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Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Dubai and Abu Dhabi: Newcomers to the Global Finance and Trade

Dubai and Abu Dhabi: Newcomers to the Global Finance and Trade

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Arab Wealth Pours Back into Dubai

Arab Wealth Pours Back into Dubai

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Deyaar officials 'misused position for gains'

Details of the operations of developer Deyaar were spelled out for more than two hours at Dubai Criminal Court in a case against three former company officials.

Former minister and Chairman of Deyaar, MK, the company's CEO, ZS – an Arab of US nationality – and JD, an absconding Indian, are accused of fraudulent practices in the functioning of the company.

Yesterday, Mohammed Mustafa Hussein, of the Financial Control Department at the Ruler of Dubai's Office, was called to give evidence.

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ME and North Africa suffers one of the biggest falls in wealth

The Middle East and Africa saw one of the highest drops in wealth last year at about 6.2 per cent or $200 billion (Dh734bn) to $3 trillion against $3.2trn in the previous year, said a report.

The biggest wealth decline was in North America, where assets under management (AuM) fell by 21.8 per cent.

Japan recorded a decline of 7.8 per cent. Asia-Pacific saw a fall of 6.2 per cent and Europe witnessed a decline of 5.8 per cent, Boston Consulting Group, a global management-consulting firm, said in its Global Wealth Report 2009.

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Fitch lowers Etisalat’s rating

The agency Fitch Ratings has cut its rating on Etisalat, the UAE’s largest telecommunications company, citing the weakening of the Emirate’s credit profile.

The ratings firm lowered its long-term issuer default rating on Etisalat by one notch to “A plus”, or four notches below “AAA”, its highest level. The company was removed from watch for downgrade and assigned a stable outlook.

“This is due to the increasing demands on the sovereign’s relatively small fiscal resources to support UAE banks and, potentially, other entities during the current period of economic stress,” Fitch said.

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I’m a scapegoat, says al Sanea

Maan al Sanea, the Kuwaiti-born billionaire alleged to be at the centre of one of the Middle East’s biggest corporate scandals, has hit back for the first time against his accusers, the al Gosaibi family of Saudi Arabia.

In a hard-hitting document lodged in the London High Court, Mr al Sanea, who has had his worldwide assets of US$9.2 billion (Dh33.79bn) frozen by courts in London and the Cayman Islands, claims:

That he has already been exonerated by the Saudi authorities of any involvement in financial wrongdoing in the kingdom;

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The National Newspaper

The National Newspaper

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Elite police to take on financial criminals - The National Newspaper

Elite police to take on financial criminals - The National Newspaper

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Kuwait-Oman train could run by 2017 - The National Newspaper

Kuwait-Oman train could run by 2017 - The National Newspaper

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Qatar and UAE banks show highest revenue growth rates in Middle East

Qatar is the only country in the Middle East with a significant growth rate in profits in the first half of 2009, according to a new study by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The global management consulting firm’s analysis of each country and individual bank shows that banks in Qatar and the UAE had the highest revenue growth rates of Middle Eastern banks in the first half of 2009.

A segment analysis of banks in the GCC shows that retail banking revenues stagnated in the first half of 2009, but retail banking profits fell less strongly than total banking profits. Thus, retail banking has been a stabiliser of revenue and profit development for banks in the Middle East, which was also the case around the globe.

The study also shows that the growth rate of banking revenues has been slowing down in the Middle East in the first half of 2009. While the overall growth rate of banking revenues was still positive, banking profits continued to fall further below 2005 levels due to significant loan loss provisions. However, the study revealed that Middle Eastern banks continue to fare better in comparison with their international counterparts.

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Why the Negative Outlook on Kuwait? « Alpha Dinar- talking finance

Why the Negative Outlook on Kuwait? « Alpha Dinar- talking finance

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Gulf regulators mull tighter governance

Regulators in the Gulf Arab region -- hit by a number of corporate scandals -- are pushing for stricter corporate governance standards in the banking industry, an expert said on Tuesday.

Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman are pressing for stricter enforcement of existing corporate governance guidelines, according to Nikolai Nadal, director at thinktank Hawkamah Institute of Corporate Governance, which is working with authorities to improve governance standards.

Calls for improvement in standards come as a number of scandals involving lawsuits in the broader corporate sector hit the region since the credit crisis.

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Saad sukuk holders left hanging on payments

A unit of Saad Group has so far left holders of a $650 million sukuk in the dark on whether it will make the next coupon payment, the sukuk's trustee said on Tuesday.

Sukuk, or Islamic bonds, are a key market of the emerging $1 trillion Islamic finance industry that has been hit by the global liquidity freeze.

Issuance fell 56 percent to $14.9 billion in 2008, and the market received a further blow this year when the first sukuk defaulted.

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Iraq gives Eni green light on big oil project

Iraq has given a consortium led by Eni, the Italian oil group, the right to develop its giant Zubair field, in a deal that signals the country's desire to attract more of the biggest oil companies four decades after nationalising its oil industry.

Yesterday's breakthrough, which needs cabinet approval, came after Iraq sweetened its terms following the failure of a June auction. It could lead to further foreign investment in a country with the world's third largest oil reserves.

As part of the deal, the Baghdad told the Eni consortium to drop Sinopec, China's state-owned oil company, as a partner.

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