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Sunday, 13 March 2011

MENA stock markets close - March 13, 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)

South Korea in 'unprecedented' oil deals with Abu Dhabi -

South Korea said on Sunday that Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC) had signed an "unprecedented" oil deal with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for stakeholding in recoverable reserves of at least 1 billion barrels of oil.

This memorandum of understanding (MOU) is worth 110 trillion won (US$97.68 billion) based upon current oil prices, the South Korean presidential office said in a statement.

The full details of the deal are still to be worked out and it will be concluded next year, the government said.

Firms Bid for Zain's Saudi Operations -

Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding Co. and Bahrain's Batelco Group launched a joint bid Sunday for Kuwait-based Zain's stake in its Saudi operations, raising hopes that United Arab Emirates-based Etisalat might still yet be successful in its pursuit of a 46% share of the Kuwaiti telecoms firm.

Kingdom and Bateleco's nonbinding offer for 25% of Saudi Zain will be valid until 6 a.m. GMT on Monday, Kingdom said in an emailed statement. No financial details of the bid were disclosed.

In February, Zain rejected three offers for its Zain Saudi stake, including separate bids made by Kingdom Holding and Batelco.

Local markets surge on regional aid pledges for Bahrain and Oman - The National

The country's stock exchanges rallied to the highest in two weeks after Gulf states pledged aid worth Dh20 billion to Oman and Bahrain over the next decade to help alleviate tensions.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index rose 4.3 per cent to 1512.59 points, the highest since Feb 21, as protests in Saudi Arabia failed to escalate over the weekend.

Traded value on the Dubai bourse reached Dh326.6 million, compared with the 50-day average of Dh136.3 million.

Dubai Shares Rise to 2-Week High After Saudi Protests Fizzle; Emaar Gains - Bloomberg

Persian Gulf shares advanced, sending Dubai’s benchmark stock index to the highest level in two weeks, as protests in Saudi Arabia didn’t escalate, allaying concern that unrest in the Middle East would spread.

Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), builder of the world’s tallest skyscraper, rallied 6.7 percent and Emirates NBD PJSC (EMIRATES), the United Arab Emirates’ biggest bank, gained to the highest in almost a month after Zawya Dow Jones reported the lender expects to meet analysts’ estimates for 2011 profit. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) jumped 2.6 percent to 1,487.09, the highest intraday level since Feb. 27, at 12:06 p.m. in Dubai. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) rose 0.4 percent, following a 3.1 percent rally yesterday.

The protests in “Saudi turned out to be much calmer than anticipated, hence the strong rally in Tadawul yesterday,” said Ahmed Talhaoui, the Abu Dhabi-based head of investment at Royal Capital. “Local markets are following this technical rebound.”

UAE's Etisalat to invest $100 mln in Afghanistan | Reuters

The UAE's Etisalat plans to invest $100 million in Afghanistan between 2011 and 2012 and seeks to launch third-generation telecoms services this year, a top executive said on Sunday.

Etisalat Afghanistan's Chief Executive Saeed al Hamli said the company expects subscribers in the troubled country to more than double within two to three years and push market share to between 30 to 35 percent.

"Our budget is $100 million dollars for 2011 to 2012," al Hamli told reporters at the telco's Abu Dhabi headquarters. "We expect our subscribers to reach 6 to 6.6 million in two to three years."

Prince Alwaleed mulls Kuwait's Zain buy: report | Business | Reuters

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is considering buying a controlling stake in Kuwaiti telecom firm Zain (ZAIN.KW: Quote) at a price of 1.7 dinars ($6.12) per share, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

"Saudi businessman Alwaleed bin Talal is currently considering to submit an offer to buy a controlling stake in Zain," Kuwaiti daily newspaper al-Seyassah said in an unsourced report.

Last week, Prince Alwaleed said that his firm, Kingdom Holding 4280.SE was still in talks with Zain to buy the telecom firm's Saudi assets.

gulfnews : Dh2b capital for national enterprise development

General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has ordered an increase in the Shaikh Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development from Dh1 billion to Dh2 billion.

The Khalifa Fund will expand the scope of its services to cover all the emirates of the UAE. The decision is in accordance with the directives of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

"The directives of the leadership reflect its commitment towards Emirati youth nationwide and their creative energies. They are our sons and daughters and therefore we have to provide them with whatever is necessary to enable them to innovate and create, to further develop their talents and to contribute to the socio-economic aspirations of the UAE," Shaikh Mohammad said.

gulfnews : Regional stock markets likely to consolidate

The regional stock markets are likely to consolidate in the week ahead after having recovered from their lows triggered by civilian unrest in Libya and public demonstrations in Bahrain, Oman and Yemen, say market analysts.

"I believe the markets will try to consolidate at the levels of last week. If we don't see a break above key resistance points we will probably see some profit-taking," Mohammad Ali Yasin, chief investment officer at CAPM Investment, told Gulf News by telephone. "I don't see strong selling pressure in the week ahead as there was no increase in Middle East tensions as was widely anticipated."

Yasin said there was relief in Saudi Arabia yesterday which should set the tone of other regional markets in the week ahead.

Al Gosaibi faces a fresh $8.2bn claim - The National

The al Gosaibi business family of Saudi Arabia, which is fighting a legal battle against Maan al Sanea of the Saad Group conglomerate, is facing a fresh US$8.2 billion (Dh30.11bn) claim on its assets.

Documents before the grand court of the Cayman Islands, where much of Mr al Sanea's business was registered, show that Grant Thornton, the liquidator to the biggest Saad businesses there, is planning an action to retrieve that amount from the family partnership.

The assets, Grant Thornton claims, are in the form of financial instruments, cash and land in Saudi Arabia.

Better DIFC terms draw hedge funds - The National

Spring has sprung in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), and hedge funds are sprouting as the emirate starts to regain its position as an asset management hub.

Guna Mahalingam, a managing director at Platinum Wealth Management, which operates hedge funds, said his company was preparing to establish operations in the DIFC, with political turmoil in several countries in the region proving no deterrent to a Mena-focused fund launch expected this summer.

"It has been a long-term idea - there has been a little uncertainty after the financial crisis, and we believe while there are still a lot of question marks, we say life goes on and you've got to keep moving forward," Mr Mahalingam said.

Abu Dhabi's Insurance House breaks deadlock in 'struggling UAE IPO market' -

The Founders Committee of Insurance House announced the successful completion of the company's IPO. An overall share capital of 120 million dirham has been collected in full.

Mohammed Abdulla Alqubaisi, Chairman of Insurance House Founders ‎Committee said: "The IPO of Insurance House has broken the deadlock in the struggling UAE IPO market since more than two and a half years, and achieved outstanding success under very difficult circumstances caused by the political situation and the region's economic recession, in addition to the sharp downturn in the stock market during the subscription period".

Alqubaisi added: "The coverage of this IPO reflects the confidence of a significant segment of investors in our project, and we are committed to be extremely careful about their interests and the success of this new company".

Dubai Islamic Bank Q4 profit falls 62pc

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) posted a 62 percent drop in fourth-quarter net profit from a year earlier, Reuters calculated, as the lender beat analyst estimates.

In a statement, DIB reported a full-year profit of Dh806m, down from a net profit of Dh1.21bn in 2009. It said provisions amounted to Dh864m in 2010.

The bank, Dubai’s third-largest bank by market value, made a net profit of Dh33.2m ($9.04m) for the three months to December 31, according to Reuters calculations, compared to a Dh86.55m profit for the fourth quarter of 2009.