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The 5 important things in business right now

Here’s what you need to know in UAE business and globally on this Monday morning:

• Mostly positive fourth quarter results

A spate of UAE financial results have been reported during the past 24 hours from heavyweights such as Etisalat (up 2.7 per cent), RAK Ceramics (up 10 per cent), Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (up 16.6 per cent), Aldar Properties (up 9.1 per cent), plus others. It wasn’t so good for du, which reported an 8 per cent profit fall.

• Oil price on a downer

After a dramatic surge at the tail end of last week, Brent oil has opened down 2 per cent this morning at $32.67 with Iran prepared to ship its first consignment to Europe since sanctions were lifted, reigniting worries over a global supply glut. Is another topsy-turvy week in store?

• Dubai property to remain subdued

KPMG has added its voice to those predicting further falls in Dubai house prices this year. It does, however, expect the market to recover in 2017 as work on Expo 2020 is ramped up.

• HSBC stays rooted to London

Europe’s largest bank has confirmed that it will continue its 23-year stay in the UK following 10 months of discussions on whether to uproot, potentially to Hong Kong. “As we evaluated jurisdictions against the specified criteria, it became clear that the combination of our strategic focus on Asia and maintaining our hub in one of the world’s leading international financial centers, London, was not only compatible, but offered the best outcome for our customers and shareholders,” chairman Douglas Flint said in a statement.

• China starts badly

All eyes on the Far East this morning as the Shanghai Composite resumed trading after a week-long holiday. China’s benchmark stock index has plunged 23 per cent this year and was down 1 per cent at 1.15pm local time. Meanwhile, in Japan, the Nikkei closed up 7.16 per cent despite GDP figures showing the economy shrank 1.4 per cent last year.

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