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Monday, 28 March 2011

FT Alphaville » Libyan crude, liberated?

On Monday, Qatar gave diplomatic recognition to Libya’s rebels.

On Saturday — Qatar Petroleum had agreed to market Libyan oil controlled by the rebels to international buyers.

Now there’s this via Reuters, solving another rebel oil problem:

Crude oil sales by Libyan rebels would not be subject to U.S. sanctions if the transactions are done outside the National Oil Corp and other sanctioned entities in Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, a Treasury Department official said on Monday.

Just so long as the rebels didn’t use the Libyan central bank to pay buyers. Not a problem. They have their own central bank now.

So is the counterparty risk associated with buying Libyan oil crumbling?

Egypt’s rally: can it last? | beyondbrics –

The massacre that was widely expected when Egypt’s bourse finally reopened its doors after a revolution and several weeks of clumsily-handled closure has turned out to be nothing more than some slight bloodletting – followed by a dramatic rally.

After collapsing the maximum allowed by automatic circuit-breakers within seconds of opening on Wednesday – and closing down 8.3 per cent – the benchmark EGX30 index fell only 4.2 per cent on Thursday, and has jumped this week.

Indeed, the recent rallies have been so strong that the automatic emergency circuit-breakers that were put in place to prevent the bourse from collapsing completely have actually occasionally halted surges this week. On Sunday, the EGX30 closed up 5.3 per cent, and on Monday chalked up another 1 per cent gain.

Qatar plans to spend over $125 bln in 2011-2016 | Energy & Oil | Reuters

Qatar plans to spend over $125 billion in the next five years on construction and hydrocarbon-related projects, the OPEC member's new national development strategy showed on Monday. The economy of the world's top liquefied natural gas exporter should expand by 15.7 percent this year before slowing down to 7.1 percent in 2012, according to a baseline scenario in the document, which outlines Qatari plans for 2011-2016.

"This year, it (economic growth) is going to be very high, next year it will be less, but still in double digits," the emir's economic adviser Ibrahim al-Ibrahim told reporters.

"That (7.1 percent in 2012) projection was based on a price of oil that is now higher. The impact of the expansion in oil, and especially gas has not been felt in the economy yet," said Ibrahim, secretary general at the General Secretariat for Development and Planning.

Dubai's Damas says completed $872 mln debt restructuring - Maktoob News

Middle East jeweller Damas International said on Monday it has reached a final agreement with all its lenders and completed the restructuring of its $872 million debt.

"The financial restructuring is done," its chief executive Anan Fakhreddin told Reuters over the telephone from Riyadh.

"We've reached 100 percent restructuring of our debt."

Dubai's sukuk rise most in year on debt accords - Sukuk -

The yield on Dubai's Islamic bond fell the most in more than a year last week, leading a rally in Arabian Gulf sukuk, as government-related companies complete debt restructurings and posted better-than-expected earnings.

The yield on Dubai’s 6.396 percent dollar sukuk due in November 2014 fell to a record low 5.59 percent March 25, taking the weekly decline to 57 basis points, the most since the week ended March 5, 2010, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The difference in yield between Dubai’s Islamic note and the Malaysian government’s 3.928 percent Islamic note due June 2015 dropped 72 basis points, or 0.72 percentage point, to 275, the lowest on record, the data shows.

Dubai World, the state-owned holding company that sought to alter the terms on about $25bn of debt, signed a final accord with lenders last week, overcoming investors’ concern the emirate may default on borrowings. Government-controlled DP World Ltd, the world’s fourth-biggest port operator, reported a 13 percent increase in profit last year as global trade rose.

Mubadala to start fixed income road show on April 6 - Maktoob News

Abu Dhabi-owned fund Mubadala will kick off a global fixed income roadshow in London on April 6, a source at one of the arranging banks said on Monday.

Barclays Capital, HSBC, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Societe Generale CIB, and Standard Chartered Bank will arrange the meetings, which run til April 12, in Europe, Asia, and the United States and United Arab Emirates.

Earlier this month, a Mubadala executive said there was a "definite possibility" of a benchmark bond this year.

Natural gas enters revival era - Hurriyet Daily

As natural gas prices bounce back after a heavy slump during past years, experts have explained short and long-term mechanisms behind future price increases.

"We have to differentiate between long and short-term prices, but it's obvious that both will rise in the future as a result of the current situation and due to gas contracts being priced in accordance with oil," said Mert Bilgin, an energy expert and associate professor at Bahçeşehir University.

"In the short term, the Libyan crisis is affecting spot prices [immediate selling price], while long-term gas contracts signed in upcoming months or years will be based on previous oil prices, which are currently over $100 per barrel," he told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.

Egypt stocks rally for second day - Maktoob News

Trading on Egypt's stock exchange has been halted for a fourth consecutive session after the market rallied sharply in the first 15 minutes of trade.

The Egyptian Exchange's benchmark EGX30 index surged over 7 percent early Monday while the broader EGX100 climbed 5 percent. The EGX100's gain triggering a 30 minute suspension of trading set in place to protect the market that had been closed for almost two months amid fallout from the unrest that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak.

The rally came as bargain hunters stepped into the market, driving up prices and building on the previous day's 5 percent gain in the benchmark index.

Saudi Arabia's break-even oil price $80 a barrel, Saidi says - Energy -

Saudi Arabia’s break-even oil price was about $80 a barrel in 2010, the chief economist at Dubai International Financial Centre Authority said.

The kingdom uses as much oil domestically as Germany, which has four times as many people, Nasser Saidi said at a conference in Dubai on Monday.

The break-even oil price for many countries in the Middle East is about $80-$85 a barrel, making them very vulnerable to fluctuations in prices as it’s easy to increase spending but a lot harder to bring that spending down, he said.

MENA stock markets mid-morning markets 07hrsGMT - March 28, 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)

Oman’s Ruler Creates Authority for Investment, Export, ONA Says - Bloomberg

Oman’s ruler Sultan Qaboos Said Al- Said has issued a royal decree establishing the Omani Center for Investment Promotion and Exports Development, state-run Oman News Agency reported.

The center will be a division of the newly established Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Exports Development, in accordance with the decree, ONA said.

Salim bin Nasser al Ismail has been named chairman of the authority with the rank of minister, the agency said.

Nasdaq Dubai in listing overhaul - Emirates 24/7

The Nasdaq Dubai released on January 18, 2011, a consultation paper inviting all stock exchange stakeholders to provide comments to a number of proposed listing rule changes.

This is the second consultation paper issued since the rules were adopted in 2005.

The previous consultation paper, released somewhat cryptically in 2008, was largely perceived by stakeholders as a failure to either clarify the existing regime or to improve the conditions for listing to make the stock exchange more attractive to international and regional companies seeking to list – and thus help the Nasdaq Dubai to become the regional stock exchange that it has always aspired to become.

Saudi Gazette - Gulf stock markets gathering momentum

Gulf stocks maintained upward momentum Sunday as investors reacted to news that the Shoura Council had debated a draft mortgage law aimed at bringing private lenders into the market.

Saudi Arabia’s stock benchmark Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) gained 0.21 percent at 6,519.76.

Regional markets also took their cue from a strong performance on Egypt’s benchmark EGX30, which climbed 5.3 percent, the most since December 2009. The measure dropped to its lowest level in almost two years last week after reopening for the first time since the unrest that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

gulfnews : GCC Focus: Qatar's growth model an eye-opener

Credible economic sources disagree on the extent but not the ability of Qatar's economy to register steady growth rates. For instance, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) put Qatar's gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 16 per cent in 2010 only to raise it to 20 per cent in 2011.

Similarly, a recent report issued by Samba bank of Saudi Arabia projects Qatar's GDP growth at 19 per cent for 2011, up from 16 per cent in 2010. Joyfully, all these figures are in real terms, meaning adjusted for inflation. Fortunately, inflationary threats are not substantial nowadays notwithstanding rising oil prices.

In fact, inflation was a real problem in 2007 and part of 2008 at the height of rising oil prices together with the declining value of the American currency. Oil prices reached a record $147 per barrel in July 2008 only to drop sharply as the global financial crisis began to unfold. However, changing circumstances relating to the global financial crisis and new insights gained on the way have helped keep inflationary pressures in check.

After turmoil in Tunisia, hopes are high for the future - The National

When I arrived in Tunisia this month, I found a country in disarray.

Factories had been burnt to the ground during the mass protests that ousted Zine el Abidine Ben Ali from the presidency in January. Shattered store windows were a common sight on the main Bourguiba Street in downtown Tunis. Tourism had ground to a halt. The political system was a shambles, with elections for a constitutional congress slated for July but little in the way of an order in place.

As the conditions make abundantly clear, the future for Tunisia's economy and business environment remains uncertain. Yet today's unsettled, chaotic atmosphere masks what I came to see as the country's possible long-term promise. Believe it or not, little Tunisia could set an example that other countries where protests have flared may find hard to follow. While the dust has yet to settle, the Tunisian situation also illustrates that economic outcomes for countries caught up in the wave of Arab unrest could vary widely. - Porsche tempts investors with 30% discount

Porsche is attempting to lure investors to its €5bn ($7bn) capital increase with a discount of more than 30 per cent after banks agreed to guarantee the planned share placement.

The German sports car maker said at the weekend that a syndicate of banks had offered to underwrite the new shares at a price of €38 a share. The discount to last week’s closing price of €56 reflected continuing uncertainties over a planned merger with Volkswagen, as well as market jitters in the wake of the crises in Japan and the Middle East, industry insiders said.

Porsche said on Sunday night it was waiting for its supervisory and executive boards to approve the subscription price and the details of the rights issue plan.

Regional unrest lifts UAE banks - The National

Bank deposits in the UAE picked up last month as regional unrest bolstered the financial system's safe haven status.

Deposits advanced 2.1 per cent to Dh1.07trillion (US$293.7bn) compared with the previous month, according to the latest Central Bank data.

"This is compatible with the idea of regional unrest having an impact, although there are other potential reasons behind the rise," said a banking analyst based in Dubai, who asked to remain anonymous.

Bahrain centre awaits normality - The National

At least 17 of the 53 floors of offices at the Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH) are empty.

Echoes of lonely footsteps and the hushed murmurs of security guards are about the only sounds resonating in the marble-floored centre. Armoured military vehicles are parked outside the towers in a sign that normality has still not returned after weeks of protests.

The BFH is also the new headquarters of the Bahrain Stock Exchange, one of just 12 occupants at one of the twin towers, although the exchange had to move to a backup site for several days when access to the centre was blocked.