Image result for PIFSS approves merger of KFH and Bahrain Ahli Bank

No fears of fines on Future Bank


KUWAIT CITY, Aug 15: The Public Institute for Social Security (PIFSS) has initially approved the merger of Kuwait Finance House and the Ahli United Bank (Bahrain), according to a technical study prepared by the institution’s management and investment arm, reports Al-Qabas daily.

PIFFS confirmed that Article 3 of Decision No. 5 of 2017 shall have the highest authority in determining the rules and programs of investing the corporation’s funds and issuing the necessary investment decisions. Sources noted that the Wafra International Investment Company (Kuwait) participated in the evaluation and study process, and stipulated in its approval to open the books of both banks and start the process.

It said that it set a minimum exchange rate, which is subject to a rigorous examination process, pointing out that the book value of the total shares of KFH in the books of the due diligence report on Feb 28, 2019 was 202.6 million dinars, and the market value as of the same date was 233.33 million dinars.

The corporation denied any fears of imposing fines on the Future Bank of Iran, in which Ahli United Bank (Bahrain) contributes one third of the capital, stressing that in case of imposing fines on the bank, it will be charged to it, within the limits of the contribution and does not bear another entity either Ahli United Bank or PIFFS shall be subject to any penalties as a result of penalties that may be imposed, but shall be charged to the Future Bank only within the limits of the contribution to the capital and assets of the Bank.

With the authorities still busy in evaluation and land acquisition, work on any of the nine special economic zones (SEZs) to be set up in the country under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has not yet begun, Dawn has learnt. — AP/File

ISLAMABAD: With the authorities still busy in evaluation and land acquisition, work on any of the nine special economic zones (SEZs) to be set up in the country under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has not yet begun, Dawn has learnt.

Most of these economic zone projects — which will be established in the federal capital, all the four provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas — are either at the stage of land acquisition or their feasibility reports are being finalised, according to the information provided by the government to the National Assembly in response to a question asked by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz lawmaker from Narowal Mehnaz Akber Aziz.

The nine SEZs are Rashakai Economic Zone in Nowshera (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa); China Special Economic Zone, Dhabeji (Sindh); Bostan Industrial Zone (Balochistan); Allama Iqbal Industrial City, Faisalabad (Punjab); ICT Model Industrial Zone, Islamabad; Industrial Park on Pakistan Steel Mills Land at Port Qasim near Karachi (Sindh); SEZ at Mirpur (AJK); Mohmand Marble City (formerly Fata) and Moqpondass SEZ in Gilgit-Baltistan.

The official document shows that none of these SEZs have so far been provided with basic amenities as utility departments are still doing calculations and making evaluations.

Authorities yet to complete groundwork for nine zones under CPEC

While an agreement between the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zone Development Management Company (KPEZDMC) and the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) for the development of Rashakai SEZ in Nowshera had been signed on Nov 3, 2018, the government expects that “work on off-site infrastructure facilities” for the project will begin on Oct 31, according to the official document.

As far as the provision of basic amenities is concerned, the document says that PC-1 for the provision of electricity will be submitted by Aug 30. The power division will then evaluate the proposal and process for funding through the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).

“The petroleum division is making necessary arrangements for provision of gas at the zero point of the zone,” it says, adding that the provincial government will ensure provision of “adequate supply of water”.

The document says that 1,530 acres for the China SEZ at Dhabeji has already been reserved/ earmarked by the Board of Revenue in Sindh. A detailed feasibility study had been completed in April 2018 by Consortium of Consultants (EY Ford Rhodes, Osmani & Co, RIAA Barker Gillette and IBA Karachi), it says. “The preparation of Request for Proposals and draft concession agreement shall be ready for the developer solicitation through international competitive bidding” by the end of this month, it adds.

Service providers K-Electric, Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) had shared official estimates along with the details of external infrastructure availability and the tentative timelines for provision of electricity, gas and water to the doorstep of the SEZ. The PC-I for 32MW of electricity prepared in coordination with K-Electric was submitted to the power division, Islamabad, on May 29.

Similarly, the Balochistan industries department had already completed and submitted the feasibility study of Bostan SEZ. An application seeking Bostan SEZ notification as per SEZ Act, 2012, is currently “under evaluation by the Board of Investment (BoI)”, according to the document.

The earth-breaking ceremony of Allama Iqbal Industrial City (M3), Faisalabad, is expected by the month end. The government claims 80 per cent land for the project has been acquired while efforts are still on for acquisition of remaining land. An application will soon be submitted to the BoI under the SEZ Act, 2012. The Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company is carrying out a detailed study for the zone development, as the firm’s demand of utilities will be calculated and forwarded to the power division for funding through the PSDP.

Due to non-availability of public land in the federal capital, the Islamabad SEZ project has been delayed. The National Industrial Park Management Company (NIP) and the BoI had discussed the requirement for land at I-17 Sector of Islamabad with the Capital Development Authority (CDA). “However, the CDA has conveyed in writing regarding non-availability of public land in the ICT,” the official document says.

It says the BoI also received an application from the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) for establishing National Science and Technology Park (SEZ) in May. “The evaluation and viability of the project is under process at the BoI”, it explains. Nust also submitted an undertaking that electricity and gas requirement would be met through integral arrangements.

About the Industrial Park on Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) land in Karachi, it says the Board of Directors had approved in principle the proposal last year but “the matter is still under consideration between the management of the NIP and the PSM. They will organise meetings shortly to resolve the issue of land and its pricing,” the National Assembly was informed.

The Mirpur SEZ in AJK is being developed in two phases. The document says that land measuring 178 acres has already been acquired by the Industries Department for Phase I. For the Phase II, it says “land measuring 717 acres has been transferred, whereas acquisition of 193 acres is in progress”. For land acquisition, Rs270 million has been paid to the collector. The consultant has submitted draft feasibility study, PC-I and master plan. The draft feasibility report is, however, under revision due to new demarcation of land. The estimated cost for SEZ Mirpur establishment is around Rs6.749 billion.

Similarly, the government says that 350 acres have been acquired in erstwhile Fata for setting up of Mohmand Marble City and a feasibility study is being conducted.

While 250 acres have been acquired for Moqpondass SEZ (Gilgit) and a feasibility study has been submitted by the Gilgit-Baltistan industries department, the National Assembly was informed that a “formal application for declaration of SEZ as per provisions of the SEZ Act 2012 is still awaited”.

Image result for Gold price has climbed and is climbing further

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 13, (KUNA): The US Federal Reserve’s recent decision to slash interest rate on the USD and ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing contributed to lifting gold prices in the past two days from USD 1,400 per ounce to USD 1,475 (OZ).


A report issued by the Kuwaiti Sabayek Company for precious metals, released on Tuesday, said the gold price, according to “most investors,” would exceed USD 1,500 (OZ). The yellow metal rate reached the highest level since 2013 when it has recently hit USD 1,475 (OZ), buoyed by a weak USD and investors’ inclination toward bourses and global stocks. The US Federal Reserve policy of trimming the interest rate will most certainly push the precious metal price higher than the USD 1,500 (OZ), according to the Sabayek Co. report.

Continuing commercial war between the US and China will lead to higher commodity prices, thus the USD value is forecast to drop, the report said, indicating that this situation would “serve the yellow metal and cause it to climb in the coming days.” Locally, sales in July were low with upcoming summer vacation and the eid, in addition to hike of global prices due to geopolitical factors in East Asia, as well as the global trade war. The report says the prices in the local market will remain low due to investors’ jitters and anticipations.

Source: Arab Times

Image result for It is hard to shake off addiction to crude oil

International oil markets are closely watching a particular crude oil production number – Saudi Arabia’s Aramco figure, and they are reacting accordingly.


The longterm ambition of oil countries to live without depending on oil seems to be a farfetched o b j e c t i v e . None of our Arabian Gulf countries can move away from it and find a realistic solution in terms of a new source of revenue as an alternative to oil.

We in Kuwait started to call for an alternative revenue source instead of oil in 1965 through our planning board. Unfortunately, we are still in the talking stage even though we have all the necessary tools, a small population, good infrastructure and technology, high rate of education and computer know-how, plus young population.

Lack of determination, vision and leadership are the main obstacles in the plan to move away from oil. In addition, the available money has been delaying such a firm action.

Maybe we need to wait further until the time comes when we run out of money and start cashing our overseas investments. The second country to take such a decision is Saudi Arabia. It decided three years ago to reduce the dependence on oil by 2020 but it has now realized that this is not possible and that the date is not realistic.

Nevertheless, their decision to sell about five percent of its giant Saudi Aramco is a step towards moving away from oil by offering its shares to international investors, and generating more cash for other non-oil investments inside the country.

Further delays could result in lower value for its assets with oil prices going down and not likely to improve and go above $70 in the coming years. Another factor to bear in mind is that oil producing countries will not be generating the surplus cash that they used to get in the last five years. Since the end of 2014, most of them have been facing big financial deficits, including Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, as they need oil price to be within the range of $75 to $80 per barrel.

This is impossible to achieve now and in the future due to free availability of shale oil from USA and Argentina, and with other countries to follow. The choice of finding an alternative source of revenue instead of depending on oil is no longer a free option, but it is a must action. Five years ago, USA came to the decision to stop being addicted to oil from the Middle East, and to become independent. Now they are, and are addicted to their own oils. Can we do the same and move away from our addiction to our sole of income?

By Kamel Al-Harami Independent Oil Analyst

Source: Arab Times

Image result for Electric cars making slow inroads in Kuwait market

KUWAIT CITY, July 28: The electrical cars are entering the Kuwaiti market gradually, opening a new phase for customers, and with it the discussions for the car charging stations needed by these vehicles have begun for the success of their experimental use on the roads, reports Al-Rai daily.


The Minister of Commerce had formed a technical committee specialized in electrical vehicles in which officials from 14 government agencies and the private sector had participated to establish the necessary conditions and the provision of electric charging stations in all areas.

This is in line with the vision of Kuwait 2030 which aims at increasing reliance on alternative energy and reducing dependence on oil with the aim of reducing pollution and raising the competitiveness of the state in the environmental field.

In view of the diversity of opinions on the success of electric cars spreading in the local market, the views of some officials differed on the importance of their spread and the need of the local market for them. More meetings will be held in order to outline the establishment and construction of the stations that meet the needs of the customers and move Kuwait to a new level in the automotive sector.

Source: Arab Times

Second edition of GIAS will be held from January 27-29 Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 16 July 2019, (AETOSWire): The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of UAE has announced that the second edition of Global Investment in Aviation Summit (GIAS) 2020, themed ‘Enabling Global Aviation Growth through Fund Raising and Key Partnerships’ will be held in Dubai from January 27-29.

Over 200 investors and 1,200 delegates, besides selected government officials, aviation organisations, finance & insurance firms, aviation asset owners, aircraft operators & logistic service providers and legal consultants are expected to turn up at the event.

While disclosing the details of the summit Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the GCAA, highlighted the UAE’s remarkable position in the international and regional aviation industry.

Al Suwaidi said, “The national agenda for 2021 aims for UAE to be the world first in the quality of the air transport infrastructure. Although we are facing some challenges, such as determining the airspace and congestion in the UAE, we achieved great strides in the aviation industry.”

He added: “The aviation industry is one of the cornerstones of the country's economic development.” Registration is open on, and the website will have the latest updates on top policy makers, industry leaders and aviation experts who are attending the panel discussions and workshops.

Crucial projects and investment opportunities in the international civil aviation sector are expected to be unveiled at the event.

The summit would also reveal the best practices of the first aviation business incubator Intelak, which provides training programmes and workshops for trainees who want to learn the secrets and techniques of the aviation sector.

The first edition of GIAS has witnessed a participation of over 850 international delegates and 120 investors from 60 countries around the world, including United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, India, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Note to editors

Global Investment in Aviation Summit was launched in 2018 to establish a socioeconomic sustainable civil aviation system. Ministers, aviation experts, financiers and investors gather every year to deliver a reliable environment to boost the industry. GIAS has seen a participation of more than 850 international delegates and 120 investors from 60 countries, including Saudi Arabia, US, UK, India, Germany, France. For more details visit, *Source: AETOSWire



Casablanca, Morocco, 16 July 2019, (AETOSWire): HSEVEN, Africa’s largest accelerator is launching “HSEVEN DISRUPT AFRICA”, an ambitious startup acceleration program designed for entrepreneurs of the Moroccan and African diaspora. The 6-month program will provide a seed investment of €150,000 plus an eventual investment of €500,000 to €1.5 million.

HSEVEN DISRUPT AFRICA is designed to support exceptional entrepreneurs building high-impact startups, and targets seed and early stage startups with 2 to 5 founders that are eager to impact Africa through innovative services, products and business models. The program will start with a global call for applications, followed by an international selection roadshow in New York, Montréal, San Francisco, Shanghai, Dubaï, Londres, Amsterdam, Paris, Casablanca.

The selected startups will benefit from a seed investment of €150,000 at the beginning of the program for 5 to 7% equity, then an eventual investment of €500,000 to €1.5 million at the end of the program. These investments will be granted through a partnership with the venture capital firm Azur Partners. The program will also benefit from funding of the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF) and the Innov-Invest program of the Caisse Centrale de Garantie (CCG) with the support of the World Bank.

The startups will be given strategic advice and expertise, access to key networks and capital through our partners Azur Partners, Fabernovel, Strategy&, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), l’École Centrale, Amazon Web Services and the top 50 Venture Capital firms interested by Africa. They will also benefit from tailored mentoring with +350 Moroccan and international mentors. For more information, visit:

The startups will be located at HSEVEN’s 12,000 ft² campus in the heart of the Marina of Casablanca. The call for applications is now open and 10 startups will be selected to take part in the program.

“We will bring the best Moroccan, African, and African-at-heart entrepreneurs from all over the world to build impactful world-class African startups” said Amine Al-Hazzaz, Founder & CEO of HSEVEN.


HSEVEN is the biggest Startups accelerator in Africa with a 12,000 ft² campus and an acceleration capacity of 200 startups a year. HSEVEN is building one of the strongest ecosystems on the African continent today to maximize entrepreneurs' opportunities and create world-class African startups with the ambition to:

“Accelerate the Startups that will impact Morocco and Africa’s future.”

To WATCH this press release, please click HERE or follow URL:

*Source: AETOSWire



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