Readers respond to The National's coverage.
Clarification on pay rise at the Bank of Sharjah
I refer to the business article Sharjah bankers win raise (January 31) Gone are the days when profits and disbursements were clear and easy to understand. The facts are that the Bank of Sharjah Group operates under two independent entities and in two geographical zones: Bank of Sharjah for UAE operations and Emirates Lebanon Bank (EL) for Lebanese operations. Both entities are consolidated under one group financial statement.
Both banks have different boards and both boards receive remuneration. Under consolidation the total reached a higher figure than 2008 as at that time the Lebanese operation had started with effect from October 1, 2008 and no board remuneration was paid to the board members of EL Bank. In 2009 the group had registered a consolidated profit of Dh475.5 million versus Dh410 million in 2008.
Based on this improvement in 2009 profits, the Bank of Sharjah board remuneration was increased to Dh7.5 million and EL Bank Dh2.2 million (for the first time), compared to Dh6 million in 2008. These details are disclosed in our interim reports.
As to the profits of 2010 of Dh404 million, the board has decided to maintain the remuneration for both entities at the same level as 2009 but has considered it more appropriate, under the current market conditions and hoping that the UAE Central Bank will not repeat last year's condition of capping dividends to 50 per cent of net profits, to pay a dividend of 15 per cent (12 per cent in 2009) to shareholders who suffer from an ongoing crisis, an illiquid stock market and undervaluation of performing companies.
As per the company's articles of association, board remuneration could have reached Dh32.8 million for 2009 and Dh25.9 million for 2010.
Varouj Nerguizian, Executive Director and General Manager, Bank of Sharjah
Two perspectives on football
In addition to the factors detailed in Ali Khaled's opinion article If they want to be in Qatar, region's teams have work to do (January 31), there are many things reducing the possibilities of the Arab football capabilities.
For instance, the population of some of Arab countries include a large number of expatriates. They are just simple workers who come to work and are sent back to their countries of origin when not required.
The solution however could be if the team selection was not only from the local government schools, which is the trend now, but also from every school that operates in the Arab nations,
The grassroots level is very important. I think if 100 per cent of the population of the Arab nations with local citizens and expatriate residents are given equal opportunities to excel in football, they would have a better chance of having a more competent team come the 2022 Qatar World Cup. If they start now, they might have the future world player of the year from the UAE, Qatar or Bahrain.
Twelve years is a long time and our 10-year-olds today would be 22 then. I'm sure many people will agree with me and request Arab governments to support not only their young citizens but also their young residents in helping them to make true championship contenders. There is huge potential in every corner of the Arab nations' neighbourhoods. If not, then how did Zinedine Zidane become what he is?
Ali Kazmi, Abu Dhabi
It was with no small degree of amazement that I read the sports article A venue fit for a Super Bowl (January 30) about my Dallas Cowboys' stadium. In an otherwise benign piece of prose about the venue was a photo of the stadium decked out for a soccer game. How did this bizarrely inappropriate photo get into the paper? I doubt very much that the same mistake would be made about a story about association football. My only conclusion is that this is purposeful, or perhaps wishful thinking, by a paper that favours the round-balled cousin of real football.
The Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers will not be taking off their pads and prancing about the field in shorts and knee high socks this Sunday. They will be playing real football.
John Loving, Abu Dhabi
Prediction for future headline
I refer to Mobile users free to transfer number (January 25). Here's my prediction for the headlines after a month of launching this service: "Lost in migration: Users attempting to switch between operators face lengthy delays while their phones remain disconnected".
Ziad Q, Abu Dhabi
A case of heroic professionalism
I refer to Injured hiker finds help at hand on a mountain top (January 31). The very difficult rescue of a hiker on the Stairway to Heaven in Ras al Khaimah was carried out in the true traditions of mountaineering. It would not have been possible without the dedication, teamwork, selflessness and expertise of the mountaineers involved.
David Stelmach, Abu Dhabi