• Monday, 30 April 2018
  • Published inApril 2018

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Country Risk Update
Saudi Arabia
Risk Indicator – DB3c
Risk Level – Slight
Ratings Trend – Stable

Dun & Bradstreet upgrades its rating outlook for Saudi Arabia due to several factors, including oil price strength, a new bankruptcy law and easing political tensions. Longer-term growth will be driven by government reforms under its Vision 2030, which aims to reduce its dependence on oil export revenues and boost the private sector.

Market Overview

Saudi Arabian Digital Media Firm Telfaz11 Raises $9 Million From Investors
Movie theaters may have recently returned to Saudi Arabia, but some investors are banking that the country won’t lose its voracious appetite for online videos, which thrived during the decades-long ban on cinemas.This week Saudi Technology Ventures and VentureSouq injected $9 million into Riyadh-based Telfaz11, a digital media company founded in 2011 that helps produce and distribute Arabic video content. It’s what’s known as a Multi-Channel Network, or MCN, which is an organization that offers a variety of services to YouTubers, such as assistance with content creation, advertising and cross-promotion, usually in exchange for a percentage of revenues generated by videos.Telfaz11 is far from the only player looking to capitalize on the space—there’s also UTURN, an entertainment company founded in 2010 in Jeddah that raised $1o million from Beirut’s Leap Ventures about two years ago. 

Dubai Hospitality Startup MaisonPrive Secures $4 Million Investment
MaisonPrive, a Dubai hospitality startup that rents luxury apartments and properties to travelers, says it has raised $4 million from an undisclosed private strategic investor.It would be the first investment secured by the company, which was formed in 2017 by Rami Shamaa and Paul Mallee, who say MaisonPrive is fully-licensed to operate under U.A.E. law.​Similar to Airbnb, but marketing itself as luxury-oriented, MaisonPrive caters to business travels and tourists looking for short-term rentals in Dubai. The company manages a portfolio of properties on behalf of owners, and offers services such as check-in and check-out, concierge, cleaning and 24/7 support. None of the properties it manages are the personal residences of the owners.​ MaisonPrive’s technology platform creates professional listings across booking sites such as Airbnb and​

Saudi Aramco Appoints First Woman To Its Board As IPO Looms Closer
Saudi Arabia’s energy firm Saudi Aramco has appointed a woman to its board for the first time even as the company looks to list its shares in the international market either this year or next. Aramco said that it appointed Lynn Laverty Elsenhans, along with five others to the company’s board. Other members include the kingdom’s Minister of Finance Mohammed A. Al-Jadaan, Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammed M. Al-Tuwaijri, former Chevron Philips Chemical Co. LP President & CEO Peter L. Cella and chairman of Dow Chemical Company Andrew N. Liveris.Elsenhans was ranked as one of Forbes Most Powerful Women while she helmed Sunoco. She left the Philadelphia-based firm in 2012 and joined GlaxoSmithKline as a non -executive director. She has been serving as a director of Baker Hughes since July 2017.

Billionaire B.R. Shetty Launches New Financial Firms Holding Company Finablr
Abu Dhabi-based billionaire and owner of  UAE Exchange B.R. Shetty has formed a new holding company called Finablr, consolidating all his financial services firms under one company. The new company will leverage the strengths of its brands across financial services sector UAE Exchange, Travelex, Xpress Money and Remit2India. Finablr will have more than 18,000 employees handling more than 150 million customer transactions annually. It will have a direct presence in 45 countries and has a network reach across 165 countries. The new company will be incorporated in the U.K.Finablr has also set up an incubator Innovation Hubs or i-Hubs that will identify disruptive trends and provide solutions for them. The holding company’s investment arm will continue to carry out acquisitions within the financial services sector.

PayTabs to collaborate with the largest dedicated Fintech Hub in the Middle East and Africa
As key officials from the Bahrain Economic Development Board and the Fintech Consortium kicked off the launch of Bahrain Fintech Bay on 21 February 2018, PayTabs, the one-stop payment solutions firm announced it would be one of the principal founders of the glitzy new Bahrain Fintech Bay.
Housed at the swanky Arcapita building in Manama, Bahrain Fintech Bay promises to be the Middle East’s most dynamic and diverse fintech network. Its’ objective is to be recognized as a complete ecosystem that will drive forward the Fintech industry in the Middle East.Bahrain Fintech Bay comprises of state of the art facilities, co-working spaces, communal areas, workstations, hot desks, and a variety of other shared infrastructure, making it the ideal hub for local and international corporate innovation labs and FinTech start-ups to base themselves in.

Commodity Tracker

Business Events this Week In UAE

AACE International Conference
Roda Al Murooj Rotana Downtown Dubai
01 May 2018 To 02 May 2018
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