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Friday, 16 April 2010

DIFC hires consultant to find companies

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has hired McKinsey, the consultancy, to try to improve growth in membership and stay ahead of regional rivals.

The move is part of a broader review of strategy at the DIFC after more than 40 companies left following the financial crisis, although others have since come in.

Abdulla al Awar, the chief executive of the DIFC, recently said the review would be completed within months. The centre has been buffeted by the crisis in the financial sector and the arrest last month of Omar bin Sulaiman, the centre’s former governor, on suspicion of embezzlement.

Qatar, Russia Discuss Joint LNG Project

Russia and Qatar--two of the world's biggest producers of natural gas--are in talks on a joint project involving liquified natural gas, a sign that producing nations are stepping up efforts to coordinate future investments and possibly output levels.

Qatar has invited Russian state-controlled gas giant OAO Gazprom (GAZP.RS) to participate in an LNG project at Qatar's Northern Field, the Russian company said Thursday, following talks between Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller and high-level Qatari officials.

The project may only go ahead after 2014, when a moratorium on increased production at the field is lifted.

New contractor picked to supply coalition troops in Mideast

A new contractor has been selected to supply billions of dollars worth of food and beverages to U.S. and other coalition troops in Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan in coming years, replacing a Kuwait-based firm that was indicted in November on charges of overbilling the government for those services.

Agility, a multibillion-dollar, worldwide government contractor, has been fighting the charges in federal district court in Atlanta. Agility and all its subsidiaries are barred from bidding on U.S. government contracts while the legal case is unresolved.

Anham, a six-year-old Dubai-based firm, was chosen over three other bidders for the new contract, which could be worth between $2 billion and $6 billion in the next six years, said Dennis J. Gauci, a spokesman for the Defense Logistics Agency. Anham is a collaboration of three multi-national firms.

Gül’s $5 bln worth diplomacy

President Abdullah Gül hired an Airbus 340 from Turkish Airlines, or THY, and invited 104 businessmen to fly to the Arab Peninsula, specifically to the Oman Sultanate located where the Hormuz Strait meets the Indian Ocean. The trip is a continuation of a tradition started during the late President Turgut Özal’s period.

These coasts where fairy tales and films on the Captain Sinbad took place are now scenes of Turkish businessmen, who are, with the support of Gül, working hard to have a bigger share in the market.

With a population of approximately 3 million, the Oman Sultanate owns rich oil and natural resources and is embarking upon infrastructure projects. No problem exists between Turkey and Oman. On the contrary, the sultanate takes Turkey dearly.

Dubai World creditors reject 1% interest -sources

Dubai World [DBWLD.UL] offered creditors a 1 percent interest rate on two new tranches of debt as part of its restructuring plan, but they rejected it as too low, two sources close to the discussions told Reuters.

A spokesman for Dubai World declined to comment.

Dubai put the restructuring plan to creditors last month, having asked for a delay in repayment of the state-owned conglomerate's debt in November, and said the deal was conditional upon agreement with the creditors.

Flood of orders for Dubai bond sale

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, the government-owned utility, reopened the market for bond issuers in the city on Thursday, in a deal that it is hoped will rebuild market confidence following the restructuring of Dubai World.

The sale of $1bn of five-year bonds, yielding 8.5 per cent, attracted more than $11bn of orders. Dewa was able to price the deal at a lower cost than initially expected.

“What this means for the market is that, for the right name with the right structure and the right approach to the market, there is tremendous interest from fixed income investors for new issuance,” said Alan Roch, fixed income syndicate director at RBS, one of the sale managers.