QS Monitor taps 90% of global food trade – Arab News

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RIYADH: UAE-based global food trade startup QS Monitor has created a platform for food traders to ship their goods risk-free.
Established in 2020, the company mitigates the risk for exporters as they streamline their shipments to avoid food loss by providing traders with the requirements for their goods to pass security measures.
Burak Karapinar, the managing director and founder of QS Monitor, told Arab News that the platform currently operates in 72 countries, which amounts to almost 90 percent of the global food trade industry.
“We are in 72 countries and growing, but this represents almost 90 percent of the global food trade. So, the ones we don’t have on the platform right now are either small countries or ones that are not big in the food trade,” Karapinar said.
Calling it the “Google for food trade,” Karapinar explained that traders input the product along with the destination, and QS Monitor will provide a complete list of requirements.
But that is not at all. Joe Hawayek, the board member of QS Monitor, told Arab News that the platform also links users to testing laboratories in their country.
“We are linking them with a testing laboratory in their country that can conduct these tests, issue them with the relevant certification that says they have passed, and they take it and travel with it for their product from the start,” he added.
By linking these players, Karapinar is trying to mitigate the food loss in the supply chain caused due to contamination. 
• As the Ukraine-Russia war affected the global food trade sector, the company plays a huge role in ensuring importers are still connected with exporters.
• Saudi Arabia and the UAE import most of their eggs from Ukraine, and because of the platform, importers could find alternative sources for their products.
“To give you an idea, 72 percent of global food loss happens in the supply chain, not at home or on the consumer’s plate,” he pointed out.
As the Ukraine-Russia war affected the global food trade sector, the company plays a huge role in ensuring importers are still connected with exporters.
“That’s another beauty that we can provide to this platform. The onboarding of a supplier takes months. You need to be able to verify all the information and make sure the supplier meets your criteria and standards.
“Through our platform, you don’t need to do that. You can gather this information. And you can make your decision. So, we also add the trust element between the buyer and the seller,” Karapinar said.
Hawayek also added that Saudi Arabia and the UAE import most of their eggs from Ukraine, and because of the platform, importers could find alternative sources for their products. With a network of over 400 laboratories, the company provides several services through its platform and certification for Halal requirements for certain foods.
“We did more than 10,000 transactions last year; this includes certification testing, inspection, product registration, and supplier audits,” Karapinar added.
With 6,000 traders on the platform, Karapinar stated that the company currently has 1,000 traders on QS Monitor from the Kingdom and is planning to grow that number by a minimum of five times.
In addition, the company is currently in series A funding stage and is on its way to raising $8 million and expanding its staff from 18 to 60 people in the next five months.
QS Monitor also won UAE’s FoodTech Challenge provided by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, which features almost 600 companies.
TEHRAN: Iran’s leading automaker is seeking to prioritize exports to Russia, its CEO said on Sunday, as both countries reel under Western economic sanctions.
Iran Khodro unveiled the latest model of its crossover Rira vehicle at its factory west of Tehran, where CEO Mehdi Khatibi announced the manufacturer’s ambitions for the Russian market.
“We are going to pay special attention to the Russian market, and we are also thinking of partnering with Russian investors,” he said.
“We have held good negotiations with Moscow. The Russian market, with its capacities, will be one of our important markets,” Khatibi added.
“We will begin exporting this year” to Russia, he said.
Iran Khodro had previously exported vehicles to Russia, notably between 2007 and 2009, Iranian media said.
The two countries have responded to the sanctions by boosting cooperation in key areas to help prop up their economies.
The company’s vice president, Kianoush Pourmojib, struck an optimistic note on Sunday, pointing to increased exports to Azerbaijan over the past five years.
“We are ambitious about improving the quality of our vehicles,” he told AFP.
He added that while the manufacturer hopes to compete in markets such as Azerbaijan, Oman and Iraq, “in volume, it is of course Russia that is the most important.”
“This year, we will produce more than 500,000 vehicles and our goal within three years is to export 100,000 vehicles annually,” compared with fewer than 20,000 currently, he said.
RIYADH: Kingdom Holding Co.unveiled its investment program worth SR12.8 billion ($3.4 billion), according to a bourse filing.
In June, the company announced that it completed its investment program during the period between the second quarter of 2020 and Q2 2022. The program invested in companies operating in diverse sectors with a proven track-record of growth and strong financial position.
The company’s total investments amounted to SR4.33 billion in 2020, SR3.75 billion in 2021 and SR4.73 billion in 2022.
 
Kingdom Holding Company announces the details of its latest investments program: pic.twitter.com/ZmWBJyRPe0
 
 
DUBAI: SWVL, Dubai-based mobility and transport solutions provider, announced on Wednesday that it had entered into a deal with US-based institutional investors to sell and buy over 12 million shares and securities for 73.4 million dirhams ($20 million) at 6.06 dirhams a share.
The sale of securities and private placement will take place on Friday, the statement said.
It said warrants issued under Series A and Series B will expire five and two years from the date of issuance, respectively.
The company will receive additional 110 million dirhams if the warrants are exercised during this period, it added.
Earlier this year, a special purpose acquisition company bought the transport startup.
Since its founding in Egypt in 2017, it has raised a total of 969 million dirhams.

Dubai developer plans to raise $4.6bn loan
The developer of Dubai’s artificial palm-shaped islands, Nakheel, plans to refinance existing debt by raising 17 billion dirhams ($4.6 billion), according to Bloomberg.
In addition to Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates NBD, Mashreqbank is seeking financing from the company, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.
Aside from regional and global lenders, the banks arranging the loan are also asking them to participate.
 
Emaar reports $1.8bn in H1 revenues
Emaar Development had its highest property sales during the first half of 2022, supported by recent successful launches that will create value for years to come, according to Emirates News Agency, known as WAM.
Compared to 2021, real estate sales increased by 10 percent to 15.216 billion dirhams ($4.143 billion) in the first half of 2022, WAM said.
It added that the Emaar Properties-owned build-to-sell business launched 15 projects in different master plans during the first half of 2022.
The earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization at Emaar Development was 2.564 billion dirhams in the first half of 2022, up 15 percent from the same period in 2021, while revenue was 7.282 billion dirhams, WAM said.
Emaar now has a robust backlog of 32.753 billion dirhams, which will be recognized as future revenue for the company.
Over 3,100 residential units have been delivered by Emaar Development across prime locations, including Dubai Hills Estate, Dubai Creek Harbor, Downtown Dubai, Emaar Beachfront, Arabian Ranches, and Emaar South. 
Currently, Emaar is developing over 26,100 residences in the UAE, with more than 55,100 being delivered as of June 2022. 
RIYADH: Saudi food manufacturer Halwani Bros Co. has reported a 65 percent drop in profit in the first half of the year, due to increased costs resulting from global inflation.
The company’s net profit fell to SR18 million ($5 million) compared to SR52 million in the same period last year, according to a bourse filing.
Halwani Bros attributed the lower profits to rising raw material costs and increased marketing costs due to global inflation.
The devaluation of the Egyptian currency also weighed on profits from its subsidiary in Egypt, it added.
Founded in 1952, Jeddah-based Halwani produces and distributes a wide range of food products in Saudi Arabia as well as around the world.
RIYADH: The UAE will hold the eighth World Green Economy Summit at Dubai World Trade Centre in September, as the Gulf state prepares to host COP28 next year, Emirates News Agency reported. 
Alongside promoting a green economy, the WGES plays a key role in supporting UAE’s climate action efforts and its commitment to sustainability. 
It also reflects the country’s support for energy and climate change issues and developing sustainable solutions to environmental challenges, according to the statement. 
Egypt’s nuclear power plant 
The International Atomic Energy Agency has officially included Egypt among the countries that have a nuclear plant under construction, according to the Nuclear Power Plants Authority. 
The country is now included in the Power Reactors Information System PRIS database, which focuses on nuclear power plants worldwide. 
This happens as Egypt started the construction of the El-Dabaa plant, located in the northwestern governorate of Marsa Matrouh, which aims to generate a total of 4,800MW via four reactors.
Through a micro lens
Oman’s Sur Industrial City, affiliated to the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates, has signed an over $40 million investment contract with Al Ghaith for Chemical Industries to establish a chemical plant on a 60,000 sq. m. site.
The project aims to promote the growth of chemical industries and supply the oil and gas, petrochemical and water treatment industries with basic chemicals and raw materials, according to Trade Arabia. 
Also, China’s CATL said it would build a €7.3 billion ($7.6 billion) battery plant in Hungary, Europe’s largest so far, as the electric vehicle battery maker gears up to meet growing demand from global automakers.
The construction of the 100GW plant in the eastern Hungarian city of Debrecen, is the firm’s biggest overseas investment, according to Reuters. 
It would start this year after receiving approvals and should last no more than 64 months.

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