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Saturday, 8 January 2011

Saudi Shares Rise to Eight-Month High on Dividend Payouts, Tempered by Oil - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabian shares rose on the first day of the week to the highest in almost eight months as investors anticipated year-end dividend payouts.

The 146-company Tadawul All Share Index climbed as much as 0.3 percent to 6,717.46, the highest intraday level since May 12, and was at 6,713.35 at 1:22 p.m. in Riyadh. Saudi Arabian Mining Co., the state miner known as Ma’aden, and petrochemicals maker National Industrialization Co., or Tasnee, advanced, while U.S. economic data and lower oil prices tempered the gains.

“Two countering factors were in play today,” Asim Bukhtiar, an equity analyst at Riyad Capital, said in Riyadh. “Investors were buying in for year-end dividends, while below- expectations employment figures in the U.S. and cooling-off commodities were holding back the gauge.”

U.S. files fresh fraud suit against Kuwait's Agility

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Prosecutors have filed a civil suit against Kuwaiti logistics company Agility, accusing it of defrauding the government over food product contracts to the U.S. military in the Middle East worth $9.8 billion. Agility was the largest supplier to the U.S. Army in the Middle East during the war in Iraq and a parallel criminal case is politically sensitive in both Washington and Kuwait.

Nakheel abandon plans for 55 Auchan stores across the Gulf - The National

The Dubai developer Nakheel has pulled out of a joint venture with the French hypermarket chain Auchan because of the economic climate, Auchan says.

Auchan closed its hypermarket in Nakheel's Dragon Mart at the end of last year after Nakheel said it did not want to proceed with their joint plans to open 55 stores across the Gulf over 10 years, said Leandre Boulez, a director of Auchan and one of the board members of Auchan Dubai.

"The first store opened and it grew progressively, but because of the economic situation Nakheel decided to review its position regarding the development of its own retail activity. And so they have decided not to continue with this franchise."

Happy new year, and on to the tricky science of forecasts - The National

Last week in this column, I looked at how Dubai had come through a tricky 2010, dominated by creditor negotiations and debt management.

Now is the time to look forward and try to forecast what the current year might bring for those parts of Dubai Inc still trying to shake off the debt legacy of the global financial crisis.

It's been said there are only two types of forecast: lucky and wrong. But you increase your chances of landing in the former category if you base your predictions on as many sources of information as possible.

Yield Spreads at Two-Year Low to Spur 2011 Sales Revival: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg

The lowest relative yields on Islamic bonds in more than two years may encourage issuers to tap the market after a 15 percent drop in new sales in 2010, helping revive interest among investors.

The difference between average yields for emerging-market sukuk and the London interbank offered rate narrowed to 282.7 basis points yesterday, the least since August 2008, according to the HSBC/NASDAQ Dubai US Dollar Sukuk Index. Albaraka Banking Group BSC, Bahrain’s biggest publicly traded Islamic lender, plans to sell Islamic bonds in the first quarter, while Albaraka Turk Katilim Bankasi AS, a Turkish Islamic bank, may make an offering this year, company officials said this week.

Spreads shrank in 2010 as debt restructuring in the Persian Gulf and government plans to spur investment by building roads, railways and bridges helped restore appetite for assets in the $1 trillion Islamic finance industry. Sukuk yields will rise this year along with interest rates globally, according to Kuala Lumpur-based CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management Bhd.

gulfnews : UAE markets' outlook for 2011

At the start of the New Year, international markets opened on a high. UAE markets also witnessed gains. Gulf News interviewed local investment managers and market analysts on the prospects of the UAE markets for 2011. A majority of them believe that they are likely to improve, though some have caveats added to their forecast.

Eva Longoria's Vegas Club Files For Bankruptcy : NPR

A Las Vegas nightclub owned by "Desperate Housewives" actress Eva Longoria has filed for bankruptcy, saying it owes nearly $5.7 million.

Lawyers for Beso LLC said in a federal Chapter 11 filing on Thursday that they project losing more than $76,000 per month at the CityCenter restaurant and nightspot. It is seeking bankruptcy in order to keep operating.

Beso owes nearly $1.8 million to CityCenter for its lease at the Crystals mall inside the resort complex that opened in December 2009, lawyers said in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing in Las Vegas.