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Monday, 6 December 2010

Etisalat Plans Meeting to Seek More Than $10 Billion of Debt for Zain Bid - Bloomberg

Emirates Telecommunications Corp. plans to meet lenders next week in London to discuss terms on more than $10 billion of debt to fund its bid for a stake in Kuwait’s biggest phone operator, three people familiar with the situation said.

Etisalat, as the United Arab Emirates’ largest phone company is known, may hold the bank meeting by Dec. 16, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. The deal would be the largest acquisition financing by a company in the Middle East and Africa since at least 1999, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat said on Sept. 30 it offered about $12 billion for a 46 percent stake in Mobile Telecommunications Co., or Zain.

Dubai Shares Rise to 2-Week High on Qatar World Cup Contract Speculation - Bloomberg

Dubai’s shares rose to the highest in two weeks, led by construction and real-estate companies, on speculation they may benefit from Qatar’s infrastructure spending for the 2022 soccer World Cup.

Arabtec Holding PJSC, the biggest construction company in the United Arab Emirates, surged the most since March. Emaar Properties PJSC rose 1.6 percent after saying it will pursue development contracts in Qatar. The Dubai Financial Market General Index increased 1.1 percent to 1,706.24, the highest since Nov. 22, at the 2 p.m. close in the emirate. Dubai’s market was closed from Dec. 2 for holidays. Qatar’s QE Index rose 0.6 percent to the highest in more than two years. It soared 3.6 percent yesterday.

“Companies that have an on-the-ground presence in Qatar, especially in construction infrastructure related spaces” are gaining, said Shehzad Janab, head of asset management at Dubai- based Daman Investments PSC. “What this World Cup win means is that spending will be accelerated with a new impetus” by Qatar.

Qatar to Buy $534 Million Stake in Hochtief Fighting Takeover Bid From ACA - Bloomberg

Hochtief AG said Qatar Holding LLC aims to own almost 9.1 percent of the German builder after a capital increase, as Hochtief battles a takeover bid by Spanish competitor ACS SA, its biggest shareholder.

Hochtief will increase its capital stock by about 10 percent by issuing stock at 57.114 euros each, according to a statement today. The total investment by Qatar of almost 400 million euros ($534 million) will “strengthen the financial position and provide latitude for the announced further growth” after a canceled bond sale, Hochtief said.

The announced capital increase would dilute the 29.98 percent stake held by ACS, whose full name is Actividades de Construccion y Servicios. ACS won approval from Germany’s financial regulator last month for its 2.7 billion-euro ($3.6 billion) bid for Essen, Germany-based Hochtief, which has fought the offer, saying doesn’t provide value for shareholders.

Securities Group wants to join Zain-Etisalat deal | Reuters

Securities Group Co (SGCK.KW), a brokerage firm that has opposed the structure of deal to sell 46 percent of Kuwaiti telecom group Zain (ZAIN.KW) to Etisalat (ETEL.AD) now wants to join the deal, a newspaper reported on Monday.

Al-Qabas daily said, without citing sources, that Securities Group has 'informed the selling consortium ... it wants to join with shares owned by its clients.'

Securities Group chairman, Ali al-Mousa, confirmed the report to Reuters on Monday, but declined to provide any details.

UAE business activity slows in November, UAE Economy - Maktoob News

Private sector business activity in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) eased in November from a 15-month peak in the previous month as new orders and job creation weakened, a purchasing managers' survey showed on Monday.

The HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which measures the performance of the OPEC member's manufacturing and services sectors, fell to 52.9 points in November after hitting 53.8 points in October, the highest level in the survey's history.

It is still holding above the 50 point mark that separates growth from contraction.

GCC Market Analytics: Qatar Market Jumps on World Cup Euphoria

The QE Index finished up +3.57% on Sunday, the first trading session following the announcement of Qatar's successful 2022 World Cup bid.

However, the Index opened up nearly 7% higher and reach was almost 8% higher at one point during the trading session. So although the Index finished much higher than Thursday's close it was considerably off its intraday highs. Intraday traders most likely had a bad day yesterday.

The QE Index closed at 8,477.32, the highest closing value in more than two years.

The move up was accompanied by high volume. In fact, by my data I make it the highest volume day since early June 2009.

The QE Index is currently up over 21% for the year. That's way better than any other GCC equity market. The question now, of course, is what next?

Shariah Banks Get Profit Boost With Money-Market Products: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg

Islamic banks will be offered a range of new money-market instruments in coming months, allowing lenders to earn larger returns from excess cash stored at central banks or locked into longer-dated securities.

The International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp., which is being set up in Kuala Lumpur by 11 central banks, will sell its first short-term bills in dollars early next year, Malaysian central bank Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz said Oct. 28. Prime Rate Capital Management LLP plans to start a $250 million Islamic cash fund in January, Chief Executive Officer Christopher Oulton said in a Nov. 23 interview. The U.A.E.’s central bank auctioned its first Shariah-compliant certificates of deposits on Nov. 10.

Demand for services complying with Shariah law is increasing about 15 percent annually and assets under management may almost triple to $2.8 trillion by 2015, according to the Kuala Lumpur-based Islamic Financial Services Board, a standards body for the industry. Money-market products will allow banks to invest idle cash more profitably, Paris-based Anouar Hassoune, an analyst at Moody’s Investors Service, said in an e-mailed response to questions on Dec. 1.

Kuwait Posts $19.9 Billion Surplus in First 7 Months - Bloomberg

Kuwait had a preliminary budget surplus of 5.6 billion dinars ($19.9 billion) in the first seven months of the fiscal year ending in March 2011, the Finance Ministry said.

State income was 11.5 billion dinars, or 118.7 percent more than projections, and spending was 5.9 billion dinars, according to data posted on the ministry’s website today. About 10 percent of revenue will be saved in the Reserve Fund for Future Generations.

Oil revenue was 10.9 billion dinars in the seven months to Oct. 31 while non-oil revenue was 655.3 million dinars, the data showed.

Qatar in investors' spotlight

Led by Qatar, local markets will be back in focus this week as investors consider the end of the year and an Abu Dhabi property developer approaches a major deadline.

'It is the last month of the year. Domestically, portfolio and asset managers will be measuring up the performance of their funds to benchmark indexes,' said Alfred Fayek, the head of MENA region equity sales at EFG-Hermes in Dubai.

'We should start seeing some trading activity pick up and specifically from leading stocks that are part of the MSCI UAE Index and other local indexes.'

Wataniya Palestine IPO a big draw

A strong appetite for the telecommunications sector continues to prevail as Wataniya Palestine's initial public offering (IPO) was at least 1.5 times oversubscribed.

The success has lifted sentiment in the Palestinian Territories, and Ahmad Aweidah, the chief executive of the Palestine Exchange, revealed there would be an IPO of the Palestine Insurance Company next month.

The Palestinian Territories's second mobile operator behind PALTEL raised more than US$75 million, far more than the $50.3m initially offered for the company. That was based on a fixed price of $1.30 per share.

Dubai weighs what may rank as GCC's sale of the century

As a policy initiative, it seems pretty conclusive.

On two separate occasions in the past few weeks, Dubai's leading officials have discussed a planned programme to sell government-owned assets: privatisation, as it is more usually known.

'We are working on opening up the capital of leading companies to our public.' Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman of the Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee as well as the head of Emirates Airline, said last week.

UAE still looking at single currency - Emirates24|7

The UAE would like to see all Gulf oil exporters agree on a single currency within a landmark monetary union launched by four of them early this year, the country’s minister of economy was reported on Sunday as saying.

Sultan Al Mansouri said the heads of state of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) would discuss the monetary union when they hold their annual summit in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

“We in the UAE believe in our common destiny in the Gulf region whether economically, politically or socially… we are one people and our leaders have their own views which are always wise and we respect them,” Mansouri told the Saudi Arabic language daily Aleqtisadiah.