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Sunday, 29 August 2010

Essdar eyes distressed deals, bank books for growth | Reuters

UAE-based Essdar Capital, which recently bought the senior debt of Oman's troubled $15 billion Blue City project in a distressed deal, is betting on its local expertise to tap more such opportunities, a top executive said.

Essdar, 35-percent owned by the ruler of Dubai's investment company Dubai Holding, bought Blue City's $655.5 million Class A debt via a tender offer earlier in June as part of investment in its Gulf-focused distressed debt fund.

The investment remains the fund's largest so far."

Qatar's Hassad Food to buy sugar project in Brazil-QNA | Energy & Oil | Reuters

Hassad Food, owned by Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, plans to acquire a sugar project in Brazil with a capacity to produce 25 million tonnes per annum, state-run Qatar News agency said, citing the firm's chairman.

Qatar, like other Gulf states, imports the majority of its food requirements, and securing future food supplies is seen as a priority by the government.

The acquisition in Brazil is expected to take place in two months time, Nasser al-Hajri told QNA, giving no further details of the project."

Abu Dhabi, Israel Shares Rise on Bernanke's Pledge on Economy; Oil Gains - Bloomberg

Qatar and Israel shares advanced, leading a rally in Middle East markets, after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke pledged to safeguard the recovery of the world’s biggest economy. Oil gained.

The QE Index climbed 0.5 percent, the most since Aug. 22, to 7,195.88 at the 12:30 p.m. close in Doha, led by Qatar Islamic Bank SAQ, the Gulf state’s biggest Islamic lender. The TA-25 Index rose 0.5 percent to 1,145.31 in Tel Aviv. Avner Oil Exploration LP surged 6.6 percent after partners at the Leviathan site approved plans for an offshore gas and oil prospect. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index of Persian Gulf stocks increased 0.4 percent.

The gains are “in line with the closing of U.S. markets on Friday,” said Haissam Arabi, chief executive officer of Gulfmena Alternative Investments in Dubai. Bernanke said “what investors worried about a double-dip recession wanted to hear.”

BUY OR SELL-Can Emaar escape Dubai's property woes? | Reuters

Dubai's Emaar Properties EMAR.DU, builder of the world's tallest tower, offers value for long-term investors, but opaque earnings make it difficult to gauge its diversification into malls and hospitality.

Emaar's second-quarter profit came in below forecasts at 802 million dirhams ($218.4 million), but this shortfall was due to a slower-than-expected handover of units from the 828-metre high Burj Khalifa, rather than a loss of value.

These revenues are now slated to be transferred to the second-half of 2010."

GCC Market Analytics: September Seasonality

September's just around the corner so I thought I'd analyse the historical performance of the GCC markets during this month.

For international equity markets September has been the weakest month of the year. On average, since 1950, the S&P 500 Index has lost about 1% during September. I wanted to see if this effect was the same for the GCC equity markets.

The chart below shows the average daily percentage change for each GCC market during each calendar month.


There are a couple of things of note. Firstly, aside from January, the first half of the year is typically the best period for GCC equity markets. The strongest months are February, March, April and August.

Secondly, the worst performing months, by some distance, are October and November. That's a big tendency to overcome for anyone who's advocating a year end rally.

As far as September is concerned, however, there isn't much to note apart from the strong performance of the Dubai market during this month. On the whole, though, September has tended to be a mixed month for GCC equities. The good news is that the data above doesn't seem to correspond with how international equity markets tend to perform during this month. Phew!

Enjoy.

P.S. As with the previous Ramadan Effect post I have to point out that we're dealing with a very small data set for this analysis. My data only goes back as far as 2004 for GCC equity markets so there have only been six or seven prior instances of each calendar month. It's hard to draw any concrete conclusions from such a small data set.

Qatar First Investment Bank acquires a stake in a Leading Turkish based healthcare provider | Al Bawaba

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) announced that along with ARGUS Capital, a London based private equity house, acquired a 40% minority stake in Memorial Health Group (MHG), one of the leading healthcare providers in Turkey.

MHG began operations in February 2000 and is among the top two 'class A' healthcare groups in Turkey, offering high quality service with well respected physicians and state-of-the-art equipment. MHG offers a full range of medical services covering 41 branches of medicine including, but not limited to, general surgery, cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, organ transplants, neurosurgery, da Vinci robotic surgery and orthopaedics.

MHG's main hospital complex is located in Okmeydani in Istanbul, a 55,000 square meter facility with a 214 bed capacity. In addition, MHG also operates two other complexes, one on the Asian side of Istanbul in Atasehir district with 143 bed capacity and the other in the Bahcelievler on the European side with a 114 bed capacity. MHG also operates a complex in Antalya with a 132 bed capacity in addition to two outpatient polyclinics both located in Istanbul.

U.A.E. Investor May Seek to Buy 10% of National Bank of Kuwait, Qabas Says - Bloomberg

An investor from the United Arab Emirates is interested in buying a 10 percent stake in National Bank of Kuwait, Al-Qabas reported, without saying where it got the information.

A representative for the Emirati investor may visit Kuwait this week to look at the possibility of the stake purchase, the newspaper said. An investment company with shares in NBK is in talks with other shareholders to gather the 10 percent required for sale, according to Al-Qabas.

National Bank of Kuwait doesn’t have any knowledge that shareholders of the bank received offers for a 10 percent stake and there are no negotiations with the bank on this, the lender said in a statement to the Kuwait Stock Exchange on Aug. 19.

Busier days forecast for markets - The National Newspaper

Analysts expect trading on UAE exchanges to pick up this week as the country’s addition to a major global stock index approaches.

The FTSE will add the UAE to its Global Equity Index Series as a secondary emerging market next month. While the move was announced almost a year ago, the upcoming inclusion of listed companies in the UAE was something to watch, said Ali Salaam, the director of MENA equities at Credit Suisse in Dubai.

“There’s reason to be optimistic,” he said."

GCC Market Analytics: Weekly GCC Index Analysis

Weekly Index Analysis for week ending 26th August 2010 (25th August 2010 for Saudi Tadawul Index).

Enjoy.

Top Dubai landlord in new ratings row - The National Newspaper

The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) hit back yesterday after Standard & Poor’s (S&P) said it expected the company to have cash management problems this year.

The DMCC, which owns the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange and developed the 87-building Jumeirah Lakes Towers project on Sheikh Zayed Road, yesterday objected to the assessment by the global credit ratings agency.

It said all of its debt was retired when it finished repaying a US$200 million (Dh734.5m) Islamic bond in May."