Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Inflation - Malaysia and the Gulf States

Inflation is defined as a sustained increase in the general level of prices for goods and services. It is measured as an annual percentage increase. As inflation rises, every ringgit/dirham you own buys a smaller percentage of a good or service.

Most of us, the working class will feel the pinch of inflation. It is very very bad due to the world current economic situation and the America subprime mortgage and financial crises can bring all of us down.

"The world shouldn't have to bear the burden for America's lapses," read a headline on Spiegel Online.

Reality wise, we are already in financial turmoil. The UAE Central Bank recently announced a Dh50 billion emergency funding facility for banks to address the shortage of funds available in the market. In addition, the authority said in a statement that additional resources would be facilitated "for providing further support to banks operating in the UAE if required".

According to Malaysiakini, Malaysia's Inflation jumps to 27-year high.
The inflation rate has jumped to a 27-year high of 8.5 percent in August, driven by the escalating cost of food and fuel, according to official data released today.
"The result was slightly higher than expected but the central Bank Negara would not raise interest rates to ensure growth," said Wan Suhaimi Saidi, an economist with Kenanga Investment Bank.

Here in the Gulf, the inflation is always higher than Malaysia. But the income is higher here as well, maybe four times more than Malaysia and the region should perform well as it continued to diversify and benefit from massive official reserves and sovereign wealth funds.

Arabian Business reported, Saudi inflation not set to ease until '09.

Inflation in the kingdom eased from a peak of at least 30 years to 10.9 percent in August, as gains in key components - rent and food prices - steadied in the largest Arab economy, official data showed on Sunday.

"The inflation correction could happen in the first quarter of 2009 instead of the second half of 2008," Saudi Arabia's Central Bank Governor Hamad Saud Al-Sayyari said.

UAE inflation set to fall to 7% by 2010 - report,

The inflation rate in the UAE is predicted to fall from last year's 11.1 percent level to seven percent in 2010, according to a new report.
Inflation is expected to rise to 12 per cent by the end of this year before dropping to eight per cent in 2009, said the monthly Analysis of Economic and Financial Developments study by Standard Chartered Global Focus.

UAE inflation surges to 13% - Merrill,

Inflation in the UAE hit 13 percent in the first half of this year on the back of surging housing and food costs, Merrill Lynch said in a report on Tuesday.
The US investment bank said inflation, which officially stood at 11.1 percent in 2007, is still a “major problem” for the Gulf state and will only be solved through more stringent monetary policy.
Merrill said the UAE’s currency peg to the weak US dollar and negative real interest rates, combined with the country’s booming economy, continue to pile on inflationary pressure.

Qatar inflation rockets to 16.5%

Annual inflation in Qatar rose to 16.59 percent in the second quarter from 14.75 percent in the first quarter, official data showed on Tuesday.
The consumer price index of the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas hit 172.39 points at the end of June compared with 147.86 points a year earlier, the Qatar Statistics Authority said in a statement.

Corruption Ranking - Malaysia and The Gulf States

I read two different news on the world corruption ranking yesterday.

According to Malaysiakini, Malaysia slips further in corruption rankings and Arabian Business reported, Corruption drops across Gulf.

Who are more corrupt among the Muslims? Malays or Arabs?

The Malaysiakini reported that:
There has been no improvement in the perception of corruption in Malaysia since 2001 despite the many promises by authorities to stamp out graft and bribery.

At the unveiling of the 2008 Corruption Perception Index, which measures the level of corruption taking place in a country, Malaysia scored 5.1 last year.
The mediocre score is little different from the 4.9 to 5.1 range it has been straddling since 2001.

"This shows that there are a number of countries that have progressed much better than us," said Transparency International (Malaysia) president Ramon Navaratnam.
Navaratnam was referring to Singapore, which topped the list in South East Asia with a score of 9.1. Overall, the island state was placed fourth among 180 countries assessed.
By comparison, Malaysia came out 47th in the overall list, compared to 36th placing it secured in 2001 when the index had surveyed only 91 countries.

However, Malaysia still managed to stay above other regional neighbours such as Thailand (3.5), Vietnam (2.7), Indonesia (2.6), the Philippines (2.3), Cambodia (1.8) and Burma (1.3).
While Arabian Business reported:

Corruption has fallen across the Gulf as governments strengthen oversight and accountability, Transparency International (TI) said on Tuesday, picking out Oman and Qatar as making "significant improvements over the last year".

The global anti-corruption organisation's 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) revealed that all Gulf states bar Kuwait showed improvement in the level of corruption within their societies compared to last year.

The CPI measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in a given country and is a composite index drawing on different expert and business surveys.
This year the index was topped by Denmark, New Zealand and Sweden with a score of 9.3, followed immediately by Singapore on 9.2 - the higher the score, the lower the level of corruption.

Bringing up the rear was Somalia at 1.0, slightly trailing Iraq and Myanmar at 1.3 and Haiti at 1.4.

Qatar was judged the least corrupt of all Gulf states, jumping four places to joint 28th out of 180 countries with a score of 6.5, up from 6.0 in 2007.

Oman jumped a massive 12 places in the index to joint 41st with a score of 5.5, up from 4.7 the previous year.

The UAE - where Dubai authorities has launched a highly-publicised crackdown on corruption - dropped one place this year to 35th, but its score actually improved from 5.7 in 2007 to 5.9 in 2008.

Bahrain rose three places to joint 43th with a score of 5.4, up from 5.0 in 2007, while Saudi Arabia dropped one place to joint 80th, although its score improved to 3.5 from 3.4 last year.

Kuwait was the only Gulf state not to register any improvement, with its score staying at 4.3. The lack of progress saw its ranking drop five places to joint 65th.

TI said the challenge of reigning in corruption requires functioning societal and governmental institutions.

It said poorer countries are often plagued by corrupt judiciaries and ineffective parliamentary oversight, while wealthy countries show evidence of insufficient regulation of the private sector, in terms of addressing overseas bribery by their countries, and weak oversight of financial institutions and transactions.

“Stemming corruption requires strong oversight through parliaments, law enforcement, independent media and a vibrant civil society,” said Huguette Labelle, TI chairman.

“When these institutions are weak, corruption spirals out of control with horrendous consequences for ordinary people, and for justice and equality in societies more

HR Vacancies in DP World Dubai

Head of HR Services - DP World

Job Title: Head of HR Services

Grade: DP World grade 19

Business Unit: DP World Corporate Head Office

Department: Corporate Human Resources

Direct Supervisor: HR Director - Corporate Services

Job Purpose
The main purpose of this position is to lead and develop the HR transaction function for Corporate Head Office and to align the HR Plan with the business goals and needs.

Principal Accountabilities
In coordination with the management team develop the HR transactional process and action plan.
Act as a business partner being a facilitator, trusted advisor and coach on all HR related issues for the business.
Overall responsibility for compensation and benefits function for recommending relevant changes to the compensation policies and practices
Responsible for all administration of compensation and benefits.
Responsible for developing and administering the orientation function for all new staff in accordance with the overall strategy defined at the departmental level.
Responsible for development and enhancement of HR policies
Responsible for employee relations, discipline, grievance resolution process
To lead and play an active part in any organisation restructuring or design exercises to ensure consistency, fairness, and compliance with company policy with all concerned
Manage all employee relations/legal issues
For further information and the criteria required, please visit the Careers Section on our website and apply. The closing date for this position is October 12th, 2008

Vacancy - Senior Recruitment Officer - DP World
Job Title: Senior Recruitment Officer
Grade: DP World grade 17
Business Unit: DP World Corporate Head Office
Department: Corporate Human Resources
Direct Supervisor: Head of Corporate Recruitment & Induction

Job Purpose
To support the development of recruitment best practice, recruiting the right people at the right time and within budget.

Principal Accountabilities
Take ownership of assigned recruitment projects up to Grade DP World 20 for Corporate Head Office.
Assist department in establishing and maintaining best practice in terms of Interviews and assessment, attraction and applicant processing
Compile weekly job and activity update reports to Management whilst maintaining efficient recruitment cycle reports
Promote services of department across all Corporate functions and provide advice when required
Maintain & regularly update databases – candidates CVs & positions.
Conduct competency-led interviews and provide evaluation
Select the most cost efficient sourcing options to attract talent for the company evaluate the effectiveness and formulate policies to monitor the usage of them.
Review and assist line managers in the development of assessment tools to ensure the right talents are selected for the job.
Provide recruitment and HR support to Corporate functions in respect of candidates sourcing, screening, interviewing, compensation, procedures and policy whilst developing strong relationships and deliver excellent customer service.
Prepare and plan the recruitment budget, control the recruitment expenses to ensure recruitment spend is within the prescribed budget and take applicable action in dealing with variances.
Monitor staffing plan to ensure that vacant positions are filled promptly and that the vacancy level is maintained to the minimum level.
Understanding trends that affect the talent needs of the business units industry.
Know the internal talent pool and succession plans of each Corporate function.
For further information and the criteria required, please visit the Careers Section on our website and apply. The closing date for this position is October 12th, 2008