Stc Group records record-high nine-month revenues of SAR 54.61 billion

In accordance with the dividends distribution policy for three years period starting from the 4th quarter of 2021, which was ratified during the Ordinary General Assembly Meeting on 30-11-2021. In addition to the amendment on the dividends distribution policy, which was ratified by the Extraordinary General Assembly Meeting on 30-08-2022, by distributing an amount of SAR 0.40 per share per quarter, stc will distribute a total of SAR 1,993.80 million in cash dividends to the shareholders for the 3rd quarter of 2023, representing SAR 0.40 per share as the total number of Treasury shares related to the Employees Stock Incentives Plan stood at 15,493,743 shares at the end of the third quarter 2023 and those shares are not entitled for any dividends distribution. The eligibility of dividends shall be for the shareholders at the close of trading on Sunday 05-11-2023 and as per the registered shareholders in stc’s shareholders registry in the Depository Center at the end of the 2rd trading day following the eligibility date. Dividend distribution date will be on Thursday 23-11-2023.Commenting on these results, Eng. Olayan Alwetaid, stc Group CEO, indicated that the group’s results and performance for the three-month and nine-month periods were excellent and in line with our expectations, which were achieved as a result of the group’s commitment to its “Dare 2.0” strategy and its operational and financial plans. The group CEO added that during the third quarter of this year, stc group acquired a 9.9% stake in Telefonica Group for SAR 8.5 billion. Telefonica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world with presence in major markets like Spain, Germany, Britain, and Brazil. This investment aims at strengthening the cooperation between the two companies to benefit from all available opportunities in the future. This investment also aligns with the group’s ambitious expansion and sustainable growth strategy, which has resulted in numerous investments in ICT sector whether locally or internationally. The most recent was the acquisition deal of the group's subsidiary "Tawal" of United Group’s towers in Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovenia, which recently announced the acquisition completion and the official start of its operations.In continuation of the group’s support for digital transformation, “iot Squared”, a subsidiary of stc Group, has signed a binding agreement to acquire “Machinestalk” company, which is one of the largest Saudi companies specialized in the field of the Internet of Things. This acquisition is an extension of the group’s pioneering role in adopting advanced digital technologies and leading the digital transformation in the region, which contributes to keeping pace with the growing demand for Internet of Things technologies and expanding the delivery of comprehensive services and products in this promising market.In pursuit of achieving the group’s vision to lead the digital field in the Kingdom, the group’s subsidiary, “sirar by stc” was ranked first place in the Middle East and North Africa, and the eleventh place globally among the top 250 providers of cybersecurity services in the “MSSP Alert” list. The ranking was based on an extensive research conducted by the “CyberRisk Alliance. Since its establishment in early 2021, sirar by stc has worked to solidify its position through many partnerships that exceed 100 partners from various sectors. This recognition comes as a testimony to the company's performance in achieving growth and as an acknowledgment of its commitment to providing cybersecurity services that align with the highest global standards.Furthermore, stc group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and agreement with Roshn group, the leading real estate developer and one of the major projects of the Public Investment Fund. The MoU agreement included the deployment of 5G network towers, smart homes and cities solutions, as well as the applications of Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to enhance communication efficiency and improve the quality of life of residents and visitors of Roshn’s communities. The partnership agreement between stc and Roshn comes as a result of the Group’s strategy to build digitally enabled capabilities within new regions and projects in the Kingdom by equipping a modern digital infrastructure and providing the latest digital solutions and innovative services that enrich the lives of society. The smart city technologies and applications will be reflected in Roshn’s projects, which will enhance the quality of life in line with the goals of vision 2030 aimed at building a digital society, a prosperous digital economy, and a better future for the Kingdom.In conclusion, stc group aims towards continuous development, success, and leading the digital and communications field by entering into local, regional and global investments, partnerships and agreements in the communications and information technology sectors in line with the pillars of its “DARE 2.0” strategy. stc’s strategy will support achieving the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 and play a deeper role in the digital transformation, not only in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but also going further to make an impact in the Middle East and the world.

Stc group launches the biggest-ever expansion of the 5G network in its history

Riyadh: stc group has announced the largest expansion of the 5G network in history. Investments will be made to develop and expand the existing network to cover more than 75 cities and governorates in Saudi Arabia. This project builds on the group's success in delivering 5G network technologies to over 90% of its locations in major cities. The investments made by stc group will contribute to the development and expansion of the network, encouraging the digital economy, supporting local content, creating quality jobs, and enhancing people's lives digitally. This is all in line with the group's expansion and growth strategy.The Kingdom has witnessed a digital transformation since 2006, which was a milestone for the people of Saudi Arabia. They could access the Internet through their mobile phones (before smartphones) using the third-generation network (3G) provided by the Saudi Telecom Company. This company is now known as the stc group, leading the way in enabling digital transformation. This journey started with the provision of Internet services through the first-generation networks (1G and 2G) in the late nineties. Homes, companies, and Internet cafes were about to the Internet for the first time in the history of the Kingdom. The introduction of 4G services in 2011 enabled users to live stream videos and gain more substantial access to a more robust world of applications, continuing the journey of Internet generations. This mega project is the outcome of these achievements and marks the success of this journey.In 2018, stc group launched the 5G network, marking a significant milestone that initiated a historic transformation in communications and information technology in the Kingdom and the region. The MENA region's development standards differed from the rest, making it the first commercial launch of the 5G network. This event began a new era, where physical and digital technology boundaries are blurred at blazing speeds with near-zero response time. Currently, stc group is working towards achieving digital transformation at every level, being the most prominent leader of the ICT sector in the region. The group is currently carrying out the most extensive expansion of their 5G network. This initiative aims to enhance the infrastructure, making it more robust and advanced than ever, thus promising to enrich the user experience. The 5G network is the beating heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and machine education, and a significant driver of national digital transformation. So, how will this historic expansion strengthen the 5G market, sustainability, and local content?"Dare" strategy and the 5G expansion in 2023More than 35% of the population in 5 major cities in Saudi Arabia, including Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah, and Dammam, were provided with 5G service by stc group in 2019. The 5G service was extended to 75 cities nationwide the following year. The expansion of the 5G network continued and was further accelerated by stc group's "Dare" strategy, which comprised four pillars: expanding in size and scope, renewing the experience, digitizing stc, and performing faster than before. In 2022, the proportion of mobile sites with 5G services surpassed 90% of locations in major cities, marking a significant milestone. Moreover, the second carrier in the 2300 MHz band was introduced in Riyadh and Jeddah to provide greater capacity and better coverage.This year, the group set a new goal by embarking on its largest expansion. It invested heavily in upgrading its existing 5G network to an advanced 5G network across all its towers in the five main cities. This move aims to provide better services and opportunities for retail and business customers while solidifying stc group's position as the leading digital enabler in the region.Sustainability Impactstc group is committed to providing the latest digital solutions and technologies to keep up with the world's desired digital development. It also recognizes the importance of improving energy efficiency, a critical aspect of strategic sustainability for all its operations and subsidiaries. Despite the dual challenge of expanding its business while consuming energy, stc group is dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by focusing on energy-efficient and renewable solutions for over 16,000 towers undergoing 5G expansion.TAWAL, the tower-based subsidiary of stc group, achieved a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2022. This was made possible by advocating innovation and adopting eco-friendly practices. The reduction was measured cumulatively and amounted to around 30% compared to the baseline.TAWAL now has over 16,000 towers, but the company has successfully decreased the number of diesel-powered plants from 1,718 to 1,045, showing its dedication to environmental preservation. Local Content DevelopmentKeeping in mind the development of local content, stc group is expanding the 5G network, taking into account technical, financial, and environmental aspects, to transition from technology consumption to production. The 5G network is the foundation of future businesses based on integrated digital empowerment. Thus, one of the long-term goals of this expansion is to strengthen the digital economy of Saudi Arabia.TAWAL has implemented various internal strategies to enhance the participation of native resources, surpassing 69% and receiving the Local Content Certificate from the Local Content and Government Procurement Authority.The expansion of 5G is expected to have various effects, including the increase in digital projects that will benefit from the high speeds provided by this technology. InspireU, an accelerator affiliated with stc group, aims to provide advanced technical solutions for incubated projects, including the 5G network, which has contributed to a market value of investments and financial transactions for products of projects incubated by inspireU exceeding 12 billion SAR. Meanwhile, more than 600 thousand direct and indirect job opportunities have been generated by these startups. Additionally, inspireU's entrepreneurial projects have benefited over 40 million group aims to enhance the Saudi digital economy by upgrading digital empowerment and connectivity to the highest level. This will create more job opportunities for male and female citizens while supporting local content and enriching people's lives digitally. The company is committed to sustainability standards for the environment, operations, and business models to contribute to achieving the goals of Saudi Vision 2030. stc group strives to play a more significant role in digital transformation within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and beyond, impacting the Middle East and the world.

STC Group buys 9.9% stake in Spanish telecom giant Telefonica

STC Group, Saudi Arabia's largest telecom operator, has acquired a 9.9% stake in Telefonica, valued at 2.1 billion euros ($2.25 billion), as part of its strategy to become the largest shareholder in the Spanish telecommunications giant.This investment in Telefonica marks STC's second venture into Europe's telecom market, following its agreement to acquire tower infrastructure worth 1.2 billion euros from United Group in April. Telecom groups in the Gulf region are expanding their overseas investments, with Emirates Telecommunications Group (EAND.AD), also known as e&, increasing its stake in Vodafone Group (VOD.L) to 14% in March.STC disclosed this investment after trading hours on Tuesday. This stake comprises 4.9% of Telefonica's shares and financial instruments that provide an additional 5% of economic exposure to the company. STC intends to obtain voting rights for this 5% economic interest through financial instruments once regulatory approvals are granted.STC's CEO Olayan Alwetaid stated: "We view this as an attractive investment opportunity, leveraging our strong financial position, all while maintaining our dividend policy." He emphasized that STC has no intentions of gaining "control or a majority stake" in Telefonica.Telefonica responded to STC's investment, characterizing it as "friendly" and stating that it was informed of the move on Tuesday. STC collaborated with US investment bank Morgan Stanley (MS.N) to establish this position, according to sources familiar with the matter. Legal advisory services were provided by Linklaters for STC and Allen & Overy for Morgan Stanley. Morgan Stanley, Linklaters, and Allen & Overy declined to comment on the matter.In Madrid, Telefonica's shares saw a 2.9% increase to 3.86 euros as of 0725 GMT. STC's shares remained relatively stable, with a 0.1% increase to 39.60 riyals ($10.56) at the opening of the Riyadh market.STC has subsidiaries and stakes in companies operating in Kuwait and Bahrain. It is majority-owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), a key component of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's Vision 2030 initiative aimed at diversifying the economy away from oil dependence.Telefonica is scheduled to present a new strategic plan on November 8, with a focus on growing the company's free cash flow, which its CEO anticipates could reach 4 billion euros this year. Like its European competitors, Telefonica has faced challenges to profitability due to intense competition and substantial investments in 5G and optic fiber infrastructure. To fund these initiatives, the company has been selling stakes in more mature businesses such as submarine cables and mobile masts.

Stc Group presents its digital fintech solutions during Seamless Saudi Arabia 23

stc Group, the engine of digital transformation in the region, took part in the "Seamless Saudi Arabia 2023" exhibition and conference held in Riyadh. Over 500 exhibiting companies, both local and international, along with 2000 company representatives and 300 speakers, convened at the conference. The group's primary focus revolved around its position as a digital transformation engine for fintech, e-commerce, retail, and payments industries, achieved via avant-garde digital Group exhibited its digital and technical offerings, including implementing Standard and Soft POS through smart devices and payment systems. Additionally, stc provided ATM monitoring services and utilized VR technologies within the Metaverse. Notably, stc leveraged AI technologies for geographical analysis, fraud detection, Anti-Money Laundering, and contact points, among other applications.Channels by stc expanded its offerings by leveraging its logistics arm, dal, to provide last-mile solutions. The company also entered into strategic agreements with key players in the market, including Jahez Company, Alinma Bank, and Basalah e-commerce platform, to solidify its position and ensure sustainability in the market. The services and products offered by myStore were also part of this expansion.During the conference, stc Group entered two MOUs with Saudi Bright Ware, a company specializing in Software Development and System Integration as well as payment solutions. The MOU will facilitate financial and payment services for stc's business sector clients.In addition, stc has entered a second MOU with Paytabs, a company that specializes in providing payment solutions for business transactions between corporations and organizations. The MOU encompasses the exploration of ways to enable financial services and the discussion of payment system development. Moreover, the MOU aims to enhance the innovation prospects in fintech and provide a payment gateway service designed explicitly for stc within the business's participation in the "Seamless Saudi Arabia 2023" conference and exhibition is a testament to its dedication to revolutionizing the fintech, e-commerce, retail, and payments landscape. The group is channelling its resources towards developing cutting-edge payment solutions that optimize digital payment platforms for individuals and the corporate sector across diverse industries. stc remains committed to empowering various sectors digitally and advancing progress by providing state-of-the-art solutions.

Stc Group's subsidiary center3 collaborates with Oracle

center3 by stc, a regional data center and data services provider, has announced a strategic collaboration with Oracle to provide hosting and data services for the planned Oracle Cloud Riyadh Region as well as support the expansion of the existing Oracle Cloud Jeddah Region. This will help accelerate the rollout of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) services to support the increasing cloud computing demands of private and public sector organizations in Saudi Arabia.The planned Oracle Cloud Riyadh Region is part of a US $1.5 billion investment from Oracle to expand cloud infrastructure capabilities in the Kingdom. The Oracle Cloud Riyadh Region will be the sixth Oracle Cloud region operating in the Middle East, joining another planned cloud region to be located in the futuristic city of NEOM. Oracle currently operates four cloud regions in the Middle East and is currently one of the few major cloud providers to offer a cloud region in the Kingdom with the existing Oracle Cloud Jeddah Region.This collaboration represents a significant milestone for center3, aligning with the company’s commitment to the Saudi Arabia’s 2030 vision and the digital transformation of the region connecting Asia, Africa, and Europe. The initiative is expected to bring significant economic benefits to Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.Fahad A. Alhajeri, CEO of center3, a subsidiary of the stc Group, stated, "This strategic collaboration will allow us to grow our business and support the digital economy of the region. We are confident that this long-term partnership will empower both center3 and Oracle to achieve new heights of success."Nick Redshaw, senior vice president, Middle East and Africa, Cloud Tech Oracle, said, "Oracle is driving one of the fastest expansions of cloud services offered by any major cloud vendor in Saudi Arabia to help boost cloud computing capacity in the Kingdom. We are delivering unmatched innovation in the cloud with comprehensive AI and machine learning capabilities already embedded into our infrastructure and applications for HR, finance, supply chain and sales teams. We are well positioned to deliver powerful generative AI services planned that will help organizations solve today’s most complex challenges. These unique capabilities and our collaboration with center3 will further support the growth of the country’s digital economy.”As part of stc Group’s broader focus on digital enablement, center3 is rapidly establishing itself as a leading player in the regional and global digital ecosystem. With its comprehensive portfolio of data center and data services, center3 positions itself as a one-stop-shop for digital services in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and Africa.OCI’s multiple cloud regions in the Middle East are a component of its distributed cloud strategy, which offers multiple deployment options to address differing customer needs in regulatory requirements, data residency, or latency reduction. For example, OCI customers can also address demanding data residency, security and sovereignty requirements by running their applications in a self-contained OCI Dedicated Region where all hosted data remains local and private with a customer-controlled data center.

stc and Alibaba invests US$ 238M to establish Alibaba Cloud in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia:  stc Group, the leading national digital enabler announced the establishment of “Alibaba Cloud” in Riyadh, KSA, for high-capacity cloud services in partnership with the Chinese technology giant, “Alibaba Group”, eWTP Arabia for Technical Innovation Ltd., the Saudi Company for Artificial Intelligence (SCAI), and the Saudi Information Technology Company (SITE). The establishment of the new company in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, came in response to the significant increase in demand for cloud computing services and solutions in the region. The company will provide advanced cloud computing services to companies operating in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ensuring that they employ the highest standards of security and protection. The new company’s capital will amount to SAR 894 million, and the new company will benefit from the distinguished position of stc Group in the services and technology solutions sector and will employ the best talent and expertise to support the local capabilities of the Kingdom and enable it to enhance digital development and build an advanced ecosystem capable of meeting the future needs of the Kingdom. Alibaba, one of the best providers of cloud computing services and solutions in the world, will offer a wide range of cloud computing services and solutions, a step that will enable local companies and institutions to digitize their businesses, employ the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, raise work standards and enhance businesses. In line with the Kingdom’s efforts to enhance economic diversification and stimulate investment opportunities in the cloud computing sector, the new company will contribute to providing quality jobs, transferring knowledge and expertise to the Kingdom, and ensuring a safe work environment for entrepreneurs in the region. stc’s investment with Alibaba for cloud computing services, in cloud computing solutions in Riyadh, reflects the company’s future vision and its great role in pushing digital transformation efforts in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and its commitment to forging strong partnerships with leading technology companies around the world in line with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision to attract foreign and international investments into the Kingdom, creating a secure environment for entrepreneurs, and enhancing information security by protecting data internally in the Kingdom. The establishment of the company specialized in cloud computing services and solutions in Saudi Arabia will contribute to developing the Kingdom’s digital infrastructure and preparing it to provide the latest digital data storage services and solutions and ensure its protection and security, which will enhance the Kingdom’s ability to provide cloud computing services to global companies.