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Sunday, 28 November 2010

BBC News - Is confidence creeping back into Dubai's economy? (Video at this link)

28 November 2010 Last updated at 12:25 GMT Help
Dubai shocked markets around the world last November when one of its biggest companies asked for a 6-month standstill on its debt repayments.

One year on, and Dubai World has agreed a restructuring deal with its creditors. But its property arm Nakheel, the developer of Dubai's Palm Island, is yet to agree on its restructuring arrangements.

It has recently restarted some of its short-term projects but longer-term developments, which include two other Palm Island projects as well as the multi-island development The World, are still on hold.

So how is Dubai moving on from the events of the past year? Katy Watson's been finding out.

Dubai Considers Emirates Stake Sale -

In a bid to reduce its heavy debt burden, Dubai's government is considering selling some of its most prized assets, including a stake in flagship carrier Emirates Airline, the director general of the Dubai Ruler's Court said Sunday.

"The possibility of offering a stake in Emirates Airlines to the public is always there and is being studied and considered," Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani told a Dubai press conference in an update on the emirate's economic situation. "But it is well known that offering stakes to the public in solid commercial companies like Emirates is not always useful."

Emirates Airline is widely considered one of Dubai's most precious and profitable assets. The Middle East's largest carrier last month said first-half net profit rose fourfold to 3.4 billion U.A.E. dirhams ($925.8 million), from 752 million dirhams a year earlier.

Plan for Dubai mortgage lender Amlak seen in Q1 2011 | Reuters

A resolution for troubled Islamic mortgage lender Amlak Finance AMLK.DU could be found during the first quarter of 2011, a senior Dubai official said on Sunday.

The United Arab Emirates government said in November 2008 it aimed to merge Amlak AMLK.DU with rival lender Tamweel TAML.DU but the plan was effectively scrapped after Dubai Islamic Bank DISB.DU raised its stake in Tamweel in September. [ID:nLDE6310AG]

'We are in intense negotiations with all creditors and shareholders of Amlak. I would like to see a solution for Amlak by Q1 2011,' said Mohammed Al Shaibani, deputy chairman of Dubai's supreme fiscal committee.

Dubai Shares Drop Most in Middle East on Share Sale Plans, European Debt - Bloomberg

Dubai shares fell to the lowest in more than two months, leading a drop in the Middle East, as the emirate said it plans to sell shares of large companies and on concern an Irish financial bailout won’t stem Europe’s crisis.

Emaar Properties PJSC, builder of the world’s tallest skyscraper, closed at the lowest in almost three months. Aramex PJSC, the United Arab Emirates-based courier company, decreased 4.3 percent. The DFM General Index fell 1.4 percent to 1,659.5, the lowest level since Sept. 16, at the 2 p.m. close in Dubai. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index of Gulf stocks lost 0.2 percent at 1:11 p.m. in Riyadh. Egypt’s gauge declined.

Dubai plans to sell shares of some of the emirate’s large companies, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed al Maktoum, chairman of the Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee, said at a conference today. The emirate racked up $109.3 billion of debt to transform into a tourism, trade and financial-services hub, according to the International Monetary Fund. Last year Dubai World sought to alter terms on $24.9 billion of debt.

Dubai May Sell Shares in Some of Its Largest Companies, Sheikh Ahmed Says - Bloomberg

Dubai, which is restructuring debt at its state-owned holding companies, may sell shares in some of its large businesses, said the chairman of the Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee.

“We are working on opening up the capital of leading companies to our public,” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum told a conference in Dubai today. The emirate may now need to “regroup, review and reconsider some of our investments and re- challenge our competitive edge,” he said. The committee is the top body responsible for Dubai’s fiscal policy.

Dubai and its state-controlled companies are struggling to service debt that Barclays Capital estimated in September at about $112 billion. The second-largest sheikhdom in the United Arab Emirates accumulated the loans during years of rapid growth in its property industry and other businesses.

Kuwait Dar panel threatens to quit over debt plan

A committee representing most of the creditors of Kuwait's Investment Dar has threatened to quit if the company doesn't consider its new debt restructuring plan, Dar said on Sunday.

Investment Dar, the Islamic firm which owns half of British luxury carmaker Aston Martin, said in a statement that the plan was not acceptable to the firm and it will now go to court to resolve the dispute.

Dar has been trying to restructure about KD1 billion ($3.55 billion) in debt since last year after the investment firm was hard hit by financial crisis. It applied in March for support under a government facility set up for troubled companies as part of a debt restructuring.

gulfnews : Dubai plans to offload government-owned assets

Dubai Government said it is planning to open up leading Dubai-owned companies for public equity participation.

"Dubai will seek to diversify its funding sources though both debt and equity capital," Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Supreme Fiscal Committee and Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group told a news gathering on Sunday.

Dubai Government also announced the successful restructuring of Dubai World - its largest conglomerate that sought a standstill to restructure part of its then $59 billion debt.

Kuwait Expects Faster Economic Growth, Lower Inflation, Sheikh Salem Says - Bloomberg

Kuwait’s central bank expects inflation to slow next year and foresees the economy returning to growth, Governor Sheikh Salem Abdul Aziz Al-Sabah said.

“For 2011 we expect between 3 and 4 percent and for this year I can say almost zero” growth, Sheikh Salem said in an interview in Beirut, Lebanon today. Inflation will be 4 percent by the end of this year and “slightly lower” in 2011, he said.

Sheikh Salem said in March that the economy of Kuwait, which produces about 2.3 million barrels of oil a day, may expand by as much as 5 percent this year as it recovers from a contraction caused by the global financial crisis.

UAE faces a challenging 2011, despite economic recovery: minister

United Arab Emirates (UAE) Economy Minister Sultan Bin Saeed Al-Mansouri said economic recovery is still very challenging, despite citing numbers suggesting the emirates' economy has picked up at a press conference on Saturday.

The UAE has been growing between three to 3.5 percent in 2010 after the 1.3 percent in 2009, the UAE minister said, noting "in 2008, we established a government committee to tackle the impact of the global financial crisis. Our measure to pump 33 billion U.S. dollars into the domestic banking was a key measure to stabilize the national economy."

During the third quarter of 2010, combined UAE bank profits jumped 46 percent year-on-year.

Alba embarks on a new era of progress and development - Arab News

Following the announcement of being converted into a joint stock company, Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), one of the largest aluminum smelters in the world, has embarked on a new era of progress and development by bolstering its sales in regional and international markets.

"The official announcement of converting Alba into a joint stock company has embarked the company into the new direction aimed at strengthening the economic growth in the Kingdom of Bahrain," the company said in a statement.

The Minister of Industry and Commerce Hassan Fakhro presented a certificate announcing Alba’s new status as a public joint stock company to Alba’s Chairman Mahmood Hashim Al-Kooheji and Alba’s Chief Executive Laurent Schmitt. The company’s new official title will now be Aluminium Bahrain.

GCC Market Analytics: Weekly Market Analysis (Week 49)

The weekly market analysis pages have been updated for trading week 49 (November 27th - December 2nd). Use the links below to view the individual market analysis pages:

The table below shows the market outlook based on each study.

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