Etisalat in Nomura downgrade



Etisalat's growth across the Middle East and Africa is beginning to draw the attention of analysts concerned about its spending plans.

The UAE's largest telecommunications operator is planning to aggressively expand across the region after offering to buy a 51 per cent stake in Kuwait's Zain in a deal that would be worth about Dh44 billion (US$11.97bn). It is also bidding for licences in Syria and Libya and extending its operations in Nigeria and India, two potentially lucrative markets.

Competition in the UAE comes from, du, which has signed up significantly more mobile and internet users in the past year than the bigger company.

Etisalat's increased international spending and pressure from du should make investors wary, said Martin Mabbutt, a telecoms analyst with the Japanese investment bank Nomura. He downgraded the operator from "buy" to "neutral".

"Etisalat has been one of the most ambitious of the GCC operators in terms of its expansion in recent years, but control of Zain would be a major stepping stone in cementing its position in the Middle East region," Mr Mabbutt said.

He said Etisalat's prospective purchase of Zain and its increased spending on capital-intensive subsidiaries in India and Nigeria would dilute its value. The operator's stock now falls firmly into a "value" category with its earnings in the near-term expected to remain weak, the analyst said. In the third quarter of last year, Etisalat said its net profit declined 23 per cent to Dh1.74bn from Dh2.25bn a year earlier.

"On the basis of current forecasts, the valuation of Etisalat still makes it one of the more attractive stocks in the region at an [enterprise value] multiple of 3.5 times [this year]," Mr Mabbutt said.

"However, the scale of the dilution likely from the prospective acquisition of a controlling interest in Zain will lead to a significant increase in the multiple in the near and medium term."

He said Etisalat's intended Zain purchase should not be viewed as a "catalyst for considerable change" in the region's telecoms market.

"Zain is already an operator with very well established operations in all of its markets [except] Saudi Arabia. This latter operation will either be sold or floated as part of the deal given that Etisalat is already represented in Saudi Arabia through its stake in Mobily," Mr Mabbutt said.

Etisalat stock rose 0.5 per cent yesterday to Dh10.75.

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

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

SPECS: Polestar 3

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HOW TO WATCH

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COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

TYPES OF ONLINE GIG WORK

Design, multimedia and creative work: Logo design, website design, visualisations

Business and professional management: Legal or management consulting, architecture

Business and professional support: Research support, proofreading, bookkeeping

Sales and marketing support: Search engine optimisation, social media marketing

Data entry, administrative, and clerical: Data entry tasks, virtual assistants

IT, software development and tech: Data analyst, back-end or front-end developers

Writing and translation: Content writing, ghost writing, translation

Online microtasks: Image tagging, surveys

Source: World Bank

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

BUNDESLIGA FIXTURES

Friday (all kick-offs UAE time)

Hertha Berlin v Union Berlin (10.30pm)

Saturday

Freiburg v Werder Bremen (5.30pm)

Paderborn v Hoffenheim (5.30pm)

Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund (5.30pm)

Borussia Monchengladbach v Bayer Leverkusen (5.30pm)

Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt (5.30pm)

Sunday

Schalke v Augsburg (3.30pm)

Mainz v RB Leipzig (5.30pm)

Cologne v Fortuna Dusseldorf (8pm)

Keep it fun and engaging

Stuart Ritchie, director of wealth advice at AES International, says children cannot learn something overnight, so it helps to have a fun routine that keeps them engaged and interested.

“I explain to my daughter that the money I draw from an ATM or the money on my bank card doesn’t just magically appear – it’s money I have earned from my job. I show her how this works by giving her little chores around the house so she can earn pocket money,” says Mr Ritchie.

His daughter is allowed to spend half of her pocket money, while the other half goes into a bank account. When this money hits a certain milestone, Mr Ritchie rewards his daughter with a small lump sum.

He also recommends books that teach the importance of money management for children, such as The Squirrel Manifesto by Ric Edelman and Jean Edelman.

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

UFC Fight Night 2

1am – Early prelims

2am – Prelims

4am-7am – Main card

7:30am-9am – press cons

Crime Wave

Heavyweight boxer Fury revealed on Sunday his cousin had been “stabbed in the neck” and called on the courts to address the wave of more sentencing of offenders.

Rico Burton, 31, was found with stab wounds at around 3am on Sunday in Goose Green, Altrincham and subsequently died of his injuries.

“My cousin was murdered last night, stabbed in the neck this is becoming ridiculous … idiots carry knives. This needs to stop,” Fury said. “Asap, UK government needs to bring higher sentencing for knife crime, it’s a pandemic & you don’t know how bad it is until [it’s] 1 of your own!

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The biog

Name: Samar Frost

Born: Abu Dhabi

Hobbies: Singing, music and socialising with friends

Favourite singer: Adele

What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, which can lead to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer.

There are 5 main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E.

Hepatitis C is mostly transmitted through exposure to infective blood. This can occur through blood transfusions, contaminated injections during medical procedures, and through injecting drugs. Sexual transmission is also possible, but is much less common.

People infected with hepatitis C experience few or no symptoms, meaning they can live with the virus for years without being diagnosed. This delay in treatment can increase the risk of significant liver damage.

There are an estimated 170 million carriers of Hepatitis C around the world.

The virus causes approximately 399,000 fatalities each year worldwide, according to WHO.