Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 addresses the post-2014 oil world. Faisal Al Nasser / Reuters
Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 addresses the post-2014 oil world. Faisal Al Nasser / Reuters

Sabah al-Binali's 1 minute round-up



A whole lot of economic vision plans have come out in the last decade or so. It seems to me, however, that only Saudi’s Vision 2030 actually addresses the issue of managing an economy post the 2014 oil price drop. One wonders if the other visions are being updated?

Shuaa just acquired 11 per cent of a Kuwaiti broker. The news report mentions that it is a “strategic investment”, that Shuaa has an “evolutionary strategy” and that there will be “synergies” and “access to [the Kuwaiti broker’s] trading platform”. Let’s understand something: 11 per cent can never be operationally strategic, does not allow for synergies and certainly a minority shareholder should never get preferential treatment and access to the trading platform. A strategic acquisition program means buying 100 per cent or at least 50 per cent plus so that one has legal control over the entity, although at less than 100 per cent there is still a fiduciary duty to the minority shareholders. If one firm controls another firm with less than 50 per cent of the ordinary voting equity then there is a serious lapse of corporate governance.

The Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Group, think Mall of the Emirates and Carrefour, on the other hand does understand what a strategic acquisition is. It bought 100 per cent of the Geant supermarkets in the Middle East. MAF also has the earnings to support a strategy based on acquisitions with earnings of Dh2bn per annum.

MAF is a truly inspiring story of a business built on strong operating foundations and using its free cash flow to take market share.

Free cash flow: the primary performance measure a shareholder needs to know if the company is doing well.

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

The story of Edge

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, established Edge in 2019.

It brought together 25 state-owned and independent companies specialising in weapons systems, cyber protection and electronic warfare.

Edge has an annual revenue of $5 billion and employs more than 12,000 people.

Some of the companies include Nimr, a maker of armoured vehicles, Caracal, which manufactures guns and ammunitions company, Lahab

 

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

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

Teams

Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Sahibzada Farhan, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Khan Shanwari, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Corey Anderson, Mark Chapman, Lockie Ferguson, Colin de Grandhomme, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Ajaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Seth Rance, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.

'Ashkal'

Director: Youssef Chebbi

Stars: Fatma Oussaifi and Mohamed Houcine Grayaa

Rating: 4/5

RIVER SPIRIT

Author: Leila Aboulela 

Publisher: Saqi Books

Pages: 320

Available: Now

ETFs explained

Exhchange traded funds are bought and sold like shares, but operate as index-tracking funds, passively following their chosen indices, such as the S&P 500, FTSE 100 and the FTSE All World, plus a vast range of smaller exchanges and commodities, such as gold, silver, copper sugar, coffee and oil.

ETFs have zero upfront fees and annual charges as low as 0.07 per cent a year, which means you get to keep more of your returns, as actively managed funds can charge as much as 1.5 per cent a year.

There are thousands to choose from, with the five biggest providers BlackRock’s iShares range, Vanguard, State Street Global Advisors SPDR ETFs, Deutsche Bank AWM X-trackers and Invesco PowerShares.

Heather, the Totality
Matthew Weiner,
Canongate 

In Full Flight: A Story of Africa and Atonement
John Heminway, Knopff

We Weren’t Supposed to Survive But We Did

We weren’t supposed to survive but we did.      
We weren’t supposed to remember but we did.              
We weren’t supposed to write but we did.  
We weren’t supposed to fight but we did.              
We weren’t supposed to organise but we did.
We weren’t supposed to rap but we did.        
We weren’t supposed to find allies but we did.
We weren’t supposed to grow communities but we did.        
We weren’t supposed to return but WE ARE.
Amira Sakalla

The biog

Name: Younis Al Balooshi

Nationality: Emirati

Education: Doctorate degree in forensic medicine at the University of Bonn

Hobbies: Drawing and reading books about graphic design

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

The biog

Fatima Al Darmaki is an Emirati widow with three children

She has received 46 certificates of appreciation and excellence throughout her career

She won the 'ideal mother' category at the Minister of Interior Awards for Excellence

Her favourite food is Harees, a slow-cooked porridge-like dish made from boiled wheat berries mixed with chicken

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The figures behind the event

1) More than 300 in-house cleaning crew

2) 165 staff assigned to sanitise public areas throughout the show

3) 1,000+ social distancing stickers

4) 809 hand sanitiser dispensers placed throughout the venue

The specs

Engine: 4.4-litre, twin-turbo V8
Transmission: eight-speed auto
Power: 617hp
Torque: 750Nm
Price: from Dh630,000
On sale: now

The specs

Engine: Single front-axle electric motor
Power: 218hp
Torque: 330Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 402km (claimed)
Price: From Dh215,000 (estimate)
On sale: September

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

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

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat