Tuesday, July 7, 2015

NBK’s economic update reports Kuwait inflation at 3.3% in May

Amid a slowdown or stabilization across all components except healthcare and local food, inflation in the consumer price index (CPI) inched down from 3.4 percent year-on-year (y/y) in April to 3.3 percent y/y in May. Although relatively low, local food inflation climbed at a gradual pace for the third consecutive month. Local food inflation is expected to remain soft in the second half of this year with the International food prices declining as well. In order to limit any significant inflationary gains, the stronger dinar is also projected. The average annual inflation rate is forecast to close to 3.5 percent in 2015.

Core inflation (CPI excluding food items) eased for the second consecutive month in May, from 3.7 percent y/y in April to 3.5 percent y/y. Core inflation is seeing some reprieve because of subdued inflation across most components. Housing inflation is also expected to ease modestly in the near-to-medium term which will help keep core inflation in check. Inflation is off and now under 2 percent y/y excluding housing (and food).

Global food prices declined by 17.5 percent y/y and Inflation in the local food price index edged up from 2.3 percent y/y in April to 2.6 percent y/y in May. The rise in local food inflation may be due to the increased demand in the run-up to the holy month of Ramadan in June.

Local Food inflation will remain soft in the second half of 2015 because international food prices are still declining. Inflation in housing services remained unchanged from April at 6.3 percent y/y. This inflation component is updated once every quarter with the next update due in the June report.

Due to healthy demand levels, Housing inflation rose to an almost six-year high in March though it is expected to subside later in 2015. Clothing and footwear inflation declined by almost 1 percent and furnishing and household maintenance inflation remained comfortable. Since most of the products in this segment are imported and the dinar has remained strong the inflation is trending lower for a year. The inflation of 'other goods and services' was down to 2.4 percent y/y in May from 2.7 percent y/y in April.

Prophets Methods of Correcting Mistakes - Not hastening to tell someone he is wrong


Something happened to ‘Umar (RA) which he himself told about: “I heard Hisham ibn Hakeem ibn Hizam reciting Sooratal- Farqan during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah. I listened to his recitation, and he was reciting it differently to the way that the Messenger of Allah  used to recite it. I nearly interrupted his prayer, but I waited until he had said the salam, then I grabbed him by his cloak and said, ‘Who taught you to recite this Soorh I heard you reciting?’ He said, The Messenger of Allah taught me to recite it.’ I said, ‘You are lying! The Messenger of Allah taught me to recite it differently/ I took him to the Messenger of Allah and said, I heard him reciting So oral al- Furqan differently than the way you taught me to recite it ’ The Messenger of Allah  said,
‘Let him go. Recite, O’ Hisham.’ He recited it as I had heard him recite it. The Messenger of Allah said,
This is how it was revealed.’ Then he said, ‘Recite,
O' ‘Umar.’ So I recited it as he had taught me. The Messenger of Allah said, This is how it was revealed. This Qur’an was revealed with seven ways of recitation for ease, so recite it in the way that is easiest to you.’58
Among the educational methods we learn from this story are the following.
—            Telling each one to recite in front of the other and approving their recitation was more effective in confirming that both were correct and neither was wrong.
—            When the Prophet (SAW) told ‘ Umar to let go of Hisham. this was preparing both parties to listen in a calm manner. This was an indication that ‘Umar had been too hasty.
—            A person who is seeking knowledge should not be too hasty to condemn any opinion that differs from that with which he is familiar; he should first be sure of what he is saying, because that opinion may turn out to be a valid scholarly opinion.
Another relevant point is that one should not hasten to punish someone who makes a mistake, as we see in the following story.
An-Nasa’i reported from "Abbad ibn Sharhabeel who said:
“I came with my (paternal) uncles to Madeenah, and we entered one of the gardens of the city. I rubbed some of the wheat, and the owner of the garden came and took my cloak and hit me. I came to the Messenger of Allah asking for his help. He sent for that man and they brought him to the Prophet. He said to him, ‘What made you do that?’ He said, ‘O’ Messenger of Allah, he went into my garden and took some of my wheat and rubbed it.’ The Messenger of Allah said, ‘You did not teach him if it was the matter of him not knowing, and you did not feed him if it was the matter of him being hungry. Give him back his cloak.’ And the Messenger of Allah ordered that I should be given a wasq or half a wasq (measure of wheat).”59
From this story we learn that we should find out the circumstances of the one who is making a mistake or acting in an aggressive manner, so that we may know the right way to deal with him.
                                                          The Quality Chain
We may also note that the Prophet (SAW) did not punish the owner of the garden, because he was in the right but he had handled the matter wrong. He pointed out to him that the way he had dealt with someone who did not know was inappropriate in such circumstances, then he taught, him how to handle the matter properly, and told him to give back the garment he had taken from the hungry man.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Kuwait Planning to Finance Budget Deficit by Issuing Bonds

Kuwait is considering issuing bonds among various options to finance a budget deficit created by low oil prices, Finance Minister Anas al-Saleh said on Thursday.

The Finance Minister Anas al-Saleh said on Thursday that Kuwait is considering issuing bonds among various options to finance a budget deficit created by low oil prices. In an interview with Al Arabiya television he said that there was a possibility of going to the market and issuing bonds and so on this year. A specialized team at the central bank is currently studying this issue and the most important factor will be what's best for the country and economically beneficial to the markets.

He however did not specify whether Kuwait was considering issuing international or domestic bonds. The government currently does not have outstanding dollar bonds and only a modest domestic debt.

Saleh said the figures which came as a surprise, showed a budget deficit of 2.31 billion dinars ($7.6 billion) in the last fiscal year to March 31, and it was the first since 1999/2000.

The parliament approved a budget for the current year which forecasts a deficit of 8.18 billion dinars.
Like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait may run down assets in its sovereign wealth fund in addition to issuing bonds.

The Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, which tracks the industry estimates that the Kuwaiti fund holds $548 billion of assets.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Prophets Methods of Correcting Mistakes - Guiding people to what will prevent them from making mistakes


Abu Umamah ibn Sahl ibu Haueef reported that his father told him that the Messenger of Allah went out, and they traveled with him in the direction of Makkah, until they reached the ravine of al-Khazzar near al-Juhfah. Sahl ibn Haneef did ghusl, and he was a white man with a handsome body and beautiful skin. 'Amir ibn Rabee‘ah, the brother of Banu ‘Adiyy ibn Ka‘b looked at him whilst he was doing ghusl and said, ‘I have never seen anything like what I have seen today, not even the skin of the virgin who is hidden away!’ (referring to the whiteness of Sahl’s skin). Sahl fell to the ground (he had an epileptic fit). The Messenger of Allah came and it was said to him, ‘Do you want to see Sahl? By Allah, he cannot raise his head or wake up.: He asked, ‘Whose fault is this?’ They said, 4 ‘Amir ibn Rabee‘ah looked at him.’ The Messenger of Allah called ‘Amir and rebuked him angrily, and said,
‘Why would any one of you kill his brother? If any one of you sees that his brother has something he likes, let him pray for blessing for him.’ Then he said to him, ‘Wash yourself to help him’. So he washed his race, his hands up to the elbows, his knees, the sides of his feet and inside his izar (lower garment) in a vessel. Then the Prophet said, Tour that water over him.’ So he poured the water over his head and back 
from behind, tilting the vessel, Sahl got up and went with the people and there was nothing wrong with
According to a report narrated by Malik (SAW) Muhammad ibn Abu Umamah ibn Sahl ihn Haneef said that he heard his father saying: “Abu Sahl ibn Haneef did ghusl in al-Khazzar and took oft' the garment he was wearing. ‘Amir ibn Rabee'ah was looking at him, and Sahl was a white man with a beautiful skin. ‘Amir ibn Rabee‘ah said to him, ‘I have never seen anything like what I have seen today, not even the skin of a virgin!’ Sahl fell down on the spot and became seriously ill. The Messenger of Allah  came and was told, ‘Sahl has fallen ill, and cannot go with you, O’ Messenger of Allah.’ Sahl told him what had happened with ‘Amir, and the Messenger of Allah said,
‘Why would any one of you kill his brother? You should have asked for blessing for him. The (evil) eye is real. Do wudoo’ to help him.’ So ‘Amir did wudoo and Sahl got up and went with the Messenger of Allah, and there was nothing wrong with him.’”88
What we learn from this story is:
—            The teacher [i.e.. the Prophet (SAW) got angry with the one who caused harm to his Muslim brother.
—            He explained the harmful effects of the mistake and that it could lead to death.
—            He pointed the way to that which would prevent harms befalling a Muslim.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Digital Business in Qatar to Grow in the Coming Years

Cisco launched its 10th annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast 2015. The forecast stated that the location of Qatar is beneficial in advancing digital market and business in the country. It is estimated that the total internet users in the Middle East and Africa is slated to grow to 425 million by 2019. The growing demand for mobile devices and usage of social networking is cause of digital advancing in the Middle East. An annual growth rate of 44 percent in the Middle East and Africa is estimated by 2019. The internet users will increase by 3.9 billion from 2.8 billion last year.

The increased usage of internet, mobile devices, faster broadband speed, machine-to-machine (M2M) connections and video services are noted as the key factors that drive internet traffic growth. The social networking sites are the most exploited and will look to develop it furthermore. There are about 176 million users, say about 81 percent of residential internet users using social networks.
The business along with the consumers and societies in Qatar are pacing their way towards the era of digitization, as said by the General Manager of Cisco Qatar, Mohammad Hammoudi.

He further added that, since Internet is the fast developing technology, they will look into benefiting the Middle Eastern industries, government agencies, healthcare, sports, entertainment, education and manufacturing, transportation, oil and gas, thereby improving the lives of citizens.


Kuwait Petroleum Corporation’s ‘Vision 2030’ focuses on Human Resources Development

On the occasion of inauguration of Vision 2030 (People Excellence for Success) by Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) at Hilton Hotel in Mangaf, the Acting CEO Mohammed Al-Farhoud said that KPC will be ensuring proper training and implementation of latest trends to strengthen their employees’ skills and capabilities. A KPC official also added that they will look at fostering their human resource as per the changing technology to survive in the market. This will ensure that the employees have a healthy work environment which will help them achieve the company’s goals.

Furthermore, Farhoud added that KPC has already implemented some of the initiatives to train their employees. He believes that these initiatives would also help to develop their HR sector. They have already introduced an HR operating model.

The three-day Vision 2030 seminar also saw various presentations given by different companies’ HR managers. Some of the companies who attended the seminar were Total EP, Hay Group, Burgan, Ernst and Young, Accenture, Ratqa, Minagish and Wafra. The seminar also discussed subjects such as overviewing oil and gas industry’s compensation, the future of work in the oil industry, leveraging change management and major transformation and strategic workplace and planning practice in the Middle East. Various oil companies with their top management employees, senior management and HR personnel were also present for the seminar.