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Friday, 10 December 2010

Syria Will Have No Problem Selling First Treasury Bonds, Central Bank Says - Bloomberg

Syria, seeking financing for development projects as oil revenue declines, will have “no problem” finding buyers in its first sale of treasury bills and bonds on Dec. 13, Central Bank Governor Adib Mayaleh said.

The government will sell 1 billion Syrian pounds ($21 million) each of five securities with maturities ranging from three months to five years, Mayaleh said in a phone interview late yesterday.

The notes are “all conventional paper” rather than Islamic-finance instruments, and the rates will be fixed by the Finance Ministry, not determined by the market, he said. Only banks registered in Syria will be eligible to bid.

Alliance Medical's Senior Lenders to Take Control Under Restructuring Plan - Bloomberg

Alliance Medical Ltd., the U.K. maker of medical-imaging equipment including CT scanners and X- ray machines, said lenders will take control of the company as part of a 570 million-pound ($902 million) debt restructuring.

Alliance Medical, which Dubai International Capital LLC bought in 2007 in a 600 million-pound leveraged buyout, has been in talks with investors for the past year amid declining sales following government healthcare cuts. Its obligations will be reduced to 250 million pounds after writing down senior debt and 140 million pounds of mezzanine loans as well as a debt-for- equity swap, the company said in an e-mailed statement today.

Senior lenders including Lloyds Banking Group Plc, Commerzbank AG and M&G Investments, will take a majority stake in the company, while holders of mezzanine debt and Dubai International will take a minority share, according to the statement. Senior investors, all of which agreed to the restructuring, will also inject 60 million pounds of new money into Alliance Medical, the company said.

Areva to Raise $1.2 Billion in Share Sale to Kuwait, France - Bloomberg

Areva SA, the biggest supplier of nuclear reactors, will raise 900 million euros ($1.2 billion) in a share sale, bringing in a Kuwaiti sovereign wealth fund alongside the French state to help finance investments.

Kuwait Investment Authority is offering to buy 600 million euros of new shares, giving it about 4.8 percent of the Paris- based company, the French Finance Ministry said today in a statement. The state, which owns 91 percent of Areva, will purchase an additional 300 million euros of new stock.

France has been in talks for about a year to sell as much as 15 percent of the company to Kuwait, Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and the sovereign fund of Qatar. Areva Chief Executive Officer Anne Lauvergeon had aimed to raise 3 billion euros in the capital increase to help fund spending on equipment, plants and uranium mines to fend off competition and sell more reactors and fuel in Europe, China and India.

UAE banks directed to book Dubai World provisions - Banking & Finance -

The UAE's central bank has directed local banks with exposure to indebted conglomerate Dubai World to book "appropriate" provisions in consultation with their auditors, bankers said on Friday.

Banks in the UAE with exposure to the state-linked firm had made provisions over the last year without any specific guidelines.

The central bank released guidelines early last month directing banks to take provisions for bad loans on a quarterly basis, in an effort to bring the banking system in line with international standards.

ACS Welcomes Qatar Increasing Stake in Hochtief, FTD Reports - Bloomberg

Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA welcomes Qatar Holding LLC increasing its stake in Hochtief AG, Financial Times Deutschland reported, citing an interview with ACS General Manager Angel Garcia Altozano.

ACS sees Qatar as a “good partner,” Garcia Altozano said, the newspaper reported in a preview of an article to be published tomorrow.

Qatar plans to increase its stake above the announced 9.1 percent by buying more shares at the stock exchange, Financial Times Deutschland reported today, without saying where it got the information.

Weekly Market Analysis (Week 50) | GCC Market Analytics

The weekly market analysis pages have been updated for trading week 49 (December 5th - December 9th). 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.

Tabreed cancels 970 million shares in bid to lift stock

Tabreed is cancelling 970 million shares in an effort to lift its share price high enough so it can eventually raise more money, the company said yesterday.

Tabreed, also known as National Central Cooling Company, will convert every five shares to one new share as a part of its ongoing restructuring. Most shareholders will not see a significant difference in the value of their holdings even as the share price quintuples.

However, the company will not issue fractional shares. This means only blocks of shares divisible by five can be exchanged.

Ireland looks to Gulf to buy its banks

Top Irish officials have approached Gulf sovereign wealth funds to gauge interest in the sale of Ireland's banks after the €85 billion (Dh412.26bn) bailout from European governments and the IMF.

John Bruton, a former Irish prime minister, is leading a delegation from the country on a whistle-stop tour of the region as Ireland prepares to sell assets.

Irish officials are visiting sovereign funds in the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, where they have already met Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the chief of Kingdom Holding and one of the world's 20 richest men. Mr Bruton is the head of the International Financial Services Centre in Ireland, which aims to attract financial companies to set up there.

Doha to overtake Dubai -

“It’s like Dubai, ten years ago,” is a description of places in the Gulf that are not Dubai so well worn it is a surprise it has not yet been co-opted by the tourist boards of Doha, Manama and Kuwait, to name only three. It would look good on t-shirts, perhaps – appealing to those who don’t like the glitz and pace of the UAE’s most famous destination.

Dubai was a $100bn project, HH Maktoum bin Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum, possibly conservatively, recently told delegates at a conference organised by this magazine, $100bn spent judiciously over the last two decades. That was the cost of the infrastructure, he said, and the result of that spending was Dubai’s preeminence amongst the leading cities of the GCC. It would take at least a decade for anywhere else in the region to catch up, he added. And the cost of doing so, of course, at today’s prices would be a good deal more than $100bn.

The thing is, there are at least three places in the GCC with a good deal more than $100bn to spend, and the will to do it. Money alone won’t be enough, of course, there are many other factors to consider. And Dubai is established in the global consciousness now - trying to overhaul a ten year start would be desperately difficult for any would-be rival.

EXCLUSIVE: Investors should use force majeure to withhold payments – RERA - Real Estate -

Investors in construction projects in Dubai in which developers are blaming delays on force majeure (an act of God) should withhold payments for the same reason, Marwan bin Ghalaita, CEO of Dubai real estate watchdog RERA, has said.

He added Dubai’s real estate sector was a lawyers’ market.

Asked if recession could be considered a force majeure, Bin Ghalaita said: “If I am an investor I will say ‘I am not paying because of force majeure’. I am not a judge. But my answer is: if I am an investor I will not pay because of force majeure. If they can use it, so can I. And this is my answer. If a developer can use it, why can’t I?”

AFP: Big developers accused of hurting Dubai property

Dubai's real estate regulatory body on Thursday accused the Gulf emirate's state-backed master developers of damaging its ailing property market by continuing to build despite a rampant oversupply.

"The master developers should understand, believe, that they are damaging the sector by introducing more supply," Marwan bin Ghalaita, the CEO of RERA said in an interview published by Arabian Business online magazine.

He named troubled Nakheel, the giant property arm of debt-laden Dubai World, as well as troubled Dubai Holding, which is owned by Dubai's ruler, and Emaar, developer of the world's tallest tower, Burj Khalifa.

Dubai Sukuk Rallies on S&P Review, Qatar World Cup Plans: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg

Dubai’s Islamic bonds led a rebound in Persian Gulf sukuk this week, ending the worst stretch of losses in 10 months, as Standard & Poor’s raised its outlook on DP World Ltd. and Qatar won the right to host the World Cup.

Average yields on Shariah-compliant bonds from the Gulf Cooperation Council fell seven basis points, or 0.07 percentage point, to 5.78 percent yesterday, according to the HSBC/NASDAQ Dubai GCC Dollar Sukuk Index. The yield on DP World’s 6.25 percent note maturing in July 2017 dropped 19 basis points this week to 6.96 percent, the lowest level since Nov. 25, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Yields on sukuk sold by Indonesia and Malaysia rose in the week, tracking U.S. Treasuries.

S&P revised the ratings outlook on the world’s fourth- biggest port operator to “stable” from “negative” on Dec. 2, citing improved financial results and the debt restructuring at its parent, Dubai World. The prospect Qatar’s successful bid will attract international investment and a rally in oil prices bode well for economic growth in the region, according to Manama-based Bahrain Islamic Bank.