RIYADH: Raydan Food Co. reported widening losses as sales dipped and costs rose.
First-quarter net losses at the company, which owns restaurants and provides catering across the Kingdom, climbed to SR8.9 million ($2.4 million) from SR6.7 million in the year earlier period, but were an improvement on the SR33.3 million loss posted for the fourth quarter of 2020, Raydan said in a filing to the Tadawul.
Sales slipped to SR34.3 million from SR48.7 million a year ago, but were up from the previous quarter’s SR29.4 million.
Raydan attributed its year-on-year loss to lower sales because of the coronavirus pandemic, higher cost of sales and an increase in operating costs, including closing, temporarily or permanently, some of its outlets.
The auditor cast doubt on the company’s future solvency amid growing losses and liabilities that exceeded assets by SR36.9 million ($9.8 million).
It also flagged a number of issues with the latest financial results, saying the company had failed to provide an assessment of impairment of property, plant and equipment at the end of the past two quarters.
The company’s asset and liability position, its continued losses and “other matters, indicate that a material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt on the group’s ability to continue as a going concern,” the auditor said in the Tadawul filing.
Raydan Food losses widen on pandemic slowdown
Raydan Food losses widen on pandemic slowdown
- Q1 net loss widened to SR8.9 million from SR6.7 million a year earlier
- Restaurant owner may permanently close some of its outlets
RIYADH: Raydan Food Co. reported widening losses as sales dipped and costs rose.
IMF likely to lower its global economic growth estimates due to omicron threat
WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund is likely to lower its global economic growth estimates due to the new omicron variant of the coronavirus, the global lender’s chief said at the Reuters Next conference on Friday in another sign of the turmoil unleashed by the ever-changing pandemic.
Omicron has spread rapidly to at least 40 countries since it was first reported in South Africa last week, officials say, and many governments have tightened travel rules to try to keep it out.
“A new variant that may spread very rapidly can dent confidence, and in that sense, we are likely to see some downgrades of our October projections for global growth,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told the conference.
Much remains unknown about omicron. Researchers said it could have picked up genetic material from another virus, perhaps one that causes the common cold, which would allow it to more easily evade human immune system defenses.
Georgieva said the fund is also looking at all of its research processes in order to ensure the its data integrity in the wake of a data-rigging scandal at the World Bank.
“Is there something more that can be done, and we are looking at all the processes — are they sufficiently up to date with what others are doing?” Georgieva said.
Startup of the Week: YouGotaGift — region’s first marketplace for digital gift cards
YouGotaGift is the region’s first marketplace for digital gift cards. It is an end-to-end digital platform that connects prepaid cards from top retail brands to consumers and businesses.
Its prepaid cards are completely digital, meaning customers can buy them online and have them delivered instantly by email or SMS.
It works with over 700 retail brands, reaches over 5 million users and serves over 2,000 corporates.
YouGotaGift was originally founded in 2013 in the UAE by CEO, Husain Makiya, Marketeer Abed Bibi, and Honeybee Tech Ventures (incubator), and further backed by a major regional VC, namely MEVP (Middle East Venture Partners).
It began operating in Saudi Arabia in 2014, with its first significant banking client in the Kingdom. It is now operating across the Gulf Cooperation Council and beyond with multiple offices across the region. “Our consumer business offers our global users the convenience to send personalized e-gift cards to celebrate friends, family, and colleagues,” Makiya told Arab News. “As a fully registered Saudi company, we have massively expanded our business in the Kingdom and greatly scaled up our team on the ground over the last 18 months, spearheaded by Fawziah Al-Hoshan, as general manager,” he added.
Al-Hoshan is a Saudi woman with a decade-long career in business and HR with Saudi corporates and multinationals, including Olayan Group and Pepsico. Makiya said the Kingdom is witnessing tremendous economic growth and the emerging talent pool is highly energized to engage in new roles and career opportunities offered by such companies as YouGotaGift.
He said YouGotAGift is the first to bring this category of gift cards to the Kingdom. “Our collection of gift cards were first incorporated by National Commercial Bank for their loyalty program LAK,” he said. “It was a pivotal move toward adding a digital redemption process for customers who were used to traditional physical products or gift cards as a reward for their loyalty toward a program.” Since then, it has integrated with over 800 businesses in the Kingdom to digitize their rewards and incentives programs for both employees and customers.
“With Saudi Vision 2030 well on its way, tremendous efforts from the government to push digitization in every aspect of life has also contributed to a ‘never-before’ level of interest for e-gift cards amongst consumers,” he said. He said corporates and individual customers have both identified various ways to use these cards over the last 18 months; from traditional incentives and rewards to sending Eidiya or just helping the ones in need during the pandemic. “It’s a clear sign that they’re here to stay,” he said. Makiya said the global gift card business is expected to cross $2 trillion by 2027.
“In our part of the world, we expect the this market alone to reach $1.2 billion by 2024, of which at least $700 million
will be attributed by the Kingdom,” he said. “For businesses and government entities, e-gift cards are the No.1 most in-demand method to reward their employees and customers, and the adoption rate of these cards in the Kingdom outweighs that of the entire region driven by the digital transformation of Vision 2030,”
YouGotAGift is actively recruiting marketeers, business developers and product managers to join their team ([email protected]).
Logistics sector key pillar of economic diversification plan, says Saudi minister
RIYADH: The transport and logistics sector represents one of the key pillars of the Kingdom’s economic diversification strategy, said Saudi Minister of Transport and Logistics Saleh Al-Jasser.
The minister highlighted the opportunities available in this sector in the Kingdom at the recent International Investment Summit held in Dhaka.
Al-Jasser said the Kingdom’s transport and logistics sector is undergoing rapid transformation. He highlighted the Kingdom’s National Transport and Logistics Strategy at the event, which was attended by investment companies and experts in the field.
Saudi Arabia expects its new transport and logistics strategy to generate SR550 billion ($150 billion) in investments by 2030 in areas such as public transport, railways, and airports expansion and development.
The government would provide 35 percent of the needed investments, and the rest would come from private investors. The strategy would have multiple benefits on economic activities because it would connect many sectors, such as Hajj and tourism, as well as industries.
A host of projects are planned to help achieve the strategy’s economic and social goals, including the launch of a second national airline, along with improved governance to enhance the work of the organizations involved. The new strategy also seeks to improve the capabilities of the Kingdom’s air cargo sector by doubling its capacity to more than 4.5 million tons. It includes a land bridge project that will span more than 1,300 km and connect the Kingdom’s ports on the coast of the Arabian Gulf with those on the Red Sea coast. It will have the capacity to transport more than 3 million passengers and 50 million tons of freight annually, opening up new opportunities in the areas it passes through.
Al-Jasser also visited the Chittagong Port, Bangladesh’s largest port, and held meetings with key officials to discuss ways to enhance cooperation in the sector.
Saudi company Engineering Dimensions will invest $1.75 billion in Bangladesh, a Bangladesh official was quoted as saying by the local media.
Sirajul Islam, chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, said the Saudi company will jointly invest in two companies in the country.
Engineering Dimension has already invested in power generator production and a large scale cement factory.
Local media quoted Al-Jasser as saying many public and private companies of Saudi Arabia were keen to invest in Bangladesh in infrastructure development, power, port, energy and renewable energy sectors.
Saudi Arabia to start mandatory e-invoicing first phase on Dec. 4
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will start implementing the mandatory application of the first phase of e-invoicing “fatoorah” on Saturday Dec. 4, Argaam reported.
An e-invoice, according to regulations, is a tax invoice that is issued electronically by each taxpayer subject to value-added tax in the Kingdom
The first phase requirements consist of ensuring that there is a technical e-invoicing solution compatible with the relevant requirements. This means no handwritten invoices or invoices written through text editors or number analysis applications on computers.
A fine of SR5,000 ($1,332) will be applied for not issuing and saving the invoices electronically.
The fine for not including the QR Code in the e-invoice and not reporting any malfunction in the issuing of the e-invoice to the authority starts with a warning. The fine for violating the deletion or modification of e-invoice starts from SR10,000.
The second phase of e-invoicing will be implemented in a phased manner, starting from January 1, 2023, to establish integration between e-systems of taxpayers and the authority’s regulations, Argaam said.
Twitter Founder Dorsey points to blockchain future with Square rebrand: crypto wrap
- Dorsey hints at future direction of company with reference to blockchain
LONDON: Just days after stepping down from his role as CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey is ringing the changes at Square, the other major company he founded, which has changed its name to Block.
While Dorsey is a renowned crypto enthusiast, the rebrand is not all about the blockchain, according to the company: “The name has many associated meanings for the company — building blocks, neighborhood blocks and their local businesses, communities coming together at block parties full of music, a blockchain, a section of code, and obstacles to overcome,” Square said in a statement.
The new name for the holding company, which comes into effect around Dec. 10, does not reflect any organizational changes within the business, and its subsidiaries – Square, peer-to-peer payment service Cash App, music streaming service Tidal and its bitcoin-focused financial services unit TBD54566975 – will keep their brands.
The move comes just over a month after another Silicon Valley stalwart, Facebook, changed its name to Meta, for similar reasons: Mark Zuckerberg no longer wanted the range of brands, including Instagram, WhatsApp and its virtual reality headset Meta Quest (formerly Oculus), to sit under the umbrella of another company in the stable. It also gave Zuckerberg an opportunity to position the company for what he sees as the future: the Metaverse.
Dorsey sees a future dominated by cryptocurrencies. The single hashtag on his Twitter bio reads #bitcoin and he has invested a sizeable chunk of Square’s cash in the biggest cryptocurrency.
Square bought $50 million of bitcoin even before the wave of institutional interest that propelled the digital currency’s price to record highs this year. In February, it further raised its wager and invested another $170 million in it.
Square has also been weighing the creation of a hardware wallet for bitcoin to make its custody more mainstream.
At a Miami conference in June, Dorsey told the thousands of attendees: “If I weren’t at Square or Twitter, I’d be working on bitcoin.”
Square has a division devoted to working on projects and awarding grants with the aim of growing bitcoin’s popularity globally. Even at Twitter, he began pushing the decentralization project, including creating a team to construct a decentralized social media protocol, which will allow different social platforms to connect with one another, similar to the way email providers operate.
Twitter allows users to tip their favorite content creators with bitcoin and has been testing integrations with non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a type of digital asset that allows people to collect unique digital art.
While Dorsey and Zuckerberg may seem to have a lot in common as creators of two of the world’s leading social media platforms, they haven’t always seen eye to eye, and Dorsey was critical of Facebook’s rebrand.
Soon after Zuckerberg announced his Metaverse vision, a Twitter user noted that the concept was first coined by science-fiction write Neal Stephenson as a virtual world owned by corporations where end users were treated as citizens in a dystopian corporate dictatorship. When the user asked: “What if Neal was right?” Dorsey responded: “He was.”