Tag Archives: DUBAI

Emax wins ‘Most Admired Retailer of the Year’ award

DUBAI: Emax, the largest electronics store in the Middle East, part of Landmark Group, was recognised as the ‘Most Admired Retailer of the Year’ in the consumer electronics category at the annual Retail Middle East Awards 2012 held recently in Dubai.

Part of the Middle East Retail Forum, a distinct platform for leading retailers in the Middle East, the coveted annual awards were presented to the top performing retailers from the region across 22 categories.

Emax was recognised for its outstanding performance in the consumer electronics category and for its innovative approach towards connecting with its consumers. The award was given at a ceremony held at the Ritz Carlton DIFC, Dubai.

Receiving the award, Neelesh Bhatnagar, CEO Emax, said: “We are honoured to receive this prestigious award. Retail is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Middle East and with the rising demand for consumer electronics in the region, the industry is evolving at an extremely rapid pace. Since the beginning of our establishment in 2006, we have worked relentlessly to build trust in our brand. Our partners and consumers have contributed significantly to the growth of Emax over the years and we will continue to strive hard to ensure that the customer remains at the centre of our business.”

Emax is the largest electronics retail chain in the Middle East, and an integral part of Landmark Group the iconic retail conglomerate founded in 1973 that houses highly successful retail concepts such as Babyshop, Shoe Mart, Home Centre, Splash, Lifestyle and Max. 

In Oman, Emax is very popular among its residents in providing high quality products, world renowned brands, cutting edge trends and technology at extremely competitive prices.

Japan, Qatar get wins in qualifying

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP)


Which big name stars could be on the move? Find out with the latest Rumor Redux.

Oman 1, Japan 2

Striker Shinji Okazaki scored a late winner Wednesday as Japan beat Oman 2-1 to move closer to clinching a spot in the 2014 World Cup, while Iraq revived its campaign with a 1-0 victory against Jordan.

Group A was thrown wide open after Uzbekistan beat Iran 1-0 to go top. Qatar beat Lebanon 1-0 to join Iran and South Korea as only a point behind, although the Koreans didn’t play and have a game in hand.

With Oman pressing, Japan went on the counterattack and Gotoku Sakai’s cross into the area deflected off Yasuhito Endo and landed into the path of Okazaki, who scored in the 89th minute.

Japan leads Group B in Asian qualifying by eight points over Australia, Jordan and Oman and is on the verge of reaching its fifth World Cup with three matches remaining.

Qatar 1, Lebanon 0

A long-range strike from Uruguayan-born striker Sebastian Suria helped Qatar beat Lebanon 1-0 Wednesday in an Asian World Cup qualifier that boosted its chances of booking a spot in Brazil.

Suria took a pass from Fabio Cesar and fired the ball from 20 meters (yards) outside the area, sending it curling past Lebanon keeper Abbas Hassan. The goal set off raucous celebrations among the home supporters, who are desperate for a good showing after Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup. The win moved Qatar into a second in Group A alongside South Korea and Australia and a point behind leader Uzbekistan.

Iraq 1, Jordon 0

Iraq revived its bid to reach the 2014 World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Jordan in a qualifier on Wednesday.

Ahmed Hammadi netted the winner with a blistering shot from outside the area in the 86th minute. The win was the first for Iraq in this stage of the competition and moves it level with Australia and Oman for the second qualifying spot in Group B. Iraq plays its matches in Doha due to security concerns at home.

The loss for Jordan leaves it bottom of the table in Group B, nine points behind leader Japan.

Iran 0, Uzbekistan 1

Uzbekistan beat Iran 1-0 in an Asian World Cup qualifier on Wednesday, throwing open Group A where four teams are now within a point of the top spot.

Striker Ulugbek Bakaev got hold of a curling free kick from Server Djepararov to score the winner in the 71st minute. The win sends Uzbekistan to the top of Group A, a point ahead of South Korea, Iran and Qatar. South Korea did not play Wednesday.

UPDATE 1-HSBC Bank Oman 9-mth profit drops 4.2 pct on provisions

Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:09am EDT

* Net profit 10.6 mln rials vs 11 mln rials yr-ago -

* Provisioning jump drags on 9-mth earnings

* Q3 net profit 3.4 mln rials – Reuters calculations

(Adds detail, background)

DUBAI, Oct 24 (Reuters) – HSBC Bank Oman, formed
earlier this year by a merger of HSBC’s Oman unit and
Oman International Bank, posted a 4.2-percent fall in net profit
for the first nine months of 2012 as higher impairments impacted
earnings growth.

The lender, now Oman’s second-largest by market
capitalisation, made a nine-month net profit of 10.57 million
rials ($27.45 million), compared with 11.03 million rials in the
same period of 2011, a bourse statement said on Wednesday.

Third-quarter net profit stood at 3.4 million rials,
according to Reuters calculations based on the bank’s half-year
financial statements.

It is only the second time that HSBC Bank Oman has published
results since its merger – first-half profit at the bank was 7.2
million rials, up 4.3 percent on the corresponding period last

Loan impairment charges were the main drag on earnings,
rising to 2.3 million rials in the nine months to Sept. 30
versus 0.6 million rials during the same period last year.

“The increase was mainly due to higher general provisions
and the downgrade of some customers to non performing advances,”
the bank said in the statement.

The rise in provisions overshadowed a 60-percent gain in net
interest income, which climbed to 26.7 million rials from 16.7
million rials in the same nine-month period of 2011.

The formal completion of the merger was announced at the
beginning of June, with HSBC holding 51 percent of the new
entity. Previously, OIB was Oman’s fifth-largest bank, with the
second-largest branch network in the country and gross assets of
$3.2 billion.

Earlier this month, one of Oman’s richest businessmen
increased his shareholding in the bank to 25 percent from 18.39

Shares in HSBC Oman ended Tuesday down 21.2 percent
year-to-date. By comparison, the Muscat index has dropped
0.6 percent in the same period.
($1 = 0.3850 Omani rials)

(Reporting by David French; Editing by Dinesh Nair)

Australia, Uzbekistan, Oman win WCup qualifiers

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP)

Australia scored twice late on to beat Iraq 2-1 and revive its
2014 World Cup qualifying campaign Tuesday, while 10-man Iran beat
South Korea 1-0 to move level on points with the Koreans in Group

Uzbekistan and Oman also earned much-needed victories.
Uzbekistan downed 2022 World Cup host Qatar 1-0 and Oman beat
Jordan 2-1.

In Doha, Iraq scored against the run of the play from a
counterattack when Younis Mahmoud crossed for substitute Ala’a
Abdulzehra to slot the ball past goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer in the
72nd minute.

Australia leveled when Tim Cahill rose above the defense eight
minutes later to head the ball into the net from a corner. With a
draw looking likely, Australia substitute Tom Oar crossed the ball
into the box for unmarked substitute Archie Thompson to head home
the 84th-minute winner.

”I’m really happy with the result as we managed to make a good
comeback and got three points, which will put us back into
contention,” Australia coach Holger Osieck said. ”The result
proved that we can make it as the win against Iraq was important.
We were lucky even though it only came in the closing minutes. We
managed to score from the chances that we had unlike the last match
against Jordan.”

In Group B, Japan remains top with 10 points followed by
Australia and Oman with five. Jordan has four points and Iraq is
bottom with two.

”Our situation has become now very delicate as we are now in
the last position in the group,” Iraq coach Zico said. ”However,
there are still four matches to play and hopefully we can get back
into competition in the remaining matches, although it will not be

In Tehran, Iran captain Javad Nekounam’s sent the 100,000 home
fans into raptures when he scored a late winning goal.

Nekounam received the ball following a deflection from a free
kick and slotted it into the net in the 75th minute. His goal came
20 minutes after Iran midfielder Masoud Shojaei was sent off after
picking up his second yellow card.

The match started promisingly for the Iranians, with Reza
Ghoochannejhad hitting a low drive from the edge of the box that
forced goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong into a good save in the 20th

But South Korea began to take charge of the match after a
dead-ball delivery from Ki Sung-yueng caused problems for the
Iranian defense. The midfielder swung in a free kick from the left
that was headed over the crossbar in the 26th by an unmarked Kim

Shortly afterward, Ki delivered a free kick from the other flank
that caused confusion in the defense, ending with Kim Bo-kyung’s
header being touched onto the crossbar by goalkeeper Mehdi Rahmati
in the 29th.

After taking the lead, the Iranians weathered a flurry of shots
from the South Koreans. The Koreans’ best chance for an equalizer
fell to Yun Suk-young, who curled the ball from outside the area
just over the crossbar with five minutes remaining.

South Korea and Iran each have seven points in Group A, though
the Koreans are ahead on goal difference. Uzbekistan is next with
five points, followed by Qatar and Lebanon with four.

Uzbekistan earned its first win of the campaign when midfielder
Sanjar Tursunov scored in the 13th minute after being fed a cross
by Ulugbek Bakaev from the right flank.

Qatar pressed for the equalizer, with Uzbekistan goalkeeper
Ignatiy Nesterov parrying Muhammed Mubarak’s long-range shot. Qatar
captain Wesam Rizik had a good chance in the 23rd but his shot went
over the bar. Qatar’s best second-half chance came when striker
Sebastian Soria’s header just missed the mark.

”It’s good to win. But we only have five points now,” said
Uzbekistan coach Kasimov Mirdjalal, who replaced Vadim Abramov
after the loss to Iran in its first qualifying match.

Qatar’s Brazilian coach, Paulo Autuori, said he would encourage
his players to concentrate on its match next month against

”Honestly speaking, Uzbekistan has a good team full of
experienced players,” Autuori said. ”Football is like this. You
win some, you lose some. They tried their best. From this moment,
we should try to forget about this game and concentrate on the
next. I’ll try to cheer the players hard so that they get ready for
the next match.”

Players received a taste of what it will be like to play in hot
and humid conditions should there be a summer world cup in 2022.
Even with temperatures at a relatively comfortable low 30s Celsius,
the referee stopped the match in the first half so players could
have a water break.

In Muscat, goals from Ahmed Mubarak Obaid and Juma Darwish
helped Oman earn its first victory and move off the bottom of Group
B table.

After a scoreless first half in which Oman dominated, Saad
Suhail sent a cross in that landed near Obaid, who broke the
deadlock in the 62nd minute. Darwish doubled the lead in the 82nd
after he received a cross from the right and tapped the ball into
the net. Jordan’s Thaer al-Bawab pulled a goal back in the

The win was unexpected as the home side has struggled in
qualifying; until the Jordan match it was bottom of Group B.
Jordan, by contrast, was a surprise second and coming off an upset
win over Australia.

”It was a tough match and I am happy,” Oman coach Paul Le Guen
said. ”The win means a lot as it keeps us in the race for a berth
in Brazil.”

Oman’s Bank Dhofar swings to H1 profit

Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:35am IST

* H1 net profit 19.5 mln rials vs 4.6 mln loss yr-ago

* Year-ago H1 results hit by one-off provision

* Q2 2012 net profit 10.1 mln rials – Reuters calculations

(Adds detail, background)

DUBAI, July 18 (Reuters) – Bank Dhofar, Oman’s
third-largest bank by market capitalisation, swung to a net
profit in the first half, after taking a one-off provision in
the same period last year which pushed it into the red.

The lender made a profit of 19.5 million rials ($50.6
million) in the six months to June 30, according to a statement
to the Muscat bourse on Wednesday. In the same period last year,
the bank reported a 4.6 million rials loss.

First-half profits in 2011 were hit by a 26.1 million rials
provision the bank took after it lost a court case with HSBC
Bank Oman and Ali Redha Trading and Muttrah Holding
over the ownership of 1.9 million Bank Dhofar shares.

The second-quarter profit for Bank Dhofar was 10.1 million
rials, according to Reuters calculations. The lender only
published first-half results in 2011, meaning there was no
quarterly breakdown to enable a comparison to be made.

The number exceeded the average of two analysts polled by
Reuters, who expected a profit of 9.1 million rials for the

Loans and advances rose 24.1 percent during the first half
of the year to 1.61 billion rials, up from 1.3 billion rials at
the same point in 2011. The end-June figure was 1.9 percent
higher than the 1.58 billion rials recorded at the end of the
first quarter, according to Reuters calculations.

Total assets stood at 2.1 billion rials, up 26.6 percent on
the six months to June 30 2011 figure of 1.66 billion rials and
2.9 percent higher than the 2.04 billion rials held at the end
of the first quarter.

Shares in Bank Dhofar have fallen 8.4 percent year-to-date,
compared to the main Muscat index which has dropped 3.3
($1 = 0.3851 Omani rials)

(Reporting by David French; Editing by Dinesh Nair)

Yemen says al Qaeda militants may have fled to Oman


Yemeni residents stand next to the houses destroyed during recent fighting between the army and al Qaeda-linked militants on a road leading to the southern Yemeni city of Zinjibar.   – Photo by AFP.

DUBAI: Some al Qaeda-linked militants may have fled to neighbouring states, including Oman, after being driven out of their strongholds in cities in southern Yemen, Yemen’s foreign minister said on Thursday.

“What we are sure of is that we’ve kicked out the terrorist elements from the towns and that they’re now being chased,” Abubakr al-Qirbi told Reuters on the sidelines of an anti-piracy conference in Dubai.

Many had fled to mountainous parts of southern Yemen, while others could have fled to neighbouring countries using land and sea routes.

“There are reports that some of the militants went to Oman, which hasn’t been formally confirmed to us.”

“The security services are coordinating with neighbouring countries because the militants don’t only pose danger to Yemen but also to other countries.”

Any infiltration into Oman, which sits on one side of the Strait of Hormuz, a conduit for one third of the world’s seaborne oil exports, would raise fears of al Qaeda setting up a new base in a region of strategic importance.

Yemeni security sources had already suggested some al Qaeda members may have crossed into Oman, a relatively stable Arab monarchy bordering both Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Al Qaeda-linked militants, emboldened by waning government control over the country during last year’s protests that ousted former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, had seized several southern cities during the turmoil.

In May, the Yemeni army launched a large-scale US-backed offensive against al Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate, Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law). The army drove out the militants from their main strongholds this month and regained control of several cities in the country’s south.

But Qirbi said Yemen’s fight against al Qaeda was far from over. “The task has not finished yet; the security forces still have to chase militants to their hideouts,” he said. “The terrorist elements are on the run, but it’s hard to tell when will we uproot al Qaeda.”


Qirbi said that fighting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), believed to be the most active branch of the global network which has plotted a number of botched attempts against US targets, needed a multifaceted approach.

“If you look at the experiences of other countries from Afghanistan to Saudi Arabia and the United States, uprooting terrorism and extremism is complicated…it can’t be dealt with only by military means,” he said.

He said his government would need to track down the sources of funding, identify Islamic clerics who propagated extremist views and create jobs for the country’s young population.

“All these measures take time before they bear fruit,” he said.

US officials say that President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who came to power in February as part of a power-transfer deal brokered by the United States and Gulf states, is more cooperative in the fight against al Qaeda than his predecessor.

Analysts have suggested that Saleh deliberately gave al Qaeda free rein in the south during protests against his 33 years in office in a cynical but failed attempt to convince Washington he should remain in power to deal with the threat.

The Yemeni foreign minister said that many of the militants fighting with Ansar al-Sharia were foreigners. Yemeni officials have repeatedly identified Somali fighters among the casualties of their offensive against militants.