Careem insists business as usual in Egypt despite legal row

Careem said it had full confidence in Egypt’s judicial system following a legal move to halt the operations of the company alongside rival Uber. (Reuters)
Updated 21 March 2018
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Careem insists business as usual in Egypt despite legal row

LONDON: Careem said it had full confidence in Egypt’s judicial system following a legal move to halt the operations of the company alongside rival Uber.
The pair are the focus of protests by Egyptian taxi drivers who say that their drivers are not required to pay fees to operate transportation services.
An Egyptian court this week accepted a petition that demanded the government stop licensing Uber and Careem activities in Egypt, including their online applications, state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported.
The lawyer representing taxi drivers, Khaled Al-Gamal, told AFP that the ruling would have to be implemented by the government even if Uber and UAE-based Careem appeal.
“They have to stop operations and block their mobile applications on the Internet,” he told AFP.
But both companies said their operations have not been officially suspended.
“We have full confidence in the Egyptian judicial system and should any verdict be reached against the ride-hailing industry, we will follow the requisite judicial procedures available under Egyptian Law,” said Careem in a statement to Arab News. “For now, we will continue as business as usual.”


UAE’s Network International shrugs off Brexit to list shares in London

Updated 21 March 2019
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UAE’s Network International shrugs off Brexit to list shares in London

  • The planned share sale comes at an uncertain time in the UK
  • The company, which operates hospitals in the Middle East, was said to be also considering listing in the US or Singapore

DUBAI: Network International, the UAE payments processor, has committed to a London IPO next month in what would be the UK’s first big share sale of the year.
The company intends to have a free float of at least 25 percent and admission to the London Stock Exchange is expected to take place in April, Network International said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.
The planned share sale comes at an uncertain time in the UK where there is still no clarity around whether Britain will leave the EU or not at the end of the month.
VPS Healthcare, the Abu Dhabi-based hospital operator, is reconsidering plans to list in London due to uncertainty surrounding Brexit, Bloomberg reported on Thursday citing a person familiar with the matter.
The company, which operates hospitals in the Middle East, was said to be also considering listing in the US or Singapore.
Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest bank, owns 51 percent of Network International while Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic jointly own the rest.
The share sale will be a key test of investor demand for new listings in London after a subdued 2018 across most European markets.
“Volatility has continued in recent months, driven by the uncertainty around trade between the US and China, the wider geopolitical climate and the potential end of the current bull run,” said Peter Whelan, partner and UK IPO Lead at PwC in a recent report.
“We are seeing a healthy number of companies preparing for an IPO in 2019 despite the ongoing Brexit negotiations which have clearly impacted IPO activity on the London market.”
The payment processor reported earnings of $298 million last year according to its website, up from $262 million a year earlier. It does not disclose net income figures.
The company handles digital payments across the Middle East, which generate three quarters of its total earnings.
Last year it processed some $40 billion in payments for more than 65,000 merchants.
Its key markets in the region include the UAE and Jordan it says that Saudi Arabia offers “significant opportunities.” It also offers services in 40 African countries with Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa being its most important segments on the continent.