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Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Kuwait Court Repeals Ruling Requiring Madina To Pay $10.3M To Global

Global Investment House, Kuwait's largest investment bank, Wednesday said a local court has repealed an arbitration ruling that was in its favor against Al Madina for Finance and Investment Co.

The repealed ruling, issued by the Kuwait Commercial Arbitration Center, had stipulated that Al Madina should repay a debt of about $10 million to Global plus a compensation of $300,000, Global said in a statement posted on the Kuwait bourse website.

The court has referred the case to the experts department [of the Kuwaiti ministry of justice], Global said in the statement, adding that the verdict isn't final and it will challenge it if the outcome isn't in its favor.

Egyptian business faces up to political uncertainty | beyondbrics |

For many years Egyptian businessmen have struggled with the ups and downs of economic reforms, but one thing they never worried about was who is in charge of the Arab world’s most populous country. Like it or not, Hosni Mubarak (pictured) has been president since 1981 and he has dominated Egyptian politics, never allowing a credible opposition to organise or pose a threat to his rule.

Now, however, and for the first time in decades, the business community is grappling with political uncertainty as next year’s presidential election looms.

Mr Mubarak’s health may not allow him to stand again - he is 82, after all. His ex-investment banker son, the 47-year-old Gamal, is being promoted as a successor by the younger wing of the ruling National Democratic Party, but it is not clear whether he will be the choice of the military, an institution with a traditionally strong voice in the choice of presidents.

Dubai Shares Rise as Dubai World Debt Deal Boosts Confidence; Aramex Gains - Bloomberg

Dubai shares rose for a second time this week, helping gains in Persian Gulf markets, after Dubai World’s debt accord last week boosted investor confidence and improved the outlook for company earnings. Emaar Properties PJSC, builder of the world’s tallest skyscraper and the company with the biggest weighting on the benchmark index, climbed 0.8 percent. Aramex PJSC, the Middle East’s biggest courier company, surged to a two-year high. The DFM General Index rose 0.4 percent to 1,627.15 at the 2 p.m. close in the emirate, bringing the gain since the Dubai World agreement on Sept. 10 to 2.2 percent. Qatar’s QE Index advanced 0.7 percent on its first trading day this week.

Dubai World’s agreement caused a “bounce” in local shares, said Julian Bruce, director of equity sales at EFG- Hermes Holding SAE in Dubai. Gains in Dubai shares may be limited as “volumes are retreating again and foreign investor interest is waning already,” Bruce said. About 97 million shares traded in Dubai today compared with a six-month daily average of 146 million.

Dubai World, one of three main state-owned holding companies, last week received approval from creditors to alter the terms on $24.9 billion of debt. The agreement is “credit positive” for banks in the United Arab Emirates, Moody’s Investors Service said on Sept. 13. The DFM Financial Investment Index advanced 1 percent to the highest since May 24.

Abu Dhabi to build $7 bln chip plant, UAE IT & Services, Technology - Maktoob Business

Abu Dhabi government-owned Advanced Technology Investment Co (ATIC) will spend as much as $7 billion to build a chip manufacturing plant in the emirate, the Wall Street Journal reported citing an interview with its chief executive officer.

Ibrahim Ajami said the new facility will ramp up its production between 2014 and 2015. The plant would be a 12-inch wafer fabrication facility, the industry's most advanced. The new plant would be the first chip manufacturing facility in the United Arab Emirates.

Ajami also said ATIC is open to acquisitions beyond the contract chip manufacturing business to strengthen its position in the semiconductor business.

The Abu Dhabi-based company bought Singapore's Chartered Semiconductor for $1.8 billion last year and has a joint venture investment in semiconductor manufacturing company Global Foundries with Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

GCC Unrated Issuers Have $67 Billion of Debt, May Sell Bonds, Moody's Says - Bloomberg

Unrated corporate issuers in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries have more than $67 billion of total debt outstanding and are likely to issue conventional bonds, sukuks and structured-finance instruments, Moody’s Investors Service said.

Short-term debt comprises 28 percent of this debt, Moody’s said in a report e-mailed today. “The proportion of bank debt for unrated corporates is high, which Moody’s believes makes such corporates more likely to pursue debt funding as an alternative,” it said.

Moody’s estimates that the total debt for rated corporates in the GCC is $145 billion. The GCC comprises Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

Saudi Arabian banks rise on positive review - The National Newspaper

Saudi banks leapt to their highest in weeks after Goldman Sachs gave the sector a clean bill of health, saying it saw future rewards as the government embarked on a US$385 billion stimulus programme.

Announcing it would begin coverage of six Saudi banks, the US investment bank assigned a “buy” rating to Samba Financial Group, Saudi British Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi and Arab National Bank.

Goldman was more cautious on Riyad Bank and Al Rajhi Bank, giving them a “neutral” rating."

Brokerages face hard times from low trade - The National Newspaper

As many as one in three financial brokerages in the UAE face closure in the coming months with significant job losses likely as low trading volumes persist, executives say.

Ninety brokerages are licensed to trade on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, which are regulated by the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA).

This number could fall by more than a third as companies close or merge, said Ghassan Ajawi, the general manager at Wafa Financial Services in Dubai. And many of the brokerages that remain open are expected to shed staff."

Aabar charges up electric car industry - The National Newspaper

Aabar Investments, a global investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, is at the centre of two deals that are expected to be a shot in the arm for the fledgling electric-car industry.

Tesla Motors, in which Aabar holds a stake of 3.63 per cent, has teamed up with Toyota to develop a battery-powered version of the RAV4 sport utility vehicle.

Meanwhile, the German luxury car maker Daimler, in which Aabar holds a 9 per cent stake, is to join forces with Renault and Nissan to produce electric cars."

Dubai World debt deal puts spotlight on Nakheel | Reuters

State-owned conglomerate Dubai World's debt restructuring deal will hasten a similar deal for creditors of property developer Nakheel, analysts said, and acts as a precedent for other state-linked restructurings.

Dubai World DBWLD.UL reached near-unanimous approval for its $24.9 billion debt plan, it said in a statement on Friday, but flagship property arm Nakheel NAKHD.UL, undergoing parallel negotiations, has yet to secure backing for its plan.

'The conclusion of Dubai World's debt restructuring program ... opens the door to the debt restructuring of Nakheel,' Moody's analyst John Tofarides said in a report on Monday."

Abu Dhabi Bankrolls U.S. Students as NYU Joins Sorbonne in Gulf - Bloomberg

When U.S. teenager Anthony Spalvieri-Kruse was considering which college to attend, he got an offer he couldn’t refuse from 7,200 miles away in Abu Dhabi.

“I’m receiving a full ride to attend, including flights and an allowance of $2,000 a year,” said Spalvieri-Kruse, now ensconced in what he calls “uber-swanky” accommodation in the United Arab Emirates. “It was pretty incredible considering that I was looking at $30,000 a year from other places.”

The 18-year-old from Kalamazoo, Michigan, is among the first students at New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus, which began classes this week. The college is being bankrolled by the emirate as it tries to underpin a $500 billion development plan by more than doubling investment in education this year.

Opec’s 50th birthday party: not so easy | beyondbrics |

How does an ill-fitting family spanning the Wahhabi state of Saudi Arabia and revolutionary Venezuela celebrate its 50th anniversary, which fell on Tuesday?

Well, no-one is saying the party-planning for the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, founded in Baghdad in 1960, has been easy.

The Iraqi government had apparently hoped to host a symposium to mark the 50-year celebrations, which for logistics reasons were to take place after the next scheduled Opec meeting in Vienna next month.