FII to discuss business opportunities amid inflationary climate, energy crisis – Arab News
CAIRO: Equality for an unequal world, balancing success with sustainability, and the rise of geo-economics are the key pillars of the sixth edition of the Future Investment Initiative forum, set to be held in Riyadh from Oct. 25-27.
The event, to be held at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center, will explore the theme  of “Investing in Humanity: Enabling a New Global Order.”
It will also focus on impactful areas such as artificial intelligence and robotics, education, healthcare and sustainability.
More than 6,000 6,000 CEOs, policymakers, investors, entrepreneurs and leaders from all over the world are expected to attend the forum, which will also include in-depth conversations about new ways for global investments, critical analysis of industry trends and the importance of networking between world leaders.
The event continues last year’s theme of empowering economic opportunities for those highly affected by supply shocks, inflation, energy crisis and geopolitical conflicts.
On its first day, the event will start the discussion of the significant economic trends revolving around the meta-industrial revolution, the importance of global investment, the super-app breakthrough and the implementation of AI and robotics.
Following the initial discussion, the FII will raise its geo-economic concerns and the responsibility that falls on the hands of corporations and investors.
The event’s program will look at energy and its role in a sustainable world, facilitating a smooth transition from harmful fossil fuels to eco-friendly alternatives.
The UN set the Race to Zero initiative to halve carbon emissions by the end of this decade. The event will also look further into the role of investment and financing in achieving this goal.
Technology will also be one of the main pillars of the FII with the rise of innovation and digital worlds.
The FII will discuss the acceleration of digital transformation by utilizing augmented reality, virtual reality and the metaverse.
Other discussions will be about the importance and evolution of the film industry as well as the next wave of innovation led by venture capitalists.
Edtech, health tech and gaming are also part of the plan, as each industry will play a role in shaping the future.
The discussions will touch upon macroeconomic topics raising the question of rising inflation and the pressures ahead.
Moreover, the automobile sector is one industry that requires massive attention as it contributes to environmental, social and economic sustainability.
On the event’s final day, leaders will move the conversation to the importance of investing in sustainability, starting with the power of investment in economies.
Furthermore, venture capitalists and investors can play a massive role in shaping a new global order for a sustainable future. The FII will discuss critical factors for each type of economic investment.
Founded in 2019, The Future Investment Initiative Institute is a nonprofit organization run by the Saudi Public Investment Fund built on environmental, social and governance principles.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Tuesday that some were using their emergency stocks and using it as a mechanism to manipulate markets when its purpose should be to mitigate any shortages of supply.
“It is my duty to make clear that losing emergency stocks may be painful in the months to come,” the minister said addressing the Future Initiative Investment (FII) conference in Riyadh.
US President Joe Biden announced a plan last week to sell off the rest of his release from the nation’s emergency oil reserve by the year’s end and begin refilling the stockpile as he tries to dampen high gasoline prices ahead of midterm elections on November 8.
He also said Saudi Arabia remained the world’s most reliable oil supplier and had increased its sales to Europe to 950,000 barrels in September from 490,000 barrels the same time a year ago.
When asked about how to get the energy relationship with the US back on track, the prince said Saudi Arabia had chosen to be “the maturer” party.
“We keep hearing you ‘are with us or against us,’ is there any room for ‘we are with the people of Saudi Arabia’?”
Relations between the US and the Kingdom have become increasingly strained in recent weeks since OPEC+ announced a production cut, which was ostensibly seen by the White House as Saudi Arabia aligning itself with Russia.
The Kingdom, OPEC’s largest oil producer, denied the accusation and said that it was a purely economic decision intended to stabilize a volatile oil market.
RIYADH: With its strong economic growth posted after the pandemic, Saudi Arabia is a safe place for investments — especially those focusing on long-term value creation, according to Faisal Al-Ibrahim, the Kingdom’s minister of Economy and Planning. 
Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh on Oct. 25, Al-Ibrahim said the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund is playing a crucial role in this transitional period as Saudi Arabia diversifies its economy in line with the goals outlined in Vision 2030. 
“PIF is making bold investments. We have four relatively new sectors: entertainment, sports, tourism, and culture. These sectors did not materially exist before seven years, and PIF is making investments in these seven sectors,” he said. 
Al-Ibrahim added that Saudi Arabia’s non-oil gross domestic product grew at 6.1 percent in the previous quarter which is the highest in 11 years. He, however, added that this growth is still below the Kingdom’s ambitions and targets.
He also noted the unemployment rate in Saudi Arabia has gone down significantly in recent years.
“We have one of the lowest Saudi female unemployment rates in 21 years, and the lowest male unemployment since recording started,” said Al-Ibrahim.
RIYADH: Knowledge Tower Trading Co. set its offering price at SR40 ($11) per share for a direct listing on Saudi Arabia’s parallel stock market.
The subscription period will begin on Sunday, Oct. 30 and close on Thursday, Nov. 3, according to a bourse filing. 
Watheeq Capital served as the financial advisor for the initial public offering of Knowledge Tower.
The Dammam-based company is currently engaged in the wholesale distribution of stationery and office supplies, as well as the retail sale of stationery, newspapers, and magazines as part of its business activities.
The company also publishes printed books, dictionaries, atlases, and maps in addition to importing and producing written, drawn, and illustrated intellectual products, which include paper books, dictionaries, atlases, and maps.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, known as KAUST, obtained 100 patents last year, as the research university steadily continues on its innovative journey, according to its president, Tony Chan. 
In an exclusive interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh on Oct. 25, Chan said that KAUST is very selective while filing for patents and noted that the university has been supporting startups in the Kingdom with incubation, investments and funds. 
“We want to make sure we nurture them to a point where they can get outside funding. In addition, we also run a large incubator support system called TAQADAM. This is not limited to the KAUST people. We open it up. We bring 5(000), 6(000), or 7,000 people to KAUST over the year. We provide them with training and exposure,” said Chan. 
He added: “For small and medium-sized businesses, what we have tried to do is to set up a consulting service for them. They are not big enough to hire their own research and development department. So, we provide some of our expertise.” 
Chan added that KAUST is closely working with Saudi Arabia’s $500-billion megacity NEOM to build the world’s largest coral garden. 
“We are building the world’s largest coral reef garden on Shusha Island. We build a nursery, one of the largest coral reef nurseries in the land. We grow them (the coral), and then take them and plant them in the sea,” he said. 
In the energy sector, KAUST works closely with Saudi Aramco, NEOM, and the Ministry of Energy, he added. 
Chan said researchers at KAUST succeeded in developing a technology that can extract hydrogen from ammonia using very little energy, which will be used by Saudi Aramco, who are planning to commercialize the technology using very little energy. 
Chan said that Saudi Arabia is planning to increase spending on the research and development sector in the future. “We do the best we can in research and development. We attract the best talent,” he added. 
RIYADH: Saudi utility firm Marafiq’s initial public offering has seen strong demand, recording 59 percent oversubscription in the book-building period.
With a share price of SR46 ($12), the subscription period took place for five days starting Oct. 9, the financial advisor of the offer, HSBC Saudi Arabia, and Riyad Capital, said in a filing.
The Individual Investors tranche subscription period begins on Oct. 26 and ends on Oct. 30, with an allocation of 21.9 million offer shares, or 30 percent of the total amount of offer shares.
Formally known as Power and Utility Co. for Jubail and Yanbu, the Public Investment Fund-backed company provides integrated utility services to all sectors in the industrial cities of the Kingdom.


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