Luxembourg prime minister and Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker during a press conference following a euro zone meeting. AFP
Luxembourg prime minister and Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker during a press conference following a euro zone meeting. AFP

Greek debt deal boost for markets



Markets across the region rallied yesterday, with Dubai venturing further into bull-market territory, after Greece received a €130 billion (Dh631.72bn) EU bailout.

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index rose 1.7 per cent, with Abu Dhabi's main benchmark climbing 0.9 per cent to its highest level since October 2. Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All-Share Index rose 0.8 per cent to its highest intraday level since October 2008.

A bull market is defined as an increase of 20 per cent or more. The DFM has risen 22.6 per cent since January 16.

"Today's deal means risk is on and people will be more willing to invest in emerging markets, including the Middle East," said Timothy Ash, the head of emerging-market research at Royal Bank of Scotland in Dubai.

The rally follows the agreement by euro-zone finance ministers to a €130bn support package for Greece after they persuaded private bondholders to take huge losses.

The cash was needed to help Greece to avoid a messy default next month.

The EU also raised the possibility of increasing an emergency bailout fund to €750bn to act as a further safeguard against the risk of a break-up of the euro zone.

Dubai and other regional financial markets have remained in the doldrums in recent months after anxious investors pulled out cash as the euro-zone debt crisis deepened.

At their lowest point, the region's bourses lost US$33.4bn (Dh122.68bn) in market capitalisation in the first half of last year as problems in Greece and other euro-zone nations combined with the Arab Spring to sour sentiment.

Signs of progress in fighting the crisis may help to tempt investors in from the sidelines.

"While concerns clearly remain about Greece and the European situation in general, the news should be positive for broader investor sentiment," said Chavan Bhogaita, the head of markets strategy at National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD).

Improving confidence may also help to ease potential bond sales that have been put on hold until uncertainty lifts from capital markets. Dolphin Energy was among firms that delayed bond issues last year.

Borrowing costs also surged for companies needing to refinance debt.

"It could be that some issuers would come to the market at a better pricing," said Fawaz Abu Sneineh, the head of debt capital markets at the NBAD. "The positive feedback from Greece helps spreads to tighten in emerging markets."

The move could also spur more companies to approach markets, Mr Abu Sneineh said.

"A lot of issuers will be more actively considering coming to market if they're not already doing so," he added.

But market turbulence was likely to remain as the euro zone's debt crisis lingered, he warned.

If the single-currency area makes progress with resolving its debt situation, the region is likely to gain from higher oil prices, say analysts. Oil prices were mixed yesterday after positive news about Greece's bailout were offset by worries about oil supplies from Iran. The price of North Sea Brent crude dipped to $119.45 per barrel in London in midday trading yesterday after hitting its highest level in nine months on Monday.

"The potential benefits from an improvement in the Greek debt resolution would be mainly indirect, and would go through a better global sentiment supporting Asian demand. That backdrop would also most likely be supportive for oil prices, which is an obvious plus for the region," said Philippe Dauba-Pantanacce, a senior economist for Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa at Standard Chartered.

Improvement in Greece's economic outlook may also present opportunities for Gulf investors. In a signal of support for the indebted nation, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, said during a visit to Greece last month that the UAE was seeking to boost its investment in the country.

"The Gulf has had great interest in what is happening in Europe because of the strong economic ties," said Tom Connolly, the head of Middle East and Africa business at BNY Mellon Asset Management. "More specific to large and small sophisticated institutions from the region, there is a great deal of interest from a number of investors who are looking to acquire distressed or discounted assets, particularly real estate, in Greece."

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Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

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

Tips for job-seekers
  • Do not submit your application through the Easy Apply button on LinkedIn. Employers receive between 600 and 800 replies for each job advert on the platform. If you are the right fit for a job, connect to a relevant person in the company on LinkedIn and send them a direct message.
  • Make sure you are an exact fit for the job advertised. If you are an HR manager with five years’ experience in retail and the job requires a similar candidate with five years’ experience in consumer, you should apply. But if you have no experience in HR, do not apply for the job.

David Mackenzie, founder of recruitment agency Mackenzie Jones Middle East

What you as a drone operator need to know

A permit and licence is required to fly a drone legally in Dubai.

Sanad Academy is the United Arab Emirate’s first RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) training and certification specialists endorsed by the Dubai Civil Aviation authority.

It is responsible to train, test and certify drone operators and drones in UAE with DCAA Endorsement.

“We are teaching people how to fly in accordance with the laws of the UAE,” said Ahmad Al Hamadi, a trainer at Sanad.

“We can show how the aircraft work and how they are operated. They are relatively easy to use, but they need responsible pilots.

“Pilots have to be mature. They are given a map of where they can and can’t fly in the UAE and we make these points clear in the lectures we give.

“You cannot fly a drone without registration under any circumstances.”

Larger drones are harder to fly, and have a different response to location control. There are no brakes in the air, so the larger drones have more power.

The Sanad Academy has a designated area to fly off the Al Ain Road near Skydive Dubai to show pilots how to fly responsibly.

“As UAS technology becomes mainstream, it is important to build wider awareness on how to integrate it into commerce and our personal lives,” said Major General Abdulla Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief, Dubai Police.

“Operators must undergo proper training and certification to ensure safety and compliance.

“Dubai’s airspace will undoubtedly experience increased traffic as UAS innovations become commonplace, the Forum allows commercial users to learn of best practice applications to implement UAS safely and legally, while benefitting a whole range of industries.”

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.

Pad Man

Dir: R Balki

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, Radhika Apte

Three-and-a-half stars

TWISTERS

Director:+Lee+Isaac+Chung

Starring:+Glen+Powell,+Daisy+Edgar-Jones,+Anthony+Ramos

Rating:+2.5/5

While you're here

UAE squad

Rohan Mustafa (captain), Ashfaq Ahmed, Ghulam Shabber, Rameez Shahzad, Mohammed Boota, Mohammed Usman, Adnan Mufti, Shaiman Anwar, Ahmed Raza, Imran Haider, Qadeer Ahmed, Mohammed Naveed, Amir Hayat, Zahoor Khan

Brief scores:

Toss: South Africa, chose to field

Pakistan: 177 & 294

South Africa: 431 & 43-1

Man of the Match: Faf du Plessis (South Africa)

Series: South Africa lead three-match series 2-0

KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

Director: Wes Ball

Starring: Owen Teague, Freya Allen, Kevin Durand

Rating: 3.5/5

Expert input

If you had all the money in the world, what’s the one sneaker you would buy or create?

“There are a few shoes that have ‘grail’ status for me. But the one I have always wanted is the Nike x Patta x Parra Air Max 1 - Cherrywood. To get a pair in my size brand new is would cost me between Dh8,000 and Dh 10,000.” Jack Brett

“If I had all the money, I would approach Nike and ask them to do my own Air Force 1, that’s one of my dreams.” Yaseen Benchouche

“There’s nothing out there yet that I’d pay an insane amount for, but I’d love to create my own shoe with Tinker Hatfield and Jordan.” Joshua Cox

“I think I’d buy a defunct footwear brand; I’d like the challenge of reinterpreting a brand’s history and changing options.” Kris Balerite

 “I’d stir up a creative collaboration with designers Martin Margiela of the mixed patchwork sneakers, and Yohji Yamamoto.” Hussain Moloobhoy

“If I had all the money in the world, I’d live somewhere where I’d never have to wear shoes again.” Raj Malhotra

Company name: Play:Date

Launched: March 2017 on UAE Mother’s Day

Founder: Shamim Kassibawi

Based: Dubai with operations in the UAE and US

Sector: Tech 

Size: 20 employees

Stage of funding: Seed

Investors: Three founders (two silent co-founders) and one venture capital fund

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo
Power: 190hp at 5,600rpm
Torque: 320Nm at 1,500-4,000rpm
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto
Fuel consumption: 10.9L/100km
Price: From Dh119,900
On sale: Now

The biog

Name: Abeer Al Shahi

Emirate: Sharjah – Khor Fakkan

Education: Master’s degree in special education, preparing for a PhD in philosophy.

Favourite activities: Bungee jumping

Favourite quote: “My people and I will not settle for anything less than first place” – Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

The Kingfisher Secret
Anonymous, Penguin Books

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Married Malala

Malala Yousafzai is enjoying married life, her father said.

The 24-year-old married Pakistan cricket executive Asser Malik last year in a small ceremony in the UK.

Ziauddin Yousafzai told The National his daughter was ‘very happy’ with her husband.

ALL THE RESULTS

Bantamweight

Siyovush Gulmomdov (TJK) bt Rey Nacionales (PHI) by decision.

Lightweight

Alexandru Chitoran (ROU) bt Hussein Fakhir Abed (SYR) by submission.

Catch 74kg

Omar Hussein (JOR) bt Tohir Zhuraev (TJK) by decision.

Strawweight (Female)

Seo Ye-dam (KOR) bt Weronika Zygmunt (POL) by decision.

Featherweight

Kaan Ofli (TUR) bt Walid Laidi (ALG) by TKO.

Lightweight

Abdulla Al Bousheiri (KUW) bt Leandro Martins (BRA) by TKO.

Welterweight

Ahmad Labban (LEB) bt Sofiane Benchohra (ALG) by TKO.

Bantamweight

Jaures Dea (CAM) v Nawras Abzakh (JOR) no contest.

Lightweight

Mohammed Yahya (UAE) bt Glen Ranillo (PHI) by TKO round 1.

Lightweight

Alan Omer (GER) bt Aidan Aguilera (AUS) by TKO round 1.

Welterweight

Mounir Lazzez (TUN) bt Sasha Palatkinov (HKG) by TKO round 1.

Featherweight title bout

Romando Dy (PHI) v Lee Do-gyeom (KOR) by KO round 1.

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: ten-speed

Power: 420bhp

Torque: 624Nm

Price: Dh325,125

On sale: Now

if you go

The flights Fly Dubai, Air Arabia, Emirates, Etihad, and Royal Jordanian all offer direct, three-and-a-half-hour flights from the UAE to the Jordanian capital Amman. Alternatively, from June Fly Dubai will offer a new direct service from Dubai to Aqaba in the south of the country. See the airlines’ respective sites for varying prices or search on reliable price-comparison site Skyscanner.

The trip 

Jamie Lafferty was a guest of the Jordan Tourist Board. For more information on adventure tourism in Jordan see Visit Jordan. A number of new and established tour companies offer the chance to go caving, rock-climbing, canyoning, and mountaineering in Jordan. Prices vary depending on how many activities you want to do and how many days you plan to stay in the country. Among the leaders are Terhaal, who offer a two-day canyoning trip from Dh845 per person. If you really want to push your limits, contact the Stronger Team. For a more trek-focused trip, KE Adventure offers an eight-day trip from Dh5,300 per person.

A QUIET PLACE

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

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

SPEC SHEET

Display: 6.8" edge quad-HD+ dynamic Amoled 2X, Infinity-O, 3088 x 1440, 500ppi, HDR10+, 120Hz

Processor: 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1/Exynos 2200, 8-core

Memory: 8/12GB RAM

Storage: 128/256/512GB/1TB

Platform: Android 12

Main camera: quad 12MP ultra-wide f/2.2, 108MP wide f/1.8, 10MP telephoto f/4.9, 10MP telephoto 2.4; Space Zoom up to 100x, auto HDR, expert RAW

Video: 8K@24fps, 4K@60fps, full-HD@60fps, HD@30fps, super slo-mo@960fps

Front camera: 40MP f/2.2

Battery: 5000mAh, fast wireless charging 2.0 Wireless PowerShare

Connectivity: 5G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC

I/O: USB-C

SIM: single nano, or nano and SIM, nano and nano, eSIM/nano and nano

Colours: burgundy, green, phantom black, phantom white, graphite, sky blue, red

Price: Dh4,699 for 128GB, Dh5,099 for 256GB, Dh5,499 for 512GB; 1TB unavailable in the UAE

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

Contracted list

Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Matt Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye.

match info

Maratha Arabians 138-2

C Lynn 91*, A Lyth 20, B Laughlin 1-15

Team Abu Dhabi 114-3

L Wright 40*, L Malinga 0-13, M McClenaghan 1-17

Maratha Arabians won by 24 runs

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: HyperPay

Started: 2014

Founder: Muhannad Ebwini

Based: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Industry: FinTech

Funding size: $55m

Investors: AB Ventures, Amwal Capital, INet, Mada VC, Mastercard, SVC

What it means to be a conservationist

Who is Enric Sala?

Enric Sala is an expert on marine conservation and is currently the National Geographic Society's Explorer-in-Residence. His love of the sea started with his childhood in Spain, inspired by the example of the legendary diver Jacques Cousteau. He has been a university professor of Oceanography in the US, as well as working at the Spanish National Council for Scientific Research and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Biodiversity and the Bio-Economy. He has dedicated his life to protecting life in the oceans. Enric describes himself as a flexitarian who only eats meat occasionally.

What is biodiversity?

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, all life on earth – including in its forests and oceans – forms a “rich tapestry of interconnecting and interdependent forces”. Biodiversity on earth today is the product of four billion years of evolution and consists of many millions of distinct biological species. The term ‘biodiversity’ is relatively new, popularised since the 1980s and coinciding with an understanding of the growing threats to the natural world including habitat loss, pollution and climate change. The loss of biodiversity itself is dangerous because it contributes to clean, consistent water flows, food security, protection from floods and storms and a stable climate. The natural world can be an ally in combating global climate change but to do so it must be protected. Nations are working to achieve this, including setting targets to be reached by 2020 for the protection of the natural state of 17 per cent of the land and 10 per cent of the oceans. However, these are well short of what is needed, according to experts, with half the land needed to be in a natural state to help avert disaster.

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

The Specs

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

Libya's Gold

UN Panel of Experts found regime secretly sold a fifth of the country's gold reserves.

The panel’s 2017 report followed a trail to West Africa where large sums of cash and gold were hidden by Abdullah Al Senussi, Qaddafi’s former intelligence chief, in 2011.

Cases filled with cash that was said to amount to $560m in 100 dollar notes, that was kept by a group of Libyans in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

A second stash was said to have been held in Accra, Ghana, inside boxes at the local offices of an international human rights organisation based in France.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends