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TEAM ABU DHABI CLINCH WORLD ENDURANCE CROWN IN POLAND

All-Emirati crew claim commanding race win while Torrente, Al Qemzi,Al Tayer, Abbate secure title on Necko Lake

Team Abu Dhabi wrapped up their first major powerboat racing title of the season today as Shaun Torrente, Rashed Al Qemzi, Rashed Al Tayer and Italian Tullio Abbate clinched the World Endurance Championships in Augustów, Poland.

This time the honours on the day went to the all-Emirati crew of Majed Al Mansoori, Mohamed Al Mehairbi, Rashed Al Remeithi and Faleh Al Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 36 who recorded a commanding victory in the second of two back-to-back six-hour races to finish runners up in the series.

But sixth place was enough to ensure American Torrente, Emiratis Al Qemzi and Al Tayer and Italian Tullio in Abu Dhabi 35 secured the world endurance crown following their win 24 hours earlier and success two months ago in the 24 Hours of Rouen in France.

They had looked set to complete the series with a 100% winning record after leading comfortably for more than four hours today before being briefly forced out of the race to make technical modifications.

Having shadowed their team-mates in second place virtually from the start, Abu Dhabi 36 suddenly found themselves with a commanding lead and ultimately cruised to victory by 19 laps from the Navikart Soliodaires French crew of Sebastien Lemoine, Olivier Betin and Stephane Lemoine

Russians Konstantin Ustinov and Dimitry Vandyshev and Lithuania’s Edgaras Riabko in Nollet 2 were third another five laps behind.

While these are still early days in the season, the result in Poland underlines the prospect of four world powerboat racing titles ending up at Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club.

Ten-times former F1H20 world champion Guido Cappellini, who recently signed a new long-term contract to guide the fortunes of Team Abu Dhabi until 2025, certainly believes the quadruple is possible.

He has already seen reigning world champion Torrente set the pace in this year’s F1H20 series while Rashed Al Qemzi has taken an immediate lead in the UIM F2 championship.

From Poland Cappellini quickly switches focus to the UIM XCAT World Championship in which Torrente and Faleh Al Mansoori begin their title defence in Stresa, Italy next weekend.

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TEAM ABU DHABI TAKE BIG STEP TOWARDS WORLD ENDURANCE CROWN WITH VICTORY IN POLAND

24 Hours of Rouen winners dominate first six-hour race on Necko Lake

 Team Abu Dhabi took a big step towards their first world powerboat racing title of the season today by dominating the opening leg of the Necko Endurance race in Augustów, Poland.

The combination of Shaun Torrente, Emiratis Rashed Al Qemzi and Rashed Al Tayer and Italian Tullio Abbate in Abu Dhabi 35 strengthened their grip on the World Endurance Championships with victory in the first of the weekend’s two back-to-back races.

The result puts them in a commanding position to secure the world endurance crown if they can avoid any mechanical failures or major mistakes in the second six-hour race getting under way at 11am local time tomorrow.

Meanwhile, a fourth place finish on the Necko Lake today means the all-Emirati crew of Majed Al Mansoori, Mohamed Al Mehairbi, Rashed Al Remeithi and Faleh Al Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 36 can take third overall in the championship with a similar performance tomorrow.

With reigning F1H2O world champion Torrente first in action, Abu Dhabi 35 took an immediate lead when the first race got under way as they looked to build on their impressive victory in the 24 Hours of Rouen in France two months ago.

Only briefly did they lose the advantage towards the half way point, firstly to the Navikart Soliodaires French crew of Sebastien Lemoine, Olivier Betin and Stephane Lemoine and then to
Russians Konstantin Ustinov and Dimitry Vandyshev and Lithuania’s Edgaras Riabko in Nollet 2.

At this point there was often as little as two seconds separating the leaders, but over the last two hours Abu Dhabi 35 gradually eased away to complete 294 laps by the finish, three more than Nollet 2 in second place and third-placed Navikart Soliodaires. Abu Dhabi 36 finished 276 laps in fourth position.

If Torrente, Al Qemzi Al Tayer and Abbate avoid problems tomorrow they will deliver the first of four world powerboat racing titles being targeted this season by Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club.

Torrente, who leads this season’s UIM F1H2O World Championship, heads straight from Poland to Stresa, Italy to begin his defence of the UIM XCAT World Championship with Faleh Al Mansoori. Meanwhile Rashed Al Qemzi tops the current F2 standings.

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UNITED ARAB BANK CELEBERATES THE GRADUATION OF ITS UAE NATIONALS

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  • DRIVING AND DEVELOPING THE BANK’S UAE NATIONAL LEADERSHIP

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 www.mwcshanghai.com/conference/.

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 www.mwcshanghai.com/exhibition/.

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 www.asiamobileawards.com/.

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 www.mwcshanghai.com/register-plan/register/.

For more information on the 2017 Mobile World Congress Shanghai, including how to attend, exhibit, partner or sponsor, visit www.mwcshanghai.com. 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 www.linkedin.com/company/mobile-world-congress-shanghai, and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mwcshanghai. In China, you can follow us on Sina Weibo weibo.com/mwcshanghai or search “GSMA_MWCS” in WeChat. For additional information on GSMA social channels, visit www.mwcshanghai.com/about/contact/social-media.

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CMMI® Institute Reports Fifth Consecutive Year of Record Growth

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  • In 2016, 2,237 global organizations earned a CMMI® rating, reinforcing the demand for improved organizational capabilities

CMMI® Institute announced today that 2,237 organizations earned a Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) appraisal rating in 2016, a 16 percent global increase in the number of completed appraisals.

Business leaders who conduct a CMMI appraisal can determine what their company must do to strengthen the skills and systems designed to lift a given enterprise, business unit, or specific function to the next level. By using CMMI, companies can measure their capability against a defined framework of best practices and decisively identify sweet spots to be more competitive.

“CMMI appraisals are recognized around the world as a trustworthy measure of an organization’s capability to deliver higher quality products and services,” said Kirk Botula, CEO of CMMI Institute. “Every year more and more organizations realize the value of a CMMI maturity level and in 2016 we saw that growth particularly in the US, China, and India.”

As defined by McKinsey & Company, capability is “anything an organization does well that drives meaningful business results.” And, when a company’s distinctive capabilities are clearly defined, everything and everyone within the organization begin to reinforce one another. Many organizations can benefit from using a capability maturity model, like CMMI, to measure their capabilities against best practices and pinpoint which ones drive higher performance across the enterprise.

Results from the CMMI Institute’s Assess Your Organizational Capability Study demonstrate that leaders are increasingly aware of the value of improving the key capabilities in their organizations. The number of organizations using CMMI is rising year over year indicating that more companies than ever are looking to CMMI to build a culture of continuous improvement. And there continues to be opportunities for CMMI adoption as:

  • Nearly 50 percent of organizations don’t have standard processes, process assets and job aids in place.
  • 42 percent of organizations have no established standard-planning processes.
  • 54 percent do not measure what matters.

Specifically, here is how two high performing organizations are using CMMI to drive business results:

Allianz UK, Europe’s largest insurer with an operating profit of 10.8 billion euros, needed to build its foundational capabilities in project management and engineering innovation across geographical divisions to manage complexity and increase performance. When they implemented CMMI, they saw a dramatic improvement in performance with a 39 percent increase in project on-time delivery rates, a 123 percent increase in projects delivered on budget, and a 53 percent jump in customer satisfaction. As stated by Allianz’s Director for Systems Development, Jean Harris, “In today’s rapidly evolving world, the ability to create new value and the ability to be innovative is now more important to an organization’s survival than at any other time in our history,”

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Toshiba Tec Unveils Mobile Printer Delivering Three-Inch Wide Labels and Receipts

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Toshiba Tec Corporation today unveils its B-FP3 mobile printer, which produces three-inch wide receipts and labels. The light and compact, yet robust printer with proven drop-resistant durability delivers crisp and clear labeling. The introduction of Toshiba Tec’s latest product expands the company’s mobile printer line enabling organizations to create two- to four-inch labels and receipts for an array of uses. The newly-minted B-FP3 printer will be available in April 2017.

The B-FP3 line features two models: one exclusively for printing receipts and another model, which delivers both labels and receipts. Toshiba Tec’s receipt model is also engineered to meet the width specifications of commonly-produced receipts to address organizations’ increasing receipt needs. In combination with mobile POS, Toshiba Tec’s receipt printer further enables pre-order and payments for queue busting applications, especially in the hospitality industry, within retail settings. The B-FP3 is also ideal for DSD (Direct Store Delivery) use.

B-FP3 is specially developed for extended use. The printers’ built-in energy saving functionality allows users to print approximately 3.3 rolls of media and complete almost two days of operation on one charge. The B-FP3’s print quantity and speed are also improved even when operating in energy saving mode. The B-FP3 is Toshiba’s first printer to comply with the Qi standard, an open interface standard for inductive wireless charging, which does not require battery removal or any external cable connection when charging. Intuitive connectivity to smart devices on iOS and Android platforms; an adjustable media holder, simple media swapping; and clearer notifications via a color LCD display further simplify organizations’ use of the new printer.

The development of Toshiba Tec’s B-FP3 printer aligns with the company’s commitment to the environment. The product is certified as one of Toshiba’s “Excellent ECPs (Environmentally Conscious Products),” which is the company’s internal certification awarded only to products achieving the highest level of environmental performance in the industry. The B-FP3’s energy-saving sleep mode, which dramatically reduces charging frequency, is a primary reason for the product attaining the certification.

The new mobile printer is designed and developed with “Together Information” – Toshiba Tec Printing Solutions’ vision of how people and organizations create, record, share, manage and display ideas and data – in mind. This concept is reflected in the global message for the new product: “Connect. Integrate. Simplify. – Technology for every workspace, delivering advanced functionality, ease of use and peace of mind.”

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EZDAN PLACES US$ 500 MILLION SUKUK

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  • Investor demand in total reaching to c. US$ 1.2 billion, about 2.4 times of the offered amount.
  • Sukuk has a maturity of 5 years and will pay a fixed coupon of 4.875% per annum.

Ezdan Holding Group Q.P.S.C. priced its 2nd Sukuk transaction, under its US$ 2bn Sukuk EMTN Programme established in 2016. The successful US$ 500 million 5 year Sukuk was priced on 29th March 2017, and  attracted an order-book of more than US$ 1.2 billion, with 129 investors from around 30 countries participating.

Commenting on the deal, Mr. Ali Mohammed Al Obaidli, Group CEO of Ezdan Holding said, “We are very pleased at the excellent market reception to Ezdan’s second Sukuk issue. The strong demand for the Company’s second Sukuk is a clear sign of support for the economic fundamentals of Qatar as well as a testament to the continuous sponsorship to Ezdan’s credit from regional and international investors. Investors’ strong interest resulted in the order book being 2.4 times oversubscribed, reaching  c. US$ 1.2 billion, more than the over subscription amount in Ezdan’s inaugural transaction.. We consider debt capital markets as a key source of funding that will enable us to maintain a diversified and balanced suite of financing instruments for Ezdan’s continued growth

Investors from the Middle East took 58% of the issuance, with European investors subscribing for 28% and Asian and other investors taking 14%. In terms of distribution by investor type, banks took 46% of the issue amount, followed by fund managers with 32%, private banks with 12% and other institutional investors with 10%.

Ahmed Abdelaal, Regional Head of Corporate Clients Coverage MENAT, HSBC, added:“It is again a great honour for HSBC to be part of this successful transaction for the second consecutive year. The strong investor participation both regionally and internationally is a reflection of Ezdan Holding’s ever growing franchise and its ability to capitalize on its credit strengths to continue building international investor recognition.

The transaction is the second milestone in Ezdan’s $2 billion Sukuk programme established on 3 May 2016. The issuance was concluded after an extensive investor roadshow in Hong Kong, Singapore, the UAE and London.

Mr Jan- Willem Sudmann, Group Head of Head of International Banking Group at Mashreqbank psc mentioned:I would like to congratulate the Ezdan team on a very successful close of the 2nd issuance of USD 500M under their USD 2B program. The 2.4X oversubscribed transaction with demand from Asia, Middle East and Europe has demonstrated that Ezdan is fast becoming an established issuer and is also recognized by investors as a strong Qatar based enterprise.

We at Mashreq are proud to be associated as Global Coordinator for this transaction with Ezdan and look forward to contributing to their continued successes in the future.”

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