US president Donald Trump shakes hands with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the state dining room of the White House in Washington on March 14, 2017. Evan Vucci, File / AP Photo
US president Donald Trump shakes hands with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the state dining room of the White House in Washington on March 14, 2017. Evan Vucci, File / AP Photo

Trump announces his first overseas trip will be to Saudi Arabia



WASHINGTON // Donald Trump on Thursday confirmed his first foreign trip as president will be to Saudi Arabia, followed by Israel and the Vatican.

He will begin his first presidential overseas trip with “a truly historic gathering in Saudi Arabia with leaders from all across the Muslim world”, he said. “It is there we will begin to construct a new foundation of cooperation and support with our Muslim allies to combat extremism, terrorism and violence and to embrace a more just and hopeful future for young Muslims in their countries.”

The three stops will precede Mr Trump’s already announced visit to Nato and G7 summits in Brussels and Sicily later this month.

The visit comes as Mr Trump wades into Middle East peacemaking, trying to reach a deal where his predecessors and countless diplomats have failed.

From Saudi Arabia, Mr Trump will travel to Israel – leaving open the possibility of an additional stop in the West Bank. On Wednesday he hosted Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at the White House, pledging to help end the decades-old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

“It is something that I think is frankly, maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years,” Mr Trump said, exuding his trademark bravado.

Pope Francis will receive the US president at the Vatican on May 24, the Holy See said, ahead of the G7 summit meeting in Sicily on May 26-27.

* Agence France Presse

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MATCH INFO

Bangla Tigers 108-5 (10 ovs)

Ingram 37, Rossouw 26, Pretorius 2-10

Deccan Gladiators 109-4 (9.5 ovs)

Watson 41, Devcich 27, Wiese 2-15

Gladiators win by six wickets

Quick facts
  • Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL) offers free guided tours of art in the metro and at the stations
  • The tours are free of charge; all you need is a valid SL ticket, for which a single journey (valid for 75 minutes) costs 39 Swedish krone ($3.75)
  • Travel cards for unlimited journeys are priced at 165 Swedish krone for 24 hours
  • Avoid rush hour – between 9.30 am and 4.30 pm – to explore the artwork at leisure
Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

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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.

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Based: Dubai, UAE
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Gulf rugby

Who’s won what so far in 2018/19

Western Clubs Champions League: Bahrain
Dubai Rugby Sevens: Dubai Hurricanes
West Asia Premiership: Bahrain

What’s left

UAE Conference

March 22, play-offs:
Dubai Hurricanes II v Al Ain Amblers, Jebel Ali Dragons II v Dubai Tigers

March 29, final

UAE Premiership

March 22, play-offs: 
Dubai Exiles v Jebel Ali Dragons, Abu Dhabi Harlequins v Dubai Hurricanes

March 29, final

A QUIET PLACE

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Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

COMPANY PROFILE

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TO CATCH A KILLER

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Stars: Shailene Woodley, Ben Mendelsohn, Ralph Ineson

Rating: 2/5

The Details

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Produced by: Carnival Cinemas, Zee Studios
Directed by: Anubhav Sinha
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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.”

UAE SQUAD

Omar Abdulrahman (Al Hilal), Ali Khaseif, Ali Mabkhout, Salem Rashed, Khalifa Al Hammadi, Khalfan Mubarak, Zayed Al Ameri, Mohammed Al Attas (Al Jazira), Khalid Essa, Ahmed Barman, Ryan Yaslam, Bandar Al Ahbabi (Al Ain), Habib Fardan, Tariq Ahmed, Mohammed Al Akbari (Al Nasr), Ali Saleh, Ali Salmin (Al Wasl), Adel Al Hosani, Ali Hassan Saleh, Majed Suroor (Sharjah), Ahmed Khalil, Walid Abbas, Majed Hassan, Ismail Al Hammadi (Shabab Al Ahli), Hassan Al Muharrami, Fahad Al Dhahani (Bani Yas), Mohammed Al Shaker (Ajman)

The low down

Producers: Uniglobe Entertainment & Vision Films

Director: Namrata Singh Gujral

Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Nargis Fakhri, Bo Derek, Candy Clark

Rating: 2/5

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

Rating: ★★★★

Abaya trends

The utilitarian robe held dear by Arab women is undergoing a change that reveals it as an elegant and graceful garment available in a range of colours and fabrics, while retaining its traditional appeal.

Results

Stage 7:

1. Caleb Ewan (AUS) Lotto Soudal - 3:18:29

2. Sam Bennett (IRL) Deceuninck-QuickStep - same time

3. Phil Bauhaus (GER) Bahrain Victorious

4. Michael Morkov (DEN) Deceuninck-QuickStep

5. Cees Bol (NED) Team DSM

General Classification:

1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates - 24:00:28

2. Adam Yates (GBR) Ineos Grenadiers - 0:00:35

3. Joao Almeida (POR) Deceuninck-QuickStep - 0:01:02

4. Chris Harper (AUS) Jumbo-Visma - 0:01:42

5. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo - 0:01:45

Honeymoonish

Director: Elie El Samaan

Starring: Nour Al Ghandour, Mahmoud Boushahri

Rating: 3/5


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