Friday, 11 June 2010
Moody's Investors Service has today downgraded the bank financial strength rating (BSFR) of HSBC Bank Middle East Limited (HBME) to C- from C and the long-term local and foreign currency deposit ratings by one notch to A1 from Aa3.
Similarly, the foreign currency senior unsecured debt rating and the foreign currency subordinated debt rating of HBME under its MTN programme are downgraded to A1 and A2, from Aa3 and A1, respectively. The downgrade in HBME's ratings affects the deposit ratings of HSBC Bank Middle East Limited (UAE Branch) and the senior unsecured trust certificates rating of HBME Sukuk Company Ltd. All ratings carry a stable outlook. This rating action concludes the review initiated by Moody's on 15 December 2009.
Today's downgrade reflects a weakening in HBME's standalone strength as a result of ongoing credit issues in the Dubai corporate sector as well as specific troubled exposures within the Gulf Cooperation Council area, which have impacted the bank's asset quality metrics. In addition, retail exposures have also been hit from the economic slowdown in Dub
The Qatari government and state- owned companies plan to spend as much as $100 billion on infrastructure projects within the next four years, Finance Minister Yousef Hussain Kamal said today.
“The main projects are roads, sewage treatment, water treatment, and infrastructure like ports and airports,” he told reporters in Istanbul at a Turkish-Arab economic conference.
The Qatari economy, which depends on oil and gas revenue, may expand 18.5 percent in 2010, according to the International Monetary Fund. Growth may slow to 14.3 percent next year, the IMF says on its website.
The Dubai Mercantile Exchange, the United Arab Emirates oil futures market, plans to introduce Oman crude-based swaps contracts to woo Asian refiners away from Dubai-linked derivatives sold in the over-the-counter market.
The exchange will offer both swaps and options this year once regulators approve them, Chief Executive Officer Thomas Leaver said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur. The new derivatives will help refiners manage their price risk based on Oman’s output of 850,000 barrels a day rather than Dubai’s 80,000 barrels a day, he said.
“There hasn’t been an alternative Oman swaps contract, so if there is a swap linked to it that will allow people to do size trades and be additive in terms of their hedging,” Leaver said.