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Monday, 11 April 2011

MENA stock markets close - April 11, 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)

Tunisian all-clear lifts Shuaa shares in UAE - The National

The Dubai Financial Market General Index lost 0.8 per cent to 1555.78, while the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index added 0.1 per cent to 2611.21.

"UAE markets are in limbo at the moment," said Julian Bruce, the equity sales head at EFG-Hermes in Dubai. "With a complete absence of news, markets always tend to drift back on low volume and that is what we are seeing today," he said.

Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's measure added 0.1 per cent to 6346.20. Bahrain's index was unchanged at 1418.81. Oman's benchmark added 0.1 per cent to 6336.37. Qatar's index added 0.2 per cent to 8764.83. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index was unchanged at 6606.69.

Kuwait’s Global Investment wants to cancel capital hike - Arab News

Kuwait’s Global Investment House shareholders will vote later this month on canceling a previous approval of a 76 percent capital hike.

Global’s shareholders will vote on April 28 on “canceling the approval of the general assembly on May 5, 2010, for the capital hike worth KD100m ($361.7m),” the firm said in a statement on the Kuwaiti bourse website.

Global did not give a reason for the move.

Middle East Crude-Al-Shaheen stronger, Saudi allocations steady | Energy & Oil | Reuters

A firm tone prevailed in the Middle East crude market on Monday even after Saudi Arabia announced steady supplies for term customers in May, as
prospective outflows from the region towards Europe and the U.S. supported distillate-rich grades.

Qatar's heavy, sour al-Shaheen crude was heard sold at a premium of about $1.20 a barrel to Dubai quotes by Danish producer Maersk in some of the first spot trades for June-loading supplies, confirming a firmer trend for physical deals.

Al-Shaheen for May-loading last month traded at premiums of between 40 and 70 cents.

UAE bourses upgrade settlement ahead of MSCI ruling | Reuters

UAE domestic bourses will launch a new settlement system on April 28, the country's regulator said on Monday, a key step that will bolster the country's chances of earning MSCI emerging market status.

Dubai Financial Market DFM.DU .DFMGI and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange .ADI will adopt a Deliver Versus Payment (DvP) system -- the global standard -- the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) said.

After snubbing the UAE for a second time in 2010, index compiler MSCI warned domestic bourses must change from dual account structures such as separate custody and trading accounts.

Ex-BP boss eyes trio for new investment fund: report - Maktoob News

Petrofac chairman Rodney Chase, ex-Corus chairman Jim Leng and former Enterprise Oil chairman Graham Hearne are expected to be asked to join the board of a new energy investment fund being set-up by Tony Hayward, the Sunday Times said.

Former BP Plc chief executive Hayward, who stepped down at BP over his handling of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year, is hoping to raise about 1 billion pounds ($1.64 billion) in a London float in the next six months.

Hayward is expected to team up with financier Nat Rothschild and Julian Metherell, who is to leave Goldman Sachs as head of investment this summer.

Egypt's Citadel Capital to delay Taqa Arabia IPO | Reuters

Egypt's Citadel Capital has postponed plans for the initial public offering (IPO) of its electricity and natural gas distributor Taqa Arabia because of lower valuation prospects, a senior executive said on Monday.

The private equity firm, which originally planned to list shares of Taqa Arabia in June, now sees an IPO by late 2011, said Stephen Murphy, managing director for institutional fundraising at Citadel.

"If public markets were closed in Egypt for a while, it's only natural that you are not going to get full value for your investments," he said.

Moody's upgrades DP World to Baa3; outlook stable - Transport - Zawya

Moody's Investors Service has today upgraded to Baa3 from Ba1 the long-term foreign and domestic currency ratings of DP WorldLimited ("DP World" or "the company") and the rating on the USD 1.5 billion sukuk issued by DP World Sukuk Limited and due 2017. All ratings have a stable outlook.


"Today's one-notch upgrade of DP World into investment grade reflects Moody's view that the company has achieved credit metrics that are commensurate with a higher rating category and are likely to be maintained over the medium term," says Franck Nowak, Associate Analyst at Moody's in Dubai. Specifically, Moody's notes (1) the company's rapid recovery in terms of operating performance over 2010 and continuing into 2011; (2) the sound industry fundamentals for the port operators; and (3) material, credit-positive actions taken by DP World to adhere to self-assigned financial targets. These factors incorporate the prospect of this performance being maintained in the medium term. More specifically, gross throughput for the group rose by 14% in 2010 compared to the previous year while DP World reported strong EBITDA margins -- above 46% for 2010 as adjusted by Moody's -- which have helped cash generation. Moreover, the disposal of the company's Australian assets, with USD 1.5 billon of proceeds earmarked for debt reduction, is also credit-positive and reflects DP World's commitment to reducing and maintaining its leverage (expressed as net debt to EBITDA as reported by the company) to below 4.0x.

Moody's says that the current Baa3 ratings are sustained by the company's diversified global operations, the expected growth in international container traffic as well as solid profitability and a strong liquidity profile. The Baa3 ratings also rest on the expected improvements in DP World's financial profile through the adherence to its leverage target, as well as the built-in flexible approach to future growth spending so as to ensure anticipated improvements in the capital structure. The ratings remain constrained by the inherent volatility of the industry and risks that are linked to its strong correlation to global trade volumes. Event risk is also a constraint, although Moody's expects DP World to refrain from large-scale acquisitions.

MENA stock markets 1.00 p.m. GMT+4

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)

Tunisian Financial Market Council lifts freeze on SHUAA's accounts in Tunisia

SHUAA Capital, the GCC region's leading financial institution, today announces that the Tunisian Financial Market Council has lifted the freeze on its brokerage accounts in Tunisia.

The Tunisian Financial Market Council previously ordered 123 firms in Tunisia to suspend their trading accounts, including SHUAA Capital, until it could confirm that there were no connections with individuals who are currently under investigation by the authorities in Tunisia. Based on documents provided by SHUAA Capital, the Tunisian Financial Market Council stated that all securities held by SHUAA Capital in Tunisia are fully owned by the firm and not by any individuals who are currently under investigation by the authorities in Tunisia.

Leighton Plans A$757 Million Raising After Turning to Loss

Leighton Holdings Ltd., Australia’s biggest builder, will sell A$757 million ($800 million) of stock after forecasting a loss because of project cost overruns and charges against its venture with Dubai’s Al Habtoor Group.

The shares will be sold at A$22.50 apiece through a 1-for-9 entitlement offer, a 22 percent discount to the last traded price of A$28.94 on April 6, Sydney-based Leighton said in a statement today. Parent Hochtief AG, Germany’s largest listed builder, will take up its full entitlement in the sale.

The Australian company will take A$907 million in writebacks and impairments in the year ending June, leading to an annual loss of A$427 million, after forecasting net income of A$480 million two months ago. Chief Executive Officer David Stewart, who ended Wal King’s 23 years in charge when he took the role Jan. 1, flagged changes to the way Leighton bids for contracts after delays at the Brisbane Airport Link road and cost overruns at a desalination plant in Victoria state.

Global takaful growth expected to exceed 30%

Forecasts for global gross takaful contributionsGlobal Takaful (Islamic insurance) contributions are expected to grow 31 per cent this year to $12 billion (Dh44 billion) this year compared to $9.15 billion in 2010, according to an Ernst & Young's World Takaful Report 2011: Transforming Operating Performance, unveiled at the sixth Annual World Takaful Conference 2011 yesterday.
"The takaful industry and its core markets have experienced another challenging year, where positive signs of economic recovery and improved business sentiment were shaken by the socio-political uncertainty witnessed across the Middle East and North Africa [Mena] region in the first quarter of 2011," said Ashar Nazim, Executive Director and Islamic Financial Services Leader, Ernst & Young.
The takaful industry is concentrated mainly in the Mena and Southeast Asia regions, with Saudi Arabia (contributions totalling $3.86 billion in 2009), Malaysia with $1.15 billion and the UAE ($640 million) being the top takaful markets.

UAE bourses eye MSCI upgrade

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange is "positive" about MSCI Inc upgrading the UAE's bourses to emerging market status this year, said Rashed Al Beloushi, deputy chief executive officer.

The country's bourses have met most requirements for the MSCI upgrade and the so-called delivery-versus-payment remains the main criteria to be implemented, Al Baloushi said in a telephone interview yesterday. Abu Dhabi's exchange is coordinating with the Dubai Financial Market to implement DvP, he said.

MSCI classifies six of the Gulf's seven bourses, including those in the UAE and Qatar, as frontier markets. Saudi Arabia's market is not categorised.

Investcorp targets US property

The asset management firm yesterday announced the purchase of a 12,545 square metre shopping centre in Coral Springs, Florida. It was Investcorp's third commercial property deal in the US in recent weeks for the company, bringing its total value of purchases to US$120 million (Dh440.7m).

The deals represent a shift in strategy for Investcorp, which controls $12.2 billion in assets.

The firm focuses on US investments, but last year its activity centred on buying distressed debt and equity, not property, said a company spokesman.

Islamic finance industry needs more experts

Islamic finance might be on a dizzying growth trajectory but Sharia scholars qualified to make rulings on complex banking and investment products remain a scarce commodity.

Often referred to as the industry's gatekeepers, scholars must give their approval before Islamic banks can launch savings schemes, offer financing and make many other business decisions.

They evaluate the compliance of all sorts of investment products including Islamic bonds and mortgages, and hold vast sway over an industry now estimated to be worth more than US$1 trillion (Dh3.67tn).

Sale of family jewels a chastening lesson for Damas brothers

There is no better wake-up call for lazy investors and cynical executives than the saga of Damas International, which last week was revealed to be more convoluted and parlous than previously thought.

Rather than look at the case as an individual incident at a company in Dubai, it should become the definitive guide for the region on how not to make the transition from a family-owned firm to a publicly traded company.

The beginnings of the story are well known. Three sons of the third generation of a 104-year-old jewellery business are held responsible by the regulator of the Dubai International Financial Centre for withdrawing Dh365 million of cash (US$99.3m) and nearly two tonnes of gold from Damas without shareholder approval. After being fined and censured, they resign their executive positions and sign a deal to pay back the company.

After the turmoil, investors' interest in Egypt remains bullish

In the midst of the popular uprising in Egypt that eventually led to the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, Marianne Ghali thought she might lose an important US$100 million (Dh367.2m) deal that had long been in the works to build a new paper mill.

The financing arrangement was just the type her company Sphinx Private Equity Management had been set up to create: private equity investments in small and medium-size businesses to take advantage of the rapid growth of Egypt's economy.

"There was a gap of one month, where all communication was down," said Ms Ghali, the chairman of Sphinx. "As soon as things started up again, I spoke to the senior management of the groups we were talking to and said 'let's take a macro position on Egypt. Are you still interested in the country'?"

Leighton picture as solid as a mirage in the Dubai desert

WITH the flick of an auditor's quill, Leighton's vaunted $480 million full-year profit -- as guided in late February -- will morph into a $427m loss.

That's the magic of the construction and contracting giant's game for you: one or two contract snafus among a $45 billion book and the earnings picture becomes as solid as a shimmering mirage in the deserts outside Dubai.

One doesn't need to be a maths genius to discern that, in effect, Leighton has revealed $907m of post-tax writedowns (or, in the case of the Queensland Airport Link and Victorian desal projects, a write-back of expected profits)