SBICAPS opens branch office in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)

Abu Dhabi: SBI Capital Markets Limited (SBICAPS), a wholly owned subsidiary and investment banking arm of State Bank of India (SBI) on Monday announced the opening of its first overseas branch office in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international financial centre and free zone located on Al Maryah Island in UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi.Dinesh Khara, Chairman, State Bank of India (SBI), inaugurated the SBICAPS ADGM Branch Office in the presence of H. E. Sunjay Sudhir, India’s Ambassador to the UAE and Mr. Hamad Sayah Al Mazrouei, CEO- Registration Authority, ADGM. SBICAPS ADGM branch has received a Category 4 license from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority. The operations will be led by Mr. Vishal Gupta, Senior Executive Officer, SBICAPS ADGM Branch Office. “India and Middle East have forged an exceptional partnership, driven by mutual trust, shared values, and a common vision for economic growth. Our bilateral trade has witnessed an unprecedented expansion, reaching new heights. The State Bank of India, a leading bank in India and a key player in the international banking arena, remains committed to providing seamless financial services to Indian and Emirati businesses. We have established a strong presence in the UAE through our branches, ensuring that businesses have easy access to banking services and tailored financial solutions. To further strengthen our economic ties, we must focus on diversifying our trade basket and exploring new avenues of collaboration. In line with this, the ADGM Branch office of our investment banking subsidiary, will act as a credible bridge between growth-oriented investors operating in and from UAE, having patient capital and seeking bankable investment opportunities in India and elsewhere.” said Shri Dinesh Khara, Chairman, State Bank of India (SBI).The opening of SBICAPS ADGM branch office coincided with the UAE-India Economic Summit: Fostering Synergies– Uniting the Falcon and Tiger Economies. This high-profile event was jointly hosted by SBICAPS and ADGM and attended by Industry Captains from India and UAE. The Summit focused on forging a vibrant and enduring economic alliance along with identifying common growth opportunities for both economies. “We are witnessing a lot of interest from investors including domestic and international corporates, trusts, financial institutions, specific purpose funds, governments and government linked entities, and professionally run family offices, across jurisdictions and geographies for credible investment opportunities in India. Our ADGM office will act as a one-stop-solution centre and help in the ease of doing business for clients from India and UAE. We also plan to expand our team as business grows and that will enable us to have a significant presence in UAE,” said Amitava Chatterjee, Managing Director & CEO, SBICAPS.

IT more responsible for business innovation in the UAE than before: ManageEngine

ManageEngine, the enterprise IT management division of Zoho Corporation, today announced results from its IT at work: 2022 and beyond study. This newly released data, involving IT decision makers (ITDMs) and business decision makers (BDMs), examines the democratisation of IT and the ability of IT teams to influence business decisions in large and enterprise-sized organisations in the UAE.According to the study, there is increased collaboration between IT and other teams within organisations, which may have contributed to non-IT employees possessing more knowledge about IT now than they did before 2020. IT structures within organisations are being increasingly decentralised, and non-IT departments now enjoy autonomy when it comes to technology decisions.However, any concerns over the role of IT teams being diminished are dispelled as the study found that they are pivotal in building tomorrow's enterprises. Around 76% of ITDMs expect IT to play a greater role in setting the organisation’s overall strategy in the next 5 years. This is 11% higher than the global average.The success of the IT team in playing its role has a significant bearing on the organisation’s success, with over 91% of all respondents pointing to a direct correlation between both. Furthermore, IT professionals are increasingly expected to be innovators, with more than nine in ten (91%) respondents agreeing that IT is more responsible for business innovation than ever before."Professionals are keen to gain new perspectives from industry peers in order to stay updated and advance in their career. Through this study, we hope to facilitate the sharing of knowledge among stakeholders in the UAE. These insights also help ManageEngine in its constant endeavour of evolving as a comprehensive and effective IT management platform," said Rajesh Ganesan, president at ManageEngine.Key findings from the study1. Increased collaboration leading to tech autonomy for non-IT teams.The vast majority (90%) of respondents report that collaboration between IT teams and other departments has increased during the past two years.More than four-fifths (84%) of respondents agree that non-IT employees in their organisation are more knowledgeable about IT now than they were before 2020.Around 44% of organisations have already decentralised their IT structure, with another 49% currently attempting to do so.Nearly all (98%) BDMs say their department has autonomy when it comes to making technology decisions. This autonomy relates to not only purchasing software (64%), and devices (47%), but also to hiring tech talent (62%).2. Leveraging AI and machine learning (ML) against cyberattacks.Around 91% of all respondents say AI and ML technologies will play a significant role in strengthening their organisation's IT security framework.Nearly all (95%) BDMs say that their organisation has invested in AI and ML technologies and are doing so for more than one use case, on average. A notable proportion of BDMs report that they are using AI to prevent cyberattacks (52%).IT and security teams are held responsible when it comes to defending against cyberattacks. Around 73% of decision makers (both ITDMs and BDMs) say it is the responsibility of IT and security teams to protect organisations.3. Development of skills and talent retention.Two-fifths (41%) of ITDMs in the UAE say they are actively looking for a new job, while pretty much the same number (45%) say they feel less loyal to their current employers than than they were two years ago.When it comes to what ITDMs want from their role in the next five years, these were cited as most important: the potential to learn new skills (55%), the ability to step into a more senior role (49%), and the ability to guide change within the organisation (48%).Around half of ITDMs say that they would be driven away from their organisation if their pay did not at least stay current with inflation (54%), if there were no potential for advancement/promotion (52%), or a flexible work model (50%), or any of several other existing benefits cited, were taken away.ManageEngine commissioned independent market research agency Vanson Bourne to survey 200 decision-makers across IT and other key business functions from a range of private-sector organisations in the UAE. Visit ManageEngine's website for access to the IT at work: 2022 and beyond report at

Corporate & Investment banking to face a new perfect storm: Arthur D. Little

Dubai, UAE: Arthur D. Little (ADL) has published a new Viewpoint, “Pursuing Excellence in Corporate Banking” exploring challenges and opportunities that illustrate the lasting and even increasing importance of the corporate segment for banks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Viewpoint reviews the impacts of recent disruptions and expected, and explores options for banks to strengthen and grow their corporate and investment banking (CIB) business.CIB in the UAE represents close to $635 Bn. assets and $15 Bn. revenue. CIB assets are around 5 times the ones of retail banking. According to the report, regional banks however focus their external communication primarily on the consumer segment, whether it is fintech, strategy, digital transformation, products, or applications. Further, corporate banking is often perceived as a specialist area and, as a result, innovation is frequently thought to be focused in the retail banking sector. The report outlines an increasingly competitive, fast-evolving, and complex environment for CIB businesses, which includes a variety of challenges caused by structural trends, COVID-19, and the war in Ukraine.ADL Viewpoint calls for the primary focus to return to corporate banking for a few important reasons – an inflationary storm is ahead and CIB will be critically exposed to it and CIB is heavily impacted by environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts. While the retail segment is more competitive, CIB still benefits from several growth drivers. Clients are facing increasingly complex issues that require new solutions from banks. In addition, the SME segment remains underpenetrated. The potential of digital optimization remains mostly untapped as well, and sizable innovation opportunities exist in the space of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.Philippe DeBacker, Managing Partner and Global Head of Financial Services, Arthur D. Little, said:“The region offers a positive and transformational environment for corporate and investment banking, which accounts for about 70% of assets in the GCC amid high hopes for the economy and enormous private and public sector spending. As highlighted in the Viewpoint, banks should anticipate further sector consolidation due to shrinking margins and high regulatory requirements. To accelerate their journey to becoming banks of the future, banks need to redesign their business models to maximize revenue per customer, protect capital and ensure risk resilience by optimizing the use of financial technology.”Stephane Ulcakar, Associate Director and Head of Corporate and Government Financial Services, Arthur D. Little, said:“ The digital transformation trend has caused widespread disintermediation and the need for scale across industries. As a result, banks must transform in much the same way that car manufacturers — and many other industries — did during the 20th century. This means moving away from an integrated model and outsourcing most value steps except a few strategic ones, such as design, assembly, and control. In response to these disruptive forces, however, banks have an unprecedented chance to broaden their business, reduce costs, and become more reactive. However, as was true with car manufacturing, this can lead to additional challenges.”Developing a Sustainable Business Model According to the report, there are four common imperatives for banks to be aware of:Banks must rebalance their portfolios based on diversification, return, and risk targets, and monitor those at client level. They must also anticipate balance sheet cleanup, impact on tier-one capital, develop treasury and liquidity management capabilitiesBanks must maximize revenue per customer by spotting all opportunities for (re)activation and retention, cross/upselling, and pricing realization. They must also consider variable rates and facility nonusage penalties to reflect the upward rate trends.Banks should engage clients beyond credit, with distressed M&As, debt capital market (DCM), or ESG transformation financing. They must be ready to increase their nonperforming loan and restructuring management. Sectorial specialization will be required to properly assess needs and risk level.Banks should work on simplifying their organizations, their products and the activities they carry out. Reducing their share of fixed costs requires the use of digital tools to optimize, automatize, and/or outsource part of the value chain, either to suppliers or to shared utilities.At the same time, successful CIB strategies must leverage the bank’s core assets and capabilities to create a differentiated and viable positioning.Anticipating a new paradign for CIB in the GCCThe digital transformation trend has caused widespread disintermediation and the need for scale across industries. In response to these disruptive forces, however, banks have an unprecedented chance to broaden their business, reduce costs, and become more reactive.As explored in the Viewpoint, with the strong hindsight of local regulators, the multiplication of banking accelerators for start-ups, and the rapid development of the fintech ecosystem, it is clear that the UAE CIB sector is poised to quickly integrate these new trends and successfully adapt them to the specifics of the local markets.

91% of consumers across MENA made purchases on eComm in 2022:

DUBAI, UAE — releases the second phase of its Digital Transformation in MENA 2022 report. Following the launch of part one last month – which included insights from 15,000 consumers in the region – the next chapter interviews businesses and their leaders at the forefront of the rapidly growing digital economy.Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo, VP of Commercial, MENA at said, “If our nearly ten years in the region have taught us one thing, it is that it’s impossible to underestimate the potential, drive and dynamism which exists in this diverse and rapidly changing region. It will be increasingly important on the global stage.”Retail sector rides the digital waveData from the report shows that 91% of consumers across MENA bought products online in the past year, with fashion and clothing making up 46% of all online purchases in the region. 1 in 5 consumers across MENA purchase retail products online more frequently than last year, with 33% shopping more frequently for fashion and clothing online. This points to a rapidly developing digital ecosystem that allows government agencies, established companies and start-ups to flourish, observed Paul Carey, Executive Vice President of Cards & Payments, Al-Futtaim Group. “This is particularly evident in payments, where governments have set up regulatory sandbox infrastructure and made it easier for businesses in the region with more flexible visa options and commercial licensing,” he added.Food & beverage overcome historical resistance to digital  While the pandemic forced consumers to stay away from their favourite eateries, it opened MENA’s appetite for home delivery services.’s data shows that in 2022, local consumers are ordering meals online more frequently than ever. Over half (53%) of MENA consumers purchased food online in the past year, with 42% of MENA consumers saying they are buying food online more frequently this year than in 2021.The online food ordering sector has numerous moving parts that need to come together in each transaction, from the restaurants to drivers and aggregators to payment providers. Close collaboration is therefore vital for the many stakeholders, noted Ramzi Alqrainy, Chief Technology Officer at The Chefz, a leading Saudi-based food delivery app. “Collaboration allows us to innovate effectively and to reach and serve society in its most inclusive sense. These days, one provider doesn’t need to manage all aspects of a consumer experience from A to Z. We all need to work together. This is the death of ownership,” said Alqrainy.Travel and entertainment: navigating digital in the experience economy While a drop in travel and live entertainment sales was inevitable in 2020, the survey shows that the sector is regaining its momentum and is making its presence in the digital economy felt as it continues to grow.According to’s findings, 20% of consumers in MENA purchased entertainment services online in the past year, with 14% reporting purchasing them more frequently now than in 2021. Moreover, 32% shopped for travel services online in the past year, with 21% of consumers reporting buying them more often now than in 2021Alexandre Morin, Director of Payments - Risk and Fintech, Wego, the region’s biggest travel marketplace, said: “MENA has become a priority market for many of the world’s tourism boards as it’s a reliable source of long-stay visitors with excellent spending power.”The relentless growth of fintechThe survey shows that remittance apps remain the most widely utilised form of fintech in MENA, but as other products increase, so does adoption. The report found that 82% of consumers in MENA use some form of fintech app in 2022, up from 76% in 2021. Innovation has been underpinned by solutions such as Visa’s Account Funding Transactions (AFTs) which pull funds from an account and for use on a pre-paid card, top up a wallet, or fund a person-to-person (P2P) money transfer. “The secure, reliable, and fast movement of digital money between individuals, businesses and governments is the engine powering today’s global economy”, said Dr. Saeeda Jaffar, Senior Vice President and Group Country Manager for GCC, Visa.Meanwhile, half of the consumers in markets such as KSA and UAE used Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) options this year and as many as 67% across MENA indicated they may use it in 2023. In crypto, 55% of 18–35-year-olds in UAE and KSA would like to be able to pay for goods and services in crypto or stablecoins in the next 12 months. “Previously, retailers viewed BNPL as just another payment method and often compared BNPL services to other payment providers, resulting in downward pressure on rates. However, we see retailers increasingly focusing on overall growth, including marketing, customer experience and product maturity. As a result, we see a win-win, sustainable partnership model.,” said Sargun Bawa, VP of Growth at Tamara, the homegrown BNPL platform.