Two celebrated achievers stirred conversation among more than 80 of Dubai's C-suite executives over a breakfast at the city's Capital Club this month, (May 16 2013).
Sir Bob Geldof, the Irish rock star, businessman and human rights activist provoked a high-energy debate on the relationship between creativity and humanity, probing the question of their role in business.
Geldof, who was knighted by Britain's Queen Elisabeth in 1986, was joined by Keith Reinhard who carries the title of Chairman Emeritus – or life-long chief – of DDB Worldwide, consider one of the world's leading advertising firms.
Reinhard told Sir Bob and the audience that in his view sustainable business must sit on a foundation of strong corporate values.
Sharing his 30-year experience at the helm of DDB, Reinhard suggested that DDB's own guiding pillars could help other organisations also attain sustainability.
"As DDB grew into the global organisation that we see today, I have no doubt that it is business basics built on a culture of freedom that have stood us in good stead and will continue to be our driving force.
"Indeed, our pillars are so simple that if fully embrace they might well have similar application and effect for other enterprises of all shapes and sizes."
Reinhard said that no one wants to be controlled and by nurturing a work environment that honours liberty internal energy is released and, properly channelled, is manifested as external output.
"When I speak of humanity, I am referring to care and compassion for people, those who work with and for us, those we serve and those with whom we share the planet."
He noted that Bill Bernbach - the 'B' in DDB - had a keen understanding of humanity and laid the groundwork with his original twin hiring criteria - be both talented and nice. "Once hired, Bernbach set his talented, nice team free in workplace and the result was – and still is - superior creativity".
"As you might expect, people who are both talented and nice, working in an environment characterised by freedom, often want to give of their time and talent to purposes beyond making sales and taking a share," he said.
DDB's inaugural 'Breakfast With.....' series is jointly hosted DDB Dubai and the Saudi arm, PDDB with DDB's digital agency, Tribal DDB; Tracylocke, a consumer and shopper marketing engagement agency; and CRM/DM full-service house, Rapp. DDB Worldwide is one of the world's largest and most awarded advertising and marketing networks spanning over 200 advertising and marketing agencies in 96 countries.
Side Bar: DDB Worldwide's Pillars of Freedom
• Freedom from Fear – Talent freezes in the grip of fear. Management by intimidation has no place in a creative organisation.
• Freedom to Fail - If people are urged to explore new territory, their efforts may not always succeed, and if we expect them to try again, they must have the freedom to fail.
• Freedom from Chaos - Talent flounders in an atmosphere of management indecision, vacillation, arrogance and uncertainty.
• Freedom to Be - Each individual has a right to be treated with dignity, to be supported in his or her ambitions for higher achievement.
DAMAC Properties has announced sales exceeding AED one billion in its DAMAC Towers by Paramount development, which is under construction in the Burj Khalifa area of Dubai.
The Middle East's largest luxury private developer confirmed it has already sold out all units in both phase one and phase two of the luxury hotel and serviced residences, with an average of eight apartments a day were sold since the project launch seven weeks ago.
The company is now bringing the third tranche of apartments to the market early, with road shows in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Singapore.
Developed by DAMAC Properties in collaboration with Paramount Hotel & Resorts (PHR-FZ-LLC), the project offers an ambience and reflection of the Hollywood glamour and California cool lifestyle, synonymous with Paramount Pictures over the past 101 years.
"We have sold more than 40 percent of DAMAC Towers by Paramount in just seven weeks," said Ziad El Chaar, Managing Director, DAMAC Properties. "It is testament to the desirability of Dubai's real estate market, especially in the luxury serviced residences sector. The demand for the high-end, refined living in DAMAC Towers by Paramount is unprecedented."
Buyers from 32 countries have already snapped up units in the project, from as far afield as Russia, China, the United States and the United Kingdom.
The four towers which make up DAMAC Towers by Paramount stretch 250 metres high, with one, two and three bedroom serviced hotel residences, which will be managed by DAMAC Maison, the hospitality division of DAMAC Properties.
The Serviced Hotel residences will feature fully-fitted kitchens and services that also include valet parking, concierge, housekeeping, in-room beauty treatments and a 24-hour kids club. In addition owners can elect to add their residence in the 'rental pool' whilst they are away, allowing for rental returns to be generated.
The project also includes a Paramount Hotels & Resorts hotel as well as a multi level plaza, offering a selection of themed food & beverage concepts, meeting & events facilities, a screening room, wellness & fitness centres, swimming pools, kids club, retail, and merchandise.
"Branded residences, in prime locations, are driving the resurgence in the Dubai property market, with quality projects experiencing high demand from international buyers," added El Chaar. "Prices remain very competitive when compared against other international cities, and as liquidity returns to the global markets, we are seeing a surge in investment."
DAMAC Properties has recently announced a number of new projects in Dubai, reaffirming the confidence in the market. The luxury developer announced earlier this month is beginning construction on the 28 million square foot 'Akoya by DAMAC' master plan development off Umm Sequim Road in Dubai, which will include branded mansions, villas, townhouses and luxurious apartment units.
The project will be built around an 18-hole Championship golf course, designed and managed in partnership with Trump International. The company is also working with Italian fashion-houses, FENDI and Versace on the interiors for projects in Dubai, KSA and Lebanon.
DAMAC Properties has completed 37 buildings to date with 7,817 units and spanning 13,945,299.00 sq feet. DAMAC Properties also has a further 66 buildings at various stages of progress across the Middle East and North Africa region. These consist of 12,100 units spanning over 51,000,000 sq feet.
The yen slid to a 4-1/2-year low against the dollar on Friday, triggering a sell-off in oil and gold as well as safe-haven U.S. and German debt, after recent signs of strength in the U.S. labor market added to bullish sentiment on the dollar.
The Japanese were buying more foreign assets, and the yen's collapse reverberated throughout financial markets, posted reuters.com
The firmer dollar pressured oil, as the strength of the dollar makes commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.
The Japanese currency fell to 101.98 yen per dollar, the lowest since October 2008. The dollar was last at 101.56 yen, up 0.97 percent on the day.
With the Japanese currency breaching the 100 level, analysts expect the yen to fall further. Some see the dollar rising to 105 yen this summer and to 110 by the end of the year.
Overnight data showed that Japanese investors had bought 309.9 billion yen ($3.1 billion) in foreign bonds in the week through May 4 after purchasing 204.4 billion yen in the prior week, according to the Ministry of Finance.
The fall in the Japanese currency was sparked by a drop in weekly U.S. jobless claims data on Thursday, which added to evidence of a rapidly improving employment market first seen in the prior week's nonfarm payrolls report.
The yen's move came as finance ministers and central bankers of the Group of 7 countries gathered for a two-day meeting near London, to discuss ways to stimulate growth, with currency movements likely to be one of the main topics on the agenda.
Renault Middle East has at the end of March 2013 reported 22,747 sales units across the GCC, Iraq, Levant and Iran, commanding a combined market share of 3.3% in these regions.
The consolidated Renault sales for GCC, Iraq and the Levant, posted an 18% growth, exceeding the market performance (+15%). Peyman Kargar, Managing Director, Renault Middle East, said: ""With 18% sales increase in Q1 2013 in GCC, Iraq and Levant countries, Renault shows the huge potential of its product range. Renault is in a development phase and fully committed to the Middle East Region. Renault which is combining the best ingredients for its customers, owning more than 43% of Nissan Group but also more than 80% of Renault Samsung Motors, is finally a great combination of French touch, Japanese technology and Korean know-how. That's why Renault plays the difference among the other competitors".
Across the GCC, Renault registered a 9% growth confirming its position as the 4th European brand in the region. The "Shockingly Affordable" Duster confirms its popularity, being the most selling Generalist European car and 5th highest selling vehicle in the SUV-S segment in the GCC. In addition, the Renault Logan has kept its position as one of the top 10 highest selling cars in the B segment, whereas the recently enhanced Renault Fluence has made a mark as one of the top 20 highest selling C segment cars.
In the UAE, Renault has posted a significant 67% increase in Q1 2013 sales compared to the same period in 2012. The Duster takes the top position as the highest selling Generalist European car in the country, and the 5th highest selling car in the SUV-S category.
In Oman, Renault is the first European brand, taking the top 3 positions among European cars in the order of Renault Fluence, Duster and Safrane. Notably, the Duster is the 4th highest selling SUV-S model in the country.
Renault is the first European car brand in Saudi Arabia, with the three popular models (Duster, Logan and Fluence) among the top 5 highest selling European brands in the country. The Renault Logan is the 5th highest selling car in the B segment, while the Renault Fluence is among the top 10 highest selling European models in Saudi Arabia.
In Iraq, Renault has registered a tremendous growth of 196% in Q1 compared to same period last year, while in the Levant, Renault posted a 5% increase and has a 4.3% market share in the first quarter.
With an 18% growth, the combined sales for GCC, Iraq and the Levant amounts to a total of 3,847 units, while the Iran operations delivered 18,900 units with a growing market share of 8.1%.
Ford and Lincoln products reported 14 per cent growth in sales during the first quarter of 2013, registering the highest ever Q1 sales for the Middle East region. The strong boost comes as a result of the continued demand and growing popularity of the latest Ford and Lincoln models coupled with the marked improvements in quality and innovations across the range.
The positive news is also evident in North America. Ford Motor Company recently announced a pre-tax profit of US$2.1 billion in the first quarter driven by the highest North America profit in more than a decade. Net income was at US$1.6 billion, US$215 million higher during the same period in 2011.
In the Middle East, growth was boosted by the surge in sales of trucks and SUVs, up by 30 per cent during the first quarter. The Ford Edge remains one of the segment leaders with over 70 per cent growth recorded, while Built Ford Tough trucks, the Ford Ranger compact pickup and the F-150 full-size pickup led the strong performance, registering massive increases of 400 per cent and 215 per cent respectively. In fact, the F-Series registered the biggest growth in the segment – a remarkable achievement and proof of the growing popularity of America's best-selling truck in the region. As for the Ford Expedition, the full size utility remains a popular GCC family SUV with about a 10 per cent growth.
Full-size crossover Lincoln MKT followed suit with a 343 per cent increase while Lincoln MKX and Navigator followed closely with gains of 296 per cent and 90 per cent, respectively.
The new Ford passenger cars also scored high in the first quarter with the Taurus flagship model maintaining its pole position as one of the segment leaders and recording an 88 per cent increase. The legendary muscle car, Mustang, saw a 79 per cent growth, while sales of the Fusion went up by 34 per cent and the new Focus – world's best-selling nameplate for 2012 hands down – saw a 64 per cent boost.
"We've recorded quite a strong start to the year," said Larry Prein, Ford Middle East's managing director. "Our results so far prove our One Ford plan and strategy are paying off and we remain focused on the business together with our dealers, and work together to bring quality products that Ford and Lincoln customers want, featuring unique innovations and technologies as well as outstanding value and after-sales support."
Thierry Sabbagh, Ford Middle East's director of Sales said: "We have grown aggressively across the region thanks to the great new products we've rolled out and the continued support from our dealers who are keen on further expanding their network and customer base.
"It is more and more evident that our new generation models are gaining wider ground in the region today as shown by the tremendous growth recorded. Our new product range features award winning segment leaders, and we are confident that these nameplates together with the new products we will launch later this year will continue to drive our regional growth," Sabbagh added.
Iraq posted the highest increase in sales during the first quarter this year, with almost 200 per cent thanks to the growing demand for Taurus, Edge, Explorer and Expedition models. In the GCC, Bahrain commanded the lead with a 65 per cent increase followed by 50 per cent from Oman and 42 per cent in Qatar. Saudi Arabia also saw a 16 per cent growth, while the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait showed strong sales in trucks and SUVs with 17 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively. In the Levant region, Ford and Lincoln sales grew by 38 per cent in Jordan, while they continued the steady growth in Lebanon following the appointment of the new importer-dealer.
Expanding in the Middle East
Ford Middle East and its dealers are closely working on network expansions in the GCC, Levant and Iraq, whether in dealership facilities, service centers and parts distribution outlets. Currently there are over 60 new Ford and Lincoln sales and service facilities in process region-wide to serve the ever growing customer base.
In terms of service, Ford expects to increase the number of Quick Lane and Quick Parts outlets in the GCC, with 40 branches scheduled to be opened in 2013 to help provide a wider reach for customer service and genuine Ford and MotorCraft spare parts.
The $53m Middle East Regional Parts Distribution Centre in Jebel Ali, Dubai is already providing the necessary support to the regional customer base and dealerships of Ford and Lincoln in the region.
McLaren Automotive, the luxury high-performance sports car business that has its Middle East regional headquarters in Bahrain, has experienced an exceptionally strong start to 2013 across the Middle East as it strengthens its GCC network.
A strong end to 2012 for sales of the McLaren 12C Coupe (the reigning Middle East Car of the Year), and 12C Spider, has continued into 2013, with increased production for the region, driven by customer demand, leading to higher than anticipated sales.
Mark Harrison, McLaren Automotive Regional Director Middle East and Africa, said: "Despite a fixed production volume at our UK headquarters, McLaren is expanding its global network by a third in 2013 to over 50 retailers in this, our 50th anniversary year. This naturally increases demand within our network for every car from the planned production volume. Our Middle East retailers anticipated a strong start to the year therefore we secured extra production slots for the first quarter 2013 to support their businesses. It is proving to be an exceptionally encouraging start to the year for us after a great first full year of business in 2012."
And it is not just on the sales front where McLaren is growing, as three new showrooms in the Middle East are set to further strengthen the brand's position in the region.
The opening of the new landmark McLaren Manama showroom in Bahrain during the 2013 Formula 1™ Gulf Air Grand Prix two weeks ago will soon be followed by the first McLaren showroom in Qatar, due to open in Doha at the end of May. And a temporary McLaren Riyadh facility will also open this month whilst a new permanent state-of-the-art showroom is under construction in the Saudi capital. McLaren is matching strong demand for its 12C model against continued expansion in the region.
The McLaren P1, meanwhile, has engaged and excited potential customers in equal measure following its tour of Bahrain – the home of Mumtalakat, McLaren's principal shareholder - and the UAE in February in prototype form, and subsequent debut in production form at the 2013 Geneva Auto Show in March.
The Middle East region takes about 10 per cent of all 12C production, wheras demand for the P1 in the Middle East is driving the regional office to try and secure well over 10 per cent of McLaren P1 allocation. But with just 375 P1s confirmed to be built from late-2013, the car will still remain a rarity on the roads of Manama, Dubai or Riyadh.
Mark Harrison commented: "The McLaren P1 made its Middle East debut in Bahrain in early February and moved onto the UAE where it caused quite a stir. I am hopeful that some of the first P1s built later this year will come to the region as there is a huge passion here for both performance and limited edition cars. Our aim for the McLaren P1 is for it to be the best driver's car in the world, and to build fewer than our main rivals' supercar models, thereby satisfying that passion."
arabia.msn.com, the leading Middle East internet destination for millions of Arabs in the region and around the world, and operated by LinkOnline on behalf of Microsoft, is offering exciting opportunities for brands and marketers across the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region to target millions of users through innovative features and unique advertising opportunities on the MSN Arabia web portal.
The latest move by MSN Arabia to attract regional advertisers comes in the backdrop of internet advertising revenues climbing 14 percent year-over-year—to an all-time high of $17 billion—in the first half of 2012 as compared to $14.9 billion in 2011, according to a report by consulting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC). MSN Arabia seeks to transform its already existing huge user base of 22 million unique users and 185 million monthly average page views, into a sustainable, revenue-generation business by offering exciting advertising packages with maximum return on investments (ROI) to brands and marketers across the Arab and North Africa region.
The MSN Arabia & North Africa web portal, with exciting features available on its platform promises to offer a better engaging and interactive experience to web users through a user friendly interface. The site offers a broad array of localised content and information for Arabs around the globe, encompassing lifestyle, entertainment, cars, sports, and technology including breaking news stories and in-depth coverage with HD videos and pictures of live events. The website is also uniquely positioned as a powerful digital platform for advertisers to reach millions of Arab consumers.
Ramy Riad, Executive Producer of MSN Arabia said, "The MSN Arabia & North Africa web portal aims to broaden our appeal to web users across the Middle East and North Africa region. Similarly, we are presenting exciting opportunities to regional and international brands to promote their products on our website by creating a deep relationship with users while guiding them to interact with their brands through our various web tools."
According to the latest web ratings by Alexa.com, a global web metrics company, MSN Arabia is the 16th most popular Arabic website in the world. With over 257.3 million internet users estimated from the Middle East and Africa region http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm, the all new MSN Arabia and North Africa web portal offers exciting opportunities for brands to engage with users from the region. The MSN network offers a wide range of services which includes the Windows Live Hotmail & WL Messenger, serving more than 44 Million unique users in the region and receiving 1.7 to 2 billion page views per month.
MSN Arabia boasts off an impressive list of companies who have benefitted from their innovative services which include the likes of BBC Arabic, Reuters, Agence France-Presse (AFP), CNBC Arabia, AllTheContent.com and WebTeb.com. With the new look and feel, MSN Arabia aims to tap the growing internet user base in the region and expand its scope of services.
MSN Arabia, developed in partnership between Microsoft Online Media & Publishing (MOMP), Microsoft and OT Ventures, has been leading its market for many years. With the will to expand into North Africa, MSN Morocco was created in 2008 and proposes a mix of Arabic and French content. Currently, the network offers 8 homepages, 5 web portals covering a wide geography from Morocco to Pakistan in three different languages which include Arabic, English and French and the content available for free for web users.
Ramy Riad, Executive Producer of MSN Arabia concluded, "Our website is a significant evolution that promises to attract more visits to arabia.msn.com, improve our interaction with users, and facilitate the flow of accurate information in a timely manner. From taking advice from health care professionals, to information on popular tourist destinations, upcoming sporting events, or latest car launches, msnarabia.com is a one stop destination for Arab web users."
Mutual trade between Poland and the UAE has increased more than 13 per cent, from US$ 400 million in 2011 to US$ 453 million in 2012, the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAlilZ) said ahead of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) scheduled to be organised in Dubai from 30 April to 2 May, 2013.
Last year, Poland imported goods worth US$ 88 million from the UAE while it exported products worth US$ 365 million, PAlilZ stated. Key exports included metallurgic, ceramic and chemical products, machines and mechanical devices, and food products.
In order to capitalise on the robust trade and investment relations, a delegation from the Eastern Poland Macroregion will take part in AIM, an initiative from the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade organised under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
"Poland has always enjoyed friendly trade and investment relations with the UAE. We are happy to participate in the AIM, which provides the perfect platform to establish new contacts and present the opportunities we have in Poland to potential investors in this region," said Bozena Czaja, Deputy President of PAIiIZ.
Czaja said the participation of Poland in this year's AIM is part of its efforts to take forward the cooperation process with the UAE under the Eastern Poland Economic Promotion Programme. In this regard, Czaja pointed out that PAIiIZ has been actively participating in other trade and investment events in the UAE, such as Gulfood in Dubai and SIAL in Abu Dhabi for the last three years.
"At the same time, the Macroregion holds immense potential as an attractive investment destination. Business and local government representatives from Eastern Poland are keen to utilise the event to introduce their new products to this market and attract new investments," said Bozena Czaja, Deputy President of PAIiIZ.
As one of the biggest EU countries with almost 40 million citizens, Poland offers a number of business opportunities. In the 2010 Ernst & Young European Attractiveness Survey, international managers indicated Poland as the top potential investment destination for their FDI projects in Europe.
The delegation aims to utilize the AIM platform to highlight the region's major assets, including its location, special economic zones and industrial parks, and pure green-fields, which are the best in Central Europe. The region also has access to EU funds, and has educated citizens, cheap labour, natural resources, natural health centres and spas, and favourable conditions for developing tourism and agro-tourism, Czaja said.
Eastern Poland offers foreign companies numerous investment incentives, such as locating investments in one of its 14 Special Economic Zones. Spread over roughly 99,039 square km, Eastern Poland includes Lubelskie, Podkarpackie, Podlaskie, Swietokrzyskie and Warminsko-Mazurskie, and is one of the biggest regions in Poland, covering 31.7 per cent the country. Its borders with Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Slovakia give the Macroregion a strategic position and makes it a major economic gateway to the Eastern European countries.
"The UAE is a major customer for luxury goods manufactured in the eastern part of our country. Luxury yachts manufactured in Podlasie and Warmia and Mazury as well as Leopard cars produced in Mielec are particularly popular," said Agnieszka Lukaszewska-Wojnarowska, Director of the Regional Development Department of PAIiIZ.
"Poland is also a popular destination for citizens of the UAE looking for health as well as recreational tourism. Realising this huge potential, we have a large representation at the AIM from the hotel and luxury goods industries," added Lukaszewska-Wojnarowska.
The Polish pavilion at the AIM will have representations from various key industries, including food, luxury goods and yachts as well as hotel industry. This is the third time that representatives of companies and local government units from Eastern Poland are participating in the AIM, under the Eastern Poland Economic Promotion Programme of PAlilZ. The delegation will also utilize the event to meet key trade and investment entities in the UAE such as Hamriyah Free Zone Sharjah and the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA).
Since 2011, with the help of PAIiIZ, representatives of the Macroregion's business and local government participated in eight important economic events organised in the UAE. As many as 76 businessmen and 19 government representatives took part in two trade fairs, two investment missions and four economic missions, leading to stronger economic ties. During this period, as many as 10 contracts worth 2,492,000 Polish zloty (US$ 780,653) were signed while Macroregion's companies saw production and the exports growing by 30 per cent, and the sales by 14 per cent.
The friendly relations between the two countries has been further consolidated through the annual UAE-Poland Business Forum which has become a major initiative in identifying new areas for cooperation as well as to expand existing trade and investment partnerships. The Forum also witnessed mutual high level visits by the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the UAE Minister of Economy. Fruitful cooperation between Poland and the UAE has also been confirmed by direct flights between Warsaw and Dubai launched in February this year.
The Polish delegation to the AIM includes marshals and deputy marshals of the five provinces that are part of the Eastern Poland Macroregion, and presidents and deputy presidents of Lublin, Rzeszow, Bialystok, Suwalki and Kielce.
AIM is the Middle East's first Emerging Markets FDI-focused event to offer a blend of trade fair and intellectual features aimed at enriching Institutional, corporate and individual investors with a comprehensive set of guidelines for their future investment decisions in high growth regions. Established as the new staple for foreign trade and FDI, AIM attracts a mix of high profile government officials, private asset owners and project promoters from all across the globe.
OSN, the leading pay-TV network in the Middle East and North Africa, has partnered with ABS-CBN, the largest Filipino TV network in the world, to bring viewers in the region the very best Filipino TV entertainment from May 1, 2013.
OSN will offer its Filipino viewers four new ABS-CBN channels featuring premium content across a variety of genres so there's something for everyone. Channels include TFC (The Filipino Channel), the network's flagship entertainment channel and the No. 1 Filipino TV channel in the world; Bro, a dedicated sports and entertainment channel; Cinema One Global, featuring the biggest and latest movies from top studios; and ANC (ABS-CBN News Channel), a 24-hour news channel broadcasting talk shows and documentaries from the Philippines and the world.
David Butorac, CEO of OSN said: "Our partnership with ABS-CBN, the largest provider of entertainment to Filipinos globally, is a clear demonstration of our network's strength in reaching out to the widest cross-section of the region's Filipino community. Both OSN and ABS-CBN focus on quality content and the addition of four new world-class channels complements our existing Filipino channel line-up further strengthening OSN's choice and variety proposition for the segment."
The four channels have an enviable reputation of broadcasting several award-winning television shows in the Philippines and beyond, and are extremely popular among the 3 million-strong Filipinos in the MENA region. The addition of these channels will significantly boost the choice of premium Filipino entertainment on OSN, which already offers a bouquet of over 40 channels through its Pinoy packages. The four ABS-CBN TV channels come at no extra cost to existing OSN subscribers.
"We are delighted to offer through OSN our four channels to cater to the diverse viewing preferences of Filipinos in the Middle East. With this partnership with OSN, the leading mainstream pay-TV network in the Middle East and North Africa, ABS-CBN through TFC fortifies its already strong presence in the region built over the past 15 years through its own direct-to-home platform and its carriage partnerships with the major cable operators," said ABS-CBN Middle East Managing Director Edgardo Garcia.
"We appreciate OSN's recognition of ABS-CBN's leadership in Filipino programming and its strong affinity with various Filipino communities in the region. Such confidence only encourages us to strive even harder to meet and satisfy our viewers' passion for high quality content for which ABS-CBN is known for."
TFC, ABS-CBN's flagship entertainment channel is packed with drama, comedy and more. Reality show enthusiasts can cheer their compatriots on the top-rated Pilipinas Got Talent, The Voice, and Minute to Win It, while series fans can revel in their choice of the most-watched shows including Maalaala mo Kaya, Be Careful with My Heart and Apoy Sa Dagat.
Viewers can also enjoy TV Patrol, the network's flagship news programme and the No 1 prime time news cast in the Philippines; Umagang Kay Ganda, the No 1 early morning news-variety-talk show in the Philippines; Kris TV, a lifestyle show hosted by Kris Aquino - the Philippine President's sister; comedian Vice Ganda's rip-roaring variety game show It's Showtime; the longest running musical show ASAP; plus many more.
Only on Bro, the dedicated sports and entertainment channel, viewers can enjoy Trip Na Trip, the part-travel, part-reality show; UAAP, the premier collegiate basketball tournament; and PreLikula, a showcase of popular action themed Filipino movies, among other popular choices.
Cinema One Global has the largest roster of blockbuster Filipino movies from the Top 3 production companies – Star Cinema, Regal Entertainment, and Viva Films – all exclusive to the channel. These films are telecast within six months of its theatrical release.
To subscribe to the newest and largest selection of Filipino entertainment or to know more, please visit www.osn.com
Dubai could make repayment towards it $20bn loan borrowed from neighboring emirate Abu Dhabi, according to Bank of America.
Dubai's economy has shown signs of recovery over the last year, following the emirate's property crash in 2008-2009, which saw prices plunge by as much as 65 percent.
In a report seen by Bloomberg, BoA's Jean-Michel Saliba said that the payment would serve to "buoy sentiment", although it may be modest. This followed a series of meetings between BoA and UAE policy makers.
BoA recommended holding Dubai's high-yielding bonds, such as its 2021 benchmark, Bloomberg reported.
"Our meetings consistently conveyed the sense Dubai has shown its ability to grow again at a respectable 4 percent pace," Saliba said in the report. "We expect important 2013 maturities to be met." Last year, three government-linked firms paid or refinanced $3.75bn worth of debt.
The cash was borrowed by Dubai in the wake of the emirate's financial crisis in 2009.
Earlier this week, a study by Deutsche Bank found that real estate prices and rents rose for the 16th consecutive month in March. Year-to-date growth in property values to March was at 6.2 percent, the report noted.
According to Bloomberg data, Dubai's economy will expand by an average of 4.6 percent between 2012 and 2015.