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Saturday, 14 November 2009

Kuwait's KIA says to take advantage of mispricing

Sovereign fund Kuwait Investment Authority said on Saturday it will take advantage of mispricing in markets and said its returns would not be affected by long-term U.S. dollar volatility.

Sovereign wealth funds from Kuwait, Singapore and China, speaking at a meeting of Asia Pacific business and political leaders in Singapore, stressed their long-term outlook, as they sought to persuade countries to allow investments by such funds.END

Saffar to launch Mideast private equity fund

Dubai-based private equity firm Saffar Capital is launching a private equity fund focusing on financial services in the Middle East to take advantage of an improving outlook in the sector, the company's chief executive said.

"The general health of the sector is okay," Mishaal Al-Usaimi told Reuters on the sidelines of an investor presentation.

"The governments and the regulators are very supportive in getting the banks operating. There are certain areas where there is huge pent-up demand, for instance mortgages are not developed."

Advice for Dubai on how to get the message across

Without a doubt the most talked-about event of the past week was the “shut up” comment from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to a group of international financiers assembled for an investment conference under the auspices of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

To recap: HH strayed off-speech during his celebration of the close ties between Dubai and Abu Dhabi to deliver a strong message to those international critics who have cast doubt on the durability of the central relationship of the UAE federation. Those who “nag” about the Abu Dhabi-Dubai friendship should “shut up”, HH said.

The remark provoked very different reactions among people I spoke to afterwards. Emirati friends applauded Sheikh Mohammed’s response to what they see as a sustained and concerted campaign of denigration of the UAE, and especially Dubai, since the problems of the financial crisis began to affect the emirate.

Commercial Bank of Qatar bond issue is first ever global Lower Tier II offering from the Middle East

Simmons & Simmons has advised Commercial Bank of Qatar (Commercialbank) on their US$1.6 billion inaugural global bond offering and its first public subordinated bond issuance.

This bond issue is the first ever global Lower Tier II offering from the Middle East. The bond issue which is due to close on 16 November 2009 will be used to repay a US$380 miliion syndicated loan facility and to fund Commercialbank’s future growth.

Simmons & Simmons acted as transaction counsel as to matters of Qatar law and played a key role in structuring the issue in compliance with local legal and regulatory requirements. The sole Global Coordinator was Morgan Stanley who also acted as Joint Bookrunner with Credit Suisse.

Gaming Control Board recommends licensing of CityCenter

MGM Mirage’s massive CityCenter project cleared a major hurdle today as the state Gaming Control Board unanimously recommended licensing of the $8.5 billion development.

In a special meeting this morning, the three board members questioned Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Mirage and his team of executives, who discussed the development’s history, role and future, as well as representatives of their joint-venture partners, Dubai World.

The Control Board’s recommendation will next go to the five-member Nevada Gaming Commission, which will consider final approval in a special meeting Thursday afternoon.

Photo's here

As Blair Lobbies for Wataniya, Do Kuwait and JPM Chase's Arranger Role Spell UN Conflict of Interest?

When Tony Blair does business, who does he work for? He represents the Quartet, and thus the UN, on development in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. He has been paid by JPMorgan Chase as a consultant, and presumably works for them. When he acts in the West Bank for the Wataniya cell phone company, who is he working for?

The UN has repeatedly claimed that there would and could be no conflict of interest between Blair's paid position for JPMorgan Chase and his work in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. When Inner City Press asked Blair, after a meeting of the Quarter in the Conference Room 4 in UN Headquarters, about any safeguards in place for his UN and JPMorgan Chase roles, he scoffed. A Blair staffer confirmed that he continued in JPM Chase's employ.

This week, Tony Blair attended a press conference announcing the finalization of Wataniya's deal, which Blair "negotiated." At the UN noon briefing on November 11, Inner City Press asked about this last:

Bahrain Bids For Hedge Fund Boom

While Europe seems intent on showing hedge funds the door, tiny Bahrain is putting out the welcome mat.

The Middle Eastern country is hoping to build its alternative investments industry, the banking operations chief at the Central Bank of Bahrain said, calling the island nation a perfect base for accessing the entire Persian Gulf region.

“Bahrain provides opportunities for fund management and alternative assets industry as they explore the landscape post-financial crisis,” Sheikh Salman Isa Al Khalifa told the Hedge Funds Review Middle East Investment Summit. “Bahrain has much to offer.”

The country has recently updated its alternative investment regulations and licensing requirements, and Al Khalifa said the country’s financial regulator is favorable to the industry’s needs.END

Candy brothers turn sour on Qatari royals over dropped Chelsea project

Nick and Christian Candy, the developers of apartments for the super-rich, are heading for a high court clash with the Qatari royal family following the withdrawal of plans for the UK's most expensive residential scheme at Chelsea Barracks.

CPC Group, the development group run by the Candy brothers, has lodged a claim against Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment, the property company backed by the emirate of Qatar, a long-time business partner of the UK developers.

The pair were planning to develop the former 12.8-acre Chelsea Barracks site near Sloane Square in west London into a £3bn luxury apartment complex designed by Lord Rogers.