Uber in talks with Dubai’s Careem to merge in Middle East — report

Uber has said that it would need to own more than half of the combined company, if not buy Careem outright, according to the Bloomberg report. (Reuters)
Updated 04 July 2018
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Uber in talks with Dubai’s Careem to merge in Middle East — report

BENGALURU: Uber Technologies is in preliminary talks with rival Careem to combine their Middle Eastern ride-hailing services, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing three people familiar with the matter.
The companies have discussed several potential deal structures and under one of them, Careem’s current leaders would manage the new combined business while retaining one or both of the companies' local brands, and another proposal would be Uber acquiring the Middle East ride-hailing app, the report added.
In discussions with Careem, Uber has said that it would need to own more than half of the combined company, if not buy Careem outright, according to the report.
Careem did not confirm or deny the report when contacted by Reuters.
“Our ambition is to build a lasting institution for the region and that means focusing on growth into new markets and doubling down on our existing cities to open our platform up to new products and services. We are only getting started,” said Careem spokeswoman Maha Abouelenein.
Uber did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


World’s biggest sovereign fund worried about trade wars

Updated 51 min 7 sec ago
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World’s biggest sovereign fund worried about trade wars

  • The fund posted a positive return of 1.8 percent, or 167 billion kroner ($19.8 billion), in the second quarter
  • Markets are worried about a trade dispute between the United States and China

OSLO: The managers of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, expressed concern Tuesday about global trade tensions, which could heavily impact its value.
The fund posted a positive return of 1.8 percent, or 167 billion kroner ($19.8 billion), in the second quarter, helping erase a loss of 171 billion kroner in January-March that was attributed to a volatile stock market.
The Government Pension Fund Global, which saw its total value swell to 8.33 trillion kroner by the end of June, manages the country’s oil revenues in order to finance Norway’s generous welfare state when its oil and gas wells run dry.
But Norway’s central bank, which runs the fund, said geopolitical and trade tensions presented a risk.
“It’s fair to say that increased trade barriers or even trade wars will not be beneficial for the fund as a long-term global investor,” Trond Grande, the deputy chief of Norges Bank Investment Management, told reporters.
Markets are worried about a trade dispute between the United States and China. Accusing Beijing of unfair competition, the US administration is considering slapping a new round of levies worth $200 billion on Chinese goods.
Talks between the two slated for Wednesday and Thursday aimed at resolving the dispute have however eased concerns somewhat.
Following US-Turkey tensions that sent the Turkish lira and the Istanbul stock market tumbling, the Norwegian fund said its assets there were worth less than the 23 billion kroner they were at the beginning of the year.
“We’ve seen the market rise for a long time, that there are different political and geopolitical events in the world that can affect the market, and we have to be prepared for the fact that (the value of) the fund can go down a lot,” Grande concluded.
The fund’s strong second quarter was attributed primarily to its share portfolio, which accounts for 66.8 percent of its investments and which rose by 2.7 percent.
Real estate holdings, which account for 2.6 percent of its holdings, rose by 1.9 percent, while bond investments, which represent 30.6 percent, remained flat.
Faced with falling oil revenues in recent years, the Norwegian government has been tapping the fund to finance public spending since 2015. But with oil prices recovering, the fund registered its first inflow in three years in June.