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Wednesday, 29 December 2010

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt gains on stimulus plan; Nakheel lifts Dubai | Reuters

Egypt's bourse climbed to a new seven-month high on Wednesday on optimism following upbeat government forecasts for the economy, while news of progress on Nahkeel's [NAKHD.UL] debt restructuring lifted Dubai stocks.

Egypt's announcement of an off-budget economic stimulus worth up to $3.4 billion and forecasts of accelerating growth have bolstered prospects for corporate earnings.

Stocks benefiting the most from renewed investor interest included Ezz Steel ESRS.CA, Commercial International Bank COMI.CA and Orascom Construction (OCIC.CA), which gained 2.2 percent, 2.3 percent and 0.4 percent respectively.

Dubai's finances: Debt forgetfulness | The Economist

THERE was plenty of Schadenfreude when, in late 2009, Dubai was forced to admit it had trouble paying its debts. The brash emirate’s Gulf neighbours quietly hoped to tempt bankers and business people to their rival financial hubs. Now, irritatingly for many, Dubai is showing signs of recovery. A $10 billion bail-out by Abu Dhabi staved off the threat of a big default. The emirate returned to the bond markets in September. Although the issue was unrated, it was heavily oversubscribed.

Certainly, the property market is still suffering. New apartment blocks and office buildings appear with few new occupiers to pay for them. The Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building—formerly known as Burj Dubai but renamed in honour of Sheikh Khalifa, Abu Dhabi’s ruler, after the bail-out—is reported to be largely empty. Rents in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a glitzy zone for offshore banks, were slashed in December.

But the real economy is not doing badly. Tourists are returning. Trade is apparently growing, particularly with India and China, although sanctions have made it trickier to export to Iran. The expatriate executives who manage most of the private sector are defensive about Dubai. They focus on the positives: thinning traffic jams, lower rents. Local media provide a stream of good news. So what’s the worry?

Difference in Weights of the Price and Weighted Kuwait SE Indices « Alpha Dinar- talking GCC finance

We have talked about the Price Index and the Weighted Index of the Kuwait Stock Exchange many times. The difference between these two is that one (Price Index) takes into account the price of the stock to determine the weight of the stock on the index, and the other (Weighted) take into account the market value of the company. We have said that we always prefer the Weighted index as it is a better indicator of the market, since it gives bigger companies more share within the index. Most of the indices around the world are weighted indicies.
The graph above shows the weights of the different companies listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange and their weights within the two indices and the difference in weights. (Click on the graph for a better view)

Dubai's Emaar Counting on Saudi Arabian Mega Projects in 2011

As operations in Dubai have slowed, Emaar is counting on its master-planned communities in Saudi Arabia to take up some of the earnings slack. Earlier this month, Emaar Middle East showcased Jeddah Gate and Al Khobar Lakes, two of its integrated communities, at a Cityscape exhibition in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh.

Dr Dia Malaeb, Regional Chief Executive, Emaar Middle East, said, "Emaar Middle East is one of the pioneers in master-planned community development in the Kingdom." He estimated that Riyadh "would need over one million new homes by 2014 while overall demand is set to grow at an average 3.3 percent."

Jeddah Gate is a mixed-use project featuring residential units, commercial space, and 75,000 square meters of leasable area for retailers. Top-end retailers and food and beverage outlets will open near the residential towers. Abraj Al Hilal is a cluster of three high rise residential towers within Jeddah Gate.

Qatar surplus to rise to 10.5% of GDP for 2010-2011 -

Rising gas revenues will see Qatar’s fiscal surplus for 2010-2011 rise to a record 10.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), according to official estimates.

"Qatar's budget is expected to record a surplus of around 10.5 percent in the current fiscal year,” the Abu Dhabi-based Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) is quoted as saying in a report by Emirates 24/7 on Wednesday.

However, the AMF added that the surplus “will remain lower than the surplus recorded in the previous fiscal year...this is because of high spending as part of the country's counter-crisis fiscal expansion measures."

Watinaya notches up Palestine's biggest IPO in a decade - The National

Wataniya's successful initial public offering offers a fillip to Palestine Exchange despite difficult market conditions elsewhere in the GCC.

It is the Palestinian Territories second mobile operator behind PALTEL and raised $78 million in its initial public offering, one and half times more than the $50.3m it needed to raise.

It was the largest IPO in Palestine for 10 years, based on a fixed price of $1.30 per share.

Nakheel Reaches Accord With 91% Creditors as It Restructures $10.5 Billion - Bloomberg

Nakheel PJSC, the developer building palm tree-shaped islands off Dubai’s coast, reached an agreement with 91 percent of its trade creditors as the company seeks to delay payments on at least $10.5 billion of loans and bills.

“Ninety-one percent by value of trade creditor accounts payable has been finalized in signed restructuring undertakings,” the Dubai government-owned company said in an e- mailed statement today. “We continue to work to achieve the required 95 percent restructuring threshold.”

Nakheel is renegotiating debt terms after the deepest financial crisis since the 1930s roiled Dubai’s real-estate market and left companies unable to raise money. The company had aimed to get approval from 95 percent of its creditors before year-end. Dubai World, the parent of Nakheel and one of Dubai’s three main holding companies, in October gained approval from all its creditors to change terms on $24.9 billion of loans.

Malaysia's cbank still reviewing Islamic mega bank bids - Maktoob News

Malaysia's central bank said on Wednesday it was still reviewing offers to set up mega Islamic banks, suggesting it could miss its target of awarding a licence this year as the industry struggles to create a well-capitalised sharia lender.

Bank Negara Malaysia is offering up to two new Islamic banking licences to foreign firms to set up banks with at least $1 billion of paid-up capital, a move that the industry hopes will spur more lending and create bigger Islamic banks that can compete with global lenders.

Malaysian central bank chief Zeti Akhtar Aziz had said the authority hoped to announce in 2010 at least one licence for a big Islamic bank.

gulfnews : Apicorp sells ACBC stake to Indian firm

The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp), the multilateral development bank of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (Oapec), said it has signed an agreement to sell its 12 per cent stake in the Egypt-based Alexandria Carbon Black Company (ACBC) to the Aditya Birla Group, the majority shareholder of the company.

By doing so, Apicorp has set in motion a divestment plan aimed at mobilising funds for a new phase of investments, the firm said in a statement yesterday.

The divestment, Apicorp's first, was approved by its board on December 26. The UAE Government owns a 17 per cent stake in Apicorp.

Dh700 million acquisition strategy for Dubai's Masharie - The National

The private equity arm of Dubai Investments, one of the emirate's largest publicly listed investment firms, is looking to invest up to Dh700 million (US$190.5m) to acquire up to seven regional companies over the next year.

Abdulaziz al Serkal, the chief executive of Masharie, expects to close three of those deals this month for companies in the health care, education and oil and gas sectors.

Masharie's investment strategy comes on the heels of a recent surge of buyout activity among the region's private equity firms.

Abu Dhabi firm increases stake in microchip giant - The National

The Abu Dhabi-based Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) has increased its investment in Globalfoundries, one of the biggest customised microchip makers in the world, through its US counterpart Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), according to a company filing.

ATIC now owns 86 per cent of Globalfoundries with AMD, the chipmaker's former owner, holding the remaining stake in the firm.

ATIC, an investment firm owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, purchased 65.8 per cent stake in Globalfoundries last year for $2.1billion (Dh 7.7bn)in a deal that placed the UAE as a leading player in the global microchip industry.

gulfnews : UAE may issue debt in late 2011 or 2012

The UAE might issue bonds by the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012, Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, told reporters after the Federal National Council (FNC) approved the proposal to cap national debt.

The UAE at present has no public debt, as defined in the law, Al Tayer said.

In the debate over the law, FNC members rejected a proposed article allowing the government to act as a guarantor of banks in the UAE to safeguard the banking system if necessary.