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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt index crosses 7,000 mark, Kuwait banks up | Reuters

Egypt's bourse crossed the critical 7,000 points mark on Tuesday, buoyed by optimism that a government stimulus plan will boost economic growth in 2011, while other regional markets were largely muted.

The benchmark .EGX30 rose 0.9 percent to close at 7,027 points, its highest close since May 6.

'The index is at critical levels and a lot of people are buying after it broke the 7,000 point level,' said Karim Hosny of Pharos Securities, adding that the next resistance level is at 7,400 points.

What is So Special About Marakez? « Alpha Dinar- talking GCC finance

Marakez is a newly listed Real Estate company in Kuwait. They own properties and projects in Kuwait, Qatar, and Syria. Today (Tuesday 28th of December) was the first day the company traded on the Kuwait Stock Exchange. The intial price the stock was allocated to was 500 fils. The stock went up to to 550 fils (the maximum allowed), but later in the day came back down to 500 fils.
Digging into the company’s financials, I found that, in terms of market multiples, the price the stock was allocated was unjustifiable. Based on the Sept 2010 financials, the stock book value is at 172 fils, meaning that the stock’s P/BV is 2.9x versus the industry average 0.57x (after taking out some outliers). The next most expensive stock, in P/BV terms, is Al Modn with 1.4x, less than half of Marakez’s ratio. If we look at the P/E, Markez’s is valued at 43.74x earings vs. the industry average of 20.65x (again after taking out some outliers).

Yesterday, Alqabas newspaper quoted the Company’s CEO, Abdulhameed Dashti, as saying “Those who own Marakez’s stock are lucky, lucky, lucky.” I guess he has a point given the very rich valuation attached to the stock.

Damas Says Bank Lenders Agree to Extend Debt Standstill Till January 31 - Bloomberg

Damas International Ltd., a Dubai- based jewelry maker and retailer, said its bank lenders agreed to extend the standstill period for its banking facilities to Jan. 31.

The company is in final negotiations with lenders on restructuring plan over its bank facilities, Damas said in a statement to Nasdaq Dubai today.

Middle East Crude Falls; Abu Dhabi Keeps Murban Supply Steady - Bloomberg

Middle East crude for sale to Asia fell from the highest in 27 months as Abu Dhabi maintained the supply of its flagship Murban grade.

Oman oil for immediate loading fell 69 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $91.20 a barrel, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The high-sulfur grade was previously at the highest since September 2008. Dubai crude for loading in February dropped 69 cents to $90.92. Abu Dhabi’s light Murban crude was down 69 cents at $93.58.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. kept a reduction on Murban supplies at 10 percent from agreed volumes in February, unchanged from January’s cuts, the state-run producer in the United Arab Emirates capital said in an e-mailed statement. The U.A.E. is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which pledged at a Dec. 11 meeting to maintain production targets. Half of the group’s 12 members are from the Middle East.

UAE debt law paves way for sovereign bond - The National

The United Arab Emirates has taken a step towards its first sovereign bond after the Federal National Council passed a new public debt law today.

The legislation, which needs presidential approval to become law, limits government debt to 25 per cent of the country's gross domestic product, or Dh 200 billion ($54.45 bn).

An earlier version of the legislation discussed last year had said public debt should not exceed 45 per cent of GDP, or Dh300 billion.

Gulf Stocks Movers: Aldar, Ithmaar Bank, Jabal Omar, NBK - Bloomberg

Qatar’s QE Index lost 0.9 percent, the biggest drop in more than a week, to 8,645.65 at the 12:30 p.m. close in Doha. Abu Dhabi’s benchmark stock index advanced 0.3 percent and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index rose 0.5 percent at 1:29 p.m. in Riyadh.

Bahrain’s Ithmaar Jumps Most in Month After Raising $167 Million - Bloomberg

Ithmaar Bank BSC, the retail-focused Islamic bank based in Bahrain, advanced the most in more than a month after it received a $167 million Shariah-compliant loan.

The shares gained 4.2 percent, the biggest intraday increase since Nov. 21, to 12.5 cents at 12:10 p.m. in Manama. Ithmaar has declined 48 percent this year.

The bank raised the Islamic murabaha loan from Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank BSC. Ahli United Bank was unchanged at 72 cents.

Kuwait rejects Islamic banks' liquidity request

Kuwait's central bank denied a request by Islamic lenders to grant them exceptions from liquidity ratio requirements and allow for the withdrawal of excess liquidity, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Kuwaiti Arabic daily Al-Rai said this was the second time the country's central bank rejected such a proposal - a move some banks say put them at a disadvantage to conventional banks.

The central bank intervenes in the money market to withdraw excess liquidity at banks through bonds issued by and received from the banks on demand.

Arab Banking Corp buys stake in Libya's MeditBank | Reuters

Libya-based Mediterranean Bank on Tuesday said it has raised its capital to sell a 49 percent stake to Bahrain-based Arab Banking Corporation for 74 million Libyan dinars.

'Mediterranean Bank informs that it signed on December 12 a partnership agreement whereby Arab Banking Corporation becomes its international partner,' Mediterranean Bank said in a statement to the Libyan stock exchange.

Mediterranean Bank, founded in 1997, raised its capital to around 94 million Libyan dinars, it added without giving more details. - UAE asks for action over Saudi loans

United Arab Emirates’ central bank has asked banks to raise provisions against loans to the Saudi family owned groups Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi and Brothers (Ahab) and Saad Group from 50 per cent to 80 per cent.

The demand, in a circular to UAE-based lenders, comes as the regulator takes an increasingly conservative approach to the exposure of financial institutions to the troubled Saudi groups, which are locked in a series of legal disputes. The furore has rocked Gulf financial institutions, raising questions about lax credit practices where “name lending”, or issuance of loans on reputation alone, have come under scrutiny.

The UAE central bank called on domestic and international banks based in the country to set aside money for bad loans by the end of 2010.