News

Saudi public fund invests in artificial reality

Virtual_reality_headsetSaudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has reportedly invested $461 million in a controversial artificial reality start-up. Magic Leap has so far attracted more than $2.3 billion in funding with its latest round of financing totalling $963 million. Singapore’s Temasek Holdings made up the remaining $502 million. The start-up aims to launch an artificial-reality headset and developer kit, the Magic Leap One headset Creator Edition, that it claims will produce a photo-realistic augmented and mixed reality experience and will be launched in early 2018. Magic Leap has attracted scepticism from the tech media that points out that, despite launching in 2011, it has yet to put out a single product. Nor has there been a live demonstration of any of its products. Most damagingly, Magic Leap was forced to admit that a marketing video it produced did not feature images from its technology but was instead made by a Hollywood special effects company. The company boasts a number of well-known investors including Alphabet (Google), Alibaba Group, Qualcomm, Warner Bros and JP Morgan Investment Group. ©2018 funds global mena

Executive Interviews

INTERVIEW: ‘Financing is the blood of Iran’s economy’

Amid a fresh wave of American sanctions, Romil Patel spoke to Meysam Hamedi, director of financial markets and instruments at Iran’s Securities & Exchange Organization (SEO).

INTERVIEW: Totally mega

In 2016, global consulting firm PWC forecast the emergence of five global ‘megatrends’ in the next two decades. Stephen Anderson, its Middle East clients and markets leader, talks about their...

INTERVIEW: Protecting the investment

Rasmala’s trade finance fund recently passed $100 million in assets. Doug Bitcon, head of credit strategies, explains why he has to be hands-on.

EXECUTIVE INTERVIEW: A natural interest in the topic

Since 2016, Guillermo Ortiz has been a chairman of Latin America’s BTG Pactual. The former central banker of Mexico talks to Nick Fitzpatrick.

Roundtables

Middle East Investor Roundtable 2020: Dimensions of diversification

Investors in the Middle East consider the tools that will be needed to navigate the Covid-19 crisis, the continued appetite for dividend and why it’s all about tech. Chaired by Romil Patel.

South Africa asset management roundtable: Global rebound on ice

Experts discuss the investment implications of the coronavirus pandemic, a delayed rebound in global growth and dealing with South Africa’s energy issues head on. Chaired by Romil Patel in Cape Town.

South African roundtable: Taking the bull by the horns

Our panel discusses Chinese investment in Africa, financial institutions’ contribution to economic sustainability and regulatory concerns. Chaired by Romil Patel in Cape Town.

ROUNDTABLE: Hooked to the global caravan

With the MENA region at a tipping point, our panellists talk about economic diversification, the impact of regulation and the delayed Saudi Aramco listing. Chaired by Romil Patel in Dubai.