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Sunday, 12 December 2010

WAM | Mohammed bin Rashid issues decree establishing the Board of Directors of Dubai World, headed by Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum

وسيتولى المجلس سلسلة من المهام والصلاحيات تشمل دراسة استثمار المؤسسة في المشروعات التجارية والصناعية والزراعية والعقارية وشتى المشروعات الخدمية والمالية وأية أنشطة أخرى يقرر المجلس الاستثمار فيها وتحديد كيفية ومقدار استثمار المؤسسة فيها إضافة إلى دراسة التقارير المرفوعة إليه حول أنشطة المؤسسة والشركات التابعة لها ومراكزها المالية واتخاذ الإجراءات المناسبة بشأنها .

وستتضمن مهام مجلس الإدارة إقرار خطط إعادة هيكلة المؤسسة والشركات التابعة لها وكذلك إقرار مشروع الميزانية السنوية والحسابات الختامية وإقرار الأنظمة الإدارية والمالية للمؤسسة والشركات التابعة لها إضافة إلى إقرار عمليات التمويل والاقتراض من المؤسسات المصرفية وتقديم الضمانات المالية لها .

في حين سيتولى المجلس أيضا إقرار عمليات بيع وشراء وتأجير العقارات والأسهم والسندات وغيرها من الأوراق المالية وغيرها من الممتلكات العائدة للمؤسسة أو الشركات التابعة لها.

Dubai Economic Growth Seen at 2%, StanChart Says - Bloomberg

Dubai’s economy may grow between 1.5 percent and 2 percent in 2011, mainly driven by expansion in the services, trade and tourism industries, Shady Shaher, a Standard Chartered Plc economist, said in Dubai today.

The United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven sheikhdoms including Dubai, will grow 4 percent next year while Abu Dhabi will rise 5 percent, the bank said in a report issued as Shaher made his remarks. The U.A.E. economy probably grew 3 percent in 2010, it said.

“With global trade looking unlikely to sustain the sharp rebound seen in 2010, re-exports and the logistics sector, of critical importance to Dubai, will be only moderately positive for growth,” Shaher wrote in the report. Trade accounts for 40 percent of Dubai’s economy, and along with tourism helped drive Dubai’s “recovery despite the challenges of a suppressed housing market and debt overhang,” according to the report.

Istithmar Yet to Sign Accord to Sell V&A Mall, Official Says - Bloomberg

Istithmar World PJSC, the private equity company owned by Dubai World, has yet to sign an agreement to sell the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront shopping mall in Cape Town, South Africa, an official at Dubai World said.

Johannesburg-based Mail & Guardian newspaper reported Absa Group Ltd., Growthpoint Properties Ltd. and the Public Investment Corp. have together signed an accord to purchase South Africa’s biggest tourist destination on Dec. 10 for 10 billion rand ($1.46 billion). The deal would be completed on Dec. 13, the newspaper said, citing people it didn’t identify. Bronwen Noble, a Growthpoint spokeswoman, denied the company was involved in the deal, the newspaper reported on Dec. 10.

The report is not true, the Dubai World official said. Istithmar has been discussing the sale of the V&A Mall with some companies, the official said, declining to be identified because the information is private. A spokeswoman for Dubai World declined to comment.

OPEC Dismisses $90 Oil Price as `Blip,' Maintains Production Targets Again - Bloomberg

OPEC discounted last week’s $90 oil price and kept its output targets unchanged yesterday, betting supplies in storage and a fragile global economic recovery will prevent crude from surging.

Supply and demand are “in balance,” and $70 to $80 is “a good price” for oil, Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said at the group’s meeting in Quito, Ecuador. OPEC forecasts demand growth will slow as the economy struggles to recover, amid ample supplies, according to a group statement.

“The issue they looked at was whether $90 is a blip or a trend,” said Bill Farren-Price, founder of consultant Petroleum Policy Intelligence, based in Winchester, U.K. “They’ve taken the view that there are one-off factors such as the cold snap, a weak dollar, that won’t be sustained in the new year.”

Abu Dhabi Reshuffles Executive Council, Names Sheikh Hazza as Vice Chair - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich Gulf Arab emirate, reshuffled its cabinet or Executive Council, naming the ruler’s half brother Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan as vice chairman.

Sheikh Hazza, also chairman of First Gulf Bank PJSC, was previously not part of the council. Majed Ali al-Mansouri, a board member at the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation and a member of the executive committee for Abu Dhabi environment agency was also added as a member, according to a decree published by the official WAM news agency today.

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the U.A.E. federation of seven emirates, had about 7.3 percent of the world’s oil supply at the end of 2009 according to BP Plc data. The emirate is trying to diversify its economy away from heavy reliance on crude exports and plans to raise the contribution of non-oil industries to half of total gross domestic product by 2015 from about 40 percent. Its economy suffered during the global financial crisis as real estate prices fell and local banks received funds from the government.

Egypt Shares Gain on View Central Bank May Cut Interest Rates, Led by CIBE - Bloomberg

Egypt shares rose to the highest level in almost three weeks on speculation the central bank may cut interest rates after inflation eased in November. Qatar’s benchmark advanced.

Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE, the country’s biggest publicly traded bank, led the gain and Six of October Investment & Development SAE surged to a more than two-year high after the Cairo-based real-estate developer said it approved a five-for-one stock split to increase liquidity. The EGX 30 Index advanced for a third day, increasing 0.6 percent to 6,916 at the 2:30 p.m. close in Cairo. In the Persian Gulf, Qatar’s benchmark rose 0.5 percent, while the Bloomberg GCC 200 Index slipped 0.1 percent.

“We’re seeing the market react to the unexpected drop in the inflation rate” in Egypt, said Tamer Nigm, head of sales and trading at Cairo-based Watheeqa Securities Brokerage. “There’s speculation the central bank may cut interest rates as a result.”

Dubai International Financial Centre to Cut Rents From 2011 to Spur Demand - Bloomberg

Dubai International Financial Center, a tax-free business park, will cut rents and operational costs by as much as 50 percent to encourage companies to expand following the financial crisis.

“We have benchmarked the pricing against other international business centers,” Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, DIFC chief executive officer, told reporters on a conference call in Dubai today. “We want to give clients in the DIFC the benefit of lower prices so they can grow their businesses.”

DIFC said it will amend rental charges for companies operating in the center with effect from January.

KFH liquidates Turkey property fund

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) announced that it liquidized a real estate fund in Turkey with a capital profit 14 percent and total profit that exceeds $10 million. The profits of October and November will be distributed among the fund’s shareholders by 10 percent annually, which means that the investor has received total distributions over 6 years that exceeded more than 70 percent, in addition to the capital; thus highlighting KFH’s investment policy that is based on careful planning and close monitoring of market’s requirements.

The VIP Financial Services Department Manager Talal Al-Nesf stated that the exiting from the fund has been successful and profitable at this time, since it occurred after the fund’s operation time frame by five years, in addition to one year, where the fund was established in 2004. He noted that the results of the exiting cement KFH’s experience and its prime investment opportunities, not to mention the feasibility of investing in the Turkish market.

He went on to say that KFH is considering to invest in projects and fields in the Turkish market through funds that operate in infrastructure, real estate development, power, cars, and Takaful insurance fields, which are fields that offer high returns, in addition to the fact that they meet the requirements of many segments of people. He mentioned that the fund that was established in conjunction with KFH-Turkey and shareholders from Kuwait and Turkey, invests in renting warehouses that are close to Ataturk International Airport, where they are rented by shipping and storing companies.

Moreover, he stressed that KFH continues to exert efforts to achieve best returns for its investors through premium investment opportunities that have minimal risks and high returns. He added that the department constantly seeks to manage the wealth of clients, in order to offer them high profits.

Istithmar weighs up sell-off

Istithmar World is considering selling its share in the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront shopping and entertainment development in Cape Town as property companies show interest in South Africa's biggest tourist attraction.

A source at Dubai World, the parent company of Istithmar, confirmed talks had taken place but said no deal was imminent and added it would sell only at an attractive price. It said it would otherwise strive to hold on to the site, reckoned to be one of the country's most valuable.

The site could fetch as much as 10 billion rand (Dh5.36bn) with potential buyers including Growthpoint, a publicly traded South African property investment company, among those interested in the asset, according to a person familiar with the situation. 'People are pushing to buy [the V&A Waterfront],' said a Dubai World source familiar with the discussions. 'But we aren't pushing a sale. There is always a price difference … We are just looking at maximising returns,' he said."

DIC left with little from Alliance

Dubai International Capital (DIC) is losing almost all of its 60 per cent stake in the UK's Alliance Medical in the diagnostic imaging company's takeover by banks.

Under a deal reached on Friday, DIC, the private equity arm of Dubai Holding, is to retain just 2.5 per cent of Alliance, the UK's largest provider of MRI and CT scan equipment to hospitals. DIC bought control of the company in 2007 in a transaction that valued it at £600 million (Dh3.48 billion).

'Following the successful restructurings of our core European portfolio companies Almatis, Doncasters, Mauser and Travelodge, we have now completed the last restructuring in our portfolio,' a DIC spokesman said."

Aldar set for spotlight this week

Aldar Properties will be on the radar of local investors this week as news on whether the Abu Dhabi developer will secure government funding is likely to dictate the movement of the market.

The capital's largest builder has more than Dh10 billion of debt due to be repaid next year and its property sales have dwindled in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

Company officials said last month a 'framework' for government aid would be announced by the end of the fourth quarter. An Aldar spokesman said late last week an announcement date had not yet been set."

Analysts' View: Saudi still favors $70-$80 oil | Reuters

Saudi Arabia reiterated it favored oil prices between $70-$80 a barrel and OPEC agreed to maintain output levels at a meeting on Saturday.

Following are comments from analysts:

EDWARD MORSE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, CREDIT SUISSE IN NEW YORK

'The fact that Naimi keeps saying $70-$80 a barrel makes it a meaningful statement.'

'When you have Venezuela saying $100 is adequate and Iran saying demand is weak even as it skyrockets, I think if they (the Saudis) don't want a confrontation they will quietly supply more to the market.'"

(Click through headline link for more.)

Business : Dubai capital-raising signals rising morale

Prospects for improved returns on investment within the Gulf are getting brighter with indications that risk appetite has staged a come back, a leading Swiss private bank said on Saturday, citing Dubai’s recent successful capital-raising as a key bellwether of investor confidence.
The return of investor confidence and the region’s $2 trillion infrastructure investment over the next few years are key indicators auguring the bright growth prospects of the Gulf, said Pictet & Cie, which has assets under management totalling $384 billion.

Oliver Bell, Senior Investment Manager at Pictet Asset Management, said the huge success of Dubai government’s $1.25 billion dual-tranche bond that generated $5 billion of demand, and Emaar’s $500 million bond signalled the rebound of investor appetite.

Shareholder objects to Hochtief stake sale

A major shareholder is objecting to the German construction giant Hochtief's plan to sell a 9.1 per cent stake in the company to Qatar investors.

Hochtief, based in Frankfurt, said on Monday it would issue 7 million new shares to Qatar Holdings for €450 million (Dh2.18 billion).

Southeastern Asset Management, Hochtief's second-largest shareholder, yesterday accused the company of giving Qatar a €266m discount 'in order to gain access to potential projects in that country'."