The world urgently needs a forum for negotiating a currency truce as the IMF meeting failed to find a solution.
The world urgently needs a forum for negotiating a currency truce as the IMF meeting failed to find a solution.

Currency war hurting Europe



While other major economies, particularly China, Japan and the US, keep their currencies low, the euro rises, and exports from the EU become costlier and less sellable Berlin // History shows that everyone eventually loses when nations try to gain competitive advantage by devaluing their currencies. It will be no different if the "currency war" raging among the world's major economies, especially between the US and China, continues. But Europe looks set to be the first victim because the single currency has been caught in the crossfire.

Since the end of June, the euro has appreciated 14 per cent against the dollar, 12 per cent against the Chinese yuan and 4.2 per cent against the Japanese yen. If the US eases monetary policy further, as is widely expected, if China continues to refuse to allow its currency to rise much against the dollar, and if the Bank of Japan goes on selling yen, the euro will keep appreciating sharply, making European exports to the rest of the world more expensive and putting the bloc's recovery at risk.

It is not just bad news for European exporters such as Airbus, for which every appreciation of 10 US cents by the euro means €1 billion (Dh5.13bn) less operating profit. The ailing Greek economy, highly dependent on tourism, stands to lose desperately needed holiday trade to nearby countries outside the euro zone, such as Turkey and Egypt. At present, Europe is paying a price for global economic imbalances. It is a measure of how dramatically world markets are out of kilter that Ireland's mounting deficit woes have not stalled the euro's rise. Just a few months ago, when all eyes were on the continent's debt problems, the news that Ireland's credit rating was being downgraded and that it faced a €50bn bill to restructure its banks would have sent investors fleeing the euro in a panic.

This time they hardly batted an eyelid, even though it is clear that the continent is still struggling to cope with the debt left over from the global financial crisis of 2008 and last year. There have been mass demonstrations across Europe against austerity measures, and the European Central Bank (ECB) is still trying to stabilise debt markets by purchasing sovereign bonds issued by troubled member states.

There is little that euro-zone policymakers can do about the exchange rate dilemma. The ECB's next interest rate move is bound to be up rather than down, to keep inflation in check in the current recovery. And Europe will not follow the US example of threatening to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese imports. The heavyweight Germany, which owes its current boom largely to soaring exports of cars and machinery to China, would block any such move for fear of inciting a trade war.

Currency intervention to push down the euro is not on the cards either. The ECB has always been fundamentally sceptical of the merit of trying to steer the exchange rate by buying or selling euros. Besides, intervention works best when co-ordinated among the world's top central banks. And as the major economies cannot agree on what the exchange rates should be, prospects for co-ordinated intervention are close to zero.

It is true that China has been keeping its exchange rate artificially low to boost economic growth. That is an age-old recipe for an emerging economy to speed up its development. China knows that a rapid appreciation of its currency could make it suffer the same fate as Japan, which in the 1980s succumbed to US pressure to let the yen appreciate against the dollar. That led to a slump in exports, followed by interest rate cuts that in turn created a speculative bubble in the stock and property markets. Japan has not recovered since. But it is encouraging that China has signalled it will allow the yuan to appreciate gradually.

The US is the bigger source of imbalance because it has amassed astronomical debts by living above its means for decades, secure in the knowledge that it will always find buyers for its sovereign debt. By continually easing monetary policy, the Federal Reserve has in effect been printing money to stimulate growth and help finance the burgeoning debt, and the dollar has depreciated as a result, artificially boosting the competitiveness of US companies at the expense of their international rivals.

The world urgently needs a forum for negotiating a currency truce. Last weekend's meeting of the IMF brought no progress on exchange rates beyond an agreement on a vague plan to monitor countries' economic policies more closely. That does not bode well for next month's summit of leaders of the Group of 20 top industrial and emerging economies. During the global financial crisis, the G20 proved a moderately effective new forum for setting up measures to stoke world growth and curb financial market excesses. That raised hopes that it could evolve into a kind of global economic government. Unfortunately, national interests lie so far apart in the currency wars that the G20 may not be able to help this time. There is one ray of light for Europe, at least. No one is talking about the demise of the single currency any more.

HEY MERCEDES, WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR ME?

Mercedes-Benz's MBUX digital voice assistant, Hey Mercedes, allows users to set up commands for:

• Navigation

• Calls

• In-car climate

• Ambient lighting

• Media controls

• Driver assistance

• General inquiries such as motor data, fuel consumption and next service schedule, and even funny questions

There's also a hidden feature: pressing and holding the voice command button on the steering wheel activates the voice assistant on a connected smartphone – Siri on Apple's iOS or Google Assistant on Android – enabling a user to command the car even without Apple CarPlay or Android Auto

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

 

 

SPEC SHEET: APPLE IPHONE 14 PRO MAX

Display: 6.7" Super Retina XDR OLED, 2796 x 1290, 460ppi, 120Hz, 2000 nits max, HDR, True Tone, P3, always-on

Processor: A16 Bionic, 6-core CPU, 5-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Memory: 6GB

Capacity: 128/256/512GB / 1TB

Platform: iOS 16

Main camera: Triple 48MP main (f/1.78) + 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2) + 12MP telephoto (f/2.8), 6x optical, 15x digital, Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Lighting

Main camera video: 4K @ 24/25/30/60fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, HD @ 30fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps, ProRes (4K) @ 30fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Front camera: 12MP TrueDepth (f/1.9), Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Lighting; Animoji, Memoji

Front camera video: 4K @ 24/25/30/60fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps, ProRes (4K) @ 30fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Battery: 4323mAh, up to 29h video, 25h streaming video, 95h audio; fast charge to 50% in 30min; MagSafe, Qi wireless charging

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Apple Pay)

Biometrics: Face ID

I/O: Lightning

Durability: IP68, dust/splash/water resistant up to 6m up to 30min

Cards: Dual eSIM / eSIM + eSIM (US models use eSIMs only)

Colours: Deep purple, gold, silver, space black

In the box: iPhone 14 Pro Max, USB-C-to-Lightning cable, one Apple sticker

Price: Dh4,699 / Dh5,099 / Dh5,949 / Dh6,799

Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance: the specs

Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 plus rear-mounted electric motor

Power: 843hp at N/A rpm

Torque: 1470Nm N/A rpm

Transmission: 9-speed auto

Fuel consumption: 8.6L/100km

On sale: October to December

Price: From Dh875,000+(estimate)

The specs

Engine: 1.8-litre 4-cyl turbo
Power: 190hp at 5,200rpm
Torque: 320Nm from 1,800-5,000rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch auto
Fuel consumption: 6.7L/100km
Price: From Dh111,195
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DUBAI BLING: EPISODE 1

Creator: Netflix

Stars: Kris Fade, Ebraheem Al Samadi, Zeina Khoury

Rating: 2/5

The specs

Price, base / as tested Dh1,100,000 (est)

Engine 5.2-litre V10

Gearbox seven-speed dual clutch

Power 630bhp @ 8,000rpm

Torque 600Nm @ 6,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined 15.7L / 100km (est) 

The specs

Engine: 5.0-litre V8

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Transmission: 10-speed auto

Fuel consumption: L/100km

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Married Malala

Malala Yousafzai is enjoying married life, her father said.

The 24-year-old married Pakistan cricket executive Asser Malik last year in a small ceremony in the UK.

Ziauddin Yousafzai told The National his daughter was ‘very happy’ with her husband.

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

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

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

'Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore'

Rating: 3/5

Directed by: David Yates

Starring: Mads Mikkelson, Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller, Jude Law

How to avoid getting scammed
  • Never click on links provided via app or SMS, even if they seem to come from authorised senders at first glance
  • Always double-check the authenticity of websites
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for all your working and personal services
  • Only use official links published by the respective entity
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ABU DHABI'S KEY TOURISM GOALS: BY THE NUMBERS

By 2030, Abu Dhabi aims to achieve:

• 39.3 million visitors, nearly 64% up from 2023

• Dh90 billion contribution to GDP, about 84% more than Dh49 billion in 2023

• 178,000 new jobs, bringing the total to about 366,000

• 52,000 hotel rooms, up 53% from 34,000 in 2023

• 7.2 million international visitors, almost 90% higher compared to 2023's 3.8 million

• 3.9 international overnight hotel stays, 22% more from 3.2 nights in 2023

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)

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Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
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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.

Representing UAE overseas

If Catherine Richards debuts for Wales in the Six Nations, she will be the latest to have made it from the UAE to the top tier of the international game in the oval ball codes.

Seren Gough-Walters (Wales rugby league)
Born in Dubai, raised in Sharjah, and once an immigration officer at the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi, she debuted for Wales in rugby league in 2021.

Sophie Shams (England sevens)
With an Emirati father and English mother, Shams excelled at rugby at school in Dubai, and went on to represent England on the sevens circuit.

Fiona Reidy (Ireland)
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Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
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Cycling
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Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

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SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
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The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

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Engine: 2.3-litre 4cyl turbo
Power: 299hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 420Nm at 2,750rpm
Transmission: 10-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 12.4L/100km
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Price: From Dh157,395 (XLS); Dh199,395 (Limited)

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
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Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
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Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

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.”

UAE SQUAD

Muhammad Waseem (captain), Aayan Khan, Aryan Lakra, Ashwanth Valthapa, Asif Khan, Aryansh Sharma, CP Rizwaan, Hazrat Billal, Junaid Siddique, Karthik Meiyappan, Rohan Mustafa, Vriitya Aravind, Zahoor Khan and Zawar Farid.

Company profile

Company name: Ogram
Started: 2017
Founders: Karim Kouatly and Shafiq Khartabil
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: On-demand staffing
Number of employees: 50
Funding: More than $4 million
Funding round: Series A
Investors: Global Ventures, Aditum and Oraseya Capital


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