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Saturday, 21 November 2009

Al Tayer brings a pool of knowledge to DIFC (Man in the news)

Ahmad Humaid Al Tayer

Gulf equities no longer out for the count (Credit Suisse interview)

In the last few months, especially between August and mid-October, local markets posted the strongest gains in the region. The Dubai Financial Market General Index peaked on October 14 when it reached 2,373.37.The DFM was the best performing GCC market this year ending October, with gains of 34.3 per cent.

Saudi Arabia's Tadawul hasn't done too badly either, with its gains of 30.5 per cent during the same period. Lately, the markets have been witnessing increasing volatility.

In an exclusive interview, Kamran Butt, director and head of Middle East and India, Private Banking Equity research, Credit Suisse, talks of how as the global economic recovery gains traction, regional markets will outperform. Excerpts:......

Mohammad, WEF chief discuss economic climate

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Friday received Andre Schneider, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, World Economic Forum, on the sidelines of the Global Agenda Summit.

They discussed the global economic situation, in the presence of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.

The also highlighted the role of international and regional economic forums in rearranging the economic and financial conditions after the chaos resulting from former policies in many countries.

Bin Suleiman replaced as governor of the DIFC (The local view from UAE)

Dr Omar bin Suleiman has been replaced as governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Ahmed Humaid al Tayer, a high-profile businessman and former federal government minister, has been appointed to the post, according to a statement on the state news agency, WAM.

Mr al Tayer is the chairman of Emirates NBD bank, the country’s largest lender by assets, and is a member of the boards of numerous Dubai-based companies, including his family’s Al Tayer Group, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Dubai Aluminum and the Investment Corporation of Dubai.

Emaar India Unit to Sell Shares in Coming Weeks, Chairman Says

Emaar Properties PJSC, the developer building the world’s tallest skyscraper in Dubai, plans an initial share offering in India “in a few weeks,” Chairman Mohammed Alabbar said.

“India has done extremely well for us, and that’s why we are going public in India, probably in a few weeks,” he said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Dubai, where the company is based. “The banking system is solid and India is still a conservative environment that suits us well.”

New Delhi-based Emaar MGF Land Ltd. plans to raise 38.5 billion rupees ($800 million) in the offering. The unit, which scrapped a $1.64 billion initial public offering in February last year, had 29 residential and commercial projects under way at the end of August.

Istithmar May Lose Control of W Union Square Hotel in Auction

Istithmar PJSC, the Dubai-based investment company, may lose control of the W New York Union Square hotel in Manhattan at a foreclosure auction next month by holders of the mezzanine debt on the property.

The Istithmar Hotels Union Square Mezz 2 LLC will be sold to the highest bidder on Dec. 8 in New York at the offices of Allen & Overy LLP, according to newspaper advertisements by the law firm.

Luxury hotels have been hurt by a decline in business and leisure travel during the recession. Room rates at the W New York Union Square, named by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the world’s top 500 hotels in 2005, are down by almost $100 a night, according to a report last month from credit-rating company Realpoint LLC.

Deutsche Bahn, Qatar in 17 bln euro deal -minister

German rail and logistics group Deutsche Bahn [DBN.UL] is set to sign a 17 billion euro ($25 billion) contract with Qatar, German transport minister Peter Ramsauer said on Friday.

The two parties plan to sign the agreement on Sunday, Ramsauer said at a meeting of transport ministers, adding the deal included building a connection to Doha airport.

Separately, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported in its online edition on Friday that Deutsche Bahn had won a 17 billion euro contract to build a passenger and freight rail network in Qatar.

Dubai ousts financial chief in power struggle over debt troubles (Complete article posted)

Dubai has removed the high-profile governor of the Dubai International Financial Center as a political power struggle caused by the emirate's financial troubles continues to build.

Omar bin Sulaiman, governor of the centre since 2004, has been replaced by Ahmed al Tayer, a former finance minister. He is chairman of Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest bank, and a member of one of the merchant families that helped build the foundations of the emirate's economy.

The US-educated Mr bin Sulaiman appears to be the latest victim of Dubai politics as the emirate seeks to redress the excesses of the supercharged growth from 2003 to 2008 that created an $80bn debt pile and a burst real estate bubble. The ruler's court, the traditional root of the sheikh's power base, has assumed increasing powers, including controlling a $20bn (€13.4bn, £12bn) fund that will support cash-strapped state-linked businesses.

The ruler on Thursday also reshuffled the board of the Investment Corporation of Dubai, a government company overseeing the government's stakes in commercial companies such as Emirates airline.

The ICD board reshuffle has removed three of his lieutenants: Mohammed Gergawi, head of Dubai Holding; Sultan bin Sulayem, head of Dubai World; and Mohammed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, the government-linked real estate giant.

This triumvirate was instrumental in Dubai's transition from a regional trading centre to global business hub over the past decade.

The replacement of Mr bin Sulaiman with an old school government official from an established Dubai merchant family could be another signal of a back-to- basics policy.

"This is all about projecting a more conservative image to the bankers, to show that Dubai will be more careful in the future," said one observer.

Dubai is trying to renegotiate billions of dollars of debt with bankers while also raising the finance needed to meet other obligations, such as the $4bn that becomes due in mid- December on an Islamic bond issued by Nakheel, the government-owned developer that built the city's Palm Islands.

An anti-corruption campaign against executives who abused their positions of power for personal gain during the real estate boom has recently stepped up a gear.

The authorities are now said to be investigating the bonus culture and real estate holdings of many executives at the state- linked companies that helped propel Dubai to global prominence during the boom.

Yet some local observers are also scratching their heads at the arbitrary nature of the reshuffles, with some executives responsible for ballooning debts and bad investments apparently escaping retribution.END