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Monday, 12 October 2009

Felix Arabia: A Look Behind The Air Arabia Success Story

Felix Arabia: A Look Behind The Air Arabia Success Story

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AFP: Kuwait restores support for Gulf currency in January

AFP: Kuwait restores support for Gulf currency in January

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Nasdaq providing platform, advice to Kuwait bourse - MarketWatch

Nasdaq providing platform, advice to Kuwait bourse - MarketWatch

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Gulf Capital to invest $500 mln in Saudi, UAE, Egypt | Deals | Private Capital | Reuters

Gulf Capital to invest $500 mln in Saudi, UAE, Egypt | Deals | Private Capital | Reuters

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Iran's sees Total LNG deal at $7.5-$8 bln, Iran Oil

Iran's sees Total LNG deal at $7.5-$8 bln, Iran Oil & Gas, Energy - Maktoob Business

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Dubai looks into Damas shares request

Dubai’s international exchange is seeking clarification from Damas over the jeweller’s request on Sunday to suspend trading in its shares.

Damas, the Gulf’s largest jewellery retailer, said it had requested a suspension of its shares “pending further announcement”.

Tawfiq Abdullah, Damas’ chairman, on Monday said the company is talking to NasdaqDubai, the international exchange.

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Gulfmena launches its flagship fund

Gulfmena Investments Limited has has announced the launch of the 'Gulfmena Arab Opportunities Fund Limited'. This is the first directional absolute return hedge fund focusing specifically on the MENA equity markets to be managed by a GCC based and DFSA regulated asset management business.

The asset manager of the fund, Gulfmena Alternative Investments Limited, was granted a license by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to operate as a DIFC asset management company in August 2009 and is headed by CEO and Fund Manager, Haissam Arabi.

Arabi is one of the region’s most respected and prominent fund managers having managed SHUAA Capital’s Arab Gateway Fund from March 2001 to June 2008 and headed its asset management division.

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Mashreqbank files UAE court case against Saudi Algosaibi Group

Dubai-based Mashreqbank has filed a court case in the UAE against Saudi group Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Bros (AHAB) to claim US$398 million owed by the group, it said late on Sunday.

"Mashreq confirms legal proceedings are underway in the United Arab Emirates for the claimed amount of AED1.46bn ($397.6m) owed to it by AHAB," it said in an emailed statement.

It said this amount included the US$225m it seeks to recover from AHAB in a law suit filed in New York.

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Dubai Holding Commercial Repays $250 Million Loan to BNP Paribas - Bloomberg.com

Dubai Holding Commercial Repays $250 Million Loan to BNP Paribas - Bloomberg.com

Abu Dhabi’s TDIC Plans to Issue 5-Year Islamic Bonds

Tourism Development & Investment Co., a state-owned developer of hotels in Abu Dhabi, will issue five-year Islamic bonds as part of a $1.45 billion Islamic fund- raising program, a banker familiar with the deal said today.

The Islamic bonds, also known as sukuk, may be priced to yield around 250 basis points above the benchmark mid-swap rate, according to the banker who didn’t want to be identified because details are private.

TDIC sold $1 billion of five-year conventional bonds in June that were priced to yield 390 basis points over benchmark U.S. Treasuries, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That bond, which is up 7.4 percent since it was issued, was trading at $1.0779 at 12:15 p.m. in Dubai, yielding 4.64 percent.

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RAK Properties to Halt Parts of $3.27 Billion Project, CEO Says - Bloomberg.com

RAK Properties to Halt Parts of $3.27 Billion Project, CEO Says - Bloomberg.com

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RAK Offshore cuts growth target by 75% due to crisis (Interview)

RAK Offshore, a subsidiary of Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (Rakia), has slashed its growth outlook for this year to 25 per cent, down from 100 per cent, due to the recession's effects on the potential clients' decision to register in the offshore hub.

Peter-Michael Schuster, General Manager of RAK Offshore, has also revised the firm's profit forecast from 70 per cent to 50 per cent. He is, however, optimistic the company, which allows any non-resident individual or "moral" entity to open a company registered within the RAK Free Zone, will continue growth.

"We went to Switzerland and received a good response. We are going for more roadshows. This is my strategy. We are favoured by companies because of the tax situation here. We will be looking at Mauritius, Panama, Pakistan, Asia, Africa and many other places," he said.

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UAE invests in Santander’s Brazil arm

An Abu Dhabi state-linked investment fund has invested $328m in depositary shares issued by Banco Santander’s Brazilian unit, the group said. Sunday’s deal is the latest in a string of diverse transactions by Aabar Investments, one of the emirate’s most active and ambitious funds this year. The investment follows Banco Santander’s $8.1bn IPO of its Brazilian unit. Publicly-listed Aabar began as a small energy company but was taken over and transformed by the UAE state-owned investment company IPIC.

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Gulf countries to launch $2bn agriculture fund

Gulf Arab states will pour $2 billion (Dh7.34bn) into a new agricultural fund in coming months to secure food supplies by buying stakes in existing agricultural firms, an executive involved in the fund's creation said yesterday.

Gulf countries, which are mainly reliant on food imports, have ramped up efforts to secure food supplies through buying farmland in developing nations or buying stakes in agriculture companies.

The new Arab agricultural holding company will be part of the broader Arab Authority for Agriculture Investment and Development (AAAID), an organisation made up of 20 Arab and African states all keen to lock in food supplies.

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Etisalat best placed in the GCC for corporate action

Etisalat has the largest headroom for corporate action in the region, with $16.4 billion (Dh60bn) in the bank, according to a report on the Gulf's telecom sector.

Qatar's Qtel was the top performer in the region in the JP Morgan report, which said more than three decades of operation had given etisalat enough legroom for expansion.

Corporate action can include stock splits, dividends, mergers and acquisitions, rights issues and spinoffs.

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Gulf economies to grow 5.2% next year: IMF

Gulf Arab economies will grow 5.2 per cent in 2010 in the backdrop of rising oil prices, revival of global demand and continued government spending, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its regional economic outlook yesterday.

The economic growth will decline from 6.4 per cent in 2008 to 0.7 per cent this year but would increase next year, said the IMF.

Non-oil GDP has slowed down but is still projected to grow at 3.2 per cent this year.

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Bankers facing earnings squeeze

Profits for the third quarter at UAE lenders will be pressured by slow growth in lending, hindered by lingering financial uncertainty, an increase in non-performing loans as well as provisions for bad debts, analysts project.

UAE banks are likely to struggle with slow loan growth and a rise in provisions that will put a dent in profits until at least the middle of next year, analysts say.

With the banks’ third-quarter earnings on the way, analysts project that lenders will continue to see a rise in non-performing loans and will retain cash on their balance sheets in the form of provisions to account for them.
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Norway wealth fund reflects leadership’s attitudes

Every morning after dropping his children off at school, Yngve Slyngstad heads to the fifth floor of Norway’s central bank and monitors how the world’s second-largest sovereign wealth fund is doing with its investments.

Today, it makes for very good reading. It is worth more than US$430 billion (Dh1.58 trillion) and has never been higher since its creation in 1990. The fund, in which Norway saves its oil and gas revenues from the North Sea, is so big it could pay Dubai’s estimated $80bn debt five times over. It owns more than 1 per cent of the world’s shares, is Europe’s biggest equity investor and has 1.7 per cent of all listed European companies.

You would not know it, though, by stepping into the office of Mr Slyngstad, the fund’s chief executive. In typical Nordic style, there are few outward signs of wealth — just standard office furniture — while the view from his desk overlooks Oslo’s low-rise rooftops. While Norway might be the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter, there isn’t a skyscraper in sight.

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Got Tenants? (Re-post)

Everyday I drive to work and pass by all these huge buildings and skyscrapers, wondering who will fill all this space?

If you think the bad days are over read this article in AlRai local paper, titled “47 New Buildings in Kuwait… Any Tenants?” (see full article)

In recent years, Kuwait City has transformed from an old traditional city filled with old markets and sheesha places to a modern skyscrapers filled downtown with a fast paced corporate life vibe. Unfortunately, most buildings began construction in the peak phase of the economic cycle and planned operation in the recession or arguably, the trough. A study done by local real estate experts states that currently there are 47 buildings under construction; 15 of which are skyscrapers. These buildings are going to add 700,000 sqm of office space and it will be a big challenge to find new tenants to fill these buildings up.

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Iraq studying revised Exxon, Lukoil bid

Iraq's Oil Ministry is considering revised offers from Exxon Mobil and Lukoil for West Qurna, one of several oilfields for which Iraq failed to secure a developer in a June auction.

The auction was the centrepiece of Iraq's efforts to revive its lucrative but crumbling oil sector, battered by years of war and sanctions. Of eight fields offered, only one deal was signed after firms balked at the Oil Ministry's stiff payment terms.

"The Iraqi Oil Ministry is studying new offers from Exxon Mobil and Lukoil for West Qurna phase 1," Abdul-Mahdy al-Ameedi, deputy director of the ministry's contracts and licensing directorate, told Reuters on Sunday.

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Rainy-day oil funds see Mideast through downturn

The Middle East has weathered the global economic downturn better than other parts of the world because its energy exporters were able to tap billions of dollars in oil profits collected when prices were booming, the International Monetary Fund said Sunday.

By reaching into those reserves, major oil producers like Saudi Arabia shielded their economies from the worst of the slump by maintaining government spending and injecting liquidity into domestic banking systems rattled by the credit crisis.

Doing so not only blunted the impact of the downturn on their own economies, but also helped shore up the economies of neighboring countries without large oil reserves, the IMF said.

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