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UAE Ministry of Economy extends anti-money laundering compliance date for four business categories

Banking|: Dubai: The UAE’s Ministry of Economy has extended the grace period until March 31 for certain business categories to be in full compliance with anti-money laundering and prevention of terrorism financing. Businesses that fail to do so will face fines range from Dh50,000 to up to Dh1 million and can be raised to Dh5 million based on the provisions of the law and according to the assessment of the Supreme Committee for Combating Money Laundering, and Financing of Terrorism and Illegal Organizations. This applies to activities in four categories - brokers and real estate agents, dealers of precious metals and gemstones, auditors, and corporate service providers. Steps to be taken These businesses must first register with the Financial Intelligence Unit (goAML) and on the Committee for Commodities Subject to Import and Export Control system (Automatic Reporting System for Sanctions Lists). Following the registrations, they should adopt other measures related to the two systems in accordance with the provisions of the Decree-Law, its implementing regulations and the relevant decisions. “We call on all concerned companies to establish internal policies, procedures and controls to avoid money laundering risks in accordance with the measures set forth by the executive regulations of the law, which can be found on the official website of the Ministry of Economy,” said Safeya Al Safi, Director of the Anti-Money Laundering Department, Ministry of Economy.

GulfNews Business

Zoom founder is $2 billion richer

Technology|Business|: Zoom Video Communications Inc.'s upbeat revenue forecast sent shares of the company surging. For its founder, that translates into a $2 billion (Dh7.36 billion) wealth bump. Eric Yuan, who owns almost one-fifth of the video-conferencing company, is now worth about $22 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The stock jumped as much as 12 per cent late in the US on Monday as Zoom said revenue could climb 43 per cent in fiscal 2022, more than the 37 per cent analysts tracked by Bloomberg estimated on average. Shares climbed 7.8 per cent to $441.56 in premarket trading Tuesday. Yuan has been one of the biggest winners in the fallout of the coronavirus crisis that forced people to stay home and find new ways to work, shop, learn and entertain themselves. But with multiple vaccines rolling out, questions have been growing about whether companies that did well during the pandemic would continue their meteoric growth. Zoom shares jumped almost 400 per cent last year, making Yuan one of the biggest gainers on the Bloomberg wealth index, and they're up more than 20 per cent in 2021. "We believe we are well positioned for strong growth with our innovative video-communications platform, on which our customers can build, run, and grow their businesses; our globally recognised brand; and a team ever focused on delivering happiness to our customers," Yuan said in the earnings statement. The San Jose, California-based company expects sales of as much as $3.78 billion in fiscal 2022, with profit excluding some items potentially reaching $3.65 per share. Revenue more than tripled to $882.5 million in the fourth quarter and earnings excluding some items climbed to $1.22 cents a share, beating the average analyst projection.

GulfNews Business

Emaar Malls to be merged into Emaar Properties as consolidation moves sweep Gulf

Property|Markets|: Dubai: Emaar Properties and Emaar Malls have decided to go for a merger, through an all-share deal. The proposal has been approved by board of directors, and is being done to "reinforce Emaar Properties’ position as MENA’s largest integrated and diversified real estate company," the Dubai developer said in a statement. It will also ensure both are "strategically positioned to capture opportunities in the marketplace and drive shareholder value". The merger is now subject to a number of conditions, including the approval by the shareholders of Emaar Properties and Emaar Malls. As part of the transaction, the existing business of Emaar Malls will be reconstituted in a wholly owned subsidiary of Emaar Properties. It will continue to develop and hold a portfolio of shopping malls and retail assets. Emaar Malls closed Tuesday (March 2) at Dh1.69, down by a fil. Emaar Properties, which will remain listed on Dubai Financial Market, was up six fils to Dh3.63. The announcement came on the same day as Meraas made further progress in taking complete ownership of DFM-listed theme park operator DXB Entertainments. In Saudi Arabia, National Commercial Bank and Samba confirmed the combined entity will launch on April 1. Emaar's wishlist from merger 1. Solidify Emaar Properties’ position as MENA’s largest integrated and diversified real estate company. 2. Boost financial and operational performance through 100% consolidation of Emaar Malls’ earnings and cashflow generation, and reduce volatility through an increase in the proportion of earnings from recurring businesses. 3. Emaar Malls will be reconstituted as a wholly-owned subsidiary that will continue to develop and hold a portfolio of premium shopping malls and retail assets, with the majority of its EBITDA generated within Dubai. 4. Significantly improve Emaar Malls shareholders’ earnings profile via an uplift in earnings per share immediately post transaction and have access to Emaar Properties’ long-term growth potential 5. Streamline Emaar Properties’ organisational structure and increase the combined group’s overall resiliency. How it will be done Emaar Malls' shareholders (excluding Emaar Properties) will receive 0.51 Emaar Properties' shares for every one  share. "This represents a premium of 7.1 per cent to the closing price of Emaar Malls on March 1, the last trading day prior to this announcement, and a premium of 11.2 per cent to the market implied exchange ratio based on volume weighted average prices over the last one month to March 1," a statement issued by the developer said. The merger is subject to a number of conditions, including the approval by the shareholders of Emaar Properties and Emaar Malls.

GulfNews Business

Volvo to go electric-only and shift sales online from 2030

Volvo Cars set an ambitious goal to only sell battery cars by 2030, accelerating its plans after sales of electric vehicles surged. The Chinese-owned Swedish brand is rolling out a new lineup of electric cars and unveiled its second battery-only model, the C40 Recharge, on Tuesday. Going one step further than recent rivals' decisions on EVs, Volvo's electric vehicles will be available for sale only online, the company said in a statement. "Going electric will strengthen our brand, it means going into a growing segment," Chief Executive Officer Hakan Samuelsson said in an interview. "Combustion cars are a shrinking segment." Volvo's move follows rivals including Jaguar Land Rover, General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG announcing plans to electrify their offerings. In addition to tough emissions regulation, incredible valuations garnered by EV-only newcomers have been a wakeup call to accelerate the pace of change to survive industry upheaval. The decision also comes days after Volvo and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd., both owned by parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Co., dropped a plan to merge to instead deepen ties to quicken the pace of development. The pair will share vehicle platforms, software stacks and advanced connectivity, and will hive off their powertrain activities into a separate unit. With the support of its Chinese owners, Volvo has ramped up investment in electric cars since 2017, when it first said it was planning to phase out vehicles that rely on combustion engines. Still, the company has only one fully electric model under its own brand name on the market, the compact crossover XC40 Recharge. In addition, Polestar, which is jointly owned by Volvo and Geely, launched its challenger to Tesla Inc.'s Model 3 in 2019. Volvo has previously said it will plough roughly 5% of annual revenue into research and development, and that amount will be enough to finance the EV push, Samuelsson told reporters. The company sold more than 660,000 cars last year and reported full-year revenue of 263 billion Swedish kronor ($31.2 billion). The C40 Recharge, sitting lower than the XC40 Recharge with a sloping roof, is the first Volvo that'll have no combustion sibling and it'll sell online only. It'll be built on the same platform as the the XC40 and feature a range of 420 kilometers (261 miles). By 2025, Volvo expects half of the cars it sells to be fully electric and the other half to be hybrids, including so-called mild hybrids that don't feature a plug. Volvo has been selling cars online as part of its Care by Volvo subscription offering in since 2016. The Care by Volvo concept will now be expanded to include outright sales, with a package for maintenance, roadside assistance as well as insurance. By 2025, about half of all purchases are expected to be made online, said Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo's head of commercial operations. That's up from as much as 15% currently through Volvo's subscription service. All online purchases will be completed at a non-negotiable fixed price through Volvo's own website, while dealers remain as part of the sales, service and delivery process, Volvo said. "This is about bringing the online and offline experience together," said Kerssemakers. "Set prices will help save people hopping from one dealer to the next."