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Thursday, 24 June 2010

Abu Dhabi buys €1.8bn stake in UniCredit


Aabar Investments, the Abu Dhabi state-linked investment vehicle, has become the largest voting shareholder in UniCredit after buying a stake worth €1.8bn in Europe’s third-largest bank by market value.

The acquisition of the 4.99 per cent stake by one of oil-rich Abu Dhabi’s newest and most active state-linked investment vehicles, is the latest stage in the diversification of Unicredit’s shareholder base as the bank has grown from its Italian roots across Europe over the past decade.

“UniCredit warmly welcomes the investment made by Aabar, which enlarges the stable shareholderbase of the Group,“ said UniCredit chairman Dieter Rampl. “We see it as a signal of trust in our company and its strategy by an important international institutional investor.”

Abu Dhabi buys €1.8bn stake in UniCredit


Aabar Investments, the Abu Dhabi state-linked investment vehicle, has become the largest voting shareholder in UniCredit after buying a stake worth €1.8bn in Europe’s third-largest bank by market value.

The acquisition of the 4.99 per cent stake by one of oil-rich Abu Dhabi’s newest and most active state-linked investment vehicles, is the latest stage in the diversification of Unicredit’s shareholder base as the bank has grown from its Italian roots across Europe over the past decade.

“UniCredit warmly welcomes the investment made by Aabar, which enlarges the stable shareholderbase of the Group,“ said UniCredit chairman Dieter Rampl. “We see it as a signal of trust in our company and its strategy by an important international institutional investor.”

Dubai World creditors await meeting details: sources | Reuters


Creditors of Dubai World are still awaiting details of a meeting to present the final terms of its massive debt restructuring plan, sources said, causing unease among some bankers hoping for a timely resolution.

Dubai World DBWLD.UL reached an agreement in May with the seven banks which together hold 60 percent of the $14.4 billion in bank debt the company owes. A meeting with other bank creditors was supposed to follow by the end of June.

Sources familiar with the talks told Reuters an all-bank meeting was still planned, now likely in July although it could be called earlier. Dubai World declined to comment.

FACTBOX-Arguments for and against Gulf monetary union | Reuters


Four Arab Gulf oil producers led by Saudi Arabia plan to launch a monetary union, a project that has been in the works for more than a decade.

The following are some arguments for and against the project, which is also being pursued by Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.

Dubai Bonds to Rally as Default Risk Wanes, Deutsche Bank Says - BusinessWeek


Dubai sovereign and corporate bonds will extend gains over the next six months as the risk of a default by the emirate wanes, according to Deutsche Bank AG.

Germany’s biggest bank recommends investors buy Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group LLC’s 6 percent notes maturing in February 2017 and dollar bonds sold by DP World Ltd., said Jamil Hallak, head of credit trading for the Middle East and North Africa at Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank. Dubai World, the state-owned holding company, said on May 20 it reached an agreement with a group of creditors to restructure $23.5 billion of liabilities.

“Dubai bonds offer value especially after the Dubai World debt restructuring, which has provided investors with more confidence and removed a default scenario,” Hallak said in an interview in Dubai. “I see potential for their outperformance.”

First Gulf Bank suing Al Gosaibi for Dh58.7m - The National Newspaper


First Gulf Bank, the UAE’s fourth-largest bank by assets, is suing the troubled Saudi conglomerate Ahmad Hamad Al Gosaibi and Brothers over an alleged default on Dh58.7 million (US$15.98m) of loans.

The lawsuit, lodged in the Abu Dhabi Court of First Instance last year, seeks recovery of the value of the loans plus lawyers’ fees and interest, court documents obtained by The National show.

The lawsuit names Al Gosaibi’s trading business in Dubai and its parent company in Saudi Arabia as defendants.

Call for corporate takeover code - The National Newspaper


The UAE lags its regional peers in developing a corporate takeover code to promote merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the country, a senior banker said.

Guidelines for private companies taking over publicly-listed businesses are needed after the global downturn, said Peter Fort, the executive director at the investment bank Morgan Stanley in Dubai.

“In the UAE there’s almost a complete lack of M&A regulatory framework, which makes M&A transactions that involve public companies very difficult,” Mr Fort said.

3 Reasons To Consider Frontier Market ETFs | Daily Markets

Frontier market ETFs have been gaining investor attention as many seek to diversify portfolios and gain exposure to nations and regions that are up and coming and for good reason.

The actual definition of a frontier market is somewhat ambiguous, but they do offer investors the ability to access parts of the world that are likely to witness rapid economic growth in terms of GDP. Another reason to consider frontier markets is due to their low, to no, correlation with emerging and developed markets. This lack of correlation shelters these markets from the wrath that has been brought on by the sovereign debt crisis seen in developed markets throughout Europe as well as the socioeconomic climates of both the developed and developing markets.

Lastly, frontier markets are worth a look due to their vast supply of natural resources and commodities, such as oil and gold, which are likely to be highly sought after in the coming future.

Abu Dhabi Seeks Potential Partners for $10 Billion Shah Gas Development - Bloomberg


Abu Dhabi, the largest sheikhdom in the United Arab Emirates and holder of most of the country’s oil reserves, is seeking a partner to help develop the $10 billion Shah gas project after ConocoPhillips pulled out of the venture.

“The initial strategy was to have a partner,” said Saif Ahmed Al-Ghafli, chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi Gas Development Co., the state company working on the Shah project. “The same strategy is in place,” he said today at a conference in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi Gas, wholly owned by state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., is pressing ahead with the Shah development after ConocoPhillips withdrew in April. The emirate of Abu Dhabi needs to develop its reserves of sour, or high-sulfur, natural gas to help satisfy soaring domestic power consumption.