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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Gulf states: obstacles ahead | beyondbrics – FT.com

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? The small states of the Gulf are competing to make a name for themselves internationally. Recent news from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates shows how important burnishing their image still is for all nations in the region—but also how many of their coming out plans remain very much works-in-progress.

Qatar, most notably, faces the potentially damaging suggestion that bribery tainted its successful bid for the 2022 World Cup. The economics of hosting the Cup are debatable—it needs to increase hotel rooms in the country by 10-fold, plus those nine new air-conditioned stadiums—and the PR blow from losing the event or the release of more evidence that its bid wasn’t strictly halal would be significant.

Another test—perhaps slightly less high-profile than the World Cup—will come in late June when MSCI, the influential index provider, decides whether Qatar and the UAE have reformed their bourses enough to justify upgrading them from frontier to emerging market status.

MENA stock markets close - May 31, 2011

MENA stock markets
ExchangeStatus IndexChange
TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
6736.40.05%
DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
1559.921.58%
ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
2639.140.68%
KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
6378.20.06%
BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
1346.66-0.02%
MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
6007.890.76%
QE (Qatar Exchange)
8375.190.25%
LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
1357.35-0.35%
EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
5523.36-1.19%
ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
2159.83-0.04%
TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
4121.140.12%
CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
12183.70.05%
PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)
498.81.55%

Abu Dhabi investment fund IPIC aims to diversify - Maktoob News

Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) will look at investments in agriculture and industry, it said on Tuesday, as the government fund looks to diversify its investment portfolio.

IPIC, whose current investments include major stakes in Austrian oil group OMV and Spain's Cepsa , has embarked on an aggressive acquisition drive in the hydrocarbons sector in recent years.

But Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, is also investing billions of dollars in infrastructure, real estate and tourism to diversify its economy.

Dubai Shares Advance Most This Month on Greece Aid Optimism - Bloomberg

Dubai shares rose the most in more than a month, led by developer Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), amid speculation European officials will sanction more assistance for Greece, boosting investor appetite for riskier assets.

Emaar, builder of the world’s tallest skyscraper, increased the most in three weeks. Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC (DIB), the United Arab Emirates’ biggest bank complying with Shariah rules, rallied 1 percent. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) advanced 1.6 percent, the most since April 27, to 1,559.92 at the 2 p.m. close in Dubai. The measure dropped 4.5 percent this month. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200) rose 0.3 percent at 2:08 p.m. in Riyadh and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index jumped 1.4 percent.

“The gain in the Dubai Financial Market is clearly on the back of the tick-up in Europe,” said Anastasios Dalgiannakis, a Dubai-based trader at Mubasher Financial Services. “Our markets will follow Europe for now.”

Apicorp shareholders raise capital to $1.5 billion, UAE Industries - Maktoob News

Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) on Tuesday said its shareholders agreed to nearly triple the development bank's capital base to $1.5 billion, helping it move ahead with investment plans.

APICORP is owned by the 10 member states of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), with the Saudi Arabian and the United Arab Emirates governments each holding 17 percent.

At an extraordinary shareholders meeting in Cairo on Sunday, the general assembly also resolved to double authorised capital to $2.4 billion. The paid-up capital was increased by converting $200 million of retained earnings into shares, the bank said in a statement.

Oman Official Crude Price Falls for First Time in 9 Months - Bloomberg

Oman crude’s official selling price will drop for the first time in nine months in July as refiners balked at paying more amid slumping processing profits.

The July official selling price for Oman oil will be $109.20 a barrel, based on the average of daily futures settlement prices on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange calculated by Bloomberg News. That’s 6.3 percent less than June’s level of $116.51 and the first decline since the September 2010 benchmark price was set. The price reached a record $133.08 in September 2008. Today’s settlement at 12:30 p.m. Dubai time was $109.16.

Premiums for similar Middle Eastern grades for July loading such as Qatar Marine fell from a high of 43 cents a barrel on May 20 to a discount of 48 cents today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Refiners are reluctant to pay as much for supplies as their profits narrowed over the month.

AFE working on Arab indices; one ETF likely

The Arab Federation of Exchanges (AFE) is creating two Arab indices, one of which has the potential to create exchange traded fund (ETF) as the body has proposed interconnectivity among Arab clearing houses.

“We discussed creating Arab indices, which will reflect the performance of the stock markets in the region. We may try to have two indices, one of which will be wider to cover almost all the Arab countries, and the other one will be limited to most liquid companies in order to build a trade-able ETF on that index,” AFE secretary general Fadi Khalaf told Gulf Times after the annual council meeting.

In the meeting, it was also decided that Qatar Exchange, represented by its acting chairman Hussain Ali al-Abdullah, will chair the federation for the next 12 months; taking the mantle from Sulaiman S Alshahoumy, chairman of Libyan Stock Exchange.

Abu Dhabi Ports Hires HSBC, Banks to Work on Khalifa Zone Debt - Businessweek

Abu Dhabi Ports Co., the state-run harbor operator, has hired banks including HSBC Holdings Plc and National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC to work on plans for refinancing debt taken out to build the Khalifa Industrial Zone.

The company intends to change short-term loans into longer- term financial instruments once construction is completed, Executive Vice President Khaled Salmeen Al Kawari said today in an interview in Seoul, where he is attending a forum. First Gulf Bank is also among the international lenders working on funding facilities, he said.

Construction of the 26.4 billion dirhams ($7.2 billion) first phase of the Khalifa Industrial Zone is 75 percent complete and on target to open in the fourth quarter of 2012, Al Kawari said. The 417 square-kilometer (161 square mile) development, designed to become a hub for manufacturing, logistics and trade, will account for 15 percent of the emirate’s non-oil economy within 20 years, he said.

GCC sukuk roar back - Zawya

May 2011 was marked by a comeback of sukuk that are international, USD denominated, listed and GCC originated - a trend expected to persist through June, writes Adnan Halawi, Zawya's fixed income analyst

As much as USD4.9 billion worth of sukuk were issued in May 2011, taking the total issued globally in the first five months of 2011 to an estimated USD37.8 billion, a 62% surge compared to USD14.2 billion during the same period last year, according to data compiled by Zawya Sukuk Monitor.

USD1.2 billion - or 25% of the total - of the sukuk issued in May were out of the GCC, marking a solid comeback for Gulf sukuk.

Tenth time lucky for Bahrain's Gulf Finance House as it posts a profit - The National

Bahrain's Gulf Finance House has reported a $11.9 million profit in the first quarter, reversing nine straight quarters of losses.

The rebound could mark a turning point for the Islamic investment bank, one of the hardest-hit companies in the Gulf by the global financial crisis.

GFH absorbed more than $1bn of losses before inching back to profitability in the first three months of this year.

Kuwaiti investment firms told to spin off lending - Maktoob News

Kuwaiti investment firms will need separate licences to operate their lending and investment businesses as the central bank eliminates regulatory overlap with the newly formed Capital Markets Authority.

The decision was in a central bank circular sent to investment firms last week and seen by Reuters.

The move is part of the Gulf Arab state's efforts to better regulate its financial markets and boost transparency and governance among investment firms.

gulfnews : Jabal Omar gets nod for 38.4% capital hike through rights issue

Saudi developer Jabal Omar will use part of the proceeds from a rights issue to pay back a 350 million riyals (Dh342.52 million) bridge loan from Al Rajhi Bank, it said in a prospectus.

Jabal Omar said on Sunday its shareholders approved a 38.4 per cent capital increase to 9.3 billion riyals ($2.48 billion) through a rights issue.

The prospectus, posted on the Capital Markets Authority website, said the proceeds would also be used to finish the first phase and start the second phase of building a project close to the Grand Mosque in Makkah.

No LSE 'pop' on cards for DP World - The National

Investment experts do not believe there will be a "pop" effect when shares in DP World, Dubai's global ports operator, begin trading on the London Stock Exchange tomorrow.

"Popping" is when a share soars to a big premium on its opening day of trading, and has been a feature of several global flotations recently. But analysts said it was unlikely DP World shares would rise significantly when trading begins.

"There may be some small upside on day one and some 'feel-good' factor, but I don't think anybody expects a 'big bang' for DP World," said Redwan Ahmed of EFG-Hermes.

Optimism builds in Egyptian property sector - The National

Shares in Egyptian property companies may have been down but they are not out.

The sector has borne the brunt of a string of corruption probes, placing many property companies under fire in the aftermath of the revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak, the president. At the heart of legal wrangles are conflicting laws governing the sale of state land.

But a series of positive catalysts have prompted investors to return to the market and prop up share prices in what have been seen as underperforming stocks for much of this year.

Abu Dhabi index puts economy in focus - The National

Abu Dhabi's economic performance dipped in the first quarter of the year, the results of a newly launched business cycle indicator in the capital show.

Weakening business and household sentiment helped draw to the indicator down compared with the same period last year, according to the new index from the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED).

"The recovery will be longer and more difficult than expected and restoring confidence is more important than ever," said Rashed al Zaabi, the deputy executive director of the planning and statistics sector at the DED.

Oman Tribune - Sultanate, Qatar to begin economic partnership

His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said held talks with HE Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabir Al Thani, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar, at Bait Al Barakah on Monday. Hamad Al Thani arrived in Muscat late on Sunday.

During the audience, the existing ties were reviewed and ways to boost the cooperation were explored.

Later, the Sultanate and Qatar agreed to initiate an economic partnership by forming two specialised committees, which will start functioning in two months.

THE DAILY STAR : Dubai bond most susceptible to Europe woes: Islamic finance

Dubai’s Islamic bonds tumbled the most in six months last week as investor concern over Europe’s growing debt crisis prompted a sell-off of the region’s riskier assets.

The yield on the 6.396 percent dollar sukuk maturing in November 2014 climbed 22 basis points, or 0.22 percentage point, the biggest weekly gain since November and the steepest among Arab Gulf issuers, to 4.83 percent Friday, Bloomberg prices show.

The rate fell to a record low of 4.6 percent on May 19. The average yield of Gulf sukuk was unchanged last week at 4.55 percent as yields on Bahrain’s government bond dropped, according to the HSBC/NASDAQ Dubai GCC U.S. Dollar Sukuk Index.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Moody's Downgrades Three Bahraini Banks, Outlook Negative

Moody's Investors Service downgraded the long-term deposit ratings of three Bahraini banks on Monday.

The rating of BBK B.S.C. was cut to to Baa2 from A3, while those of BMI Bank B.S.C. was lowered to Ba1 from Baa3. The agency also downgraded the ratings of the National Bank of Bahrain B.S.C. to Baa1 from A3. The outlook on all of these ratings is negative, Moody's said.

The latest move comes after Moody's downgraded on May 26 Bahrain's government bond rating by one notch to Baa1 and assigned a negative outlook.

FT.com - Bahrain hopes bail-out will allay opposition

As Bahrain’s economy struggles to recover from the tumult of pro-democracy protests, much hope is invested in a bail-out package for the kingdom and for Oman, another member of the Gulf Co-operation Council that has faced domestic unrest.

But details about the package, pledged by fellow GCC members at $10bn over 10 years, remain scant, despite signs that the Bahraini economy needs a kick-start after the disruption triggered by February and March’s street protests.

One official says most of the stimulus will be spent in the first three to five years. But further details of what was originally called a Marshall-style plan are under wraps until the government decides between two options, says the official.

MENA stock markets close - May 30, 2011

ExchangeStatus IndexChange
TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
6732.96-0.32%
DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
1535.67-0.63%
ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
2621.30.53%
KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
6374.50.29%
BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
1346.94-0.32%
MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
5962.670.17%
QE (Qatar Exchange)
8354.61-0.24%
LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
1362.15-0.74%
EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
5590.030.76%
ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
2160.64-0.78%
TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
4116.35-0.00%
CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
12170.80.13%
PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)
491.180.13%

gulfnews : Prominent Saudi businessmen and academics object to cap on expat workforce

A number of prominent Saudi businessmen and academics have objected to the new move by the Ministry of Labour not to renew residency permits (Iqama) of foreign workers after the completion of their six-year stay in the Kingdom.

Speaking to Gulf News, they urged the ministry to work out a comprehensive plan to find jobs for the Saudi jobseekers in the private sector and review government procedures, which they say force them to hire foreign workers at the expense of employing Saudi youth.

The reaction comes following the accouncement by Labour Minister Adel Fakieh that residency permits of expatriates who have lived in Saudi Arabia for six years would not be renewed in the future.

Qatar to Set Up Junior Market for Small, Medium-Sized Companies - Bloomberg

Qatar plans to create a secondary market at the Qatar Exchange for small and medium-sized companies, the bourse said today in a release on its website.

The May 25 decision by the Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investment would increase small and medium-sized companies’ “efficiency and enhance their role, so they will be able to occupy advanced positions regionally and internationally,” the Qatar Exchange’s vice chairman, Ahmad Al- Sayed, said in the statement.

The regulations for listing on the junior market will be “lighter” and more “flexible” than the regulations for listing on the main Qatar Exchange, the bourse said.

Qatar foreign ownership limits won’t change for 2011 - Arab News

Foreign ownership limits in Qatar, a key issue in the state’s potential upgrade by an influential index compiler, will remain at 25 percent for the coming year, the chairman of Qatar Exchange said.

“The ownership limits will continue to be 25 percent for the time being. We will see, maybe in a year from now we will change it, but for now it will remain the same,” Hussain Al-Abdulla said on the sidelines of an exchange event.

“We will change it gradually in the coming months, but not now.”

Emirates eyes benchmark 5-year dollar bond-leads

Emirates, Dubai's flagship carrier, is eyeing a benchmark five-year dollar bond with early talk indicating pricing of 350 basis points over midswaps, the lead arrangers said on Monday.

Emirates, one of the world's fastest-growing airlines, wraps up its bond roadshow, which began in Hong Kong on May 23, in Switzerland on Monday.

HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Emirates NBD and Morgan Stanley have been mandated as joint lead managers (JLMs) and joint bookrunners for the bond sale.

gulfnews : Blue chip companies drive Dubai market slump

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index slipped 0.63 per cent on Monday with blue chip companies leading the decline amid fears the UAE might not get an MSCI upgrade.

The bourse closed at 1,535.67 with property and construction stocks leading the slump. Real estate developer Emaar fell 1.6 per cent to Dh3.07 and construction firm Arabtec dropped 0.76 per cent to Dh1.30.

Drake and Scull International, Union Properties and utilities company Tabreed were among the top decliners as local investors sold up and reinvested their money in other markets.

Egypt payments balance plunges into deficit in Q1 | Reuters

Egypt's balance of payments swung into a deficit of $6.1 billion in the first quarter as revenue from tourism and foreign investment were hit by political turmoil in Egypt and the region, the central bank said on Monday.

The popular uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak from power in February scared off tourists and investors, two of Egypt's main sources of foreign exchange.

The balance was "affected by the repercussions of the events Egypt and the Arabic region are passing through, which have negatively affected revenue from tourism and foreign investments," the central bank said in an emailed statement.

Abu Dhabi's IPIC says assets grew 15 pct in 2010 - Maktoob News

Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC), which owns stakes in energy majors OMV and Cepsa , saw its assets rise 15 percent in 2010, the government fund said in a statement.

IPIC saw "continued asset growth to $47.9 billion, an increase of 15 percent (excluding assets of disposal group)," the company said in a statement.

IPIC, which also owns stakes in German automaker Daimler and Virgin Galactic through its majority-owned Aabar Investments, has embarked on an aggressive acquisition drive in recent years.

Total Acquires 25 Percent of Qatari Exploration License From China’s Cnooc - Bloomberg

Cnooc Ltd. (883), China’s biggest offshore oil producer, sold a 25 percent stake in a license to explore for hydrocarbons in Qatar to France’s Total SA (FP) as the Chinese company seeks to reduce risk.

The Beijing-based producer, which secured rights to the offshore concession two years ago, will retain a 75 percent stake and operate the area called Block BC, according to an e- mailed statement yesterday.

Qatar, the world’s biggest exporter of LNG, has awarded three exploration and production licenses in the past two years as it seeks to raise output outside the North Field, the world’s biggest gas reservoir. The Persian Gulf sheikhdom ordered a halt in new development at the field until at least 2014.

Egypt says agreed in principle on $3 bln IMF loan | Reuters

Finance Minister Samir Radwan said Egypt had agreed in principle on a $3 billion, 12-month loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and that he hoped it would be signed by Sunday.

"It can be signed any minute between now and Sunday," he said by telephone.

He said the loan would help Egypt help fill a budget deficit for the financial year ending in June 2012 that he estimated would be 11.3 percent of gross domestic product.

gulfnews : Emirates plans dollar bonds for cash buffer against future needs

Emirates, the world's biggest airline by international traffic, plans to sell dollar bonds as a "cash buffer" and will decide on the size after investor meetings end today, its president said.

"With the obligations we have coming up, it's nice to have the cash buffer to deal with anything ahead of us," including an increase in fuel prices and regional unrest, Tim Clark said in a telephone interview yesterday. "Can we do without it? Yes, we can. We are in a comfortable position." Emirates, which reported record profit of Dh5.93 billion for the financial year ending March 31, has a cash reserve of Dh16 billion.

Market Leader:: Saudi Arabia vs Iran: possible consequences of the “battle” between the oil “giants”.

crude oil

The current situation in the Middle East keeps worsening while the center of the “thunderstorm” is moving towards the Persian Gulf, which is rich in crude oil. There is a possibility of confrontation between the world’s 2 oil giants: Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer and exporter, and Iran, Saudi Arabia’s ideological and political opponent and the 2ndlargest producer of oil. If something like this happens, nobody will dare predict the future of the energy market and even the entire global economy.

What is the new pretext for the tensions in the Persian Gulf?

· This time it is about Bahrain, a small island kingdom.
· For 2 centuries Bahrain has been ruled by the Sunnite royal family Al-Halifa. The problem is that 75% of the population belongs to Shiites. In other words, the power belongs to the religious minority.
· Bahrain’s Shiites and Sunnites have been opposing each other for the last 30 years. The Shiites are supported by Iran while the Sunnites enjoy Saudi Arabia’s support (Saudi Arabia is the USA’s ally).

Uniform trading must to evolve pan-Gulf ETF

The GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) region needs uniform trading days and hours to develop a pan-Gulf exchange traded fund (ETF) in view of the growing interest for such instruments that have outpaced mutual funds globally, according to BlackRock.

“I think there is the potential to bring more products in this region but we have to make sure that the ecosystem –regulations, tax system and market making – works,” Deborah Fuhr, managing director of BlackRock, said.

Observing that the number of institutions, including family offices (in this region) using ETFs have more than tripled in the last 12 years, she said there is more than one could see because many of the investors in this region have banking relations with private banks in the UK or Switzerland.

Forget politics, Gulf business leaders fear demographics - The National

Given the upheavals occurring across the Middle East, it might be seen as remarkable that business leaders in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar report high levels of satisfaction in the economic environment in their countries and optimism about the future. This is despite the fact that some of the most difficult situations are right on their doorsteps.

This was one of the findings of a business confidence survey conducted by Zogby International and Oliver Wyman, querying 164 executives across these Gulf countries. Completed this month, this is the fourth in a series of biannual surveys measuring not only confidence but priorities for reform and satisfaction with government performance on a range of economic matters.

What we found is that six in 10 executives say business conditions have improved in the past year, and an even higher percentage (65 per cent in the UAE, 81 per cent in Saudi Arabia and 92 per cent in Qatar) expect conditions to get better in the next two years. While about a third expressed concern with political unrest in the broader region, less than one in seven were concerned that unrest would affect economic conditions in the three countries covered in the survey.

Al Suwaidi tells banks to cut rates for business - The National

Banks need to lower the cost of borrowing to help businesses struggling with high interest rates, says the Central Bank governor.

Current loan charges do not reflect the abundance of liquidity in the financial system, said Sultan al Suwaidi.

"Borrowers and especially merchants [and] businessmen are complaining about high interest rate margins on their financial budgets. Borrowers are the basis for the growth and prosperity of the banking business, therefore I would urge you to reduce interest margins on loans as much as realistically possible," he told a meeting of chief executives and other representatives of the country's banks at the Central Bank yesterday.

Oman city's property prices fall victim to street protests - The National

The violent protests in the industrial city of Sohar, which ended the first week of May after four months, have led to a steep drop in property prices and an increase in vacancies.

"I have six multi-floor commercial buildings in my book that are now on the market at a third the price the owners had originally demanded in December, a month before the protests had begun, ," Khalid al Jahwari, an estate agent in Sohar, said.

"There are still no takers even though there are no more protests here in the city."

Optimism on UAE recovery - The National

A growing sense of optimism over the recovery of the UAE's property and banking sectors helped markets rise yesterday, although thin volumes showed a lack of conviction behind the gains.

That led some to wonder whether the trading volume drought experienced last summer had returned already. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index rose 0.36 per cent to 2,607.53, while the Dubai Financial Market General Index rallied 0.72 per cent to 1,545.42.

Some of the day's winners were Emaar Properties, which rose 1.96 per cent to D3.12 a share, and Arabtec, which rallied 3.15 per cent to Dh1.31.

Concern over trading system - The National

The deadline for the introduction of a new trading settlement system passed yesterday with confusion surrounding how many brokers were ready to use it.

The lack of clarity over the delivery versus payment (DvP) system has led to concern among some traders over the UAE's chances of becoming listed as an emerging market.

"Most brokerages aren't ready for [DvP]," said Fathi ben Grira, the chief executive of Wafa Financial Services.

In Gulf, divergent views on business consequences of unrest - The National

Top executives in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar say business conditions have improved since last year, but views are mixed about the long-term effects of regional uprisings on business confidence, according to a survey.

In the survey, conducted by Oliver Wyman, a consulting company, and Zogby, a polling firm, executives said external economic shocks constituted the biggest single threat to the GCC's business environment.

About 36 per cent of respondents from the UAE cited macroeconomics as the most pressing risk, while 34 per cent from Saudi Arabia and 40 per cent from Qatar said the same. But a central line of questioning in the latest Wyman-Zogby poll - the fourth in a series begun in October 2009 - was the role recent uprisings would play in prospects for the region's businesses.

What if the IMF Head was a Muslim, such as PIMCO’s El-Erian? alifarabia

The inflation adjusted billion dollar question has become, ‘what nationality should lead the International Monetary Fund (IMF)?’ It used to be the $64,000 question, and then became the million dollar question. This says something about the ‘naked’ dollar or US influence or both.

The tradition has been the Managing Director of the IMF was European. The traditional thinking has gotten us to where we are in today’s inter-connected, borderless, flat-wired world in real time, resulting in credit crisis induced systemic risks, corporate and government bailouts at the expense of hard working tax payers.

The established emerging markets like the BRICS countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa have raised valid points, and a recent FT article correctly mentioned, ‘… the IMF executive directors for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa said the “obsolete unwritten convention” of appointing a European as managing director undermined “the legitimacy” of the fund and called for a “truly transparent, merit-based and competitive process”.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

True grit helps Dubai settle down - The National

Dubai World asked its banks for some breathing-space more than 18 months ago while it started talks to extend repayment of about US$25 billion (Dh91.82bn) of debt.

Because the company is government-owned and a central player in Dubai's development, Dubai World's problems sent tremors through global markets and put investors on notice that the emirate, like other places where easy lending fuelled unsustainable asset-price bubbles, needed a little help.

Dubai had already lined up $10bn of loans from the Central Bank to help to keep companies deemed strategically important in business. But the Dubai World restructuring was nevertheless a seminal event in the UAE's post-financial-crisis narrative.

MENA stock markets close - May 29, 2011

ExchangeStatus IndexChange
TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
6754.820.05%
DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
1545.420.72%
ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
2607.530.36%
KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
6356.2-0.28%
BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
1351.33-0.60%
MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
5952.6-0.46%
QE (Qatar Exchange)
8375.04-0.30%
LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
1372.32-0.45%
EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
5548.062.52%
ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
2177.63-0.09%
TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
4116.440.61%
CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
12154.50.45%
PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)
490.550.44%