Saudi wellness startup Rumbl gets $1m seed amid growing fitness culture – Arab News
DUBAI: A Saudi startup in the health and fitness space has secured $1 million seed funding, on the back of a growing fitness culture in the Kingdom. 
Founded only last year, Rumbl provides a platform for fitness enthusiasts to access healthy restaurants, gyms, and on-demand personal trainers. They can book a session, subscribe to a meal plan, among other options.
“The fitness market has changed dramatically over the years, and people are looking for simplicity when it comes to accessing fitness centers, personal trainers, and healthy food. Rumbl’s innovative model is well-positioned for success,” its founder Sultan Gornas said. 
The fund, which was mostly from Mine Angel Group, will be used to boost brand awareness in the Kingdom, grow its team, and expand into other markets in the region. 
“Our approach focuses on digitizing the subscription journey to fitness centers and healthy restaurants and is aligned with the Saudi Vision 2030 Quality of Life program,” the founder added.
CAIRO: Egypt’s economy will grow steadily over the coming three years with inflation gradually declining, a Reuters poll of economists showed. 
Also, Cairo’s hotel sector has seen its occupancy rates almost double during the first five months of 2022 amid the government’s efforts to boost tourism. 
Egypt’s economy will grow fairly steadily over the coming three years, with inflation gradually declining from double digits and the pound weakening in the near-term, according to a Reuters poll.
Gross domestic product is forecast to expand a median 5.5 percent in the fiscal year that began this month, according to a Reuters poll of 19 economists taken between July 6 and 20, up slightly from the 5.2 percent predicted three months ago.
Hotel sector
Cairo’s hotel sector has seen its occupancy rates climbing to 60 percent in the first five month of 2022, almost double the 32 percent in the same period last year, according to a report from consulting firm JLL MENA.
Hotel occupancy rate is the percentage of occupied rooms at a given time compared to the total number of available rooms at that time.
This increase occurred as Egypt sought to provide a boost to its tourism industry, following the loss of Ukrainian and Russian visitors.
The government has launched a campaign called Follow the Sun to attract greater numbers of tourists from countries such as Germany, France, Italy and the US. 
IPO watch
Egypt has approved pre-listing procedures for petrol stations operator Wataniya and water company Safi, which are both currently owned by the Egyptian army.
This move constitutes the first step towards stock market listings, according to a cabinet statement. 
The cabinet gave no additional information on the timing of the sales.
Suez Canal Fund
Egypt’s Council of Ministers has approved draft amendments to the law establishing a fund owned by the Suez Canal Authority that is being set up to support the authority’s economic development. 
The fund will contribute to the authority’s sustainable economic development through an optimal use of its funds and confronting crises and emergencies that occur as a result of any exceptional circumstances, force majeure, or bad economic conditions, according to the cabinet statement. 
CAIRO: The European Central Bank raised interest rates by 50 basis points in an attempt to fight inflation, whereas Ukraine kept its 11-year high key interest rate unchanged.
Japan’s June exports rose by 19.4 percent year on year, while the UK’s budget deficit worsened due to a surge in prices.
ECB increases rates by 50 bps in fight against inflation
The ECB raised interest rates by more than expected on Thursday, confirming that concerns about runaway inflation trump economic growth considerations for now.
The ECB raised its benchmark deposit rate by 50 basis points to 0 percent, breaking its own earlier guidance for a 25 basis point move as it joined global peers in jacking up borrowing costs. It was the eurozone central bank’s first rate hike for 11 years.
Ukraine keeps key interest rate unchanged, increases inflation forecast
Ukraine’s central bank kept its main interest rate unchanged at a seven-year-high of 25 percent on Thursday and raised its 2022 inflation forecast to more than 30 percent.
Devastated by the war with Russia, Ukraine’s economy fell by around 40 percent year on year in the second quarter of this year, the central bank said, opening up the possibility it could keep the key rate at 25 percent until the second quarter of 2024.
Japan’s June exports rise 19.4 percent year-on-year 
Japan’s exports rose 19.4 percent in June from a year earlier, Ministry of Finance (MOF) data showed on Thursday.
That compared with a 17.5 percent increase expected by economists in a Reuters poll.
June imports surged 46.1 percent year-on-year, versus the median estimate for a 45.7 percent increase.
The trade balance came to a deficit of 1.3838 trillion yen ($10.00 billion), versus a median estimate of a 1.510 trillion yen shortfall.
Inflation surge pushes up UK’s budget deficit
A surge in debt costs — pushed up by soaring inflation to twice tits previous monthly peak — added to the UK’s budget deficit in June, which was its highest since April 2021, data showed on Thursday.
The Office for National Statistics said public sector net borrowing excluding state-owned banks rose to £22.879 billion ($27.4 billion) last month from 12.560 billion pounds in May.
Sri Lanka inflation hit 59 percent year-on-year in June
Sri Lanka’s headline inflation rate hit 59 percent in June, according to data from the country’s statistics department released on Thursday.
The country’s National Consumer Price Index LKNCPI=ECI rose by 58.9 percent year-on-year in June, against a 45.3 percent rise in May.
(With input from Reuters)
RIYADH: Saudi Coffee Co., a subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund, has partnered with the Culinary Arts Commission to help promote the Kingdom’s coffee product.
Signed in Riyadh, the partnership aims to support the development of the national coffee industry and empower local talents, according to a statement.
The terms of the agreement both have signed include plans to work across multiple platforms including content creation, sponsorship, marketing and merchandising opportunities to market Saudi Arabia’s coffee beans more widely. 
“Saudi Coffee Company is ramping up our efforts to be a leader in developing the coffee industry in Saudi and celebrating coffee heritage with the Culinary Arts Commission,” CEO of Saudi Coffee Co., Raja Al Harbi said. 
“This agreement is a major step that will help us communicate our values and message to the public. We look forward to fulfilling the terms of our partnership with the Commission,” he added. 
RIYADH: Indian shares closed near a seven-week high on Thursday, led by gains in metals and auto stocks, while strong results from IndusInd Bank lifted private lenders.
The NSE Nifty 50 index and the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.51 percent each to close at 16,605.25 and 55,681.95, respectively. Both the indexes closed at their highest since early June.
The Nifty 50 index has risen about 5 percent so far this month. The Bank Nifty index and the Nifty Auto index are up 8 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.
IndusInd Bank jumped 7.8 percent after it reported a surge in first-quarter net profit on Wednesday on the back of a drop in provisions and growth in net interest income.
Tata Communications surged 10 percent after the company posted a jump in quarterly profit.
RBI reschedules next policy meet to Aug 3-5
India’s central bank, also known as the Reserve Bank of India, said on Thursday that it will reschedule its next monetary policy meeting to Aug. 3-5 from Aug. 2-4, due to “administrative exigencies”, according to a Reuters report. 
Citi expects revenue from India corporate business to grow 10%
Citigroup expects annual growth in its corporate banking business in India to accelerate to 10 percent in the next few years as it focuses on its institutional business after recently selling its consumer banking business, a top executive said.
“Conservatively, we expect India corporate banking business revenue to grow at around 10 percent a year in dollar terms in the next three-four years, which translates to 16-17 percent in rupee terms considering the depreciation,” K Balasubramanian, head of corporate banking, South Asia, told Reuters on Thursday, noting Citi has been ramping up hiring.
Growth of 10 percent would be “200 basis points” higher than annual growth seen in the last few years and faster than several other countries in which the bank has a presence, he added.
(With input from Reuters) 
RIYADH: China stocks fell on Thursday as worries over fresh COVID-19 outbreaks and mortgage-payment boycott overshadowed gains in tech shares. 
China’s blue-chip CSI300 lost 1.1 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index declined 1 percent. In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng was down 1.5 percent.
Video game revenue falls
China’s video games sector revenue declined in the first half of 2022 for the first time since the data was made available 14 years ago, as the world’s biggest video games market continues to reel from Beijing’s tightening oversight.
The industry’s combined revenue declined 1.8 percent to 147.7 billion yuan ($21.8 billion) in the six months ended June, according to a report published by the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association, a state-backed industry group, on Thursday.
It marks the first drop since the data began being published in 2008 and reflects how China’s massive gaming industry, once marked by unbridled growth, has been heavily bruised by Beijing’s efforts to tighten its oversight of the sector, including by reducing the number of gaming licenses given out and limiting play time for teens.
The report also shows that the number of gamers nationwide fell for the first time, dropping to 665.69 million from 666.57 million reported in December.
Chinese gaming companies’ domestic revenue fell 4.25 percent to 124.5 billion yuan. With heavy regulations at home, companies have been turning to overseas markets for growth, where revenue rose 6.16 percent to nearly $9 billion in the period.
China fines Didi Global $1.2 billion
China’s cybersecurity regulator on Thursday fined Didi Global Inc. $1.2 billion, concluding a probe that forced the ride-hailing leader to delist from New York within a year of its debut and made foreign investors wary about China’s tech sector.
Didi ran afoul of the Cyberspace Administration of China, when it pressed ahead with its US stock listing even though it was urged to wait while a cybersecurity review of its data practices was conducted, sources previously told Reuters.
The CAC said Didi had violated three major laws concerning cybersecurity, data security and personal information protection, a regime that the country revised and expanded last year as part of efforts to regulate its cyberspace and require companies to improve their handling of data.
The regulator also said its investigation found Didi had illegally collected millions of pieces of user information over a seven-year period starting in June 2015 and carried out data processing activities that seriously affected national security.
(With input from Reuters)


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