Indian Railways runs 19,000 trains a day, of which 12,000 carry more than 23 million passengers and 7,000 carry 3 million tonnes of freight. Rajanish Kakade / AP
Indian Railways runs 19,000 trains a day, of which 12,000 carry more than 23 million passengers and 7,000 carry 3 million tonnes of freight. Rajanish Kakade / AP

India's steel monopoly may soon end with Asia's oldest rail network



Indian Railways has floated a global tender to procure rails, a move that may end the monopoly of state-run supplier Steel Authority of India as Asia’s oldest network seeks to plug a supply shortfall.

The state-run freight and passenger carrier is seeking to buy 700,000 metric tons of rails for track upgrades, railway minister Piyush Goyal said. The move will ensure steady supplies and competitive prices. Jindal Steel & Power, one of the biggest non-state steelmaker, may benefit as it’s the only other local producer of this grade, according to Goutam Chakraborty, an analyst at Emkay Global Financial Services.

“If Steel Authority cannot supply, then they will go in for other producers. So in that way, JSPL will definitely be benefiting,” Chakraborty said by phone from Mumbai. “The railways’ first preference will always be Steel Authority.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pouring about 8.6 trillion rupees (US$132 billion) to upgrade the aging lines of the network that was started under British colonial rule. Giant track-laying projects are underway to modernize passenger and freight movements to cut travel time.

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The tender gains significance as Steel Authority and Jindal Steel have been trying to boost market share and profits after reporting losses for at least two straight years even as they battle high debt levels. Indian Railways expects annual demand for steel rails to rise to 1.5 million tonnes in the year ending March from about 800,000 tons in the prior 12-month period.

Jindal Steel has long been striving to make inroads into the segment. The company has the capacity to produce 800,000 tonnes of rails and universal beams, said Kapil Mantri, head of corporate strategy and business development at Jindal Steel.

“We are the only other supplier in India for rails, so it is a clear advantage to us,” Mr Mantri said by phone from New Delhi.

Shares of Jindal Steel jumped as much as 1.4 per cent to 170.45 rupees in Mumbai. They were little changed as of 10:45 a.m. Steel Authority erased losses of as much as 2.6 per cent to advance 5.9 per cent. The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex Index traded 0.2 per cent higher.

Steel Minister Birender Singh Wednesday asked the state-owned steelmaker to ramp up production from its new rail mill in Bhilai to meet the requirements of its major customers. “The company should chalk out a time-bound action plan to cater to the Indian Railways’ increasing demand.”

The tender can put pressure on Steel Authority to ramp up production from the plant at a faster pace, according to Emkay’s Chakraborty. Steel Authority didn’t immediately respond to phone calls and an email seeking comment.

Expecting demand to surge from railways to housing, steelmakers have lined up expansion plans. Annual capacity stands at 126 million tonnes and is forecast to rise to 150 million tonnes by 2021, before settling at 300 million tonnes, according to Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma.

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

How Beautiful this world is!
COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

PSA DUBAI WORLD SERIES FINALS LINE-UP

Men’s: 
Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY)
Ali Farag (EGY)
Simon Rosner (GER)
Tarek Momen (EGY)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
Nick Matthew (ENG)

Women's: 
Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
Raneem El Welily (EGY)
Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
Laura Massaro (ENG)
Joelle King (NZE)
Camille Serme (FRA)
Nouran Gohar (EGY)
Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)

LA LIGA FIXTURES

Saturday (All UAE kick-off times)

Valencia v Atletico Madrid (midnight)

Mallorca v Alaves (4pm)

Barcelona v Getafe (7pm)

Villarreal v Levante (9.30pm)

Sunday

Granada v Real Volladolid (midnight)

Sevilla v Espanyol (3pm)

Leganes v Real Betis (5pm)

Eibar v Real Sociedad (7pm)

Athletic Bilbao v Osasuna (9.30pm)

Monday

Real Madrid v Celta Vigo (midnight)

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Diriyah project at a glance

- Diriyah’s 1.9km King Salman Boulevard, a Parisian Champs-Elysees-inspired avenue, is scheduled for completion in 2028
- The Royal Diriyah Opera House is expected to be completed in four years
- Diriyah’s first of 42 hotels, the Bab Samhan hotel, will open in the first quarter of 2024
- On completion in 2030, the Diriyah project is forecast to accommodate more than 100,000 people
- The $63.2 billion Diriyah project will contribute $7.2 billion to the kingdom’s GDP
- It will create more than 178,000 jobs and aims to attract more than 50 million visits a year
- About 2,000 people work for the Diriyah Company, with more than 86 per cent being Saudi citizens

SQUAD

Ali Khaseif, Fahad Al Dhanhani, Adel Al Hosani, Mohammed Al Shamsi, Bandar Al Ahbabi, Mohammed Barghash, Salem Rashid, Khalifa Al Hammadi, Shaheen Abdulrahman, Hassan Al Mahrami, Walid Abbas, Mahmoud Khamis, Yousef Jaber, Saeed Ahmed, Majed Sorour, Majed Hassan, Ali Salmeen, Abdullah Ramadan, Khalil Al Hammadi, Fabio De Lima, Khalfan Mubarak, Tahnoun Al Zaabi, Ali Saleh, Caio Canedo, Muhammed Jumah, Ali Mabkhout, Sebastian Tagliabue, Zayed Al Ameri

Another way to earn air miles

In addition to the Emirates and Etihad programmes, there is the Air Miles Middle East card, which offers members the ability to choose any airline, has no black-out dates and no restrictions on seat availability. Air Miles is linked up to HSBC credit cards and can also be earned through retail partners such as Spinneys, Sharaf DG and The Toy Store.

An Emirates Dubai-London round-trip ticket costs 180,000 miles on the Air Miles website. But customers earn these ‘miles’ at a much faster rate than airline miles. Adidas offers two air miles per Dh1 spent. Air Miles has partnerships with websites as well, so booking.com and agoda.com offer three miles per Dh1 spent.

“If you use your HSBC credit card when shopping at our partners, you are able to earn Air Miles twice which will mean you can get that flight reward faster and for less spend,” says Paul Lacey, the managing director for Europe, Middle East and India for Aimia, which owns and operates Air Miles Middle East.

BIG SPENDERS

Premier League clubs spent £230 million (Dh1.15 billion) on January transfers, the second-highest total for the mid-season window, the Sports Business Group at Deloitte said in a report.

What are NFTs?

Are non-fungible tokens a currency, asset, or a licensing instrument? Arnab Das, global market strategist EMEA at Invesco, says they are mix of all of three.

You can buy, hold and use NFTs just like US dollars and Bitcoins. “They can appreciate in value and even produce cash flows.”

However, while money is fungible, NFTs are not. “One Bitcoin, dollar, euro or dirham is largely indistinguishable from the next. Nothing ties a dollar bill to a particular owner, for example. Nor does it tie you to to any goods, services or assets you bought with that currency. In contrast, NFTs confer specific ownership,” Mr Das says.

This makes NFTs closer to a piece of intellectual property such as a work of art or licence, as you can claim royalties or profit by exchanging it at a higher value later, Mr Das says. “They could provide a sustainable income stream.”

This income will depend on future demand and use, which makes NFTs difficult to value. “However, there is a credible use case for many forms of intellectual property, notably art, songs, videos,” Mr Das says.

12 restaurants opening at the hotel this month

Ariana’s Persian Kitchen
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Estiatorio Milos
House of Desserts
Jaleo by Jose Andres
La Mar
Ling Ling
Little Venice Cake Company
Malibu 90265
Nobu by the Beach
Resonance by Heston Blumenthal
The Royal Tearoom 

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

Tips for newlyweds to better manage finances

All couples are unique and have to create a financial blueprint that is most suitable for their relationship, says Vijay Valecha, chief investment officer at Century Financial. He offers his top five tips for couples to better manage their finances.

Discuss your assets and debts: When married, it’s important to understand each other’s personal financial situation. It’s necessary to know upfront what each party brings to the table, as debts and assets affect spending habits and joint loan qualifications. Discussing all aspects of their finances as a couple prevents anyone from being blindsided later.

Decide on the financial/saving goals: Spouses should independently list their top goals and share their lists with one another to shape a joint plan. Writing down clear goals will help them determine how much to save each month, how much to put aside for short-term goals, and how they will reach their long-term financial goals.

Set a budget: A budget can keep the couple be mindful of their income and expenses. With a monthly budget, couples will know exactly how much they can spend in a category each month, how much they have to work with and what spending areas need to be evaluated.

Decide who manages what: When it comes to handling finances, it’s a good idea to decide who manages what. For example, one person might take on the day-to-day bills, while the other tackles long-term investments and retirement plans.

Money date nights: Talking about money should be a healthy, ongoing conversation and couples should not wait for something to go wrong. They should set time aside every month to talk about future financial decisions and see the progress they’ve made together towards accomplishing their goals.

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

The specs: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace First Edition

Price, base / as tested: Dh186,480 / Dh252,735

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder

Power: 246hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 365Nm @ 1,200rpm

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km

Our Time Has Come
Alyssa Ayres, Oxford University Press

HOW TO ACTIVATE THE GEMINI SHORTCUT ON CHROME CANARY

1. Go to chrome://flags

2. Find and enable Expansion pack for the Site Search starter pack

3. Restart Chrome Canary

4. Go to chrome://settings/searchEngines in the address bar and find the Chat with Gemini shortcut under Site Search

5. Open a new tab and type @ to see the Chat with Gemini shortcut along with other Omnibox shortcuts to search tabs, history and bookmarks

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Dooda Solutions
Based: Lebanon
Founder: Nada Ghanem
Sector: AgriTech
Total funding: $300,000 in equity-free funding
Number of employees: 11

ACC 2019: The winners in full

Best Actress Maha Alemi, Sofia

Best Actor Mohamed Dhrif, Weldi  

Best Screenplay Meryem Benm’Barek, Sofia  

Best Documentary Of Fathers and Sons by Talal Derki

Best Film Yomeddine by Abu Bakr Shawky

Best Director Nadine Labaki, Capernaum
 

The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi’s Arabic Language Centre will mark International Women’s Day at the Bologna Children's Book Fair with the Abu Dhabi Translation Conference. Prolific Emirati author Noora Al Shammari, who has written eight books that feature in the Ministry of Education's curriculum, will appear in a session on Wednesday to discuss the challenges women face in getting their works translated.

Squad

Ali Kasheif, Salim Rashid, Khalifa Al Hammadi, Khalfan Mubarak, Ali Mabkhout, Omar Abdulrahman, Mohammed Al Attas, Abdullah Ramadan, Zayed Al Ameri (Al Jazira), Mohammed Al Shamsi, Hamdan Al Kamali, Mohammed Barghash, Khalil Al Hammadi (Al Wahda), Khalid Essa, Mohammed Shaker, Ahmed Barman, Bandar Al Ahbabi (Al Ain), Al Hassan Saleh, Majid Suroor (Sharjah) Walid Abbas, Ahmed Khalil (Shabab Al Ahli), Tariq Ahmed, Jasim Yaqoub (Al Nasr), Ali Saleh, Ali Salmeen (Al Wasl), Hassan Al Muharami (Baniyas) 

Bharatanatyam

A ancient classical dance from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Intricate footwork and expressions are used to denote spiritual stories and ideas.

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Getting there and where to stay

Etihad Airways operates seasonal flights from Abu Dhabi to Nice Côte d'Azur Airport. Services depart the UAE on Wednesdays and Sundays with outbound flights stopping briefly in Rome, return flights are non-stop. Fares start from Dh3,315, flights operate until September 18, 2022. 

The Radisson Blu Hotel Nice offers a western location right on Promenade des Anglais with rooms overlooking the Bay of Angels. Stays are priced from €101 ($114), including taxes.


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