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News U Wish to read – 23rd August 2015

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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

Photos that speak – Passionate Photography Thoughts

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Photo Speaks - Passionate Photography ThoughtsI have an active photography group on Facebook named “Passionate Photographers”. As the name denotes this is a group intended to ignite your passion for photography. How this group and your presence as a member can fuel the growth of your photography knowledge and photographic output depends on your active involvement within. It is the case in every aspects of our life.

Good photos make us curious onlookers of any posts either in print or web media. Many times some of the best creations are produced by experts with the latest equipment available to them. It may be a wide variety of lenses, lighting equipment, even models or subjects who are professionals to modulate the subjective topic into a magical visual experience. However, many of us do not have these advantage factors and the same should never hold us from continuing our passion to go in without inhibition and capture that magical and price moment which comes in front of us.

How can we do that?

This is where an open attitude towards this hobby and creative activity comes in. Let me take the example of cricket. Many of us are fond of cricket. Now imagine getting a chance to play at the beautiful Sheikh Zayed cricket stadium in Abu Dhabi for a T20 match. A golden opportunity comes in front of us from out of the blue as a bowler. You get to bowl only 24 genuine balls against your opposition. It is here your mind plays the key role. If you have been a player who plays cricket, you always play the game in your mind several times. The situation, its pros and cons, the weather condition, batsman whom you may play against or many other.  All those things are practiced and perfected in mind. Also your own positives and negatives, the effectiveness of your equipment like bat and other gears. You get the best result with the right applications of all the factors involved.

The situation is similar for you when a photographic opportunity comes to you suddenly.

I am sure all of you have a digital camera or an android phone, which of course now everyone has. First thing for you is to study its numerous features and their effectiveness on different light situations and surroundings. For this you have to keep on clicking, changing each and every option and testing it out. Like the bowler, who bowls numerous overs in the nets and perfect that unplayable Yorker, doosra or theesra or whatever, you too have to test the various options several times. This will make you comfortable and quick fingered to change the settings to the required mode to capture your object within the minutest of seconds available.

In photography, seconds or milliseconds are precious. It teaches you the importance of time within time. This is why I say and propagate that those who are interested in photography normally succeed in all other fields of life.

Constant practice makes you comfortable and experienced with your equipment.  This is the same way you get to understand your family or friends, their likes and dislikes up, close and personal, so that you get the best out of them always. Or like the same way you change gears on a fast track, if you know your equipment well, you will be able to switch over to various modes within the applicable precious seconds available at your disposal. This is how you get to see extremely interesting photographic moments captured by photo journalists. Regular members of photography related groups can visualize the amount of devoted effort by professional photographers to give us a golden moment. Examples of clicks when a mad elephant attacking a man, a sprinter finishing the race, an accident during a high speed car racing etc are some of them.

Lighting is another important factor that aid to a perfect picture. What do we do, if we are not equipped with specialized lighting equipment? What more you need than the natural and greatest light providers – i.e. the Sun and the moon. Through constant observation, a photography enthusiast will be able to learn about different light options available during different times of the day and night. Your photography life becomes easy once you start understanding these natural settings better. Positioning yourself in the right spot to gain the advantage of these lights will then do wonderful effect your otherwise normal equipment and settings. By constant practice and observations you will learn the best settings for any particular scene to look priceless.

Observe closely each and every photo you get to see, especially of experts and professionals. Play the settings in your mind like a bowler and you will never know when that priceless moment comes clicking in front of you. Try it and your Photo will definitely speak the next time.

My photography journey has been slow, but steady. A look at the photo section of the Passionate Photographers group will prove how each one of the members learn and grow in this passion of theirs.

Every photo clicked is a history. You will never be able to re-create that precious moment.

God bless and have Passionate Photographic days ahead.

Ramesh Menon

rameshmenonabudhabi@gmail.com/rameshmenonauh

News U Wish To Read – 14th August 2015

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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

Hard work – only way to success

Posted on Updated on

Hard Work - Only way to success
I love to visit Mumbai whenever I get a chance. The place has lot of specialties in it which no other city in India can boast about. First and foremost I value is the way people work hard to earn their daily bread. You will get to find people living and enjoying with even a meager daily income.

My regular visits have made me connect with a special friend in Mumbai. I met him 6 years ago during a rainy season, when I was waiting for a taxi outside my hotel. Many taxis came and I was not comfortable to stop them as I felt they may stop in the rain submerged roads. Then came one very old Maruti high roof van. The van’s poor condition with its windows opened made it convenient to explore my photography opportunities. He was familiar with the city and took me around for the next three days.

The rapport generated continued from then on and every time since then he was my driver to take me around when in Mumbai.

As usual this time too I called him and there he comes with a different car. His owner had sold his favorite (mine too) Maruti and now given him a Hyundai Getz.

We travelled around in it and several topics came up for discussion and one item was progress in one’s career. I asked him whether he wanted to have his own car one day? He said to me, he is happy with the daily earnings he gets after paying the owner Rs 500. Some days are good and some days bad. Minor works to the car will be done by him and any major repair by its owner. With it, he takes care of his wife and children, who live in another state.

He said, “Sir, I believe in hard work and may be one day, if I am able to save more, I will buy a bigger car – an Innova or something, where I can take tourists around. I don’t pray to god to get me a lottery or any other things which I do not deserve. Give me my daily bread and take care of my family. That is my prayer always”.

I felt great to hear from him those words, as of course, I have already found him to be a honest person from his interactions all these years.  I move around in the city with all my cameras and electronic equipment and not even once I felt insecure with him.

My driver and local guide Sandip Dubey (Mobile: 08080183510 / 08108453706) proved once again that there are good human beings everywhere. You can try him too if you are visiting Mumbai next time (he will be mostly near the International Airport). (Of course, all normal statutory warnings associated with self precaution connected to this citation).

I am looking forward to the time when he will drive around in his own Innova car.

News U Wish to Read – 4th August

Posted on Updated on

News U Wish to read 2 - 4 August 2015

Tuesday,  4th 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

Masdar Institute and MIT collaborate on energy storage system

thenational.ae

Abu Dhabi’s Masdar Institute is working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop an advanced energy storage system with plans to demonstrate the technology by early 2017. Masdar said the Redox Flow Batteries (RFBs) would bolster renewable energy projects in the UAE, and the technology would be significantly cheaper than the types of batteries in use currently. The RFBs would better store electrical energy as chemical energy and convert it back into electrical energy when needed. One of the main challenges facing the renewable energy sector is storing wind and solar energy. Both energy forms are intermittent, or only available at certain times. Presently, expensive fuel cells are mainly used for storage and are uneconomical for many projects. Should its energy storage system be a success, it would advance the UAE’s standing in the global energy storage market, which is expected to reach US$113.5 billion in the next two years.

Published: 3rd August 2015

Read more:  http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/masdar-institute-and-mit-collaborate-on-energy-storage-system

Iran to throw the switch on energy projects after sanctions end

The National

The number of energy projects in Iran could double over five years to nearly 400 once sanctions are gradually lifted, according to Meed Projects. There are 197 energy projects – ranging from oil and gas to petrochemicals and utilities – under construction or planned representing a US$167 billion opportunity for regional and international companies, according to data from the projects tracking service. The opportunities will only increase as new projects are added. For the first time in a decade, international companies are close to re-establishing business relations with Iran, with the energy sector set to play a major role in the country’s revitalisation. The Dubai-based power provider Full Power Solutions expects its Iranian manufacturing arm, Electro Kavir, to ramp up production once sanctions are removed.

Published: 3rd August 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/iran-to-throw-the-switch-on-energy-projects-after-sanctions-end

Adnoc to use minor profit for expansion

Khaleej Times

The UAE has the most competitive oil prices even though they have been deregulated, the chief executive officer of Adnoc Distribution said. “Although the fuel prices have been deregulated, we still maintain one of the most competitive prices in the region and the world at large, when factoring in the per capita spend on fuel in comparison to the average income of individuals,” Abdulla Salem Al Dhaheri said. “This can be largely attributed to the solid economic foundations established by our wise leadership and its directives to provide a competitive environment with zero taxes on income and expenditure making the UAE module unique and attractive,” he added. Al Dhaheri said “when setting the new prices, we have considered international prices as the benchmark and include an added operation cost and minor profit margin”. The new direction of deregulating prices will allow Adnoc Distribution to leverage its expansion plans to meet the rising demand for petroleum and allied products by the public in line with the sustained urban growth the UAE is witnessing across all regions, he said. The decision will also allow Adnoc Distribution to enhance the quality of products and services and deliver an improved customer experience via its service centres in the long-term. Al Dhaheri said that given the prevailing global prices, it was a real challenge for Adnoc Distribution to cut down diesel prices that have been reduced by 29 per cent. The decision to reduce diesel prices has been taken in public interest with the aim of supporting the national economy and ensuring its global competitiveness.

Published: 29th July 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/local/adnoc-to-use-minor-profit-for-expansion

Iran energy projects market worth more than $160bn

Gulf News

The country can increase oil production by 500,000 barrels a day in a week after sanctions end, Iran’s oil minister says. The Iranian energy projects market represents a $167 billion (Dh613 billion) opportunity for regional and international companies as the Islamic republic prepares for the lifting of sanctions. According to the latest data from Dubai based MEED Projects, an online projects tracking service, there are 197 individual energy (oil, gas, petrochemical, industry and utilities) projects either planned or under way in Iran, a number that could well double as sanctions are gradually lifted.

The largest single future project in the Iranian energy sector is the estimated $4.5 billion Kish Gas Development, followed by the $3.2 billion Anahita oil refinery in Western Iran. Another major future projects include the $3 billion Nalco aluminium complex and the $2.5 billion Jask oil terminal project.

Gas and oil reserves

“With a GDP of some $400 billion, a population of close to 80 million, and the world’s third largest gas and fourth largest oil reserves, Iran has long represented an excellent projects opportunity,” says Ed James, Director of Content & Analysis at MEED Projects. “However, it is only now with the impending lifting of sanctions that international companies — for the first time in a decade — have the opportunity to invest in the local projects market.”

Published: 2nd August 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/local/adnoc-to-use-minor-profit-for-expansion

Morocco opts for a bit of sun with new solar programme

The National

Morocco has announced a new solar programme with the first phase totalling 25 megawatts, but the small size could deter some large companies from investing. “The problem is that in terms of capacity, it’s only of interest for some bidders,” said Boris Martor, the head of the Africa division at Eversheds. The UK law firm advises its clients on renewable energy projects throughout the region. Mr Martor noted that feasibility-study, development and negotiation costs were the same regardless of scale. The first phase of the three-phase Tafilalet solar photovoltaic project will total 25MW, a small size compared to other solar projects in Morocco totalling more than 100MW each. “[Developers] have to find financing for a project that might be smaller, but in terms of development, would cost the same as a larger project,” he said. The World Bank and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development will provide financing, but Mr Martor said that at this stage it was still unclear if the organisations would finance the first phase in its entirety, expected to total US$150 million.

Published: 30th July 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/morocco-opts-for-a-bit-of-sun-with-new-solar-programme

China moves to make the grade as a setter of oil price

The National

Talking about a 19th-century political dispute, the British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston said: “Only three people have ever understood the business – one is dead, one has gone mad and I have forgotten.”  His words seem equally fitting to describe the arcane technicalities of pricing crude oil. Yet the way oil is priced is set for a major shake-up – and the Arabian Gulf’s leading oil exporters will be affected. It is in their grasp to shape this change, or to be passive bystanders. The change in crude pricing is led, as in so many other energy affairs these days, by Asia’s rising demand – and, in particular, the growing heft of China. In October 2014 and again in April this year, Chinese traders were extremely active in buying up grades of Middle East crude that are used to set prices. They might have had valid needs for the oil, but it is at least as likely that they wanted to support “paper” – purely financial – trading positions. International crude has long been priced by reference to three grades: West Texas Intermediate (WTI) from the US, Brent from the UK’s North Sea and Dubai. WTI and Brent are traded on regulated futures exchanges, making the market transparent and highly liquid. It has become increasingly clear, though, that these benchmarks have problems. Due to the expansion of US shale oil production, and that country’s ban on exports, WTI has become a landlocked crude whose value is at times well below that of comparable international crudes. Production from Brent is declining, and more fields have to be added to the basket of valid supply sources, but it is still vulnerable to “squeezes” by traders who can buy up cargoes to corner the market, and to random factors such as bad weather, technical glitches, strikes and even anomalies of South Korean taxation. Most importantly, both Brent and WTI are light, sweet (low sulphur) crudes, very different from the heavier, sour (high sulphur) crudes produced in the Middle East that are now the dominant diet for Asian refineries. The Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) has consequently positioned its Dubai-Oman crude contract as a possible Middle East-Asian counterpart to Brent and WTI. But it has still not attracted the same levels of interest and liquidity as its older rivals. Apart from Dubai and Oman, Middle East producers still price most of their crude using opaque assessments of the market by specialist reporting agencies. So now China has stepped forward. The Shanghai International Energy Exchange is launching its own crude oil contract – where the buyers, not the sellers, would be the key players. Shanghai’s contract has major problems – in particular, neither Kuwait nor Saudi Arabia have opted to support it, and it is denominated not in dollars like the Brent, WTI and DME contracts, but in yuan (which is non-convertible, and exposes traders to currency risk). Most of all, it will be dominated, at least at first, by the big Chinese traders, notably Unipec (Sinopec’s trading arm) and Chinaoil (the subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation). Although the market is slowly opening up, few other companies have the right to import crude oil into China. Still, China is too big to ignore. And as a major buyer, its interest would naturally be in the direction of lower prices. As recent stock market intervention suggests, it is hardly inconceivable that the Chinese government would take an interest in a contract for such a strategic commodity. The DME and Shanghai contracts are not incompatible – indeed, the two exchanges have signed an agreement to cooperate. But if Middle East countries, presumably with Opec as the key venue, do not decide a common front on pricing their oil, they risk being picked off individually, and drawn inescapably into using the Chinese exchange. On this esoteric formula rides billions of dollars.

Published: 2nd August 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/china-moves-to-make-the-grade-as-a-setter-of-oil-price

Other Sectors

Cheaper fuel lifts Indian carriers on efficiency drive

Thenational.ae

India’s airlines are showing signs of improvement in their latest results, helped by lower oil prices and efforts to boost their performance. SpiceJet on Tuesday reported a net profit of 718 million rupees (Dh41.2m) in the quarter between April and June compared to a loss of 1.24 billion rupees in the same period a year earlier. This was driven by lower fuel prices and more efficient use of the airline’s fleet. Mahesh Sharma, the minister of state for civil aviation, a day earlier revealed that Air India had reduced its net losses to 55.47bn rupees in the last financial year to the end of March compared to 75.59bn rupees in the financial year of 2011 to 2012, helped by improvements in seat factors and on-time performance. Edelweiss Securities, based in Mumbai, has predicted a profit of 343m rupees for Jet Airways in the quarter to the end of June compared to a loss of 2.17bn rupees a year earlier. “The domestic aviation industry has seen strong growth in this quarter,” Edelweiss said. “In line, we expect Jet Airways to report a 28 per cent year-on-year growth in passengers. The benefit of lower fuel costs will reflect in this quarter also.” Airline losses in India could reduce by 40 per cent this year, according to Capa.

Published: 1st August 2015

Follow: http://www.thenational.ae/business/aviation/cheaper-fuel-lifts-indian-carriers-on-efficiency-drive

Chinese smartphone makers to set up factories in India

Thenational.ae

Smartphone makers based in China are leading the way with plans to set up manufacturing facilities in India. The Indian government this month cleared a proposal for Huawei Technologies, one of China’s biggest telecoms companies, to set up a manufacturing unit in Tamil Nadu, south India. Foxconn, the Taiwanese company which manufactures Apple’s iPhone in China, last week revealed plans to create 10 to 12 factories and up to 1 million jobs in India by 2020. There is a push by Narendra Modi’s government to transform India into a manufacturing powerhouse, which would involve it competing with countries such as China. Xiaomi, China’s largest smartphone manufacturer, also plans to produce phones in India.  Smartphone growth has shifted from China to India, according to a recent report by HSBC. “As the domestic market has become saturated, Chinese brands have been trying to expand overseas,” it said.

Published: 18th July 2015

Follow: http://www.thenational.ae/business/technology/chinese-smartphone-makers-to-set-up-factories-in-india

Make in India: Sony Corp inks pact to manufacture Bravia line of TVs at Foxconn’s plant near Chennai

The Economic Times

Sony Corp is back to manufacturing in India after more than a decade. The Japanese consumer electronics major has entered into an agreement to manufacture its Bravia line of televisions at Taiwanese contract manufacturer major Foxconn’s plant near Chennai. It is also evaluating the possibility of making smartphones in the country and may eventually set up its own plant in India, Sony India managing director Kenichiro Hibi said. “The government’s ‘Make in India’ policy and the growing importance of India for Sony worldwide has accelerated our decision to manufacture in India once again,” Hibi told ET. “Local production will help us to be more competitive, lower costs and allow faster turnaround time to launch newer models,” he said.

Published: 4th August 2015

Follow: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/hardware/make-in-india-sony-corp-inks-pact-to-manufacture-bravia-line-of-tvs-at-foxconns-plant-near-chennai/articleshow/48337308.cms

Why InMobi may be India’s most innovative company

The Economic Times

“That has been one of the keys to our growth — making sure we get the right people in from the beginning. If you get that right, you hire amazing people, they’ll be fine, and they’ll do amazing things”. Till 2012, it wasn’t as if Naveen Tewari and the three other cofounders weren’t signing on the right people for the eight-year-young InMobi. It’s just that leading them was now becoming cumbersome, as the numbers got larger. The quartet were wrapped up in scaling what they claim is today the world’s largest and most powerful independent mobile advertising platform. In four months — between April and July, 2012 — the company’s employee base surged from 200 to 900. “We hired people to be on a massive growth trajectory,” recalls 37-year-old Tewari.

Published: 2nd August 2015

Follow: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/why-inmobi-may-be-indias-most-innovative-company/articleshow/48311479.cms

Politics & Economy

 

Low oil prices hit UAE job growth, new report shows

The National

The signs of a slowing job market in the UAE because of falling oil prices have started to appear. A report from the recruiting company Morgan McKinley yesterday showed that professional hirings fell by 1 per cent in the second quarter to 8,109 compared with 8,213 in the first three months of the year. “The oil price went back up to $60 per barrel towards the end of the quarter, but it needs to go up by a further $5-$10 a barrel to make new drilling and exploration projects viable,” said Trefor Murphy, the managing director for the Middle East and North Africa at Morgan McKinley, in the report. Brent oil price closed on Friday 2 per cent lower at US$52.21 per barrel, which is a more than 50 per cent drop since peaking at $115 in June last year. An oil supply glut, weaker demand in Asia and Europe and a strong dollar have pushed oil prices lower this year.

Published: 2nd August 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/low-oil-prices-hit-uae-job-growth-new-report-shows

Can penny stocks make you rich?

The Economic Times

Akshat Shah doesn’t know whether he should be kicking himself or feeling relieved. Kicking himself because one of the stocks this Ahmedabad-based finance professional was tracking since 2014 has risen 200% in the past seven months.  After hitting a 52-week low of Rs 1.15 in December 2014, the share price of Karuturi GlobalBSE 6.13 % shot up to its 52-week high of Rs 4.95 last week. And feeling relieved because most of the other penny stocks on his radar have slipped 60-70% in the past seven months. After hitting a 52-week low of Rs 1.15 in December 2014, the share price of Karuturi GlobalBSE 6.13 % shot up to its 52-week high of Rs 4.95 last week. And feeling relieved because most of the other penny stocks on his radar have slipped 60-70% in the past 12 months.

Published: 3rd August 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/low-oil-prices-hit-uae-job-growth-new-report-shows

Seven rules for investing in penny stocks

The Economic Times

Despite the risks, small investors are putting big money in low-priced penny stocks. They are lured by the fantastic returns that some stocks have delivered in the past few months. If you also want to invest in this risky segment of the market, keep a few rules in mind.

Published: 3rd August 2015

Read more: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/stocks/news/seven-rules-for-investing-in-penny-stocks/articleshow/48305040.cms

Community, Environment & Society

 

How UAE firms deal with grief in the workplace

Thenational.ae

Managers with teams are normally taught soft skills like negotiation, time management or coaching – but not how to deal with a grieving member of staff, one of the most sensitive situations they are ever likely to encounter. “The role of the manager and HR is wider in the UAE than in the West; they are looking after people who are away from family and the first call often comes into the employer,” says Patricia O’Sullivan, the 51-year-old owner of ProTraining. The 12-year-old UAE training company has this year started a one-day workshop for Managing Grief in the Workplace. The course has run twice so far this year and is next scheduled for September 1 in Abu Dhabi.

Published: 2nd August 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/the-life/how-uae-firms-deal-with-grief-in-the-workplace

Humility a quality to be cherished

Thenational.ae

The forum’s compère had clearly done her research, sharing details of the accomplished leader who was to be the next speaker on stage. Facts flowed about measurable achievements while anecdotes added a unique flavour. Upon its completion and with the audience’s curiosity piqued, the leader stepped on to the stage saying how the introduction was so interesting, that for a while she was wondering who was being introduced.  Such humility is evident in many great leaders, when the level of consideration for one’s own impact has reduced importance or significance, with judgment never being clouded by position. During that forum, I pondered one question: with all those credits to her name, what made that leader so humble? Great leaders facilitate change in trusted and trusting environments, and to cultivate trust the show must be about “us”, not “me”.

Published: 2nd August 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/the-life/humility-a-quality-to-be-cherished

Technology

 

How to see if your emails are being tracked in Gmail before opening them

The Economic Times

You might not realize it, but there are now email-tracking tools that make it easy for people to see when you open an email, what you click, and where you’re located. “Emails appear no different to your contacts, but you get data when, where, and how a contact interacts with your message,” says a cheery video advertising Bananatag, an email-tracking service for Gmail designed for job seekers, advertisers, and those working in public relations. In response, a handy new tool called Ugly Email shows you when your emails in Gmail are being tracked, and it starts working before you click anything. When Ugly Email is installed, a tiny little eye symbol appears next to any email in an inbox that is being tracked by tools like Bananatag, Streak, or Yesware.

Published: 3rd August 2015

Read more: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/internet/how-to-see-if-your-emails-are-being-tracked-in-gmail-before-opening-them/articleshow/48326336.cms

Education+

 

Synthesis, not analysis, is the future

The Hindu

Prof. Sanjay Dhande, former Director of IIT Kanpur and the Founder-Director of the Mahindra Ecole Centrale, speaks to BINCY MATHEW about training engineers in a holistic manner.  Please tell us about the vision of the Mahindra Ecole Centrale College of Engineering? At MEC, “Our Vision is to train engineers, both men and women, to be entrepreneurial and innovative as well as technically trained, so that they are capable of meeting the greatest challenges of their era, globally.”

Published: 1st August 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/features/education/synthesis-not-analysis-is-the-future/article7489211.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.

Target must be to fulfill potential: Geet Sethi

The Times of India

Ace cueist Geet Sethi suggested that OGQ allowed senior elite athletes to make their own decisions regarding their careers and goals. “The targets for athletes are that they need to fulfill their potential. They are senior athletes and they have their own targets so I don’t think it’s for us to define them,” the 54-year-old said.  “For us the targets are that there should be no requirements of theirs that remains unfulfilled,” the multiple world champion explained. “A lot is being done by the government and sports ministry. If there is a small little gap, we come in and fill it,” he added.

Published: 3rd August 2015

Read more: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/more-sports/snooker/billiards/Target-must-be-to-fulfill-potential-Geet-Sethi/articleshow/48327660.cms

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