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Tuesday 20 - 1 - 2015


Gulf News

Now is the time when many banks and companies begin to report their financial results for 2014. In the financial services sector, Emirates NBD and Mashreq both reported on Sunday — the results were impressive. Emirates NBD, the largest bank in the UAE both in terms of its branch network and total income, reported net profits of Dh5.1 billion for the last year — an increase of 58 per cent on its profit levels of 2013. Mashreq reported a net profit of Dh2.4 billion for 2014 — up an impressive 33 per cent over 2013 results. What is interesting to note is that both these banks reported better quality and stronger performing loan portfolios, with under and non-performing loans down significantly. This decrease can likely be attributed to a stronger regulatory environment as a result of rule changes implemented by the UAE Central Bank on loan-to-property ratios and a maturing borrowing market as a result of the implementation of an effective credit bureau to eradicate borrowers’ ability to seek loans from multiple sources. The results also reflect that the tailwinds that followed from the global financial crisis are now well and truly gone, with financial institutions in a strong position to spur growth.

The National

Plunging oil prices will not have an effect on this year’s federal budget, according to the Minister of Economy. Oil and gas accounts for 40 per cent of the country’s GDP, and the economy is expected to grow at between 4 and 4.5 per cent this year. “We have diversified the economy in the last 42 years, and while it will not have any immediate impact on the federal budget, it will eventually in the next two to three years,” Sultan Al Mansouri, the Minister of Economy, said on the sidelines of a new factory opening in Dubai. “However, my expectations are that the prices will stabilise in the next six months to a year.” He expects cheaper oil to enhance sluggish economic growth, especially in China and other emerging countries. Prices of Brent crude have been falling since last June as rising supplies outstripped demand growth and Opec continued to maintain its production level. Brent yesterday was trading at $49.81 a barrel at 4:18pm UAE time. The UAE produced an average of 2.9 million barrels per day last month, up by 153,000 bpd from November, it reported to Opec last week.

Gulf News

Dubai: The industrial sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to reach 25 per cent by 2025, UAE Minister of Economy Sultan Al Mansouri has said. “Currently, the industrial sector contribution to the total UAE GDP is estimated at 10 to 11 per cent. By 2020 this figure is targeted to increase up to 20 per cent in 2020 and up to 25 per cent in 2025,” he told Gulf News. This is in line with the UAE’s strategic development plan to implement economic diversification away from oil over the coming years, Al Mansouri added. To achieve these targets, he said that government should focus and support certain industries that suit the nature of the UAE’s markets and resources. “Petrochemicals, aluminium, glass, steel and its downstream industry should be the cornerstone for the UAE’s drive to establish an industrial footprint,” he said.

Emirates 24|7

As part of national initiative for developing exports, the UAE targets to achieve Dh750 billion non-oil exports in 2021, said Sultan Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE’s Minister of Economy. Al Mansouri, who presented the initiative to the Ministerial Services Council for discussion at a meeting on Sunday, said that it is aimed at enhancing the UAE’s non-oil trade balance through an exportation structure that enjoys sustainable and balanced growth. This, according to Al Mansouri, means that the UAE national non-oil exports should exceed Dh500 billion in 2018 and then go up Dh750 billion in 2021. The initiative, he added, will allow Emirati exports to make their way into new and emerging markets, diversify industrial exports and increase the share of foreign trade in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Khaleej Times

Abu Dhabi — Dr Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, UAE Minister for Environment and Water, has issued the nation’s first State of Green Economy Report which evaluates the country’s economic development on the basis of international sustainable standards. The UAE has been witnessing a resurgence in its comprehensive development as a result of cooperation with various sectors as the country transforms into a green economy, said the minister. The shift, which represents one of the country’s sustainable development approaches, is in line with the UAE Strategy for Green Development launched in 2012 by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, under the slogan ‘Green Economy for Sustainable Development’. In response to the UAE Vision 2021, bin Fahad said the State of Green Economy Report aims to monitor and document the country’s progress in its green economy efforts in accordance with the UAE’s green development strategy.

The National

Standard Chartered, HSBC, Lloyds and RBS have all withdrawn from the small and medium enterprise sector in the UAE. Is this an indication of problems in the sector? Absolutely not. It is an indication of trouble for the global banks and a flawed banking strategy. Understanding the issue, and the opportunities that it presents, requires an understanding of the common attributes of these four banks and their failures. The starting point is that all are known as strong commercial banks catering exclusively to retail and corporate clients for most of their 150 to 270- year histories. Then along came Wall Street, its investment banks and fat deal fees. Mortgage-backed securities, collateralised loan obligations, foreign exchange futures, interest rate derivatives. Fast-talking MBAs backed by deep-thinking PhDs. Black Scholes equations, Ito’s lemma, Gaussian copula functions and stochastic calculus. Easy as taking candy from a baby. What could go wrong?

The National

UAE inflation hit 3.1 per cent in December, its second-highest level for five years, as housing inflation continued to increase, the National Bureau of Statistics said. Fourth quarter inflation rose to 3 per cent, up from 2.6 per cent in the three months to September. Housing and utilities costs increased by 5.4 per cent year- on-year, up from 4.4 per cent in November. Abu Dhabi has increased fees for energy and water use from January 1. Furniture cost growth remained high, totalling 4.9 per cent in December, up from 4.7 per cent the previous month. Recent reports from property analysts show housing cost inflation in Dubai levelling off, with some declines recorded in the last three months of 2014. Government statistics usually lag the latest developments in the property market by a number of months, analysts said.

Gulf News

Dubai: The majority of residents in the UAE are facing the prospect of a shortfall in their retirement savings as major life events and the high cost of living are holding them back from preparing for life after work, according to a recent HSBC study. HSBC’s ‘The Future of Retirement 2015’ report reveals that for nearly 9 in 10 (87 per cent) people in the country, saving for retirement is not a main priority. As a result of which, more than half (55 per cent) of the working age population feels inadequately prepared for life after work. This year’s research shows that over two-thirds (71 per cent) of pre-retirees in the UAE worry about having enough money to live day-to-day and 68 per cent fear that they will run out of money after they stop working. Additionally, nearly one in ten working age people (8 per cent) in the country believe that they will never be able to fully retire.

Page last updated : 02/05/2016 10:18 PM