A European flag reflects 06 November 2007 in a building of the EU headquarters in Brussels.
JP Morgan Bank believes "the stage is set" in Europe for a cyclical recovery. Photo: AFP

In brave new financial world, all rules are off



As the clouds of the global financial crisis slowly part, the shock the international community has experienced in the past 18 months is changing to a more reflective, forward-looking state of mind. At this point, some of the more fundamental parameters that will determine the shape of the global financial framework are emerging. One lesson of the financial crisis is that the Gulf region can by no means detach itself from developments in the global financial marketplace.

So it will need to tackle the regulatory backlash surging in the major developed economies that will fundamentally alter the competitive landscape of traditional and emerging financial centres. The EU has been most active in setting the future regulatory agenda. Most importantly, the European Commission, in the form of the "The High-Level Group on Financial Supervision in the EU" report, has proposed a major overhaul of European cross-border arrangements for financial stability.

These promote stronger co-ordinated financial market supervision and establish more effective crisis-management mechanisms across Europe. Such measures, to be discussed by the European Council on June 19, will have global ramifications. Predictably, the reaction of European market participants has been frosty, causing some of them to consider "shopping around" and relocating. For example, some British hedge funds have threatened to move outside the EU's regulatory reach in order to continue operating profitably. Switzerland leads as an attractive alternative.

According to a recent survey of Swiss finance professionals, Switzerland's main competitive advantage is its banking secrecy, but this is under threat. The statement by the Group of 20 leading and emerging economies in April proclaimed the end of the banking secrecy era. Many Swiss financiers believe that if this objective is rigorously pursued, Switzerland will lose its competitive edge, allowing other financial centres to flourish. Already, according to the same survey, Swiss financiers perceive centres such as Dubai and Singapore as major competitive players.

This is important news for the Gulf region. Its financial centres in Bahrain, Qatar and Dubai, by positioning themselves as convenient locations in terms of capital, infrastructure and time zones, have grown quickly into sizeable entities. Yet they continue to strive to become global financial centres. The regulatory trends in traditional centres will mean that more attention will naturally be focused on the Gulf region.

The region faces two strategic options concerning the regulatory regime it is going to employ. In one scenario, by offering a loose regulatory environment, the Gulf centres stand to gain considerable market share. They will attract participants who are likely to be fast-moving, innovative, opportunistic entities representing large volumes of assets and transactions. On the other hand, some of these entities may also represent corporations and individuals wishing to evade global regulatory and tax scrutiny.

The second scenario envisages that financial centres will compete on factors unrelated to regulatory arbitrage. These will include high-quality client service levels, innovative products, forward-looking and effective risk management, and professional services clustering. For the time being, the Gulf financial centres, on a global scale, are relatively small. Global market participants will act more quickly than the global regulatory environment will change. Therefore, political pressure being applied to the Gulf region in the short run is likely to be limited.

Nevertheless, in the long run, the rise of the Gulf region as a financial hub will correspond with a rise in political expectations to adopt global standards. With this in mind, the first scenario may provide a tempting opportunity to gain market share. But realising the second scenario should be the longer-term, sustainable objective. To achieve this, regional policy makers will need to clearly identify their positioning among other global players with respect to non-regulatory competitive factors.

Done thoroughly, this focus will inspire healthy debate among market participants concerning the long-term, sustainable edge the Gulf region seeks to develop. Sven Behrendt is an associate scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Beirut. Vidhi Tambiah is a partner at Anchor International Investments in Geneva

UAE central contracts

Full time contracts

Rohan Mustafa, Ahmed Raza, Mohammed Usman, Chirag Suri, Mohammed Boota, Sultan Ahmed, Zahoor Khan, Junaid Siddique, Waheed Ahmed, Zawar Farid

Part time contracts

Aryan Lakra, Ansh Tandon, Karthik Meiyappan, Rahul Bhatia, Alishan Sharafu, CP Rizwaan, Basil Hameed, Matiullah, Fahad Nawaz, Sanchit Sharma

Know your cyber adversaries

Cryptojacking: Compromises a device or network to mine cryptocurrencies without an organisation's knowledge.

Distributed denial-of-service: Floods systems, servers or networks with information, effectively blocking them.

Man-in-the-middle attack: Intercepts two-way communication to obtain information, spy on participants or alter the outcome.

Malware: Installs itself in a network when a user clicks on a compromised link or email attachment.

Phishing: Aims to secure personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.

Ransomware: Encrypts user data, denying access and demands a payment to decrypt it.

Spyware: Collects information without the user's knowledge, which is then passed on to bad actors.

Trojans: Create a backdoor into systems, which becomes a point of entry for an attack.

Viruses: Infect applications in a system and replicate themselves as they go, just like their biological counterparts.

Worms: Send copies of themselves to other users or contacts. They don't attack the system, but they overload it.

Zero-day exploit: Exploits a vulnerability in software before a fix is found.

Results

2.30pm: Park Avenue – Conditions (PA) Dh80,000 (Dirt) 2,000m; Winner: Rb Seqondtonone, Abdul Aziz Al Balushi (jockey), Helal Al Alawi (trainer)

3.05pm: Al Furjan – Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (Turf) 1,200m; Winner: Bosphorus, Dane O’Neill, Bhupat Seemar

3.40pm: Mina – Rated Condition (TB) Dh105,000 (D) 1,600m; Winner: Royal Mews, Tadhg O’Shea, Bhupat Seemar

4.15pm: Aliyah – Handicap (TB) Dh87,500 (T) 1,900m; Winner: Ursa Minor, Ray Dawson, Ahmad bin Harmash

4.50pm: Riviera Beach – Rated Conditions (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 2,200m; Winner: Woodditton, Saif Al Balushi, Ahmad bin Harmash

5.25pm: Riviera – Handicap (TB) Dh2,000 (T) 2,000m; Winner: Al Madhar, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

6pm: Creek Views – Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (T) 1,400m; Winner: Al Salt, Dane O’Neill, Erwan Charpy

The story in numbers

18

This is how many recognised sects Lebanon is home to, along with about four million citizens

450,000

More than this many Palestinian refugees are registered with UNRWA in Lebanon, with about 45 per cent of them living in the country’s 12 refugee camps

1.5 million

There are just under 1 million Syrian refugees registered with the UN, although the government puts the figure upwards of 1.5m

73

The percentage of stateless people in Lebanon, who are not of Palestinian origin, born to a Lebanese mother, according to a 2012-2013 study by human rights organisation Frontiers Ruwad Association

18,000

The number of marriages recorded between Lebanese women and foreigners between the years 1995 and 2008, according to a 2009 study backed by the UN Development Programme

77,400

The number of people believed to be affected by the current nationality law, according to the 2009 UN study

4,926

This is how many Lebanese-Palestinian households there were in Lebanon in 2016, according to a census by the Lebanese-Palestinian dialogue committee

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

Results

2-15pm: Commercial Bank Of Dubai – Conditions (TB) Dh100,000 (Dirt) 1,400m; Winner: Al Habash, Patrick Cosgrave (jockey), Bhupat Seemar (trainer)

2.45pm: Al Shafar Investment – Handicap (TB) Dh80,000 (D) 1,200m; Winner: Day Approach, Ray Dawson, Ahmad bin Harmash

3.15pm: Dubai Real estate Centre – Handicap (TB) Dh80,000 (D) 1,600m; Winner: Celtic Prince, Richard Mullen, Rashed Bouresly

3.45pm: Jebel Ali Sprint by ARM Holding – Listed (TB) Dh500,000 (D) 1,000m; Winner: Khuzaam, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson

4.15pm: Shadwell – Conditions (TB) Dh100,000 (D) 1,600m; Winner: Tenbury Wells, Royston Ffrench, Salem bin Ghadayer

4.45pm: Jebel Ali Stakes by ARM Holding – Listed (TB) Dh500,000 (D) 1,950m; Winner: Lost Eden, Andrea Atzeni, Doug Watson

5.15pm: Jebel Ali Racecourse – Handicap (TB) Dh76,000 (D) 1,950m; Winner: Rougher, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson

The biog

Occupation: Key marker and auto electrician

Hometown: Ghazala, Syria

Date of arrival in Abu Dhabi: May 15, 1978

Family: 11 siblings, a wife, three sons and one daughter

Favourite place in UAE: Abu Dhabi

Favourite hobby: I like to do a mix of things, like listening to poetry for example.

Favourite Syrian artist: Sabah Fakhri, a tenor from Aleppo

Favourite food: fresh fish

Biog

Mr Kandhari is legally authorised to conduct marriages in the gurdwara

He has officiated weddings of Sikhs and people of different faiths from Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Russia, the US and Canada

Father of two sons, grandfather of six

Plays golf once a week

Enjoys trying new holiday destinations with his wife and family

Walks for an hour every morning

Completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Loyola College, Chennai, India

2019 is a milestone because he completes 50 years in business

 

Everybody Loves Touda

Director: Nabil Ayouch 

Starring: Nisrin Erradi, Joud Chamihy, Jalila Talemsi

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

The Year Earth Changed

Directed by:Tom Beard

Narrated by: Sir David Attenborough

Stars: 4

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.

Recipe: Spirulina Coconut Brothie

Ingredients
1 tbsp Spirulina powder
1 banana
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (full fat preferable)
1 tbsp fresh turmeric or turmeric powder
½ cup fresh spinach leaves
½ cup vegan broth
2 crushed ice cubes (optional)

Method
Blend all the ingredients together on high in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. 

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

The alternatives

• Founded in 2014, Telr is a payment aggregator and gateway with an office in Silicon Oasis. It’s e-commerce entry plan costs Dh349 monthly (plus VAT). QR codes direct customers to an online payment page and merchants can generate payments through messaging apps.

• Business Bay’s Pallapay claims 40,000-plus active merchants who can invoice customers and receive payment by card. Fees range from 1.99 per cent plus Dh1 per transaction depending on payment method and location, such as online or via UAE mobile.

• Tap started in May 2013 in Kuwait, allowing Middle East businesses to bill, accept, receive and make payments online “easier, faster and smoother” via goSell and goCollect. It supports more than 10,000 merchants. Monthly fees range from US$65-100, plus card charges of 2.75-3.75 per cent and Dh1.2 per sale.

2checkout’s “all-in-one payment gateway and merchant account” accepts payments in 200-plus markets for 2.4-3.9 per cent, plus a Dh1.2-Dh1.8 currency conversion charge. The US provider processes online shop and mobile transactions and has 17,000-plus active digital commerce users.

• PayPal is probably the best-known online goods payment method - usually used for eBay purchases -  but can be used to receive funds, providing everyone’s signed up. Costs from 2.9 per cent plus Dh1.2 per transaction.

Plan to boost public schools

A major shake-up of government-run schools was rolled out across the country in 2017. Known as the Emirati School Model, it placed more emphasis on maths and science while also adding practical skills to the curriculum.

It was accompanied by the promise of a Dh5 billion investment, over six years, to pay for state-of-the-art infrastructure improvements.

Aspects of the school model will be extended to international private schools, the education minister has previously suggested.

Recent developments have also included the introduction of moral education - which public and private schools both must teach - along with reform of the exams system and tougher teacher licensing requirements.

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

Apple Mac through the years

1984 - Apple unveiled the Macintosh on January 24
1985 - Steve Jobs departed from Apple and established NeXT
1986 - Apple introduced the Macintosh Plus, featuring enhanced memory
1987 - Apple launched the Macintosh II, equipped with colour capabilities
1989 - The widely acclaimed Macintosh SE/30 made its debut
1994 - Apple presented the Power Macintosh
1996 - The Macintosh System Software OS underwent a rebranding as Mac OS
2001 - Apple introduced Mac OS X, marrying Unix stability with a user-friendly interface
2006 - Apple adopted Intel processors in MacBook Pro laptops
2008 - Apple introduced the MacBook Air, a lightweight laptop
2012 - Apple launched the MacBook Pro with a retina display
2016 - The Mac operating system underwent rebranding as macOS
2020 - Apple introduced the M1 chip for Macs, combining high performance and energy efficiency
2022 - The M2 chip was announced
2023 -The M3 line-up of chip was announced to improve performance and add new capabilities for Mac.