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Sunday, 18 April 2010

Kuwait's Global seeks $805 mln capital hike

Shareholders of Kuwait's Global Investment House (GLOB.KW) will vote on a 76 percent capital hike worth around $805 million on May 5, the firm said in a statement.
Global, one of the Gulf Arab state's biggest investment firms, plans to raise its capital to 231.24 million dinars ($805 million) through issuing shares at a nominal value of 100 fils per share, it said in a statement on its website.
There are 1,000 fils to the dinar.
The vote will take place at a shareholders meeting on May 5, it said.
In December, the firm reached a deal with creditors to reschedule $1.7 billion in debt, and entered into new three-year facilities with each of its 53 lending banks. [ID:nGEE5B90V7] Global said it will also seek investor approval on cancelling a capital hike it called for in June 2009. The firm had planned to more than double its capital at the time to almost $1 billion.
The troubles of Global and other investment firms, including major Islamic firm Investment Dar (TIDK.KW), led the government of the world's fourth-largest oil exporter to approve a rescue package worth 1.5 billion dinars last year.
For the detailed company statement, click on:

Emirates NBD introduces seed capital initiative

Emirates NBD, the largest banking group in the Middle East in terms of assets, has announced the introduction of a seed capital initiative, which will facilitate UAE nationals to start up their own business.

The initiative will enable Emirati entrepreneurs to fund the initial capital requirement to start their own enterprise.

The move by Emirates NBD comes at a time when self-employed nationals are increasingly recognised for their contribution to the UAE economy and the government plans to introduce a new law to help streamline and speed-up the process of setting up new businesses.

Dubai Stocks Drop Most in 3 Weeks on Dubai World Interest Plan

Dubai’s stocks fell the most this month on concern Dubai World is offering creditors interest that is about a fifth of the market rate and after global markets slumped on fraud allegations at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Arabtec Holding PJSC slipped the most since February after a unit of the construction company won’t bid for a contract to build a 1.1 kilometer (0.68-mile) skyscraper in Saudi Arabia. Emaar Properties PJSC retreated 3.9 percent. The Dubai Financial Market General Index lost 2.3 percent, the biggest drop since March 29, to 1,775.56 at the close in Dubai. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index fell 0.9 percent at 1:48 p.m. in Riyadh.

Dubai World, the state-owned holding company restructuring $24.8 billion of debt, is offering to pay creditors 1 percent interest on new loans as part of a restructuring plan, a banker familiar with the plan said April 15. Banks are reluctant to accept the new rate presented on March 25 as it is lower than the market rate of about 5 percent and would force Dubai World’s creditors to book impairment provisions, two bankers said.

Islamic Banking for Consumers in ‘Stone Ages,’ Barclays Says

Islamic retail banking is in the “stone ages” as many financial institutions fail to provide services that cater to an increasing number of Shariah-compliant customers, according to Barclays Plc.

Only a “handful of simple” products, such as savings accounts, Islamic loans and debit cards are available to the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims, Harris Irfan, the Dubai-based head of Islamic finance products at Barclays Capital and Barclays Wealth, said in an interview last week. Barclays, the U.K.’s second-largest bank, began offering Islamic retail products such as murabahah deposits, insurance and investment services in 2009, according to the bank.

“A Shariah-compliant customer only gets a fraction of what a conventional customer has access to,” said Irfan. “We’re almost at that Stone Age phase of sticking your money under the mattress.”

Saudi's Al-Rajhi Bank Q1 falls on provisions

Saudi Arabia's Al-Rajhi Bank 1120.SE, the Gulf region's largest Islamic bank by market value, on Sunday said first-quarter net profit fell 2.8 percent, below analysts' forecasts, as provisions continue to weigh.

The Islamic bank posted a net profit of 1.684 billion riyals ($439 million) in the three months to end March 31, down from 1.732 billion riyals in the year-earlier period.

The bank cited the its conservative policy for taking provisions as a reason for the decline, without providing further details.

National Bonds Corporation targets 30% growth in 2010

The NBC offers 22,250 prizes and a Dh1 million draw every month, says its CEO Mohammed Qasim Al Ali. (SUPPLIED)
National Bonds Corporation (NBC), the Shariah-compliant savings scheme, is targeting a growth of 30 per cent in 2010 and is close to inking deals with some Dubai Government-related entities for enrolment with its employee savings scheme, according to the company CEO.
"We have approached the Dubai Government entities and are almost there… just a signature away with some government-related entities," Mohammed Qasim Al Ali told Emirates Business.
The company is looking to open representative offices in the UAE and has signed up for the Swift platform.

Kuwait's NBK Q1 net profit rises 20 pct to $264 mln

The lender posted a net profit of 63.5 million Kuwaiti dinars ($221.1 million) in the first quarter of 2009.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected NBK's first-quarter net profit to range between 75 million and 87 million dinars. [ID:nLDE63A03C]

As of the end of March, NBK Group's total assets were up 5.9 percent to $44.1 billion, whereas total shareholders' equity increased by 17.4 percent to $6.2 billion, the company said in a statement.

Roubini on the Middle East

He is simply known within market circles as Dr. Doom, since he precisely called the credit crisis and subsequent downturn in global financial markets. Today, Roubini is sharing the same concerns about asset bubbles as a result of continued low interest rates and the flood of capital pouring into equity markets and commodities. He is also not convinced about what many have defined as “V” shaped or sharp recovery.

But in my time with the economist, who is of Iranian decent and grew up in Istanbul, I decided to link our conversation to the key issues surrounding the region - notably the durability of the dollar as a reserve currency, Gulf monetary union, oil prices and Dubai’s debt crisis.

Roubini suggested that central bankers of the region look carefully at the European model when constructing the framework for Gulf monetary union saying, “One of the lessons is, monetary union can be successful if the member countries are relatively homogenous” and are prepared to set up a structure for burden sharing.

Saudi Shares Decline; Banks Alinma, Al-Rajhi and Samba Fall

Saudi Arabian shares fell for the first day in three, driven by banks such as Islamic lender Alinma Bank, which reported a first-quarter loss.

Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index declined 0.1 percent to 6,882.01, the lowest in a week.

Alinma reported a first-quarter loss of 75 million riyals, from a profit a year ago. The shares declined for a fifth day, shedding 1.2 percent to 12.45 riyals.