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Sunday, 27 March 2011

Rebels say Qatar ready to market east Libyan oil | Energy & Oil | Reuters

A senior Libyan rebel official said on Sunday that Gulf oil producer Qatar had agreed to market crude oil produced from east Libyan fields which are no longer in the control of Muammar Gaddafi.

"We contacted the oil company of Qatar and thankfully they agreed to take all the oil that we wish to export and market this oil for us," said Ali Tarhouni, a rebel official in charge of economic, financial and oil matters, in the rebel-held eastern city of Benghazi.

"Our next shipment will be in less than a week."

QR6bn Festival City planned in Qatar - Arab News

Al Futtaim Group and Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) announced on Sunday that construction for the 6-billion-Qatar riyal Doha Festival City will start next month following the appointment of the project’s managers, architects and engineers.

The mega complex is located 15km north of Doha on Al Shamal Road, one of the main arterial routes to the city center, connecting Doha with Bahrain via the ‘Friendship’ bridge.

The entertainment, retail, hospitality and commercial complex is set to become a driving force behind Qatar’s diverse economic development.

MENA stock markets close - March 27, 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)

UAE, Qatar gain on confidence, foreign funds - Markets -

Dubai's index DFM reached a five-week closing high, with investors more optimistic that earnings will improve in 2011.

Emaar Properties climbed 1 percent, Emirates NBD rose 0.3 percent and Arabtec added 0.6 percent.

"There's been a re-rating in the UAE market, partially driven by strength in Saudi Arabia," said Walid Shihabi, Shuaa Securities chief executive.

Invest AD asset mgt arm buying Egypt stocks | Reuters

Abu Dhabi-owned Invest AD's asset management arm has been buying Egyptian stocks this week as the stock exchange reopened after seven weeks and stock prices reached attractive levels, the firm's CIO said on Thursday.

"We reduced our position in Egypt to 14 percent from 25 percent when the Tunisian revolution broke out and before the Egyptian market closed," David Sanders told Reuters on the sidelines of a Thomson Reuters Africa investment conference.

"We are already buying Egyptian stocks and for those Egyptian stocks which have long-term potential, we are looking to get back in. We believe the prices a year or two from now will be higher than they are today."

Egypt Shares Rally Most in 15 Months as Speculation 2011 Drop Is Overdone - Bloomberg

Egyptian shares advanced, sending the benchmark index up the most in more than 15 months and forcing a 30-minute trading suspension, on speculation the 12 percent decline last week was overdone.

The EGX 30 Index (EGX30) climbed 4.9 percent, the most since December 2009, to 5,195.47 as of 12:05 p.m. in Cairo. Orascom Construction Industries, Egypt’s biggest publicly traded builder, rose for the second day. Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE (COMI), the nation’s largest lender, surged 7.1 percent, the most since July 2010, to 31.89 pounds. The EGX 100 Index rose 7 percent.

“The whole market is cheap,” Ashraf Akhnoukh, senior equity sales trader at Cairo-based Commercial International Brokerage, said before the market opened. “Investors are looking for cheap and safe stocks.” Orascom Construction is a top stock pick because of its “international and regional” operations, he said.

GCC Corporate Earnings - Q4 and 2010 earnings until third week of March

As of third week of March 2011, we have 90% visibility in terms of market cap and 72% visibility in terms of number of companies to measure performance in GCC corporate earnings. Saudi Arabia enjoys 100% market capitalization visibility while Bahrain lags at 69%, the lowest in the GCC region. In terms of GCC Corporate Earnings visibility, Saudi Arabia leads the region with 95% visibility while Kuwait lags at 37%.
During 2010, GCC Corporate earnings grew by 25% YoY to USD43.1 Bn. The earnings were driven by an increase in the region’s commodities, telecom and banking segments’ earnings. Saudi Arabia (at 95% coverage) reported 34% YoY growth in corporate earnings to USD20.8 Bn in 2010 aided by commodities sector. KSA’s earnings received a boost from the commodities sector led by SABIC, which reported earnings of USD5.7 Bn in 2010. However, the real estate sector’s profits contracted 38% in YoY in 2010.

Kuwait recorded one of the fastest growths in earnings though on the back of poor visibility. Banks and Telecom led this surge. NBK and Zain are notable performers. Oman’s earnings increased 15% YoY in 2010, led by financial services sector.

Emirates repays $500 mln bond, on track for record year - Maktoob News

Emirates, one of the Arab world's largest carriers, said on Sunday that it had repaid a $500 million bond that was due this month and it is on course for a "record breaking" financial year.

The bond, listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, was originally issued in 2004 with a seven year term.

"The repayment of this bond is part of Emirates overall financing strategy," the airline's chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said in a statement.

Egypt stocks open strong, triggering market halt - Maktoob News

Egypt's stock market is reversing two days of earlier declines, with the broader EGX100 index surging almost 5.1 percent within minutes of the market's opening in a rally that forced a halt in trading.

The gains Sunday on the Egyptian Exchange followed two days of losses as the market resumed operations after an almost two-month halt because of the unrest that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

Traders said the EGX100 surged 5.06 percent in under five minutes, triggering a "circuit-breaker" that suspends trade for 30 minutes if the index moves more than 5 percent.

A rush to buy Egyptian bargains as exchange opens - The National

Bargain hunters are expected to be busy in the Egyptian stock market this week as undervalued shares are overriding uncertainty about the country's political situation.

Modest gains were a surprise last week after trading resumed on the Egyptian Exchange for the first time in 38 business days.

The benchmark EGX 100 Index ended the week 0.9 per cent higher as foreign investors swept in on shares available at 10 per cent below their average trading value.

Investor focus shifting to dividends - The National

Barring new political shocks, investors will turn their attention this week to dividend distributions and earnings predictions as the quarter comes to a close.

Regional bourses are coming off solid gains last week.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index reached a one-month high on Thursday, closing at 1,552.81 points. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index advanced 1.1 per cent for the week to 2,632.95. The ADIB Islamic Index on MSCI UAE increased by 4.8 per cent to 924.5.

GCC fund for recovery is urged - The National

Saudi Arabia and other GCC states should consider creating a regional bank for reconstruction and development to help to rebuild regional economies suffering upheaval and inequality, says the chief economist of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Dr Nasser Saidi said such an effort, modelled after the US-led Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe after the Second World War, may be needed as Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and other nations struggle with an uncertain future due to political instability.

"One of the things we may need to put on our agenda is a 'King Abdullah Plan'," Dr Saiditold the Jeddah Economic Forum, suggesting the fund be named after the leader of the region's top economic power, Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Shoura Council May Pass Mortgage Law Within a Week, Al Madina Says - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s Shoura consultative council may pass the draft mortgage law next Sunday, Al Madina newspaper reported, citing council member Majdi Hariri.

Some 60 percent of Saudi citizens who don’t own homes are waiting for the law to be passed, the newspaper said.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank hires Goldman to sell US$1.4 billion RHB stake -

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) has hired Goldman Sachs to sell its 25% stake in Malaysian bank RHB Capital valued at US$1.4 billion, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Saturday.

ADCB had shortlisted three to four banks and was still deciding whether to appoint a second adviser for the sale, sources added.

The proposed sale is expected to draw interest from Chinese banks and other Asian buyers due to Malaysia's rapidly growing economy, though lack of control could deter strategic buyers from bidding aggressively, sources said.

A Purge Too Far? | The Weekly Standard

During Egypt’s Papyrus Revolution, the state’s jails were emptied. Hundreds of convicts​—​Islamists and secularists alike​—​escaped and vanished. Still -others were released by the doomed Mubarak regime to attack pro-democracy demonstrators in Tahrir Square. Some foreign terrorists in Egyptian custody even quit their cells and auto-repatriated to Gaza and Lebanon.

Egyptian Protest


More than a month after longtime Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was removed from power, Egypt’s jails are again filling up. But this time, it’s not the usual Islamist suspects behind bars. Instead, Egypt’s holding cells and court dockets are swelling with senior officials of the fallen Mubarak regime.

Like post-Saddam Iraq circa 2003, Egypt is in the early stages of its own de-Baathification process, purging and prosecuting former Mubarak regime functionaries. Some members of the former regime, including Minister of the Interior Habib el-Adly and four of his deputies, have been indicted for killing protesters during the Tahrir Square demonstrations. To date, though, more than murder and torture, members of the Mubarak regime are being charged with financial corruption and illegal profiteering.

Business : UAE stocks may firm up gains

UAE markets are expected to consolidate recent gains before moving higher during this week due to positive indicators after Dubai World’s final deal, analysts say.

The stock markets recorded modest gains last week as strong bulls over powered bears despite the biggest-ever Western military action in the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The Dubai Financial Market’s General Index rose 5.51 per cent to 1,552.81 points amid gains in banking, real estate and construction sectors.