• Monday, 26 February 2018
  • Published inFebruary 2018

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Country Risk Update – UAE
Risk Indicator – DB3c
Risk Level – Slight
Ratings Trend – Stable

Dubai’s new Emiratisation push to increase employment in the private sector is liable to raise costs for companies in several strategic sectors. Access to global markets from Dubai will be among the best in the world.The UAE will continue to strengthen its position as a regional safe haven and business hub.

Market Overview

UAE’s bank approves record cash dividend
First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the UAE’s largest bank, approved the distribution of 70% cash dividends (AED 0.70 per share), as recommended in their annual results last month. FAB, the combination of National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank, said its full-year net profit was AED10.92 billion ($3 billion) compared to AED11.32 billion in 2016. The 3.5 percent profit fall in 2017 was due to costs linked to its recent merger, the bank said.Excluding integration costs and other merger-related expenses of around AED601 million, adjusted net profit for the year was AED11.52 billion while fourth-quarter profit was up 6 percent from the same period of last year, FAB said.

Abraaj founder cedes control of funds division in reshuffle
Abraaj Group’s founder Arif Naqvi will cede control of the fund management business in a sweeping restructuring of the Middle East’s largest private equity firm following reports of misused funds.Omar Lodhi and Selcuk Yorgancioglu were promoted to co-chief executive officers of Abraaj Investment Management, which will oversee funds globally for institutional investors, according to a statement on February 23,2018. The firm has also halted making new commitments for its capital until the reorganization is complete, it said Dubai-based Abraaj, which manages about $13.6 billion, is reorganizing the business following allegations in recent weeks that money in its healthcare fund had been misused.

Oil drops toward $60 on dollar strength and US supply concerns
Oil slid back toward $60, dragged down with other commodities by a stronger dollar on the prospect of accelerating US interest rate hikes and on concern over American crude supplies.New York futures fell as much as 1.5 percent after closing lower on February 21,2018 for the first time in about a week. Investors are shunning risk assets from equities to industrial metals as they choose to focus on the possibility that US interest rate increases will  speed up after an upbeat growth outlook from the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, the nation’s crude stockpiles are forecast to have expanded last week. A stronger greenback typically reduces the allure of commodities priced in the currency, threatening an oil rally that began in June on expectations for robust demand as well as output curbs by OPEC and allies such as Russia.

Bahrain’s EDB attracts $733m inward investment in 2017
The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) announced on February 23,2018 a record year for inward investment in 2017, having attracted 71 new companies to Bahrain with investments amounting to $733 million. The authority said in a statement that this is expected to increase job creation by those companies by up to 72 percent, generating more than 2,800 local jobs over the next three years.The investments span key strategic growth sectors, including ICT, Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics, Tourism, and Financial Services, in line within the EDB’s mandate to act as a catalyst for economic diversification, growth and job creation in support of Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030, it added.

Nasdaq Dubai launches Abu Dhabi, Dubai index futures
In a move that could attract fresh money to the United Arab Emirates’ equity markets, the Nasdaq Dubai exchange launched futures contracts on February 18,2018 covering the main indexes of the country’s two main stock markets in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.The futures provide exposure to the General Index of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and the equivalent index at Dubai Financial Market, giving investors new opportunities to hedge.“This is one of the templates for stock markets in the UAE and how they can complement each other,” Hamed Ahmed Ali, chief executive of Nasdaq Dubai, told reporters on February 18,2018.Nasdaq Dubai began trading single-stock futures for shares in major UAE companies in late 2016. Over 2.5 million of those contracts worth more than Dhs500m ($136m) have changed hands, the exchange said.

Commodity Tracker
Business Events this Week In UAE
Dubai Lynx 2018
Souk Madinat Jumeirah
11 March 2018 To 14 March 2018
Business Updates

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