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Thursday, 10 February 2011

Foreign interests help Etisalat beat forecasts - The National

A rise in revenues from Etisalat's international subsidiaries helped the national operator to surpass annual profit forecasts despite increased competition in the UAE telecommunications market.

Etisalat made a profit of Dh7.631 billion (US$2.078bn) last year, a decrease of over 13.6 per cent per cent on 2009, mainly due to a loss of local mobile and internet customers.

However, the company's international subsidiaries helped to increase revenues by 2 per cent to Dh31.9bn.

MENA stock markets - February 10, 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)

Emaar Fourth-Quarter Net Profit Plunges to 274 Million Dirhams - Bloomberg

Emaar Properties, the biggest developer in the United Arab Emirates, said fourth-quarter profit fell to 274 million dirhams from 720 million dirhams in the year-earlier period, according to a company statement to the Dubai bourse today. The mean of six analyst estimates was for a profit of 662.5 million dirhams, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Egypt pound weaker 2nd day after intervention | Reuters

Egypt's currency edged weaker on Thursday, but many banks were holding back from large dollar purchases after Tuesday's intervention from the central bank, dealers said.

"Trade is very slow," said a dealer at a Cairo bank, adding that state-controlled banks had been selling dollars to support the Egyptian pound.

The Egyptian pound had been falling steadily since political protests broke out on Jan 25, and many traders and strategists expect more losses. UBS analysts put the potential decline at as much as 25 percent within a month.

Egypt: IT outsourcers rethink risk | beyondbrics –

Turmoil in Egypt has raised well-publicised concerns about its finance, energy and tourism sectors. But there is one low-profile industry where the impact of the crisis is just as serious: IT outsourcing.

Although no rival to India, Egypt has spent the last 10 years building up an IT, research and business process outsourcing (BPO) sector that generated over $1bn revenues last year. Now its future could be in doubt as companies look again at political risk.

Phil Fersht, the head of HfS Research, an outsourcing research and advisory firm, says recent events in Egypt will change the way decisions about outourcing are made.

Dubai's top bank ENBD Q4 rises but misses forecast | Reuters

Emirates NBD ENBD.DU posted sharply higher quarterly profits on Thursday though shy of forecasts while impairments on investments and bad loans hit its yearly results.

ENBD, Dubai's largest bank by market value, said fourth quarter profit was 403 million dirhams ($109.7 million) in the three months to Dec 31, up from 178 million dirhams in the prior-year period.

Analysts had forecast average profit of 448.5 million dirhams, according to a Reuters poll.

UAE's Tabreed in US$716 million debt deal -

District cooling firm Tabreed TABR.DU has reached a deal with creditors to refinance AED2.63 billion (US$716 million) in debt, with additional aid coming from state-owned Mubadala fund.

Tabreed's shares jumped 8 percent in early trade.

Investment vehicle Mubadala -- which owns a 16.7% stake in Tabreed -- will pump in an additional 400 million dirhams in the form of a bridge loan that will help Tabreed complete its recapitalisation program and avoid a liquidity crunch.

FT Tilt - How to dial up a diplomatic spat: own their stock exchange(Registration)

The UAE and Canada have been in a steadily escalating diplomatic row over the last year, and the merger of the London and Toronto stock exchanges will make that relationship all the more interesting, with the Dubai government the largest single shareholder of the LSE.

Relations between the UAE and Canada were tested when the UAE announced last year it would ban BlackBerry, citing national security concerns related to the phone's encryption system, which is beyond the reach of UAE authorities. But the row truly began when Canada announced it would not give additional landing rights to UAE airlines, in a move designed to protect Air Canada from competition with Emirates and Etihad.

The UAE responded furiously, ordering the Canadians to vacate a military base in the UAE that was used as a staging point for Canadian forces heading to Afghanistan, and at one point denying landing permission for a plane carrying the Canadian defence minister.

Orascom Construction GDR Tumble Leaves Stock at Discount to Local Shares - Bloomberg

Orascom Construction Industries’ London-traded equities are trading at a discount to local shares after the global depositary receipts of Egypt’s biggest publicly traded builder tumbled for a second day.

The GDRs sank 5.4 percent yesterday, the most since Jan. 28, to $38.50, or the equivalent of 226.38 Egyptian pounds. Orascom stock in Cairo last traded at 227.07 pounds on Jan. 27 before the government halted trading in the wake of protests seeking to end President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule. Orascom Telecom Holding SAE declined 0.9 percent in London. Bond yields rose yesterday and the cost of insuring Egyptian debt climbed.

“There have been ebbs and flows in market sentiment and the longer the situation draws on the more uncertain it becomes,” said Chet Riley, a Nomura Holdings Inc. analyst based in Dubai. The two-day drop, which is not specific to the company, “seems to suggest investors expect the market to fall.” Stock trading in Cairo resumes on Feb. 13.

Commodities rise a boost for Taqa - The National

Rising commodity prices helped Abu Dhabi National Energy Company report a fivefold increase in profits yesterday.

Investors piled into the stock of the company that is also known as Taqa, pushing up the share price by almost 3 per cent.

Taqa reported net profit for last year of Dh937 million (US$255.1m), up from Dh182m in 2009. Revenue rose 27 per cent last year from 2009 to Dh21.35 billion.

gulfnews : Gulf fund assets rise on flurry of launches

Mutual fund assets in the Gulf rose 9 per cent or $2.3 billion (Dh8.45 billion) in the first half of last year, according to a study released yesterday.

The global mutual fund industry regained some lost ground in 2010 and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (GCC) witnessed a flurry of new funds, according to the GCC Mutual Fund Industry Survey 2010.

The study noted that according to the Investment Company Institute, global mutual fund assets at the end of June last year stood at $21.4 trillion, a jump of 5.4 per cent from a year earlier. Assets under management, however, were still 18 per cent lower than the peak of $26.15 trillion at the end of 2007.

Etisalat DB's Balwa Arrested as Indian Investigators Widen Telecoms Probe - Bloomberg

Indian federal investigators arrested Shahid Balwa, vice chairman of Etisalat DB Telecom India Pvt., widening a probe into the sale of mobile-phone licenses that’s already triggered the detention of a former minister.

The Central Bureau of Investigation arrested Balwa yesterday, the agency’s spokeswoman, Binita Thakur, said in a phone interview today. His arrest comes a week after authorities detained former telecommunications Minister Andimuthu Raja for questioning. Balwa is also the managing director of DB Realty Ltd., a Mumbai-based property developer.

A Mumbai court today remanded Balwa to two days in custody after the agency argued that Raja conspired to favor companies including the then Swan Telecom Ltd., now known as Etisalat DB, and Unitech Ltd. by violating guidelines in the license sale. The bureau, which won approval to quiz the former minister until tomorrow, told a New Delhi court on Feb. 3 that Raja caused a loss of 220 billion rupees ($4.8 billion) to the exchequer.

10 Saudi Banks File Claims for $2.4 Billion From Algosaibi - Bloomberg

Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Co. may owe $2.4 billion to 10 Saudi Arabian banks, according to filings by the lenders to the country’s Committee for the Settlement of Banking Disputes.

The Saudi Investment Bank submitted the largest claim of 2 billion riyals ($533 million), according to filings obtained by Bloomberg News. Al Rajhi Bank and National Commercial Bank filed for 1.5 billion riyals each, the documents show.

The dispute between Algosaibi and the founder of Saad Group, Maan al-Sanea, marked the largest default in the kingdom to come out of the financial crisis. Units of the two family groups borrowed at least $15.7 billion from more than 80 regional and international banks, including Paris-based BNP Paribas SA, New York-based Citigroup Inc. and Arab Bank Plc in Amman, Jordan, documents provided by lenders in 2009 show.