Nomura to cut staff in savings bid



Nomura, a Japanese investment bank that once had aspirations of becoming a global deal-making powerhouse, is to cut a third of its investment banking staff in the Arabian Gulf amid a dearth of transactions.

The bank, based in Tokyo, is cutting its investment banking division staff from 12 to eight, according to two people familiar with the matter who wished to remain anonymous.

Nomura is in the midst of a US$1 billion (Dh3.67bn) savings drive, the bank said in its latest quarterly earnings statement.

"Investment across Europe, the Middle East and Africa as a whole will be affected as part of the additional cost-cutting programme that they have announced," one of the sources said.

The bank's Middle East equity research was closed last year. Nomura's trading desk is said to be unaffected by the latest round of cuts.

Koji Nagai, Nomura's newly appointed chief executive, is attempting to slim the bank's costs after its most recent quarterly net income fell 89 per cent to ¥1.9bn (Dh89.3 million), compared with the same period a year earlier.

Nomura's Middle East investment banking division was originally acquired as part of a carve-up of the defunct investment bank Lehman Brothers, which collapsed in September 2008.

Nomura took the bank's Asian, European and Middle East arms, while Barclays acquired Lehman's North American assets.

Debt-focused investment banks have had a good year in the Gulf, with $28bn of bonds sold during the year so far.

The majority of sales have been Islamic bonds.

Despite soaring interest in Middle East credit from Asian investors, Nomura's only participation in the debt markets this year has been a bond from Qatar Petroleum worth ¥85bn, known as a "samurai bond" because it is denominated in yen.

Alongside the reduction in investment banking staff, the bank has increased its focus on the Saudi Tadawul and established a rates and foreign exchange team in its Dubai office.

Amid tensions in the Dubai International Financial Centre, lenders including Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Emirates NBD have cut staff this year.

Deutsche Bank said this week it had made job cuts in some departments of about 5 per cent, although it had increased resources in other areas in line with "normal business practice".

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl, 48V hybrid

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Power: 325bhp

Torque: 450Nm

Price: Dh359,000

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 620hp from 5,750-7,500rpm
Torque: 760Nm from 3,000-5,750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh1.05 million ($286,000)

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

Specs

Power train: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and synchronous electric motor
Max power: 800hp
Max torque: 950Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Battery: 25.7kWh lithium-ion
0-100km/h: 3.4sec
0-200km/h: 11.4sec
Top speed: 312km/h
Max electric-only range: 60km (claimed)
On sale: Q3
Price: From Dh1.2m (estimate)

Yahya Al Ghassani's bio

Date of birth: April 18, 1998

Playing position: Winger

Clubs: 2015-2017 – Al Ahli Dubai; March-June 2018 – Paris FC; August – Al Wahda

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

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

THE BIO

Favourite author - Paulo Coelho 

Favourite holiday destination - Cuba 

New York Times or Jordan Times? NYT is a school and JT was my practice field

Role model - My Grandfather 

Dream interviewee - Che Guevara

Company profile

Company name: Hakbah
Started: 2018
Founder: Naif AbuSaida
Based: Saudi Arabia
Sector: FinTech
Current number of staff: 22
Initial investment: $200,000
Investment stage: pre-Series A
Investors: Global Ventures and Aditum Investment Management

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

The biog

Favourite Quote: “Real victories are those that protect human life, not those that result from its destruction emerge from its ashes,” by The late king Hussain of Jordan.

Favourite Hobby: Writing and cooking

Favourite Book: The Prophet by Gibran Khalil Gibran

World Cricket League Division 2

In Windhoek, Namibia - Top two teams qualify for the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe, which starts on March 4.

UAE fixtures

Thursday February 8, v Kenya; Friday February 9, v Canada; Sunday February 11, v Nepal; Monday February 12, v Oman; Wednesday February 14, v Namibia; Thursday February 15, final

Getting there
Flydubai flies direct from Dubai to Tbilisi from Dh1,025 return including taxes

Explainer: Tanween Design Programme

Non-profit arts studio Tashkeel launched this annual initiative with the intention of supporting budding designers in the UAE. This year, three talents were chosen from hundreds of applicants to be a part of the sixth creative development programme. These are architect Abdulla Al Mulla, interior designer Lana El Samman and graphic designer Yara Habib.

The trio have been guided by experts from the industry over the course of nine months, as they developed their own products that merge their unique styles with traditional elements of Emirati design. This includes laboratory sessions, experimental and collaborative practice, investigation of new business models and evaluation.

It is led by British contemporary design project specialist Helen Voce and mentor Kevin Badni, and offers participants access to experts from across the world, including the likes of UK designer Gareth Neal and multidisciplinary designer and entrepreneur, Sheikh Salem Al Qassimi.

The final pieces are being revealed in a worldwide limited-edition release on the first day of Downtown Designs at Dubai Design Week 2019. Tashkeel will be at stand E31 at the exhibition.

Lisa Ball-Lechgar, deputy director of Tashkeel, said: “The diversity and calibre of the applicants this year … is reflective of the dynamic change that the UAE art and design industry is witnessing, with young creators resolute in making their bold design ideas a reality.”

Stree

Producer: Maddock Films, Jio Movies
Director: Amar Kaushik
Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Shraddha Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi, Aparshakti Khurana, Abhishek Banerjee
Rating: 3.5

LEADERBOARD

-19 T Fleetwood (Eng); -18 R McIlroy (NI), T Lawrence (SA); -16 J Smith; -15 F Molinari (Ita); -14 Z Lombard (SA), S Crocker (US)

Selected: -11 A Meronk (Pol); -10 E Ferguson (Sco); -8 R Fox (NZ) -7 L Donald (Eng); -5 T McKibbin (NI), N Hoejgaard (Den)

The biog

Name: Sari Al Zubaidi

Occupation: co-founder of Cafe di Rosati

Age: 42

Marital status: single

Favourite drink: drip coffee V60

Favourite destination: Bali, Indonesia 

Favourite book: 100 Years of Solitude 

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

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)

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

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.

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Consoles: PC, PlayStation
Rating: 2/5

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Spain drain

CONVICTED

Lionel Messi Found guilty in 2016 of of using companies in Belize, Britain, Switzerland and Uruguay to avoid paying €4.1m in taxes on income earned from image rights. Sentenced to 21 months in jail and fined more than €2m. But prison sentence has since been replaced by another fine of €252,000.

Javier Mascherano Accepted one-year suspended sentence in January 2016 for tax fraud after found guilty of failing to pay €1.5m in taxes for 2011 and 2012. Unlike Messi he avoided trial by admitting to tax evasion.

Angel di Maria Argentina and Paris Saint-Germain star Angel di Maria was fined and given a 16-month prison sentence for tax fraud during his time at Real Madrid. But he is unlikely to go to prison as is normal in Spain for first offences for non-violent crimes carrying sentence of less than two years.

SUSPECTED

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid's star striker, accused of evading €14.7m in taxes, appears in court on Monday. Portuguese star faces four charges of fraud through offshore companies.

Jose Mourinho Manchester United manager accused of evading €3.3m in tax in 2011 and 2012, during time in charge at Real Madrid. But Gestifute, which represents him, says he has already settled matter with Spanish tax authorities.

Samuel Eto'o In November 2016, Spanish prosecutors sought jail sentence of 10 years and fines totalling €18m for Cameroonian, accused of failing to pay €3.9m in taxes during time at Barcelona from 2004 to 2009.

Radamel Falcao Colombian striker Falcao suspected of failing to correctly declare €7.4m of income earned from image rights between 2012 and 2013 while at Atletico Madrid. He has since paid €8.2m to Spanish tax authorities, a sum that includes interest on the original amount.

Jorge Mendes Portuguese super-agent put under official investigation last month by Spanish court investigating alleged tax evasion by Falcao, a client of his. He defended himself, telling closed-door hearing he "never" advised players in tax matters.

Indika

Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: Odd Meter
Console: PlayStation 5, PC and Xbox series X/S
Rating: 4/5

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

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

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


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