Saudi-based IDB plans infrastructure funds for Africa and Asia

Above, the Jeddah headquarters of Islamic Development Bank. (Reuters)
Updated 11 October 2018
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Saudi-based IDB plans infrastructure funds for Africa and Asia

  • The new funds would help close a deficit in investments for projects across Africa and Asia
  • In Africa, there is an annual public gap in infrastructure investments that exceeds $87 billion

NUSA DUA, Indonesia: The Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) plans to launch two funds focused on Africa and Asia next year, aiming to raise a combined $1 billion to help fill a gap in infrastructure investment among its member countries.
The plans from the IDB, the largest development organization in the Muslim world, follow the launch of a $500 million technology-focused fund in April of this year.
The new funds would help close a deficit in investments for projects such as transportation, energy and sanitation across the two regions, said Mohamed Nouri Jouini, vice president of partnership development.
“This is a new policy of the IDB in terms of putting a focus on thematic areas, whether its infrastructure, science and technology or other areas.”
The IDB estimates that in Africa, where more than half of its member countries are located, there is an annual public gap in infrastructure investments that exceeds $87 billion.
The bank is currently in discussions to attract financial contributions to the new funds and also for selecting external managers, Jouini said on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group.
Most of the IDB’s funds have been managed internally, including its two flagship infrastructure funds, but the bank is aiming to attract external managers to help improve governance.


American Airlines ‘unaware’ of some Boeing 737 MAX functions until last week

Updated 35 min 57 sec ago
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American Airlines ‘unaware’ of some Boeing 737 MAX functions until last week

  • The FAA and Boeing are evaluating the need for software or design changes to 737 MAX jets
  • ‘Safety remains our top priority and is a core value for everyone at Boeing’

WASHINGTON: American Airlines Group Inc. said on Wednesday it was “unaware” of some functions of an anti-stall system on Boeing Co’s 737 MAX until last week.
Boeing and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued guidance on the system last week after a Lion Air jet crashed in Indonesia on Oct. 29, killing all 189 people on board.
The FAA warned airlines last week that erroneous inputs from the system’s sensors could lead the jet to automatically pitch its nose down even when autopilot is turned off, making it difficult for pilots to control.
The system was designed to prevent the jet from stalling, according to information provided by Boeing to airlines.
“We value our partnership with Boeing, but were unaware of some of the functionality of the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) installed on the MAX 8,” an American Airlines spokesman said.
“We must ensure that our pilots are fully trained on procedures and understand key systems on the aircraft they fly.”
Indonesian investigators said on Monday the situation the crew of a doomed Lion Air jet was believed to have faced was not contained in the aircraft’s flight manual. US pilot unions were also not aware of potential risks, pilot unions said.
The FAA and Boeing are evaluating the need for software or design changes to 737 MAX jets in the wake of the Lion Air crash, the regulator said on Tuesday.
The American Airlines spokesman said his airline was continuing to work with Boeing and the FAA and would keep pilots informed of any updates.
A Boeing spokeswoman said the manufacturer could not discuss specifics of an ongoing investigation but it had provided two updates for operators around the world that re-emphasize existing procedures to deal with situations relating to MCAS.
“We are confident in the safety of the 737 MAX,” she said. “Safety remains our top priority and is a core value for everyone at Boeing.”