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30 Dec 12 Nexus Financial Services’ Bahrain expansion picks up pace


Nexus Financial Services has been active in Bahrain since 2006, and is firmly established as one of the largest and most competent companies of its kind in the country.

Able to tap into Nexus Group’s more than two decade experience across the GCC, the company offers consumers and business of every stripe a wide range of cover and products from Bahraini, regional and international insurance providers.

“Bahrain is a significant market for Nexus, and we are delighted that our expansion and influence continues to spread,” said Emanuel Lantzos, General Manager, Nexus Financial Services. “We are moving our new offices to better service our customers, and to continue recruiting the best possible employees, including a particular focus on identifying and training talented Bahraini nationals.”

Earlier this year, Nexus Financial Services announced that it was stepping up its recruitment of Bahraini talent to boost the local financial services sector, as well as extend a suite of much-needed insurance-based investment products such as retirement funding and education fee planning across the kingdom.

The move is set to give Bahrainis better choice, as the current trend is to seek advice from banks and stand-alone insurance providers that often sell solutions that are not always tailored to individual needs.

Nexus Group is the largest and one of the most respected independent financial firms of its kind in the GCC region.

Following more than five years of consistent double-digit growth, the company recently announced at its AGM that it expects 2013 revenue to jump by an average of 25% across its core businesses – life, investment, pension, and general insurance.

Earlier this year, Nexus announced plans to enter the competitive and highly-regulated Saudi and Kuwaiti markets. The company currently operates offices in Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Doha, Dubai, and Manama.

In October, Nexus Insurance Brokers scooped the coveted Personal Lines Insurance Broker of the Year title at the 2012 Insurex Awards. The company has now won the award four times in the past six years.

Article source: http://www.ameinfo.com/nexus-financial-services-bahrain-expansion-picks-324204

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13 Jun 12 Android performance boosted 30-100 percent by Linaro toolchain


Linaro’s efforts have boosted Android’s performance, delivering an improvement of 30 to 100 percent in various benchmarks. They achieved these impressive gains by adapting Android 4 so that it could be built with their improved GCC toolchain.

We first wrote about Linaro in 2010 when the non-profit organization was founded by a consortium of hardware and software companies, including ARM, Samsung, TI, and Canonical. Linaro has worked to improve the quality of Linux on the ARM architecture, focusing largely on hardware-enablement and tooling.

The group is closely aligned with Ubuntu, but the improvements that it is driving offer benefits for the broader ecosystem of platforms and distributions that are deployed on ARM hardware. They have done a lot of work upstream in GCC (the GNU Compiler Collection) to open the door for better ARM optimization in Linux and other open source software.

Linaro’s GCC improvements have been producing measurable performance advantages over Google’s stock Android environment and build toolchain since late last year. Google is reportedly accepting some of these improvements in the upstream Android Open Source Project and independent developers are also looking to put them to use.

As a recent blog post at Liliputing pointed out, Linaro improvements are being merged in Cyanogen, a popular third-party ROM that is maintained through a community-driven process. Enthusiasts have already started generating device-specific builds that incorporated the Linaro patches. A Linaro build for the Galaxy Nexus, for example, was published this week on reddit (disclosure: reddit is a cousin site of Ars).

If you are looking for more information about Linaro, or want to get involved, you can find out more by visiting the organization’s website or checking out the Linaro projects that are hosted on the Launchpad collaboration site.

Update: updated to indicate that Google is merging the improvements, based on a Google+ comment made by Google engineer Jean-Baptiste Queru.

Article source: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/06/android-performance-boosted-30-100-percent-by-linaro-toolchain/

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07 May 12 The new Renault Duster is now officially on sale in GCC


The New Renault Duster is a particularly versatile 4×2 and 4×4 vehicle, which combines a spacious interior with saloon-car comfort, while its compact footprint and high ground clearance ensure that it is at home in and about town as it is on country roads or off the beaten track.

The New Renault Duster will be available across the GCC from the 7th of May 2012 in 4×2 4-speed AT and 4×4 6-speed MT versions powered by a 2.0 16V (135 hp) engine, especially tested in the GCC.

To confirm the New Renault Duster’s strength and reliability, the new vehicle covered the equivalent of four million kilometers in a wide range of climates and in particularly punishing conditions. One month of rigorous testing in GCC conditions prior to launch was carried out few months ago to make sure all standards of Renault quality will be met and the vehicle conforms to GCC specifications and requirements

Mustansir Lakdawala, Managing Director of Renault GCC said, “We took into consideration the needs of customers aiming to own a modern car as a badge of social progress, but what they want most of all is a robust, reliable and versatile SUV vehicle they can afford. We had to take GCC extreme climate factors into account, as well as driving conditions that could be rough and varied (long distances, jammed roads)..,so we took on the challenge of offering an all-terrain vehicle that was less complex but still reliable and affordable, that combined the design of a real 4×4 with the comfort of a saloon, it’s a very popular concept specially following the world economic crisis, which hit household budgets hard and made many people think twice before buying a new car.”

Benoit Turibe, Marketing Director of Renault GCC, added, “Duster is enjoying great success everywhere, since it has gone on sale it achieved more than 280,000 units worldwide, it’s present in Europe, Africa, India, South and Latin America. Duster has received more than ten awards from the international trade press. These include the “2011 4×4 of the Year” prizes in France and Argentina, “2011 Car of the Year” in Croatia and Russia, the “Autobest 2011″ prize in Germany and the “Golden Steering Wheel” award in Romania. We took our time to test the New Renault Duster under GCC conditions in order to offer our customer the best level of quality. With its shockingly affordable price tag and its inner qualities, we expect the New Renault Duster to have the same success in this region as it has every where else.”

The New Renault Duster was designed to be versatile and to provide the driver and occupants with the same reassuring ride when it is driven in and about town, on trunk roads and motorways, or when taken off-road.

The New Renault Duster also boasts a spacious, comfortable interior and a high standard of safety.

Today’s all-terrain vehicles are often synonymous with bulk, but the New Renault Duster is an antidote to that idea. With a length of 4.31 metres and a width of 1.82 metres, the New Renault Duster is very compact but roomy.

From the front, it exudes an impression of toughness: the wide wheel-arches, the imposing lines of the chrome grille and the sump guard clearly emphasise the 4×4 DNA of the New Renault Duster. Seen from the side, the high ground clearance, clearly defined wheel-arches and protective mouldings encourage the driver to tackle even the toughest roads and tracks.

Despite its compact footprint, the New Renault Duster is a very spacious car, with five people able to travel in total comfort. Rear passenger headroom (seat cushion to roof) is 895mm, knee room is 183mm and elbow room amounts to 1,438mm, enabling it to comfortably seat three adults at the rear, where there is also ample space to fit child seats.

Depending on version, the New Renault Duster benefits from up to 475dm³ VDA of boot space, which is also very competitive. The practical, modular interior includes a folding rear bench seat, with a 60/40-split function available on certain versions. With the rear bench seat fully folded, carrying capacity is extended to up to 1,636dm³ VDA (depending on version).

There are several pack options available on the New Renault Duster,” The Modularity Pack” on the PE version is meant to enhance the driver’s comfort, as it contains 1/3 – 2/3 split folding rear bench seat, height adjustable driver’s seat, height adjustable (tilt) steering wheel and height adjustment on front seatbelts.

“The Safety Pack” on the PE version is made to keep every Renault Duster passenger safe as it has ABS with Emergency Brake Assist, front passenger airbag (deactivatable), front side airbags and unlock alarm (visual and audible) on front passenger seatbelt.

And for an enhanced appearance the New Renault Duster offers the “Exterior Look Pack” on the SE version; it has satin chrome door mirrors, satin chrome longitudinal roof rails, front/ rear skid plate add-ons with satin chrome appearance paint, side skirt cover with satin chrome appearance paint, extra tinted rear windows, rear quarter glass and rear windscreen.

SE version comes with “Safety Pack” and has front side airbags and pyrotechnic pretensioners on the front seatbelts. It also has a “Leather Safety Pack” with dark leather seats with front side airbags and pyrotechnic pretensioners on the front seatbelts.

A comprehensive range of accessories (including wing extenders, broad side protectors for doors, lateral bars…) will complete this selection of packs.

Inside, the PE trim level is clad with Grey Carbon fabric upholstery, with Dark Carbon trim on the steering wheel, gear knob insert and handbrake console. The central front panel, air vent surrounds and front door handles are in Star Grey tone.

The SE trim level fabric upholstery is Shiny Brown with Shiny Brown accents on the steering wheel, handbrake console, central front panel, air vent surrounds and front door handles. There are Shiny Brown decorative strips on the front door panels. The gear knob insert on the SE is in satin chrome finish.

The New Renault Duster’s dashboard is modern, uncluttered and functional. Particular attention has been paid to its ergonomics to ensure that the controls are conveniently positioned and that driving data is easy to read.

The New Renault Duster was designed to cope with all types of road and track, all over the world. In order to meet these wide-ranging needs, The New Renault Duster will be available in both 4×4 6-speed MT and 4×2 4-speed AT versions. The 4×2 4-speed AT version has been designed for customers who want good ground clearance and a reassuring elevated driving position, as well as loose-surface ability, but who don’t have a real need for all-wheel drive.

The strengthened underside of the New Renault Duster is suitable for loose-surfaces and all-terrain use thanks to:
- High ground clearance of 205mm for the 4×2 4-speed AT version in the urban environment and an equally useful 210mm for the 4×4 6-speed MT version,
- Short overhangs (822mm at the front, 820mm at the rear),
- Best in class clearance angles (30 degrees for approach angle; 24 degrees ramp break over angle for the 4×2 4-speed AT version and 22 degrees for the 4×4 6-speed MT version; 36 degrees departure angle for the 4×2 4-speed AT version and 35 degrees for the 4×4 6-speed MT version).

The New Renault Duster is a vehicle that is easy to use. Combined with compact dimensions, this ensures that the New Renault Duster is particularly agile.

The New Renault Duster is built on the B0 platform which is widely acclaimed for its strength, reliability and durability.
At the front, the suspension is MacPherson-type with rectangular lower arm and anti-roll bar.
At the rear, the suspension on the 4×4 6-speed MT version is MacPherson-type with multi-link, while the rear suspension on the 4×2 4-speed AT version comprises of a flexible H-beam with spiral springs it’s strong and permits a large boot, which is a key consideration for our customers.

Both solutions deliver a comfortable ride and allow high ground clearance.

The New Renault Duster 4×4 6-speed MT version is equipped with a new six-speed gearbox with a short first ratio (5.79kph per 1,000 rpm) which allows the vehicle to travel at very slow speed on uneven terrain, and improves performance as you pull away from standstill with heavy loads or on steep slopes.

This simple, efficient and economical solution was favoured in order to meet the needs of Renault Duster customers.
The TL8 gearbox offers:
- optimized output thanks to a single gearbox and module architecture which limits the number of gears engaged, and thanks to the use of a low-viscosity lubricant;
- compactness: gearbox and gearshift module are positioned alongside each other with a view to freeing up cabin space and keeping interior roominess;
- controlled mass: on the TL8 gearbox, the short first gear, instead of a transfer box, optimizes the number of gears engaged (and thus the mass) for a maximum level of performance;
- a solution to keep the cost down : the TL8 gearbox is derived from the TL4 gearbox which is produced in high volume within the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

The 4×4 control located on the lower part of the centre console allows drivers of the New Renault Duster 4×4 to easily adapt the vehicle’s configuration to their needs.

This control permits three modes:

- In AUTO mode, the front/rear torque split is calculated automatically as a function of available grip. This mode has been developed to provide the best compromise between road holding and traction, no matter what the level of grip may be. In normal conditions, the torque is transmitted through the front wheels only. If traction is lost, or when grip is at a premium, some of the torque is transferred to the rear wheels. This split is performed by an electromagnetic torque converter supplied by Nissan.
- In LOCK mode, the driver electronically locks the transmission in 4×4 mode. In this mode, throttle control and braking are also adapted for 4×4 use. This mode is recommended when grip is low (snow, mud, dirt, sand) and at low speed.
- In 2WD mode, the transmission is locked into two-wheel drive. This mode is suited to driving on good roads and reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

The New Renault Duster’s occupants will appreciate the high standard of travelling comfort it provides, whatever the type of road or terrain, thanks to its high ride-height (205mm in 4×2 4-speed AT version and 210mm in 4×4 6-speed MT version) and specific work on its suspension (damper travel, springs and calibration). Comfort is further enhanced by the New Renault Duster’s long wheelbase (2.67m) and big 16-inch wheels, alloy wheels are available.

Drivers enjoy a reassuring, high-up seating position which gives them better visibility of potential hazardous situations, while all versions are equipped with safe, precise power steering that delivers a good standard of driving pleasure. Depending on trim level, the driver’s seat comes with height adjustability to help find the ideal driving position. Drivers are also pampered by the height-adjustable steering wheel (Depending on trim level) and user-friendly steering wheel-mounted controls.

Thermal comfort has been engineered to meet the challenge of the GCC punishing climate. Particular care has been taken with the routing of ducts to ensure fast cooling after starting in extreme heat.

The 4×2 4-speed AT and 4×4 6-speed MT versions of The New Renault Duster can be ordered with a 2.0 16V Petrol 135 hp petrol engine, which has already proven itself under the bonnets of numerous other models produced by the Renault group.

This engine delivers less than 200g/ Km of CO2 emission it has low running costs, strength and easy maintenance that Renault customers seek.
The 4×2 4-speed AT version is available in two trim levels, the entry PE and the upper SE. The 4×4 6-speed MT version is available in the upper SE trim level to enhance the off-road versatile driving experience for keen customers.

Like all the vehicles based on the B0 platform, the New Renault Duster has been engineered to deliver the Renault Brand’s hallmark strength and reliability.

Particular attention has been paid to anti-corrosion protection thanks to several measures:

- wax-injected underbody and opening panel hollow sections,
- mastic sealing of exterior joints,
- additional wax treatment of underbody mechanical components,
- stone chip protection for underbody, sills and wheel arches.

The 4×4 running gear uses tried and tested components, sourced from the Renault- Nissan Alliance (Nissan rear axle and coupling, new six-speed TL8 gearbox derived from the TL4 gearbox that has been well-proven in the Renault and Nissan ranges).
In order to underline its high build quality, new Renault Duster is backed up by a standard manufacturer’s warranty of up to three years or 100,000km, whichever comes first across the GCC.

Renault GCC has developed a strong 360 degrees innovative and connected marketing campaign to communicate about the “Shockingly Affordable” positioning of the car. The campaign started the first week of May with a teaser phase on TV and digital landing to a special internet page developed specially for the new Renault Duster, the reveal will follow on the 7th of May in order to engage people on social media and raise attention.

The entire campaign will be supported by local mirror campaign from Renault importers in the region from 7th of May, 2012.

Article source: http://www.ameinfo.com/renault-duster-officially-sale-gcc--299579

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06 May 12 Renault Duster launched with amazing offer


MUSCAT — Known as ‘shockingly affordable SUV’ the all new Renault Duster with genuine off-road ability has hit the Oman roads yesterday.
At a glittering ceremony held at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel, Mustansir Lakdawala, Managing Director of Renault GCC, Shaikh Ahmed Suhail Bahwan, Chairman, Suhail Bahwan Auto Group and Divyendu Kumar, Managing Director of Suhail Bahwan Auto Group unveiled the SUV of the people.
The New Renault Duster is a particularly versatile 4×2 and 4×4 vehicle, which combines a spacious interior with saloon-car comfort, while its compact footprint and high ground clearance ensure that it is at home in and about town as it is on country roads or off the beaten track.
The New Renault Duster will be available in the Sultanate, from today in 4×2 4-speed AT and 4×4 6-speed MT versions powered by a 2.0 16V (135 hp) engine, especially tested in the GCC.
To confirm the New Renault Duster’s strength and reliability, the new vehicle covered the equivalent of four million kilometers in a wide range of climates and in particularly punishing conditions. One month of rigorous testing in GCC conditions prior to launch was carried out few months ago to make sure all standards of Renault quality will be met and the vehicle conforms to GCC specifications and requirements.
Mustansir Lakdawala, Managing Director of Renault GCC said, “We took into consideration the needs of customers aiming to own a modern car as a badge of social progress, but what they want most of all is a robust, reliable and versatile SUV vehicle they can afford.
“We had to take GCC extreme climate factors into account, as well as driving conditions that could be rough and varied (long distances, jammed roads)..,so we took on the challenge of offering an all-terrain vehicle that was less complex but still reliable and affordable, that combined the design of a real 4×4 with the comfort of a saloon, it’s a very popular concept specially following the world economic crisis, which hit household budgets hard and made many people think twice before buying a new car”.
A senior spokesperson of SBA, added, “Duster is enjoying great success everywhere, since it has gone on sale it achieved more than 280,000 units worldwide, it’s present in Europe, Africa, India, South and Latin America. Duster has received more than ten awards from the international trade press. These include the “2011 4×4 of the Year” prizes in France and Argentina, “2011 Car of the Year” in Croatia and Russia, the “Autobest 2011″ prize in Germany and the “Golden Steering Wheel” award in Romania. We took our time to test the New Renault Duster under GCC conditions in order to offer our customer the best level of quality. With its shockingly affordable price tag and its inner qualities, we expect the New Renault Duster to have the same success in Oman as it has everywhere else. ”
The New Renault Duster was designed to be versatile and to provide the driver and occupants with the same reassuring ride when it is driven 1336297817169025300 in and about town, on trunk roads and motorways, or when taken off-road. The New Renault Duster also boasts a spacious, comfortable interior and a high standard of safety.
Today’s all-terrain vehicles are often synonymous with bulk, but the New Renault Duster is an antidote to that idea. With a length of 4.31 metres and a width of 1.82 metres, the New Renault Duster is very compact but roomy.
The New Renault Duster offers an unmistakably 4×4 plus a 4×2 version. From the front, it exudes an impression of toughness: the wide wheel-arches, the imposing lines of the chrome grille and the sump guard clearly emphasise the 4×4 DNA of the New Renault Duster. Seen from the side, the high ground clearance, clearly defined wheel-arches and protective mouldings encourage the driver to tackle even the toughest roads and tracks.
Cabin space worthy of a family saloon Despite its compact footprint, the New Renault Duster is a very spacious car, with five people able to travel in total comfort. Rear passenger headroom (seat cushion to roof) is 895mm, knee room is 183mm and elbow room amounts to 1,438mm, enabling it to comfortably seat three adults at the rear, where there is also ample space to fit child seats.
Depending on version, the New Renault Duster benefits from up to 475dm³ VDA of boot space, which is also very competitive. The practical, modular interior includes a folding rear bench seat, with a 60/40-split function available on certain versions. With the rear bench seat fully folded, carrying capacity is extended to up to 1,636dm³ VDA (depending on version).
There are several pack options available on the New Renault Duster,” The Modularity Pack” on the PE version is meant to enhance the driver’s comfort, as it contains 1/3 – 2/3 split folding rear bench seat, height adjustable driver’s seat, height adjustable (tilt) steering wheel and height adjustment on front seatbelts.
“The Safety Pack” on the PE version is made to keep every Renault Duster passenger safe as it has ABS with Emergency Brake Assist, front passenger airbag (deactivatable), front side airbags and unlock alarm (visual and audible) on front passenger seatbelt.
And for an enhanced appearance the New Renault Duster offers the “Exterior Look Pack” on the SE version; it has satin chrome door mirrors, satin chrome longitudinal roof rails, front/ rear skid plate add-ons with satin chrome appearance paint, side skirt cover with satin chrome appearance paint, extra tinted rear windows, rear quarter glass and rear windscreen.
SE version comes with “Safety Pack” and has front side airbags and pyrotechnic pretensioners on the front seatbelts. It also has a “Leather Safety Pack” with dark leather seats with front side airbags and pyrotechnic pretensioners on the front seatbelts.
A comprehensive range of accessories (including wing extenders, broad side protectors for doors, lateral bars…) will complete this selection of packs.
Inside, the PE trim level is clad with Grey Carbon fabric upholstery, with Dark Carbon trim on the steering wheel, gear knob insert and handbrake console. The central front panel, air vent surrounds 1336305552590751800 and front door handles are in Star Grey tone.
The SE trim level fabric upholstery is Shiny Brown with Shiny Brown accents on the steering wheel, handbrake console, central front panel, air vent surrounds and front door handles. There are Shiny Brown decorative strips on the front door panels. The gear knob insert on the SE is in satin chrome finish.
The New Renault Duster’s dashboard is modern, uncluttered and functional. Particular attention has been paid to its ergonomics to ensure that the controls are conveniently positioned and that driving data is easy to read.
The New Renault Duster was designed to cope with all types of road and track, all over the world. In order to meet these wide-ranging needs, The New Renault Duster will be available in both 4×4 6-speed MT and 4×2 4-speed AT versions.
The 4×2 4-speed AT version has been designed for customers who want good ground clearance and a reassuring elevated driving position, as well as loose-surface ability, but who don’t have a real need for all-wheel drive.
The strengthened underside of the New Renault Duster is suitable for loose-surfaces and all-terrain use thanks to:
* High ground clearance of 205mm for the 4×2 4-speed AT version in the urban environment and an equally useful 210mm for the 4×4 6-speed MT version,
* Short overhangs (822mm at the front, 820mm at the rear),
* Best in class clearance angles (30 degrees for approach angle; 24 degrees ramp break over angle for the 4×2 4-speed AT version and 22 degrees for the 4×4 6-speed MT version; 36 degrees departure angle for the 4×2 4-speed AT version and 35 degrees for the 4×4 6-speed MT version).
The New Renault Duster is a vehicle that is easy to use. Combined with compact dimensions, this ensures that the New Renault Duster is particularly agile.
The New Renault Duster is built on the B0 platform which is widely acclaimed for its strength, reliability and durability.
At the front, the suspension is MacPherson-type with rectangular lower arm and anti-roll bar. At the rear, the suspension on the 4×4 6-speed MT version is MacPherson-type with multi-link, while the rear suspension on the 4×2 4-speed AT version comprises of a flexible H-beam with spiral springs it’s strong and permits a large boot, which is a key consideration for our customers. Both solutions deliver a comfortable ride and allow high ground clearance.
The New Renault Duster 4×4 6-speed MT version is equipped with a new six-speed gearbox with a short first ratio (5.79kph per 1,000 rpm) which allows the vehicle to travel at very slow speed on uneven terrain, and improves performance as you pull away from standstill with heavy loads or on steep slopes.
The New Renault Duster’s occupants will appreciate the high standard of travelling comfort it provides, whatever the type of road or terrain, thanks to its high ride-height (205mm in 4×2 4-speed AT version and 210mm in 4×4 6-speed MT version) and specific work on its suspension (damper travel, springs and calibration). Comfort is further enhanced by 1336305590710768900 the New Renault Duster’s long wheelbase (2.67m) and big 16-inch wheels, alloy wheels are available.
Drivers enjoy a reassuring, high-up seating position which gives them better visibility of potential hazardous situations, while all versions are equipped with safe, precise power steering that delivers a good standard of driving pleasure.
Depending on trim level, the driver’s seat comes with height adjustability to help find the ideal driving position. Drivers are also pampered by the height-adjustable steering wheel (Depending on trim level) and user-friendly steering wheel-mounted controls.
Thermal comfort has been engineered to meet the challenge of the GCC punishing climate. Particular care has been taken with the routing of ducts to ensure fast cooling after starting in extreme heat.

Article source: http://main.omanobserver.om/node/93954

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