Arada closes $400M Sukuk, oversubscribed 3.5 times

SHARJAH: Arada Developments LLC (‘Arada’), rated B1 by Moody’s and B+ by Fitch, has successfully completed the issuance of its second public financing deal, a $400 million Sukuk, which has been listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Dubai. This is the first issuance under Arada’s newly established $1 billion Sukuk programme.

The five-year fixed rate RegS Sukuk issuance, rated BB- by Fitch and B1 by Moody’s, was priced at par with a coupon of 8.000%, inside the initial guidance area of 8.675% for a spread of 355 bps over US Treasuries. The trade achieved one of the highest price tightening by a real estate issuer from the GCC, and also priced with a spread which is more than 150bps inside the previously priced debut Sukuk.

The proceeds of the Sukuk will be used for the management of existing bilateral funding, general corporate purposes and to support development at Arada’s existing projects.

The Sukuk issuance saw strong demand from both regional and international investors, with a subscription
order book of $1.45 billion, 3.5 times the offer size.

Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, Vice Chairman of Arada, said: ‘We are pleased to have enjoyed a successful return to the market with the closure of our second sukuk. This landmark issuance is once again testament to the strong level of interest from institutional investors around the world in Arada’s stable track record, good governance and compelling growth story.’

Investor interest for the Sukuk was diversified geographically, coming from Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The investors for this issuance include institutional investors, fund managers, High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs), and banks.

The Joint Global Coordinators for the Sukuk were Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital and Standard Chartered Bank, while Arab Bank, Kamco Invest, Mashreq, RAK Bank, Sharjah Islamic Bank and Warba Bank acted as Joint Lead Managers and Bookrunners.

Since its launch in 2017, Arada has launched six successful projects in bot
h Sharjah and Dubai, with a combined sales value of AED60 billion. These include Sharjah’s largest ever mixed-use megaproject, Aljada; the UAE’s first forested community, Masaar; and the ultra-luxury Armani Beach Residences at Palm Jumeirah.

In 2023, the master developer announced a 100% increase in the total value of property sold to AED7.02 billion, compared to the previous year. In total, Arada has sold 14,000 units since inception, valued at over AED17 billion, with over 9,000 units completed.

Source: Emirates News Agency

MoIAT delivers Industrial Technology Transformation Index training to take UAE I4.0 adoption tool global

ABU DHABI: The UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) concluded the first session of the Industrial Technology Transformation Index (ITTI) Global Assessor Training Program, hosting 22 participants from nine countries to boost 4IR adoption across the region.

Over three days, representatives from government entities, regional bodies and private companies learnt about the Industrial Technology Transformation Index (ITTI) framework and how to conduct assessments under the ITTI framework. ITTI is the region’s first digital maturity index, launched by MoIAT to drive the adoption of 4IR solutions and sustainable practices in the industrial ecosystem.

The aim of the ITTI Global Assessor Training Program is to promote the internationalization of the ITTI framework by certifying assessors abroad to become ambassadors of the ITTI. It also aims to foster knowledge exchange and drive industrial excellence and innovation across the region.

MoIAT launched the ITTI in 2023 under the Technology Transforma
tion Program and as a cornerstone of Operation 300bn, which aims to increase manufacturing value added (MVA) to AED 300 billion by 2031 while supporting the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.

The ITTI is a comprehensive tool for assessing digital maturity and sustainable practices in the manufacturing ecosystem. It was built to enhance industrial productivity, efficiency, flexibility and sustainability through enabling advanced technology adoption and Industry 4.0 (I4.0) solutions. From an international perspective, the tool aims to function as a global standard for measuring technological maturity in the industrial sector and for guiding manufacturers and other industrial ecosystem partners to define approaches to design effective digital transformation initiatives.

Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, said: ‘4IR has the potential to transform industry into a key growth engine. But many industrial companies are still in their digital infancy and lack the a
wareness, knowledge, or capital to raise digital maturity. The ITTI enables these companies by creating a technology transformation roadmap and has proved highly successful since launching. Consequently, MoIAT is now working to internationalize the ITTI framework and foster knowledge exchange on 4IR best practices globally .

‘The aim of this program is to train accredited ITTI assessors abroad to standardize assessment practices in line with global benchmarks and to develop I4.0 ambassadors globally to promote international collaboration and dialogue on global I4.0 transformation. This approach falls under MoIAT’s commitment to working with international partners to drive sustainable industrial development in line with the UAE’s position as a key member of the global industrial community.’

To date, more than 400 companies in the UAE have been assessed by over 40 local and international assessors to date. Together, these companies in 2023 have committed to investing AED 600 million in technology adoption. Th
e ITTI Industry 4.0 Pulse Report for 2023 launched at the Make it in the Emirates Forum highlighted strong progress. Last year, under the ITTI program, 650 I4.0 projects were implemented, with 75 percent of assessed companies creating a digital transformation roadmap. Companies assessed under the ITTI typically realize a 15 percent improvement in key KPIs and are 1.7 times more likely to target sustainability dimensions.

Participants in the Global Assessor Training Program reviewed many elements of ITTI, including I4.0 strategy and governance, in addition to case studies to learn how ITTI is driving sustainability, efficiency and competitiveness across the industrial value chain. The participants came from GCC countries as well as Egypt, Rwanda, India and Malaysia.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Qatar Airways, China Southern Airlines Sign MoU, Strengthen Airline Partnership

Doha: Qatar Airways and China Southern Airlines have announced the next phase of their comprehensive partnership – which includes a codeshare agreement – with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance travel options and convenience for passengers. The MoU outlines a framework for the two airlines to boost their market presence and collaboration in the areas of cargo and frequent flyer programmes.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer and China Southern Airlines President and CEO Han Wensheng signed the MoU on behalf of their airlines.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer said: “As part of our robust partnership with China Southern Airlines, Qatar Airways is building on the success of the new route from Doha to Guangzhou, which was launched in April this year, to offer more choice to both airline passengers. It is a proud milestone for us to serve the prominent Chinese market in collaboration with our key partner, and look forward to extending our award-winning o
fferings to travellers flying through China.” China Southern Airlines President and CEO said: “China Southern Airlines launched a direct route from Guangzhou to Doha in April, which has strongly promoted the connectivity between China and countries and regions along the Belt and Road Initiative. In the future, China Southern Airlines will deepen cooperation with Qatar Airways, strengthen complementary advantages, and work together to bring more comfortable and convenient travel experiences to our passengers.” Qatar Airways and China Southern will further collaborate to provide their respective Privilege Club and Sky Pearl Club members frequent flyer benefits. These include collecting and spending Avios/Miles on both Qatar Airways and China Southern flights, as well as tier benefits in the form of lounge access and other airport offerings.

Source: Qatar News Agency

Etihad Airways carries 1.5 million passengers in May

ABU DHABI: Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has published its preliminary traffic statistics for May 2024.

The airline carried 1.5 million guests and saw its passenger load factor average out at 84 percent across the month.

Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said, “We achieved a 38 percent year-to-date increase in passengers, underscoring our strong positive growth trajectory, and our Year-to-date (YTD) passenger count has reached 7.2 million, meaning we’ve already welcomed two million more passengers this year than the same period of 2023.

‘This contributed to maintaining a healthy YTD load factor of 85 percent against a considerable increase in capacity against the same period in 2023.

‘Our rolling 12-month passenger numbers, to the end of May 2024, now stand at just over 16 million.’

He added, ‘Our operating fleet size has risen by 15 aircraft year-on-year to 90, helping to fuel our growth.

‘In May, after intense months of activity involving
teams across the airline, we brought the first of the six A321neos expected in 2024 into operation. These aircraft further boost our growing network and frequencies, and deliver a 20 percent fuel burn and CO2 emissions advantage, underling our commitment to modern, more efficient aircraft.’

Source: Emirates News Agency

Presight, Dell collaborate to accelerate AI, big data adoption in UAE

ABU DHABI: Presight, the region’s leading big data analytics company powered by generative artificial intelligence, and Dell Technologies today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop solutions that help customers in the UAE accelerate their digital transformation objectives. This agreement marks a significant step towards leveraging cutting-edge infrastructure solutions to accelerate artificial intelligence (AI) and big data adoption in the UAE.

The MoU will allow Presight to harness the potential of advanced technologies and competent solutions that meet the growing demands of the digital era.

The collaboration will focus on developing innovative edge, open RAN and IoT analytics architectures, combining Presight’s expertise in AI and data analytics with Dell’s robust capabilities in computing, storage, data protection and network solutions. It will also enhance cybersecurity by utilising zero-trust principles.

Dr. Adel Alsharji, COO of Presight, said, “We are thrilled to work closely with D
ell Technologies to drive innovation. Dell is a global technology player, and this MoU is a significant step toward fostering innovation and advancing digital transformation. We will look to leverage this collaboration to provide our clients with cutting-edge solutions that are sustainable, secure, scalable and that set new industry benchmarks.”

Walid Yehia, Managing Director – UAE, Dell Technologies, said, “Data insights are a key differentiator in addressing growing business concerns during this digital era. By working with Presight we are poised to help their customers drive innovation and deliver unprecedented value in a fast-evolving business landscape.’

Source: Emirates News Agency

QSE Index Closes Higher by 14.27 Points

Doha: The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) index closed today’s trading session up by 14.27 points, or 0.15 percent, reaching a level of 9,645.87 points.

During the session, 179,976,560 shares were traded, with a total value of QR 538,111,845.155, resulting from the execution of 17,636 transactions across all sectors.

In today’s session, the shares of 19 companies increased, while the shares of 33 other companies decreased.

The market capitalization at the end of the trading session stood at QR 560,569,757,294.120, compared to QR 560,054,335,494.890 in the previous session.

Source: Qatar News Agency