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Saturday, 5 February 2011

Egypt banks to open on Sunday at 8:30 a.m | Reuters

Egypt's banks will reopen for business on Sunday after a week-long closure, but will start operations at 8:30 a.m. (0630 GMT) instead of 10 a.m. as had earlier been announced, the official MENA news agency said.

The banks would close at 1:30 p.m., it said, without naming its source, as previously planned.

The stock exchange said earlier that it was reversing a decision taken last week that it would reopen on Monday and that it would announce the new reopening date 48 hours beforehand.

Egypt's bourse not to open on Monday: official | Reuters

Egypt's stock exchange will remain closed on Monday, a bourse official said, a reversal of a decision taken last week that it would reopen.

The exchange will announce the new reopening date 48 hours beforehand, said the official, who asked not to be named.

Saudi Stocks Gain on Speculation Egypt-Related Drop Was Overdone - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabian shares rose for a third day after U.S. and European stocks advanced last week and on speculation that Egypt-related declines have left shares at attractive levels.

The Tadawul All Share Index increased 0.3 percent to 6,536.22 at 1:36 p.m. in Riyadh, bringing the three-day gain to 2.8 percent. Al Rajhi Bank, the kingdom’s largest publicly- traded lender by market value, gained for a second day and Etihad Etisalat Co., the second-largest phone company, advanced 1 percent. The 146-member gauge lost 2.8 percent last week.

“Global sentiment is improving as international investors continue to embrace risk on attractive valuations and positive economic data,” said Amro Halwani, a trader at Shuaa Capital PSC in Riyadh. “The correlation between international and regional markets is returning as investors buy back into depressed shares.”

Dubai World's Adelphi Building defaults on £200m debt - Telegraph

Securitised debt against The Adelphi Building in the West End, an office building worth £265m, has breached loan-to-value covenants, according to a market statement this week. The default could lead to a sale of the building.

The Adelphi Building is owned by Istithmar, Dubai World's overseas vehicle, which disposed of the Grand Buildings by Trafalgar Square for around £170m last year. State-backed investment group Dubai World rocked global financial markets in late 2009 by seeking to delay debt repayments.

According to the statement by Indus, the vehicle that issued the notes for the Adelphi debt, £212m of debt is still outstanding against the office building.

Investors fear anti-market regime in Egypt | Reuters

Investors fear escalating protests against the 30-year rule of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak could spill over to other Arab countries and lead to regimes more hostile to western investment practices in the region.

A more democratic government in Egypt may encourage investment in Egypt, as the country has until now been seen as the barometer for stability in the Middle East and North Africa.

But Egypt's political situation is fluid, the outcome of the popular protests of the past 10 days is unknown, and investors worry that a new regime will oppose Western capitalism.

Etisalat rejects accusation over Indian mobile licence - The National

Etisalat's Indian subsidiary rejected allegations made on Thursday by a national investigative agency that it had purchased the licence for second-generation (2G) mobile services at deflated prices, resulting in a significant loss for the Indian exchequer.

"The company is not party to the matter referred to, before the court," said a spokeswoman for Etisalat DB Telecom, a joint venture between Etisalat and Swan Telecom.

She said the company had "followed all [government] rules" and denied that it had received any preferential treatment in the allotment of the 2G licence. The licence was awarded before Etisalat entered into a partnership with Swan in India.

ANALYSIS-Cheap Egypt assets attractive but not yet, say funds

Cairo financial markets, reopening from a prolonged closure and a steep selloff, cannot look forward to much support from overseas portfolio managers who want more clarity on Egypt's economic and corporate outlook before venturing back to the country's newly-cheap securities.

Seven out of ten fund managers interviewed by Reuters for this article said they will not buy Egyptian securities just yet despite steep falls that have brought stock valuations to among the most attractive levels in the emerging market asset class.

The assets are cheap for a reason, most investors argue.

FT.com / Comment / Analysis - At hand, an Arab awakening

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Middle Eastern commentators look back 95 years to find a challenge to the established order as momentous as that now taking place. “This is history in the making, a replay of the great Arab revolt,” says Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi analyst, referring to the 1916 uprising against Ottoman rule that began in what is now his country.

Just as that uprising swept across the region, so too this year has one nation after another felt a new force. Since a vegetable vendor in a restive Tunisian town doused himself with petrol and burnt to death in a December protest against unemployment and corruption, the flame of popular defiance has travelled across the Arab world.

Hunkered down in his presidential palace in Cairo, 10km away from the centre of vast protests on Tahrir Square, Hosni Mubarak on Tuesday conceded that he would quit. Last night it remained uncertain whether his 29-year rule would endure even until elections due in September.



FT.com - Business calls for unity alliance

A group of prominent Egyptians, including businessmen, writers and legal experts, have presented a series of proposals to the government in an effort to resolve the political crisis.

Naguib Sawiris, the billionaire chairman of Orascom Telecom and a member of the group, told the Financial Times that the proposals, published in news­papers and on Facebook, included more powers being devolved to Omar Suleiman, the new vice-president, the dissolution of parliament and the creation of a government of national unity composed of opposition figures and ­technocrats.

But the group believed Hosni Mubarak, the president, should remain as head of state until elections scheduled for August or September to preserve “his pride and the pride of Egyptians” and reduce the risk of the country suffering further chaos, Mr Sawiris said.