Saudi Venture Capital backed over 570 startups since its launch, says CEO – Arab News
RIYADH: The Saudi Venture Capital Co. has invested in over 30 funds that have backed more than 570 startups in the Kingdom since its inception, the CEO Nabeel Koshak has revealed. 
While speaking at the Next World Forum in Riyadh on Sept. 7, Koshak said the company was established during the fourth quarter of 2018 to stimulate venture investment in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East and North Africa region. 
“We witnessed actually the last year two sectorial focus funds that will be backed on fintech and health-tech,” Koshak said. 
“The time is prime to explore also, backing the backers, VC funds and angel investors investing in this evolving and emerging sector which is esports and gaming,” he added. 
The CEO said the company received a couple of notifications from local, regional and international funds that they want to invest in gaming and esports in Saudi Arabia and across the MENA region. 
“And I think we are now untapping the potential of these investments to happen more and more with an organic natural growth of the sector specifically,” he added. 
The Next World Forum – Gaming & Esports Unleashed is hosted by the Saudi Esports Federation. The forum brings together a host of speakers from across the gaming and esports industries, along with featuring a series of activations, bilateral meetings, and investment opportunities. 
In January, a report from Boston Consulting Group predicted that Saudi Arabia is expected to take a leading role in the gaming and esports industry as consumption is projected to reach $6.8 billion by 2030, up from $959 million in 2020. 
The report expected an average annual compounded growth rate of 22 percent for the Saudi gaming consumption. 
On Tuesday, the Saudi Venture Capital Co. invested in Jordan-based venture capital firm Propeller — which specializes in funding early stage software-as-a-service, enterprise software and cloud infrastructure startups.
The move comes within the company’s program to invest in funds and stimulating startups, especially in their early stages, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The value of investment was not specified.
NEW YORK: Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street as the market builds on a rally last week that broke a three-week losing streak, according to Associated Press. 
The S&P 500 index was up a bit more than half a percent, as was the Nasdaq composite.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up a little less than half a percent.
Investors will be keeping a careful eye on inflation reports this week, including a report Tuesday on inflation in consumer prices during August.
The Federal Reserve is expected to make another jumbo rate increase next week in hopes of getting inflation under control.
The US Labor Department will release its report on consumer prices for August on Tuesday and a report on wholesale prices on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the Commerce Department releases retail sales figures for August. All three reports could provide a peak into how Americans are reacting to inflation that is close to four-decade highs.
Coronavirus cases are still casting a shadow in China, where about 65 million Chinese were under lockdown as of last week despite just 1,248 new cases of domestic transmission, mostly asymptomatic, being reported on Sunday.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.2 percent to 28,542.11 and the S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney was up 1 percent at 6,964.50. Taiwan’s benchmark gained 1.5 percent while the Sensex in India added 0.6 percent. Markets in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul were closed for holidays.
Britain’s FTSE 100 climbed 1.3 percent, as did the CAC 40 in Paris. Germany’s DAX jumped 1.6 percent.
On Friday, the S&P 500 closed 1.5 percent higher in its third straight increase, ending with a 3.7 percent gain for the week. It was the benchmark index’s best week since July.
Big gains for technology companies pushed the Nasdaq composite to a 2.1 percent gain, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.2 percent. Both indexes also notched their first weekly gain in four weeks.
Smaller company stocks also notched solid gains. The Russell 2000 index jumped 1.9 percent.
The gains punctuated a holiday-shortened week of trading on Wall Street during which the market regained some of the ground it lost after a mid-August slump that wiped away the much of the gains from a mid-summer rally.
The Federal Reserve is in the spotlight as investors they try to figure out whether the US central bank’s plan to cool the hottest inflation in four decades will work or possibly tip an already slowing economy into a recession.
Stocks spent July and part of August gaining ground on hopes that the Fed would ease up on its interest rate hikes, but slumped over the last few weeks as it became clear the central bank remained resolute in raising rates.
The central bank has already raised rates four times this year and markets expect it to deliver another jumbo-sized increase of three-quarters of a percentage point at its next meeting in two weeks.
Fed officials, including Chair Jerome Powell, have all reaffirmed the central bank’s determination to raise rates until inflation is under control.
In other trading Monday, US benchmark crude oil picked up 72 cents to $87.51 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It jumped $3.25 to $86.79 a barrel on Friday.
Brent crude oil, the pricing basis for international trading, advanced 97 cents to $93.81 a barrel.
The dollar fell back to 142.47 Japanese yen and the euro climbed to $1.0140 from $1.0093.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s main index returned to the 12000-point level on the back of a recovery in crude oil prices.
The Tadawul All Share Index gained 0.68 percent to end Monday’s session at 12,022, while the parallel market Nomu added 0.78 percent to finish at 20,899.
This was led by a 2.07 percent leap in the Kingdom’s largest valued bank Al Rajhi and a 1.34 percent increase in the country’s biggest lender the Saudi National Bank.
Shares of Saudi Aramco, the largest player on the Saudi oil market, edged up 0.4 percent, while Saudi Chemical Co. surged 6.74 percent.
Alinma Bank advanced 2.02 percent, while Saudi Arabian Mining Co., known as Ma’aden, increased 2.13 percent.
Tihama Advertising and Public Relations Co. gained 7.49 percent to lead the gainers, while Lazurde Co. for Jewelry lost 3.43 percent, leading the decliners, despite leading the gainers in early sessions.
In energy trading, Brent crude futures reached $93.68 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate traded at $87.42 a barrel, as of 3:23 p.m. Saudi time.
RIYADH: Massive technological developments spearheaded in Saudi Arabia have driven down the amount of energy needed to desalinate water, according to the CEO of ACWA Power.
Speaking during the Future of Desalination International Conference in Riyadh on Sept. 12, Paddy Padmanathan said there was still further to go to reduce the energy consumption in the sector, but added the whole process is now more “reliable”.
He also said the Kingdom is a prime investment destination for the water economy “due to the elements of overcoming the power challenges and capital low cost” compared to other countries in the region.
Reflecting on the change in production, Padmanathan said: “The business model was created here, and with massive technological advancement — really significant technological advancements — we have reduced the cost of the amount of energy that went into the desalination process, making it much much more reliable.
He added:  “We have now got to a stage where (we have) the efficiencies. (There is) much more room to go, but, we come from — just taking global numbers — 15+ kilowatt energy consumption down to 2.9, 2.8, just in a matter of decade, all being from thermal process to membrane process.”
Padmanathan said the price of energy is one of the reasons why desalination has proved expensive, but the reduction in consumption is not the only aspect that could see the cost fall.
“I don’t want to use this word but I’m going to use it: energy has got ‘democratized’, all of the sudden sunshine is pretty much everywhere,” he said, referring to the potential of solar power.
Hosted by Saudi Arabia from Sept. 11-13 in Riyadh, the Future of Desalination International Conference aims to discuss opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship in the desalination sector.
Policymakers, developers, contractors, researchers and innovators will attend to discuss the sector’s future.
CAIRO: Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Co. has invited bids for wastewater network works located in Abu Dhabi and Al-Ain, reported MEED.
The deadline to receive applications is Sept. 27.
The company has also invited bids for a project for the rehabilitation and development of wastewater and the deadline is Oct. 4.
AMAALA to tender projects worth $1.6bn
AMAALA — the Saudi megaproject set to attract tourists to the Red Sea coast — is tendering SR6.1 billion ($1.6 billion) worth of contracts across 54 proposals, Zawya reported.
The project developer also revealed that 300 contracts valued at SR6.62 billion have already been awarded, where the majority of deals have been finalized with local firms.
“Surpassing 300 contract awards underscores the scale of this project and the significant progress being made as we press ahead with activity on the ground to bring our destination to life,” stated John Pagano, Group CEO of TRSDC, was quoted as saying.
Aramco starts bids on $5bn petrochemicals project 
Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Co. is awaiting technical and commercial bids on its $5 billion Amiral petrochemicals project in Jubail, according to MEED.
Saptor — a joint venture between Aramco and France’s TotalEnergies — has pre-qualified eight bidders for the engineering, procurement and construction of the project.
The scope of work includes the expansion of  Saptor’s operations at its refinery in Jubail into petrochemicals production.
Upon its completion, the complex will have the capacity to produce 1.5 million tons of ethylene annually, in addition to 500,000 tons of propylene a year.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Natural Gas Distribution Co. has signed a memorandum of understanding with Egypt’s TAQA Arabia to explore ways to develop and operate gas transportation services.
The MoU supports Natural Gas’ plan to expand and boost its profits, according to a bourse filing.
The natural gas producer signed the one-year agreement with the aim of collaborating more effectively and gaining practical experience in the energy and gas sectors, it said.
TAQA Arabia is one of the largest natural gas distribution companies in Egypt. 


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