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Saudi Research and Marketing Group Acquires Controlling Stake in ‘Argaam’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Prince Badr bin Farhan with Ghassan al-Shibl, Rashid al-Owain and Islam Zween (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Riyadh– As part of its plan to expand its range of specialized content and develop digital publishing initiatives, Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG) acquired a controlling stake in the Argaam Investment and Trading Company.

Argaam is a financial news portal that runs an online economic and financial information service and provides real-time updates on financial markets and macroeconomic trends in Saudi Arabia and the region.

SRMG acquired 51 percent of Argaam for $10 million in an attempt to expand its operations, at a time when Saudi Arabia is diversifying its economy and opening up to more foreign investments and as a part of the National Transformation Plan (NTP) 2020 and Vision 2030.

Following the acquisition, SRMG Chairman Prince Badr bin Abdullah Al Saud said it will help pave the way to a “brighter future” for the digital content industry in Saudi Arabia. He added that Argaam was very successful in various fields, mainly because it was one of the most prominent digital experiments in creating content for finance, business, and market movement in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

He added that this acquisition will also help promote means of development and alleviate it into higher levels.

Sources at the group revealed that this acquisition was done based on several strategic elements including its compatibility with Argaam’s content platforms which will generate a comprehensive performance within an environment that will raise Argaam into international levels.

Managing director and chief executive of SRMG Ghassan al-Shibl pointed out that the acquisition of one of the most important economic websites in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world is a continuation of the group’s strategy to expand its specialized content portfolios in the world of finance, business, market economics and different media platforms.

Shibl added that Saudi Arabian data has become a “strategic commodity” for potential investors weighing their options on how to invest in the Kingdom.

The acquisition also reflects an anticipated rise in demand for information on Saudi Arabia’s economy and financial markets as the country ramps up non-oil growth and diversifies its economy under its Vision 2030 strategy, according to Shibl.

The acquisition comes after SRMG signed a deal with the New York-headquartered Bloomberg LP to launch Bloomberg al-Arabiya, a new multi-platform Arabic-language business and financial news service.

The agreement includes the publishing of Bloomberg Businessweek magazine in Arabic as well as a 24/7 television and radio network. The Bloomberg al-Arabiya team will be headquartered in the Gulf, and managed by SRMG with support from Bloomberg.

Saudi Research and Marketing Group is one of the leading investment companies in the industry of media and publishing and other fields linked to it in the Middle East. Established in 1987, SRMG is based on an investing comprehensive approach.