OCT 2017 ISSUE
|Country Risk Update – Baharain
Saudi Arabia’s strong support for Bahrain provides a backstop to the economy in the event of a crisis, such as reserves depletion. Although the domestic market is small, it has a sizeable component that is highly affluent. Bahrain was the traditional financial and business services hub for the region, making up for its
limited oil by providing a welcoming business environment.It improved significantly in the category of starting a business, which had been its weakest area in the index, rising by 69 places to 73rd, after lowering its minimum capital requirements.
|Dubai property database will allow tenants to rent without cheques
Dubai Land Department has launched a new database system allowing tenants to rent a property without handing over cheques or physical documentation.The organisation claims the new service makes it the world’s first government entity to conduct all of its transactions through Bitcoin database technology blockchain. It will eventually be used to provide a database of all Dubai properties for customers and public and private sector partners.
|76% of UAE residents plan to delay retirement
More than three in four UAE residents plan to continue working in some form when they reach retirement age, according to a new report.The survey of 130 people with more than $50,000 invested with an investment professional conducted by Old Mutual International and Quilter Cheviot showed many respondents felt too young to stop working, with 41 per cent saying they would continue to do so for social reasons. Another 35 per cent said they would continue working for financial reasons.Just 8 per cent of respondents said they would stop working altogether when they retire and 16 per cent were undecided.
|UAE banks seek to reduce cash usage with new app
Emirates Digital Wallet, a platform backed by 16 of the UAE’s top banks, has unveiled a new app for the country’s residents designed to reduce the use of physical notes and coins. Klip allows the cashless spending, transfer and storage of money for anyone living and working in the country, according to the announcement.It aims to replace cash in the day-to-day economy and provide digital transaction security for those who do not have bank accounts.The app is backed by a new website providing audio and visual guides for its usage.
|Bahrain’s Investcorp eyes businesses linked to Aramco, Saudi healthcare
Bahrain-listed Investcorp aims to invest in companies that support oil giant Saudi Aramco and is also eyeing healthcare and education assets being sold in Saudi Arabia’s privatisation drive, its executive chairman said.The private equity and alternative asset firm, which has offices around the world, aims to more than double investments to $50bn in five years by expanding existing businesses and through acquisitions in areas such as infrastructure.
|Saudi Arabia enters recession in Q2
Saudi Arabia’s economy has slipped back into recession as the oil sector stagnates and the government sector is hit by austerity policies designed to curb a state budget deficit caused by low oil prices, official data showed on Saturday 30 Sept 2017.Gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, shrank 2.3 per cent from the previous quarter in the April-June period, after dropping 3.8 per cent in the first quarter.Economists generally define a recession as two straight quarters of shrinking GDP, measured by quarter-on-quarter rates. Saudi Arabia was last in recession — a shallower one — in early 2016.
|UAE economic growth forecast to rise to 3-3.5% in medium term
Economic growth in the UAE is expected to increase to at least 3 percent in the medium term on the back of Expo 2020, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s GEMs Macro monthly report.The bank’s MENA economist Jean-Michel Saliba said UAE real GDP growth is set to fall to 0.9 percent in 2017, from 2.2 percent likely in 2016.The headline figure masks a likely contraction in the oil sector due to the OPEC deal, but Saliba said he sees non-hydrocarbon real GDP growth picking up to 2.7 percent in 2017, from 2.3 percent in 2016.The report said Dubai remains committed to fiscal prudence but deficits are likely to widen modestly.
|Dubai fund leads $30m investment in US tech firm
US-based Nanotronics, a developer of the world’s most technologically advanced automated microscope, has announced it has secured $30 million in Series D funding led by Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD).Sovereign wealth fund ICD’s portfolio includes more than 40 company investments across diverse sectors with a global footprint spanning more than 50 countries.Following the completion of the latest financing, Nanotronics will have raised a total of $71 million, which it said will accelerate the development of the company’s cutting-edge optical inspection technologies and proprietary industrial enterprise software, as well as expansion into key regions of the Asian market in 2018.
|UAE reveals penalties for new tax law violations
The UAE Council of Ministers has adopted Cabinet Decision No. 39 of 2017 on Fees for Services Provided by the Federal Tax Authority and Cabinet Resolution No. 40 of 2017 on Administrative Penalties for Violations of Tax Laws in the UAE. The council’s meeting was chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Cabinet Decision No.39 of 2017 on Fees for Services Provided by the Federal Tax Authority outlines the fees to be collected for the services provided by the FTA to its clients.Tax registration services and the issuance of an electronic tax registration certificate will be free of charge. An attested paper registration certificate, however, will carry a Dh500 fee, while registration, and renewal, fees for tax agents were set at Dh3,000 for three years.
|PwC set to deliver VAT diploma in the UAE, Saudi Arabia
PwC, the global professional services firm, is to deliver a VAT diploma in the UAE and Saudi Arabia ahead of the introduction of value added tax in the Gulf region.As the GCC economies gear up for the new VAT regime from January 1, 2018, PwC said there is a need to keep the workforce equipped with the skills and technical knowledge to implement and comply with VAT.The GCC VAT Diploma, accredited by the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT), is taught by PwC’s tax specialists and is delivered in a modular format to suit the learning preferences and schedules of working professionals.
|Business Events this week In UAE
11 October – 12 October 2017
Festival Arena Dubai
Construction & Contracting Industry Insider
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