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Swedish think tank: Global arms sales rise for first time in five years

Monday, 11 December 2017

Military arms sales by the world's top 100 producers rose 1.9 percent in 2016, the first year of growth in five years, a Swedish think tank said Monday.The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, or SIPRI, reported that sales of arms and military services totaled $374.8 billion last year, excluding China. SIPRI counts China as a top arms manufacturer, too, but it's excluded in the statistics as no reliable data is available.SIPRI’s annual report said that American and Western ...

Apple to buy song recognition app Shazam

Monday, 11 December 2017

Apple has bought Shazam, the maker of a song-recognition app that Apple's digital assistant Siri has already been using to help people identify the music playing on their iPhones.The companies didn't disclose the price of the acquisition announced Monday. Technology news site Recode previously reported Apple is paying about $400 million for Shazam, citing three unidentified people familiar with the deal.Apple issued a statement describing Shazam as "natural fit" with its services. The ...

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala partners Softbank in technology investments

Monday, 11 December 2017

Abu Dhabi investor Mubadala has made 15 to 16 investments in technology firms as part of a partnership with SoftBank Group of Japan, deputy group chief executive Waleed al-Muhairi told a conference in Abu Dhabi on Monday. Mubadala has committed $15 billion to SoftBank’s $93 billion private equity fund, the SoftBank Vision Fund, which has also raised money from Saudi Arabia’s main sovereign wealth fund and other investors. “We have done 15 to 16 different investments today, ...

Saudi Aramco to host ‘iktva’ supply chain forum with focus on SMEs

Monday, 11 December 2017

Saudi Aramco will host a forum for key suppliers on Tuesday and Wednesday in the eastern city of Dhahran.Titled the “iktva SME Forum & Exhibition,” the forum is Saudi Aramco’s principal engagement event with valued suppliers who form our energy sector ecosystem, a statement has read.Iktva is Saudi Aramco's In-Kingdom Total Value Add initiative, and the forum aims to highlights the importance of “small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in driving value creation and ...

Bitcoin makes muted stock exchange debut at $15,000

Monday, 11 December 2017

Cryptocurrency Bitcoin made its debut on a major bourse Sunday, opening at $15,000 per unit at the Chicago board options exchange.Around 23:20 GMT, the price of the currency had risen to $15,940 dollars on a futures contract scheduled for settlement on January 17 according to data provided by the Chicago board options exchange (Cboe).A futures contract is a financial product that allows investors to bet on whether the currency’s price will rise or fall.It is the first opportunity for ...

Major markets rise, led by Saudi Arabia and Egypt

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Major Gulf stock markets rose on Sunday in line with strength in global bourses at the end of last week, with Saudi Arabia and Egypt leading.The Saudi index rose 0.8 percent points to 7,145, bouncing for a second straight day from technical support around 7,000 points in very heavy trade.After initially pulling out of the market in the wake of Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on corruption, announced early last month, retail investors have been coming back in after it became clear that damage to ...

Dubai 2018 budget balloons as infrastructure spending rises

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum approved a record $15.4 billion (56.6 billion dirham) budget for next year, an increase of 19.5 percent from the original budget plan for 2017 because of a leap in spending on infrastructure. The emirate expects to spend 46.5 percent more on infrastructure in 2018, accounting for 21 percent of its total spending, as it prepares to host the Expo 2020 world’s fair, expands its metro rail system and builds other projects, ...

Egypt’s inflation falls to lowest this year

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Egypt’s inflation fell to a 2017 low in November, a year after the country floated its pound currency as part of a $12 billion International Monetary Fund deal to boost the economy. Inflation shot up after the pound’s flotation last November, reaching a record high in July following cuts to energy subsidies, but has gradually eased since. Annual urban consumer price inflation eased to 26 percent in November from 30.8 percent the previous month, official data showed on Sunday. Core ...

Sudan imposes temporary ban on 19 imports to support currency

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Sudan has imposed a temporary import ban on selected foods and other items in an effort to protect its currency and narrow its budget deficit after the end of US trade sanctions in October, the government said. The Sudanese pound has been weakening against the dollar since Washington lifted 20-year-old economic embargo, paving the way for traders to step up import volumes and putting pressure on already scarce hard currency. The central bank holds the official exchange ...

Dubai threatens price gougers with fines before VAT introduction

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Dubai warned retailers on Sunday that they would face fines if they tried to use next month’s introduction of value-added tax in the UAE to manipulate prices, a sign of official concern about the economic impact of the tax. Dubai Economy, a government body which oversees business in the emirate, said it would conduct field inspections and act on consumers' complaints to prevent price gouging before or during the transition. Retailers will have to display VAT separately on their bills. ...

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