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Sunday, 23 August 2009

Dubai Holding Received 30% Stake In Dubai Festival City

Dubai Holding {{lang|ar|دبي القابضة}}Image via Wikipedia

Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group LLC, part of the business empire of Dubai's ruler, received a 30% stake in Dubai Festival City, a property project developed by Al Futtaim Group, company filings show.

"The grant was recorded as an investment in associate and the relating grant valued at AED5,546,602,000 was immediately released to the consolidated income statement," Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group said in its 2008 financial report.

"The purchase price allocation is not yet finalized due to the scale and complexity in terms of structure of the transaction." The fair market value of Dubai Festival City and two other companies "declined significantly since acquisition," resulting in impairment losses, the company said in the report.

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U.A.E., Qatari Shares Advance as Oil Surges to 10-Month High

United Arab Emirates and Qatari shares gained as oil rose to its highest level since October after equity markets rallied on speculation the global recession may be easing.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index climbed 2.5 percent, the most since Aug. 13. Abu Dhabi’s index added 1 percent and Qatar’s DSM 20 Index increased 2.3 percent, the most since July 26.

“This is a huge reversal,” said Akram Annous, deputy fund manager at Al Mal Capital PSC, citing oil prices of about $65 a barrel a week ago. “Investors are buying on the fact that last Monday the concept was that markets were going to collapse, but then the U.S. flipped its nose up and turned things around.”

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GCC equity funds record 21% increase in first half of 2009, says Lipper research report

The latest GCC Fund Market Insight Report from Lipper, published Sunday, has revealed that equity funds registered for sale in GCC markets moved into positive territory for the first half of 2009 (YTD 30th June) recording an increase of 21.14%.

Equity funds registered for sale in the GCC recorded a 30% increase in the second quarter, according to the report.

Compared with the 12.55% loss in the corresponding period in 2008, almost all Lipper equity categories finished H1 2009 in positive fashion, with emerging markets such as Russia, Indonesia and utility funds gaining 70.77%, 60.16% and 58.97% respectively. In contrast, funds invested in Germany weighted-down overall performance – decreasing 2.32%.

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Dubai debt at $84.7 bln -EFG

EFG-Hermes has raised its estimate of Dubai’s debt to $84.7 billion following the disclosure of new information on state-owned Dubai World’s liabilities, news agency Zawya Dow Jones reported on Sunday.

The news agency did not say from what the Egyptian investment bank raised its estimate from.

The bank in November last year projected the external debt of Dubai stood at $60.6 billion, with payments of $14.1 billion due in 2009.

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Investors push to dissolve $650 mln Saad bond

Creditors of the $650 million Golden Belt Sukuk may dissolve the bond and try to recover their cash before claims pile up against its issuer, financially-troubled billionaire Maan al-Sanea, persons familiar with the matter said.

"A letter will be delivered to the obligator to talk with creditors," a banker involved in the sukuk told news agency Zawya Dow Jones.

"Sanea will have seven days to respond and if he doesn't we'll go after his personal assets. The sukuk is backed with a personal promissory note."

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Micro activities to be vital in preventing such global ructions (Interview)

Financial players and politicians alike are urging regulators globally to ensure that an economic crisis of such a magnitude will not happen again.

Regulators are thus cramming to analyse what went wrong so they can provide solutions and most importantly put up safeguards to prevent the likelihood of repetition.

Paul Koster, Chief Executive of Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), admitted the trade of exotic products happened under the noses of regulators who in some cases did not realise what was happening and they did not intervene.

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Money laundering case adjourned until Sept 10

Proceedings in a money laundering case, which began in 2006, were adjourned to September 10 by the Dubai Court of Misdemeanour yesterday.

The four people accused in the case – a Pakistani, a British national, an Indian and a UAE national – along with six Dubai-based firms, were charged with money laundering, forgery and the use of false documents in August 2006.

Essam Eisa Al Humaidan, Dubai Attorney-General, had referred them to the court after a team finished a two-year investigation.

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Amgen, DuBiotech explore expansion plans

Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park (DuBiotech), a major life sciences hub in the Middle East and a member of Tecom Investments, yesterday announced that it discussed expansion plans with Amgen International during a meeting of senior management.

Amgen is the world's largest biotechnology company with an estimated market capitalisation of $65 billion. It was one of the first biotech companies to establish operations in the Middle East.

Founded in 2006, Amgen's local organisation has since launched activities in several countries in the Middle East, as well as Turkey and South Africa. The headquarters for Amgen's MEAT (Middle East, Africa and Turkey) operations is located at the Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park.

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Kuwait's cautious approach to spending

Recently released official statistics in the Gulf region reconfirm the traditional practice of underestimating revenues. The ultra-conservative practice denies authorities the opportunity to set aside funds for specific projects.

Similar to Qatar, Kuwait's fiscal year commences in April. However, Kuwait stands out among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries by setting aside 10 per cent of annual Treasury income for the Reserve Fund for Future Generations. The plan aims at ensuring a sustainable quality of life for Kuwaiti nationals for years to come.

Kuwait's budget surplus for 2008-09 amounted to $9.5 billion (Dh34.86 billion) on the back of firmer income together with restricted spending. To be sure, the figure compares unfavourably with a surplus of $32.4 billion achieved in the previous year.

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Dubai Holding closer to consolidation

Dubai Holding has move closer to consolidating its sprawling network of companies after completing the merger of its property and business park assets into two new units.

Dubai Holding, one of three main conglomerates controlled by the emirate, will manage its property businesses in a new vertical unit, incorporating Dubai Properties, Sama Dubai and the property units of Tatweer, another diversified Dubai Holding company. Eventually, the three businesses will be merged into a single corporate entity, with a management team soon to be announced.

Tecom, the Dubai Holding company responsible for business parks like Internet City and Media City, will now also take control of two previously-independent developments, Healthcare City and Industrial City.

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Online document leak spurs inquiry

Market regulators in Dubai have launched an investigation into the Millennium Finance Corporation after confidential documents were leaked on the internet.

Keba Keinde, the chief executive of Dubai-based Millennium, disclosed details of the inquiry by the Dubai Financial Services Authority, which coincides with the company’s planned €20 million (Dh105.2m) investment into letsbuyit.com, a price-comparison website based in Paris.

Mr Keinde, who previously worked as the managing director of the Middle East for BNP Paribas, is conducting his own internal investigation to determine who was responsible for the leak.

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US voices support for UAE nuclear accord

A nuclear accord between the US and UAE was strongly endorsed by the US commerce secretary Gary Locke, who told a meeting with US business leaders that the agreement could create “tens of thousands” of job opportunities for Americans.

Speaking at the US Chamber of Commerce on Friday, Mr Locke touted the pact as “groundbreaking and historic”, adding that the success of the UAE programme would “require American know-how, American ingenuity and American tenacity”.

“Opportunities for American companies in the UAE are many and diverse,” said Mr Locke at the luncheon organised by the Washington-based Nuclear Energy Institute and the chamber’s US-UAE business council. “The Department of Commerce wholeheartedly supports this agreement, and I believe it has tremendous potential to benefit US firms and create tens of thousands of jobs here in America.”

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Saudi shares surge 2.3% led by petrochemicals

Saudi Arabia's shares rose on Saturday, led by Saudi Basic Industries (Sabic) after stocks in the US and Europe gained and oil prices surged to their highest level this year.

Sabic, the world’s largest chemicals maker by market value, climbed 7.1% to SAR71.5 (US$19.07) after leading trade and accounting for almost a quarter of the day's turnover.

The Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) rose 2.29% to close at 5,751 points, the strongest one-day gain since 25 July.

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Egypt expands gold exploration licences in eastern desert

There is a lot of interest in gold exploration licences in Egypt's Eastern Desert, the petroleum minister said on Thursday.

"It's clear that gold is starting to create a success story," Sameh Fahmy said on Thursday at a news conference, when asked about interest in the bidding round for gold exploration in seven blocks in the Eastern Desert.

Bids are due by 7 October.

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