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Friday, 13 November 2009

Sarasin launches Shariah banking services in Qatar

Switzerland’s Sarasin Group has launched a range of Shariah-compliant private banking products and services in Qatar to meet what it said ‘the rising global demand for Islamic financial products’.

The Swiss private bank said it plans to offer estate and succession planning, financing and asset management with money market and structured products known as Wakala, Murabaha and Maraya.

Islamic banking is one of the world’s fastest growing financial sectors, rising 15% to 20% a year, according to industry estimates.

Dollar-Oil Link Soon to Be Broken?

New York may be about to lose its status as the world’s biggest oil-trading center. Saudi Arabia is leading the exodus. How will this shift impact America, and what are the implications for the dollar?

Saudi Arabia is a Persian Gulf Arab state, awash in vast amounts of oil, with high levels of oil production and massive oil reserves yet under its desert sands—that is the popular wisdom. However, the truth may be completely different.

Within this context, the Saudis are exploring opportunities to sell their oil on more transparent exchanges in which they feel they have some logical control over production levels and pricing in relation to world demand, and opportunities to be paid in currencies besides the anemic U.S. dollar. Such a move would be a great influence on all of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. This has crucial implications for the United States, as it could siphon oil trading from U.S. exchanges and eventually flush out the dollar as the currency of trade.

Apologies for delayed communication today!

Today's early morning output was delayed, for which I apologise.

The reason was because every Friday this aggregated news service is compiled whilst consuming coffee at a neighbourhood coffee shop. Today saw the same routine as before, however I was approached by one of the early morning walkers.

This gentleman, Essa, introduced himself to me, and for the next hour or so Essa and I were discussing the economic situation, specifically Dubai's, and how this impacted everybody.

Essa related the situation back to the ages of religion, which has seen too many economic and political models rise and fall, to be replaced by yet more models.

To be approached, in the West, by a complete stranger is a very unusual event and as this happened in the United Arab Emirates, it underscored what a relatively open region this is, at the individual's level.

Long may such meetings happen, in the future, dialogue is the way forward.

Palm Jebel Ali complaints investigated

The Dubai Land Department (DLD) will investigate complaints over the stalled Nakheel Palm Jebel Ali project after about 125 disgruntled property buyers petitioned the authority.

Nakheel has offered investors alternative homes in other projects that are either completed or already under construction, including at International City, Jumeirah Heights and Al Furjan.

“After patiently waiting for seven years and putting all of our hard-earned money into this project, we are being given the option to transfer to inferior properties which are not in the same league as those promised to us,” the investors said in a letter to the DLD. “This is not what was sold to us.” An official said the department would compile a report on the situation.

Gold souk loses lustre for shopkeepers

In the year since Fires Omran opened his Felopateer Palace shop in the Dubai Mall gold souk, he has had just one paying customer, who bought two watches for Dh17,000 (US$4,628).

So when the mall management sent him a notice last week raising his rent 40 per cent to Dh371,000 from Dh265,000 a year, he decided to get out.

Mr Omran said he closed the store on Wednesday, resulting in a company loss of Dh2 million.

Kuwait's Global provides bondholders with "security"

Kuwait's Global Investment House (GLOB.KW) said it would provide its bondholders with security, and has no intention to extend the maturity of three of its outstanding bonds, the first of which matures in December.

"The company plans to settle the bonds as they mature in 2009, 2012 and 2013. Therefore, no extension was sought to the bonds maturity," Global said in a statement on Thursday.

The three bonds are worth 115 million dinars ($403.1 million), it said.

Saudi gas output to rise 40 pct by 2014 -Naimi

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on Friday that the Kingdom's natural gas output will rise 40 percent by 2014 to 4.5 billion cubic feet a day.

Demand for gas in Saudi Arabia is soaring to feed power and industrial sectors in an economic boom fuelled by the oil price rally of 2002-2008. Saudi gas is produced in assocation with oil.

Naimi made the remarks during a speech delivered at Peking University, which will present him with an honorary doctorate degree.END