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The Finance World Magazine | Edition: June 2022

THE FINANCE WORLD – Creating smart financial understanding with every news | JUNE 2022 The June 2022 issue of The Finance World Magazine covers all the latest updates happening across all the business sectors of the Middle East and worldwide. Our readers can enjoy the perspective offered in the fields of fintech, banking, stock market, digital assets, startups, trade, energy, manufacturing & retail, mergers & acquisitions, healthcare, education, travel, and so on. The Finance World is a leading finance magazine of MENA attracting a wide range of dynamic and influential audiences from the industry. We have got something different for everyone and we believe in delivering true value.

THE FINANCE WORLD – Creating smart financial understanding with every news | JUNE 2022

The June 2022 issue of The Finance World Magazine covers all the latest updates happening across all the business sectors of the Middle East and worldwide. Our readers can enjoy the perspective offered in the fields of fintech, banking, stock market, digital assets, startups, trade, energy, manufacturing & retail, mergers & acquisitions, healthcare, education, travel, and so on.

The Finance World is a leading finance magazine of MENA attracting a wide range of dynamic and influential audiences from the industry. We have got something different for everyone and we believe in delivering true value.

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FINTECH IN THE

POST-COVID-19

WORLD

Fintech has proved to be a helping

hand as it became a necessity to

do online transactions

DEWA IPO

JOURNEY AND

WHAT’S NEXT?

DEWA is the exclusive

provider of electricity and

water services in Dubai

JUNE 2022

COVER STORY

SAUDI ARAMCO

OVERTAKES APPLE AS

THE WORLD’S MOST

VALUABLE COMPANY

Aramco president and CEO Amin Nasser

Apple Has Lost Its Crown As The World’s Most

Valuable Company To The Oil Giant Saudi Aramco.

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2 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022

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Congratulations

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

on being elected as the President of the UAE.


Contents JUNE

2022

ENERGY

P08

Power Shift

In a sign that the old economy is

reasserting itself over the new this

year, Aramco eclipsed Apple on 11th

May night amid the ongoing rout on

Wall Street

P54

UAE Renewable Energy Prospects

amid inflation in oil prices

DIGITAL ASSETS

P20

Emirates Airlines

enters Metaverse

BUSINESS

P22

Business Leaders

in Focus

PERSONAL FINANCE

BANKING

P12

Digital Banking as the New

Normal In 2022

P27

Invest in the 20’s to

avoid regrets in the

30s and 40s

MERGERS &

ACQUISITIONS

P14 | For $530 million,

Dubai’s GII buys

51% of Saudi Arabia’s

Almeswak

P15 | Gautam Adani, signs a

$10.5 billion deal with

Holcim

P16 | UAE telecom company

e& buys shareholding

in Vodafone for

$4.4 billion

P18 | $21 billion rise for

M&A within MENA

ENTREPRENEUR

P28

Whitney Wolfe Herd,

Founder & CEO

of Bumble

4 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022



Contents JUNE

2022

INVESTMENT AND FUNDING

VAT AND CORPORATE TAX

P56 | Implementation of Corporate Tax

in UAE

P32 | Crowdfunding in UAE

P33 | Debt Management Office: Dubai

government’s new initiative for

financial control

P34 | Co-investment partnership of

Mubadala and Hellenic

Development Bank extended

P35 | Dnata invests over $17 million in

Erbil operations

P36 | Alpha Dhabi invest Dhs9.2 billion

to the Alpha Wave Ventures II fund

P37 | ADQ signs investment partnership

Hellenic Development Bank

P38 | Century Financial acquired the new

Category 1 SCA license

P39 | Funding of Start-ups

P43 | Dubai: The most successful Arab

city in liquidity capitalization

TRAVEL

P68 | Amazing Business Facts all around

the world, believe it or not!

START-UPS

P44 | Local Unicorn Startups

P46 | UAE and South Korea Sign MoU to

Promote SME Support

P47 | UAE’s Minister of Economy

inaugurates a start-up bridge

with India

P48 | Hub71 welcomes sixteen new

start-ups

FINTECH

P50 | UAE-Based FinTech Spades Raises

$2.5M in Angel Round

P51 | Careem will launch a new digital

wallet in Saudi Arabia.

P52 | Fintech in the post COVID-19

world

HEALTHCARE

P58 | Global investments in the

digital formation of the UAE

Healthcare industry

CORPORATE RESULTS

P60 | Corporate results for Q1 2022

LOCAL NEWS

P62 | CEPA trade deal improves UAE-

India relations

P63 | First UAE T-Bond auction creates

milestones

P64 | First Dirham-denominated

treasury bonds listed

Nasdaq Dubai

P65 | Bringing digitization to the

unbanked workforce

STOCK MARKET

P66 | DEWA IPO Journey and what’s

next?

UAE BANKING

P70 | Keep up with Dubai Islamic Bank

P71 | Wio Bank, established recently in

the UAE, appoints Chairman

and CEO

P72 | CBUAE increase base rate

P73 | United Arab Bank names new CEO

P74 | Mashreq Bank invests in

BNPL sector

GLOBAL NEWS

P76 | Ground breaking portrait

P77 | $1 trillion worth crypto crash

P78 | The NEOM project: Saudi Arabia

redefining future

P79 | McDonald’s to sell its Russia

operations and leave the country

6 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


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ACT NOW, IT’S LATER THAN YOU THINK

Through this edition, we are bringing you the current trends and

updates from the finance sector that includes corporate results,

startups, banking, funding and investment, fintech, digital

banking, and many more.

Our goal is to provide our readers with key informational

stories and keep them updated about ongoing movements within the

finance impacting the economy as a whole. We in the media industry

work towards gathering relevant and impactful information and

sending them to you now and in the future.

In the finance world, it’s very important to stay updated otherwise

soon you become outdated by tomorrow.

It’s important to know what’s happening

around us.

“We congratulate

him and pledge

allegiance to him as

do our people...and

the entire country

will follow his

leadership to glory,”

We know that the finance industry is

evolving so much and there are many

alternative sources of funding gaining

momentum. What is for sure: there’s a

lot unseen in the finance industry and no

organization can skip this.

Be prepared at all times. Think of new,

more efficient, more sustainable, and more

appropriate ways to manage your finance

helping business growth. It’s for those who

are brave enough to take the opportunity

and upgrade the outdated systems and

accept the change.

Under the leadership of newly-elected President HH Sheikh

Mohammed Bin Zayed, UAE is poised for massive growth. “We

congratulate him and pledge allegiance to him as do our people...and

the entire country will follow his leadership to glory,” Dubai ruler HH

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who is also UAE vicepresident

and premier, said in a Twitter post.

Meanwhile, stay safe; stay healthy.

Enjoy the read, my friends.

Oh, and enjoy yourself now, it’s later than you think.

ADVERTISERS ADVERTISED IN THIS GUIDE ARE INCLUDED ON

A SPONSORED BASIS. DETAILS ARE CORRECT AT THE TIME OF

GOING TO PRESS, BUT OFFERS AND PRICES MAY CHANGE.

Please recycle the magazine once you've finished reading it

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 7


Energy

Power Shift

Apple has lost its crown as the world’s most valuable company to the oil

giant Saudi Aramco, as soaring commodity prices swell profits at energy

companies and technology stocks continue to slide.

8 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 9


Energy

In a sign that the old economy is

reasserting itself over the new this

year, Aramco eclipsed Apple on

11th May night amid the ongoing

rout on Wall Street.Share in Apple,

which had become the world’s first

$3tn company in early January, sank

another 5% knocking its value down

to $2.37tn (£1.94tn) – an 18% drop this

year.

This pulled the iPhone maker

valuation below Aramco, whose

market capitalization has climbed by a

quarter this year to hit $2.43tn, stoked

by the surge in oil prices since Ukraine

war began.

Aramco’s rise comes a decade after

the watershed moment in 2011 when

Apple surpassed another energy giant,

ExxonMobil, to become the world’s

most valuable listed company. Since

then, Apple, Microsoft, Google’s owner

Alphabet and Amazon have dominated

stock markets, hitting and then

surpassing $1tn valuations and pushing

oil giants out of the top ranks. Only

Saudi Aramco has regularly featured

among the most valuable.

Neil Wilson, of Markets.com, said

there was “something symbolic in tech

being overtaken by oil”, adding that

“this steamroller of a bear market”

was pushing stocks down. The two

companies have traded the top spot

before. Aramco became the world’s

biggest listed company when it floated

on Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul stock

exchange in December 2019 and would

have been bigger than Exxon if it had

been a public company a decade ago.

Apple surged back to overtake Aramco

in July 2020 as the pandemic boosted

demand for technology products and

services.

This latest change of the guard

highlights how the impact of Russia’s

invasion of Ukraine, soaring inflation,

and the current Covid-19 lockdowns

in China are all creating economic

turmoil. “Apple posted better-thanexpected

results in the quarter ended

March 2022,” said Parth Vala, an analyst

at GlobalData. “However, amid the

increasing supply chain constraints

on account of the rapidly changing

global geopolitical scenarios, silicon

shortages, and intense lockdowns in

China, the company anticipates that

the June quarter could take revenue hit

between the range of $4bn and $8bn.”

In contrast, Aramco is seeing bumper

revenues and earnings, having doubled

its profits last year. In its first-quarter

earnings due it is expected to report

that net income almost doubled to

about $38bn in the January-March

period.

“The Russia-Ukraine conflict

has sent the global energy prices

soaring, which resulted in the energy

companies booking substantial top-line

and bottom-line growth,” Vala added.

Aramco has a particularly low cost

of production, as much of its oil is in

easy-to-tap fields onshore or in shallow

waters. That boosts profitability at the

company, which is still 95% owned by

the Saudi government.

James Meyer, chief investment

officer at Tower Bridge Advisors, has

pointed out that Apple and Aramco are

not comparable in terms of businesses

or fundamentals, although the latter

has benefited from the tightening

commodity market. “They’re the

beneficiaries of inflation and tight

supply,” Meyer said.

The Ukraine invasion drove oil to

13-year highs of about $130 a barrel.

Although prices have eased, Brent

crude is still trading at $105 a barrel

today, up from $77 at the start of the

year. The surge in energy and food

prices this year will leave consumers

with less money to spend on nonessential

items such as technology

products. Higher interest rates have

also hit the value of “growth stocks”

such as technology companies, which

promise higher returns in the future.

“As the world economy started to

rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic,

Aramco’s net income increased by

124% to $110 billion in 2021, compared

to $49 billion in 2020,” the company

said in a press statement.

As per reports, Aramco cautioned

that the company’s outlook remained

Amin H. Nasser, President

and CEO of Saudi Aramco

“We continue to make progress

on increasing our crude oil

production capacity, executing

our gas expansion program,

and increasing our liquids to

chemicals capacity,”

10 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


uncertain due in part to “geopolitical

factors.”

“We continue to make progress on

increasing our crude oil production

capacity, executing our gas expansion

program, and increasing our liquids to

chemicals capacity,” Amin Nasser, CEO

& President of Aramco, said in a press

statement.

On the results for 2021, he

acknowledged that “economic

conditions have improved

considerably.”

Saudi Aramco’s shares, which are

listed in Riyadh, have risen 28% since

the start of the year to trade at a record

$12.27. Oil prices, which surged to a

14-year high of $139 a barrel in March

following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,

have helped some of the world’s

biggest oil and gas companies deliver

record profits in the first three months

of the year. According to experts,

globally, market forces such as inflation

could cause a drop in consumption,

reducing oil demand, while tech shares

could continue to be dragged down by

investor concerns over company costs,

interest rate rises, and supply chain

woes.

The company anticipates that

the June quarter could take

revenue hit between the range

of $4bn and $8bn.” said Parth

Vala, an analyst at GlobalData.

Why Did Apple Fall Behind Saudi

Aramco?

According to a report by AFP, owing

to rising oil prices, Saudi Aramco, the

world’s largest oil-producing company,

has become the largest company by

market capitalization (M-cap) too. The

surge in inflation in the past few weeks

has led to a fall in demand for tech

stocks, including Apple. According to

market data, Saudi Aramco was valued

at $2.72 trillion as the trading closed on

Wednesday. Apple, on the other hand,

was valued at $2.37 trillion.

Apple, however, stays as the most

valued tech company in the world.

Early in 2022, Apple became the first

company to be valued at $3 trillion. But

Apple shares have fallen 20 percent

since then and Aramco’s shares have

surged 28 percent. Microsoft is the

second most valued tech company with

a valuation of $1.95 trillion.

1. China Covid-19 Lockdown:

Major cities in China have been under

strict lockdown due to rising Covid-19

cases. Apple manufactures a lot of its

products in China. The company had

earlier said that the lockdown in China

could lead to further strain on supply

chains and can harm the June quarter

results by $4-$8 billion.

2. Higher Labour Costs:

The work from home (WFH) demand

in most companies has led to a rise in

labor and operating costs.

3. High Attrition Rates:

The attrition rates in companies have

been on the higher side since the

outbreak of Covid-19. To retain the

employees, the companies have been

made to change their policies, which

has also pushed the operating costs

higher.

4. Oil Price Rise:

Saudi Aramco’s profits have jumped

124 percent from the last year. This is

primarily due to a surge in oil prices

due to the ongoing Russia Ukraine war.

5. Inflation:

The inflation numbers across the

globe have been rising. In the US, the

inflation rate has touched the highest

figure in 40 years. This has led to a fall

in demand for tech stocks.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 11


Banking

Digital Banking as the New Normal In 2022

Digital banking unit is a specialized fixed banking unit or hub, created with digital

infrastructure to provide financial services at any time through self-service mode

and a digital bank is a virtual bank that allows internet banking and beyond.

The outbreak of COVID-19 in

early 2020 made it convenient

for people in getting things

done in the comfort of their

homes. The pandemic has

demonstrated that digital

banking for consumers of all ages

helps them confidently manage their

finances. Therefore, banks are now in a

condition to go digital to get through.

Proving Darwin’s survival of the

fittest theory, banks are developing

and concentrating more on digital

banks. Till now, many banks’ work are

digitalized all over the world and there

are possibilities for digital-only banks

to emerge in the future.

Why digital banks?

Digitalization is not comparatively

easy in the beginning. It involves a lot

of software work to be done. Decades

have passed so fast, and in the past

10 years banking has gone through a

lot. Technology has changed the way

we bank, by 2030, the entire banking

system will be virtual.

Research says that, by the time of

virtual banking, billions of people will

have virtual bank accounts. Only about

20% of the current banks would have

survived the digital banking system.

The banking, storage data, and

information will be saved using

blockchain technology. Comparatively,

Digitalization is not

comparatively easy in

the beginning. It involves

a lot of software work to

be done. Decades have

passed so fast, and in the

past 10 years banking

has gone through a lot.

Technology has changed

the way we bank, by

2030, the entire banking

system will be virtual.

12 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


this will be faster and safer. Digitalizing

will also help the bank to offer highly

personalized services by going through

your online interactions, travel plans,

medical emergencies, and daily needs.

The AI-powered virtual banking will be

up in the town soon.

By the end of the decade, money

will no longer be a king. The payment

methods will change to blockchain

wallets and the companies will opt for

a common method of payment which

will reduce the usage of physical debit

cards and credit cards.

Banking as a Service (BaaS)

The evolution of banking is majorly

due to the banking services provided

by the non-banking organizations.

Non-banking organizations including

retailers, tech giants, and logistic

firms are now embedding banking and

financial services as fintech companies.

On the other hand, people are more

willing to use services offered by nonbanking

organizations. “To meet the

rising demand for embedded finance,

financial institutions are increasingly

offering banking as a service (BaaS)—

bundled offerings, often white-labeled

or co-branded services, that nonbanks

can use to serve their customers,”

Zac Townsend, McKinsey & Company

associate partner, wrote in March 2021.

The BaaS value chain consists of four

key players,

● Consumers

● Distributors

● Enablers

● Providers

BaaS is a new frontier for financial

sectors unlocking hundreds of new

tools and services for the business. It

is ushering in a new era of financial

services by bringing in modified

banking procedures and accelerating

growth through digital transformation.

85% of executives are already using

BaaS or planning to use it in the

upcoming months. There are currently

more BaaS offerings for business,

banking, and corporate, BaaS is poised

to have more growth in the future

making it the top in digital banking.

As per research, a new era has

already begun, in which businesses

should center their attention on solving

the consumer problems more clearly

and easily.

To succeed in BaaS, a player must

follow three steps:

1. Understand the case and deliver

a solution that will deliver the most

value.

2. Select monetization models that will

deliver capabilities and enable profits.

3. Be clear on the BaaS model you

take to the market and establish a

partnership with capable acceleration.

Omnichannel

Today’s consumers demand

services according to their individual

preferences and need whenever,

wherever, and however. Therefore,

banks now have to provide convenient,

reliable, and accurate transaction

processing.

With omnichannel, banks can not

only fulfill customers’ explicit needs

but also anticipate their wants and

likes. Built on a multichannel strategy

that allows any time, anywhere,

any device access with a consistent

experience across channels,

omnichannel enables interactions

across multiple customer touchpoints

where intents are captured, insights

are derived and conversations are

personalized and optimized.

Today, Big Data technologies provide

banks with reliable and accurate data

more quickly. This information is

invaluable to banks in providing the

consumers with their needs. This is

the most targeted market need, which

helps in digitalizing the banks and

meeting the needs of the consumers

easily in the upcoming years.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 13


Mergers and Acquisitions

For $530 million, Dubai’s GII buys 51% of

Saudi Arabia’s Almeswak

Gulf Islamic Investments, based in Dubai, has closed a $530 million deal to buy a

stake in Saudi Arabia’s largest provider of dental and dermatology care, with plans

to list the company within three years.

According to a statement,

the investment firm GII

purchased a majority stake

in Almeswak Dental Clinics

from Saudi-based private

equity firm Jadwa

Investment Co.

When contacted, a GII spokesperson

confirmed that the company had

purchased a 51 percent stake.

In November, Bloomberg News

reported that GII was planning to buy

a majority stake in the healthcare

company for $600 million.

In a statement, GII co-founder

Mohammed Al Hassan said, “This is a

When contacted,

a GII spokesperson

confirmed that the

company had purchased

a 51 percent stake. In

November, Bloomberg

News reported that GII

was planning to buy

a majority stake in the

healthcare company for

$600 million.

landmark transaction that reflects our

capability and reaches in the healthcare

sector and the Saudi market,” adding

that they plan to list Almeswak on the

Saudi stock exchange within the next

two to three years.

According to the statement,

Almeswak operates over 80 centers

in 20 cities across Saudi Arabia. The

sale highlights the growing appeal of

healthcare assets in the Gulf, where

the domestic medical sector has

boomed in recent years as incomes

have improved and governments have

invested in medical infrastructure for

their citizens.

14 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


Gautam Adani, signs a $10.5 billion deal with

Holcim

Holcim Ltd, a Swiss building materials company, has agreed to sell its Indian

operations to local billionaire Gautam Adani, Asia’s richest man, marking yet

another step in CEO Jan Jenisch’s shift away from traditional cement.

Holcim said in a statement

on that it will sell its 63

percent stake in Mumbailisted

Ambuja Cements Ltd

to Adani Group. Adani stated

that it intends to spend

approximately $10.5 billion on stake

purchases and open offer consideration

for Ambuja and related entities.

Adani will inherit Ambuja’s controlling

stake in ACC Ltd, a publicly traded

cement producer, and will purchase

Holcim’s direct 4.5 percent stake in the

unit as part of the deal. According to the

statement, Holcim expects to receive 6.4

billion Swiss francs ($6.4 billion) in cash

from the sale.

“We have a long list of companies

we’d like to buy,” Jenisch said in an

interview. “We’re currently working on

more than ten deals.”

Jenisch, who joined Holcim from

Sika AG in 2017, has been selling

non-core cement businesses and

buying new construction companies

to capitalise on the growing demand

for energy efficient buildings. He has

spent about $5 billion on acquisitions,

including Malarkey Roofing Products

in December and Firestone Building

Products in early 2021, as part of

his strategy to expand the so-called

solutions and products division.

After the messy mega merger of

Holcim and France’s Lafarge SA in

2015, the 55-year-old German has been

cleaning up the company. Jenisch sold

a $1 billion Brazilian unit in September

and Asian businesses like Holcim

Indonesia in 2019.

The sale of Holcim’s Indian business,

which is subject to local regulatory

approvals, is expected to close in the

second half of 2022, aided by Adani’s

lack of significant overlap. Following

the roofing acquisitions, the company

began looking for new asset sales over

the last year, and Jenisch said that

negotiations with a handful of potential

Indian buyers took about three months.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 15


Mergers and Acquisitions

Expanding Boundaries

UAE telecom company e& buys shareholding in Vodafone for $4.4 billion

F

For $4.4 billion, e&, formerly

known as Etisalat, purchased

a 9.8% stake in Vodafone

Group Plc. The Middle Eastern

telecoms company is looking to

grow internationally.

The move comes days after e& said

it was looking to expand into new

markets in Africa, Europe, and Asia

and in areas outside telecoms such as

financial technology as it seeks to drive

growth.

e& offered about 130 pence

($1.59 dollars) a share, according

to Bloomberg calculations. That’s

a premium of about 10 percent to

Vodafone’s 117.82 pence closing price.

The purchase makes e& Vodafone’s

largest shareholder, ahead of

BlackRock, the Vanguard Group, and

HSBC Holdings.

The UAE telco plans to remain a

long-term investor and won’t make an

offer for the rest of Vodafone shares,

e& said in a stock exchange statement.

e& has “made the investment in

Vodafone is one of the

leading businesses

at the heart of digital

communications in

Europe and Africa

with a compelling

business offering critical

connectivity and digital

services.”

Vodafone to gain significant exposure

to a world leader in connectivity

and digital services” and aims to

develop opportunities for commercial

partnerships, it said.

“As a geographically diversified

company with a deep understanding of

the global telecom sector, e& sees this

investment as highly efficient use of its

strong balance sheet at a compelling

and attractive valuation with strong

currency diversification benefits.”

With this deal, the UAE telco major

may also partner with Vodafone

in the areas of R&D, technological

applications, and procurement.

Hatem Dowidar, the Group CEO

of e&, said: “Vodafone is one of the

leading businesses at the heart of

digital communications in Europe

and Africa with a compelling business

offering critical connectivity and digital

services.”

“We are looking forward to building

a mutually beneficial strategic

partnership with Vodafone with

the goal of driving value creation

for both our businesses, exploring

opportunities in the rapidly developing

global telecom market, and supporting

the adoption of next-generation

technologies,” he added.

16 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022



Mergers and Acquisitions

$21 billion rise for M&A within MENA

Merger and acquisitions in the Middle East and North Africa grew 11 per cent to

$21 billion in the first quarter of this year, according to data provider Refinitiv.

Deals valued at under $500

million reached $4.6bn this

year, marking the strongest

start to a year since records

began in 1980.

The UAE was the most

active in terms of its M&A activity

which rose 5 per cent to $4.3bn this

year, accounting for nearly half of all

activity in the region.

“The largest Mena target M&A deal

of the year so far is UAE’s hospital

operator NMC Healthcare’s $2.25bn

sale to its creditors. Healthcare was the

most active sector in Mena with $2.3bn

in deal activity, equivalent to a quarter

of M&A activity in 2022,” Refinitiv said

in a report.

The volume of M&A deals in the

Mena region surged 66 per cent last

year, according to a report by EY. There

were 661 transactions worth $99bn last

year, compared with 397 deals worth

$85.2bn in 2020, the consultancy said.

The UAE experienced the highest

deal activity in terms of volume with

303 transactions, while Saudi Arabia

attracted the most M&A capital, worth

$47.4bn.

Inbound M&A fell 42 per cent to

$1.9bn in the first quarter of this year,

while outbound M&A doubled in

volume from last year to reach $8.8bn,

Refinitiv said.

Meanwhile, Mena’s equity capital

markets raised $3.7bn from 15 offerings

in the first quarter of 2022, up seven

times on an annual basis. It is the

strongest start to the year for equity

capital markets since 2008.

“IPOs made up most of the total with

13 out of 15 ECM deals coming from an

IPO,” the report said.

Saudi Arabia was the most active

nation with $3.5bn in proceeds,

followed by Egypt with $163.3m. The

largest listing in Mena region was

Nahdi Medical’s IPO, which raised

$1.3bn.

Investment banking fees in the Mena

region surged 94 per cent to $430m,

marking the highest year-to-date since

records began in 2000.

Completed M&A fees also soared

569 per cent to a record $184m,

accounting for 43 per cent of the

overall investment banking fee pool.

Governments and agencies contributed

to more than half of the fees earned in

Mena, the report said.

JP Morgan earned $42.8m — the

highest amount of investment banking

fees in the first quarter in the region

— and accounted for a 10 per cent

share of the market. Goldman Sachs

and Moelis took second and third

18 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


The largest bond

offering of the year

was from MDGH

GMTN, whollyowned

by Mubadala

Treasury Holdings

Company, which

raised $1.4bn.

spots with 7.6 per cent and 6.2 per cent

market shares, respectively.

Debt capital markets (DCM) slid 79

per cent in the region to $7.9bn during

the period. The UAE was ranked at

the top for DCM activity with $5.3bn

in related proceeds followed by Saudi

Arabia with $1bn.

The largest bond offering of the

year was from MDGH GMTN, whollyowned

by Mubadala Treasury Holdings

Company, which raised $1.4bn.

“HSBC Holdings takes the top spot in

the Mena debt capital markets league

table with $935m in related activity or

a 12 per cent market share. First Abu

Dhabi Bank comes second with a 9 per

cent market share,” the report said.

The biggest acquisition took place in

March 2022 when Abu Dhabi hospital

operator NMC Healthcare comes under

new ownership led by ADCB.

After nearly two years, Abu Dhabi

hospital operator NMC Healthcare

emerged out of court-appointed

administration. This means that a group

of creditors - led by mega-bank ADCB

– assumed the ownership of the UAE’s

biggest private healthcare company and

will continue to do until it finds a new

owner. There will be no disruption to

the ongoing trading of the NMC Group.

However, NMC Healthcare ltd –

along with NMC Holding ltd – will

remain in administration in order to

continue to investigate and pursue

litigation claims, any proceeds of which

will be distributed to the relevant

creditors. “The Group has benefitted

from a bedrock of creditor support, as

evidenced by a $325 million funding

facility,” said a statement.

ADCB’s Rights

As the entity with the highest

exposure, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

received 37.5 per cent of transferable

exit instruments in a $2.25 billion

facility issued by the new NMC holding

company. This follows the completion

of the debt restructuring process and a

successful exit from the administration.

The core healthcare operating

entities of NMC in UAE and Oman

exited Abu Dhabi Global Market

(ADGM) administration on March 25

and were transferred to NMC HoldCo

SPV ltd. (Earlier, NMC Healthcare said

it was selling its 53 per cent stake in

the Saudi operations as part of selling

all non-core assets). The Bank has

appointed three of the seven members

of the board of the new company, who

will work with CEO Michael Davis to

implement a strategy for the growth

of the business. Kevin Taylor, Group

Treasurer at ADCB, becomes Chairman

and Jean-Marc Le Jeune and Bassem

Itani are non-executive directors.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 19


Digital Assets

Emirates Airlines enters Metaverse

Slowly but surely, NFTs are breaking through the transportation world by introducing tickets

in NFTs. Also, over the past couple of years, the use of blockchain in airline management has

revolved chiefly around Covid-19-related initiatives.

NFT stands for a non-fungible

token. Non-fungible is an

economic term that can be

used to describe things that

are not interchangeable with

other items because

they have unique characteristics.

Essentially, these tokens represent

ownership of a unique object that

can only have one official owner at a

time because they’re secured by the

Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. This

means no one can modify the record

of ownership or copy and paste a new

NFT into existence.

Emirates Airlines of the United Arab

Emirates has announced its entry into

the metaverse and non-fungible tokens

(NFT) sectors. Emirates is bringing

in digital collectibles services and

ranges that will enhance the Metaverse

experience of its passengers. The move

comes after Abu Dhabi and Dubai

legalized crypto-related activities and

businesses in the UAE. Regions of the

Middle East intend to link their digital

economies with the crypto industry.

The story of Emirates began a lot

early in 1985 when they launched

operations with just two aircraft.

Today, they fly the world’s biggest

fleets of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s,

offering our customers the comforts of

the latest and most efficient wide-body

aircraft in the skies.

Emirates has always embraced

technologies in its business and

has stood as a pioneer in many

new ideas. On the same line,

Emirates has now debuted its way

through digital currencies. In one

official statement, Emirates has

announced that the metaverse and

NFT projects are already under the

line and are about to flourish in

the market. Cryptocurrencies will

help the organization to develop its

personalized experiences and customer

satisfaction.

Emirates continues to engage with

industry partners on its Web3 strategy,

and recruit talent for its pipeline

projects. Last year, it became the first

airline to launch its own VR app on the

Oculus store, offering users accurate,

life-size, and interactive cabin interior

experiences onboard Emirates’ flagship

A380 aircraft and Boeing 777-300ER

Gamechanger aircraft, interactive cabin

interior experiences onboard Emirates’

20 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


flagship A380 aircraft and Boeing 777-

300ER Gamechanger aircraft.

The company’s miles system is more

attractive to potential passengers. Most

airlines manage a loyalty program

where a passenger’s miles are turned

into points that can be exchanged for

rewards such as discounts on future

flights or hotel accommodation.

Emirates can use NFTs as part of the

program, such as when a customer

reaches a certain level of miles, they

earn an NFT, making them feel that

they are part of an exclusive club.

Through Emirates selling collectibles,

completing a certain collection could

also contribute to customer points.

Thus, the UAE is trying to establish

itself as a crypto and blockchain

center. One of its enterprise zones,

the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre

(DMCC), launched the DMCC Crypto

Centre. And, the Dubai Financial

Services Authority has drafted

regulations to provide regulatory

clarity for cryptocurrencies and stable

coins within the Dubai International

Financial Centre (DIFC) to attract

international startups.

Emirates Airlines of the United

Arab Emirates has announced its

entry into the metaverse and nonfungible

tokens (NFT) sectors.

Emirates is bringing in digital

collectibles services and ranges

that will enhance the Metaverse

experience of its passengers.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 21


Business

Tim Cook

CEO, Apple

Business Leaders in Focus

TIMOTHY DONALD COOK (born November 1, 1960) is an American business executive and

engineer who has been the chief executive officer of Apple Inc. since 2011. Cook previously served

as the company’s chief operating officer under its co-founder Steve Jobs.

22 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


C

ook was born in Alabama,

United States. His

father, Donald, was

a shipyard worker, and his

mother, Geraldine, worked at

a pharmacy. After graduating

from Auburn University, Cook spent

12 years in IBM’s personal computer

business, ultimately serving as the

director of North American fulfillment.

During this time, Cook also earned his

MBA from Duke University, becoming a

Fuqua Scholar in 1988. Later, he served

as the chief operating officer of the

computer reseller division of Intelligent

Electronics. In 1997, he became the

vice president for corporate materials

at Compaq for six months, but left the

position after being hired by Steve Jobs

in 1998.

Tim Cook’s history at Apple

As Chief Executive Officer, Tim Cook

is the face of Apple and the executive

team. However, his gigantic impact on

the company goes back long before he

replaced Steve Jobs in 2011.

Jobs recruited him in 1998 from

Compaq, where he had been vice

president for corporate materials for

less than a year. Before that, Cook

had been at IBM for over a decade,

and at that time, it would’ve seemed

peculiar to leave the PC world to

join Apple. The rivalry between IBM,

plus its clone makers like Compaq,

and Apple may have quietened down,

but it was chiefly because Apple was

failing. Apple was in such a poor state

that even Cook says that “any purely

rational consideration” meant he

should stay with Compaq. Yet for all

its success, Compaq made clone PCs

so superficially it was no different

from any other commodity computer

manufacturer.

Joining Apple

“I was never going to find my

purpose working someplace without

a clear sense of purpose of its own,”

said Cook in a 2017 commencement

speech. “I tried meditation. I sought

guidance and religion. I read great

philosophers and authors. In a moment

of youthful indiscretion, I might even

have experimented with a Windows

PC. And obviously, that didn’t work.

“Cook says that within minutes of

being interviewed by Steve Jobs, he

knew he wanted to join the company

– and specifically that he wanted to

help resurrect Apple. Steve Jobs had

begun the turnaround of Apple when

he rejoined in 1996. Famously, it was

the iMac that began the climb back

from the brink of bankruptcy. That

visibility of Jony Ive’s and the Design

Team’s wo Cook says that within

minutes of being interviewed by Steve

Jobs, he knew he wanted to join the

company – and specifically that he

wanted to help resurrect Apple.

It would also have been unpopular,

as it was by Cook’s choice that

Apple closed factories and shuttered

warehouses. Instead, Apple outsourced

manufacturing and began the same

well-controlled production that it has

to this day. Where previously Apple

had made computers that would sit in

warehouses for months before being

sold, Cook got those months down to

days.

Tim Cook’s run as Apple CEO

could end as early as 2025. Who

will replace him?

In 2011, Cook had the impossible

task of filling the shoes of Steve Jobs,

a one-of-a-kind product mind. Of

course, Cook could never top Jobs’s

legacy, but he successfully charted

his own path as Apple’s CEO. Cook

has grown Apple’s stock more than

1,000%, turned the company into an

operations powerhouse, went all-in on

custom technologies, and expanded the

product portfolio with new services,

wearables and a wider array of screen

sizes.

While Apple’s next leader will have

different shoes to fill, they will still be

big. Cook, who turns 61 in November,

is all but assured to be Apple’s CEO

into 2025, when 1 million shares

designed to keep him at the helm finish

?DID

YOU

KNOW

“If I’ve got 11 days

of inventory and my

competitor has 80,”

said Michael Dell, “and

Intel comes out with

a new 450 megahertz

chip that means I’m

going to get to market

69 days sooner.”

paying out. If he wanted to extend

longer than that, I’m sure Apple’s board

of directors would be more than happy

to let him.

But there are signs that are not

likely. The belief inside Apple is that

Cook just wants to stick around for

one more major new product category,

which is likely to be augmented reality

glasses rather than a car — something

that’s even further out. He also

understands that running a Silicon

Valley company is typically a young

person’s game, and he’s not going to

stay far beyond his prime.

Apple plans to unveil a mixed reality

headset which blends AR and VR,

but AR glasses that are small enough

to resemble classic frames are in

development for a launch in the middle

of the decade. Of course, Cook could

decide to stay on longer (or shorter),

but the combination of factors — the

shares paying out in 2025, the launch

of the glasses, Cook already saying he

probably won’t be in the job in 10 more

years and his age leads to believe he’s

going to retire sometime between 2025

and 2028.

True to his humble background, Cook lives in an

average four-bedroom condo in Palo Alto, California.

It has a small yard in the front. Tim says that he

likes to be reminded of where he is from. Again, he

doesn’t like to think of himself as someone superior.

He says that monetary success does not motivate

him. Since 2005, he has also served as a board

member of shoe and athletic apparel firm Nike.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 23


Business

Reed Warren Hastings Edward Buffett is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He

CEO is currently of Netflix the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is one of the most successful

investors in the world and has a net worth of over $116 billion as of May 2022, making him

the world’s sixth-wealthiest person.

24 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


Wilmot Reed Hastings

Jr. is an American

businessman. He is the

co-founder, chairman,

and co-chief executive

officer (CEO) of Netflix,

and sits on several boards and nonprofit

organizations. A former member

of the California State Board of

Education, Hastings is an advocate

for education reform through charter

schools.

Personal Life

Wilmot Reed Hastings Jr. was born

on October 8, 1960. Reed Hastings

was born in Boston,

Massachusetts. His father

Wilmot Reed Hastings was an

attorney for the Department

of Health, Education,

and Welfare in the Nixon

administration, and his

mother Joan Amory Loomis

was a Boston debutante from

a Social Register family who

was repulsed by the world of

high society and taught her

children to disdain it.

At Adaptive technology,

Hastings had his first job,

where he created a tool for

debugging software. Hastings

told CNN “From her, I learned

the value of focus. I learned

it is better to do one product

well than two products in a

mediocre way.” Hastings left

Adaptive Technology in 1991

to lay the foundation for his

first company.

Hastings studied

mathematics at Bowdoin

College in Brunswick, Maine,

graduating with a bachelor’s degree in

1983. After serving in the U.S. Marine

Corps, he spent two years with the

Peace Corps, most of the time teaching

math in Swaziland (now Eswatini).

He returned to the United States and

went to Stanford University, where he

received (a 1988) a master’s degree

in computer science. Subsequently,

Hastings became a software developer,

and in 1991 he founded Pure Software

(later Pure Atria Corporation), which

he sold in 1997 for a substantial profit.

Hastings studied mathematics at

Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine,

graduating with a bachelor’s degree in

1983. After serving in the U.S. Marine

Corps, he spent two years with the

Peace Corps, most of the time teaching

math in Swaziland (now Eswatini).

He returned to the United States and

went to Stanford University, where he

received (a 1988) a master’s degree

in computer science. Subsequently,

Hastings became a software developer,

and in 1991 he founded Pure Software

(later Pure Atria Corporation), which

he sold in 1997 for a substantial profit.

Founding of Pure Software

Hastings’ first job was at Adaptive

Hastings expanded

Netflix through movie

studio partnerships and

aggressive marketing

campaigns, emphasizing

Netflix’s catalogue of

indie films, documentaries,

and other movies not easily

available through

other services.

Technology, where he created a tool

for debugging software. He met Audrey

MacLean in 1990 when she was CEO at

Adaptive Corp. In 2007, Hastings told

CNN, “From her, I learned the value of

focus. I learned it is better to do one

product well than two products in a

mediocre way.”

Hastings left Adaptive Technology

in 1991 to lay the foundation for his

first company, Pure Software, which

produced products to troubleshoot

software. The company’s growth

proved challenging for Hastings, as

he lacked managerial experience. He

stated he had trouble managing a rapid

headcount growth. His engineering

background didn’t prepare him for

the challenges of being a CEO and he

asked his board to replace him, stating

he was losing confidence. The board

refused, and Hastings says he learned

to be a businessman. Pure Software

was taken public by Morgan Stanley in

1995.

In 1996, Pure Software announced

a merger with Atria Software. The

merger integrated Pure Software’s

programs for detecting bugs in

software with Atria’s tools to manage

the development of complex software.

The Wall Street Journal

reported that there were

problems integrating

the sales forces of Pure

Software and Atria after

the head salesmen for

both Pure and Atria left

following the merger.

Reed and Netflix

In 1997, Hastings and

former Pure Software

employee Marc Randolph

co-founded Netflix, offering

flat rate movie rental-bymail

to customers in the US

by combining two emerging

technologies; DVDs, which

were much easier to send

as mail than VHS cassettes,

and a website to order them

from, instead of a paper

catalogue. Headquartered

in Los Gatos, California,

Netflix has amassed a

collection of 100,000 titles

and more than 100 million

subscribers. Hastings

had the idea for Netflix after he left

Pure Software. “I had a big late fee

for Apollo 13. It was six weeks late

and I owed the video store $40. I had

misplaced the cassette. It was all my

fault. I didn’t want to tell my wife about

it. And I said to myself, ‘I’m going

to compromise the integrity of my

marriage over a late fee?’ Later, on my

way to the gym, I realized they had a

much better business model. You could

pay $30 or $40 a month and work out

as little or as much as you wanted.”

Hastings said that when he founded

Netflix, he had no idea whether

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 25


Business

?DID

YOU

KNOW

• As the son of a Nixon administration lawyer,

he studied math at Bowdoin and served in

the Peace Corps in Swaziland.

• Hastings holds a graduate degree in artificial

intelligence from Stanford.

customers would use the service.

Hastings expanded Netflix through

movie studio partnerships and

aggressive marketing campaigns,

emphasizing Netflix’s catalogue of

indie films, documentaries, and other

movies not easily available through

other services. In February 2007 Netflix

shipped its billionth DVD. Meanwhile,

the company launched applications

that permitted customers to access

movies and TV shows through

streaming downloads. Hastings made

a rare misstep in 2011 when Netflix

announced that it would increase

rental prices and split the company in

two, with the DVD service rebranded as

Qwikster. He downplayed the resulting

loss of customers and plunging stock

price, but the company backtracked

and cancelled the Qwikster spin-off

plan.

Hastings subsequently oversaw

Netflix’s foray into content produced

specifically for its streaming service.

Its first such offering was the episodic

drama series House of Cards, which

debuted in 2013. Such content was

hugely successful and became a major

focus of the company. During this time

Netflix also began producing films.

In 2020 it was announced that Ted

Sarandos would serve as co-CEO with

Hastings.

After a subscriber boom driven

by COVID-19 and years of cultural

dominance on the streaming scene,

Netflix recently reported a shocking

net LOSS in subscribers. This loss

could have untold ramifications on

Netflix’s future, but the stock market

responded pretty much immediately.

This is of course less than ideal news

for anyone who owns Netflix stock,

but it’s especially troubling to Reed

Hastings. Hastings owns 5.2 million

shares of Netflix. Back in October of

last year, during better days when its

stock price was sitting at a 52-week

high of $700 per share, Hastings’ Netflix

stake was valued at $3.6 billion.

Netflix stock began sinking in April,

at the beginning of April, Netflix stock

was valued at around $400 a share. At

$400 a share, Hastings’ stake was worth

a still formidable $2 billion.

Reed’s fortune has crept down to

$1.1 billion.

Most of Hastings’s wealth is tied up

in the company he co-founded. Back in

2020, when Netflix was experiencing

incredible subscriber growth as a result

of so many people being stuck at home,

he reportedly cashed some of his

shares out to the tune of $616 million –

a decision that’s probably looking even

better in retrospect.

Netflix is going through a turbulent

period right now. They’re reportedly

looking at ways to crack down

on password sharing among their

subscribers, as well as introducing

cheaper ad-supported subscription

options after years of resisting

advertising of any kind on the platform.

Time will tell whether these measures

will be enough to bring Netflix stock

out of its precipitous recent decline.

What’s next for Netflix?

Netflix has long-term goals. It might

grow at a slower rate than smaller

streaming platforms. But even if it

trails the broader market with a CAGR

of 15%, its annual revenue could still

rise from $29.7 billion in 2021 to over

$100 billion in 2030.

In short, Netflix is going to come

down to its original programming.

Netflix is expected to spend 85% of its

$12–13 billion budget on its original

content. To attract viewers, Netflix is

preparing cheaper subscriptions with

advertising which it expects to roll out

in the next couple of years.

26 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


Personal Finance

Invest in the

20’s to avoid

regrets in the

30s and 40s

Financial planning is an

essential tool to build your

future. The 20s is the age at

which saving from the salary

is highly a task.

In the era of entertainment and fun,

it’s a challenge for youngsters to

invest and save. Many influencers

talk about the best and worst

investment decisions but not

everything is applicable practically

to everyone. That’s why we have

come up with some beginner-friendly

investment decisions and financial

planning for young minds.

Start an Emergency Fund

One of the personal finance’s mostrepeated

mantras is “Pay yourself first”.

No matter how much you owe in

student loans or credit card debt, and

no matter how low your salary may

seem, it’s wise to find some amount of

money in your budget to sock away in

an emergency fund every month.

Having money in savings to use

for emergencies can keep you out of

trouble financially and help you sleep

better at night. Also, if you get into the

habit of saving money and treating it

as a non-negotiable monthly expense,

then pretty soon, you’ll have more than

just emergency money saved up—

you’ll have retirement money, vacation

money, or even money for a down

payment on a home.

Get a Grip on Taxes

It’s important to understand how

income taxes work even before you get

your first paycheck. When a company

offers you a starting salary, you need

to know how to calculate whether that

salary will give you enough money

after taxes to meet your financial

obligations—and, you hope, meet your

goals.

Debt Funds

This is another low-risk financial

instrument that promises capital

protection. When a financial institute

or a company borrows from you (along

with hundreds of other investors), and

in return pays you interest, we call it

a debt fund. You will get this regular

flow of income regardless of the said

entity’s performance. It is mostly ideal

for people looking for steady earnings.

However, watch out for the Net Asset

Value of a debt fund as it fluctuates

with changes in the overall interest

rates in the economy.

Life Insurance

Getting your life insurance covered

in the 20s means that you can get a

higher coverage at a relatively lower

premium. As you become older, the

cost of insurance will increase too.

For instance, health insurance and

mandatory vehicle insurance are not

something you can skip.

The cost of healthcare is such that

one medical emergency can wipe

out savings if you are not insured.

Life insurance, however, availed at a

younger age can reap heaps of benefits

This is another low-risk

financial instrument

that promises capital

protection. When a

financial institute or

a company borrows

from you (along with

hundreds of other

investors), and in return

pays you interest, we

call it a debt fund.

at a lesser price.

A financial plan acts as a guide while

you go through life’s journey. These are

some of the best financial planning you

could do in your 20s to avoid regrets in

your 30s. Essentially, it helps you be in

control of your income, expenses, and

investments such that you can manage

your money and achieve your goals.

Thus, no one is born with wisdom,

it’s our choice to play wisely.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 27


Entrepreneur

Whitney Wolfe Herd,

Founder and CEO of Bumble

28 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


Whitney Wolfe Herd

Whitney Wolfe Herd (born July 1989) is an American entrepreneur. She is the founder

and CEO of publicly traded Bumble, Inc, an online dating platform, launched in 2014. She was

previously the vice president of marketing for Tinder. Wolfe Herd was named as one of 2017’s

and 2018’s Forbes 30 Under 30, and in 2018 she was named in the Time 100 List. In February

2021, Wolfe Herd became the world’s youngest, female, self-made billionaire when she took

Bumble public. She is the youngest woman to have taken a company public, at age 31.

Bumble Inc. CEO Whitney

Wolfe Herd has been through

a lot on her journey to take

the company public. A highprofile

bumble Inc. CEO

Whitney Wolfe Herd has

been through a lot on her

journey to take the company public. A

high-profile dispute with Tinder, the

launch of her dating app, the ouster

of Bumble’s original backer, Badoo

founder Andrey Andreev, a majority

stake from Blackstone and now, a highpriced,

record-breaking IPO.

Wolfe Herd simultaneously became

the world’s youngest female selfmade

billionaire and woman to take a

company public. Today, her business,

Bumble, is known as one of the toprated

dating apps on the market. In

2020, the company earned $582 million,

up from $488 million the previous year.

While Wolfe Herd’s success is

inspiring, too many journalists have

written her story off as feminist

revenge. One where she experienced

immense pain and trauma at the

hands of men, only to spite them by

conquering her abusers.

While there’s no denying she’s an

inspiration to women worldwide, her

MO isn’t getting back at anyone—

it’s creating a world where women

feel safe connecting with others

online and developing healthy

relationships. Focusing solely on her

redemption story minimizes her value

as a strategic thinker, creative leader,

and innovator. Wolfe Herd has a lot to

teach entrepreneurs navigating their

own companies in saturated markets.

Bumble weaves Wolfe Herd’s vision

throughout their branding. Themes of

self-love, growth, motivation, support,

and love can be seen across their

various social media platforms. This

puts their messaging on par with the

founder’s desire to make the internet a

kinder place for women.

The Bumble founder and her

“hive” have put a ton of thought and

development into the brand. The

product’s user experience (UX) and

user interface (UI) rise above their

competitors, conveying it’s a valuable,

high-quality tool. From a sleek,

simplistic design to the welcoming

yellow touches found throughout the

branding, it’s clear Bumble isn’t your

ordinary dating app: it’s a lifestyle

brand.

Wolfe Herd’s example shows

that investing in the creation of

a phenomenal product or service

attracts customers into a marketing

flywheel where you can begin engaging

with potential buyers and creating

delight in their lives.

To do this:

Know your target market. Wolfe Herd

is successful because she understands

her customers’ problems. Studying

your target audience and developing a

product specifically designed for your

customer avatar can create similar

results.

Have a vision. Before starting

Bumble, Wolfe Herd had a distinct

vision for the company. Since then,

she’s been strategically expanding to

create more opportunities for women.

Having a clear vision helps business

owners align company goals with the

organization’s purpose. Establishing a

daily visualisation practice is a great

way to see the future. Furthermore,

reverse engineering from the finish line

backward helps leaders create an action

plan toward goal achievement.

Work with professional writers,

designers, developers, and

marketers when developing a product.

The Bumble CEO had a team behind

her to create and continuously improve

the app. Too often, entrepreneurs

make the mistake of thinking they can

brand and launch a product or service

by themselves. They see little success

because they don’t know how to do

each required job with excellence. As a

result, customers fail to purchase from

their company.

Built Core Values Into Her

Product“Bumble’s core values are

kindness, accountability, equality,

respect, and growth. These values are

a part of our DNA and will continue to

guide us along with our north star and

mission to end misogyny and to create

a kinder internet in all corners of the

world. By keeping these values at the

helm of everything we do, Bumble has

been able to change the way people

connect online.”

As the Bumble CEO describes in an

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 29


Entrepreneur

interview with the Female Founders

Fund, developing and following core

values allows leaders to fulfill their

vision of a brighter future. Everything

the company does filters through

its core values and desire to

provide women with a better online

experience. The business has

taken the following measures to ensure

its core values are being adhered to:

● Offers educational resources on

what digital abuse is and how to

identify it.

● Encourages conversation by

not allowing “ghosting.” Initial

matches expire if someone

doesn’t reach out or respond

in 24 hours.

● Implemented a zero-tolerance

policy for harassment.

● Developed a feature that

automatically blocks lewd photos.

● Instilled a verification

process powered by facial

recognition software to help limit

fake profiles and online predators.

To create core values in your

business, think about:

● What problem do you want to

solve in the world?

● Why do you believe this

problem should be solved.

● How you’ll solve it.

● What beliefs and convictions

power your business.

● What you stand for and what

you stand against.

Disrupted the Dating App Market

“If you’re doing anything disruptive,

and if you know it to be good and true

and progressive, let the naysayers

fuel you to work harder... ” Unlike

its other two top competitors, Hinge

and Tinder, Bumble isn’t perceived

as strictly a dating app, which is a

huge differentiating factor. This is

because Wolfe Herd’s vision wasn’t

helping people find love—that’s just

a byproduct of what the app offers.

Instead, Bumble is a place to grow and

develop relationships with others in

various ways.

In 2016, the company launched

Bumble BFF, where women can

connect online and become friends no

matter their relationship status. A year

later, the business also added Bumble

Bizz to the mix. As an online space for

professional networking, it serves a

similar function to LinkedIn. Because

these ambitious programs launched

successfully shortly after the company

began running a paid subscription

model, the business drew in customers

with different relationship-building

needs.

In other words, Wolfe Herd

deployed a blue ocean strategy. She

differentiated herself by offering

several ways for her target

audience to develop meaningful

connections. Instead of drowning

in a red ocean of dating apps that

just focus on providing matches,

Bumble thrives by offering women a

plethora of options for building close

relationships. It also sends another

empowering, on-brand message: dating

isn’t always the focal point of a

woman’s life. Some women seek other

types of relationships, depending on

what they choose to prioritize. By

showing a long-term vested interest

in providing more opportunities for

connection, Bumble has risen above its

competitors.

To find your blue ocean:

30 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


Built core values into her product

“Bumble’s core values are kindness,

accountability, equality, respect, and growth.

These values are a part of our DNA and will

continue to guide us along with our north star

and mission to end misogyny and to create a

kinder internet in all corners of the world.

● Consider what problems your

competition won’t solve.

● Ask deep questions. Sometimes

companies refuse to tackle an

issue because they don’t dig deep

into why things are the way they

are. Use first principles thinking

to find truth and get to the root

of problems.

● Think about how to provide your

customers with the most value.

● Brainstorm ways to delight

people in your marketing

flywheel.

● Get creative—be willing to

experiment, try new things, and

innovate your industry.

Focusing on the Future: What’s

Next for Bumble

After Bumble publicly filed for

an IPO, Wolfe Herd penned a letter

celebrating this milestone, writing:

“Our long-term vision is to be the

platform to meet new people, no

matter who you might be looking for,

whichever life stage or situation you’re

in. We will do this with our innovative

technology—and by advocating for

equality, both through legislation and

with the power of our trusted brand . . .

We will continue to create an inclusive

place to foster and build a community

around shared struggles and

common joys.”

When considering the company’s

future, one thing is clear: Wolfe Herd’s

eyes will remain focused on her longterm

vision of creating a safe space on

the internet where women can grow

life-long connections with others. Thus

far, she’s been more than successful.

Millions of people have met on Bumble.

As a result, best friends, business

partners, husbands, wives, and babies

have all been products of her venture.

While the business’s fluctuating

stock price raises some concern for

investors, Bumble is still expanding

and remaining focused on long-term

growth. In February 2022, the company

acquired its first business, the French

dating app Fruitz. It’s unclear how

this will affect the organization, but

considering Whitney Wolfe Herd’s

strong leadership qualities, she won’t

allow the business to deviate off its

successful track.


Investment and Funding

Crowdfunding in UAE

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project by raising money from a large number of

people through licensed online platforms. Examples of crowdfunding platforms in the UAE are

Beehive and Eureeca. Dubai Government launched DubaiNext, a digital crowdfunding platform

to support SMEs. In March 2022, the UAE Cabinet approved crowdfunding activity for both the

public and private sectors.

Common types of

crowdfunding include:

● Donations model where

funders donate a sum for a

cause and do not expect any

returns.

● Rewards model where funds are

asked for in exchange for a future

reward.

● Crowd-sourced equity funding

(CSEF) where the investors receive

shares in a company in exchange for

the fund they provided.

● Debt or peer-to-peer lending model

where the lenders provide loans to

borrowers and expect it to be paid

back with interest at an agreed rate,

or a rate fixed by the crowdsourcing

platform.

Now that private and public sector

crowdfunding is legal, the plan should

address all technical issues. These

considerations are connected to the

regulation of crowdfunding platform

operators, which includes definitions,

application scope, and other details.

Furthermore, it is linked to the

following factors:

● Operator licensing requirements.

● The operator’s obligations towards

SCA and investors.

● Financing applicant obligations.

● The rights of the investor, the

operator, and the financing

applicant as well.

Why it is important in UAE?

Startups and small and medium

businesses are turning to crowdfund as

they look for capital.

Several tech start-ups have set up

shop in Abu Dhabi and Dubai as a

result of the UAE’s business-friendly

regulations.

According to a Dubai Chamber

research released

in November

2020, the SME

sector accounts

for over 94

percent of total

enterprises and

employs over 86

percent of the

private sector

workforce in the

UAE.

According to

the survey, SMEs

account for 95%

of enterprises

in Dubai,

employ 42% of

the workforce,

and contribute 40% to the emirate’s

economy.

According to data from the Khalifa

Fund, traditional banks reject nearly

half to seventy percent of SME funding

applications. Small business loans

account for only 4% of total bank

lending in the UAE, well below the

Middle East and North Africa average

of 9.3%.

Due to their small assets or lack of

a track record, traditional lenders are

sometimes unwilling or unable to fund

SMEs.

As a result, crowdsourcing could aid

the UAE in assisting SMEs.

UAE start-ups are dominating the

crowdfunding market

The Dubai-based equity

crowdfunding platform Eureeca led

$1.3 million in funding into the payper-minute

car rental platform Udriv

in January last year. Eureeca is one of

the first global equity crowdfunding

platforms that enable members of its

Dubai-based Stake

allows people to

buy small stakes in

properties starting from

a few hundred dollars.

Described as a “digitalfirst

property investment

and asset management

company”

investor network

to buy shares in

growth-orientated

businesses.

Dubai’s fresh

snack company

Fruitful Day is

among smaller

businesses

that have used

crowdfunding.

The firm raised

Dh3m ($816,771)

in two successive

funding rounds

in November

2020, attracting

investors from

as far away as

Switzerland and Singapore, as well as

from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

UAE start-up Rent-a-Towel, which

currently rents towels and bed

linen to 20 Dubai hotels, has invited

sustainability-conscious small investors

to part-fund inventory through

a Germany-based crowdfunding

platform.

Dubai-based Stake allows people

to buy small stakes in properties

starting from a few hundred dollars.

Described as a “digital-first property

investment and asset management

company”, Stake aims to fix the

problems of property ownership “by

democratizing property investment”. It

finds competitively priced apartments

in prime locations with high demand

on the secondary market — avoiding

potential new-build delays. It

enables members to invest as little

as Dh500. Investors receive regular

dividends from rental income, in

addition to expected long-term capital

appreciation.

32 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


Investment and Funding

Debt Management Office: Dubai government’s new

initiative for financial control

The Dubai government’s Department of Finance (DOF) announced on 9th May the creation of a

Debt Management Office to supervise numerous crucial financial functions.

heikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin

Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of

Dubai and Chairman of the Executive

SCouncil, named Rashid Ali

bin Obood Al Falasi as the

DMO’s chief executive officer

following its establishment.

According to the DOF,

the DMO’s responsibilities

include meeting the government’s

financing needs, managing the

sovereign debt portfolio, establishing

strategic objectives and policies,

pursuing risks to ensure government

financial sustainability, and maintaining

high levels of transparency to boost

investor confidence and develop strong

relationships with stakeholders.

The Debt Management Office

was formed by His Highness Sheikh

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,

Vice President and Prime Minister

of the UAE, in his capacity as Ruler

of Dubai, under Law No. 8 of 2022

controlling the public debt in Dubai.

“The establishment of the DMO

demonstrates the government’s

ongoing efforts to strengthen its

financial position through the

management of sovereign debt, as

well as to meet the government’s

financing requirements efficiently and,

as a result, to ensure the development

of infrastructure projects in various

sectors, which in turn aims to improve

the quality of life and to enhance the

emirate’s global competitiveness,

in line with the leadership’s vision,”

Abdulrahman Saleh Al Khalifa said.

According to Al Falasi, the DMO’s

mission is to ensure efficient and

effective management of the public

debt portfolio through prudent cost

and risk strategies, as well as to

develop governance frameworks that

strengthen the emirate’s financial

policies in general and the public debt

in particular, diversify funding sources,

and develop an efficient government

securities market.

“The newly constituted office is

devoted to establishing and maintaining

“The newly constituted

office is devoted to

establishing and

maintaining a high

degree of transparency

in order to increase

stakeholders’ confidence

in Dubai credit and its

strategic vision and

activities in many sectors,

based on worldwide best

practises,” Al Falasi stated.

a high degree of transparency in order

to increase stakeholders’ confidence

in Dubai credit and its strategic vision

and activities in many sectors, based

on worldwide best practises,” Al Falasi

stated.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 33


Investment and Funding

Co-investment partnership of Mubadala and

Hellenic Development Bank extended

Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala) and Hellenic Development Bank of Investments

(HDBI), Greece’s sovereign fund of funds, signed an agreement to expand their EUR400m

co-investment partnership.

This will include venture capital

(VC) and private equity (PE)

investments in top performing

Greek funds focused on high

growth sectors. The agreement

was signed during Greek Prime

Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ official

state visit to the UAE.

The Mubadala-HDBI co-investment

partnership was launched in 2018

with a focus on minority direct

private equity investments in Greek

companies. Mubadala and HDBI also

completed their first co-investment

under the newly extended agreement

with VentureFriends Fund III, an earlystage

tech investor based in Athens.

With a track record of successful

investments in PropTech,

fintech, marketplaces, and SaaS,

VentureFriends focuses on scalable

B2C and B2B startups that can

develop a sustainable moat over

time. It focuses on investments in

Greece, Europe, and select countries

around the world, including the

United Arab Emirates, where it was

an early investor in Instashop in 2016

and most recently in Huspy. Waleed

Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, Mubadala’s

deputy group CEO, said, “Over the

years, the economy of Greece has

not only demonstrated its resilience,

but it also now presents some very

exciting growth opportunities. Our

extended partnership with HDBI will

enable Mubadala to accelerate its

investments in Greece, capitalizing

on an increasingly active innovation

and entrepreneurial landscape across

multiple sectors. We look forward to

our continued collaboration with HDBI

in the months and years ahead as we

collectively seek to tap into Greece’s

burgeoning innovation-driven sectors.”

Dr. Haris Lambropoulos, HDBI’s

president, said, “Our collaboration with

Mubadala is based on mutual trust and

understanding. The extension of our

strategic co-investment partnership

is the beginning of a new era, in

full alignment with the investment

principles and values of our respective

organizations. It also provides a unique

opportunity to further promote our

bilateral relations, leveraging the

dynamism of the Greek economy

and its resilience in the face of global

challenges and uncertainties.”

Antigoni Lymperopoulou, HDBI’s

CEO, added, “Our co-investment

approach has been delivering solid

results by promoting the Greek

investment ecosystem, which is

focused on talent and innovative

entrepreneurship.”

34 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


Dnata invests over $17 million in Erbil operations

Dnata, a provider of aviation and travel services, has announced a significant expansion of

its operations in Erbil, Iraq. Dubai-based dnata has opened a new chain facility and a bus

maintenance facility for its bussing fleets at Iraq’s Erbil International Airport (EBL), totaling

$3.5 million in investment.

“Our latest

investment in three

new facilities will help

us further expand

and improve our

operations in Erbil as

demand for reliable

and safe cargo

services is on the rise

across the region.”

Dnata, a provider of aviation

and travel services, has

announced a significant

expansion of its operations

in Erbil, Iraq. Dubai-based

dnata has opened a new chain

facility and a bus maintenance facility

for its bussing fleets at Iraq’s Erbil

International Airport (EBL), totaling

$3.5 million in investment.

Dnata has also announced that it will

invest an additional $14 million in Iraqi

infrastructure, including a 16,000m2

cargo warehouses. Up to 100 local

jobs will be created by the three new

facilities, according to the provider.

As a result, it plans to invest a

total of over $17 million to expand

its operations in Erbil. According to

Dubai Media Office, Dnata’s cool chain

facility can process 10,000 tons of

perishables per year, allowing its cargo

team to offer chilled and frozen storage

and cool chain products to its airline

customers at EBL, catering to product

categories such as fresh fruit, meat,

and pharmaceuticals.

The new bus maintenance facility

was designed to maintain the fleet of

eight passenger apron buses and over

10 transportation buses operated at

EBL. Meanwhile, Dnata’s new cargo

warehouse, which is expected to open

in 2023, will be capable of processing

100,000 tonnes of cargo, with a special

focus on pharma and other cool chain

commodities, annually. The facility

will be equipped with technologies

including environmentally sustainable

features such as water harvesting,

low energy lighting, and an all-electric

forklift fleet, the statement said.

Dnata has recently announced

that it implemented its advanced

‘OneCargo’ system, digitizing

processes and maximizing efficiencies

across its cargo operations in Iraq.

OneCargo automates key business and

operational functions, including safety

and quality monitoring, reporting, and

ULD management, with an integrated,

cloud-based platform.

Dnata currently provides passenger,

ground, and cargo services to over 25

airlines in Erbil. In 2021, the company

assisted over 1.2 million passengers

and handled 8,200 flights and 20,000

tonnes of cargo in Iraq.

Tom Alwyn-Jones, managing director

of Dnata Erbil, said: “Our latest

investment in three new facilities will

help us further expand and improve

our operations in Erbil as demand for

reliable and safe cargo services is on

the rise across the region.”

Dnata, which provides ground

handling, cargo, catering, and retail

services at over 120 airports across

19 countries, has made strategic

investments in new cargo facilities in

London and Manchester (UK), Karachi

and Lahore (Pakistan), and additional

cargo capacity and infrastructure in

Brussels (Belgium), Sydney (Australia)

and Toronto (Canada). Dnata also said

that it has invested over EUR200m

in a fully automated cargo center at

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS).

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 35


Investment and Funding

Hamad Al Ameri,

CEO of Alpha Dhabi Holding

Alpha Dhabi invest Dhs9.2 billion to the Alpha

Wave Ventures II fund

Alpha Dhabi Holding, a UAE-based investment holding company, has committed Dhs9.2

billion to Chimera Capital and Alpha Wave’s ‘Alpha Wave Ventures II’ venture fund.

The total commitment includes

a Dhs2.6 billion capital

contribution and a Dhs6.6

billion undrawn capital

commitment that will be

drawn down over the fund’s

investment period.

The venture capital fund, which has

already started investing, has a global

mandate and will focus on multi-stage

private companies, with a focus on

growth-stage companies in a variety

of industries, including artificial

intelligence, financial technology, life

sciences, and consumer internet.

The fund will invest in highgrowth,

tech-enabled, and tech-driven

businesses that provide innovative

solutions to regional and global

problems.

Eng. Hamad Al Ameri, CEO of Alpha

Dhabi Holding, said: “Investment in

innovation and technology remains a

core tenet of our growth strategy at

Alpha Dhabi. We continually look at

investments in disruptive technologies

as a means of advancing our group of

operating subsidiaries which include

market leaders in their respective

sectors. As a cornerstone and

significant investor in this fund, we can

firmly demonstrate this commitment

to innovation, technology, and growthstage

companies while also adding

scale to our investment portfolio and

delivering superior returns for our

shareholders.”

He added that the commitment

also enhanced the scale and weight

of the company’s balanced portfolio

by adding sector, geographic,

and company size diversification

while providing Alpha Dhabi with

considerable deal flow and access

across key markets, including the US.

Al Ameri also said the investment

supports Alpha Dhabi’s commitment

to bring best-in-class technology

and innovation to Abu Dhabi and its

ecosystem by leveraging synergies and

integrating disruptive technologies into

our group of operating subsidiaries,

thereby enhancing their credentials

and offerings.

Alpha Dhabi Holding also made

a Dhs367m investment in Dubai

Electricity and Water Authority’s

(DEWA) initial public offering (IPO).

36 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


ADQ signs investment partnership Hellenic

Development Bank

ADQ, a holding company based in Abu Dhabi, has signed investment partnership agreements with

Greek entities. It signed agreements with the Hellenic Development Bank (HDB), Greece’s national

development bank, and the Hellenic Development Bank of Investments (HDBI), Greece’s sovereign

fund-of-funds, to plough EUR4 billion into the Greek economy’s various sectors and asset classes.

“Bilateral relations

between the UAE

and Greece have

strengthened

in recent years,

particularly in the

areas of trade

and economic

development.

The agreement highlights

the two countries’ growing

economic ties and will pique

investor interest in Greece.

The three parties will invest

separately and jointly in

renewable energy, infrastructure,

agriculture, technology, healthcare,

and life sciences, among other sectors,

according to a statement.

The value of non-oil foreign trade

between the UAE and Greece reached

nearly Dhs2.1 billion in 2021, up 67

percent from the previous year.

“Greece and the UAE continue to

forge strong and strategic partnerships

underpinned by investments that

provide growth opportunities for both

countries. ADQ is a natural partner

who will contribute to our economic

growth because of its track record

of establishing solid and tangible

sovereign investment partnerships”

said Ioannis Tsakiris, Deputy Minister

for Development and Investments.

Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi,

managing director and chief executive

officer of ADQ, said: “Bilateral

relations between the UAE and Greece

have strengthened in recent years,

particularly in the areas of trade and

economic development. Today’s signing

underlines ADQ’s commitment to

building strategic partnerships with

key entities that complement our

investment strategy and our ability to

generate sustainable financial returns.

We are confident that our collaboration

will accelerate investments that will

contribute to the economic growth of

both nations.”

Athina Chatzipetrou, chairwoman

and chief executive officer of HDB,

said, “Deepening the economic ties

between our countries will create a

robust Mediterranean-Middle East

commercial corridor raising the level

of our business relationship and

unlocking the potential for largescale

investments in Greece. HDB has

unique data mining. It currently has

under management €8.6bn in loans,

while starting with only €280m, and

more than 38,000 new loans have been

granted so far. Strategic synergies

are at the core of our strategy. We

look forward to a close and fruitful

collaboration with ADQ to leverage

Greece’s economic potential.”

Dr. Haris Lambropoulos, president

of Hellenic Development Bank of

Investments (HDBI), said, “Today’s

signing is yet another milestone

occasion that will enhance the growing

cooperation between Greece and the

UAE. We look forward to working

with ADQ and leveraging their sector

expertise in investments that support

economic diversification and advance

our common goals for growth and solid

financial returns.”

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 37


Investment and Funding

Bal Krisen Rathore,

Chairman & CEO of Century

Financial

Century Financial acquired the new Category 1

SCA license

The new license is in line with the UAE’s Securities and Commodities Authority’s (SCA) latest

‘Rulebook,’ which was released in May 2021 and made, significant changes to the UAE’s securities

trading and broker brokerage regime. The SCA established a list of updated guidelines for licensing

requirements for SCA-licensed firms as part of these changes.

As an SCA Category 1 licensed

firm, Century Financial is

approved to be a trading

broker in the international

markets and trading broker

of OTC derivatives and

currencies in the spot market.

Bal Krishen, chairman and CEO

of Century Financial stated “We are

proud to be regulated by SCA and

congratulate them for bringing these

positive changes in the licensing

structure for the UAE financial

markets. These changes are in line

with the best global practices in the

industry that will help UAE-based

companies like us, who are committed

to providing high-quality services

upholding the principle of transparency

and protection by the regulator.”

The UAE-based firm is one of the

country’s oldest investment services

firms. The firm has built its reputation

in the UAE over three decades based

on the strong relationship it shares

with its investors, offering them bestin-class

support over the years.

In addition to traditional investment

instruments, Century Financial

offers investors across the entire

region online trading solutions with a

customer-centric business approach.

The recent license upgrade opens new

opportunities for investors to trade

with confidence due to the better

protection by the regulation.

38 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


Ogram

Industries: IT, Recruiting, Staffing Agency

Funding Type: Series A

Ogram, a digital staffing platform based in the UAE, has raised Dh11 million ($3 million) in a Series

A funding round as the region’s economies continue to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and

investors allocate more capital to promising start-ups.

“Bilateral relations

between the UAE

and Greece have

strengthened

in recent years,

particularly in the

areas of trade

and economic

development.

Ogram said in a statement

on that the funding round

was led by global venture

capital firm Modus Capital

and Aditum Investment

Management.

Dtec Ventures, the investment arm

of Dubai Technology Entrepreneur

Campus, a tech hub and co-working

space, as well as Daal VC and other

strategic investors, took part in the

round.

Ogram plans to use the new funds to

expand into Saudi Arabia and Europe,

with Greece serving as its European

launch pad, according to the start-up.

According to a report from data

platform Magnitt, the total funding

secured by start-ups in the Middle East

and North Africa more than doubled

to $864 million in the first quarter

of the year.

Funding for Mena start-ups increased

by 161 percent year on year during

the three months ending March 31,

while the number of deals increased

by 16 percent. Mena start-up funding

increased by 33.3 percent in the first

quarter, according to Magnitt.

“We’ve only scratched the surface

of on-demand staffing — our ultimate

goal is to empower workers to reclaim

control and change the way companies

hire,” said Shafiq Khartabil, chief

executive and co-founder of Ogram.

“Being pioneers in a nascent

economy has enabled us to capitalize

on a golden opportunity. Our strategy

is to dominate the Mena region and

European markets that are countercyclical,

highly dependent on parttime

work, and want to adopt flexible

working patterns.”

The start-up helps to connect

companies with temporary workers

in roles such as waiters, baristas,

e-pickers and packers, chefs,

warehouse workers, and cleaners,

among others, according to its website.

“Ogram is working to tackle a

problem that has been brought to the

forefront of professional conversations

over the past few years,” Kareem

Elsirafy, managing partner at Modus

Capital, said.

“The team has capitalized on a shift

that was made during the pandemic,

but has had long-term continuity as the

workforce evolves its requirements,

needs, and wants. We’re thrilled

to support them in breaking down

outdated processes and pioneering new

ways of working.”

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 39


Investment and Funding

NorthLadder

Industries: Classifieds, E-Commerce, Information Services, Information Technology

Funding Type: Convertible Note

NorthLadder, a UAE-based second-hand electronics trading platform, has announced a $10 million

convertible note led by CE-Ventures, Crescent Enterprises’ Sharjah-based corporate venture capital

platform, highlighting the growing demand for alternative forms of funding in MENAP. BECO

Capital, Venture Souq, and the Dutch Founders Fund all contributed to the project.

NorthLadder, a

platform that allows

frictionless trading

and is built on value

and convenience,

will use the new

funding to scale its

technology, expand

B2B partnerships,

and expand its

geographical reach.

Convertible notes, also

known as convertible debt

or convertible debt, are

a type of short-term loan

that is repaid in equity.

Convertible notes, which are

automatically converted into preferred

stock shares for investors/lenders once

a startup closes its Series A round,

are a particularly valuable form of

fundraising when it comes to seed

investment, as they come off the back

of NorthLadder’s $5 million Series A

round in early 2021.

NorthLadder, a platform that allows

frictionless trading and is built on

value and convenience, will use the

new funding to scale its technology,

expand B2B partnerships, and expand

its geographical reach. NorthLadder

claims to have served over 30,000

customers through its 500+ dealers and

200 trade-in locations since its founding

by Mihin Shah, Pishu Ganglani, Ricky

Husaini, and Sandeep Shetty in 2019.

Sandeep Shetty, co-founder and CEO

of NorthLadder, said, “We have always

envisioned building NorthLadder into

a global business.” “We plan to further

strengthen our talent base and expand

our market reach in multiple countries,

including the UAE and Saudi Arabia,

with this latest round of funding.”

Affordability, fueled by trade-ins, is a

key enabler for the sale of new devices,

and we’re excited to help our partners

achieve this through our unique

global business model, which ensures

the highest residual value for used

devices.”

The investment adds to the region’s

e-commerce boom, which saw startups

across MENAP and Turkey raise $260

million in 36 deals in Q1’22. There

has been growing interest in B2B and

q-commerce startups, with Pakistan’s

Bazaar, Saudi Arabia’s Nana, and

Turkey’s n11.com raising major rounds,

while Egypt came in first with the most

transactions, thanks to rounds from

Brimore, Capiter, and MaxAB among

the highlight deals.

Beyond the region, however, this

round’s investors see NorthLadder

as having global potential. “By

establishing micro-networks in

emerging markets on the demand side

of the pre-owned electronics market,

Northladder is attempting to solve

a complex problem,” said Laurens

Groenendijk, Founding Partner of

the Dutch Founder’s Fund. “Despite

the fact that many companies have

attempted to disrupt this value chain,

NorthLadder’s strategy is brilliant

and helps to strengthen the circular

economy.” It’s a global business, and

we think European markets have a lot

of potential.”

Meanwhile, Tushar Singhvi, Deputy

CEO and Head of Investments at

Crescent Enterprises, added that “with

the UAE being the global hub that it

is, the company is uniquely positioned

to dominate the regional market and

capture a significant portion of the

global trade.”

40 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


PEMO

Industries: Accounting, Fintech, Saas

Funding Type: Seed

Pemo, a fintech startup based in Dubai, has raised a $12 million seed round and plans to expand

across the MENAP region. FinTech Collective, Speedinvest, BY Venture Partners, Antler, and a slew

of angel investors joined Cherry Ventures and Shorooq Partners in leading the investment.

Pemo will soon

also allow users

to avail physical

and virtual

prepaid cards

for employees.

The prepaid card

utilizes the Pemo

app to organise

employee

expenses and

store receipts for

each transaction

Pemo, aimed at SMEs,

provides an all-in-one spend

management platform for

SMEs in emerging markets,

with the first batch of UAEbased

companies already on

board. The investment coincides with

the platform’s launch, which currently

includes features such as digitized

invoices, automated approval flows,

one-click invoice payments, and realtime

cash flow monitoring.

“We operate in a region where

more than 90% of businesses are

SMEs, many of which rely heavily on

multiple platforms, processes, and

entities to manage their corporate

spending, creating several challenges

such as irregular expense reports and

high costs,” said Ayham Gorani, CEO

and co-founder of Pemo with Valerie

Konde, Alessandro Duri, and Saed

Ghorani. “By combining all spend

management functions in one hub, we

are removing exactly the day-to-day

friction.” Finally, this saves businesses

money and time while empowering

team members to make quick and

responsible purchasing decision.

Pemo will soon also allow users

to avail physical and virtual prepaid

cards for employees. The prepaid

card utilizes the Pemo app to organise

employee expenses and store receipts

for each transaction, while offering

business owners and management full

visibility of corporate spending.

The investment demonstrates

VC interest in fintech in MENAP

and Turkey, with fintech startups

accounting for 28% of all transactions

and 29% of all capital. During Q1’22.

The UAE, in particular, has proven

to be a fertile breeding ground in the

region, with the most deals and VC

investments. Pakistan has also seen

impressive growth, with VC investment

in the fintech sector increasing 2000%

year on year.

In addition to its MENAP expansion

plans – particularly in Saudi Arabia,

Egypt, and Pakistan – the Pemo team

intends to channel investment into

product development as it seeks to

take the lead in a corporate spend subsector

that has more than a few players

ready to strike.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 41


Investment and Funding

Manara

Industries: Education

Funding Type: Pre-Seed

Manara, a US-based educational technology start-up that helps engineers from the Middle East and

North Africa region land jobs at top tech firms like Google, Meta, and Amazon, has raised $3 million

in pre-seed funding.

Manara is a remote

company that

employs people

all over the world,

including Dubai.

Founders Ms

Montauk and Laila

Abudahi live in

California but work

remotely.

Stripe led the latest round,

which included Mudassir

Sheikha, founder and CEO

of ride-hailing company

Careem; LinkedIn founder

Reid Hoffman; Paul Graham,

founder of start-up accelerator

Y-Combinator; and Eric Ries, a

California-based entrepreneur and

author of Lean Start-up.

“We received more investor

interest than we could accommodate,

indicating an increase in Silicon Valley

interest in platforms that facilitate

online and offline communities, as well

as solutions to access highly skilled

talent from emerging markets,” said

Iliana Montauk, co-founder and CEO of

Manara.

Founded last year, Manara aims to

use the new funds to scale its existing

cohort-based solution to go from 60

engineers per year to 6,000. It also

plans to launch a self-service product

for interview practice, networking and

mentorship that can reach millions of

software engineers, the company said.

“Communities can be extremely

powerful if you are smart about how

to curate and connect them, the

trick is knowing when one hour of a

Google engineer’s time has the highest

leverage,” Ms. Montauk said.

Manara is a remote company that

employs people all over the world,

including Dubai. Founders Ms Montauk

and Laila Abudahi live in California but

work remotely.

The start-up’s solution enables

cohort-based learning for software

engineers and computer scientists

through a digital platform. On average,

users’ salaries have increased 300 per

cent, Manara said.

“I grew up in Palestine and realised

quickly that to become a world-class

engineer I needed to work on highly

scaled products with experienced

teams,” said Ms Abudahi, Manara’s cofounder

and chief technology officer.

“After I reached my dream through

lots of trial and error, I wanted to

make it easier for people back home

to do the same. Ultimately, these

engineers will become the CTOs and

senior developers that the region needs

in order to accelerate the growing

success of its own tech ecosystem.”

Nearly 86 per cent of the engineers

from Manara’s last cohort received job

offers within five months of graduating,

with more than half of those offers

coming from Faang (Facebook-parent

Meta, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and

Google) companies. It only charges

its community members and hiring

partners if a successful match is made.

“Europe’s tech sector is growing

quickly there’s a massive need for new

solutions to access talent, whether

remote or on-site. The Middle East and

North Africa is an obvious fit because

of proximity and time zones,” said

Carlos Espinal, managing partner at

London-based Seedcamp, one of the

investors.

“We are very excited to back the first

start-up bridging these two markets

and are particularly excited about

the founders’ commitment to women

engineers.”

42 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


Dubai: The most successful Arab city in

liquidity capitalization

The Dubai Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) is an initiative of the UAE Ministry of Economy to

provide a framework for global exchange on international investment policies and growth. The

platform aspires to ignite positive transformation by creating investment opportunities.

The eleventh edition of AIM was

opened by Abdullah bin Touq

Al Marri, Minister of Economy,

UAE who set out the agenda.

“The AIM framework (was)

specifically created to promote

global exchange on the key principles

underpinning investments, movements,

and trends to drive smart and inclusive

global growth,” he said.

The theme this year was investments

in sustainable innovation for a thriving

future. Organizers said this translates

into a foreign direct investment,

portfolio investment, SMEs and startups,

and the future of cities.

Dawood Al Shezawi, President of

Organising Committee, Annual

Investment Meeting said they bring

countries together to promote their

foreign direct investment and promote

their entrepreneurs.

Over 174 countries took part in a threeday

event held at the Dubai Exhibition

Centre at Expo 2020

Ana Draskovic is the Director of the

European Bank for Reconstruction and

Development. She was speaking on a

panel on sustainability.

“One of the messages that are also

quite interesting is that sustainability

is no longer a cost to the business. It

is a fantastic business opportunity.

So completely new asset class, and

something that everybody should be

looking into,” she said.

As well as focusing on attracting new

investments, AIM set an agenda for the

year ahead to look towards developing

youth entrepreneurship and more

future cities.

During AIM, organizers revealed that

at the event businesses expressed their

bullishness on the further acquisition

and adoption of newer technologies to

help power operations moving forward.

Investment in the UAE is mostly

straightforward. It is encouraged by a

business-friendly regulatory, financial,

and legal environment. Being one of

the freest economies in the world,

the UAE turns out to be an investorfriendly

and stable global hub.

The investment in the Emirates

has been growing along with an

expanding collection of asset classes

for the residents to select from for

building their wealth. From real estate

investment to stock exchange trading,

funds, deposit accounts, and private

pension schemes, there are investment

options in UAE that are ideal for

almost every risk profile.

Considering the growth of investment,

there are many active investment

companies in UAE. In this article, we

have listed some of the top investment

companies that you can choose from.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 43


Start-ups

interested in connecting through

lucrative and ancient trade routes that

are still thriving in the global economy.

A sophisticated communications

grid, coupled with the UAE

Government’s proactive support of

innovation and technology adds to

the attraction for Startup enterprises.

Another inviting feature of the region

is a burgeoning, tech-savvy, businessorientated

younger generation. Family

business heirs are becoming more

enterprising and eager to invest in new

technologies from overseas.

Vista Global

Vista Global is one of the largest

corporate aircraft providers in the

industry.

Local Unicorn Startups

In the start-up world, when a start-up acquires a

valuation of 1 Billion dollars it is called a Unicorn

start-up. There’s no doubt that the startup scene in the

United Arab Emirates is unique.

Details of the startup:

● Valuation: $2.50B (August 2017)

● City: Dubai

● Started in: 2004

● Founders: Thomas Flohr

● Industries: Aerospace

● Number of employees:

1,000- 5,000

Vista delivers the best end-to-end

service to every business aviation

client through a vertically-integrated

technology platform that supports its

escalating growth trajectory—backed

by decades of business acumen in

the mobility, technology, and services

industry, specializing in the high-networth

client segment.

● 2,000+ aviation and

technology experts

● 60+ nationalities

● Preferred by the largest

corporations

Ahe country has created

dozens of successful

startups, over the years.

Some of them are already

worth billions of dollars.

UAE is emerging as a

preferred ‘startup and investment hub’

in the global entrepreneurial landscape.

According to the startup Cities Index

Ranking, Dubai has surpassed older,

well-established, startup ecosystems

like New York and Tokyo by achieving

a record, five/five in the Income Tax

score

The MENA region is particularly

attractive for foreign investors

Vista delivers the best

end-to-end service to

every business aviation

client through a verticallyintegrated

technology

platform that supports

its escalating growth

trajectory—backed by

decades of business

acumen in the mobility,

technology, and services

industry.

International in every sense with an

established presence in the world’s

most dynamic and connected cities.

● 187 countries flown to

● 200+ group fleet plus 2,100+

alliance jets

● 3 operation hubs and 20 offices

worldwide

Vista is committed to making aviation

better. This means changing the

foundations of how we operate to

benefit our clients and the whole global

community. The industry must step

up to combat climate change and its

impact today — it’s the right thing to do

and we all have to act now.

44 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


KITOPI

Kitopi is a cloud kitchen startup that

provides delivery-only services for

restaurants.

Details of the startup:

● Valuation: $1.00B (July 2021)

● City: Dubai

● Started in: 2018

● Founders: Andres Arenas,

Bader Ataya, Mohamad Ballout

and Saman Darkan

● Industries: Cloud Infrastructure,

Delivery, Food and Beverage,

Food Delivery, Restaurants

● Number of employees:

1,000-5,000

● Funding Amount: $502.20M

● Number of funding rounds: 4

● Number of investors: 20

Kitopi is a tech-powered, multi-brand

restaurant. Founded in January 2018,

their mission is to satisfy the world’s

appetite. They currently partner with

over 200 brands, across 5 countries,

operating 200+ kitchens.

They have partnered with F&B

brands and restaurants around the

world, helping them expand beyond

borders, in as little as 14 days. Their

smart kitchen operating system (SKOS)

- built in-house, ensures speed and

efficiency, in all our operations, across

​Kitopi has built its own in-house Smart

Kitchen Operating System (or SKOS as we

like to call it) - and operating system that

has a collection of applications that helps

optimize all aspects of our cloud kitchens

in real-time, maximizing efficiency.

the business, with a focus on making

sure our customers are always satisfied

and that their brand is continuously

growing. At Kitopi, we believe in

celebrating each other’s differences

and making sure all our Kitopians feel

at home. We promise to learn personal

growth and have a whole lot of fun.

The state-of-the-art smart kitchens

are just the solution you need to scale,

in just 14 days.

​Kitopi has built its own in-house

Smart Kitchen Operating System

(or SKOS as we like to call it) - and

operating system that has a collection

of applications that helps optimize all

aspects of our cloud kitchens in realtime,

maximizing efficiency. For their

restaurant partners, this means serving

more customers in a shorter period and

as efficiently as possible.

Another advantage for business

entrepreneurs considering establishing

a Free Zone trade license is that

actual office spaces are not always

a pre-requisite. In many zones like

Fujairah Creative City Free Zone, there

are no office space requirements. In

other instances, you can even share

desks or office locations. Thus, office

infrastructural investment can be

saved.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 45


Start-ups

UAE and South Korea

Sign MoU to Promote

SME Support

The UAE Ministry of Economy (MoE) and the Korea

Federation of SMEs (KBIZ) have recently agreed to

develop entrepreneurship and strengthen partnerships

between SMEs through cooperation.

A

bdullah Al Saleh, Under-

Secretary of the Ministry of

Economy and Kim Ki-mun,

Chairman of KBIZ, signed this

MoU in the presence of UAE Minister

of State for Entrepreneurship and

SMEs, Dr. Al Falasi.

Dr. Al Falasi added, “The UAE

attaches great importance to the

development of the SMEs sector as

one of the main pillars of the country’s

new economic model and its strategic

plans for the future in line with the

‘Principles and Goals of the 50’.

The development of international

partnerships is a major focus area

of the UAE’s efforts in this regard,

and South Korea is a major partner

for the UAE in our efforts to develop

entrepreneurship.”

“The signing of the MoU will help us

strengthen the role of entrepreneurs

and SMEs in the two countries in fields

of economic cooperation and facilitate

the development of partnerships,

Vista delivers the best

end-to-end service to

every business aviation

client through a verticallyintegrated

technology

platform that supports

its escalating growth

trajectory—backed by

decades of business

acumen in the mobility,

technology, and services

industry.

especially in the sectors of health

technology and smart agriculture.

It will also drive the growth of

trade exchanges and stimulate the

flow of quality investments in the

fields of innovation, research, and

development,” the Minister highlighted.

The two countries agreed to jointly

design partnership programs to enable

Emirati and Korean SMEs to make

an easy entry into the markets of the

two countries and prosper. Knowledge

sharing between the MoE and KBIZ

on developing appropriate policies,

programs, and legislations regarding

entrepreneurship has also been part

of this MoU to put the SMEs of both

countries on stronger footings in terms

of trade and investments.

Agreement reached on the

development of a joint platform

to support SMEs will help identify

potential and promising investment

opportunities in each other’s markets

and will particularly help many aspiring

Korean SMEs in company formation in

Dubai.

MoU also highlighted the need for

the exchange of market research and

information, mutual participation

in international entrepreneurship

programs, and extending expert

support to SMEs. While the

entrepreneurship and SMEs sector

account for 99% of the total companies

in South Korea, the sector accounts for

98.5% of the private sector in the UAE.

In early April 2022, Korean Export-

Import Bank (KEXIM) visited Abu

Dhabi to explore ways of strengthening

collaboration on export financing and

discussed ways and solutions to cofinance

Korean organizations looking

toward doing business in Dubai UAE

for import of goods and services from

the UAE including projects undertaken

by Korean EPC contractors, provided

these projects use materials or

expertise from the UAE.

The MoU is seen as a commitment

between the two institutions to realize

mutual aspirations and objectives

and in all expectations will have a

significant positive impact on the

export dynamics and relations between

the UAE and South Korea and enhance

their respective economies.

South Korea’s central bank in a

statement, confirmed an agreement

with the Central Bank of the United

Arab Emirates (CBUAE) to extend

a currency swap agreement for five

years. The Bank of Korea and the

CBUAE originally entered into a USD

5.5 billion currency swap deal which

can be renewed and extended by

mutual consent of the two countries.

46 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


UAE’s Minister of Economy

inaugurates a start-up

bridge with India

Following the signing of an economic partnership

agreement, UAE Minister of Economy Abdulla bin

Touq and India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal

launched an India-UAE Start-up Bridge to provide a

platform for investors and entrepreneurs from both

countries.

In February, India and the

United Arab Emirates signed

the Comprehensive Economic

Partnership Agreement, or CEPA.

The agreement, which took effect

on May 1, ushers in a new era of

cooperation by providing more

opportunities for Indian and UAE

businesses to invest and trade.

The bridge is part of a trade

agreement that will serve as a one-stop

shop for Indian and UAE entrepreneurs

and stakeholders seeking information

on start-up opportunities, the leaders

The UAE is currently

India’s third-largest

trading partner and the

second-largest export

destination after the

US. India is the UAE’s

second-largest trading

partner and the largest

in terms of exports.

said at an event hosted by the

Confederation of Indian Industry in

India’s financial capital, Mumbai.

In a tweet, Mr. Goyal said, “These are

path-breaking beginnings in the India-

UAE CEPA that will unleash the golden

era in our economic ties.”

Mr. bin Touq said the agreement will

benefit the people and businesses of

both countries if the opportunities are

fully capitalized upon. “We know that

in the interconnected world, we must

create the right conditions as we build

our economy,” Mr. bin Touq said at the

summit.

“It is now up to us to capitalize

on this agreement, the tremendous

opportunity that it presents, and if

we succeed — I am positive that we

will — it is safe to say that the best our

bilateral relationship can deliver is yet

to come,” he said.

Mr. bin Touq was on a four-day visit

to the country. He arrived in New Delhi

with a delegation of 80 representatives,

including 41 from government

and private companies to explore

opportunities under the new trade

mechanism.

The CEPA mechanism will provide

opportunities for building new and

sustainable partnerships between

the two countries and is designed to

take bilateral economic relations to

unprecedented levels.

The UAE is currently India’s thirdlargest

trading partner and the secondlargest

export destination after the

US. India is the UAE’s second-largest

trading partner and the largest in terms

of exports.

India accounted for nine percent of

the total volume of the UAE’s trade

with the world in 2021.

Trade between the countries stood

at $65 billion, according to India’s

Ministry of Commerce.

But with CEPA – UAE’s first

comprehensive strategic partnership

with any country and India’s first in a

decade – both nations aim to increase

non-oil bilateral trade to the US $100bn

in the next five years.

The high-level delegation focused

on priority sectors for cooperation

that remain key drivers for boosting

bilateral ties such as manufacturing,

aviation, financial services, food

security, transport, and infrastructure.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 47


Start-ups

Hub71 welcomes sixteen new start-ups

Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s technology start-up center, has welcomed 16 new budding

businesses to its expanding community.

The list of new companies includes

early-stage start-ups from leading

international tech hubs such as

the UK, US, and South Korea.

TAG, Pakistan’s first digital bank;

Trade Capital Partners, based in the

UAE, a platform that improves access

to working capital for start-ups and

small to medium-sized enterprises

in emerging markets; and Zywa, the

Middle East and North Africa region’s

first neobank for teenagers.

Hub71 said in a statement that the

start-ups, which have already raised

more than Dh231 million ($63 million),

will benefit from structured programs

to boost investment potential, as well

as a new range of flexible incentives

that allow founders to choose the

level of support based on their start-up

needs.

“Our first cohort of the year reflects

our ambition to match the pace of

global tech start-ups with the greatest

growth potential, “What makes Hub71

so different is our founder-centric

approach that puts emphasis on

building leaders and teams to sustain

exponential growth for start-ups.” said

Badr Al Olama, acting CEO of Hub71.

Hub71 is a flagship initiative of the

Dh50bn Ghadan 21 economic stimulus

program and was founded by the

Abu Dhabi government, Mubadala

Investment Company, Abu Dhabi

Global Market, Microsoft, and Japan’s

SoftBank Group in 2019. It helps

entrepreneurs to build tech companies

with global outreach, as the emirate

seeks to diversify its economy away

from oil.

Its start-ups have so far raised Dh1.5

billion of investment through the tech

ecosystem’s corporate partners. The

companies have been responsible for

creating 1,000 new jobs.

The UAE, the Arab world’s secondlargest

economy, has taken various

steps to encourage entrepreneurship to

fuel its post-oil economy.

Last year, the country unveiled the

Entrepreneurial Nation initiative,

which aims to make the Emirates home

to 20 unicorns — a term referring to

start-ups valued at more than $1bn

— by 2031, as well as to attract and

expand small and medium enterprises.

Q1, 2022 start-ups

Letswork – an app that connects

users with workspaces across the UAE

via a single membership.

Genify - an AI fintech company

48 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


helping banks and other FinTech

companies bring intelligent features to

their consumer-facing offerings, thanks

to powerful APIs.

Zywa - the first neo bank for

teenagers in Mena.

Tickitto – provides a B2B

marketplace for tickets to live events

and cultural experiences so that

consumer platforms can start selling

tickets to customers and increase

wallet share.

DarDoc - provides primary

healthcare services that aim to make

accessibility of healthcare from

anywhere a reality.

Trade Capital Partners - a digital

trade finance company that offers

working capital solutions to small and

medium-sized companies and growing

start-ups in emerging markets.

Dtonic Corporation - Dtonic is a big

data solution provider specializing

in technologies that process Spatiotemporal

data quickly and efficiently.

Alliance Care Technologies -

provides analytical and productivity

tools to hospitals, physicians, and

patients.

MonkiBox - an award-winning,

research-driven early learning

subscription program that supports

babies’ cognitive and motor

development.

FinFlx - the first comprehensive

gratuity platform in the MENA region

to automate gratuity management,

forecasting, and reporting.

Bridgeway - a SaaS company that

built a bridge between merchants and

payment providers to manage multiple

payment providers, and save failed

transactions and cart abandonment.

Erad - a data-first web platform that

allows SMEs to manage revenue and

transform monthly recurring revenue

into upfront capital.

TAG - reimagining the essence of

banking by equipping and empowering

the segments that have long been

ignored by brick-and-mortar banks.

Purpl - it aims to become the

partner of choice for the yearly $7BN

remittances coming into Lebanon.

Doctoori - provides high-quality,

reliable, and easily accessible health

information in Arabic.

Ostaz - a digital educational platform

that aims at promoting education.

Start-up in Dubai, Coinmarketpedia

raises $2 million to accelerate growth

Coinmarketpedia, a decentralized crypto and blockchain

educational platform based in Dubai, has raised $2 million

in pre-seed funding from unnamed private investors.

The funds will be used to expand the start-”global up’s footprint

and achieve key internal goals,” according to the announcement.

The company did not specify which markets it intended to enter or

when it planned to expand.

The funds will also be used to improve the platform’s features, hire

industry experts, and invest in future partnerships.Coinmarketpedia,

which was founded in 2019, began operations in the UAE on an invitationonly

basis in February of this year. It went on sale to the general public in

April.

“The funds will not only further enable growth but it will allow us to

expand on marketing and PR activities across multiple channels and build

partnerships with schools, institutes, and universities,” said Shameer

Thaha, chief futurist of Coinmarketpedia.

The platform will “unify all expert efforts in sharing their crypto and

blockchain expertise with enthusiasts, developers, investors, and traders

… and that will be a hub for all crypto and blockchain professionals of

the industry”, Mr. Thaha said.

The Middle East has one of the world’s fastest-growing crypto markets.

According to Chainalysis data, it received $271.7 billion in cryptocurrency

between July 2020 and June 2021, accounting for 6.6 percent of global

activity.

Within the next ten years, the UAE hopes to increase the contribution

of the digital economy to its gross domestic product from 9.7% to 19.4%.

Dubai wants to be a major player in the virtual world, and it’s working

on a regulatory and legislative framework.

Dubai passed a law in March to regulate virtual assets in order to

provide a safe environment for investors while also embracing emerging

technologies.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority, the emirate’s financial center’s

regulator, also released its regulatory framework for crypto tokens, or

cryptocurrencies, for public comment in the same month.

Coinmarketpedia has hired more than 70 instructors and has a library

of more than 160 on-demand courses covering topics like cryptocurrency

trading and blockchain.

The platform is also working on a professional

academic section and a blockchain-based

certificate verification system that will

give students’ certifications “trust and

credibility.”

The company aims to achieve a

“decentralised world” in which everyone

can have access to equal economic

opportunity through education and

knowledge sharing, it said.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 49


Fintech

UAE-Based FinTech Spades Raises

$2.5M in Angel Round

Spades, a United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based dine-in payment FinTech, closed a

$2.5 million angel round in May 10.

Without any downloads

or registration, Spades’

service allows guests

to pay bills quickly

and easily by scanning a code or

tapping to pay. As a result, wait times

may be reduced. Spades claims that

its solution can work with any major

point-of-sale (POS) system.

According to the press release, the

UAE FinTech industry saw a 1,200

percent increase in funding quarter

over quarter. Despite the region’s

food and beverage industry’s slump,

FinTech startups that provide payment

solutions are reportedly attracting

more attention.

Spades co-founder Adnan Haque

“Our goal is to give

customers and

restaurants back

time by establishing

a perfect ‘phy-gital’

harmony that aids

in achieving an

exceptional dine-in

experience.”

said, “We have created a seamless

payment portal that is fast, secure,

and convenient.” “Our goal is to give

customers and restaurants back time

by establishing a perfect ‘phy-gital’

harmony that aids in achieving an

exceptional dine-in experience.”

According to the report, prominent

angel investors included Thibaud

Elzière, Eduardo Ronzano, Yan

Hascoet, Othmane Bouhlal, and

Omar Benmoussa, as well as venture

capital firms such as Nordstar and

Impact46.

Other recent investment activity

in the UAE includes Mashreq bank’s

recent $10 million debt and equity

financing of BNPL startup Cashew.

50 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


Careem will launch a new digital wallet

in Saudi Arabia in the next fintech push.

Careem, the UAE-based ridehailing

service, will expand its

latest fintech venture, digital

payments, into Saudi Arabia,

according to Mudassir Sheikha, the

company’s CEO, in an interview with Al

Arabiya.

Sheikha referred to the Careem

Pay wallet as the “largest” and “most

strategic” market, saying that “many of

the things that we’re doing in the UAE

will be adapted to the reality of the

Saudi market.”

The company has processed more

than $5 billion in transactions through

the ride hailing and delivery services

in the last five years, according to the

CEO.

He estimates a $2.8 trillion

opportunity in the region through

consumer payments.

A digital payment system makes

available an intermediary platform to

store money that can be transferred

A digital payment

system makes

available an

intermediary

platform to store

money that can be

transferred between

two users or at a

merchant without

the hassle of using

IBAN information

or creating

beneficiaries.

between two users or at a merchant

without the hassle of using IBAN

information or creating beneficiaries.

Owing to a high bank penetration

rate in the Gulf region, transfers and

payments require simplification,

said Sheikha. As for countries with

lower rates of penetration like

Pakistan, Egypt, and Morocco, the

population has a high adoption rate for

smartphones which can be tapped, he

added.

Samsung Pay and Apple Pay are

expected to be Careem’s larger

competitors, owing to their longer

presence in the market and large,

global user base.

With a new fintech offering that has

the markings of competition with local

banks, Sheikha says otherwise. “We

don’t see as a competing with banks,

we in fact see us as partnering

with banks.”

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 51


Fintech

Fintech in the post COVID-19 world

Over the past 3 years, COVID-19 has drastically disrupted the rhythm of our daily

lives with limited access to the outside world. During these times, Fintech has

proved to be a helping hand as it became a necessity to do online transactions and

activities indoors.

Sheikha referred

to the Careem

Pay wallet as the

“largest” and “most

strategic” market,

saying that “many of

the things that we’re

doing in the UAE will

be adapted to the

reality of the Saudi

market.”

COVID-19 Impact on FinTech

COVID-19 has increased the

growth of digital payments

and increased retail sector

purchases through online shopping

and other digital finances. Physical

cash payments have become less

practical in the COVID-19 era due to

health concerns, paving the way for the

increasing use of digital payments and

e-wallets.

Though cash use was expected

to decline in any case, COVID-19

has accelerated that decline due to

concerns that handing over money

could result in the transmission of the

virus from person to person.

In the post-pandemic world, it has

resulted that most people prefer to

continue the use of online payments

now as it is contactless and less of a

hassle.

Moreover, the new developments

in cybersecurity like Blockchain,

facial and voice recognition in AI have

strengthened consumers’ belief in the

usage of digital payment which has

affected the growth of the banking and

financial sector.

Role of Fintech post-pandemic

Fintech is gradually transforming

the current global market by delivering

innovative technology that is effective

and efficient through minimal efforts.

Fintech startups specializing in

cloud computing, core applications,

robotic process automation (RPA),

and API development and deployment

are becoming increasingly profitable

by offering their services to firms with

operational business projects and large

consumer bases.

The close working and regularisation

between government, banking and

non-banking sectors, supervisory

authorities, and competition and data

protection regulators are proving to be

essential in the future of Fintech for

global economizing.

In today’s times, FinTech is rapidly

evolving with innovation that revolves

around cryptocurrency, digital cash,

intelligent contracts, open banking,

InsurTech, and Robo-advisors.

Blockchain technology, including

Ethereum, is a distributed ledger

technology (DLT) that keeps records

on a network of computers but lacks

a central ledger is also becoming a

big part of financial technology as

it is related to user interface and

advancement in AI.

Fintech users fall into four broad

categories: B2B for banks and their

clients, B2C for small businesses, and

consumers. Trends toward mobile

banking, increased information, data,

and more accurate analytics, and

decentralization of access will allow

all four groups to interact in previously

unprecedented ways.

This interaction has increased

post-pandemic and the user base is

also slowly shifting to the younger

generation. The millennials will be

more involved in the evolvement,

considering the market size followed

by the interest of Gen Zs whereas

Baby Boomers, the elder generation,

are yet to be a part of FinTech as the

advancement of technology is yet to be

completed adapted by them.

52 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022



Energy

UAE Renewable Energy Prospects amid

inflation in oil prices

In the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, renewable energy has

become commercially appealing due to the inflation in oil prices

and the emerging crisis of crude reserves, both caused by

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

54 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


The UAE released its ‘Energy Policy

2050’ in 2017, its first comprehensive

supply-and-demand-based energy

strategy. By 2050, the strategy

intends to raise renewable energy’s

contribution to the whole energy mix

from 25% to 50%, while lowering power

generation’s carbon footprint by 70%,

saving AED 700 billion. It also aims

to boost consumers’ and businesses’

consumption efficiency by 40%. Some

of UAE’s renewable prospects include

Solar Energy, Wind Power, conversion

of waste into energy resources,

and Nuclear energy.

Solar Energy

Projects like “SHAMS 1 STATION” in

Abu Dhabi and “Mohammed Bin Rashid

Al Maktoum Solar Park” are playing a

major role in the production of renewable

solar energy. Platforms like Solar Energy

Future Mena provide strategic planning

and future development that can be used

in generating solar energy in the most

sustainable ways in the middle eastern

region.

Fuel Cells

Fuel cell technology operates on

the reverse electrolysis principle.

Hydrogen from the FCEV tanks reacts

with oxygen from the surrounding air

to produce electric energy, heat, and

water in this chemical process. The

electricity produced by this process

is then used to power the FCEV

(Fuel Cells Electric Vehicles), while the

heat and water are emitted as steam

through the emission. As an outcome,

hydrogen fuel cell technology produces

clean energy. The electricity either

powers the engine directly or charges

the battery, which stores the energy for

later use. Thus, making the fuel cell car

battery feasible (small and light) and

easy to transport around.

Wind Power Generation

On Sir Bani Yas Island, the region’s

first wind turbine was installed. The

wind turbine stands 65 meters tall and

has three rotor blades with a 52-meter

wingspan each, having an output

capacity of 850-kilowatt hours. Masdar

By 2050, the strategy intends to raise

renewable energy’s contribution to the

whole energy mix from 25% to 50%,

while lowering power generation’s carbon

footprint by 70%, saving AED 700 billion.

In the oil-rich United Arab Emirates,

renewable energy has become

commercially appealing due to

the inflation in oil prices and the

emerging crisis of crude reserves, both

caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

By 2030, increasing renewables to 10%

of the country’s entire energy mix and

25% of total power generation could

result in yearly savings of USD 1.9

billion due to lower energy costs and

avoided fossil-fuel consumption. With

health and environmental benefits

taken into account, the switch to

renewables could save an additional

USD 1 billion to USD 3.7 billion

annually by 2030.

Green Hydrogen

The UAE - government-owned

company Masdar which is based in

Abu Dhabi is a leading company for

the development and generation of

renewable energy. Along with ENGIE

and Fertiglobe, this company has

come up with an agreement to build

a globally cost-competitive green

hydrogen facility as hydrogen acts as

an efficient means of energy storage to

back up recurrent renewable sources.

Moreover, blue and green hydrogen

helps to reduce the carbon footprint

of heavy industries that emit a lot of

pollution.

and Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development

and Investment Company (TDIC)

intend to build an onshore wind farm

with up to 30 MW on this island.

This wind energy can be used in the

UAE to convert wind kinetic energy

into mechanical or electrical energy,

which can be another great idea for

renewable energy amid the scarcity of

oil and inflation in oil prices.

Therefore, the utilization of

alternative or renewable energy for

electricity generation in the UAE

is one of the key steps toward the

country’s ultimate objective of longterm

sustainability in parallel to the UN

Sustainable Development Goals.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 55


VAT and Corporate Tax

Implementation of Corporate Tax in UAE

Many businesses in the UAE have historically enjoyed zero income tax on their

profits. This, however, is set to change, with the Ministry of Finance (MOF)

announcing on 31 January 2022 that federal corporate income tax (CIT) will be

introduced in the UAE. The CIT regime is expected to apply for fiscal years starting

on or after 1 June 2023.

This move is motivated by UAE’s

desire to meet international

tax standards, following

similar moves in neighboring

Gulf states, while minimizing the

compliance burden for UAE businesses

and shielding small businesses and

start-ups. The UAE, home to the key

business hub Dubai, will still have one

of the lowest corporate tax rates in the

world but the move will diversify state

income away from hydrocarbons.

Younis Haji Al Khoori,

Undersecretary of MOF, stated that

“the certainty of a competitive and

best-in-class corporate tax regime,

together with the UAE’s extensive

double tax treaty network, will cement

the UAE’s position as a world-leading

hub for business and investment”.

The MOF has announced the

following main features of the

proposed CIT regime (subject to

possible changes once the regime

enters into full force):

EFFECTIVE DATE

The CIT regime is expected to apply

for fiscal years starting on or after 1

June 2023.

SCOPE

The proposed CIT regime is expected

56 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


to apply to all business (ie, commercial,

industrial, and professional) activities

in the UAE, except for the extraction

of natural resources, which is already

(and will remain) subject to taxation at

an Emirate level.

The CIT regime will also apply to

individuals to the extent they hold

(or are legally required to hold) a

business license or permit to carry

out commercial, industrial, and/or

professional activities in the UAE. This

includes income earned by freelance

professionals for activities carried out

under a freelance license or permit.

The MOF has stated that the

proposed federal CIT regime will also

apply to banking operations in the UAE

(although branches of foreign banks

are already subject to a CIT regime at

an Emirate level).

It was also announced that corporate

tax incentives currently offered to

free zone businesses will continue

to be honored, to the extent, that the

free zone business complies with all

applicable regulatory requirements and

does not conduct business in mainland

UAE. This may affect many businesses

currently operating in both mainland

UAE and free zones under a dual

licensing scheme.

Free zone businesses will

nevertheless have to comply with

certain obligations under the CIT

regime, including the requirement to

register and file a CIT return.

Further details on CIT exemptions

and exclusions will be provided by the

MOF in due course.

PROPOSED RATES

Three different rates of corporate

income tax are proposed to apply, as

follows:

● 0% rate on taxable income up to AED

375,000 (c. US$ 102,000);

● 9% rate on taxable income above

AED 375,000; and

● A different rate (which has not been

announced yet) for large multinationals

that generate consolidated global

revenues above EUR 750m (c. AED

3.15 bn) in line with the Pillar Two of

the OECD Base Erosion and Profit

Shifting (BEPS) project.

INCOME EXEMPTED FROM CIT

The MOF has announced that the

following types of income will be

exempted from the CIT regime:

● Income derived from the extraction

of natural resources (see above);

● Dividends and capital gains earned

by a UAE business from its qualifying

shareholdings (ie, an ownership

interest in a UAE or foreign company

that meets certain conditions to be

specified in the UAE CIT law;

● Qualifying intra-group transactions

and reorganizations subject to certain

conditions to be specified in the UAE

CIT law;

● Foreign entities and individuals who

do not conduct a trade or business

in the UAE on an ongoing or regular

basis; and

● Foreign investors’ income from

dividends, capital gains, interest,

royalties, and other investment returns.

OTHER FEATURES

Foreign Tax credits.

Foreign CIT paid on UAE taxable

income will be allowed to be credited

against UAE payable CIT. Note in

this context that UAE has entered

into over 130 double tax treaties, a

matter which will further facilitate the

correct operation of the tax system in

the context of cross-border trade and

ownership relationships both pre and

post the introduction of UAE CIT.

Losses.

The CIR regime will allow businesses

to use losses incurred (as from the

entry into force of the CIT regime) to

reduce taxable income for subsequent

financial periods.

Tax groups.

UAE group of companies will be able

to elect to form a tax group and be

treated as a single entity for taxation

purposes, subject to certain conditions

to be specified in the UAE CIT law. A

UAE tax group will be able to file a

single tax return for the entire group.

Transfer pricing. UAE businesses

will also have to comply with transfer

pricing rules and documentation

requirements based on the OECD

transfer pricing guidelines.

The relevant CIT legislation is

still being finalized and has not been

published yet. Although the regime that

will come into force may ultimately

Free zone businesses

will nevertheless

have to comply with

certain obligations

under the CIT

regime, including

the requirement to

register and file a

CIT return.

diverge from MOF’s announcement,

businesses operating in the UAE (in

particular businesses operating in both

mainland UAE and free zones under a

dual licensing scheme) should consider

the potential impact of the announced

regime and prepare for the upcoming

change in the law.

The implementation of CT in

the UAE follows logically from the

UAE’s role as a member of the OECD

inclusive framework, especially in

light of discussions on the global

minimum tax proposed by Pillar II.

In comparison to other jurisdictions,

the proposed tax rate of 9% remains

highly competitive. Furthermore, the

Consultation Document demonstrates

that the proposed CT regime is based

on internationally recognized and

practiced principles, making the cost

and process of implementing the law

relatively efficient for businesses

subject to similar regimes in other

jurisdictions. The law appears to

preserve some of the UAE’s most

distinctive tax benefits, such as

those granted to free zone registered

entities. Once the regime goes into

effect, various businesses may want to

reconsider their corporate structures in

order to take advantage of the available

tax benefits.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 57


Healthcare

Global investments in the digital formation

of the UAE Healthcare industry

The UAE has a national health service that is managed by both federal and emirate

level governments. There are now more private healthcare facilities in the UAE than

public facilities.

M

edical staff are well trained,

usually ex-pats, and speak

English which was not

common decades ago.

Currently, there are 181 doctors per

100,000 residents in the UAE.

The Dubai Industrial Strategy

2030 and the Abu Dhabi vision 2030,

consider the pharmaceutical industry

as one of the main sub-sectors

to develop with its future growth

prospects, export potential, and midterm

to long-term economic impact.

A key long-term focus for the UAE

government has been to reduce

reliance on imported pharmaceuticals

and manufacture locally. According to

Alpen Capital, Dubai alone will require

an additional 8,300 physicians and

8,800 nurses by 2025.

Dubai’s healthcare market will play

a pivotal role in catapulting the Middle

East and North Africa healthcare

sector growth from the US $144 billion

in 2020 to $243 billion by 2023.

There are 257 HealthTech startups

in the United Arab Emirates. Some

of them are:

Health Tech Startups in the UAE

● Sehteq is a digital health

insurance platform that offers

affordable insurance plans for

individuals and companies. Last

Funding - $52 million from 971

Capital and others

● Okadoc is the region’s 1st

instant online appointment

booking platform that connects

healthcare providers with

patients.

Last Funding - $12.3 million

from Abu Dhabi Investment

Authority and Ithmar Capital

● Bayzat is a comparison platform

for health insurance and offers

a platform for administration,

payroll, and health insurance.

Last Funding – $31 million from

Precinct Partners, Bolurfrushan

International Group, Silicon

Badia, and others

● Vezeeta is an appointment

management platform for

healthcare providers and

is available to doctors as a

subscription model. Last

Funding - $63 million from STV,

Vostok New Ventures, and

other Investors

58 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


Dubai’s healthcare market will play a

pivotal role in catapulting the Middle East

and North Africa healthcare sector growth

from the US $144 billion in 2020 to $243

billion by 2023.

● Altibi is a Calls-based

telemedicine platform and

community for doctors.

Last Funding - $23 million in a

round led by Southeast Asian

VC Arbor Ventures and

Mubadala Capital.

● Klaim is a provider of AIbased

claims management

software for healthcare

professionals. Last Funding - $1

million by Techstars

● Healthcare Exchange Network

connects various stakeholders

across the continuum of care.

Last Funding - $1 million from

National Incubation Centre

The UAE health insurance market

reached a value of US$ 7.1 Billion in

2021. Additionally, the country has

moved up from the 28th position

in seven years to become the 9th

most globally competitive country,

outperforming Norway, Sweden, and

Canada, according to the IMD world

competitiveness ranking 2021.

In terms of foreign investment,

while the UAE was ranked 19th in

the 2020 Foreign Direct Investment

Confidence Index, Dubai ranked 3rd

city globally by a number of projects

and 4th globally in FDI capital flows

into greenfield projects, reaching USD

6.7bn.

2018 was another previous landmark

year for the U.A.E.’s healthcare sector

and its partnerships with leading

U.S. institutions. In February 2018,

the U.A.E. Embassy in Washington,

D.C., and Johns Hopkins Medicine

announced a new institute for stroke

research and clinical care.

The Sheikh Khalifa Stroke Institute,

established through a $50 million gift

from the U.A.E., will feature facilities in

Baltimore and Abu Dhabi. The Institute

will enable Johns Hopkins scientists

to collaborate with their Emirati

colleagues, training a workforce

of biomedical researchers in

the U.A.E.

Canadian healthcare technology

investor iGan Partners in collaboration

with Dubai-based entrepreneur and

investor Faisal Belhoul has launched a

new $250 million fund that will focus

on healthcare technology in the Middle

East and North Africa.

The new iGan Arabia fund will focus

on investing in artificial intelligence

and cloud technology-driven medical

devices and digital health innovations.

It aims to improve patient outcomes

and reduce the overall cost of health

care. Healthcare spending in the

Gulf Cooperation Council region is

projected to reach $89 billion this year

from $60bn in 2013, according to the

global consultancy KPMG.

India has a “significant potential” to

reduce the UAE’s healthcare costs with

its competitively priced medicines, and

also improve the supply of paramedical

staff and doctors.

The success of the UAE’s health

sector is the fruit of the government’s

dedication to developing the sector and

the comprehensive health coverage

it provides. The ongoing healthcare

infrastructure development seen in the

UAE is proof of its leading position

among the world’s most developed

countries.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 59


Corporate Results

ADNOC reports an increase

in Q12022

Net Income: 6% increase

Net profit: Dh671 million

($182.8m)

ADNOC Distribution, the UAE’s

largest fuel and convenience retailer

reported net profit for three months

to the end of March rose to Dh671

million ($182.8m), the company said

in a statement to the Abu Dhabi

Securities Exchange, where its shares

are traded. Revenue for the reporting

period surged more than 57 percent to

Dh6.74bn, driven by higher fuel selling

prices amid a rise in crude prices

globally.

Yahsat’s Q1 2022 revenue

increased

Net Revenue: 9.4% by

Dh362.5 million

The Al Yah Satellite Communications

Company released its financial results

for the three months ending March

31, 2022. Yahsat recorded revenue of

Dh362.5 million [$98.7 million] in the

first quarter, up 9.4% from the previous

year. All business segments did well,

with Managed Solutions and Mobility

Solutions performing particularly well,

increasing by 26.0 percent and 45.4

percent, respectively.

Emaar’s first-quarter

profit increased as sales

increased

Net Profit: 241% to

Dh2.23 billion

Net Revenue: 12% to

Dh6.635 billion

Emaar, a global property developer,

reported a 241% increase in firstquarter

net profit to Dh2.239 billion,

up from Dh657 million in the same

quarter of 2021. Revenue increased

by 12% to Dh6.635 billion in the first

quarter of 2022, compared to Dh5.921

billion in the same period of 2021.

The Dubai Financial Market-listed

company said in a statement that group

property sales increased by 17% to

Dh8.332 billion in Q1 2021, compared

to Dh7.115 billion in Q1 2021.

Amlak net group profit

increases for Q1 2022

Net Profit: by 116% to 6

million AED

Total assets stand at AED 4 billion

Debt settlement arrangements

yielded AED 26 million gain and

contributed in total debt reduction of

AED 65 million (including Mudaraba

instrument of AED 14 million).

Amlak Finance PJSC announced

its Q1 2022 financial results. Amlak

reported a net profit of AED 13 million

for Q1 2022 as compared to net

profit of AED 6 million for Q1 2021.

The company focused on prudently

managing its UAE operations and

balance sheet.

TAQA Group’s records

increase in profit

Net income: 37% to $544mn

Net Revenue: 20% higher by

Dh12.4bn

The Group reported revenues of

Dh12.4bn, 20% higher than the prioryear

period, primarily due to higher

commodity prices within the Oil &

Gas segment. Adjusted EBITDA was

Dh5.6bn, up 20%, mainly reflecting

higher revenues as well as improved

income from associates, partially

offset by higher expenses.Net income

(TAQA-share) was Dh2bn, 37% higher

than the prior-year period, with greater

contribution from the Oil & Gas

segment. selling prices amid a rise in

crude prices globally.

RAK Ceramics announces

profit in Q1 2022

Net Profit: 8.3% to AED

783.1 million

Total gross profit margin for Q1 2022

increased to 37% an increase of 200bps

year on year driven by improved

efficiencies. Reported net profit

increased to AED 69.7 million for Q1

2022 due to higher revenue and gross

profit margins.

RAK Ceramics maintained a stable

capital structure with a net debt of

AED 975.2 million as of March 2022,

in spite of the payment of dividends.

RAK Ceramics PJSC a total EBITDA of

AED 129.7 million, an increase of 2.9%

during Q1 2022 compared to Q1 2021

60 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)

has reported a group profit

for the Q1 2022

Net Profit: 107 per cent of

Dhs5.1bn

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)

recorded its highest ever quarterly

net profit for first quarter of 2022. Net

profit rose 107 per cent year-on-year

from Dhs2.5bn recorded in Q1 2021

and 54 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

Meanwhile, its total income stood

at Dhs7.3bn, including Dhs2.8bn net

gain on disposal of majority stake in

payments business Magnati.

Alpha Dhabi reports profit in

Q1 2022

Net profit: AED 2.84bln

Alpha Dhabi continued to build

on the momentum garnered towards

the end of 2021 and reported another

excellent set of financial results for Q1

2022 with net profit of AED 2.84 billion,

up significantly year-on-year from AED

100 million. Moreover, revenues stood

at AED 8.17 billion for the first three

months of 2022, representing a year-onyear

increase of 700%.

Deyaar announces increase

in net profit for Q1 2022

Net Profit: 67% increase to

AED 25.1 million

Net Revenue: 9% increase

to AED 161.9m

The company announced 67%

increase in net profit to reach AED

25.1 million for the first three months

ending 31 March 2022 in comparison to

AED 15.1 million for the same period

last year. The company also recorded

9% increase in revenue to reach AED

161.9 million for the first quarter of the

year up from AED 149.2 million in the

same period last year.

UAE’s Aldar reports profit in

Q1 2022

Net Profit: Dhs688m

Aldar Group has reported Dhs688m

in net profit in the first quarter of 2022,

a year-on-year growth of 26.5 per cent.

Revenues stood at Dhs2.68bn in Q1

2022, a year-on-year growth of 31.5

per cent, whereas gross profit reached

equaled Dh1.12bn, a growth of 44 per

cent.

Mashreq Bank’s Q1-2022

Net profit: Dh606m

Mashreq Bank reported an operating

income of Dh1.6 billion for Q1-2022,

a gain of 11 per cent from a year ago,

derived in large part by improved net

interest income and that coming in

from its Islamic financing. Net profit

weighed in with Dh606 million in the

first three months – that’s up on the

Dh43 million Mashreq had in Q1-2021.

Response Plus Holding

PJSC recorded profit in

Q1 2022

Net profit: AED 14.31m

The net profit for this period

reached AED 14.31 million, compared

to the loss of AED 1 million in the

same period the previous year. Total

revenues for RPM stood at AED 87.7

million on March 31st, 2022, compared

to AED 0.4 million in March 2021.

UAE’s DEWA reports net

profit Q1 2022

Net Profit: Dhs691m

Net Revenue: 15 per cent to

Dhs5.068bn

Compared to Q1 2021, electricity

revenue is up 17.5 per cent, water

revenue is up 20.2 per cent, and district

cooling revenue is up 17.6 per cent in

the first quarter of this year.

DEWA’s consolidated gross fixed

assets grew by Dhs2.8bn to Dhs204.2bn

as of March 31, 2022 compared to

Dhs201.4bn on December 31, 2021.

Air Arabia reports strong Q1

growth

Net profit: 756 per cent of

AED291 million

Sharjah-based low-cost carrier Air

Arabia has reported a strong first

quarter (January to March) with a

net profit of AED291 million ($79.2

million), an increase of 756 per cent

compared to AED34 million registered

in the corresponding period last year.

Air Arabia said for the same period,

the airline recorded a 97% increase

in turnover which soared to AED1.12

billion.

UAE’s Julphar records profit

for Q1 2022

Net Profit: Dhs1.9m

Cash flow from operations was

Dhs10.2m in Q1 2022. In Q1 2022, the

company generated Dhs418.6m in net

sales, posting a 156 per cent increase

from Q1 2021. Growth was driven by

an increase in sales attributed to the

acquisition of Planet Pharmacies and

a 37 per cent organic growth from the

Julphar Segment operations.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 61


Local News

CEPA trade deal improves UAE-India relations

“Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa) made between India and the UAE

in February 2022 came into implementation on 1st May 2022 bringing the first occurrence of

tariff-free imports” quoted by Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy.

In an interview with WAM, Al Marri

said the Cepa between the two

countries would help encourage

trade by reducing custom tariffs

by 90 percent and increase non-oil

trade from $45 billion at end of

2021 to $100 billion annually in the next

five years.

The UAE chose India to sign the first

Cepa, which underscores the strategic

ties between the two countries. Since

the launch of the Cepa program as part

of the ‘Projects of the 50’ initiative,

the UAE began talks to sign Cepas

with several countries of strategic

importance both regionally and

internationally, aiming to sign eight

agreements in 2022, he added.

On the annual growth of the trade

exchange between the two countries

and their targets over the next five

years, Al Marri said the Cepa between

UAE and India will intensify their

bilateral trade and add 1.7 percent, or

$9 billion, to the UAE’s GDP by 2030,

increase UAE’s exports by 1.5 percent

and its imports by 3.8 percent by 2030.

It will also create some 140,000 jobs

for talented people and those with

specialist skills in the most promising

sectors of the country’s economy by

2030.

On the new areas of cooperation,

he stressed that Cepa offers many

advantages, including reducing and

canceling tariffs, widening access to

markets, and creating opportunities

in vital areas, such as aviation,

environment, hospitality, logistics,

investment, and construction, financial

services, and digital trade.

“This historic agreement

aims to increase our

non-oil bilateral trade to

$100 billion annually

over the next five years.

India is also one of the

UAE’s largest investment

partners, whether in terms

of investments issued or

received by the country,”

Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri,

Minister of Economy

The Cepa will offer numerous

advantages to small and medium-sized

enterprises (SMEs) in the private

sectors of both countries, Al Marri

added. It represents a historically

strategic step to promote economic

integration and cooperation between

the two countries and establish a solid

foundation that will open new horizons

between their business communities.

The deal will also open access to

different markets and create new

investments and opportunities in

critical areas, including energy,

environment, and digital trade, he

said. The agreement covers 11 service

sectors and more than 100 subsectors,

including business services,

professional services, accounting, real

estate, advertising, communications,

building and construction, related

services, educational services,

environmental services, financial

services, insurance, social and health

services, and travel and tourism

service, he added.

Al Marri stressed that India is the

UAE’s largest trading partner in terms

of non-oil exports, equivalent to 14

percent of the country’s total global

exports, while the UAE is also India’s

third-largest trading partner and

accounts for 40 percent of its trade

with Arab countries.

“This historic agreement aims to

increase our non-oil bilateral trade to

$100 billion annually over the next five

years. India is also one of the UAE’s

largest investment partners, whether

in terms of investments issued or

received by the country,” he added.

62 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


First UAE T-Bond auction creates milestones

The UAE, indicated by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) as the issuer and the Central Bank of the

UAE (CBUAE) as the issuing and payment agent, has revealed the results of the first auction of

dirham denominated federal Treasury Bonds of the UAE (T-Bonds), with a benchmark auction

size of Dh1.5 billion (approximately $400 million), as part of the Dh9 billion T-Bonds issuance

program for 2022.

Sheikh Maktoum bin

Mohammed bin Rashid Al

Maktoum, Deputy Ruler

of Dubai, Deputy Prime

Minister, and Minister of Finance,

stated that the first auction’s

success contributes to the UAE’s

economic competitiveness and

the sustainability of economic

growth, as the UAE maintains

its position as one of the world’s

most competitive and advanced

economies.

The start of the Dh1.5 billion

UAE T-Bond program was met

with high demand from the six

principal bank dealers, with bids

totaling Dh9.4 billion and a 6.3-fold

oversubscription. The high demand

was seen across both tranches,

with a final allocation of Dh750

million for the two-year tranche

and Dh750 million for the threeyear

tranche, for a total issuance

of Dh1.5 billion as originally

indicated.

“The success of the first auction of

the Federal T-bonds and the strong

demand for them, which saw an

oversubscription by 6.3 times, is a

milestone,” said Sheikh Mansour

bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime

Minister, Minister of Presidential

Affairs, and Chairman of the

Board of Directors of the Central

Bank of the UAE. This indicates

trust in the UAE’s economic and

financial policies, as well as its

long-term development objectives.

It also represents the UAE’s

status as an appealing investment

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin

Rashid Al Maktoum,

Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime

Minister, and Minister of Finance

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed

Al Nahyan,

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of

Presidential Affairs, and Chairman of the

Board of Directors of the Central Bank of

the UAE

“The success of the first

auction of the Federal

T-bonds and the strong

demand for them, which

saw an oversubscription

by 6.3 times, is a

milestone,”

location, as well as its excellent

creditworthiness and worldwide

economic and competitive skills.

“The issuing of Federal T-bonds

marks a new milestone in fostering

the UAE’s financial sector’s robust

performance by enabling safe and

advanced dirham-denominated

investment. It will meet the

goals of the new Dirham

Monetary Framework,” Sheikh

Mansour stated.

To guarantee full transparency

in compliance with global best

practices for bond structuring, the

T-Bonds program was developed

in uniform pricing (the Dutch

Auction) for final bid acceptance of

bids and final allocation amounts,

regardless of the lower-priced

bids received. The two-year tenor

received the lowest bid of 2.88

percent, with the weighted average

bids at 2.96 percent and the final

uniform coupon rate set at 3.01

percent. The lowest bid for the

three-year tenor was 2.95 percent,

with a weighted average bid of 3.09

percent and a final uniform coupon

rate of 3.24 percent.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 63


Local News

First Dirham-denominated treasury bonds listed

Nasdaq Dubai

On 12th May’22, Thursday, Mohamed Bin Hadi Al Hussaini, Minister of State for Financial

Affairs, rang the Nasdaq Dubai market-opening bell to commemorate the listing and circulation

of Dh1.5 billion in UAE dirham-denominated treasury bonds.

The ceremony was attended by

Ebrahim Alzaabi, Assistant

Governor of the Central Bank of

the UAE – Monetary Policy and

Financial Stability; Hamed Ali, CEO

of Nasdaq Dubai and Dubai Financial

Market (DFM), and the CEOs of

participating banks, along with others.

The inaugural issuance was

oversubscribed 6.3 times during

the first auction that successfully

concluded that week. The UAE plans

to issue six treasury bond tranches

this year with a total value of Dh9

billion, where the value of the tranches

(2-year and 3-year) in the first auction

amounted to Dh1.5 billion, with a

fixed coupon rate of 3.01 percent and

3.24 percent, respectively, while other

tranches will be issued with various

tenures up to 5 years at later dates

throughout the year.

Mohamed Bin Hadi Al Hussaini,

Minister of State for Financial Affairs,

noted that the success of the first

auction of federal treasury bonds

is another step in strengthening the

national economy and achieving

sustainable economic development,

which complements the UAE

government’s efforts to enhance and

develop the financial and investment

market. This issuance conveys the

UAE’s creditworthiness as one of the

most competitive and highly advanced

economies in the world.

“The Federal Treasury Bond Program

contributes to revitalizing the local

financial and banking sector and

providing alternative financing

opportunities for investors, in addition

to reflecting the strength of economic

development indicators, the stability

of the financial system, and the

resilience of the economy. The national

Ebrahim Alzaabi,

Assistant Governor of the Central Bank of

the UAE – Monetary Policy and Financial

Stability

Mohamed Bin Hadi Al Hussaini,

Minister of State for Financial Affairs

“The launch of the

dirham-denominated

T-Bonds underscores the

UAE’s ambition to grow

capital market activity

and position itself as

a worldwide financial

center,”

economy will continue its momentum

and leadership during the next phase

in the context of transitioning to the

new economic model within the UAE

50 economic plan, in which the UAE

establishes a diversified knowledgebased

economy on innovation,

entrepreneurship, and advanced

industries.”

“The launch of the dirhamdenominated

T-Bonds underscores

the UAE’s ambition to grow capital

market activity and position itself as

a worldwide financial center,” said

Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor

of the UAE Central Bank. “It also

demonstrates the financial system’s

durability and stability, as well as local

and foreign investors’ faith in the UAE’s

ability to develop the financial sector in

accordance with monetary policies and

strategic goals”.

64 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


Bringing digitization to the unbanked workforce

Kamel Pay, a Dubai-based fintech company, has teamed with Mastercard to develop two

payment options in the UAE for businesses and underbanked individuals.

The companies will collaborate

to produce two-card solutions

– the PayD Card and the Centiv

Card – to serve the UAE’s

unbanked workforce and promote

micro-businesses by digitising ordinary

transactions.

“We are thrilled to work with

Mastercard in launching novel financial

services for businesses and individuals

across the UAE via a friendly and

secure digital app-based platform

and Card prepaid cards,” Kamel Pay

chairman Hussain Al Qemzi said.

“Through the state-of-the-art Kamel

Pay digital app, which offers relevant –

and inexpensive financial services for

their personal and family needs, this

cooperation will enable much-needed

financial inclusion for the UAE’s

underbanked population.”

“Having Mastercard as our strategic

partner will offer Kamel Pay a strong

basis to develop innovative financial

solutions via a cutting-edge payment

platform and outstanding service

delivery,” Al Qemzi continued. In the

near future, our collaboration will have

a significant impact on the adoption of

secure and cashless payments across

the UAE and the region, particularly

among the underbanked population,

which has been mostly ignored.

“Through product innovation and

cutting-edge digital technology, Kamel

Pay aspires to remain in the forefront

of solving the ever-emerging financial

demands of communities in the UAE

and the greater MENA region, by

delivering the advantages of secure,

convenient, and cashless payments.”

The payment solutions are

complemented by a feature-rich digital

app that uses Mastercard’s secure,

contactless payment technology to

Hussain Al Qemzi,

Kamel Pay chairman

JK Khalil,

Country general manager for MENA East

at Mastercard

“At Mastercard, we are

committed to increasing

financial inclusion through

the power of digital

payments and have set

a goal of connecting 1

billion individuals and 50

million SMEs to the digital

economy by 2025,”

satisfy the rising needs of enterprises

and underbanked consumers.

“At Mastercard, we are committed to

increasing financial inclusion through

the power of digital payments and

have set a goal of connecting 1 billion

individuals and 50 million SMEs to

the digital economy by 2025,” said JK

Khalil, country general manager for

MENA East at Mastercard.

“This alliance will benefit consumers

and small companies who have hitherto

been shut out of the official financial

system, providing them with the tools

and services they need to improve and

safeguard their financial well-being.

We are committed to providing

individuals in the UAE with easy

access to the digital economy,

working with our strategic partners

to foster inclusion and generate new

opportunities for all.”

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 65


Stock Market

DEWA IPO Journey and what’s next?

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is the exclusive provider of electricity and water

services in Dubai.

DEWA was formed in 1992

following the merger

of the Dubai Electricity

Company and the Dubai

Water Department which had been

operational independently since

1959. The Dubai Electricity and Water

Authority (DEWA) is a public service

infrastructure company that was

founded on 1 January 1992 by Sheikh

Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The

objective of the state-run company

is making available to the people of

Dubai an adequate and reliable supply

of electricity and water. As of end of

2019, DEWA employs a workforce of

11,727 employees and provides 915,623

customers with electricity and 816,580

customers with water.

In 2019, DEWA had an installed

capacity of 11,400MW of electricity

and 470 million imperial gallons of

desalinated water per day.

After using conventional gas-fired

power plants for most of its history,

DEWA now builds the 5GW Mohammed

bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

which is known for breaking several

cost records for solar power both from

phtovoltaics and from concentrated

solar power.

DEWA Going Public.

Dubai’s wise leadership has enabled

the Emirate to grow into a thriving,

diversified global economy in just a few

decades. This is a historical moment

for DEWA as the first government

entity in Dubai to go public. It reflects

the immense faith and confidence

by the wise leadership and the

government of Dubai. As the exclusive

provider of electricity and water

services to Dubai, DEWA is incredibly

proud to have played a part in the

success of the Emirate.

DEWA has a world-class governance

system and continuous record

of good governance across all its

operations. With the highest standards

of efficiency, quality, and availability,

66 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


DEWA is ready to meet the increasing

demand for electricity and water in the

Emirate, as the population is expected

to grow from around 3.5 million people

today to 5.8 million people by 2040.

DEWA and its Listing:

DEWA is the first of 10 planned

listings of state-owned assets to

reinvigorate Dubai’s capital market.

They include road-toll collection

system Salik and business park

operator Tecom Group, both expected

to be smaller than DEWA. The

government hopes to entice familyowned

and private companies to list

as well.

The utility’s float is the largest listing

ever in the UAE and the largest listing

in the Middle East since Saudi state

oil giant Aramco went public on the

kingdom’s Tadawul exchange in 2019.

Dewa in March announced its plan

to sell a 6.5% stake by offering 3.25

billion shares in its public offering,

which raised an initial $6.1 billion.

The IPO represents a big step forward

for Dubai’s capital markets — the

emirate has been looking to improve

its sophistication, depth, retail trading

participation and volumes over the

past few years as it seeks to compete

with not just Abu Dhabi but also Saudi

Arabia across the border.

Shares were trading at 3.02 UAE

dirhams (82 cents) on the Dubai

Financial Market exchange in the first

few minutes of trading, versus the IPO

price of 2.48 dirhams per share. They

soon pared some gains to trade at 2.88

dirhams per share.

The four listings announced so

far have been Dewa, major toll road

operator Salik, telecoms software

developer Tecom, and district cooling

company Empower, which is a joint

venture between Dewa and Tecom

Group.

The stock market float of Dubai’s

utility company has triggered one of

the biggest retail investor responses

ever for an IPO in the UAE. As per

senior economists’ statement in

Arabian business, the optimistic post

IPO performance has prospects of

creating a model for auxiliary efforts

for privatization and investments.

The utility’s float is the

largest listing ever in

the UAE and the largest

listing in the Middle East

since Saudi state oil giant

Aramco went public on

the kingdom’s Tadawul

exchange in 2019.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 67


Travel

Amazing Business Facts all around the

world, believe it or not!

We all hear about the top brands of the products we use in everyday life. But have we ever

wondered if these brands are simply businesses striving hard to keep up their statistics in the

market. Okay, let’s now get to some amazing and hilarious facts about the world-famous brands.

Lamborghini was originally a tractor

manufacturer. The owner, Ferruccio

Lamborghini, had an interest in luxury

automobiles, especially Ferraris. While

doing a routine check, Lamborghini found that

the clutch in his Ferrari was broken and he

discovered that the car used the same clutch as

his tractors.

Coca-Cola was initially created by John

Pemberton, an injured Confederate

Colonel, who wanted a substitute for his

morphine addiction. He called it French

Wine Coca, a nerve tonic. When Atlanta passed

prohibition legislation in 1886, Pemberton had

to redo the formula, basically to make a nonalcoholic

version of his tonic. He named the

drink Coca-Cola, the drink we all know and

love.

68 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


Originally called BRS (Blue Ribbon Sports),

the company was renamed after Nike, the

winged Greek goddess of victory. The famous

“swoosh” symbol that’s been its logo ever

since represents her wings and speed. Carolyn

Davidson, who was a 28-year old student at the

time, designed the logo for $35. Puma and Adidas

were founded by brothers who originally ran a shoe

company but went their separate ways.

Snapchat was once called Picaboo which was an

iPhone-only app. It was renamed Snapchat in 2012

when launched on the google play store. Snapchat

CEO Evan Speigel mentioned that they failed on

almost 34 projects until they found Snapchat.

The coca-cola drinks giant spends an average of $4 billion on branding each year. It pays off,

though – 94% of the world’s population recognizes the red and white logo. Over 8000 glasses

of coca-cola are consumed every second.

Apple iPad retina display is

manufactured by their leading

competitor, Samsung. Every Apple

iPhone ad displays the time as 9.41 AM,

the time when Steve Jobs unveiled it in 2007.

Amazon was

originally named

Cadabra. The logo

of amazon has an

arrow moving from A to

Z, which means they sell

everything.

The Ikea store layouts

are designed like

mazes so that

customers who walk

in, get lost and land up

getting more time in the

stores.

Starbucks

intentionally makes

its tables round so

individual visitors

do not feel as lonely.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 69


UAE Banking

Keep up with

Dubai Islamic Bank

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) is an Islamic

bank in Dubai, established in 1975 by

Haj Saeed Bin Ahmed Al Lootah. It is the

first Islamic bank in the world to have

incorporated the principles of Islam in

all its practices and is the largest Islamic

bank in the UAE.

DIB (Dubai Islamic Bank)

officially opened on 15th

September 1975. A decree

authorising the establishment

of the Dubai Islamic Bank

was issued by H.H. Shaikh

Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum on 12th

March. The first Corporate Office of

DIB was located in Deira in 1977.

In 1979 Dubai Islamic Bank moves

to its new Head Office building in

Deira. In 1980, the First branch opens

in Murshid Bazar, Bur Dubai. In 1981,

the new dual-language DIB logo was

launched. In 1982, DIB announced its

branch opening in Abu Dhabi. In 1983,

DIB opens a branch in Al Ain. In 1987,

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs)

were introduced across DIB branches.

Furthermore, in 1989, Sharia and

Supervisory Board was established.

In 1990, DIB signs up with VISA

International for its card products,

offering global access benefits for

customers. In 1991, the first DIB

international cards were introduced

and a new branch in Sharjah was

opened. In 1992, DIB becomes a

Public Joint Stock Company. In 1993,

Branches at Baniyas in Abu Dhabi and

at Bur Dubai opened for business. In

1994, Phone banking was introduced as

a key customer service initiative.

In 1995, DIB celebrates 20 years of

Sharia-compliant banking and support

for the UAE national economy. In 1996,

New branches in Ajman and in Dubai

started operations. In 1997, the UAE

Switch system was commissioned. In

1998, DIB became a major sponsor of

the prestigious Dubai International

Holy Quran Award.

In 1999, the New Corporate

Identity of DIB was developed and

introduced.

In 2000, JOHARA - branches for

ladies only, launched. In 2001, DIB

steps into the online world with the

launch of its first-ever website. In

2002, New subsidiaries – Tanmyeh

& Deyaar announced. In 2003, the

First fully UAE based Islamic bank

aircraft financing was undertaken for

Emirates Airlines. In 2004, DIB funds

Dubai airport expansion. In 2005, The

new corporate identity of DIB at their

30th-year celebrations was unveiled

in the presence of His Highness

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al

Maktoum.

Later, DIB Pakistan commenced

operations in March 2006. In 2007,

DIB Foundation was launched in

Dubai. In 2008, DIB launches a Shariah

consultancy subsidiary, Dar Al-

Sharia. In 2009, DIB launches Wajaha,

its exclusive wealth management

service. In 2010, Jordan DIB launches

operations in Amman, Jordan.

In 2012, Launch of Emirati Mentoring

Program, as part of its Emiratisation

program. In 2013, Dr. Adnan Chilwan

was appointed as group CEO and

Abdulla Al Hamli as Managing Director.

In the same year, Euro clearing was

signed between DIB and Deutsche

Bank on September 16th. In 2014, DIB

was named by Forbes Middle East

Serving nearly 1.7

million customers

with 90 branches

across UAE and also

present in 7 markets

worldwide, Dubai

Islamic Bank is

developing its market

on a global footprint

to improve its growth.

among the top 500 companies in the

Arab world. In 2015, DIB ushers a new

era by entering into the Billion Dollar

Profit Club.

In 2016, DIB launched the first-ever

DEB - DIB co-branded consumer card.

DIB was the first bank to launch a cobranded

credit card with FlyDubai.

In 2017, DIB Kenya operations were

launched. In 2018, DIB partnered with

Emirates Skywards to launch new

Emirates Skywards credit cards.

In 2019, DIB moves forward with

its expansion plans by the acquisition

of Noor bank. In 2020, Noor bank

was successfully integrated with DIB.

The bank also successfully closes a

landmark of USD 1 Billion Sukuk in

2020. In recent times, UAE’s largest

Islamic Bank launched its new

positioning #ReadyForTheNew.

70 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


Wio Bank, established recently in the UAE,

appoints Chairman and CEO

Salem Al Nuaimi has been named Chairman of the Board and Jayesh Patel has been named

Chief Executive Officer of Wio Bank, which was recently established in the UAE.

The appointments come after

the Central Bank of the UAE

granted the bank a license.

With an initial capital of

AED2.3 billion, Wio is an

integrated digital banking

platform owned by Abu Dhabi Holding

Company (ADQ), Alpha Dhabi, Etisalat,

and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB).

Al Nuaimi will bring to Wio a wealth

of financial industry experience gained

from his roles as a board member of

ADQ and Managing Director of the Abu

Dhabi Pension Fund. He has previously

served on the boards of NYSE-listed

AerCap Holdings NV and NASDAQlisted

oil and gas services firm National

Energy Services Reunited Corporation

(NESR).

Al Nuaimi will play a key role in

shaping Wio into the leading financial

partner of choice for businesses and

individuals in the UAE as Chairman.

“This is an exciting time for the

banking industry as it evolves to meet

customers’ ever-changing needs. We

are now catering to a digitally savvy

audience that expects intuitive,

fundamental, and simple-to-use

solutions. Wio has a highly evolved

and adaptable digital platform that will

open new doors for its customers and

make money management easier. I am

thrilled to be joining the incredibly

strong and capable team that is

working behind the scenes to bring this

innovative digital banking journey to

UAE customers,” Al Nuaimi said.

Jayesh Patel, one of the region’s

most prominent FinTech figures, will

lead Wio’s strategic expansion as Chief

Executive Officer. Patel spearheaded

the creation of Liv., a digital-only

lifestyle bank that quickly became

the fastest growing in the country,

thanks to his extensive experience in

developing on-demand digital solutions

and innovative products.

“Wio is a smart, integrated financial

platform that will offer cuttingedge

solutions tailored to people’s

lifestyles and business needs. Wio

will collaborate with local and global

providers as an open platform to

provide access to tools and services

that will help our customers achieve

their life goals. The goal is to make

banking more convenient, transparent,

and intuitive for our customers, as well

as to create a better future for them

by changing the way they bank in the

region,” Patel said.

Wio aims to expand its financial and

non-financial capabilities by partnering

with other FinTech start-ups and

industry leaders to provide customers

with a fully digital banking experience

delivered seamlessly via Wio apps or

partners, with the goal of simplifying

banking services for consumers in

the country. Wio develops everyday

customer insights using data and AI,

allowing businesses to grow more

effectively and assisting people of

all ages in taking personal financial

responsibility and improving their

financial future.

Wio Business, the first product to be

launched, is a dedicated app for SMEs,

entrepreneurs, and freelancers that will

provide a full suite of business banking

solutions to small and large businesses

in the region. Wio Business will

provide business owners with the tools

and support they need for efficient

financial management – all at the click

of a button, according to a statement.

Wio Business will have a large team

available to assist customers, as well

as features such as an easy-to-use

dashboard and automated services.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 71


UAE Banking

CBUAE increases base rate

The UAE Central Bank announces to raise the base rate by 50 basis points that

apply to the Overnight Deposit Facility (ODF), effective immediately on May

5, 2022. The decision was taken following the US Federal Reserve Board’s

announcement on May 4, to increase the Interest on Reserve Balances (IORB) by

50 basis points, official news agency WAM reported.

The CBUAE also has decided to

maintain the rate applicable to

borrowing short-term liquidity

from the CBUAE through

all standing credit facilities

at 50 basis points above the

base rate. The base rate, which is

anchored to the US Federal Reserve’s

IORB, suggests the general stance

of the CBUAE’s monetary policy. It

also provides an interest rate floor for

overnight money market rates.

In related financial news, the CBUAE

also launched two new polymer

banknotes, in five and ten dirham

denominations last month. The new

banknotes, which have been enhanced

by technical characteristics and

security features, are the third issue of

the national currency. The banknotes

are also more durable and sustainable

than traditional cotton paper ones,

holding two or more times longer in

circulation.

These issues follow the 50-dirham

polymer note launched late last year.

CBUAE also approved a new

Emiratization plan for managerial

positions in the banking and insurance

sectors in the UAE earlier this year.

By this, its gas approved the creation

of 5,000 new jobs by the end of 2026,

in coordination with the Emirates

Institute for Banking and Financial

Studies and the Emirati Talent

Competitiveness Council.

72 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


United Arab

Bank names

new CEO

Shirish Bhide has been

named the new CEO of

United Arab Bank, as the

lender pursues its digital

transformation strategy. The

appointment follows Ahmad

Abu Eideh’s departure earlier

this year. The appointment

follows Ahmad Abu Eideh’s

departure earlier this year.

“I

am confident that

Shirish will be a valuable

addition to the senior

management team,

bringing a new level

of drive and energy to

lead the management team and grow

the bank to new heights,” said UAB

chairman Sheikh Faisal bin Sultan bin

Salem Al Qassimi, citing his extensive

international experience, in-depth

knowledge of the local market, and

proven leadership abilities.

The change in leadership at UAB also

comes at a time when UAE banks are

reporting improved profitability amid a

favorable macroeconomic environment

as the country’s economy recovers

from a coronavirus-induced lull.

According to a report by professional

services firm Alvarez & Marsal, the

aggregate net income of the UAE’s

ten largest lenders increased by

more than 24% in the first quarter of

2022 compared to the previous three

months.

UAB’s net profit increased to Dh30.4

million ($8.2 million) in the first

quarter, owing to a turnaround strategy

it used to become profitable.

Mr. Bhide previously worked

at First Abu Dhabi Bank as group

head of corporate, commercial and

international banking, and at First Gulf

Bank as chief credit officer and acting

head of wholesale banking.

According to a report by

professional services

firm Alvarez & Marsal,

the aggregate net income

of the UAE’s ten largest

lenders increased by

more than 24% in the first

quarter of 2022 compared

to the previous three

months.

“I look forward to working alongside

the management team to explore new

streams of business development

opportunities and ensure successful

implementation of UAB’s growth

plans,” Mr. Bhide said.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 73


UAE Banking

Mashreq Bank invests in BNPL sector

UAE-based FinTech start-up Cashew has received the funding of $10 million from Mashreq,

making the bank to be the latest investor in the growing ‘buy now, pay later (BNPL) sector.

Founded in 2020, Cashew offers its services in the UAE and Saudi Arabia — the Arab world’s

largest economies — through an app and a web-based platform.

As part of the investment,

Cashew’s payment platform

will be integrated as an

option on the acquiring

network of Neopay, the

payments subsidiary of

Mashreq. The lender will also support

the start-up to launch in Egypt — the

Arab world’s most populous economy

— in the last quarter of this year.

In March, Mashreq carved out its

payments arm into its new division

Neopay, to help businesses handle

credit and debit card payments amid

a pandemic-fueled e-commerce boom.

“Our partnership with Cashew will

lead the way for the future of financial

services in the region,” Mashreq’s

group chief executive Ahmed Abdelaal

said.

“We will leverage the full network of

Mashreq merchants and consumers to

provide our ecosystem with the most

ubiquitous and flexible BNPL options

in the market,” Mr. Abdelaal said.

Mashreq’s investment is part of a larger

funding round that involves other

investors as well, Cashew said, without

disclosing further details. Since its

inception, the FinTech start-up has

raised nearly $10m.

BNPL platforms allow consumers to

make purchases without paying the full

amount upfront, avoiding the use of

credit cards and hefty interest charges.

Merchants are still protected through

credit risk checks, late fees, and blocks

on customers who have defaulted.

Consumers can choose to split

payments into installments or simply

delay them by weeks to months

without any hidden fees, while

merchants are paid in full upfront.

The BNPL concept is gaining in

popularity across the world and has

been disrupting the payments industry,

buoyed by consumers’ fragile personal

finances amid the pandemic-induced

economic headwinds.

By 2025, the industry is expected

to grow 10 to 15 times its current

volume, topping $1 trillion in annual

gross merchandise volume by some

estimates, according to a report by

New York data research consultancy

CB Insights.

Nearly $4 billion was invested in

BNPL companies last year — up

from $1.7bn in 2020, according to

Crunchbase. In the Middle East,

platforms such as Dubai-based BNPL

start-up Tabby raised $50m last year

while Saudi Arabia’s Tamara raised a

record $110m in a Series A round. In

September, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank,

the emirate’s biggest Sharia-compliant

lender, partnered with Dubai-based

digital payments provider Spotii to

launch a virtual BNPL prepaid card in

the UAE.

“Mashreq is one of the most

respected banking brands in the region,

so they will bring our customers many

benefits as we continue to grow our

service offerings … this partnership

will give consumers the largest

merchant network to shop at, larger

ticket size, and the ability to pay over

longer terms,” said Cashew co-founder

and chief executive Ammar Afif.

“We can only accomplish these goals

for our customers by partnering with

respected financial institutions like

Mashreq that understand and want

to be a part of the growing BNPL

segment,” he added.

Under the partnership, Cashew and

Mashreq will offer new products to the

market including longer tenure and

higher ticket size BNPL options for

consumers, the companies said in a

joint statement.

They also plan to introduce pointof-sales

lending options in the region

later this year. It will allow consumers

to opt for BNPL but with larger tenures

such as six or 12 months. The UAE’s

BNPL volumes are expected to jump

71 percent on an annual basis this

year, Mashreq’s senior executive vice

president and group head of retail

banking Fernando Morillo said. “This

is yet another prime example of

the partnerships we can forge with

innovative FinTech operators, who

share our mission to deliver a safe and

seamless payment experience for our

customers. “We eagerly await the rollout

of further services as we continue

to empower our customers with more

choice and convenience in the UAE

and the future, across Egypt,” said Mr.

Morillo.

Established in 1967, Mashreq,

like its peers in the Middle East, is

pivoting towards digital banking and

is reducing the number of physical

branches to cater to a young, techsavvy

demographic that typically opts

to complete its transactions online.

74 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


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June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 75


Global News

Ground breaking portrait

This month’s spring sales in New York, which collectors believe are among the

most anticipated ever, including an Andy Warhol portrait of Marilyn Monroe for an

estimated $200 million.

The portrait has been

dubbed “the most

significant 20th-century

picture to come to sale

in a generation” by Alex

Rotter, Christie’s head of

20th and

21st-century art.

When Christie’s auctions

Warhol’s 1964 “Shot

Sage Blue Marilyn” on

Monday, the auction

house believes it to be

the most expensive

20th-century work ever sold.

Not to be outdone, Sotheby’s is

offering $1 billion in modern and

contemporary art during its headline

week in May, including the second

helping of the legendary Macklowe

Collection.

The frenzy around this season’s

auctions is “definitely unusual,”

according to Joan Robledo-

Palop, a collector and CEO of Zeit

Contemporary Art in New York City.

The silkscreen, which measures 40

inches by 40 inches (100 centimeters by

100 centimeters), is part of a series of

portraits Warhol created after Monroe

died of a heroin overdose in August

1962.

After a visitor to Warhol’s “Factory”

studio in Manhattan fired a gun at

them, piercing the portraits, they

became known as the “Shot” series.

The portrait has been dubbed “the

most significant 20th-century picture to

come to sale in a generation” by Alex

Rotter, Christie’s head of 20th and 21stcentury

art.

Picasso’s “Women of Algiers,” which

sold for $179.4 million in 2015, is the

most expensive auctioned art from the

twentieth century.

The $104.5 million purchased for

“Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)”

in 2013 set a new auction record for a

Warhol.

Other highlights include Jean-Michel

Basquiat’s “Portrait of the Artist as

a Young Derelict” (1982), which is

projected to sell for more than $30

million, and Mark Rothko’s “Untitled

(Shades of Red),” which is expected to

sell for up to $80 million.

Three Claude Monet oil on canvas

paintings are also up for sale, with each

one expected to fetch upwards of $30

million.

“Every couple of decades, there’s a

sale with such great quality that you

don’t generally see everything at once.”

This season has turned into one of

those once-in-a-lifetime experiences,”

Rotter told AFP.

Sotheby’s will auction the remaining

30 objects from the Macklowe

Collection when its sales open on

May 16 after selling the first set of

works from the collection — the most

expensive to touch the market at $600

million — last October.

Gerhard Richter’s 1975 “Seascape,”

estimated at up to $35 million, and

Rothko’s 1960 “Untitled,” with a highend

pre-sale estimate of $50 million,

are two highlights.

76 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


$1 trillion worth crypto crash

As a serious “ripple” warning goes into effect, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have

dropped to levels not seen since the crypto market began booming in late 2020,

wiping off about $1 trillion in value in a month.

The sell-off comes after the $18

billion algorithmic stable coin

terraUSD (UST) lost its peg to

the U.S. dollar, wiping out the

price of its support coin luna

which has now lost almost

99% of its value—and risks dragging the

bitcoin and crypto market even lower.

Panic spread in the second week

when a meltdown in stable coin

TerraUSD, known as “UST” slipped

below its 1:1 peg to the dollar.

TerraUSD, which recently climbed into

the top 10 tokens by market value, was

quoted at around 50 cents Thursday,

according to CoinGecko price data.

Stablecoins are digital tokens pegged to

the value of traditional assets, like the

U.S. dollar, and are favored in crypto

markets in times of turmoil.

The bitcoin price has dropped to

around $27,000 per bitcoin, down 12%

in the last 24 hours, and dragging down

the wider crypto market with other top

ten coins Ethereum, BNB BNB+22.1%,

XRP XRP+16%, Solana, Cardano, and

avalanche recording even steeper loses.

Ethereum has crashed 22% since this

time yesterday, with BNB, XRP, Solana,

Cardano, and avalanche all losing

between 25% and 33%.

Tether, a major stablecoin, slipped

below its dollar peg, hitting as low as

98 cents early Thursday, according to

CoinGecko. USD Coin was trading at

around US$1.04 while Binance USD was

at US$1.07 – a significant breakout of its

usual range said Reuters.

Most stablecoins are backed

by reserves, but TerraUSD is an

algorithmic, or “decentralized,”

stablecoin, which is supposed to

maintain its peg via a complex

mechanism that involves swapping it

with another free-floating token, says

Reuters.

But even reserve-backed stablecoins,

which say they have sufficient assets to

maintain their pegs, were showing signs

of stress.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 77


Global News

The NEOM project: Saudi Arabia redefining future

The Saudi Press Agency reported early Monday that NEOM, a project fully

owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, is “completely under Saudi Arabia’s

sovereignty and regulations.”

The confirmation came after

NEOM’s tourism sector

head Andrew McEvoy made

statements to the press

about demographic status

within the megacity during

his involvement in the Arabian Travel

Market in Dubai, implying that residents

within NEOM will have a special status

differentiating them from others.

According to the official source,

the NEOM project will operate within

“special economic zones subject to

the sovereignty and economy of the

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in terms

of security, defense, and regulatory

aspects.”

Economic legislation specific to

the project area will be developed to

achieve the best concepts of economic

zone governance in the world, making

NEOM one of the world’s most

important attractions, according to SPA.

The point was underlined by Manar

Al-Munif, a chief investment officer of

NEOM, while speaking at the Saudi-Thai

Economic Forum in Riyadh on May 16.

She said the $500-billion future city

will have its own regulations based on

best practices from around the world

that will allow businesses to grow and

develop.

Al-Munif revealed that NEOM is the

largest Environmental, Social, and

Governance initiative in the world,

and added that the project will create

several investment opportunities for

businesses.

“We have identified a number of

investment opportunities across

16 sectors in NEOM. These sectors

represent the future, and we have

outlined 150 investment initiatives.

Each of these initiatives is going to have

hundreds of opportunities regardless if

it is a direct investment, joint venture, or

merging,” Al-Munif added.

She also said the NEOM project

is trying to reinvent and introduce

environmental factors, thus ensuring

harmony with nature.

78 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM June 2022


Chicago burger giant

confirmed Monday that it is

selling its 850 restaurants in

Russia. McDonald’s said it

will seek a buyer who will

employ its 62,000 workers in

Russia and will continue to pay those

workers until the deal closes.

“Some might argue that providing

access to food and continuing to

employ tens of thousands of ordinary

citizens, is surely the right thing to

do,” McDonald’s President and CEO

Chris Kempczinski said in a letter to

employees. “But it is impossible to

ignore the humanitarian crisis caused

by the war in Ukraine.”

McDonald’s said it’s the first time

the company has ever “de-arched,” or

exited a major market. It plans to start

removing golden arches and other

symbols and signs with the company’s

name. McDonald’s said it also will keep

its trademarks in Russia and take steps

to enforce them if necessary.

McDonald’s said in early March that

it was temporarily closing its stores in

Russia but would continue to pay its

employees. It was a costly decision.

Late last month, the company said it

was losing $55 million each month due

to the restaurant closures. It also lost

$100 million worth of inventory.

McDonald’s has also closed 108

restaurants in Ukraine and continues

to pay its employees there.

Western companies have wrestled

with extricating themselves from

Russia, enduring the hit to their

bottom lines from pausing or closing

operations in the face of sanctions.

Others have stayed in Russia at least

partially, with some facing blowback.

French carmaker Renault said

Monday that it would sell its majority

stake in Russian car company Avtovaz

and a factory in Moscow to the state

_ the first major nationalization of a

foreign business since the war began.

Maxim Sytch, a professor of

management and organizations at the

University of Michigan’s Ross School of

Business, said McDonald’s and others

also face pressure from customers,

employees, and investors over their

Russian operations.

“The era where companies could

avoid taking a stance is over,” Sytch

said. “People want to be associated

with companies that do the right thing.

There’s much more to business __ and

life __ than maximizing profit margins.”

McDonald’s first restaurant in Russia

opened in the middle of Moscow

more than three decades ago, shortly

after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was

a powerful symbol of the easing of

Cold War tensions between the United

States and the Soviet Union, which

would collapse in 1991.

Now, the company’s exit is proving

symbolic of a new era, analysts say.

Sytch, who lived in Russia when

McDonald’s entered the market and

remembers the excitement surrounding

the opening, said the closing signifies a

reversal of the Soviet era of isolation.

“It’s really painful to see the many

years of gains on the democratic front

being wiped out with this atrocious

war in Ukraine,” he said.

Kempczinski left open the possibility

McDonald’s to

sell its Russia

operations and

leave the country

McDonald’s stops its

operations in Russia due to

the ongoing war between the

country and Ukraine.

that McDonald’s could someday return

to the Russian market.

“It’s impossible to predict what

the future may hold, but I choose to

end my message with the same spirit

that brought McDonald’s to Russia in

the first place: hope,” he wrote in his

employee letter. “Thus, let us not end

by saying, `goodbye.’ Instead, let us say

as they do in Russian: Until we meet

again.”

McDonald’s owns 84% of its

restaurants in Russia” the rest are

operated by franchisees. Because it

won’t license its brand, the sale price

likely won’t be close to the value of

the business before the invasion, said

Neil Saunders, managing director of

GlobalData, a corporate analytics

company.

McDonald’s said it expects to record

a charge against earnings of between

$1.2 billion and $1.4 billion over leaving

Russia.

McDonald’s has more than

39,000 locations across more than

100 countries. Most are owned by

franchisees _ only about 5% are

owned and operated by the company.

McDonald’s said exiting Russia will

not change its forecast of adding a net

1,300 restaurants this year, which will

contribute about 1.5% to companywide

sales growth.

Last month, McDonald’s Corp.

reported that it earned $1.1 billion in

the first quarter, down from more than

$1.5 billion a year earlier. Revenue

was nearly $5.7 billion. Shares of

McDonald’s closed Monday down $1 at

$244.04.

June 2022 WWW.THEFINANCEWORLD.COM 79


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