News

Need of the hour is bigger aircraft and more seats

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Etihad Airways and its equity partner Jet Airways will add three new cities and an extra 28 flights a week in India from next year.

The temple town of Tiruchirappalli in the southern state of Tamil Nadu is to be the first addition, from February 1. Next up in the second half of the year are Kannur in Kerala and Chandigarh, the twin capital of Punjab and Haryana states in the country’s north.

Etihad adds flights and cities to India sector

My comments: The need of the hour is bigger aircraft which will add more seats. Specially to destinations like Bengaluru and Cochin. These two sectors attracts maximum transit passengers via Abu Dhabi. This increase in demand cuts the seat availability option for passengers from the UAE. This is an area Etihad has to address at the earliest as the news reports about Emirates operating soon from Al Maktoum airport will be an easy choice for many to opt. 

Navdeep Singh Suri to be new Indian ambassador to UAE

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navdeep-singh-suri
Navdeep Singh Suri – an Arabic and French speaker, has a masters degree in economics and has written on India’s Africa policy, on public diplomacy and on the IT outsourcing industry. Suri is taking up India’s top diplomat’s post here when the two nations have elevated their relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership. On October 2, New Delhi said Shaikh Mohammad will be the chief guest at the Indian Republic Day on January 26, 2017.

The ambassador designate is eager to take up his new role at a time when India and UAE relations are witnessing an unprecedented upswing. “I look forward to the new assignment at such an important time in our bilateral relations,” Navdeep Singh Suri, who is currently serving as the Indian High Commissioner to Australia, tweeted on Monday.

As per available data 2.2 million Indians live in the UAE.

My sincere wishes to him for a successful tenure in the UAE.

Follow him on Twitter @navdeepsuri

News and image source: Gulf News

Also read in The National: New Indian ambassador to the UAE to start next month

You may also visit Embassy of India website for regular updates.

Research data and links: Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

News U Wish to Read – 15th October 2015

Posted on Updated on

News U wish to readNote: News U Wish to Read is a press review compilation and only covers articles published in the press, in the UAE and India. Its purpose is to keep us informed of important news items which we all wish to not miss. Enjoy reading the below news items and links. More sections will come as it takes shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Energy

Opec anticipates better oil prospects as North American production slows

The National

Opec expects a brighter outlook for the oil market as the low prices of the past year bite further into higher-cost production growth, and with demand forecast to pick up in coming months. Opec’s Vienna-based think tank said in its monthly oil market report yesterday that the factors that have been weighing on the market “are showing signs of alleviation”. The main cause for optimism is the sharp slowdown in growth from producers outside Opec, particularly in North America. The report points out that “the oil industry has experienced a rapid fall in global upstream spending, down by more than 20 per cent, with North America cutting as much as 35 per cent. This has led to lower activity – less drilling and the delay or cancellation of new projects – which has put pressure on production growth”.

Published: 12th October 2015

Follow: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/opec-anticipates-better-oil-prospects-as-north-american-production-slows

Energy minister calls for Dh3.5bn savings in water and energy

The National

Energy chiefs aim to trim Dh3.5 billion from the power and water subsidy bill by encouraging people to turn off their taps and switch off their lights. “Today, as never before, we see the urgent need to reduce consumption,” said the Minister of Energy, Suhail Al Mazrouei. “The squandering of resources is the enemy of development. “We are working on supporting a culture of reasonable consumption in various government and private establishments, as well as in homes, schools and mosques.” The low oil price makes generous discounts on already cheap commodities harder to afford. Mr Al Mazrouei hopes consumers will cut their consumption by 10 per cent – instead of increasing it at a rate of 6 per cent a year.

Published: 7th October 2015

Follow: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/energy-minister-calls-for-dh35bn-savings-in-water-and-energy

Adnoc makes research and development push via new Petroleum Institute centre

The National

Organisers Abu Dhabi is set to embark on a major oilfield research and development push that could help to add as much as US$500 billion of value to oil reservoirs. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company is making a strategic push into R&D through a large investment in a new centre at its Petroleum Institute in the capital. The expansion reflects a major departure in R&D for both Adnoc and the Petroleum Institute, which includes a specific mandate for the institute to come up with ways to add 5 per cent – or about $500bn of value – to Abu Dhabi’s oil reservoir recovery rates, according to the Petroleum Institute president Thomas Hochstettler.

Published: 10th October 2015

Follow: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/adnoc-makes-research-and-development-push-via-new-petroleum-institute-centre

Adipec forecasts record attendance despite oil industry slump

The National

Organisers of Adipec, Abu Dhabi’s big annual oil gathering, expect record attendance next month, despite the worldwide industry slump. “I know it bucks the trend of oil conferences, but we’re expecting record numbers across the board,” said Jean-Philippe Cossé, a director at DMG Events, part of the UK’s Daily Mail Group, which runs the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (Adipec).

Published: 6th October 2015

Follow:http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/adipec-forecasts-record-attendance-despite-oil-industry-slump   

Other Sectors

Dubai to ‘feel the rush’ at third Motor Festival

Khaleej Times

DMF 2015 will be held from November 10 to 21 under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. With just weeks away for the third edition of the Dubai Motor Festival (DMF), its showpiece event, the Dubai Grand Parade, one of the most popular motoring pageants in the world, is gearing up to showcase Dubai’s motoring passion in all its forms. DMF 2015 will be held from November 10 to 21 under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, with the Grand Parade taking place on November 21. As excitement mounts within the motoring community, DMF organisers, the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) have announced that registration is open for the Dubai Grand Parade, a spectacular annual showcase of the widest collection of vintage, luxury and supercars and motorcycles in the UAE and region.

Published: 9th October 2015

Follow: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/auto/dubai-to-feel-the-rush-at-third-motor-festival

New Air India boss bets on people power to fix ailing carrier

Khaleej Times

Air India is in a better state now than it was when Lohani’s predecessor took over in 2011, four years after a merger with state-run carrier Indian Airlines Air India’s new chief is betting an ‘open door’ policy will help defuse years of soured relations with the flag carrier’s more than 20,000 staff, paving the way for potentially painful change at the loss-making airline. Ashwani Lohani, a 56-year-old engineer and tourism bureaucrat with no experience running an airline, describes his job as “the ultimate challenge”. The 85-year-old state-owned airline is unprofitable, overstaffed and losing market share. India’s aviation market may be the world’s fastest growing, but it’s dominated by younger, nimbler, low-cost rivals such as IndiGo and SpiceJet.

Published: 14th October 2015

Follow: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/aviation/new-air-india-boss-bets-on-people-power-to-fix-ailing-carrier

Politics & Economy

Diversification driving Dubai growth by 4%

Khaleej Times

Director-General of Department of Economic Development, said a key reason for Dubai’s resilience has been the emphasis Dubai places on economic diversification. “Today, Dubai’s economy is much more diversified than 2008-2009, and the dramatic transformation of Dubai’s economy that started in the early ’70s is now entering a new level,” said Al Qamzi at the launch of the Dubai Investment Forum. The highlight of the structural transformation that Dubai underwent over the last few decades is the city’s evolution as a trade, investment, services and knowledge hub, said Al Qamzi.

Published: 13th October 2015

Follow: http://khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/diversification-driving-dubai-growth-by-4

UAE insurance sector premiums expected to grow 15 per cent this year

The National

The UAE’s insurance sector, one of the few bright spots in financial services amid a slowing economy, is expected to grow 15 per cent this year, says the Insurance Authority.  Insurance premiums were expected to rise to Dh38 billion this year from Dh33bn last year, Ebrahim Al Zaabi, the authority’s general director, said yesterday. Speaking at a forum to discuss progress in bringing more of the authority’s services online, he said that “premiums are growing across the board”, but did not elaborate on the drivers of growth. Mr Al Zaabi also said the authority would be increasing its oversight of the sector to ensure fair deals for consumers and reviewing all its rules.

Published: 13th October 2015

Follow: http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/uae-insurance-sector-premiums-expected-to-grow-15-per-cent-this-year

Fiscal balance turns surplus after 8 years

The Hindu

For the first time in 8 years, India’s fiscal balance turned from deficit to surplus in the month of August, the latest data from the Controller-General of Accounts (CGA) show. The fiscal deficit, the excess of the Centre’s expenditure over its revenues, was (-) Rs. 15,808 crore in August. The negative figure indicates surplus of revenues over expenditure. In contrast, the Centre ran up a fiscal deficit of Rs. 73,005 crore in August 2014. A sharp surge in the Centre’s revenue receipts as well as a steep decline in its total expenditures made the fiscal surplus possible. The total revenue was Rs. 1,47,022 crore in August against Rs. 71,578 crore in July. In contrast, the total expenditure in August was Rs. 1,31,214 crore against Rs. 1,69,986 crore in July.

Published: 14th October 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/fiscal-balance-turns-surplus-after-8-years/article7750684.ece

Community, Environment & Society

Women must play bigger part in environmental science: Abu Dhabi summit

The National

When most people think about famous scientists they tend to remember Albert Einstein, but forget important figures such as Jane Goodall or Marie Curie – and it was that fact that experts at the Eye on Earth Summit want to change, as they encouraged women to get involved in the environmental sciences. Several leading figures at the summit and within the global environmental movement are women, they said. Razan Al Mubarak, secretary general at the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, said that it was important to keep open the possibility for women to occupy all roles throughout the environmental movement.

Published: 7th October 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/women-must-play-bigger-part-in-environmental-science-abu-dhabi-summit

Data sharing pledges made by Abu Dhabi environment summit delegates

The National

Organisations and experts at last week’s Eye on Earth Summit in the capital committed to sharing data to guide countries towards the UN’s sustainable development goals. The delegates want to provide data to developing countries so their growth can be guided towards sustainability. “The summit outcomes are central to advancing Eye on Earth’s vision of achieving a world where environmental and associated social and economic information, combined with citizen engagement, improves decisions leading to sustainable development,” said Razan Al Mubarak, secretary-general of the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, a founding partner of Eye on Earth.

Published: 13th October 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/data-sharing-pledges-made-by-abu-dhabi-environment-summit-delegates

Zayed Future Energy Prize finalists selected

The National

The 29 finalists for the 2016 Zayed Future Energy Prize have been selected. The eighth cycle of the awards aims to honour the pioneering work done by international organisations in energy and sustainability. “This has been a record-breaking year for the Zayed Future Energy Prize, which is a testament to the leadership shown by the UAE in seeking long-term solutions that will meet our future climate and energy challenges,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and director general of the Zayed Future Energy Prize.

Published: 11th October 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/transport/daily-ferry-service-to-connect-abu-dhabi-landmarks

Daily ferry service to connect Abu Dhabi landmarks

The National

The best way to see Abu Dhabi’s skyline is from the sea – and passengers will soon be able to do so on a luxury ferry.  The service, which begins next Monday, will cover more than 100 kilometres of scenic waterways around Abu Dhabi island with stops at the Etihad Towers hotel, Abu Dhabi Mall, Yas Marina and the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr hotel. More stops are planned as the service develops. “It is an exciting alternative to getting around Abu Dhabi’s spectacular coastal area in a service unique in the emirate,” said Thomas Rebollini, head of finance at the ferry operator Jalboot Marine – which is named after the traditional pearl-diving dhows of the Arabian Gulf.

Published: 13th October 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/zayed-future-energy-prize-finalists-selected

Technology

Etisalat launches nine data centres across UAE

Gulf News

Etisalat, the Abu Dhabi-based telecommunications provider, announced the launch of nine data centres across the UAE in order to boost its services to consumers. The centres aim to provide back-up and additional infrastructure in case of natural disasters such as earthquakes and fires. During a Gulf News visit to a data centre in Khalifa City, Abdullah Al Ahmad, etisalat’s vice-president of Business Services, said that the company has seen a global need to boost data security. “There are about 15 billion devices globally connected to the internet, with data worth 13 trillion gigabytes in 2015 and around 500 million transactions done on a daily basis. The number of mobile phones has also doubled over the past four years, replacing desktops and other portable devices,” Al Ahmad said.

Published: 14th October 2015

Read more: http://gulfnews.com/business/sectors/telecoms/etisalat-launches-nine-data-centres-across-uae-1.1600542

Tech firms spearheading cloud solutions adaptation in UAE

Khaleej Times

Cloud negates the need for large up-front investments in on-premise solutions. Some of the leading technology companies – Microsoft, VMware, Inframon and Pacific Controls – are aggressively spearheading adaptation of cloud solutions in the UAE with a sole aim to transform the current technology scenario to more smarter and efficiency boosting productivity levels across all segments of the emirate’s economy. Dubai – smartest city in the region – has adopted smart measures at various government levels that eliminates processes that consume labour, time and management. The industry experts have already predicted that the emirate is all set to witness a massive shift in coming 12-18 months as cloud computing solutions get adopted by businesses across UAE. But some questions arise here i-e are we ready for this transformation? Do we really have the luxury to wait and watch or be left behind when your peers or competitors have already invested in technology upgrade with latest cloud solutions?

Published: 15th October 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/technology/tech-firms-spearheading-cloud-solutions-adaptation-in-uae

Education+

Choose the MBA that works for you

The Hindu

Weigh the pros and cons of the programme before deciding which one you want to pursue. An IT professional with four years of work experience approached me with an aspiration to join INSEAD/IMD/Richard Ivey/ISB. I could gather from his choices that he is primarily exploring a one-year MBA programme and wants to save time. However, what was unsettling was that he had no clarity. He wanted to make more money and hold significant leadership positions in the Industry, but when I asked him what Industry or functions he saw himself working in after MBA, he had no idea. According to him, the strategy was to figure that out when you are on the campus.

Published: 11th October 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/features/education/college-and-university/choose-the-mba-that-works-for-you/article7747040.ece

Secure and swift

The Hindu

Secure electronic transcription technology envisages secure transfer of mark sheets, certificates and any important academic or non-academic documents over Internet. Understanding the importance of quick online document verification and transaction in the changing times, several universities in the country have begun to adopt secure electronic transcription (SET) technology. Along with electronic verification of mark sheets and certificates, issuing of online transcripts using SET technology is possible today. Thanks to Global Document Authentication System (GDAS) technology developed by Myeasydocs, a firm incubated at Indian Institute of Technology Madras, several universities and autonomous colleges in the country, including Calicut University, the University of Kerala and the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), are all set to implement the new online transcript system.

Published: 12th October 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/features/secure-and-swift/article7747323.ece

Sports – Campaign PASS

Campaign PASS (Promote All Sports Simultaneously) is an initiative started through my blog to promote all sports(other than cricket – which gets lot of attention) and sports personnel associated to give them more exposure.

TOP scheme has been a big support: Saina

The Hindu

The 25-year-old, who won the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, hoped the TOP scheme will help other athletes as well. One of India’s top medal prospect at next year’s Olympics, World No. 1 shuttler Saina Nehwal on Thursday said the Sports Ministry’s TOP scheme has been of immense help in her preparation for the Rio Games. “My sincere appreciation @YASMinistry @Media_SAI @BAIMedia1 for the support over the years. Would not have been here without the support,” Saina wrote on her twitter page.

Published: 8th October 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/government/national-sports-day-to-bring-uae-together-in-friendly-competition

Professional boxing is like a new era in my life: Vijender

The Hindu

The former world no.1 said that he was enjoying the experience of learning new techniques from his trainers and sparring partners. All set for his foray into the professional arena, Indian boxing star Vijender Singh asserted that his transition from the amateur circuit is like a new era in his life. The London Olympics medalist has been training for more than a month under globally acclaimed trainer Lee Beard in Manchester. Vijender feels that his life has now totally changed with no fellow Indian boxers in the dressing room, no Indian food and no friends. “It’s all together a different beginning of my life. I am really excited for a debut day and I am in shape as I stayed for more than one month in this gym with trainers like Lee Beard and Haroon Headley,” Vijender said. “My trainers are new and it’s almost a month (sic) I am with them and I am the only one Indian boxer training here. In amateur boxing, there were like 2-3 boxers with me in the changing room all the time but right now I am all alone with my trainers so there is a difference. I just want to box hard that day,” he added.

Published: 6th October 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/sport/professional-boxing-is-like-a-new-era-in-my-life-vijender/article7731078.ece

Two Volvo Ocean Racers shortlisted for ISAF World Sailor of the Year Award

Volvo Ocean Race.com

It’s the most prestigious individual award a sailor can receive – a symbol of recognition for their outstanding achievements in this sport. That’s right: the ISAF World Sailor of the Year Award. And despite the Volvo Ocean Race being a massive team effort, it’s only right that some of our outstanding leaders have been shortlisted for the prize. In the male category, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing skipper Ian Walker. A two-time Olympic medallist, the Brit finally got his hands on the Volvo Ocean Race trophy this edition at the third attempt. “Winning the Volvo Ocean Race was not only a special moment for me but also a special moment in the sporting history of Abu Dhabi,” says Ian. In the female category, Sam Davies has been nominated for her campaign as skipper of Team SCA.

Published: 13th October 2015

Read more: http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/news/9154_Reaching-the-pinnacle.html

Hope you enjoyed reading the above news items and links. More sections will come as it take shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Regards,

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

15th October 2015

@rameshmenonauh

News U Wish to Read – 3rd October 2015

Posted on

News U Wish to read  - 3 October 2015Note: News U Wish to Read is a press review compilation and only covers articles published in the press, in the UAE and India. Its purpose is to keep us informed of important news items which we all wish to not miss. Enjoy reading the below news items and links. More sections will come as it takes shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Energy

Many reasons for cautious process on Abu Dhabi’s onshore oil concessions

The National

This time last year the air was thick with speculation about Abu Dhabi’s coveted onshore oil concessions, the award of which is worth billions to the international oil companies that secure them and is of prime importance to the people of the emirate. The 15 onshore oilfields – collectively know as the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations, or Adco – account for more than half of the country’s oil output, though that is projected to be overtaken by offshore production within a few years. Even a year ago, the question was why had it taken the Supreme Petroleum Council and its technical advisers so long to evaluate and decide upon the proposals it had received? The previous concession had run out at the end of the prior year and all of the interested parties – which included four of the previous concession-holders, excluding Exxon Mobil – had made multiple presentations, as had a number of prospective new partners. Anticipation was building that Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) would announce the decision at the big international oil gathering in the capital – Adipec – next month. But Adnoc did not announce the first major concession – granted to Total of France – until the following January, and then two others – to Japanese and South Korean interests – over the next five months. Now, a year later and with Adipec on the horizon again next month, and with still more than half of the 40 per cent of Adco’s foreign stake unallocated, oil industry executives again are starting to murmur – “What’s up with the Adco concessions?”. The delay should not be surprising given the two big challenges the Abu Dhabi oil decision-makers must face. One is that they must evaluate the partnerships for the next two generations in lieu of a changing global economy. Much of the talk since the concessions expired has been of the “shift to the east” – the growth of Asia’s developing economies, particularly China, which has meant more than 90 per cent of Abu Dhabi crude now is absorbed by Asia’s refiners. Adnoc’s loyal, long-term contractual buyers were recognised by the Adco parcels allocated to Japan’s Inpex (5 per cent) and South Korea’s GS Energy, backed by Korea National Oil Corp (3 per cent). Japan bought 30 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s crude oil output last year, with South Korea buying 12 per cent.

Published: 1st October 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/many-reasons-for-cautious-process-on-abu-dhabis-onshore-oil-concessions

Iran targets 2 million barrels-a-day lift

The National

Iran plans to increase crude output by 2 million barrels a day from about 50 energy projects slated for investors at a conference in Tehran next month. That is according to Roknoddin Javadi, the managing director of National Iranian Oil Company. The package would also aim to boost natural gas production by 7 billion standard cubic feet, Mr Javadi said at a conference in Berlin. Oil production is now about 2.8 million barrels a day, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Iran has the world’s largest gas reserves and the fourth largest oil reserves, according to BP figures. The country would need US$30 billion of investment over five years to boost oil production, starting with about 350,000 barrels of new output next year, Goldman Sachs said in a report. The supplies could keep pressure on oil prices and delay the market’s return to balance, Henry Tarr, a Goldman analyst, said in the report. Mr Javadi told the conference that “the global oil market will stay bearish in the short to medium term”. The agreement in July by the United States, France, China, Russia, Britain and Germany to remove sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme pointed to an early start next year if all conditions were met, said Mr Tarr.

Published: 1st October 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/iran-targets-2-million-barrels-a-day-lift

The rise and fall of UAE fuel prices – graphic

The National

The Fuel Price Committee has announced another drop in the price of petrol, while diesel is to rise slightly for October. Take a look at how the prices have changed since price-setting was liberalised in July.

Published: 28th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/the-rise-and-fall-of-uae-fuel-prices–graphic

Total plans deeper cuts in global project spending

The National

In a scheduled “strategy and outlook” presentation to investors in Paris, Total executives said the company plans to cut both capital and operating expenditures substantially through 2017, including reducing headcount and freezing recruitment. Total was the first of the large international oil companies to begin cost-cutting several years ago, before oil prices began their latest slide. Capital spending had already been cut from a peak two years ago of US$28 billion to about $23.5bn this year and the company said it would be cut a further 15 per cent next year and 12 per cent the year after “to a sustainable $17bn-19bn from 2017 onwards”. The Total chief executive Patrick Pouyanné and other top executives laid out a strategy that forecasts production to grow at an average of 5 per cent a year from 2014 through 2019. That is a slowing rate of growth from the 11 per cent the company registered in the first half of this year and the 7 per cent it expects through 2017. It effectively cut its forecast rate of production to 2.6 million barrels per day in 2017 from 2.8 million bpd. In January, Total was the first company to be granted a new concession in Abu Dhabi’s major onshore oilfields concession, known as Adco. The French company had been one of the legacy Adco concession operators and won a renewal for 40 years with a bid that analysts estimate was $2.2bn for a 10 per cent stake, giving it claim over about 2.2 billion barrels over the life of the contract. Regaining Adco this year has been a big factor behind the 11 per cent production increase posted in the first half. The 15 fields are on track to boost production from about 1.6 million bpd last year to 1.8 million bpd by the end of 2017. But neither the UAE nor the Middle East region in general featured in the plans laid out by Total for the next few years. Total has already said it plans to cut 2,000 headcount this year as part of efforts to trim $1.2bn from operating costs. The company said it is now aiming for even sharper cuts, with a target of between $2bn and $3bn of additional opex reductions by 2017. In the part of the strategy presented by Arnaud Breuillac, Total’s head of exploration and production, he said the company would be looking to cut the numbers and rates of contractors as well as freezing recruitment worldwide as part of efforts to reduce global headcount. The main focus of cuts would be older provinces, he said, highlighting the UK North Sea, which is targeted for a 20 per cent further reduction in personnel by 2017. “We are preparing the group to face low oil prices for a long time,” Patrick de la Chevardiere, Total’s head of finance, told a press conference after the presentation. The focus of future growth will be projects such as offshore Angola as well as liquefied natural gas in Papua New Guinea. As with other large international oil companies, Total executives said they are concerned to maintain their dividend payments for investors even with much lower oil ­prices.

Published: 23rd September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/total-plans-deeper-cuts-in-global-project-spending

Why Shell quit drilling in the Arctic

Gulf News

Royal Dutch Shell’s abrupt announcement earlier this week that it would cease all offshore drilling in the Arctic is surprising for several reasons. One is the unusual degree of confidence the company expressed as recently as mid-August that it had identified 15 billion barrels of oil beneath the well known as Burger J it’s now abandoning. What happened? Mistaken geology: After spending $7 billion over several years to explore a single well this summer, Shell said in a statement that it “found indications of oil and gas … but these are not sufficient to warrant further exploration.” This contrasts sharply with Shell officials’ statements as recently as July and August that based on 3- and 4-D seismic analysis of core samples its petroleum geologists were “very confident” drillers would find plentiful oil. The geologists’ expectations were the main reason Shell spent all of that money on a project that entailed much-higher- than-average operational risks and international environmental condemnation. Giving up has got to hurt at a company that prides itself on scientific and technical prowess. Shell said it would take an unspecified financial charge related to the folding of its Arctic operation, which carries a value of $3 billion (Dh11 billion) on the company’s balance sheet.

Published: 30th September 2015

Follow:http://gulfnews.com/business/sectors/energy/why-shell-quit-drilling-in-the-arctic-1.1592530

Other Sectors

Mubadala and General Electric agree to sell joint venture to US private equity firm

The National

Mubadala and GE Capital have agreed on a deal to sell their commercial finance joint venture to a unit of Apollo Global Management, a US private equity firm. Mubadala GE Capital (MGEC) in Abu Dhabi has signed a deal to sell “substantially all of the assets” of the company and its subsidiary firms to MidCap Financial. A price for the sale, which will be paid in cash, has yet to be agreed and “is subject to customary adjustment”, MGEC said.It also said the deal was subject to conditions and “may be terminated under certain circumstances”. It is expected to close in the last quarter of the year.

Published: 1st October 2015

Follow: http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/mubadala-and-general-electric-agree-to-sell-joint-venture-to-us-private-equity-firm

Air India shifts domestic operations to T2 Mumbai

Times of India

From T2, Air India will operate 63 flights out of Mumbai of which 52 are to domestic destinations. Starting October 1, 2015, Air India has relocated its domestic operations from the Santa Cruz airport to Terminal 2 (T2), of the Mumbai airport to integrate its international operation with domestic flights. The move will also help members of Star Alliance to easily transfer passengers. With this, Air India said it would make Mumbai its second hub after Delhi. Interestingly, Mumbai was Air India’s home base since its inception and most international flights were operated from here till the UPA government shifted Air India’s headquarters to Delhi and the Delhi airport was made its base and main hub.

Published: 2nd October 2015

Follow: http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/air-india-shifts-domestic-operations-to-t2-mumbai/article7716194.ece

Politics & Economy

 Economy minister: GDP to grow 3.5% to Dh1.6tr

Gulf News

The share of the industrial sector in the GDP is growing and now stands between 10-14%. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, said the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the UAE is predicted to grow more than 3.5 per cent to more than Dh1.6 trillion this year, compared with Dh1.5 trillion in 2014. In a statement to WAM, the minister said the UAE’s ability to maintain high grow rates in the past years despite global economic volatility shows its economic efficiency and proves that its diversification policy is successful as it relies more on non-oil sectors to weather global challenges. The share of the industrial sector in the GDP is growing and now stands between 10-14 per cent. He expects the size of industrial investments in the UAE to double in five years. Al Mansouri stressed that his ministry seeks to bolster the competitiveness of the national economy, the flow of foreign direct investments as well as the country’s economic relations with foreign countries. He pointed out that the Second UAE Economic Planning Forum, a two-day event scheduled on October 7 in Ras Al Khaimah, will enhance coordination between local and federal government departments to boost economic competitiveness, help the SME sector (small and medium size enterprises) and carry out national economic plans. The minister of economy added that innovation and supporting national industries top the agenda of the forthcoming forum.

Published: 3rd October 2015

Follow: http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/economy-minister-gdp-to-grow-3-5-to-dh1-6tr-1.1594278

UAE and Saudi Arabia non-oil bilateral trade set to exceed Dh80 billion

The National

Non-oil trade between the UAE and Saudi Arabia is forecast to surge as the Emirates consolidates its status as an international trade centre, boosts investments in the kingdom and enacts unified regulations for Arabian Gulf products. Saudi Arabia is the biggest exporter of goods (mainly petrochemical products) to the UAE in the Gulf. In the UAE, Gulf products overall enjoy exemption of customs duties, in accordance with the country’s economic agreements with Gulf states, which contribute to the big volume of trade with Saudi Arabia. In 2013, the latest year for which figures are available, the bilateral trade was valued at Dh80 billion. The expected rise in trade comes amid increased political cooperation between the two countries, most notably in the military campaign to restore the internationally recognised government of Yemen. Still, challenges remain to the flow of UAE-Saudi Arabian trade, with logistics at the border at the forefront. According to the UAE’s Ministry of Economy, the country’s main export to Saudi Arabia is gold and the main re-export products are jewellery and gold.

Published: 3rd October 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/uae-and-saudi-arabia-non-oil-bilateral-trade-set-to-exceed-dh80-billion

RBI surprises with more-than-expected rate cut

Khaleej Times

In a surprise move, Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan on Tuesday cut the key repo rate by 50 basis points to 6.75 per cent, the lowest in nearly five years, yielding to pressures from government and industry, clamouring for such a sharp rate cut. Unveiling the fourth bi-monthly monetary policy statement for fiscal year 2014-15, Rajan said since the previous review the bulk of the conditions for easing the policy had been met. Inflation has dropped to a nine-month low and despite the monsoon deficiency and its uneven spatial and temporal distribution, food inflation pressures have been contained by resolute actions by the government, he added. While reducing the policy repo rate – the rate at which the central bank lends money to commercial banks – under the liquidity adjustment facility, he kept the cash reserve ratio unchanged at four per cent. The reverse repo rate has been adjusted to 5.75 per cent.

Published: 30th September 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/rbi-surprises-with-more-than-expected-rate-cut

Community, Environment & Society

Abu Dhabi road safety campaigns start to prove their worth

The National

Traffic campaigns along with strict law enforcement by police were the key reasons why accidents on the emirate’s roads had fallen by a quarter over the first eight months of the year, Abu Dhabi Police said on Thursday. Latest figures released by Abu Dhabi Police reveal that since the start of the year there were 30 deaths compared with 40 over the same period last year. Brig Gen Khalifa Al Khaili, head of traffic and road safety at Abu Dhabi Police, attributed the decrease to the efforts of the authorities to make roads safer. He said that awareness programmes had been increased to ensure respect of traffic rules. Col Jamal Al Ameri, head of public relations at the directorate, said traffic awareness sessions had taken place at transport companies, schools and universities. And he added that the traffic safety improvements were down to these campaigns – in addition to the widespread use of radars and other traffic monitoring systems. “The drop in fatalities is mainly due to the strict enforcement of laws and the safety awareness programmes,” he said.

Published: 1st October 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/transport/abu-dhabi-road-safety-campaigns-start-to-prove-their-worth

UAE in talks over mobilisation of COP 21 climate agreement

The National

The UAE attended a meeting on Wednesday about how to enact agreements made in the COP 21 climate pact, which is due to be formalised in Paris in December. The UAE delegation to the two-day Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, held on the sidelines of the 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York, was led by Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and chairman of the National Media Council board. “In common with the MEF, we have identified an urgent need for the deployment of clean energy technologies at the lowest possible cost, to drive transformational progress,” he said. The minister added that moving to a clean energy economy provides an opportunity to promote continued economic growth and sustainable development as part of a response to the challenges posed by climate change. “The UAE’s participation, alongside 17 of the world’s leading economies, is a testament to the country’s commitment to sustainable development, and its leadership in the deployment of the clean energy technologies necessary to mitigate climate change.” Discussions at the forum focused on a number of important issues that, it is hoped, will be resolved ahead of the COP 21 meeting in December.

Published: 30th September 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/uae-in-talks-over-mobilisation-of-cop-21-climate-agreement

Technology

mGovernment social media accounts caters to Hindi speaking UAE residents

The National

The UAE has added Hindi as a language to communicate mGovernment initiatives on social media. One of India’s official languages, Hindi is now used by the official mGovernment Twitter account. The first Hindi tweet was posted on September 14, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said. “This initiative reflects the UAE government’s respect to its residents’ diverse cultures and civilisations,” said Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, the TRA’s director-general. “It also emphasises the government’s keenness on interacting with the people and hearing their voices through different social-media platforms.”

Published: 28th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/government/mgovernment-social-media-accounts-caters-to-hindi-speaking-uae-residents

Education+

Emirates Foundation invites budding scientists to participate in Think Science competition

The National

The Emirates Foundation is inviting budding young scientists to participate in next year’s Think Science competition. The contest is held under the patronage of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Foreign Minister and Chairman of the Emirates Foundation, and engages youth nationwide to develop scientific innovations that respond to social needs. It is also part of the foundation’s Think Science programme, which aims to encourage Emiratis aged 15 to 35 to follow their passions for science through interactive activities related to engineering, energy, aviation and other fields. The national competition will accept 220 projects in the categories of electrical engineering, environmental sciences, industrial and mechanical systems, energy, smart and safety systems, physics and chemistry, transportation, aerodynamics and aviation. To ensure wider participation, the Emirates Foundation this year opened the doors for those aged between 25 and 35 years who have completed their academic study to participate in the competition. “The competition will provide a unique opportunity for Emirati youth to showcase their talents in science and technology, develop knowledge and share expertise, and be part of the UAE’s growth today and in the future,” said Maytha Al Habsi, chief programmes officer at the Emirates Foundation.

Published: 30th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/science/emirates-foundation-invites-budding-scientists-to-participate-in-think-science-competition

Engineering yourself for a successful career

The Hindu

Tips to make your engineering degree count in the competitive world of campus placements. Engineering education requires a transformation to meet the needs of employers, the challenges facing the profession and the community as a consequence of the rapid development of technology, the demands of large and complex projects and the need for socially responsible multidisciplinary innovation. A bachelor’s degree in engineering opens the door to several professional careers and exciting higher study options. In today’s high-tech world, an engineering degree is a great foundation for careers in traditional engineering fields as well as careers in management, sales, government, medicine, research, law, teaching, and many more.

Published: 28th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/features/education/careers/engineering-yourself-for-a-successful-career/article7692762.ece

Sports – Campaign PASS

Campaign PASS (Promote All Sports Simultaneously) is an initiative started through my blog to promote all sports(other than cricket – which gets lot of attention) and sports personnel associated to give them more exposure.

National Sports Day to bring UAE together in friendly competition

The National

Plans have been announced for a nationwide sports day in which men, women and children of various nationalities are brought together in the spirit of friendly competition. Organisers of the UAE National Sports Day believe that as well as promoting healthy living, sporting competition also helps create a harmonious society.  Sports clubs, groups and schools will all be encouraged to take part in the event, which is due to take place on November 25. Its launch follows a directive of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai. HE Mohamed Ebraheem Al Mahmood, vice president of the General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare and Chairman and Managing Director of Abu Dhabi Media, said: “This holds a lot of meaning in the country to promote athletics and a culture of sportsmanship for not only us and the over 200 nationalities in the country but also for our youth.” He urged as many people and organisations as possible to sign up. “The first national sports day carries an open invitation among all the citizens of the UAE, in age, gender and ability, it is meant for everyone,” said Mr Al Mahmood. “And that is the point – to bring people together.” Saeed Hareb, secretary general of Dubai Sports Council, also hoped the event would prove popular. “We want everyone to participate. I anticipate hundreds of events, and that is what we need.”

Published: 29th October 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/government/national-sports-day-to-bring-uae-together-in-friendly-competition

Indian Super League ready for even bigger kick-off

The National

Team owners and sponsors of the Indian Super League (ISL) are hoping that the football tournament will be able to score huge success among fans over the coming weeks. The ISL kicked off its second season yesterday evening in Chennai after launching last year, bringing Bollywood glitz to football in an otherwise cricket-mad nation where other sports have more limited popular and commercial appeal. Actors, cricket stars and business tycoons are among those who have invested in the eight teams, which include a mix of international and Indian footballers on their rosters. The young league has ambitions to grow, but without doubt it is a high-risk venture. Another football tournament in India, the I-League, has failed to gain much traction. This has been blamed on lack of funding and limited television coverage. India is often referred to as football’s “sleeping giant” – it is 155th in the latest Fifa rankings – but with rising incomes and a vast young population, the potential to generate revenues from the sport could be enormous if its popularity continues to grow.

Published: 3rd October 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/indian-super-league-ready-for-even-bigger-kick-off

Hope you enjoyed reading the above news items and links. More sections will come as it take shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Regards,

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

3rd October 2015

@rameshmenonauh

News U Wish to Read – 20th September 2015

Posted on

News U Wish to read  - 20 September 2015

Sunday, 20th September 2015

Note: News U Wish to Read is a press review compilation and only covers articles published in the press, in the UAE and India. Its purpose is to keep us informed of important news items which we all wish to not miss. Enjoy reading the below news items and links. More sections will come as it takes shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Energy


UAE oil and gas jobs on the wane amid price rout and regional security concerns

The National

Recruitment is waning in the UAE’s oil and gas sector amid the oil price rout and regional security concerns, a new report says. According to the Monster Employment Index report for last month, the index reading for online listings of oil and gas jobs in the UAE fell about 30 per cent to 73 from 103 in August last year. In the Middle East, hydrocarbons industry job postings declined 21 per cent. Monster, a New York-listed recruitment company, said the employment slowdown was not surprising given the global ramifications and the sector’s current hiring freeze. “While the UAE is putting firm actions in place to manage the global crunch, I do expect that hiring recovery in this sector will require some time,” said Sanjay Modi, the regional managing director of Monster.com. Oil prices continue to trade below US$50 per barrel, down from peaks of more than $110 last year. This has led to several companies cutting their capital expenditure, including downsizing their workforces.

Published: 17th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/uae-oil-and-gas-jobs-on-the-wane-amid-price-rout-and-regional-security-concerns


Saudi Aramco names new chief executive

Bloomberg

Appointment made at initial meeting of supreme council. Amin Al Nasser was named president and chief executive of Saudi Arabian Oil Company, known as Saudi Aramco, at the first meeting of the newly created supreme council, the executive board managing the world’s biggest oil producer. The council also approved a five-year business plan at the meeting held overnight in Jeddah, the company said in a statement yesterday. Mr Al Nasser in May was named interim chief executive, replacing Khalid Al Falih who became chairman and health minister. The supreme council is restructuring the Dhahran-based company, which is no longer under the oil ministry. Mr Al Nasser is also on the board, below the supreme council. “More appointments are expected,” Mohamed Ramady, a London-based independent analyst and former professor of economics at King Fahd University for Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran, said. “Many senior vice presidents retired lately and no replacements have been announced so far.” Saudi Aramco has the ability to pump 12 million barrels of crude per day, and is steering Opec to record production to keep market share amid a global glut. Brent crude was little changed at $49.79 per barrel yesterday

Published: 17th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/saudi-aramco-names-new-chief-executive


Prepare for 15 years of weak oil prices, says Goldman Sachs

The National

A glut of crude may keep oil prices low for the next 15 years, according to Goldman Sachs.

There’s less than a 50 per cent chance that prices will drop to $20 a barrel, most likely when refineries shut in October or March for maintenance, Jeffrey Currie, head of commodities research at the bank, said in an interview in Lake Louise, Alberta. Goldman’s long-term forecast for crude is at $50 a barrel, he said. Goldman cut its crude forecasts earlier this month, saying the global surplus of oil is bigger than it previously thought and that failure to reduce production fast enough may require prices to fall near $20 a barrel to clear the glut. Prices may touch that level when stockpiles are filled to capacity, forcing producers in some areas to cut output, Mr Currie said on Wednesday. “When we think of the longer term oil price, yes we put it at $50 a barrel,” he said. “However the risks are to the downside given what’s happening in the other commodity markets and the macro markets more broadly.”

Published: 17th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/prepare-for-15-years-of-weak-oil-prices-says-goldman-sachs


Abu Dhabi a symbol of the future, says Solar Impulse co-founder

The National

The capital of the UAE is a symbol of the future, the co-founder of a project to circumnavigate the world in a solar-powered aircraft told an audience on Monday. “Abu Dhabi is an oil producer that is diversifying to clean energy technologies and I think it is the perfect symbol,” said Bertrand Piccard, who was in the capital after being named the first Middle East Solar Industry Association Ambassador. Solar Impulse 2, the plane onboard which Dr Piccard and his co-pilot and co-founder, Andre Borschberg, are attempting the world first, took off from Abu Dhabi last March. Next year, the plan is for the plane to finish its journey where it started. As the team waits to resume the flight, Dr Piccard commended Abu Dhabi for looking ahead. “The goal is not to attack what exists. The goal is to support new ways of doing in diversification, and I like this approach.”

Published: 14th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/abu-dhabi-a-symbol-of-the-future-says-solar-

impulse-co-founder


Deregulation of fuel prices a key moment for UAE energy policy

Gulf News

The introduction of the deregulation of fuel prices in the UAE is a key moment for energy policy in the UAE and has made the nation a pioneer in energy exporting nations in the area of energy subsidy reform, a top official from the Ministry of Energy said in Fujairah on Thursday. “While energy subsidies can generate short term benefits, they lead to greater adverse consequences, impeding market functions, creating artificial prices, decreasing sustainability and limiting the growth of clean energy,” said Matar Al Neyadi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Energy and Chairman of the Gasoline and Diesel Prices Committee. Speaking at the 5th Gulf Intelligence Energy Markets Forum in Fujairah, Al Neyadi said that the decision to deregulate fuel prices aligns the nation with its strategic vision to preserve natural resources and increase long term sustainability. “This step places the UAE on par with countries that follow sound economic methodologies, promote a responsible energy market and provide a sustainable future for generations ahead.”

Published: 17th September 2015

Read more: http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/deregulation-of-fuel-prices-a-key-moment-for-uae-energy-policy-1.1585904


Abu Dhabi bio jet fuel project nears test stage

Gulf News

Washington: An initiative to produce environmentally friendly aviation jet fuel in Abu Dhabi is progressing. Construction on a one-acre trial farm located in Abu Dhabi that will grow the fuel producing plant, will be finished in the next three to four months, a Boeing executive said on Tuesday. Boeing, together with Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s Takreer, the Masdar Insitute and Total, has been working since January 2014 to develop biofuel in the emirate. Julie Felgar, Managing Director, Environmental Strategy and Integration at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, told reporters on a video call “a small pilot project” will start when construction on the test farm is completed in three to four months. “We’ll take one year to 18 months to run through a couple of harvest rotations and see what the opportunities are in being able to scale that up,” she said. The Abu Dhabi project is one of 19 biofuel ventures Boeing is involved in around the world, developing jet aviation fuel based on biological processes like agriculture or waste as a means to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. In Abu Dhabi, a halophyte plant called salicornia bigelovii, that generates oil that can be used to make the biofuel, will be planted in the test farm.

Published: 16th September 2015

Read more: http://gulfnews.com/business/aviation/abu-dhabi-bio-jet-fuel-project-nears-test-stage-1.1585301


Other Sectors


UAE financial markets to observe Eid Al Adha holiday during Sept 23-26

Khaleej Times

The Eid Al Adha holiday for UAE financial markets will begin on Wednesday, September 23, 2015, and trading will resume on Sunday, September 27.  This was announced by the Securities and Commodities Authority based on circular No. 38 of 2015, issued by the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, FAHR, on the holidays of Eid Al Adha.

Published: 16th September 2015

Follow: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/markets/uae-financial-markets-to-observe-eid-al-adha-holiday-during-sept-23-26


Air travel may become affordable for aam aadmi as Modi government proposes cap on fares

Economic Times

The Narendra Modi government plans to cap airfares between small towns and cities in an ambitious proposal to throw open the chance of air travel to millions of Indians dependant on crowded ground transport. A proposal under consideration by civil aviation ministry will allow airlines to bid for the right to operate flights between hundreds of small towns and cities located within one hour of flying distance from each other.  Airfares between these cities will be capped at Rs 2,000 or Rs 2,500 per passenger. The balance will be paid back to these companies by the government through the levy of a cess on national and international flights. A senior civil aviation ministry official said that India can become the third-largest aviation market in the world, if it makes its 300 million middle class Indians fly at least once a year through these initiatives.  The plan is part of the new civil aviation policy that is likely to be out for public consultation by the end of this month and has the in-principle approval of

Prime Minister Narendra Modi..

Published: 19th September 2015

Follow: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/transportation/airlines-/-aviation/air-travel-may-become-affordable-for-aam-aadmi-as-modi-government-proposes-cap-on-fares/articleshow/49019234.cms


Politics & Economy


Intra-regional capital inflows help UAE

Khaleej Times

Increased capital inflows from Middle East and North Africa and GCC markets help the UAE offset a decline in funds coming from emerging markets, particularly Russia,  while the country remains the only net importer of private capital in the Gulf, a leading investment management company said on Monday. Despite a drop in Russian capital inflows, the UAE, with its safe-haven status and strategic position as a hub between Asia and Africa, continues to be the main beneficiary of inflows of private capital into the GCC region, Invesco said in its Middle East Asset Management Study. “An example of a rapid year-on-year reversal in sources of capital inflows is the decline in private capital coming into the UAE from emerging markets, including Russia. Last year’s study showed inflows from emerging markets at 58 per cent, dropping down to 41 per cent this year. Flows from Russia in particular are thought to have been affected by the decline in the rouble reducing the buying power of affluent Russians in the UAE real estate and tourism sectors,” said Nick Tolchard, head of Invesco Middle East. “This decline in Russian capital inflows may be cyclical given the strong and ongoing ties between Russia and the GCC,” Tolchard said at a media roundtable.

Published: 15th September 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/intra-regional-capital-inflows-help-uae


Global Economy: A recession is around the corner

Khaleej Times

The united States of America is often referred to as the Big Brother due to its economic impact on both developed and developing countries every time there is a recession or fear of recession hitting it. Being one of the world’s dominating economies, many factors contribute towards setting a trend for either bulls or bears to walk on Wall Street. Even though recession is not new to the Big Brother, it is bad news both for it and countries that depend on a bullish US economy. So, will history repeat itself soon? Is it time for bears to take over Wall Street? The crash of the world’s major stock markets (Black Monday) on August 24 pushed indices to the year’s lowest point. Experts are citing many reasons. Some blame China’s economic downturn and its falling stock market for kick starting global recession as it is one of the largest economies.

Published: 15th September 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/a-recession-is-around-the-corner


India escapes the worst of emerging markets misery

Khaleej Times

Three years ago India was the weakling of the emerging markets clan, politically stagnant and struggling to grow – but as gloom engulfs other developing economies, the subcontinent is enjoying a moment in the sun. Brazil and Russia lie deep in recession and South Africa is teetering on the brink after demand for raw materials collapsed, while alarm bells have sounded over fears the China juggernaut may be faltering. Enter India, once dubbed the Broken Bric, as the core group is known, now poised to become the fastest-growing G20 economy, expanding at a respectable seven percent, with its finances nourished by cheap oil. “If you look at the growth numbers, India is definitely doing better than these other economies,” Kunal Kundu, an economist at Societe Generale in Bangalore, told AFP. “China is in slowdown mode and Brazil and Russia are in trouble because they are commodities-dependent. We are seeing India as the standout.”

Published: 15th September 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/india-escapes-the-worst-of-emerging-markets-misery


India insulated from economic fallout, Arun Jaitley says

Economic Times

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said despite a global slowdown and its impact on countries, India remains insulated from the economic fallout and stands out as a “brighter spot”.  “India is not a part of the Chinese production chain, significantly. In fact, the two segments – commodities and oil – that been adversely affected certainly don’t adversely impact India (which is) a net importer,” Jaitley said last night at The Singapore Summit 2015 here.  “Therefore, the more we see a low price regime, the more India continues to benefit. Not withstanding the slowdown globally, we do stand out as one of the brighter spots,” he was quoted as saying by The Straits Times.

Published: 19th September 2015

Read more: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/India-insulated-from-economic-fallout-Arun-Jaitley-says/articleshow/49022331.cms


Community, Environment & Society

A look at marine animals in the UAE: sea turtles

The National

The Arabian Gulf is blessed with amazing marine life, including dugongs, dolphins, turtles and sharks, not to mention 500 species of fish. In a five-part poster series launching this week, Oasis takes a closer look at a different marine animal, starting with sea turtles. With the help of a local marine biologist, we will provide some surprising facts about these creatures, highlight identifying features and give tips on how UAE residents can help protect them. Next week we feature dolphins.

Published: 17 September 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/arts-lifestyle/a-look-at-marine-animals-in-the-uae-sea-turtles

Technology

Facebook launches newsgathering tool Signal

The Hindu

In a move to take on micro-blogging site Twitter, which is the biggest source of breaking news for journalists, Facebook has launched an innovative  newsgathering tool that will help reporters scan and file stories from the ocean of information on Facebook and its photo-sharing site Instagram. Called Signal, the free tool will help journalists track relevant trends, photos, videos, and posts from nearly 1.5 billion Facebook users and Instagram’s 300 million users for storytelling and reporting.

Published: 18th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/internet/facebook-launches-first-newsgathering-tool-for-journalists/article7664559.ece


Education+


GoodReader is just what a bookworm needs

The Hindu

GoodReader is a text and PDF file reader that saves you the bother of scrolling for text, but its not without problems. Every person who loves reading books has, at some point or the other, wanted to read books while on the go. Unfortunately, the screens on these smartphones have all been way too small to make reading comfortable for anything more than a screenful or two. Even reading long email messages can be a strain on the eyes. It doesn’t help that many e-books are formatted for a full screen, so they require vertical and horizontal scrolling to read. Thankfully, GoodReader exists, and only costs about a dollar.

Published: 15th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/goodreader-is-just-what-a-bookworm-needs/article7655396.ece


Sports – Campaign PASS


Campaign PASS (Promote All Sports Simultaneously) is an initiative started through my blog to promote all sports(other than cricket – which gets lot of attention) and sports personnel associated to give them more exposure.


PM’s knowledge on sports leaves Saina surprised

The Hindu

Saina briefed the Prime Minister about her silver medal winning feat at the World Championship and becoming world number one. Star shuttler Saina Nehwal was left mighty impressed with Narendra Modi’s knowledge on sports and said the Prime Minister made her feel like a family member when they met ahead of his 65th birthday. “The meeting lasted for about half an hour and I was surprised that he knew about my family and my game so comprehensively as if he was a family member,” Saina told PTI a day after gifting the Prime Minister one of her racquet’s on the eve of his birthday.

Published: 17th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/prime-minister-narendra-modis-knowledge-on-sports-leaves-saina-nehwal-surprised/article7662306.ece

Hope you enjoyed reading the above news items and links. More sections will come as it take shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Regards,

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

@rameshmenonauh

www.clicksandwrites.com

News udpate – UAE mourns the death of Shaikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Posted on Updated on

UAE Mourn the death Shaikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al MaktoumShaikh Rashid, son of Shaikh Mohammed, dies of heart attack

Khaleej Times

UAE President mourns the death of Shaikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and expresses his sincere condolences and sympathy to Shaikh Mohammed and Maktoum family.  Shaikh Rashid Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the eldest son of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, died of heart attack on Saturday. He was 34. Dubai Media Office has tweeted that funeral prayers will be held after Maghrib Prayers at Zabeel Mosque in Dubai. Burial will take place at the cemetery in Umm Hurair, Dubai. The government has declared three days of mourning and flags at half mast.

Published: 19th September 2015.

To know more about him: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashid_bin_Mohammed_Al_Maktoum

News U Wish to Read – 30th August 2015

Posted on Updated on

News U Wish to read  - 30th August 2015

Sunday, 30th August 2015

Note: News U Wish to Read is a daily press review compiled and only covers articles published in the press, in the UAE, India and world around. Its purpose is to keep us informed of important news items which we all wish to not miss. Enjoy reading the below news items and links. More sections will come as it takes shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Energy

Opportunities and challenges for the downstream oil sector in the Middle East

The National

Falling oil prices have deeply affected oil and gas upstream, with many projects shelved or put on hold around the world. For much of the downstream sector, though, the current environment also provided cheaper feedstock (crude oil) and a sudden stimulus to demand. Overall, sinking oil prices have served as a shot in the arm for the downstream sector in the short term. The fundamental challenges for the refining industry, however, remain.

Published: 29th August 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/opportunities-and-challenges-for-the-downstream-oil-sector-in-the-middle-east

Diesel down 18%, petrol cut by 8.5% in UAEprojects

Khaleej Times

In its monthly price adjustments, the Ministry of Energy on Thursday lowered domestic prices for petrol and diesel for September. While diesel price was slashed by 18 per cent, the price for a litre of petol was reduced by 8.5 per cent, in line with developments on the international oil market. All pumps will retail diesel at Dh1.86 per litre. Petrol will be sold to consumers at Dh1.89 per litre for E-plus (Octane 91), Dh1.96 for Special (Octane 95) and Dh2.07 for Super (Octane 98), the ministry said, after a meeting of the Fuel Price Committee chaired by Dr Matar Al Nyadi, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Energy, and attended by officials of Adnoc Distribution, Enoc and other oil companies. The new prices will come into effect on September 1, 2015. Last month, the committee lowered diesel price by 29 per cent to Dh2.05 a litre from Dh2.35, while petrol price was hiked 24 per cent to Dh2.14 a litre. E-Plus 91 was increased to Dh2.06 a litre from Dh1.61, and unleaded gasoline 98 was hiked to Dh2.25 a litre from Dh1.83.

BUS_150828-OIL-PRICES-SEPTEMBER-(Read-Only) KT3022827 petrol-prices-sep-2015

Published: 28th August 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/energy/diesel-down-18-petrol-cut-by-85-in-uae

Rise in solar cells production to bring Rs 30,000-crore investment

Economic Times

The increase in manufacturing facility for solar cells and modules will bring in an investment of about Rs 30,000 crore and create 25,000 jobs in the country.

“It is expected that the manufacturing capacity for cells and modules will increase roughly by 2,500 MW and 5,000 MW per annum, respectively.”

“This is expected to create 25,000 jobs in manufacturing sector and bring in investment of about Rs 30,000 crore,” said an official in the New and Renewable Energy Ministry. At present, manufacturing capacity of cells and modules in India is 1,386 MW and 2,756 MW, respectively.

Published: 30th August 2015

Read more: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/energy/power/rise-in-solar-cells-production-to-bring-rs-30000-crore-investment/articleshow/48729959.cms

Other Sectors

L&T Construction bags orders worth Rs 1,563 crore in July, August

Economic Times

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said power transmission and distribution business of L&T Construction has bagged orders worth Rs 1,563 crore in July and August. “The power transmission and distribution business of L&T Construction has won orders worth Rs 1,563 crore,” Larsen & Toubro said in a BSE filing. The company said it has received a breakthrough order from Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) for design, manufacture, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of a 500 kV double circuit transmission line in Malaysia.

Published: 25th August 2015

Follow: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/indl-goods/svs/engineering/lt-construction-bags-orders-worth-rs-1563-crore-in-july-august/articleshow/48664676.cms

Politics & Economy

 

Fed, ECB, BOE officials all say they see inflation rising

Gulf News

Stronger growth will pull inflation higher in the US and Europe, according to three top central bankers who voiced confidence that their regions will escape from headwinds that are keeping inflation too low. Federal Reserve vice-chairman Stanley Fischer joined European Central Bank Vice President Vitor Constancio and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney Saturday on an panel at the Kansas City Fed’s annual retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, dedicated to discussing inflation dynamics. Their optimism has not been shared up until now by investors, trading in inflation- protected bonds shows.

“Given the apparent stability of inflation expectations, there is good reason to believe that inflation will move higher as the forces holding down inflation dissipate further,” Fischer said in his prepared remarks. “With inflation low, we can probably remove accommodation at a gradual pace,” Fischer said. “Yet, because monetary policy influences real activity with a substantial lag, we should not wait until inflation is back to 2 per cent to begin tightening.”

Published: 30th August 2015

Read more: http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/fed-ecb-boe-officials-all-say-they-see-inflation-rising-1.1575107http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/fed-ecb-boe-officials-all-say-they-see-inflation-rising-1.1575107

Elephant vs Dragon: Why India’s economy is in a better shape than China

Economic Times

China’s economy is slowing sharply, creating a risk for the global economy. Its debt is pegged at 282% of GDP by some estimates. And that is just one of its problems. Years of state-driven investments have created excess capacity in several sectors. India is in far better health.

Published: 27th August 2015

Read more: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/elephant-vs-dragon-why-indias-economy-is-in-a-better-shape-than-china/articleshow/48689099.cms

Long way to go for India to become global growth engine: Rajan

The Hindu

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has said it will be “a long time” before India can replace China as a growth engine for the global economy, even if it grows at a faster rate. The comments assume significance in the wake of a China-led slowdown hurting the markets worldwide in the recent days, which has led to calls in India for taking this crisis situation as an “opportunity” as the global economy may need alternative growth engines. Asked whether India can replace China as a new growth engine, Rajan said in an interview to BBC, “India is one-fourth to one-fifth of China’s size. Even if we can overtake China in terms of growth rates, the magnitude of the effect will be far smaller for a long time to come.” As per the latest data available with the World Bank, GDP of the U.S. is over 17$ trillion. This compares with China at over 10$ trillion and India 2$ trillion. After Monday’s market crash, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stressed on the need to further strengthen the Indian economy and said that the present global crisis should be converted into an opportunity for India.

Published: 26th August 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/long-way-to-go-for-india-to-become-global-growth-engine-rajan/article7582391.ece

Community, Environment & Society

 

MoI Launches “Our Students are a Responsibility” Campaign

Wam

The Ministry of Interior, represented by Traffic Coordination Directorate General, is launching a traffic awareness campaign under the slogan “Our Students are a Responsibility” prior to the start of the new academic year.

This campaign comes as a part of the traffic sector’s initiative in line with the MoI’s strategy aimed at controlling roads, promoting traffic safety and reducing run-over accidents. It also aims to raise the awareness of students in all educational stages; especially children, about traffic accidents, the need to adhere to traffic laws, and to preserve the safety of students from potential road dangers.

Published: 28th August 2015.

Read more: http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395284763044.html

50.2°C (and it’s getting stickier)

Thenational.ae

It’s hot and sticky outside, and it’s going to stay that way for the rest of the weekend. The weather bureau forecast 90 per cent humidity at night, expected to soar to 100 per cent in the event of fog, and the temperature reached 50.2°C in Sweihan in Abu Dhabi on Friday. The spike in humidity was by a change in the wind direction, with the conditions catching many residents by surprise. Meteorologists asked motorists to drive with caution since high humidity could lead to fog. “The direction of the wind until three to four days ago was a southerly wind coming over the desert, so conditions were dry,” said Ahmed Habib, a meteorology specialist with the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology, on Friday. Humidity is likely to increase over some western areas, the report predicts. While the temperature could go up to 48°C in interior regions, it will rise to 43°C in coastal areas and 35°C in the mountains. Humidity levels will be between 55 to 90 per cent in coastal areas, 45 to 70 per cent in interior regions and 35 to 45 per cent in the mountains.

Published: 28th August 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/502c-and-its-getting-stickier

Ban on plastic packaging of food, drugs: NGT seeks Centre view

The Hindu

The National Green Tribunal has directed the Centre and various stakeholders to file their submissions on a proposal that there should be a complete prohibition on the use of plastic packaging in food and pharmaceutical formulations of any kind. “It appears that none of the concerned ministries are prepared to take a decision which according to them at one time was need of the hour in larger public interest. Be that as it may, we will proceed with hearing of the matter and take appropriate decision in accordance with law.” “We direct all the parties before us i.e. Ministry of Health and MoEF (Ministry of Environment and Forests), CPCB and the Board under the Drugs Act and all the other respondents, stakeholders, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and all the private stakeholders to place a note,” a bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar said. The tribunal was hearing a petition filed by NGO Him Jagriti Uttaranchal Welfare Society seeking restrictions on the use of plastic bottle and multi-layered, plastic packages or pet bottles by imposing a ban on packaging of carbonated soft drink.

Published: 30th August 2015.

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ban-on-plastic-packaging-of-food-drugs-ngt-seeks-centre-view/article7596373.ece

Technology

 

Can’t stay away from phone? Find out if you’re a nomophobe

The Hindu

Do you get worked up immediately when your phone runs out of battery? Or be completely fine with it atleast for a while? Are you a nomophobe? Researchers can tell! US researchers have developed a questionnaire that can determine if you suffer from nomophobia or a fear of being without your mobile phone. Caglar Yildirim, a PhD student in human computer interaction at the Iowa State University (ISU), and Ana-Paula Correia, an associate professor in ISU’s School of Education, have identified four dimensions of this modern-day phobia. In the study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, study participants were asked to respond to statements on a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). Total scores were calculated by adding the responses to each item. The higher scores corresponded to greater nomophobia severity. The questionnaire includes statements such as- I would feel uncomfortable without constant access to information through my smartphone; I would be annoyed if I could not look information up on my smartphone when I wanted to do so; Being unable to get the news (example: happenings, weather, etc) on my smartphone would make me nervous.

Published: 27th August 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/cant-stay-away-from-phone-find-out-if-youre-a-nomophobe/article7586703.ece

Education+

 

Empowering the biotech sector

The Hindu

With the Reserve Bank of India declaring biotech as a priority sector, the biotech market has acquired new hope and opportunities. Incidentally, furthering this trend, Bengaluru which is already a biotech hub, now has the support of two initiatives from the State Government: Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB) which intends to promote education, research and entrepreneurship in bioinformatics and biotechnology and Karnataka Biotech Finishing Schools (BTFS), which plans to enhance the placement opportunities for fresh graduates. IBAB offers a two-year M.Sc. degree in Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology which blends Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Programming with Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology. It also offers a Ph.D. programme. Students are selected for the course through an online exam followed by an interview. If IBAB takes care of the academic requirement, an initiative like BTFS aims to address the paucity of industry-ready graduates in the field of bio-technology. Initiated by the Department of IT BT and S&T, Government of Karnataka, via the implementing arm KBITS (Karnataka Biotechnology and Information Technology Services), BTFS aims to address this issue. The programme has been designed specially for life science students to give them hands-on training in various soft skills related to the field. The programme is currently in its fourth year and so far, 337 students have graduated from the schools. After six months of academic work, students are asked to intern with a company related to their domain of expertise. This programme is present in 12 institutions across Karnataka: Dayanand Sagar Institution, Bengaluru; Maharani Lakshmi Ammani College, Bengaluru; Siddaganga Institute of Technology, Tumkur; Padmashree Institute of Management of Sciences, Bengaluru; St. Aloysius College, Mangalore; Manipal Life Sciences, Manipal, etc. to name just a few. Students are selected for the BTFS programme through the Karnataka Biotechnology Aptitude Test (KBAT) which is followed by interviews and counselling sessions. Those who have completed a Masters in the subject can join BTFS.

Published: 27th August 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/features/education/empowering-the-biotech-sector/article7587152.ece

Indian traits of perseverance and adaptability excels in a global workplace

The National

From PepsiCo to Google, Indians are increasingly rising to the top roles in some of the world’s biggest companies. A number of factors are contributing to India becoming a breeding ground for global business leaders, including the country’s sharp focus on education and its citizens’ ability to integrate themselves into different cultures, experts say. The most recent high profile example of the trend came this month when Sundar Pichai, who was born and grew up in Chennai, took charge as the chief executive of Google. Also from Chennai, Indra Nooyi is the chief executive for PepsiCo. Meanwhile, Ajaypal Singh Banga from the city of Pune in Maharashtra leads Mastercard, while Ivan Manuel Menezes, also from Pune, heads the beverages giant Diageo. Satya Nadella from Hyderabad is in charge of Microsoft. In recent decades, a large number of Indians have moved to the United States and the United Kingdom to further their education after graduating from top institutions in India such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM). Those graduates have since risen to leading positions, explains Arun Bala, the chief operating officer at Invenio Business Solutions. “That is one of the factors that have brought Indians to the fore at this time,” he says. “You’re talking about some of the best that have been produced as graduates in India that have moved to the US over a period of about 30-odd years,” he says. “That’s a substantial number of academically bright and highly ambitious youth that have migrated to the UK and US.”

Published: 29th August 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/indian-traits-of-perseverance-and-adaptability-excels-in-a-global-workplace

Sports – Campaign PASS

 

Campaign PASS (Promote All Sports Simultaneously) is an initiative started through my blog to promote all sports(other than cricket – which gets lot of attention) and sports personnel associated to give them more exposure.

Trendsetters in their own way

The Hindu

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At 22 and 27 years of age, Dipa Karmakar and P.R. Sreejesh have been trendsetters in their own way for their respective sport. On Saturday, they were rewarded for their hard work with the Arjuna Award here. Dipa became the first Indian female gymnast to win medals at the Commonwealth Games last year and followed it up with another bronze at the Asian Championships in Hiroshima recently. One of only 3-4 gymnasts in the world to practice the difficult Produnova vault — a double frontal vault — Dipa’s achievements are significant given the constant administrative wranglings and lack of training camps. Sreejesh, meanwhile, has created history in his own way. Coming from Kerala, a state that boasts of multiple winners across sports, being the first male hockey player to be conferred the Arjuna is recognition of a brilliant run of form for the past couple of years. Considered among the best goalkeepers in the world today, Sreejesh’s journey from the backwaters of Kerala to the Ashoka Hall is one of perseverance and grit.

Published: 30th August 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/sport/trendsetters-in-their-own-way/article7594331.ece

Hope you enjoyed reading the above news items and links. More sections will come as it take shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Regards,

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

News U Wish to Read – 25th August 2015

Posted on Updated on

News U Wish to read 2 - 25 August 2015

Tuesday, 25th August 2015

Note: News U Wish to Read is a compilation of articles published in the press, in the UAE, India and world around. Its purpose is to keep us informed of important news items which we all wish not to miss. Enjoy reading the below news items and links. More sections will come as it takes shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Politics & Economy

Bear attack on Gulf equities

Khaleej Times

Bears took control of Gulf bourses on Sunday in the wake of lower oil prices and Friday’s global selloff of capital markets. The Dubai Financial Market General Index plunged seven per cent to 3,452.5 points, its lowest close since March 30. Its neighbour, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, recorded a 5.01 per cent decline and closed at 4,286.49 points. Other Gulf countries also followed the bearish mood. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul index lost 6.86 per cent, Qatar’s main benchmark finished down 4.7 per cent, Oman’s Muscat Stock Market witnessed a 2.94 per cent decline and the Kuwait Stock Exchange suffered a 2.36 per cent loss. Bahrain also declined, but it was the only market that lost below one per cent at 0.37 per cent. Oil prices plunged to their lowest level in more than six years on Friday, closing the day at $45.46 a barrel. The Dow Jones Industrial average also recorded its biggest loss in four years on Friday, closing down 3.1 per cent on growing fears over China’s slowing economic growth.

Published: 24th August 2015

Read more: http://khaleejtimes.com/business/local/bear-attack-on-gulf-equities

UAE stocks get off lightly as global rout persists

The National

UAE investors helped local equities escape relatively unscathed yesterday, even as plummeting Chinese stocks and additional pressure on oil prices provoked a further global sell-off of shares. China’s Shanghai Composite plunged 8.4 per cent yesterday, despite a move by authorities to allow pension funds managed by local governments to buy shares in an attempt to halt declines. The sell-offs hit bourses across Asia. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended the day 5.1 per cent down, while the Nikkei fell 4.6 per cent. In Europe stock markets in London, Paris and Frankfurt all ended down more than four per cent. However headline indexes in Dubai and Abu Dhabi ended a volatile day of trading only marginally down, as investors took advantage of attractive valuations to pile back into blue chips. The Dubai Financial Market General Index fell by 6.1 per cent to a new low for the year in the opening minutes of trading yesterday, before rallying into positive territory about midday, and finally closing down 1.4 per cent at 3,401.62.

Published: 24th August 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/markets/uae-stocks-get-off-lightly-as-global-rout-persists

Panic grips markets on ‘Bloody Monday’; global contagion keeps markets under pressure

Gulf News

The Dow Jones industrial average finished down 585 points  on a day of massive swings. The U.S. stock market took investors on a stomach-churning ride Monday, as the Dow Jones industrial average briefly plunged more than 1,000 points and sent a shiver of fear from Wall Street to Main Street. Stocks regained much of that ground as the day wore on. But the slump – part of a global wave of selling triggered by the slowdown in China – reflected uncertainty among investors over where to put their money when the world’s second-largest economy is in a slide. “What’s a company that’s doing business with China actually worth right now? When you’re not sure, you tend to sell,” said JJ Kinahan, TD Ameritrade’s chief strategist. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index also fell sharply shortly after the opening bell, entering “correction” territory – Wall Street jargon for a drop of 10 percent or more from a recent peak. The last market correction was nearly four years ago. U.S. treasury securities surged as investors bought less risky assets. Oil prices fell. But investors also saw opportunity, moving fast and early to snap up some bargains. That helped trim some of the market’s earlier losses. The Dow closed 588 pointsd down. The S&P 500 was down 73 points, or 3.7 percent, at 1,897. The Nasdaq composite had shed 162 points, or 3.5 percent, at 4,543 points. The three indexes are down for the year.

Published: 24th August 2015

Read more: http://gulfnews.com/business/sectors/markets/panic-grips-markets-on-bloody-monday-global-contagion-keeps-markets-under-pressure-1.1571919

Top five factors which pushed Sensex lower by over 1600 points

Economic Times

Global rout extended to Indian markets with the S&P BSE Sensex closing at 1,624 points down. The 50-share Nifty index ended at 7,809 level.

The rupee slumped to as low as 66.69 per dollar, its lowest since September, 2013, as Asian markets reeled under fears of a China-led global economic slowdown.

Published: 24th August 2015

Read more: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/stocks/news/top-five-factors-which-pushed-sensex-lower-by-over-1600-points/articleshow/48648085.cms

Wall Street suffers worst day in 4 years

The Hindu

The Dow Jones industrial average briefly slumped more than 1,000 points, its most dramatic intraday trading range ever. Investors rattled about China sent U.S. stock indices almost 4 per cent lower on Monday in an unusually volatile session that confirmed the S&P 500 was formally in a correction, even after a dramatic rebound by Apple. The Dow Jones industrial average briefly slumped more than 1,000 points, its most dramatic intraday trading range ever. Monday’s drop followed an 8.5 per cent slump in Chinese markets, which sparked a selloff in global stocks along with oil and other commodities. Wall Street had stayed in s narrow range for much of 2015, but volatility jumped this month as investors became increasingly concerned about a potential stumble in China’s economy and after Beijing surprisingly devalued its currency. Some investors unloaded stocks ahead of the close after looking to make money from volatile price swings earlier in the session. “If things don’t settle down in China, we could have another ugly open tomorrow and you wouldn’t want to be caught holding positions you bought this morning,” said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin.

Published: 25th August 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/business/markets/stock-market-mayhem-wall-street-suffers-worst-day-in-4-years-sp-confirms-correction/article7576209.ece

IMG_2476a

Hope you enjoyed reading the above news items and links. More sections will come as it take shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Regards,

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

News U Wish to read – 23rd August 2015

Posted on

News U Wish to read - 23 August 2015Sunday, 23rd August 2015

Note: News U Wish to Read is a compilation of articles published in the press, in the UAE, India and world around. Its purpose is to keep us informed of important news items which we all wish not to miss. Enjoy reading the below news items and links. More sections will come as it takes shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Energy

Weak outlook as oil prices continue to slide

Gulf News

Oil prices are unlikely to recover in the near term as production continues to rise and demand slows down across the globe. Crude oil in the United States fell below $40 (Dh147) per barrel on Friday, the lowest since 2009. It recovered later to close at $40.45. International benchmark brent was at $45.46, down by 2.49 per cent. According to analysts, the very near term outlook for oil prices is not good. “There is a reasonable risk that in the coming weeks the West Texas oil price will fall into the thirties, brent maybe as low as $40 (per barrel),” said Gary Dugan, Chief Investment Officer at National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

Published: 18th August 2015

Read more: http://gulfnews.com/business/sectors/energy/weak-outlook-as-oil-prices-continue-to-slide-1.1571574

UAE domestic energy usage doubles in 10 years: Study

Khaleej Times

The UAE’s gross domestic electricity consumption has more than doubled over the past 10 years, and is expected to grow even more rapidly over the next five years as the country undergoes substantial population and economic growth, according to a study by management consultancy Strategy &, formerly Booz & Company. The study reveals that energy usage in the UAE has grown at an annual average of four per cent over the past six years, and is projected to increase to five per cent through 2020. A recent forum organised by the Energy Working Group of the UAE-UK Business Council and facilitated by Strategy&, highlighted three key aspects of energy efficiency which comprise of smart cities, building efficiency and water usage. Although numerous initiatives have already been launched in the UAE, implementing additional comprehensive measures and policies can help reap the full benefits of an improved energy efficiency strategy, as challenges cannot be overcome in isolation. While UAE’s increased urbanization is a sign of the country’s growth and progress, it also presents some challenges alongside. According to the UN, 85 per cent of the UAE’s population resided in urban areas as of 2014, and this is forecasted to reach 91 per cent by 2050. The UAE, therefore, needs to have integrated infrastructure planning as a prerequisite to any urban master plan. Per-Ola Karlsson, a senior partner with Strategy&, formerly Booz & Company in Dubai, said one of the best way of doing this, which takes advantage of digitization and the Big Data that urban populations produce, is through the so-called ‘smart city approach’. “This term typically entails integrated infrastructure planning that applies digital technologies to deliver better services and, critically for the UAE, reduce energy consumption. Smart cities allow city planners and managers to improve efficiency at the intersection of different infrastructure sectors, such as electricity, water, transport, telecommunications, cooling and waste.”

Published: 21st August 2015

Read more: http://khaleejtimes.com/business/energy/uae-domestic-energy-usage-doubles-in-10-years-study

Other Sectors

Government, Apollo Hospitals partner to launch telemedicine services

Economic Times

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology will launch telemedicine services in collaboration with the Apollo Hospitals on August 25, under which people can consult doctors through video link and also order generic drugs online. Under the service, people can visit Common Service Centres (CSC) and fix an appointment for seeking expert consultancy with a doctor. The doctors at Apollo Hospitals will be able to provide consultancy to the patients using the video link facilities, a Ministry official said. The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has a network of 1.5 lakh CSCs across the country and Apollo Hospitals will provide the services using the network. To begin with, the services will be launched in 60,000 CSCs across the country. The initiative will benefit the patients in remote areas of the country where there is acute shortage of doctors.

Published: 23rd August 2015

Read more:

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/healthcare/biotech/healthcare/government-apollo-hospitals-partner-to-launch-telemedicine-services/articleshow/48639432.cms

 

Bandhan Bank to fund SMEs, create jobs: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

Economic Times

Newly-launched Bandhan Bank will fund lakhs of small and medium entrepreneurs, create jobs and act as a response to agrarian poverty, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today. “A great institution is being born in West Bengal,” he said while inaugurating Bandhan Bank here. Bandhan Bank today launched its operations with 501 branches in the country. The company, which started operations as a micro finance institution, got final approval from RBI in June to launch commercial banking operations. Jaitley said Bandhan Bank Chairman and Managing Director Chandra Shekhar Ghosh has said that the priority area of the bank will be small and medium enterprises (SMEs). “It is a landmark initiative in the service of country and state. It is these entrepreneurs in SMEs, many of them in unorganised sector, who today form the backbone of Indian economy. “Small entrepreneurs, from shopkeepers to hawkers, they are generating almost 11-12 crore jobs in this country. The large organised industry is able to generate only a small fraction of that,” Jaitley said.

The Bandhan experiment – a transformation from a micro lender to a full-fledged bank, may shape the India’s future banking, felt who’s who of the country’s financial field who thronged to the city in numbers for the Bandhan Bank’s inaugural programme. The formation of Bandhan Bank in fact, marked a new beginning of Indian banking, which in another one-and-a-half year will see emergence of payments banks and small finance bank. Reserve Bank of India has decided to offer licenses to entities with different capabilities with a single agenda in mid: improve financial penetration. “India is home to several experiments and an MFI turning unto a bank is one such experiment,” former RBI deputy governor Shyamala Gopinath said at pre-launch event on the eve of Bandhan’s inauguration on Sunday.  Bandhan Bank is the first to be off the block as the new change happening in the country’s finance and banking field,” Uday Kotak, executive vice chairman and managing managing director of Kotak Mahindra Bank, said at the event. West Bengal finance cum industry minister Amit Mitra, who was present at the inaugural event, said that Bandhan Bank would serve the twin purpose of women empowerment and poverty alleviation.

Published: 23rd August 2015

Follow: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/banking/bandhan-bank-to-fund-smes-create-jobs-finance-minister-arun-jaitley/articleshow/48640337.cms

Politics & Economy

 

Mohammed bin Rashid issues law regulating partnership between public, private sectors in Dubai Emirate

Wam.ae

Vice President and Prime Minister, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in his capacity as the Ruler of Dubai, has issued Law No. 22 for 2015, regulating partnerships between the public and private sectors in the Emirate of Dubai. The new law aims at encouraging the private sector to participate in the development of projects and increasing investment in different fields in a way that serves economic and social development in the Emirate of Dubai. It also allows the government to implement its strategic projects effectively and efficiently, as well as harness financial, administrative, technical and technological expertise of the private sector. This will also enable individuals in the community to have better access to services at less cost. The new law also aims to increase productivity and improve the quality of public services, transfer of knowledge and experience from the private to the public sector, as well as training and qualifying Emirati public employees in the areas of management and operation of projects.

Published: 18th August 2015

Read more: http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395284468285.html

Arabian Gulf markets lose $58 billion as weak oil and global equity rout spark sell-off

The National

Billions of dirhams were wiped off the value of Dubai shares yesterday, as stock markets across the Arabian Gulf lost US$58 billion on a day of calamitous trading. The sharp sell-offs came in the wake of sliding oil prices and a global equity rout on Friday, spurred by fears of a slowdown in China’s economic expansion, a key engine of global growth. Dubai’s stock market led losses in the Middle East yesterday: the Dubai Financial Market General Index fell as much as 7.2 per cent on the day, before closing down 6.96 per cent at 3,451.48, its lowest level since the end of March.“There’s been absolutely no discrimination, it’s red across the board,” said Sebastien Henin of the The National Investor in Abu Dhabi. “Many stocks are back to their lowest level since December or January.” Emaar Properties, the heaviest-weighted stock on Dubai’s headline index, ended the day down 8.3 per cent at Dh6.18, its lowest level since December. The market plunge in Dubai was closely mirrored in Saudi Arabia, where equities have suffered severe losses in the past month in the wake of plummeting oil prices.

Published: 23rd August 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/markets/arabian-gulf-markets-lose-58-billion-as-weak-oil-and-global-equity-rout-spark-sell-off

Inflation climbs to 4.43% in UAE

Khaleej Times

The overall inflation in the country rose to 4.43 per cent year-on-year in July, highest in six years. In a month-on-month comparison, CPI rose to 126.03 points from 125.66 points or 0.37 points.  The chief contributing factors to the rise in inflation were led by food and beverages that rose 1.37 per cent; followed by textiles, clothing and footwear that went up 0.33 per cent and rise of 0.13 per cent in housing rents. Decreases to the CPI came from miscellaneous goods and services 0.12 per cent; medical care 0.07 per cent and furniture and household goods 0.01 per cent. Housing and utility costs, which account for over 39 per cent of consumer expenses, jumped 10.0 per cent from a year earlier in July and rose 0.1 per cent from the previous month. Abu Dhabi hiked electricity and water tariffs from January 1. Food and soft drink prices, which account for nearly 14 per cent of the basket, rose 3.4 per cent year-on-year and 1.4 per cent month-on-month. At the emirate level, CPI fluctuated highest in Sharjah measuring 0.54 per cent; followed by Ajman where 0.49 per cent growth was witnessed. In Dubai, it rose 0.45 per cent followed by 0.31 per cent in Abu Dhabi, according to latest data. Lowest fluctuation of 0.15 per cent was noted in Fujairah, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. On the rise in food prices in July which is reflected on the CPI, a leading retailer Wissal Ahmed Khan, chief executive officer of Alam Supermarkets in Abu Dhabi, said: “The period covered in the survey includes the second half of Holy month of Ramadan, when the promotions launched by the retailers came to an end, to normal price levels.”

Published: 21st  August 2015

Read more: http://khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/inflation-climbs-to-443-in-uae

Community, Environment & Society

 

Ecocity World Summit 2015 to welcome 13 ministers and government officials as speakers

Wam.ae

Ecocity World Summit, ECWS, 2015 has confirmed a line-up of 13 ministers and government officials as speakers, in addition to 22 subject matter experts, up to a dozen from academia, and other visionary leaders from the private sector. The event is scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi from 11th to 13th October, marking its debut in the Middle East. As part of the city-wide preparation for the summit, the ECWS host committee members conducted their first official meeting on 19th August with over 15 bodies to discuss their anticipated outcomes and collaborative efforts towards the successful launch of the Middle East’s first ECWS edition. ECWS 2015 is to be hosted by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, supported by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Urban Planning Council, Masdar, and will be facilitated by Abu Dhabi Environmental Data Initiative with Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority as the destination host. “The response to the 11th edition of the Ecocity World Summit conference series has been tremendous, and we are very much looking forward to the contribution of our list of speakers, from across the globe. By creating an opportunity for dialogue with the greatest minds in this field, we are confident that the summit will help pave the way for greener cities across the globe,” said Ahmed Baharoon, Executive Director of the Environmental Science, Information and Outreach Sector and Acting Director of AGEDI of Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi.

Published: 23rd August 2015.

Read more: http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395284593286.html

National Archive signs agreement with BP Archive on UAE documents

Wam.ae

The UAE National Archive has signed an agreement with British Petroleum (BP), allowing it to access documents and records about the Emirate in the company’s archive. The agreement, signed on the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the National Archive, grants the National Archive a 10-year exclusive access to all documents in the BP archive about the UAE. The company’s documents and records relating to the UAE chronicle a critical era in the country’s history. The agreement was signed by Dr. Abdulla Al Raes, Director-General of the National Archive and Peter Housego, BP Archive Manager, in presence of Abdul Rahman Ghanem Al Mutaiwee, UAE Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Published: 20th August 2015.

Read more: http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395284541068.html

Technology

 

Tweets now visible on Google search

The Hindu

Now you can see Tweets in the Google search results as Google has added Tweets to their real-time search results on the desktop. Google’s results will now show Tweets along with standard search results on your desktop, especially when search terms have to do with keywords that are trending on Twitter at the time the search is made, Slashgear.com reported. For example, searching for ‘NASA Twitter’ will not only show you a link to NASA’s official Twitter page, it will also show NASA’s most recent Tweets.

Published: 22nd August 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/internet/tweets-now-visible-on-google-search/article7569448.ece

Education+

 

Government looking to open education, legal services for foreigners

The Economic Times

The government is following a “calibrated approach” to open its education and legal services for foreigners, a move aimed at boosting country’s services sector. Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia said that work is under progress for opening education and legal services for foreign players. In a country like India, “this (the liberalisation of the services sector) is to be slow and should have a calibrated approach. It is at a very early stage. A roadmap has been prepared,” she told PTI. Explaining about the country’s approach to open education sector, the secretary said, in the beginning, opening online courses could be an option.

Published: 23rd August 2015

Read more: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/services/education/government-looking-to-open-education-legal-services-for-foreigners/articleshow/48639907.cms

Money matters

The Hindu

The Youth Money Olympiad (YMO) is a national level competition open to college students. Its aim is to help students evaluate their personal finance awareness. The winners of the first edition of Youth Money Olympiad were honoured by Principal Mutual Funds and Money Wizards at a function in Mumbai recently. The first edition had the YMO reaching out to more than 7,700 students across 75 colleges, from 41 cities in India.  The students were assessed on the basis of a personal finance IQ test conducted first at the college level, and then at a national level. The participants were given personal assessment reports and were provided with educational material to help them understand personal finance issues. Ranjai Banerji from IIM Calcutta bagged the first prize, while the second spot was shared by students from IIM Kozhikode and IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Ranchi, followed by Janani Srinivasan, a student from Ethiraj College for Women at the third position.

Published: 22nd August 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/features/education/an-interview-with-janani-srinivasan-a-winner-of-the-youth-money-olympiad/article7569374.ece

Sports – Campaign PASS

 

Campaign PASS (Promote All Sports Simultaneously) is an initiative started through my blog to promote all sports(other than cricket – which gets lot of attention) and sports personnel associated to give them more exposure.

Indian Table Tennis League launched

The Hindu

The inaugural Indian Table Tennis League, offering Rs. 1 crore prize money, will take off in May-June next year, the organisers announced today besides boasting that the franchise-based event will be the first ever league to get a dedicated window by world body ITTF. The announcement came after months of planning though many questions still remain unanswered for the league scheduled from May 28 to June 12 in the Olympic year. As of now, the league will have eight teams battling out for the lucrative prize money. Besides that, the teams will have a foreign male and female player each as well as an Indian in both categories. Officials of 11EVEN Sports, the company formed to run the league and which has the backing of Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), said the event format will be worked out soon. “Today we have just announced the launch of the league. We are still in the process of working out the number of teams, who their owners will be and players’ participation from all around the world. Now that we have got the ITTF nod, we are confident the best players of the world will be a part of this league, which will turn out to be a great learning experience for the Indian players,” 11EVEN Sports director and former player Kamlesh Mehta told PTI.

Published: 20th August 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/indian-table-tennis-league-launched/article7562063.ece

Hope you enjoyed reading the above news items and links. More sections will come as it take shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Regards,

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

News U Wish To Read – 14th August 2015

Posted on

News U Wish to read - 14 August 2015

Friday, 14th August 2015

Note: News U Wish to Read is a daily press review compiled and only covers articles published in the press, in the UAE, India and world around. Its purpose is to keep us informed of important news items which we all wish to not miss. Enjoy reading the below news items and links. More sections will come as it takes shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Energy

Saudi Arabia may go broke before the us oil industry buckles

The Telegraph

If the oil futures market is correct, Saudi Arabia will start running into trouble within two years. It will be in existential crisis by the end of the decade.  The contract price of US crude oil for delivery in December 2020 is currently $62.05, implying a drastic change in the economic landscape for the Middle East and the petro-rentier states. The Saudis took a huge gamble last November when they stopped supporting prices and opted instead to flood the market and drive out rivals, boosting their own output to 10.6m barrels a day (b/d) into the teeth of the downturn. Bank of America says OPEC is now “effectively dissolved”. The cartel might as well shut down its offices in Vienna to save money.

Published: 5th August 2015

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/oilprices/11768136/Saudi-Arabia-may-go-broke-before-the-US-oil-industry-buckles.html

Egypt to seek bids for solar and wind-power projects

The National

Egypt will begin accepting bids for 500 megawatts of renewable energy projects this month. The government yesterday said it would open the tenders for the three projects – two solar and one wind – as it tries to achieve its target of using renewable energy for 20 per cent of its energy needs in five years’ time. One investor involved in the first round of solar photovoltaic (PV) tenders said the first phase of the government’s feed-in tariff programme, a subsidy scheme, had yet to be concluded, and none of the 1,800MW PV projects the government had awarded had reached financial close. Financial close occurs when all the project and financing agreements have been signed and all the contractual conditions have been met. “The timing for these new tenders is premature because the serious companies are already involved and want to get across the finish line before they take a bigger chunk out of the market,” said the investor, adding that his company would not be interested until its existing projects have closed financially.

Published: 12th August 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/egypt-to-seek-bids-for-solar-and-wind-power-projects

No plans for Opec emergency meeting to tackle slump in oil prices

The National

Opec has no plans for an emergency meeting to respond to the slump in prices, according to delegates from the group, while members have discussed the possibility amid a persistent oversupply of crude. Four delegates from the Opec, which controls about 40 per cent of world oil supplies, said they were not aware of any plan for an emergency meeting, asking not to be identified because discussions are private. Some members have discussed holding a meeting before the scheduled December 4 gathering, the Algerian official news agency reported citing energy minister Salah Khebri. Oil has slumped more than 25 per cent since this year’s peak in June amid signs the global surplus will be prolonged. US inventories remain more than 90 million barrels above the five- year seasonal average. Societe Generale and JPMorgan Chase & Co cut their price forecasts on weaker demand growth and oversupply. “We support an emergency meeting of Opec,” Nagi Elmagrabi, chairman of Libya’s state-run National Oil Corp, said by phone Monday. “Global supply should be reduced in order to lift prices.” Political strife cut Libya’s output to about 400,000 barrels a day, compared with 1.6 million barrels a day before the 2011 rebellion that ended Muammar Qaddafi’s 42-year rule, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Algeria produces 1.1 million barrels a day.

Published: 10th August 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/no-plans-for-opec-emergency-meeting-to-tackle-slump-in-oil-prices

Solar deals are hot, but investors fret

Gulf News

A string of deals involving rooftop solar companies has shown both the appeal and potential of the business — and limits to investor enthusiasm.

SunRun, the San Francisco-based solar financing pioneer, raised $250 million (Dh918 million) in an initial public offering Wednesday, but shares fell 13 per cent. Late last month SunEdison bought the rooftop installer Vivint Solar for $2.2 billion, but SunEdison shares have fallen 28 per cent since. Still, SunRun was able to raise the amount it had hoped to, and the price for Vivint was high, signalling to analysts that despite the recent bumps, rooftop solar remains promising. “One [rooftop solar company] priced in the middle of its range and another sold for $2.2 billion. Things are very good in residential solar,” said Shayle Kann, an analyst at GTM Research.

Published: 6th August 2015

Read more: http://gulfnews.com/business/sectors/energy/solar-deals-are-hot-but-investors-fret-1.1562333

Other Sectors

Air India’s additional baggage scheme for students

Gulf News.com

National carrier Air India on Monday said it has rolled out an additional baggage scheme for students travelling to the US, UK, Europe and Canada for higher studies for a limited period. Under the scheme, Maharaja Scholars, student travellers would be allowed to carry an extra piece of luggage weighing up to 23kg, in addition to the current check-in baggage allowance of one piece of luggage for the UK and Europe, or two pieces of luggage for destinations in the US and Canada, Air India said in a release. Maharaja Scholars offer is available for students travelling from India to international destinations on a valid student/student exchange visa, it said.

Published: 11th August 2015

Follow: http://gulfnews.com/business/aviation/air-india-s-additional-baggage-scheme-for-students-1.1564651

Politics & Economy

Sensex likely to treble your money in 10 years; can top Mount 100K

Economic Times

The S&P BSE Sensex is likely to sweep past 100,000 in the next 10 years, led by sustained incremental growth in corporate earnings, experts say.  “The visibility of sustained corporate earnings growth is far higher in India vis-a vis other developed markets as economy picks pace,” Jimeet Modi, CEO, SAMCO Securities, says. If the government expects India to become a $5 trillion economy in 10-12 years, it would translate into a big surge in domestic equity markets as well. Analysts advise investors to stay put in equities to ride the momentum on the upside. The index has remained more or less flat in the year 2015, weighed down by global as well as local factors. But experts feel that the uptrend remains intact, and investors should stay put in equities. Investors would be thrilled to know that the S&P BSE Sensex has returned nearly 600 per cent in the last 15 years. If an investor plans to invest Rs 10,00,000 in the index at current levels, the money could swell Rs 30,00,000 in 10 years.

Published: 13th August 2015

Read more: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/stocks/news/sensex-likely-to-treble-your-money-in-10-years-can-top-mount-100k/articleshow/48463827.cms

Foodstuff costs shoot up in UAE after fuel price hike

Khaleej Times

Prices of foodstuff have gone up considerably across the country after fuel prices were hiked earlier this month. A top Ministry of Economy official, however, denied any rise in prices. In fish markets – especially in Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah – prices have shot up, with one piece of barracuda fish costing Dh65, as opposed to the usual Dh35.  A 45-kg box of sheri fish (spangled emperor) is going for Dh1,200 as opposed to the usual Dh400; while safi (rabbitfish) is sold for Dh65 per kilo as compared to Dh35-Dh40. Prices of jash and kover fishes have gone up from Dh25 per kilo to Dh35.

Published: 13th August 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/foodstuff-costs-shoot-up-in-uae-after-fuel-price-hike

China devalues yuan again, sending shock waves and mixed signals

The Hindu

Following Tuesday’s 1.9 % devaluation of its currency, China lowered its “daily fix” of the yuan to 6.3306 per US dollar, a further decline of 1.6%. The yuan is allowed to trade at plus or minus 2 percent around this midpoint. Wednesday’s move pushed the yuan down by another 1.4 percent to 6.4151 in onshore markets. Markets have been rife with rumours about China wanting to exacerbate a currency war. Wednesday’s move comes after Ma Jun, Central bank economist said via the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party that Tuesday’s 1.9% devaluation of the yuan by China should be seen as a one-off move to enhance the currency’s market orientation, and should not be read as the beginning of a devaluation trend. The People’s Bank of China (PBoC), on Tuesday had lowered the yuan’s ‘daily fix’ by 1.9%, sending ripples across the globe, both in terms of exchange rate and market movements and in terms of discussion and speculation about China’s motives for the decision.  Mr Jun’s comment should allay some fears of the United States, which reacted cautiously to China’s move on Tuesday. “While it is too early to judge the full implications of the change…China has indicated that the changes announced today are another step in its move to a more market-determined exchange rate,” Reuters quoted a U.S Treasury official as saying on Tuesday. However, Wednesday’s second devaluation will not allay those fears and is likely to bolster the view that this is the beginning of a sustained devaluation.

Published: 13th August 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/business/markets/china-devalues-yuan-again-sending-shock-waves-and-mixed-signals/article7531402.ece

PM Narendra Modi eyes UAE’s $800 billion sovereign fund to boost infrastructure spending

Economic Times

Narendra Modi, whose foreign visits over the past year was aimed at attracting much needed foreign investment to boost the economy, would try to lure a share from $800-billion sovereign fund of the UAE for infrastructural needs as well as give momentum to Bilateral Investment Protection Agreements (BIPA) that has not functioned to its potential to attract investments. Buoyed by the oil economy, UAE sovereign wealth fund is estimated at over $800 billion and Modi would like to attract part of this fund, imperative for the country’s infrastructural needs estimated at one trillion dollars, officials hinted.  Currently, the UAE investments in India are estimated to be $8 billion of which around $3.01 billion is in the form of foreign direct investment, while the rest is portfolio investment. UAE’s investments in India are concentrated mainly in five sectors: construction development (15.52%), power (13.09%), metallurgical industries (9.90%), services (9.58%), and IT (4.90%) sectors.

Published: 13th August 2015

Read more: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/infrastructure/pm-narendra-modi-eyes-uaes-800-billion-sovereign-fund-to-boost-infrastructure-spending/articleshow/48460657.cms

Energy, bilateral trade to be on top of Modi’s agenda

Gulf News

Energy sector and increase in bilateral trade is likely to be on the agenda of Narendra Modi as he begins his two-day visit to the UAE from August 16. The bilateral trade between the two countries stands at $60 billion (Dh220 billion) for the year 2014-15. India is the largest trading partner for the UAE with over $28 billion in non-oil trade. Though there is not much direct investment by India into the UAE energy sector, it might try to increase its presence, Robin Mills, Head of Consulting at Manaar Energy in Dubai said. He said the UAE renewable energy sector is a potential area due to the expansion of Indian solar power companies. According to Mills, Indian infrastructure, ports and energy are all priority sectors requiring investment, where the UAE may seek to be involved. “The Indian gas production and power generation are possible areas for companies such as Mubadala, International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and Taqa,” he said. According to details furnished by the Indian Embassy, Abu Dhabi’s National Petroleum Construction Company has won a major engineering and construction contract to build offshore platforms from India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) valued a Dh550 million.

Published: 13th August 2015

Read more: http://gulfnews.com/business/sectors/energy/energy-bilateral-trade-to-be-on-top-of-modi-s-agenda-1.1566052

Half of remittances from UAE go to India

Khaleej Times

Nearly half of annual individual overseas money transfers from the UAE are towards India. In 2014, individual remittances from the UAE to India — the largest receiver of remittances in the world — rose to between $12 billion and $15 billion. This figure is not inclusive of export earnings, foreign direct investment and foreign institutional investments, according to Sudhir Kumar Shetty, president of the UAE Exchange. The UAE is the host to 2.65 million Indian migrants. In the UAE, which is home for over 200 nationalities, mainly eight countries — India, Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Yemen — together accounted for $26.607 billion of the total remittance of $29.25 billion. Remittances from Kuwait and Qatar were $12 billion and $9.5 billion respectively, while smaller transfers were made out of Oman and Bahrain, a report said. Around 25 million expatriates live in the GCC states — almost equal to the native population. India received $70.39 billion in remittances from across the world in 2014. That is ahead of China, which got $64.14 billion, and more than all the remittances received by the Philippines, Mexico and Pakistan combined. The Philippines ($28 billion) came third, followed by Mexico ($25 billion) and France ($25 billion).

Published: 13th August 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/half-of-remittances-from-uae-go-to-india

Community, Environment & Society

Indian prime minister’s visit to renew UAE-India bonds

Gulf News

The Indian community in the UAE expects the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to strengthen the age old historical, social, cultural ties between the two countries. From as early as the 13th century AD, the seaports in the Gulf from Aden to Dubai were popular trade spots for seafaring businessman from the Indian states of Sindh and Saurashtra. They traveled and lived at these ports trading in textiles, spices, rice, pearls and precious stones and livestock among other things. Arab dhows got the teak wood from India and the pearl divers sold pearls to Indian jewellers in exchange for food, textiles and other goods before cash transactions became the normal practice. Veteran spokesperson of the Indian community in Dubai, Bharat Bhai Shah who came to Dubai in the early seventies said: “Those days all traders of the coastal areas of Gujarat — Saurashtra, Porbandar and other places, travelled to the Gulf countries. Aden in Yemen and Dubai were popular. It was easier for traders from northern India to pick up Arabic as many Persian words are included in the colloquial Hindi language. Even Ibn Battuta, the ancient Arab traveller has mentioned meeting Indian traders during his travels. I can see these old ties being renewed after three decades of drought,” said Shah who came to Aden as early as 1948 as an Indian houseboy and worked his way up to become a successful Indian businessmen in Saudi Arabia and finally in the UAE.

Published: 13th August 2015.

Read more: http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/government/indian-prime-minister-s-visit-to-renew-uae-india-bonds-1.1566014

Dubai launches world’s first breeding programme for endangered sand tiger sharks

Thenational.ae

An ambitious new breeding project has been launched as an “insurance policy” to protect the future of the threatened sand tiger shark. In a world first, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo has initiated an assisted breeding programme for the species, of which there are only 1,500 estimated to remain in the wild. The long-term project will develop technology that could eventually be used to artificially inseminate various species of sharks. “Artificial insemination has already been used on brown-banded bamboo sharks with a pup successfully born from an egg,” said Paul Hamilton, general manager and aquarium curator. “But this is the first time the technique is going to be applied to sand tiger sharks, which give birth to pups in the womb, so it’s a real world first.” The groundwork on the science has been done at Sea Life in Melbourne, Australia, and Dr Jon Daly, who is involved with that nine-year research, will lead the project in Dubai as a research consultant. A full-time research vet will also be on hand to support the project at Dubai Aquarium.

Published: 12th August 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/dubai-launches-worlds-first-breeding-programme-for-endangered-sand-tiger-sharks

Technology

Innovation ‘holds the key to our progress’, says Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid

The National

Innovation is the driver of progress, and governments and businesses that fail to innovate will go backwards, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid warned on Wednesday. The Vice President and Ruler of Dubai was launching National Innovation Week, which will take place from November 22 to 28. Sheikh Mohammed urged all public, private and academic entities to participate and called on the public to get involved through social media by brainstorming inventive ideas and projects that will establish the week as the most important destination for innovative and creative thinkers. “Innovation today is not an option but a necessity, not a general culture but business style. Governments and companies that do not renew or innovate lose competitiveness and control. They are bound to regress,” Sheikh Mohammed said. “We have doubled our investments in innovation and in the equipment, training and education of expert national cadres, because keeping pace with the world around us requires innovative resources and an environment that is supportive of innovation.” Innovation Week is expected to be a launchpad for the announcement of leading public and private sector initiatives as it hosts government, research, academic and school events and activities. It will also include workshops, seminars and creative laboratories meant to spark new ideas and re-evaluate established inventions achieved throughout 2015, which has been named as the Year of Innovation.

Published: 5th August 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/government/innovation-holds-the-key-to-our-progress-says-sheikh-mohammed-bin-rashid

Facebook plans new ad strategy for India

Khaleej Times

Facebook is trying to lure skeptical advertisers in India with features such as free email support for questions about advertising and advice on increasing sales in a bid to boost revenue from its second biggest market. Facebook has 132 million users in India, trailing only the 193 million in the United States, according to the company, and the country is critical for the Menlo Park, California, social network’s global expansion. But so far, the payoff has been small: Facebook earns 15 cents per user in India every quarter, compared to the $7 to $8 it makes on each US user, according to analysts. Facebook does not break out its revenues in India, but Neil Shah, an analyst at Counterpoint Research, a Hong Kong-based technology consulting firm, estimates it brings in $15 million a quarter, far behind the $350 million he estimates Google earns there per quarter. Google, which set up in India in 2004, has been in the Indian market six years longer than Facebook, and its search ads are more familiar to advertisers there than the display ads Facebook offers. The business-boosting features, described to Reuters by company executives and Indian business people, are aimed at advertisers such as Mohit Khattar, managing director at online grocery company Godrej Nature’s Basket, one of the roughly 60 to 65 million small- and medium-sized businesses in the country.

Published: 13th August 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/technology/facebook-plans-new-ad-strategy-for-india

Education+

National Digital Library on the cards

The Hindu

At a time when the Government of India is pushing for a ‘Digital India’, the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) is in the midst of developing the National Digital Library (NDL) which will help students access all digitised educational content on a common platform. The content required to build the NDL will be derived from the libraries of educational institutions from across the nation. The main aim of the project is to create a knowledge base for students belonging to all ages, explained Partha Pratim Das, joint project investigator and professor at the computer science and engineering department. “Every educational institution has its own content which is available exclusively for its own students and staff. Our aim is to digitise such content and bring it under an umbrella, thereby, making it accessible for students all over the country. We have started off by integrating content which is already digitised by universities and are streamlining it to a common platform,” Prof. Das said.

Published: 8th August 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/features/education/national-digital-library-on-the-cards/article7516110.ece

Sports – Campaign PASS

Campaign PASS (Promote All Sports Simultaneously) is an initiative started through my blog to promote all sports(other than cricket – which gets lot of attention) and sports personnel associated to give them more exposure.

It is all in the mind

The Hindu

News U Wish to read - 14 August 2015One day in 2006, Ian McDonald came across a story on blind chess players in a newspaper. As a sports sociologist and filmmaker the idea of blind people playing the game intrigued him. He asked his wife Geetha and a couple of chess players about it but they had no idea. He kept the clipping in his wallet and it stayed with him for two years. “In 2008 I met Charudutta Jadhav, a former star player and head of All India Chess Federation for The Blind. It opened a new world for McDonald. Charu took him to the national championship in Mumbai and what he saw was an “amazing underexposed but thriving community of blind chess players.” McDonald went back to his wife and thus started the journey of Algorithms, a stirring independent feature length documentary that simplifies the game of complex calculations into a lyrical celebration of indomitable spirit. The film also evokes a strange sense of humour when Darpan asks a foreign player about the level of his vision loss and when he says that he is 100 percent blind with just a little perception of light, Darpan feels elated and expresses a sense of solidarity.

“We are very conscious while interacting with blind people. We avoid phrases like ‘see you later’ but having spent three years in the blind world I realise that it is a routine matter for them. In fact, often, their conversation starts with the level of blindness and the players who are 100 percent blind have a sense of pride.”

At the end of the day, McDonald admits, he is a white English speaking man and had to seek the help of his producer wife Geetha, who has a journalistic background, to get the families open up. In a scene Darpan’s mother walks out of the frame while talking about the days when Darpan suffered from a rare syndrome which resulted in his skin peeling off. “It was the first time that the parents opened up about it after a long time. We decided not to follow her or question her even as the father continued to narrate the experience. We didn’t want to pity them or sensationalise the experience.” On a personal level, the film made the filmmaker question the whole idea of disability. “After the day’s play I used to follow the players into their hotel rooms for the post mortem. They would start chatting and I would stop them to draw the curtains to get the right light. One day Charu said, ‘it is your problem, your disability we want to discuss.’ It made me realise that disability is a very relative word,” sums up McDonald.

Published: 12th  August 2015

Read more:

http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/it-is-all-in-the-mind/article7531096.ece

Hope you enjoyed reading the above news items and links. More sections will come as it take shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Regards,

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

14th August 2015