Dmitri Medvedev, left, shakes hands with the Tajik president, Emomali Rakhmon, in Dushanbe on Wednesday.
Dmitri Medvedev, left, shakes hands with the Tajik president, Emomali Rakhmon, in Dushanbe on Wednesday.

Russia turns to Asian allies



The Russian president, Dmitri Medvedev, has turned to Asian allies for support in the Georgia crisis as the Group of Seven condemned Moscow in a stand-off that is stoking fears of a new Cold War. Mr Medvedev joined the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, and leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan for a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, set up in 2001 to counter Nato influence in Central Asia. "The main agenda will be ensuring stability and security in the SCO area. There will be a focus on counter terrorism, drugs and transnational crime from Afghanistan," a Kremlin official said before the talks.

The specs

Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 666hp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 850Nm at 2,300-4,500rpm
Transmission: 8-speed auto
On sale: Q1 2023
Price: from Dh1.15 million (estimate)

Dhadak

Director: Shashank Khaitan

Starring: Janhvi Kapoor, Ishaan Khattar, Ashutosh Rana

Stars: 3

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.”

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

Spider-Man 2

Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Console: PlayStation 5
Rating: 5/5

The biog

Name: Fareed Lafta

Age: 40

From: Baghdad, Iraq

Mission: Promote world peace

Favourite poet: Al Mutanabbi

Role models: His parents 

Results

Male 51kg Round 1

Dias Karmanov (KAZ) beat Mabrook Rasea (YEM) by points 2-1.

Male 54kg Round 1

Yelaman Sayassatov (KAZ) beat Chen Huang (TPE) TKO Round 1; Huynh Hoang Phi (VIE) beat Fahad Anakkayi (IND) RSC Round 2; ​​​​​​​Qais Al Jamal (JOR) beat Man Long Ng (MAC) by points 3-0; ​​​​​​​Ayad Albadr (IRQ) beat Yashar Yazdani (IRI) by points 2-1.

Male 57kg Round 1

Natthawat Suzikong (THA) beat Abdallah Ondash (LBN) by points 3-0; Almaz Sarsembekov (KAZ) beat Ahmed Al Jubainawi (IRQ) by points 2-1; Hamed Almatari (YEM) beat Nasser Al Rugheeb (KUW) by points 3-0; Zakaria El Jamari (UAE) beat Yu Xi Chen (TPE) by points 3-0.

Men 86kg Round 1

Ahmad Bahman (UAE) beat Mohammad Al Khatib (PAL) by points 2-1

​​​​​​​Men 63.5kg Round 1

Noureddin Samir (UAE) beat Polash Chakma (BAN) RSC Round 1.

Female 45kg quarter finals

Narges Mohammadpour (IRI) beat Yuen Wai Chan (HKG) by points.

Female 48kg quarter finals

Szi Ki Wong (HKG) beat Dimple Vaishnav (IND) RSC round 2; Thanawan Thongduang (THA) beat Nastaran Soori (IRI) by points; Shabnam Hussain Zada (AFG) beat Tzu Ching Lin (TPE) by points.

Female 57kg quarter finals

Nguyen Thi Nguyet (VIE) beat Anisha Shetty (IND) by points 2-1; Areeya Sahot (THA) beat Dana Al Mayyal (KUW) RSC Round 1; Sara Idriss (LBN) beat Ching Yee Tsang (HKG) by points 3-0.

All The Light We Cannot See

Creator: Steven Knight

Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Hugh Laurie, Aria Mia Loberti

Rating: 1/5 

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

Dengue fever symptoms
  • High fever
  • Intense pain behind your eyes
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Rash

If symptoms occur, they usually last for two-seven days

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

The specs: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Price, base: Dh198,300
Engine: 2.0L in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Power: 280hp @ 5,250rpm
Torque: 400Nm @ 2,250rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 7L / 100km


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