Newsletter 100 Issue December (Copy 83)

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Country Risk Update
United Arab Emirates

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

The agreement between the OPEC members (including the UAE) and certain non-OPEC countries, led by Russia, to bring one million barrels per day (b/d) back to the market, will benefit the UAE, which will be able to increase its output by around 3.7%. We are currently forecasting an annual oil price for Brent Dated of USD72.8/b in 2018; an increase of over 33% on 2017.
Market Overview
UAE Introduces Sweeping New Visa For Retired Expats
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has announced that expats in the UAE will be allowed to stay in the country for a longer period of time thanks to a new visa policy. As of next year, expats who are aged over 55 will be eligible to apply for a five-year renewable retirement visa, according to The Cabinet. Under the new policy, retiree expats will qualify for the visa if they have property investments worth Dh2 million ($544,410), or have savings of a minimum of Dh1 million ($272,255), or if they have an active income of Dh20,000 ($5,445) per month. The United Arab Emirates is home to around 8 million expatriates. With the required retirement age set at 65 and some jurisdictions, This follows a number of similar changes earlier this year that have affected expat visas, including the decision to allow investors and high-level workers such as doctors to have access to longer-term visas.
Dubai's DIFC launches wills service for business owners
DIFC Wills Service Centre has launched the Business Owners Will, giving owners and shareholders the option to determine who will own and run their business holdings should they pass away. Through the will, shareholdings held by non-Muslims in any onshore or free zone company can now be transferred to the owner’s chosen beneficiaries, provided the company is established in either Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah. Previously, this option had only been available to transfer free zone company shares. The launch aims to help companies take advantage of new rules on foreign ownership set to take effect in 2019, state news agency WAM reported. It added that the new initiative offers reassurance to management teams and surviving shareholders that a succession plan is in place and that the business will be able to continue as normal in the event of the death of a shareholder. Sean Hird, director of the DIFC Wills Service Centre, said: "We have moved quickly to provide this new service in advance of the forthcoming legislation. We expect the new laws will bring significant growth in foreign ownership of companies in the UAE and in light of that, have developed a simple online Will template which offers operational continuity.
Robinsons Department Store To Expand Into Saudi Arabia
Following the launch of its first GCC store in Dubai, 160-year-old department store chain Robinsons & Co. has announced its expansion into Saudi Arabia with a new branch in Riyadh. The new branch will join a selection of luxury brand outlets in the Kingdom Center, one of Riyadh’s largest malls. Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, Chairman of the Board of Kingdom Holding Company, visited the new store during his tour at the Kingdom Centre, meeting with Nasser Hassan Nassif, CEO of Al-Futtaim Group. Robinsons’ journey began back on 25 February 1858, with John Spicer and Philip Robinson founding Spicer & Robinson in Singapore. In 2008, Al-Futtaim Group acquired the rights to operate 
Robinsons department store in Singapore by purchasing 88% of its shares at $5.20 per share. Robinsons made its debut in the Middle East in March 2017 with a 20,000 square meters store spanning across three floors at Dubai Festival City.
Bahrain’s Investcorp Continues Investment Push In Germany With $100 Million Real Estate Deal
Bahrain-based Investcorp is continuing to pursue deals in Germany, with the investment firm acquiring an office campus near Frankfurt this week for about $100 million. It’s the fifth deal in Germany so far this year for Investcorp, which is one of the largest fund managers in the Middle East. The latest deal is its second real estate investment in the country this year. Named the KO Campus, the new property is a 40,000 square meter facility located in Eschborn, a commercial area near Frankfurt. The office park houses tenants in sectors including manufacturing, retail, and technology. “Germany’s real estate market is thriving, and demand for office space from local businesses is booming,” says Neil Hasson, who oversees Investcorp’s real estate investment division in Europe, in a statement announcing the deal. In April 2018, Investcorp and another asset manager teamed up to acquire an office park in Stuttgart. Both deals came as part of its European real estate strategy, after its initial focus on U.K. industrial and logistics assets. 
Aldar Properties Creates A New Subsidiary With $5.4 Billion In Assets
Abu Dhabi’s largest developer Aldar Properties has announced that it has created a new subsidiary Aldar Investments to handle some of its highest revenue generating assets. Aldar Investments will have assets worth $5.4 billion and is expected to help Aldar drive “greater operational and capital efficiencies” that could improve shareholders’ returns, the government-linked company said in a statement. The move is also expected to help Aldar access capital more easily, independently of its parent company. Aldar Investments, which has been assigned a Baa1 rating by Moody’s, also plans to issue a new Sukuk in the near term, the statement added. Aldar’s move to spin-off the unit comes as Abu Dhabi’s real estate market continues to soften as supply outpaces demand in the emirate. The listed-developer owns close to 5,000 residential units and over 500,000 square meters of retail and commercial space in the emirate.
Commodity Tracker
Business Events this Week In UAE
The Leisure Show
@ Dubai World Trade Centre
Date17 September 2018 To 18 September 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.
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