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Sunday, 15 August 2010

EFG-Hermes Quarterly Net Drops 45%, Cites Turbulence of Greek Debt Crisis - Bloomberg

EFG-Hermes Holding SAE, the biggest publicly traded Arab investment bank, said second-quarter profit fell 45 percent because of the impact of Europe’s debt crisis on regional capital markets.

Net income was 97 million Egyptian pounds ($17 million) in the three months through June compared with 176 million pounds in the same period a year earlier, the Cairo-based firm said in an e-mailed statement. Total operating revenue fell to 346 million pounds from 383 million pounds, it added in the statement.

“The regional capital markets were affected by the global capital market turbulence onset by the Greek financial impasse,” it said.

Qatar Shares Lead Mideast Drop on Concern Growth to Slow; Abu Dhabi Rises - Bloomberg

Qatar shares fell the most in almost three weeks, leading a decline in Middle East markets, after oil prices had their biggest weekly drop in six on concern the global economic recovery is faltering. Abu Dhabi shares gained.

Industries Qatar, the second-biggest petrochemicals maker in the region, decreased for a third day. Qatar Islamic Bank SAQ, the Gulf emirate’s biggest Shariah-compliant lender, lost 1.6 percent. Qatar’s QE Index slid 0.6 percent, the most since July 26, to 7,020.36, at the 12:30 p.m. close in Doha. In Dubai, Union Properties PJSC retreated after reporting a loss. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index of Gulf stocks rose for the first time in six days, increasing 0.2 percent.

“Reduced institutional participation makes us more immune, but not fully immune” to global market movements, said Yazan Abdeen, fund manager at ING Investment Management (Dubai) Ltd., which oversees $50 million. “It is Ramadan and culturally, trading declines due to fasting. There is no fundamental catalyst to drive the markets upward.”

Oil Official Terms South Pars Gas Field Large Source of Revenue for Iran

Managing-Director of Iran's Pars Oil and Gas Company Ali Vakili said that each phase of Iran's giant South Pars Oil and Gas field would yield a daily income of $10mln for the country once developed.

Managing-Director of Iran's Pars Oil and Gas Company Ali Vakili said that each phase of Iran's giant South Pars Oil and Gas field would yield a daily income of $10mln for the country once developed.

"Given the current prices of oil products, the total value of the products of each phase stands at around $10mln per day," Vakili said on Sunday.

He added that Iran has already spent $30bln in the development of the South Pars Gas field - which is jointly owned by Iran and Qatar - and added that another $40 bln is still needed to complete development projects in all South Pars phases.

Qatar Telecom Second-Quarter Net Falls 45% as One-Off Gain Is Not Repeated - Bloomberg

Qatar Telecom QSC, which provides telecommunications services in 17 countries from Asia to Africa, reported a 45 percent decline in second-quarter profit after a one-time gain from license-fee changes wasn’t repeated.

Net income fell to 571 million riyals ($157 million) from 1.04 billion riyals a year earlier, the company said in an e- mailed statement today. Profit in the second quarter of last year “was higher due to one-off items including a reversal of a provision resulting from the positive outcome of the Ministry of Communication license fee decision in Kuwait,” it said.

Middle East telephone companies such as Qatar Telecom, also known as Qtel, and Emirates Telecommunications Corp. of the United Arab Emirates are expanding in Africa and Asia to win new customers as competition in their home markets increase. Qtel currently faces competition from Vodafone Qatar, a venture between Vodafone Group Plc and state-controlled Qatar Foundation, in the gas-rich Gulf country.

DFM Index Approaches Bear Market Lows. Again.

Like the Saudi Tadawul Index, the DFM General Index is currently trading close to a long-term support area. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few days and weeks. Will the Index break the support level and set a new bear market low? If so, will this lead to significantly lower levels in the coming months? Or will the Index find support around the current levels and begin to trade higher?

What do you think?

Abraaj Capital opens Palestine office, appoints country Manager

Abraaj Capital, the Middle East’s largest private equity group, announces the appointment of its first country manager for Palestine and the establishment of an office in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

The appointment of Fayez Husseini provides on-the-ground expertise for Abraaj Capital’s US$ 50 million Palestine Growth Capital Fund, which is dedicated to investing in dynamic Palestinian small and medium enterprises (SME). The office is Abraaj Capital’s 8th in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region.

The Palestine Growth Capital Fund is part of Abraaj Capital’s US$ 700 million regional SME investment-platform called Riyada Enterprise Development (RED).

Barwa's First-Half Profit Advances 33% as Qatar's Economy Picks Up Speed - Bloomberg

Barwa Real Estate Co., the largest Qatari developer by assets, reported a 33 percent increase in first-half profit as the country’s economy picked up speed after a slowdown last year.

Net income rose to 498.4 million riyals ($137 million), or 1.63 riyals a share, from 374.2 million riyals, or 1.43 riyals, in the year-earlier period, the company said in a statement to the Qatar Exchange website today. It didn’t provide numbers for second quarter.

Barwa, which has Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund as one of its biggest shareholders, may benefit from a further pickup in economic growth in Qatar, the world’s biggest liquid natural gas producer, following last year’s slowdown. The economy is expected to expand by 18 percent this year, double last year’s growth, according to government projections.

Abu Dhabi's Aabar suffers $376 mln Q2 loss

Aabar Investments, the Abu Dhabi fund in the process of converting to a private joint stock company, suffered a 1.38 billion dirham ($375.8 million) loss for the second-quarter, hurt by a surge in derivatives liabilities.

The state-owned firm, also the largest shareholder in German automaker Daimler, made a net profit of 202 million dirhams for the first half of the year, it said in a statement to the bourse.

Aabar did not provide any earnings numbers for the second-quarter. Reuters calculated the second-quarter loss based on previous financial statements. The company made a net profit of 1.58 billion dirhams in the first-quarter, helped by derivatives income.

Dubai Islamic Second-Quarter Net Drops 33% on Investments, Beats Estimates - Bloomberg

Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC reported a 33 percent drop in second-quarter profit as income from investments at the biggest Islamic lender in the United Arab Emirates declined.

Net income fell to 301.3 million dirhams ($82 million) from 450.3 million dirhams a year earlier, the bank said in a statement today. That beat the median estimate of five analysts for a profit of 217 million dirhams, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The shares rose for the first time in more than a week, gaining 1.1 percent to 1.89 dirhams at 11:21 a.m. in Dubai.

“Despite conservative financing and provisioning policy, the retail and corporate banking division has registered positive growth,” Chairman Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani said in the statement.