Saturday, 30 April 2011
Mass protests toppled the former president, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, in January and Central Bank Governor Mustapha Kamel Nabli repeated his view that weak growth could threaten the transition to democracy.
"The fundamental problem is in the situation of uncertainty and lack of confidence prevailing in the country," the official TAP news agency quoted Nabli as saying. "This leads to a wait-and-see attitude on the part of companies and also consumers who keep their savings."
Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), the world’s largest petrochemicals maker, and Yanbu National Petrochemical Co., Sabic’s unit known as Yansab, paced the gains. The 146-company measure rose 0.4 percent to 6,752.31 at 12:06 p.m. in Riyadh, the gauge’s highest intraday level since Jan. 18. Six shares climbed for every stock that fell.
“Further weakening in the U.S. dollar is expected to lift crude prices, which bodes well for Saudi equities,” said Asim Bukhtiar, an equity analyst at Riyad Capital.
After a February pipeline explosion cut its gas imports from Egypt for more than a month, Jordan, which imports almost all of its energy resources, decided to diversify its suppliers, the government-run Petra news agency reported earlier this month. Loss of the Egyptian gas cost Jordan about $28 million a week after it changed suppliers, according to the country’s Energy Ministry.
Enter Azerbaijan. An April 14 protocol on economic cooperation between Azerbaijan and Jordan includes a framework for discussions about the export of an unspecified amount of Azerbaijani crude oil and natural gas to Jordan.
Friday, 29 April 2011
Gulf International signs US$1.6 billion deal for Malaysia aluminum smelter - Business Intelligence Middle East - bi-me.com - News, analysis, reports
Smelter Asia Sdn Bhd will develop, own and operate the aluminum plant, which will have an annual capacity of 370,000 metric tons during the first phase. It’s planned that that capacity will increase to 700,000 tons, according to an e-mailed statement from the company.
Gulf International is headed by Malaysian entrepreneur Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary and Mohammed Alabbar, a businessman based in the United Arab Emirates, who is also the chairman of Emaar Properties, the U.A.E.’s biggest developer.
He has also been a member of the UN Committee for Development Policy, and - since 2006 - Chief Economist for the Dubai International Financial Corporation. In this role, he is charged with the responsibility of helping to develop the financial future of the UAE and the region.
With his snowy white hair, piercing blue eyes and modest manner, the man does not mince words in any language to describe the financial reforms necessary to bring the Middle East into the 21st century. “If you look at the financial structure in the Middle East”, he says, “unlike the rest of the world it is unbalanced: that is, the bulk of finance comes from the banking sector - some 55-60 percent, another 30 percent comes from the equity markets, and the debt markets are severely under-developed”.
But lingering weakness in its banking sector is a reminder that the Gulf state still nurses its own wounds from its 2008-9 financial and real estate crisis.
Local banks’ liquidity and capital levels are gradually improving, as are levels of provisioning for bad loans, analysts say.
The V K Shunglu committee, appointed by the Prime Minister to look into issues relating to organising and conduct of CWG held in Delhi last year, has come down heavily on Emaar MGF Construction Pvt Ltd, a unit of Emaar MGF Land. In its second report released last month, the committee has indicted Emaar MGF for failing to meet its contractual obligations, receiving undue financial gains and making unauthorised payments, among other things. The committee headed by the former Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) estimated the total financial favours/loss to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) by a series of decision taken to support Emaar MGF to as much as Rs 1,244.50 crore.
The committee recommended that the Government of India or DDA may take appropriate action against Emaar MGF for knowingly supplying incorrect information and for its various acts of omission and commission. Separate e-mail queries sent to the spokespersons of Emaar MGF and Sebi on the issue remained unanswered. Among the risk factors in its DRHP Emaar MGF had said concerns regarding the readiness and habitability of the CWG village could expose the company to reputation and financial risk.
The Dubai carrier, which expects to receive about 30 aircraft a year for the next three, dropped plans for a bond to finance expansion after political unrest in the Middle East made rates more expensive.
"Emirates has roughly 30 aircraft a year coming the next five years and a lot of them are A380s... we will need about $10 billion a year," Gary Chapman, president group services and Dnata at Emirates Group told Reuters.
Ipic, as the Abu Dhabi investment fund is known, did not reveal details of the offer, which followed a proposal from MAN that was withdrawn this month. Ipic said in a statement its offer was fair but that a resolution would not come "at any price".
Ipic bought 70 per cent of Ferrostaal from MAN for about US$650 million (Dh2.38 billion) in 2009. Since then, however, Ferrostaal has become the target of a corruption investigation in Germany over contracts in several countries stretching back decades.
Dubai Holding, one of the emirate's large conglomerates owned by the government, went through a restructuring process in 2009, when it realigned some of its companies under more focused verticals to reduce costs.
All of its three core subsidiaries, Jumeirah Group (Jumeirah), Dubai Properties Group (DPG), and Tecom Investments, performed well.
Thursday, 28 April 2011
|TASI (Saudi Stock Market)||6724.26||0.57%|
|DFM (Dubai Financial Market)||1634.13||-1.92%|
|ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)||2695.5||-0.32%|
|KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)||6521.7||0.51%|
|BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)||1404.9||-0.11%|
|MSM (Muscat Securities Market)||6335.49||0.20%|
|QE (Qatar Exchange)||8548.3||0.67%|
|LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)||1386.51||-0.54%|
|EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)||5003.65||0.61%|
|ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)||2198.01||0.19%|
|TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)||4265.14||-0.17%|
|CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)||12022.6||-0.35%|
|PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)||496.25||0.56%|
Sorouh Real Estate reported net profits of Dh76.3 million for the quarter, compared with Dh132 million in the same period last year, according to a filing on the Abu Dhabi bourse.
Revenues, however, increased to Dh452 million from Dh431 million. Shares were down 4 per cent to Dh1.42 at the close at 2pm.
But lingering weakness in its banking sector is a reminder that the Gulf state is still nursing its own wounds from its 2008-2009 financial and real estate crisis.
Local banks’ liquidity and capital levels are gradually improving, as are levels of provisioning for bad loans, analysts say.
What is the project called?
Kanal Istanbul (Istanbul Canal)
What are the proposed dimensions for the project?
Length: 45 to 50 kilometers
Depth: 25 meters
Width: 145 to 150 meters
Base Width: 120 meters
What are the specifications relating to transportation?
Ships of any size will be able to pass through the channel.
When will the project be completed?
Preliminary studies will take two years, during which time some alterations will be made to the project itself. There is no fixed date for completion, but it is expected to take some eight to 10 years after the preliminary studies. The target completion year is 2023.
What is the cost?
Undetermined. Estimates, however, run around $10 billion.
How will Istanbul’s geographic qualities be changed?
The city will be split by two waterways, creating two peninsulas and one island. Currently Istanbul is made up of two peninsulas.
How will transportation be affected?
There will be no interruptions to land or sea traffic. Connecting roads to the third bridge planned for over the Bosphorus Strait will also pass over the new canal.
What will happen to the billions of tons of earth that will be dug out during construction work?
It will be used to build a major airport and a seaport. Unused portions will be sent to the country’s mines.
What is the purpose?
The new canal will eliminate around $1.4 billion in annual costs accrued by ships waiting to pass through the congested Bosphorus Strait. Another major aim is to prevent tanker accidents, but the canal will still pass through the middle of Istanbul.
Will there be any expropriation of land?
Treasury land will provide the bulk of the territory for the project, but there will be some expropriation of privately owned land.
Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC (DIB), the U.A.E.’s biggest bank complying with Shariah banking rules, lost as much as 1.3 percent. Drake & Scull International (DSI) PJSC, the Dubai-based construction and engineering company, declined a third day this week. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) slipped 0.7 percent, the most since April 25, to 1,654.47, at 10:38 a.m. in Dubai, bringing this week’s drop to 1.7 percent. The measure rose 6.2 percent this month on optimism local markets will be moved to MSCI’s emerging market indexes in June.
The U.A.E. stock exchanges will give brokerages and custodians until May 29 to switch to the so-called delivery- versus-payment system, one of MSCI’s criteria for an upgrade from frontier markets. The Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority, the nation’s regulator, said April 11 that DvP would be introduced at the bourses today.
But at the moment demand is still there, and those price levels deliver the Kingdom additional budget revenues when spending commitments are growing.
It gets better: Saudi petrochemical companies raked in forecast-beating first quarter earnings to yield a 51 percent growth in net income year-on-year, according to research by NCB Capital.
AGCC equity markets are characterised by factors that make them unique to other frontier and emerging markets.
The abundance of natural oil and gas, the strategic geographic location as a trade centre and the abundance of tourist attractions make for a powerful combination that has formed the bedrock of GCC economies.
“We have received a few concerns regarding the readiness level of the market participants,” said an Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange statement obtained by Bloomberg today. We “kindly ask custodians and brokers to confirm their readiness by no later than May 29.” The exchange itself “is ready to deal with the new model,” the statement said.
A senior official at the exchange, who declined to be identified because the matter hasn’t been made public, confirmed the document was sent to brokerages. A spokesman for the Dubai bourse, who declined to be identified, confirmed the exchange was also giving market participants until May 29 to switch to the system and that it can be used from tomorrow.
The defendants are expected to file an appeal against their conviction at the court of first instance over an alleged $501m fraud against the region’s oldest Islamic bank.
They are due to pay $500m in a fine and $500m in compensation to DIB, according to lawyers who saw the written judgment. The sentence handed down on Wednesday, which also includes deportation, comes after three years of detention for five of the seven defendants, two of whom have been found guilty in absentia. If upheld after appeal, the four defendants in custody will have to raise $1bn or face further detention.
Instead, investors are looking at cheap valuations and hints of recovery from the depth of the Dubai real estate crisis.
Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest lender by market value, on Tuesday produced a 27 per cent jump in quarterly profit.
Abraaj Capital, his Dubai-based private equity firm, made one of its first buyouts in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, acquiring Aramex, a Jordanian express mail company that traded in New York.
“It was the first transaction post Sept. 11 of one Arab company buying another Arab company off of Nasdaq, so you can imagine the heightened level of scrutiny,” Mr. Naqvi said. “We bought Aramex, and it set us off on the journey of Abraaj.”
Yesterday, Mashreq and Commercial Bank of Dubai joined Emirates NBD in reporting an increase in profits for the tumultuous opening months of this year, when Dubai's lenders largely shrugged off the ill-effects of unrest, revolutions and civil war elsewhere in the Middle East.
Giyas Gokkent, the chief economist at National Bank of Abu Dhabi, said the positive results across the emirate reflected an outlook for banks that was "more positive than not". "The gut feeling in the banking system is that yes, there is improvement and a pick-up in economic activity overall, but there are still challenges."
Charles Ridley and Ryan Cornelius have already spent 35 months behind bars on charges of defrauding Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) out of $501 million loan. The Dubai court sentenced them along with three other accused and imposed a collective fine of $501m.
Fellow accused Arthur Fitzwilliam, who acted as a guarantor for the loan by putting up a $1.1 billion property portfolio to cover it, was released.
However, the region’s poorer emerging markets faced the pressing challenge of securing job creation and economic competitiveness to keep a lid on further dissent, the fund said in its regional economic outlook on Wednesday.
It expects oil-exporters in the Gulf to see gross domestic product growth rise to almost 8 per cent this year, up from previous forecasts of 5 per cent, as oil prices rise and production is lifted to make up for shortfalls in Libya.
Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Wilson Varghese, Kalimat chief executive, said the planned IPO should help the company expand as it eyes a nationwide rollout of services by the end of this year.
"The main growth driver for us will be the roll-out across the country and (the provision of) ... value added services that will increase our subscriber base," he told Reuters on the sidelines of a telecoms conference in Abu Dhabi.
|TASI (Saudi Stock Market)||6724.26||0.57%|
|DFM (Dubai Financial Market)||1666.06||1.92%|
|ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)||2704.24||0.56%|
|KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)||6488.8||-0.07%|
|BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)||1406.51||0.45%|
|MSM (Muscat Securities Market)||6322.73||-0.08%|
|QE (Qatar Exchange)||8491.43||0.59%|
|LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)||1394.05||-0.36%|
|EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)||4973.18||-0.32%|
|ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)||2193.8||-0.39%|
|TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)||4272.54||-0.85%|
|CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)||12070.1||0.32%|
|PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)||493.51||0.10%|
They are certain they're now going to pump less. Or, at least, not increase production even though prices are rising. Saudi Arabia intends to keep production at 12.5 million barrels a day, according to the latest reports.
They say there's too much supply. Crude prices, which have risen significantly over the past two months, would suggest otherwise. It's pretty clear that Saudi Arabia DID NOT make up for supply when the Libyan conflict erupted.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/saudi-arabia-cant-figure-out-if-its-pumping-more-oil-or-not-2011-4#ixzz1Kjg1seHW
The Gulf state’s central bank moved in February to cap person loans at 20 times a borrower’s monthly salary and said repayment periods can’t exceed 48 months.
Monthly installments for all loans, including personal, car, housing loans and credit cards, must not exceed 50 percent of a customer’s gross salary and any regular income, the central bank said.
Investment in Turkey’s agriculture and manufacturing is set to increase, Abu al-Nasr said Wednesday in a presentation that was delivered in Turkey, a copy of which has been obtained by Bloomberg News.
“In the agriculture space, Turkey emerged as one of the top recipients of Saudi investment, as the kingdom seeks to boost its food security,” he said in the document.
Local media reported last week that around 60 of Emarat's 170 service stations across Dubai and the northern emirates were running low or dry after delivery problems at the firm's depots due to what Emarat officials described as a logistical problem. [ID:nLDE73J07D]
But three industry sources said trading house Vitol [VITOLV.UL], one of Emarat's term suppliers, had refused to discharge a fuel cargo at the port, after Emarat delayed a payment.
Net income in the three months to March 31 was 11.8 million dinars ($42.92 million), from 1.06 million dinars in the year-earlier period, the bank's financial statements posted on the Kuwaiti bourse website on Wednesday showed.
It did not give a reason for the profit surge but provisions during the quarter dropped to 5.7 million dinars compared with 22.5 million dinars in the first quarter of 2010, while operating income reached 38.8 million dinars.
"At this stage what we know is that the Egyptian authorities have indicated that they have a financing gap of $10 (billion) to $12 billion," Masood Ahmed, the IMF's director for Middle East and Central Asia, told Reuters.
"Our own analysis for this suggests that is probably right," he said after a presentation of its regional economic outlook.
The verdict on Tuesday piled more pressure on the company, which has seen its share price tumble almost 70 percent this year as it struggled with mounting debts and liabilities.
Analysts say tight cashflow may make it hard for the company to make any additional payment for the land on Cairo's outskirts if it is ordered to do so by the court.
A seventh defendant was acquittted.
The case, which has been before the court since 2008, involves seven men, including two DIB executives, who were charged with fraud, embezzlement, bribery and forgery. All of them denied the charges when they first appeared before the court.
Of interest, the article also says that two-thirds of Saudi oil production is now going to Asia.”