Daimler starts Islamic financing for the United Arab Emirates

The German luxury car maker Daimler said on Wednesday it would launch a financial services unit in the United Arab Emirates to offer credits which conform to Islamic law.

Daimler starts Islamic financing for the United Arab Emirates
Photo: DPA

Daimler’s financial division has created a joint venture with importers of Mercedes-Benz automobiles in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to offer loans and leasing for new and used vehicles, “including a shari’a compliant Islamic finance product,” a statement said.

A principle of Islamic law is that borrowing and lending should take place without the payment of fixed interest.

Daimler said it aimed for a medium-term contract volume of €300 million ($440 million).

“Our presence in the United Arab Emirates is of high strategic importance for Daimler Financial Services,” Daimler Financial Services chief executive Jürgen Walker said in a statement. He said Daimler would be the first automaker to have its own finance and leasing company in the UAE.

The UAE represent Mercedes-Benz’ primary Middle Eastern market, with sales of 7,800 cars and 3,100 commercial vehicles last year in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates.

Daimler also has two major Middle Eastern shareholders, state-owned funds based in Abu Dhabi and Kuwait.

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Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.