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Sunday, 30 August 2009

Dubai Holding annouces key appointments at Dubai International Capital

Dubai Holding announces two internal appointments at Dubai International Capital following the appointment today of Sameer Al Ansari as Chief Executive Officer of SHUAA Capital.

Sameer Al Ansari will continue as the Executive Chairman of DIC, a post he has held since October 2004 when he founded DIC.

Anand Krishnan is appointed Chief Executive Officer of DIC with immediate effect from his existing role as Chief Operating Officer. Anand joined DIC in January 2006 as CFO and was appointed COO one year later. Previously he was a Managing Director at JP Morgan Chase New York/Asia in various senior roles for a total of 19 years.

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Global's GCC Weekly Market Report – August 27, 2009 (PDF)

S&P signs Index Licensing Agreement with Saudi Stock Exchange

Standard & Poor’s, the world’s leading index provider, announced it has signed an Index Creation Agreement (ICA) with the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul).

The new agreement authorises Standard & Poor’s to use Tadawul securities data to maintain current and launch new indices for the Saudi equity market.

It reaffirms Standard & Poor’s commitment to the development of Middle Eastern capital markets and to satisfying the wide array of investment, portfolio benchmarking and trading needs of local and international investors seeking to develop innovative financial solutions.

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Iran to invite bids for 14 oil and gas fields

Iran is preparing to offer 14 oil and gas fields for development, the Oil Ministry's official Shana news website reported on Saturday.

Iran, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' second-biggest crude producer, will tender six new gas fields that will require a total investment of $4.1 billion through the Iran Central Oil Fields Co, Shana reported.

Once developed, the Mohktar, Asalooyeh, Gordan, Salkh, Kabir-Kooh and Koohmond fields will have a combined production capacity of 67 million cubic meters a day, Shana added.

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DP World to build and operate Embraport in Brazil

Global marine terminal operator DP World and Brazilian company Odebrecht announce they have entered into a partnership to acquire a majority stake at Empresa Brasileira de Terminais Portuários (Embraport), one of the largest Brazilian private multi-modal port terminals in the city of Santos.

It is the first time that DP World and Odebrecht Investiments in Infrastructure have formed such a partnership. The investment fund FI-FGTS of Caixa Econômica Federal will maintain its shareholding acquired earlier. Coimex Group, leader of the project since its inception, reduces its shareholding, but remains a key member of the partnership.

Embraport (Brazilian Port Terminals Company) is being built adjacent to Porto de Santos, an existing port facility in the city of Santos, São Paulo State.
Porto de Santos is the largest Brazilian container port, with 90% of its cargo destined for the local São Paulo market. There is an excellent road and rail connectivity to the project site.

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Qatari firm in Tajikistan real estate deal

State-owned investment firm Qatari Diar has launched a luxury real estate project in Tajikistan worth at least $150 million, the Qatari News Agency said on Saturday.

The Dushanbe Diar project in the Tajik capital Dushanbe will include residential towers, a five-star hotel, shopping malls, conference centres and gardens when finished in 2012 at a cost of between $150 million and $180 million, the agency said.

The project is Qatari Diar's first in Central Asia. The unit of the Gulf Arab country's sovereign wealth fund the Qatar Investment Authority has said it might delay plans to invest in Asian countries such as China, Vietnam and Cambodia because of the global financial crisis.

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Banks will resume normal lending by Q2 of next year (Interview)

Liquidity is improving but the UAE and regional banks will remain reluctant to lend until a clear picture of the global economy emerges, says Abdul Kadir Hussain, CEO of Mashreq Capital, the GCC's leading investment and brokerage firm.

Hussain told Emirates Business that debt defaults in the region would continue to rise, particularly on the bank loan, syndicated loan and bilateral loan side.

"It's going to take pretty big and deep pockets to buy the $10 billion (Dh36.7bn) second tranche of the Dubai Government bonds. The main subscribers will be UAE and regional financial institutions, which are more liquid now compared with earlier this year.

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Junior oil explores seek paydirt

Like the explorers of old, independent oil and gas producers have left the beaten track in their quest for new sources of the commodities to develop. Their explorations in remote corners of Asia and Africa are beginning to yield some major results. Tamsin Carlisle reports

While many oil companies have cut back investment during the downturn, a band of feisty, independent producers have persevered with efforts to find and develop oil and gas in corners of the globe that “Big Oil” has shunned.

Several are poised for success in parts of Asia and Africa that have yet to make their marks as major producing regions. But the companies’ exploits have not been free of trouble.

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Tadawul trade closes mostly flat

Saudi Arabian stocks closed flat Saturdayafter markets mostly shrugged off a failed attempt to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s security chief, who is also a prominent member of the royal family.

“I am surprised at the markets’ reaction, but they seemed to shake it [the failed attempt] off,” said Ali Khan, the managing director and head of brokerage at Arqaam Capital in Dubai.

“Initially it did cross my mind, whether this would be conceived as a real threat, and we would see a real meltdown. But apparently it was taken off as a one-off.”

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Markaz eyes sinking Reem developers

The Kuwait Financial Centre, also known as Markaz, plans to invest US$50m (Dh183.6m) in distressed property projects in Abu Dhabi, a senior executive said last week.

The arrival of Markaz in Abu Dhabi appears to mark the first time a major investment firm has targeted distressed property in the emirate. Several similar funds have already formed in Dubai, where the property downturn has been more severe.

“Prices have corrected to attractive levels now in Abu Dhabi,” said Bassam al Othman, senior vice president of property development at Markaz, one of Kuwait’s largest investment firms. “We are looking at distressed developers who have spread themselves too thin with their equity.”

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Iraq digs in to rebuild agricultural sector

Iraq, once known as the “breadbasket of the Middle East” for the vast tracts of fertile land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, is expected to import 80 per cent of its wheat this year at a cost of more than US$1.4 billion (Dh5.14bn).

Devastated by decades of wars, sanctions and neglect, Iraq’s once abundant farms, pastures and date palm groves produce just a fraction of the needs of the country’s more than 28 million people. Billions of dollars are spent each year on tomatoes, milk and other products from the neighbouring countries of Iran, Turkey and Syria.

But as the country’s security situation begins to stabilise, government officials and private investors are beginning to focus on rebuilding Iraq into a major agricultural producer.

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Banks join global money laundering battle

Banks in the UAE have until Sunday to disclose details of accounts held by foreign officials and politicians as the Central Bank tightens regulations on money laundering.

The move, which brings the UAE into line with standards in other international financial centres, follows recent high-profile cases involving alleged fraud in the region and internationally.

International regulators are increasing pressure on banks to reduce their exposure to the risk of money laundering.

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The Sand, the Sea, the America’s Cup

No one will mistake this for Newport.

To reach the site picked for the next America’s Cup, swing past the camel racetrack near the airport.

Then pass by South Asian groceries and dusty rows of villas under construction. Finally, turn toward a stretch of the Persian Gulf where the ruling sheiks are building an island shaped a bit like a plant inspired by Dr. Seuss.

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Dubai International Capital seeks £150m boost for Alliance Medical

Alliance Medical, which is majority owned by Dubai International Capital (DIC), the investment firm controlled by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is seeking up to £150m in fresh funds.

The business has hired Close Brothers Corporate Finance – now owned by Daiwa Securities – to advise the company on securing the extra capital.

DIC bought Alliance Medical at the top of the credit boom in November 2007 for £600m from British private equity firm Bridgepoint. Bridgepoint, which paid £111m in a secondary deal for the business in 2001, is thought still to have a stake in the company.

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