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Rönesans Holding Looks Ahead to 2024 with Robust Growth and Strategic Expansion Plans

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ISTANBUL, Feb. 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ —

  • Rönesans expects to end 2023 with a revenue of €3.3billion, representing a 10% increase on 2022.
  • Rönesans ceased its operations in Russia and is now focusing on an ambitious growth strategy worldwide. The company aims to invest into new markets and sectors and capitalise on its extensive experience in healthcare, the energy transition, and commercial buildings.
  • In anticipation of a strong year in 2024, Rönesans Holding remains dedicated to upholding responsible growth and contributing to the impact economy, prioritising innovation, technical expertise, international experience, sustainability, and the implementation of robust health, safety, and environmental procedures.
  • Working with its global partners and a variety of international financial institutions; Rönesans has expanded its operations globally with a focus on contributing to local economies through its construction projects.

Rönesans, a leading global contracting and investment group, expecting a revenue of €3.3billion in 2023, has today unveiled its review of 2023 performance, 2024 outlook and strategic expansion plans as it continues to establish itself as a key player in the impact economy.

 

 

The group’s dedication to innovation, environmental responsibility, sustainable energy transition, and strategic investments enabled it to expand its footprint in important economic sectors in 2023, including energy transition, sustainable living, renewable energy, healthcare, and transportation infrastructure.

2023 Review

Despite global and local challenges, Rönesans concluded the year with financial and social achievements, demonstrating strong and sustainable business growth and solidifying its position as one of Europe’s top ten international construction companies.

Expecting to end 2023 with a revenue of €3.3billion, representing a 10% increase on 2022, Rönesans ensured a strong performance despite significant financial headwinds experienced throughout the year.

In 2023, Rönesans deepened its relationships with international partners and embarked on several new collaborations and investments, showcasing its successful implementation of the EPC-F (Engineering, Procurement, Construction, and Financing) model. These include the financing agreement with the UK government’s export credit agency (UKEF) on behalf of the Turkish Ministry of Transport, which has underwritten €781m of funding (equivalent to £680m) of the €923 million total project financing for the complete construction of a high-speed electrified railway connecting Turkiye’s second-largest container port in Mersin with the inland cities of Adana, Osmaniye and Gaziantep. It promises faster, more efficient transit over a distance greater than Paris to Brussels, boosting regional infrastructure and growth.

Furthermore, Rönesans also announced its agreement with TotalEnergies, in which TotalEnergies acquired a 50% stake in Rönesans Enerji and committed to jointly produce 2 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2028, worth US$2billion. The agreement is one of the latest in Rönesans Holding’s long history of successful strategic partnerships from all around the world. The company has collaborated with various partners and shareholders, including Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), Meridiam, a Paris-based infrastructure fund, Japanese trading house Sojitz Corporation, and International Finance Corporation (IFC), of the World Bank Group which is a shareholder in Rönesans, and Samsung C&T, among others.

Likewise, Rönesans has made significant progress with approximately €2.5billion financing of its pipeline projects, including the Ceyhan Polypropylene Production Plant, the Nakkaş-Başakşehir Highway Project, and the RERA-Wind projects.

On the international front, Rönesans is approaching the completion of the project development phase for its inaugural hospital in Kazakhstan. This hospital will be the first healthcare facility in Kazakhstan to be developed under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. This project marks a crucial step towards realising transformative healthcare initiatives on an international stage.

As a company with a global footprint, Rönesans is generating more than 30% of its revenues from Europe via Ballast Nedam, Rönesans’ longstanding Dutch arm, which is not only active in the Dutch market but also has projects from Caribbean to Sri Lanka.

Bridges, tunnels, utility buildings, ports, houses and highways

Every day, Ballast Nedam builds and develops sustainable and often iconic landmarks that positively contribute to society. One such project is the A24 Blankenburgverbinding. Rijkswaterstaat commissioned Ballast Nedam and consortium partners DEME and Macquarie Capital to build the 4 kilometer-long new highway and surrounding infrastructure. The contract includes the design, construction, 20 years of maintenance, and approximately €1 billion in financing. With two junctions, a land tunnel and a tunnel beneath the river Het Scheur, Ballast Nedam will play a key role in improving the accessibility of the Rotterdam region and contribute to the growth of the economy.

Over the course of 2024, Ballast Nedam, will continue to grow by focusing on energy transformation, sustainable living, and the renewal of European infrastructure projects. Sustainable construction and development are one of the biggest focuses for Ballast Nedam. Besides working towards 100% CO2-neutral construction sites by 2030, their ambition for 2040 is to transition to energy-neutral construction.

Ballast Nedam has also reached a crucial milestone in another major project with the successful immersion of the tunnel sections of the Maasdeltatunnel. This marks a historic occasion, as tunnel sections of this size have not been built and immersed before in the Netherlands. An immersed tunnel is an underwater passage constructed from tunnel elements that were fabricated elsewhere. These elements are then floated and towed to the tunnel alignment, where they are submerged and interconnected. Successfully immersing the tunnel sections of the Maasdeltatunnel is a precise, controlled and challenging operation that requires technical expertise and innovative thinking, requiring the temporary closure of one of the world’s busiest waterways.

In Russia, Rönesans divested its construction business in May 2022 and its real estate business in June 2023, redirecting investment and attention to diverse locations worldwide. This transition and the strategic decision to pivot away from direct management in that market has transformed Rönesans’ growth strategy. The group’s global footprint now extends to various regions, anchored in Turkey and spanning the Netherlands, Germany and CIS countries, with a growing focus on Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

These projects, underscore Rönesans’ commitment to driving growth, sustainability and fostering international relationships. With its focus on reducing environmental impact and regenerating infrastructure Rönesans has shown it is a dynamic and forward-thinking business, poised for a prosperous future.

Local impact

In February 2023, the company responded promptly to provide humanitarian support in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes in Gaziantep-Kahramanmaraş. Notably, UNICEF and Rönesans Group joined forces to establish Child, Adolescent, and Family Support Hubs within temporary living spaces built and designed for more than 10,000 people by Rönesans Holding in Malatya, Turkey. These hubs aim to provide essential services and support to those affected by the disaster, offering psychosocial well-being, education, and overall development. The Rönesans team constructed container cities in the region to accommodate tens of thousands of earthquake victims one month after the devastating earthquakes in the region.

With Rönesans’ intentions to support earthquake stricken areas a key part of its 2023 agenda, the completion of the Gaziantep Hospital project, taken over by Rönesans and Meridiam in September 2022, stands out as another remarkable achievement. Finalised in 11 months ahead of schedule by Rönesans Construction in 2023 the project was implemented in collaboration with Rönesans Healthcare Investment, Samsung C&T, Meridiam, and İstanbul Asset Management. An international collaborative success, this marks the sixth city hospital completed under the PPP scheme by Rönesans Holding, representing approximately 35% of the market. With a total capacity of 1,875 beds, Gaziantep City Hospital is designed to provide world-class healthcare services across Southern Turkey and the wider region.

2024 Outlook

İpek Ilıcak Kayaalp, Chair of the Board of Directors of Rönesans, commented, “In 2024, Rönesans Holding will continue to focus its investments and attention on innovation, global growth, sustainable living and the energy transition, as well as maintaining operational excellence. With our strategic pivot, we are confident that we’ll make good progress with our expansion plans in 2024, setting ourselves up for long-term growth.”

Looking ahead to 2024, the company will continue to deliver on its commitment to responsible growth and the impact economy, prioritising innovation, technical and international experience and health, safety and environment procedures.

Ceasing operations in Russia, Rönesans is planning to expand into new markets, growing its global presence and leveraging its expertise in healthcare, energy and commercial construction. Recognising the challenges in the contractor landscape, Rönesans is also proactively addressing financial pressures, focusing on cost optimisation for customers without compromising on quality, ensuring sustainability and profitability.

The group has set a target turnover of €4.5 billion for 2024, expecting strong growth from construction revenues stemming from international and local investments projects spanning hospitals and windfarms.

2024 will also be the year Rönesans takes its first step towards opening to the public, announcing the IPO process of Rönesans Real Estate Investment. This IPO will be the first of potentially many others, as momentum grows for Rönesans Group.

With strong business growth in its sights for 2024, Rönesans will still continue to support earthquake relief efforts and humanitarian projects, responding to the needs of vulnerable members of society.

About Rönesans Group 

Rönesans Holding, the conglomerate’s top investment entity headquartered in Ankara, is the 38th largest international contracting company globally and the 9th largest in Europe. With operations spanning 30 countries across Europe, Central Asia, and Africa, including subsidiaries such as Ballast Nedam in the Netherlands and Heitkamp Industrial Solutions GmbH in Germany, Rönesans has been operating as the main contractor and investor successfully for 30 years in construction, real estate development, healthcare and energy. Putting resilience and growth through innovation at the core of the company, with a priority on sustainability and social development, Rönesans has developed projects supporting students with scholarships, academic platforms and initiatives; been a signatory of the UN Global Compact since 2015; and a signatory of the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles since 2016. 

Along with its partners GIC, Meridiam Infrastructure, Sojitz, Samsung C&T, TotalEnergies, and IFC of the World Bank Group (minority shareholder in the group), Rönesans has invested more than EUR8 billion into pioneering projects globally.

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Validation Cloud Secures $5.8 Million in Inaugural Funding to Propel Web3 Infrastructure

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ZUG, Switzerland, Feb. 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — In a significant stride towards revolutionizing Web3 infrastructure, Validation Cloud has proudly announced the successful closure of its first external investment round, amassing $5.8 million. Spearheaded by San Francisco-based Cadenza Ventures, this funding round exceeded expectations with contributions from an impressive roster of international investors, including Blockchain Founders Fund, Bloccelerate, Blockwall, Side Door Ventures, Metamatic, GS Futures, and AP Capital.

Alex Nwaka, Co-Founder of Validation Cloud, expressed enthusiasm about the funding, “This investment marks a pivotal moment for Validation Cloud as we aim to address the urgent demand for scalable and compliant Web3 infrastructure. We’re honored to collaborate with our investors who are instrumental in propelling the global adoption of our platform among cutting-edge networks, developers, and asset managers.”

Validation Cloud is at the forefront of Web3 technology, having developed an innovative system architecture that paves the way for significant advancements in the sector. Known as the “Cloudflare of Web3,” the company offers a robust, scalable, and intelligent platform providing Staking, Node API, and Data services, drawing inspiration from Cloudflare’s transformative impact on Web2 infrastructure.

Founded by veterans in the Proof-of-Stake domain, Validation Cloud boasts a team of highly experienced professionals from renowned organizations such as Uber, Workday, Deloitte, Citadel, Morgan Stanley, Binance, Crypto.com, Figure, R3, and more, emphasizing a talent-first approach with a worldwide workforce.

Kumar Dandapani, Managing Partner at Cadenza Ventures, highlighted the strategic vision behind their investment, “At Cadenza, we do not invest in just any company; we invest in the future of transformative technologies. Validation Cloud’s pioneering role in Proof-of-Stake and their relentless pursuit of next-generation Web3 infrastructure have set them apart as leaders in the Web3 space.”

Aly Madhavji, Managing Partner at Blockchain Founders Fund, shared his thoughts on the investment, “We believe in the transformative power of Web3 and its ability to redefine how businesses operate. Investing in Validation Cloud aligns perfectly with our vision of supporting innovative platforms that are ready to lead the next wave of digital transformation.”

Validation Cloud has earned a reputation for its close partnerships with networks from their nascent stages, supporting a wide array of ecosystems from established ones like Chainlink, Hedera, and Stellar to emerging networks such as Aptos, Eigenlayer, and Berachain. Their platform lays the groundwork for the enterprise adoption of networks, positioning Validation Cloud as a key player in the Web3 infrastructure landscape.

For further details on Validation Cloud and its offerings, please visit www.validationcloud.io.

Please contact: Kelly Clark, Director of Communications | [email protected] 

Funding Announcement for Validation Cloud by Alex Nwaka

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Klarna says its AI assistant does the work of 700 people after it laid off 700 people

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The Swedish fintech, which was criticized for its handling of a dramatic staff reduction in 2022, is touting new efficiencies powered by OpenAI.

Klarna is bullish on bots.

One month after taking its OpenAI-powered virtual assistant global, the Swedish buy-now, pay-later company has released new data touting its ability to handle customer communications, make shoppers happier, and even drive better financial results.

The app-based AI chatbot already handles two-thirds of all customer service chats, the company said Tuesday—some 2.3 million conversations so far—with the virtual assistant earning customer satisfaction ratings at the same level as human agents. Klarna, which is expected to go public this year and will need all the hype it can get at a time when investors have been generally frosty toward IPOs, estimates that the chatbot could help improve its profits by $40 million in 2024.

Announcing a partnership with OpenAI early last year, Klarna said it was one of the first companies to integrate the firm’s groundbreaking ChatGPT technology into a plug-in for shopping. The natural-language interface initially helped customers choose items and make other shopping-related decisions based on personalized queries, a feature Klarna described as “smooth shopping.”

The company has continued to build out its AI offerings since then. Its app-based assistants are now available to customers worldwide and handle a variety of tasks including refunds, cancellations, and even disputes.

Klarna boasted in its announcement on Tuesday that the AI assistant “is doing the equivalent work of 700 full-time agents.”

That statement may raise eyebrows for anyone who remembers the middle of 2022, when the company laid off roughly the same number of employees, then about 10% of its staff. At the time, CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski cited economic uncertainty, inflation, and the likelihood of a recession as reasons for the cuts. He was criticized for his handling of the staff reduction after he shared a public spreadsheet on LinkedIn that contained the names of many of the laid-off workers.

Fast Company asked Klarna how the company arrived at its calculation for its AI assistant’s human-equivalent productivity. The company said the number of equivalent jobs the AI could perform wasn’t related to the layoffs. In a statement, a spokesperson said the company’s customer service is supported by four to five large third-parties that collectively have over 650,000 employees, and that it offers customers the option to speak with human agents if that’s what they prefer.

“This is in no way connected to the workforce reductions in May 2022, and making that conclusion would be incorrect,” the statement read. “We chose to share the figure of 700 to indicate the more long-term consequences of AI technology, where we believe it is important to be transparent in order to create an understanding in society. We think [it’s] important to proactively address these issues and encourage a thoughtful discussion around how society can meet and navigate this transformation.”

Companies have used chatbots for years to handle low-level customer queries and other interactions, although these tools are expected to become more versatile in the wake of advancements in artificial intellegence.

Source: Fast Company

The post Klarna says its AI assistant does the work of 700 people after it laid off 700 people appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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KAPSARC Launches Saudi Arabia’s First School of Public Policy

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  • Inspired by His Royal Highness, the Minister of Energy, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud’s passion for education, human capital development and innovation, the KAPSARC School of Public Policy (KSPP) was founded as the first institution in Saudi Arabia dedicated to graduate studies and executive education in public policy.
  • Through its academic offerings, KSPP empowers individuals to tackle pressing public policy challenges and embrace the promising opportunities shaping the future.
  • KSPP’s facilities will run on 100% renewable energy, setting a precedent as one of the first net-zero facilities in the Saudi educational sector.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) has been granted an establishment license for its School of Public Policy (KSPP) after the recent approval by the Council of Ministers, and which was announced during the Human Capability Initiative (HCI) on February 28, 2024, conducted under the patronage of Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Prime Minister, and the Chairman of the Human Capability Development Program Committee, one of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Realization Programs.

Aiming to set new standards in policy studies, the school offers a two-year master’s degree and executive education programs designed to enable and empower future policy leaders and professionals within Saudi Arabia and globally to address the most pressing domestic and international public policy challenges in the public, non-profit and private sectors.

This significant achievement was announced by His Royal Highness, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, the Minister of Energy, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of KAPSARC: “The vision for KAPSARC School of Public Policy is to develop the knowledge and skills that the new generation needs to shape public policy both locally and globally. Our mission is to empower and equip future policy leaders and professionals within Saudi Arabia and internationally to make informed socio-economic decisions.”

In a statement on the sidelines of the school’s launch, Fahad Alajlan, President of KAPSARC, stressed the Center’s mission to impact public policy on national, regional, and global levels. “Our new School of Public Policy will equip future leaders with the right skills to create data-driven and evidence-based public policy in line with Vision 2030 goals.”

Dr. Ghadah Alarifi, Founding Dean of KSPP, stated that, “Public policy serves as the foundation of societal progress. At KSPP, we aim to be a catalyst for collaboration, building a robust ecosystem that bridges academia, industry, and government in the public policy arena.”

By leveraging KAPSARC’s network, KSPP provides a platform for global engagement and career growth opportunities, offering practical application and flexible courses tailored to empower policymakers in different tracks including energy policy.

The school is committed to achieving high sustainability standards in the Saudi educational sector, including the goal of running on 100% renewable energy. This dedication ensures that KSPP meets its annual energy needs through on-site renewable resources, eliminating the use of fossil fuels.

For more information about KSPP, visit https://www.kapsarc.org/about-the-school/.

Follow KSPP on social media:

  • X: @KAPSARC_SPP
  • LinkedIn: @ KAPSARC School of Public Policy

About KAPSARC:

KAPSARC is a leading think tank dedicated to advancing knowledge on energy, environment, and regional economic issues. Accredited observer of UNFCCC, KAPSARC actively contributes to global climate action. The mission of KAPSARC is to advance Saudi Arabia’s energy sector and inform global policies through evidence-based advice and applied research. For more information about the center please visit: https://www.kapsarc.org/

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