Trust but verify: a deeper dive into the UAE’s latest business news

Etisalat’s preliminary 2016 financial statements are available at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. Earnings per share for 2016 operations? Dh0.97. Proposed dividends per share? Dh0.80. This gives a payout ratio of 82 per cent. Rationally, your payout ratio is high when you do not believe that there are any opportunities to invest in and so return cash generated to the

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Venture capital as a substitute for oil in driving economic growth

Venture capital is critical to the future success of not only the UAE but also the GCC. To understand this we first need to understand the historic formula for our success – oil leads to financial capital, which leads to real estate development, which creates social and business communities that attract people. Repeat. Even if oil prices had not collapsed,

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Oil, Opec and the Revenge of Rosneft's Sechin

Wednesday, November 24, 2014: Ali Al Naimi, the former Saudi oil minister, signals that Saudi Arabia was changing its oil production strategy from oligopolist – as the main swing producer that keeps oil prices high – to capitalist, and would go for market share. This would lead to lower crude oil prices. The Venezuelan foreign minister, Rafael Ramirez, replied that the prices at

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Oil: A Tale of Obfuscation

With the recent Opec meeting we have once again been bombarded by a lot of analysis, often misguided and incorrect, both in the lead-up to the actual meeting and then after it is over. The main culprit is the phrase “cost of oil [production]”. Let us try to understand this so we can sift through the hype and see if

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Shale Oil Producers: Swing Producers or Price Takers?

The new narrative in the oil markets is that shale oil producers have usurped the Saudis as the swing producers. What a dangerously naïve idea. A swing producer is one that intentionally changes its production levels to achieve its objectives. If oil prices drop and Saudi Arabia decides to reduce production so as to stabilise oil prices then that is

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