UAE’s RAKIA to appeal case brought by Farhad Azima over alleged hack

UAE’s RAKIA to appeal case brought by Farhad Azima over alleged hack
The Ras Al-Khaimah Investment Authority has denied claims it hacked the emails of Farhad Azima. (Shutterstock)
Updated 03 June 2018

UAE’s RAKIA to appeal case brought by Farhad Azima over alleged hack

UAE’s RAKIA to appeal case brought by Farhad Azima over alleged hack
  • Investment Authority to challenge US decision to hear hacking claims
  • RAKIA says allegations from Farhad Azima are "complete fiction."

LONDON: A UAE investment agency plans to appeal a US court decision to hear computer hacking claims brought against it by Iranian-American businessman Farhad Azima.
The Ras Al-Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA), the investment arm of the emirate in the north of the country, told Arab News it would appeal a lawsuit brought by Azima in the Washington federal court, which accused the UAE fund of hacking his computer and posting the files on the Internet.
“Mr. Azima falsely claimed, in an obvious distraction tactic (from UK proceedings against him), that RAKIA or its agents hacked his computers and put his information on the Internet,” RAKIA said in a statement to Arab News.
It is the latest development in a web of lawsuits that have arisen from the efforts by the investment agency to recoup billions of dollars it claims were misappropriated in several deals involving former RAKIA CEO Khater Massaad and his associates.
“The Government of Ras Al-Khaimah believes that the decision by a US district court to assume jurisdiction over the frivolous lawsuit brought by Farhad Azima against the Ras Al-Khaimah Investment Authority is erroneous, and (it) has appealed the decision,” RAKIA said.
The US case follows an action brought by RAKIA in London against Azima that alleges he secured secret payments during the planned sale of a Sheraton hotel in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.
RAKIA had tried to get the claim thrown out of court in the US earlier this year, but its motion to dismiss was rejected by US District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on March 30.
Now it plans to appeal the decision.
“Mr. Azima’s claim in the US case that the Ras Al-Khaimah Investment Authority or its agents hacked his computers and put his information on the Internet is a complete fiction,” RAKIA said in its statement.
“To the extent that the US courts continue to exercise jurisdiction over Mr. Azima’s claims, the Ras Al-Khaimah Investment Authority looks forward to clearing its name there.”
The case brought by RAKIA in London against Azima relates to two deals — including the aborted sale of the Sheraton Metechi Palace Hotel in Tbilisi from the agency’s Georgian unit to a company owned by Houshang Hosseinpour, another Iranian businessman.
RAKIA alleges that Azima took what it describes as a “secret commission” on the planned sale.
The UAE investment agency also claims that Azima paid the then CEO of RAKIA Georgia, Khater Massaad, a fee of $500,000 to help steer the deal through.
But Azima in turn alleges that a lawyer acting on behalf of RAKIA had warned that the businessman risked becoming “collateral damage” if he did not assist the agency in its pursuit of Massaad.
Farhad Azima was not immediately available for comment.


Israel and Greece sign record defense deal

Israel and Greece sign record defense deal
Updated 50 min 28 sec ago

Israel and Greece sign record defense deal

Israel and Greece sign record defense deal
  • The agreement includes a $1.65 billion contract for the establishment and operation of a training center for the Hellenic Air Force

JERUSALEM: Israel and Greece have signed their biggest ever defense procurement deal, which Israel said on Sunday would strengthen political and economic ties between the countries.
The agreement includes a $1.65 billion contract for the establishment and operation of a training center for the Hellenic Air Force by Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems over a 22-year period, Israel’s defense ministry said.
The training center will be modeled on Israel’s own flight academy and will be equipped with 10 M-346 training aircraft produced by Italian company Leonardo, the ministry said.
Elbit will supply kits to upgrade and operate Greece’s T-6 aircraft and also provide training, simulators and logistical support.
“I am certain that (this program) will upgrade the capabilities and strengthen the economies of Israel and Greece and thus the partnership between our two countries will deepen on the defense, economic and political levels,” said Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz.
The announcement follows a meeting in Cyprus on Friday between the UAE, Greek, Cypriot and Israeli foreign ministers, who agreed to deepen cooperation between their countries.


Dubai Islamic Bank sees no impact from NMC law suit

Dubai Islamic Bank sees no impact from NMC law suit
Updated 18 April 2021

Dubai Islamic Bank sees no impact from NMC law suit

Dubai Islamic Bank sees no impact from NMC law suit
  • Last week it emerged that NMC was suing a Dubai bank in the Abu Dhabi courts in a dispute that could complicate the company’s multi-billion-dollar debt restructuring

DUBAI: Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) said on Sunday it does not expect any “negative impact” from a case against it brought by the administrators of hospital operator NMC Group.
It made the disclosure in a letter to the Dubai Financial Market posted on the website of the bourse.
Last week it emerged that NMC was suing a Dubai bank in the Abu Dhabi courts in a dispute that could complicate the company’s multi-billion-dollar debt restructuring and potentially delay payouts to creditors, Reuters reported.
It was the latest twist in the tale of the UAE ‘s biggest hospital group which last year disclosed more than $4 billion in hidden debt. Its UAE operations were placed into administration and creditor claims are understood to now exceed $6.4 billion.
“It is a matter of public record that an application has been filed by the administrators of the NMC Group in the Abu Dhabi Global Markets Court, in which Dubai Islamic Bank and 12 insurance companies and third party service providers are respondents,” DIB CEO Hassan Al-Serkal said in the statement to the Dubai financial Market, where it’s shares are listed. “DIB does not anticipate any material negative impact arising from this application. As this is an ongoing legal matter, we can comment further at this time.”


Pandemic and property prices weigh on UAE banks says S&P

Pandemic and property prices weigh on UAE banks says S&P
Updated 18 April 2021

Pandemic and property prices weigh on UAE banks says S&P

Pandemic and property prices weigh on UAE banks says S&P
  • Residential real estate prices have declined more than 40 percent since the peak in the second-quarter 2014
  • The credit ratings agency expects prices to remain under pressure in 2021

DUBAI: The COVID-19 pandemic, lower oil prices, and continued pressure on the real estate sector have increased risks for UAE banks, S&P Global Ratings said in a report on Sunday.
It expects the sector’s problem loans to increase further once current regulatory forbearance measures are lifted and banks start to account for the impact of the economic shock. However the process is expected to be gradual, minimizing the overall impact.
After the pandemic started, the UAE Central Bank (CBUAE) implemented a Targeted Economic Support Scheme (TESS), which helped ease the pressure on corporate issuers and small and mid-size enterprises, S&P said. But it did not reduce credit risk on the banking system’s balance sheet.
“The UAE has a wealthy economy with strong fiscal and external positions. The strength of the government’s net asset position has helped counteract the negative impact of lower oil prices on economic growth since late 2015,” S&P said in the report authored by credit analysts Puneet Tuli and Mohamed Damak.
It said that the pandemic has presented a new challenge to the economy and real estate sector.
S&P estimates the banking system’s total exposure to the real estate and construction sectors stood at 28 percent as of year-end 2020, assuming that one-third of personal loans for consumption purposes are channeled to real estate.
Residential real estate prices have declined more than 40 percent since the peak in the second-quarter 2014.
The credit ratings agency expects prices to remain under pressure in 2021.
Another 20 percent of the banking sector’s total lending covered sectors such as trade, transport,storage, communication, and personal loans for business purposes at year-end 2020.
A portion of these loans are at risk, which in addition to stress in real estate may lead to increased credit losses for UAE banks, it said.

 


Dubai Customs transactions reach 5 million in Q1

Dubai Customs transactions reach 5 million in Q1
Updated 18 April 2021

Dubai Customs transactions reach 5 million in Q1

Dubai Customs transactions reach 5 million in Q1
  • This high traffic “reflects the sustainability and resilience of Dubai and UAE’s economy”

DUBAI: Dubai Customs completed five million transactions in the first quarter of this year – up by 20 percent from the same period in 2020.
Customs declarations grew 24 percent over the period, with 50,000 average daily declarations.
The agency also recorded 238,400 payment requests, 141,800 certificate and report requests, 76,700 inspection service requests, and 59,600 business registration service requests, it said in a statement.
This high traffic “reflects the sustainability and resilience of Dubai and UAE’s economy,” Abdullah Mohammed Al-Khaja, executive director of the agency’s client management division, said.“We will target new international markets and attract more foreign investments to achieve Dubai vision of raising trade to $2 trillion in the next five years,” he added.

 


Saudi Arabia’s EIC buys assets from bust Belgian power firm

Saudi Arabia’s EIC buys assets from bust Belgian power firm
Updated 18 April 2021

Saudi Arabia’s EIC buys assets from bust Belgian power firm

Saudi Arabia’s EIC buys assets from bust Belgian power firm
  • The assets include machinery, equipment, inventory and software for designing transformers and mobile substations

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia's Electrical Industries Company has agreed to buy some assets of CG Power Belgium from its liquidator for about €5 million.
The assets include machinery, equipment, inventory and software for designing transformers and mobile substations, the Dammam-based company said in a stock exchange filing on Sunday.
It also revealed it was in the final process of establishing a unit in Belgium to hold the newly acquired assets.

Electrical Industries Company (EIC) is a holding company that provides electrical products and services in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.

It owns Saudi Transformers Co, popularly known as STC and Wahah Electric Supply Company of Saudi Arabia, also known as WESCOSA.

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