Soaring vehicle sales have prompted the Philippines' biggest company to build an oil refinery, along with a steel plant and an ocean power facility as the economy remains among the fastest-growing in the world. Mike Young / The National
Soaring vehicle sales have prompted the Philippines' biggest company to build an oil refinery, along with a steel plant and an ocean power facility as the economy remains among the fastest-growing in Show more

San Miguel plans $34bn Philippines energy and steel investments



San Miguel plans to invest US$34 billion in an oil refinery, an integrated steel complex and an ocean-tide power plant as the Philippines’ largest company by sales expands amid forecasts for robust economic growth in the country, according to its president.

“The businesses we ventured into have matured, such that the company is in a very stable position,” the president Ramon Ang said, citing compounded annual 20 per cent growth in recurring profit and a near fourfold increase in assets since 2008 following San Miguel’s diversification from food and drinks into non-allied industries such as toll roads and resources. Excluding one-off items, profit will rise at least 20 per cent to about 60 billion pesos (Dh4.4bn) this year, he said.

Election-related spending, remittances from Filipinos overseas and a booming outsourcing industry have helped the economy, while record car sales boosted oil demand. The momentum is expected to stay strong this year, with GDP forecast to rise 6.8 per cent, Fitch Ratings said last week, when it kept its investment-grade rating and positive outlook on the Philippines.

Profit at the company that started more than a century ago rose 80 per cent to 52.2bn pesos last year, boosted by higher sales at its oil, beer and food units. An 11.8bn peso one-time gain from the sale of its telecommunication assets helped offset a 9bn peso foreign exchange loss.

“Ang is trying to ride on the wave of Philippine economic growth,” said Astro del Castillo, a managing director at the investment advisory company First Grade. “Like its previous infrastructure and industrial bets, these won’t make a quick buck, so it will take time for the stock to appreciate. San Miguel is for investors with a long-term view.”

San Miguel plans to build an oil refinery complex with a capacity of 250,000 barrels a day and an integrated steel plant, which will entail investments of $15bn each. An ocean-tide energy project with initial capacity of 1,200 megawatts and costing $3.6bn is also in the pipeline.

The oil refinery, which will also produce aromatics and petrochemicals, and the steel plant are under study and construction could take three and a half years, while the power project may be completed in five, Mr Ang said, declining to elaborate. San Miguel-owned Petron, the nation’s largest oil refiner and retailer, said in January it was seeking partners for a refinery it will build in southern Philippines.

While the stock has gained 13 per cent this year after rallying 85 per cent in 2016, boosted in part by a windfall from the sale of its telecom assets, San Miguel underperformed relative to Philippines Stock Exchange in six of the 10 years since 2007, when Mr Ang obtained shareholders approval to expand into non-allied industries. The benchmark index has gained almost 7 per cent this year after losing 1.6 per cent in 2016.

* Bloomberg

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Most polluted cities in the Middle East

1. Baghdad, Iraq
2. Manama, Bahrain
3. Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
4. Kuwait City, Kuwait
5. Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
6. Ash Shihaniyah, Qatar
7. Abu Dhabi, UAE
8. Cairo, Egypt
9. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
10. Dubai, UAE

Source: 2022 World Air Quality Report

MOST POLLUTED COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD

1. Chad
2. Iraq
3. Pakistan
4. Bahrain
5. Bangladesh
6. Burkina Faso
7. Kuwait
8. India
9. Egypt
10. Tajikistan

Source: 2022 World Air Quality Report

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

Yemen's Bahais and the charges they often face

The Baha'i faith was made known in Yemen in the 19th century, first introduced by an Iranian man named Ali Muhammad Al Shirazi, considered the Herald of the Baha'i faith in 1844.

The Baha'i faith has had a growing number of followers in recent years despite persecution in Yemen and Iran. 

Today, some 2,000 Baha'is reside in Yemen, according to Insaf. 

"The 24 defendants represented by the House of Justice, which has intelligence outfits from the uS and the UK working to carry out an espionage scheme in Yemen under the guise of religion.. aimed to impant and found the Bahai sect on Yemeni soil by bringing foreign Bahais from abroad and homing them in Yemen," the charge sheet said. 

Baha'Ullah, the founder of the Bahai faith, was exiled by the Ottoman Empire in 1868 from Iran to what is now Israel. Now, the Bahai faith's highest governing body, known as the Universal House of Justice, is based in the Israeli city of Haifa, which the Bahais turn towards during prayer. 

The Houthis cite this as collective "evidence" of Bahai "links" to Israel - which the Houthis consider their enemy. 

 

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Price: Starts at Dh1,599 (41mm) / Dh1,999 (45mm)

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

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

88 Video's most popular rentals

Avengers 3: Infinity War: an American superhero film released in 2018 and based on the Marvel Comics story.  

Sholay: a 1975 Indian action-adventure film. It follows the adventures of two criminals hired by police to catch a vagabond. The film was panned on release but is now considered a classic.

Lucifer: is a 2019 Malayalam-language action film. It dives into the gritty world of Kerala’s politics and has become one of the highest-grossing Malayalam films of all time.

Why all the lefties?

Six of the eight fast bowlers used in the ILT20 match between Desert Vipers and MI Emirates were left-handed. So 75 per cent of those involved.
And that despite the fact 10-12 per cent of the world’s population is said to be left-handed.
It is an extension of a trend which has seen left-arm pacers become highly valued – and over-represented, relative to other formats – in T20 cricket.
It is all to do with the fact most batters are naturally attuned to the angles created by right-arm bowlers, given that is generally what they grow up facing more of.
In their book, Hitting Against the Spin, cricket data analysts Nathan Leamon and Ben Jones suggest the advantage for a left-arm pace bowler in T20 is amplified because of the obligation on the batter to attack.
“The more attacking the batsman, the more reliant they are on anticipation,” they write.
“This effectively increases the time pressure on the batsman, so increases the reliance on anticipation, and therefore increases the left-arm bowler’s advantage.”

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat 

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Price, base / as tested: Dh101,140 / Dh113,800


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Power: 148hp @ 5,500rpm


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Fuel consumption, combined: 7.0L / 100km

UAE v Ireland

1st ODI, UAE win by 6 wickets

2nd ODI, January 12

3rd ODI, January 14

4th ODI, January 16

MATCH INFO

Manchester United 1 (Rashford 36')

Liverpool 1 (Lallana 84')

Man of the match: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

Hot Seat

Director: James Cullen Bressack

Stars: Mel Gibson, Kevin Dillon, Shannen Doherty, Sam Asghari

Rating: 1/5

Company profile

Name: Fruitful Day

Founders: Marie-Christine Luijckx, Lyla Dalal AlRawi, Lindsey Fournie

Based: Dubai, UAE

Founded: 2015

Number of employees: 30

Sector: F&B

Funding so far: Dh3 million

Future funding plans: None at present

Future markets: Saudi Arabia, potentially Kuwait and other GCC countries

Abu Dhabi GP schedule

Friday: First practice - 1pm; Second practice - 5pm

Saturday: Final practice - 2pm; Qualifying - 5pm

Sunday: Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (55 laps) - 5.10pm

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

T20 World Cup Qualifier

Final: Netherlands beat PNG by seven wickets

Qualified teams

1. Netherlands
2. PNG
3. Ireland
4. Namibia
5. Scotland
6. Oman

T20 World Cup 2020, Australia

Group A: Sri Lanka, PNG, Ireland, Oman
Group B: Bangladesh, Netherlands, Namibia, Scotland

The specs

Engine: 3.8-litre, twin-turbo V8

Transmission: seven-speed automatic

Power: 592bhp

Torque: 620Nm

Price: Dh980,000

On sale: now

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

$1,000 award for 1,000 days on madrasa portal

Daily cash awards of $1,000 dollars will sweeten the Madrasa e-learning project by tempting more pupils to an education portal to deepen their understanding of math and sciences.

School children are required to watch an educational video each day and answer a question related to it. They then enter into a raffle draw for the $1,000 prize.

“We are targeting everyone who wants to learn. This will be $1,000 for 1,000 days so there will be a winner every day for 1,000 days,” said Sara Al Nuaimi, project manager of the Madrasa e-learning platform that was launched on Tuesday by the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, to reach Arab pupils from kindergarten to grade 12 with educational videos.  

“The objective of the Madrasa is to become the number one reference for all Arab students in the world. The 5,000 videos we have online is just the beginning, we have big ambitions. Today in the Arab world there are 50 million students. We want to reach everyone who is willing to learn.”

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

SHAITTAN

Director: Vikas Bahl
Starring: Ajay Devgn, R. Madhavan, Jyothika, Janaki Bodiwala
Rating: 3/5

Kill Bill Volume 1

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine and Michael Madsen
Rating: 4.5/5

UAE ILT20

Marquee players:
Moeen Ali, Andre Russell, Dawid Malan, Wanindu Hasiranga, Sunil Narine, Evin Lewis, Colin Munro, Fabien Allen, Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Dushmantha Chameera, Shimron Hetmyer, Akeal Hosein, Chris Jordan, Tom Banton, Sandeep Lamichhane, Chris Lynn, Rovman Powell, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Mujeeb Ul Rahman
International players:
Lahiru Kumara, Seekugge Prassanna, Charith Asalanka, Colin Ingram, Paul Stirling, Kennar Lewis, Ali Khan, Brandon Glover, Ravi Rampaul, Raymon Reifer, Isuru Udana, Blessing Muzarabani, Niroshan Dickwella, Hazaratullah Zazai, Frederick Klassen, Sikandar Raja, George Munsey, Dan Lawrence, Dominic Drakes, Jamie Overton, Liam Dawson, David Wiese, Qais Ahmed, Richard Gleeson, James Vince, Noor Ahmed, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Navin Ul Haq, Sherfane Rutherford, Saqib Mahmood, Ben Duckett, Benny Howell, Ruben Trumpelman