Business


Dubai: wasl properties, one of the largest real estate development and management companies in Dubai, announced the launch of The Nook 1 building, which is part of the wasl gate master development in Jebel Ali. The new building comprises 299 ready-to-move-in apartments and was launched following the near sell-out of the first building, which revealed the emergence of millennial buyers in the Dubai real estate market, with 50% of buyers being Emirati youth. The Nook 1, which consists of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, features modern amenities, including a pool, a state-of-the-art gym, a kids’ play area, and surrounding lush landscaping to ensure a comfortable lifestyle for tenants.
The project is part of the wasl gate master development, which hosts the Festival Plaza Mall, IKEA, and ACE, and is in proximity to the Energy Metro Station as well as to other key entertainment and business attractions in the area.
To highlight the project’s USPs, wasl properties organised a brokers’ event and hosted an open house for interested buyers to get a closer look at what The Nook has to offer, granting them the opportunity to move in right after they pay 20%, to be followed by a three-year payment plan post-handover. The Nook is a highly sought-after project due to its unique selling points and well-studied prices which has attracted both end users and investors. The previous building generated massive interest from young buyers, which granted the company access to market insights that helped in targeting cross-segments of buyers for this new launch.
Once completed, the 1.13 million square-metre wasl gate development will feature approximately 7,000 residential units; hospitality, community, leisure, and entertainment amenities; and restaurants and cafes. The development will also be in proximity to free zones; JAFZA, DMCC and Dubai Internet City business clusters; and DWC and Dubai Parks & Resorts. wasl gate will also host a central park, a dog park, water features, and kids’ play areas, making it one of the most sought-after places to live, work and visit.


Abu Dhabi: President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan honoured Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management with the Parent-friendly Label (PFL) during a special ceremony. ADMM were among the first of six organisations to be awarded the Label by Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Development Authority (ECA). The recognition is awarded to Abu Dhabi’s semi-government, private and third sector entities who have adopted parent-friendly work practices and policies to support working parents and encourage a better work-life balance.

ADMM were recognised for their flexible hours, particularly during the pandemic when school times were impacted, summer deployment and remote working policy, as well as its broader work-life balance initiatives and support for maternity and child education.


Saif Al Noaimi, CEO, Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management, commented of the recognition: “Alongside the Chairman, Executive Committee, and the Board, we’ve long advocated for staff welfare and work-life balance, the implementation of many initiatives was accelerated during the pandemic and will remain within our DNA as we now come out of the pandemic. We intend to continue to lead from the front on being a modern, forward thinking work organisation which is positioned to put employees at the forefront of our business.

During the ceremony, HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed expressed his confidence in the role of the first six organisations in pushing forward the country’s comprehensive and sustainable development journey. His Highness also praised their efforts to empower young children, ensure their development and wellbeing, fulfil their developmental needs, and support the national strategy to prepare the UAE for the next 50 years by developing the community and preparing children for the future.

The PFL’s first recognition cycle for 2022-2024 targeted more than 70 organisations. All applications were carefully reviewed to ensure applicants’ eligibility to receive the Label’s two levels, the Parent-Friendly and Parent-Friendly Plus. The applications were assessed by an independent judging panel to ensure transparency and impartiality with the vision to inspire all organisations to implement necessary measures to ensure a strong work-life balance.


Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 06th June 2022 – Temperatures soar but there ain’t no stopping the party. This summer, your favourite outdoor watering hole, Flair 5, moves indoors at The Ritz-Carlton DIFC to an eclectic jungle vibe setting. With an all-new look and foliage-covered walls, Flair 5 is ready to welcome Dubai with comfortable indoor seating, signature cocktails, and deep house music. Flair 5’s Summer Pop Up will provide the perfect canvas for a vibrant summer with botanical cocktails and Japanese-Peruvian cuisine. Flair 5 is the perfect venue to savor a selection of flower-inspired appetizers, main courses and desserts served family-sharing style, straight to your table. Enjoy our signature tuna and mushroom ceviche, a selection of delectable sushi platters or a lip-smacking Japanese inspired Salmon Tartare. The finale includes an array of delicious desserts including the Strawberry Cheesecake and The Molten Chocolate Cake. Enjoy Social Hours from Sunday to Friday from 5 PM to 8 PM with cocktails starting at AED 40 and the Secret Garden Saturday Brunches at the new indoor setting. Flair 5 is open every day from 5 PM to 4 AM.


A political crisis followed by an economic crunch seems to be a recurring theme in Pakistan.
Add the global geopolitical volatility, a commodity supercycle as well as double-digit inflation rates in the mix, and things just get a bit too complicated.
With petrol prices rising, inflation is set to continue its upward trajectory after hitting a two-year record of 13.4 per cent in April.
In such a scenario, the question on everyone's mind is: What asset classes to invest in, and how?

If there is one inalienable truth right now, it is that your savings will continue to lose their value due to inflation, making it imperative that any surplus funds are at least invested in risk-free instruments.

In this world, there is no such thing as risk-free, but the closest that anything gets to risk-free is borrowing done by the government for various time periods, whether that is for three months, or for twenty years.

Govt bonds
If the government borrows for one year or less, it borrows against something called a ‘treasury bill’.

If the government borrows for more than one year, it often borrows against something called the ‘Pakistan Investment Bond’.

In both cases, the government promises to pay a ‘mark-up’ on the funds that it borrows from the people or other investors.

To further clarify, whatever funds you put in your bank account, it is estimated that roughly 55 per cent of those funds are invested by the banks in either treasury bills, or bonds, wherein they get a much higher return than what you get as a depositor.

Given that, it makes no sense to use a bank as an intermediary, when you can directly lend to the government.

But how does one do that?
It can be done through opening an ‘Investor Portfolio Services’ account with your bank. Initially, the bank may refuse, or make excuses, but if you insist, they will open it.

Once open, you can instruct the bank to invest in either treasury bills or bonds. Due to high inflation and correspondingly higher interest rates, it is entirely possible to lock interest rates in excess of 13pc per annum for various time periods.

Considering how things are going, it may be possible to lock an even higher rate. Generally, interest rates follow a cycle: they reach a peak and each peak is followed by a trough. Locking interest rates at peak, or close to the peak enables an investor to maximise income.

This is a complex matter, and for the sake of clarity, I have tried to keep it simple. However, we may elaborate on it further in the future.

National Savings Scheme
Similarly, people can also invest in the government's National Savings Scheme. Due to increasing interest rates, the next few months would provide an ideal opportunity to lock in high interest rate for a period as long as ten years.

In effect, regardless of direction of interest rates in the future, you would be able to lock in a certain rate and benefit from the same. If you are a senior citizen, it is highly recommended to invest in Behbood Savings Certificate of the National Savings Scheme to get the best fixed-income returns, which are also tax free.

Similarly, if you are a pensioner, you can open a Pensioner Benefit Account, which has similar rates, and is also tax free. It is extremely important for senior citizens to manage their risks, and allocate their available funds to risk-free and government-backed schemes, rather than being duped by shenanigans of banks, and other charlatans.

Talking of charlatans, if anyone tries to sell you a bancassurance product, which often is your preferred bank, or someone cold calling you, run away from it. The product is structured in a way that it can only cause misery, and nothing else.

Although locking a peak, or close to peak rate for fixed income is a nice conservative goal, but real money is to be made in the equity market, or commonly referred to as the stock market.

Read: How developing a culture of investing in stocks can save Pakistan's economy

Stock market
During a crisis, or successive crises as in our not-so-unusual case, stocks of highly profitable, and growth-oriented companies are available at a sizeable discount to their earlier prices. What does this really mean?

Buying a stock of a company, in effect, makes you a partial owner of the company among many others, but owner nonetheless. As profitability of an entity increases, and it is able to generate sufficient free cash, the expectation is that the value of your stock would also increase.

The expectation of this value, also called price, is driven by buyers and sellers of stock in the stock market. During times of crises, the price of profitable entities may not be significantly affected by an economic slowdown or decline, providing an opportunity to buy the same stock at cheaper prices. An economic crunch provides such an opportunity; however, one needs to be careful, and not be tempted by falling knives.

A crisis or a crunch is a good time to take exposure in the stock market. Instead of investing in one go, it is better set up a plan to buy on a monthly basis, such that one can average out the cost basis.

Establishing a monthly investing regime enables one to avoid concentration, and allows one to capture better prices in case the prices decline further and so on. Currently, many stocks on the local exchange are at their ten-year low in terms of valuation, and are ripe for growth once the economy is brought back on track. This is a highly recommended track if you’re young and have high risk tolerance. If you’re close to retirement, or retired already, exposure to the stock market should be kept at a minimum.

But which specific stocks does one invest in? For starters, avoid anything that is recommended by your broker. Do your own research. It is your hard-earned money after all.

Sadly, we do not have any professional financial advisers, and whatever handful do exist, they are charlatans – so pick your advisers carefully. If that is too overwhelming, invest in a mutual fund which invests in stocks. Once you get the hang of it, you can always invest directly in the stock market.

Although the simplest thing to do right now is to buy the US dollar, supply of which is already constrained in the market. Why should the people suffer due to consistently bad economic policies? The state has largely failed to ensure preservation of value of the PKR, or provide an enabling environment for sustainable and broad-based economic growth.

These are challenging times, but the frequency of such challenges has made challenges perpetual. A crunch provides an opportunity to position one’s portfolio for growth for the long-term but that needs to be supported by sound economic policy. One hopes that some sense prevails, and better policy making replaces the ad-hoc interventions that have kept us in perpetual crisis mode.


The co-founder and former chief executive of the cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX has been sentenced to six months of house arrest after pleading guilty to violating the US Bank Secrecy Act, US prosecutors said.

Arthur Hayes, 36, will also pay a $10 million fine and serve two years of probation following his house arrest for failing to establish an anti-money laundering program at BitMEX, which he founded with Benjamin Delo and Samuel Reed in 2014.

Hayes was sentenced in federal court in Manhattan on Friday.
“While building a cryptocurrency platform that profited him millions of dollars, Arthur Hayes willfully defied US law that requires businesses to do their part to help in preventing crime and corruption,” Damian Williams, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, said in a statement.

Prosecutors had sought a “significant” prison term, saying a $10m fine was not enough to deter other cryptocurrency companies from similar behavior.
Hayes' lawyers had sought probation, without home detention.
A spokesperson for Hayes declined to comment on the sentence.
Delo and Reed have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
The three were charged in 2020 with failing to implement a “know your customer” requirement as required by federal law.

Prosecutors said BitMEX was “in effect a money-laundering platform,” and Hayes did nothing after learning in 2018 of allegations that BitMEX was being used to launder proceeds from a cryptocurrency hack.

BitMEX last year agreed to pay up to $100m to settle separate charges for unlawfully accepting customer funds to trade cryptocurrency without being registered, and failing to conduct customer due diligence.


The US dollar reached the startling milestone of Rs200 in interbank trading on Thursday morning, gaining Re1 from the previous day's close of Rs199, data by the Forex Association of Pakistan (FAP) showed.
According to the FAP, the US currency had reached the Rs200 mark — an all-time high — around 11am.

A day ago, the greenback had made a significant gain of more than Rs2 from Tuesday's close and settled at Rs199 at the session's end, which was the latest in a string of record highs that the US currency has been hitting since last Tuesday.

While the FAP recorded the previous day's closing rate at Rs199, data released by the State Bank of Pakistan stated the closing rate as Rs198.39 — still remarkably close to the Rs200 milestone that the international currency was being anticipated to reach earlier in the day on account of the country's rising import bill, growing current account deficit and depleting foreign exchange reserves.

The dollar's value already reached Rs200 in the open market yesterday.
According to Saad Bin Naseer, co-founder and director of web-based financial data and analytics portal Mettis Global, the rupee's fall is mainly on account of a lack of clarity from the government on its plans to arrest the decline in foreign exchange reserves.

He pointed out that the central bank's reserves were down by $7.5bn since January 1, adding that importers were engaged in panic buying as they were uncertain about whether the government would be able to secure funding from China, Saudi Arabia and the International Monetary Fund, talks with which are underway.
"Meanwhile, exporters are holding their earnings outside the country amid a consistent fall in the rupee's value," he said.

'Blackest Day'
The milestone has left some experts distraught.
Speaking about today's exchange rate, FAP secretary general Zafar Paracha told Dawn.com that today was the "blackest day" in the history of Pakistan.
For his part, FAP chairperson Malik Bostan, in a comment to Dawn.com, urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to issue statutory regulatory orders for the implementation of decisions taken to restrict imports.
Importer and former president of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Zaki told Dawn.com importers were facing the biggest loss due to the rise in the dollar's value.

He added that the country's import bill had increased by 20 per cent in the past month and this would affect the prices of edibles, such as lentils, powder milk and tea.

Zaki recommended that the SBP may fix the rate of dollar in the interbank market for a certain period to curtail the impending inflation. He also demanded that no duties be increased on edibles.

Meanwhile, Asad Rizvi, the former treasury head at Chase Manhattan, told Mettis Global that "pension cost, circular debt [of] Rs2.5 trillion, public entities [worth] Rs1.2tr and fiscal deficit of nearly 8pc are not sustainable and adding pressure" on the rupee."
The "independent SBP", meanwhile, was "not worried about the PKR plunge, probably waiting for [an] IMF outcome," the Mettis Global report quoted him as saying.

In recent weeks, rising oil prices have already doubled the country's oil import bills and the overall imports are also at a record high. In April, imports increased by 72pc, leaving no room for the government to improve its external balance.
Moreover, foreign exchange reserves of the central bank have touched $10.3bn, lowest since June 2020.

Currency dealers say the unexpectedly high imports bill and low foreign investment were not in support of the exchange rate while over $13bn current account deficit was already there as a challenge for the government.

Talks under way for IMF bailout
The development comes as Pakistani officials resumed negotiations with the IMF yesterday, in which Finance Minister Miftah Ismail sought to clear uncertainty on two counts — that the new coalition government would stay in office and take tough decisions, undertake reforms committed in the original fund programme and complete structural benchmarks.

Informed sources said the talks opened on a healthy note as the two sides appeared converging to key principles — separating the state’s economic decision-making from politics.

These sources said the government would be revising fuel and energy prices within days and impose a complete ban, instead of increasing duties, on a total of about 30 luxury items major among them vehicles and mobile phones besides some other no-so-big items to contain imports and thus external account. These announcements would be made shortly to progress talks towards the successful completion of the revised programme.


KUWAIT: Cryptocurrencies in 10 days lost $486 billion, equivalent to about 27 percent of their market value, declining from $1.803 trillion on May 5 to 1.317 trillion at the closing of the day before yesterday, according to data from the Coin- MarketCap platform, bringing its decline in a month losing about 564 billion dollars (-29.98 percent) in a month, while its losses in 6 months amounted to 1.49 trillion dollars (-53.08 percent), compared to 2.807 trillion dollars in the closings of November 15 of last year, reports Al-Rai daily. The exorbitant losses made it a legitimate question about the share of Kuwaiti investors in those currencies, whose number has increased significantly during the last period amid a youth onslaught towards this market in the hope of achieving huge profits.

Moreover, an investigative inventory prepared by Al-Rai from the reality of Kuwaiti investors who recorded heavy losses in the week of the collapses suffered by the encrypted digital currencies shows that Kuwaitis lost more than a quarter of the value of their digital currencies at least, while the number increases in the wallets of some when talking about currencies fell by much more than this percentage, including “Luna”, for example, which lost 99.98% of its value within one week, falling from $82 per currency to only $0.009. Perhaps the most telling evidence of this is what one of the Kuwaitis who was stung by the fire of the recent collapse said, as Abu Ahmad confirmed to Al-Rai that he had a quantity of Luna currency worth 2.5 million dollars, which collapsed within a week to reach only 275 dollars.

What makes matters worse for some citizens investing in digital currencies is that they have resorted to borrowing from banks and financial institutions, directing all or part of these loans to the cryptocurrency market, in the hope of achieving quick wealth, while the losses they recently incurred may limit the ability of many of them to commit to repaying the installments of their loans. In this regard, another Kuwaiti investor told Al-Rai that he took a loan of 50,000 dinars to invest into the cryptocurrency market, hoping to make a fortune, but he lost three quarters of this amount in recent days, and said, “I do not reveal a secret if I say that I thought of committing suicide by jumping from the top of Jaber Bridge.”

Investors
The inattentive Kuwaiti investors in the cryptocurrency market, are “oblivious investors”, who entered the market by chance, or by imitation of relatives and friends who achieved great returns from this market previously, or by following them through stories through websites and social media, whether real or fabricated, for people who became millionaires in a short period of time after entering the world of cryptocurrency, wishing themselves to become rich overnight.

The same sources confirm that this type of traders are the biggest losers in recent market transactions, noting that they speculate on currencies without clear data justifying their entry into any currency, nor a specific strategy for trades to eventually find himself stuck in large quantities of digital currencies whose prices collapsed, either he sells them at a large loss, or he waits for them to rise again to levels close to their purchase price, which may not come, or be very late. The market value of “Bitcoin” declined by about $ 100.014 billion (-14.37 percent) in 10 days, 174.96 billion in a month (-22.7 percent), and 603.537 billion in 6 months (-50.31%) to close at $596.074 trillion the day before yesterday.

As for Ethereum, which is the second largest cryptocurrency by market value fell by about $72.586 billion (-21.88 percent) in 10 days, 106.92 billion on a monthly basis (-29.2) and 280,224 billion (-51.95%) in 6 months, recording $259.186 billion at the end of trading last Sunday. Perhaps one of the main reasons that led to this violent tremor in the cryptocurrency market is the high turnout of institutional investors such as hedge funds and investment companies to trade in them, after a long period in which individuals controlled their trading, which in turn increased the impact of these currencies on the movement of the global stock market, which notable declines have been recorded recently as a result of investors’ fears that global economic growth will be negatively affected by infl ation and rising interest rates. Also, in times of market uncertainty, traditional investors usually resort to selling assets with a higher risk in their view, such as cryptocurrencies, and switch their money to safer investments.

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