Ittihad announces Full Year 2023 Financial Results

Transformational year – well positioned for future growth

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, May 17, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ittihad International Investment LLC (Ittihad), the leading industrial conglomerate in the UAE, today announces its Full Year 2023 Financial Results.

Financial Highlights

  • Group Revenue of $2.8 billion (AED10.4 billion)
  • Group Adjusted EBITDA* of $138.7 million (AED509.6 million)
  • Successfully launched a 5NC2 debut Sukuk, raising $350 million
  • Continued focus on deleveraging the business, with gross debt leverage of 5.3x at year end (down from 6.0x as of December 31, 2022), and adjusted net leverage* stood at 3.4x in 2023, down from 3.5x in 2022
    • Debt repayments for the year amounted to $119 million (AED436.6 million)
  • Strong balance sheet continues to provide capital allocation optionality
    • Net cash and cash equivalents of $153 million, with readily marketable inventories (RMI) of $107 million as at year end
    • $50 million of restricted cash was released in December 2023, with proceeds used to pay down working capital facilities
    • Ittihad is well-placed to continue to capitalise on a pipeline of strategic M&A opportunities to compound growth
  • Arranged $88 million of term loan and Export Credit Agency (ECA ) backed term financing for the tissue mill expansion project in Saudi Arabia. The facility is unsecured with a maturity of 12 years door-to-door

Operational Highlights

  • Infrastructure and Building Materials Manufacturing (IBMM): strong margin growth as a result of positive pricing performance and a significant shift in demand driven by the energy transition and long-term investments in infrastructure and real estate development across the region.
  • Consumer Goods Manufacturing (CGM): margin compression in the segment in the second and third quarter of the year due to destocking and a rapid correction in both raw material and finished goods prices.
  • Construction commenced on the new tissue mill in Saudi Arabia, a project that will ensure a more competitive logistics costs and improved price margins in the country.
  • Metropolic Paper Industries (MPI) became the main tissue supplier for Carrefour, a leading retail brand in the UAE.
  • Business Services: Double digit growth in EBITDA achieved across the waste collection, city cleaning, and sewage network services. Ittihad successfully penetrated a niche market in this segment by introducing robotic camera technology solution for sewage network inspection and repair, seeing strong levels of demand in the local market. Ittihad is well-placed to take advantage of potential opportunities for regional expansion with this technology.
  • The acquisition and expansion of a waste collection and city cleaning company in Saudi Arabia, effectively scaling up operations with new long-term projects valued at $40 million.

Outlook

  • Organic growth and sustainability will remain the primary focus over the next five years.
  • Plans to further expand into Saudi Arabia in consumer goods and business services segments.
  • The Company has a medium-term leverage target of 2.5x – 3.0x (net of bank balances and cash and RMI) and is focused on meeting this leverage target in the short to medium term.
  • Ittihad is well-placed to capitalise on strategic M&A opportunities and is strategically positioned to expedite its investment plans while exploring additional avenues for capital raise.

* Note on adjustments:

“Adjusted EBITDA” is defined as net profit (loss) for the year / period from continuing operations plus finance costs, tax, depreciation, amortisation, impairment of goodwill, and changes in the fair value of derivative financial instruments

Adjusted net leverage is defined as gross debt minus cash balances and readily marketable inventories (RMI) to adjusted EBITDA

Amer Kakish, Chief Executive Officer of Ittihad, said:

“The sustained and resilient EBITDA performance witnessed in 2023 highlights Ittihad’s ability to maintain the strong earnings achieved in the record-breaking year of 2022. This consistent long-term growth demonstrates a significant milestone in our expansion journey, emphasizing the resilience of our diversified portfolio amidst challenging economic and geopolitical conditions, both regionally and globally.”

“We take pride in Ittihad’s current contribution, accounting for over 4% of the UAE’s non-oil manufacturing sector exports, and our rapid progress aligns with the UAE’s ‘Operation 300bn’ strategy. Looking ahead, our focus remains on driving organic growth throughout our portfolio while maintaining our commitment to ongoing investment plans.”

For further information please contact:

Ittihad International Investment
Zahi Abu Hamze
Chief Financial Officer
+971 506128603

Wasfi Al Tayara
Corporate Finance and Investor Relations Manager
+971 501307449
investor.relations@ittihadinvestment.ae

MHP Group
James McFarlane / Charlie Barker / Veronica Farah
+44 7584 152665 / +44 7834 623818 / +44 7710 117517
[email protected]

Overview

The headline figures of AED 10.4 billion in revenues and AED 509.6 million adjusted EBITDA for the 12-month period remained relatively consistent with the prior year. However, it’s important to recognize that 2022 marked a record year for the CGM segment, driven by customers replenishing inventories post-pandemic. Subsequently, as supply chain disruptions eased, customers scaled back on excess stock. Moreover, challenges such as higher interest rates, inflation, and geopolitical conflicts further complicated market conditions. Despite these obstacles, our ability to maintain the strong gains achieved in 2022 amid such challenges is commendable.

Our robust performance underscores the diversified nature of our investment portfolio spanning four key verticals: Consumer Goods Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Building Materials Manufacturing, Business Services, and Healthcare and Other. Throughout 2023, this diversification strategy has proven effective, showcasing resilience across various sectors and geographic markets. While certain segments faced macroeconomic challenges like destocking in consumer goods, others enjoyed robust demand and predictable earnings streams, mitigating any negative impacts at the Company level.

Revenue decreased by AED 538.4 million, or by 4.9 per cent., to AED 10,427.9 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2023 from AED 10,966.3 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2022, primarily due to a cyclical correction in commodity prices including paper, copper, and chemicals.

Adjusted EBITDA decreased by AED 12.7 million, or by 2.4 per cent., to AED 509.6 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2023 from AED 522.3 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2022, primarily due to softening of EBITDA in the chemicals and paper businesses as a result of lower prices of raw materials and finished goods, largely offset by higher margins and volume in IBMM and Business Services divisions. As a percentage of revenue, Adjusted EBITDA margin decreased from 13.3 per cent. to 12.6 per cent.

Segmental Performance

Consumer Goods Manufacturing

CGM comprises three product lines: Printing and writing paper, tissue, and chemicals used in detergents and personal care products. The nature of the products the Company manufactures are fast moving essential goods which enables its Consumer Goods margins to remain relatively resilient during economic downturns. In the 12 months ended 31 December 2023, the Company’s three consumer goods products  accounted for 18 per cent of the Company’s revenue and 41 per cent of its adjusted EBITDA.

Revenue decreased by AED 220.8 million, or by 10.4 per cent., to AED 1,906.7 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2023 from AED 2,127.5 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2022, primarily due to a post COVID drop in demand and prices of chemicals from June 2022 onwards as a result of destocking and normalization in supply chain, and a cyclical correction in the prices of tissue and paper during the second and third quarter of 2023.

Adjusted EBITDA decreased by AED 125.1 million, or by 37.6 per cent., to AED 207.7 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2023 from AED 332.9 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2022, primarily due to softening of margins as a result of lower prices of tissue, paper and chemical driven by a significant correction in raw material prices on the back of easing of supply chain crunch. Some of the excess demand growth of 2022 caused paper inventories to swell, contributing to de stocking and thereby softening of demand during second and third quarter in 2023. The impact was more significant in the chemical business due to much lower post-pandemic demand for cleaning and disinfecting chemicals.

Infrastructure and Building Materials Manufacturing

IBMM division comprises three product lines: Refined copper rods, steel bars, and cement. The copper business enjoys a positive outlook due to strong demand propelled by the increasing adoption of alternative energy sources and electric vehicles, aligned with global trends favoring energy transition initiatives. Similarly, the overall building materials segment has experienced a surge in sales and improved margins, fuelled by substantial infrastructure investments and heightened construction activity in key markets such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia. In the 12 months ended 31 December 2023, IBMM accounted for 73 per cent of the Company’s revenue and 32 per cent of its adjusted EBITDA.

Revenue decreased by AED 444.3 million, or by 5.5 per cent., to AED 7,643.9 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2023 from AED 8,088.2 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2022, primarily due to a lower average price of copper during the period. Cement and steel business experienced healthy demand from the regional market on account of strong push for real estate and infrastructure projects, partly offset the decrease in copper.

Adjusted EBITDA increased by AED 90.7 million, or by 125.1 per cent., to AED 163.2 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2023 from AED 72.5 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2022, primarily due to higher margins and sales volume in the copper, steel and cement businesses.

Business Services

The Company’s business services division provides: Long-term procurement, maintenance, and operation of radiology departments in Government-owned hospitals; Operation and maintenance services for infrastructure networks, wastewater treatment plants, sewage network and sewage treatment plants; and city cleaning and municipal waste collection. In the 12 months ended 31 December 2023, Business Services accounted for 6 per cent of the Company’s revenue and 28 per cent of its adjusted EBITDA.

Revenue increased AED 66.3 million, or by 12.8 per cent., to AED 585.4 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2023 from AED 519.0 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2022, primarily due to an increase in work orders in the sewage and infrastructure business.

Adjusted EBITDA increased by AED 20.4 million, or by 16.5 per cent., to AED 144.2 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2023 from AED 123.8 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2022, primarily due to improved margins in city cleaning and waste collection and an increase in work orders in the operation and maintenance of sewage networks.

Healthcare and other

The division comprises of healthcare, fund management, logistics and transportation, and interior design services for government and the private sector. These businesses, in alignment with our Business Services division, have minimal asset requirements and operate in sectors with promising growth prospects. In the 12 months ended 31 December 2023, Healthcare and other accounted for 3 per cent of the Company’s revenue and 5 per cent of its adjusted EBITDA.

Revenue increased by AED 131.5 million, or by 83.6 per cent., to AED 288.7 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2023 from AED 157.3 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2022, primarily due to an increase in sales of medical lab equipment, operating theatres, hospital beds, office furniture and a revenue ramp up of the newly expanded operation in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Adjusted EBITDA improved to AED 27.4 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2023 from AED 6.1 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2022, primarily due to increased margin on account of increase in sales of medical lab equipment, operating theatres, hospital beds, office furniture and a revenue ramp up of the newly expanded operation in Egypt and KSA.

Outlook

Ittihad expects further growth at the EBITDA level, with revenues across verticals expected to organically expand. Moreover, improvements in margins are anticipated within the Consumer Goods vertical as the segment supply and demand dynamics normalize.

From an operational standpoint, Ittihad is strategically positioned to drive growth within its portfolio. In Q2 2024, the commissioning of our copper recycling plant is scheduled, along with additional expansion plans for the recently acquired waste collection operation in Saudi Arabia.

Looking ahead, the Company’s primary focus over the next five years will be on organic growth and sustainability. Expansion into Saudi Arabia will remain a key priority, alongside ongoing investments in human capital development and the advancement of our ESG program.

About Ittihad

Ittihad is a privately owned business founded in 2008 and headquartered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with investments in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. The Company exports products and services to over 50 countries worldwide. It has a talented team of more than 8,000 members from over 57 nationalities with sector-wide expertise and a commitment to operational excellence.

Since 2015, Ittihad has pursued a strategy of investing in businesses with leading domestic positions in the UAE and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), as well as strong international export potential. The Company focuses on long-term investments, all structured for business-to-business (B2B) export and designed to capture the unique value proposition offered by the UAE and the region.

Ittihad is committed to powering wealth creation through assets that balance profitability with sustainability and generate positive outcomes for stakeholders, society, and the planet.

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Saudi Tadawul Group and Sahm Capital to collaborate on ‘Invest Wisely Program’

HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach Newswire – 17 May 2024 – Sahm Capital, the leading all-in-one online brokerage in the Kingdom, is excited to announce its sponsorship with the Saudi Tadawul Group for the highly anticipated “Invest Wisely Program.” The announcement was made during the Capital Markets Forum in Hong Kong, where industry leaders gathered to discuss the future of global capital flows.

The sponsorship for “Invest Wisely Program” is set to launch in the second half of 2024. It is a groundbreaking financial literacy initiative designed to empower participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful investors. Through a dynamic virtual platform, participants will have the opportunity to learn, engage, practice, and compete in a simulated trading environment that mirrors the real-life experience of stock market trading.

Hadeel Bedeeri, the General Manager of Sahm Capital, expressed her enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, “As the first all-in-one online brokerage in the Kingdom, this program aligns perfectly with Sahm Capital’s commitment to raising awareness and knowledge among existing and potential investors. As Saudi Arabia continues its journey towards a more institutionalized market with increasing participation, well-informed and equipped investors will be empowered to make more informed investment decisions.”

The comprehensive “Invest Wisely Program” encompasses investment workshops, access to learning materials, and a cutting-edge trading simulation platform that allows participants to create virtual portfolios while gaining invaluable experience trading on the Saudi Exchange. Additionally, a competition will provide an opportunity for participants to showcase their trading skills and knowledge, with prizes generously sponsored by Sahm Capital.

Established in 2022, Sahm Capital has swiftly established itself as a pioneer in the online brokerage industry. In October 2023, Sahm Capital received final approval from the Capital Market Authority (CMA) to conduct dealing, advising, and custody services in Saudi Arabia, making it the first international online brokerage firm to offer its services in the country.

In December 2023, Sahm Capital launched the Sahm App, which has quickly gained popularity and now ranks among the top three free financial apps in Google Play. The Sahm App stands out as the first application in the Kingdom to offer seamless one-click switching between Saudi and U.S. stock accounts in real time, enabling users to engage in trading and currency conversion effortlessly.

About Saudi Tadawul Group:

Founded in 2021 and headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Tadawul Group is a holding company with a portfolio of four integrated subsidiaries: the Saudi Exchange, one of the largest 10 stock exchanges in the world by market capitalization, the Securities Clearing Center Company (Muqassa), the Securities Depository Center Company (Edaa), and Wamid, an innovative applied technology services business. Saudi Tadawul Group was established as part of a continuous development program focused on enhancing the capital market and its infrastructure, attracting foreign investments, and diversifying the Saudi economy. The Group reinforces Saudi Arabia’s position as an attractive global investment destination and the gateway to the MENA region.

Saudi Tadawul Group supports the development of an advanced capital market in Saudi Arabia; one of the pillars of the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP), a Saudi Vision 2030 realization program.

Sahm Capital

Registered in Riyadh, Sahm Capital holds licenses (22251-25) from the Capital Market Authority (CMA) to conduct Dealing, Advising, and Custody services in KSA, making it the first international online brokerage firm to provide online brokerage services in KSA. The company is also a registered member of the Saudi Exchange, as well as its affiliates, the Securities Depository Center Company (Edaa) and the Securities Clearing Center Company (Muqassa). For more information about Sahm, please visit: https://www.sahmcapital.com/

Mohamed bin Zayed: A knight of generosity, a champion of global humanitarian work


ABU DHABI: President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is a beacon of inspiration in the global humanitarian landscape, and His Highness’ life has been distinguished by unwavering support for people and nations in crisis.

Through his leadership in charitable and humanitarian projects worldwide, His Highness has continued to foster a culture of compassion and generosity.

The humanitarian initiatives of His Highness have contributed to strengthening the UAE’s position as a leading global donor in providing developmental and charitable assistance. His noble initiatives have followed the path laid by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, exemplifying the principles of human fraternity, tolerance, coexistence, and peace that the UAE promotes around the world.

The recent granting of the ‘Global Humanitarian Personality’ award to His Highness by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) underscores global recognition and appreciation for His Highness’ role and continued contributio
ns to humanitarian relief efforts worldwide. The award has further solidified his status as one of the most notable models in the history of humanitarian work.

As a result of His Highness’ guidance and support, the UAE’s response to humanitarian crises has become an enduring feature around the world in recent years. This affirms that the country’s generosity knows no bounds, irrespective of geographical location, ethnicity, or religion.

Health

The journey of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has been enriched with generosity, support, and initiatives aimed at advancing the healthcare sector worldwide, thereby enhancing international efforts to combat epidemics and diseases that pose a significant threat to human life.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, which was one of the most prominent contemporary health challenges to have swept the world, His Highness swiftly extended a helping hand both near and far by inaugurating hospitals, providing vaccines, establishing humanitarian cities, an
d sending aid to the world without discrimination or distinction.

The humanitarian aid provided by the UAE during the pandemic included more than 2,000 tonnes of medical supplies directed through approximately 200 flights to 135 countries around the world.

The UAE set up field hospitals and mobile clinics during the pandemic in countries such as Sudan, Guinea, Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkmenistan, and others. Additionally, aid was sent to 117 countries from the warehouses of international organisations located in the Dubai International Humanitarian City. Furthermore, a donation of US$ 10 million in-kind assistance was made by the UAE to the World Health Organization (WHO).

At the same time, the UAE has continued its multifaceted efforts and initiatives to achieve a world free from neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that affect the lives of over 1.6 billion people. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan launched the Reaching the Last Mile Fund (RLMF) in 2017, a multi-donor fund
with allocations of approximately US$ 500 million to support efforts to eradicate two NTDs in Africa.

Since its inception, the Fund has provided over 100 million treatments and contributed to the training of 1.3 million healthcare workers in close partnership with the countries where NTDs are endemic.

During the Reaching the Last Mile Forum held on the sidelines of COP28 last December, the UAE joined leaders from African countries and global partners in pledging over US$ 777 million to combat NTDs.

Furthermore, as part of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed’s initiative to eradicate polio worldwide, the UAE provided Pakistan with approximately 667.5 million doses of the polio vaccine from 2014 until the end of 2022, benefitting 17 million children.

The establishment of the Global Institute for Disease Elimination (GLIDE) in 2019 by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, served as a crucial addition to the global health sector and its
efforts to accelerate the eradication of preventable infectious diseases, particularly malaria, polio, NTDs, lymphatic filariasis, and river blindness.

Operation Chivalrous Knight

In February 2023, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan initiated Operation Chivalrous Knight 2 to support the people of Syria and Trkiye following the devastating earthquake that affected both countries.

The operation, which lasted until 13th July of the same year, was one of the most successful unified operations carried out by UAE entities. Its priorities were determined in coordination with authorities in the affected countries, embodying the UAE’s prominent humanitarian approach in line with the directives of its leadership to support communities around the world.

The operation resulted in the rescue of dozens from under the rubble and the treatment of 13,463 cases. Additionally, humanitarian assistance amounting to 15,164 tonnes was provided through an air bridge, which organised 260 flights carrying 6,
912 tonnes of emergency aid, including tents, essential food, and medicines. Furthermore, 8,252 tonnes of humanitarian aid were transported using 4 cargo ships to deliver relief and reconstruction materials to the affected areas.

On 5th November of the same year, His Highness ordered the commencement of Operation Chivalrous Knight 3 to support the Palestinian people in Gaza due to the critical circumstances they have faced.

As part of the operation, total relief aid provided by the UAE to the Palestinian people until 8th May of the following year amounted to approximately 22,627 tonnes, transported via 224 cargo planes and 803 trucks, in addition to 3 cargo ships carrying aid.

The UAE inaugurated a comprehensive field hospital in the Gaza Strip and sent a floating hospital off the coast of Al Arish to treat Palestinian patients. Additionally, it established 6 desalination stations with a production capacity of 1.2 million gallons per day and provided 5 bakeries with a production capacity of 12,500-15,000 l
oaves per hour.

His Highness directed the hosting of one thousand Palestinians from Gaza suffering from cancer of all age groups to receive treatment and healthcare in UAE hospitals. He also directed the hosting of one thousand Palestinian children accompanied by their families from Gaza and the provision of all necessary healthcare until their recovery and return.

The UAE launched a campaign to aid Palestinians affected by the war in Gaza under the slogan ‘Tarahum for Gaza’, involving humanitarian and charity institutions, volunteering centres, the private sector, and all segments of society in the country, as well as the media.

Natural Disasters

The UAE’s response to aid those affected by natural disasters worldwide embodies a key element of the UAE’s humanitarian work under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Under His Highness’ directives, the UAE swiftly provided humanitarian and relief aid in 2023 to those affected by Storm Daniel in Libya and the earthquake
in some areas of Morocco. The UAE’s relief and humanitarian efforts also covered a significant number of countries, such as Sudan, Somalia, Mozambique, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Chad, and others facing natural disasters or humanitarian emergencies.

On 19th May 2022, His Highness directed the provision of urgent humanitarian aid worth AED 35 million to Somalia to support development efforts. In June of the same year, His Highness ordered the operation of an airlift carrying comprehensive food baskets, essential medical supplies, and a medical team, along with a field hospital, to aid victims of the earthquake in Afghanistan.

In response to the needs of the Palestinian people, His Highness directed the allocation of US$ 25 million on 9th July 2022 to support Al Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem to expand its medical services. Additionally, in August of the same year, His Highness ordered the provision of urgent humanitarian aid worth AED 25 million to those affected and displaced due to floods in Sudan. He als
o directed the provision of urgent relief to Pakistan, which witnessed floods and displacement in several regions.

On 18th October 2022, His Highness directed the provision of additional humanitarian relief worth US$ 100 million to civilians affected by the crisis in Ukraine, emphasising his belief in the importance of humanitarian solidarity, especially in times of conflict.

Mohamed bin Zayed Water Initiative

In line with the directives of His Highness, the UAE launched the Mohamed bin Zayed Water Initiative in February 2024 to address the urgent global challenge of water scarcity.

The initiative aims to raise awareness of the seriousness of the water scarcity crisis on an international level while accelerating the development of innovative technological solutions to address it. Additionally, it seeks to test the effectiveness of these solutions in confronting this escalating global challenge.

Moreover, the initiative strives to enhance cooperation with partners and stakeholders worldwide to advance tec
hnological innovation in addressing water scarcity and expand international cooperation. It also seeks to increase investments aimed at overcoming this challenge for the benefit of current and future generations.

On 1st March, a partnership was announced between the Mohamed bin Zayed Water Initiative and the American XPRIZE foundation to launch the XPRIZE Water Scarcity competition, funded by the initiative with US$ 150 million. The competition includes prizes totalling US$ 119 million to incentivise innovators around the world to submit effective and sustainable solutions and develop them to enhance the efficiency and affordability of water desalination technologies.

Zayed’s Legacy

On 29th March 2024, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan directed the launch of the Zayed Humanitarian Legacy Initiative worth AED 20 billion, allocated for humanitarian activities in the most vulnerable communities around the world. This coincided with Zayed Humanitarian Day and the 20th anniversary of the
passing of the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The launch of the initiative aims to reinforce the humanitarian values embodied by the late Sheikh Zayed and extend his humanitarian legacy and the values of generosity and giving that he embraced in supporting humanitarian work worldwide.

This global humanitarian initiative seeks to enhance the quality of life for communities in need to build a prosperous future and achieve sustainable development. It also reaffirms the UAE’s commitment to the approach of the late Sheikh Zayed in contributing to community building and supporting vulnerable groups, thereby benefiting millions of people.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Shoukry discusses humanitarian crisis in Gaza with UN official coordinator

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shoukry discussed on Friday 17/5/2024 the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip with the UN Chief Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza, Sigrid Kach.

During a phone call, Shoukry and Kach discussed the dangers of military operations in the Palestinian city of Rafah, and the related Israeli control over the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing.

The two officials stressed the need to provide safe conditions for humanitarian aid to enter from the Rafah crossing, and to end military operations in the vicinity of the crossing.

They also confirmed the need to provide a safe environment for humanitarian workers to receive and distribute humanitarian aid to Palestinians.

Shoukry stressed the need for Israel to comply with its obligations as the occupying power, by opening all crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip and achieving full, safe, and unhindered access to humanitarian and relief aid into the Gaza Strip.

Source: State Info
rmation Service Egypt

PM emphasizes close Saudi-Egyptian ties, keenness on cooperation boost

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli has reaffirmed strong ties between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, particularly at the level of political leadership.

He reiterated keenness on pushing forward bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the different domains, notably in the economic one.

Madbouli made the remarks during a meeting on Thursday in the presence of a number of senior officials, including Essam bin Said, State Minister and member of the Saudi Cabinet, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait and Saudi Ambassador in Cairo Osama Nugali.

Mohamed el Homsani, spokesperson of the Prime Minister’s Office, highlighted Egypt’s efforts to address challenges hindering foreign direct investment, particularly Saudi ones.

He emphasized Egypt’s commitment to provide an attractive investment climate and resolve problems facing investors.

The spokesman said the meeting tackled boosting Saudi investments, adding that talks are under way between Egyptian and Saudi officials to enhance cooperation in the economic sectors.

S
ource: State Information Service Egypt

Planning min.: Gov’t supports entrepreneurship, innovation

Planning and Economic Development Minister Hala el Said participated on Thursday 17/5/2024 in the opening of the Rise Up Summit in its eleventh edition, held at the Grand Egyptian Museum from May 16 to 18. The summit was attended by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, several ministers, senior businessmen, and a group of emerging companies.

During the gathering, El Said asserted that the government supports entrepreneurship, innovation, startups and small and medium-sized enterprises. El-Said added that the government is supporting the file of entrepreneurship and innovation with a more comprehensive vision.

Hala El Said confirmed that the state is working to develop proposals for reform plans in cooperation with all institutions, the private sector, civil society and the government.

Planning and Economic Development Minister Hala El-Said pointed to the structural reforms program, which focuses on three basic sectors: the communications and information technology sectors, industry and agriculture, as they ar
e sectors of the real economy.

The program aims to make the educational process keep pace with market requirements to achieve a rapidly developing labor market.

Planning and Economic Development Ministry

Source: State Information Service Egypt

1.9 magnitude earthquake recorded in Al Halah in Fujairah: NCM


ABU DHABI: A 1.9 magnitude earthquake on Richter scale was recorded in Al Halah in Fujairah at 21:57 (UAE time) on 17th May 2024, according to the National Seismic Network of the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM).

The Centre said that the tremor was felt lightly in the area and had no impact.

Source: Emirates News Agency