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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Astra Industrial Group made higher profits of SR74.5 million ($20 million) in the previous quarter, after growth in sales in its pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals units.
This is up 48 percent, from SR51 million in the same quarter a year ago, according to a bourse filing.
Revenue increased by 6.7 percent during the quarter, to SR634 million, which the group attributed to higher sales, as well as lower provisions for impairment losses.
Riyadh-listed Astra Industrial is a conglomerate of various sector companies, engaged in pharmaceuticals, specialty chemicals, power and steel, and mining.
 
RIYADH: In a post-pandemic world, digital transformation has been one of the main changes for companies and economies as a whole.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the Arab Women Forum in Dubai, Visa CEMEA Vice President of Marketing Christine Harb emphasized the need for digital transformation and women’s representation.
“I believe that digital transformation is done in multiple phases. There are pretty traditional organizations in the way they operate and are trying to move into a more agile space,” she said.
Harb added: “When you look at how digital is transforming the world and the metaverse impacting on organizations, there is a need to rethink how people collaborate and engage. So it’s not just about making sure that you have the right tools or enabling employees and people to connect.”
She explained that the shift is not only in digitizing the economy but also in how women’s representation has been a focus for organizations and educational spheres.
“Now, we are already equipped. So maybe we are on the right track. But, still, a lot needs to be done, mainly around policies and regulations that would protect women and open new doors to them, when it comes to, you know, bigger roles, but also allowing them to be their authentic selves,” she concluded.
DUBAI: Elham Mahfouz, the chief executive officer of the Commercial Bank of Kuwait, said that robots will play a major role in the future, with 85 million jobs expected to be taken over in the next two to three years.
Speaking to Arab News at the Arab Women Forum, Mahfouz said that the bank’s next plan is digitization and that, in the next two to three years, the look of banks will be different.
CBK is the only bank to have SwatchPAY, which is a smart-watch payment service, she informed.
Beginning her journey in banking around 35 years ago, Mahfouz climbed up the ladder after starting as a credit analyst. She has been the CEO of the bank for the last eight years, she informed.
“Being in a high position can favor the institution if you want to implement certain kinds of dreams that you have to get the institution in a certain way and pave the way with the team,” she added.
Mahfouz told Arab News that one of the things that stood out to her as a woman working in the banking sector was getting more support from males than females.
Self-development, focus, and patience are factors that have influenced her journey to reaching the top post, Mahfouz said.
She added that the following generations are tech-savvy and are very smart when it comes to technological advances. However, Mahfouz said they have to have patience and read more.
DUBAI: When it comes to taking a huge step like running a family business, most entrepreneurs would flinch, especially in a male-dominated industry. Female successors would instead pass their rights to a male than take the path of leadership.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News, the CEO and president of Khalil bin Ebrahim Kanoo Co. and International Motor Trading Agency, Suzy Kanoo, shared her advice on what women should do when put in that position, and it’s not relinquishing their rights.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Arab Women Forum event in Dubai, Kanoo, who has also authored “Hear Us Speak: Letters from Arab Women,” expressed that one of the main obstacles women face in the business world is not believing in themselves.
“The Japanese call it Ikigai. Find a purpose and passion, do it well, and make sure it benefits society. Whatever it is, anything that you think is insignificant isn’t insignificant for that individual. So, find that purpose and do it well,” she added.
Kanoo has been the voice of the Arab world, and her book discusses real-life stories about Arab women that have experienced physical or emotional abuse but outlived their circumstances.
“My book emphasizes that never let a male, whether a cousin or a brother, force you or coerce you into signing documents asking you to relinquish your rights of the family business,” she said.
Her book brought to light the circumstances of the marginalized women who succumbed to male domination and gave away what was rightfully theirs.
However, Kanoo feels those were different times. She finds Gen Z is the most empowered generation. They believe that nothing should stop them from achieving their goals. In addition, they understand technology better than the previous generations.
But the struggle is not over. Even emancipated women have to fight on multiple fronts. An accomplished writer and businesswoman, Kanoo is currently facing problems with the automotive business. Her production declined by 50-60 percent.
Does that mean she is letting off the reins? No chance. The feisty lady is expanding into different sectors, opening a restaurant from personal investments and launching an advisory company for blockchain technology.
 
 
 
 
 
RIYADH: Egypts expects that the value of investment in the energy sector would range between $7 to $8 billion during the current fiscal year, the minister of petroleum and mineral resources told Alarabiya. 
Tarek El-Molla added that the figures were under review with international companies, noting that changes in global oil prices require increased investment plans.
He said the government is currently focusing on maximizing the use of natural resources, confirming that Egypt aims to return to the oil production levels of 5 years ago.
 
RIYADH: The Abu Dhabi National Co. plans to construct a new liquefied natural gas plant that would more than double its export capacity amid a growing demand. 
To be built at Fujairah, the plant will be able to produce as much as 9.6 million tons a year, Bloomberg reported. 
Currently, the UAE has three liquefaction plants with a total capacity of 5.8 million tons per annum at Das Island, located inside the Gulf. 
This comes as the UAE races to expand its exports amid a growing demand following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

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