Thursday 25 December 2014

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DEAL LIKELY BY MARCH 31
RAK Ceramics to exit Sudan business, boost UAE capacity

United Arab Emirates-based RAK Ceramics, one of the world's biggest makers of floor and wall tiles, said on Thursday it would sell its Sudan business and use the cash raised to expand its sanitary ware production capacity in the UAE.

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1

PLUNGING OIL PRICES
Saudi plans to raise spending in 2015 budget, run deficit

Saudi Arabia plans to raise government spending by 0.6 per cent to a record high next year while covering a large budget deficit due to plunging oil prices with its huge fiscal reserves, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday.

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2

FIRST ALUMINA FROM LOCAL BAUXITE
Ma’aden-Alcoa JV achieves major production milestone

Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) and lightweight metals leader Alcoa have achieved a major milestone with the production of the first alumina from local bauxite at their joint venture aluminum complex in Ras Al Khair, Saudi Arabia.

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3

SPECIAL REPORT
Mideast smartphone sales surge 50pc in Q3

Emerging markets witnessed some of the highest sales in smartphones, with the Middle East and Africa achieving the highest increase in the third quarter of 2014, with sales growing almost 50 per cent year-over-year, a report said.

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4

ANALYSIS
Value emerges amid GCC equity market volatility

GCC markets end the year flat after a correction caused by oil price volatility, but 2015 looks promising for investors due to strong fundamentals and low valuations, a report said.

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5

IMAGE OF THE DAY
Memorial for Antonio

A memorial is set up at the scene where a white policeman allegedly fatally shot Antonio Martin, a black man, who brandished a gun at a suburban St Louis gas station in the US city of Berkeley on December 24.

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Top Trade News

icondown

Industry Sectors

Construction & Real Estate

Arabs urged to adopt stronger green building standards

Cities in the Arab region should introduce stronger standards for green building and promote sustainable communities if they are to have a chance of tackling climate change, experts say.

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Retail & Wholesale

Huawei's smartphone sales hit 20m in 1 year

China's Huawei Technologies has taken sales of its low-price Honor brand of smartphones to 20 million from 1 million in just one year, hitting pay dirt with the disruptive online-only strategy it copied from smaller upstart Xiaomi.

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Energy, Oil & Gas

Oil drops near $61 as dollar firms on strong US data

Brent futures fell toward $61 per barrel on Wednesday, giving up some of the previous session's gains, as the US dollar held near its highest level in nearly nine years on strong data.

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Finance & Capital Market

Foreign investors in Bahrain 'can tap US market benefits'

Foreign investors have been told that by setting up manufacturing in Bahrain, they can get duty-free access to the US market, provided they add 35 per cent domestic content within the kingdom.

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Analysis, Interviews, Opinions

Value emerges amid GCC equity market volatility

GCC markets end the year flat after a correction caused by oil price volatility, but 2015 looks promising for investors due to strong fundamentals and low valuations, a report said.

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Industry, Logistics & Shipping

General Dynamics wins $100m Saudi contract

General Dynamics Land Systems, a leading manufacturer of armoured weapon systems, said it has been awarded a $99.7 million follow-on contract for the procurement and production of Saudi M1A2 Abrams tanks.

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Travel, Tourism & Hospitality

UAE hotels see drop in November occupancy

While UAE hotels recorded the highest occupancy (83.1 per cent) for November in the region, the rate still marked a decrease of 2.5 per cent over the figures for the same month of 2013, a report said.

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IT & Telecommunications

ICT spending to rise 4.6pc to 36bn next year

The spending on ICT products and services in Saudi Arabia is set to increase 4.6 per cent year-on-year next year to a total $36.95 billion, according to International Data Corporation's newly released predictions.

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Lifestyle

Rockwell Collins promotes new solutions

Rockwell Collins of the US showcased its new flight information solutions and cabin systems at the Middle East Business Aviation (Meba) show, in Dubai, UAE, recently.

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Motoring

Hyundai’s brand value crosses $10bn mark

Hyundai Motor Company, a leading multinational automotive manufacturer, has seen its brand value exceed $10 billion for the first time, according to Interbrand’s Best Global Brands 2014 report.

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Health & Environment

French firm to display UV technology at WFES

French company UVGermi will display its range of ultraviolet reactors for treating water, air and surfaces at the upcoming World Future Energy Summit (WFES) and the International Water Summit (IWS) in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

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Media & Promotion

ADM named media partner of Globe Soccer Awards

Abu Dhabi Media (ADM), a multi-platform media organisation in the Middle East, has been named the official media partner of the Globe Soccer Awards, which honours football personalities, next week in Dubai, UAE.

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Education, HR & Training

Staff mobile training ‘could take 4 weeks in UAE’

It could take up to four weeks for the average IT department in the United Arab Emirates to equip staff and get them up and running with the mobility tools and applications they need to do their jobs, a report said.

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Miscellaneous

US to send more private contractors to Iraq

The US government is preparing to boost the number of private contractors in Iraq as part of President Barack Obama's growing effort to beat back Islamic State militants threatening the Baghdad government, a senior US official said.

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