UAE banks' assets to grow 8% in 2022, says banking official

UAE banks' assets to grow 8% in 2022, says banking official
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Updated 24 October 2021

UAE banks' assets to grow 8% in 2022, says banking official

UAE banks' assets to grow 8% in 2022, says banking official
  • The UAE economy will reap benefits from the world fair Expo 2020 for about eight years

RIYADH: Emirati banks' assets are expected to grow 8 percent in 2022, the head of the UAE Banks Federation Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair told Al Arabiya on Sunday.

The UAE's economy will grow next year by 5 percent and the return of tourism activity will support the growth of assets to this level, he said.

The UAE economy will reap benefits from the world fair Expo 2020 for about eight years, he said. "Expo 2020 restored trust in UAE's economy," he said.

Expo 2020 opened its doors in Dubai this month.

The Central Bank of Emirates's support of 250 billion dirhams ($68 billion) had a significant impact in mitigating the impact of the Corona pandemic on the economic sector and individuals, and overcoming that phase, Al Ghurair said.


He added that the UAE economy and banks are currently reaping the fruits of the support of the UAE Central Bank.

Al Ghurair revealed that 95 percent of the UAE banks have refunded the support amounts and have the ability to support the economy and individuals without the need for support from the Central Bank.

The banking sector dealt with doubtful loans during the past two years and in 2021, noting that the levels of allocations for these loans will return to their normal levels next year, between 1.5 and 2 percent.

The demand for the real estate sector has increased significantly now, after the UAE has proven that it can be relied upon in times of crisis, Al Ghurair said, expecting real estate prices in the country to return to acceptable levels.


Saudi Aramco, Reliance deal delayed not canceled, CEO says

Saudi Aramco, Reliance deal delayed not canceled, CEO says
Updated 10 sec ago

Saudi Aramco, Reliance deal delayed not canceled, CEO says

Saudi Aramco, Reliance deal delayed not canceled, CEO says

DHAHRAN: Rejecting claims about the cancellation of a deal between Saudi Aramco and India’s Reliance, the chief of the oil company told Arab News it would push ahead with the plan following the restructuring of the Indian firm.

Amin Nasser said Reliance is “restructuring their facilities,” and they will “continue to discuss further with them in the future after they finish the restructuring.”

The two companies had signed a non-binding agreement in 2019 for Aramco to acquire a 20 percent stake in Reliance’s oil-to-chemicals unit.

But the deal, valued at roughly $15 billion, has faced some delays because of the pandemic and its impact on fuel demand. 

Meanwhile, the Saudi oil giant is working to expedite operations at its joint venture with Malaysia’s Petronas, according to CNBC Arabia.

Aramco plans to resume work on the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex before the end of the year, in which the Saudi firm invested about $7 billion three years ago.  

The project was disrupted in 2019 due to a fire in a desulfurization unit during the trial operation of the refinery, and the operations were postponed more than once ever since.

The Saudi company owns a 50 percent stake in the project and will supply half of the required crude oil, with the option to increase that percentage to 70 percent once the refinery is completed. 

The refinery has a capacity of about 300,000 tons per day, CNBC reported.


UK competition regulator tells Facebook owner Meta to sell GIF maker Giphy

UK competition regulator tells Facebook owner Meta to sell GIF maker Giphy
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 23 min 42 sec ago

UK competition regulator tells Facebook owner Meta to sell GIF maker Giphy

UK competition regulator tells Facebook owner Meta to sell GIF maker Giphy

Britain’s competition regulator has told Facebook owner Meta Platforms to sell animated images platform Giphy after finding that the acquisition could harm social media users and UK advertisers, dealing a blow to the US-based tech giant.


The Competition and Markers Authority (CMA) said on Tuesday the decision was in line with provisional findings that Facebook’s acquisition of Giphy in May last year would reduce competition between social media platforms and in the display advertising market.


Facebook, recently rebranded as Meta Platforms, said it could appeal the CMA’s decision.


It is not the first time the CMA has intervened in a major merger. In February it said that Viagogo must sell part of Stubhub’s international business as their merger would reduce competition in the UK.


“The tie-up between Facebook and Giphy has already removed a potential challenger in the display advertising market,” said Stuart McIntosh, chair of the independent investigation on Facebook-Giphy for the CMA.


“By requiring Facebook to sell Giphy, we are protecting millions of social media users and promoting competition and innovation in digital advertising,” he added.


Facebook said it disagreed with the decision.


“We are reviewing the decision and considering all options, including appeal,” a spokesperson for Meta said in a statement.


The CMA in October fined the company about $70 million for breaching an order that was imposed during its investigation into the deal, having hinted in August that it may need Facebook to sell Giphy.


The CMA began a probe into the deal in January this year, and in April referred it to an in-depth investigation.


Facebook bought Giphy, a website for making and sharing animated images, or GIFs, reportedly for $400 million in May 2020 to integrate it with its photo-sharing app, Instagram. It has defended the deal and its proposals to the CMA over Giphy.


Another major provider of GIFs is Google’s Tenor.


The CMA has been actively looking into big tech’s monopoly.

Last week, Alphabet Inc’s Google pledged more restrictions on its use of data from its Chrome browser to address CMA’s concerns about plans to ban third-party cookies that advertisers use to track consumers.


The Financial Times first reported the CMA’s plans to block the Facebook-Giphy deal.


Saudi retailer Alhokair sees stock rise 2.22 percent on Subway deal: Market wrap

Saudi retailer Alhokair sees stock rise 2.22 percent on Subway deal: Market wrap
Updated 37 min 8 sec ago

Saudi retailer Alhokair sees stock rise 2.22 percent on Subway deal: Market wrap

Saudi retailer Alhokair sees stock rise 2.22 percent on Subway deal: Market wrap

RIYADH: The stock value of the leading financial retailer in Saudi Arabia, Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Co., has risen after striking a new deal with the Subway global restaurants chain. 

The shares are up despite fears around the new strain of COVID-19, adding to the optimism of Saudi’s financial market amid the collapse of other stocks. 

The retailer company’s share price rose by 2.22 percent as of 12noon, Riyadh time, on Tuesday.

However, other stocks in the Saudi Exchange continue to decline with the rise of omicron.

Saudi’s main stock index, Tadawul All Share Index, was down by 1.54 percent to 10,644.32 points since the market opened.

SABIC petrochemical shares declined by 2.70 percent, contributing further to the market fall.

Spichem and Chemanol were among the lowest-performing stocks.

Top gainers included Amana Insurance and Enaya, increasing by 3.45 percent and 2.30 percent respectively.

Despite the market decline, Saudi’s parallel market Nomu is up by 0.06 percent.

 


Papa John's to open more than 100 new restaurants in Saudi Arabia over the next five years

Papa John's to open more than 100 new restaurants in Saudi Arabia over the next five years
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 30 November 2021

Papa John's to open more than 100 new restaurants in Saudi Arabia over the next five years

Papa John's to open more than 100 new restaurants in Saudi Arabia over the next five years
  • Saudi Arabia's food and beverage market has grown since the launch of Vision 2030

CAIRO: PJP Investment Group has announced its partnership with Papa John’s to open more than 100 new restaurants in Saudi Arabia over the next five years, according to a statement. 

PJP, which specializes in food and beverages and is wholly owned by Levant Capital, opened the first four new outlets in Riyadh on Tuesday, October 26 in Sulaimaniyah, Al-Nouzha, Al-Malqa and Qurtubah.

"Our plan is to open more than 100 restaurants in the next 10 years." said Tapan Vaidya, CEO of PJP Investment Group.  

Saudi Arabia's food and beverage market has grown since the launch of Vision 2030, making it the leading market for quick-service restaurants and giving them the opportunity to grow their global presence by opening new branches in the Kingdom. 

 "It's an amazing opportunity to develop the Papa John's brand in Saudi Arabia and contribute to the Kingdom's Vision 2030." Vaidya also said


China’s largest crypto exchange chooses Singapore as Asian base

China’s largest crypto exchange chooses Singapore as Asian base
Updated 30 November 2021

China’s largest crypto exchange chooses Singapore as Asian base

China’s largest crypto exchange chooses Singapore as Asian base

RIYADH: Huobi Group, the operator of China’s largest crypto exchange, has chosen Singapore as its regional headquarters while deciding on another location in Europe.

Singapore has become the new base for the company after it recently shifted its focus outside its home city of Beijing, co-founder Du Jun told Bloomberg News.

The company plans to set up another regional headquarters in France or the UK in 2023, Jun added.

Huobi, which was founded in China in 2013, said it will offload all Chinese users by the end of this year.

Southeast Asia is an attractive market where the number of trading users quadrupled over the past month, Jun said.