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Sunday, 9 May 2010

Aabar to Sell $408 Million Convertible Bonds to IPIC

Aabar Investments PJSC of Abu Dhabi, the largest shareholder in Daimler AG, said the board agreed to the sale of 1.5 billion dirhams ($410 million) of convertible bonds to International Petroleum Investment Co..

The bonds will be issued at a conversion price of 2.5 dirhams, it said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi bourse today. The converted shares will be listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

Aabar said on April 30 it planned to sell as much as 7.35 billion dirhams of convertible debt to IPIC for “general corporate purposes.” IPIC, the Abu Dhabi government-owned energy investor, owns a 71 percent stake in Aabar after converting 6.68 billion dirhams of bonds in 2009. IPIC uses Aabar for its non-oil investments.

The board also approved the appointment of Mohamed Ali al Fahim as a director, replacing David Forbes, according to the statement.END

Damas in talks to recover $55 mln

UAE Jeweller Damas International said it was taking longer to recover the $55 million owed by its founders, the Abdulla brothers, due by April 30, but the delay does not mean a default.

Dubai-based Damas was ordered to dismiss its board and pay fines, after the company last year accused its former head of involvement in $165 million of "unauthorised" transactions.

"Given the complexity involved in transferring / selling the assets declared to the company, it is taking more time to affect the recoveries as per the timeline mentioned in the previous announcement by the company on 4 November 2009," Damas said in a bourse statement on Sunday.

Egypt Stocks Lead Decline in Arab Markets on Debt Crisis, Oil

Egypt shares slumped the most since November, leading a drop in Arab markets, after global stocks tumbled on concern Europe’s debt crisis will spread beyond Greece and slow the global economic recovery. Crude oil fell to $75 a barrel. Orascom Telecom Holding SAE lost the most this year as Algeria reiterated intensions to buy Orascom’s unit in the country, objecting to a proposed sale to MTN Group Ltd. Air Arabia PJSC dropped the most since March as profit declined. Egypt’s EGX plunged 5.1 percent, the biggest slump since Nov. 30, to 6,756 at the close in Cairo. Dubai’s DFM General Index declined 1.2 percent and Qatar’s QE Index fell 4 percent.

“The international melt-down scenario related to Greek sovereign debt” is pushing Arab markets lower, said Dubai-based Yazan Abdeen, a fund manager at ING Investment Management (Dubai) Ltd. “If you think in the gloom scenario, international demand falls and hence oil, and that leads to less sovereign government revenue.”

Stocks fell globally last week on concern Europe will be unable to contain the spiraling government debt crisis. European shares tumbled the most in 18 months before euro-region leaders met in Brussels to endorse the Greek bailout. Moody’s Investors Service said banks in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ireland and the U.K. could be at risk as the threat of contagion grows. The MSCI World Index slid 2.3 percent to 1,099.58 on May 7, the lowest close since Feb. 8.

Harrods sales will propel Qatari family into the spotlight

This time it's the al-Thani family of Qatar, a Yorkshire-sized peninsula jutting into the Gulf from the coast of Saudi Arabia. They are latecomers to the game, compared with their better known cousins in Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

But they already own stakes in the London Stock Exchange, Sainsbury and Barclays Bank and a property empire that includes Canary Wharf, tracts of central London, to put alongside its European holdings such as part-ownership of Credit Suisse, Porsche and Volkswagen.

Already wealthy from oil, it was a single technological advance which shot Qatar's financial reserves into the stratosphere in the 1990s. The invention of liquefaction processes which allowed the long-distance transport by tanker of its main resource, natural gas, saw the development of new markets around the world. Since then, Qatar has exploded economically. It has now reportedly overtaken Liechtenstein as the richest country per head of population.

GCC scraps cement and steel tariffs

GCC finance ministers have agreed to abolish customs tariffs on steel and cement, GCC Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Al-Attiyah said Saturday, adding that their proposal would be presented to GCC leaders when they meet here Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting of finance ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Al-Attiyah said the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and the UAE would take up all topics of economic integration during their half-yearly consultative summit in Riyadh.

He indicated that the GCC leaders would discuss important issues such as the Gulf Common Market and the Customs Union as well as all other matters related to removing obstacles facing economic integration and improving performance.