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Saturday, 12 March 2011

Saudi Stock Market at 1400 GMT+4, +3.02%

Egypt says to reopen bourse before March 28 | Reuters

Egypt will reopen its stock exchange before March 28 so the bourse is not removed from global indices, the finance minister was quoted as saying on the prime minister's Facebook page on Saturday.

Samir Radwan said one of the reasons for the continued closure of the stock exchange was that the situation in Egypt had not "not reached the improvement that we were imagining, even though matters are improving every day".

He made the remarks in a television interview reported on the cabinet's Facebook page. He did not make any comment on the prospects of the stock exchange opening sooner than March 28, according to the interview.

Weekly Market Analysis (Week 11) — Weekly Index Review — GCC Market Analytics

The weekly market analysis pages have been updated for trading week 11 (March 12th - March 18th). Use the links below to view the individual market analysis pages:

The table below shows the market outlook based on each study.
Visit the links above to view the full analysis reports for all GCC markets.

Why Saudi Arabia is stable amid the Mideast unrest

Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt have toppled their regimes. Unrest continues in Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Algeria and Oman. Yet the host of the world's largest energy reserves and the birthplace of Islam, Saudi Arabia, remains conspicuously quiet.

Saudi Arabia shares some characteristics that have been causes for unrest - such as high unemployment among its youth and public-sector corruption - but the kingdom has strengths its neighbors lack. Its strong economy and weak opposition are clear. Less understood in the West is another critical element: a nationalism that has been fostered by and is strongly linked to the monarchy. These qualities make it highly unlikely that the unrest in other Arab countries will spread to the kingdom.

Economically, Saudi Arabia is able to fund projects that satisfy the needs of its growing population. Record revenue from energy exports has been invested in infrastructure and social services. It has spent tens of billions the past several years on universities and other schools, hospitals, rail lines and housing developments. An additional $29.5 billion in financial benefits to poorer Saudis - including help for the unemployed - was recently announced, as were raises for public servants and efforts to mitigate inflationary pressures. Last year, the salaries of all soldiers and military officers were increased.

UAE – SINGAPORE Dubai World before the courts for failing to pay Singapore suppliers | Spero News

Drydocks World Singapore Pte and Labroy Shipbuilding & Engineering Pte have failed to pay their suppliers. Both companies belong to Drydocks World LLC, the ship repair branch of Dubai World. For the past year, the Dubai state-owned company has been trying to restructure US$ 24.9 billion of its debt.

In recent weeks, Drydocks’ two Singapore units refused to pay US$ 4.7 million for goods sold and delivered between May and December, this according to the complaints filed with the Singapore High Court by Beng Hui Marine Electrical Pte, Hoe Seng Huat Pte and Z-Power Automation Pte. Neither filed a defence to the lawsuits.

Drydocks in January said it was entering talks with its lenders to restructure a US$ 2 billion loan.

Dubai on Empty | Vanity Fair

The only way to make sense of Dubai is to never forget that it isn’t real. It’s a fable, a fairy tale, like The Arabian Nights. More correctly, it’s a cautionary tale. Dubai is the story of the three wishes, where, as every kid knows, with the third wish you demand three more wishes. And as every genie knows, more wishes lead to more greed, more misery, more bad credit, and much, much, much more bad taste. Dubai is Las Vegas without the showgirls, the gambling, or Elvis. Dubai is a financial Disneyland without the fun. It’s a holiday resort with the worst climate in the world. It boils. It’s humid. And the constant wind is full of sand. The first thing you see when you arrive is the airport, with its echoing marble halls. It’s big enough to be the hub of a continent. Dubai suffers from gigantism—a national inferiority complex that has to make everything bigger and biggest. This includes their financial crisis.

Outside, in the sodden heat, you pass hundreds and hundreds of regimented palm trees and you wonder who waters them and what with. The skyline, in the dusty haze, looks like the cover of a dystopian science-fiction novella. Clusters of skyscrapers lurch out at the gray desert accompanied by their moribund cranes, propped up with scaffolding, swagged in plastic sheeting. Dubai thought it was going to grow up to be the Arab Singapore—a commercial, banking, and insurance service port on the Gulf with hospitality and footballers’ time-shares, an oasis of R&R for the less well endowed. But it hasn’t quite worked out. The vertical streets of offices are empty. A derelict skyscraper looks exactly the same as one that’s teeming with commerce. They huddle around the current tallest building in the world—a monument to small-nation penis envy. This pylon erected with the Viagra of credit is now a big, naked exclamation of Dubai’s fiscal embarrassment. It was going to be called Burj Dubai, but as Dubai was unable to make their payments, they were forced to go to their Gulf neighbor, head towel in hand, to get a loan. So now it’s called Burj Khalifa, after Abu Dhabi’s ruler, who coughed up $10 billion to its over-extended neighbor.

Dubai has been built very fast. The plan was money. The architect was money. The designer was money and the builder was money. And if you ever wondered what money would look like if it were left to its own devices, it’s Dubai.

Dubai's ICD asks banks for $4bln loan refi | Reuters

Dubai's sovereign wealth fund, Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) has asked banks to submit proposals on a new $4 billion, five-year loan refinancing, banking sources said on Friday.

The loan, which is the largest to emerge from Dubai since its financial crisis, will refinance existing debt including a $6 billion loan, some of which is due to mature in 2011, a senior loan banker close to the deal said.

ICD could not immediately be reached for comment.

Boucek: Saudi Revolution Not Coming | Arabianomics

Saudi expert Christopher Boucek, writing for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, notes that Saudi Arabia will not experience the same type of revolution that has hit other countries in the Middle East.


“The wave of popular protests roiling the Arab world has thus far spared Saudi Arabia. In an attempt to bring change to the country, activists in Saudi Arabia have set a “day of rage” for March 11 to demand a series of political reforms, including the creation of a constitutional monarchy.

But of all the states in the region, Saudi Arabia is among the best equipped to handle the current unrest. The kingdom is utilizing multiple approaches—cooptation, religious persuasion, and implied threats of coercion—to neutralize potential disturbances. These tactics are designed to short-circuit the calls for protests among varied audiences. And as a result, it is extremely unlikely that Saudi Arabia will experience the turmoil seen elsewhere in the Arab world.

Egypt's Suez Canal revenue up 16.3 pct yr/yr in Feb | Reuters

Revenue from Egypt's Suez Canal rose 16.3 percent year on year in February but fell from January, the canal authority's website showed on Friday.

Many canal employees were on strike throughout the month as the protests that ousted the government of Hosni Mubarak spread across the country, but officials said traffic in the waterway was unaffected.

The canal is a vital source of foreign currency in Egypt, along with tourism, oil and gas exports and remittances from Egyptians living abroad.