Etisalat has set out its vision for creating an appropriate investment environment to enable information and communication technology to drive economic growth. Speaking in the World Economic Forum for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, held from May 9-11, etisalat chairman Mohammad Omran said: "Investment in ICT, coupled with an appropriate regulatory environment, has a multiplier effect that accelerates socio-economic growth, GDP and employment." He also pointed to etisalat's successful experience of bringing innovative services to the many markets in which it operates on the African continent that have enabled communities to transform their economies.
Abu Dhabi National Hotels (ADNH) reported a net profit of Dh65.826 million for the first quarter of this year, ending March 31, with the company's total assets standing at Dh10.4 billion. ADNH also posted Dh477.129 million of operating revenues and Dh80.658 million of gross profit for its first quarter. According to a statement issued by the company, ADNH's growth has been "strong" and "steady" led by the catering and contracts services, hotels, retail and transport services. The catering and contract services subsidiary reported Dh202.171 million in revenue while the hotel division, which includes internationally branded hotels owned by ADNH as well as those developed, owned and managed by ADNH's Al Diar Group, accounted for Dh184.402 million of total revenue.
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Kuwait International Bank's (KIB) Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘A-' and Viability Rating (VR) at ‘b+'. The Outlook on the Long-term IDR is Stable. A full list of rating actions is at the end of this release. KIB's IDRs, Support Rating and Support Rating Floor reflect Fitch's view that there is an extremely high probability of support from the Kuwaiti authorities in case of need, given the strong history of support for local banks during systemic crises. A change in the willingness or ability of the Kuwaiti authorities to provide sovereign support for KIB could lead to a change in the bank's IDRs and Support Rating. The VR reflects the bank's small franchise, lower profitability compared to peers, high loans and deposits concentration and high exposure to the weak real estate sector in Kuwait. It also reflects its adequate liquidity and strong capital ratios. KIB's net profit decreased by 35 per cent year on year in 2011 mainly due to higher loan impairment charges and lower impaired loans recoveries.
Mobile phone operator Asiacell has closed its offices in the Iraqi city of Mosul, an Al Qaida stronghold, after attacks and threats by militants, security officials and employees said this week. Police sources said the firm had suffered bomb attacks on its facilities, assassination attempts against employees and extortion demands. Asiacell, a unit of Qatar Telecommunications, is one of three main mobile operators in Iraq. Qatar paid between 1.63 per cent and 2.85 per cent on four billion riyals (Dh4 billion) of treasury bills this week, the central bank said, as the world's top liquefied natural gas exporter seeks to deepen its debt market. The central bank sold three-month treasury bills at 1.63 per cent, while the yield on six-month securities was 2.19 per cent, Central Bank Governor Shaikh Abdullah Saud Al Thani said yesterday. The yield on the nine-month bills was 2.85 per cent, he said. The average yield in last month's sale was two per cent, the governor said at the time. Barclays Plc, Britain's second-biggest bank, aims to boost revenue from the Middle East and North Africa by as much as 25 per cent annually over the next five years and hire about 100 people in the region this year. The revenue "aspirations are in the range" of a 20 per cent to 25 per cent increase, helped by the wealth, investment management and trade finance businesses, John Vitalo, chief executive officer for the Middle East and North Africa, said yesterday. The bank will add about 100 people to its staff of about 1,000 in the region, he said.