ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - May 30, 2009: A etisalat outlet in Abu Dhabi Mall. 
 ( Ryan Carter / The National )

*** stock, etisalat, cell phone, telecomunications, mobile phones, phone,  *** Local Caption ***  RC022-StockMay.JPGRC022-StockMay.JPG
The telecommunication sector is viewed by many investors as a safe haven during tough economic times.

Etisalat, du to ring in growth



The region's telecommunications companies are expected to report continued growth in subscribers and revenues in second-quarter results due in the next few weeks. The sector is viewed by many investors as a safe haven during tough economic times, as the underlying demand for mobile and internet services continues to grow and regional operators boost their presence in high-growth emerging markets.

Etisalat's profits are expected to show marginal growth compared with adjusted figures from the previous year. But an exceptional gain of almost Dh1 billion (US$272 million) in the second quarter of last year, related to the sale of a stake in its Saudi network, mean overall net profits will appear down year on year. Simon Simonian, an analyst at Shuaa Capital, expects net profits of Dh2.13bn, marginally above last year's figures adjusted for the sale gains. "We're predicting growth in the low single digits," he said.

Sluggish growth in revenues from UAE subscribers should be offset by a better performance from the company's international subsidiaries in Africa, the Middle East, India and Pakistan, some of which are now profitable. Big investments in a new network in Nigeria will continue to eat away at profits, while the costs of the company's expansion in India have yet to be fully felt on the balance sheet. But Mr Simonian is optimistic over Etisalat's prospects in Iran, where the company was stripped of its telecommunications licence in May.

"I don't think Iran is over," he said. "I think it is possible that we could see Etisalat come back to the negotiating table there." Both Etisalat and its competitor, du, are expected to report single-digit growth in customer numbers despite concerns that the UAE's population is in decline. In part, the failure to reflect any population fall will be because of the method by which the companies measure customers, based on a count of all those who have made or received calls in the past three months, said Irfan Allam, an analyst at Al Mal Capital.

"People who left in recent months or at the end of the school year, they will still be counted," he said. "I think you'll need to wait until third-quarter numbers in October. That's when you will really start seeing the impact." Mr Allam predicts a healthier Dh2.39bn profit for Etisalat, fuelled in part by better currency performance in overseas operations such as Egypt and countries served by its West African network, Atlantique Telecom. Poor performance by local currencies against the US dollar had diluted earnings in previous quarters.

Saudi Telecom, the largest operator in the Middle East, is expected to unveil a small drop in profits, caused largely by the costs of servicing substantial debt acquired last year to fund expansion. Revenues are predicted to rise by between 5 and 10 per cent. @Email:tgara@thenational.ae

SECRET INVASION

Director: Ali Selim
Stars: Samuel L Jackson, Olivia Coleman, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Emilia Clarke
Rating: 3/5

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl turbo
Power: 261hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 400Nm at 1,750-4,000rpm
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto
Fuel consumption: 10.5L/100km
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh129,999 (VX Luxury); from Dh149,999 (VX Black Gold)

Wenger's Arsenal reign in numbers

1,228 - games at the helm, ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture against West Ham United.
704 - wins to date as Arsenal manager.
3 - Premier League title wins, the last during an unbeaten Invincibles campaign of 2003/04.
1,549 - goals scored in Premier League matches by Wenger's teams.
10 - major trophies won.
473 - Premier League victories.
7 - FA Cup triumphs, with three of those having come the last four seasons.
151 - Premier League losses.
21 - full seasons in charge.
49 - games unbeaten in the Premier League from May 2003 to October 2004.

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

From Europe to the Middle East, economic success brings wealth - and lifestyle diseases

A rise in obesity figures and the need for more public spending is a familiar trend in the developing world as western lifestyles are adopted.

One in five deaths around the world is now caused by bad diet, with obesity the fastest growing global risk. A high body mass index is also the top cause of metabolic diseases relating to death and disability in Kuwait, Qatar and Oman – and second on the list in Bahrain.

In Britain, heart disease, lung cancer and Alzheimer’s remain among the leading causes of death, and people there are spending more time suffering from health problems.

The UK is expected to spend $421.4 billion on healthcare by 2040, up from $239.3 billion in 2014.

And development assistance for health is talking about the financial aid given to governments to support social, environmental development of developing countries.

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

DUBAI BLING: EPISODE 1

Creator: Netflix

Stars: Kris Fade, Ebraheem Al Samadi, Zeina Khoury

Rating: 2/5

ASHES SCHEDULE

First Test
November 23-27 (The Gabba, Brisbane)
Second Test
December 2-6 (Adelaide Oval, Adelaide)
Third Test
December 14-18 (Waca Ground, Perth)
Fourth Test
December 26-30 (Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne)
Fifth Test
January 4-8, 2018 (Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney)

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

The specs: 2019 Haval H6

Price, base: Dh69,900

Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder

Transmission: Seven-speed automatic

Power: 197hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 315Nm @ 2,000rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 7.0L / 100km

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

The Roundup : No Way Out

Director: Lee Sang-yong
Stars: Don Lee, Lee Jun-hyuk, Munetaka Aoki
Rating: 3/5

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
BUNDESLIGA FIXTURES

Saturday

Borussia Dortmund v Eintracht Frankfurt (5.30pm kick-off UAE)

Bayer Leverkusen v Schalke (5.30pm)

Wolfsburg v Cologne (5.30pm)

Mainz v Arminia Bielefeld (5.30pm)

Augsburg v Hoffenheim (5.30pm)

RB Leipzig v Bayern Munich (8.30pm)

Borussia Monchengladbach v Freiburg (10.30pm)

Sunday

VfB Stuttgart v Werder Bremen  (5.30pm)

Union Berlin v Hertha Berlin (8pm)

The specs

Engine: Single front-axle electric motor
Power: 218hp
Torque: 330Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 402km (claimed)
Price: From Dh215,000 (estimate)
On sale: September

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat 

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation 2 to 5
Rating: 5/5