GULF STATES – ECONOMICS & FINANCE
Enoc opens three service stations in Sharjah
Enoc Group has recently opened three service stations in Sharjah, as part of its accelerated plans to expand its retail network by 30 stations across the emirate over the next two years.
Located in the densely populated areas of Al Nahda, Sharjah Industrial Area 3, and Al Yarmook, the service stations mark the group’s first three stations out of five scheduled for completion in 2019 to meet Sharjah residents demand for fuel and automotive services. The expansion of Enoc’s service station network in Sharjah is a critical component of the group’s long-term strategic objective to strengthen its retail presence across the UAE with 191 stations in the country by 2021.
Saif Humaid Al Falasi, group CEO, said: “As a national energy player, it is our mandate to build and establish the infrastructure required to provide an uninterrupted supply of fuel to all our customers across the UAE. Our expansion plans in Sharjah is an integral component of our strategy and is in line with our commitment to offer the communities we serve convenient access to fuel as well as automotive and retail services.”
Dubai chamber expands China presence with new location
The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has announced its expansion in China, with the opening of a new location in Shenzhen that will be tasked with exploring business potential in the emerging in the fast-growing technology and innovation hub, and attracting innovative Chinese companies to Dubai.
The Chamber’s team in Shenzhen will identify business opportunities in the city’s high-technology, hardware manufacturing, IT, finance, trade, tourism, maritime and logistics sectors, as well as prospects for Dubai Chamber members and UAE companies to benefit from China’s development plans. China is currently Dubai’s top trading partner and bilateral non-oil trade has increased by 36 percent between 2011 and 2018 to exceed Dh139 billion last year.
The announcement came during a high-level delegation visit to Shenzhen which was led by Hamad Buamim, president & CEO of Dubai Chamber; and joined by Hassan Al Hashemi, vice president of International Relations, Dubai Chamber; Omar Khan, director of International Offices, Dubai Chamber; and Daniel Sellers, head of the Dubai Chamber International Office in Shanghai, China. During the visit, the Dubai Chamber delegation met with key stakeholders from the public and private sectors in Shenzhen and discussed potential cooperation to introduce Chinese solutions in the Dubai market related to cloud services, digitisation and drone technology.
Salaries in UAE likely to rise by 4.5pc in 2020
Salaries in the UAE are likely to rise 4.5 percent in 2020 with the highest increase expected in the life sciences industries at 4.6 percent, according global consulting firm Mercer’s remuneration survey released on Wednesday.
While forecasts vary across specific industries, the survey results revealed that the strongest push is likely to come from the life sciences and high-tech industries.
The energy industry continues to see some of the lowest increase in salaries with a projected 3.7 percent increase in 2020, compared to a 3.6 percent increase in 2019.
Notably, companies are providing higher increases to executives and managers than they are to other employee levels, signalling increased attention to leadership skills, Mercer said.
“It is very encouraging to see that a large segment of UAE employers are looking to increase salaries in 2020. This is a reflection of a resilient and optimistic economy. The UAE is constantly looking at new approaches to progress and develop the workforce further. In addition to annual increases in base salary, UAE companies are also making progress in regards to long-term incentives,” said Ted Raffoul, Career Products Leader, Mena at Mercer.
Vietnam-UAE trade and investment forum kicks off in Hanoi
The Vietnam-UAE Trade and Investment Forum kicked off in Hanoi in the presence of Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, and Tran Tuan Anh, Minister of Trade and Industry of Vietnam.
Over 150 officials, people in business and investors from both countries are taking part in the forum to discuss prospects of economic cooperation, and expand partnership frameworks across various trade and investment sectors of interest.
In a speech at the forum, Al Mansouri said that the UAE and Vietnam enjoy “strong and prosperous” bilateral relations. He pointed out that the UAE is the topmost trading partner of Vietnam in the Middle East and North Africa and serves as an excellent gateway for the trade of Vietnamese goods and products with the region.
The UAE is also an attractive destination for Vietnamese companies looking to expand trade and investment in the region’s markets, Al Mansouri explained, adding that the strength of cooperation is well-reflected in the figures and indicators of trade between the two countries.
Al Masraf signs MoU with Fazaa
The Arab Bank for Investment & Foreign Trade (Al Masraf) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Social Solidarity Fund for the Employees of the Ministry of Interior, as part of the ongoing efforts to enhance coordination and cooperation between the two parties.
Under the MoU, Al Masraf employees will have easier access to the services offered to ‘Fazaa Programme’ membership card holders, which cover a wide range of services and basic needs. The agreement was signed by Ahmed Alrefaei, COO at Al Masraf, and Major Nayef Al Shamsi, CEO of the Fazaa Programme.
Alrefaei said: “It is our pleasure to work with the Social Solidarity Fund for the Employees of the Ministry of Interior to secure the membership of Al Masraf employees in the Fazaa Programme and give them access to the many services and benefits it provides. The signature of the MoU comes as part of our initiative to ensure the happiness of our employees. It is a new step in the journey of Al Masraf towards implementing the best practices with regard to the wellbeing and quality of life of its employees, instilling a culture of happiness and spreading positivity in the workplace. This constitutes a major priority for us, and it is a primary indicator of the success of our business model. Fazaa Programme is a model for social partnership, which provides a wide range of discounts and facilities offered by the Programme’s partners from various economic sectors.”
Air Arabia Abu Dhabi: Etihad, Air Arabia launch new low-cost airline in UAE
A new UAE budget carrier has been launched by Sharjah’s Air Arabia and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Aviation Group, further increasing the competition in the aviation sector as well as giving UAE residents an additional economical option to choose from.
The new carrier – called Air Arabia Abu Dhabi – is the fifth airline to operate from the UAE after Emirates, Etihad, flydubai and Air Arabia, serving 9.5 million residents. Based out of Abu Dhabi International Airport, the new carrier will target the low-cost travel market segment in the Middle East region and complement Etihad Airways, source said on Wednesday.
Etihad and Air Arabia currently operate a combined fleet of 162 aircraft, including 109 by the former and 53 by the latter. Air Arabia flies to 170 destinations across 50 countries through its Sharjah, Morocco and Egypt hubs while Etihad flies to 80 destinations.
Aldar investment’s $500m Sukuk attracts strong investor demand
Aldar Investment Properties, a 100 percent owned subsidiary of Aldar Properties, has announced the successful placement of fixed rate US dollar-denominated sukuk with a tenor of 10 years for a nominal amount of $500 million.
The sukuk carries a coupon rate of 3.875 percent, the lowest rate ever achieved by Aldar, following strong investor demand. The transaction, which marked the first 10-year public Sukuk offering by an Abu Dhabi-based issuer, was over six times oversubscribed, with global investors accounting for 71 percent of the total transaction allocation. Aldar Investments owns and manages a Dh20 billion diversified portfolio of high-quality income-generating residential, retail, commercial and hospitality assets.
Talal Al Dhiyebi, CEO of Aldar, said: “The success of the transaction represents a strong endorsement by the global investment community of the Abu Dhabi economy and of Aldar’s leading position in the regional real estate sector. This landmark deal further strengthens our balance sheet, and is testament to Aldar Investments’ status as one of the most efficient platforms for property ownership in the region.”
UAE minister of economy holds meeting with Vietnamese
Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the UAE Minister of Economy, held a bilateral meeting with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister, Trinh Dinh Dung, in Hanoi during the UAE delegation’s visit to Vietnam to attend the UAE-Vietnam Trade and Investment Week in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.
The meeting was held in the presence of Obaid Saeed Obaid Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to Vietnam; Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade Affairs; Jamal Al Jarwan, secretary general of the Emirates Council for Investors Abroad.
During the meeting, Al Mansouri highlighted the robust and growing relations between the UAE and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam that pave the way to elevate the economic cooperation between both countries to higher levels at a rapid and sustainable pace. He pointed out that Vietnam is a strategic partner of the UAE and a vital Southeast Asian trade hub. It is also the UAE’s largest Asean trading partner, recording a total non-oil intra-trade worth more than $8.2 billion in 2018.
Texol Lubritech opens manufacturing unit
India-based, Texol Lubritech, has officially inaugurated its first overseas manufacturing unit in the Hamriyah Free Zone, Sharjah, making its first expansion move outside of India.
The $12 million manufacturing unit was opened by Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, director of Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA) in the presence of Ramesh Parekh, chairman of the group; Simon Philip, vice chairman and CEO of the company; and several senior officials. The 215,278sqf plant is the third facility for Gandhar Oil Refinery India, to be opened with two other manufacturing plants already in operation in India.
The automated plant manufactures a complete range of white oils, LLP, HLP, transformer oils, rubber processing oils, industrial and automotive lubricants to cater the ever-increasing demand of cosmetic, pharma, transformers rubber, steel, automobile and other various type of industries. The capacity of the plant is 100,000 MT/annum.