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Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala invests in Berlin-based digital insurance company

Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala has participated in a record $650 million Series C funding round for Berlin-based digital insurance company wefox, resulting in a post-money valuation of $3 billion. Launched in 2015 by CEO Julian Teicke and founders Fabian Wesemann, and Dario Fazlic, wefox has been considered one of Europe’s most promising unicorns.

Mubadala, which is worth $230bn and is the second-biggest sovereign investor in the UAE capital, also led the Series B funding for the company back in 2019.

Bahrain may tap International debt market in 2021

Bahrain has started talks with banks over a potential international debt sale in the second half of this year, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter.

The discussions are still preliminary, the people said, asking to remain anonymous as plans are private.

This debt sale would bring some relief to Bahrain after witnessing a sharp deterioration in finances during 2020 amid widespread lockdowns imposed by the pandemic, which curbed demand for energy and dragged Brent crude to the lowest level in about two decades.

The last time the Bahraini Kingdom tapped the international debt market was in January, when it raised $2 billion.

Kuwait resumes visas for Pakistani citizens

After a ten-years of suspension, Kuwait on Sunday announced the resumption of visas, including in family and business categories for Pakistani citizens.

This decision was taken after a meeting between Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid and Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah, reported The Express Tribune.

It further reported that Kuwait had banned work visas for Pakistan in 2011 and despite attempts by previous governments the restrictions could not be lifted.

In March 2017, the then government had also announced the lifting of the ban by Kuwait during the visit of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to the oil-rich country. However, the decision was never implemented.

Investor claims majority to block Emirates Reit Sukuk exchange deal

A group of 11 institutional investors of Emirates Reit claimed that it had mustered the support of a majority of certificate holders to avert the real estate investment trust’s attempt to exchange a $400 million sukuk for new securities.

The UAE’s largest Shariah-compliant real estate investment trust, which has reportedly suffered $243 million in face-value losses on rental assets, has offered to exchange the unsecured sukuk securities due in 2022 for new secured notes maturing in 2024.

Investors opposing the move formed an ad-hoc group to lead the talks with Emirates Reit but failed to bring the trust management to the negotiation table.

Dubai energy demand soars as economy recovers

Dubai recorded a 10 percent jump in energy demand and a 10 percent rise in the peak load of electricity during the first five months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, underscoring all-round economic rebound.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, or Dewa, said the demand for energy increased in the first five months of 2021 to 16,467 Gigawatt hours (GWh) compared to 14,988 GWh in the same period of 2020. This is an extra 1,479 GWh, which is an increase of 10 percent.

Peak load also increased in Dubai from January until the end of May 2021 to 7,966 MW, compared to 7,248 MW in the same period of 2020, recording an extra 718 MW, an increase of 10 percent, Dewa said.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dewa, said the increase in energy demand and peak load in Dubai

“is a testament to the economic recovery and the comeback” of various vital activities in the emirate.

Sharjah, Ajman offer 100pc ownership

As the new Commercial Companies Law has become effective in the UAE from June 1, Sharjah and Ajman have announced plans to award 100 percent ownership in commercial and industrial companies to foreign investors.

The Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) on Wednesday announced that it would be implementing the full foreign ownership policy from June 2021. Ajman also cleared more than 1,000 economic activities for foreign investment.

“This decision includes no requirements such as a specific capital or any additional fees for foreign investors, while allowing branches of foreign companies to conduct their business in the Emirate without the need for an agent of a foreign company,” SEDD said.

UAE, Israel sign treaty to avoid double taxation

The UAE and Israel on Monday signed a tax treaty on Monday to avoid double taxation that will help promote bilateral trade and investment in years to come.

Israeli Finance Minister Israel Katz broke the news on Twitter, describing the move as a spur to business development between the countries after they normalised relations last year.

“The agreement will accelerate the development of economic relations and contribute to prosperity in both countries,” Katz tweeted.

In a statement, Katz said the treaty is based primarily on the OECD model and it provides certainty and favourable conditions for business activity and will strengthen economic ties with the UAE.

Qatar airways is in a mystery spat with airbus

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker threatened to stop taking deliveries of Airbus SE jets this year because of an unspecified “serious” disagreement, a warning that could hamper the planemaker’s recovery plans.

“If we are not able to settle that serious issue we have with them, we will refuse to take any aircraft from them,” the CEO said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. Falling out with Qatar Airways, Al Baker warned, will cause Airbus “a stress in the relationship with IAG, with LatAm, with other airlines in which we have a shareholding.”

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