Dubai crypto platform teams up with police to combat crypto fraud

Dubai crypto platform teams up with police to combat crypto fraud
The partnership aims to create “effective investigation methodologies to combat the risks associated with crypto trading.” (Supplied)
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Updated 03 October 2021

Dubai crypto platform teams up with police to combat crypto fraud

Dubai crypto platform teams up with police to combat crypto fraud
  • It comes as the UAE takes an active role in promoting blockchain technology

DUBAI: Dubai Police has teamed up with a cryptocurrency trading platform to educate investors and traders about crypto fraud.

“We have been working with key policymakers to help them build regulation that will make crypto safe for investors,” Ola Doudin, chief executive officer of BitOasis, said 

She said there is a “string of scams happening on peer-to-peer platforms,” and the partnership with the police could help investors and traders steer clear of them. 

It comes as the UAE takes an active role in promoting blockchain technology, with the announcement of several initiatives that make it easier to for crypto players to transact. 

“(The UAE) is taking a hands-on approach to ensuring the financial security of the country, investors, and all stakeholders operating within the crypto space,” Tarek Mohammed, head of virtual asset crime section at Dubai Police. 

The police department is training its force “extensively” to understand crypto and blockchain technology, he said. 

The partnership aims to create “effective investigation methodologies to combat the risks associated with crypto trading.”


Rotana Hotels to triple Saudi Arabia presence to 6,000 rooms by 2026, says president & CEO

Rotana Hotel Management Corp. President and CEO Guy Hutchinson says visitor numbers to the region are beginning to normalize.
Rotana Hotel Management Corp. President and CEO Guy Hutchinson says visitor numbers to the region are beginning to normalize.
Updated 21 sec ago

Rotana Hotels to triple Saudi Arabia presence to 6,000 rooms by 2026, says president & CEO

Rotana Hotel Management Corp. President and CEO Guy Hutchinson says visitor numbers to the region are beginning to normalize.
  • This is one of the most exciting and dynamic regions in terms of hospitality, says Hutchinson

RIYADH: Rotana Hotels plans to build seven new hotels in Saudi Arabia, which will almost triple the number of rooms it runs to in the Kingdom to 6,000 over the next four years, says its president and CEO.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh, Rotana Hotel Management Corporation President and CEO Guy Hutchinson said its move was prompted by Saudi’s growing tourism market.

He said: “Without doubt, this is one of the most exciting and dynamic regions at the moment anywhere in the world in terms of hospitality development.”

FASTFACTS

• The hotel chain also backs the Kingdom’s sustainability program to cut CO2 emissions and energy waste.

• It plans to source local agricultural and farm products that will be served in its hotels.

The Abu Dhabi-based business currently operates seven hotels in the Kingdom — in Alkhobar, Jeddah, Makkah and Riyadh — hosting 2,100 rooms.

Sector growth

The move by the business is in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 program, which bids to diversify the country’s economy, making it less reliant on oil, while boosting such areas as IT, business startups and tourism.

Vision 2030’s goal of attracting 100 million visitors to the Kingdom by the end of the decade is a key driver of the growth in the country’s hospitality sector, according to Hutchinson.

He added that the opening up of the country’s heritage cities and towns — such as AlUla and Jeddah — will attract more tourists over the coming years.

Hutchinson noted that visitor numbers to the region are beginning to normalize after almost grinding to a halt following the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said: “You’re seeing this pent up demand from people wanting to reclaim their lifestyles and to reclaim travel at a really unprecedented speed.”

Local produce to drive sustainability

The hotel chain also backs the Kingdom’s sustainability program to cut CO2 emissions and energy waste.

It plans to source local agricultural and farm products that will be served in its hotels.

Hutchinson said: “Sustainability is an enormous part of what we do as it is embedded in our culture. That’s an important part of being part of sustainable communities.”


Macro Snapshot — Britain’s private sector activity slows; Japan’s May factory activity grows at slowest rate in 3 months 

Macro Snapshot — Britain’s private sector activity slows; Japan’s May factory activity grows at slowest rate in 3 months 
Updated 24 May 2022

Macro Snapshot — Britain’s private sector activity slows; Japan’s May factory activity grows at slowest rate in 3 months 

Macro Snapshot — Britain’s private sector activity slows; Japan’s May factory activity grows at slowest rate in 3 months 

RIYADH: Momentum in Britain’s private sector slowed much more than expected this month, adding to recession worries as inflation pressures ratcheted higher, according to a business survey on Tuesday that showed rising pessimism.

S&P Global’s flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index, a monthly gauge of the services and manufacturing industries, slumped to 51.8 in May from 57.6 in April, its lowest level since February last year.

The preliminary reading was worse than all forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists, which had pointed to a drop to 57, and the scale of the fall was bigger than any seen pre-COVID-19.

“The collapse in the composite PMI in May is the clearest sign yet that demand is faltering in response to the intense squeeze on households’ real disposable incomes,” said Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Until now, most surveys of British business activity had been fairly robust, despite record-low consumer confidence after inflation hit a 40-year high of 9 percent.

US new home sales fall

Sales of new US single-family homes tumbled to a two-year low in April, likely as higher mortgage rates and soaring prices squeezed first-time buyers and those in search of entry-level properties out of the housing market.

New home sales plunged 16.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 591,000 units last month, the lowest level since April 2020, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. March’s sales pace was revised down to 709,000 units from the previously reported 763,000 units.

Sales have now declined for four straight months. New home sales dropped 5.9 percent in the Northeast and tumbled 15.1 percent in the Midwest. They plummeted 19.8 percent in the densely populated South and decreased 13.8 percent in the Midwest.

Nigeria raises interest rate 

Nigeria’s central bank on Tuesday raised the benchmark interest rate by 150 basis points to 13 percent, its first hike in more than two years, to combat rising inflation, sending markets tumbling.

The move surprised analysts and traders who expected the Monetary Policy Committee to keep the rate on hold.

But Gov. Godwin Emefiele told a news briefing that the rate hike was necessary to tame inflation, which quickened to 16.82 percent in April, its highest in eight months, amid a fragile economic recovery.

Indonesia holds rates

Indonesia’s central bank announced on Tuesday more aggressive hikes in the reserve requirement ratio for banks, expecting inflation to rise slightly above its target band this year, but kept interest rates unchanged at a record low.

Bank Indonesia announced a quicker pace in RRR hikes, ordering banks to park 7.5 percent of their reserves starting July and 9 percent from September. This compared with BI’s previously announced policy path, in which BI had set three staggered RRR hikes this year from 3.5 percent to 6.5 percent in September.

BI left the benchmark 7-day reverse repurchase rate at a record low of 3.50 percent, as expected by 25 of 27 economists polled by Reuters. Its two other main rates were also unchanged. 

Poland budget surplus

Poland had a budget surplus of 9.2 billion zlotys ($2.14 billion) at the end April, state-run news agency PAP quoted Finance Minister Magdalena Rzeczkowska as saying on Tuesday.

Poland had a deficit of 0.3 billion zlotys at the end of March.

Separately, a government spokesman said that the deficit at the end of 2021 was 26.4 billion zlotys, 65.1 percent of what had been planned for in the budget.

Philippines narrows growth target 

The Philippines has revised its 2022 gross domestic product growth target to 7 percent-8 percent from the previous range of 7 percent-9 percent to take into account external risks, the government said on Tuesday.

It also slightly lowered the budget deficit target to 7.6 percent of GDP from 7.7 percent, among revisions that it said took into account the impact of Russia-Ukraine conflict, China’s slowdown, and monetary policy normalization in the US.

The government, however, kept the GDP growth target at the 6 percent-7 percent range for 2023 and 2024, as it expects the domestic economy to sustain its strong recovery in the medium term.

GDP would grow at the same pace in 2025, the economic managers on the Development Budget Coordination Committee said.

German inflation to reach 7%

Germany’s 2022 inflation rate will more than double from last year’s 3.1 percent as already high energy and food prices are pushed up by the war in Ukraine, the country’s Chambers of Industry and Commerce said on Tuesday.

DIHK said it now expects the inflation rate to hit 7 percent, after initially forecasting a rise of 3.5 percent in its February forecast.

Germany’s Economy Ministry said in April it saw an inflation rate of 6.1 percent in 2022 and 2.8 percent next year, citing the effects of energy prices in Europe’s biggest economy.

French business activity 

French business activity slowed slightly in May compared to the previous month, a preliminary survey showed on Tuesday, as inflationary pressures took the shine off fewer COVID-19 restrictions.

S&P Global said its flash May Purchasing Managers’ Index for France’s services sector was 58.4 points — down from a final number of 58.9 in April. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 58.6 for the May flash reading.

Japan’s factory activity grows 

Japan’s manufacturing activity expanded at the slowest pace in three months in May, as supply bottlenecks due to parts shortages and China’s COVID-19 lockdowns caused output and new orders growth to slow.

Activity in the services sector improved for the second consecutive month on stronger domestic demand due to the fading impact of the pandemic, though service-sector firms faced a drag from the sharpest rise in input prices on record.

 

(With input from Reuters) 


ITFC boosts funds for Egypt by $3bn to deal with rising wheat prices

ITFC boosts funds for Egypt by $3bn to deal with rising wheat prices
Updated 24 May 2022

ITFC boosts funds for Egypt by $3bn to deal with rising wheat prices

ITFC boosts funds for Egypt by $3bn to deal with rising wheat prices

RIYADH: The International Islamic Trade Finance Corp. has provided Egypt an additional $3 billion to support the North African country amid soaring wheat prices fueled by the Ukraine war.

As per the new agreement, Egypt’s total funding is now doubled to $6 billion, Bloomberg reported citing Egypt’s Supply Minister Aly El-Moselhy in his interview with the MBC TV channel.

The government is also offering incentives to farmers to produce wheat and also setting an output quota to tackle the shortage of the grain primarily driven due to the ongoing tensions in Ukraine. Farmers will not be allowed to sell the rest of their crops outside the official procurement system without a license. 

Egypt is one of the biggest importers of wheat in the world, and most of the grains come from Ukraine and Russia. 

After Russia started invading Ukraine wheat prices soared, and the Egyptian government is seeking to maintain price stability and secure reserves of basic foodstuffs amid the fallout from the war.


BNY Mellon slapped with $1.5m fines in ESG case

BNY Mellon slapped with $1.5m fines in ESG case
Updated 24 May 2022

BNY Mellon slapped with $1.5m fines in ESG case

BNY Mellon slapped with $1.5m fines in ESG case

RIYADH: The US Securities and Exchange Commission has slapped  BNY Mellon, the corporate investment banking company, $1.5 million fines over an environmental, social and governance case.

The New York-based company had reportedly distorted and cut information about ESG investment considerations for mutual funds that it managed, according to the Financial Times. 

From July 2018 to September 2021, BNY Mellon has been stating that all investments in the funds had gone through an ESG quality review, but the SEC stated that was not always the case. 


Cloudflare to open first Middle East regional office in Dubai

Cloudflare to open first Middle East regional office in Dubai
Updated 24 May 2022

Cloudflare to open first Middle East regional office in Dubai

Cloudflare to open first Middle East regional office in Dubai

DUBAI: San Francisco-based Cloudflare has announced that it will open its first regional office in the Middle East in Dubai, as the firm further aims to support its EMEA operations, the company said in a press release.

The company also appointed Bashar Bashaireh as its first managing director for the Middle East and Turkey.

“This has always been an important region for us with an emerging, young population hungry for content delivered at high Internet bandwidth, and Dubai is home to one of our 27 data centers located in the Middle East and Turkey,” said Andy Lockhart, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa Sales at Cloudflare.

The new Dubai-based team will help the company grow brand awareness, acquire and support customers, and recruit new talent.

Bashar Bashaireh said: “With digital transformation and increased cloud adoption, organizations are in need for a fast, secure and reliable Internet, more than ever, to optimally serve and secure their customers, partners, and employees, and Cloudflare is leading this transition.”

Founded in 2010, Cloudflare acts as a reverse proxy between a website’s visitor and the Cloudflare customer’s hosting provider. The company calls itself a security, performance, and reliability firm.