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Thursday, 2 December 2010

Gulf Stocks Movers: Heavy Engineering and Industries Qatar - Bloomberg

Qatar’s QE Index increased 0.7 percent, the most since Nov. 22, to 8,184.91 at the 12:30 p.m. close in Doha. Oman’s gauge advanced 0.4 percent and Bahrain’s benchmark stock index retreated 1.1 percent.

Etisalat might take on selling Zain Saudi-paper

The UAE's Etisalat (ETEL.AD) which has offered to buy 46 percent of Kuwait's telecom Zain (ZAIN.KW), might agree to take responsibility for selling Zain's Saudi unit in order for the deal to go through, a newspaper said on Thursday.

Zain's offloading of Zain Saudi 7030.SE is a regulatory condition for closing the $12 billion sale, which is facing opposition from some Zain shareholders. Both operators own units in Saudi Arabia and compete for market share there.

Al-Qabas daily quoted unnamed sources as saying Etisalat "would probably take this option because so far there have been no official offers to buy Zain Saudi."

Sukuk Backed by Airport, Utility Revenue Favored by Funds: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg

Islamic bonds that pay returns based on cash flows from airports and utilities rather than income from property may stay in favor in the coming year after a drop in Persian Gulf real-estate prices shook investor confidence.

Saudi Electricity Co.’s 7 billion-riyal ($1.9 billion) sukuk sold in May was underwritten by income from fees such as connection charges, according to its prospectus. Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan’s largest brokerage, sold Islamic debt in Malaysia in July using aircraft as the underlying asset. Pakistan raised 51.8 billion rupees ($605 million) in a Nov. 8 Islamic bond sale linked to the Jinnah Terminal at Karachi’s Quaid-e-Azam International Airport.

The 50 percent decline in real-estate prices in Dubai from their peak in mid-2008 contributed to a 31 percent retreat this year in global sales of Islamic debt that pay asset returns to comply with the religion’s ban on interest. Offerings are picking up following an agreement by Dubai World, one of the emirate’s three main state-owned holding companies, in September to reschedule debt payments.

Saudi Arabian Billionaire Maan Al-Sanea Loses Challenge to Caymans Lawsuit - Bloomberg

Maan al-Sanea, a Saudi Arabian billionaire, has lost a jurisdictional challenge to a lawsuit filed against him in the Cayman Islands by Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Co., alleging he misappropriated money.

The Cayman Islands Court of Appeal today rejected al- Sanea’s bid to overturn a lower court’s July decision that the Caribbean nation had jurisdiction over the dispute, according to a 55-page ruling furnished to Bloomberg News by James Courtovich, a Washington-based spokesman for the Algosaibi firm.

The court of appeal also reversed a ruling by Cayman Islands Grand Court Chief Judge Anthony Smellie halting the proceedings in deference to potential rulings on the dispute by a Saudi Arabian commission.

New twist in property investor's suit

A judge has ruled part of an investor's lawsuit filed against the Dubai developer Damac Properties may be heard by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts.

Lothar Hardt's closely watched suit against the developer is believed to be the largest filed against a developer in the emirate.

'I think this is very important for Dubai …' Mr Hardt said yesterday. 'So far everything has been left in the dark.'"

FACTBOX-Key political risks to watch in the United Arab Emirates | Reuters

The cloud that still hangs over Dubai's financial future after the Dubai World debt crisis a year ago is the main risk to watch in the United Arab Emirates.

Added to that are worries about an escalation of Iran's nuclear dispute with Western powers, a long-running territorial row with Iran and Islamist radicalism.

FT.com - Abu Dhabi investors eye Africa

A new Abu Dhabi-based commodities company has teamed up with Hutchison Port Holdings in a consortium that plans multibillion-dollar investments in African infrastructure.

The consortium will potentially offer governments an alternative to China’s advance into the resource-rich continent.

Combining the deep pockets of Abu Dhabi investors and the expertise of infrastructure operators, the consortium, called Baobab Investments, is already bidding for port and railway concessions in Africa and is near to closing three “substantial” deals over the next few weeks, according to Mark Manders, its chief executive.

RBS Group, Emirates NBD Said to Lead Dubai Group Debt Restructuring Talks - Bloomberg

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Emirates NBD PJSC will lead a group of banks in negotiations with Dubai Group LLC on the investment company’s $6 billion debt restructuring, two people with knowledge of the plan said.

The remaining members of a committee that will hold talks on behalf of all lenders still have to be chosen, the people said, declining to be identified because the talks are private. An official at Dubai Group declined to comment. Spokesmen for British government-owned Royal Bank of Scotland and Dubai-based Emirates NBD, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest bank by assets, also declined to comment.

Dubai Group is an investment company controlled by Dubai Holding LLC, a property, hospitality and investment group owned by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The company owns stakes in Kuala Lumpur-based Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd and Cyprus’s second-biggest lender, Marfin Popular Bank Pcl.

FT.com - Cleric sets Qatar a test of faith

During a recent Friday sermon, Sheikh Yusef al-Qaradawi, arguably the world’s leading scholar of Sunni Islam, uttered a few words that drew little notice internationally but could have big implications for future relations between Christians and Muslims.

“I was for the possibility of bridging the gap between the east and the west but recently I have changed my mind on this issue, especially since the west wants to impose its values and traditions on us,” Mr Qaradawi told his congregation at Doha’s Omar bin Al Khattab Mosque in a televised sermon in October.

“West is west and east is east. They do not recognise or follow our traditions and customs, so we should not follow theirs,” Mr Qaradawi said, echoing Rudyard Kipling, the British author.

FT.com - ADCB rewarded for transparency

While the shares of most banks in the United Arab Emirates have picked up in the second half of the year, in spite of ongoing worries over bad loans, one lender in particular has shone.

Even after a modest correction in November, shares in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank have soared 43 per cent so far in the second half of 2010, compared with the 9 per cent gain of the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange (ADX) in the same period.

The recent performance of ADCB’s stock is largely a reward for its openness over the extent of its dud loan and investment portfolios, say analysts and fund managers.