization rate to 22.3 percent.
The Eastern Province took the lead, recording the highest Saudization rate of 27 percent, followed by Makkah at 24 percent and Riyadh and Madinah at 21 percent each.
The information and communications sector also achieved a strong participation rate for male citizens, reaching 60 percent, while education achieved the highest engagement of female citizens at 53 percent.
In May 2022, the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development announced that it was focusing on a skills strategy to improve professional standards for workers and those entering the labor market, according to Abdullah Abuthnain, the vice minister.
Abuthnain noted that the initiative would benefit more than 200 professions, with councils establishing employment standards and on-the-job training programs in critical economic sectors.
“We, at HRDF, will work to develop and implement labor market policies by creating a sustainable national workforce, developing human cadres’ skills, providing them with knowledge and qualifications, and aligning them with labor market and job needs,” he said at the time.
Closing bell – Saudi Arabia’s main index edges down 0.3%
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index declined 0.3 percent to close at 11,005.94 on Monday recording a total trading turnover of SR5.2 billion ($1.4 billion).
The Tadawul All Share Index ended lower with 60 stocks making gains and 158 reporting losses. The MSCI Index also dipped 1.75 points to close at 1,413,37.
Nomu, the parallel market, ended the day on a positive note rising 0.41 percent and recording a trading volume of SR50.1 million.
Arabian Pipes Co. emerged as TASI’s best performer, as its share price surged 6.07 percent to close at SR90.90.
National Medical Care Co. and Leejam Sports Co. also posted significant gains, closing at SR133 and SR151.60, up by 5.89 percent and 4.99 percent respectively.
The National Company for Learning and Education and Red Sea International Co. also performed well.
Saudi Aramco Base Oil Co. closed as the day’s laggard, falling 4.56 percent to end at SR142.20.
Share prices of Al-Babtain Power and Telecommunication Co. and Bupa Arabia for Cooperative Insurance Co. also dipped to SR18.72 and SR200, falling by 4.20 percent and 4.12 percent, respectively.
On Nomu, Intelligent Oud Company for Trading emerged as the top-performing firm gaining 30 percent to conclude at SR63.70.
Alqemam for Computer Systems Co. also ended in the green rising 29.82 percent to finish at SR120.60. Paper Home Co., Mayar Holding Co., and National Building and Marketing Co. joined the gainers’ list, closing at SR 210.20, SR8.07, and SR257 after gains of 21.36 percent, 9.20 percent, and 6.20 percent, respectively.
On the announcement front, Intelligent Oud Company for Trading began listing its shares on Nomu at SR49 per share.
The company floated 325,000 shares, which represents 20 percent of its capital, to qualified investors. The offering was oversubscribed by 1,983.63 percent.
The initial public offering marked the 23rd listing on Nomu in 2023. The total number of listed companies on Nomu has now reached 67.
PIF-owned Cruise Saudi sets sail with tech investment in AROYA Cruises
RIYADH: Public Investment Fund-owned Cruise Saudi has announced its investment into various tech organizations for its AROYA Cruises.
In a press release, the company announced that the project has entered its inaugural phase of technology stack development, solidifying partnerships with globally renowned tech companies.
These strategic collaborations, featuring Monitor Deloitte, Alibaba Cloud SA and theICEway as well as SourceToad, Otalio and Versonix Seaware, underscore Cruise Saudi’s commitment to providing passengers with a seamless journey from booking to boarding and beyond.
Cruise Saudi’s IT and digitization team is leading the technology stack development, signaling their dedication to delivering a cutting-edge passenger experience.
Leading the charge in project management and digital strategy is Monitor Deloitte, a global leader in strategy and consultancy. They will meticulously craft a data-driven digital strategy to ensure every technological decision is forward-looking and strategically aligned.
Alibaba Cloud Saudi Arabia, a homegrown Saudi enterprise, will lay the digital foundation for AROYA Cruises, ensuring top-tier security, reliability, and swift digital interactions.
Simultaneously, theICEway has been entrusted with the task of seamlessly integrating AROYA’s diverse technological domains into a cohesive digital ecosystem, guaranteeing a harmonious experience for both guests and crew members.
Guests on AROYA Cruises will benefit from an array of features designed to enhance their experience. This digital hub will provide services such as an interactive ship map, daily itineraries, and reservations for shore excursions, dining, and spa treatments.
Otalio’s Ship Property Management System is set to elevate the experience from cabin to deck, delivering curated experiences.
On the other hand, Versonix Seaware, renowned for its expertise in cruise-focused Reservation and Revenue Management, will offer an intuitive booking experience.
Cruise Saudi CEO Lars Clasen said: “We are proud to be working in collaboration with world-leading technology companies to integrate cutting-edge technology into the AROYA Cruises experience. Creating a seamless, modern and comfortable journey for our passengers really is at the heart of our offering, and investing in technology to enhance the cruising experience truly aligns with our future-forward ambitions for this cruise line.”
Cruise Saudi welcomes cruise lines from around the globe to include Saudi as a port of call on their itineraries and add new destinations across the Kingdom that boast rich cultural heritage, history, and natural wonders.
Cruise Saudi was officially launched in 2021 to develop the infrastructure and services required to scale a full-suite cruise market in Saudi.
The company is responsible for the development and operation of cruise berths and terminals as cruise gateways to key Saudi destinations, as well as scaling cruise services, from marketing to Shorex design and coordination and ship operations.
SVC invests $30mn in IMPACT 46 Fund III to support pre-IPO companies
RIYADH: As part of its commitment to minimize financing gaps for startups, Saudi Venture Capital Co. has invested SR112.5 million ($29.9 million) in IMPACT46 Fund III.
According to a press release, the move is designed to empower late-stage companies in the region by investing in growth and pre-initial public offering phases.
A late-stage company is a business that has been in operation for a few years and has demonstrated viability.
The release added that the trust will aim to allocate a specific amount for early-stage startups, focusing primarily on seed rounds in the broader Middle East.
“The investment in IMPACT46’s Fund III falls under the company’s fund investment program, which aims to enhance the growth of the venture capital ecosystem for startups in the Kingdom across all stages and sectors,” said SVC CEO Nabeel Koshak in a statement.
“This is in line with the growth witnessed by the venture capital sector in the Kingdom over the past years, making it a leader in venture capital in the Middle East and North Africa in the first half of 2023 in terms of invested amounts,” Koshak added.
The Kingdom clinched the top spot in venture capital value for the first half of 2023, registering investments that surpassed $446 million, the highest in the MENA region.
“We are delighted that SVC and IMPACT46 are once again joining forces, this time with our Fund III, which aims to support the growth of the tech startup ecosystem in Saudi Arabia. This partnership demonstrates our commitment to achieving our shared vision for driving a sustainable economic impact,” said IMPACT46 CEO and Founder Abdulaziz Al-Omran in the statement.
“This investment not only signifies the growing maturity of the VC activity in Saudi Arabia but also highlights the Kingdom’s potential to emerge as a frontrunner in this sector,” Al-Omran added.
Founded in 2018, SVC operates under the umbrella of the SME Bank and the National Development Fund.
SVC has channeled its resources and efforts toward empowering startups with an investment portfolio that boasts $2 billion.
The company’s reach encompasses 43 investment funds and over 700 startups and small and medium enterprises, firmly positioning itself as a catalyst for entrepreneurial growth.
Furthermore, IMPACT46 is a Saudi-based venture capital company that invests from seed-stage startups to more mature businesses.
NVB launches CEO Club in the Kingdom, to work closely with Invest Saudi
Aiming to foster a conducive work environment for global leaders, National Vision Business Co. Ltd. launched the first international club exclusively designed for chief executives, chairpersons, board members and diplomatic heads.
Fayez Al-Hamrani, managing director and CEO of NVB, stated that they are delighted to have launched the CEO Club in the Kingdom and will work to invite over 18,000 members worldwide to Saudi Arabia in the coming period.
He further noted that his company aims to promote qualitative local and international relations and create a unique work environment for industry leaders.
Underscoring the region’s solid political and economic position, he emphasized that the Kingdom’s presence in the G20 will enhance the role of the club by highlighting projects launched by Saudi Arabia, including NEOM, The Red Sea, Qiddiya and others.
“The Invest Saudi initiative is one of the key programs our company will work on in coordination with the Ministry of Investment,” he stated.
He said his company is coordinating with the relevant government and semi-government agencies to present the best international CEO award in 2024.