Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 24, 2017:     General view of shoppers at the Lulu Hypermarket in the Al Barsha area of Dubai on March 24, 2017. Christopher Pike / The National

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The UAE’s non-oil private sector recorded the sharpest pace of expansion since August on the back of an increase in both output and new business. Christopher Pike / The National

Measure of UAE's non-oil economy rises to three-month high in November



The UAE's non-oil economy rose to a three-month high in November, boosted by steep growth in output and new business, according to a key gauge of the sector.  Purchasing activity rose at the highest pace since the survey began in 2009, suggesting that the economy is turning the corner following several difficult years amid low oil prices.

The Emirates NBD UAE Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 57 in November from 55.9 in October, the sharpest pace of expansion since August. The survey is sponsored by Emirates NBD, Dubai's biggest bank by assets, and produced by IHS Markit, a financial information services company. A reading above 50 suggests that the non-oil economy is growing, while a reading below 50 suggests a contraction.

"The PMI reading for November confirms our view that the UAE's non-oil sector will likely see strong growth in the fourth quarter of this year, as both households and business will likely boost purchases before VAT comes into effect at the start of next year," said Khatija Haque, head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD.

"However, the continued softness in employment and lack of wage growth suggests that any boost to household consumption this quarter will likely prove temporary."

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The survey, which polls purchasing executives in more than 400 companies, found that selling prices dropped for the third straight month in November as firms reduced prices to stoke demand.  Still, the rate of discounting was not as heavy as in the previous month, the survey noted.

When it came to output growth, the rate of expansion was the fastest in 33 month, according to the survey.

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Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
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Initial investment: $2.45 million
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The Apple Card looks different from a traditional credit card — there's no number on the front and the users' name is etched in metal. The card expands the company's digital Apple Pay services, marrying the physical card to a virtual one and integrating both with the iPhone. Its attributes include quick sign-up, elimination of most fees, strong security protections and cash back.

What does it cost?

Apple says there are no fees associated with the card. That means no late fee, no annual fee, no international fee and no over-the-limit fees. It also said it aims to have among the lowest interest rates in the industry. Users must have an iPhone to use the card, which comes at a cost. But they will earn cash back on their purchases — 3 per cent on Apple purchases, 2 per cent on those with the virtual card and 1 per cent with the physical card. Apple says it is the only card to provide those rewards in real time, so that cash earned can be used immediately.

What will the interest rate be?

The card doesn't come out until summer but Apple has said that as of March, the variable annual percentage rate on the card could be anywhere from 13.24 per cent to 24.24 per cent based on creditworthiness. That's in line with the rest of the market, according to analysts

What about security? 

The physical card has no numbers so purchases are made with the embedded chip and the digital version lives in your Apple Wallet on your phone, where it's protected by fingerprints or facial recognition. That means that even if someone steals your phone, they won't be able to use the card to buy things.

Is it easy to use?

Apple says users will be able to sign up for the card in the Wallet app on their iPhone and begin using it almost immediately. It also tracks spending on the phone in a more user-friendly format, eliminating some of the gibberish that fills a traditional credit card statement. Plus it includes some budgeting tools, such as tracking spending and providing estimates of how much interest could be charged on a purchase to help people make an informed decision. 

* Associated Press 

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Engine: 2.3-litre 4cyl turbo
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Company profile

Company name: amana
Started: 2010
Founders: Karim Farra and Ziad Aboujeb
Based: UAE
Regulator: DFSA
Sector: Financial services
Current number of staff: 85
Investment stage: Self-funded


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