Boom for women in business in UAE, but few reach company boards

Women are still underrepresented in company boards, according to a report of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry. (Shutterstock image)
Updated 10 February 2019

Boom for women in business in UAE, but few reach company boards

  • Emirati businesswoman now hold a combined 28,000 commercial licenses with investments of 30 billion dirhams ($8.2 billion)
  • UAE is now the regional hub for for more than 24 percent of the world’s 500 largest companies

LONDON: The number of registered businesswomen in the UAE grew by about 20 percent last year, although females are still underrepresented on company boards, according to statistics quoted by the state news agency (WAM).

A report by the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry, quoted by WAM, found that the number of businesswomen registered with the chambers increased to more than 25,000 in 2018 compared with 21,000 in 2017.

More than 50,000 trade licenses were issued to women entrepreneurs last year, with Emirati businesswoman now holding a combined 28,000 commercial licenses with investments of 30 billion dirhams ($8.2 billion), the report found. 

Yet the proportion of women who are acting as chairs of the board in private sector companies in 2018 stood at just 4 percent — compared to 2 percent in 2013 — and the number of female board members stood at between 9 and 14 percent.

Hamid Mohammed bin Salem, secretary-general of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry, also informed  WAM that the UAE is now the regional hub for for more than 24 percent of the world’s 500 largest companies.

 

 

 


China central bank to maintain prudent policy to prevent inflation from spreading

Updated 4 min 39 sec ago

China central bank to maintain prudent policy to prevent inflation from spreading

BEIJING: China’s central bank said on Saturday it will maintain prudent monetary policy to prevent inflation from spreading.

In its third quarter monetary policy report, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) also said it was studying plans to switch the benchmark rate for existing loans to the new loan prime rate (LPR).

China’s economic growth for the third quarter tumbled to its slowest pace in nearly three decades, under pressure from slowing global demand and the ongoing trade war between China and the US.

At the same time, China’s consumer inflation has quickened to a near eight-year high of 3.8 percent, driven in part by soaring pork prices as a result of an outbreak of African Swine Fever in the country, posing a dilemma for the central bank.

“The PBoC is increasingly concerned about rising CPI inflation and inflation expectations,” economists at Nomura said in a note, saying those risks may incline policymakers to lower profile-easing measures in the near term.

The PBoC had unexpectedly made a 200 billion yuan ($28.60 billion) liquidity injection earlier in the day.

Despite the higher inflation rates the central bank is expected to lower the LPR next Wednesday, for the third time since it was introduced in August.

The introduction of the LPR — a lending benchmark for new bank loans to households and businesses — is part of a broader packet of reforms the central bank is exploring to reduce corporate borrowing costs in the world’s second-largest economy.

In Saturday’s report, the PBoC reiterated that it would continue to significantly lower real interest rates through reforms.

It said the weighted average lending rate fell 4 basis points in the third quarter to 5.62 percent.

China's central bank also said that it would strengthen counter-cyclical adjustments in light of the rising downward pressure on the economy.