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Sunday, 19 December 2010

Dubai silent on report it is in talks to sell LSE stake | Reuters

Abu Dhabi is in talks to buy a 20 percent stake in the London Stock Exchange (LSE.L) held by indebted neighbour Dubai, the Sunday Times said in an unattributed report.

Officials from Dubai and Abu Dhabi, two of the seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates federation, were not available for comment.

The LSE stake sale would be part of an Abu Dhabi buyout of exchange operator Borse Dubai and would follow the latter's sale of about half of its shares in Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ.O) last week, the Sunday Times reported.

Abu Dhabi May Buy Dubai's 20% Stake in London Stock Exchange, Times Says - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi is in talks to buy the 20 percent stake in London Stock Exchange Group Plc owned by Borse Dubai Ltd., the Sunday Times said, without saying where it got the information.

Abu Dhabi offered $1.5 billion for the stake, according to the report. The three stock exchanges in the United Arab Emirates may merge as part of the deal, the report said.

London Stock Exchange spokesman Alastair Fairbrother declined to comment when contacted by telephone today. A Borse Dubai spokesman declined to comment on the report.

Qatar World Cup to Spur Loans Rebound From Five-Year Low: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg

Islamic loans in the Middle East will rebound in 2011 from a five-year low, said HSBC Holdings Plc, this year’s biggest lender, as accelerating economic growth and Qatar’s building for the soccer World Cup boosts spending.

Syndicated loans dropped 18 percent this year to $6.5 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Loans peaked at $24 billion in 2007, before the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Borrowers from the Middle East dominated the market in 2010, receiving all but one of the 14 loans tracked by Bloomberg in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“We have a number of transactions in the pipeline” which may close in the first half of next year, Mohammed Dawood, Dubai-based director of debt capital markets at HSBC Amanah, said in a telephone interview from Abu Dhabi on Dec. 15. “We’ll definitely do more loan deals in 2011 compared to this year.”

AFP: Qatar, Gulf region to benefit from World Cup: bank

Qatar and its Gulf neighbours are set to benefit immensely with the expected spending bonanza from Doha hosting the football World Cup in 2022, an economic report said on Sunday.

Tiny gas-rich Qatar had already announced plans to spend at least 100 billion dollars even before being selected to host the world's biggest sporting event, the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) said in a report.

"Hosting the World Cup foremost adds a sense of urgency and an ultimate hard deadline for the completion of the projects critical to a successful hosting," the report said.

Dubai Stocks Gain on DIC Restructuring Deal, Led by Emirates NBD, Arabtec - Bloomberg

Dubai’s shares rose the most in two weeks after Dubai International Capital LLC, an investment company owned by the emirate’s ruler, reached an agreement with creditors to restructure about $2.5 billion in debt.

Emirates NBD PJSC, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest bank, rose 3.1 percent, and Arabtec Holding Co., the biggest construction company in the U.A.E., advanced the most since Dec. 7. Dubai’s DFM General Index rose 0.8 percent to 1,651.37 as of 1:25 p.m. in the emirate. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index of companies in the Persian Gulf dropped 0.1 percent. In Israel, the TA-25 Index rose 0.2 percent.

“Positive development over the weekend with DIC restructuring,” is pushing stocks higher, said Akram Annous, deputy fund manager at Al Mal Capital PSC in Dubai.

Abu Dhabi's Al Jaber Talks With Lenders to Alter Terms on Debt Facilities - Bloomberg

Al Jaber Group, an Abu Dhabi-based holding company with 16 billion dirhams ($4.4 billion) in projects, is talking to lenders to alter terms on its debt.

The company “found it difficult to raise the appropriate finance to secure additional work and maintain its expansion in the region” because of the credit crisis, Al Jaber said today in an e-mailed statement. The company, which has assets of more than $5 billion, said it expects to reach an agreement with its lenders in 2011.

Property prices in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates’ capital and holder of 7 percent of the world’s oil supply, have dropped more than 30 percent since their peak in mid-2008 after banks cut mortgage lending amid the financial slump. Government economic-growth forecasts for the emirate have been crimped and population forecasts lowered as the crisis slowed growth.

UPDATE: Is the Saudi Stock Market Winding Up for a Big Move? — Saudi Stock Market Analysis — GCC Market Analytics

In a previous post last week I noted how the Saudi Tadawul Index had been consolidating over the past six months and the potential for a big price move ahead. Well, as you can see from the updated chart below, the Index has now risen above the upper trading range.

Will this lead to a big upside price movement? Or will this turn out to be a "fake" breakout with prices quickly reversing lower and back into the consolidation range?

Well, from the perspective of this week's Saudi market analysis the outlook is positive for the next few trading sessions. Currently, the Tadawul Index is experiencing the strongest trend conditions with the short, medium and long-term trends all pointing upwards.

Saudi market breadth has also turned positive which, in the past, has corresponded with rising Index levels.

So things look good for the short-term. For the longer-term it's a case of wait and see.

Saudi Arabia soars ahead to dominate Rich List 2010 -

Top of the Saudi contingent is Kingdom Holding chairman Prince Alwaleed, with an epic $20.4bn

Top of the Saudi contingent is Kingdom Holding chairman Prince Alwaleed, with an epic $20.4bn

Saudi Arabia’s plutocrats always feature heavily on the Arabian Business Rich List, but this year there are more than ever before.

The kingdom’s wealthiest figureheads take six of the top 10 places alone and, collectively, represent a cash pile of $169.68bn spread across 32 entries.

The top ten highest-placed Saudi business people alone - including moguls Mohamed bin Issa Al Jaber of MBI International and Mohammad Al Amoudi - have a combined wealth of $71.1bn.

Arabian Business Rich List 2010 - Lists -

20.4 bn.
Saudi Arabia
12 bn.
Saudi Arabia
11.9 bn.
Saudi Arabia
10 bn.
Saudi Arabia
9.8 bn.
Saudi Arabia
8.2 bn.
7 bn.
7 bn.
Saudi Arabia
6.52 bn.
United Arab Emirates
6.5 bn.

Qatari Diar among London Olympic Village contenders

Qatari Diar Real Estate, the investment arm of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, is on the shortlist of candidates for the purchase and long-term management of London's Olympic Village after the Olympic Games in 2012.

The bid, submitted jointly by Qatari Diar and Delancey, the investment advisory, is the latest in a series of moves by Qatar's state-owned investment funds to acquire trophy assets in the British capital.

David Higgins, the chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), which is responsible for developing the site and infrastructure for the Games, said: "Securing a shortlist with many of the leading property investors and managers both in the UK and around the world takes us an important step towards ensuring the Village becomes one of the strongest legacies from the Games.

Qatar Airways plans shares sale

Qatar Airways plans to sell shares to the public in an initial public offering (IPO) in early 2012, which it hopes will follow its third successive year of net profits.

The airline, which is 50 per cent owned by the Qatari government and 50 per cent by private investors, said it had already started work on the offering, which would sell a minority stake to the public.

"We have already triggered the financial mechanism that we would need for an IPO," said Akbar al Baker, the chief executive of Qatar Airways, in Doha yesterday. "I think we will IPO somewhere in the early part of 2012."

Analyst says Emaar could face balance sheet issues

Emaar Properties, the largest developer in the Middle East, is facing major challenges to its balance sheet because of problems with an Indian joint venture and the heavily indebted mortgage company Amlak Finance, an analyst says.

Majed Azzam, of Alembic HC Securities, lowered his rating on Emaar to "neutral" with a "bleak outlook" yesterday.

The decision followed Emaar's discussion last week over potentially converting some of Amlak's debt into equity. Converting Dh800 million (US$217.8m) would increase Emaar's stake in Amlak to 66 per cent from 45 per cent. Such a move would most likely require Emaar to consolidate Amlak's obligations on to its own balance sheet. Because of Amlak's considerable liabilities, Emaar's total debt would rise to Dh17 billion from Dh6.7bn, Mr Azzam said.

Qatar’s growth projected to accelerate to 20pc next year

Qatar’s growth is projected to accelerate to 20 percent in 2011, while inflation will remain subdued, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its 2010 Article IV Consultation Concluding Statement on the State of Qatar for the year 2010.

“Qatar has weathered the global financial crisis exceptionally well, reflecting the quick and strong policy response by the authorities. Growth has rebounded,” the Statement said. It notes that continuing public investment in infrastructure will keep growth high in the medium term and support non-hydrocarbon growth. Improving productivity will be key to greater self-sustaining long-term growth in the non-hydrocarbon sectors.

While the current expansive fiscal policy remains appropriate and monetary policy should remain geared towards supporting credit growth, aggregate demand should be carefully monitored in order to avoid the emergence of inflationary pressures, said the Statement.

Bahrain releases British bankers - Telegraph

Alistair MacLeod, Anthony James and Cliff Giddings had their travel bans lifted by the Bahraini authorites nearly 18 months after they were imposed in the wake of the collapse of Awal Bank, where they all worked.

Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, which has run a series of articles this year highlighting their situation, the men spoke of their relief to be finally allowed to leave Bahrain and delight at being reunited with wives and children that in some cases they had not seen in more than two years.

Mr Hague raised the issue with the Crown Prince of Bahrain, Salman ibn Hamad ibn Isa al-Khalifa, during a visit to the UK at the beginning of the month.

Two Thousand Twenty Two « Alpha Dinar- talking GCC finance

World Cup fever is on as the DSM rallied approximately 7% since the day they announced that Qatar won the 2022 bid to host the world cup.
It is estimated that Qatar will spend nearly USD65 billion in infrastructure, which represents 53% of 2010E GPD. USD4 billion will be allocated to building nine new stadiums and renovating three existing ones. USD50 billion will be spent to construct new transport systems. In addition to that, Qatar has promised to provide 90,000 hotel rooms by 2022 (currently they have 15,000 rooms only). The banks will benefit from the stronger economic activity and higher credit demand over the next 12 years. A USD60 billion will be financed by the Qatari banks- combined assets of all the banks as of end of 2009 are USD129 billion. However, a key challenge is for the Qatari banks to secure long term funding to finance these long term projects. Issuance in the credit markets are expected to increase to support the long term funding.
400,000 world cup fans visited South Africa this year, which is equal to 25% of Qatar’s population. This will really boost tourism and consumption in that period. Tourism in South Africa spent around USD2 billion- 1.5% of Qatar’s GDP. Out of all the countries that hosted the world cup, Qatar has the smallest GPD, population and land size.