Daily Personal Finance Insights – Discounted deflation
The Dubai Statistics Center released their annual consumer price index indicating a deflation rate of 1.71% in 2012 compared to 2011. The CPI found an average price decrease in favour of consumers in the prices of commodities, such as: “housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels.” However, price increases were prevalent in: “Food, and non-alcoholic beverages, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, education, transport, furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance, miscellaneous goods and services, health, recreation and culture.”
DIFC Employment law changes – maternity leave
New employment laws for entities under the jurisdiction of DIFC have come into operation. The new laws are especially appropriate for female employees who are entitled to a minimum maternity leave of 65 working days, of which the first 33 working days will be at the employee's normal daily wage and the remaining 32 working days at 50% of the normal daily wage. This is slightly higher than the 45 days in the UAE state law. The DIFC employment law indicates paid maternity leave applies where an employee has been continuously employed with the same employer for at least 12 months preceding the expected or actual week of childbirth.
Private school fees held in Dubai
Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), revealed there will be no increase in private school fees for the 2013-2014 academic year. The announcement relies upon the Education Cost Index calculated by Dubai Statistics Center (DSC) at minus 1 per cent (-1%).
Family discounts in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Chamber is preparing to release the new Dhabi Family Discount card. Holders will be able to obtain significant discounts on goods and services from participating suppliers. The initiative is aimed at helping consumers reduce the costs of supplies and services through group discounting.
Investing – UAE Banks
Investors are moving into UAE bank stocks. The Dubai bank index is up 13.2% since the end of 2012, contributing to a 15.3% gain in the overall index; the Abu Dhabi bank index is up 11.4%, outperforming a 10.1% increase of the overall market. The increases are not necessarily due to the growth in profits, which have been very favourable at UAE banks, but more likely due to investors chasing dividends. ENBD has proposed a cash dividend of 25% for 2012, up from 20% for 2011, while ADCB has proposed a 25% cash dividend. The market rally may end now dividends are announced.