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Abdul Rahim Consultants Wins Design and Licensing Bid

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Abdul Rahim Consultants Wins Design and Licensing Bid for 14 Building that Cost AED 570 Million for Alnafisi National Real Estate Group Co. & families

  • Commercial and residential buildings in Satwa expected to cover building construction area of 1.3 million feet

Abdul Rahim Architectural Consultants (ARACO), a leading engineering consultant in design and project management in the UAE won a tender released by Alnafisi National Real Estate Group Co. for the design and licensing of 14 buildings in Dubai’s Satwa area. The project is approximately valued at AED 570 million and is expected to cover a building construction area of 1.3 million feet.

Based out of Kuwait, the Alnafisi National Real Estate Group Co. is a well-experienced investor in real estate development, and has several investments across the UAE, Kuwait, and other countries. The company owns several planned buildings and, also represents investors from the Alnafisi family in the real estate sector.

The tender which ARACO won, has architectural, structural, MEP design and engineering, the obtaining of all necessary permits from relevant bodies, and complete overseeing of the construction process as its scope of work.

The bid heavily contested by a range of engineering consulting firms well experienced with real estate sector in the UAE. However, ARACO’s 30 years of experience in the design and supervisions of hundreds of prestigious projects proved an indisputable edge. “We were very impressed with the thoroughness of ARACO’s bid, and knew our project and vision here in the UAE will be in safe hands because of ARACO’s extensive experience in the country and region,” commented Mr. Talal Yousef Alnafisi , member of the Board of Directors of  Alnafisi National Real Estate Group Co., on the Alnafisi  Group’s decision to invest in Dubai.

“Dubai’s investment environment is still regarded as the most attractive for such projects in the region. The quality and variety of the real estate sector only adds to the ROI which continues to be and promises to be one the highest in the region,’’ continued Mr. Talal Yousef Alnafisi

Speaking on winning the Nafisi Group bid, General Manager, Eng. Raheem Bani Zaman Lari said, “We are very proud to have won the bid, and the trust of Alnafisi Group. We look forward to assisting and achieving the Alnafisi National Real Estate Group Co. vision in Dubai.”

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Qatar First Bank held AGM

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Qatar First Bank L.L.C. (Public) “QFB” held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) yesterday to discuss the bank’s results and future outlook after releasing financials for the year ended 31 December 2016 and announcing the launch of the second phase of the cost rationalisation plan.

QFB’s Board of Directors, chaired by QFB chairman Abdulla Bin Fahad Bin Ghorab Al Marri, along with shareholders and attendees of the AGM, discussed and approved, the bank’s audited financial results and the performance of the eight full year of operation, and QFB first year as a listed entity on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE). The AGM was held at the Le Crillon Ballroom at La Cigale Hotel in Doha – Qatar,

Abdulla Bin Fahad Bin Ghorab Al Marri, QFB’s Chairman, said: “The year 2016 saw several key economic events that contributed to the stagnation of the global economy. The depreciation of major currencies, the plunge in oil prices, and the many country-specific macroeconomic and extraordinary factors; have all furthered the slowdown of the global economy. Closer to home, the geo-political unrest continues to hamper the growth of the MENA economies. Qatar, despite being one of the best performing economies in the GCC, has faced several challenges.”

“At QFB we were not immune to the prevailing global economic scene. We have recorded losses, the majority of which are unrealized, resulting mainly from the downward revision of the valuations of some of our private equity investments across several markets.” Al Marri added

Despite the write-down of QFB’s investment book, the bank’s total assets didn’t decline and closed at almost QAR 6 billion, mainly driven by the increase from financing assets, which increased by 33%. Moreover, the investment portfolio continued to generate healthy dividends (QAR 13 million). QFB’s Sukuk book continued to generate positive returns close to QAR 30 million. Last but not least, the bank’s income from placement with financial institutions has tripled mainly from cash deployment in Shari’ah compliant money market funds.

As the global investment market continues to go through major challenges since the beginning of 2016, QFB’s private equity portfolio has been negatively impacted by country-specific events mainly in Turkey and the UK. The decrease in the valuation of the bank’s investments reflects the effect of the macroeconomic and extraordinary factors that both countries have been facing. The main impact came from the depreciation of currency, Turkish Lira and British Pound Sterling, against the US Dollar and from the weakness of the real estate sector in the United Kingdom.

QFB’s private equity portfolio had consistently generated significant returns over the last 6 years. The bank’s Turkish investments are still 47% higher than their acquisition price and will continue to grow in sales and profitability and occupy leading positions in their respective industries of Healthcare and Retail. Additionally, QFB’s UK investments are still significantly above their acquisition costs, both in Pounds and Riyals.

Whilst the current volatility in the global markets has impacted the bank’s business, QFB continued to successfully manage its existing portfolio, as well as seeking out new lucrative opportunities. The management hopes that the portfolio will perform well in the years to come.

In line with QFB’s strategy, the bank will continue to seek exits on its existing investment portfolio book with the objective of maximizing value to shareholders and clients at opportune times; and to reinvest the proceeds in lucrative opportunities that will contribute positively to the bank’s returns.

Al Marri continued:The major challenges in the global investment market and the downward revision of our private equity investments have resulted in clearly disappointing results. Aside from these results, we continued urging the executive management to execute our strategy and focus on the most lucrative areas. Our aim was to fully match the evolution of the wider region’s investment direction, as well as continue to act as the gateway for investors, while building on our successes in the private equity area.”

QFB’s current portfolio of alternative investments are within various sectors including healthcare, energy, consumer finance, real estate, industrial, retail, luxury, food & beverage; spread across diversified geographies. Since its incorporation, the bank has closed a number of successful transactions across Qatar, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Africa and the MENA region with carrying value of total equity investments (including subsidiaries) of QAR 1.53 billion (31 December 2016). Over the years, the team has successfully exited six investments, in addition to three partial exits, and generated healthy returns to Shareholders with an average IRR of 36%.

Commenting at the AGM, Ziad Makkawi, QFB’s CEO, said:“2016 witnessed several key economic events, marked by economic volatility and challenges across our target markets, which caused us to record losses, resulting mainly from the downward revision of fair value gains recorded in previous years.”

Makkawi continued:“Our strategy, going forward, focuses on our role as a trusted advisor, a gateway for investors who wish to tap into innovative, Shari’ah compliant, investment opportunities in local, regional and global markets. QFB will continue to diversify our portfolio, tapping into new and attractive geographical markets. The bank is well positioned to provide capital solutions to growing businesses in the region, utilizing our expertise and network. We look to partner with market leaders, private and institutional investors, attracting third party money with the objective to create value while following international best practice and the highest levels of corporate governance.”

QFB aims to continue building its distribution and placement capability. Investment opportunities and financial solutions are personalized to the goals and risk profile of both individual and corporate clients. To support this initiative, the bank has signed several agreements with internationally recognized players expanding the range of offerings to meet the changing needs of clients across several markets.

Alongside the distribution and placement capability, QFB will continue working with its strategic shareholders and clients, enabling the bank’s team to benefit from the wider network and from access to regional and international markets.

In line with the results, QFB’s management confirms the launch of the second phase of its cost rationalisation plan, originally launched in June 2016. The objective is to continue raising efficiency levels through strict and tight cost cutting measures including strategic reduction to the workforce caused by the consolidation of the placement and distribution capabilities of the bank’s corporate and private banking business lines; which going forward will focus more on fee generating services. The aim is to focus on capitalizing on the bank’s human resources and maximizing their experience to boost performance during the coming years. Moreover, the efficiency action plan will enable accelerating the focus on business lines that are expected to generate income, and hence raise shareholders’ value and enhance profitability levels.

Makkawi concluded:“2016 was a difficult and challenging year for QFB and our shareholders. However, the changes instituted are the necessary first steps in laying the foundations for a successful future. We recognize that there is still a considerable amount of work to be done, but we take comfort in the prospect of new business opportunities after refocusing our efforts on alternative investments. In particular, the combination of capabilities in private equity, real estate, and product structuring solutions; with dedicated origination and placement capacity; will create a business model that we hope to produce genuine growth and profitability for the bank.”

Since the beginning of 2016, QFB has been witnessing strategic achievements marked by listing the bank’s shares on the Qatar Stock exchange, following the approval of the Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA). Following this significant milestone, QFB has leveraged on the in-house and international breadth of investment solutions and structuring capabilities to offer an attractive range of products and services. The bank announced the placement of the ‘Ijarah Aviation Structured Product’ that was met with great enthusiasm by individual and institutional clients. Additionally, the bank’s team of professionals catered clients with a wide range of investment opportunities and innovative financial solutions to grow, manage and protect their wealth and assets. Besides, QFB, after the completion of its second residential project in London, announced offering specialised real estate services to individuals and corporates seeking to add value to their portfolios by owning, occupying and investing in real estate across the world. Last but not least, the bank continued to focus on liquidity optimization through the interbank market and money markets. Also, the team was actively involved in investing and managing the Sukuk book which continued to perform well and growing its private equity deal pipeline.

Al Marri concluded:“Looking ahead we envision that the global economic backdrop will remain challenging specifically as the GCC region adjusts to low oil prices and slowing economic growth. In spite of these challenges QFB will continue adopting an opportunistic outlook to source viable investment opportunities that surface in such market conditions in order to generate sound returns for the Bank, our clients and shareholders.”

Al Marri concluded by expressing his sincere appreciation for the visionary leadership of His Highness, the Emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. He continued by thanking the bank’s shareholders for their patience and loyalty, employees and business partners for their faith and support, and respected Shari’ah Supervisory Board for their wise counsel and guidance.

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Abdullah Sultan Al Owais welcomes Angola’s Minister of Economy

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  • Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry opens new horizons for UAE investors in Angola

His Excellency Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber Commerce and Industry, reaffirmed the chamber’s keenness on contributing to the strengthening and development of the emirate’s economic ties with different countries around the world, especially in Africa, which represents a promising markets and offers great opportunities for Emirati businessmen, and will strive through the means to discover investment opportunities available for the local private sector and local investors, as it promotes their activities and businesses and develops economic relations and trade exchange between Sharjah and African countries.

The chairman recently welcomed His Excellency Minister of Economy of the Republic of Angola, Abrahao Pio dos Santos Gourgel, and his accompanying delegation at the Chamber’s headquarters in Sharjah, in the presence of His Excellency Walid BuKhatir, Second Vice Chairman, His Excellency Khalid bin Butti Al Hajri, Director General of the Chamber and Mohammed Ahmed Amin, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Business. The minister and the chairman discussed enhancing the business relations between Sharjah and Angola, advancing the stages of work towards levels that contribute in enhancing the volume of trade exchange and launching mutual investment projects, based on the offerings of each party.

During the meeting, the minister presented the various investment opportunities his country offers in tourism, agriculture, mining and food industries, and its keenness to facilitate all the required processes and provide incentives to attract foreign investors, especially those from the UAE, to participate in the investment sectors and support the development process his country is aiming for.

The minister also stressed on the importance of exchanging information and experiences between Sharjah and Angola to encourage businessmen to build effective investment relations amongst one another. They also discussed means of organizing an effective program to exchange visits between trade delegations that would also participate in exhibitions organized in both countries. The minister invited businessmen in the emirate to visit his country and find out about the investment opportunities available to them, especially in the food industry, where the minister sees that there are various opportunities for Sharjah’s investors.

The two sides also reviewed the services and facilities provided by the Sharjah Chamber to its affiliated members, representing the private sector, and the readiness and cooperation to support Angolan companies and institutions looking to invest in the emirate.

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United Arab Bank P.J.S.C (“UAB” or “the Bank”) celebrated recently the graduation of 10 of its promising Emirati employees from the prestigious ‘Reyadah’ Program for Accelerated Learning.

‘Reyadah’ is UAB’s flagship Training and Development program for existing Emirati talent pool. It is a unique and customized development plan spanning a period of 12 months.

Reyadah training modules cover a range of subjects from technical banking skills to leadership development. Training is imparted through different mediums; classroom, outdoor, e-learning, on-job-training, mentorship among many others.

Samer Tamimi, Acting Chief Executive Officer, said: “we are committed to upskill our UAE workforce to enable them to assume senior positions at UAB and the banking sector at large in the future.”

Quoting His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Safiya Al Matrooshi – Head of Human Resources, said: “The journey and race to excellence has no finishing line”.

Reyadah was initially launched in November 2014. The first batch of candidates included 15 talented UAE Nationals, who participated in comprehensive career development training sessions, aimed at creating a highly competent and skilled talent pool of future leaders.

Further, UAB is currently working to attract more young nationals at different levels, and to provide them with cutting-edge training and development opportunities.


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Gulf Craft targets Affluent SE-Asia Individuals at Singapore Yacht Show

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  • Emirates-based Shipyard celebrates 35 years of craftsmanship at the Singapore Yacht Show 2017 

Gulf Craft showcases samples of its innovative yachts series at this year’s Singapore Yacht Show, which runs from 6-9 April, presenting its long-range Nomad 65 and family-oriented Majesty 48 yachts at the event. 

Singapore is gradually becoming one of the world’s premier cruising destinations, with an international clientele and regional newcomers to the boating scene drawn to the surrounding growing marine support infrastructure and excellent, vast cruising grounds. 

Gulf Craft’s annual participation in the event underscores the 35-year-old, Emirates-based shipyard’s determination to meet the growing regional demand for leisure cruising driven by increased regional affluence and a rich maritime history. 

Gulf Craft’s CEO, Erwin Bamps, who is also speaking at two of the event’s conferences, the Asia Pacific Yachting Conference and the Asia Boating Forum, said: “Gulf Craft is delighted to be returning to Singapore Yacht Show following its successful participation over the last seven years.  Our continuous market presence over the past 15 years has grown in line with the growing demand for leisure cruising and the development of a true yachting lifestyle in South East Asia” 

“This year, Gulf Craft – together with our Singapore-based partner, Prometheus Marine – will be focused on widening our substantial regional customer base through a renewed commitment to outstanding customer service, before and after purchase,” added Bamps. 

Gulf Craft’s yachts on display are truly optimized for the region’s on-water preferences, with a focus on reliability, durability and overall low cost-of-ownership.  Its Nomad 65 combines onboard luxury with long-range and excellent sea-keeping performance, enabling owners to take a five-star loft experience onto the world’s waterways, near and far, and allow for comfortable on-water entertainment of a larger group of friends, while the company’s Majesty 48, with its stylish and family-friendly layout, remains the dream boat of Asia’s new entry-level yacht owners. 

On the eve of the Singapore Yacht Show event, at the occasion of the Asia Boating Awards ceremony, Gulf Craft received the ‘Best Asian Built Yacht’ award for the Majesty 155 superyacht, underlining its commitment to quality and innovation.  The Singapore Yacht Show is taking place at ONE°15 Marina Club, Sentosa Cove, and guests may visit Gulf Craft at its on-water stand, A1, until April 9. 

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First AfBAARS|NBAC launches new Nigerian business aviation organisation.

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The first jointly hosted African Business Aviation Association Regional Symposium and Nigerian Business Aviation Conference highlighted the need for regional stakeholders to collaborate to make real change happen. At the end of the two-day event, held at the Eko Hotel Lagos, 24 and 25 March, Segun Demuren CEO of local organisers EAN Aviation, pledged to form and launch a new Nigerian business aviation organisation within 90 days. Work has already begun on forming the administration and board of the AfBAA Nigeria Chapter which will be launched by July.

The announcement was made following two days of presentations and panels that clearly demonstrated local operators, suppliers, brokers and government bodies all derive benefit from meeting in a dedicated environment to create mutual understanding that can positively affect business aviation in the region. The AfBAA Nigeria Chapter will follow the template of the first AfBAA Country Chapter which was launched in Addis Ababa in May 2016. It has already succeeded under the guidance of local President Dawit Lemma, MD of Krimson Plc, in making great strides in raising the business aviation profile in Ethiopia. The AfBAA Nigeria Chapter will receive ongoing support, guidance and direction from the continent’s official association. “This is exactly the kind of positive action we welcome at these events, and look forward to working with, supporting, and participating in the organisation’s future,” commented Rady Fahmy, CEO of AfBAA. “I encourage all those involved in Nigerian business aviation to join the association to maximise the knowledge sharing opportunities,” added Fahmy.

This was welcome news for national attendees who have had a particularly challenging time following the reduction in oil prices, the Nigerian recession, and a scarcity of Forex.  Combined these phenomena have reduced purchasing power, stalled jet transactions and slowed business development. However, Demuren noted that opportunities do exist, and have been bolstered by the appointment of an aviator as the Minister for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika.

Some 150 delegates agreed that challenges need to be approached with a coordinated strategy. There were numerous calls for stakeholders to submit a list of priorities through the new association to begin to lobby for change to deal with the varying issues of grey charter, complex and long AOC applications, and excessive import taxes for jets and spare parts.

Group Captain Edem Oyo-Ita, Director of Air Transport Regulation at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority stated that the CAA was willing and ready to collaborate with the sector. He acknowledged the need to amend parts of the aviation regulatory structure that had originally been formulated for commercial aviation. Delegates applauded the significant progress that has already been made by the CAA in creating an automated permit process making it easier for unscheduled last minute requests to be processed in a timely manner.

Several new additions to this year’s schedule were well received. A dedicated helicopter operators panel with representatives from Bristow Helicopters, Nestav Aviation, and Caverton Helicopters, congratulated the chief pilot of Genesis Global Aviation, Captain Abayomi Coker, on the recent awarding of its AOC. Continuing the challenge as opportunity theme the panel discussed the notion of exploring operational diversification in the tourism, medevac, security, bullion movements, and emerging mining markets.

The first Women in Aviation panel was also well received by the predominantly male audience who confirmed that women bring a diverse and valuable set of qualities to business aviation including relationship building, efficiency, loyalty, organisation and a balanced view of business opportunities. A call was made for AfBAA to raise the profile of the sector’s opportunities for women, and to create engaging, attractive strategies that would appeal to women at early stages of their career selection.

A meet the operators speed-networking session also spawned new relationships as Nigerian operators met with local and international suppliers keen to work with them, whilst potential customers took the opportunity to search for the right aircraft for their specific mission.

Nick Fadugba, the chair for this year’s meeting closed the event suggesting that Nigerian Business Aviation must work harder, closer, collaboratively, and with one common purpose to enhance business aviation in Nigeria.  As one delegate quipped, “Nigeria should be heaven for business aviation.” With the launch of the AfBAA Nigeria Chapter organisers expect this to the be the first step in that direction.

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ABB Selected for a €270 Million Order for UK-France Power Link

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  • ABB is awarded the HVDC converter stations for the IFA2 interconnection

ABB has won an order worth approx. €270 million from the UK grid operator National Grid and Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE), the French network owner and operator, to provide key HVDC (high-voltage direct current) technology that will help interconnect the electricity networks of France and the UK.

ABB will participate in the interconnection project, which further integrates the UK and French electricity markets. With a capacity of 1,000 megawatts, the link will run from Chilling, Hampshire, on the southern coast of England to Tourbe in northern France, covering a distance of 240 kilometers across the English Channel.

ABB will provide the two high-voltage direct current HVDC Light® converter stations, to be located in France and England, which will be linked with a subsea cable. Each station converts alternating current into direct current, and then back again before distribution. This enables the efficient and reliable transmission of large amounts of electricity over long distances, with minimum losses – the key advantage of HVDC technology. ABB’s HVDC Light technology also incorporates advanced features such as regulating grid fluctuations and power restoration in the event of an outage. These features provide economic benefits for the network operator and reliable electricity supply to the end users.

“This order further strengthens our leading HVDC position and provides momentum to our transformational drive for profitable growth, as a partner of choice for enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid,” said Claudio Facchin, President of ABB’s Power Grids division.

The converter stations will be equipped with ABB’s advanced MACHTM control and protection system, supporting the company’s ABB AbilityTM based digital offering. MACH acts like the brain of the HVDC link – monitoring, controlling and protecting the sophisticated technology in the stations, managing thousands of operations to ensure the reliability of power supplies. Incorporating advanced fault registration and remote control functions, it also helps protect the link from unexpected disruptions, such as lightning strikes.

ABB pioneered HVDC technology more than 60 years ago and has been awarded over 110 HVDC projects, representing a total installed capacity of more than 120,000 megawatts, accounting for around half the global installed base. ABB further developed HVDC in the 1990s by introducing a voltage sourced converter (VSC) solution named HVDC Light® and leads the way in this technology as well, having delivered 18 out of 24 VSC HVDC projects commissioned in the world. ABB’s HVDC interconnectors are helping more than 15 countries transport reliable power over long distances.

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Shanhai Capital Completes Acquisition of Analogix Semiconductor

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  • Transaction Will Accelerate Growth, Innovation, and Market Expansion

Analogix Semiconductor, Inc. and Beijing Shanhai Capital Management Co, Ltd. (Shanhai Capital), today jointly announced the completion of the approximately $500 million acquisition of Analogix Semiconductor. China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund Co., Ltd. (China IC Fund) joined Shanhai Capital’s fund as one of the limited partners.

“We are very pleased to have completed the transaction,” said Dr. Kewei Yang, Analogix Semiconductor’s chairman and CEO. “Enhanced by the strong financial support of our new investors, Analogix’s future is brighter than ever. We are excited to continue building and growing Analogix into a global leader in high-performance semiconductors.”

“As Analogix’s key financial partner and investor, we look forward to leveraging our resources to accelerate the company’s growth into new markets,” said Mr. Xianfeng Zhao, Chairman of Shanhai Capital. “We will build on the strength of the company’s core technology and customer relationships to create an exceptional semiconductor company that will be publicly listed in China.”

Sino-American International Investment Ltd, and Needham & Company, LLC served as financial advisors to Analogix Semiconductor. O’Melveny & Myers LLP served as legal counsel to Analogix Semiconductor.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and Jingtian & Gongcheng acted as legal counsel to Beijing Shanhai Capital Management Co.

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Visa Checkout Reaches Milestone of 20 Million Enrolled Consumers

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  • Visa Checkout adds new merchants and markets as part of rapid expansion;
  • Samsung Pay agrees to integrate with Visa Checkout’s Open Platform

Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), today announced that Visa Checkout, the easier way to use a Visa card online, is sustaining tremendous growth, reaching more than 20 million enrolled accounts. Visa Checkout enables millions of consumers to pay in just a few clicks on any device around the web with some of the world’s top merchants.

“Visa Checkout continues to simplify the online checkout process for consumers, while helping merchants increase sales and convert items in the cart to completed purchases,” says Sam Shrauger, senior vice president, digital solutions, Visa Inc. “Reaching 20 million enrolled accounts is a huge achievement and further affirms Visa Checkout’s purpose of bringing the trust and security of your Visa card to the evolving digital world.”

More Merchants Join the Visa Checkout Roster As consumer adoption of Visa Checkout grows, so too does interest among brand name merchants in joining the platform. Among the merchants who have recently adopted Visa Checkout to improve their online shopping experience in order to increase conversion rates with additional customers include HSN, Alaska Airlines, Avis Budget, Cole Haan, Emirates Airline, FIFA, Marriott, Sam’s Club and Walmart. These new merchants join a growing list of 300,000 merchants, including Best Buy, Starbucks, Papa John’s and StubHub, among others.

“At HSN, we are focused on developing innovative solutions that result in an unparalleled shopping experience,” said Ryan Ross, EVP of Marketing, Digital Commerce and Creative for HSN. “The Visa Checkout integration helped to attract new customers and drive incremental sales across all our platforms as we continue to lead the future of Boundaryless Retail at HSN.”

Continued Expansion of Visa Checkout Around the World In addition to reaching 20 million enrolled consumers, Visa Checkout is announcing it will continue to expand to new markets in 2017 with planned expansion to Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Ukraine. They join Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China1, Colombia, France, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States (and territories) as markets that will or currently offer Visa Checkout.

Visa Checkout and Samsung Pay Join Forces to Offer Consumers More Ways to Pay

Given the growing rate of eCommerce and mCommerce, merchants and consumers are looking for ways to further simplify the checkout experience. Last week, Visa and Samsung announced a joint partnership that will allow Samsung Pay users in the U.S. who link their Samsung Pay account with a Visa Checkout account to shop seamlessly at the more than 300,000 merchants that accept Visa Checkout.

This partnership is made possible through Visa Checkout’s open platform and streamlined set of APIs, allowing both consumers and merchants to experience the benefits. Consumers with fingerprint authentication-enabled Samsung devices will be able to click the Visa Checkout/Samsung Pay co-branded button and touch the fingerprint sensor, without entering their username and password. Merchants can continue to use their existing Visa Checkout integration and get the benefit of this partnership.

“We are very excited to be working with Visa to offer simple, fast and secure checkout experiences to millions of Samsung Pay users on their mobile devices or desktop,” said Injong Rhee, CTO of the Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. ”Our partnership benefits not only Samsung Pay users but also hundreds of thousands of online merchants who are looking for effective ways to increase their checkout conversion rates.”

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GSMA Provides New Details for Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2017

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  • GSMA Announces First Keynote Speakers, Continues Partnership with Shanghai Digital Information Festival and Announces New Exhibitors and Sponsors

The GSMA today offered new details for the 2017 GSMA Mobile World Congress Shanghai, which will be held 28 June – 1 July 2017 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC). The GSMA provided several updates, including the first confirmed keynote speakers, the continued partnership with Shanghai Digital Information Festival at the SNIEC, and the addition of several new exhibiting companies and sponsors for the annual Shanghai event.

“Through the expanded Mobile World Congress Shanghai conference, attendees will have the opportunity hear the latest insights from leaders across the mobile industry and adjacent industry sectors,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. “We’re also very pleased to again be partnering with the Shanghai Digital Information Festival to showcase the impact of mobile on citizens’ everyday lives and the contributions of the information economy to society.”

First Keynote Speakers Confirmed

The GSMA today announced the first confirmed keynote speakers for the three-day Mobile World Congress Shanghai conference programme, which will run 28-30 June and will be held in Hall W3 of the SNIEC, including:

  • Edward Tian, Chairman, AsiaInfo Group
  • Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman, Bharti Enterprises and Chairman, GSMA
  • Sanjay Jha, CEO, GlobalFoundries
  • Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA
  • Kathryn Brown, CEO, Internet Society
  • Takashi Tanaka, President, KDDI
  • Rangu Salgame, CEO, Growth Ventures Group, Tata Communications and Non-Executive Chairman, The Next 3B
  • Steve Mollenkopf, CEO, Qualcomm
  • Andrew Penn, CEO, Telstra
  • Eva Chen, CEO and Co-Founder, Trend Micro

Through a combination of keynote sessions and focused summits, the Mobile World Congress Shanghai conference will examine a wide range of topics, including augmented reality and virtual reality, connected cars, data security, the Internet of Things, media and content, next-generation networks, and operator strategies, among others.

New summit sponsors include Ericsson (Headline Sponsor of the Enterprise and the Cloud Summit) and Qualcomm (Supporting Sponsor of the IoT Summit, Contributing Sponsor of the Connected Vehicle Summit and Knowledge Sponsor of the Future Tech Summit). For more information on the conference, including the agenda, visit

Continued Partnership with Shanghai Digital Information Festival

Mobile World Congress Shanghai will again be held alongside the Shanghai Digital Information Festival at the SNIEC, with attendees having access to both events. The Festival, which will be held 28-30 June, will complement Mobile World Congress Shanghai with programmes, events and activities demonstrating how citizens can utilise technology in areas such as education, healthcare, travel and entertainment.

“Our continued partnership with the GSMA to promote the activities of the Shanghai Digital Information Festival with Mobile World Congress Shanghai will highlight the positive impact of the information economy on society,” said Fu Xinhua, Vice Chairman of Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Commerce. “Further, this partnership will facilitate international collaboration and innovation exchanges to accelerate the development of Shanghai’s information industry.”

New Exhibitors Confirmed for Shanghai Showfloor

Mobile World Congress Shanghai includes an “Industry Exhibition”, which addresses the requirements of business users and will be open 28–30 June, as well as a four-day “Experience Exhibition” that showcases mobile devices, gadgets, innovative technologies and entertainment and will be open from 28 June – 1 July. Newly confirmed Mobile World Congress Shanghai exhibitors include ARM, AsiaInfo, CAICT, Casa System, Comtel, DTS, Ericsson, Fingu Eletronic, G&D, Gemalto, Gewei Electronics, Guiyang City, Infineon, JMA Wireless, KT Corporation, Lenovo, Microsoft, Migu, NEC, Nuance, PayPal, Rosenberger, Syniverse, Thundersoft and VIP ABC, among others. For more information on the exhibition, visit

2017 Asia Mobile Awards Entries Open Through 19 April

Entries for the 2017 Asia Mobile Awards (AMO Awards) will remain open through 5:00 pm China Standard Time on 19 April. Winners will be honoured at the Asia Mobile Awards Ceremony and Dinner Reception on Wednesday, 28 June at the DaGuan Theatre in Pudong, Shanghai. GIONEE is the Supporting Sponsor for the AMO Awards and Supporting Media Partners include Asia Pacific Daily, AVING News and Communications World. The AMO Awards are open to companies across the entire mobile ecosystem and a full list of categories and award criteria can be found at

Register and Get Involved at Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2017

Registration to attend Mobile World Congress Shanghai is now open; for information on registration and pass types, please visit

For more information on the 2017 Mobile World Congress Shanghai, including how to attend, exhibit, partner or sponsor, visit Follow developments and updates on Mobile World Congress Shanghai through our social media channels – follow us on Twitter at @GSMA and use #MWCS17, get regular updates through our LinkedIn Showcase Page at, and follow us on Facebook at In China, you can follow us on Sina Weibo or search “GSMA_MWCS” in WeChat. For additional information on GSMA social channels, visit

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