China, UAE strike 13 landmark deals

China, UAE strike 13 landmark deals
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan welcomes President Xi Jinping to Abu Dhabi. (AFP)
Updated 20 July 2018

China, UAE strike 13 landmark deals

China, UAE strike 13 landmark deals
  • Among the projects agreed in the memorandums of understanding are the building of embassies and cultural centers
  • China also won approval to open the first Chinese state-owned financial services firm in Abu Dhabi’s AGDM financial center

LONDON: The UAE and China have signed 13 wide-ranging agreements to advance trade and commercial ties between the two countries.

Among the projects agreed in the memorandums of understanding are building embassies and cultural centers, increasing cooperation in the energy, agriculture and e-commerce sectors, building a wholesale market for livestock, fisheries and farm produce and investing in the world’s largest solar energy project.

China also won approval for the first Chinese state-owned financial services firm to be opened in Abu Dhabi’s AGDM financial center, according to the UAE state news agency WAM.

The agreements were ratified during the visit of President Xi Jinping, the first president of China to visit the UAE is 29 years. The top-level visit, in which he had talks with Mohammed bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, vice president of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, is a clear indication of the importance China attaches to relations between the two countries.

China is the UAE’s second largest trading partner. About 60 percent of China’s exports to the Middle East enter the region via the UAE, which itself accounts for about 25 percent of China’s trade with all the Arab world.

The UAE is also close to the route of China’s Belt and Road initiative. The multibillion-dollar project aims to revive the ancient Silk Road and develop an equivalent sea route linking China to markets in west Asia and Europe.


More than a million Chinese visited the UAE in 2017 and trade reached nearly $54.5 billion that year. On Thursday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid tweeted that the UAE aims to double both of those numbers.
“We have many areas of political and economic agreements and a solid base of projects in the energy, technology and infrastructure sectors. More importantly (we have) a strong political will to start a greater phase of cooperators ad integrations,” the ruler of Dubai wrote on Twitter.

“Today, we have exemplary relations with China and a Chinese leadership that sees the UAE as main strategic partner in the region.”

President Xi arrived in Abu Dhabi on Thursday for a three-day visit. On the same day, the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) announced the awarding of two contracts worth $1.6 billion to BGP Inc., a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Company, to conduct a seismic survey, searching for oil and gas sites both offshore and on an area covering some 53,000 square kilometers.

Dubai-based property developer Emaar meanwhile announced plans to build the largest Chinatown in the Middle East in the UAE.

After his three days in the UAE, President Xi will go on to Senegal, Rwanda and South Africa.

FASTFACTS

UAE-CHINA AGREEMENTS - Two MoUs for the construction of embassies and cultural centres - Agreement to advance energy cooperation - Two MoUs to enhance e-commerce ties - Two MoUs to enhance agriculture sector - Two MoUs connected to the Silk Road Initiative - Agreement between ADNOC and China National Petroleum Company - Agreement on customs issues - Framework agreement between the Abu Dhabi Global Market and the Chinese-UAE Pilot Zone - A partnership and investment agreement in the world's largest solar energy project


Israel and Greece sign record defense deal

Israel and Greece sign record defense deal
Updated 54 min 49 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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