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Dubai Islamic Bank posts 23% dip in net profit for H1 2020

Dubai Islamic Bank has posted a net profit of Dhs2.1bn for H1 2020, 23 per cent lower against Dhs2.7bn in H1 2019.
The bank’s total income of Dhs6.8bn for the first half of 2020 also fell 2 per cent from Dhs6.98bn in H1 2019.
Operating expenses reached Dhs1.47bn in H1 2020 against Dhs1.2bn during the same period in 2019, marking an increase of 22 per cent.
Meanwhile, the net financing and sukuk investments increased to Dhs237.1bn in H1 2020 from Dhs184.2bn at the end of 2019, posting an increase of 29 per cent.
Customer deposits grew to Dhs206.5bn from Dhs164bn at year-end 2019, marking a growth of 26 per cent.
Similarly, total assets rose 27 per cent year-to-date, to reach Dhs295bn.
Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, director-general of His Highness The Ruler’s Court of Dubai and chairman of Dubai Islamic Bank, said: “The new UAE government structure, along with more than Dhs6bn Dubai economic stimulus measures that were unveiled by the leadership, are designed to bolster the market and boost investor confidence during and post the Covid era. As the pandemic is gradually contained, Dubai and the UAE’s sustainable business growth models remain on track to lead the economic recovery in the region. During these critical times, we continue to engage effectively with all our stakeholders in order to ensure that our business operations are seamless.”
“The gradual return of economic activities is a manifestation of Dubai’s capabilities to withstand and address any significant global economic shocks. DIB has been able to quickly adapt to the so-called “new normal” in terms of servicing our customers via our diverse channels including the branch network and digital platforms, with minimal business disruption blended with stringent safety measures,” said Abdulla Al Hamli, managing director, Dubai Islamic Bank.
In June, the bank closed a $1bn long five-year sukuk with a profit rate of 2.95 per cent per annum.
Read also: Dubai Islamic Bank lists $1bn sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai
Dubai Islamic Bank posts 23% dip in net profit for H1 2020
Dubai Islamic Bank posts 23% dip in net profit for H1 2020

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Range Rover introduces 50th anniversary limited edition SUV

SUVs, in their original guise and design, were rugged go-anywhere utilitarian machines. Challen­ging the stereotype was the Range Rover that broke cover in 1970.
A two-door SUV, it swapped sharp edges for curves and right-angles for sweeping lines. Even the Louvre Museum in Paris called it an “exemplary work of industrial design” while exhibiting it in the museum. It became the first vehicle ever to be displayed inside the institution.
But the Range Rover wasn’t a mere vanity exercise. It was one that would push forward an equally aggressive technical agenda that made it a formidable off-roader. It became the first vehicle to cross the notoriously difficult Darién Gap two years after its debut when Major John Blashford-Snell led an expedition from Alaska to the southernmost corner of Argentina. By 1974, it traversed 7,500 miles from the west to east of the Sahara desert in 100 days. A modified Range Rover even won the inaugural Paris-Dakar rally in 1979, and repeated the feat in 1981, ensuring none could claim the first victory to be a fluke.
The Range Rover also served as a template for other SUVs by becoming not only the first to be built as a permanent four-wheel drive upon its debut, but it also became the world’s first 4×4 kitted with ABS in 1989, and also the first 4×4 to feature electronic traction control and automatic electronic air suspension.
The Range Rover family has subsequently spawned variants including the Range Rover Sport, the Range Rover Evoque, the SVAutobiography and the Range Rover Velar – interestingly, Velar was the codename the designers gave the original Range Rover back in the late 1960s when they were road-testing prototypes of it in several countries around the world.
Fifty years later, four generations on, and after over a million units have been sold, the Range Rover is still in rude health. To mark its 50th anniversary, Land Rover unveiled the Range Rover Fifty last month – limited to 1,970 units.
The ‘Fifty’ script was created by Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s chief creative officer
The Range Rover Fifty is built with trim levels of the top-end Autobiography model, and is available both in standard as well as long-wheelbase variants. Besides, it also features two special 22-inch wheel designs.
It has bespoke exterior accents that are painted in Auric Atlas (the colour black) with the ‘Fifty’ script created by none other than the inimitable Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s chief creative officer. The lettering is also found across the interiors including the centre console, dashboards and headrests too.
The SUV is available in four colours: Carpathian Grey, Rosello Red, Aruba, and Santorini Black. But if you want a special version – and there’s every reason you should with a limited edition like this one – Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations will oblige with a special paint job of either Tuscan Blue, Bahama Gold and Davos White, the colour options of the original Range Rover.
You can have the Fifty in a petrol, diesel and even a forward-looking plug-in hybrid P400e version that sets up the SUV appropriately for the next half a century of its existence, and beyond.
Range Rover introduces 50th anniversary limited edition SUV
Range Rover introduces 50th anniversary limited edition SUV

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Saudi Arabia’s Al Othaim family said to plan IPO for malls unit

Saudi Arabia’s Al Othaim family plans to sell shares in its malls business in a deal that could value the company at between $1.5bn and $2bn, according to people familiar with the matter.
Othaim Investment Co., which operates malls and entertainment centers in the kingdom, appointed GIB Capital to advise on the local initial public offering, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.
The sale may happen in the first half of 2021, the people said.
Final decisions haven’t been made and the company may decide not to proceed, the people said.
Representatives for Al Othaim Holding and GIB didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
While the total value of the family’s assets isn’t clear, Al Othaim Holding’s stake in Abdullah Al Othaim Markets is worth about $766m, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The retail and grocery business is listed on the Saudi bourse with a market capitalisation of about $2.8bn.
Saudi Arabian companies are taking the lead in new offerings at a time when IPOs across the region have been scarce.
As many as 10 companies are planning share sales on the Saudi stock exchange, its chief executive said earlier this month.
Grocery chain BinDawood Holding received regulatory approval to proceed with a sale of 20 per cent of its capital.
Read: Saudi grocer prepares first Mideast IPO since virus
The March IPO of hospital operator Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Group was 83 times oversubscribed.
Also read: Saudi stock market sees IPO activity returning after virus slump
Saudi Arabia’s Al Othaim family said to plan IPO for malls unit
Saudi Arabia’s Al Othaim family said to plan IPO for malls unit

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Abu Dhabi’s Edge to acquire Lockheed Martin shares

Edge, the Abu Dhabi-based technology and defence firm, is set to acquire the remaining 40 per cent stake currently held by Lockheed Martin Corporation and Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, in Advanced Military Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Center (AMMROC).
AMMROC is the leading provider of military Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) services in the Middle East region.
Both Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky have been shareholders in AMMROC since its inception in 2010, helping to develop military operation skills and capabilities within the country. AMMROC will continue to have several commercial agreements with Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky.
Upon completion of the transaction, AMMROC will become wholly owned by Edge.
AMMROC will continue to pursue the aircraft aftermarket business, enabling the UAE and other regional air forces to maintain operational readiness, airworthiness, and technical ownership of various rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft and platforms.
“Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky have played a pivotal role in developing the UAE’s MRO capabilities,” said Faisal Al Bannai, CEO and managing director of Edge Group said.
“As Edge assumes full ownership of AMMROC and continues to pursue the military and civil MRO market with specialist skills, we recognise that such achievements are the outcome of our international partnerships. Going forward, we will continue to explore emerging business opportunities with Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky to further strengthen our relationship.”
AMMROC is the region’s only authorised Lockheed Martin C-130 service centre.
It also provides MRO services for F-16 and is the depot MRO hub for Black Hawk components. The facility is equipped with a dynamic whirl stand to support rotary blades and transmission testing.
It also has the region’s largest military MRO hangar capacities that comprise over 30 back-shops and a dedicated paint facility.
Abu Dhabi’s Edge to acquire Lockheed Martin shares
Abu Dhabi’s Edge to acquire Lockheed Martin shares

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UAE’s launch kicks off a trio of Mars missions as planet draws close

It’s a busy time for Mars exploration as the red planet’s biennial proximity with Earth will see three new missions launched within the next month.
As Mars draws within about 36 million miles of its neighbor – the closest it’s been in two years – the United Arab Emirates, China and the US are sending probes to take advantage of the nearness.
The UAE launched its mission on Sunday, with the US and China to follow later this month and next.
Read: Video: UAE Hope Probe bound for Mars successfully launches from Japan
The UAE successfully launched its Mars Hope probe from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center using a Japanese rocket, according to the space agency.
Take-off had originally been scheduled for July 14 but was delayed by weather. The $200m probe will arrive at Mars in February to gather information about its atmosphere and weather patterns, according to the UAE Space Agency website.
“This has been a defining moment on our six-year journey to build and launch Mars Hope,” Omran Sharaf, Emirates Mars Mission project director at the Mohammad bin Rashid Space Centre, said in a statement.
“The team at MBRSC are delighted and celebrating, obviously, but there’s a lot of work yet to go.”
Lining Up
Earth and Mars draw into alignment for about one month every two years, a point when it’s more advantageous to set off for Mars. After late August, the next opportunity this good won’t arrive until 2022.
The Emirates established the UAE Space Agency in 2014, announcing the same year a plan to send a satellite to Mars. The current goal is to reach Mars for the 50th anniversary of the nation’s founding in 2021.
Space technology would help the UAE diversify from oil and build its international standing. The government hopes to get a return on its space-programme investments in the long run, said Mohammed Al Ahbabi, general director of the space agency.
“UAE’s aim is to set a model in the region because as you know, we live in a very difficult region,” Al Ahbabi said in an interview.
The Gulf state wants to send a good signal locally, regionally and internationally, he said.
Both the US and China plan to land on Mars. Those missions are more complex because the planet has an atmosphere, as opposed to the Moon, so landers need heat protection on their journey down to the planet’s surface.
The US mission is called the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover and has a launch window of July 30 to August 15, set to arrive on the planet’s surface in February, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s website.
The US rover vehicle will drill for soil and rock samples to search for evidence of life, the possibility of habitable conditions that existed in the past, or past microbial life. It will also deploy a drone helicopter named Ingenuity for aerial surveillance – a first for any agency.
China’s mission, Tianwen-1, includes an orbiter, lander and rover – the first of its kind among Mars missions, according to Science Magazine.
Set for a July launch, though no specific date yet, this would be China’s first bid at an independent Mars mission.
UAE’s launch kicks off a trio of Mars missions as planet draws close
UAE’s launch kicks off a trio of Mars missions as planet draws close

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Dubai’s Emirates NBD lists $750m bond on Nasdaq Dubai

Dubai-based lender Emirates NBD has listed a $750m bond on Nasdaq Dubai on July 9, 2020.
The capital raised will underpin Emirates NBD’s activities, as it lends support to customers and the UAE economy in rising to the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic, Dubai Media Office reported.
The perpetual bond is callable after six years and pays a coupon of 6.125 per cent. The issuance attracted international interest with 37 per cent of orders coming from Europe, 33 per cent from the MENA region and 30 per cent from Asia.
The order grew to $2.3bn, which enabled Emirates NBD to tighten the price to 6.125 per cent from the initial 6.5 per cent guidance.
Emirates NBD is the largest financial services bond issuer on the exchange with six issuances listed, valued at $4.1bn.

It was our pleasure to open the market with a bell ringing ceremony at Nasdaq #Dubai Market site. @EmiratesNBD_AE Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim rang the market opening bell to celebrate the USD 750 million #bond #listing. Congratulations! pic.twitter.com/5XkjoeXnMN
— Nasdaq Dubai (@NasdaqDubai) July 22, 2020

Emirates NBD is furthering its services regionally and internationally across sectors including retail banking and wealth management, corporate and institutional banking, global markets and treasury, and Islamic banking.
“This bond issue represents the first Additional Tier 1 transaction from an Emerging Market bank since the Covid-19 market disruption. The proceeds will strengthen the Bank’s capital ratios and will help us provide support to retail and business customers across a wide range of activities. Emirates NBD continues to support for the wise actions of the UAE leadership in promoting the development of the economy of the UAE and the wellbeing of its nationals and residents,” said Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, vice chairman and managing director of Emirates NBD, who rang the bell on Wednesday, July 22.
Essa Kazim, governor of Dubai International Financial Centre and chairman of Dubai Financial Market, said: “The listing of Emirates NBD’s latest bond underlines the capacity of Dubai’s sophisticated exchange infrastructure to collaborate successfully with leading UAE issuers who wish to raise capital efficiently and competitively to fund their growth and development. This collaboration and strategic alignment promotes further economic activity and wealth creation in the UAE and beyond.”
Dubai is the largest venue in the Middle East for dollar denominated debt listings, with a total value of $84.3bn.
Shayne Nelson, group CEO of Emirates NBD, said: “The very positive response from international investors to our latest bond issuance demonstrates their confidence in the performance and strategy of Emirates NBD as we further develop our banking services for business and retail customers. Nasdaq Dubai provides our issuance with excellent global visibility and a respected regulatory framework.”
Earlier this week, Emirates NBD posted a net profit of Dhs4.1bn for the first half of 2020, 45 per cent down year-on-year from Dhs7.48bn for H1 2019.
Read more: Emirates NBD posts 45% dip in net profit for H1 2020
Dubai’s Emirates NBD lists $750m bond on Nasdaq Dubai
Dubai’s Emirates NBD lists $750m bond on Nasdaq Dubai

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Eid Al Adha 2020: UAE announces holidays for public sector

The UAE has announced a four-day holiday for federal entities on account of Eid ul Adha.
Public offices will remain closed from Thursday, July 30 until Sunday, August 2.
Read: Eid Al Adha in UAE likely to fall on July 31, crescent moon sighted
Government entities will resume work from Monday, August 3.

Eid al-Adha holiday for Federal Entities: 4 Days from Thursday, July 30th to Sunday, August 2nd
and to be resumed work on Monday, August 3rd pic.twitter.com/lsnrXdXEIt
— FAHR (@FAHR_UAE) July 22, 2020

Saudi Arabia has declared that Eid Al Adha in the kingdom will be observed on Friday, July 31.
Read: Saudi Arabia declares Eid Al Adha 2020 date
Eid Al Adha, one of two Eid festivals in Islam, is celebrated by Muslims worldwide on the 10th day of Dhu Al Hijja, also marking the end of the Hajj ritual.
Eid Al Adha 2020: UAE announces holidays for public sector
Eid Al Adha 2020: UAE announces holidays for public sector

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How Saudi Arabian shoppers are gearing up for the ‘new normal’?

The Covid-19’s impact on the economy cannot be undermined by any individual or organisation. Every experience has been different, depending on course of action taken, and the agility of response.
The universal response to the crisis was to ‘Stay Home, stay safe’ – one that entailed working from home, being less dependent on external agencies and maintaining high hygiene standards.
This behaviour translated to increased dependence on communicating online, cooking at home, shopping in neighbourhood stores, spending more on groceries and household essentials.
The GfK Consumer Pulse Study which commenced in April tracked all these changes and other corollaries such as increased sales of electronic consumer products like tablets, laptops and mobile phones but, more significantly, GfK’s weekly research kept track of the consumer pulse mapping continuously changing conditions, mindsets and attitudes that create new opportunities and challenges for brands.
A look at the week-on-week results of consumer perceptions mapped by GfK in Saudi Arabia highlights the move towards ‘the new normal’.
Braving the new normal, but with caution
By the end of June, Saudi Arabia’s citizens and residents were venturing out much more than in the previous three months. Findings towards the end of June registered concern for the announced VAT revision which contributed to a significant spike in shopping, especially for clothes, small household goods, smartphones, air purifiers, as well as computers and its accessories. An increase in demand for insurance products was also noted, attributed to imminent VAT regulations.
At this stage, the preference for buying clothes and shoes from stores spiked even more – good news for retailers who have been hit hard. It’s interesting to note that consumer preference for offline shopping has been confirmed week-on-week by the GfK studies starting April.
The Study cautions retailers on customers’ expectations to prioritise safety.
By early June, wave 4 of the survey, 45 per cent of respondents expressed fear of direct infection – a marginal increase from the previous week.
Saudi consumers indicated their preference to retain several preventive measures applied while shopping in stores – with masks and social distancing practices considered key requirements. Other requirements include access to disinfectants for hands and baskets and continuous communication about the safety measures followed to reassure customers. The studies show retailers that it is imperative to address irritants like long entrance queues and check-out lines.
An ambivalent time for brands
A key indicator of consumer behaviour returning to normal according to the GfK Consumer Pulse Study from April to June, was consumers’ reduction in stocking up on goods although demand for personal hygiene products, cleaning agents, fresh food, frozen food, and bottled water remained high.
Another outcome – which may be good news for some brands and not so welcome for others – is the impact on brand loyalty. As manufacturing and supply chains were disrupted, some leading brands were out of stock during the crisis so that consumers were compelled to try options from competitors.
GfK’s latest findings indicate shifts in brand preferences as one-third customers found new favour with replacement products and stuck with them.
The research further confirms that the ‘new norm’ will include a higher disposition to work from home, shop online and use live streaming entertainment channels.
Respondents claim that they will value time with family and friends more going forward.
A renewed sentiment for credit
One of the most significant changes tracked by GfK in Saudi Arabia’s ‘new economy’ was the higher demand for credit cards. Previously, some market segments showed resistance to credit cards as contrary to the beliefs of many in the kingdom with an aversion to debt and interest payments.
However, since the pandemic’s environment resulted in a higher propensity to shop online and avoid using cash, behaviour has changed. Credit cards were more in demand in May and June – a welcome relief to at least one part of the banking sector.
Rebound in regional travel
From the very first week of the survey, respondents have shown eagerness to travel, suggesting a quick rebound of the travel sector. This could create an opportunity for Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and other neighbouring destinations to receive an influx of Saudi tourists.
Every crisis is an opportunity
For many, the predominant belief is that the only way out of the crisis is a vaccine.
Full market recoveries remain uncertain as optimistic forecasts indicate a recovery in Q4 2020, others cite 2022.
However, crises can be catalysts for change and the consumer pulse needs to be tracked regularly to stay on top of the situation.
The late Peter Drucker once said, “Every single social and global issue of our day is a business opportunity in disguise.”
His word echo true to this day, and companies need to be aware that how they respond to the crisis heavily impacts their image and future.
Rahul Dixit is the marketing lead – MENA region for GfK
How Saudi Arabian shoppers are gearing up for the ‘new normal’?
How Saudi Arabian shoppers are gearing up for the ‘new normal’?

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Free Covid-19 tests for all expat residents and UAE citizens in Fujairah

Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah, has instructed the Ministry of Health and Prevention to conduct free coronavirus, Covid-19 tests for both citizens and residents in Fujairah, official news agency WAM reported on Tuesday.
The initiative will be undertaken in coordination with the Fujairah Medical District and the emirate’s emergency crisis and disaster management team.
Earlier in July, health authorities in Sharjah began offering free Covid-19 tests for all those aged 18 and over in the emirate’s Al Nahda neighbourhood.
Read: Sharjah’s Al Nahda residents can avail of free Covid-19 tests
Authorities in Sharjah said that they would expand the free testing across the emirate, and that upon completion of the testing in Al Nahda, the mobile screening team would move to other areas including Al Qasimiya, Al Nabba and Al Butina.
In May, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, authorised free Covid-19 tests for all Emiratis. The free testing also be extended to expat domestic workers based within the residences of these Emirati households.
Read: Free Covid-19 tests for select expats and all Emiratis in the UAE
Earlier in July, the government confirmed that a total of four million tests were already conducted in the country and that another two million were scheduled to be undertaken over the next two months.
According to Worldometer, the UAE ranks the sixth highest in the world when it come testing. It has conducted 462,389 tests per 1 million of its population.
On July 21, the UAE reported 305 new Covid-19 cases, following 40,000 tests conducted over the preceding 24 hours to screen for the virus.
The total number of cases detected in the country stands at 57,498.
Read: GCC Covid-19 update: UAE registers 305 cases; 1,487 infections recorded in Oman
However, the country has also reported a consistently high recovery rate and said on Tuesday that another 343 patients had recovered, raising the overall number of recoveries to 49,964.
Free Covid-19 tests for all expat residents and UAE citizens in Fujairah
Free Covid-19 tests for all expat residents and UAE citizens in Fujairah

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Customers urged not to disclose personal information – CBUAE

The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) has alerted consumers of the spike in fraudulent activities, and has stressed not to disclose private information such as personal and bank account information to any person or entity.
The Central Bank and banks operating in the UAE confirm that they do not request for such information from consumers.
Moreover, they warned them of disingenuous phone calls and fraudulent messages customers may receive via WhatsApp using CBUAE name and logo.
The CBUAE reminded consumers not to answer such calls and messages, nor open any attached links to avoid data exposure to malicious websites, a statement read.
The Central Bank urges the public to report to the relevant authorities when they receive fraudulent calls and messages or in the event of financial fraud.
Also read: Dubai financial regulator DFSA warns against increased cyber attacks, frauds

The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), in its monthly report on cybersecurity developments on federal entities, confirmed that the National Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT) responded to approximately 100 thousand cyber-attacks, during the month of June, varied between malware (73 per cent), vulnerabilities (15 per cent) and phishing attacks (12 per cent).
Customers urged not to disclose personal information – CBUAE
Customers urged not to disclose personal information – CBUAE

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