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Thursday, 30 June 2011

UAE sovereign bond by end-2012 likely - Emirates 24/7

The UAE may issue its first ever sovereign federal bond toward the end of 2012 after a public debt law is signed this summer, the financial affairs minister said on Wednesday.

The UAE's top advisory council passed a new public debt bill in December with an aim of establishing a debt market in the world's No. 3 oil exporter. The legislation needs presidential approval before becoming law.

"The law will be signed this summer hopefully and will take effect immediately so we will be in a position if we need to issue any bonds toward the end of 2012," Obaid Humaid Al Tayer said on the sidelines of a financial conference.

Abu Dhabi's TDIC to meet bond investors next week - London South East

Abu Dhabi's Tourism Development and Investment Co (TDIC), which isbuilding the Louvre and Guggenheim museums in the UAE capital, plans to meet fixed income investors starting next week, leads said on Wednesday.

The meetings in Asia, Europe and the Middle East kick off on July 6 and come as a pair of other United Arab Emirates' firms shelved touted bond issuances due to market conditions.

The meetings will be arranged by HSBC, RBS, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered and National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

gulfnews : Abu Dhabi's TDIC plans to meet potential investors next week

Abu Dhabi's Tourism Development and Investment Co (TDIC), which is building the Louvre and Guggenheim museums in the UAE capital, plans to meet fixed income investors starting next week, leads said yesterday.

The meetings in Asia, Europe and the Middle East kick off on July 6 and come as a pair of other UAE firms shelved touted bond issuances due to market conditions.

The meetings will be arranged by HSBC, RBS, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered and National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

Kuwait lawmakers approve $71 bln budget for 2011/12 - Maktoob News

Kuwait's parliament approved on Wednesday a state budget of 19.4 billion dinars ($70.7 billion) for the 2011/12 fiscal year, the biggest since at least 2003 and a 19 percent jump from the previous year.

Parliament's budget committee has opposed a government plan to raise spending by additional 1.8 billion dinars mainly on wage and benefit increases for Kuwaiti citizens, which would have taken the expenditure to 19.7 billion.

In January, Finance Minister Mustapha al-Shamali said expenditure for the world's No. 4 oil exporter was expected to come in at 17.9 billion dinars, a 10 percent rise from the 2010/11 budget.

Apologies for disrupted service yesterday.

MENA stock markets close - June 30, 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)

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

UAE, Qatar likely to emerge bullish - The National

Nadi Bargouti, the head of asset management at Shuaa Capital for almost two years after a stint with Samba Capital in Saudi Arabia, ran the Mena region's best-performing fund last year.

The UAE and Qatar have just had their upgrade to emerging markets status delayed by MSCI. Why the delay, in your view? Do you think they will make the upgrade in six months' time?

The delay, in our view, was due to the need to allow sufficient time for investors to assess Qatar's and the UAE's recent market enhancements and to the foreign ownership limit (FOL) issue in Qatar to be resolved.

Failure of Etisalat's $12bn Zain bid hits forecasts: Plugged in

Nomura has lowered its price targets for regional telecoms firms Etisalat and Zain, following the breakdown in the UAE company's $12 billion bid for the Kuwaiti operator.

The firm reduced its share-price target for Etisalat to Dh12.1 from Dh13.6. "[The] failure to cement Zain bid, increasing domestic pressures domestically and problems in India all weigh on [the] investment case," it said.

It also reduced its price target for Zain to 1.04 Kuwaiti dinars from 1.22. It attributed this to a special dividend paid by the company, adding that the business is "self sustaining but [its] strategic direction [is] unclear."

Opec split threatens increase in Saudi oil production - Telegraph

The International Energy Agency's (IEA) attempts to bring down the oil price have sparked a war of words with Opec, the 12-country cartel that produces 40pc of the world's crude ouput.

Opec is also divided between groups of members such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait which would be happy with lower prices, and others such as Iran and Venezuela, which do not want to raise production and dampen prices.

Yesterday, Brent crude increased by $2.20 (£1.38) to $108.19, amid concerns about tensions in the oil market and a falling dollar.

Dubai bourse catches cold from chill in world markets - The National

Dubai's market dipped yesterday to its lowest point in more than three months as investors tracked uncertainty over the global economic recovery.

Global markets have remained on edge ahead of votes in the Greek parliament this week on additional austerity measures to resolve the country's debt crisis.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index fell 1.2 per cent to 1,507.61 points, its lowest since March 21, as fund managers and traders sold bellwether stocks.

Abu Dhabi bonds sale delayed over Greek crisis - The National

Dolphin Energy has delayed plans to sell bonds because of market volatility caused by the debt crisis in Greece.

The Abu Dhabi energy producer was expected to announce the pricing after hiring banks to hold investor meetings last week.

But the firm has decided to wait until after the resolution of Greece's latest austerity measures, when pricing is expected to improve, according to a person familiar with the matter. - Harsh blow to Jordanian economy

The political turmoil sweeping the Arab world has dealt a harsh blow to the Jordanian economy, deepening the kingdom’s budget crisis and forcing the country to rely increas-ingly on financial support from the US and the Gulf.

Jordan’s resource-starved economy has been under pressure since the start of the year, pounded by the twin forces of regional instability and the sharp rise in commodity prices. The government hopes to limit this year’s budget deficit to 5.5 per cent of GDP, but warns that it will need more foreign aid to reach that target.

“Today, with the Arab spring, we in Jordan do have a crisis, but it is an economic crisis not a political crisis,” said Jafar Hassan, minister for planning and international co-operation. Jordan, he added, was in talks with G8 countries as well as Arab states to provide further grants to cover the funding gaps.

Turkey: How Long Before the Boom Turns to Bust? |

Amid global worries over a Greek default, growing investor skittishness about emerging markets is a worrisome development for Turkey.

A comparative star in the sluggish global financial scene, Turkey in 2010 posted a Gross Domestic Product growth rate of 8.9 percent; growth this year is estimated at 5.5 percent, according to a recent expectations survey carried out by the Central Bank. By comparison, the European Union faces a projected 2011 growth rate of 1.8 percent.

Despite the sheen of economic health generated by the growth projections, Turkey is grappling with substantial economic challenges, especially unemployment. According to Turkstat, Turkey’s government statistics agency, unemployment decreased to 10.8 percent in March, down 2.9 percent from the same period in 2010. A recent report from the left-leaning Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions, however, argues that the real unemployment rate is much higher, 17.68 percent.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

gulfnews : Emarat capital raised 50 per cent to Dh9b

An Emarat fuel station in Sharjah
  • Image Credit: Atiq-ur-Rehman/Gulf News
  • An Emarat fuel station in Sharjah. A local oil industry source said the move will allow the banks lending to Emarat to increase their ceiling on loans to Emarat.

Abu Dhabi: Billions of dirhams have been pumped into petrol products retailer Emarat, the UAE's official news agency WAM reported on Tuesday.

The company, also known as Emirates General Petroleum Corporation, has had its capital increased by 50 per cent to Dh9 billion.

The move was authorised by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, after a federal cabinet meeting yesterday.

UAE govt raises Emarat capital 50 pct to 9 bln dirhams | Reuters

The federal government of the United Arab Emirates has raised the capital of its indebted fuel retailer Emarat by 50 percent to 9 billion dirhams ($2.45 billion), state news agency WAM reported on Tuesday.

In January, the UAE's Federal National Council (FNC) passed a bill allowing Emarat to borrow the equivalent of up to 50 percent of its capital.

Emarat had debt of around 1.9 billion dirhams, the FNC said in January, as fuel subsidies imposed on gasoline prices by the UAE government hit the company's profits.

Companies feel the heat in Arab revolution -

When Canada’s Suncor Energy opened a natural gas plant in Syria last year, it promised “Energy for today and tomorrow” in an advertisement that showed one of its workers talking to a keenly interested President Bashar al-Assad.

Now the business is scrambling to deal with a tomorrow that has arrived in an unwelcome form: a country in chaos, headed by a leader whose lethal crackdown on a popular uprising has made him a public relations liability.

Asked about its future in Syria, Suncor said it was making a “great deal” of effort to ensure it could operate responsibly there. “We ... continue to work within our sphere of influence to ensure we are upholding the company’s values,” it added.

UAE: rates cut, housing rebound to follow? | beyondbrics –

The UAE’s increasingly liquid banks are cutting mortgage rates as they look to claw their way back to growth.

The country’s housing markets, especially in Dubai, have been taking a beating for a few years, with prices falling dramatically as supply outpaced demand. Could the easier availability of mortgage finance boost those anemic housing markets?

Don’t get too excited, analysts say.

MENA stock markets close - June 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)

Abu Dhabi's Dolphin Energy delays $1.9 bln bond issue | Reuters

Dolphin Energy completed investor meetings for a 144a benchmark dollar bond last week, and was expected to indicate guidance shortly thereafter, but the Eurozone debt crisis and uncertainty surrounding Greece has made investors nervous over any new debt coming onto the market.

Abu Dhabi's Dolphin Energy Limited, 51 percent owned by state fund Mubadala, has delayed plans for an immediate bond issue due to market conditions, leads said on Tuesday.

The bond sale was expected to raise as much as $1.93 billion to refinance existing debt.

IEA’s Tanaka Is ‘Confident’ Saudi Arabia Will Boost Output - Bloomberg

The International Energy Agency is confident that Saudi Arabia will continue to boost its crude production in the wake of the agency’s decision to release oil stockpiles, IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanakasaid.

“Saudis have ample capacity,” Tanaka said today at a conference in London. “We think it may take some time so we are filling the gap in the meantime.”

The agency may extend its release of emergency inventories beyond an initial 30-day period, he said. The group announced on June 23 that its members would make available 60 million barrels of oil to offset the loss of Libyan supplies.

OPEC, IEA clash over oil reserves weapon -

Consumer watchdog International Energy Agency's emergency oil release is a desperate measure that threatens to undo two decades of cooperation with OPEC and could fail to calm prices.

Thursday's announcement of a 60 million-barrel release from emergency stocks - only the third in the IEA's 37-year history - came after consumer nations unsuccessfully applied pressure on the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to increase its output at a meeting this month.

The talks collapsed in disarray, but top exporter Saudi Arabia said it would still produce as much oil as the market needed.

UAE plans no sovereign bonds before '12 -document - Maktoob News

The United Arab Emirates does not plan to issue federal bonds before 2012, a Finance Ministry document showed on Monday.

"The federal government will not issue sovereign bonds before 2012 and only if deemed necessary," Obaid Humaid al - Tayer, minister of state for financial affairs, said in the latest ministry newsletter.

"The UAE is currently working on launching a bond market parallel to the stock markets which will increase initial issuance on a federal level and local level."

THE DAILY STAR :: Kuwait approves two mega oil projects: report

Kuwait's Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) has given the green light for two long-stalled oil mega projects worth more than eight billion dinars ($29 billion), a Kuwaiti daily reported on Tuesday.
Citing unidentified oil sources, the Al-Jarida newspaper said the SPC approved the building of a new state-of-the-art refinery and the upgrading of two of three existing refineries to raise output and produce cleaner products.
The 615,000 barrel per day refinery project was scrapped by the government more than two years ago, months after it awarded contracts to five Japanese and South Korean companies.

Tunisia: where growth and happiness diverged | beyondbrics –

If you look at classic economic indicators such as GDP growth, the Tunisian revolution seems surprising.

Of course the revolution did happen, and a recent study by Gallup, the research centre, makes a compelling argument for why economists and those who quote them had been giving too much importance to the wrong numbers all along.

Tunisia’s GDP per capita growth was accelerating, and the country had jumped up international rankings of competitiveness. In 2009 and 2010, according to Gallup, 56 per cent of Tunisians said the Tunisian economy was improving overall—a far better performance than many middle-income nations, where a median of 31 per cent think that.

UAE public debt put at over $236bn - Emirates 24/7

The UAE’s gross public debt is estimated at around $236.1 billion, according to the IMF.

The Federal government debt was estimated at about $19.1 billion, accounting for nearly 6.3 per cent of the country’s 2010 GDP.

Nearly $33.1 billion of the debt matures in 2011 while around $25.8 billion matures in 2012 and the rest after that year, the Washington-based International Monetary Fund said in a report.

gulfnews : Little logic in GCC's expansion

The GCC’s announcement during its summit in May this year officially inviting Jordan and Morocco to become members caught many observers by surprise. Questions have been raised about the motivations and reasons behind the sudden decision.

Historically, the GCC has been an exclusive club, and most GCC states have been opposed to the idea of opening the organisation’s doors to admit new members. In fact, since the establishment of the GCC in 1981, there have been many discussions and detailed proposals to enlarge the group. Traditionally, Yemen and even Iraq were seen as likely candidates for membership based on geographical, cultural and strategic factors. Over the past few years, it was Yemen that came closest to a GCC membership having reached integration in some of the GCC institutions. However, the idea of full membership for Yemen met with resistance and its application was rejected many times. Now, the issue seems to have been postponed indefinitely.

Therefore, the unexpected decision to incorporate Jordan and Morocco in the exclusive club marked a major shift in GCC policy. The motivation behind such a step is unclear. It is evident that the invitation has come against the backdrop of the mounting political pressure and economic hardship in Jordan and Morocco. There could be the expectation that a GCC membership would provide some sort of political and economic stability to help the ruling families in both countries.