Gulf Daily News Monday, 7th July 2014 19 on how to Premier backs top Tips beat inflation... aluminium forum MANAMA: The patronage of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa for the 18th International Arab Aluminium Conference (Arabal) 2014 underlines the importance of the industry for the country, Alba chairman Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa has said. The conference will be hosted by Alba on November 25 and 27 at the Gulf Hotel under the theme ‘GCC: An aluminium powerhouse’. “Alba is truly honoured by the patronage of HRH the Premier,” Shaikh ed to attract more Daij said. than 700 delegates, “We are proud to including key decihost Arabal 2014 sion makers and in the kingdom, industry leaders from which reaffirms that all sectors of the aluBahrain has made minium industry in significant strides the region and across across all industhe world. tries, especially in Arabal is the prethe aluminium secmium trade event for tor and downstream n Shaikh Daij the Middle East’s industries under the aluminium industry visionary leadership of His and the only conference in the Majesty King Hamad.” world attended by every single Shaikh Daij said Bahrain is primary aluminium manufachosting Arabal for the fourth turer in the region. time, and this year, it is expectTherefore, it is the con- ference of choice for anyone interested in the Middle East aluminium industry. Arabal first began in 1983 with Kuwait Aluminium Company bringing together the leading figures in Middle East Aluminium to strengthen ties and discuss the issues of the day to provide an overview about the entire aluminium industry. Over the past three decades, it has become an event of international repute, bringing together leaders from the aluminium industry across the world to attend, speak, and exhibit, at the event. Asheer elected BMI chairman MANAMA: Bahraini banker Salah Saleh Asheer has been elected chairman of BMI Bank, a subsidiary of Al Salam Bank Bahrain, it was announced yesterday. The bank’s newly appointed board of directors at their first meeting also unanimously resolved to elect Habib Ahmed Kassim as the deputy chairman. Ahmed Al Abri, Sunder George, Mohammed Tariq Sadeq, Yousif Abdulla Taqi, Jamal n Mr Asheer Al Hazeem and Dr Anwar Khalifa Al Sadah are the other members of the board and represent key figures within the banking industry. BMI Bank will continue to focus on providing customers with competitive, unique and innovative financial solutions as its moves forward towards streamlining the operational aspects of its business combination with Al Salam Bank Bahrain, the statement added. n Hilal Computers Enterprise System Group members receive a memento from Vision Solutions regional sales director Mahesh Atre Hilal Computers in key deal MANAMA: A disaster recovery solution to provide full-scale protection to businesses from data loss will be provided by DoubleTake through Hilal Computers in Bahrain. It will protect businesses from the costs and consequences of downtime and data loss. These solutions are ready to handle any challenge, on any platform, in any combination of physical, virtual or cloud servers, said company officials. Double-Take software for Windows delivers simple high availability for phys- ical, virtual and cloud-based environments across various sizes of business. Hilal Computers with its certified engineering capabilities are offering consultancy, implementation and after sales support services for above solutions for the past decade. Hilal Computers recently received the partner award for the Bahrain market during an annual partner event in Dubai. For more details about solutions please send an email to [email protected] Report to focus on Bahrain growth MANAMA: A special report on Bahrain’s economic development over the past decade that highlights the latest investment opportunities has been put together by global publishing, research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG). The Report: Bahrain 2014 will chart the country’s progress in diversifying its economy and creating an investor-friendly environment, which has led to the emergence of several now well-established industries, including financial services, real estate and manufacturing. The publication will also explore Bahrain’s recent efforts to address key social issues, spearheaded by educational reforms and the rolling out of affordable housing. OBG regional director Jana Treeck said since arriving in Bahrain, OBG’s team had witnessed the kingdom move towards the goals mapped out in its long-term development strategy, Economic Vision 2030. “Bahrain’s push to begin broadening its economic base some years ago, ahead of its neighbours, has given the country an edge in seeking out investors, as we have documented,” she said. “Our tenth-anniversary report will look at fast-growth areas of the economy, such as Islamic finance, while also considering the part that the country’s business-friendly environment, particularly its tax regime, continues to play in increasing investment.” OBG country director Lila Benyelles said The Report: Bahrain 2014 would also pinpoint the hurdles which the kingdom currently faces, including a drop in non-oil activity last year, and the steps being taken to overcome them, led by capital spending on infrastructure. “Bahrain has redefined its economic landscape during our decade here, bringing through new areas of the economy for development, while also moving forward with plans for its oil sector,” she said. The Report: Bahrain 2014 will contain a wide range of interviews with leading political, economic and business representatives, together with a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for investors. The publication assesses trends and developments across the economy, including macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments. The report will be produced with the Information Affairs Authority and the law firm Zu’bi Partners and will be available in print or online. With inflation and the rise in the cost of living, what can savers in the Mena region do to limit the real value of their assets being gradually eroded over time? MIKE LONERGAN regional sales director at Takaud, the specialist savings and pensions provider for the region, discusses the issue. A ccording to the latest IMF World Economic Outlook, consumer price inflation averaged 11.5 per cent in the Mena region in 2013. Experts say it will stay above 8pc for the next five years, at least. So leaving savings in a bank account with minimal interest rates or returns will mean that the actual value and buying power of this money will reduce. So, what can investors and savers do to limit the downside of the real value of their assets being gradually eroded over time without exposing their hard-earned cash to too much risk? Fixed interest savings accounts For those who are content to lock their savings away in banks for example, there are lowrisk savings accounts that can pay higher rates of interest than instant or easy access accounts. Index-linked bonds An inflation-linked bond or index-linked bond is similar to a nominal bond such as a treasury bond. This means that the investor receives the real (i.e. adjusted for inflation) face value of the bond at maturity, and the real value of the interest rate in the meantime. At the moment, demand for these types of bonds is high and this has pushed the prices up to the extent that yields are currently negative. But, over the long term they can offer a way to spread risk, particularly if you think that inflation is going to go higher. Equities To attempt to beat inflation, it’s important to have growth assets, such as shares, in your portfolio. Look for shares that pay strong dividends, as this money, if reinvested, accounts for the lion’s share of total returns from equities so should help. Today, a portfolio of glob- al stocks is particularly attractive from both a growth and diversification viewpoint. Real Estate Opinion is divided over the effectiveness of real estate as a hedge against inflation. As a traditional real asset, it can help diversify risk as it is lowly correlated to both equities and bonds. It is not, however, seen as being as effective as equities over the longer term. Gold Investing in gold is often seen as a good way to help protect investment portfolios against inflation because it is not tied to the fortunes of the economy or direction of a currency. Like other real assets, investors believe gold has an intrinsic value and as a result is somewhat insulated from market Monday’s AGENDA volatility. According to the World Gold Council, demand for bars and coins accounted for 79pc of gold demand in general last year, making physical gold significantly more popular among savers than investing in related equities such as gold miners. Art Art has proved recession-proof over the last few years with prices going ever higher. Yet the costs of ownership can be significant and there are expensive commissions when dealing with auction houses. Conclusion Out-running inflation is no easy task and taking expert advice is always sensible. The key is to take a diversified approach and try and combine equity investments with real assets and bonds for added security.
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