Newsletter 100 Issue December (Copy 71)

  • ByDnBUAE
  • Monday, 06 August 2018
  • Published inAugust 2018
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Country Risk Update
United Arab Emirates

Risk Indicator - DB3c
Risk Level - Slight
Ratings Trend - Improving

The agreement to cut oil production quotas will benefit the short-term economic outlook for the UAE, particularly as oil prices remain strong.The UAE will continue to strengthen its position as a regional safe haven and business hub. Access to global markets from Dubai will be among the best in the world.
Market Overview
Dubai’s Sokotra Capital Acquires Tunisian Fish Farm L’Aquaculture Tunisienne
Dubai investment firm Sokotra Capital has led a consortium of buyers to acquire the Tunisian fish farm operator L’Aquaculture Tunisienne for an undisclosed amount. Serving both the local and export market, L’Aquaculture Tunisienne is the largest seabass and seabream hatchery and nursery in North Africa, with a current annual production capacity of 20 million fingerlings and 1,500 tons of fish per year, the companies said in a statement. The firm was founded in 1988 by Si M’hamed Driss, and is based in Sousse. Now backed by new owners, L’Aquaculture Tunisienne has designs on becoming one of the leading aquaculture companies in the Mediterranean, according to the firm’s CEO Karim Garnaoui.Sokotra Capital is a private investment company founded by former UBS banker Albert Momdjian in 2014. The deal comes as part of Sokotra Capital’s strategy of targeting investments in the agriculture and aquaculture sectors in both Africa and Southeast Asia—and the firm’s acquisition in Tunisia could mark the first of multiple moves in the country.
All-Women Saudi Team Win 1 Million Riyals First Prize In Tech Competition
A team of Saudi Arabian women took home the first prize at the Hajj Hackathon, an event held by the Saudi government in partnership with  search engine giant Google. Thousands of technology enthusiasts participated in this innovation-based competition that called for high tech solutions to improve the Hajj experience for pilgrims. The all-female team, known as “Turjuman”, developed a technology that would provide instant translation through the use of an app to help nearly 2 million global pilgrims communicate during Hajj and Umrah. The technology won the first prize of SAR1 million, beating nine other teams. Among the panel of judges for the competition was Apple Inc. co-founder, Steve Wozniak, and co-founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales. Wozniak was then appointed by the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones as an ambassador for the Saudi TechHub.The competition drew a total of 2,950 developers from Saudi Arabia, the Gulf and around the world. The number of participants made the Guinness World Records for most participants in a software development jam.
Prince Alwaleed Takes $266.7 Million Stake In French Music Streaming Service Deezer
Saudi Arabian business tycoon Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal has announced that he has completed a $266.7 million (SAR1 billion) deal to buy newly issued shares in French music streaming service Deezer. The investment was made through Kingdom Holding Company and Rotana Group.The Saudi-based entertainment company, owned by Prince Alwaleed, also entered into an agreement with Deezer, where the latter will distribute Rotana’s audio and video content in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The distribution channel will include fast-growing entertainment markets such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Turkey.The agreement with Rotana helps Deezer penetrate a fast-growing region like MENA which has a population of over 400 million people. A leader in France and Latin America, Deezer will use the new investments to fuel development of music streaming in the MENA markets.
DP World Wins Court Ruling Over Djibouti Port Terminal Seizure
Following Djibouti’s seizure of a port container terminal operated by DP World earlier this year, the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) has now ruled that the Dubai-based port operator’s contract was “valid and binding.” The ruling from the LCIA was reported by Dubai’s government, and confirmed by the company in a social media post.The government of Djibouti seized control of the Doraleh Container Terminal from DP World in February, and forced its employees to leave the country, a move the company called illegal. DP World had both built and operated the terminal, for which it won a concession in 2006, but reported that Djibouti’s government had sought to renegotiate the terms of the contract. The concession terms were reportedly found to be “fair and reasonable” in 2017 by another LCIA tribunal. Following the seizure, DP World proceeded to commence legal action in order to protect its rights or to secure damages and compensation. That has now resulted in a favorable ruling from the LCIA, with the decrees used by Djibouti to justify the seizure “found to be ineffective in law,” according to Dubai’s government media office. 
Kuwait Finance House, Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank Merger To Result In New Bank With $92 Billion Assets
In July Kuwait Finance House invited Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank to begin a due diligence process for a potential merger of the two financial institutions, creating Kuwait’s biggest Islamic lender. If the merger materializes, it could create both Kuwait and Bahrain’s biggest lender with $92 billion in assets, becoming the sixth biggest bank in the Gulf. Following their initial talks, the banks signed a Memorandum of Association (MoU) and Non-Disclosure Agreement (NOC) on July 22, appointing HSBC and Credit Suisse to conduct the valuation studies in order to propose a fair price and finalize the exchange of shares ratio. Both the banks initially entered into merger talks in July 2017, however pricing hindered further proceedings. Listed on the Kuwait stock exchange, Kuwait Finance House recorded net profits of $377.85 million, while Ahli United Bank reported net profits of $357.4 million in the first half (H1) of 2018. Kuwait Finance House and Ahli United Bank merger talks come days after Saudi British Bank and Alawwal Bank agreed to a $5 billion merger deal to create the Kingdom’s third-largest lender in May. It was preceded by a mega merger of UAE’s banking giants NBAD and FGB to form First Abu Dhabi Bank. According to a recent report by multinational law firm Baker McKenzie, the total value of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) rose by 62% in the Middle East during the first six months of 2018.
Commodity Tracker
Business Events this Week In UAE
HostApp Summit 2018
@ Sheikh Rashid Hall C&D,
Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre
06 August - 07 August 2018
Business Updates
We are proud to be part of Forbes Italy magzine in it's July edition.
“The next level of decision-making” a page dedicated to CRIF which higlights CRIF’s vision, strategies and value proposition and how these allow the company to promptly satisfy the increasingly sophisticated needs of markets on a global level with incerpts from Carlo Gheradi and Eugenio Bonomi.
Introducing D&B’s Express BIR
D&B Express Business Information Reports helps to take day-to-day credit decisions, analyse a company's financial strength and discover commercial opportunities.

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