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DELOITTE 2021 GCC POWERS OF CONSTRUCTION: HOW ARE CONSTRUCTION GIANTS FARING IN THE CURRENT CLIMATE?

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The Construction industry, like many other industries, was not immune to the pandemic and had been challenged to adapt to new ways of working and thinking. Deloitte’s 11th edition of the GCC Powers of Construction report looks at the changes required in the industry to ensure that an appropriate pivot is made to create a sustainable industry that is ready to build sustainable capital assets for the region.

 

Sustainability is at the core of this year’s publication, with a growing focus on capital projects having sustainable goals and objectives incorporated into the initial design and whole life cost thinking, which is also the change needed in the industry to address some of the casual factors experienced in the industry over the last decade. As such, this change to create a supportive Construction ecosystem across all stages of the project lifecycle is becoming a clear priority for the contractors, owners, investors and funders alike.

 

As in previous editions, the Deloitte report reviews the current market conditions and current trends based on data and opinions gathered from key industry leaders, as well as leveraging Deloitte expertise, and includes a series of articles that reflect how the industry as a whole is moving forward to drive sustainable economic growth.

 

“As we emerge from lockdowns and other restrictions, we are all grappling with adopting new emerging ways of doing business where sustainability finds itself at the forefront of several government agendas, and new ESG goals and guidelines are being implemented and legislated at record speed. This change that has been created through questioning the way we work and where we work, coupled with sustainability goals, brings about a key opportunity for the industry to pivot to create a new way of designing and prioritizing projects through a whole life cost lens. said Cynthia Corby, Partner and Regional Construction Industry Leader, Deloitte Middle East. “For many governments, owners, lenders and institutional investors the impetus is clear– in the not too distant future, only those projects with a sustainability objective incorporated in the business plan will be fundable as investors seek out those opportunities that align with their own ESG goals and are economically sustainable.”

 

The Deloitte report explores several key topics including the GCC projects market outlook, the Middle East Real Estate market overview, and sustainability within the construction sector. Other focal areas of the report include COVID-19-related claims within the Middle East construction industry, tax policy landscape, restructuring, insolvency and exit options, as well as construction tech and building the cities of the future while creating digital twins needed for more intelligent asset management in the future.

 

“We recognize that there are several challenges and opportunities as we all navigate through the coming years and the world resets to deliver the new demands for a new tomorrow. Add in sustainability, net zero policies, ESG goals to an already turbulent industry which is still dealing with the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, and it is clear that those owners and contractors who collaborate to design and build assets with a whole life cost view and adopt  digital transformation and innovation will fare better in delivering economically and environmentally sustainable assets than their counterparts who try to stick to existing ways of doing business,” concludes Corby.

 

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Russia and Turkey still keep door open to crypto adoption

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Bitcoin dropped around 5% yesterday after the much-anticipated FOMC meeting, where Jerome Powell was more hawkish than expected. Although there was no change to the decision of when to end tapering or hike rates, Powell said that inflation was worse than what was predicted in December, and that they would act more if required. Both equities and crypto fell sharply after the meeting, giving up gains from earlier on in the day.

Crypto is seeing more interest from governments, as the Turkish president Erdogan advised the country’s ruling party to examine the metaverse and cryptocurrencies closely in terms of their potential use. Turkish crypto investors have been very active in buying land in the metaverse. In Istanbul alone, over 11,000 virtual lands are already on the metaverse, with Turkish investors having spent millions.

The Turkish Lira losing value dramatically over the past 2 years has caused many Turks to flock to cryptocurrencies. The Turkish President met with the leader of El Salvador last week, who are the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender. This, alongside the ambition to study cryptocurrencies’ use in more depth, could signal the start of a shift in how the Turkish government views the industry, as they have previously been hostile towards the asset class.

In addition, Russia’s finance ministry has opposed the Russian Central Bank’s call for crypto to be banned, as it would undermine the industry’s technological development. Putin also said that Russia has certain advantages when it comes to Bitcoin mining, because of the country’s surplus of electricity and well-trained personnel. The fact that more and more governments are looking at crypto as an asset class that can provide benefits in staying ahead technologically, is a sign of the asset class maturing. Whether or not Turkey or Russia decides to ban or embrace crypto is still uncertain, although I think they will have no choice but to adopt crypto in the end.

 

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Transact365 launches seamless cross border payments in India

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  • Transact365 enables merchants to transact locally in India
  • Merchants can partner directly with Transact365 without needing to source local partners
  • Transact365 offers two local solutions – Unified Payments Interface (UPI), and NetBanking 

 

UK-based fintech Transact365 has added local India payments for merchants.  By using Transact365’s gateway solution, merchants can access new opportunities in India without having to form local payment partnerships or establish an Indian company. The move ensures merchants now have access to over one billion Indian-based consumers enabling them to pay faster in a familiar way.

Transact365 offers two local solutions tailored to the needs of the Indian market – Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and NetBanking.

Developed by the National Payments Corporation of India – UPI is an instant, real-time payment system that facilitates inter-bank transactions through smart phone devices, powering multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application of the 274 participating banks. UPI facilitates inter-bank peer-to-peer (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions.

NetBanking is a unique payment method facilitating online payment transactions in India. When a user makes a payment via NetBanking, the payment is initiated via the Transact365  gateway which allows the user to complete the transaction with the merchant in realtime in local currency.

Transact365 has also established a local payment distribution allowing merchants to pay clients in India in real time with fully automated api connectivity 247 365 Days a year.

Transact365’s launch in India is the first in a series of big market expansions planned for 2022. Having already expanded into Europe, Asia and Australia, Transact365’s payment gateway system ensures merchants of all sizes and sectors can access fast-growing markets seamlessly and quickly.

Dan Fernandez, CEO of Transact365, said: “We are pleased to announce that merchants can now use Transact365 to process payment transactions in India. By utililising local payment solutions, Transact365 ensures merchants can now facilitate payments in India, with users able to confirm their payment in a matter of seconds.

“Our expansion into India comes at an exciting time for the company. With customer and merchant demand for payment gateways rising, Transact365’s revolutionary system ensures more businesses are able to access consumers in rapidly expanding markets. Importantly, our launch in India will soon be followed by similar market expansion announcements throughout 2022.”

 

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