NL/26.02.2018

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CRIF GULF WEEKLY INSIGHTS

 

Country Risk Update – UAE
Risk Indicator – DB3c
Risk Level – Slight
Ratings Trend – Stable

Dubai’s new Emiratisation push to increase employment in the private sector is liable to raise costs for companies in several strategic sectors. Access to global markets from Dubai will be among the best in the world.The UAE will continue to strengthen its position as a regional safe haven and business hub.

Market Overview

UAE’s bank approves record cash dividend
First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the UAE’s largest bank, approved the distribution of 70% cash dividends (AED 0.70 per share), as recommended in their annual results last month. FAB, the combination of National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank, said its full-year net profit was AED10.92 billion ($3 billion) compared to AED11.32 billion in 2016. The 3.5 percent profit fall in 2017 was due to costs linked to its recent merger, the bank said.Excluding integration costs and other merger-related expenses of around AED601 million, adjusted net profit for the year was AED11.52 billion while fourth-quarter profit was up 6 percent from the same period of last year, FAB said.

Abraaj founder cedes control of funds division in reshuffle
Abraaj Group’s founder Arif Naqvi will cede control of the fund management business in a sweeping restructuring of the Middle East’s largest private equity firm following reports of misused funds.Omar Lodhi and Selcuk Yorgancioglu were promoted to co-chief executive officers of Abraaj Investment Management, which will oversee funds globally for institutional investors, according to a statement on February 23,2018. The firm has also halted making new commitments for its capital until the reorganization is complete, it said Dubai-based Abraaj, which manages about $13.6 billion, is reorganizing the business following allegations in recent weeks that money in its healthcare fund had been misused.

Oil drops toward $60 on dollar strength and US supply concerns
Oil slid back toward $60, dragged down with other commodities by a stronger dollar on the prospect of accelerating US interest rate hikes and on concern over American crude supplies.New York futures fell as much as 1.5 percent after closing lower on February 21,2018 for the first time in about a week. Investors are shunning risk assets from equities to industrial metals as they choose to focus on the possibility that US interest rate increases will  speed up after an upbeat growth outlook from the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, the nation’s crude stockpiles are forecast to have expanded last week. A stronger greenback typically reduces the allure of commodities priced in the currency, threatening an oil rally that began in June on expectations for robust demand as well as output curbs by OPEC and allies such as Russia.

Bahrain’s EDB attracts $733m inward investment in 2017
The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) announced on February 23,2018 a record year for inward investment in 2017, having attracted 71 new companies to Bahrain with investments amounting to $733 million. The authority said in a statement that this is expected to increase job creation by those companies by up to 72 percent, generating more than 2,800 local jobs over the next three years.The investments span key strategic growth sectors, including ICT, Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics, Tourism, and Financial Services, in line within the EDB’s mandate to act as a catalyst for economic diversification, growth and job creation in support of Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030, it added.

Nasdaq Dubai launches Abu Dhabi, Dubai index futures
In a move that could attract fresh money to the United Arab Emirates’ equity markets, the Nasdaq Dubai exchange launched futures contracts on February 18,2018 covering the main indexes of the country’s two main stock markets in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.The futures provide exposure to the General Index of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and the equivalent index at Dubai Financial Market, giving investors new opportunities to hedge.“This is one of the templates for stock markets in the UAE and how they can complement each other,” Hamed Ahmed Ali, chief executive of Nasdaq Dubai, told reporters on February 18,2018.Nasdaq Dubai began trading single-stock futures for shares in major UAE companies in late 2016. Over 2.5 million of those contracts worth more than Dhs500m ($136m) have changed hands, the exchange said.

Commodity Tracker
Business Events this Week In UAE
Dubai Lynx 2018
Souk Madinat Jumeirah
11 March 2018 To 14 March 2018
Business Updates
 

Dun & Bradstreet – D&B Credit
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CRIF GULF DWC LLC · 48 BURJ GATE, DOWNTOWN BURJ AREA, SHEIKH ZAYED ROAD · Dubai · United Arab Emirates

 

NL/19.02.2018

 

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CRIF GULF WEEKLY INSIGHTS

 

Country Risk Update – Oman
Risk Indicator – DB4d
Risk Level – Moderate
Ratings Trend – Deteriorating
Oman looks to reduce its reliance on Saudi food imports (which can be subject to political interference) by strengthening its food security.The government is targeting high-end tourism as an area for growth.The ports of Sohar and Salalah are emerging as regionally competitive infrastructure facilities, soon to be joined by Al Duqm.

Market Overview

Nearly 20 Million Jobs In The Middle East Could Be Automated
Nearly 45% of existing jobs in the Middle East could be automated in the near future, a new study has shown.According to a recent survey done by management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, the potential for automation could translate into large scale economic value and opportunities within the Middle East region. The survey of six Middle Eastern countries showed that $366.6 billion in wage income and 20.8 million full-time equivalent employees are associated with activities that are already technically automatized today.​However, this might not be applicable across all sectors. Research has shown that certain sectors are more suitable for automation than others as they follow a routine. Manufacturing, transportation and warehousing were found to be the most suitable for automation while arts, entertainment, recreation, healthcare and education- all of which require human interaction- had the lowest potential for automation.

Saudi Arabia’s Central Bank Signs Deal With Ripple
The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has signed an agreement with the U.S.-based blockchain company Ripple to help participating banks in the kingdom use its enterprise software to instantly facilitate cross-border payments.The pilot program is the first of its kind to be launched by a central bank, the company said in a statement. The central bank’s partnership with Ripple will potentially transform how banks in the Kingdom send money globally, while allowing bank customers access to faster, cheaper and more transparent cross-border transactions. As part of the deal, SAMA will also provide interested banks in Saudi with program management and training.​SAMA is the second central bank globally to introduce Ripple’s blockchain-based cross-border payments platform, following the Bank of England’s pilot project in 2017.

Careem Forays Into Food Delivery Through Acquisition of U.A.E.’s RoundMenu
Ride-hailing app Careem will now start testing food delivery services in the U.A.E. after the acquisition of online restaurant reserving and food delivery platform RoundMenu for an undisclosed amount, the company said.The investment signifies Careem’s ambitions to diversify within a competitive market. The startup, which is Uber’s rival in the region, has so far picked up Saudi Arabia-based food delivery service Enwani and Morocco’s taxi-booking service Taxii. Recently it launched Box, a delivery service that allows users to have items such as keys and documents delivered at a certain location. The service is similar to what companies such as Fetchr and Aramex offer.Careem’s buyout of RoundMenu would further help it to expand its footprint in the region’s lucrative food delivery space—a market where its rival Uber has a presence in form of Uber EATS.

Indian Billionaire B. R. Shetty Is Now Venturing Into Higher Education
After building a healthcare empire in the U.A.E., Abu Dhabi-based Indian billionaire B. R. Shetty is entering the region’s lucrative higher education sector. This week, Shetty’s BRS Ventures inked a deal with Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA)—one of the top-ranked management schools in India—to establish the first IIMA extension center in Dubai.The new center will offer all the academic and training expertise while BRS Ventures will be responsible for the infrastructure, logistics and industry links. New IIMA will add on to a crowded education sector in the U.A.E. and particularly Dubai. The emirate is home to the satellite campuses of many international B-school giants like UOWD, London Business School, CASS Business Schools and SP Jain School of Global Management while the neighboring Abu Dhabi houses campuses of NYU, INSEAD Abu Dhabi and Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi.

Mumzworld Secures Its Largest Funding Round To Date Led By Swicorp And Wamda
Mumzworld, the ecommerce portal dedicated to new mothers and children, raised their biggest round of funding on February 14, 2018. The funding round was led by Swicorp and Wamda with a significant investment from the Tamer Group and other investors.While the company did not disclose the amount of new investment, the funds will be used to grow the company across Saudi Arabia and North Africa.​Alongside Swicorp and Tamer Group, other new investors include prominent Saudi groups operating in the ‘mother and child’ categories with both manufacturing and distribution capacities. These investments will not only fund the growth, but will also help the company build strategic partnerships especially in the Kingdom—the region’s largest market—which is going to be the main focus of Mumzworld in the coming year.​Founded by successful entrepreneurs and mothers Mona Ataya and Leena Khalil in October 2011 in Dubai,  Mumzworld  sells over 200,000 products to choose from. Out of these 20,000 products are sold exclusively.​

Commodity Tracker
Business Events this Week In UAE
Dubai Lynx 2018
Souk Madinat Jumeirah
11 March 2018 To 14 March 2018
Business Updates
 

Dun & Bradstreet – D&B Credit
From making credit decisions to managing your portfolio and overall risk,D&B Credit solutions help you quickly finish the task at hand, so you can move on to other things.
Analyse an industry where you see growth,spend more time leading your team, or maybe even get home to the family a little earlier.

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Dubai

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CRIF GULF DWC LLC · 48 BURJ GATE, DOWNTOWN BURJ AREA, SHEIKH ZAYED ROAD · Dubai · United Arab Emirates

 

NL/05.02.2018

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CRIF GULF WEEKLY INSIGHTS


Country Risk Update – UAE
Risk Indicator – DB3c
Risk Level – Slight
Ratings Trend – Deteriorating
 
The OPEC production agreement will come to and end in 2018 which will constrain the UAE’s growth prospects, but higher oil prices will support government spending plans.Access to global markets from Dubai will be among the best in the world. UAE will continue to strengthen its position as a regional safe haven and business hub.

Market Overview

Jordan-Based Mobile Game Publisher Tamatem Raises $2.5 Million
Amman-based mobile game publisher Tamatem raised $2.5 million in a Series A led by Wamda Capital. It is the venture capital firm’s first investment in the region’s growing gaming space.ng to $93 million.At Wamda Capital we have been closely monitoring the evolution of the regional gaming market and believe there to be a very significant opportunity in further developing the space driven by strong consumer demand for access to global titles adapted for local preferences,” said Wamda Capital’s managing partner, Khaled Talhouni, in a statement on Wamda’s website announcing the funding round.The statement also noted that the funds would go towards creating more deals with international game developers, increasing Tamatem’s MENA market share and expanding the startup’s team.

Saudi Aramco and Alphabet In Talks To Build Tech Hub: Report
Saudi Aramco is reportedly in talks with Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc about partnering to build a large technology hub in Saudi Arabia, according to a recent article by The Wall Street Journal, which cited sources familiar with the matter.As part of the potential joint venture, Alphabet would help the state-owned oil giant build data centers around Saudi Arabia. Beyond that, details are scarce, with it being unclear whosSenior executives at Saudi Aramco and Alphabet, including its CEO Larry Page, have reportedly been in talks for months about a deal, as per the report. e data the centers would house or who would control them. The size of the potential venture is also up in the air, although it could be big enough to become listed on Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange, according to the WSJ report.Senior executives at Saudi Aramco and Alphabet, including its CEO Larry Page, have reportedly been in talks for months about a deal, as per the report. 

Lulu Group, Majid Al Futtaim and Savola Among World’s Top 250 Retailers
U.A.E. based Lulu Group International and Majid Al Futtaim Holding along with Saudi Arabia-based Savola Group rank among the world’s top 250 retailers, according to a new report by global consulting giant Deloitte.The latest Global Power of Retailing 2018, Transformative Change, Reinvigorated Commerce identified 250 retailers around the world based on publicly available data for FY2016 (fiscal year ended through June 2017). The report analyzed their performance across geographies and product sectors while the minimum required revenue for a company to be in the top 250 was $3.5 billion.​

Dubai Will Now Charge An Innovation Fee
Dubai government has announced that it will start levying an innovation fee, the proceeds of which will be directed to Dubai Future Foundation. According to a statement released by news agency WAM, a fee of AED 10 will be levied on all government transactions valued above AED 50. Known as the innovation dirham, the fee would help the government develop educational and cultural projects while funding the innovative projects planned by the emirate.​The innovation dirham will not be charged on healthcare services provided by the government or on traffic fines committed in other emirates, WAM revealed.The fee will also not be refunded if the transaction is cancelled.

Gulf Navigation Pursuing Majority Stake In Offshore Logistics Group
Dubai-based Gulf Navigation Holding says it is in discussions to acquire a majority stake in Atlantic Navigation Holdings, an offshore marine logistics services group listed on Singapore’s stock exchange. Atlantic Navigation operates out of the U.A.E., where it primarily serves customers in the Middle East and India, providing them with marine logistics services, ship repair, fabrication and other marine services.​The announcement comes a few weeks after Gulf Navigation, which is listed on the Dubai Financial Market, revealed it intends to increase its capital by about $122 million through an IPO in the first quarter of 2018. The IPO is part of an effort to boost the maritime and shipping company’s competitiveness and expansion plans, as it seeks to keep up with an expected rise in regional demand to ship petroleum and petrochemical products.​

Commodity Tracker

Business Events this Week In UAE

Dubai Lynx 2018
Souk Madinat Jumeirah
11 March 2018 To 14 March 2018
Business Updates


Dun & Bradstreet – D&B Credit
From making credit decisions to managing your portfolio and overall risk,D&B Credit solutions help you quickly finish the task at hand, so you can move on to other things.
Analyse an industry where you see growth,spend more time leading your team, or maybe even get home to the family a little earlier.

 
We would like to hear from you write to us at [email protected] for
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You have received this email because you are on our database as a client, partner or someone interested in our products & services. In case you wish to unsubscribe, please click on the unsubscribe option.

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CRIF GULF DWC LLC

48 BURJ GATE, DOWNTOWN BURJ AREA, SHEIKH ZAYED ROAD

Dubai

United Arab Emirates

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Copyright © 2018 CRIF GULF DWC LLC, All rights reserved.


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CRIF GULF DWC LLC · 48 BURJ GATE, DOWNTOWN BURJ AREA, SHEIKH ZAYED ROAD · Dubai · United Arab Emirates