Newsletter 100 Issue December (Copy 73)

  • ByDnBUAE
  • Monday, 13 August 2018
  • Published inAugust 2018
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Country Risk Update
Saudi Arabia

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

Domestic and external political and security risks continue to rise on the back of the assertive policies initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed. Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves, which have allowed it to build up huge financial buffers, will support short-term government spending.
Market Overview
Saudi Arabia’s Abdul Latif Jameel And Kosei Aluminum To Build New Manufacturing Unit
In a move to drive foreign investment in Saudi Arabia, family-owned business conglomerate Abdul Latif Jameel along with Japan’s Kosei Aluminum signed a Memorandum of Association (MoU) with the National Industrial Clusters Development Program (NICDP) to explore the manufacturing of automotive aluminum wheels and components in Saudi Arabia. The newly formed venture will be the first large scale Saudi-based components manufacturing company producing automotive components to export worldwide. Through the JV a factory will be established by Saudi Arabian Mining Company (MA’ADEN) in the Kingdom—making it a global hub for Kosei. Though the investment in the new venture wasn’t revealed by either of the companies, the volume of the wheels produced will represent a significant market share. It also aims at generating more employment opportunities in the Kingdom, which saw unemployment surging to 12.9% among Saudis and 6.1% in its general population, according to General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT).
Digital-only Dubai bank launches first credit score check
Liv., the lifestyle digital bank by Emirates NBD for millennials, has announced that they are working with Al Etihad Credit Bureau (AECB) to provide customers access to their credit score. The bank said customers can now simply click on the CreditCheck feature on their Liv. app, a first for the UAE's banking sector. Liv. was established last year and is now the fastest growing bank in the country, a statement said.“With over a 100,000 customers now, Liv. is fast becoming the bank of choice for young customers in the UAE,” said Suvo Sarkar, senior EVP and group head – Retail Banking & Wealth Management, Emirates NBD.“Liv. is a key pillar of our growth strategy and we will continue to enhance the platform through new services and strategic partnerships that help our millennial customers get the most out of their money and their daily life.” “Offering easy access to your credit score via Liv. builds on our unique proposition as a mobile-only financial ‘buddy’ for young customers,” said Jayash Patel, head of Liv. “As credit scoring gains relevance in the UAE, we want to educate and guide customers to help them better manage their finances today for a healthier financial future.” In addition to viewing their credit score, Liv. customers can also view their debt burden ratio - monthly loan and card repayments as a percentage of their salary - as well as access tips on how to maintain a healthy credit score.
Tax Clinic set to tour Northern Emirates to advise businesses
The UAE's Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has announced a new Tax Clinic campaign in the Northern Emirates as part of its efforts to communicate directly with businesses.The Tax Clinic seeks to increase the number of registered taxable businesses and promote compliance with the timely submission of tax returns and payment of due taxes, state news agency WAM reported.The campaign kicks off on August 12 in Ras Al Khaimah, before moving on to Fujairah and then the rest of the Northern Emirates over a duration of three months, where FTA representatives will be present to answer taxpayer queries.They will encourage those who are yet to register for VAT to promptly do so in order to avoid administrative penalties while experts will also introduce attendees to the procedures required for submitting accurate tax returns and settling due taxes, WAM added.A press statement issued on August 8th explained that the "Tax Clinic" campaign will be organised as a collaboration between the FTA and the departments of economic development and municipalities across all the emirates.
Saudi Aramco Partners With Mazda To Develop Fuel Efficient Engines As Competition From Electric Cars Looms
Saudi Aramco has inked a partnership with carmaker Mazda and Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) to cooperate on a research program developing fuel efficient engines. It’s a move that comes as part of an effort to prolong the dominance of gasoline-powered engines by making them more cost-effective and efficient, as electric carmakers—such as Tesla—vie to upend the auto market.The state-owned oil giant will contribute to the project by providing new low carbon-content fuels, it said in a statement announcing the partnership. Meanwhile, Mazda will develop a prototype engine based on its Skyactiv technologies, which the carmaker touts as being the foundation of its next generation of gasoline engines. The research and testing will be carried out at AIST’s headquarters in Tokyo.The partners did not reveal investment details for the project, which is expected to be completed in 2020.
Prince Alwaleed Picks Up $250 Million Stake In Snap
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal revealed that he has acquired a 2.3% stake in Snap Inc for a sum of $250 million, just hours before the picture sharing platform revealed its quarter two earnings. The investment is the latest among a series of others, including a $266.7 million stake in French music streaming service Deezer. Prince Alwaleed also holds stakes in companies such as Lyft, Twitter, and Careem. “Snapchat is one of the most innovative social media platforms in the world and we believe it has only just begun to scratch the surface of its true potential and we are blessed to be part of it,” said the Saudi-based businessman.Snap CEO Evan Spiegel and his chief strategy officer Imran Khan had met with Alwaleed in 2015 during their visit to the Kingdom to scout for investment opportunities.Alwaleed’s investment comes as the social media platform’s second quarter earnings beat analysts’ expectations but saw user numbers decline for the first time – largely due to a redesign of the app. But Snap has managed to grow its average revenue per user by 34% this quarter while it advertising revenues grew by 48% during the same period, making it appealing to investors.
Commodity Tracker
Business Events this Week In UAE
Startup Grind Hosts Muhammad Chbib
@ In5, Dubai Internet City
29 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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