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Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Dubai Aerospace Inks $500M Financing Deal With US Ex-Im Bank

DAE Capital, the aircraft leasing and financial business arm of government-owned Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, Wednesday said it signed a $500 million financing commitment with U.S.-based Export-Import Bank.

The deal will finance the delivery of 10 Boeing (B) aircraft by guaranteeing commercial loans or providing the loan itself.

The aircraft will be allocated for purchase and leaseback agreements with Emirates Airline and Garuda Indonesia, DAE said in an emailed statement.

Senior business figure's stark warning over lending

Banks’ unwillingness to lend is paralysing business in the UAE and risks prolonging the downturn, a senior business leader has warned.

Mishal Kanoo, deputy chairman of conglomerate The Kanoo Group, which has operations in everything from travel to machinery and oil and gas, heaped blame on international and local lenders in the country and said they did not ‘trust’ the companies and individuals, to whom they lend.

“Start being the backbone of the economy, because if you don’t you will crush us [business],” Kanoo said.

UAE's Mubadala sees managed assets tripling in 5 yrs

Abu Dhabi investment firm Mubadala Development Co, which will price benchmark dollar bonds on Wednesday, expects its managed assets to rise three-fold from 54 billion dirhams ($14.7 billion) by 2014, its CEO said.

"Given our current asset base of 54 billion dirhams over the next five years it will grow over three times," Waleed al-Muhairi told a conference.

The investment body made a loss of 11.8 billion dirhams last year due to the global financial crisis, it said on April 23.

Qatar in talks to buy stake in Porsche

Qatar is in talks to buy a stake in Germany's Porsche and may also invest in other carmakers as the Gulf gas exporter looks to park some of its sovereign wealth abroad, according to media reports.

Qatar is "seriously" considering taking a stake in the luxury sports car manufacturer, Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani told Qatar's Al-Arab newspaper in remarks published on Tuesday.

Focus magazine reported last week that the Emir of Qatar had informed Porsche of his interest in buying a stake.

Saudi to launch $5bn investment firm

A new $5.33 billion (Dh19.56 billion) investment firm owned by the government of Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, will start operations next week, a senior Saudi official said on Tuesday.

The government announced last year its intention to set up the firm, called Sanabil al-Saudia, with a mandate to invest in equities, bonds, real estate, foreign currencies and commodities in Saudi Arabia and abroad.

"It is expected that Sanabil's advisers will begin work next week," said Mansour al-Maiman, secretary-general of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the finance ministry's investment arm.

Saudi Arabia to recover faster, says S&P

Saudi Arabia, the Middle East’s largest economy, will recover “more quickly” than other Gulf countries because of “satisfactory” liquidity and business confidence, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said.

The initial public offerings on the Saudi bourse this year indicate local investors have “considerable liquid assets with which to support attractive business propositions,” S&P said today in an e-mailed statement. “Deposit rates at local banks remained low, indicating that liquidity has been satisfactory and confidence maintained.”

The kingdom will spend US$400 billion over the next five years to stimulate the economy, while the fiscal stimulus plan next year will consume 3.5% of gross domestic product.

Investors eye opportunity in Iraq

Lost all your money on the stock market? Seen your real estate investments crumble? These days, in the midst of a mind-boggling financial crisis, the idea of investing in Iraq may not seem so crazy.

That is exactly what an increasing, though still small, number of brave investors are doing.

“What is risky these days? If you think about the people who were investing in AAA guaranteed paper only a few years ago, the concept of risk has changed fundamentally,” says Richard Blakesley, managing director of Fairfax, a London private equity fund planning to invest as much as $200m (€153m, £136m) in Iraq this year. With its eye on plastic pipes, concrete, asphalt and food production businesses – all areas where Iraq needs investment for import substitution – Fairfax plans to increase its Iraq fund to $1bn.

Senior Saudi calls for political reforms

A senior member of the Saudi royal family has called for political and economic reforms in the world’s largest oil producer, warning that the kingdom is not prepared to face the challenges of the 21st century.

Prince Talal bin Abdelaziz, who has no role in decision-making and is known for his outspoken views, said there needed to be increased dialogue within the ruling family and called for greater powers for the Shura Council, an unelected consultative body, to pave the way for eventual elections.

“This region is roiling with turmoil and radicalism and the aspirations of a young population, and I am afraid we are not prepared for that. We cannot use the same tools we have been using to rule the country a century ago,” Prince Talal, who is a half-brother of King Abdullah, told the Financial Times.