Yemen C.Bank takes steps to ease pressure on citizens amid currency crisis

Yemeni youths flash the "v for victory" sign in Crater, on September 6, 2018, as protesters demonstrate against inflation and the rise of living costs. (AFP)
Updated 11 September 2018
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Yemen C.Bank takes steps to ease pressure on citizens amid currency crisis

  • The governor explained that the $62 million from the Saudi deposit
  • The Yemeni rial has lost more than half its value against the US dollar since the start of the war

ADEN: The Governor of the Central Bank of Yemen, Dr. Mohammed Mansour Zammam, said on Monday that a number of steps have been taken to ease pressure on currency markets and provide basic commodities to citizens at appropriate prices in different governorates.

“The Saudi minister of finance approved 23 applications valued at over $62 million made by Yemeni commercial banks,” Zammam said in a statement issued by the Central Bank.

The governor explained that the $62 million from the Saudi deposit. Saudi Arabia signed an agreement in March to deposit $2 billion into the account of Yemen’s central bank, under the instruction of King Salman.

Zammam said that funds and basic commodities were provided to Yemeni commercial banks for amounts of less than $200,000 as well as direct funding from the Central Bank in coordination with the government and the Economic Committee.

The Central Bank has also taken executive measures to commission Yemeni commercial banks to sell $2000 to citizens leaving Aden or Seiyun. Commercial banks will be compensated for such amounts by the Central Bank upon receipt of claims and currencies.

The statement stated that facing the economic crisis requires a combination of all governmental and societal efforts and assured that no institution, ministry or entity will face the dangers of economic collapse.

The Yemeni rial has lost more than half its value against the US dollar since the start of the war in 2015 between the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, based in the south the Iran-aligned Houthi movement that controls the north including the capital, Sanaa.


Philippines’ richest man Henry Sy dead at 94

Updated 19 January 2019
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Philippines’ richest man Henry Sy dead at 94

  • Henry Sy had a net worth of $19 billion as of Friday, according to Forbes.com
  • Sy helped create mall culture in the Philippines

MANILA: The Philippines’ wealthiest man Henry Sy, who rose from being a penniless Chinese immigrant to leading a multi-billion dollar business empire, died on Saturday, his conglomerate has announced.
The 94-year-old, from the Chinese city of Xiamen, made his fortune with a Philippine shopping center conglomerate that has put up some of the largest malls in the world.
However his holdings also included banks, hotels and real estate in the Philippines, as well as shopping centers in China.
He had a net worth of $19 billion as of Friday, according to Forbes.com.
Forbes said he was the 52nd richest person in the world last year, beating out bold name tycoons like Elon Musk, Rupert Murdoch and George Soros.
“Henry Sy ... passed away peacefully in his sleep early Saturday morning. There are no further details at the moment,” his SM group said in a statement.
Sy put up his first shoe store in downtown Manila in 1956, a business which later grew into a diversified empire.
He stepped down as chairman of his holding firm in 2017, assuming the title of “chairman emeritus” and leaving trusted allies as well as his children in charge of his empire.
It was a long journey for a man who came to the Philippines as a boy to work in his immigrant father’s variety store.
“Our store was so small it had no back or second floor, we just slept on the counter late at night after the store was closed,” he told the Philippine Star newspaper in 2006.
After their shop was destroyed during World War II, Sy’s father returned to China but Henry chose to stay in the Philippines.
He got a commerce degree from a Manila university and started selling shoes in a shop which would later grow into a chain named “ShoeMart.”
By 1972, his shops had branched out into selling all manner of goods, prompting the name to be changed to SM Department Store.
But it was in 1985 that Sy made history when he opened his first “Supermall” in Manila.
Spanning over 424,000 square meters (4.6 million square feet), the mall included dozens of stores, numerous cinemas, restaurants, banks and other attractions that made it a one-stop shop for millions of Filipinos.
This was just the start, as more of Sy’s mammoth malls popped up across the country, some even containing ice skating rinks, a rarity in the tropical country.
Sy helped create mall culture in the Philippines, where steamy temperatures and the regular threat of torrential downpours can make outdoor shopping uncomfortable.
Sy’s holding company, SM Investments Corp. opened its first mall in China in 2001 and has been expanding there as well.
By 2018, SM said it had 70 malls in the Philippines and seven in China as well as six hotels and eight office buildings.
Sy’s empire has earned its share of criticism from labor groups, who say it uses thousands of contractual hires to avoid paying higher wages and benefits that permanent workers are entitled to.
SM officials have insisted that they do not engage in so-called “contractualization,” but say they hire “seasonal” workers for peak periods like Christmas, back-to-school and even weekends.