Emirates Islamic issues $750 million Sustainability Sukuk


DUBAI: Emirates Islamic has announced the successful pricing of its US$750 million first-ever Sustainability Sukuk, marking a significant milestone in the bank’s sustainable journey and Islamic finance industry.

This is the first Sustainability Sukuk issued out of the UAE following the release of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) Guidance on Green, Social and Sustainability Sukuk in April 2024.

In a statement today, the bank said that the five-year issue witnessed robust demand from investors across different regions and was oversubscribed 2.8 times.

The strong order book, which exceeded $2.10 billion, allowed the bank to tighten the profit rate to 5.431 percent per annum, at a spread of 100 basis points over 5 Year US treasuries.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Shenzhen Finance Institute launched to link local development with global vision


SHENZHEN: The inaugural Shenzhen Finance Forum, centred on “High-Quality Development and the Path of Financial Development with Chinese Characteristics,” took place alongside the inauguration ceremony of the Shenzhen Finance Institute, Renmin University of China (RUC), in Shenzhen, according to China Economic Net.

The event, which was arranged by RUC, was co-hosted by its Institute of Advanced Social Sciences (Shenzhen), School of Finance, National Academy of Financial Research, and Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies. At the ceremony, the official inauguration of the Shenzhen Finance Institute at RUC took place.

As per the organiser, the recently founded Shenzhen Finance Institute is committed to serving national strategies, local development, social needs, and academic advancement. It will capitalise on the strengths of the university’s prominent financial disciplines and related areas to build a modern financial system. Its goal is to support the strategic objective of developing a financially robu
st nation and to excel in science and technology finance, green finance, inclusive finance, pension finance, and digital finance.

Additionally, the Institute is dedicated to establishing a hub for nurturing talent, conducting scientific research, and fostering innovation in Shenzhen. Its mission is to provide “Chinese examples” and “Chinese solutions” to the global advancement of financial disciplines, benefiting the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and beyond.

Finance serves as a cornerstone of Shenzhen’s economic rise, significantly contributing to its growth path. Official figures indicate that the financial sector added a remarkable 473.9 billion yuan to the economy last year, accounting for a significant 15.4 percent of the city’s GDP.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Will the strong US dollar start to lose upward momentum?


Will the strong US dollar start to lose upward momentum?

The factors supporting the strong momentum of the US dollar have gradually weakened this year. The US Dollar Index (DXY) fell to 105 points during this week’s trading after failing to breach the 106.5 point level in recent weeks. Despite this, the US dollar remains high since… The beginning of the year increased by more than 3.5%, supported by the US economy remaining strong and the Federal Reserve’s adherence to its strict stance towards interest rates, which increases the attractiveness of the dollar, but there are many challenges facing the performance of the US currency in the coming period.

1. The American economy is no longer overheated

The annual GDP growth rate in the first quarter was only 1.6%, which is the worst quarter since the technical recession in the first half of 2022, which negatively affected the US dollar in the currency trading market . In April, both the ISM services and manufacturing index recorded a reading of less than 50.
point, indicating that the economy may slow in the second quarter of 2024. The US consumer confidence index fell for the third straight month in April, reaching 97, the lowest level since July 2022.

2. The labor market in the United States is tight

New employment in the non-farm sector fell to 175,000 jobs in April from 315,000 jobs in March, falling below 200,000 for the first time in the past five months, and the annual growth rate of average hourly wages slowed in April to 3.9% for the third month in a row. This is the first time since June 2021 that it has fallen below 4%.

The ISM service sector employment index fell to 45.9 points in April, below 50 for the third month in a row, and the employment data released last Friday (May 3) led to a decline in the yield of 10-year US Treasury bonds to below 4.6%, recording the lowest… level since April 9, and interest rate futures once again reflected expectations of a rate cut by the Federal Reserve in September.

3. The slowdown in inflation has stopped

Al
though the inflation slowdown in the United States has stalled, it is not enough for the Fed to abandon its dovish stance. At the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) press conference after the meeting on May 1, Chairman Powell stated that the next interest rate adjustment from… It is unlikely to be a rate hike.

The core PCE index rose 2.8% annually in March, which is down from a high of 5.6% in February 2022 and is approaching the Fed’s forecast of 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2024. Therefore, inflation data may prevent a decline in the dollar index. Below the 50-day moving average (at around 104.56) next week.

The most important factors affecting the US dollar

The US dollar is variable and multiple factors can change the value of this currency. Being aware of these factors helps you make better decisions and prepare to make a profit in different financial markets. Below are the most important factors that can affect the US dollar.

1. Interest rate

One of the most important factors that affect the US
dollar is the interest rate set by the Federal Reserve Bank. A higher interest rate means an increase in the value of the US dollar as the price of money becomes more expensive. A lower interest rate means that the rate of lending or borrowing is cheaper, which reduces the value of the dollar, because This is a very important indicator that you should keep in mind so that you can see the path of the US dollar.

2. Economic growth rate

The most important indicator for any economy is the economic growth rate. A higher rate will increase the value of that national currency and a lower growth rate will reduce its value.

If the US economic growth rate increases, this is a positive signal that can increase the demand for the US dollar and grow its value. If the opposite scenario occurs, this will be a negative signal for the economy and can reduce the value of the economy, and even expectations about the US economy can change the price of the US dollar.

3. Inflation rate

The inflation rate is the average rate o
f prices of various products in the economy and services, and it is a very important indicator. A high inflation rate is a bad signal for the economy as it leads to higher prices and a decrease in the value of the national currency. However, a low inflation rate has a completely opposite effect to the scenario mentioned above, as it leads to an increase in the value of the national currency. The national currency because this is a positive signal for the economy.

Changes in the US inflation rate are a very important indicator that can change the value of the US dollar. A high inflation rate is a negative signal for the US dollar, while a low inflation rate is a positive signal for the US economy, which raises the value and price of the US dollar.

4. Unemployment rate

The unemployment rate is the number of all people aged 15 to 65 who have no job while they are actively searching for a job.

If the unemployment rate in the US economy increases it means that more people are out of work, which is a negative s
ignal for the economy that also shows slowing growth which will lead to a decline in the value of the US dollar.

Now if the unemployment rate decreases this indicates that the economy is growing and doing very well, it will benefit the entire society and the demand and value of the US dollar will continue to rise.

5. New monthly jobs

New jobs are one of the most important indicators of the American economy. The growth of new jobs monthly means that the economy is growing and can absorb the human resources of the economy very well, which is a positive indicator that will increase the value of the US dollar in the world.

The same is true when new job creation declines, and investors and economic activists see it as a bad signal that will devalue the US dollar.

6. Geopolitical tensions

There are more geopolitical tensions than ever before in the world, and for 2024 these tensions will continue to rise as there are many new powers in the world competing for more resources in the world.

Any geopolitical ten
sion is very good for the value of the US dollar because that will increase the demand for the national currency of the United States, as all people want to convert their money into US dollars because the US economy is the largest economy in the world and therefore it is a very safe place to put money.

7. Wars in the world

War means uncertainty, and it causes people to leave war zones and migrate to better and safer places, and since the United States is the most powerful country in the world and has the largest economy, it is the safest place to transfer capital and the best place to immigrate as well.

Any serious war in the world will cause the value of the US dollar to rise and the demand for this currency will continue to rise.

8. Retail sales

Retail sales show how consumers spend, so an increase in retail sales means that consumers are spending more and this is a very good sign for the economy, and if retail sales decrease, this is a negative indicator for the economy that indicates there is a probl
em within the economy.

Source: Maan News Agency

U.S. fund Oaktree takes over Inter Milan football club


MILAN: U.S. investment fund Oaktree Capital Management said it has become the new owner of Italian football club Inter Milan after its owner defaulted on a loan, according to international news agencies.

The U.S. fund has taken control of the club as of Wednesday after Inter Milan’s holding companies failed to repay a pound 395 million loan, Oaktree said in a statement.

Granted in 2021 to the Luxembourg-based vehicle through which Chinese conglomerate Suning controls Inter, the loan was guaranteed by the firm’s stake in Inter Milan.

Under such a scheme Oaktree had the potential right to take control of the club in the event of a default.

“Our initial focus is operational and financial stability. We have great respect for Inter Milan’s management team,” said Oaktree’s Alejandro Cano.

Founded in 1908, Inter Milan is among the most famous clubs in Italian football, having won the league 20 times, and are home to top players including Lautaro Martinez and Nicolo Barella.

Suning bought a majority stake in th
e club in 2016 in one of the highest profile forays by a Chinese business into European football.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Masdar signs strategic agreements to support Indonesia’s energy transition during World Water Forum


BALI: Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), the UAE’s clean energy powerhouse, has signed strategic agreements for new renewable energy projects in Indonesia in support of the country’s energy transition. The agreements reinforce the ongoing partnership between the UAE and Indonesia towards developing the region’s renewables sector while supporting Indonesia’s current and future energy needs.

The signing of the agreements on the sidelines of the 10th World Water Forum in Bali was witnessed by Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure and Special Envoy of H.H. the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs to Indonesia; Abdulla Salem Obaid Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia and ASEAN; General (Retd) Luhut Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment; Husin Bagis, the Indonesian Ambassador to the UAE, and Prof. Eniya Listiani Dewi, Director-General of New, Renewable Energy, and Energy Conservation, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Res
ources (MEMR).

The agreements were signed by Abdulla Zayed, Masdar’s Director of Development and Investment; John Anis, Chief Executive Officer of Pertamina Power Indonesia (Pertamina NRE); Ruly Firmansyah, President Director of PLN Nusantara Power; and Agung Wicaksono, Deputy Chair of Funding and Investment, Nusantara Capital City Authority.

Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei said, ‘The UAE and Indonesia share a vision of sustainable development with renewable energy at its heart. We are pleased to see this partnership advancing clean, emissions-free energy in Indonesia and abroad. The UAE commends Indonesia’s climate leadership as we progress together towards a new era of sustainable prosperity, supporting communities with their net-zero ambitions, in line with the priority of the historic UAE Consensus to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030.’

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Masdar’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “The UAE remains firmly committed to advancing Indonesia’s energy sector through a focus
on renewables. In line with the UAE Consensus reached at COP28, Masdar is dedicated to forging partnerships that unlock transformative solutions for clean energy access. Our joint efforts will catalyse investments in green hydrogen, solar and wind to position Indonesia as a regional leader in the global energy transition.’

The agreements included a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Pertamina Power Indonesia, for the development of solar, wind and green hydrogen projects in Indonesia and abroad. This builds on Masdar’s existing partnership with the company through Pertamina Geothermal Energy. The MoU represents a significant step forward in strengthening the strategic relationship between Masdar and Pertamina Power Indonesia.

Masdar also signed a Joint Development Study Agreement with PLN Nusantara Power for Cirata Phase II to triple capacity by up to 500MW, following the successful 2023 launch of the initial 145MW phase of the innovative floating PV project – the largest of its kind in the region.

Sup
porting the energy transition in urban environments, Masdar received approval to proceed towards developing up to 2GW of renewable energy in Nusantara, starting with 200 megawatts as phase 1, in Indonesia’s new capital city. This follows a proposal by Masdar to meet the city’s energy needs by 2045, using solar and wind projects.

John Anis, Pertamina NRE’s CEO, added, “We are delighted with the strategic partnership between Pertamina NRE and Masdar. Both parties have been building a very good relationship. Pertamina has a key role in Indonesia’s energy transition and ambition to expand globally, while Masdar owns a reputable experience in renewable energy development. I believe together we will create more value and contribute more to combat global climate issues and strengthening the collaboration between the UAE and Indonesia.”

Ruly Firmansyah, President Director of PLN Nusantara Power, said, “PLN Nusantara Power is proud to partner with Masdar to further develop the Cirata II initiative across Indonesia.
This strategic alliance combines our expertise to unlock the nation’s vast solar potential. This partnership underscores our commitment to Indonesia’s clean energy targets and net-zero goals. We look forward to collaborating with Masdar to deliver a greener, more sustainable future.”

Bambang Susantono, Chairman of Nusantara Capital City Authority, commented, “Indonesia is committed to making our new capital city of Nusantara as a city that prioritises sustainability. We welcome Masdar’s plan to develop 200MW of renewable energy plant for the city. We also appreciate Masdar’s further commitment to renewable energy up to 2GW to support the fulfillment of renewable energy needs by 2045. Prioritising solar and wind energy positions the new capital as a model eco-city thriving on clean energy. This can be a future testament to how urban centres can be developed in harmony with nature.”

Indonesia and Southeast Asia are key investment destinations for Masdar. The company has developed the region’s largest floating
solar facility in Indonesia – the 145MW Cirata Floating Solar PV plant – which will generate enough electricity to power 50,000 homes. In February 2023, it entered the geothermal energy sector through a strategic investment in Pertamina Geothermal Energy.

Masdar is aiming for a renewable energy portfolio capacity of 100GW by 2030, supporting the target set in the UAE Consensus to triple global renewables capacity by the end of this decade, and aims to be a leading producer of green hydrogen by the same year.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Western warnings of an economic catastrophe in the West Bank


London – Ma’an – Western officials warned of an “economic catastrophe” in the West Bank if the occupation does not renew “a vital exemption that Israeli banks need in order to maintain their relations with their Palestinian counterparts.”

The British newspaper “Financial Times” reported that this exemption, which expires on July 1, “allows the payment of the costs of vital services and salaries associated with the Palestinian Authority, and facilitates the import of basic materials,” such as food, water, and electricity, into the occupied Palestinian territories.

Without this exemption, Israeli banks will stop dealing with Palestinian financial institutions, and the Palestinian economy will effectively stop over time, according to three Western officials.

The newspaper quoted an American official as saying that not renewing the exemption ‘will not only be at the expense of Palestinian interests, but also at the expense of the security and stability of Israel and the region.’

It also quoted two other Weste
rn officials as saying that Washington is leading the efforts aimed at renewing the exemption, as it ‘appealed to its allies to exert pressure on the Israeli government.’

British officials said the United Kingdom was ‘also concerned’ about this issue, according to the Financial Times.

This issue is expected to be discussed at the G7 finance ministers’ meeting, expected later this week in Italy, according to officials.

The newspaper explained that the Palestinian economy trades with other economies in multiple currencies, including the Jordanian dinar, which is widely used in the West Bank.

The Palestinian economy operates with the Israeli shekel, so Palestinian financial institutions must pass through the Bank of Israel and other Israeli banks in order to access it.

Source: Maan News Agency

European car registrations surge 13.7% in April: Auto producers


BRUSSELS: New car sales in the European Union rebounded sharply in April, thanks to strong demand among four major markets, especially Spain and Germany, according to monthly data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).

German news agency (DPA) reported on Wednesday that new car registrations rose 13.7 percent year-over-year to 913,995 units in April, reversing a 5.2 percent fall in March. This growth can be partly explained by the fact that there were two extra sales days compared to the same month last year, when Easter holidays fell in April, the ACEA said.

Among the four major markets, the Spanish market showed the strongest sales growth of 23.1 percent, followed by Germany with a 19.8 percent rise. Car sales in France also logged double-digit growth of 10.9 percent over the year, and sales demand in the Italian car market was 7.7 percent higher.

In April, battery electric car sales showed an increase of 14.8 percent annually, with the market share remaining broadly stable at 12
percent. Strong growth was also seen in hybrid-electric vehicles, with registrations rising 33.1 percent in April.

The EU’s petrol car sales expanded by 7.3 percent, but its market share dropped to 36 percent in April from 38.1 percent a month ago.Meanwhile, the market for diesel cars stayed stable at about 118,000 units, or roughly 13 percent of the total.

In the first four months of this year, the number of new car registrations in the European Union rose by 6.6 percent to around 3.7 million units.

Source: Emirates News Agency

AI advancements, integration driving Pro AV industry up for discussion at Integrate Middle East 2024


DUBAI: The second edition of Integrate Middle East (IME), a premier Pro Audio Visual and media technology exhibition, concluded the IME Summit on day two with key discussions on AI integration and advancements.

The summit, which featured 20+ global thought leaders, was part of the three-day exhibition organised by the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and aimed to create an essential learning and networking event for the whole Pro AV integration value chain.

Discussions on how AI integration is transforming the Pro AV world addressed topics including ‘The Role of AI in Music Production,’ ‘The Integration of AI and Hybrid Pro AV into Immersive Storytelling,’ ‘Data Art, AI, and the Future of Experiential Visual Content,’ and ‘The Future of AI in Workplace Design and Built Environment.’

Thought leaders and industry experts reflected on the widespread growth of AI in the Pro AV space and current industry trends that have seen the technology makes a transformational impact on every workflow, process, and business
.

Diving into the heart of innovation, the summit fostered enriching dialogues and partnerships and spotlighted lucrative prospects for advancement across the MENA region. With insights from Data Bridge Market Research, projections unveil a compelling narrative: the Middle East Pro AV market is poised to surge at a remarkable compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.9%, soaring from USD 13,432.93 million in 2022 to USD 22,705.90 million by 2030. This forecast underscores a profound opportunity for exponential market expansion.

Once again co-located with long-running show CABSAT, Integrate ME 2024 further amplified its impact and global standing by showcasing state-of-the-art Pro AV technology solutions such as digital signage, command and control room models, and innovations for entertainment, live events and smart buildings.

New for 2024, it presented an exclusive Brand Ambassador programme, which recognised exceptional business leaders. This eminent panel of experts helped to strengthen the evolving indus
try, initiate high-level discussions, and establish the region as a popular media and entertainment hub.

When it concludes on May 23, Integrate Middle East 2024 is anticipated to have drawn remarkable outcomes in propelling the progress of the Pro AV and media sector, with AI integration emerging as a key facilitator of innovation. Additionally, the event is expected to have welcomed 10,000 visitors, and 250-plus exhibiting companies from 75 countries.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Western warnings of an economic catastrophe in the West Bank


London – Ma’an – Western officials warned of an “economic catastrophe” in the West Bank if the occupation does not renew “a vital exemption that Israeli banks need in order to maintain their relations with their Palestinian counterparts.”

The British newspaper “Financial Times” reported that this exemption, which expires on July 1, “allows the payment of the costs of vital services and salaries associated with the Palestinian Authority, and facilitates the import of basic materials,” such as food, water, and electricity, into the occupied Palestinian territories.

Without this exemption, Israeli banks will stop dealing with Palestinian financial institutions, and the Palestinian economy will effectively stop over time, according to three Western officials.

The newspaper quoted an American official as saying that not renewing the exemption ‘will not only be at the expense of Palestinian interests, but also at the expense of the security and stability of Israel and the region.’

It also quoted two other Weste
rn officials as saying that Washington is leading the efforts aimed at renewing the exemption, as it ‘appealed to its allies to exert pressure on the Israeli government.’

British officials said the United Kingdom was ‘also concerned’ about this issue, according to the Financial Times.

This issue is expected to be discussed at the G7 finance ministers’ meeting, expected later this week in Italy, according to officials.

The newspaper explained that the Palestinian economy trades with other economies in multiple currencies, including the Jordanian dinar, which is widely used in the West Bank.

The Palestinian economy operates with the Israeli shekel, so Palestinian financial institutions must pass through the Bank of Israel and other Israeli banks in order to access it.

Source: Maan News Agency

Enhancing biodiversity is key to restoring Mother Nature, achieving UAE sustainable development: Amna Al Dahak


ABU DHABI: Dr. Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, underscored the pivotal role of enhancing biodiversity in the restoration of Mother Nature and the natural ecosystems of the planet. This strengthens the role of the UAE’s initiatives in combating climate change through nature-based solutions, environmental conservation, and fostering sustainable development across all sectors.

In a statement marking the International Day for Biological Diversity, marked 22nd May, Al Dahak said that this year’s Day is held under the theme ‘Be Part of the Plan,’ inviting all stakeholders to join in curbing biodiversity loss. This theme resonates with the UAE’s approach of involving all relevant entities, including the private sector, in exerting concerted efforts and empowering every member of society to become a part of the action.

This, in turn, would drive transformation and steer the course towards reconnecting with the nurturing embrace of natural heritage.

She emphasised, “Nature s
tands as the primary defence line for achieving economic and social development in the UAE and globally. Its profound significance lies in preserving natural resources, maintaining environmental equilibrium, and addressing the impacts of climate change. Biodiversity loss poses a genuine threat to humanity and our planet.”

The minister stated that the the world has witnessed a staggering 69% decline in wildlife populations over the past 50 years, primarily due to deforestation and desertification. Human activities have altered more than 70% of non-ice-covered land on Earth, endangering further loss of wildlife and pushing more species towards extinction.

She elaborated that promoting biodiversity is a paramount priority for the UAE, with the nation embracing 49 protected areas, teeming with biodiversity and endangered species. Moreover, the UAE places special emphasis on expanding mangrove forests for their crucial role as natural carbon reservoirs and their contribution to safeguarding coastal ecosystems. T
his commitment is exemplified through the UAE’s pledge to plant 100 million mangroves by 2030.

Minister Al Dahak reiterated that biodiversity took centre stage in the COP28 agenda, culminating in the historic UAE Consensus, which underscored the pivotal role of nature and natural ecosystems in the global strategy to address climate change. This was reflected in the COP28 response, which emphasised the importance of integrating nature and biodiversity in addressing climate challenges.

Additionally, COP28 endorsed the ‘Joint Statement on Climate, Nature and People,’ garnering support from 18 countries and leading to 11 biodiversity partnerships. Financial contributions during the significant event reached $2.6 billion towards nature conservation.

Source: Emirates News Agency