Today May 11 is indeed National Technology Day in India and it is not only appropriate to celebrate that but also somewhat topical in these Locked Down days when the whole world not just India has recently undertaken crash courses in online technology such as Zoom, Team and other connectivity. Also it was on this day in 2000 also in India that May 11 marked the first official day that the population reached 1 Billion. The Indian Rupee while volatile versus USD has weakened less than other currencies in the past 3 months and has held up reasonably well. The Indian population on the other hand has of course increased by 35% in the past 20 years and now stands at over 1.35 Billion.
At their year end as at 31-3-20 profits were up 21%. Unfavourable exchange rates cost Emirates AED 1 Billion or GBP 220 Million- which once again is a story about some decision makers in their finance department who will definitely not be returning from furlough. But let’s not dwell on that, as there is some good news for Emirates, its shareholders and its staff: with cash assets of AED 25.6 Billion or GBP5.64 Billion which many other airlines such as Virgin can only dream about, Emirates enjoys the backing of not only the Dubai Sovereign Wealth Fund but also the Ruler. And that is key as Emirates is now going to tap the debt markets and borrow to get them through the period when they will not be flying. Not to put too fine a point on it, Emirates is intrinsic to the business model for Dubai, its tourism, trade and its attraction as a business hub. Expect therefore Emirates to likely emerge as one of the world’s few survivor airlines.
For the historians among you it was on this day that Constantinople which was previously named Byzantium was established by the Emperor Constantine 1 as the capital of the Roman Empire in 330 AD. Istanbul today has a population of well in excess of the official figure of 15 million and is the fifth largest city in the world. As we all know in property, it is all down to location, and Istanbul straddling the Bosporus strait with territory in both Europe and Asia is home to 20% of the whole Turkish population. To illustrate this, Ankara, the capital 450kms to the east, only accounts for a population of 5 million.
Despite all this history together with a young population, the fortunes of the Turkish Lira have been unfortunate in the past 3 months: at the beginning of February USD1=TRL 6. Having weakened to 7.27 the TRL is still over 7 as of today.
Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder