MoCI Discusses Challenges Facing Logistic Services Sector


Doha: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) organized a roundtable discussion with several logistics companies to discuss the main challenges facing the logistic services sector and find solutions that will help develop it.

Assistant Undersecretary for Industry and Business Development Affairs Saleh bin Majid Al Khulaifi participated in the meeting.

A statement by the MoCI today stated that this session is one of a series of meetings held by MoCI with the private sector in aim of discussing and evaluating the obstacles facing a number of major sectors in the country, one of which is the logistic services sector, within the framework of its keenness to support these sectors and provide all means of support to companies operating in them, facilitate current procedures, learn about the most important global practices, and come up with appropriate solutions for a suitable business environment in the State of Qatar.

The meeting addressed several topics, including the most prominent challenges faced by co
mpanies operating in the logistics services sector, the impact of that on regional expansion efforts, the impact of current laws, regulations and customs procedures on logistics operations, the regulatory changes that will benefit the logistics sector, and how to benefit from partnerships between the public and private sectors to improve the logistics services sector in Qatar. It also discussed the obstacles to obtaining skilled workers, the strategies that can be applied to address this deficiency, the technologies that should be given priority to enhance the efficiency of the sector, and the ease of access to and use of commercial platforms such as trade facilitation systems and shipping platforms within the country.

MoCI’s most prominent projects and initiatives to advance the logistics services sector were also highlighted, in addition to reviewing a number of proposals to support the success of projects and reduce these challenges.

Source: Qatar News Agency

SAMA Seeks Public Consultation on Updated Rules for Engaging in Debt-Based Crowdfunding


Riyadh: The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) said in a press release that it seeks public consultation on the draft of the Updated Rules for Engaging in Debt-Based Crowdfunding. In this context, SAMA invites stakeholders and the public for their suggestions and observations by visiting the “Istitlaa” public consultation platform.

This update aligns with SAMA’s ongoing efforts to regulate debt-based crowdfunding institutions and support the financial-technology (FinTech) sector.

The updated rules allow institutional beneficiaries to secure financing appropriate to their size and activity as well as to enhance disclosure requirements.

Suggestions and observations will be received within 30 days from this announcement to assess their relevance in finalizing the draft. The updated rules are available on the public consultation platform hosted by the National Competitiveness Center at:

https://istitlaa.ncc.gov.sa/ar/Finance/SAMA/DebtbasedCrowdfunding/Pages/default.aspx

Source: Saudi Press Agency

Bundesbank: Germany’s economy expected to grow

Germany’s central bank (Deutsche Bundesbank) said on Wednesday that it expects the country’s economy, the largest economy in Europe, to grow gradually after witnessing a 0.2 percent growth in the first quarter of this year.

This came in a report from Bundesbank’s headquarters in Frankfurt, where they attributed these expectations to the services and consumption sectors, which will be reflected in the overall economic growth in the coming months.

The German economy, which relies mainly on the export sector, saw a 0.2 percent contraction last year, which was due to the decline in the performance of most economic sectors, especially the consumption sector.

This was all indicated by economic institutes, specifically (Ifo), and the German government, which is due to rising prices and the inflation rate, against the backdrop of rising energy prices.

Source: Kuwait News Agency

QNB, Ooredoo Fintech Extend Their Partnership to Revolutionize Fintech Services in Oman


Doha: The QNB Group and Ooredoo Fintech announced a groundbreaking extension to their partnership aimed at revolutionizing fintech services in the Sultanate of Oman, marking a significant milestone in the region’s digital transformation journey.

The QNB Group added that building on their existing strategic alliance, which to date has focused on the market leading Ooredoo Money proposition in Qatar, QNB will serve as the settlement bank for Ooredoo Fintech’s mobile wallet in the Sultanate of Oman.

Commenting on the partnership, Senior Executive Vice President – Group Corporate and Institutional Banking Khalid Ahmed Al Sada stated, “This partnership aligns with our commitment to supporting innovation in the countries we operate. By leveraging our robust banking infrastructure and Ooredoo’s expansive reach, we aim to empower individuals and businesses with convenient, secure, and accessible financial services.” For his part, CEO of Ooredoo Fintech Michelangelo Giacco expressed his enthusiasm for the collaborat
ion by saying, “We are dedicated to leveraging technology to enrich the lives of our customers. This partnership with QNB represents a significant step towards realizing this vision, as we combine our expertise to deliver innovative fintech solutions tailored to the needs of the Omani market. Together, we aim to redefine the future of digital wallets and drive financial inclusion across the Sultanate.”

Source: Qatar News Agency

Headed by Minister of Finance, Kingdom’s Delegation Concludes Saudi-Chinese Meetings


Beijing, Headed by the Minister of Finance, Mohammed Aljadaan, the Kingdom’s delegation today concluded its participation in the Saudi-Chinese meetings held May 20-21, 2024, in the Chinese capital, Beijing.

Minister Aljadaan and the Chinese Minister of Finance, Lan Fo’an, co-chaired the third meeting of the Finance Sub-Committee for the High-Level Chinese-Saudi Joint Committee.

During the meeting, Minister Aljadaan stressed that the People’s Republic of China is a major partner in the Kingdom’s economic transformation and noted the enormous potential for innovation and technical cooperation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and China. He said strengthening partnerships in areas such as artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and smart cities pushes economic transformation and can create new avenues for growth and development.

During the meeting, the participants also discussed the macroeconomic situation and related policies and bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

The Vice Minister of Finance
, Abdulmuhsen Alkhalaf, and the Chinese Vice Minister of Finance, Liao Min, co-chaired the Saudi-Chinese Financial and Business Roundtable, hosted by the Chinese Ministry of Finance and organized by the Chinese Investment Corporation.

Vice Minister Alkhalaf stressed the importance of exploring economic and development opportunities between Saudi Arabia and China. He noted that the growing relationship between the two nations is reflected in increased economic and trade cooperation, as the volume of trade between Saudi Arabia and China reached more than $100 billion in 2023.

The Saudi delegation shared a presentation on the Kingdom’s economic development and investment opportunities. The participants also discussed investment and economic cooperation between the two nations in the infrastructure sector.

On the sidelines of the meetings, Minister Aljadaan met with a number of ministers, investors and thought leaders in China to discuss the latest economic and financial developments and topics of common in
terest, in addition to investment opportunities in the Kingdom in light of Saudi Vision 2030.

These meetings sought to establish bilateral cooperation and consolidate the strong relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the People’s Republic of China in various fields, to achieve comprehensive economic growth for both nations and for the global economy.

Source: Saudi Press Agency

Will the strong US dollar start to lose upward momentum?


Will the strong US dollar start to lose upward momentum?

The factors supporting the strong momentum of the US dollar have gradually weakened this year. The US Dollar Index (DXY) fell to 105 points during this week’s trading after failing to breach the 106.5 point level in recent weeks. Despite this, the US dollar remains high since… The beginning of the year increased by more than 3.5%, supported by the US economy remaining strong and the Federal Reserve’s adherence to its strict stance towards interest rates, which increases the attractiveness of the dollar, but there are many challenges facing the performance of the US currency in the coming period.

1. The American economy is no longer overheated

The annual GDP growth rate in the first quarter was only 1.6%, which is the worst quarter since the technical recession in the first half of 2022, which negatively affected the US dollar in the currency trading market . In April, both the ISM services and manufacturing index recorded a reading of less than 50.
point, indicating that the economy may slow in the second quarter of 2024. The US consumer confidence index fell for the third straight month in April, reaching 97, the lowest level since July 2022.

2. The labor market in the United States is tight

New employment in the non-farm sector fell to 175,000 jobs in April from 315,000 jobs in March, falling below 200,000 for the first time in the past five months, and the annual growth rate of average hourly wages slowed in April to 3.9% for the third month in a row. This is the first time since June 2021 that it has fallen below 4%.

The ISM service sector employment index fell to 45.9 points in April, below 50 for the third month in a row, and the employment data released last Friday (May 3) led to a decline in the yield of 10-year US Treasury bonds to below 4.6%, recording the lowest… level since April 9, and interest rate futures once again reflected expectations of a rate cut by the Federal Reserve in September.

3. The slowdown in inflation has stopped

Al
though the inflation slowdown in the United States has stalled, it is not enough for the Fed to abandon its dovish stance. At the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) press conference after the meeting on May 1, Chairman Powell stated that the next interest rate adjustment from… It is unlikely to be a rate hike.

The core PCE index rose 2.8% annually in March, which is down from a high of 5.6% in February 2022 and is approaching the Fed’s forecast of 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2024. Therefore, inflation data may prevent a decline in the dollar index. Below the 50-day moving average (at around 104.56) next week.

The most important factors affecting the US dollar

The US dollar is variable and multiple factors can change the value of this currency. Being aware of these factors helps you make better decisions and prepare to make a profit in different financial markets. Below are the most important factors that can affect the US dollar.

1. Interest rate

One of the most important factors that affect the US
dollar is the interest rate set by the Federal Reserve Bank. A higher interest rate means an increase in the value of the US dollar as the price of money becomes more expensive. A lower interest rate means that the rate of lending or borrowing is cheaper, which reduces the value of the dollar, because This is a very important indicator that you should keep in mind so that you can see the path of the US dollar.

2. Economic growth rate

The most important indicator for any economy is the economic growth rate. A higher rate will increase the value of that national currency and a lower growth rate will reduce its value.

If the US economic growth rate increases, this is a positive signal that can increase the demand for the US dollar and grow its value. If the opposite scenario occurs, this will be a negative signal for the economy and can reduce the value of the economy, and even expectations about the US economy can change the price of the US dollar.

3. Inflation rate

The inflation rate is the average rate o
f prices of various products in the economy and services, and it is a very important indicator. A high inflation rate is a bad signal for the economy as it leads to higher prices and a decrease in the value of the national currency. However, a low inflation rate has a completely opposite effect to the scenario mentioned above, as it leads to an increase in the value of the national currency. The national currency because this is a positive signal for the economy.

Changes in the US inflation rate are a very important indicator that can change the value of the US dollar. A high inflation rate is a negative signal for the US dollar, while a low inflation rate is a positive signal for the US economy, which raises the value and price of the US dollar.

4. Unemployment rate

The unemployment rate is the number of all people aged 15 to 65 who have no job while they are actively searching for a job.

If the unemployment rate in the US economy increases it means that more people are out of work, which is a negative s
ignal for the economy that also shows slowing growth which will lead to a decline in the value of the US dollar.

Now if the unemployment rate decreases this indicates that the economy is growing and doing very well, it will benefit the entire society and the demand and value of the US dollar will continue to rise.

5. New monthly jobs

New jobs are one of the most important indicators of the American economy. The growth of new jobs monthly means that the economy is growing and can absorb the human resources of the economy very well, which is a positive indicator that will increase the value of the US dollar in the world.

The same is true when new job creation declines, and investors and economic activists see it as a bad signal that will devalue the US dollar.

6. Geopolitical tensions

There are more geopolitical tensions than ever before in the world, and for 2024 these tensions will continue to rise as there are many new powers in the world competing for more resources in the world.

Any geopolitical ten
sion is very good for the value of the US dollar because that will increase the demand for the national currency of the United States, as all people want to convert their money into US dollars because the US economy is the largest economy in the world and therefore it is a very safe place to put money.

7. Wars in the world

War means uncertainty, and it causes people to leave war zones and migrate to better and safer places, and since the United States is the most powerful country in the world and has the largest economy, it is the safest place to transfer capital and the best place to immigrate as well.

Any serious war in the world will cause the value of the US dollar to rise and the demand for this currency will continue to rise.

8. Retail sales

Retail sales show how consumers spend, so an increase in retail sales means that consumers are spending more and this is a very good sign for the economy, and if retail sales decrease, this is a negative indicator for the economy that indicates there is a probl
em within the economy.

Source: Maan News Agency

Qatar Participates in 10th World Water Forum in Indonesia


The State of Qatar participated in the 10th World Water Forum, which is addressing issues related to financing, climate change, and renewable energy. The forum’s activities will continue until May 25 in the Republic of Indonesia.

HE President of Kahramaa, Eng. Essa bin Hilal Al Kuwari, headed Qatar’s official delegation participating in the forum.

His Excellency delivered the State of Qatar’s speech at the opening session, “As we meet here today, we stress our shared responsibility to ensure access to clean and safe water for all, regardless of geography, economic status or political affiliation; In accordance with our commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 6, “to ensure a sustainable and effective supply of clean water and sanitation for all by the year 2030.” He added, “Qatar is also committed to conserve water. We have adopted sustainable practices and launched ambitious initiatives to increase water efficiency, promote water conservation, and protect our precious water resources for future generatio
ns. We have also invested in high-tech desalination technologies, smart water systems, wastewater treatment facilities and water recycling initiatives to meet the growing demand for water in a rapidly changing world. We have also implemented an integrated water management plan, supported by a strong water security policy, a national water strategy, and regulations to ensure sustainable use and distribution of water resources across different sectors.” The Forum, entitled “Water for Shared Prosperity”, is attended by a number of leaders, presidents and eminent personalities to discuss topics such as funding, climate change, and renewable energy. The forum aims to reaffirm everyone’s commitment to the water sector and to formulate concrete actions on inclusive and sustainable water management.

Source: Qatar News Agency

Saudi EXIM Bank Signs Two Cooperation Agreements with Japan’s SMBC and MUFG Banks


Riyadh: On the sidelines of the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum in Tokyo, Saudi EXIM Bank signed two cooperation agreements with SMBC Business Banking and MUFG Bank, fostering cooperation and creating co-financing opportunities to promote non-oil exports in target markets, according to the Saudi EXIM Bank.

According to the statement, the two agreements were signed separately by Eng. Saad bin Abdulaziz Al-Khalab, CEO of Saudi EXIM Bank, along with Mr. Akihiro Fukudom, CEO of SMBC Bank and Hironori Kamizawa, CEO of MUFG Bank.

Commenting on the partnerships, Eng. Saad Al-Khalab stated: “This collaboration with Japanese entities is part of our joint efforts to strengthen economic relations between both countries and achieve the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030. The acceleration of commercial projects between our nations toward broader horizons comes as a result of the strength, advanced economic status, and promising investment opportunities.”

During the roundtable meeting, which brought together several mini
sters from both sides, Eng. Saad Al-Khalab reviewed Saudi EXIM Bank’s activities with Japanese financial institutions and commercial companies to enhance economic and trade relations and identify projects of mutual interest.

During the financial sector’s roundtable meeting, Al-Khalab emphasized the critical importance of collaborative efforts between all financial institutions and business sectors. This is to ensure the provision of comprehensive, incentivizing credit solutions that can accelerate the pace of trade and mutual and global investment activities.

The Saudi EXIM Bank aims to empower the Kingdom’s non-oil national economy in accordance with Vision 2030. The bank is focused on enabling Saudi non-oil exports to expand and penetrate global markets by bridging financing gaps and reducing export risks.

Source: Saudi Press Agency

European Stocks Close Lower


European stock indices closed lower Wednesday, affected by inflation expectations in Britain and a wave of selling in shares of automakers.

The European Stoxx 600 index ended trading down by 0.35 percent, with most sectors declining, as the automobile sector fell 1.3 percent, oil and gas stocks fell 1.2 percent, and mining stocks fell 2.1 percent.

The German DAX index fell by about 0.24 percent, the French CAC index lost by about 0.61 percent, while the British FTSE index fell by about 0.55 percent.

Source: Qatar News Agency

FII Institute Announces the Holding of FII PRIORITY Summit in Rio de Janeiro and the 8th Edition in Riyadh


Riyadh: The Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute announced its inaugural Latin American FII PRIORITY summit in Brazil. Themed ‘Invest in dignity,’ the summit will take place June 11-13, at the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro. The FII PRIORITY program is an annual series of summits, reports, and initiatives designed to tackle the world’s biggest challenges and concerns.

The summit Rio de Janeiro will explore how investing in renewable energy, artificial intelligence (AI), entrepreneurship, and social impact can put people, respect, and dignity at the heart of policymaking, and make sure that the dignity of all citizens around the world is protected and prioritized should be a goal for all economic policymakers.

‘Our focus will be on responsible decision-making in investment and economic growth. This summit marks a pivotal moment in shaping a sustainable and technologically advanced future for all,’ said FII Institute chief executive and board member Richard Attias.

FII Institute also announce
d the theme for its upcoming eighth annual FII conference (FII8), scheduled for October 29-31 at the prestigious King Abdulaziz International Conference Centre (KAICC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Under the captivating theme “Infinite horizons: investing today, shaping tomorrow,’ FII8 will ignite discussions on how investment can serve as a catalyst for a prosperous and sustainable future, pushing the boundaries of what is possible for humanity.

Attias emphasized the significance of the theme, stating that ‘Infinite horizons is not just a theme; it’s a clarion call to expand our collective vision and embrace the limitless prospects of the future. It embodies our commitment to driving conversations that lead to a future where investment knows no bounds and works towards a better tomorrow for all.’

FII8, organized by the FII Institute and founded by PIF, will adopt an innovative format as an exclusive week for FII Institute members, invited delegates, and strategic partners. Discussions at the conference will b
e data-driven, ensuring that insights are grounded in facts and actionable strategies.

Source: Saudi Press Agency