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Standard Chartered’s pre-tax profit jumps to $996mn in Q3

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Standard Chartered, a British multinational bank, has posted almost a billion-dollar pre-tax profit in the third quarter, doubled from a year earlier.
Beating market forecasts, the bank’s pre-tax earnings climbed to $996 million in July-September, from $435 million a year ago. Earlier, 16 analysts estimated a $942 million profit for the bank.
The London-headquartered bank, which earns most of its revenue in Asia, reported on Tuesday credit impairment charges of $107 million compared with $353 million a year earlier.
After taking the helm of Standard Chartered in 2015, chief executive officer Bill Winters focused on restoring growth while creating a portfolio of digital assets in the last few years. He also repaired the bank’s balance sheet, cutting thousands of jobs in his early years.
Standard Chartered’s London-listed shares have underperformed rivals since then, and are up 8 percent this year versus an 18 percent rise for HSBC and 37 percent surge for Barclays.

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e& life joins Dubai FinTech Summit as a Powered By sponsor

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: e& life, the business pillar of e& that brings the next-generation digital world to the consumer’s fingertips, has joined theDubai FinTech Summit (DFS), organised by Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global Financial Centre in the MEASA region. As a Powered By sponsor, e& life is dedicated to supporting innovative and future-thinking businesses on a global scale.

e& life leverages cutting-edge technologies to offer fintech, entertainment, retail, and mobility services through its smart platforms and apps.  Their fintech arm, e& money, has become a regional powerhouse, known for its user-friendly mobile financial services and its position as the UAE’s fastest-growing issuer of Mastercard debit cards.

Mohammad Alblooshi, Chief Executive Officer at DIFC Innovation Hub, said, “The path to true innovation lies in collaboration and the Dubai FinTech Summit strives to bring together global leaders, innovators and disruptive start-ups to shape the future of finance. The alliance between the summit and e& life demonstrates our mutual commitment to fostering a dynamic FinTech ecosystem to strengthen Dubai’s existing reputation as a leading business destination. Transforming challenges into opportunities, our goal is to create the most advanced, inclusive and technologically empowered financial community.”

Khalifa Al Shamsi, Chief Executive Officer at e& life, said, “The Middle East is at the forefront of a major transformation in financial services delivery, driven by technology shifting from traditional to innovative solutions. As a pioneer in the region’s flourishing FinTech sector, e& is driven by a bold vision to lead this change.

“Through strategic partnerships, we aim to fast-track progress and take the region’s FinTech potential to new heights. This partnership represents a valuable opportunity for both e& and its FinTech portfolio under the business pillar e& life to collectively imagine new possibilities, inspire breakthrough ideas, and catalyse impactful innovations. By bringing together the talent and resources within our ecosystems, we can accelerate the journey toward a future where financial services truly empower people across societies. We look forward to contributing our expertise to shaping discussions that will steer the direction of the industry and play a role in realising the UAE’s aspiration to become a global hub for financial innovation.”

In line with the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) to position Dubai as the top four global financial hub by 2033, the 2nd edition of the Dubai FinTech Summit is designed to encourage cross-border collaboration and innovation, pivotal to transforming the global FinTech sector. It presents a unique opportunity to explore emerging FinTech trends and their potential to drive financial progress in the MEASA region.

The Dubai FinTech Summit, scheduled for May 6-7, 2024, at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, will see an unprecedented gathering of over 8,000 decision-makers, over 300 thought leaders and over 200 exhibitors showcasing cutting-edge technologies.

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UAE announces Eid Al Fitr holidays for private sectorUAE announces

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The UAE government has announced the official holidays for private sector employees across the country on the occasion of Eid Al Fitr.

The break will begin on Monday, April 8 and last till 3 Shawwal (or what is equivalent to it in the Gregorian date). As per the Islamic calendar, Ramadan lasts 29 or 30 days, depending on when the Moon is sighted. Eid Al Fitr is celebrated on the first of Shawwal.

The UAE Cabinet has confirmed a week-long public sector holiday to celebrate Eid Al Fitr. This aligns with the earlier announcement from the UAE Federal Authority for Government Human Resources. Government employees will be on paid leave from Monday, April 8 to Sunday, April 14, returning to work on Monday, April 15.
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Renowned Indian IVF Specialist Dr Varsha Patil unveils plans to launch business in Dubai

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Dr. Varsha Patil, a distinguished IVF specialist and a Clinical Embryologist with extensive experience in infertility treatment, is set to expand her footprint to Dubai this year. The veteran doctor is keen to bring her IVF chain Jananee to the region this year buoyed by Dubai’s ease of doing business and recent legal reforms pertaining to IVF treatment. But it is the region’s high infertility rate that needs to be addressed first, she says.

“Studies have shown that infertility rates in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the wider GCC have been on the rise and more than double the global average and there’s no doubt that much of it is down to the lifestyle choices, stress and dietary habits of today’s generation. And add to that medical conditions that often remain undiagnosed,” said Dr Patil, who runs India’s Siddhagiri Jananee IVF and Test Tube Baby Center as the director and head of department. “Just a couple of years ago, the global estimates of infertility were approximately 15 percent while across the GCC those figures were as high as 35 to 40 percent. That tells you the need of the hour in this region for a holistic clinic that will get to the root of the problem and eliminate it.”

With an illustrious career spanning over two decades and a wealth of expertise garnered from prestigious institutions worldwide, Dr. Patil brings a holistic approach to reproductive healthcare that prioritises affordability, accessibility, and patient well-being, having touched the lives of thousands of people wanting to be parents.  Now she wants to bring her line of treatment and efficacy to Dubai. “I have found over the years a continuous rise in both primary and secondary infertility in this region particularly due partly to lifestyle-related issues. It is now time to give such patients greater access to high quality, cost-effective treatment in their own backyard now. And so plans are fully on to launch a holisitic clinic by the third quarter this year as we currently speak to potential investors,” said Dr Patil whose academic journey includes studying at Leeds University, UK, and completing a specialised training at Sydney IVF in Australia. As an academic, she has showcased her research prowess by presenting papers at esteemed platforms such as SymResearch Pune at Symbiosis University and the World Congress on Human Reproduction in Venice, Italy.

Throughout her career, Dr Patil has been at the forefront of infertility treatment, practicing in Bangalore, Belgaum Karnataka, and Kolhapur Maharashtra. She has also held the position of Head of the IVF Lab at Genesis in Bangalore and currently serves as the Director and Head of the IVF Department at India’s National Accreditation Board for Hospitals (NABH) accredited Sidhagiri Hospital & Research Center in Kolhapur. “It is now time for us to expand internationally and there can’t be a better place to start with than Dubai for the ease of doing business this place offers and the legal reforms two years ago,” said Dr Patil during her visit to the emirate as part of a business potential study tour earlier this month.

Last year, just two years on from the UAE’s legal reforms, Dubai clinics saw 2000 more women opting to freeze their eggs as fertility clinics in Dubai registered a whopping 20-fold increase in women requesting egg freezing procedures compared to 2021.

Legal reforms introduced in 2021 allow freezing of human embryos and eggs in the UAE. The law also stipulates that human embryos can be frozen for up to five years – extendable with the consent of relevant parties – and that single women can freeze their eggs provided they are used for their own pregnancy after marriage with their husband’s sperm in an IVF procedure.

“India is known globally for its medical infracstructue and facilities. Over 2 million patients visit India each year from close to 80 countries for medical, wellness and IVF treatments, generating $6 billion for the industry that is expected to reach $13 billion by 2026 backed by the government’s Heal in India initiative. If it’s worked in India, there’s no reason why it can’t work in Dubai now in the current backdrop and rest of the region where the infrastructure is even better,” explained Dr Patil who’s driven by a passion for making fertility care accessible to all, addressing genuine challenges faced by patients, including the high costs associated with treatment cycles and hormonal toxicity. “I firmly believe that parenthood is a fundamental right and therefore I travel the world advocating for accessible information and treatment options for individuals worldwide – irrespective of where they come, what strata, background or religion they belong to.”

With a holistic approach to artificial reproductive technologies (ART), Dr Patil emphasises the importance of nutrition, hygiene, detoxification, and managing pathological conditions to optimise fertility outcomes. “So what makes us stand out is the comprehensive approach we take to fertility care, one that integrates humanitarian principles with cutting-edge medical techniques. Recognising the global significance of declining birth rates and rising economic expenditures on fertility issues, we feel the need today is for affordable and stress-free fertility journeys for patients worldwide,” she said explaining how her tentative feasibility report underscores the practicality and potential impact of her proposed projects on subfertile patients on humanitarian grounds.

“With a vision to extend her transformative initiatives to a global scale, I seek the guidance and support of UAE’s leadership,” she said, expressing a “sincere intention to present a proposal that recognises the country’s commitment to innovation and healthcare excellence”.

About Dr Varsha Patil

Driven by her pursuit of excellence, Dr. Varsha Patil ventured to Australia for specialized training in IVF, following her Bachelors in Medicine & Surgery and Masters in Clinical Embryology from University of Leeds UK. Dr. Patil also received extensive training at Sydney, Australia at SYDNEY IVF. She received this advanced training at Sydney IVF, under the mentorship of leading IVF specialists. This invaluable hands-on experience equipped her with cutting-edge techniques and a deeper understanding of infertility treatments.

With an impressive 23 years of clinical practice in infertility treatment, Dr. Patil’s profound impact on couples struggling to conceive is immeasurable. Her clinics, strategically located across Maharashtra and Karnataka in India, stand as pillars of hope for those seeking expert fertility guidance and effective solutions. Now she is also poised to expand her footprint in Dubai.

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