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What first quarter bank results say about the health of UAE economy

Financial results of top two banks in the UAE showed sharp decline in provisions, improvement in non-interest incomes, consistent decline in costs and improvement in operating profits pointing a steady improvement in the overall economic conditions in the UAE. Earlier this week Emirates NBD Group reported net profits of Dh2.32 billion for the first quarter, a 12 percent year-on-year gain and 76 percent up quarter-on-quarter, supported by lower provisions, lower costs and higher income from improved economic conditions. First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the UAE’s largest bank, on Wednesday reported a group net profit of Dh 2.5 billion in the first quarter of 2021, up 3 percent compared to Dh2.4 billion in the first quarter of 2020.

UAE’s & India: blockchain-led trade finance for steel

The first blockchain-based trade finance deal in the global steel industry has been struck and it involves a UAE-based business. The transaction was done by UAE’s Universal Tubes & Plastic Industries Ltd. and the Indian metals giant Tata Steel. It involved Universal Tubes importing its order of flat carbon steel to the UAE from Tata Steel’s India base. The transaction, with HSBC Bank overseeing it, confirms the “operational viability of blockchain as an alternative to conventional exchanges of paper-based documentation”. It was done over the ‘Contour’ blockchain platform in which HSBC is a founding shareholder.

Impact of the Dubai 2040 master plan on real estate

Dubai has always been known as a city that keeps reinventing itself to enhance the standard of living, boost tourism, increase investment opportunities, and improve the well-being of its people. The recently launched 2040 Master Plan is a testament to the city’s modern strategy as it will reinforce and support Dubai’s plan of becoming a futuristic integrated city with a focus on sustainability. The plan puts emphasis on providing a holistic environment and infrastructure for citizens, visitors, and investors.

Emirates to resume 4-weekly flights to Mexico city from July 2

Emirates will resume four weekly services to Mexico City (MEX) via Barcelona (BCN) from July 2, 2021. Emirates flight EK255 will depart Dubai at 03:25 hours, arriving in Barcelona at 08:35 hours before departing again at 10:50 hours and arriving into Mexico City at 16:05 the same day. The return flight EK256 will depart Mexico City at 19:40 hours, arriving in Barcelona at 13:45 hours the next day. EK256 will depart once again from Barcelona the same day at 15:30 hours bound for Dubai where it will arrive at 00:15 hours the next day (all times are local). The BCN-MEX route will be operated with a two-class Emirates Boeing 777-200LR which offers 38 Business Class seats.

Dubai investments acquires stake in national general insurance company

The UAE’s leading investment company, Dubai Investments announced the execution of a direct deal of acquiring 21.53 percent shares of National General Insurance Company (NGI) from Emirates NBD Bank. The aggregate ownership of Dubai Investments in NGI, following the execution of the direct deal has reached a total of 29.99 percent of the issued share capital of NGI. Al Mal Capital PSC, a subsidiary of Dubai Investments and a diversified, multi-line investment institution licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of the UAE, was the financial advisor, facilitating the transaction. The transaction marks Dubai Investments’ business expansion into UAE’s insurance sector contributing to the well-being and enhancing the reputation of the Emirate as a hub within the insurance industry. “The deal is part of Dubai Investments focus on strategic business investments reinforcing the Company’s foray into newer business sectors.

Nasdaq Dubai welcomes listing of $500m sukuk by DIB

Nasdaq Dubai has welcomed the listing of a $500 million perpetual Additional Tier 1 Sukuk, issued by the Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), the largest Islamic Bank in the UAE. The Sukuk achieved the lowest ever yield of 3.375 percent by a GCC bank on an Additional Tier 1 instrument and was 5.6 times oversubscribed with an order book that peaked at $2.8 billion. Dubai Islamic Bank is the leading UAE-based Sukuk issuer by value on Nasdaq Dubai with a total value of $6.3 billion including the latest $500 million US dollar listing. The Sukuk that was listed on April 19, 2021 reinforces Dubai’s position as one of the largest centres for Sukuk listings globally, attracting both local and international issuers, with a total listed value now standing at $74.66 billion.

UAE businesses hit with growing wave of ransomware attacks

A growing number of organisations across the UAE have revealed that their businesses were disrupted, and that they ended up facing financial losses, as a result of a growing wave of cyberattacks, new research has shown. According to the most recent Mimecast

‘The State of Email Security’ report, 78 percent of businesses in the UAE indicated they had been impacted by ransomware in 2020, a massive increase from the 66 percent of companies that reported such disruption in the previous year. Companies impacted by ransomware lost an average of six working days to system downtime, with 29 percent of the companies in the UAE saying downtime lasted one week or more. The report also showed how deadly the attacks were, with 43 percent of ransomware victims saying that they paid the ransom demands, but only 44 percent of those were able to recover their data. Also, 56 percent said that they never saw their data again, despite paying the ransom.

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