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Saturday, 16 October 2010

Confidence returns to Middle East investment | Reuters

Middle East governments and companies are raising cash again from debt and equity markets, while solid oil prices and improving economic fundamentals are helping the region recover and restructure.

Yet even as the region regains its footing after the global financial crisis, political tensions and concerns over security remain a nagging worry for investors in the region.

Top executives and officials will address these and other aspects of the Middle East financial climate at the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit in Dubai, Riyadh, Cairo, Beirut and Baghdad on October 18-20."

Saudi Arabian Shares Fall, Weighed on by Increase in Bank Loan Provisions - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabian shares fell for a fourth day after banks in the kingdom reported lower third- quarter profit on provisions for bad loans.

The Tadawul All Share Index lost 1.2 percent at 6,226.78, the lowest since Sept. 1, in Riyadh. Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the world’s largest petrochemical maker, National Industrialization Co., Arab National Bank and Saudi British Bank led the market lower.

“People are a bit concerned about the banks,” said Anas Kassem, an investment analyst at Ajeej Capital in Riyadh. “Most of us had thought that the provisioning cycle had pretty much come to an end.”

GCC Market Analytics: Weekly Market Analysis (Week 43)

The weekly market analysis pages have been updated for trading week 43 (October 16th - October 22nd). Use the links below to view the individual market analysis pages:

The table below shows the market outlook based on each study. The market with the most bullish outlook this coming week is Muscat where all studies are indicating higher prices.

Saudi, on the other hand, has the weakest market outlook with all studies suggesting lower levels this week.

Visit the links above to view the full anaysis reports for all GCC markets.

GCC Market Analytics: Weekly Market Winners & Losers

Most GCC markets continued their recent price rises last week. The stand out performers were Abu Dhabi (+2.73%) and Dubai (+1.40%). Saudi was the only market to decline last week, falling -1.79%.

Weekly Price Performance

The biggest volume gainers compared to the previous week were Abu Dhabi (+280%) and Muscat +259%). The biggest volume fallers were the Qatar (-44%) and Bahrain (-26%) markets.

Weekly Volume Performance
(versus previous week's volume)

Statoil Won't Participate in Iraq's Bidding Round for Gas Fields Next Week - Bloomberg

Statoil ASA, Norway’s biggest oil and gas producer, won’t participate in Iraq’s bidding round for gas fields, spokesman Baard Glad Pedersen said on the phone today.

“Our focus now is to develop West Qurna 2, one of the world’s biggest oil fields, with Lukoil and we don’t plan to participate in the licensing round for gas fields next week,” Glad Pedersen said in a subsequent e-mail.

Statoil is among the 13 companies prequalified by the Iraqi authorities to participate in the country’s third petroleum licensing auction. The three fields offered in the licensing round hold combined reserves of more than 11 trillion cubic feet. The Stavanger-based company won rights in December to develop Iraq’s West Qurna field with OAO Lukoil.

Sukuk Issuance to Spur Record Rally as Growth Gains Pace: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg

Global Islamic bonds are poised to extend gains after climbing to a record this week, buoyed by Asian economic growth and a pickup in Persian Gulf issuance.

The HSBC/NASDAQ Dubai US Dollar Sukuk Index, which tracks 23 sovereign and corporate securities that comply with the religion’s ban on interest, climbed to 124.47 on Oct. 11, the highest level since its inception in 2005. The notes have returned 12.4 percent so far this year after a gain of 20 percent in 2009 and a 19 percent loss in 2008.

Asia’s developing economies will expand 9.4 percent in 2010, compared with growth of 2.7 percent in advanced countries, the International Monetary Fund forecast on Oct. 6. Persian Gulf sales of sukuk, which pay asset returns to comply with the religion’s ban on interest, are rising after Dubai World reached an agreement with creditors last month to change terms on $24.9 billion of debt. Companies in the region plan to issue about $5.8 billion of Islamic debt in the fourth quarter, the most for the period in three years, data compiled by Bloomberg show.