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Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Qatari bank provisions rise 2.2 pct m/m in July | Reuters

Provisions made by Qatari banks rose 2.2 percent month-on-month in July, slower than in the previous month, while loans grew 1.6 percent, data from the Gulf country's central bank showed on Tuesday.

Total provisions in the world's largest liquefied natural gas exporter increased to 6.38 billion riyals ($1.75 billion) at the end of July, after rising 4.6 percent in the previous month.

Monthly growth in specific loan provisions slowed to 2.0 percent, from 5.3 percent in June, the data showed."

EFG-Hermes of Egypt Agrees to Buy 65% of Credit Libanais for $542 Million - Bloomberg

EFG-Hermes Holding SAE, the biggest publicly traded Arab investment bank, agreed to acquire a 65 percent stake in Beirut-based Credit Libanais SAL for $542 million to expand in consumer and commercial banking.

EFG-Hermes obtained an option to buy an additional 25 percent stake over the next two years on the same terms it will buy the 65 percent stake, the Cairo-based investment bank said in a Regulatory News Service statement. The acquisition values Credit Libanais at $834 million, the company said.

The agreement “shows that the Lebanese banking sector remains an attractive destination for Arab and foreign institutional investors,” said Nassib Ghobril, head of research at Byblos Bank SAL in Beirut. “EFG Hermes did not intend to exit the Lebanese market when it sold its stake in Bank Audi, it was simply looking for a bank where it can acquire a majority stake.”

Dubai Stocks Rise to 2-Week High on Speculation Drop Is Overdone; Oil Gain - Bloomberg

Dubai’s stock index climbed the most in two weeks, leading Gulf markets higher, on speculation recent declines are overdone given growth prospects and as oil gained for the first time in six days.

Emaar Properties PJSC, the developer of the world’s tallest skyscraper in Dubai, advanced the most since Aug. 3. Emirates NBD, the United Arab Emirates biggest bank by assets, rose 2.1 percent. The DFM General Index climbed 0.9 percent, the most since Aug. 3, to 1,487.28 at the 2 p.m. close in Dubai. The measure has slumped 18 percent this year. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index increased 0.5 percent.

“Dubai has lost excessively this year” and today’s gains are a rebound from recent declines, said Ziad Dabbas, a financial analyst at National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC, the U.A.E.’s second-largest lender by assets. “The main problem at this point is the low volumes. There are no local catalysts driving the market.”

Mortgage Lender Tamweel Posts Fourth Quarterly Profit as Amlak Cuts Losses - Bloomberg

Tamweel PJSC, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest mortgage company, reported its fourth straight quarterly profit while second-ranked Amlak Finance PJSC’s loss narrowed as provisions for bad loans fell.

Tamweel had net income of 5.4 million dirhams ($1.5 million) in the three months to June 30, compared with a loss of 35 million dirhams a year ago, it said in a statement to the Dubai bourse today. Amlak’s quarterly loss narrowed to 597,000 dirhams from 65.6 million dirhams, the company said in a separate statement.

Tamweel set aside 40 million dirhams to cover defaults on mortgages and falling property prices in Dubai as “market conditions remain adverse,” it said in the statement. Amlak set aside 29.7 million dirhams to cover loan delinquencies, compared with 67 million dirhams a year ago, it said.

Repos for Sukuk Planned to Expand Shariah Market Trading: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg

The International Islamic Financial Market, founded by the central banks of Bahrain, Indonesia and Malaysia, plans to create Shariah-compliant repurchase agreements to help Islamic banks manage funds and boost trading.

The IIFM, a Bahrain-based standards-setting body for Islamic markets, wants to introduce repos that don’t violate the religion’s ban on interest. It has proposed allowing third parties to act as intermediaries between buyers and sellers of sukuk used as collateral for short-term funds.

Regulators from Bahrain to Malaysia are trying to expand products available to Islamic banks and borrowers. The repurchase agreements recommended by the IIFM would use a profit rate, unlike non-Shariah repos, where traders post securities as collateral for cash and agree to buy them back at a specified price and date, earning or paying the difference as interest.