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Sunday, 27 September 2009

neo-resistance: Iran's Sale of History: Revolutionary guard buys Iran's communcation organization.

neo-resistance: Iran's Sale of History: Revolutionary guard buys Iran's communcation organization.

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Gulf Shares Rally, Bolstered by Jump in Saudi Arabian Stocks - Bloomberg.com

Gulf Shares Rally, Bolstered by Jump in Saudi Arabian Stocks - Bloomberg.com

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Dubai property price slide to continue

Oversupply in Dubai's once-booming property sector will continue to send prices lower in the short term, Jones Lang LaSalle said on Sunday.

"The oversupply situation is likely to get worse before it gets better in some sectors and this will continue to place downward pressure on prices and rental levels in the short term," the real estate service company said in a report.

The Gulf emirate's real estate market has been hit hard by the global financial crisis, with billions of dollars worth of projects either on hold or cancelled. House prices are off around 50 percent since the crisis began late last year.

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Saudi royal to buy 50 pct stake in Liverpool

Saudi Arabia's Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Saud is close to buying a 50 pct stake in Liverpool Football Club for up to $560.4 million, a local daily reported citing an interview with the prince.

"We are looking at the present time to acquire a 50 pct stake in the club, which is currently suffering from debts of up to £245 million," Al Riyadh quoted Prince Faisal as saying.

"The value of the deal, which will be finalised soon, is around £200 million to £350 million pounds," Prince Faisal said, according to the paper.

Prince Faisal signed "several contracts" with Liverpool on Saturday on behalf of F6, a company he chairs, which include "sports investments and setting up academies" in Saudi Arabia and North Africa, the paper quoted him as saying.END

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Investment Dar signs debt restructuring deal

Kuwait's Investment Dar which is in the midst of restructuring debt, said on Sunday it signed an agreement with creditors and investors to freeze claims temporarily.

The lender, which owns half of British luxury carmaker Aston Martin, said its steering committee had reached the deal.

Dar defaulted on a $100 million Islamic debt issue last May - the first of its kind on a major, public Islamic instrument in the region - and has said it may sell some assets to meet its obligations.

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Bahrain secures energy needs

Thanks to efforts by international oil companies, the threat of Bahrain Field, the country's sole onshore source, drying up has been addressed for now. An alliance of Occidental Petroleum Corporation and Mubadala Development Company (Mubadala) has signed a 20-year Development and Production Sharing Agreement designed to expand oil and gas output from the field.

The agreement is essential as the field is relatively old with production beginning way back to 1932. The output has declined over the years. In 2008, its production level stood at 33,000 barrels per day, down by five per cent.

These companies aim to double the field's output by 2014 and reach a peak level of 100,000 barrels per day from 2016 onwards. Bahrain Field achieved its highest output level of 75,000 barrels per day in the 1970s.

Dollar peg under scrutiny

Pressure could return for a review of the dirham’s peg to the US dollar next year as the UAE economy recovers from the global recession.

The shortcomings of mirroring US monetary policy under the fixed exchange rate are likely to be exposed if accelerating inflation returns to haunt consumers, economists and analysts say.

A convergence on monetary policy with the US suits the UAE at the moment, with both countries looking to keep interest rates low to spur economic recovery.

Something is wrong with our stock markets

Admiral David Beatty reportedly said that “something is wrong with our bloody ships today”, commenting on British naval losses during the Battle of Jutland in the First World War.

The same can be said about the regional stock markets in general and the Saudi stock market specifically, as current index levels do not seem to reflect the fundamentals of some of the stronger GCC economies.

The UK’s FTSE 100 index of leading shares rose above the key 5100 level for the first time since September 26 last year, buoyed by hopes the recession may be over and by the return of multibillion-pound mergers.

Property chief looking at long jail term

A company owner and chief executive faces life in prison over a string of charges relating to fraud and bounced cheques.

Peter Margetts, 46, from the UK, has already been sentenced to 20 years by the Dubai Courts and could face a further 118 years if found guilty on the remainder of the charges, all of which he denies.

Mr Margetts, the chief executive of the developer Hampstead & Mayfair, was indicted on four counts of fraud and 42 of issuing cheques that bounced. He has been convicted and sentenced on 13 of the counts, with 33 still to be judged in continuing hearings.

Flybe enters race for British Midland

REGIONAL airline Flybe has emerged as a dark horse in the race to buy BMI British Midland, the British airline tipped to be sold by Lufthansa.

Flybe, which has expanded rapidly in recent years under Jim French, its chairman and chief executive, is understood to have registered its interest in buying part or all of BMI, including its prized Heathrow operation.

Industry sources think Flybe could emerge as a partner for British Airways, which is also interested in buying BMI, but might fall foul of competition rules because of its large market share at Heathrow.

Kuwait Finance Agrees to Reschedule Aref Investment Debt

Kuwait Finance House, the emirate’s largest Islamic bank, has signed an agreement to reschedule Aref Investment Group’s debts of 132 million dinars ($461 million).

The rescheduling of the debts of the Kuwaiti investment company, which posted a 20.5 million dinar loss in the second quarter, “will be used to pay the group’s commitments to foreign banks and investment funds,” Kuwait Finance said in an e-mailed statement today.

Kuwait in April enacted a 1.5 billion dinar economic stability bill to bolster financial institutions suffering the fallout of the global economic crisis. The government was forced to guarantee all deposits in local banks last year as Gulf Bank KSC, the country’s second largest bank by assets, reported losses of 375 million dinars from derivatives trading, and Global Investment House KSCC, Kuwait’s biggest investment bank by assets, said in January it defaulted on most of its loan repayments.

Iran Needs $19 Billion for Gas Projects, Seeks Consumption Curb

Iran’s Oil Ministry said the country needs $19 billion toward “unfinished” natural gas projects and aims to curb consumption amid insufficient funding.

“The maximum funding at hand for the gas sector is currently $3 billion a year,” Oil Minister Masoud Mir-Kazemi said in a gas forum in Tehran today.

“Iran has difficulty in obtaining the required investment to develop natural gas fields and there will be no new production field added in the coming three years,” Mir-Kazemi was quoted as saying, according to a report on the ministry’s official news agency, Shana. “The need to revise the country’s consumption model is ever more necessary.”

Qatargas starts Ras Laffan refinery

Qatargas Operating Co, or Qatargas, said Saturday it has started production at its Ras Laffan condensate refinery, the first in the Gulf country.

Production of the refinery, which has a total processing capacity of 146,000 barrels per stream day, reached commercial quantities and specifications on Sept. 23 for all products, Qatargas said in a statement.

The new refinery consists of process units including naphtha and kerosene hydrotreaters, a hydrogen unit, a saturated gas plant producing naphtha, kerojet, gasoil and liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG, the company said.