Falling oil prices will be a hidden blessing for Saudi start-ups, investor says

In a part of the world better known for towering skyscrapers and oil than for its startup scene, Gulf Arab entrepreneurs might be seeing bright times ahead. That’s according to Fadi Ghandour, executive chairman of Wanda Group, whose venture capital fund invests in tech companies all over the Middle East and North Africa. Now that oil prices are dramatically down from their October highs, the veteran Middle East investor says the market moves “will definitely be a blessing in disguise” and in tha


In a part of the world better known for towering skyscrapers and oil than for its startup scene, Gulf Arab entrepreneurs might be seeing bright times ahead. That’s according to Fadi Ghandour, executive chairman of Wanda Group, whose venture capital fund invests in tech companies all over the Middle East and North Africa. Now that oil prices are dramatically down from their October highs, the veteran Middle East investor says the market moves “will definitely be a blessing in disguise” and in tha
Falling oil prices will be a hidden blessing for Saudi start-ups, investor says Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-11  Authors: natasha turak, simon dawson, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, middle, falling, investor, arab, prices, hidden, faster, east, scale, ghandour, blessing, region, startups, oil, saudi


Falling oil prices will be a hidden blessing for Saudi start-ups, investor says

In a part of the world better known for towering skyscrapers and oil than for its startup scene, Gulf Arab entrepreneurs might be seeing bright times ahead. That’s according to Fadi Ghandour, executive chairman of Wanda Group, whose venture capital fund invests in tech companies all over the Middle East and North Africa.

“For years we’ve said there is an inverse relationship between how change happens on the regulatory environment and the price of oil — the lower the price of oil, the faster the change process happens,” Ghandour told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble on Thursday, pointing to Arab Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates whose economies have historically been dependent on hydrocarbon revenues.

Now that oil prices are dramatically down from their October highs, the veteran Middle East investor says the market moves “will definitely be a blessing in disguise” and in that it will force the development of sustainable, knowledge-based economies and jobs. He believes that startups founded five or more years ago are now reaching their maturity stage, meaning there will be more businesses scaling up in the next several years — if they can get the necessary support.

“These companies born somewhere around 2011, 2012, have raised much more money, they are growing much faster, the region is adopting mobile smartphone technology much faster, they are interacting much faster and at a much larger scale, specifically in Saudi Arabia,” Ghandour said.

“This is the time when there is size, there is scale, and the big funds globally who don’t want to take the risk early on, are going to be looking for entry into a market that they don’t have much presence in.” He pointed to New York-based global equity firm General Atlantic’s investment of $120 million in Dubai-based website Property Finder last November. The Middle East real estate platform was founded in 2007 and has been profitable since 2013.

Investments in Middle East and North Africa (MENA)-based startups went up by 31 percent between 2017 and 2018 to $893 million, with 366 deals made, according to Magnitt, a regional data platform for investors. The database also found that more than 155 institutions invested in MENA startups in 2018, 30 percent of which were from outside the region and 47 percent of which had not previously invested in the region.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-11  Authors: natasha turak, simon dawson, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, middle, falling, investor, arab, prices, hidden, faster, east, scale, ghandour, blessing, region, startups, oil, saudi


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Janelle Monae: How losing a job was a blessing in disguise for my music career

“I couldn’t afford a computer, so I used the company’s computer – the display computers that were out there. As she was responding to let her fans know when she’d be available, Monae heard her Office Depot superiors over the intercom, requesting her to come to the back-office. And it was devastating,” she recalled, explaining how she loved selling the office supply products at her job. As many incredible artists do, however, Monae took this difficult experience and turned it into art. The song ‘


“I couldn’t afford a computer, so I used the company’s computer – the display computers that were out there. As she was responding to let her fans know when she’d be available, Monae heard her Office Depot superiors over the intercom, requesting her to come to the back-office. And it was devastating,” she recalled, explaining how she loved selling the office supply products at her job. As many incredible artists do, however, Monae took this difficult experience and turned it into art. The song ‘
Janelle Monae: How losing a job was a blessing in disguise for my music career Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-21  Authors: alexandra gibbs, johnny nunez, wireimage, getty images, jared siskin, getty images entertainment
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, song, computer, blessing, know, big, monae, loved, let, disguise, fans, lettin, music, losing, janelle, job, office, career


Janelle Monae: How losing a job was a blessing in disguise for my music career

For the then-aspiring singer, money was tight; explaining to Fast Company that promoting her work to fans online was tricky — especially as she didn’t own a computer. So, she had to find other means of keeping her ambition alive.

“I couldn’t afford a computer, so I used the company’s computer – the display computers that were out there. And they (the fans) were writing me on my site, like ‘Hey, when are you performing? What time are you going to be there? I loved your songs’,” she said.

As she was responding to let her fans know when she’d be available, Monae heard her Office Depot superiors over the intercom, requesting her to come to the back-office.

“I went back, and my supervisor, manager just said: ‘Look, we know you don’t want to be here. We see you using the company’s computer for your personal business. We know that you want to be an artist — we’re going to let you go. You’re fired.’ And it was devastating,” she recalled, explaining how she loved selling the office supply products at her job.

As many incredible artists do, however, Monae took this difficult experience and turned it into art.

“So, after I was fired from Office Depot, I wrote this song called ‘Lettin’ Go’ and it was my first single that I put out. And Big Boi from Outkast, who’s a mentor, like a brother to me, heard it and he put it on this compilation CD.”

“And that was like the first song that I had that was available around the world. It was a big deal.” The song ‘Lettin’ Go’ featured on Big Boi’s compilation album “Got Purp? Vol. 2,” which also featured her track “Time will reveal.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-21  Authors: alexandra gibbs, johnny nunez, wireimage, getty images, jared siskin, getty images entertainment
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, song, computer, blessing, know, big, monae, loved, let, disguise, fans, lettin, music, losing, janelle, job, office, career


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Cramer walks back negative Newell call after proxy fight ends, gives blessing to buy

Last Monday, CNBC’s Jim Cramer told homegamers to stay away from the stock of Newell Brands, a household products maker embroiled in a proxy fight. On Monday, Newell Brands and Starboard Value came to an agreement with Icahn’s approval, ending the proxy fight. Cramer argued that a peaceful end to the proxy fight made all the difference for Starboard. “Perhaps most important, now that Newell Brands is no longer embroiled in a bitter, high-profile proxy fight, they can actually focus on turning th


Last Monday, CNBC’s Jim Cramer told homegamers to stay away from the stock of Newell Brands, a household products maker embroiled in a proxy fight. On Monday, Newell Brands and Starboard Value came to an agreement with Icahn’s approval, ending the proxy fight. Cramer argued that a peaceful end to the proxy fight made all the difference for Starboard. “Perhaps most important, now that Newell Brands is no longer embroiled in a bitter, high-profile proxy fight, they can actually focus on turning th
Cramer walks back negative Newell call after proxy fight ends, gives blessing to buy Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-04-23  Authors: elizabeth gurdus
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, cramer, newells, newell, starboard, buy, negative, blessing, walks, gives, board, brands, proxy, directors, stock, fight, ends


Cramer walks back negative Newell call after proxy fight ends, gives blessing to buy

What a difference a week makes. Last Monday, CNBC’s Jim Cramer told homegamers to stay away from the stock of Newell Brands, a household products maker embroiled in a proxy fight.

With Wall Street legend Carl Icahn on one side pushing for board seats and Jeff Smith’s Starboard Value on the other demanding an entirely new board of directors, Newell’s situation made its stock “the ultimate battleground,” Cramer said.

“Even though both Carl Icahn and the guys at Starboard [are] very smart, I told you that this seemed like a no-win situation to me,” the “Mad Money” host reflected on Monday. “[But] the facts have changed, and like the late, great John Maynard Keynes, when the facts change, I change my mind.”

On Monday, Newell Brands and Starboard Value came to an agreement with Icahn’s approval, ending the proxy fight.

Per the deal, Newell said it would appoint two new independent directors to its board in place of Icahn’s more controversial nominees and appoint a third Starboard-backed candidate.

“The stock market didn’t seem to care about this development,” Cramer said. “I thought it was a game-changer.”

With Starboard back in the fold with some “superb” new directors, Cramer felt “more confident in Newell’s ability to turn itself around,” adding that “the stock might actually be worth buying.”

Cramer argued that a peaceful end to the proxy fight made all the difference for Starboard. Had the contest ended badly, Starboard’s three nominees would have had a more difficult time encouraging Newell’s 11-person board to change its ways, he said.

Now, the Starboard-aligned directors will feel more empowered to suggest the kinds of changes Starboard has successfully made at Darden Restaurants and Marvell Technology, Cramer said.

The “Mad Money” host also liked the new board members, saying Victoria’s Secret vet Bridget Ryan Berman would help bolster Newell’s direct-to-consumer business and former Starbucks executive Geraldo Lopez could help the company maneuver selling some of its segments.

“Perhaps most important, now that Newell Brands is no longer embroiled in a bitter, high-profile proxy fight, they can actually focus on turning things around,” Cramer said.

“Newell still has a ragged mix of under-managed brands [and] they still need to unload many of them to raise $10 billion as part of their asset sale plan,” he continued. “They still need to do everything they can to improve efficiency.”

Starboard’s appointees also add a new layer of accountability to Newell CEO Mike Polk’s role, Cramer said. If Polk can’t deliver now, Starboard can bring in someone new.

“Bottom line? I had no interest in Newell when it was stuck in a vicious proxy fight, and I told you anyone who won this fight was likely to experience only a Pyrrhic victory. I guess they were paying attention because now Newell’s made peace with the activist investors at Starboard and that makes this a very different story,” the “Mad Money” host said.

“That’s why you now have my blessing to buy the stock,” Cramer continued. “Yes, Starboard is that good, and I truly believe Polk will take heed of their advice with the understanding that if he doesn’t, he’s most likely gone. That could be a win-win situation developing here: Polk succeeds [and] the stock goes higher. If he fails, Starboard will likely have a hand in picking a very good successor.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-04-23  Authors: elizabeth gurdus
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, cramer, newells, newell, starboard, buy, negative, blessing, walks, gives, board, brands, proxy, directors, stock, fight, ends


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Cramer Remix: Investors have my blessing to get a taste of Smucker

CNBC’s Jim Cramer has been waiting for the stock of JM Smucker to find a bottom for months, and though it looks like it finally has, he wasn’t too eager. “Here’s the problem: this is not Smucker’s first attempted comeback since the stock’s sickening decline began over a year ago,” the “Mad Money” host said. Still, “one good quarter does not necessarily make a turnaround,” Cramer said. “I’d like to see a second strong quarter in a row … before I recommend Smucker wholeheartedly. But if you want t


CNBC’s Jim Cramer has been waiting for the stock of JM Smucker to find a bottom for months, and though it looks like it finally has, he wasn’t too eager. “Here’s the problem: this is not Smucker’s first attempted comeback since the stock’s sickening decline began over a year ago,” the “Mad Money” host said. Still, “one good quarter does not necessarily make a turnaround,” Cramer said. “I’d like to see a second strong quarter in a row … before I recommend Smucker wholeheartedly. But if you want t
Cramer Remix: Investors have my blessing to get a taste of Smucker Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2017-12-13  Authors: elizabeth gurdus, getty images, source, dan hesse
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, going, comeback, weve, taste, wholeheartedly, quarter, stock, stocks, remix, smuckers, smucker, cramer, investors, blessing


Cramer Remix: Investors have my blessing to get a taste of Smucker

CNBC’s Jim Cramer has been waiting for the stock of JM Smucker to find a bottom for months, and though it looks like it finally has, he wasn’t too eager.

“Here’s the problem: this is not Smucker’s first attempted comeback since the stock’s sickening decline began over a year ago,” the “Mad Money” host said. “We’ve seen this thing try to turn around before, and every time, the rebound has fizzled and the stock has ended up going still lower.”

But Cramer acknowledged that this time could be different. For one, this comeback has lasted longer than Smucker’s other comebacks; the stock is now up almost 19 percent from its November lows.

Better yet, shares of Smucker are trading at only 15 times next year’s earnings estimates, fairly cheap, and Wall Street has started warming up to consumer foods stocks again as food deflation abates.

Still, “one good quarter does not necessarily make a turnaround,” Cramer said. “I’d like to see a second strong quarter in a row … before I recommend Smucker wholeheartedly. But if you want to dip your toe in and start a small position right here, I’m going to give you my blessing. You know why? Because in the end, this is a very high-quality company run by a family that has historically generated better returns than the others in its sector.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2017-12-13  Authors: elizabeth gurdus, getty images, source, dan hesse
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, going, comeback, weve, taste, wholeheartedly, quarter, stock, stocks, remix, smuckers, smucker, cramer, investors, blessing


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This company copied the Amazon Echo Dot and will sell for less – with Amazon’s blessing

Chinese gadget-maker Eufy announced the Genie on Wednesday, a copycat of the Amazon Echo Dot that will ship with Amazon’s smart Alexa assistant and will cost even less than the Dot. Stranger still — Amazon fully supports the company, which is a sub-brand of the more familiar “Anker,” best known for portable battery packs. This is Amazon’s strategy to expand Alexa into more gadget and places than other smart home assistants, such as Siri and Google Assistant, in the race to bring AI into the home


Chinese gadget-maker Eufy announced the Genie on Wednesday, a copycat of the Amazon Echo Dot that will ship with Amazon’s smart Alexa assistant and will cost even less than the Dot. Stranger still — Amazon fully supports the company, which is a sub-brand of the more familiar “Anker,” best known for portable battery packs. This is Amazon’s strategy to expand Alexa into more gadget and places than other smart home assistants, such as Siri and Google Assistant, in the race to bring AI into the home
This company copied the Amazon Echo Dot and will sell for less – with Amazon’s blessing Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2017-08-09  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, sell, company, copied, supports, strategy, assistant, amazon, blessing, amazons, subbrand, alexa, using, echo, dot, smart


This company copied the Amazon Echo Dot and will sell for less - with Amazon's blessing

Chinese gadget-maker Eufy announced the Genie on Wednesday, a copycat of the Amazon Echo Dot that will ship with Amazon’s smart Alexa assistant and will cost even less than the Dot.

Stranger still — Amazon fully supports the company, which is a sub-brand of the more familiar “Anker,” best known for portable battery packs.

This is Amazon’s strategy to expand Alexa into more gadget and places than other smart home assistants, such as Siri and Google Assistant, in the race to bring AI into the home. The more partners selling devices, the more folks are using Alexa. It just goes to show that, despite the popularity of Amazon’s Echo products, hardware isn’t always Amazon’s focus — services are.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2017-08-09  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, sell, company, copied, supports, strategy, assistant, amazon, blessing, amazons, subbrand, alexa, using, echo, dot, smart


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