Dubai issues new financial center insolvency law after Abraaj collapse

Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) is the largest financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. (Courtesy of DIFC)
Updated 11 June 2019

Dubai issues new financial center insolvency law after Abraaj collapse

  • New procedures in line with global best practices introduced as a first for the region
  • The new Insolvency Law and Regulations will come into effect on Aug. 28, 2019

DUBAI: Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum issued a new insolvency law on Tuesday for companies operating in the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), the largest financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
The new law, due to come into effect in August, has been issued following the collapse of Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj, which had a DIFC-regulated entity Abraaj Capital.
The firm that had been the Middle East and North Africa’s biggest buyout fund unraveled after a row with some investors over the use of money in a $1 billion health care fund.
The new law introduces a “new debtor in possession bankruptcy regime” for debtors that have filed for bankruptcy but still hold assets, according to a statement on the Dubai’s ruler official website.
Abraaj, its founder Arif Naqvi and a former executive are being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on US charges that they defrauded investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) said in April it was in touch with the SEC and had been investigating Abraaj Capital Ltd, an entity of the collapsed firm, over a range of matters but has not specified what they are.


Huawei in early talks with US firms to license 5G platform: executive

Updated 19 October 2019

Huawei in early talks with US firms to license 5G platform: executive

  • Currently there are no US 5G providers and European rivals Ericsson and Nokia are generally more expensive
  • Huawei has spent billions to develop its 5G technology since 2009

WASHINGTON: Blacklisted Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei is in early-stage talks with some US telecoms companies about licensing its 5G network technology to them, a Huawei executive told Reuters on Friday.
Vincent Pang, senior vice president and board director at the company said some firms had expressed interest in both a long-term deal or a one-off transfer, declining to name or quantify the companies.
“There are some companies talking to us, but it would take a long journey to really finalize everything,” Pang explained on a visit to Washington this week. “They have shown interest,” he added, saying conversations are only a couple of weeks old and not at a detailed level yet.
The US government, fearing Huawei equipment could be used to spy on customers, has led a campaign to convince allies to bar it from their 5G networks. Huawei has repeatedly denied the claim.
Currently there are no US 5G providers and European rivals Ericsson and Nokia are generally more expensive.
In May, Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms equipment provider, was placed on a US blacklist over national security concerns, banning it from buying American-made parts without a special license.
Washington also has brought criminal charges against the company, alleging bank fraud, violations of US sanctions against Iran, and theft of trade secrets, which Huawei denies.
Rules that were due out from the Commerce Department earlier this month are expected to effectively ban the company from the US telecoms supply chain.
The idea of a one-off fee in exchange for access to Huawei’s 5G patents, licenses, code and know-how was first floated by CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei in interviews with the New York Times and the Economist last month. But it was not previously clear whether there was any interest from US companies.
In an interview with Reuters last month, a State Department official expressed skepticism of Ren’s offer.
“It’s just not realistic that carriers would take on this equipment and then manage all of the software and hardware themselves,” the person said. “If there are software bugs that are built in to the initial software, there would be no way to necessarily tell that those are there and they could be activated at any point, even if the software code is turned over to the mobile operators,” the official added.
For his part, Pang declined to predict whether any deal might be signed. However, he warned that the research and development investment required by continuously improving the platform after a single-transfer from Huawei would be very costly for the companies.
Huawei has spent billions to develop its 5G technology since 2009.