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Saturday, 30 April 2011

Saudi Stock Market close - April 30, 2011

General Index
Intraday 3 month
Daily Statistics
General Index6710.56
Change (%)-0.20%
T. Volume257183852
T. Companies 149

Tunisian economy to grow 1-2 pct in 2011: cenbank | Reuters

Tunisia's economy will grow by only 1-2 percent this year because of continuing uncertainty, the central bank governor said in remarks published on Friday.

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 Shares Rise for Seventh Day as Oil Climbs, Greenback Drops - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabian shares rallied for a seventh day, sending the benchmark Tadawul All Share Index to its highest level in almost three months as oil climbed and the U.S. currency fell.

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.

Azerbaijan: Can Baku Emerge as Middle Eastern Energy Supplier? |

Could turmoil in the Middle East provide a market opportunity for Azerbaijan’s state-run energy company SOCAR? A pending energy deal with Jordan could open the way for the company’s aggressive expansion into Arab markets.

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 - - News, analysis, reports

Gulf International Investment Group Holdings Sdn Bhd signed a joint venture agreement with Aluminum Corporation of China Ltd. to develop a US$1.6 billion aluminum smelting plant in Sarawak, Malaysia.

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.

Can there be financial transformation in the Middle East? -

Nasser Saidi is a man for all seasons, a man for the world. Born in Lebanon, educated in the US, he’s been an economics professor (University of Chicago, Hautes Etudes in Geneva), First Vice-Governor of the Lebanese Central Bank, Minister of Economy & Trade as well as Minister of Industry in Lebanon.

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”. - UAE still nurses wounds from its financial crisis

The United Arab Emirates may be coming out a winner of the Middle Eastern unrest as it welcomes bankers and investors burnt in Bahrain and north Africa.

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.

SEBI Bars Emaar MGF from Raising Rs1600cr via IPO

Real estate developer Emaar MGF Land’s third attempt to raise Rs 1,600 crore through an initial share sale offer has hit a regulatory hurdle. Even after seven months, the Securities and Exchange Board of India has not given nod to Emaar MGF for its initial public offering as the New Delhi-based firm’s role came under scanner for alleged irregularities in developing the Commonwealth Games village, according to persons with direct knowledge of the matter. The joint venture between Indian lender MGF and Dubai’s Emaar Properties had filed its draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with the capital markets regulator on September 30, 2010.

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.

Emirates to spend $10bn a year to expand fleet - Emirates 24/7

Emirates, the Arab world's largest airline, will spend about $10 billion a year to fund its fleet expansion over three years but is not under pressure to tap the bond market, a senior official said.

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.

Abu Dhabi's Ipic proposes settlement in dispute over Ferrostaal - The National

The International Petroleum Investment Company has made a proposal to settle a dispute with the German truck maker MAN over the sale of Ferrostaal, a former industrial services subsidiary of MAN.

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.

gulfnews : DHCOG records Dh127m profit, up from Dh23.5 billion loss

Delivery of properties and better earnings have helped Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group (DHCOG), to return to profitability, recovering from a loss of Dh23.5 billion in 2009 to a profits of Dh127 million in 2010, the company said in a statement.

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

MENA stock markets close - April 28, 2011

ExchangeStatus IndexChange
TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
QE (Qatar Exchange)
LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)

Emerging markets delay dampen spirits on UAE bourses - The National

UAE equities took a hit during trading after Abu Dhabi's second biggest developer reported a 42 per cent drop in earnings for the first quarter.

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.

UAE banks: falling short of expectations | beyondbrics –

The UAE may be coming out a winner of the Middle Eastern unrest as it welcomes bankers and investors burned in Bahrain and North Africa.

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.

Turkish PM Erdo─čan's 'crazy project' in 10 questions - Hurriyet Daily

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’s Shares Drop on Concern DvP Extension May Delay MSCI Index Upgrade - Bloomberg

Dubai’s shares dropped for a fourth day this week after United Arab Emirates bourses extended the date brokerages have to switch to a new settlement system, stoking concern the country won’t secure an MSCI Inc. (MSCI) upgrade.

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.

Oil Price Driven by Fear, Not Fundamentals: Analysts - CNBC

The world’s top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is “not comfortable” with high oil prices. Sure, higher oil prices put pressure on the global economic recovery.

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.

Pearls among perils in a period of unrest for the GCC - The National

While the GCC felt the shocks of the global downturn and the regional unrest, those events have also shown the Gulf's resilience, and the picture is brightening, writes Saleem Khokhar

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.

U.A.E. Bourses Said to Give More Time to Brokers on Delivery-Vs-Payment - Bloomberg

The United Arab Emirates’ stock exchanges will give brokerages until May 29 to switch to the so- called delivery-versus-payment system, one of MSCI Inc. (MSCI)’s criteria for the country’s upgrade to emerging market status.

“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. - Dubai fraud verdict raises legal process fears

In one of the emirate’s most high-profile trials, a Dubai court has found six of seven defendants guilty of defrauding an Islamic bank, sentencing them to 10 years in prison and imposing a collective fine of $1bn.

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. - Investors look beyond UAE bank results

Patchy first-quarter results from the UAE banks have not significantly dented demand for shares in the sector.

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.

Arif Naqvi Looks Beyond Mideast Unrest -

Arif Naqvi isn’t spooked by turmoil.

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.”

Dubai banks ride out the storm - The National

Dubai's banks are displaying increased optimism and putting less money aside for defaulting debtors as they posthigher earnings for the first quarter of the year.

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."

Gulf Daily News » Bahrain-based British bankers jailed for 10 years

Two Bahrain-based bankers were yesterday each jailed for 10 years by a Dubai court.

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. - Oil exporters cash in on unrest

Unrest in the Middle East is sparking stronger growth among oil exporters as prices rise, according to the International Monetary Fund.

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

Iraq's Kalimat plans 2012 IPO, eyes $250 million spend | Reuters

Iraqi telecom operator Kalimat plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO) next year and to invest $250 million in 2011, aiming to triple its subscriber base in the war-torn country, its top executive said.

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.

MENA stock markets close - April 27, 2011

Saudi Arabia Can't Figure Out If It's Pumping More Oil Or Not

Saudi Arabian officials are conflicted as to whether or not they're actually pumping more oil, or less oil, in response to the crisis in Libya.
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:

New lending curbs to hit UAE banks, says HSBC boss -

New lending rules that cap personal loans and banking fees will take a toll on banks operating in the UAE, the head of HSBC in the country said.

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.

Optimism rules the day on UAE bourses - The National

Local equities closed higher, with Dubai's main index gaining the most in a month, supported by optimism on bank earnings after Emirates NBD reported on Sunday a 27 per cent increase in profits for the first quarter and Abu Dhabi Commercial Banksaid its profits for the quarter more than doubled.

Emirates NBD, Dubai's biggest lender, led the Dubai Financial Market General Index 1.9 per cent higher to 1666.06. Shares of Emirates NBD, surged 10.9 per cent to Dh4.27 after the lender reported Dh1.41 billion in profits for the first quarter.

Other lenders listed in Dubai also made decent gains. Dubai Islamic Bank gained 2.7 per cent to Dh2.28. Commercial bank of Dubai added 1.6 per cent to Dh3.05

Saudi Arabia foresees $600 bln of investment in Turkey - Hurriyet Daily

Saudi Arabia foresees making investments of $600 billion in Turkey during the next 20 years, according to Abdul Kareem Abu al-Nasr, the chairman of National Commercial Bank, the largest Saudi lender.

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.

UAE's Emarat faces higher premiums after fuel shortage | Energy & Oil | Reuters

United Arab Emirates' fuel retailer Emarat may have to pay a premium for fuel purchases, traders said, after a payment problem led to a gasoline shortage at service stations last week and worried potential suppliers.

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.

Kuwait's Burgan Bank Q1 profit surges to $42.9 mln - Maktoob News

Kuwait's Burgan Bank, the commercial banking arm of Kuwait Projects Co (KIPCO), posted a more than ten-fold rise in first-quarter net profit helped by a drop in loan loss provisions.

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.

Egypt says has up to $12 bln funding gap -IMF - Maktoob News

Egypt has indicated it needs up to $12 billion to meet a funding gap but has yet to formally request a loan from the International Monetary Fund, an IMF official said on Wednesday.

"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.

Palm Hills plans to appeal court land sale verdict - Maktoob News

Egyptian property developer Palm Hills said on Wednesday it planned to appeal against a court verdict scrapping a sale of state land to the company.

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.

Record 10-year sentences over Dh1.8bn DIB fraud case - The National

Six businessmen were this morning sentenced to 10 years each in prison followed by deportation in connection with the Dh1.8 billion Dubai Islamic Bank fraud case, the harshest jail sentence yet in a fraud case before the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance.

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.

High Oil Prices Worry Saudis | Crossroads Arabia

“Arab News reports that the Saudi government, and an array of economists, are concerned that high oil prices could knock the legs out from under a recovering global economy. It quotes both the head of Saudi ARAMCO and the Minister of Petroleum & Minerals and repeats allegations that speculation, not supply and demand, are behind current prices; demand is low, they say, and the market is oversupplied. Saudi Arabia does not set oil prices. It does, through its membership in OPEC, play a role in determining output. But unless OPEC were to flood the market with oil, I don’t see how OPEC could drive oil prices down. OPEC is not going to do that as ‘hawkish’ countries like Venezuela and Iran want every penny of profit they can find as their own economies are under stress.

Of interest, the article also says that two-thirds of Saudi oil production is now going to Asia.”