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15

Saudi Gazette, Thursday, August 16, 2018

Economy

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New Hyundai Kona targets young women

JEDDAH—

Hyundai’s premium

subcompact SUV – the all-new

Kona – has officially arrived in

Africa and Middle East markets,

with the brand targeting young,

fashion-conscious drivers pursuing

an active, fast-paced lifestyle. The

carmaker believes the model will

have a particularly strong appeal to

young women, holding the regional

launch in Saudi Arabia to celebrate

the fact that women in the Kingdom

are now, for the first time, taking

their place in the driver’s seat.

Kona is named after an iconic

coastal area of Hawaii, famous

among thrill-seeking travelers. That

energy is reflected in the innovative,

passionate and dynamic image of

the new Hyundai, strengthening the

brand’s SUV heritage. By develop-

ing a completely new premium

SUV, identifiable by its distinctive

and progressive design, and equip-

ping it with the latest technology in

Hyundai Kona

drivetrain, convenience, safety and

driver assistance features, Hyundai

has created an all-new model that

meets the highest customer expecta-

tions.

“With Kona, we are reaching out

to customers who place great impor-

tance on design and technology, and

who want the newest and best – they

want to stand out from the crowd,”

said Mike Song, Hyundai’s Head of

Operations for Africa and the Middle

East. “Kona is a lifestyle statement,

expanding our extremely success-

ful SUV range in an exciting new

direction, while also ensuring that we

offer excellent value to our custom-

ers. It’s a unique proposition that

will resonate strongly with younger

drivers, and we believe the Kona will

be a very strong seller among young

female drivers.”

Recognizing the Kona’s strong

appeal to style-conscious young

women, Hyundai chose Jeddah in

Saudi Arabia as the regional launch

venue for the new model, and Saudi

Arabia will also be the first market

in the region to receive shipments of

the Kona to showrooms. Hyundai

will offer a special Saudi ladies’

edition, with options including an

‘abaya alert’ function – warning if

an abaya is likely to be trapped by

a closing door – among other extra

features. The Kona is cool and con-

fident – a completely new character

in Hyundai’s SUV line-up. Its front

is expressive and powerful, char-

acterized by the Cascading Grille,

the company’s family identity. The

bold front and rear is emphasized

by the car’s wide stance and its

voluminous, confident body styling.

Optional 18-inch alloy wheels fur-

ther contribute to the bold character

of the car. The two-tone roof and the

wide choice of distinctive exterior

colors offer a high degree of person-

alization for buyers: You drive it,

You define it.

— SG

Arrival flights around

Makkah jump 20%

ahead of Haj 2018

ICD gains from robust capital

position and strong liquidity

Large quantities of illegal drugs

seized at Riyadh dry port

JEDDAH—

As of July 31, 2018,

arrival flights around the holy city

of Makkah ahead of this year’s Hajj

were up 20% when compared to the

last year’s pilgrimage, according to

analysis conducted by Travelport,

the leading travel commerce plat-

form.

Every year, in excess of one

million people from all over the

world fly into western Saudi Arabia

to perform Haj, making it one of the

largest annual spikes in global air

traffic.

This year, the pilgrimage begins

this weekend and concludes on the

first day of EidAl Adha. During this

period, in total, as many as three

million pilgrims are expected to

participate.

According to Travelport’s

analysis, as of 31 July, flights from

Pakistan had seen the greatest

growth in bookings through GDS

around Makkah when compared

to last year’s Hajj, with volume up

13,788 (+61%). Bookings from the

United Kingdom saw the second

highest rise, with volume up 4,324

(+47%). Bahrain came third hav-

ing registered 4,306 more bookings

(+173%) vs 2017. India and the

UnitedArab Emirates completed

the top five positions in the table.

India saw an increase in bookings

of 3,791 (+19%), while the United

Arab Emirates recorded a rise of

2,887 (+24%). Overall, flight book-

ings around Makkah through GDS

had been made from 148 countries

around the world.

JEDDAH —

The Islamic Corporation

for the Development of the Private

Sector (ICD, Aa3

stable) benefits from a robust

capital position and strong liquid-

ity, although its weak asset quality

remains a challenge, says Moody’s

Investors Service in an annual re-

port.

Thaddeus Best, an analyst at

Moody’s, and co-author of the report

titled “Islamic Corporation for the

Development of the Private Sector -

Aa3 stableAnnual Credit Analysis,”

said “the ability, and willingness

of the ICD’s main shareholders

to provide support are also credit

strengths, demonstrated by strong

participation in the second general

capital increase to date.”

The ICD’s main shareholder, the

Islamic Development Bank (IsDB,

Aaa stable), continues to support the

corporation’s credit profile, even

as its shareholding is slowly diluted

through capital increases.

As with many multi-lateral de-

velopment banks (MDBs), the ICD

maintains high levels of liquidity to

compensate for the lack of recourse

to emergency funding such as cen-

tral bank liquidity. ICD’s debt ser-

vice coverage ratio remains strong

at 15.4% in 2017, and it maintains

a minimum of one year’s net cash

requirements under stressed condi-

tions, assuming no market assess.

MDBs that focus on the private

sector tend to have riskier operating

profiles than other MDBs and equity

investments can be more vola-

tile than lending. Due to these two

features, the ICD has a structurally

weaker

asset quality profile than other

MDBs, as evidenced by the large

losses sustained in 2017 arising

from

revaluations in the equity port-

folio, and the history of high non-

performing loans.

Meanwhile, the ICD’s credit

challenges include its weak asset

quality, as reflected in the term

finance portfolio’s track record of

high nonperforming loans (NPLs)

and only slow improvements over

time. The absence of contractual

callable capital also sets the ICD

apart from other, higher-rated

MDBs.

The rating outlook is stable.

NPLs will remain elevated alongside

the strong balance sheet expansion

and as the corporation continues to

invest in the relatively risky private

sectors of emerging and frontier

markets. This is balanced by strong

liquidity underpinned by further

sukuk issuances, and the capacity of

shareholders to provide support. As

would a sustainable improvement in

the Corporation’s asset quality track

record, with NPLs ranging well be-

low 10% of total loans and a higher

credit quality in the treasury.

Downward rating pressure could

result from weaker shareholder

support, whether measured by the

credit rating of key shareholders or

resources made

available by shareholders during

general capital increases. A sharp in-

crease in leverage beyond medium-

term plans or a further deterioration

of asset quality would likely result

in a lower rating and equity portfo-

lios. —

SG

RIYADH —

Customs at Riyadh dry

port facility successfully blocked

two major drug smuggling at-

tempts, seizing large quantities

of illegal substances, including

2,621,86 Captagon pills, 138,60 ki-

lograms of hashish, and 195,5 kilo-

grams of heroin. The seized drugs

were all found hidden inside goods

being shipped through the port.

Commenting on the operation,

Mohammad Al Ghamdi, General

Matt Powell

Governor of Saudi Customs inspects Jadidat

Arrar Port to ensure smooth processes

RIYADH —

Governor of the Saudi

Customs General Authority Ahmad

bin Abdulaziz Al-Hakbani visited

Jadidat Arrar Customs Port on

Sunday (Aug. 4, 2018) to oversee

preparations taking place for wel-

coming Haj pilgrims set to arrive at

the port.

His visit included inspection

tours of various customs zones in

the port, as well as follow-up on the

progress of the preparations re-

quired to guarantee the best delivery

of services to pilgrims.

Governor Al-Hakbani also

ensured the readiness of technical

and monitoring systems installed to

facilitate customs procedures, and

examined all arrangements done

by various customs departments to

welcome Haj pilgrims.

This visit comes as part of Sau-

di Customs’management tours that

are taking place in all land, sea, and

airports to ensure smooth processes

during the Haj season.

Moreover, the governor

checked the progress on the infra-

structure preparation of the Jadidat

Arrar (Saudi-Iraqi) border port proj-

ect to ensure that all proper steps

were implemented. He provided

Governor of the Saudi Customs General Authority Ahmad bin Abdulaziz Al-Hakbani visits Jadidat Arrar

Customs Port on Aug. 4, 2018 to oversee preparations taking place for welcoming Haj pilgrims at the port

ing the discovery of the illegal

substances.

He also asserted that Saudi

Customs are working at their full

potential in all land, sea and air

ports, to protect the nation from

dangerous smuggling activities,

by implementing state-of-the-art

techniques to prevent drug deal-

ers from exploiting shipments to

smuggle drugs and other illegal

goods.

— SG

Manager of Riyadh Dry Port Cus-

toms, said the smuggling attempts

were blocked after the usual inspec-

tion process of goods entering the

port, where the Captagon pills and

heroin were concealed in hollowed

parts of a wooden doors and boards

shipment.

Al Ghamidi also said the

seized hashish was uncovered after

inspecting a shipment of mechani-

cal machinery that arrived at the

port. He affirmed that all necessary

measures have taken place follow-

further instruction regarding the im-

portance of completing this project

which is considered vital to both the

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the

Republic of Iraq.

This project is expected to fur-

ther develop the border area between

the two countries through providing

facilitation and an array of services

to travelers passing through, in order

to enable better trade and improved

economic and trade relations.

— SG

Matthew Powell, Travelport’s

Managing Director for the Middle

East, Africa and SouthAsia, said:

“Every year, Hajj sees one of the

greatest migrations of people on

the planet. It is likely many of the

rises in flight bookings we’ve seen

through our analysis can, at least in

part, be attributed the Kingdom of

Saudi Arabia’s government increas-

ing the Hajj quotas for the countries

in question. For example, in recent

months, increases have been report-

ed for countries including Pakistan,

Bahrain and India.”

Due to their proximity to rel-

evant locations, the three airports

pilgrims tend to fly into are: King

Abdulaziz International Airport,

Jeddah; Taif Regional Airport, Taif;

and Prince Mohammed BinAbdu-

laziz International Airport, Madi-

nah.

— SG

600 international

brands to join in

‘Foodex Saudi ’18’

JEDDAH—

Some 600 interna-

tional brands from 32 countries

are participating in the largest

international food and bever-

age exhibition in Saudi Arabia

and one of the major specialized

food exhibitions in the Gulf and

Middle East.

The four-day event ‘Foodex

Saudi 2018’ will be held at the

Jeddah Center for Forums and

Events on Nov 12-15, 2018.

The exhibition expects high

competition between Europeans

and Asians over the Saudi market

and will welcome professional

visitors, investors, and business

decision-makers from the Saudi

food and hospitality sectors.

Brands are to present the

latest products of fresh, chilled

and frozen foods, dairy products,

food and canned goods, meat,

poultry, snacks and desserts.

In addition, ‘Salon Culinaire’

will be held during the exhibit,

which is an annual competition

that hosts 200 chefs.

Giant European and Mid-

eastern companies from Spain,

Portugal, Greece, Japan, Finland,

Belgium, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey,

UAE and many other countries

will take part in this tremendous

food event.

Haya Al- Sunaidi, the chair-

woman of Reed Sunaidi Exhibi-

tions, said: “ Those countries

present high-quality products and

seek to gain primary position in

the Saudi market.”

Al Sunaidi added ‘Foodex

Saudi’ is a remarkable trade plat-

form for local and international

suppliers from around the world

to compete over their share in

the largest flexible and attractive

food market having huge eco-

nomic and consumer capacity.”

— SG