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Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Dubai Holding to pay up realty unit's debt

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

Dubai Holding, part of the business empire of the emirate's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Wednesday said it will pay off Sama Dubai's three-year $300 million loan facility which matures on Sept. 27.

"Dubai Holding and its entities will meet their financial obligations in full and on the maturity date," a Dubai Holding spokesperson told news agency Zawya Dow Jones when asked about the Sama Dubai debt maturing next week.

Sama Dubai, the real estate investment arm of Dubai Holding, raised the $300 million three year loan facility in Sept. 2006 with a consortium of eight banks to finance its property projects.

Emirates Bank International was the mandated lead arranger, underwriter and book runner for Sama Dubai's syndicated loan.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Arab National Bank, Bank Saudi Fransi, Commercial Bank of Dubai, National Bank of Fujairah, Dubai Bank, and Bank Muscat SAOG were participating banks.END

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ADCB Says Saad, Algosaibi Groups Owe It $640 Million (Update2)

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC is owed a combined 2.24 billion dirhams ($610 million) by Saudi Arabia’s Saad and Algosaibi groups, the United Arab Emirates’ third-biggest bank by assets said.

Saad Group owes the bank 1.49 billion dirhams and Algosaibi Group owes 751 million dirhams, according to the prospectus for the bank’s global medium-term notes. International and regional banks are suing the Saudi groups after their Bahrain banking units missed payments. Abu Dhabi Commercial set aside 430 million dirhams to cover a portion of the money it’s owed.

“ADCB expects to establish significant additional impairment allowances in the near future with respect to its exposures to the Saad Group and the Algosaibi Group,” the bank said in the prospectus.

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Saudi Arabia - FT Special Report

Big and powerful but slow to modernise
Andrew England and Abeer Allam analyse the problems faced by rulers of the world’s top oil producer

Economy: Business feud damps prospects
Andrew England on the cloud hanging over an otherwise optimistic outlook

Banking: Conservatism and an aversion to lending sprees
Banks are in better shape than most, writes Robin Wigglesworth

Oil: Expansion into lead position
Carola Hoyos reports on this year’s two big achievements

Diplomacy: Confident and more assertive on world stage
For all its claims, the kingdom is often found wanting, writes Andrew England

Politics: Monarchy fearful of change
Abeer Allam on the kingdom’s slow pace of reform

Real estate: Market holds up in spite of regional turbulence
Robin Wigglesworth on insularity that has spared Saudis from property freefall

Capital markets: Tighter rules and better transparency welcomed
Financial watchdog is baring its teeth, says Robin Wigglesworth

Women: Where life depends on the mood of the men
Heba Saleh finds slight movement in the centuries-old traditions

Education: A deeply uneven pace of change
Grand visions often stumble in face of alternative agendas, says Abeer Allam

Employment: Locals remain to be convinced of need to get their hands dirty

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Middle East is an important capital pool in the world (Interview)

The CEO of investment bank VTB Capital, which has set up shop in Dubai, sees the region as one of the most important capital pools in the world. "The changed world is no longer dominated by the Western markets and has moved to become dependent on a number of very important capital pools," said Herbert Moos. "One of them is Asia, another is the Middle East."

VTB Capital – part of Russia's VTB Group – is targeting large investors and expects to start completing major transactions by the end of the year.

Moos spoke to Emirates Business about the bank's plans for the region.

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Sun starting to shine through for Dubai World

When the definitive history of the global financial crisis is written, there should be an honourable mention of the role played by the Japanese shabu-shabu restaurant.

These places, where diners are expected to cook their own food in small boiling pots on their table, figured in the build-up to the crisis when the Japanese financial authorities uncovered a lurid scandal that became known as the “no pan shabu-shabu” affair. Now, shabu-shabu could be a straw in the wind for the recovery of Dubai Inc after the ravages of the past year.

Dubai World, the Government conglomerate that I have described before as the litmus test for Dubai’s recovery, yesterday announced some good news from one of its troubled US projects. The CityCentre development in Las Vegas, a joint venture between MGM Mirage of the US and Dubai World’s Infinity World Development Corporation, is to hire 12,000 employees to staff up the development, due to open in December.

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Firm will target foreign investors for new $500m MENA stock fund

The National Investor (TNI), an investment bank based in Abu Dhabi, yesterday announced plans to raise up to US$500 million (Dh1.83 billion) from local and international investors for a new fund targeting stocks in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

TNI aims to attract a significant portion of the fund’s assets from investors in Europe and the Far East, continuing a trend in which investment firms from the region have been looking increasingly to bring foreign capital to the GCC.

Kashif Zia, a director and the head of sales at TNI, said yesterday his firm planned to present the new fund, called the MENA Blue Chip Fund, to interested investors in London next week. Next month, a similar presentation is planned for Geneva and Zurich, followed by Tokyo in December.

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Lessons from our extraordinary league of businessmen

There was a time when a simple handshake established an agreement that could last for decades. The scope of business has taken a dynamic shift in the past couple of years, yet firms established 50 years ago are still successful, backed by heritage and pedigree giving them trust and credibility that new businesses can only aspire to.

In 1943 my grandfather established his own import/export business in Al Ras, Deira – the business hub of its day. This was entrepreneurial: in fact, at the time, almost unheard of, particularly as he ventured as far as Europe in his trading. The office is still in the same district, and while he has passed on, the business he started continues to thrive.

Someone starting such a business today wouldn’t be entrepreneurial, since they would not be tapping a new market sector, but for the likes of my grandfather, as well as Hassan bin al Shaikh, Saif Al Ghurair, Juma Al Majid and a host of other national personalities, creating business opportunities in Dubai was born from the necessity to develop the emirate, spanning retail, shipping, light manufacturing, financial services and the food industry.

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Challenges for Private Equity in the GCC (Re-post)

Entrepreneurs in the oil-rich Gulf have many challenges to overcome that begin with raising the required capital for their businesses. In this wealthy region, one may wonder why Gulf investors shy away from private equity, where all of the angel investors are.

It is, in fact, not possible to say that Gulf investors or even expatriates based in the region shy away from risky investments. Over the past few years, we have all seen real estate buyers purchase property that cannot be registered in their names from developers who have no established history delivering projects. We have also seen these same buyers borrow money from banks and place a down payment on a unit in order to flip it in the not-too-distant future. All of the elements show that investors have been ready to go into risky territory.

A similar pattern has been noticed in the stock market, where investors purchase stocks of companies that are overpriced without conducting any due diligence on the company’s background, including its management and the PE ratio of the stock itself. So why aren’t we witnessing the same pattern with the private equity industry in the region?

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Swiss police demand Saad documents

Saad Financial Services SA said on Tuesday police had requested documents of transactions between the company and Saudi conglomerate Ahmad Hamad Al-Gosaibi and Brothers Co. but it believed there were no such documents.

A spokeswoman for Geneva-based Saad Financial said police had visited company offices with a request for delivery of the documents but had not conducted a search of the premises.

"Police came to our offices two weeks ago on Monday and showed us an order for the delivery of documents concerning Saad Financial and Al-Gosaibi, if these exist. We don't believe we have any documents responsive to this order and have informed the fiscal police accordingly," the spokeswoman said.

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