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Etihad, Royal Jordanian ink new codeshare deal

Etihad Airways and Royal Jordanian have announced a new codeshare partnership which will provide their customers with greater access to key leisure and business destinations in North Africa, Europe, Canada, Asia and Australia. The codeshare flights opened for sale on Thursday, with the first travel date on February 15. This is the first such partnership between the two airlines, who offer multiple daily services between their respective hubs in Abu Dhabi and Amman. The partnership will see Etihad Airways place its EY code on Royal Jordanian’s flights from Abu Dhabi via Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport to Larnaca and Berlin, while Algiers, Tunis, Vienna and Montreal will be added to the agreement soon. In turn, Royal Jordanian will initially place its RJ code on Etihad Airways services from Amman to Abu Dhabi and vice-versa, and then from the UAE capital to Brisbane and Seoul. Subject to government approval, Royal Jordanian will also market Etihad flights from Abu Dhabi to Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calicut, Cochin, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Trivandrum, Manila, Beijing and Shanghai.

Damac unveils ready-built concept ‘golf town’

Damac has launched its latest ready-built concept, Golf Town, located within Damac Hills, a popular gated-community in Dubai. Golf Town offers spacious, modern apartments and world-class views of the community’s 7,300-yard golf course. A glimpse of the new spaces and attractive interiors was unveiled at the annual Damac Broker Awards ceremony, attended by over 300 of Damac’s top agents and sales partners. “We are happy to be introducing another customer-focused product into the market. Several studies have indicated a growing demand for community-inspired spaces that are within the reach of first-time homeowners and renters,” said, Niall McLoughlin, senior vice-president at Damac Properties. “As industry leaders, we believe in building for demand, while strengthening our ties with sales partners by recognising them and giving them exclusive access to our diverse portfolio.” With direct access to nearly four million square feet of private green parkland and holistic health facilities, Golf Town residents are also within walking distance from the Jebel Ali School, a Carrefour Market, and the Trump International Golf Club, Dubai.

Lulu to invest dh2b in egypt’s retail industry

Egypt is the new ‘destination for investments’ and gateway to African continent, a top trade official said as the UAE-based Lulu Group is set to pump Dh2 billion in the retail sector. Ibrahim Ashmawy, deputy minister and chairman of Trade Development Authority in Egypt’s Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade, on Wednesday signed the protocol agreement with Lulu Group chairman Yusuffali M.A. to open four new hypermarkets in the next two years. This is in addition to the four hypermarkets in the pipeline, taking the total number to eight by 2020. Ashmawy said the agreement is realised after the meeting between Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Yusuff Ali in Cairo last year. “This is a game-changer in sector of internal trade. We know Lulu Group is a major player in retail business. So we knocked their doors for more expansion, investment and presence in Egypt. The pace of growth in the Egyptian market specifically in the retail is huge. This agreement is starting point and we are hoping for more investment from Lulu and others,” Ashmawy told. He noted Egypt has 2.6 percent population growth rate and consumers with high purchasing power – aspects for retailers to thrive.


Employing millennials help big corporations to reinvent

Last year, author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek went viral via a 15-minute interview where he not only criticised everything millennials do but also made them look like a shallow and dumbed down generation that only care about social media and likes. The exact words Sinek used to describe millennials were ‘entitled’, ‘narcissistic’, self-interested’, ‘unfocused’, and ‘lazy’. However, hiring millennials is no longer an option big corporations can ignore. Refusing to hire millennials means refusing to allow your company to expand and reinvent itself. What many big corporations are still yet to realise is that hiring young people can be massively beneficial. Not just that, but according to a study done by Pew Research Centre, there are currently more millennials than boomers. So unless companies wish to be a team of 50-something-year-olds, they’re going to have to start hiring younger employees.

2019: Good start for UAE businesses

With rates of expansion in output and new orders accelerating amid reports of stronger market demand in January, non-oil businesses in the UAE experienced a strong start in 2019, according to a survey report by Emirates NBD. In general, companies remained confident that further improvements in new orders would result in continued growth of business activity over the coming year. While some firms indicated that price discounting had helped them to secure greater new work volumes, output prices decreased for the fourth month running amid competitive pressures and relatively weak cost inflation. The Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers’ Index survey compiled by IHS Markit said activity grew at the strongest pace since August last year. The rate of expansion was also faster than the series average. Where output increased, panellists linked this to higher new orders, as well as marketing and promotional activity.


Bank of Sharjah shares resume trading on ADX

Trading in shares of Bank of Sharjah resumed after the bank notified the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange about its financial results for 2018. The bourse had earlier suspended trading in the bank’s shares for not submitting its results. “As Bank of Sharjah didn’t submit their financial statement, hence it is decided to temporarily suspend trading on the company’s shares starting January 27, 2019 until further notice,” the bourse earlier said in a statement posted. After the resumption, Bank of Sharjah’s shares were trading at Dh0.999 per share on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. Bank of Sharjah’s 9-month 2018 profits grew 13 percent to Dh301 million, surpassing its 2017’s full-year profit of Dh265 million. Varouj Nerguizian, general manager, Bank of Sharjah, said during a recent interview that the lender is not engaged in any merger talks with any banks in the UAE but it is open for mergers. “We are not talking to any bank for merger. There is no talk with Invest Bank as well. But we are ready for [merger] opportunities. It is not a matter if we want to merge or don’t want to. There are situations that force opportunities upon you and you move to take advantage of that. Consolidation started in Abu Dhabi, then moved to Dubai and now it will move to Sharjah and other emirates,” said Nerguizian.

UAE central bank announces m1 increases by 1.3%

The UAE Central Bank has announced that the Money Supply aggregate M1 increased by 1.3 percent, from Dh479.5 billion at the end of November 2018 to Dh485.6 billion at the end of December 2018. The Money Supply aggregate M2 increased by 1.6 percent, from Dh1288.4 billion at the end of November 2018 to Dh1308.4 billion at the end of December 2018. Consequently, the Money Supply aggregate M3 also increased by 0.6 percent, from Dh1593.5 billion at the end of November 2018 to Dh1602.3 billion at the end of December 2018. The increase in M1 was mainly due to an increase of Dh6.2 billion in Monetary Deposits, overshadowing an Dh0.1 billion reduction in Currency in Circulation outside Banks. The rise in M2 was brought about by the increase in M1 and an Dh13.9 billion increase in Quasi-Monetary Deposits. M3 mainly rose due to increased M1 and M2, overriding an Dh11.2 billion decrease in Government Deposits.


UAE utility firm secures $400m investment deal

The UAE’s leading private utility, Utico, has signed an investment agreement with Majis Industrial Services, a Government of Oman owned entity with an investment deal valued at $400 million. Utico said the deal was arranged by Emirates NBD Capital, financial advisor to Utico. White & Case provided legal advisory support to Utico and Clyde & Co. to Majis Industrial Services (MIS). “The Majis’s investment is one more testament of trust from our investors in our unique business model, expertise and the tremendous growth potential of the company. It is also an endorsement of our contribution to the social and economic fabric of countries where we operate,” said Rashed Mehran Al Balooshi, Chairman of Utico. He said that investment also stood out for the fact that it strengthens economic cooperation between Oman and the UAE. “Investment by the Government of Oman through its sovereign funded entity in an Emarati utilities company also complements economic relations between the two countries,” Rashed added.

Emirates NBD hits record dh10 billion profits in 2018

Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank, on Wednesday said its net profit jumped 20 percent in 2018 to reach record Dh10-billion mark on the back of higher interest income and reduced provisions. The bank also achieved a milestone of assets reaching half a trillion dirham mark for the first time in its history. “2018 marked another successful year for Emirates NBD with strong income growth leading to a record high net profit. As the official banking partner for Expo 2020 Dubai, we are focused on ensuring that banking services at the exhibition are at the forefront of innovation… In light of the solid performance by the Bank, we are proposing a cash dividend at 40 fils per share,” said Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman, Emirates NBD. “We continued to expand the Bank’s international presence in 2018 by growing our branch network in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. We are confident that our prudent business model shall continue to deliver a solid performance and deal with the opportunities and challenges that will present themselves,” said Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, vice-chairman and managing director, Emirates NBD.

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