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Thursday, 11 November 2010

Dubai Group missed payment on $330 mln loan, UAE Industries - Maktoob News

Financial services firm Dubai Group, part of a conglomerate owned by Dubai's ruler, missed an October interest payment on a $330 million loan on which Citibank was the sole bookrunner, sources said Thursday.

"The payment on the Citibank facility in October wasn't paid," said a source with direct knowledge of the matter. A second person confirmed the October payment had not been made.

The five-year loan, which matures Dec. 13, 2011, was used to fund Dubai Group's acquisition of a 49-percent stake in Bank Islam Malaysia. Bank Islam earlier this year said Dubai Group was trying to sell the stake.

Persian Gulf Sukuk-Sale Rebound Hinges on Property Prices: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg

Investor concern that Persian Gulf property prices will extend declines is denting confidence in a rebound of the region’s Islamic bond market.

Dubai will need another 20 months to absorb an oversupply of homes and offices, Mohamed Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar Properties PJSC, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest developer, said Nov. 5. Aldar Properties PJSC, Abu Dhabi’s largest real- estate company, posted its biggest loss on record in the third quarter and said two days ago it’s working with the emirate’s government to help cover cash requirements.

Real-estate prices have tumbled more than 50 percent since their 2008 peak in Dubai and 30 percent in neighboring Abu Dhabi as banks tightened mortgage lending and speculators fled the market. Property is used as collateral for Shariah-compliant bonds, which are backed by assets and pay a share of profit instead of interest.

Union Properties Reports $123 Million Third-Quarter Loss as Sales Decline - Bloomberg

Union Properties PJSC, Dubai’s third-largest real-estate developer by market value, said its third-quarter loss almost trebled as revenue from property management and sales fell.

The net loss for the quarter widened to 451.8 million dirhams ($123 million) from 152.3 million dirhams a year earlier, while nine-month losses more than doubled to 751 million dirhams, Union Properties said in a statement on the Dubai bourse today. Revenue from property management and sales and other operating activities fell by more than half to 545.2 million dirhams from 1.3 billion in the year-earlier period.

Union Properties halted development work after credit dried up in the financial crisis and more customers defaulted. In 2009, the company reported its first full-year loss and suspended work on F1-X, a Formula One theme park in the MotorCity development at the Dubai Autodrome race track.

UPDATE 1-Etisalat says to create $8 bln bond programme | Reuters

UAE telecoms group Etisalat (ETEL.AD), which is eyeing a stake in Kuwait's Zain (ZAIN.KW), said on Thursday it will create an $8 billion bond programme in the coming few days.

Etisalat will establish a $7 billion global medium-term note (GMTN) programme and a $1 billion sukuk programme, which will allow it to issue conventional or Islamic bonds when needed, it said in a statement on the bourse website.

Etisalat, formerly known as Emirates Telecommunications Co, is finalising loan facilities worth $12 billion from a club of around 12 banks to cover the cost of its planned 46 percent acquisition of Zain, banking sources close to the deal have said. [ID:nLDE6A81EC]"

Qatar bank acquires 28% stake in India's ABECL

Qatar's investment bank QInvest has acquired 28 per cent stake in Asian Business Exhibition and Conferences (ABECL), India's leading exhibitions and conferences organizer.

ABECL's portfolio comprises 15 exhibitions consisting of 65 events spread across 9 industry verticals, including world-class events such as ACETech.

ABECL is also a player in segments such as education, realty and lifestyle.

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority buys stake in Australian port -

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds, bought a minority stake in Australia's Port of Brisbane in a deal worth A$2.1 billion, (US$2.11 billion) the Queensland government said in a statement.

ADIA was part of the Q Port Holdings consortium that included major stakeholders Global Infrastructure Partners, Industry Funds Management (IFM) and funds managed by QIC Limited that will take ownership of the port under a 99-year lease.

ADIA, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Tawreed Investments, took a 19% stake in the port while the remaining three funds hold a 27 percent stake each.

Oman Index Climbs to 6-Month High on Bank Outlook; Dubai Shares Retreat - Bloomberg

Oman shares advanced to the highest level in almost six months led by Bank Muscat SAOG on speculation the lender’s full-year results will beat estimates after third-quarter profit climbed. Oil gained.

Bank Muscat, Oman’s biggest bank by assets, rose 1.1 percent and National Bank of Oman jumped to the highest since January 2009. The Muscat Securities Market Index advanced 0.6 percent to 6,620.55, the highest since May 16 at the 1 p.m. close in the capital. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index lost 0.2 percent at 1:34 p.m. in Dubai, with three Gulf markets gaining and three declining before the Muslim Eid holiday. Dubai’s index fell 1.3 percent.

“Investors are building up positions on expectations of improved performance of banking majors, namely Bank Muscat and National Bank of Oman during this quarter,” said Kanaga Sundar, senior manager of research at Gulf Baader Capital Markets SAOC.

Dubai Group sets up committee for debt talks, UAE Industries - Maktoob News

Dubai Group, a unit of conglomerate Dubai Holding, is setting up a committee of banks to discuss its debt commitments, and said on Thursday it will continue to service its debts.

"These discussions are making good progress and Dubai Group is confident of a positive outcome that is beneficial to all stakeholders," said a spokesman for the group.

Dubai Group has a $1.5 billion murabaha facility due in August 2011 in which 25 banks have participated.

Al Khorafi family victorious in court

Kuwait's wealthy al Khorafi family scored a courtroom victory this week, clearing the way for a full hearing of their claims that a unit of Switzerland's Bank Sarasin misrepresented risky investments as safe.

Rafed al Khorafi, along with his wife and mother, are seeking triple damages totalling US$225 million (Dh826.2m) from the subsidiary Bank Sarasin-Alpen, alleging they lost $75m on investments they were told could not lose money. The case is being heard at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts. It is one of the first in the DIFC's court system to stem from allegations of fraudulent or misleading investment advice.

In a judgment on Tuesday, a three-member appeals panel dismissed Bank Sarasin-Alpen's argument that the al Khorafis had not made their claims under the correct DIFC statutes. The panel also reinstated claims of negligence and misrepresentation that another judge dismissed in July while rejecting an attempt by Bank Sarasin-Alpen to strike out breach of contract claims.

Kharafi Defends Zain Stake Sale to Etisalat, Says Procedures Transparent - Bloomberg

Kuwait’s Kharafi Group, which is leading the sale of 46 percent of Zain to Emirates Telecommunications Corp., defended procedures followed in the $12 billion deal which it said will have a positive effect on the Kuwaiti economy.

“Everyone who has seen the deal, including shareholders who have declared, for their own reasons, that they won’t be contributing to it, has affirmed that this deal is one of the most professional, transparent economic transactions, and one that achieves the most benefits for Zain shareholders,” Al- Khair National for Stocks and Real Estate Co., which is owned by Kharafi, said in an advertisement in local newspapers today.

Al-Khair was responding to yesterday’s ad by Al-Fawares Holding Co., another Zain shareholder, which said it intends to sue Zain and its board for allowing Emirates Telecommunications, known as Etisalat, to conduct due diligence on the Kuwaiti phone operator without presenting the purchase offer. Al-Fawares also cast doubt on the sincerity of Etisalat’s offer.

gulfnews : Sharjah's industries show staying power

Companies invested Dh8 billion and inducted 82,000 skilled workers into the manufacturing industry this year, according to the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI).

About one-third of the UAE's manufacturing industry is based in Sharjah, whose total production value reached Dh19 billion last year.

"The crisis showed us that manufacturing is the best, strongest and most sustainable option for the development of nations," said Hussain Mohammad Al Mahmoudi, Director-General of SCCI in a press conference yesterday. There are 1,450 manufacturing plants in Sharjah where small and medium enterprises make up 80 per cent of businesses. Most are involved in the manufacturing of mineral products, equipment and machinery (27 per cent). chemicals, plastic and oil-related products make up 18 per cent, wood products (15 per cent), non-mineral products (nine per cent), paper and printing (nine per cent), clothing (eight per cent), food and drinks (six per cent) and re-manufacturing (six per cent), according to Al Mahmoudi.

Calling young Saudi talent! - Arab News

Are you a young artist, photographer, filmmaker, animator — or simply have something to say? If yes, then this competition is for you!
A nationwide search is taking place to find young creative talent in the Kingdom. The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) in collaboration with Microsoft, Cisco and Edge of Arabia/Offscreen have partnered together by creating a competitive platform to develop, recognize and nurture the most competitive and talented youth in Saudi Arabia.
The competition titled, “Most Competitive Youth Awards,” is a unique nationwide competition that is open to Saudi nationals and residents who are between 15-24 years old and living in the Kingdom.

Kuwaiti Aston Martin Owner Proposes Terms on $5 Billion Debt Restructuring - Bloomberg

nvestment Dar Co., the Kuwait-based owner of half of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd., proposed terms on a restructuring plan to pay 1.4 billion dinars ($5 billion) to creditors, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg.

The company offered to pay 350 million dinars of debt over the first three years with 10 percent profit payments per annum, according to the document dated Oct. 27. Of that 10 percent, 2 percent will be paid in cash, it said. The remaining 970 million dinars will be paid over the following five years, it said.

Investment Dar started talks last year to restructure its debt after the global financial crisis hit Kuwaiti banks and investment firms, forcing the government to guarantee all local bank deposits in 2008. Investment Dar, which missed a payment on a $100 million Islamic bond in May last year, said in March it started a process to seek legal protection under Kuwait’s Financial Stability Law to implement a restructuring plan.

Bahrain named ‘Best Financial Centre’

Bahrain has been named ‘Best Financial Centre’ by Global Investor magazine, a flagship publication of Euromoney Institutional Investor, said a Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) statement.

The award, announced at the magazine’s ‘Future of the Capital Markets in the Middle East Summit’, was conferred on Bahrain in recognition for its long standing status as a jurisdiction of excellence for financial services, it added.

The citation also recognised the work of the CBB, which is widely acknowledged as an even-handed, transparent and innovative regulator of the Kingdom’s financial services industry.