Atletico Madrid's Jose Antonio Reyes evades the tackle of Barcelona's Carles Puyol.
Atletico Madrid's Jose Antonio Reyes evades the tackle of Barcelona's Carles Puyol.

Barca bounce back in Madrid

Goals from Lionel Messi, the Argentine forward, and Gerard Pique, the Spanish defender, were enough to give Pep Guardiola's side their first win of the season at Vicente Calderon. Raul Garcia scored Atletico's effort on 25 minutes. Tomas Ujfalusi, Atletico's Czech defender, was sent off in injury time for a foul on Messi, who was carried off on a stretcher.

The win helped Barcelona stay in touch with rivals Real Madrid, but both both clubs still trail a new-look Valencia side, who overcame Hercules 2-1 away from home. Two goals from Samuel Eto'o sent Rafa Benitez's Inter Milan back towards the summit of Italy's Serie A, second only on goal difference to Cesena, after a 2-1 win away at Palermo. Josil Ilicic's opener had put Palermo in front, but Eto'o struck twice in eight minutes.

There was concern for Inter after the match, however, with Javier Zanetti, their captain, complaining of chest pains after the game. After a check at the Villa Sofia hospital, Zanetti left and returned to Milan with his teammates. "I got hit with the ball in my abdomen but I couldn't stop playing despite the pain - we were winning," Zanetti told Inter's TV channel. "When I got back to the changing room my chest felt blocked. I want to assure everyone I'm fine."

Inter share top spot in Serie A with Cesena, who beat Lecce 1-0, despite playing much of the game with 10 men, thanks to an Erjon Bogdani goal. Juventus, meanwhile, got their first victory of the season in impressive style, winning 4-0 away to Udinese. "What counts is the result today, and we must continue," said Fabio Quagliarella, who scored one of the goals against his former club. Roma's stuttering start to the campaign continued as they threw away a two-goal lead at home to Bologna to draw 2-2.

In Germany's Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund heaped more misery on Schalke with a 3-1 derby win in Gelsenkirchen, leaving their big-spending rivals rock bottom and still without a point. * Compiled by John Trotter, with agencies

Ramez Gab Min El Akher

Creator: Ramez Galal

Starring: Ramez Galal

Streaming on: MBC Shahid

Rating: 2.5/5

Pearls on a Branch: Oral Tales
​​​​​​​Najlaa Khoury, Archipelago Books

Key findings
  • Over a period of seven years, a team of scientists analysed dietary data from 50,000 North American adults.
  • Eating one or two meals a day was associated with a relative decrease in BMI, compared with three meals. Snacks count as a meal. Likewise, participants who ate more than three meals a day experienced an increase in BMI: the more meals a day, the greater the increase.
  • People who ate breakfast experienced a relative decrease in their BMI compared with “breakfast-skippers”.
  • Those who turned the eating day on its head to make breakfast the biggest meal of the day, did even better.
  • But scrapping dinner altogether gave the best results. The study found that the BMI of subjects who had a long overnight fast (of 18 hours or more) decreased when compared even with those who had a medium overnight fast, of between 12 and 17 hours.

Mercer, the investment consulting arm of US services company Marsh & McLennan, expects its wealth division to at least double its assets under management (AUM) in the Middle East as wealth in the region continues to grow despite economic headwinds, a company official said.

Mercer Wealth, which globally has $160 billion in AUM, plans to boost its AUM in the region to $2-$3bn in the next 2-3 years from the present $1bn, said Yasir AbuShaban, a Dubai-based principal with Mercer Wealth.

Within the next two to three years, we are looking at reaching $2 to $3 billion as a conservative estimate and we do see an opportunity to do so,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Mercer does not directly make investments, but allocates clients’ money they have discretion to, to professional asset managers. They also provide advice to clients.

“We have buying power. We can negotiate on their (client’s) behalf with asset managers to provide them lower fees than they otherwise would have to get on their own,” he added.

Mercer Wealth’s clients include sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and insurance companies among others.

From its office in Dubai, Mercer also looks after Africa, India and Turkey, where they also see opportunity for growth.

Wealth creation in Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew 8.5 per cent to $8.1 trillion last year from $7.5tn in 2015, higher than last year’s global average of 6 per cent and the second-highest growth in a region after Asia-Pacific which grew 9.9 per cent, according to consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In the region, where wealth grew just 1.9 per cent in 2015 compared with 2014, a pickup in oil prices has helped in wealth generation.

BCG is forecasting MEA wealth will rise to $12tn by 2021, growing at an annual average of 8 per cent.

Drivers of wealth generation in the region will be split evenly between new wealth creation and growth of performance of existing assets, according to BCG.

Another general trend in the region is clients’ looking for a comprehensive approach to investing, according to Mr AbuShaban.

“Institutional investors or some of the families are seeing a slowdown in the available capital they have to invest and in that sense they are looking at optimizing the way they manage their portfolios and making sure they are not investing haphazardly and different parts of their investment are working together,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Some clients also have a higher appetite for risk, given the low interest-rate environment that does not provide enough yield for some institutional investors. These clients are keen to invest in illiquid assets, such as private equity and infrastructure.

“What we have seen is a desire for higher returns in what has been a low-return environment specifically in various fixed income or bonds,” he said.

“In this environment, we have seen a de facto increase in the risk that clients are taking in things like illiquid investments, private equity investments, infrastructure and private debt, those kind of investments were higher illiquidity results in incrementally higher returns.”

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, said in its 2016 report that has gradually increased its exposure in direct private equity and private credit transactions, mainly in Asian markets and especially in China and India. The authority’s private equity department focused on structured equities owing to “their defensive characteristics.”


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