U.S. fund Oaktree takes over Inter Milan football club

MILAN: U.S. investment fund Oaktree Capital Management said it has become the new owner of Italian football club Inter Milan after its owner defaulted on a loan, according to international news agencies.

The U.S. fund has taken control of the club as of Wednesday after Inter Milan’s holding companies failed to repay a pound 395 million loan, Oaktree said in a statement.

Granted in 2021 to the Luxembourg-based vehicle through which Chinese conglomerate Suning controls Inter, the loan was guaranteed by the firm’s stake in Inter Milan.

Under such a scheme Oaktree had the potential right to take control of the club in the event of a default.

“Our initial focus is operational and financial stability. We have great respect for Inter Milan’s management team,” said Oaktree’s Alejandro Cano.

Founded in 1908, Inter Milan is among the most famous clubs in Italian football, having won the league 20 times, and are home to top players including Lautaro Martinez and Nicolo Barella.

Suning bought a majority stake in th
e club in 2016 in one of the highest profile forays by a Chinese business into European football.

Source: Emirates News Agency

China’s Online Retail Sales Up 11.5% in January-April Period

China’s online retail sales saw steady expansion in the first four months of 2024, with emerging growth forces continuing to boost consumption, official data showed.

The country’s online retail sales rose 11.5% year on year to 4.41 trillion yuan (about $620.52 billion) during the period, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

Specifically, online retail sales of physical goods climbed 11.1% year on year to 3.74 trillion yuan, contributing 23.9% of China’s retail sales of consumer goods, the ministry said.

Source: Qatar News Agency

Qatar Issues USD 2.5 Billion Green Bonds

Doha: The Ministry of Finance announced the issuance of green bonds totaling USD 2.5 billion, marking the first issuance of its kind in the region, aimed at funding environmentally friendly projects.

The ministry said that the bonds are divided into two tranches: a USD 1 billion tranche with a five-year maturity priced at a 30 basis point spread over US Treasuries and a USD 1.5 billion tranche with a 10-year maturity priced at a 40 basis point spread over US Treasuries.

Qatar achieved the lowest spread ever recorded by any bond-issuing country in the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, and Africa.

The Ministry of Finance revealed that the coverage ratio exceeded 5.6 times the total issuance size, with peak subscription demand reaching over USD 14 billion. This confirms that the issuance enjoyed broad and diversified geographic and institutional investor interest from around the world.

The remarkable success of the subscription process reflects investors’ high confidence in the sovereign green financi
ng framework established by the Ministry of Finance according to the highest global standards in sustainable finance. It also provides investors with an opportunity to participate in the country’s journey to combat the negative effects of climate change and protect the environment through sustainable development, alongside the development of the sustainable finance sector in the country.

Credit Agricole and HSBC were selected as coordinators for structuring the sovereign green financing framework and will serve as global coordinators alongside JP Morgan and QNB Capital as primary issuance managers. They will also be joint bookrunners with Barclays, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, SMBC Nikko, and Standard Chartered bank.

Qatar has significantly improved its sovereign credit ratings to elite levels. Fitch Ratings upgraded Qatar’s rating from AA- to AA with a stable outlook, which is the third-highest sovereign credit rating globally. Moody’s also upgraded Qatar’s rating to AA2 and changed its outlook
to stable.

Source: Qatar News Agency

AI advancements, integration driving Pro AV industry up for discussion at Integrate Middle East 2024

DUBAI: The second edition of Integrate Middle East (IME), a premier Pro Audio Visual and media technology exhibition, concluded the IME Summit on day two with key discussions on AI integration and advancements.

The summit, which featured 20+ global thought leaders, was part of the three-day exhibition organised by the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and aimed to create an essential learning and networking event for the whole Pro AV integration value chain.

Discussions on how AI integration is transforming the Pro AV world addressed topics including ‘The Role of AI in Music Production,’ ‘The Integration of AI and Hybrid Pro AV into Immersive Storytelling,’ ‘Data Art, AI, and the Future of Experiential Visual Content,’ and ‘The Future of AI in Workplace Design and Built Environment.’

Thought leaders and industry experts reflected on the widespread growth of AI in the Pro AV space and current industry trends that have seen the technology makes a transformational impact on every workflow, process, and business

Diving into the heart of innovation, the summit fostered enriching dialogues and partnerships and spotlighted lucrative prospects for advancement across the MENA region. With insights from Data Bridge Market Research, projections unveil a compelling narrative: the Middle East Pro AV market is poised to surge at a remarkable compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.9%, soaring from USD 13,432.93 million in 2022 to USD 22,705.90 million by 2030. This forecast underscores a profound opportunity for exponential market expansion.

Once again co-located with long-running show CABSAT, Integrate ME 2024 further amplified its impact and global standing by showcasing state-of-the-art Pro AV technology solutions such as digital signage, command and control room models, and innovations for entertainment, live events and smart buildings.

New for 2024, it presented an exclusive Brand Ambassador programme, which recognised exceptional business leaders. This eminent panel of experts helped to strengthen the evolving indus
try, initiate high-level discussions, and establish the region as a popular media and entertainment hub.

When it concludes on May 23, Integrate Middle East 2024 is anticipated to have drawn remarkable outcomes in propelling the progress of the Pro AV and media sector, with AI integration emerging as a key facilitator of innovation. Additionally, the event is expected to have welcomed 10,000 visitors, and 250-plus exhibiting companies from 75 countries.

Source: Emirates News Agency

UAE China Tyre & Auto Parts Expo kicks off May 27 with over 300 exhibitors

SHARJAH: Capitalising on the zooming auto automotive aftermarket and service industry in the country and the region, the UAE China Tyre and Auto Parts Expo is set to see an impressive rise in the number of exhibitors taking part in its upcoming edition.

Aiming to provide the regional market direct access to the Chinese tyre and auto parts industries, the 3rd UAE China Tyre and Auto Parts Expo 2024 will get under way at Expo Centre Sharjah from May 27, 2024, organisers announced at a press conference.

Organised by Inter Commerce Expo Corporation in association with Shandong Port Overseas Supply Chain (Qingdao) Co., Ltd. and Hualun Inter Tech FZCO, the three-day event will continue until May 29. The event is supported by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI).

The 3rd UAE China Tyre and Auto Parts Expo 2024 will host nearly 300 exhibitors from China, a 130 percent rise in the number of exhibitors when compared to the previous show which featured more than 130 participants.

This was reveal
ed at the press conference held at Expo Centre Sharjah on Wednesday (May 22). It was addressed by Jamal Saeed Bouzanjal, Director of the Corporate Communication Department at SCCI, Wang Dong, Chairman of the board of Shandong Port Oversea Supply chain (Qingdao) Co.,Ltd, Liu Ju’an, CEO of Shandong Port Oversea Supply chain (Qingdao) Co.,Ltd, Host of the UAE China Tyre and Auto Parts Expo, Yang Xue, Representative of Shandong Business Office in West Asia and Africa, and Zhou Runcheng, Department Director of Inter Commerce Expo Corporation, in addition to officials from both sides.

Jamal Bouzanjal highlighted the importance of the UAE China Tyre and Auto Parts Expo as a crucial platform for fostering business connections and exploring the latest innovations in this vital industry.

He further noted that the event provides a valuable opportunity for Chinese manufacturers to strengthen their presence and expand in various regional markets.

He emphasised the Sharjah Chamber’s commitment to supporting the even
t is a testament to its pivotal role in advancing the auto parts trade sector, which is experiencing notable growth in the UAE and the wider region.

For his part, Liu Ju’an, Host of the UAE China Tyre and Auto Parts Expo, said: ‘The 130 percent increase in the number of participants is an impressive rise in the number of exhibitors for any trade fair. This is only the third edition of the UAE China Tyre and Auto Parts Expo and we are happy to see such impressive growth in such a short span of time. This underscores the growing trade relations between the UAE and China and the strong expansion being witnessed in the regional automotive aftermarket and service sector. The Expo is now one of the best events in the region where one can explore the latest parts, components, equipment, tools, technologies, tyres or services.’

‘China’s automotive exports are on the rise, driven by technological advancements, supply chain advantages, and strategic bilateral relations. Chinese manufacturers are also increasing t
heir scale and their competitiveness is constantly improving, especially in the new energy vehicle industry. Thus, the UAE China Tyre and Auto Parts Expo is uniquely placed to tap into the Chinese supply chain that is relatively stable, leading to consistent production, minimal cost fluctuations, and improved international competitiveness,’ said Wang Dong, Chairman of the board, Shandong Port Oversea Supply chain (Qingdao) Co.,Ltd.

The regional automotive aftermarket is driven by a rise in new vehicle sales, localised production, rising demand for vehicle modification, and other macro-economic factors such as a strong local economy and rise in population growth. It will be a gathering point for decision makers across aftermarket and supply chain, including garages, body shops, retailers, dealers, detailing, vehicle manufactures and more.

Apart from a comprehensive display of all types of auto parts and tyres, the event will also feature forums that will discuss topics related to the industry and technolog

Source: Emirates News Agency

GACA Organizes 1st Arab Forum for Aviation Security

Riyadh, The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) organized the first Arab Forum for Aviation Security today in cooperation with the Arab Civil Aviation Organization, with the attendance of 120 leaders in the aviation sector and CEOs of aviation companies. The forum is being held in parallel with the Future Aviation Forum, organized by GACA under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center.

In his speech at the forum, GACA’s Executive Vice-President for Aviation Security, Mohammed Al-Fozan, highlighted the Kingdom’s efforts in enhancing cooperation and effective participation between Arab countries in the field of aviation security. He indicated that the forum will address topics that cover many important aspects related to aviation security.

The forum included three sessions: ‘Aviation Security for Advanced Air Mobility Systems,’ ‘Enhancing Innovation in the Field of Aviation Security,’ and ‘Privatiza
tion of Aviation Security Services.’

Source: Saudi Press Agency