IPIC's links to Europe grow stronger with agreement

Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) agreed to share ownership of its Nova Chemicals unit with the Austrian petroleum company OMV, deepening its long-standing relationship with the European firm in which it holds a 19.6 per cent stake. Under an agreement struck about a month ago, Borealis, an IPIC-OMV chemicals joint venture based in Vienna, would acquire 24.9 per cent of Nova from IPIC. The deal received regulatory clearance from the European Commission last week.

"IPIC is currently reviewing synergies between us and its other portfolio companies with the objective of creating a new global polyolefins leader," Nova said earlier this month. "In this context, IPIC and OMV have decided to share control of us similar to their successful joint ownership and control arrangements for Borealis." IPIC on July 6 acquired Nova, which has its headquarters in the US city of Pittsburgh and produces plastics and other commodity chemicals in North America and Europe, for about US$2.3 billion (Dh8.44bn) including debt. The deal came after Nova ran into financial difficulties during the global recession.

The transaction gave IPIC, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, an entry to the North American petrochemicals market as well as boosting its European assets. OMV is IPIC's major partner in the European chemicals sector. Borealis is 64 per cent owned by IPIC and 36 per cent by OMV. The two firms also jointly own AMI Melamine International, an Austrian fertiliser and chemicals venture. For more than a decade, OMV has also been a partner with IPIC and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in Abu Dhabi's main domestic chemicals ventures.

In addition, IPIC and OMV are partners in a Pakistani oil refinery and have plans for joint ventures in oil and gas production. Now they must also jointly attend to helping Nova weather the economic slump that continues to grip much of North America and Europe. Nova's seven-member board would include four directors nominated by IPIC, two by OMV and one by Borealis. Nova had estimated its July and August revenue at $742 million, down 48 per cent from $1.42bn for the comparable period last year. "Margins have improved during 2009, but have not yet recovered to levels experienced prior to the economic slowdown that began in the fourth quarter of 2008," the company said.



Director: Lee Isaac Chung

Starring: Glenn Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Anthony Ramos

Rating: 2.5/5

Most match wins on clay

Guillermo Vilas - 659

Manuel Orantes - 501

Thomas Muster - 422

Rafael Nadal - 399 *

Jose Higueras - 378

Eddie Dibbs - 370

Ilie Nastase - 338

Carlos Moya - 337

Ivan Lendl - 329

Andres Gomez - 322

Story of 2017-18 so far and schedule to come

Roll of Honour

Who has won what so far in the West Asia rugby season?


Western Clubs Champions League

Winners: Abu Dhabi Harlequins

Runners up: Bahrain


Dubai Rugby Sevens

Winners: Dubai Exiles

Runners up: Jebel Ali Dragons


West Asia Premiership

Winners: Jebel Ali Dragons

Runners up: Abu Dhabi Harlequins


UAE Premiership Cup

Winners: Abu Dhabi Harlequins

Runners up: Dubai Exiles




West Asia Cup final

5pm, Bahrain (6pm UAE time), Bahrain v Dubai Exiles


West Asia Trophy final

3pm, The Sevens, Dubai Hurricanes v Dubai Sports City Eagles


Friday, April 13

UAE Premiership final

5pm, Al Ain, Dubai Exiles v Abu Dhabi Harlequins


Saudi Arabia

Joy: Delivers car services with affordable prices

Karaz: Helps diabetics with gamification, IoT and real-time data

Medicarri: Medical marketplace that connects clinics with suppliers

Mod5r: Makes automated and recurring investments to grow wealth

Stuck: Live, on-demand language support to boost writing

Walzay: Helps in recruitment while reducing hiring time


Eighty6: Marketplace for restaurant and supplier procurements

FarmUnboxed: Helps digitise international food supply chain

NutriCal: Helps F&B businesses and governments with nutritional analysis

Wellxai: Provides insurance that enables and rewards user habits


Amwal: A Shariah-compliant crowd-lending platform

Deben: Helps CFOs manage cash efficiently

Egab: Connects media outlets to journalists in hard-to-reach areas for exclusives

Neqabty: Digitises financial and medical services of labour unions


Monak: Provides financial inclusion and life services to migrants


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)

Race card for Super Saturday

4pm: Al Bastakiya Listed US$250,000 (Dh918,125) (Dirt) 1,900m.

4.35pm: Mahab Al Shimaal Group 3 $200,000 (D) 1,200m.

5.10pm: Nad Al Sheba Conditions $200,000 (Turf) 1,200m.

5.45pm: Burj Nahaar Group 3 $200,000 (D) 1,600m.

6.20pm: Jebel Hatta Group 1 $300,000 (T) 1,800m.

6.55pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 Group 1 $400,000 (D) 2,000m.

7.30pm: Dubai City of Gold Group 2 $250,000 (T) 2,410m.


Name: Qureos
Based: UAE
Launch year: 2021
Number of employees: 33
Sector: Software and technology
Funding: $3 million

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


Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

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.