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Gamer Pakistan and Click IPO offering coincides with Esports rage

Market boost can bring more attention to burgeoning industry, indirectly benefitting the talented players from Asian country



Team Pakistan lifted the Tekken 7 Nations Cup in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, last month.

Recent developments in the burgeoning Esports industry are seen as a welcome infusion in providing a platform to world-class gamers, especially in Pakistan and the UAE.

Coming up this month in the United States is a public listing from Gamer Pakistan Inc, a month after the rising youth Esports icon Arsalan ‘Ash’ Siddiqui talked about the problems faced his ilk from the Asian country. A three-member team from Pakistan, including Ash, defeated South Korea to win Gamers8 Tekken 7 Nations Cup in Saudi Arabia in early July.

UAE companies have invested or sponsored rising Esports talent from Pakistan and continue to do so. In June, the second edition of Dubai Esports and Gaming Festival concluded with more than 26,000 spectators visiting. But the platform of opportunities has some catching up to do, according to Ash who told Geo TV: “Even with all the talent in the world, we don’t have anyone pushing individuals to take that leap of faith to enter the global arena.” The Tekken champion’s meteoric rise started from the UAE in 2018 when he won the OUG Tournament, his first career win, and was sponsored by an Emirati Esports company Vslash before Red Bull signed him up.

On the financial markets front, the IPO listing can be seen in the same context as a unique boost. Managed by Click IPO, US brokers licensed from the Securities Exchange Commission, the listing will, for the first time in history, allow investors access to a Pakistani business on the Nasdaq exchange.

The company’s name is K-2 Private Limited and is funded and owned by the US parent Gamer Pakistan Inc. The company produces Pakistan’s largest National University & college tournaments broken down into geographical regions culminating in one national championship team.  K-2, in affiliation with Esports Exclusive, has its teams compete against India’s top team through the Rival Nations Network.

According to a Forbes report last year in America, the top 10 ranked teams in the world are worth $1/4 billion USD each.  Pakistan already has 2 players ranked in the top 25 in the world. Recently the Pakistan government recognized Esports as an identifiable sport and business area for growth.

Esports is one of the fastest growing sports regarding participation and viewership in the history of the world. Microsoft’s $69-billion deal to purchase US gaming giant Activision Blizzard is going ahead, it was confirmed in July after clearing legal hurdles.

Past precedent in the US has Esport stocks enjoy meteoric first-day pops – 507 percent in one example of Esports Technologies in 2021, and going further up to 700% – with Asian markets commanding a dominant share. A 2022 Statista report studied first-day IPO stock performances from 2008 to 2021 and observed the majority rate of positivity around them.

Up until recently, the public common investor typically did not have access, nor could purchase IPO shares.  These New Issue shares were typically reserved for very large retail investors with accounts of $10 million or more – or Institutional Investors. Today, thanks to the internet and the rise of the fin-tech industry, companies like Click IPO have emerged. Through the mobile application of Click IPO, any investor can download and purchase shares of companies going public.





Saudi spending in transfer window second only to Premier League




Saudi Pro League (SPL) clubs have splurged $957 million on players in the close season transfer window, according to analysis from Deloitte published on Friday.

Saudi clubs’ spend in the transfer window, which closed on September 7, exceeded the spending of four of Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues with only the Premier League ahead of the Middle Eastern nation.

“This marks the first time since 2016 that another international league has outspent any of Europe’s ‘big five’ during a football transfer window…,” said Izzy Wray of Deloitte’s Sports Business Group.

“European football continues to be the benchmark for the game globally, and the Saudi investment in the game will divert its focus towards the infrastructure, to elevate the level of Asian football.”

Earlier this year, the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced a Sports Clubs Investment and Privatization Project involving the league champions Al-Ittihad, Al-Ahli, Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal, with a host of top players moving to the league.

PIF own 75 per cent of each of the four clubs, while their respective non-profit foundations own 25 per cent of each.

This window’s biggest transfer move came from the most successful club in Saudi Arabia, Al-Hilal, who spent 90 million euros to bring in Brazil star Neymar from Paris St Germain.

In addition to Neymar, Al-Hilal also spent big money to sign Aleksandar Mitrovic, Kalidou Koulibaly, Ruben Neves and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

Saudi Pro League champions Al-Ittihad signed Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante and Fabinho, while Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr splashed out on Otavio, Sadio Mane, Aymeric Laporte, Marcelo Brozovic and Alex Telles.

Al-Ahli, who returned to the Pro League following a season in the second division, also completed a string of signings including Gabri Veiga, Riyad Mahrez, Roberto Firmino, Edouard Mendy, Alain Saint-Maximin and Merih Demiral.

“The implementation of the Kingdom’s privatisation programme is likely to draw a wave of interest around the SPL, potentially fueling the current spending pattern for the windows to come,” Wray said.

“With the spending power of the SPL already surpassing some of Europe’s ‘big five’, it remains to be seen the impact this will have on the make-up of elite football for future generations.”

For all its expenditure, the SPL still missed out on some of its biggest targets.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah was a target for Al-Ittihad, who reportedly had a bid worth 150 million pounds ($187.10 million) turned down by the Premier League club, while ambitious bids from Al-Hilal for Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe failed to materialise.

Saudi Arabia has made massive investments in football, Formula One, boxing, tennis and golf in recent years.

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UAE’s historic space mission ends with astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi’s return




UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi and his fellow Crew-6 members have successfully returned to Earth, concluding their historic space mission. The crew members safely disembarked from the Dragon Endeavour spacecraft with assistance from SpaceX recovery personnel. Al Neyadi, the last to exit the spacecraft, completed the process exactly one hour after the splashdown.

Crew-6’s remarkable space mission spanned an impressive 186 days, setting a new record as the longest mission in Arab history. The Dragon capsule made a secure touchdown off the Florida coast at 8:17 am on a Monday, with Al Neyadi emerging from the Dragon spacecraft just an hour later. During this mission, Al Neyadi achieved significant milestones, elevating the UAE’s status in the global space arena. He completed the longest-ever space mission by an Arab, spending six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and conducting groundbreaking scientific experiments for the betterment of humanity and scientific advancement.

As Sultan Al Neyadi, the UAE’s second astronaut, emerged from the Dragon spacecraft, he greeted onlookers with a smile and a wave. It’s worth noting that astronauts returning from extended periods in space often experience an adjustment period as they readapt to Earth’s gravity. The recovery process for the crew may take up to two hours to ensure their well-being after this remarkable mission.

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UAE’s economic agreements with Turkey and Indonesia spring into action




The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is entering a new era of economic collaboration with two rapidly growing global players as it activates two of its Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements (CEPAs). The UAE-Türkiye CEPA and the UAE-Indonesia CEPA have officially come into force, setting the stage for enhanced trade and investment cooperation.

The primary goal of these CEPAs is to foster economic ties by doubling non-oil trade. The UAE-Türkiye CEPA aims to elevate bilateral non-oil trade to an impressive $40 billion within five years, while the UAE’s CEPA with Indonesia seeks to push non-oil trade beyond $10 billion within the same timeframe. These agreements also aim to facilitate investment projects valued at $10 billion in various sectors.

In the words of HE Al-Zeyoudi, “The implementation of our CEPAs with Türkiye and Indonesia marks a significant step forward in our foreign trade program. Both agreements will unlock significant opportunities for our private sector in two of the world’s most dynamic centers of growth.”

These CEPAs are the third and fourth of their kind to come into force for the UAE, following successful agreements with India in May 2022 and Israel in April 2023. They are a testament to the UAE’s foreign trade agenda, strategically forging robust economic connections with nations of global importance. Both CEPAs promise to reduce or remove tariffs on a wide range of goods, eliminate trade barriers, and create pathways for investments in vital sectors like logistics, energy, food production, fintech, e-commerce, and travel and tourism.

The UAE-Indonesia CEPA, inked in Abu Dhabi in July 2022, aims to significantly boost bilateral non-oil trade from $4.08 billion to over $10 billion within five years. Additionally, the agreement targets a combined trade in services worth $630 million by 2030. Notably, over 80 percent of UAE exports to Indonesia will now be exempt from customs duties under this pact. This partnership also has an eye on nurturing the rapidly expanding Islamic economy, projected to reach $3.2 trillion by 2024. It will accelerate investment projects worth $10 billion across sectors like agriculture, energy, infrastructure, and logistics. The UAE-Türkiye CEPA is equally impactful, having eliminated or reduced customs duties on 82 percent of product lines, accounting for more than 93 percent of bilateral non-oil trade. Türkiye was the UAE’s fastest-growing top ten trading partner in 2022, witnessing a 40 percent increase in non-oil trade to $18.9 billion. The newly liberalized trade environment is set to drive this figure to an impressive $40 billion within the next five years.

HE Al Zeyoudi also stressed that the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements play a vital role in attaining the nation’s objectives, in particular the vision laid out in “We The UAE 2031”, which seeks to double the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade to AED4 trillion and elevate national exports to AED800 billion. The recently published statistics from H1, 2023, which show a record non-oil foreign trade value of AED1.239 trillion for the first six months of the year, demonstrate that the UAE is firmly on track – and that the CEPA program will help maintain this upward trajectory.

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