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Friday, 20 November 2009

Global Technical Analysis - Saudi Stock Market (PDF)

Global Investment House (Global) released its new “Daily Technical Overview – GCC Markets”. The report highlights: Trend Status, Resistance, Support, Highest and Lowest level expected for the coming period.

The Stock Market and Companies covered in this report are:

· Saudi All Share Index
· SAMBA Financial Group
· Saudi Basic Industries Corporation

The bankers are circling, all’s well with recovery

It is time to say it loud and clear, without any beating around the bush: we have reached the beginning of the end of the beginning of a global economic recovery.

We have seen the end of the crisis that many feared was the beginning of the end.

And now, with the three largest economies – the US, Japan and Europe – all beginning to grow again, we are clearly emerging from the end of the middle of the end of the global recession.

Iran faces winter shortages as gas output slows

Iran, which has the world’s second-largest gas reserves, will be unable to raise output in the next three years and will need more gas from abroad to meet rising domestic demand.

The projection, reported by the semi-official Mehr news agency, suggests Iran will continue to face winter gas shortages as usage of the fuel increases.

It also implies that countries seeking to import gas from Iran will remain disappointed.
“The gas production capacity in this year [ending March 20] would be the same as the last year’s,” said Mohammad Owji, the head of the National Iranian Gas Company, in the Mehr report. “It is predicted there will be no output increase in the next three years.”

Scheme to assist expatriate start-ups

A newly expanded Dubai Government programme will open the door for budding expatriate entrepreneurs to apply for start-up assistance from the first quarter of next year.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment For SME Development (MBRESD) scheme, currently only available to Emiratis, assists start-ups in developing innovative business plans through mentoring, government aid, networking and financing assistance.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for roughly 85 per cent of all employment in the UAE and contribute to 46 per cent of its GDP, recent estimates have shown.

Iraq woos French investors

The Iraqi government on Thursday stepped up its efforts to woo French business to invest in the oil-rich country, telling Total, the French oil group, it could expect favourable treatment.

On a state visit to France, Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi president, sought to draw a line under differences over the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, telling French business leaders they should “show courage and invest in all sectors”.

Mr Talabani directed his strongest entreaty at Total, suggesting that it could win forthcoming tenders to exploit Iraqi fields even if the company did not come in with the highest bid.

Iran’s Economic Climate and the Post-Election Crisis (Re-post)

Even before the current political crisis began in June 2009, Iran’s economy was confronted with many daunting challenges. Investors were already feeling the pressures of inconsistent economic policies and intensifying international sanctions on their shoulders. The street protests and political unrest that have follwd the disputed election have led to further deterioration in the economic climate. Now the economic players must deal with a new level of political uncertainty unprecedented since the early years of the Islamic revolution.

The election dispute has evolved into a deep division in the highest ranks of the Islamic regime. So far the ruling faction of Ayatollah Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guard has been unable to neutralize the protest movement led by former candidates Mir Hossein Moussavi, and Mehdi Karroubi. These two opposition leaders also enjoy the support of former President Khatami and several high ranking Shi'ite clerics such as Ayatollah Montazeri. At the same time it appears that the protest movement is also unable to defeat the ruling faction or force it into a compromise anytime soon. Nearly five months have past since the initial street demonstrations and yet the total number of people who join the periodic street protests in Tehran does not exceed two or three hundred thousand.

Hence private investors and business owners are gradually arriving at the conclusion that unlike the 1979 Islamic revolution which reached a climax in a relatively short period of time, (period of intense street protests lasted no more than 9 months), the current power struggle can drag on for a significantly longer interval. There is also much uncertainty about how it might end and which faction will win. The worst possible outcome for Iran's economy is the escalation of current protests into large scale political violence or a civil war similar to the Algerian experience in 1990s. Although the likelihood of such a scenario is small, it is a cause for concern among businessmen and investors and can discourage long-term investments.

Saudi, Qatar and Abu Dhabi seen leading the way in GCC recovery

Despite the enormous wealth at its disposal, the Gulf has proved more vulnerable to global recession than many other emerging markets, according to HSBC Global Research.

GCC economies are now set for recovery as favourable conditions are finally in place and it will be Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Abu Dhabi leading the way, the bank's outlook report said.

“However, our concerns are focussed on the downside risks to recovery, particularly the possibility that credit growth will be slow,” said David Bloom, global head of FX strategy, and Simon Williams, chief economist, Gulf markets.

Gaming Commission OKs licensing for CityCenter’s Aria

MGM Mirage’s Aria hotel-casino, the centerpiece of the company’s $8.5 billion CityCenter development, was licensed by the Nevada Gaming Commission today.

There were no surprises from the five commissioners who unanimously supported the application after a 2¼-hour hearing, setting the stage for Aria to open to the public on Dec. 16.

Company officials said they are optimistic that CityCenter will be a catalyst for an economic rebound for Southern Nevada.

In oil markets, the future looks sour

Saudi Arabia's new method of pricing oil bound for the United States reflects the world's growing reliance on sour crude, which is harder to refine.

The sour grades of crude may eventually displace tried-and-true light, sweet crude to become a benchmark.

That could help producers and refiners manage risk as they deal with increasing volumes of higher-sulfur oil, and it may also cut speculators' influence on oil prices, analysts said.

Dubai International Capital to Offer Almatis Lenders 40% Stake

Dubai International Capital LLC is offering junior lenders a 40 percent stake in Almatis, a maker of alumina products, in a debt-for-equity swap, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The private-equity investor, based in the United Arab Emirates, will retain a 60 percent stake, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. Almatis was bought by Dubai International in 2007 in a deal funded by almost $1 billion of debt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Banks including UBS AG and Bahrain-based Arab Banking Corp. provided $970 million of loans, including $235 million in junior debt, to fund the leveraged buyout of Almatis, Bloomberg data show. The company breached terms of the loans in the first half of 2009 as the global economic slowdown hurt demand for its products, the people said.

Paltel says deal with Kuwait's Zain is off

The Palestine Telecommunication Co (Paltel) said on Thursday it had cancelled a deal in which Kuwaiti telecommunications firm Zain (ZAIN.KW) would have gained a majority stake in the Palestinian firm.

Zain confirmed the cancellation of the deal with Paltel, which has 1.5 million mobile telephone users and operates in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

A statement issued by the Paltel board after a meeting said it considered the deal no longer effective and off. Commitments made under the deal had not been fulfilled within an agreed timeframe, it said, giving no further details.