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- 10/27/16--07:50: _ABB: Continued Marg...
- 10/28/16--06:30: _Axis Bank Rolls Out...
- 10/28/16--07:10: _This Diwali, Axis M...
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- 10/27/16--07:50: ABB: Continued Margin Growth in Tough Markets
- Operational EBITA margin1 increased to 12.6%
- White Collar Productivity on track towards $1.3 bn savings; expected total costs reduced by $100 mn
- Net Income $568 million; basic earnings per share up 2%
- Base orders -6%2; total orders -13%; reflect Q3 uncertainty
- Revenues steady
- Cash flow from operating activities $1,081 million, more consistent quarterly cash generation
- Timo Ihamuotila to succeed Eric Elzvik as Chief Financial Officer effective April 1, 2017
- ABB launched Stage 3 of its Next Level Strategy – committed to unlocking value
- Demand in Europe was subdued primarily due to moderate overall growth, uncertainties in the UK following Brexit and political events in Turkey. Total orders declined 18 percent (20 percent in US dollars) while base orders were stable (2 percent lower in US dollars). Base order demand was positive in Germany, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland, and weak in the UK and Norway.
- The Americas was weaker due to considerable investment delays triggered by the US election and lagging industrial demand. Total orders declined 16 percent (17 percent in US dollars) on weaker large orders; base orders were 8 percent lower (9 percent in US dollars) on weak demand in the US, Canada and Brazil.
- Demand in Asia, the Middle East and Africa (AMEA) was mixed. India continued to grow and China continued its investment activities in power transmission and robotics. Total orders for the region were down 5 percent (7 percent in US dollars) as strong order development in India could not offset declines in China and the UAE. Base orders declined 9 percent (10 percent in US dollars).
- Utilities continued their investment activities to integrate renewable energy and foster grid reliability and efficiency.
- In industry: investments in discrete and hybrid industries such as automotive, food and beverage and machinery remained positive while demand from the process industries, specifically mining and oil and gas remain subdued.
- Transport and infrastructure demand has been mixed. Demand for specialty vessels solutions remained strong as well as solutions involving energy efficiency for rail transport. Construction has been mixed.
- National Winner to be awarded INR 3 Lakh scholarship, an organized tour to ISRO and an opportunity to see their idea come to life through our association with IIT-B & NID teams
- Splash 2016 offers children an opportunity to express their idea of progress for the nation through Make In India framework.
- How to save the environment for the future
- How to Make education available for everyone
- How to use technology for a better India
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- 11/02/16--00:07: Elliott to Acquire a Controlling Interest in Aeolus
- MFS Consolidated Revenues*: Rs. 5,306 Cr., grew 18%
- Max Life Revenues*: Rs. 5,286 Cr., grew 17%; Shareholder Profits: Rs. 344 Cr., grew 31%
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- 11/06/16--21:00: MetLife Appoints Lee Wood as CEO Hong Kong
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- 11/07/16--03:30: Wipro Launches Open Banking API Platform
- Essar Group has agreed to sell Essar Oil Limited and associated assets for roughly $13 billion in a transaction supported by a $3.9 billion bridge loan from VTB Group to the Essar Group
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Business Wire India
“We delivered the eighth consecutive quarter of margin accretion through our continued focus on execution,” said CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer. “In the third quarter, we experienced significant macro uncertainties around Brexit and the US elections as reflected in the low order pattern. Orders in Power Grids were additionally dampened by the hesitation of customers prior to the Capital Markets Day. However, the Power Grids transformation is on track as clearly demonstrated by the 170 basis points margin accretion,” he said. “With our enhanced cash culture, we have delivered more than 30 percent higher cash flow so far this year with a much steadier cash generation profile.”
“We continue to run the company with discipline, realizing growth opportunities where possible whilst driving earnings and cash growth. We are committed to unlocking value for all shareholders as a more focused, agile company building on our industry-leading digital offering.”
|($ in millions, unless otherwise
|Q3 2016||Q3 2015||US$||
|9M 2016||9M 2015||US$||
|as % of operational revenues1||12.6%||12.5%||+0.1pts||12.4%||11.8%||+0.6pts|
|Basic EPS ($)||0.27||0.26||
|Operational EPS1 ($)||0.32||0.32||-1%4||0%4||0.95||0.90||+5%4||+7%4|
|Cash flow from operating activities||1,081||1,173||-8%||2,415||1,824||+32%|
Macroeconomic and geopolitical developments are signaling a mixed picture with continued uncertainty. Some macroeconomic signs in the US remain positive and growth in China is expected to continue, although at a slower pace than in 2015. The market remains impacted by modest growth and increased uncertainties, e.g., Brexit in Europe and geopolitical tensions in various parts of the world. Oil prices and foreign exchange translation effects are expected to continue to influence the company’s results.
Q3 2016 Group results
Total orders declined 13 percent (14 percent in US dollars) compared with the third quarter of 2015, reflecting timing of large order awards and lower short cycle volumes. Base orders (below $15 million) decreased 6 percent (7 percent in US dollars), while large orders ($15 million and above) were lower in all divisions and represented 11 percent of total orders compared with 17 percent a year earlier. Orders for services and software were 3 percent lower (5 percent in US dollars) and represented 17 percent of total orders compared with 16 percent a year ago.
Demand patterns in ABB’s three regions:
Demand patterns in ABB’s three major customer sectors:
The book-to-bill1 ratio in the third quarter decreased to 0.91x from 1.03x in the same quarter a year earlier. For the first nine months, book-to-bill1 is 1.01x. The order backlog at the end of September 2016 amounted to $24,554 million, a decrease of 2 percent (3 percent in US dollars) compared with the end of the third quarter in 2015.
Revenues were flat (3 percent lower in US dollars) in the third quarter. Revenues were steady in the Electrification Products and Discrete Automation and Motion divisions and increased slightly in Power Grids, which offset a decline in Process Automation. Total services and software revenues increased 5 percent (4 percent in US dollars) and represented 18 percent of total revenues compared with 17 percent a year ago.
Operational EBITA decreased 2 percent in local currencies (3 percent in US dollars) to $1,046 million and included the impact of negative mix. Operational EBITA margin improved 10 basis points to 12.6 percent compared with the same quarter a year ago, reflecting margin accretion in Electrification Products, Process Automation and Power Grids as well as ongoing productivity and cost savings measures, such as the white collar productivity program.
Operational EPS and net income
Operational EPS was steady at $0.32 in constant currency compared with the same period a year earlier. The reduction in the weighted-average number of shares outstanding compensated for a slightly lower operational EBITA, higher interest expense and higher tax rate. Net income decreased 2 percent to $568 million and basic earnings per share was $0.27 compared with $0.26 for the same quarter of 2015, an increase of 2 percent.
Cash flow from operating activities
Cash flow from operating activities was $1,081 million, $92 million lower compared with the third quarter of 2015, mainly due to lower net income. In the first nine months of 2016, cash flow from operating activities increased 32 percent compared with the same period a year ago, primarily due to stronger working capital management and timing of income tax payments.
On September 30, 2016, ABB announced the completion of the share buyback program that was introduced in September 2014. During the buyback program, ABB repurchased a total of 171.3 million registered shares (equivalent to 7.4 percent of its issued share capital at the launch of the buyback program) for a total amount of approximately $3.5 billion.
At its Capital Markets Day on October 4, 2016, ABB announced its plans for a new share buyback program of up to $3 billion from 2017 through 2019. This reflects the company’s confidence and the continued strength of ABB’s cash generation and financial position.
In line with its strategy to continuously optimize the portfolio, ABB announced in September the planned sale of its global high-voltage cables systems business to NKT Cables. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017 subject to regulatory clearances. ABB and NKT also signed an agreement for a long-term strategic partnership that will serve future projects globally.
Today, ABB announced the appointment of Timo Ihamuotila as Chief Financial Officer and member of the Executive Committee, effective April 1, 2017. Ihamuotila succeeds current CFO Eric Elzvik in an orderly transition process, who will pursue career opportunities outside of ABB after a thorough handover in the second quarter of 2017. Ihamuotila joins ABB from Nokia, “a global leader in the technologies that connect people and things,” where he has been the Chief Financial Officer for the last seven years. Ihamuotila is a proven CFO with deep experience in communications, software and services industries, active portfolio management and operational performance improvement. He brings a deep understanding of corporate transformation and digital business models.
“Timo is a seasoned CFO with an impressive global track record,” said CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer. “He has extensive and deep experience in all aspects of finance as well as in transforming businesses in times of industrial digitalization. With his wide expertise, ranging from financial to commercial to general management, he is the ideal person to lead our finance organization and partner to drive ABB’s ongoing transformation as a leader in the digital industry. I am delighted to welcome Timo to our Executive Committee in these exciting times, as we focus on unlocking maximum value for all shareholders,” Spiesshofer said. “At the same time I would like to warmly thank Eric Elzvik already now for his long, outstanding commitment and many valuable contributions to ABB over more than three decades. During Eric’s CFO tenure, a new cash culture together with a significant improvement of our Net Working Capital, a fundamental productivity improvement of the finance function and many portfolio actions were successfully established and delivered. We wish Eric all the best for the next step of his professional career which he will pursue after the orderly handover process is completed in Q2 2017.”
Q3 divisional performance
($ in millions,
|Corporate & other (incl. inter-division elimination)||-397||-415|
Total orders were down as positive order development in Europe could not offset a decline in the Americas and AMEA. In particular, markets including China, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Turkey were challenging, while Italy, Switzerland and India were stronger. Revenues were steady, and operational EBITA margin improved 40 basis points to 17.8 percent, due to additional cost savings, capacity adjustments and supply chain management.
Discrete Automation and Motion
Continued strong demand patterns in robotics and in food and beverage could not offset the capex declines in process industries such as oil and gas, which negatively impacted order development. Revenues were steady, reflecting strong order execution. Operational EBITA margin declined 70 basis points compared with the same quarter a year ago primarily due to unfavorable mix and lower capacity utilization. Continued capacity adjustments and productivity improvements are underway.
Total orders were 21 percent lower (22 percent in US dollars) as reduced capital expenditure and cautious discretionary spending in process industries continued to impact large as well as base orders (13 percent lower, 13 percent in US dollars). Revenues declined 7 percent (8 percent in US dollars) as steady demand for specialty vessels could not compensate for declines in such segments as mining and oil and gas. Operational EBITA margin increased 150 basis points to 12.2 percent due to successful project execution and implemented cost reduction and productivity measures.
Total orders were lower compared with the same quarter a year ago primarily due to the timing of large order awards. Lower base orders reflected sluggishness in some markets such as the US, Saudi Arabia and Brazil while Europe remained supportive. Revenues were slightly higher due to steady execution of a healthy order backlog. Operational EBITA margin increased by 170 basis points to 9.5 percent. This solid performance was driven by sustained project execution, improved productivity and continued cost savings.
Next Level strategy – Stage 3
On October 4, 2016, ABB launched Stage 3 of its Next Level strategy to unlock value for customers and shareholders. The core elements of this include: shaping ABB’s divisions into four market-leading, entrepreneurial units; realizing ABB’s full digital potential; accelerating momentum in operational excellence; and strengthening ABB’s brand.
Driving growth in four market-leading entrepreneurial divisions
ABB is shaping and focusing its divisional structure into four market-leading divisions: Electrification Products, Robotics and Motion, Industrial Automation and Power Grids, effective January 1, 2017. The divisions will be empowered as entrepreneurial units within ABB, reflected in an enhancement of ABB’s performance and compensation model focusing on individual accountability and responsibility. They will benefit from sales collaboration orchestrated by regions and countries as well as from the group-wide digital offering, ABB’s leading G&A structure and costs, common supply chain management, and corporate research centers.
ABB announced two important partnerships in line with transforming the Power Grids offering. The agreements with Fluor and Aibel are examples in which ABB will bring its leading technology in power transmission and distribution. Fluor and Aibel provide execution of turnkey Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) responsibilities for substations and offshore wind connections, respectively.
A quantum leap in digital with ABB AbilityTM
ABB is a hidden digital champion today. It is ideally positioned to win in the digital space with new and existing end-to-end digital solutions. The newly launched ABB Ability offering combines ABB’s portfolio of digital solutions and services across all customer segments, cementing the group’s leading position in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and supporting the competitiveness of ABB’s four entrepreneurial divisions.
The company has announced a far-reaching strategic partnership with Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, to develop next-generation digital solutions on an integrated open cloud platform. Customers will benefit from the unique combination of ABB’s deep domain knowledge and extensive portfolio of industrial solutions and Microsoft’s Azure intelligent cloud as well as B2B engineering competence. Together, the partners will drive digital transformation in customer segments across ABB’s businesses in utilities, industry and transport and infrastructure.
Accelerating momentum in operational excellence
ABB continues to build on its existing momentum and is further accelerating its operational excellence.
The company’s White-Collar Productivity savings program has outperformed expectations since its launch last year. As a result, ABB has increased the program’s cost reduction target by 30 percent to $1.3 billion. ABB will achieve these additional savings within the initially announced timeframe and for $100 million lower of total combined restructuring program and implementation costs. ABB is continuing its regular cost-savings programs, leveraging operational excellence and world-class supply chain management to achieve savings equivalent to 3-5 percent of cost of sales each year.
ABB reaffirms the target of its Net Working Capital program to free up approximately $2 billion by the end of 2017. The program is well on track and focuses on improving inventory management by optimizing the entire value chain, from product design to manufacturing, and by optimizing other net working capital measures.
Strengthening the global ABB brand
ABB will adopt a single corporate brand, consolidating all its brands around the world under one umbrella. ABB’s portfolio of companies will be unified, showcasing the full breadth and depth of the company’s global offering under one master brand. This transition is expected to take up to two years.
ABB reaffirmed its Group 2015-2020 financial targets.
Macroeconomic and geopolitical developments are signaling a mixed picture with continued uncertainty. Some macroeconomic signs in the US remain positive and growth in China is expected to continue, although at a slower pace than in 2015. The market remains impacted by modest growth and increased uncertainties relating to Brexit in Europe and geopolitical tensions in various parts of the world. Oil prices and foreign exchange translation effects are expected to continue to influence the company’s results.
The attractive long-term demand outlook in ABB’s three major customer sectors — utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure — is driven by the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions.
ABB is well-positioned to tap into these opportunities for long-term profitable growth with its strong market presence, broad geographic and business scope, technology leadership and financial strength.
ABB will host a press conference today starting at 9:00 a.m. Central European Time (CET) (8:00 a.m. BST, 3:00 a.m. EDT). The event will be accessible by conference call. Callers from the UK should dial +44 203 059 58 62. From Sweden, the number to dial is +46 85 051 00 31, and from the rest of Europe, +41 58 310 50 00. Callers from the US and Canada should dial +1 866 291 41 66 (toll-free) or +1 631 570 56 13 (long-distance charges apply). Lines will be open 10 to 15 minutes before the start of the conference. A podcast of the media conference will be available for one week afterwards. The podcast will be accessible at: http://new.abb.com/media/events
A conference call for analysts and investors is scheduled to begin today at 2:00 p.m. CET (1:00 p.m. BST, 8:00 a.m. EDT). Callers from the UK should dial +44 203 059 58 62. From Sweden, the number to dial is +46 85 051 00 31, and from the rest of Europe, +41 58 310 50 00. Callers from the US and Canada should dial +1 866 291 41 66 (toll free) or +1 631 570 56 13 (long-distance charges apply). Callers are requested to phone in 10 minutes before the start of the call. The call will also be accessible on the ABB website and a recorded session will be available as a podcast one hour after the end of the conference call and can be downloaded from our website www.abb.com.
ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing more than a 125-year history of innovation, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 135,000 employees. www.abb.com
|Investor calendar 2016/2017|
|Fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 results||February 8, 2017|
|Annual General Meeting (Zurich)||April 13, 2017|
|First quarter 2017 results||April 20, 2017|
|Second quarter 2017 results||July 20, 2017|
|Third quarter 2017 results||October 26, 2017|
Important notice about forward-looking information
This press release includes forward-looking information and statements as well as other statements concerning the outlook for our business, including those in the sections of this release titled “Short-term outlook”, “Outlook”, “Shareholder Returns”, “Divestitures”, “Management Changes” and “Next Level strategy - Stage 3”. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about the factors that may affect our future performance, including global economic conditions, the economic conditions of the regions and industries that are major markets for ABB Ltd. These expectations, estimates and projections are generally identifiable by statements containing words such as “expects,” “believes,” “estimates,” “targets,” “plans,” “is likely”, “intends” or similar expressions. However, there are many risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information and statements made in this press release and which could affect our ability to achieve any or all of our stated targets. The important factors that could cause such differences include, among others, business risks associated with the volatile global economic environment and political conditions, costs associated with compliance activities, market acceptance of new products and services, changes in governmental regulations and currency exchange rates and such other factors as may be discussed from time to time in ABB Ltd’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Reports on Form 20-F. Although ABB Ltd believes that its expectations reflected in any such forward-looking statement are based upon reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that those expectations will be achieved.
Zurich, October 27, 2016
Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO
|1||For a reconciliation of non-GAAP measures, see “Supplemental Reconciliations and Definitions” in the attached Q3 2016 Financial Information|
|2||Growth rates for orders, revenues and order backlog are on a comparable basis (local currency adjusted for acquisitions and divestitures), previously referred to as ‘like-for-like’. US$ growth rates are presented in Key Figures table|
|3||Constant currency (not adjusted for portfolio changes)|
|4||EPS growth rates are computed using unrounded amounts. Comparable operational earnings per share is in constant currency (2014 exchange rates and not adjusted for changes in the business portfolio|
Business Wire India
Axis Bank, India’s third largest private sector bank in India, in association with NITI Aayog, IIT-Bombay, National Institute of Design and ISRO, today announced ‘Splash 2016’, a pan India painting competition for children in the age group of 7 – 15 years. The aim of the competition is to celebrate Children’s Day and engage them to imagine homegrown solutions to day-to-day problems around us. The participation starts with an online registration on myideaofprogress.com/Splash, from 28th October 2016.
Splash 2016 will be held at all Axis Bank branches across the country on Saturday, November 19, 2016, with the theme encouraging ‘Make in India’ initiative. Submissions can also be made online on myideaofprogress.com/Splash, between November 19 – 26, 2016.
For the first time, creativity would go beyond paper, as the one big-idea winner from Axis Bank-initiated Splash 2016, would get a unique opportunity to see his/her idea prototyped with assistance from IIT Bombay and the NID team. In addition, the national winner will also be awarded with a children fund worth INR 3 lacs as a scholarship.
The top 10 winners would get invited for the final felicitation event and get an opportunity to meet and greet with policy makers. In addition, the top 10 winners would also earn themselves a once in a lifetime opportunity to get a one day organised tour to ISRO and interact with the team. The creative work of 24 winners across the country will be exhibited in New Delhi. The winner and four runner-ups at each Axis Bank branch will be felicitated with gift, medals and certificates on the day of event itself (19th November 2016). All the participants at the branch level will get a certificate of participation.
The three themes for the painting competition are:
Speaking on the occasion, Mrs. Shikha Sharma MD &CEO, Axis Bank said, “We are delighted to roll out Season V of SPLASH, which gives children the canvas to craft their problem-solving ideas, making it more than just a painting competition. Active involvement of widely acknowledged institutions like NITI Aayog, IIT Bombay, NID and ISRO this year, have indeed added an innovative dimension to the competition, which will help bring to life their imagination of a progressive India.”
"Kids are the future of the nation and their imaginations reflect their ideas of the future of India. SPLASH 2016 is one such initiative taken by Axis Bank to enable kids to imagine “Make IN India” solutions for everyday problems and NITI Aayog is proud to partner with this initiative." Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog.
“IIT Bombay is delighted to partner with “SPLASH 2016” by Axis Bank which is a great effort towards “Make In India” dream. Children’s imagination today predicts the future of India, and this is enabled through SPLASH 2016. IIT Bombay is happy to bring a selected few ideas to life by helping to make prototypes.” Prof. Devang Khakhar, Director IIT Bombay.
"SPLASH 2016 is great initiative taken by Axis Bank to enable children to be part of the larger “Make In India” framework by painting their ideas of the future of India. NID is proud to partner with this initiative by way of further building upon such ideas and bringing them to life by way of attempting a prototype of the selected few," said Mr. Pradyumna Vyas, Director, NID.
About Axis Bank
Axis Bank is the third largest private sector bank in India. Axis Bank offers the entire spectrum of services to customer segments covering Large and Mid-Corporates, SME, Agriculture and Retail Businesses.
With its 3,106 domestic branches (including extension counters) and 13,448 ATMs across the country, as on 30st September 2016, the network of Axis Bank spreads across 1,920 cities and towns, enabling the Bank to reach out to a large cross-section of customers with an array of products and services. The Bank also has nine overseas offices with branches at Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai (at the DIFC), Shanghai and Colombo; representative offices at Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Dhaka and an overseas subsidiary at London, UK. The Bank’s website www.axisbank.com offers comprehensive details about its products and services.
Business Wire IndiaAxis Mutual Fund, one of the leading asset management companies, undertook a unique initiative - #SeedTheBoldFuture which laid emphasis on an important message – A bold future starts with the seeds one sows today.
“The corporate world always talks about a sustainable performance but little do we realise that, we also share a greater responsibility towards Planet Earth. At Axis Mutual Fund, we are expanding the word “sustainable” and taking it beyond our job responsibilities with an eco-friendly step for a greener future.” says Mr. Karan Datta, Chief Business Officer – Axis Mutual Fund.
In today’s fast paced world, employees are glued to their desk from 9 to 5 delivering results under great pressures but they don’t get the opportunity to do their bit for the environment. Natural resources are depleting due various factors, global warming is on the rise and something needs to be done about it.
So, just before Diwali we got our employees to clean their desks and get rid of all the unwanted papers which usually pile up over a period of time. All the employees wholeheartedly participated in the ‘sprint cleaning act’ and helped in shredding the papers. The shredded material was handed over to a specialised company that not only deals with the recycling paper but also embedding them with seeds.
We now plan to make this into a habit by recycling all the unwanted material in the form of papers to be further used for a good cause.
This entire initiative was candidly captured and made into a beautiful video which showcased that a small step can indeed create a big impact resulting in a happy and greener tomorrow.
YT link of the video: https://youtu.be/lDv8fBpysj8
About Axis Mutual Fund
Axis AMC has completed over five years of operations and within a short span of has over 18 lakh active investor accounts. It currently has a portfolio of over 54 schemes and presence in over 75 cities. Axis AMC is a joint venture between Axis Bank, India’s third largest private sector bank and Schroders – one of the largest asset managers in UK.
Statutory Details: Axis Mutual Fund has been established as a Trust under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882, sponsored by Axis Bank Ltd. (liability restricted to Rs 1 lakh). Trustee: Axis Mutual Fund Trustee Ltd. Investment Manager: Axis Asset Management Co. Ltd. (the AMC). Risk Factors: Axis Bank Ltd. is not liable or responsible for any loss or shortfall resulting from the operation of the scheme.
Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully
Business Wire India
The following is a statement from The Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA), the investment arm of the UAE Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah:
The Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA), the investment arm of the UAE Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, has filed a lawsuit against US-Iranian Farhad Azima in the London High Court.
The case brought by the RAKIA centres around two separate claims of misconduct. The first claims centres on the sale of the Sheraton Metechi Palace Hotel in Tbilisi from RAKIA Georgia to Eurasia Hotel Holdings Ltd, a company beneficially owned by Mr Houshang Hosseinpour. RAKIA alleges that Mr Azima took a ‘secret commission’, that went way beyond the agreed 5% commission of the sale price of the Hotel and in fact led to him receiving a 10% interest in the Hotel worth $6.25 million.
Other allegations made by RAKIA suggests Mr Azima paid, the then CEO of RAKIA Georgia, Khater Massaad $500,000 for his facilitation of the deal. Massaad has recently been arrested in Saudi Arabia and is awaiting extradition.
The second aspect of the case brought by RAKIA against Azima concerns a joint venture proposed by him in late 2015 to buy military aircraft valued at $52 million. RAKIA claims that the proposal was in fact an attempt to deceive RAKIA out of millions of dollars.
The High Court claim form states that “Mr Azima was aware that the joint venture submitted... grossly overstated the value of the aircraft” and that “Mr Azima [falsely] represented… that the proposed joint venture had the ‘backing’ of the US government, including that the US Government would sponsor and support the proposed joint venture and would serve as its ultimate customer.”
RAKIA is now seeking $2.6 million in damages. The main trial date is yet to be confirmed.
Business Wire IndiaTata AIA Life Insurance today announced the launch of ‘Revive’, an initiative to reinstate lapsed insurance policies. As part of the scheme, customers will be given waivers on health certificate and interest for selected lapsed policies (subject to underwriting exclusions and other terms and conditions of the policy). The offer will be valid till November 30, 2016.
Often, for a number of reasons, policy holders cannot pay their premiums even after the grace period. The inevitable happens and the insurance policy gets lapsed. Once lapsed, the policy will not provide any benefit or coverage to the consumers, exposing them and their loved ones to financial risks. This is an undesirable scenario dreaded by most policy holders. Tata AIA understands the inconvenience the lapse can cause customers, since sometimes they may fail to pay the premium due to unavoidable circumstances.
In order to protect their customers, Tata AIA Life, through the Revive initiative, will reinstate lapsed policies with the premium due from January 1, 2012 with the subject to terms and conditions of the offer. As a mark of its commitment towards its loyal customers, the company has extended the offer even to those policy holders who have not paid their premium after 4th policy year.
Commenting on the Revive campaign, Amitabh Verma, Chief Operating Officer, Tata AIA Life said, “Revival of life insurance policy is like extending a helping hand for policy holders to safeguard their families financially along with the benefit of no additional premium cost. It is an opportunity for all those who were unable to pay their premium on the due date. The initiative is a part of our endeavours to reduce the protection gap in the country and simplifying processes for better customer experience.”
Tata AIA Life has introduced a host of initiatives to improve the customer experience. These initiatives include introduction of a service charter where the customers are promised pre-defined timelines to address proposal processing, service request, pay-out process, claim processing and grievance redressal. Addressing grievances, an important step in enhancing customer experience, also provides valuable consumer insights, which can be used to boost customer satisfaction. Keeping this in mind, the company has devised a robust escalation matrix to help the customers manage their policies and connect with senior management of the company effectively in the time of major grievances.
The initiatives taken by Tata AIA Life in the area of claim settlement have translated into promising results. The organisation has registered an individual claim settlement ratio of 96.8 percent for FY15-16, which is one of the best in the private life insurance sector in India. This is an improvement from the previous year’s 94.5 percent. The Company has also gone the extra mile to ensure that all the claims received were decided by the end of the financial year, leaving no instance of an outstanding claim.
About Tata AIA Life
Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Limited (Tata AIA Life) is a joint venture company, formed by Tata Sons Ltd. and AIA Group Ltd. (AIA). Tata AIA Life combines Tata’s pre-eminent leadership position in India and AIA’s presence as the largest, independent listed pan-Asian life insurance group in the world spanning 18 markets in Asia Pacific. Tata AIA Life has written retail new business weighted premium of Rs. 344 crore in the first half of FY 17, which represents a growth rate of 102 percent over previous year. As of Sep 30, 2016, the 13th-month persistency of the company stands at 80.5 percent. At the end of FY 16, the retail claims settlement ratio of the company was 96.8 percent.
Founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, the Tata group is a global enterprise, headquartered in India, comprising over 100 independent operating companies. The group operates in more than 100 countries across six continents, with a mission 'To improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally, through long-term stakeholder value creation based on Leadership with Trust'. Tata Sons is the principal investment holding company and promoter of Tata companies. Sixty-six percent of the equity share capital of Tata Sons is held by philanthropic trusts, which support education, health, livelihood generation and art and culture. In 2014-15, the revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $108.78 billion. These companies collectively employ over 600,000 people. Each Tata company or enterprise operates independently under the guidance and supervision of its own board of directors and shareholders. There are 29 publicly-listed Tata enterprises with a combined market capitalisation of about $116.41 billion (as on March 31, 2016). Tata companies with significant scale include Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Teleservices, Titan, Tata Communications and Indian Hotels.
AIA Group Limited and its subsidiaries (collectively “AIA” or the “Group”) comprise the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group. It has a presence in 18 markets in Asia-Pacific – wholly-owned branches and subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, New Zealand, Macau, Brunei, a 97 per cent subsidiary in Sri Lanka, a 49 per cent joint venture in India and a representative office in Myanmar and Cambodia.
The business that is now AIA was first established in Shanghai almost a century ago. It is a market leader in the Asia-Pacific region (ex-Japan) based on life insurance premiums and holds leading positions across the majority of its markets. It had total assets of US$168 billion as of 30 November 2015.
AIA meets the long-term savings and protection needs of individuals by offering a range of products and services including life insurance, accident and health insurance and savings plans. The Group also provides employee benefits, credit life and pension services to corporate clients. Through an extensive network of agents, partners and employees across Asia-Pacific, AIA serves the holders of more than 29 million individual policies and over 16 million participating members of group insurance schemes.
AIA Group Limited is listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited under the stock code “1299” with American Depositary Receipts (Level 1) traded on the over-the-counter market (ticker symbol: “AAGIY”).
BEWARE OF SPURIOUS PHONE CALLS AND FICTITIOUS/FRAUDULENT OFFERS –
Business Wire India
Aeolus Capital Management Ltd. (“Aeolus” or “ACM”) today announced that it has reached an agreement in principle pursuant to which Elliott Management Corporation (“Elliott”), through an affiliate, will acquire a controlling interest in ACM and its affiliated entities. The transaction is subject to the completion of definitive documentation and regulatory approval and is expected to be completed before year end.
The selling shareholders -- Peter Appel, founder of ACM, and Allied World Assurance Company (“Allied World”) -- will each retain significant minority ownership positions, with Mr. Appel continuing to serve ACM as its Non-Executive Chairman and Allied World continuing as a substantial capital provider to the investment funds managed by ACM. The ACM management team, led by Andrew Bernstein, Chris Grasso, Trevor Jones and Frank Fischer, will continue in their current roles and will retain their entire equity ownership interest in the business following closing of the transaction.
Mr. Appel, commenting on the transaction, said: “This transaction has been months in the making, and we have worked carefully to ensure that this new partnership will serve the best interests of our investors. Elliott is one of the world’s most highly respected hedge funds, having compiled an extraordinary record of outstanding and consistent performance over nearly forty years. More importantly for us, though, Elliott shares our analytical and disciplined approach to generating exceptional risk-adjusted returns for our investors, and will provide us with access to additional resources, insights and relationships to help us broaden our product offerings and further establish Aeolus as an enduring and growing franchise.”
Mark Cicirelli, a Portfolio Manager at Elliott, commented: “Elliott is pleased to become a full partner in the ownership and stewardship of ACM. We have been investing in Aeolus since 2012 and are also very familiar with the company as a core reinsurance provider to Asta’s Syndicate 4242 at Lloyd’s in which we are invested. Over the years we have developed a strong relationship with the Aeolus management team and have long recognized their ingenuity and skill in managing capital on behalf of their investors and structuring reinsurance and retro protection for their cedants. We believe Aeolus is the pre-eminent asset manager in the industry and we look forward to working closely with our new partners.”
Aeolus Capital Management Ltd.manages capital on behalf of investors seeking the superior risk adjusted returns and diversification benefits available from investing in the property catastrophe reinsurance and retrocession market.Aeolus is based in Bermuda, a global reinsurance market, and its capital providers include some of the most sophisticated investors in the world.Aeolus currently has approximately $2.7 billion of assets under management.
Elliott Management Corporation manages two multi-strategy hedge funds which combined have approximately $29 billion of assets under management. Its flagship fund, Elliott Associates, L.P., was founded in 1977, making it one of the oldest hedge funds under continuous management. The Elliott funds’ investors include pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations, funds-of-funds, high net worth individuals and families, and employees of the firm.
Business Wire IndiaPlugging the existing gaps in the credit flows for salaried professionals, LoanTap, a fintech platform delivering flexible, EMI-free loan products to salaried professionals, has processed over 100 loans worth Rs 2 crore within a short period of 70 days of its operations. All the 100 Loan disbursements with an average ticket size of Rs 2 lakhs were high in quality with good CIBIL ratings. The loan recipients’ propensity to repay the amount was adjudged using LoanTap’s proprietary algorithm.
In India, people belonging to the salaried segment are in constant need for credit solutions for either acquiring assets or for their personal consumption. However, there has been an information gap between the producer and the end consumer due to the clutter of direct sales agents and brokers who are driven by short-term goals. LoanTap integrates its specialization in retail loans and technology domains for the last 17-18 years to create a consumer-friendly credit facility in the competitive fintech space. The fintech platform has managed to stand out for its speedy disbursement of EMI-free loans followed by term loans, within a period of 2 days.
Satyam Kumar, CEO, LoanTap, said, "We are proud to be able to generate such huge numbers with more than 100 applications so far. Credit limits are usually based on the annual income and credit history of the individual. The higher the annual income, the higher becomes the credit limit. This makes it difficult for the risk-averse, low-salaried loan segment to apply for personal loans. Our products have been innovated keeping this segment in mind. The minimal human interface or interruption on our platform eases the algorithm verification for predicting loan amount estimates, thus making the disbursement process way faster than our competitors.”
Currently focusing primarily on upwardly mobile salaried professionals, LoanTap envisions penetrating deeper into the salaried segment. LoanTap offers highly relevant products like Rental Deposits and Credit Card Takeover Plans to help Salaried Professionals to get out of Debt Traps and use relevant Loan Structures.
LoanTap is a fintech platform delivering a bouquet of Loan Products to salaried professionals. From the Regular EMI based Loans, to EMI Free Loans to Personal Line of Credit LoanTap caters to all the requirements of a budding Salaried Professional. Unlike most fintech Companies it is not an aggregator platform and directly dispenses Loans through its in-house NBFC. It uses technology to deliver smart and innovative products for millennials. Borrowers can choose custom- made loan products from an array of offerings like Overdraft Facility, Credit Card Takeover Loans, and Rental.
Security Deposit Loans, Advance Salary Loans and consumer durable loans. Registered with RBI, it has an in-house NBFC offering unique products and features within the regulatory guidelines, thereby ensuring a fully transparent pricing structure.
Business Wire India
The GSMA today issued a report entitled, ‘Driving a Price Revolution: Mobile Money in International Remittances’ that looks at the impact of mobile money on reducing the cost of international remittances1. The findings show that the cost of sending international remittances with mobile money is, on average, more than 50 per cent less expensive than using global money transfer operators (MTOs). Additionally, where people were able to send remittances from a mobile money account, the average cost of sending US$200 was 2.7 per cent, compared to six per cent when using global MTOs. Lower transaction fees can translate directly into additional income for remittance recipients.
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GSMA Research Shows Mobile Money is Significantly Reducing the Cost of Sending International Remittances (Photo: Business Wire)
The research shows that by increasing competition, leveraging existing networks and infrastructure, and capturing smaller remittance values than traditional players, mobile money providers are strategically well-placed to lower international remittance costs. These lower prices, in turn, contribute directly toward achieving targets within United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 102, which sets clear objectives for reducing migrant remittance costs.
“Mobile money is one of the most exciting innovations in financial services, with more than 400 million registered consumer accounts across over 90 countries,” said John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA. “While today mobile money services are largely used for domestic transactions, international transfers represent the fastest-growing segment of mobile money services. In just a few years’ time, mobile money has moved from a purely domestic service to one that allows migrants to send remittances between more than 20 countries globally.”
According to the World Bank, more than 250 million people live outside their country of birth and regularly send money home, providing a financial lifeline to their families and contributing to the economies of their home countries.3 In 2015, global remittances totalled US$581.6 billion, of which US$431.6 billion, or nearly 75 per cent, was sent to the developing world. International remittances play a critical role in the economies of developing countries. However, the cost of international transfers remains high and directly impacts the income of remittance recipients. High fees for remittance transactions also encourage senders to use informal remittance channels, increasing anonymous cash-based transactions and creating new risks for financial integrity.
Giusti continued, “Through mobile money services, the industry is directly supporting the goal of expanded financial inclusion for migrants and their families by reducing international remittance costs, as captured in UN SDG10.c. The potential gains of achieving this target could be as high as US$20 billion in additional income for remittance recipients.”
Notes to Editors
A full copy of the report and further information on the GSMA’s Mobile Money Programme can be found at: www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/programme/mobile-money/driving-a-price-revolution-mobile-money-in-international-remittances.
1This research was conducted using the methodology employed by the World Bank’s Remittance Prices Worldwide database. It compared the price of sending international money transfers directly from a mobile money account to the price of conducting the same transaction with a global money transfer operator.
2Sustainable Development Goal 10.c - By 2030, reduce to less than 3 per cent, the transaction costs of migrant remittances and eliminate remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 per cent. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg10
3“Migration and Remittances Factbook 2016” - The World Bank (2016) and “Remittances to Developing Countries Edge Up Slightly in 2015” - The World Bank (13 April 2016)
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Mobile World Congress Americas and the Mobile 360 Series of conferences.
For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com. Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.
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OT (Oberthur Technologies), a leading global provider of embedded security software products and services, today announced that Itelma, the biggest Tier 1 automotive equipment supplier in Russia, has selected OT to connect cars to ERA-GLONASS, the Russian emergency call system, and to VimpelCom, one the of the leading operators in Russia, for commercial services such as breakdown calls or stolen car recovery, remote control and diagnostics, fleet management, etc.
Implemented in Russia since January 2015, the Russian ERA-GLONASS system is harmonized with the future European eCall system (112) and has similar functions to serve every road in the country. It was created to reduce the emergency services time-to-arrival by up to 30% on average, which is expected to save up to 4,000 lives per year. All new car models introduced to the Russian market since the beginning of 2015 must be equipped with on-board ERA-GLONASS terminals. Owners of existing vehicles can also opt to purchase a terminal and have it installed at a certified service center to register with the system.
To comply with this regulation, Itelma’s Telematic Control Units (TCU), embedding OT’s eUICC, DakOTa Auto, were the first to obtain the ERA-GLONASS certification in 2015 and are now shipped in volumes to the leading car makers in Russia. OT’s eUICC meets the standards of the automotive industry in terms of robustness and quality, and has been specially designed to facilitate the implementation of innovative connectivity services by mobile operators, car makers and telematic service providers.
To facilitate ERA-GLONASS emergency system implementation, DakOTa Auto combines, in a unique Telematic Control Unit (TCU), the two subscription profiles used respectively for the e-call and for the commercial services. The two profiles are hosted in two separate security domains in the same card, with a security level compliant with GSMA standards.
“To serve the automotive market, OT delivers technologies that are innovative, compliant with regulations and automotive-grade.” said Pierre Barrial, Managing Director of the Connected Device Makers business at OT. “Itelma is the biggest Tier 1 in Russia and we are pleased to work with a player with such an historical and strategic position on the Russian automotive market, as well as with their partner Vimpelcom, an international telecommunications and technology company with more than 200 million customers.”
“We are pleased to have collaborated with OT and to have associated our know-how and expertise with theirs to address the national eCall regulation since its enforcement. Thanks to OT’s eUICC, our TCUs connect Russian car drivers to the Vimpelcom network for everyday services and can automatically switch to the emergency service network to send an alert in the event of an accident.” said Alexander Sokolov, Chief of R&D at Itelma. “We are supplying our products to the leading automotive assembly plants of Russia and it is important for us to serve car makers with the best connectivity technology.”
OT will be VIP lounge sponsor at TU-Automotive Europe, an event dedicated to the Future of Auto Mobility, taking place 2-3 November 2016 in Munich.
ABOUT OBERTHUR TECHNOLOGIES
OT is a world leader in embedded digital security that protects you when you connect, authenticate or pay.
OT is strategically positioned in high growth markets and offers embedded security software solutions for “end-point” devices as well as associated remote management solutions to a huge portfolio of international clients, including banks and financial institutions, mobile operators, authorities and governments, as well as manufacturers of connected objects and equipment.
OT employs over 6 500 employees worldwide, including almost 700 R&D people. With a global footprint of 4 regional secure manufacturing hubs and 39 secure service centers, OT’s international network serves clients in 169 countries. For more information: www.oberthur.com
Business Wire India
For its 2016 edition, the world leading event dedicated to secure payment, identification and connectivity will include a high-level conference programme among which a one day conference track on FINTECH, prepared in collaboration with FinTechStage.
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Our world is supporting, displacing and disintermediating the old finance world with technology. In the 21st century finance world, financial services are understood as digital infrastructures allowing the establishment of new types of agreements and procedures in the classic areas of banking. As of now, disruptive investments are targeting all businesses such as digital payments, online money remittance, P2P transfers, online bill payments or digital currencies. Global FinTech investments increased by 75% in 2015 to stunning 22 billion dollars.
Matteo Rizzi, Co-founder of the FinTechStage and Senior Advisor for Omidyar Network, will chair this conference:
“FinTechStage and TRUSTECH are joining forces to bring the brightest FinTech minds together. They will deepen our collective understanding about the digital shifts impacting the financial services, with a particular focus on the cognitive data space and the way digital identity is becoming the next biggest opportunity for the business.”
More information and accreditation on www.trustech-event.com
About TRUSTECH (Incorporating Cartes): The event was first held over thirty years ago under the name “CARTES Secure Connexions”, to promote the new-born technology of smartcards. Now it has been re-named “TRUSTECH (incorporating CARTES)”, to better reflect the way the industry and the event have evolved, and its focus on trust-based technologies.
About COMEXPOSIUM: The COMEXPOSIUM Group, one of the world’s leading event organizers, is involved in more than 170 B2C and B2B events across 11 different sectors, including food, agriculture, fashion, security, digital, construction, high tech, optics and transport. Comexposium hosts more than 3 million visitors and 45,000 exhibitors in 26 countries around the world. Comexposium operates across 30+ global economic growth zones, such as: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA.
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Business Wire India
KYC, a process of verifying the identity of investors, is mandatory in the financial sector and costs an estimated EUR 180 million annually only for the Luxembourg fund industry1. However, if the process was pooled, instead of the current client-by-client replication, the spending could be lowered by 70%, down to EUR 20 million.A working group comprising 22 of Europe’s leading asset managers and asset servicing providers is already working on a solution optimising how the KYC obligations in fund distribution could be addressed.
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Fundsquare, a market infrastructure dedicated to investment funds, initiated the industry dialogue. “We inquired different players in the sector – management companies and asset servicing providers – about their KYC needs. In the next step we listed the requirements of a solution which would efficiently support the distribution of funds,” explains Olivier Portenseigne, Managing Director and CCO of Fundsquare. “The resulting working group is now finalising the specifications for a KYC infrastructure which will address the real needs of the market,” he adds.
Since May 2016, the working group, comprising companies from UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg and Switzerland, met several times at Fundsquare’s HQ in Luxembourg. Its objective is to define the modus operandi to meet all KYC requirements raised by the different market players.
The KYC solution will initially focus on institutional and retail funds distributed on a cross-border basis and will then extend to other domestic markets.
The working group will meet again in the next coming months to define the investment plan for the realisation of the infrastructure. It should be operational before the end of 2017.
Fundsquare S.A. was incorporated in June 2013 at the initiative of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange in order to establish an international market infrastructure capable of offering services relating to the cross-border distribution of funds in a standardised, automated manner. The main objective of the Fundsquare platform is to foster relationships and communication between professional investors and the funds.
1 Deloitte, https://goo.gl/uqH8Zs
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eCurrency Mint Limited (eCurrency) announced today that it has partnered with Banque Régionale de Marchés (BRM) to provide a digital currency in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). BRM will issue the digital tender, eCFA, in compliance with e-money regulations of Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO), the Central Bank of WAEMU. This secure digital instrument can be transacted across all existing payment platforms and will be equivalent in value to physical legal tender.
BRM announced the eCFA distribution will begin in Senegal and will be extended in a second phase to Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Togo and Guinea-Bissau. The eCFA is a high security digital instrument that can be held in all mobile money and e-money wallets. It will secure universal liquidity, enable interoperability, and provide transparency to the entire digital ecosystem in WAEMU.
“The mission of eCurrency is to preserve the secure and inclusive characteristics of physical fiat currency in our rapidly emerging digital world. We are realizing this important mission in the WAEMU region through the implementation of eCFA by BRM,” said Jonathan Dharmapalan, Founder and CEO of eCurrency.
With only 20% of Africa’s population having access to basic banking services, a trusted electronic means of transacting is the ultimate instrument of financial inclusion. The evolution to an electronic digital legal tender offers citizens a means by which to save and transact in a secure digital instrument. The eCFA is issued to coexist with other forms of currency, offering a digital form to seamlessly send, receive, store, and transact digitally.
“We are committed to bringing digital financial services and true financial inclusion to West Africa,” said Alioune Camara, CEO of BRM. “We are very happy to announce the eCFA capability here. An eCFA backed by our banking system and the central bank is the safest and most secure way to enable the digital economy. We can now facilitate full interoperability between all e-money payment systems. This is a great leap forward for Africa.”
The electronic money provided by BRM can only be issued by an authorized financial institution. It uses high security cryptographic protocols to ensure that it cannot be counterfeited or compromised. Because it is interoperable and it provides transparency it promotes governance and regulation by the central bank.
About eCurrency: eCurrency Mint Limited (eCurrency) enables central banks to securely and efficiently issue digital fiat currency to operate alongside notes and coins. eCurrency has pioneered the world’s first end-to-end solution for digital fiat currency issuance and circulation. The company combines hardware, software, and cryptographic security protocols to provide central banks the tools they need to preserve their charter and doctrine as the sole issuer of the national currency in an increasingly digital economy. By enabling more secure and efficient digital transactions, eCurrency supports the huge economic opportunities presented by the global shift to digital payments, including increased transaction efficiency, financial inclusion, and economic growth.
About BRM: Banque Régionale de Marchés (BRM) is the first banking institution in the WAEMU region to specialize in investment banking and capital markets.
BRM relies on financial innovation to realize its ambition of increased liquidity and efficiency in the WAEMU capital markets. With its expertise, BRM is able to provide financing and placement solutions across the region. Through detailed analysis of customers’ specifics, BRM’s processes aim at transforming customers’ potential from dormancy to business value.
Financial innovation is embedded in BRM’s approach to banking and financial services. Its business model is based on some key operational principles: “wholesale banking” approach, “regional” approach, partnerships and Information Technology.
BRM’s technology platform supports multiple distribution channels and enables the automation of complex processes and operational tasks. Our IT investment provides the right level of customer and partner integration, and the same quality of service across all markets at all times.
Business Wire IndiaH1 FY2017 Results Highlights:
In Q2 alone, the Company reported consolidated revenues and PBT of Rs. 3,064 Cr. and Rs. 175 Cr., growing 18% and 26% over Q2 FY2016, respectively.
MFS’ sole operating subsidiary Max Life Insurance performed strongly on all business parameters maintaining its position as the best-in-class provider of long-term savings and protection products. Max Life reported revenues* of Rs. 5,286 Cr. in H1 FY2017, growing 17% over the same period last year, while New Sales in the first half of the year, increased 22% to Rs. 1,120 Cr. The company also reported Shareholders’ PBT of Rs. 344 Cr., 31% higher compared to last year.
Max Life’s Assets Under Management (AUM) stood at Rs. 39,647 Cr. as at 30th September 2016, growing 21% over last year.
In August 2016, the Board of Directors of Max Life Insurance Company, Max Financial Services Ltd., Max India Limited and HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Ltd. (HDFC Life), at their respective meetings had finalized agreements for the amalgamation of business between the entities through a composite Scheme of Arrangement. In the ensuing period, both the entities have progressed with regulatory approvals as planned.
Commenting on MFS’ performance, Mr. Rahul Khosla, President, Max Group and Chairman, Max Life Insurance said, “Max Life Insurance has steadily grown to become one of the largest and fastest-growing private life insurers in the country. As we work towards completing the proposed merger with HDFC Life over the next few months, we will continue to focus on our strengths of selling long-term savings and protection products, through a well balanced distribution architecture including productive bancassurance partnerships and a profitable agency force while ensuring the best returns and protection for our policyholders.”
Sharing an update on the status of the proposed merger of Max Life with HDFC Life, Mr. Mohit Talwar, Managing Director, Max Financial Services Ltd. said, “Since the signing of the definitive agreement in August, we have made satisfactory progress in the regulatory filings process and approvals are expected as per anticipated timelines. We have filed applications with the Competition Commission of India, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) as well as both the National Stock Exchange and the Bombay Stock Exchange.”
The proposed merger is subject to applicable board, shareholder, regulatory, respective High Courts and other third-party approvals.
About Max Group
The Max Group is a leading Indian multi-business conglomerate with a commanding presence in the Life Insurance, Health & Allied businesses and packaging sectors. In FY 2016, the Group recorded consolidated revenues of Rs 14,237 Cr. It has a total customer base of 9 million, nearly 240 offices spread across India and people strength of 22,500 as on 31st March 2016.The Group’s investor base includes marquee global financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, KKR, IFC Washington, Fidelity, Ward Ferry, New York Life, Wasatch and Invesco.
The Max Group comprises three holding companies, namely Max Financial Services, Max India and Max Ventures & Industries.
About Max Financial Services Limited
Max Financial Services Limited (MFS), a part of the US$ 2 billion Max Group, is the parent company of Max Life, India’s largest non-bank, private life insurance company. MFS actively manages a majority stake in Max Life Insurance Company Limited, making it India’s first listed company focused exclusively on life insurance. Max Life is a joint venture with Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance (MSI), a Japan headquartered global leader in life insurance.
For further information, please visit:
Max Group: www.maxgroup.net
Business Wire India
MetLife announced today the appointment of Lee Wood as CEO for its Hong Kong business. Mr. Wood will be based in Hong Kong and will report to Damien Green, Regional Executive of MetLife Asia.
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MetLife Appoints Lee Wood as CEO Hong Kong (Photo: Business Wire)
Mr. Wood is a seasoned insurance professional with over 15 years of broad industry experience. He was most recently Senior Vice President at Allianz Taiwan Life Insurance Company Limited with responsibility for marketing, product development, and the direct marketing channel. Prior to this, he spent five years at HSBC Life (International) Limited in Taiwan as Managing Director and successfully led their bancassurance manufacturing startup operation before it was subsequently acquired by Allianz Taiwan Life Insurance Company Limited. He has also held various senior marketing and general manager roles at leading insurance companies throughout Asia which include ING Antai Life Insurance Company Limited in Taiwan, PT AIG Insurance Indonesia and AXA Life Insurance Company Limited in Japan.
Commenting on the appointment, Damien Green, Regional Executive of MetLife Asia, said, “Hong Kong is an important market in Asia for MetLife and we are excited to have Lee join us. His breadth of industry experience will serve to accelerate our business aspirations in Hong Kong.”
Mr. Wood holds an MBA and Masters of Divinity from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated with a BA in Math from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California.
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE:MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates ("MetLife"), is one of the largest life insurance companies in the world^. Founded in 1868, MetLife is a global provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. Serving approximately 100 million customers, MetLife has operations in nearly 50 countries and holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information about MetLife Hong Kong*, visit www.metlife.com.hk.
|^||Based on non-banking assets according to A.M. Best research 2012 data, Best’s Review July 2014.|
|*||MetLife Limited and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of Hong Kong Limited (collectively “MetLife Hong Kong”) are wholly-owned subsidiaries of MetLife, Inc. in Hong Kong and private companies limited by shares incorporated and registered under the applicable laws in Hong Kong. Both MetLife Limited and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of Hong Kong Limited are authorized insurers carrying long term business in Hong Kong.|
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“It’s quite important for customers preferring currency exchange and abroad travel to have an update about the fluctuating currency exchange rates. To purchase or sell foreign exchange currencies for your desired rates, keep an eye on our exclusive ‘currency rate alerts’ and get the best currency exchange on the move,” shared Mr. V George Antony, Managing Director, UAE Exchange, India.
Why go for foreign exchange ‘Rate Alert’
About UAE Exchange
UAE Exchange India is one of the pioneers of financial services renowned for its penchant quality and optimized service trends, creating a niche for itself in the industry. Connecting people and creating progress with the finest of quality is the vision of the company that has an extensive reach of 372 branches serving a population of 1.25 million people under the proficient support of 3375 employees. The company has been instrumental in providing cost-effective service in Foreign Exchange, Money Transfer, Air Ticketing & Tours, Loans, XPay Cash Wallet, Insurance and Share Trading.
Photo Caption : UAE Exchange ‘Currency Exchange Rate Alert’
Business Wire India
P3 Logistic Parks (“P3” or the “Group”), a leading specialist pan-European owner, developer and manager of logistics properties, announced today that GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire P3 from TPG Real Estate and its partner Ivanhoé Cambridge. The transaction values the business at €2.4 billion and is the largest European real estate transaction this year. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the end of 2016.
TPG Real Estate and Ivanhoé Cambridge acquired P3 in 2013. The Group has since grown into one of Europe’s largest fully integrated logistics platforms and developers with a 3.3 million square metre portfolio. Over the last three years, P3 has completed a series of add-on acquisitions in key European markets, more than doubling the size of the portfolio, which now includes 163 high quality warehouses, in 62 locations, across nine countries. At the same time, the Group has increased its customer base threefold, demonstrating the strong and growing demand for premium logistics space.
P3 recently completed a €1.4 billion long-term refinancing with a group of leading international financial institutions, providing the business with significant additional flexibility to support its growth strategy.
With the support of its new shareholder, P3 is well-placed to enter the next phase of its growth with a land bank representing up to 1.4 million square metres of development potential. Currently, 11 new sites are under construction, with 300,000 square metres of approved development scheduled by the end of the year.
Ian Worboys, CEO of P3 said: “With the backing of TPG Real Estate and Ivanhoé Cambridge we have been able to significantly expand across our core territories, become a market leader, and create a clear differentiation as a customer-centric business.We are excited to partner with one of the world's largest sovereign funds in GIC, and we look forward to delivering the same success for our new shareholder. GIC’s long-term investment strategy is closely aligned to our own approach, as a long-term owner and developer of high quality assets."
Anand Tejani, Partner at TPG Real Estate, said: “P3 is a good example of our platform-based investment strategy, and we are very proud of what we have accomplished together. Under our ownership, the business has undergone a period of significant change, growing to be one of the leading fully integrated logistics platforms in Europe. P3 has more than doubled in size and has strengthened its asset management, property management and development capabilities. We believe P3 will be well positioned to continue its growth under GIC’s ownership.”
Meka Brunel, President, Europe, Ivanhoé Cambridge, added:“We are very satisfied with how P3 was transformed into a leading logistics platform in such a short period of time. This transaction aligns with our investment strategy in Europe, where we look forward to continuing our success.”
Lee Kok Sun, Chief Investment Officer at GIC Real Estate said: “We believe P3’s strong growth will continue given its diversified, income-producing portfolio and substantial land bank. We are confident of the long-term potential of the European logistics sector, and look forward to expanding this attractive platform with the very capable P3 management team. GIC’s extensive experience in investing in logistics globally also allows us to add value to this partnership.”
P3’s mission is to provide warehouse customers with a first rate occupancy experience in high quality assets in key logistics locations. P3 develops environmentally sustainable warehouses that meet the highest international standards.
Eastdil Secured acted as adviser to TPG Real Estate on the transaction.
NOTES TO EDITORS
P3 is a specialist owner, developer and asset manager of logistics properties. Active throughout Europe, P3’s asset base is comprised of 163 high-quality warehouses with an average age of 8.4 years totaling 3.3 million square metres across nine countries and a land bank with zoning for 1.4 million square metres of further development.
P3’s mission is to provide warehouse customers with a first rate occupancy experience in high quality assets in key logistics locations. P3 develops environmentally sustainable warehouses that meet the highest international standards. PointPark Properties has adopted “P3” as a corporate brand and uses the trading name P3 Logistic Parks to reflect the company’s core business. You can find more information about P3 on our website www.p3parks.com.
TPG Real Estate
TPG Real Estate ("TPGRE") is the real estate platform of TPG, a leading global private investment firm with over $70 billion of assets under management and 17 offices around the world. TPGRE includes TPG Real Estate Partners, its equity investment platform, and TPG Real Estate Finance Trust, its debt origination and acquisition platform. Collectively, the two platforms manage assets in excess of $7 billion. TPG Real Estate Partners has invested or committed to invest approximately $3.7 billion of equity in North America and Europe since 2009 and focuses primarily on investments in property-rich platforms and companies. TPG Real Estate Partners leverages the full resources of TPG in its value-added approach to investing to optimize property performance and enhance platform capabilities. TPG Real Estate Finance Trust manages an approximately $3.2 billion commercial real estate loan portfolio, and originates and acquires senior real estate loans across a broad spectrum of asset classes in North America. For more information please visit www.tpg.com.
About Ivanhoé Cambridge
Ivanhoé Cambridge, a global real estate industry leader, invests in high-quality properties and companies in select cities around the world. It does so prudently with a long-term view to optimize risk-adjusted returns. Founded in Quebec in 1953, Ivanhoé Cambridge has built a vertically integrated business across Canada. Internationally, the Company invests alongside key partners that are leaders in their respective markets.
Through subsidiaries and partnerships, Ivanhoé Cambridge holds interests in close to 500 properties, consisting primarily in office, retail, residential and logistics real estate. Ivanhoé Cambridge held more than Cdn$55 billion in assets as at June 30, 2016. The Company is a real estate subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (cdpq.com), one of Canada's leading institutional fund managers. For further information: ivanhoecambridge.com.
GIC is a leading global investment firm with well over US$100 billion in assets under management. Established in 1981 to secure the financial future of Singapore, the firm manages Singapore’s foreign reserves. A disciplined long-term value investor, GIC is uniquely positioned for investments across a wide range of asset classes, including real estate, private equity, equities and fixed income. GIC has investments in over 40 countries and has been investing in emerging markets for more than two decades. In real estate, GIC invests across all parts of the capital structure in private and public real markets. Headquartered in Singapore, GIC employs over 1,300 people across 10 offices in key financial cities worldwide. For more information about GIC, please visit www.gic.com.sg.
Business Wire IndiaWipro Limited (NYSE: WIT, BSE: 507685, NSE: WIPRO), a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company, today announced, the launch of its Open Banking API (Application Programming Interface) Platform. The Open API platform, will enable banks and financial institutions to launch Open Banking initiatives and create new forms of distribution channels and servicing capabilities, provide access to third-party application marketplaces, and comply with emerging regulatory norms through the standardization of APIs.
Open Banking is an emerging trend in financial technology that uses Open APIs to enable third party developers build applications and services around a financial institution. It facilitates greater financial transparency and helps financial institutions innovate and create new revenue models. Open Banking has been gaining significant momentum across the globe, especially in the European banking industry – driven by changing regulatory mandates. Revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2), is one such regulatory mandate that aims to standardize, integrate and improve payment efficiency in the European Union.
Wipro expects a large number of banks and financial institutions to adopt Open Banking initiatives to conform with evolving banking regulations, meet customers’ digital expectations, and stay ahead in an increasingly competitive FinTech industry. These are transforming the way banks approach products and distribution.
The banking business landscape demands disruptive requirements such as having a single unified technology platform for all of a bank’s crowdsourcing interactions with its developers involved with building its technology platforms or even creating branch-less banking experiences through a 100 per cent online presence. These needs extend well beyond the capabilities of regular API management.
Wipro’s Open Banking API platform accelerates banks’ journey towards the establishment of an API-enabled value ecosystem, and simplifies the onboarding and integration of FinTech services. By enabling compliance with emerging Open Banking regulatory mandates such as PSD2, the platform helps organizations keep pace with banking industry trends.
In addition to accelerated time-to-value, the platform equips banks with the ability to create and manage an API-enabled ecosystem through a single unified platform. The platform can engage an ecosystem of partners/developers to create new revenue streams and foster innovation.
Krishnakumar N Menon, Vice President – Service Transformation, Wipro Limited said: “With over 15,000 open APIs in existence already, an increasing number of organizations are realizing the true potential of an open API ecosystem. Open Banking is disrupting the banking industry with new business models and an open innovation culture. Our platform is well poised to enable banks embark on their Open Banking journey.”
The platform leverages IBM API Connect, which offers capabilities to create, run, manage and secure APIs and micro services. It enables organizations to rapidly deploy and simplify the administration of APIs for both on-premise and cloud environments.
David Wilson, Vice President, IBM Cloud Business Partners and Channel Innovation said, “Open Banking will transform financial institutions into digital platforms by securely exposing their data and products, while providing innovative services to their customers. IBM is excited to partner with Wipro, powering the underlying technology, enabling Wipro to deliver a secure, robust and best-in-class open banking API infrastructure.”
Wipro’s Open API platform fosters a culture of open innovation across financial institutions. The proliferation of partner APIs and third party ecosystems have encouraged the industry to expand the market and improve accessibility of products and services.
About Wipro Limited
Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT, BSE: 507685, NSE: WIPRO) is a leading information technology, consulting and business process services company that delivers solutions to enable its clients do business better. Wipro delivers winning business outcomes through its deep industry experience and a 360-degree view of “Business through Technology.” By combining digital strategy, customer centric design, advanced analytics and product engineering approach, Wipro helps its clients create successful and adaptive businesses. A company recognized globally for its comprehensive portfolio of services, strong commitment to sustainability and good corporate citizenship, Wipro has a dedicated workforce of over 170,000, serving clients across 6 continents. For more information, please visit www.wipro.com
Forward-looking and Cautionary Statements
Certain statements in this release concerning our future growth prospects are forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks, and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties relating to these statements include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties regarding fluctuations in our earnings, revenue and profits, our ability to generate and manage growth, intense competition in IT services, our ability to maintain our cost advantage, wage increases in India, our ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals, time and cost overruns on fixed-price, fixed-time frame contracts, client concentration, restrictions on immigration, our ability to manage our international operations, reduced demand for technology in our key focus areas, disruptions in telecommunication networks, our ability to successfully complete and integrate potential acquisitions, liability for damages on our service contracts, the success of the companies in which we make strategic investments, withdrawal of fiscal governmental incentives, political instability, war, legal restrictions on raising capital or acquiring companies outside India, unauthorized use of our intellectual property, and general economic conditions affecting our business and industry. Additional risks that could affect our future operating results are more fully described in our filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. These filings are available at www.sec.gov. We may, from time to time, make additional written and oral forward-looking statements, including statements contained in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and our reports to shareholders. We do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement that may be made from time to time by us or on our behalf.
Business Wire India
The syndicate of lenders, including funds managed by Davidson Kempner Capital Management and several global financial institutions (collectively, “the Lenders” or “the Creditors”), who are together owed approximately $411 million by various entities within the Essar Group, including Essar Global Fund Limited, issued the following statement and an accompanying summary of the key facts concerning the company’s proposed sale of Essar Oil Limited (“Essar Oil) to a consortium including Rosneft PJSC, Trafigura Beheer BV and United Capital Partners (“the Transaction”).
The Lenders issued the following statement:
“While Prashant Ruia, the Chief Executive Officer of the Essar Group, has championed the Transaction as a historic opportunity to reduce Essar’s debt, we are unable to ascertain if the Transaction is in fact value-maximizing or even lawful from the perspective of the Creditors. This is despite our repeated requests for a proper ‘sources and uses’ analysis for the Transaction, which have been consistently met with deficient responses that provide inconsistent and misleading explanations.
“Additionally, the Lenders are concerned that proceeds from the Transaction (if and when it closes), could be diverted to entities controlled by the Ruia family, thus evading the Lenders’ rights to those proceeds. We are troubled by fact that the Ruia family has private minority shareholdings in two of the companies that are receiving proceeds from the transaction and that those proceeds may bypass the corporate group.
“We welcome any clarification or productive engagement from the Essar Group, but must take all possible steps to protect our interests. As such, we will pursue additional legal actions if, where and when appropriate.”
Business Wire India
FinovateAsia 2016 -- Xignite, Inc., the leading provider of cloud-based financial data Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) announced today the ability to license the company’s Market Data Cloud platform.
The Xignite Market Data Cloud is a cloud-based market data distribution solution that helps exchanges and financial data vendors distribute their data via massively scalable APIs from the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud. The solution allows market data to remain stored in the cloud and be consumed only when, and, as needed. The Xignite solution enables exchanges, data vendors, index companies and other data originators in the $26 billion market data space to quickly upgrade or replace legacy distribution technology, while drastically reducing their infrastructure costs. Customers can deploy and independently operate the Xignite platform in their own cloud environments.
Today, most real-time and reference data is distributed via proprietary terminals, such as the Bloomberg Professional, legacy data feeds, such as those offered by Thomson Reuters, or flat files over FTP. These legacy approaches are infrastructure-heavy and require firms to replicate the market data inside their data centers at a great expense. The solution helps customers, such as financial institutions and fintech companies, innovate while drastically reducing their infrastructure costs.
“In a few years, most enterprise applications will have migrated to the cloud and billions of devices consuming such data will also be operating off the cloud,” says Stephane Dubois, CEO and founder of Xignite. “If your data is not in the cloud by 2020, your business will probably not survive.”
Xignite is the pioneer of market data in the cloud, introducing its first pure-pay commercial REST API in 2003 and its first AWS-powered API in 2008. The firm serves more than 1 trillion API requests per year and usage is growing by more than 300% year on year.
The Market Data Cloud supports:
Named one of the ten coolest brands in banking, Xignite, Inc. empowers innovation across financial services. Xignite provides cloud-based real-time and reference market data to financial services and fintech companies for easy integration with websites, apps, and software. The Xignite Market Data Cloud platform, hosted by AWS, allows companies to simplify infrastructure, scale quickly, and innovate faster. Xignite’s clients include more than 1,000 financial services, media and software companies including BMO, BlackRock, Charles Schwab, and IEX, as well as leading fintech disruptors such as Betterment, FutureAdvisor, IEX, Motif Investing, Personal Capital, Robinhood, SoFi, StockTwits, Wealthfront and Yodlee. Visit http://www.xignite.com or follow on Twitter @xignite.
Business Wire IndiaAbu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the new international financial centre in Abu Dhabi, is pleased to continue its close engagement with the leading business community and decision-makers in a 10-days business trip to India covering cities including New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Trivandrum.
Together with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), the Registration Authority of ADGM will be hosting a series of events and meetings with business leaders and decision makers, a wide spectrum of industries and sectors, to share insights of the investment opportunities in the UAE and Abu Dhabi and explore possible cross-border efforts that will facilitate business developments in both markets respectively. The diverse representation of industries and sectors reinforces ADGM’s offering and value proposition as a conductive business environment and IFC for all commercial and financial sectors.
The ADGM Registration Authority team will be led by Mr. Martin Tidestrom and his team. In addition to discussing the business collaborations, the ADGM team will provide more information and understanding of ADGM’s business offerings and its international regulatory framework. The team will also look into opportunities to enable in- and outboard investments from the Indian business community into Abu Dhabi and the UAE. This is part of ADGM’s ongoing out-reach commitment and efforts to support Abu Dhabi’s long-term economic partnership and friendship with India, and bolster the relations ADGM’s and India’s business communities.
As an international financial centre that is anchored on Abu Dhabi’s economic infrastructure and financial strengths, ADGM’s commercial and financial offering and framework provides a strategic platform for India companies and investors seeking to extend their investment interests and businesses in the UAE and wider region.
According to the latest report by Ministry of Economy, the UAE is India’s first trading partner in the Arab world. The Abu Dhabi non-oil exports to India increased by 17.6% from 2010-2015. The UAE accounts for 80% of GCC FDI into India. The report showed that GCC firms have emerged as major investors in India in the past few years, adding that UAE-based companies in particular have gained prominence given the growing ties between the emirates and New Delhi.
About Abu Dhabi Global Market
Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international financial centre located in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, opened for business on 21st October 2015.
In line with the Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision, ADGM is a natural extension of Abu Dhabi’s role as a reliable and responsible member of the global financial community. Strategically situated in Abu Dhabi, the home of one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, ADGM plays a pivotal role in positioning Abu Dhabi as a global centre for business and finance that connects the growing economies of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
ADGM’s three independent authorities, the Registration Authority, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority and ADGM Courts, enable registered companies to conduct business in a zero-percent tax environment and operate with confidence within an international regulatory framework with its own independent judicial system and legislative infrastructure based on the Common Law.
Established by a UAE Federal Decree as a broad based financial centre, ADGM’s foundation is anchored on three of Abu Dhabi’s strategic strengths - private banking, wealth management and asset management and will continually expand its financial services in response to the needs of its businesses and marketplace.
Abu Dhabi Global Market is located on Al Maryah Island, a 114-hectare development that is home to world-class business and lifestyle facilities such as the Rosewood and Four Seasons Hotels and Residences, the first ever specialty Cleveland Clinic Hospital outside of USA, luxury retail at the Galleria Mall, and grade-A offices spaces to meet Abu Dhabi’s long-term development and economic needs. All these complement ADGM’s international financial centre position as a vibrant destination in the capital city in Abu Dhabi. For more details of ADGM, please visit www.adgm.com.
Photo Caption: ADGM Building Front