DIB sells first sukuk in emirate since virus outbreak

A DIB branch in Dubai, where lockdown measures are being lifted. (Reuters)
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Updated 11 June 2020

DIB sells first sukuk in emirate since virus outbreak

  • The DIB sukuk was over- subscribed by 4.5 times

RIYADH: Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), the UAE’s largest Islamic lender, sold a $1 billion sukuk, the first in the emirate since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic broke out across the world, forcing much of region into lockdown.

The five-year Islamic bond has a profit rate of 2.95 percent and attracted strong investor interest, the bank said in a stock exchange filing.

The deal was priced after completing a global investor call, which was attended by several local, regional and international investors. The sukuk was oversubscribed by nearly 4.5 times, and attracted more than 170 investors.

DIB said almost half of the order book originated from outside the Middle East and North Africa region.

“Despite the challenging global environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are grateful for the positive response from the global investor community,” said CEO Adnan Chilwan.

The debt sale comes as several corporations and governments in the Gulf seek to bolster their finances to face the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and a historic slide in oil prices.

The sale comes just weeks after the emirate of Sharjah, the third-largest in the UAE, sold $1 billion in seven-year sukuk, or Islamic bonds.

The pandemic has increased funding pressures on governments and companies alike across the region.

Earlier this year S&P Global Ratings warned that the knock on effects of lower economic growth and oil prices could slow lending growth and increase the overall stock of problem assets across the Gulf economies.


Apple, Google drop Fortnite from app stores over payments

Updated 14 August 2020

Apple, Google drop Fortnite from app stores over payments

  • Google said Fortnite will remain available on Android, just not through its app store
  • Apple and Google both take a 30% cut from in-app revenue purchases in games

NEW YORK: Apple and Google dropped the popular game Fortnite from their app stores after the game’s developer introduced a direct payment plan that bypasses their platforms.
Apple and Google both take a 30% cut from in-app revenue purchases in games, which has long been a sore spot with developers.
Fortnite is free, but users can pay for in game accoutrements like weapons and skins. Its developer, Epic Games, said in a blog post Thursday that it was introducing Epic Direct payments, a direct payment plan for Apple’s iOS and Google Play. Epic said the system is the same payment system it already uses to process payments on PC and Mac computers and Android phones.
Apple and Google said the service violates their guidelines.
“Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services,” Apple said in statement.
Google said Fortnite will remain available on Android, just not through its app store. Android users can download the app from other app stores, although that’s generally not an option for iPhone users.
Epic Games did not immediately return a request for comment. Epic’s Fortnite Twitter account said the company would debut a new short film called “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite,” a seeming parody of Apple’s iconic “1984” commercial that introduced the Macintosh computer. It has also filed a complaint against Apple in the US District Court in Northern California for dropping Fortnite.