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Supported by the UAE National Media Council

Aabar taps strong investor demand for high-quality bonds

posted on 29/03/2015

Aabar Investments has seized the initiative with a ground breaking debt by issuing a Euro 2Billion exchangeable bond with a creative structure that combines Aabar's strong reputation as a long-term investor with the financial strength of its parent, International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).

The bond issuance, announced on March 24, highlights the continued strength of Abu Dhabi Government institutions, especially of Aabar, and the confidence the market has maintained in those institutions amid uncertain markets in the region.

The bonds are exchangeable against Aabar's Unicredit stock ownership, amounting to a landmark transaction that has achieved annual cost savings of 3.25% and provided the funding necessary for the company's portfolio of long term development assets to achieve their full value. Most immediately the issuance frees Aabar to settle its Daimler exchangeable bond, allowing it to considerably reduce the cost of its debt.

Aabar manages a portfolio of investments spanning real estate to energy, and is a strategic pillar in the Abu Dhabi government's vision to diversify the economy away from dependency on hydrocarbon revenues.

There are few companies able to complete a transaction of this type. Aabar has attributed its success to: - the strong financial standing of itself and its parent, International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) - its concerted campaign to explain Aabar's business and its growth strategy to investors - Aabar's solid reputation as a bond issuer as evidenced by the significant gains enjoyed by holders of its previous bonds - Aabar's strong credit rating, the strength of its immediate parent, IPIC, and its ultimate parent the Abu Dhabi government The Aabar bond transaction has already claimed several records: - the largest exchangeable bond ever issued by an unrated entity; - the largest exchangeable bond issue in EMEA since 2008 (Deutsche Telekom); - the 7-year tranche is the largest maturity for an exchangeable bond since 2006 The transaction has a tremendous combination of yield and premium, one that stands out in the EMEA's equity-linked market. Since 2009, there have only been three similar transactions with respect to the yield/premium combination.

All of this comes on the back of Aabar's previous bond that picked up the Euromoney Deal of the Year in 2011.

Although the Aabar bonds are called exchangeable, the option only occurs in the final six months of the term. A banker familiar with the details of the transaction described it as "the exchangeable bond you can't exchange".

Usually, when a bond is issued, the company's share price falls as investors sell equity to buy debt. The Aabar issue was so well-arranged that shares of Unicredit achieved a net gain on the day of issue as investors sought to hedge against their bond holding.

The transaction involved settling a bond exchangeable with Daimler shares carrying a premium of 4% per annum and issuing a replacement bond exchangeable in shares of Unicredit carrying a premium of 0.75% per annum. The annual cost saving for Aabar is therefore 3.25%.

"The success of such a novel instrument is a reflection of the strengths and high regard of Aabar Investments as an Abu Dhabi Government entity," said His Excellency Khadem Al Qubaisi, Chairman of Aabar. "Given that this is the largest ever non-rated exchangeable bond, it is clear that Aabar's role and strategy is understood and supported by the global markets. We are proud of the team that has delivered this transaction, one that has transformed and changed the expectations of the market, just as we did with our previous bond." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Dubai to host First Shopper Smart Living Show

posted on 29/03/2015

With the global household appliance industry expected to reach an estimated value of US$324.2 billion by 2019 , the launch of Shopper Smart Living is on track to meet the growing regional demand for white goods, home appliances and smart home tech being driven by increases in urbanisation and per capita income, as well as continuously evolving design trends.

Co-located with GITEX Shopper Spring at Dubai World Trade Centre and also running from 1 – 4 April 2015, Shopper Smart Living will showcase the best in home appliances, large domestic appliances, high end consumer electronics, studio kitchens, lifestyle appliances, home automation technology, lighting, security systems and energy conservation systems.

"We are delighted to launch Shopper Smart Living and extend our value offering to smart home tech and the latest in home appliances. Now shoppers can update their personal tech and home products at the same time, enjoy exclusive show offers as well as take advantage of exciting competitions and an unrivalled shopping experience" said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, DWTC, organiser of GITEX Shopper Spring.

A number of big name brands and retailers will be present at the show's debut, including ALDRO for home and kitchen appliances, Emax Electronics, General Enterprises Company (GECO), Jacky's Electronics, Makook Smart Living, Moonway Group, Mega Electronics, Samsung Gulf Electronics, Sharaf DG and VRR Trading, bringing the latest in eco-friendly advances, home customisation and appliance trends to create the ideal home environment. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


‘Insta-Meylas’ links Emiratis to government

posted on 29/03/2015

The Security Media Department at the General Secretariat of the Office of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, represented by the Social Media Centre, launched the "Insta-Meylas” initiative, inspired by the lifestyle of the Emirati community. By paying attention to the comments of the public and their interaction with the different topics posted by the centre, "#insta_meylas” will become an interactive platform for understanding public opinion, within a fresh modern vision of the MoI's Instagram account (Instagram-moiuae).

The initiative, which avails of innovative creative approaches, aims at promoting the interactive relation with the public, within a modernised framework that caters to the needs and requirements of the young generation through the various MoI's social media channels using the hashtag #insta_meylas.

First Lieutenant Fatima Al Shehhi, Director of the Social Media Centre at the Security Media Department, explained that the initiative is a part of the development plan of the centre. She noted that the discussion panels between the followers of the ministry's social media channels and their distinguished feedback are an inspiration to the centre's staff members and encourage their creativity.

She said: "Through the initiative, "#insta_meylas” will select a number of comments and interactions made by the public on previous posts, and use them to make a short film, in cooperation with the TV Branch at the Security Media Department, using cutting-edge technologies and the highest standards of artistic direction to achieve a unique film material.”

First Lieutenant Al Shehhi added that the initiative has garnered significant attention and interaction since its introduction on the ministry's social media channels. Thousands of people have already communicated through the channels on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+.

The MoI's Social Media Centre includes channels on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+, and covers the news of the MoI as well as all the police general headquarters across the UAE.

The centre also posts awareness messages and initiatives and acquaints the public with the various services offered by the MoI.

The centre's staff members give top priority to interactions with the public and endeavour to promptly answer their queries 24/7.

The centre boasts a wide base of followers, and has become a vital communication channel between the public and the ministry. It has also contributed to promoting security and social awareness through the different media materials that were widely acclaimed by all segments of the public. – The Gulf Today -


Dubai Crown Prince's horse wins Dubai World Cup 2015

posted on 29/03/2015

Prince Bishop of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, made a historic landslide victory this evening when it won the US$10 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan dirt racecourse. The horse won the gold cup and a cash prize of US$ 6 million.

Congratulations poured on Sheikh Mohammed and Sheikh Hamdan on the historic, equestrian achievement. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Nahyan bin Mubarak flags off Super Stage to launch 25th Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

posted on 29/03/2015

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, yesterday flagged off competitors on the Super Special Spectator Stage at Yas Marina Circuit to officially launch the 25th anniversary edition of Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, powered by Nissan.

The 53 riders, including last year's Desert Challenge winner Paulo Goncalves of Portugal and Spain's reigning world champion Marc Coma, were first to tackle the 2.4km test in exhibition style on the Grand Prix circuit.

Immediately afterwards the 48 cars and buggies lined up for the anniversary event and went into action against the clock with Argentina's Lucio Alvarez setting the fastest time. The top ten drivers were then allowed to select their starting position for tomorrow's 262km Yas Marina Circuit Special Stage 1, the first of five demanding desert tests.

Super Special Stage, cars results: 1. Lucio Alvarez / Gabriel Moiset ( ARG / SPA ) Mini All 4 Racing T1.2 1:52.0 2. Khalid Al Qasimi / JoseMarques ( UAE / POR ) Toyota Hilux Overdrive T1.1 1:52.4 3. Nasser Al-Attiyah / Mathieu Baumel (QAT / FRA ) Mini All4 Racing T1.2 1:52.9 4. Erik Van Loon / Wouter Rosegaar (NED / NED ) Mini All4 Racing T1.2 1:53.0 5. Yazeed Al-Rajhi / Timo Gotschalk ( KSA / DEU ) Toyota Hilux Overdrive T1.1 1:54.5 6. Orlando Terranova / Bernardo Graue (ARG / ARG ) Mini All4 Racing T1.2 1:55.3 7. Marek Dabrowski / Jacek Czachor ( POL / POL ) Toyota Hilux Overdrive T1.1 1:55.5 8. Harry Hunt / Andreas Schulz ( GBR / DEU) Mini All4 Racing T1.2 1:55.7 9. Nazareno Lopez / Sergio Lafuente ( ARG / URU ) Toyota Hilux T1.1 1:55.8 10. Adam Malysz / Rafal Marton ( POL / POL ) Mini All4 Racing T1.1 1:56.5. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –