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/ / 2018, July 2018, Newsletters

 

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CRIF GULF WEEKLY INSIGHTS

 

Country Risk Update – Oman
Risk Indicator – DB4d
Risk Level – Moderate
Ratings Trend – Stable

Dun & Bradstreet upgrades its rating outlook for Oman due to improved gas production and the easing of banking regulations.The government is targeting high-end tourism as an area for growth. The ports of Sohar and Salalah are emerging as regionally-competitive infrastructurefacilities, soon to be joined by Al Duqm.

Market Overview

Oil falls below $71 as Saudis are said to offer extra crude to some buyers
Oil retreated below $71 a barrel after Saudi Arabia was said to offer extra crude supplies to some customers as OPEC’s biggest producer plans to boost output, while the US is considering tapping into its emergency stockpiles to rein in prices. Futures in New York slid as much as 0.8 percent, after falling 3.8 percent last week. Saudi Arabia offered additional cargoes of its Arab Extra Light crude to at least two buyers in Asia for August, people with knowledge of the matter said, after supplying full contractual volumes to customers in the region. Meanwhile, the US government is said to be mulling the release of oil from the nation’s 660-million-barrel Strategic Petroleum Reserve.Crude has been weakened by fears that global demand will be hurt by trade tensions between the US and China, after prices hit a three-year high last month on prospects of a supply crunch.Investors are watching for signs that members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners are moving to fill any potential gaps in supply caused by renewed US sanctions on Iran, falling output in Venezuela and sporadic disruptions in Libya. OPEC and its partners could increase production by more than the 1 million barrels a day agreed under a deal last month if needed, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.

Emirates NBD declares $38.9 million exposure to Abraaj
Emirates NBD has exposure to embattled private equity firm Abraaj through a $21.3 million investment in the management group, the bank said in a disclosure to the Dubai Financial Market. Additionally, the disclosure added that Emirates NBD has a total exposure of $17.6 million across three separate Abraaj funds. With the disclosure, Emirates NBD becomes the latest in a growing list of companies with exposure to Abraaj, with recent additions including Shuaa Capital, Ajman Bank and the Commercial Bank of Dubai. Other companies that have declared direct or indirect exposure to Abraaj include First Abu Dhabi Bank, Air Arabia and Union Arab Bank.Aramex, Damac, Emaar Properties and RAK Ceramics have said that do not have any exposure to Abraaj. Four key investors in a $1 billion healthcare fund managed by Abraaj, including Bill and Melinda Gates and a World Bank affiliate, have demanded an inquiry into allegations that money from the fund had been misused. That in turn triggered investor demands for their funds to be returned. Abraaj had the funds to repay secured investors but could not repay unsecured investors.The company categorically denied any wrongdoing.

Abraaj’s ‘unusual’ business model revealed as PwC seeks missing documents
Abraaj Holdings had an “unusual” business model reliant on short-term borrowing, and key financial statements are missing or non-existent, according to one of the firms tasked with salvaging the Dubai-based private-equity firm’s assets. In a report seen by Bloomberg News, PricewaterhouseCoopers said it has “been unable to obtain standalone annual financial statements or management accounts for the company.”It noted “multiple layers of leverage” as the company borrowed to offset a “long-running liquidity shortfall between the investment management fees and operating expenses.”This is “an unusual practice for a structure operating in a private equity capacity,” PwC said.“It creates a highly unstable business model, sensitive to volatility and potential liquidity crises, particularly where the cost base cannot be funded by ongoing revenues,” according to the report, which was filed to a Cayman Islands court on July 11.Deloitte and PwC were hired as the provisional liquidators of Abraaj, once one of the biggest private equity firms in the Middle East, which owes its creditors more than $1 billion.

UAE’s RAKBANK signs partnership with FC Barcelona
The National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah, better known as RAKBANK, and FC Barcelona have announced a regional partnership for three years.The deal, extendable by another two years, will see RAKBANK become the Official Bank of FC Barcelona in the UAE.This partnership entails the launch of new FC Barcelona dedicated co-branded products including Mastercard Platinum credit and debit cards.The contract was sealed in the presidential box at the Camp Nou and was attended by FC Barcelona’s CEO, Oscar Grau, while Frederic de Melker, managing director of Personal Banking, RAKBANK.RAKBANK said its Barca fans can look forward to accessinf FC Barcelona branded merchandise and opportunities to watch their favourite players at matches in Barcelona, among other benefits.Peter England, CEO RAKBANK, added: “We are very pleased with this strategic alliance… The spirit of football is timeless and we aim to deliver unique value propositions… This also includes the BarcaRewards that are directly pertinent to FC Barca fans here in the UAE.”

Ras Al Khaimah attracts Indian cement giant with acquisition deal
The Government of Ras Al Khaimah has completed a foreign direct investment (FDI) deal with India’s Shree Cement for the acquisition of the emirate’s Union Cement Company (UCC). Prior to acquisition by Shree Cement, UCC was a listed company on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. It has now been de-listed from ADX and converted into a private joint stock company. The UCC purchase marks Shree Cement’s first foray into overseas markets, with the emirate providing a strategic location from which to grow business across export markets in the Arabian Gulf, Middle East and East Africa, a statement said.Sheikh Khalid bin Saud Al Qasimi, vice chairman of the Investment and Development Office, said: “We are pleased that Shree Cement chose Ras Al Khaimah as its first international base in a deal that will see one of the biggest players in the cement industry operate outside of its domestic market for the first time.”​UCC operations have a clinker capacity of 3.30 metric tonnes per annum (MTPA) and cement capacity of 4 MTPA.With this acquisition, the aggregate cement capacity of Shree Cement has increased from the present 37.9 MTPA to 41.9 MTPA.

Commodity Tracker
Business Events this Week In UAE
 

HostApp Summit 2018
@ Sheikh Rashid Hall C&D,
Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre
06 August – 07 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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CRIF GULF DWC LLC · 48 BURJ GATE, DOWNTOWN BURJ AREA, SHEIKH ZAYED ROAD · Dubai · United Arab Emirates