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Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Bahrain Investcorp Sees Rise in Gulf Hedge-Fund Investors on Higger Return - Bloomberg

Investcorp Bank BSC, the Bahrain- based alternative-investment firm, expects the share of Gulf Arab investors in its hedge funds to rise to about half in a few years from about 30 percent now as they seek bigger returns.

“There is a lot of interest from the Middle East” in hedge funds as they have provided better returns than equity markets and with lower volatility, Deepak Gurnani, Investcorp’s head of hedge funds and chief investment officer, said in an interview in Dubai today. Middle East funds are likely to boost allocations to hedge funds over the next six to nine months, he said.

Investcorp’s funds of hedge funds business manages $4.7 billion, including $1 billion of its own money, Gurnani said. About 70 percent of the investors in its hedge funds are U.S. institutions, he said.

Omantel seeking shareholder approval for Worldcall | Reuters

Oman Telecommunications Co. OTL.OM (Omantel) will seek shareholder approval to serve as a guarantor to obtain funding for struggling Pakistani unit Worldcall (WCTL.KA), the company said on Wednesday.

Worldcall has requested $70 million in funding for capital expenditure and meet liabilities but was unable to independently obtain the required financing, Omantel said in a statement.

Omantel's board of directors will raise the issue of stepping in as a guarantor to obtain the financing at a planned extraordinary general meeting."

Al Baraka Egypt Bank 9-month profit up 16 percent | Reuters

Al Baraka Egypt Bank posted a 16 percent increase in net profit during the first nine months of this year to 95.9 million Egyptian pounds, the Cairo stock exchange said on Wednesday.

The Cairo-based Islamic bank, in which Bahrain's Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG) has a controlling stake, said in August its net profit in the first half rose by 57 percent to 65.6 million pounds.

It made a net profit of 82.9 million pounds in the first nine months of 2009, the stock exchange said."

Zain board member says disapproves Etisalat deal-TV | Reuters

A board member in Kuwaiti telecoms firm Zain (ZAIN.KW) questioned Zain's procedures in the proposed sale of a $12 billion, 46 percent stake to Etisalat (ETEL.AD), and threatened legal action if the board approved selling Saudi assets as part of the deal.

'Zain Saudi (assets) will not be sold... if the majority of the board approves it, we will take legal action to stop selling Zain Saudi,' Sheikh Khalifa Ali al-Khalifa al-Sabah told CNBC Arabiya TV in an interview aired on Wednesday.

Selling the Saudi assets of the Kuwaiti telecoms firm is a condition for closing the deal with UAE's Etisalat."

Abu Dhabi Shares Gain on Taqa Quarterly Profit, Speculation Drop Overdone - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi shares climbed a third day this week after Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. said third-quarter profit more than doubled and on speculation last week’s declines were overdone given economic growth prospects.

Abu Dhabi National, the state-run company known as Taqa, rose 3.6 percent after net income surged because of higher oil prices and a one-off gain. Aldar Properties PJSC climbed 2.2 percent. The ADX General Index advanced 0.2 percent, the most since Nov. 7, to 2,761.66, at the 2 p.m. close in Abu Dhabi. Qatar’s QE Index climbed 0.5 percent to 8,040.78, the highest in more than two years led by Qatar National Bank.

“The strong Taqa earnings helped lift Abu Dhabi shares,” said Humam Al-Shamaa, economic adviser at Al-Fajer Securities in Abu Dhabi. “The drop last week was overdone and investors are buying Aldar on yesterday’s news.”

Dana Gas Returns to Profit on Lower Write-Offs, Higher Hydrocarbon Prices - Bloomberg

Dana Gas PJSC, a United Arab Emirates energy company, posted a third-quarter profit compared with a year-ago loss, attributing the result to higher product prices and output and fewer write-offs due to exploration costs.

Net income rose to 33 million dirhams ($8.99 million) in the quarter from a 79 million-dirham loss in the same period last year, the company said in a statement today. Dana Gas expects to earn a profit for the full year, in line with its results for the first three quarters, Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Al-Arbeed said in an interview.

“We will continue growing,” Al-Arbeed said, adding the company expects to reach its target of boosting production by 20 percent this year. “The quarterly result was due to higher production and lower exploration write-offs.”

Qatar National Bank Says Got $6 Billion Orders for Dollar Bond - Bloomberg

Qatar National Bank, the Persian Gulf country’s biggest lender by assets, said it received orders worth $6 billion for its $1.5 billion dollar bond sale.

The five-year bonds have a coupon rate of 3.125 percent, the bank said in an e-mailed statement today.

Taqa Third-Quarter Net More Than Doubles on Commodity Prices, One-Off Gain - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., the state-run utility known as Taqa, said third-quarter profit more than doubled because of higher oil prices and a one-off gain, as the company presses ahead with expansion plans.

Net income advanced to 218 million dirhams ($59.4 million) from 90 million dirhams a year earlier, Taqa said today in a statement. Revenue rose to 5.2 billion dirhams from 3.9 billion a year earlier.

“The year-on-year increase in net income resulted primarily from increased commodity prices, share of income from the Sohar aluminum plant and liquidated damages received for Fujairah 2, partly offset by increased income tax,” the company said in the statement. “The power business continued to provide stable revenue and net income.”

UPDATE 1-Dubai's Shuaa swings to small Q3 profit | Reuters

Investment bank Shuaa Capital SHUA.DU on Wednesday swung to a third-quarter profit, buoyed by gains in its investment banking business.

Shuaa posted a profit of 0.2 million dirhams in the three months to Sept. 30, up from a loss of 269.26 million dirhams in the same period last year.

The company, one of the Gulf Arab region's largest investment banks, was hit hard by the global financial downturn as impairments related to troubled assets erased profits."

Q3 results from the UAE disappoint investors, what next? « ArabianMoney

The third quarter results from quoted companies in the UAE have disappointed investors who have pushed up their share prices in a rally since Ramadan. The problem is that the companies traded on local bourses are mainly in banking, construction and real estate.

If only the oil sector was represented then the Q3 results would look a lot brighter, or if trade, tourism and aviation were available as local stocks. Perhaps one day some of the governments will decide on partial privatization of some of these sectors. This would certainly give the rest of the stock market a lift.

Etisalat seeks $12bn debt to finance Zain purchase

Etisalat is seeking to borrow US$1 billion (Dh3.67bn) apiece from 12 banks to buy a controlling stake in Zain, in what is shaping up to be one of the largest financed acquisitions in Middle East history, according to banking sources close to the deal cited by Reuters.

The market appetite for the loan is strong, with about 20 banks looking at the telecoms deal, one of the bankers said.

"I think this is a sign of good liquidity generally for strong names. Etisalat is a very strong company which happens to be in Abu Dhabi, but it would have got the same response if it was in Europe or Asia," the banker was quoted as saying by Reuters.

DFM to own all of NASDAQ Dubai

Dubai Financial Market (DFM) expects to own 100 per cent of NASDAQ Dubai, the emirate's other exchange, by the end of the year.

DFM, the Arab world's only publicly listed stock exchange, acquired 67 per cent of NASDAQ Dubai through a cash and share payment in May.

The two bourses consolidated in June after NASDAQ Dubai outsourced its trading, clearing and settling activities to DFM. NASDAQ Dubai stocks also now trade on the DFM platform.

Palestine Exchange Seeks `Strategic' Investors, CEO Ahmad Aweidah Says - Bloomberg

The Palestine Exchange is seeking strategic investors as the bourse looks to improve services next year, Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Aweidah said today.

The bourse is “looking for one or two strategic investors,” Aweidah said in a telephone interview from the West Bank city of Ramallah.

The Arab Palestinian Investment Co. plans to sell shares in an initial public offering in the first quarter of 2011 and is seeking to raise $20 million, he said. Wataniya Palestine Mobile Telecommunications Public Shareholding Co. plans to list on the exchange after its IPO, he said.

FT.com / Middle East - Dubai seeks leading role with Hollywood studios

As Tom Cruise descends on Dubai to shoot the fourth Mission Impossible film, the debt-laden city hopes its emergence as a canvas for Hollywood blockbusters will help shift its narrative arc from crisis to opportunity.

Cruise, the film’s star and producer, last week dangled off the side of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, in a stunt for one of several action sequences that will make Dubai the “centrepiece” of Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol.

Ahmed al-Shaikh, who runs Dubai’s state-owned broadcaster, opened discussions with Paramount about the film in March. He is in talks with three other studios that want to use the city’s modern skyline as a backdrop, drumming up business for its hotels and commercial film sector.