Apple expected to unveil new iPhone models on Sept 12

Apple said on Thursday it will host an event on Sept. 12 at the Steve Jobs Theater in the company’s Cupertino, California, campus, where it is widely expected to unveil new iPhone models. (AFP)
Updated 30 August 2018
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Apple expected to unveil new iPhone models on Sept 12

  • Analysts believe Apple plans to release three new smartphones this year, including one with a larger display than previous models
  • Analysts also expect Apple to release an iPhone with a edge-to-edge display similar to the iPhone X but using less-costly LCD screen technology

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple said on Thursday it will host an event on Sept. 12 at the Steve Jobs Theater in the company’s Cupertino, California, campus, where it is widely expected to unveil new iPhone models.
Analysts believe Apple plans to release three new smartphones this year, including one with a larger display than previous models. Analysts also expect Apple to release an iPhone with a edge-to-edge display similar to the iPhone X but using less-costly LCD screen technology.
Apple’s event invitation made heavy use of the color gold, fueling speculation on social media that the company plans to launch a gold-colored successor to the iPhone X, which was made available only in silver and gray last year.
Documents filed at the US Federal Communications Commission unsealed earlier this year showed Apple had sought approval for a gold version of its iPhone X, but it never released the color.
A few hours after Apple’s announcement, 9to5Mac, a technology news website, posted photographs of two gold iPhone models stacked on top each other, with a larger-screened model on the bottom. Both models resemble the current iPhone X.
The site said the new flagship model will be called the iPhone XS and that Apple also plans to release a new version of the Apple Watch with a larger display by reducing the edges around it.
9to5Mac told Reuters the photographs were not mockups and represented Apple’s actual planned products but declined to say how it had obtained them. Apple did not respond to requests for comment about the authenticity of the photos.
Apple shares were up 2.2 percent at an all-time high of $227.97.
Apple has for years released its new phone models in the second week of September, and often updates other product lines such as the Apple Watch at the event. The company has already given base-model iPads and some MacBook laptops an update this year.
Apple typically starts selling new iPhones a few weeks after launching them, in time for the holiday shopping season. The iPhone X, priced at $999 and up, has helped Apple beat Wall Street sales expectations.
Investor Warrant Buffett, speaking on Thursday to CNBC, said the iPhone is “enormously underpriced” even when it costs $1,000, given how indispensable it has become for so many people.


Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co. plans up to $1.07bn sukuk sale this year

Updated 23 April 2019
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Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co. plans up to $1.07bn sukuk sale this year

  • The plan by SRC, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign Public Investment Fund, comes as it prepares to purchase more home loan portfolios
  • SRC, formed in 2017, is also keen to tap foreign institutional investors for its debt sale this year

RIYADH: Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co. (SRC), modelled on US mortgage finance firm Fannie Mae, aims to issue up to 4 billion riyals ($1.07 billion) of long-term sukuk this year, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

The plan by SRC, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign Public Investment Fund, comes as it prepares to purchase more home loan portfolios from mortgage financing companies and banks to boost the Kingdom’s secondary mortgage market.

SRC, formed in 2017, is also keen to tap foreign institutional investors for its debt sale this year, Fabrice Susini told Reuters in an interview.

“Our strategy is clearly to tap the market twice this year,” he said. “We are really looking at probably issuing something between ... 2 and 4 billion riyal that we may be issuing in two tranches.

He said SRC was looking at sukuk in the 10 to 15-year range, to help minimize refinancing risks. “Generally speaking we are trying to issue as long as possible,” Susini said.

He said the company was assessing whether it could also issue bonds in currencies other than the local riyal.

In March, SRC completed a 750 million riyal sukuk issue with multiple tenors, under a program that allows it to issue up to 11 billion riyals of local currency denominated Islamic bonds.

“The rule of the game for us is, like many projects across the Kingdom, attract liquidity from foreign investors,” Susini said.

He said SRC had spent 1.2 billion riyals from its balance sheet buying mortgages from local mortgage financing companies and provided liquidity to these firms.

It has also signed initial accords with several commercial banks to acquire housing mortgage portfolios.

Saudi Arabia’s housing ministry is targeting the mortgage market to reach a total value of 502 billion riyals by 2020 from around 300 billion riyals now.

The government wants to increase activity in the real estate market as it moves to revitalize the economy and is taking steps to reform the sector as part of its 2030 reform plan.

It has been working with developers and local banks to counter a shortage of affordable housing — one of the country’s biggest social and economic problems. Saudi Arabia wants 60 percent of its nationals to own homes by 2020, up from 47 percent in 2016.

The size of real estate financing relative to its gross domestic product is 5 percent in Saudi Arabia compared to 69 percent in the United States, 74 percent in the United Kingdom and 43 pct in Canada, the housing ministry has said.

“The goal of SRC in this market was to make sure that we will be able to refinance at least around 10 percent of the market in 2020, and 20 percent of the market by 2028,” Susini told Reuters.