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Thursday, 21 October 2010

Abu Dhabi Shares Head for Highest Close Since April on Profit Expectations - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi shares rose for a fourth time this week as banks advanced on investor speculation third- quarter profit will beat expectations.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC surged to the highest close in almost two years and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC gained the most since Oct. 11. The chief executive officer of ADCB, the United Arab Emirates’ third-biggest bank, said it aims to diversify lending after being hurt by Dubai World’s $24.9 billion debt restructuring. ADCB is scheduled to announce earnings next week. The ADX General Index rose 0.8 percent to 2,807.5 at the close in Abu Dhabi. The measure gained 1.8 percent this week.

“There are positive expectations for third-quarter earnings, especially for banks,” said Waleed Al Khateeb, senior finance manager at Dubai-based Daman Securities LLC.

Foreigners Buy Iran Shares at Three Times Pace as Investment Rules Change - Bloomberg

Foreigners bought three times as many shares in Iran’s publicly traded companies in the past six months as they did a year earlier after the authorities changed the rules to attract international investors.

Foreigners invested $250 million in Iranian stocks since March 21, the beginning of the Iranian year, after investing $140 million in all of the preceding 12 months, Hassan Ghalibaf- Asl, the Tehran Stock Exchange’s president said in an interview in Paris after attending the annual meeting of the World Federation of Exchanges.

TSE’s benchmark index, the Tepix, has surged 63 percent year-to-date, making it the third-fastest growing primary index in the world, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.>

Oman telco Nawras Q3 net profit up 62 pct | Reuters

Nawras, the Omani telco undergoing an initial public offering (IPO), said on Thursday its third-quarter net profit soared 62.3 percent compared with a year ago, driven by mobile and fixed-line services.

Nawras made a net profit of 12.5 million rials ($32.47 million), compared with 7.7 million in the period in 2009, it said in an e-mailed statement.

Results for the period included a non-recurring provision of 1.8 million rials for one-off payments to staff related to the launch of the fixed service and the IPO, it said."

Those Supposedly Ballooning OPEC Oil Reserves |

slew of reports have been populating my feed reader recently announcing the growth of OPEC oil reserves, first from Iraq, then Iran, and now Kuwait.

I pay attention to this stuff because peak oil is very much on my radar, and has been for about a decade now. It’s more than disheartening to see these reports presented to the public without any sort of context. Before everyone starts jumping for joy, there are a few things that need to be taken into account.

First, OPEC countries — which include Iraq, Iran and Kuwait — are on the honor system when it comes to reporting their reserves. There is no independent audit to confirm whether their reported reserves are accurate or not.

When will another oil price boom restore GCC economic growth? � ArabianMoney

It is surely only a matter of time before the higher oil prices determined by Peak Oil theory return to give the Gulf Oil States another bout of serious economic growth. Indeed, cash flow from oil this year is set to bounce back from $570 billion in 2009 to around $720 billion.

Outside the UAE and Bahrain orders are already picking up. Saudi Arabia is placing multi-billion dollar construction contracts. Qatar has not slowed down much, and Majid Al Futtaim has just started building Doha’s largest shopping mall.

gulfnews : India plans to confiscate Emaar-MGF's bank guarantee

Dubai-based construction company Emaar and its Indian associate MGF may have to forfeit Rs1.83 billion (approximately Dh175 million) for doing a shoddy work in construction of the Commonwealth Games Village.

The federal Urban Development Ministry has instructed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to confiscate Rs1.83 billion that the construction company Emaar-MGF had given in the form of the bank guarantee when the project was awarded to it.

However, the developer said in a statement sent to Gulf News that the bank guarantee (BG) was extended till December 31, 2010, at the behest of DDA and that it had “not received any notice for encashment of the BG”.

Qatar Telecom Third-Quarter Profit Declines 8% Amid Domestic Competition - Bloomberg

Qatar Telecom QSC, the Persian Gulf country’s biggest company in revenue, posted an 8.3 percent decline in third-quarter profit amid increased competition in its home market.

Net income for the three months to Sept. 30 fell to 651.9 million riyals ($179 million) from 710.9 million riyals a year earlier, Qtel said in an e-mailed statement today.

“This period’s performance illustrates our ability to overcome challenges, capitalize on opportunities, and deliver meaningful returns for our shareholders,” Chairman Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Thani said in the statement.

Gulf IPOs making slow comeback | Reuters

Major initial public offerings in the region are still scarce but banks are starting to win mandates again with consumer and healthcare companies expected to lead new equity listings, participants told the Reuters Middle East Summit.

Thin volumes and high trading volatility -- sparked mainly by regional retail investors -- have sunk valuations on the region's exchanges and kept international institutions on the sidelines, awaiting clarity on companies' debt troubles.

Middle East IPOs raised $1 billion in the first half of 2010, a report by Ernst & Young said in September, a 9 percent decrease from the same period a year ago. But a recent slew of deals is signaling a return of confidence.

gulfnews : ADCB will focus on core business after cleanup

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, the UAE's third-biggest bank by assets, aims to diversify lending after being hurt by Dubai World's $24.9 billion (Dh91.4 billion) debt-restructuring, its CEO said.

The lesson "for all banks is sticking to certain diversified thresholds no matter how great the borrower is," Ala'a Eraiqat said in an interview in London yesterday. "We learned from the lack of diversification or large concentration."

State-controlled Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank is one of the biggest lenders to holding company Dubai World, which announced plans to restructure its debt. "We were hit harder than everybody else," Eraiqat said. - Bond sales demonstrate stronger Asia links

One of the more curious revelations in Dubai’s recent government bond prospectus was a previously unknown $1bn loan from China Construction Bank.

Disclosure of the loan underlines the increasingly close ties between the Gulf states and Asia, a trend that is apparent in recent bond sales, where Asian investors have become markedly more significant.

More than a third of investors in Dubai’s recent $1.25bn sovereign bond issue – divided into five-year and 10-year tranches – were based in Asia. In the dollar-denominated tranche of Dubai’s October 2009 Islamic bond, only 17 per cent of investors were Asian. - Gulf telecoms set for calmer times

Two tones: owning more than one mobile phone has become increasingly common in the region

Nokia-toting teenagers and BlackBerry-wielding businessmen have been a gold mine for telecommunications companies across the Gulf, turning the government-owned operators into some of the region’s most aggressive and ambitious corporate giants.

But after deals worth $33bn in the Gulf alone in the past four years, the industry may soon enter a period of more measured, “organic” growth, as acquisitions targets are scarcer and competition heats up in domestic markets, analysts and bankers say.

Etisalat’s $11.7bn blockbuster bid for 46 per cent of Zain, the Kuwaiti operator, is expected to go through and lead to the eventual sale of Zain’s 25 per cent stake in its Saudi subsidiary – which competes against Etisalat’s Mobily.