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Wednesday, 24 November 2010

UPDATE 1-Arabtec CEO sees restructuring at Dubai Properties | Reuters

Dubai Properties, a unit of troubled conglomerate Dubai Holding, is expected to enter restructuring, according to the head of builder Arabtec (ARTC.DU), which is owed money by the firm.

Asked how he knew a restructuring was likely, Arabtec CEO Tom Barry said he was in discussion with the developer over the payment for four completed projects.

But Arabtec, the builder of the world's tallest tower in Dubai and Emirates' largest builder by market value, still expects to get paid. "I believe funds will be available to them because I trust in Dubai," Barry told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event in Dubai on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabian Mining Delays Plant on Financing - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabian Mining Co., the state- run producer known as Maaden, delayed production from its Ras al-Zour phosphate plant to the second quarter of 2011 from the fourth quarter of this year.

The company faced “financing difficulties” as it was building the 20.6 billion-riyal ($5.5 billion) facility, said outgoing Chief Executive Officer Abdullah al-Dabbagh in remarks to Al Arabiya television.

The delay will not incur additional costs and commercial production will start in the third quarter, the Riyadh-based miner said in a statement to the Saudi bourse today.

Florida Kangaroo Foreclosure Courts: More Evidence of Favoritism Towards Banks « naked capitalism

Lisa Epstein of Foreclosure Hamlet sent an eye-opening letter from Christopher Meister, who ran for the sheriff of Lee County, Florida as an independent and lost. As much as I’ve read plenty of reports of dubious judicial behavior in Florida, I still find myself appalled when new stories crop up.

The Meister letter provides specific examples of judicial misconduct. One involves a judge conferring openly with a bank lawyer on cases in which the lawyer had no involvement.

I urge you read this letter in its entirety.

Mobius Says Equities Will Drive Growth of Islamic Fund Industry - Bloomberg

Mark Mobius of Templeton Asset Management Ltd. comments on Islamic finance and Shariah- compliant funds. He spoke at a conference in Manama today.

“I’m personally a big fan of these Islamic funds because I think the idea of equity is very important. I think that the equity side is where we are going to see big growth going forward.

‘‘The potential is very, very great. We believe that the potential assets that are available to the Islamic asset management industry goes over $480 billion.

Gulf Stocks Movers: Al-Mal, Kingdom Holding, Maaden and Taqa - Bloomberg

The DFM General Index retreated 1 percent to 1,673.82, the lowest level since Sept. 22, at the 2 p.m. close in Dubai. Abu Dhabi’s measure was little changed and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index slipped 0.4 percent at 1:08 p.m. in Riyadh.

After crisis, Dubai refocuses to tackle debts, UAE Economy - Maktoob News

It was the celebrity endorsement marketers dream about.

Before harnessing up to film stunts for the next "Mission: Impossible" on the face of the world's tallest tower, Tom Cruise bounded onto stage in the skyscraper's plush new Armani Hotel to promote shooting in Dubai. With cameras rolling, he thanked the emirate's ruling sheik and praised the city as "very cinematic," deeming it "beautiful" four times in under a minute.

Publicity stunt it may have been. But the filmmakers' decision to set a large part of the movie here also reflects the headway Dubai has made on its own tough mission: to again charm investors and repair its reputation a year on from its market-rattling financial crisis. It's a task that could take years to complete.

The pint-sized Persian Gulf emirate sent tremors through the world economy a year ago this week when it effectively acknowledged it couldn't repay billions of dollars as promised. Lenders who had relied on government backing for conglomerate Dubai World and a web of other state-linked companies found no such guarantees, leaving them scrambling for details from a city-state as famously tightlipped as it was opaque about the health of its globe-trotting businesses.

Dubai eyes $1.5 bln Malaysian sukuk, UAE Economy - Maktoob News

Dubai plans to issue about $1.5 billion sovereign sukuk in Malaysia as the Gulf Arab emirate looks to tap the world's largest Islamic bond market to diversify its funding avenues, people with direct knowledge of the deal said on Wednesday.

Work on the $1.5 billion multi-currency programme was "more than 50 percent" under way but the plan was not final given the volatility in financial markets due to Ireland's debt troubles and tensions on the Korean peninsula, said one source not authorised to speak to the media.

"This will be the first foreign sovereign to issue ringgit (sukuk) in Malaysia," said the source who asked not to be identified as the plan has not been announced.

Dubai May Cede Control of Alliance Medical to Lenders in Debt-Equity Swap - Bloomberg

Dubai International Capital LLC, a buyout company owned by the Emirate, may lose control of medical imaging company Alliance Medical Ltd. to lenders in a debt-for-equity swap, three people familiar with the plan said.

Under a debt restructuring proposed by senior lenders, creditors including Lloyds TSB Bank Plc, Commerzbank AG and Prudential Plc’s M&G unit would seize the company in exchange for writing its debt down to 250 million pounds ($395 million) from 555 million pounds, said the people, who declined to be identified because the plan is private.

Dubai International may retain some shares in the company, the people said. Junior lenders, owed 140 million pounds, may also be allotted some shares rather than recouping their initial investment. Senior creditors may initiate legal proceedings at the U.K.’s High Court if the plan is opposed by junior lenders and Dubai International’s management, the people said.

TIBC's Bahrain Lawyers Can't Void U.S. Rulings in Lawsuits, Judge Rules - Bloomberg

The International Banking Corp.’s Bahrain-based bankruptcy lawyers can’t void U.S. rulings in lawsuits brought by Deutsche Bank AG and Mashreqbank PSC and force the turnover of about $29 million, a judge ruled.

TIBC, a provider of commercial loans winding down in Bahraini courts, is in Chapter 15 bankruptcy in the U.S., which foreign companies use to protect U.S. assets while they are liquidated or reorganized in a foreign court.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stuart Bernstein, who is overseeing TIBC’s Chapter 15 case, today denied a motion by an administrator to the foreign bankruptcy to vacate attachment orders obtained by Deutsche Bank and Mashreqbank, saying a Bahraini court should decide the issue.

First UAE developer goes bankrupt, others will follow « ArabianMoney

Al Murjan Real Estate, the owner of the White Bay development in Umm al-Quwain has become the first UAE developer to file for bankruptcy, according to The Financial Times.

The bankruptcy filing is likely to set a precedent for hundreds of stalled real estate projects across the Emirates as this type of proceeding may take years and delay the processes allowing the many thousands of individual investors to get their money back.

Persian Gulf Investors Shun IPOs as Emerging Market Stocks Rise to Record - Bloomberg

Companies in the Persian Gulf aren’t benefiting from record demand for share sales in emerging markets as debt concern hurts investor confidence.

Omani mobile-phone operator Nawras and Aluminium Bahrain BSC, the operator of an 850,000-metric-ton-a-year smelter, sold shares this month at the bottom of the range used to canvas investor interest in the stocks. The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council region generated $1.91 billion of initial public offerings this year, compared with $2.27 billion in the same period a year earlier, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The region’s benchmark Bloomberg GCC 200 Index has gained 9.1 percent this year, compared with a 9.9 percent increase for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. The average number of shares traded daily in Dubai has dropped 65 percent from the year- earlier period. By contrast, the pace of IPOs in Asia has climbed to a record since the crisis.

gulfnews : Juma Al Majid: A life in service

Juma Al Majid is a patient man. Describing how he built his business empire, he says: "I deeply believe that small continuous growth is far better than rapid, random [expansion]. I rely on a two to five per cent growth strategy. I don't look for 100 per cent or even 50 per cent growth because this needs big management."

And he does not embark on any venture until he has completed thorough research and is convinced the business will succeed. Today, the Al Majid Group comprises more than 40 companies in engineering, retail, automotive and investment — to name but a few — across the world.

Al Majid says it's the sea that taught him to be patient. When he was eight, he used to accompany his father, who owned two boats, on pearl-diving trips. During the summer, he would serve refreshments on the boats for a few rupees.

Al Mazaya aims to raise capital for investments

Al Mazaya Holding, a Kuwaiti property developer, hopes to tap the markets for capital as it tries to increase its investments in Dubai. But should markets take this as a warning sign?

Until December 6, Mazaya will offer additional shares to existing shareholders to increase its capital by 30 per cent to 64.9 million Kuwaiti dinars. It has begun by offering equity to shareholders of First Dubai Real Estate and Waterfront Real Estate Development, two groups in which it currently holds majority stakes.

Mazaya said it would offer the new shares at a price of 127 fils each."

Banks seek investors who are in it for the long-haul

Banks are turning to institutions to generate fresh revenues as retail investors shy away from playing the local markets, says a top official at Abu Dhabi's biggest bank.

The volumes of traded shares on the Dubai Financial Market are scraping past 80 million, compared with highs that touched 900 million before the Dubai World crisis took hold. On the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, volumes have settled at about 50 million.

'What we want is long-term investors who recognise long-term opportunities here and are willing to back this market for the next five years,' Alan Durrant, the chief investment officer of National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) said yesterday. 'If people are largely trading between each other, that's a zero-sum game.'"

Dubai Islamic Bank in sharia-compliant REIT joint venture | Reuters

Dubai Islamic Bank (DISB.DU) (DIB) launched the emirate's first sharia-compliant real estate investment trust to aid in the recovery of the country's battered real estate sector, top executives said on Tuesday.

Emirates REIT, a joint venture between DIB and French property firm Eiffel Management, looks to attract sharia-compliant property such as office buildings, warehouses, schools and car parks and convert the rental income into dividends for investors, said Adnan Chilwan, chief of retail banking at DIB.

80 percent of the REIT's annual profit will be distributed to shareholders as a dividend."

New growth path for Islamic finance - Gulf Weekly

More than 1,200 delegates from over 50 countries are taking part in the 17th annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2010) which ends today at the Gulf Hotel.

The three-day event has been convened under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and held under the auspices of the Central Bank of Bahrain.

Under the theme 'Building a new growth paradigm - Islamic banking and the new global financial landscape', the event has featured a series of pragmatically-focused workshops and executive briefing sessions led by experienced and respected industry experts.

FT.com - Emirates builder files for bankruptcy

The company behind a $3bn stalled project in a smaller United Arab Emirates member has filed for insolvency.

Lawyers say the move is the UAE’s first court-mandated bankruptcy of a distressed property project since the financial crisis struck.

The filing will raise fears among the thousands of investors in stalled real estate developments across the UAE, especially Dubai, where many projects have floundered since the crisis sent the market into decline.