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New India Assurance - Commemorating the completion of 100 years

New India Assurance - Commemorating the completion of 100 years

New India Assurance, the leading General Insurance Company of India has completed its 100 years of its operations this 2019. A prestigious company from the house of Tatas’, New India Assurance, was incorporated on 23rd July 1919, at the Commercial capital of India, Mumbai. Sir Dorabji Tata was the first founder chairman. The company started its first overseas operation in 1920, opening its first branch in London, thereafter; Branches were started in various countries across the world. New India was under the Tata’s till it was nationalized by Govt of India in 1973. Their first operation in Middle East was from opening of Insurance Agency in 1953, forging a tie-up with Mohd Saleh Behbehani & Co, one of the leading business houses of Kuwait

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Commemorating the completion of 100 years, a function was organized in the New India Premises. A specially designed cake was cut by the Senior Most employee of the Company Majeed Ansari, along with Vijay Kapur General Manager, MS Behbehani & Co and Ram Mohan Reddy, Chief Operating Officer of New India Assurance. In his address Ram Mohan Reddy, spoke at length about the formation of the Company and its legacy that has crossed over a century, he informed that today sun never sets at New India Assurance, as the operations are spread to almost every nook and corner of the world, with its operations in over 28 countries. He mentioned that, it was always a pride for the company to tie-up with the Behbehani group as Chief Agents in Kuwait. He congratulated the efforts of all the present and erstwhile staff members for their unstinted support without which this great milestone could not have been achieved. In his address, Vijay Kapur, gave the details of the company’s formation in Kuwait, he mentioned that the Agency was established in 1953 at Kuwait by Late S B Monteiro and Late Mohd Saleh Behbehani. Both the organizations had mutual trust and respect for each other, which was the reason for the Organization to continue over the years and remain as one of the most preferred General Insurance Company in Kuwait.

Four senior staff members, Majeed Ansari, Lourito Fernanan, B. Penchalaiah Naidu and Hafees Jaffer, who had completed over three decades of dedicated service with the organization, were felicitated by Vijay Kapur General Manger and Ram Mohan Reddy, COO.

A befitting felicitation was arranged to Vijay Kapur, GM who has completed many decades of service in the organization.

The function concluded with presentation of mementos to all the staff members followed by  high tea.

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06a20804 abcd 4a76 8395 257de592f8d4The Union of Arab Banks and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York hosted the US- MENA PSD 2019 at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York on October 15th 2019 on the theme “The Challenges and Opportunities for MENA Banks – Understanding and Meeting US Regulatory Expectations and the Expectations of their Correspondents.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank gave insight on risk based approach to sanctions compliance. He said “In the global fight against financial crime, each world region faces unique challenges, and those faced by the Middle East are some of the most complex. Rightly, compliance with AML/CFT legislation is a priority for banks, payment service providers and other NFIs (Non-financial institutions) in the Middle East. By deploying a risk-based approach to client classification, financial institutions can determine the correct level of due diligence on a case-by-case basis, enabling them to tap into a wider market.  63% of financial institutions in the MENA region expect to make more technology investments over the next two years. Technology support is vital in implementing Risk Based Approach to Sanctions Compliance. The potential of emerging new technologies, in the form of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics Process Automation (RPA) and block chain needs be leveraged to further automate routine AML and KYC processes and reduce associated regulatory cost pressures.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman   highlighted the key challenges facing financial institutions in the Middle East. He said “Growing influence and scrutiny by Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Rising size and number of fines, Customer Due Diligence challenges and the disruption of FinTech and RegTech firms are the major challenges faced by the regional financial institutions.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on the Correspondent Banking Landscape. He said “The overall reduced risk appetite after crisis, Perceived or assessed risk and increased compliance cost for high risk clients. Insufficient Due Diligence information available and Lack of confidence in respondent bank’s ability to manage risk. Sanctions on countries or individual banks. Regulatory pressure, Rising fines and penalties, enhanced corporate and personal accountability and growing reputational concerns. There is also decline in correspondent banking activity as at end of 2018.” He also highlighted the impact of US AML rules on Foreign Financial Institutions and key initiatives on correspondent banking.

Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted on reforms brought by Qatar. He said “In June 2017, the United States and Qatar signed an agreement aimed at combating the financing of terrorism. In 2017 a legal framework on local classifications was established to identify persons and entities involved in the financing of terrorism.  In order to make Qatar 's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing system (AML/CFT) the most effective and robust in the region, the National Anti-Money laundering and Terrorism Financing Committee (NAMLC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Washington based Financial Integrity Network( FIN) to be its principal advisor in 2017. QCB, Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) and Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) have each issued guidance to their financial institutions addressing critical areas of compliance with the regulators’ anti-money laundering and combating terrorism financing (AML/CFT) rules and requirements in 2018. In Sept 2019, Qatar Central Bank (QCB) announced the issuance of Law No. 20 of 2019 on issuing a law on combating money laundering and terrorism financing to replace combating money laundering and terrorism financing law promulgated by Law No. 4 of 2010. The new law reflects Qatar's continued commitment to combating money laundering and terrorist financing in all its forms, in accordance with the latest international standards adopted by major international organizations including Financial Action Task Force (FATF). On the whole Zero tolerance by Qatar for non- compliance with Anti Money Laundering/ Counter terrorism financing. ”

KD 22 million earmarked to renovate infrastructure at Jleeb Al-Shoyoukh



Kuwait Municipality Director General Ahmad Al-Manfouhi announced yesterday that KD 22 million ($72.5 million) have been earmarked to renovate infrastructure at Jleeb Al-Shoyoukh. Manfouhi made that statement to reporters as he led a government team to field tour around the area yesterday. The team represents a special commission tasked with examining the area’s conditions, and how government efforts can be consolidated to find suitable solutions.

Conditions in Jleeb Al-Shoyoukh are “unacceptable,” he said, pointing out that the area hosts unlicensed warehouses packed with food products, adding that they will be shut down and the products will be confiscated. On the issue of the bachelors, he indicated that they cannot be moved out of the area unless the “bachelors towns” have been established – alluding to cities that planned to be built to host expatriate labors. There have been grave offenses in the area such as stealing power cables, he added, affirming the high need for repairing the infrastructure in the district.

The special commission comprises members from the municipality, Ministry of Electricity and Water, Ministry of Public Works, Interior Ministry, Public Authority for Manpower, Environment Public Authority among others.-K.T.


His Highness the Amir will return to Kuwait today



His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah will return to Kuwait on Wednesday. He will be returning from the United States of America where he had undergone successful medical checkups. HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah has ruled Kuwait since 2006 and steered its foreign policy for more than 50 years. The Amir’s office in August said that Sheikh Sabah had suffered a health setback while in Kuwait without providing details.-A.T.


Mega Festival promotion by UAE Exchange Centre Kuwait

Mega Festival promotion by UAE Exchange Centre Kuwait

UAE Exchange Kuwait, leading Remittance House in Kuwait recently started  “Mega Festival” a promotion in collaboration with World’s Fastest and Dependable Money Transferor, “Instant Cash”.  The promotion “Mega Festival” has been launched from 2nd August 2019 and will be ending on 7th November 2019

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This “Mega Festival” is open to all Individual Customers who send their transactions through any  23 branches of UAE Exchange Kuwait.  They have a chance to fly to Singapore/Georgia/Dubai and chances to win many more exciting prizes.

A total of 500 prizes which includes 3 Mega Prizes along with 497 exciting prizes will be given during the promotion period

Instant Cash CEO Mr Philp C Daniel, Marketing Manager Mrs  Anjali Menon, Business Development Manager Mr  Binoy S Skariah and Business Development Executive Mr Pratheesh Baby were present at the event. UAE Exchange Kuwait was represented under the inimitable leadership of Acting General Manager Mr Krishnakumar Eacharath, AGM – Admin & HR Mr Dhari Al Muhareb, Head of Operations Mr  Eric Engineer,  Head – Business Development & Marketing  Mr George Varghese, Head – Branch Operations and Corporate Business Mr Monirul Islam along with Department Heads and Branch Heads.

UAE Exchange Kuwait with 34 years in the Remittance & Foreign Exchange market in Kuwait is well-known for its excellent customer service and widest network amongst remittance brands. It serves large customer base with over 23 branches in Kuwait and strong correspondent relationships with global banks further marking the strength of UAE Exchange Kuwait. Customers can walk in to the nearest UAE Exchange Kuwait branches for all their financial requirements viz. Money Transfers, Currency Exchange and more -all under the same roof.


Two food delivery companies questioned for ‘monopoly’



Based on reports made by the Competition Protection Authority (CPA), Ministry of Interior (MOI) investigations showed that two foreign restaurant delivery companies had been monopolizing the local market, making over KD 4 million from their operation in Kuwait.CPA had urged the two companies to remove violations they had committed and pay a fine equal to what they had made from this monopoly, but they refused to adhere within the legal grace period, which means they have to pay twice as much now. Most of the manpower hired by the two concerned companies hold article 20 visas (domestic laborers), which is a violation of residency laws.

The two companies had signed contracts with various restaurants in 2017 and forced them not to cooperate with other delivery services, which made many restaurants cancel contracts they had signed with other companies; forcing those companies to file several complaints to CPA in June 2018. After that, the two companies allegedly informed restaurants that they would charge them an extra two percent on operations in case they sign contracts with other deliver services. – K.T.


Municipal Council allocated an area of 2,650 million s.mts and approves Amiri Diwan takeover of Entertainment City


The Municipal Council yesterday approved the Entertainment City’s development project, accepting the Cabinet’s decision for the Amiri Diwan to take over it instead of the Touristic Enterprises Company. During a regular session yesterday, the council allocated an area of 2,650 million square meters for the Amiri Diwan for the purpose of developing the Entertainment City, provided the latter submits the project’s blueprints for approval within the new structural plan.The Municipal Council had issued a decision in 2016 to annex the Sheikh Zayed Park, which is adjacent to the current Entertainment City’s location, into the project. The Municipal is responsible for evaluating the final plan for the new Entertainment City that overlooks the Gulf. The Amiri Diwan will design the new Entertainment city through international companies, hoping this project will attract many people and it is vital to have in Kuwait. In 1984, the current Entertainment City was established in Al-Doha area and was considered one of major entertainment center in Kuwait.-K.T.


Total ease transactions and absence of overcrowding at Jahra Traffic Department



Anyone who goes to the Jahra General Traffic Department to complete any related transaction, including a driving license, will witness two different scenarios – the ease with which the transactions are completed, and two, the absence of overcrowding and never-ending long queues which normally is the site at most government departments.

Al Jahra Traffic Department (housed in a prefabricated building), which was built in the 1980s is still awaiting the opening of the new administration building adjacent to the current building.In spite of this, the transactions are processed with total ease. More than 100 transactions are accepted at one time and the transaction is completed within 15 minutes.If the reviewer is required to pay for irregularities, his bad luck will lead him to suffer between the long wait, which is about an hour until the transaction is completed and payment of the violation, not to mention the small number of employees in the department, which receives about 500 auditors daily.-A.T.


Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer won Economics Nobel Prize 2019



The 2019 Nobel prize in Economics or more formally the “Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel” has been awarded jointly to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.”Both Banerjee and Duflo, who incidentally are a couple and have written a noted book titled “Poor Economics”, are associated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology while Kremer is with the Harvard University.


MEW recommends to all state institutions to use LED bulbs and solar energy



Assistant Undersecretary for Power Distribution Networks at Ministry of Electricity and Water Eng Mutlaq Al-Otaibi revealed that the ministry issued recommendations to all state institutions to use LED bulbs and solar energy at the intersections of their major projects in order to ensure electricity reach the light poles without any interruptions.He said the state institutions had requested to extend the dependence on alternative sources of energy in order to execute the desire of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to produce 15 percent of the total energy used in Kuwait through alternative energy sources by the year 2030.Al-Otaibi affirmed that the Department of Power Distribution Networks in the ministry allocated the budget of the 2020/2021 fiscal year to replace the lighting in areas that witness high load with LED bulbs in order save at least 60 percent of the current load.-A.T.


Food and adventure at 160 ft up in the air in Noida



Fly Dining at Noida sector 38 A has become a perfect place for adventure lovers where they can enjoy their food in a unique way and place -- 160 feet up in the air. A huge table surrounded with 24 seats is lifted up with a crane. It also has a less widen central passage to allow free movement of waiters and other staff.


The man behind the idea, Nikhil Kumar shared that this idea came from his visit in Dubai, where he had experienced something similar.Kumar first witnessed this two years ago in Dubai and since then was thinking of bringing this to Noida.He described his unique idea to be not merely selling food but "experience."Safety measures have been taken into consideration at a very serious level.

The equipment being used is tested and certified from Germany while the crane that suspends the structure is from Dubai. Once seated, the safety belts buckling to the seat are checked thrice before launching into the air.Customers who alighted after their 40 minute stays in the air, expressed how thrilling and exciting experience had this been.The dining time in the Fly Dining starts at 6 in the evening and longs till 10 pm. Customers get to spend 40 minutes in the air.


Indian food delivery boy robbed by two people in Sulaibiya



An Indian, working for a fast food restaurant home delivery service, has filed a robbery case against two people who lured him by demanding a dinar near the mainland in Al-Sulaibiya and robbed him of the food under threat and escaped in their car to an unknown destination.He told the Sulaibiya Police Station that the suspects robbed him of 80 dinars after assaulting him and also took the food which he was to deliver to a customer. The victim reported that he could not take the license plate number. Police are looking for the two suspects.-A.T.


Google on Saturday celebrated the 155th birth anniversary of Kamini Roy with a doodle who was the first woman to graduate



Google on Saturday celebrated the 155th birth anniversary of Bengali poet, educator, and activist Kamini Roy with a doodle. Roy, who was the first woman to graduate with honors in the history of India, was an advocate for the rights of women. “Why should a woman be confined to home and denied her rightful place in society?” she asked in 1924.

Roy was born into a prominent family in the Bakerganj district of British India — now Bangladesh — on this day in 1864. Her brother was elected Mayor of Calcutta, and her sister was a physician for Nepal’s Royal Family. Her father, Chandi Charan Sen, a judge and a writer, was a leading member of the Brahmo Samaj. Though she was interested in mathematics, Kamini began writing poetry at an early age. She was one of the first girls to attend school in British India.

At a time when women were expected to focus primarily on marriage, Kamini was determined to pursue education. In 1886, she graduated with a degree in Sanskrit from Bethune College, earning her BA with honors. In college, she met another student, Abala Bose, who went on to be known for her social work in women’s education and alleviating the condition of widows. Her friendship with Bose inspired her in advocating for women’s rights.

After graduation, Kamini became a teacher at Bethune and published ‘Alo O Chhaya’, the first of her many books of poems, in 1889. By forming organisations to champion causes she believed in, she helped advance feminism on the Indian subcontinent. She also worked to help Bengali women win the right to vote in 1926.

For her literary accomplishments, Kamini Roy was awarded the Jagattarini medal by Calcutta University in 1929.

In 1894 she married Kedarnath Roy. She had two children, after which she retired from her writing profession. When asked why she had stopped writing she reportedly said, “My children are my living poems.” Kamini returned to writing poetry after the death of her husband in 1909 and her oldest son.


Kerala-born nun Mariam Thresia to be declared saint by Pope on Sunday



Kerala-born Catholic nun Mariam Thresia is set to be declared a saint by Pope Francis in a function at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome on Sunday. She is the third nun and fourth clergy member from the Kerala-based Syro-Malabar Church to be canonized into the league of saints.

Bishops and nuns from the Congregation of Holy Family, which Thresia had established, will take part in the event.

The nun had died in 1926 aged 50. The process of canonization had begun in 1975 with a commission formed to look into her life and miracles attributed to her. She was beatified in 2000, which is a step closer to sainthood. Earlier this year, Pope Francis had approved the second miracle attributed to Thresia, paving the way for her sainthood.

Born at Puthenchira village in Thrissur district, Thresia had been known as a mystic as well as a social reformer. In 1914, Thresia, along with her three friends, established a religious group Congregation of Holy Family, which later became one of the prominent religious congregations of the Syro-Malabar Church.

After Thresia, the next in the category of the blessed are Sister Rani Mariya, who died in Indore 24 years ago and Father Thevarparambil Kunjachan, who lived and worked in Kottayam district in the first half of the last century.


Cold season will start in the first week of November



Astronomer Adel Al-Saadoun has predicted that the winter season will begin in the first week of November. Al-Saadoun has negated what has been published by some sources that Kuwait will experience thunderstorms and rain laden clouds.However, he said Kuwait may experience light rainfall over the next two days. Al-Saadoun pointed out that the thunder laden clouds over Iraq are far from the skies of Kuwait and will not reach the country.He expected that the cold season will start in the first week of November and will gain momentum towards the end of the month.-A.T.


Kuwaitis are mainly appointed as managers in the private sector--Most expat workers are regular laborers



The Civil Service Commission (CSC) revealed that the ‘regular laborer’ category is the top line of work in the private sector compared to any other job categories in terms of the number of expatriate laborers hired in Kuwait. Meanwhile, Kuwaitis are mainly appointed as managers in the private sector. A recent report issued by the CSC explained that citizens mostly refrained from private sector jobs related to agriculture or fishing – only 16 citizens worked in such jobs in 2015 and 12 in 2019.
The report also showed that expat laborers working in the private sector totaled 406,783 in 2015 compared to 451,885 in 2019, which makes the total number of expats working for the private sector 1,663,000, while Kuwaitis make up only 71,013 with a limited increase of 4,506 workers in the same period. The report added that 1,486,809 people were appointed in the private sector in 2015, including 1,420,302 expats and 66,507 citizens.-K.T.


Three-man gang arrested over hacking of a telecom company account



Personnel from the Criminal Investigations Department have arrested a three-man gang of Internet hackers - two Kuwaitis and an Egyptian in connection with the hacking of a telecom company account.The suspects were arrested after a complaint was filed by a local company that the hacking operation took place when the company was transferring money to one of the major local telecom companies and the hackers managed to steal about KD 80,000 from the telecom company.

The men during interrogations have admitted to the charge and said they began the operations by breaking into the account of one of the telecommunications companies and robbed small amounts to pay for bills, until they hacked the company’s account and stole money exceeding 120 thousand dinars by changing the path of remittances.The gang used what is known as electronic piracy to penetrate the data of the telecommunications company, and then initiated transactions with customers of these companies, and change the course of funds in the context of mutual transactions, and transferred to other account numbers with the names of other individuals, and then re-transferred the money to the accounts of one member of the gang.-A.T.


MP rejects implementation of VAT and selective tax at this point in time



MP Ahmad Al-Fadel alleges that Ministry of Finance is currently deliberating on the prospects of implementing taxes, affirming he completely rejects the idea of taxation alongside other colleagues, especially in the absence of real financial reforms.

MP Al-Fadel explained that he does not oppose such financial policies. Rather, he rejects their implementation in the country at this point in time. He said the implementation of tax requires specific financial pillars, which the country does not have, and the committee for state priorities has sent several letters to the financial counterpart to set aside the VAT bill and the GCC selective tax on tobacco, food and energy drinks, which currently, the state’s financial structure cannot accommodate.-A.T.


World Bank lauded economic steps that have been taken by the Kuwaiti government



The World Bank has lauded economic steps that have been taken by the Kuwaiti government for boosting the private sector, saying these moves “are on the right track”. The Kuwaiti government is seeking to limit the state participation in the economy to bolster the private sector and minimize barriers facing commerce and investments, the report notes. Key initiatives that have been taken by the Kuwaiti government cover laws, privatization, partnership between the private and public sectors in fields such property development, education, water, sewage, transports and management of solid waste. These efforts have been exerted in the right direction, the WB report affirms.-K.T.


Kuwait Airways’ flight punctuality rose to 96 percent in September



Kuwait Airways’ flight punctuality rose to 96 percent in September from 93 percent in August, the state carrier said on Tuesday. The airline came fourth amongst 169 competitors in the Middle East, Africa and Europe regions in the promptness of its services, according to OAG, the world’s provider of air service information. This high position amongst the world’s largest aviation firms reflects how well schedule policies have been adopted, it said in a statement. Founded in 1953 as the privately-owned Kuwait National Airways, the Kuwaiti government took full ownership of the company in 1962.Today, it operates flights around the world to 49 destinations. – KUNA


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