COVID-19

GulfNews Business

UAE investors applaud regional bank results

Markets|: Dubai: UAE stocks surged on Wednesday as investors reacted positively to forecast-beating results from the country's key lenders First Abu Dhabi Bank and Emirates NBD, while assuring investors a dividend amid the COVID-19 crisis. Both stock markets of UAE climbed over 1 per cent in a clear sign of market-beating optimism, as their global counterparts stayed cautious ahead of an update on the US monetary policy package and as several industry giants were also set to release their earnings report. Abu Dhabi Security Exchange jumped 1.4 per cent, the most in the last six trading sessions. It was bolstered by gains from the stock of the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) - which scaled up as much as 2.7 per cent during the day, before settling up 2.5 per cent at close. The investors were upbeat as the bank chose to hand out as a generous cash profit to shareholders as it did in 2019, even as the virus continues to rattle the world economy. FAB announced a dividend distribution of 74 fils per share to its shareholders as its fourth-quarter profit rose 5 per cent and it’s full year results topped market expectations even after shrinking 16 per cent, as impairment charges rose in a year challenged by the health crisis. The lender’s rally triggered gains from other stocks, from within the banking sector and beyond, with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank advancing 2.2 per cent and Aldar Properties rising 3.5 per cent. Dubai Financial Market added 1.1 per cent after slipping in three out of the last four sessions. The emirate’s top lender Emirates NBD led gains on the benchmark, surging 2.6 per cent after it decided not to cut its shareholders’ dividend payout. A profit distribution of 40 fils per share was announced after its net income more than halved – but beat analyst estimates, which reinforced investor confidence in the state of the bank’s finances. Like in Abu Dhabi, other companies rose as a result as Dubai Islamic Bank gained 2 per cent and telecom giant Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du) traded higher by 1.1 per cent.

GulfNews Business

KPMG’s survey reveals 28% of UAE workforce needs reskilling and upskilling

Business|: Dubai: The UAE workforce may continue to see significant changes over the next one to two years. A new KPMG report revealed that nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of employees may continue to work remotely, while more than a quarter (28 per cent ) will likely require upskilling. The Future of HR in the New Reality captures the perspectives of local human resources (HR) executives on preparing their organizations and HR functions for the future. Nearly every organization is prioritizing people, as they grapple with pre-existing and new challenges exacerbated by the pandemic. Although nearly all (89 per cent) of HR professionals agreed that the function played a leading role in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, it may be time for HR to reinvent itself. For example, considering rapid changes, HR professionals may take a different approach to measuring and improving productivity and workforce-related challenges to drive competitive advantage over the medium-to-long term, rather than focusing on short-term issues. "As HR leaders adapt to an unpredictable future, their focus tends to be on short-term firefighting to cope with immediate challenges. It is crucial to play the long game in order to thrive in the new reality. To do so, HR leaders may create a seamless, tech-enabled employee experience in a remote work environment, take ownership of the employee rebuilding and reskilling journey, and embrace analytics and data science to prove the impact of the HR function,” said Marketa Simkova, Partner, Head of People & Change at KPMG Lower Gulf. Perceptions of HR From facilitating the transition to remote working, to implementing and communicating health measures in the workplace, HR has been at the forefront of the Covid-19 crisis. While most business leaders and employees view the function’s response to the crisis in a favorable way, some decision makers believe HR needs to be bolder and prove its strategic worth. The KPMG survey shows that 62 per cent of HR executives believe the function needs to completely reimagine and transform itself to respond more effectively to future disruption. Half (50 per cent) of HR professionals agree that the function is considered to be an “administrator” rather than a “value driver.” Eighty-six percent of HR executives believe the function needs to rethink productivity and performance measures in light of the shift to remote working.