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Thu 16 Oct 2008 06:16 AM

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MAF joins forces to launch new UAE credit card

Majid Al Futtaim initiative will offer discounts at stores such as Carrefour and Mexx.

Retail, leisure and entertainment company Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) has announced a joint venture with Japanese credit card company JCB and financial conglomerate ORIX, which is to launch a new credit card in the UAE.

Card holders will receive discounts at MAF’s stores in the UAE, which include supermarket Carrefour and apparel retailer Mexx.

“We have designed the card as a shopper’s credit card and the value proposition will be unrivalled in terms of benefits and savings,” said Rasool Hujair, chief executive of the new company, Majid Al Futtaim JCB Finance.

Card benefits will include a “no fine print, no minimum spend” cash back scheme. The new credit card aims to have a 20 percent market share in the UAE within five years.

MAF will hold a majority stake of 60 percent in the company while ORIX and JCB will hold 30 and 10 percent each, respectively.

JCB currently has more than 57 million card members, around 4 million of whom are outside Japan.

The UAE will be the Japanese company’s first market outside south east Asia, where its cards are issued in 20 countries, and Majid Al Futtaim JCB Finance holds the right to roll out the card in another 18 countries in the MENA region.

Hurair declined to give the value of the new venture but said its activities would not be limited to credit cards.

“We want to introduce the best value for money financial services products not only in the UAE but across the region,” he said.

“The credit card is only the start of a lot of products coming to the market.”

The launch comes amid soaring levels of bad consumer debt in many western countries and following anecdotal evidence that debt is growing among UAE consumers.

“We are issuing the card to those who are able to manage their finances. This is not a product for credit hungry people,” Hujair said.

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AC 11 years ago

That’s all we need now, one more credit card in our wallet.