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Thursday, 14 April 2011

Bahrain's GFH posts $349 mln loss for 2010 | Reuters

Bahrain's troubled Gulf Finance House GFHB.BH (GFHK.KW) halved its losses in 2010 and said it had raised $100 million in fresh capital, the investment firm said on Thursday.

GFH is one of the Bahraini investment firms badly hit by a 2008 regional property crunch that ended its business model of raising finance for private equity and real estate projects.

It said in a statement its full-year net loss was $349 million, compared with $728 million in 2009 when it wrote down part of its real estate portfolio.

MENA stock markets close - April 14, 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)

Dubai Shares Rise Fifth Day on Political Stability, Earnings Expectations - Bloomberg

Dubai shares rose a fifth day on bets quarterly earnings will beat expectations and as investors turned to assets in the United Arab Emirates, which has been spared from protests that toppled governments in North Africa.

Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), builder of the world’s tallest tower, headed for the highest close since January and Aramex PJSC, the Middle East’s largest courier company, advanced 1.1 percent. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) climbed 0.3 percent to 1,605.69 at 11:34 a.m. in Dubai, bringing the gain for the week to 3.2 percent. Abu Dhabi’s index rose 0.1 percent, while the Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200) was little changed.

“Selected companies in the U.A.E. are expected to report strong first-quarter numbers,” said Ziad Dabbas, a financial analyst at National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC (NBAD), the U.A.E.’s second- largest lender by assets. “Dubai is looked at as a place with political stability, unlike most of the rest of the region, and that encourages investors.”

Dubai's Nakheel May Sell Assets, Won't Launch IPO Or New Sukuk -Chmn - Zawya

Nakheel, the real-estate unit of Dubai government-owned conglomerate Dubai World, may sell assets to meet future cash needs but has no intention of launching an initial public offering or Islamic bonds any time soon, the company's chairman said.

"If needed, we might sell some of our assets. It is in our plan," Ali Rashed Lootah told Zawya Dow Jones in an interview this week.

However, the company is "not under pressure now to make any sale," he said

Social unrest puting a damper on Middle East real estate markets, says S&P report -

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services takes a closer look at the current landscape in property markets in the Arabic-speaking countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in a report published today titled "Social Unrest Rattles Middle East And North Africa Real Estate Markets."

"Popular unrest and political upheaval in the Arabic-speaking Middle East and North Africa countries is putting a damper on regional property markets," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Tommy Trask, "and many real estate projects--planned or in progress--in areas directly affected are subject to delays and cancellations."

Hardest hit are the leisure and high-end residential segments. In addition, some real estate companies are obligated to address damages to buildings, resulting from looting and violent demonstrations.

Damas gets close to final deal - Emirates 24/7

Damas International Limited has overcome adifficult scenario with the signing of the agreement for the restructuring of debt valued at about Dh3 billion, according to Ibrahim Belsaleh company chairman.

In an interview with Al Bayan Business, Belsaleh said that the company is going to turn the page of debt with the completion of the signing of the agreement for the liquidation of assets of the Abdullah brothers in Damas real estate.

He noted that access to debt owed by the brothers Abdullah which is Dh614 million is a very important issue as it will allow calculation of cash flows more clearly and accurately. It is important for brothers Abdullah to refund the amount within the fixed period so they avoid exposure to certain actions.

gulfnews : GCC discusses restructuring of financial regulatory systems

The third meeting of the heads of securities regulators in member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was held here yesterday.

The meeting, presided over by Abdullah Al Turaifi, Chief Executive Officer of the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), discussed a number of issues, including proposals from the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait.

The UAE proposal deals with the restructuring of the financial regulatory systems, while the Qatari and Kuwaiti proposals deal with the signing of memorandum of understanding among GCC regulators to boost cooperation and the setting up of a resource centre for GCC securities markets respectively.

TDIC to raise $1bn with bonds - The National

The Abu Dhabi Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) is planning to raise another US$1 billion (Dh3.67bn) under an existing bond programme in the next year as it increases construction activity on Saadiyat Island.

The money is expected to be used to fund TDIC projects, which include additions to its destination hotels such as the Qasr al Sarab in the Empty Quarter, as well as construction of three major museums on Saadiyat Island.

In 2009, TDIC launched a facility that comprised $3bn of medium-term notes and a $1.45bn Islamic bond. The company issued $2bn of debt under that facility. A new issuance would be the first debt-raising for TDIC in about two years.

Delivery payment system is no cure-all - The National

The markets welcomed a decision this week to enforce a key settlement system as a boost to the UAE's chances of earning MSCI's "emerging market" status.

But the announcement of the delivery versus payment (DvP) system is not exactly a cure-all for market woes.

DvP, where securities are delivered and cash received on the same day, will help to minimise the risks from the delivery and receipt of securities, the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) said this week.

Gulf Times – Dubai needs extra steps to resolve debt uncertainties: IMF

Dubai needs to take additional steps to address uncertainties surrounding the solvency of its government-related enterprises and to mitigate the risks they pose to the government’s balance sheet, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday.

In its Global Financial Stability Report, the IMF said Dubai should enhance transparency and information disclosure, take steps to ensure government-related companies can operate without recourse to government guarantees, and strengthen risk management.

Government-owned Dubai World has already reached an agreement with creditor banks to restructure about $25bn of debt, but other government-related entities, such as Dubai Holding and Dubai Group, are still negotiating debt restructuring agreements.

THE DAILY STAR : Africa may gain as Egypt delays sukuk

Egypt may lose out to Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya in attracting Muslim wealth after political unrest forced the North African country to postpone plans to introduce Islamic bond regulation.

Egypt delayed the release of a timeline for the guidelines of corporate Islamic bonds sales to May from the first quarter, following protests that led to the removal of former President Hosni Mubarak, said Ashraf al-Sharkawy, chairman of the Cairo-based Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority. Nigeria plans to license at least two Shariah-compliant institutions by year-end and Mauritius set minimum disclosure standards for financial statements from banks offering Islamic services.

“Egypt is one of the biggest markets in the region, but the problem so far has been the lack of regulation,” Abdel Hamid Abou Mousa, the chief executive officer of Cairo-based Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt, one of three Shariah-complaint lenders in the country, said by phone April 6. “When we have sukuk no doubt they will have a market among Gulf investors who are looking for places for their money.” Faisal Islamic may issue sukuk once regulations are in place, he said.

Goldman’s bearish call on crude MarketWatch First Take - MarketWatch

Goldman Sachs put out another of its seminal research notes Tuesday on crude prices, going to great lengths to explain why oil’s recent rally is not likely to last.

It was noticed. May crude futures fell more than $4 in New York at $105.47 a barrel Tuesday. On Monday, they’d briefly traded above $113. Read the latest action in crude futures.

This is the same firm that in 2008 said oil prices were headed for $200. That was the year of the great commodities spike. Though the barrel never reached $200, it cleared $147 that June. By then, you can bet a lot of the big funds were laughing all the way to the bank, leaving latecomers with long positions that quickly turned sour.

FT Alphaville » Cash, oil and barter in Libya

Last month FT Alphaville asked: “Might access to Libyan oil decide the conflict just yet?”

News from both rebel- and regime-held parts of Libya on Tuesday and Wednesday provide a bit more help in answering this question, which could become ever more important to the ensuing civil war. And to a growing humanitarian crisis: the World Food Programme warned Wednesday that 3.6 million people may need aid given that Libya’s publicly subsidised food system is in tatters.

Representatives of the rebels met with Arab and African officials in Doha on Wednesday. Nato, meanwhile, is divided on the desired intensity and frequency of air strikes, reports the New York Times. Le Monde adds that the French foreign minister, Alain Juppé, has called on others to carry out more attack flights, echoing previous comments by William Hague, the UK foreign secretary.