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Sunday, 22 August 2010

Saudi Low-Cost Airline Sama to Cease Operations After $266 Million Loss - Bloomberg

Sama, one of two low-cost airlines in Saudi Arabia, will stop its services from Aug. 24 as the company failed to get government support and find investors after incurring losses.

Government help in the form of fuel subsidies and the removal of price limits on domestic routes failed to materialize, the Dammam-based airline’s Chief Executive Officer Bruce Ashby said today in e-mailed statement. “We also tried to find strategic investors who are ready to invest in the company and pump the necessary liquidity to enable Sama to operate.”

The decision was taken after the airline recorded a loss of 1 billion riyals ($266 million), said a board member before the announcement. Sama, which received 200 million riyals as a loan from the government to cover fuel costs and 500 million riyals from shareholders, fell short of 300 million riyals to keep the operations on track, he said, declining to be identified.

Turkmenistan Tips Its Hand On Future Energy Exports | EurasiaNet.org

Turkmenistan, so key to the energy plans of so many, had long shown its readiness to break Russia's stranglehold on its gas and oil exports. But Ashgabat has offered few hints as to who it prefers as an alternative.

That changed last week, when President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov gathered energy officials together on August 12 and outlined, in much more detail than usual, the country's export-diversification policy.

It's a strategy that is pioneering in its calls for increased cooperation with Western companies, unambiguous in its preference for deals with China, and surprising for its failure to even mention traditional energy partner Russia and the EU's Nabucco gas-pipeline project."

Bahrain's GFH aims for $300 mln capital boost

Bahrain's Gulf Finance House, the investment firm hit hard by a regional property crisis, said on Sunday it plans to increase its capital base by $300 million.

In a statement to the Bahrain bourse, the Islamic investment firm said it plans to raise the capital 'imminently' but did not elaborate on how it plans the raise.

On Monday, GFH announced its plans for additional capital and asked the bourse to suspend trading in the stock until August 23."

Oman Shares Lead Decline in Gulf on Economic Growth Concern; Qatar Gains - Bloomberg

Oman’s stock index led a decline in Gulf shares after European markets retreated last week as U.S. economic reports heightened investor concern the global recovery may be faltering. Qatar’s benchmark rose for a fifth day.

Al Anwar Holdings SAOG, the Omani investor in manufacturing companies, fell for a second day and Al-Hassan Engineering Co. lost the most in almost six weeks. Oman’s MSM30 Index dropped for the first time in four days, slipping 0.3 percent at the 1 p.m. close. Qatar’s QE Index increased 0.9 percent 7,179, the highest level since May 18. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index gained 0.2 percent.

The shares “reacted to the closing prices of U.S. equities on Friday and oil prices,” said Mohamed Abu Ghoush, head of equity brokerage at Al-Ahli Bank in Doha. Gains in Qatar are being led by the index’s main components after they reported second-quarter earnings that were “above expectations,” he said.

GCC Market Analytics: Weekly GCC Trend Analysis....Now Includes Qatar

Some readers contacted me to ask why Qatar was missing from the weekly Trend Analysis and Index Analysis reports. This wasn't an oversight, it was simply because I didn't have the necessary market data to perform the analysis.

Happily, however, I've now got my hands on the data so, going forward, Qatar will be included in all reports.

Enjoy.

P.S. See "Notes" section at the bottom of the post for an explanation of the Trend Analysis report.


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Notes:
1. In the "Current Trend Conditions" section the short-term, medium-term and long-term trend values are determined by dual moving averages. The trend value is "Up" when the the shorter length moving average is greater the longer length moving average. The trend value is "Down" when the the shorter length moving average is less then the longer length moving average. For more information on dual moving averages see previous post here.
2. Dual moving average parameters are specific to each index and time-frame (short, medium and long).

3. The "Outlook" value can be "Very Bullish," "Bullish," "Neutral," "Bearish" or "Very Bearish." The value is determined by the historical performance of the index when the same short, medium and long-term trend conditions were in evidence in the past.
4. The top chart shows a plot of the historical price performance of the index. Highlighted on the chart are the past periods when the current trend conditions were in evidence in the past
5. The bottom chart shows the non-compounded percentage returns of the index when the current trend condition were in evidence in the past.

FT.com / Middle East / Finance - Nakheel pays $681m to contractors

Nakheel, a troubled Dubai-based developer, has paid Dh2.5bn ($681m) to trade creditors as it pushes towards agreement on Dh4bn in unpaid bills to contactors as part of the broader restructuring at Dubai World, its parent.

Ali Lootah, Nakheel’s chairman, told a local newspaper on Sunday that the developer had agreed claims with 80 per cent of its trade creditors as it pushes towards the 95 per cent threshold needed to finalise a restructuring agreement.

Under the restructuring agreement, contractors are to be repaid 40 per cent of their outstanding claims in cash, with the remaining 60 per cent issued in the form of an Islamic bond, or sukuk, that would be listed on NasdaqDubai, the international exchange in Dubai.

Saudi King Appoints Ex-Chevron Chairman David O'Reilly to Aramco's Board - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah named David O’Reilly, who built Chevron Corp. into the world’s fourth- largest publicly traded oil company, to be a board member at state-run Saudi Aramco.

O’Reilly, Chevron’s chairman and chief executive officer for a decade, will serve a three-year term on oil producer Aramco’s board, according to a statement posted on the website of the official Saudi Press Agency yesterday. King Abdullah also confirmed Khalid Al-Falih as Aramco’s president and CEO.

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest crude exporter, completed a development plan lastyear to boost oil production capacity to more than 12 million barrels a day. Saudi Arabia, the largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is only generating about 8.3 million barrels a day after the group agreed on production cuts in December 2008.

Nakheel Made $680 Million Payment to Creditors, Chairman Tells Al Khaleej - Bloomberg

Nakheel PJSC, the Dubai World-owned property developer, paid 2.5 billion dirhams ($681 million) of bills it owes trade creditors, Chairman Ali Lootah was cited as saying in an interview with Al Khaleej.

About 80 percent of its trade creditors have agreed to new payment terms, the newspaper said, citing Lootah. Nakheel said on June 30 it had begun settling bills from its biggest trade creditors, involving a payout of 4 billion dirhams. The company is waiting for a final response from bank creditors on restructuring its obligations, Lootah was quoted as saying.

Nakheel PJSC said on July 14 a group of its creditors “unanimously supported” a proposal on altering the terms on $10.5 billion of loans and unpaid bills. The terms are supported “in principle” by the coordinating committee of its creditor banks and Nakheel expects to complete the restructuring over the “coming months,” the company said.

Zain Saudi Arabia Intends to Reduce Capital by 48%, Then Issue More Shares - Bloomberg

Zain Saudi Arabia, a unit of Kuwait’s biggest mobile-phone company, is seeking investor approval to reduce its share capital by 48 percent and then raise its capital by 60 percent at an undisclosed date.

The share capital will decrease to 7.3 billion riyals ($1.95 billion) from 14 billion riyals, the Riyadh-based telecommunications company said today in a statement posted on the Saudi stock exchange’s website. The number of shares will drop to 732.8 million after Zain Saudi Arabia eliminates one share for every 2.096 shares held, the company said.

The division will then seek approval to raise its capital to 11.7 billion riyals from 7.3 billion riyals by issuing 438.3 million new shares to existing shareholders, it said.