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Friday, 2 October 2009

BBC Middle East Business Report: Movement on the Markets

Stock markets across the region are back on the up. Shares here in Dubai recently hit a 10-month high and in Saudi Arabia, stocks rose to an 11-month high. And while some say it's simply the spillover from rising markets in the West, there's also a perception that the worst of the financial storm in this region could now be over. But is the growth sustainable? Ben Thompson now reports.

Emaar Misr – Marassi – A History « Downfall of the World's Premier Real Estate Development Company (Re-post)

Al Bawaba is the only media outlet publishing Emaar Misr’s press release on the “successful” completion of it’s beach club at Sidi Abdel Rahman.

“Developed at a cost of EGP 170 million”

Emaar spent 170 Million Egyptian pounds (approximately 21 million Euros) on a non-revenue generating club (except for a restaurant) for the residents of non-existent villas. Simply an atrocitiy. Well, remember this article? Might explain their motivation.

Home buyers miss out on rates

Interbank borrowing rates fell by almost 20 per cent in the third quarter, but home loan companies are holding back from passing the full benefits on to customers.

The Emirates interbank offered rate (Eibor), which banks use to lend to each other, fell to 1.98 per cent yesterday from 2.05 per cent a day earlier. The latest drop was recorded on the day the Central Bank introduced a new mechanism to set the interbank borrowing rate as it tries to bring Eibor more in line with prevailing market conditions.

Despite the sharp decline in borrowing costs over the past three months, consumers have yet to feel the benefits in the form of proportionately cheaper loans and mortgages.

Dubai declines $62m capital raising offer

Dubai Group, the investment vehicle of the emirate’s ruler, has opted out of a capital-raising exercise by a Malaysian bank that would have required a US$62 million (Dh227.7m) commitment.

The Dubai Holding unit, which has a 40 per cent stake in Bank Islam Malaysia, said it would instead focus more on its home region.

“Following the reassessment of its investment strategy, Dubai Group has redirected its competitive advantage closer to home, namely the GCC and greater Middle East regions,” Dubai Group said in a statement. “Malaysia does remain a key market for future investments.”

Charting Dubai World’s new course

When Dubai World appointed Jamal bin Thaniah as its first group chief executive, they chose an experienced insider who has shunned the spotlight while helping to write key chapters in Dubai’s commercial history.

As a 28-year veteran of its ports and maritime business, Mr bin Thaniah presided over Dubai’s first merger in 1991, its first overseas expansion in 1999, and its first major leveraged buyout in 2006 with the purchase of the UK’s Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O).

“He has played pivotal roles but keeps a very low profile,” says Mohammed Sharaf, who as chief executive of DP World, the ports operator, reports directly to Mr bin Thaniah. Mr Sharaf calls him the type of manager who will “sit with his team and patiently listen to everyone, and then guide you to make a decision so that you feel the decision is yours”.

Emerging markets ‘to become less volatile’

The world is at the beginning of a new economic cycle that could lead to stronger international markets and subdued volatility in emerging markets such as the UAE’s, JPMorgan Asset Management’s global strategist said yesterday.

“It will be a weak recovery,” Tom Elliott said in Dubai. “Consumers are paying off debt, governments are paying off debt. It will be weak, but we don’t think it will be a double-dip. We do think it is sustainable.”

The recovery held out special promise for emerging markets such as the UAE’s, he said, adding that he expected them to continue to be a target for long-term international investors in coming years. And as wary investors piled back into stocks during the economic recovery, he said these markets were poised to attract new capital, increasing liquidity and reducing volatility.