BEIJING: The US has hit China where it hurts by going after its telecom champion Huawei, but Beijing’s control of the global supply of rare earths used in smartphones and electric cars gives it a powerful weapon in their escalating tech war.
A seemingly routine visit by President Xi Jinping to a Chinese rare earths company this week is being widely read as an obvious threat that Beijing is standing ready for action.
“We should firmly grasp the strategic basis of technological innovation, master more key core technologies and seize the commanding heights of industry development,” Xi said during the visit, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.
“Rare earth is not only an important strategic resource, but also a non-renewable resource,” he added, in comments likely to further fuel speculation.
China produces over 95pc of the world’s rare earths; US relies on China for over 80pc of its imports
However, analysts say China appears apprehensive to target the minerals just yet, possibly fearful of shooting itself in the foot by hastening a global search for alternative supplies of the commodities.
Xi’s inspection tour “is no accident, this didn’t happen by chance,” said Li Mingjiang, China programme coordinator at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore.
“At this moment, clearly the policy circles in China are considering the possibility of using a rare earth exports ban as a policy weapon against the US.” The United States last week threatened to cut supplies of US technology needed by Chinese telecom champion Huawei, which Washington suspects is in bed with China’s military.
The US move has fanned speculation that Xi could impose retaliatory measures and in an indication of the importance of rare earths to the US, Washington did not include them in a tariffs increase on Chinese goods this month.
China occupies a commanding position, producing more than 95 per cent of the world’s rare earths, and the United States relies on China for upwards of 80 per cent of its imports.
Rare earths are 17 elements critical to manufacturing everything from smartphones and televisions to cameras and lightbulbs.
That gives Beijing tremendous leverage in what is shaping up largely as a battle between the US and China over who will own the future of high-tech.
“China could shut down nearly every automobile, computer, smartphone and aircraft assembly line outside of China if they chose to embargo these materials,” James Kennedy, president of ThREE Consulting, wrote on Tuesday in National Defence, a US industry publication.
China has been accused of using its rare earth leverage for political reasons before.
Japanese industry sources said it temporarily cut off exports in 2010 as a territorial row flared between the Asian rivals, charges that Beijing denied.
In 2014, the World Trade Organisation ruled the country had violated global trade rules by restricting exports of the minerals.
The case was brought by the United States, European Union and Japan, which accused China of curbing exports to give its tech companies an edge over foreign rivals. China has cited environmental damage from mining and the need to conserve supplies as the reason for any past limits on output.
While disruptive, any leverage gained from a supply block may be short-lived, experts said.
“This would accelerate moves to find alternative supply sources,” said Kokichiro Mio, who studies China’s economy at NLI Research Institute. China is not the only country with sizeable reserves of rare earths.
The United States Geological Survey estimated last year there were 120 million tons of deposits worldwide including 44 million in China, 22 million in Brazil and 18 million in Russia.
China is the leading producer partly because the environmental risks deter some countries from harvesting their own deposits. Mining rare earths creates toxic waste and the potential release of harmful radioactive tailings.
“There is a possibility that China would go ahead (with export curbs) but chances are what we are seeing now is just a threat,” Mio said.
“The US would be in trouble over a short period of time. But it is unlikely that they (China) want to pour oil on the flames.” During Monday’s visit, Xi was accompanied by Vice Premier Liu He, who has led China in fraught trade negotiations with Washington — a fact not lost on China-watchers.
Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2019
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, 14 May 2019, (AETOSWire): Doctors at Eve Fertility Center, One of NMC Healthcare Centers in Sharjah, successfully delivered their first baby girl since the clinic’s opening in February earlier this year. Battling infertility for three years, a twenty-six year old resident of Ras-Al-Khaimah, (name withheld on request), was unable to conceive naturally due to male infertility factors. After several failed attempts and almost loosing hope on the thought of having a family of her own, the patient approached IVF specialists at Eve Fertility Center who through their expertise helped her overcome the battle with infertility.
Under the consultation of Dr. Ahmed Elbohoty, medical director of EVE fertility center, the patient underwent the recommended fertility treatment and was blessed with a baby girl. With over 15 years of clinical experience, Dr. Elbohoty comes with a prolific experience in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Infertility, and helped the patient achieve her dream.
“We feel so blessed to welcome our baby girl into this world. At one time my husband and I had lost complete hope in having our family, but now we are beyond ecstatic. I’m forever grateful to the medical team at Eve Fertility and their painless fertility treatment that helped us achieve what we felt nearly impossible,” said the patient.
“It’s her first ever IVF treatment and we are absolutely delighted that she chose to get her treatment done at our centre. It was an obstacle free procedure and the news will motivate many other to opt for this procedure, hopefully at our clinic,” Dr. Elbohoty said. “This feat would have been impossible to achieve without the hard work of our experts and the quality services provided at the centre,” he added.
Eve Fertility Center, is a fully serviced fertility clinic with state-of-the-art facilities and treatment plans aimed at catering to patients longing to start their own families. The clinic consists of embryologists, andrologists, doctors, counselors and nursing staff that offer treatment facilities including genetic testing, fertility preservation, gender selection and much more.
The development of the EVE Fertility Center in Sharjah is part of the NMC Healthcare Group's efforts to provide the best services to all the Northern Emirates and the Emirate of Sharjah in particular. *Source: AETOSWire
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 13 May 2019, (AETOSWire): Despite rigorous diet and exercise programs, some people struggle with unwanted fat in certain areas. SculpSure, a safe and non-invasive body contouring technique with no reported side effects, can target stubborn fat cells.
SculpSure uses lasers to heat fat cells without affecting the skin. Patients feel only a tolerable warm, tingling sensation during the treatment, which lasts approximately 25 minutes. The first session can reduce fat by 25-50%.
Dr Salwa Abo Rashed, a Specialist in Dermatology at CosmeSurge – one of the region’s most trusted brands for cosmetic and aesthetic procedures – explained, “A innovative new treatment for body contouring and fat reduction, SculpSure is safe, and it can eliminate fat on the abdomen, thighs, upper arms and chin with visible results in six to twelve weeks.”
To achieve the desired results, most patients require multiple treatments with a six-to-eight-week gap between treatments on a specific area. Patients are advised to maintain a healthy diet after the treatment and to massage the treated area gently.
Renowned for providing innovative, quality aesthetic derma and plastic treatments, CosmeSurge has 14 clinics across the UAE in addition to its clinic in Oman. *Source: AETOSWire
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 13 May 2019--(AETOSWire)--PitStopArabia.com, the leading online tyre retailer in UAE, announced today the completion of investment with Mitsubishi Corporation (MC). MC now becomes a strategic partner and a shareholder in the company. The investment is a significant milestone for PitStopArabia.com and is aimed at bolstering their market leadership and growing their foot print regionally.
“The decision to invest in PitStopArabia.com was made after a thorough study of the market as well as the company. The Middle East is experiencing high growth in e-commerce. In the next 5 years, online tyre retail is expected to account for almost 13-15% of all tyres sold in the GCC, compared to less than 1% today” said Aadil Ishfaq, Founder & CEO of PitStopArabia.com. “MC investment is further validation of the regional business potential and success of UAE governments vision for creating an enabling environment for home grown startups to innovate and flourish. Our aim is to continue to grow rapidly and consolidate our market leadership”, he added.
“MC has excellent competence in both traditional retail and e-commerce in the automotive industry with long standing industry relationships across the MEA region. We will not just have access to growth capital but also leverage MC’s strengths regionally”, he added.
“I am really excited to have found a partner in Mitsubishi who shares our vision of the future and has the same levels of passion for innovation and customer service” said Ishfaq. “This partnership with MC will broaden the product and service offerings we have deployed across our network. I am confident that our customers and partners will start seeing immediate benefits of this partnership”.
UAE based PitStopArabia.com was founded in 2015 and is the leading online tyre retailer in the country. With over 40 brands and 150 installer locations across the UAE, PitStopArabia.com pioneered a new approach to tyre retailing in the UAE, where customers can select their tyres online and choose to have them installed at their homes or at tyre shop nearby. This simple and efficient purchase process generates exceptional value for motorists and has helped the company grow exponentially.
About Mitsubishi Corporation
MC is a global integrated business enterprise that develops and operates businesses across virtually every industry, including infrastructure, industrial finance, energy, metals, machinery, chemicals, and daily living essentials. MC's current activities have expanded far beyond its traditional trading operations to investments and business management in diverse fields including natural resources development, manufacturing of industrial goods, retail, new energy,
infrastructure, finance and new technology-related businesses. With a network of over 200 offices and approximately 1,200 group companies /subsidiaries in some 90 countries worldwide, MC employs a multinational workforce of over 77,000 people. MC’s declared profits for their most recent fiscal year as ¥590 billion. https://www.mitsubishicorp.com/jp/en
Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, May 12, 2019 –(AETOSWire)- The American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) President, Professor Hassan Hamdan Alalkim, and the General Secretary of the Accountants and Auditor’s Association (AAA) in United Arab Emirates, Mr. Salim Saeed Naser Al-Esaei, entered into a memorandum of understanding during a signing ceremony.
In the memorandum the institutions agreed to collaborate in providing professional accounting courses and financial management, collaborate on organizing multiple events such as workshops and conferences in accounting and financial management, and allowing the two parties to use the training classes of both parties in the various activities.
AURAK is an independent, public, state-owned, non-profit, coeducational institution of higher learning that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in comprehensive academic programs based on the North American model and the cultural characteristics of the Gulf region. Its undergraduate programs combine a strong grounding in the major subject with a broad general education, and its graduate programs prepare students for the demands of professional life. The institution is committed to the highest standards of teaching, research, ethics, and service to the community, preparing its graduates to be knowledgeable, thoughtful, creative, and responsible individuals, and it is accredited through the UAE’s Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
The AAA is the nonprofit national accountancy body of the United Arab Emirates dedicated to developing the accountancy and finance profession in the country. The Association was established in 1997 through a federal mandate with the key objective of building the capacity of the national accountancy and finance profession in line with best global practices and standards.
Professor Hassan is elated about the partnership with the AAA, “The agreement with the Accountants and Auditor’s Association will facilitate a growth in UAE accountant population contributed by AURAK in that we have 180 prospective candidates that will benefit from this program, thus bolstering the nation’s professional stability in the global job market of the discipline.” *Source: AETOSWire
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 11 May 2019, (AETOSWire): Sharjah Asset Management (SAM), the investment arm of the Government of Sharjah, won the prestigious Retail category Award at the fifth edition of the International Business Excellence Awards, which was held, with the Support of the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) last week, at the Intercontinental Dubai Festival City.
Commenting on the victory, Chief Asset Management Officer Mohammed Bin Essa said, “We are delighted to win this distinguished award that acknowledges our commitment towards creating a competitive economy for the emirate and recognises our efforts to generate new projects that attract more people to invest and visit the emirate of Sharjah throughout the year. SAM retail projects such as Souq Al Haraj and Souq Al Jubail contribute positively toward Sharjah economy”
“This award motivates us to put in more hard work and effort, and to reach out to more individual and corporate investors locally, regionally and internationally,” he added.
Sharjah Asset Management, an innovative international government-owned investment company with a diverse corporate presence, with a network of government and commercial partners and a strong portfolio of globally based investments.
SAM offers services across leading international markets and assists with various classes across the investment spectrum.
At the International Business Excellence Awards of 2019, some of the world’s most prominent companies competed to win the awards that are distributed at about twenty-two categories acknowledging the various aspects of business excellence. Each year the awards are organised to support organisations and businesses as a vehicle for sharing expertise in best practices and promoting continuous improvement, learning and personal development. Recipients of the awards undergo a stringent assessment process, led by a large panel of independent and impartial business professionals that identified the various strengths, leadership strategies and operations undertaken by the multiple applicants at their organisations.
The International Business Excellence Awards recognises business excellence from across the world by highlighting the achievements of individuals and organisations that have tirelessly worked towards implementing significant initiatives for the success of their companies. *Source: AETOSWire
LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE/AETOSWire)-- AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” of Kuwait Reinsurance Company K.S.C.P. (Kuwait Re) (Kuwait). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains stable.
The ratings reflect Kuwait Re’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
Kuwait Re’s balance sheet strength is underpinned by risk-adjusted capitalisation, which, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), is at the strongest level. The company’s balance sheet strength also benefits from prudent reserving practices. The company maintains good levels of liquidity, as evidenced by a ratio of liquid assets to net technical reserves of 109% at the end of 2018. Capital consumption is driven predominantly by underwriting risks, due to the company’s top line growth in 2018 and high premium retention.
Following a change in management in 2016, the company altered its business strategy and increased its focus on bottom line profitability. This has translated into improved technical performance and reduced volatility in operating results, with the company reporting a healthy average combined ratio for the period 2016 to 2018 of 96.9%, and an average return on equity of 6.2%.
Kuwait Re’s business profile is supported by its good geographical diversification, through operations spanning the Middle East and North Africa, Asia-Pacific and Central and Eastern Europe. The underwriting portfolio is well-diversified by class of business, and the company provides proportional, non-proportional and facultative solutions to its cedants. Since its change in strategy, Kuwait Re’s portfolio mix has shifted in favour of facultative and excess of loss business, with these two lines of business accounting for 53% of the KWD 46.6 million premium written in 2018 (2017: 58% of KWD 35.1 million). Whilst Kuwait Re is predominantly a non-life reinsurer, its life reinsurance operations continue to grow, with gross written premiums increasing from KWD 1.8 million in 2017 to KWD 2.6 million in 2018.
This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.
AM Best is a global rating agency and information provider with a unique focus on the insurance industry. Visit www.ambest.com for more information.
Copyright © 2019 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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