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Sunday, 1 August 2010

Egypt Stocks Rally for Eighth Day on Improving Economy; Abu Dhabi Declines - Bloomberg

Egypt’s benchmark stock index rose for an eighth day, leading an advance in Middle Eastern markets, as accelerating economic growth and gains in global markets boosted investor sentiment. Abu Dhabi shares declined.

Orascom Telecom Holding SAE of Egypt, the Middle East’s biggest mobile telephone company by subscribers, climbed to the highest in a month. Egypt’s EGX30 Index gained 0.9 percent to 6,371.14 at 1:17 p.m. in Cairo, the highest since June 22. The measure has gained 7.7 percent in the past eight days, matching the longest winning streak since April 2008. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC declined after posting a loss, helping push Abu Dhabi stocks lower.

“Surely economic performance is giving investors more confidence in the market,” said Cairo-based Alia Khalil, senior equity trader at Naeem Brokerage. “However, you have to keep in mind that EGX30 has been carefully shadowing its peers overseas in terms of performance.”

Boeing gets earful of 777 advice from a customer with clout | Seattle Times Newspaper

One Boeing customer may have more influence than any other outsider on the crucial decision facing the company this year concerning the future of its star wide-body, the 777.

Tim Clark, president of giant Dubai airline Emirates, wielded his clout 10 years ago to define the long-range 777-300ER that is flying today. The resulting plane is the largest and best-selling aircraft in the 777 family.

Now the 777's biggest buyer is exerting his influence again on the strategic choice ahead for Boeing: To head off a looming competitive threat from the fuel-efficient, mostly composite A350-1000 that Airbus has in development, Boeing executives say they will either modify and improve the 777 or invest much more to go for an all-new plane."

Damas Reports Full-Year $520 Million Loss as Provisions Rise, Sales Drop - Bloomberg

Damas International Ltd., a Dubai based jewelry maker and retailer, reported a full-year loss as it set aside money to cover losses from investments and from falling sales.

The loss in the 12 months through March was 1.9 billion dirhams ($523 million), compared with a profit of 217.3 million dirhams in the 15 months to March 2009, the company said in a statement to Nasdaq Dubai today, without giving a comparable full-year figure. Non-recurring expenses and impairment charges were 1.92 billion dirhams, Damas said.

Damas’ annual revenue declined 31 percent as the sale of gold jewelry fell due to a “significant” increase in gold prices and a drop in demand from the impact of the global economic crisis, Damas said in the statement. The company booked one-time charges due to the decline in the value of investments including in joint ventures, as well as slow-moving inventory and overdue money owed to it."

BlackBerry Services Will Be Halted in U.A.E. as Traffic Can't Be Monitored - Bloomberg

Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry services will be suspended in the United Arab Emirates from October as the government aims to stop communications that can’t be monitored.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority will stop BlackBerry’s Messenger, e-mail and Web browsing services from Oct. 11, according to a statement carried by state-run Emirates News Agency.

The regulator informed the U.A.E.’s domestic telephone companies Emirates Telecommunications Corp., known as Etisalat, and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co., the Dubai-based phone and Internet company known as Du, of the suspension and instructed them to shift clients to other services."

Saudi banks book loan losses

Three Saudi lenders have booked provisions of loan losses during the second quarter, as the Saudi banking sector pushes on with a clean-up loan portfolios hit by defaults of local firms.

Samba Financial Group, the kingdom's second-biggest lender by market value, booked 57.4 million Saudi riyals (Dh56.19 million) for loan losses during the second quarter, down from 97.9 million riyals a year earlier, bourse data showed yesterday.

Samba's net profit fell 1.9 per cent in second-quarter net profit due mainly to a decline in income from lending."

Dubai Airport Considers `One-Stop' Passenger Check-in, Security for Speed - Bloomberg

Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International, set to become the world’s largest airport, may use “one-stop” processing to get travelers in and out of aircraft more quickly.

Operator Dubai Airports has trialed Siemens AG technology that allows passengers to pass through check in, customs, immigration and security screening in one place, James Robinson, head of strategic planning, said at a conference in Sydney on July 28. Travelers usually go to different parts of an airport for each of these steps at present.

“It’s out there, it just needs to be driven forward,” Robinson said. The airport operator is deciding whether to implement the system, he said."

Slow summer ahead for stocks - The National Newspaper

Stocks in the Gulf bucked the usual summer lull last year and rose in tandem with global markets. But analysts and investors say the prospects for a repeat this year are dim.

Global leaders are looking to preserve a fragile economic recovery and Gulf investors find little to cheer about in second-quarter company earnings.

“Let’s face it, it’s going to be slow,” said Yazaan Abdeen, a fund manager at ING Investments in Dubai. “Barring any earnings surprise, and we don’t think there are many in store, it will be slow trade."

ADIA is on board for British rail bid - The National Newspaper

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is a member of a consortium looking to buy the British high-speed Channel Tunnel rail link, it emerged yesterday.

According to reports in the UK media, ADIA has joined forces with British infrastructure investment funds to take part in the auction of High Speed 1, which owns the railway stations and track connecting London with the Channel Tunnel to France.

The project has been earmarked for privatisation by successive UK governments and was recently confirmed for sale by the UK’s coalition administration. The price tag is reported to be between �1.5 billion (Dh8.64bn) and �2bn."

JPMorgan Cuts Forecasts on 2010, 2011 New York Oil Prices as Demand Slows - Bloomberg

JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered by 5.5 percent its forecast for New York oil prices this year on speculation a slowdown in global economies will limit crude’s potential to rise.

The bank cut to $77.25 a barrel its estimate for the average price of West Texas Intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange during the rest of 2010, from a forecast of $81.75 a barrel made last month, according to a monthly report e-mailed today. It lowered its forecast for 2011’s average price to $79.25 a barrel from $90.

“We see both lower prices and a tighter range ahead -- but with increased risks,” Lawrence Eagles, an analyst for the U.S. bank, wrote in the report. “Weaker economic growth, energy efficiency and Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries intransigence provide downside risks.”