Tuesday, 29 June 2010
Liquefied natural gas tankers parked off Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates are storing the equivalent to about three months of China’s average purchases, signaling an oversupply in the market.
About 43 percent of the total capacity of tankers in the Gulf of Oman are holding LNG, Pan EurAsian Enterprises Inc. said in an e-mail yesterday, citing data from Odysseus tracking service. That’s equivalent to about 1.4 million metric tons of the cleaner-burning fuel. China imported 7.63 billion cubic meters, or 5.6 million tons, last year, according to BP Plc’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2010.
An oversupply of gas and weak demand have sent spot charter rates to the cheapest in five years, prompting producers and traders to take advantage of the low charges to store the fuel. Qatar, the world’s biggest producer of LNG, was idling at least eight tankers in the Gulf of Oman as of June 3, according to ship-tracking data from AIS Live Ltd. The vessels have a combined capacity of 1.8 million cubic meters, enough to supply the U.K. for more than a month.
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise may defer or cancel $29 billion of orders for 200 aircraft, divided equally between Airbus SAS and Boeing Co., the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.
As an alternative, the state-controlled Dubai aircraft-leasing company may try to switch the orders to Emirates Airline and FlyDubai, the newspaper said.
The cancelation threat stems from Dubai’s parlous financial state, the Journal said, adding that Dubai Aerospace, Airbus and Boeing all declined to comment.
The Dubai Financial Market and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange’s talks to combine the bourses are in an “advanced” stage, Alrroya Aleqtissadiya reported, citing people it didn’t identify.
The Dubai Financial Market has been valued at 9.5 billion dirhams ($2.6 billion), the newspaper reported. The combined entity will be called Emirates Financial Market, it said.
The U.A.E. is home to three stock exchanges, one in Abu Dhabi and two in Dubai. The Abu Dhabi Securities Market and the Dubai Financial Market are regulated by the Securities and Commodities Authority, while Nasdaq Dubai is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority. Dubai Financial Market had market value of 12 billion dirhams at yesterday’s closing price.
The Qatar Exchange said yesterday that an integrated regional stock market would promote cross-border investment, adding that it was gearing up for a proposed consolidation of Gulf bourses.
“We have everything in the plan,” said Minister for International Cooperation and Qatar Exchange chairman HE Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah on the sidelines of a function to mark the inauguration of a new website for the Qatar Exchange.
Proposals for integration were first raised in the United Arab Emirates which oversees exchanges in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Monday received Guo Shuqing, Chairman of China Construction Bank (CCB).
Shaikh Maktoum welcomed Guo Shuqing and an accompanying delegation, pointing out that the visit will usher in a new era of relations between the banking sectors of both countries.
Shaikh Maktoum commended China's rise on the global economic scene, stressing that the UAE in general, and Dubai in particular, look forward to furthering economic and financial cooperation with China, which is the UAE's second largest trading partner.
The United Arab Emirates, the second-largest Gulf economy, may follow Malaysia, Bahrain and Indonesia in selling Islamic securities with maturities of less than 12 months as legislators consider establishing a local debt market, according to Royal Capital PJSC.
Islamic bills would give Shariah-compliant banks more investment options, said Ahmed Talhaoui, Abu Dhabi-based head of portfolio management at Royal Capital, which is 44 percent-owned by United Gulf Bank BSC, an investment bank in Bahrain. The nation’s eight Islamic banks held $49.8 billion of deposits at the end of 2009, or about 19 percent of the total, central bank Governor Sultan bin Nasser al-Suwaidi said at an Islamic banking conference in Singapore on June 14.
Banks that adhere to Shariah principles “are facing a maturity mismatch,” Talhaoui said in an interview this week. “They are keeping a lot of deposits but their options are limited. Some banks are playing a dangerous game, which is essentially to match short-term liabilities with investments in sukuk,” or Islamic bonds, which have longer maturities.
Qatar could never be accused of being a shrinking violet. The Gulf nation may have failed in its bid to bring the 2016 Olympics to the Arabian Desert, but the country is embarking on a project that appears at least as audacious - an attempt to make the desert bloom and achieve food security.
The aim of the Qatar National Food Security Programme is to bring the country as close as possible to food self-sufficiency by 2023. There is even the prospect of farms rising skywards in the form of skyscrapers as Qatar considers introducing hydroponics - soilless agriculture - and "vertical farming".
Like other Gulf countries made rich by hydrocarbon reserves, Qatar was spurred into action two years ago when rising food prices caused producing countries to restrict their exports, raising the possibility of food deficits even for wealthy Arab states.