DP World may sell Jebel Ali Free Zone stake

DP World may sell Jebel Ali Free Zone stake
Jebel Ali Free Zone attracts nearly a quarter of foreign direct investment to Dubai. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 15 June 2021

DP World may sell Jebel Ali Free Zone stake

DP World may sell Jebel Ali Free Zone stake
  • The Dubai-based port operator is working with consultants to gauge interest in the industrial zone

DUBAI: DP World may offer international investors an opportunity to buy a stake in the Jebel Ali Free Zone, Bloomberg reported.
The Dubai-based port operator is working with consultants to gauge interest in the industrial zone and is studying options including selling a stake in the free zone or some of the assets there, the news wire reported, citing people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified.
They said that any sale is likely to attract the interest of infrastructure funds and strategic investors and no final decisions have been taken on the structure of a potential deal.
A DP World representative declined to comment.
Jebel Ali Free Zone attracts nearly a quarter of foreign direct investment to Dubai, with more than 8,000 companies having established operations in the commercial zone since its inception in the mid-1980s, according to its website.
State-owned DP World is exploring selling equity stakes in certain assets, reducing its leverage to around 4 times its earnings by 2022, and maintaining its investment grade rating, Bloomberg reported. It had agreed to buy the free zone operator in a deal worth $2.6 billion in 2014.
Dubai turned DP World into a private company in early 2020 to relieve its debt burden and avoid a repeat of the economic crisis that forced its financial bailout in 2009.


Lawsuit loss forces Uber UK business model reform 

Lawsuit loss forces Uber UK business model reform 
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 16 sec ago

Lawsuit loss forces Uber UK business model reform 

Lawsuit loss forces Uber UK business model reform 

JEDDAH: Uber and some of its rivals will have to change their business models in the UK after losing a court battle, re-classifying its drivers as workers.

The company is also required to give its drivers access to vacation pay, rest breaks and minimum wage while they’re using the app.

The partly PIF-owned firm is also now required to sign a direct contract with passengers when providing car journeys, according to Bloomberg.

The European Union is following the UK to push for app drivers to be considered as employees rather than self-employed.

This could cost the sector a 4.5 billion euros ($5.1 billion)  a year, Bloomberg reported.


Abu Dhabi chemical company, India’s Reliance form $2bn production JV

Abu Dhabi chemical company, India’s Reliance form $2bn production JV
Updated 4 min 50 sec ago

Abu Dhabi chemical company, India’s Reliance form $2bn production JV

Abu Dhabi chemical company, India’s Reliance form $2bn production JV

Abu Dhabi state-owned Chemicals Derivatives Co., TA’ZIZ, and Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries have agreed to start a more than $2 billion chemical production partnership in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi, the chemicals company said in a statement on Tuesday.

The joint venture, called TA’ZIZ EDC & PVC, will construct and operate a chlor-alkali, ethylene dichloride and polyvinyl chloride production facility, it said.

The JV aims to export the materials to target markets in Southeast Asia and Africa as well as selling them domestically.

“Representing the first production of these chemicals in the UAE, the project will enable the substitution of imports and the creation of new local value chains, while also meeting growing demand for these chemicals globally,” TA’ZIZ said.

TA’ZIZ was formed last year, also as a joint venture, by Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. and Abu Dhabi state-owned holding company ADQ, which own 60 percent and 40 percent respectively.

“India’s need for PVC to propel its growth, and the value from the abundantly available feedstock in UAE, provides a win-win partnership for both companies,” TA’ZIZ quoted Reliance’s billionaire chairman Mukesh Ambani as saying.

TA’ZIZ said in November last year it had chosen potential investment projects worth over $5 billion in the planned Ruwais Derivatives Park, for the development of which the JV is meant to act as a catalyst.

The project is Reliance’s first investment in the Middle East and North Africa region, TA’ZIZ said.


Zimbabwe's Central Bank studies digital currency, rejects cryptocurrency

Zimbabwe's Central Bank studies digital currency, rejects cryptocurrency
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 15 min 1 sec ago

Zimbabwe's Central Bank studies digital currency, rejects cryptocurrency

Zimbabwe's Central Bank studies digital currency, rejects cryptocurrency
  • The country plans to send a team to Nigeria to learn from their experiences

RIYADH: Zimbabwe's Central Bank is exploring using its own digital currency instead of allowing cryptocurrency as legal tender, its Governor John Mangudya told Bloomberg.

“As a central bank we don’t believe in cryptocurrencies,” Mangudya said in an interview on Monday.

“We believe in central bank digital currency which is basically trying to say how do we have an e-Zimbabwe dollar as opposed to cryptocurrency,” he said.

The country plans to send a team to Nigeria to learn from their experiences in launching the first digital currency in Africa in October.

“We have got our fintech group and they are working very hard, most central banks in the world are working on this CBDC and we are definitely almost there," he said.

The government decided to pay annual bonuses to civil servants in US dollars rather than the local currency. Use of the Zimbabwean dollar would have increased its recent decline. 

The government paid annual bonuses to civil servants in US dollars instead of the Zimbabwean dollar. Using the latter could have added to its recent depreciation, according to Mangudya.


Korean bioscience firm tops list of world’s best-performing IPO in 2021: Bloomberg

Korean bioscience firm tops list of world’s best-performing IPO in 2021: Bloomberg
Updated 16 min 36 sec ago

Korean bioscience firm tops list of world’s best-performing IPO in 2021: Bloomberg

Korean bioscience firm tops list of world’s best-performing IPO in 2021: Bloomberg

RIYADH: South Korean SK Bioscience Company has topped the list of the world’s best-performing IPO in 2021 after raising more than $1 billion.

The biopharmaceutical firm, which is a local COVID-19 vaccine production partner with AstraZeneca, led a ranking dominated by listings from its home country, according to an analysis by Bloomberg.

The IPO raised $1.3 billion for SK Bioscience to become the first among five Korean firms that raised more than $1 billion each through public offerings this year, with several tech-related names also surging in their trading debuts, Bloomberg said.

SK Bioscience outperformed two major listings in Shanghai, China Three Gorges Renewables Group and Zhuzhou CRRC Times Electric Co., which are each up more than 140 percent. 

US Affirm Holdings came fourth, followed by South Korean Kakao Pay, and India’s Zomato.


Phasing out gas-powered cars depends on customer demand: Nissan exec

Phasing out gas-powered cars depends on customer demand: Nissan exec
Updated 21 min 56 sec ago

Phasing out gas-powered cars depends on customer demand: Nissan exec

Phasing out gas-powered cars depends on customer demand: Nissan exec

DUBAI: Nissan is eco-friendly but also consumer-led, a top official from the Japanese automaker said in the wake of the company not signing a COP26 global pledge to phase out gas-guzzling cars. 

As many as 30 national governments joined the deal struck in Glasgow last month, as the transportation industry races to fix decades of environmental damage due to carbon emissions.

They were joined by six automotive giants, including Ford and Mercedes-Benz, but Nissan, with its French partner Renault, skipped the pact. 

“If customers say remove it (gas-fueled vehicle production), we will remove it,” Ashwani Gupta, Nissan’s chief operating officer told Arab News on Tuesday. 

“If (a customer) doesn’t find any more excitement in internal combustion engines cars; if he doesn’t find any price competitiveness in ICE cars; if he has to pay a CO2 penalty, why will he keep it?”

Gupta, who was in Dubai for a media tour, emphasized the importance of making the transition smooth for Nissan’s customers.

“I think it’s up to us how to make it competitive, so customers will naturally do it,” he explained, adding: “In Europe, it will happen very soon.”

The Japanese automaker is ramping up efforts to introduce new electric car models in the next 10 years, aiming for a 50 percent electrification mix by 2030, as it also doubles down on being carbon neutral across the life cycle of its products by 2050. 

Last week, it announced a $17.6 billion investment to develop solid-state batteries for its planned electric model line-up, as well as to establish a pilot plant by 2024, with production starting by 2028. 

Europe is the company’s biggest market for electrification, and it plans to increase sales of electric vehicles in the region by more than 75 percent — followed by Japan, China, and the US. 

As for the Middle East, Gupta said the region has the vision for sustainability and global excellence. 

“Timing could be different because other markets started before, but the Middle East is starting now,” he said.

In an earlier statement, Gupta said his company’s vision is focused on creating “customer pull through an attractive proposition.”

The company is planning to localize manufacturing and sourcing to make electric vehicles more competitive — starting with its core markets of Japan, China, and the US, drawing from its EV Hub concept in the UK. 

“Nissan is working for the future,” Gupta said, downplaying remarks of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn, who said the carmaker is “visionless.”