Qatar Bond Sale

Qatar launches $10bn three-part ‘dream’ bond sale

Qatar Bond Sale


Qatar launched a $10 billion three-part Eurobond sale that has attracted more than $25 billion of orders, as developing-nation borrowers start to issue again following last month’s turmoil in global markets.

The Gulf monarchy, which is the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, rated AA- by S&P Global Ratings, launched $2 billion in five-year bonds, $3 billion in 10-year notes and $5 billion in 30-year debt. The shorter notes will pay a 300 and 305 basis-points premium over similar Treasuries, respectively, and the longer bond will return a 4.4% yield, all lower than the initial price talk.

That compares with a yield of 4.23% on Qatar’s $6 billion of notes maturing in 2049. Israel, rated the same as Qatar by S&P, issued $5 billion last week that included a 30-year portion paying 3.875%.

“Qatar is double-A rated and now offers yield which we could only dream of a couple months back,” said Carl Wong, head of fixed income at Avenue Asset Management Ltd. in Hong Kong.

Qatar Bond Sale 2

Sovereign sales are resuming after the spread of the coronavirus outbreak and the plunge in oil prices all but closed developing bond markets for most of March. As well as Israel’s deal, Panama issued $2.5 billion and Indonesia raised $4.3 billion on Monday in its biggest-ever offering in dollars.

“Qatar has offered juicy spreads on all three tranches,” said Chirag Doshi, chief investment officer at Qatar Insurance Company in Doha, who will probably buy the bonds. “The issue is expected to generate favorable demand and will open the door for more regional bond sales.”

Virus-related lockdowns are hammering most Gulf economies. Gas prices are closely tied to oil prices, which have almost halved this year after a deal between major producers to curb supply fell apart.

Sovereign wealth funds of Gulf Arab states are bringing some of their billions back home to counter slowing economic growth. The region’s funds could lose more than $300 billion this year, according to the Institute of International Finance, the industry’s global association.

What Our Economists Say…
“It’s generally cheaper to borrow than liquidate assets. And it’s also useful to keep your liquid reserves for emergency, especially under the current circumstances. I think any country which can borrow now at reasonable rates should do that.”
– Ziad Daoud

Qatar may have decided yields in the bond market were low enough to make it a better option for bolstering its capital than drawing down reserves or selling assets, according to Abdul Kadir Hussain, the head of fixed-income asset management at Arqaam Capital in Dubai.

“They continue to be a strong credit with low leverage,” he said. “Clearly, they believe that deficits will remain and hence they are not expecting a huge turnaround in gas prices. This is one of the tools for funding those deficits and in their view the right one to use for now.”


ACS International School Doha 


ACS International School Doha 

ACS International School Doha has compiled its best practical advice for parents who are adapting to their new role of both parent and educator, as Qatar-based schools continue to educate their students through distance learning.

ACS’s tips aim to help families make the best of new and unfamiliar learning environments, and equip parents for the more practical aspects of learning from home.


Robert Harrison

Robert Harrison, Education Strategy Director, ACS International Schools, comments: “Distance learning presents us all with formidable challenges, and we are all learning how to do things differently. While no one is sure yet how long distance learning will continue, we know that it won’t last forever, and it’s important that we offer the best support we can in this time. Children and young people take cues from adult behaviour and attitudes, so remember to communicate calmly, confidently and optimistically that we will pull through the crisis together. Managing our own emotions will help your children stay focused on learning and looking forward to another school year.”

ACS’s top distance learning tips for parents

Help students ‘own’ their learning: No one expects parents to be full-time teachers or to be experts in every subject, the best thing to do is to provide support and encouragement, and expect your children to do their part. Try not to help too much – becoming independent takes lots of practice and this is a good opportunity to put those skills to the test!

Begin and end the day by checking in: Establishing a routine is important and ensuring you make a habit of checking in with your child at the beginning and end of each day will help keep them grounded, will allow them to process instructions they’ve received from their teachers, and will help them to organise themselves and set priorities. In the morning, you might ask: What classes/subjects do you have today? How will you spend your time? or What can I do to help? And at the end of the day you might ask: How far did you get in your learning tasks today? What did you discover? What was hard? and What could we do to make tomorrow better?

It’s important to remember that not all students will thrive in a distance learning environment and they may struggle with too much independence or lack of structure. These check-in routines help support your child to find structure when learning from home and, critically, will help them develop self-management and executive functioning that are essential skills for life.

Encourage physical activity: When living and working at home, we will all need to allocate time to let off steam. Physical activity is vital to health, well-being, and readiness for learning. During this time, take the opportunity to practice exercising ‘alone together’ with digital workouts and online instructors. Plan hands-on, life-ready activities that keep hands busy, feet moving, and minds engaged!

Connect safely with friends: It is likely that young people across Qatar will already be missing their friends, classmates and teachers, and where it is fantastic that you can help your child maintain contact with friends through social media and other online technologies, it is also very important to monitor their social media use and ensure they stay safe online.

Remind your child to be polite, respectful and appropriate in their communications, and to report unkindness and other problems so that everyone maintains healthy relationships and positive interactions.

Make the most of an unusual and stressful situation: We are going through a time of major upheaval to our normal routines and ways of life and there’s a great deal of anxiety in the world right now. Children benefit when they get age-appropriate factual information and ongoing reassurance from adults.

In the current circumstances, it is often possible to reframe challenges as opportunities – for spending time together, discovering new ideas and interests, and investing energy and attention in activities that often get pushed aside by everyday tasks and responsibilities. Slow down and enjoy the unexpected benefits.


SIA cabin crew redeployed to care for hospital patients

Starting next week, 30 Singapore Airlines (SIA) cabin crew will care for patients at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) instead of serving passengers on a plane.

The 20 flight stewardesses and 10 stewards, grounded temporarily owing to cancelled flights because of the coronavirus outbreak, are to be redeployed as “care ambassadors” at the public hospital in Yishun.

They will be assigned to low-risk wards and support hospital care teams by carrying out basic care-giving procedures, nutritional care and patient service management.

Patients in these general wards are treated for, among other things, chronic diseases, heart disorders and acute surgical conditions.

Yesterday, this group, who are the first to be care ambassadors, underwent medical screening, vaccinations and a hospital orientation.

They also watched a demonstration on serving meals to patients, one of the tasks during their three-month stint at the hospital.

They have the option to extend for a further three months.

Starting today, they will undergo a five-day training course and be taught basic medical terminology, vital signs monitoring, oral feeding, as well as the positioning, turning and ambulating of a patient.

They will also be trained in safety and infection control measures and will be required to wear a mask, just as nurses and doctors must, although they will have no direct contact with Covid-19 patients.

When deployed, they will work the nine-hour day and night shifts, five days a week.

SIA Group has committed to providing at least 300 care ambassadors to various hospitals, depending on each hospital’s needs.

They will be paid a monthly salary, with 75 per cent of the remuneration borne by the Government under the Jobs Support Scheme. The respective hospitals will bear the remaining 25 per cent.

Ms Shirley Heng, chief nurse at KTPH, said: “This is also a good opportunity for our nurses to exchange knowledge and skills on service with the crew of SIA, who are top service professionals.

“We hope this will be a meaningful experience for them.”

She added that the collaboration with SIA will help boost manpower needs, as more healthcare staff have been reassigned to care for Covid-19-related patients.

SIA leading steward Fabien Sieh, 32, who is in the first group, said he considers it a “blessing” to be able to give back to society during the outbreak.

“I want to experience working in an environment where people help to save lives.

“I hope to learn from the healthcare workers and obtain skills that can make a difference to the lives and futures of myself and those around me,” he added.


The 10 Best Recruiter Staffing Agencies in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

  1. CornerStone Staffing

CornerStone Staffing has been making an impact in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex since 1991. As a Christianity based company, CornerStone Staffing’s name was inspired by Jesus Christ. Their team’s mission is to know J.O.Y. through their work. “Jesus first, Others second, and You (ourselves) third.”

Job Types: CornerStone Staffing has more than 10 areas of specialization including accounting, administrative, call center & customer service, engineering, finance, government, human resources, information technology, medical, mortgage, sales & marketing, and more.

Pros: CornerStone Staffing has been at the same Fort Worth location for over 20 years and has developed long-lasting relationships with some of the biggest names in the business in the Fort Worth Area. They appear to be very involved in their local community through their volunteer efforts. Their team of 50+ professionals collectively has 300+ years of staffing experience and they have helped 1000+ candidates. CornerStone Staffing is truly making a positive impact in the Dallas-Fort Worth community.

Local Offices: 5 locations to serve you

Contact: 888-419-4119

  1. High Profile

High Profile has been helping people reach their true potential since 1987. Their recruiters are trained and certified in staffing and recruitment laws and best practices, holding CSP/PHR/SPHR and/or SHRM designations.

Job Types: High Profile focuses on administrative & personal executive assistant, accounting & finance, and HR jobs such as admin assistant, receptionist, billing specialist, payroll clerk, staff accountant, benefits specialist, human resources manager, and more.

Pros: High Profile boasts more than a dozen awards including “Best Places to Work” five years in a row from the Dallas Business Journal, “Best of Staffing Talent” from CareerBuilder, and “American Staffing Association VOICE” from the ASA.

Local Office: 4851 Lyndon B. Johnson Fwy, Suite 500, Dallas, 75244

Contact: 972-991-7900

  1. Delta Dallas

Delta Dallas began in 1983 in the kitchen of founder, Linda Crawford. Today, they have grown to exceed the staffing percentages for recruiting by more than double the national average and have an average team member tenure of six years. Delta Dallas is a certified, woman-owned company who helps clients meet their corporate diversity initiatives with Minority and Women-Owned Business (MWBE) programs.

Job Types: Delta Dallas had more admin/clerical jobs than anything else, but they also had a handful of accounting, healthcare, operations, and human resources jobs. Some of their listings include registered nurse, accounting clerk, executive assistant, financial analyst, research analyst, and more.

Pros: Delta Dallas has a variety of excellent testimonials on their website ranging from written testimonials to video testimonials. It’s clear from their testimonials that Delta takes the time to prepare their job-seeking candidates as well as understand the needs of the hiring company.

Local Office: 16000 Dallas Pkwy, Suite 150, Dallas, 75248

Contact: 972-788-2300

  1. Luxor Staffing

Luxor Staffing originally named J&S Contractors was established in 1999 by Jake Hill and Scott Spain. In March of 2003 beginning with one branch, Luxor Staffing opened for business in Carrollton, TX, and has since grown to a multi-state staffing service with 15 offices that service hundreds of customers. With over a century of combined staffing experience, Luxor Staffing offers the leverage you need to either find you talent or get you hired.

Job Types: Luxor Staffing provides temporary staffing solutions for entry-level, warehouse & distribution, manufacturing, machine operation, food processing, and electronics jobs to name a few.

Pros: Luxor Staffing is one of the few DFW staffing agencies that offers a 100% bilingual support staff and experienced, professional account representatives.

Local Offices: 7 locations to serve you

Contact: 214-466-6270

  1. Staff Force

Staff Force provides temporary, direct-hire, and light industrial staffing solutions to Texas employers. With more than 25 years of experience serving Dallas-Fort Worth and other parts of Texas, Staff Force aspires to build long-lasting relationships by finding the right match for both companies and job seekers alike.

Job Types: Staff Force focuses on a variety of jobs within payroll, skilled trades, and admin/clerical. Some of their current listings include branch manager, material handler, professional sewer, forklift operator, welder, machine operator, safety coordinator, and more.

Pros: Staff Force is a Texas loyal staffing agency with 21 locations spanning each corner of Texas from El Paso to Brownsville and of course Dallas-Fort Worth area. While many staffing agencies look to expand beyond one state, Staff Force has built a massive network across all of Texas making them one of the most well-connected staffing agencies in Texas.

Local Offices: 7 locations to serve you

Contact: 281-492-6044

  1. Resource Personnel Consultants

Resource Personnel Consultants (RPC) was founded in 2002 as a firm that combines a hands-on approach with industry expertise and national reach. RPC is a Veteran Owned Small Business; HUB Certified staffing company; a proud member of the Association of the United States Army & American Staffing Association; one of Dallas Business Journal’s Top Hispanic Owned Companies; and INC. 5000 America’s Fastest-Growing Private Company; and a three-time winner of the Clearly Rated Best of Staffing award.

Job Types: RPC focuses on a handful of specialties including accounting & finance, administrative support, banking & mortgage, customer service & call center, government services, information technology, light industrial, medical devices & billing, and services for veterans.

Pros: RPC boasts a variety of awards as seen above. Additionally, RPC has more than 100 5-star reviews spanning sites like Google and Facebook. Lastly, RPC has a regularly updated blog with excellent resources for job seekers.

Local Offices: 2 locations to serve you

Contact: 972-371-2920

  1. Trinity Event Staffing

Trinity Event Staffing is the go-to provider for event staffing within the foodservice and promotions industries. Trinity Event Staffing was nominated as one of the top 20 staffing agencies in Dallas and serves other Texas cities such as Austin and Houston.

Job Types: Trinity Event Staffing regularly helps fill roles in bartending services, waitstaff, kitchen staff, personal chefs, brand ambassadors, event security, and other event staff. Venues range from weddings, hotel pools & bars, museums, school cafeterias, stadiums, fairgrounds, showrooms, and more.

Pros: Trinity Event Staffing has carved out a real niche in the event staffing space in Dallas-Fort Worth and other parts of Texas. For anyone in the events space, looking for temporary work assignments, there are going to be few (if any) better companies to contact than Trinity Event Staffing.

Local Offices: 11520 N Central Expy, #230, Dallas, 75243

Contact: 972-898-2806

  1. Choice Specialists

Choice Specialists is an award-winning recruiting, temporary staffing, and headhunting agency based in Dallas Texas. Since 1999, Choice Specialists has been a nationally certified woman-owned business and since 2010, this agency has been completely owned by its employees.

Job Types: Choice Specialists works to fill roles in accounting, clerical, engineering, IT, supply chain, human resources, legal, sales, marketing, manufacturing, call center, management, banking, healthcare, and more.

Pros: Choice Specialists boasts dozens of awards and rankings on their website. These range from BBB Pinnacle Awards to Dallas Business Journal rankings as the 12th Largest Temporary Staffing Service. Choice Specialists also takes their social responsibility seriously working on a variety of projects with Junior Achievement, Child Advocates, Dress for Success, and more.

Local Office: 10440 North Central Expressway, Suite 122, Dallas, 75231

Contact: 214-823-5057

  1. SuperiorHire

SuperiorHire is a Dallas-Fort Worth staffing agency with more than 15 years of recruiting experience in their local market. Their website talks a lot about customer service and how they have superior customer service when compared to other DFW staffing companies.

Job Types: SuperiorHire had very few jobs posted on their actual website. However, when they do have positions available, SuperiorHire focuses on specialties such as administrative & clerical, human resources, accounting, finance, information technology, and marketing.

Pros: SuperiorHire offers a handful of useful tips for job seekers on its website. President Lynne Stewart is ahead of the curve by producing excellent video content that is short and sweet, getting you all the information, you need to be successful while saving you time.

Local Office: 5001 Spring Valley Road, Suite 260W, Dallas, 75244

Contact: 972-248-4422

  1. The InSource Group

The InSource Group is a leader in the Texas Information Technology staffing market. Since 1992, The InSource Group has focused on IT staffing needs for companies of all sizes and has delivered a 97% satisfaction rating.

Job Types: The InSource Group fills a variety of positions in application development, software development lifecycle, security, big data, and infrastructure. Some of the specific jobs they have worked to fill include automation architect, angular developer, business analyst, cybersecurity solutions architect, DevOps engineer, and more.

Pros: The InSource Group is one of the highest-rated staffing agencies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with a focus on information technology jobs. While many other staffing companies will work on IT jobs, The InSource Group focuses exclusively on them, allowing their staff to become experts in this particular field.

Local Office: 12221 Merit Drive, Suite 1000, Dallas, 75251

Contact: 972-455-1000 or [email protected]


Investors pump $300 million this year into emerging Dallas-Fort Worth companies

Investors have pumped $300 million so far this year into emerging Dallas-Fort Worth companies, according to data from investment tracking site Crunchbase.

The companies represent a wide range of industries, from financial and health care technology to cancer research and protein snacks.

In the first nine months of 2019, the region recorded 45 deals where investment amounts were disclosed. Crunchbase tallied 17 other deals where investment amounts weren’t disclosed.

A dozen companies attracted investments of $10 million or more, including:

1. Alkami Technology
Digital banking.
Location: Plano.
Founders: Gary Nelson, Sean McElroy, Stephen Bohanon.
Notable: The company has raised over $225 million in capital since its founding in 2009.

2. Spectral MD
Health care technology.
Location: Dallas.
Founders: J. Michael DiMaio.
Notable: The federal agency will dole out payments over the next two years to expand Spectral MD’s proof-of-concept clinical trial that targets burn care assessment in pediatric cases. It previously received $26 million from BARDA from 2013 to 2018 for initial trials.

3. Playful Studios
Game development studio.
Location: McKinney.
Amount raised: $23 million.
Founders: Paul Bettner and Katy Drake Bettner.
Notable: The company is building out several new products, including a platform inspired by video game streaming service Twitch.

4. Payrix
Payments technology.
Location: Frisco.
Amount raised: $22 million.
Founders: Benny Silberstein and Boruch Greenberg.
Notable: Blue Star Innovation Partners is an investment fund led by serial entrepreneurs who back early stage companies alongside the family of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. It’s based at The Star in Frisco.

5. Actuate Therapeutics
Clinical stage pharmaceuticals.
Location: Fort Worth.
Amount raised: $21.7 million.
Founders: Andrew Mazar.
Notable: The funding will pay for clinical trials of cancer-fighting drugs, with patients being recruited at five major medical centers across the U.S.

Stryve Biltong products (Business Wire)

6. Stryve Biltong
Maker of biltong snacks.
Location: Plano.
Amount raised: $16.5 million.
Founders: Joe Oblas.
Notable: This year’s investment is in addition to $10 million the startup landed last year to accelerate manufacturing and brand growth of its high-protein, low-sugar meat snacks.

7. OncoNano Medicine
Health care biotechnology.
Location: Southlake.
Amount raised: $15.4 million
Founders: Ravi Srinivasan.
Notable: The capital infusion from Texas’ cancer-fighting agency will assist in pre-clinical development of a treatment for cancers caused by the human papilloma virus.

8. BaiCells Technologies
Wireless broadband technology.
Location: Plano.
Amount raised: $14.5 million.
Founders: Scott Xingang Liang and Yingzhe Ding.
Notable: Founded in China in 2014, the LTE and 5G equipment manufacturer moved its headquarters to Plano in May 2018.

9. Vinli
Automotive technology.
Location: Dallas.
Amount raised: $13.5 million.
Founders: Mark Haidar and Scott Harper.
Notable: The company is working on software and apps designed to accelerate the rise of connected cars. It previously raised $7 million from investors in 2015

10. ParkHub
Company description: Parking payment systems technology and logistics.
Location: Dallas.
Amount raised: $13 million.
Founders: George Baker Sr.
Notable: The company has won parking management deals for AT&T Stadium in Arlington and the Super Bowl. It’s pioneered the use of sensors in parking garages.

11. Polte
Company description: Cloud-based location tracking alternative to GPS.
Location: Richardson.
Amount raised: $12.5 million.
Founders: Russ Markhovsky.
Notable: It plans to use the new investment to boost commercial and industrial applications of its platform. Polte previously raised $6 million from investors.

12.Neighborhood Goods
Company description: Department store showcasing online brands.
Location: Dallas.
Amount raised: $11 million.
Founders: Matt Alexander and Mark Massinter.
Notable: Launched a year ago in Plano’s Legacy West development, the company is building a store in New York and plans to open another in Austin.

Crunchbase’s data doesn’t include companies that received private equity investment or were sold.