Middle East Business Review – 5 Mar

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UAE INVESTMENT COMPANY BAGS OWNERSHIP OF US CHIP MAKER

Advanced Technology Investment Company, a hi-tech investment fund owned by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala, has assumed control of Globalfoundaries after buying the remaining minority stake from leading Silicon Valley chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). “Acquiring the remaining stake in Globalfoundries is much more than symbolic. It enables Globalfoundries to continue to execute its strategy, which is serving world-class customers, serving leading semiconductor companies in the world and offering them leading-edge technology,” said Ibrahim Ajami, the chief executive of ATIC. He also hoped that ATIC would be able to establish a new semiconductor research centre in the UAE during the first quarter of 2013.

S KOREAN COMPANIES SIGN $2BN DEAL WITH UAE’S OIL COMPANY

Government-owned Korea National Oil Corporation and energy firm GS Energy have signed a deal worth $2 billion as part of a project to develop three oil fields, two of them onshore and one offshore, in the UAE. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company will hold the majority 60% stake while the South Korean energy group will control the remaining 40%. Under the deal spanning 30-years, South Korea will take 17,000 barrels of oil per day and will be allowed the entire output in case of emergency, a Ministry of Economy statement said. “Korea and the United Arab Emirates are already working closely on projects of joint strategic importance, and today’s developments see the further strengthening of that friendship through an important, and truly mutually beneficial, energy partnership between our two countries,” said Minister Hong Suk Woo, who signed the agreement in Abu Dhabi.

ETIHAD SAYS MORE TIE-UPS WITH OTHER CARRIERS KEY TO FUTURE SUCCESS

James Hogan, Etihad Airways CEO, said the Abu Dhabi flag carrier will keep expanding based on its tie-up strategy with other carriers. “They’ve (other airlines) got their strategies. My strategy from day one was to build strong bilateral relationships with codeshares and stretch my network. We’re not just collecting brands. It’s got to be something which is the right fit, brings in incremental revenue and, through restructuring, allows us to take out cost and achieve scale. What we won’t do is just put money in and say ‘see you later,’ which other airlines have done,” Hogan said in an interview with Bloomberg.

ETISALAT, DU WORKING ON INTRODUCING 4G SOON IN THE UAE

Both Etisalat and du announced their tests to deploy fourth generation (4G) long-term evolution (LTE) network has been successful so far and the networks will be rolled out soon in near future. Etisalat says it invested AED6 billion ($1.63bn) to establish the 4G LTE network and created thousands of stations that will cover 80% of the urban population. “In October, Alcatel-Lucent and Etisalat signed an agreement to jointly develop the most sustainable and efficient way to meet this demand using the groundbreaking light Radio portfolio. This successful trial of the latest technology marks a major milestone in making that promise a reality,” etisalat said. Du recently announced it is teaming up with Cisco to introduce 4G network across the UAE.

WORK STARTS ON ABU DHABI’S WIND FARM INVESTMENT IN SEYCHELLES

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and Masdar have started working on an eight-turbine, six-megawatt wind farms, the first of its kind in the Seychelles. The renewable energy project will fulfil 11% of Mahé, the archipelago’s main island. “Although Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has been active in the Seychelles for over three decades, this project is a very special one as it will help in achieving the Millennium [Development] Goals of ensuring environmental sustainability by utilising the renewable wind energy to meet the vital demand for electricity,” Mohammad Al Suwaidi,the acting director general of the ADFD, said.

SWISS BANK SUED BY HEIRS OF QATARI ROYAL BILLIONAIRE PRINCE

Swiss weekly Le Matin Dimanche reported that the heirs of Khalifa Bin Ali Bin Abdullah Al Thani, the late billionaire brother of Qatar’s deposed emir who died in 2000, are taking HSBC Suisse to court to obtain $2.6 billion they allege being denied access to. The public prosecutor in Geneva confirmed princes from the Qatari royal family are demanding the top Swiss bank to return the multi-billion dollar fund.

BAHRAIN ANNOUNCES $21.2M JOB PLANS

Bahraini cabinet has announced an BD8 million ($21.2m) plan to create jobs for thousands of unemployed youth in the country. Under the plan, every company employing a graduate will receive a BD200 grant from the government for the first year and BD150 the next year. The project also includes training and employing an additional batch of 2,500 university graduates in order to tackle unemployment in the country.

BAGHDAD SAYS IT IS STUDYING OFFERS FROM OIL GIANTS

Iraqi oil minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi told reporters in Baghdad his ministry is considering offers from multi-national companies to develop oilfields in Kirkuk. “Now we are in the process of studying offers … presented by international oil companies to develop Kirkuk oil field because production from that field has decreased over the past years. We want these companies to upgrade the field and increase production,” Abdul-Kareem Luaibi told reporters in Baghdad adding some of the offers Iraq was looking at were from BP and Schlumberger.

(By Moign Khawaja – Editor: Arabian Gazette)

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