(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 25, 2017 Yemen's Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher attends the opening of a high-level conference to raise funds for war-ravaged Yemen, at the Unites Nations Office in Geneva. Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi on October 15, 2018 sacked Dagher and ordered him to be investigated in connection to the country's economic woes, the official Saba news agency said. The decision  came "as a result of the negligence that accompanied the government's performance in economic and service fields, and the government's faltering performance in alleviating the suffering of our people, solving its problems and providing for its needs", the agency said.  / AFP / Fabrice COFFRINI
Yemen's Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher attends the opening of a high-level conference to raise funds for war-ravaged Yemen, at the Unites Nations Office in Geneva. AFP

Yemen President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi fires prime minister, citing 'negligence'


The National

Yemeni President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi has fired his prime minister citing "negligence" and economic mismanagement, replacing him with technocrat Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed.

Mr Hadi accused the now former prime minister, Ahmed Bin Dagher, of negligence that he said precipitated a financial crisis, a falling currency and delays in paying public sector staff.

"This [dismissal] was a result of negligence by the government in the recent period with respect to the economy and to administrative services," Mr Hadi’s statement said.

Mr Bin Dagher has been at odds with the southern separatists and their main backer, the United Arab Emirates, a member of the Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting the Houthi rebel group since 2015 to reinstate Mr Hadi’s government in Sanaa. Mr Bin Dagher tweeted his congratulations to Mr Saeed.

The new prime minister of the internationally-backed administration has served as minister of public works in the current cabinet, which operates largely from Saudi Arabia and Aden, since last year.

The Yemeni currency, the riyal, has lost more than half its value against the dollar since the start of the war. Authorities sought to boost liquidity last year by printing money when it stood at around 250 to the dollar, but it has now plunged in value to about 700 to the dollar.

The economic downturn and the rebels’ possession of international air and sea ports has left Yemenis unable to afford basic food staples and bottled water.

Last month, there were demonstrations over the high cost of living and the sliding rial in Yemeni cities, including Aden.

Yemeni political sources said that Mr Saeed had excellent relations with Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Mr Hadi said he was also swayed by “the government’s faltering performance in alleviating the suffering of our people, solving its problems and providing for its needs”.

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Read more:

Yemen's new prime minister brings hope to economic crisis

Two dead in Yemen after flash floods hit east

Yemen president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi fires prime minister, citing 'negligence'

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Mr Hadi also criticised Mr Bin Dagher for his failure properly respond to a tropical storm that slammed into eastern Yemen at the weekend.

Governor of eastern Mahra province, Rajeh Bakrit, said earlier on Monday that the area had been devastated.

“The situation is catastrophic in the province and beyond the capabilities of the local authorities,” Mr Bakrit told official news agency Saba.

Saudi Arabia has pledged a billion-dollar cash injection to try and revive the local economy. Much of the money is yet to be handed over to the central bank in Aden, an institution that Mr Hadi’s government split off from the Central Bank in Sanaa body some 18 months after the Houthi takeover of the capital.

United Nations Special Envoy Martin Griffiths said this month that the body was discussing an emergency plan to stem the fall and restore economic confidence. There have been talks about pushing to reunify the two central banks.

Yemen is one of the poorest Arab nations, even before the war. Now, three-quarters of its population, or 22 million people, require aid and 8.4 million are on the brink of starvation.

Britain announced on Tuesday that it will be providing a major new funding package to tackle malnutrition.

The £96.5 million (Dh 463.5 million) aid package will be delivered to Unicef to tackle hunger in Yemen over three years. It includes financing for the screening of 2.2 million children under the age of five and the provision of urgent treatment for 70,000 of the most vulnerable children.

The announcement, made by Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt, coincides with UN World Food Day. “The UK is extremely concerned at the deepening humanitarian crisis in Yemen, including recent reports of the growing risk of famine to millions of Yemenis who do not know where their next meal is coming from,” Mr Burt said.

“Children are suffering the most and are 12 times more likely to die from diseases. Today’s UK aid package will help identify cases of malnourishment earlier and provide life-saving care for those most in need.”

Mr Burt also said Britain would continue to call on all parties to find a political solution to the conflict.

Lise Grande, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, defined the developments in Yemen in a recent interview as “unthinkable”.

“I think many of us felt as we went into the 21st century that it was unthinkable that we could see a famine like we saw in Ethiopia,” she told the BBC. “Many of us had the confidence that would never happen again and yet the reality is that in Yemen that is precisely what we are looking at.”

The Emirates Red Crescent also delivered a shipment of food supplies on Tuesday for children in Mocha General Hospital as part of a comprehensive nutrition program to tackle hunger.

Saeed Al Kaabi, director of the UAE humanitarian operations in Yemen, attended the handover of supples in the costal Yemen town.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the release of a French citizen held hostage for more than four months in the vital Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.

He said that he is grateful to Oman's Sultan and authorities for their "decisive" role and authorities in Saudi Arabia for their help securing the release of Alain Goma.

The 54-year-old was on a sailing trip when damage to his ship forced him to dock in Hodeidah where he was then kidnapped by Houthi rebels in June.

Yemeni security officials said the Houthis released Mr Goma from a prison in the capital, Sanaa, which is under rebel control.

They said the release came after "intensive" talks between France's envoy to Yemen and Houthi leaders in Sanaa.

Mr Goma's family made his situation public last month so that he would not become a "forgotten hostage".

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He adds that if a person is interested in owning a business or growing a property portfolio to increase their retirement income, this can be encouraged provided they keep in mind the overall risk profile of these assets.

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Number of staff: 10
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Just as McDonald’s has the Big Mac, Jollibee has Spicy Chickenjoy – a piece of fried chicken that’s crispy and spicy on the outside and comes with a side of spaghetti, all covered in tomato sauce and topped with sausage slices and ground beef. It sounds like a recipe that a child would come up with, but perhaps that’s the point – a flavourbomb combination of cheap comfort foods. Chickenjoy is Jollibee’s best-selling product in every country in which it has a presence.
 

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

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

LUKA CHUPPI

Director: Laxman Utekar

Producer: Maddock Films, Jio Cinema

Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Kriti Sanon​​​​​​​, Pankaj Tripathi, Vinay Pathak, Aparshakti Khurana

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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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Wednesday (Kick-offs UAE)

FC Copenhagen (0) v Istanbul Basaksehir (1) 8.55pm

Shakhtar Donetsk (2) v Wolfsburg (1) 8.55pm

Inter Milan v Getafe (one leg only) 11pm

Manchester United (5) v LASK (0) 11pm 

Thursday

Bayer Leverkusen (3) v Rangers (1) 8.55pm

Sevilla v Roma  (one leg only)  8.55pm

FC Basel (3) v Eintracht Frankfurt (0) 11pm 

Wolves (1) Olympiakos (1) 11pm 

THE BIO: Martin Van Almsick

Hometown: Cologne, Germany

Family: Wife Hanan Ahmed and their three children, Marrah (23), Tibijan (19), Amon (13)

Favourite dessert: Umm Ali with dark camel milk chocolate flakes

Favourite hobby: Football

Breakfast routine: a tall glass of camel milk

Profile

Company: Justmop.com

Date started: December 2015

Founders: Kerem Kuyucu and Cagatay Ozcan

Sector: Technology and home services

Based: Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai

Size: 55 employees and 100,000 cleaning requests a month

Funding:  The company’s investors include Collective Spark, Faith Capital Holding, Oak Capital, VentureFriends, and 500 Startups. 

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Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
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Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
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Pool A Dubai Hurricanes, Bahrain, Dubai Exiles, Dubai Tigers 2

Pool B Abu Dhabi Harlequins, Jebel Ali Dragons, Dubai Knights Eagles, Dubai Tigers

 

Opening fixtures

Thursday, December 5

6.40pm, Pitch 8, Abu Dhabi Harlequins v Dubai Knights Eagles

7pm, Pitch 2, Jebel Ali Dragons v Dubai Tigers

7pm, Pitch 4, Dubai Hurricanes v Dubai Exiles

7pm, Pitch 5, Bahrain v Dubai Eagles 2

 

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2018 Dubai Hurricanes

2017 Dubai Exiles

2016 Abu Dhabi Harlequins

2015 Abu Dhabi Harlequins

2014 Abu Dhabi Harlequins

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THE HOLDOVERS

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At Everton Appearances: 77; Goals: 17

At Manchester United Appearances: 559; Goals: 253

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Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

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Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
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Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

Who is Ramon Tribulietx?

Born in Spain, Tribulietx took sole charge of Auckland in 2010 and has gone on to lead the club to 14 trophies, including seven successive Oceania Champions League crowns. Has been tipped for the vacant New Zealand national team job following Anthony Hudson's resignation last month. Had previously been considered for the role.