Newsletter 100 Issue December (Copy 97)

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Country Risk Update
United Arab Emirates

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

The UAE will continue to strengthen its position as a regional safe haven and business hub. The IMF supports the government’s move towards stimulus, but has made a recommendation to replace business fees with corporate taxation. Access to global markets from Dubai will be among the best in the world.
Market Overview
Oman's Duqm secures $4.61bn in multi-source financing
A $4.61 billion multi-source project financing has been achieved for Oman’s Duqm refinery project, a joint venture between the Oman Oil Company and Kuwait Petroleum International, it has been announced. The Duqm project, which is located in the Duqm special economic zone (SEZAD) along the sultanate’s south-east coast, comprises the development, construction and operation of the refinery, on-site utilities, infrastructure and storage together with offsite facilities such as crude tank storage, an 80 km crude oil pipeline to the refinery and a product export terminal.“The $4.61 billion multi-sourced financing signed for the project is not only the largest project financing in the Sultanate of Oman. It also includes the largest Shariah-compliant facility to a greenfield project in Oman provided by a consortium of Islamic financing institutions,” said Mubarak Al Naamany, the project’s chief financial officer. Al Naamany added that “these facilities provided by 29 reputed financial institutions from 13 countries and insurance and guarantees (cover) provided by three major export credit agencies, is a testament of the confidence placed by international, regional, and local lenders on the Sultanate of Oman, the shareholders, and the project”.
VIVA Kuwait Signs Initial Agreement To Fully Acquire QualityNet
Kuwaiti telecommunications firm VIVA announced that it has signed an initial agreement with Bahrain’s Batelco and National Bank of Kuwait to purchase the entire share capital of QualityNet General Trading and Contracting. Established in 1998, QualityNet is the market leader in the fixed data communications and internet services industry in Kuwait. Batelco Group acquired 44% of the company in 1999, subsequently increasing its shareholding to 90% in 2014, while NBK holds 10%. As agreed between the parties, the deal price will be established on the completion of the full transfer of the shares to VIVA subject to the satisfaction and fulfillment of certain conditions. According to Batelco’s 2018 half-year financial results announcement, QualityNet gained two large lucrative customer contracts by the end of the second quarter of 2018, as it remains a market leader in the fixed data communication and internet services and ICT industry in Kuwait. QualityNet’s network reaches North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Africa through various partnerships and strategic business alliances; among them are Batelco, STC, Omantel, Orange, Etisalat, and Qtel.QualityNet’s shares will be transferred to VIVA after signing the final sale and purchase agreement and fulfilling the terms, conditions, and covenants therein and obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals.
AW Rostamani Acquires Stake In UK Car Retailer
UAE-based conglomerate AW Rostamani announced that it has acquired a majority stake in car retailer Brayleys, marking the company’s first investment in the UK’s motor retail sector. The privately-owned company, well known for its car retailer subsidiary Arabian Automobiles that sells Nissan, Infinity, and Renault in the UAE, did not disclose the amount it paid for the stake. Following the deal, three senior executives from AW Rostamani will join Brayleys’ board to oversee its business while its founder Paul Brayley will continue to be part of the management team. The statement from AW Rostamani further indicated that the company’s acquisition of Brayleys is part of its efforts to improve its global footprint through strategic acquisitions. It did not reveal its next target but implied that it is looking closely at the UK market. “The acquisition of a majority stake in Brayleys is underlined by our strategy to expand and build our business in the UK, a key automotive market,” said Khalid Al Rostamani, Chairman of AW Rostamani. He added: “We will continue to explore new opportunities to help enhance our presence in the UK and focus on leveraging significant growth opportunities with Brayleys.” AW Rostamani’s expansion into foreign markets comes as car sales in the Middle East region slow, owing to a variety of factors.
Deals on Nasdaq Dubai's Islamic financing platform exceed $100bn
Transactions on the Nasdaq Dubai Murabaha Platform for Islamic financing have exceeded a total of $100 billion, it was announced on October 31, 2018. Established jointly by Nasdaq Dubai and Emirates Islamic, the platform meets needs ranging from funding for corporate growth and expansion to personal finance for retail customers. Transactions so far in 2018 have reached $28.8 billion, up 23 percent from the same period in 2017, a statement said. Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, chairman of Emirates Islamic, vice chairman and managing director of Emirates NBD, said: “We are delighted to be able to announce the $100 billion Murabaha milestone during Islamic Economy Week, during which Dubai is celebrating many achievements in Sharia’a-compliant finance and hosting discussions on how to further develop the sector. The growth of the Nasdaq Dubai Murabaha platform supports the expansion of Dubai as the global capital of the Islamic Economy, he added. Hamed Ali, chief executive of Nasdaq Dubai, said: “We will further expand the user base of banks to support the development of Dubai as the capital of the Islamic economy.”
Bahrain’s Investcorp Expands European Real Estate Portfolio To $322 Million
Investcorp, a leading global provider, and manager of alternative investment products have successfully acquired five industrial units in Scotland for £11.5 million ($14.8 million), bringing its total portfolio of UK and European real estate assets to over £250 million ($322 million) since June 2017. Located in Uddingston, Blantyre, and Livingston, the fully let 200,000 sq. ft. estates are home to a number of well-known tenants across the life sciences, logistics, telecoms and packaging sectors. The latest acquisition marks Investcorp’ s seventh industrial property investment in the UK since June 2017, following the acquisition of a 200,000 sq. ft. distribution warehouse near St Helens in the North West of England in the first half of 2018. “This acquisition is consistent with Investcorp’s strategy to acquire well-located, income-generating industrial and logistics assets based in the UK. The portfolio is well positioned to benefit from the UK’s thriving industrial market and strong supply and demand dynamics” commented Neil Hasson, Managing Director in Investcorp’s Real Estate Investment division in Europe
. As of June 30, 2018, Investcorp had $22.6 billion in total assets under management, including assets managed by third-party managers and assets subject to a non-discretionary advisory mandate where Investcorp receives fees calculated on the basis of assets under management.
Commodity Tracker
Business Events this Week In UAE
Decobuild 2018
@ Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hall - Dubai
Date: 7 November 2018 To 10 November 2018
Business Updates
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