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Dubai’s gold rate just Dh8 away from its all-time high



Today’s Dubai Gold Rate for 22K is at Dh226.50 a gram. It has soared due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. This is only Dh8 less than the all-time high of Dh235 a gram, recorded on August 6, 2020.

“Gold sales in the last week are nearly down to what we experienced during the peak of the Covid-19 linked shutdown phase,” said a jewellery retailer in Dubai. It is true that tourists are wary of spending on gold as its rate climbs to its August 2020 levels.

On Monday, gold started at $2,002 an ounce but then went down to $1,988 by 8.45am. Gold could reach the $2,032 mark of early August, 2020, retailers fear.

Many think gold won’t collapse. “Gold flirted with $2,000 today on haven-buying flows,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda.


Australia’s Westpac announces to return $4.3bn to shareholders



Westpac Banking Corp, an Australian bank and financial services provider, said on Monday it would return A$4.2 billion ($3.16 billion) to shareholders.

However, the banking corporation’s shares fell over 6 percent in early trading despite more than double profit with the release of funds.

Westpac, whose home lending volumes dropped in 2020, said the rebound in the Australian economy and hiking house prices had helped drive a 4 percent rise in its mortgage book, but at a cost of lower margins.

Net interest margin (NIM), a key measure of banking profitability, also slid 10 basis points during the second half, to 1.99 percent. For the full year, the NIM was 4 basis points lower to 2.04 percent.

Driven by the turnaround in impairment charges, the bank’s cash earnings missed Refinitiv’s forecast of A$5.5 billion as A$5.35 billion were recorded for the year ended September compared with the A$2.61 billion reported last year.

Cash earnings fell in the second half for all units at the country’s No.3 lender. Core profit, excluding a pre-announced A$1.3 billion hit from Westpac’s institutional bank and remediation costs, was 13 percent lower for the year.

Westpac’s Chief Executive Peter King said that the corporation’s underlying results were not registered as expected and there’s needed to do more to become a high-performing company. However, Westpac is making progress, he added.

Westpac said it is targeting a A$8 billion cost base by fiscal 2024, down from the A$11 billion it reported on Monday that excluded an A$2.3 billion one-off “notable” charge.

The Australian bank intends to buy back A$3.5 billion off-market shares and fixed a 60 Australian cents final dividend, worth A$2.2 billion.

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