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Friday, 22 April 2011

Saudi Arabia may expand oil production to meet global demands

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, is considering expanding its oil production to meet rising demands led by growth in China, India and the Middle East.

The top oil exporter needs to pump at least 9 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude for the next few years to meet demands, according to a Reuters report citing a Petroleum Intelligence Weekly study. Discussions are understood to be taking place in Riyadh on whether the kingdom should raise oil output capacity beyond its current 12.5 million bpd. China’s current daily consumption of imported oil of 7 million barrels is expected to double by 2020, perhaps even earlier; India’s current oil imports are expected to triple to 5 million barrels by 2020. Both countries have among the fastest economic-growth rates in the world, import oil mainly from Gulf States.

Saudi Arabia’s proven crude oil reserves are 264.39 billion barrels, out of a total world figure of 1.33 trillion barrels. (Of this figure, the 12 members-states of OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, account for 79.60 percent, or 1.06 trillion; non-OPEC states, such as Canada, Russia, Norway and the United States, account for 272.9 billion barrels, or nearly 21 percent.)

Turkcell shares suspended on Istanbul bourse - Hurriyet Daily

The Istanbul Stock Exchange, or ISE, announced Friday that shares of Turkey’s biggest mobile-phone operator, Turkcell, had been temporarily suspended upon a request of the company.

The company decided to suspend its shares to prevent its investors from making losses, Anatolia news agency reported Friday. Turkcell will remain suspended from trade on the ISE will until further notice from the company, according the announcement from the ISE.

“Turkcell shares on the ISE may continue to be suspended from trading until the next general assembly, which may generate a solution to the corporate governance situation,” Evgeny Dumalkin, the deputy chief of Russia’s Altimo, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Friday. Dumalkin had said earlier on Thursday afternoon that the rejection of TeliaSonera's and Altimo's proposal to oust Turkcell’s chairman Colin Williams could affect the Turkcell share prices on the ISE.

WAM: UAE is faring well : VP

Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum received at Al Bahr Palace in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, CEOs of Arab and international companies operating in the UAE in different investment, trade, industrial, financial, tourist, media and educational sectors.

Sheikh Mohammed assured himself of their professional, living and social conditions and affirmed to them that :'' Our State is faring well and our community is open to others from all spectrum of races and faiths who are pursuing justice, stability, co-existence, security and tolerance.

Sheikh Mohammed said he was pleased to see that huge crowd of of companies, businessmen and investors working and living with their families under the wing of the UAE community which preserves its genuine Arab and Islamic roots and extends its sight and hands to other cultures and civilisations and let them experience our culture, civilisation and humanity.

Fitch affirms UNB at 'A+' - Emirates 24/7

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Abu Dhabi-based Union National Bank's (UNB) Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'A+' with a stable outlook, Short-term IDR at 'F1', Individual Rating at 'C', Support Rating at '1', Support Rating Floor at 'A+' and senior unsecured debt at 'A+'.

UNB's IDRs and Support Rating reflect the extremely high probability of support from the UAE authorities, in case of need, based on Fitch's view of UNB's importance to the UAE banking system and its substantial Abu Dhabi government ownership.

The Individual Rating reflects the bank's satisfactory capital adequacy and liquidity. It also reflects concentrations in loans and deposits, and inherent risks in the UAE operating environment, especially the stressed real estate market, although Fitch believes real estate-related risks are more manageable for UNB than for many of its peers.

Nakheel offers lenders guarantees - Emirates 24/7

Developer Nakheel, restructuring $10.9 billion in debt, has offered lenders guarantees of real estate assets equivalent to the value of their loans, the company's chairman said.

Ali Rashid Lootah told local Arabic daily Al-Ittihad the offer aimed to boost lenders' confidence.

"It stresses the company's ability and commitment to all of its payments and financial dues under the time frame which both sides have agreed on," the newspaper cited Lootah as saying on Friday.

Dragon Oil reports Caspian output rises 21% with larger pipe - The National

Dragon Oil has reported output in the first quarter rose 21 per cent over the same period last year after the company cleared production bottlenecks.

The company, which drills offshore in the Caspian Sea and has a minority stake in three exploration blocks in Yemen, spent US$74 million (Dh271.7m) in the first three months of this year on installing a wider pipeline and drilling three new wells.

That allowed the company to increase its average daily production to 57,800 barrels from 47,600 in the same period last year.

Emirates a bright spot for Publicis - The National

Publicis, the world's third-largest communications group, says its business expanded in the Emirates in the first three months of the year although it was hit by unrest elsewhere in the Arab world.

The company, based in Paris, reported revenues of €29 million (Dh155m) in the Middle East and Africa region in the first quarter of the year, up 3.6 per cent on the same period last year.

"The recent events hurt business in the region, except in the United Arab Emirates, where Publicis posted 7 per cent growth," the company said.

The passing of a regional patriarch - The National

Illustration by Chris Burke for The National

    When Nasser al Kharafi took the helm of the family business in 1993, Mohammed Abdulmohsin Al-Kharafi & Sons (MAK Group) was already a monolith in the Kuwaiti economy.

    The business had grown from a trading company established over 100 years before into a multinational conglomerate with 120,000 employees and an annual turnover of more than US$5 billion (Dh18.36bn).

    As the chairman of the MAK Group, Mr al Kharafi was the patriarch of one of Kuwait's powerful business families, a group that includes the al Sagers, the Alghanims and the Behbehanis.


    Egypt Pound Drop May Raise Government's Debt Cost as Country Seeks IMF Aid - Bloomberg

    Egypt’s pound may drop to a record low this year as economic growth slows the most in almost two decades, prompting foreign investors to snub local-currency debt and pushing up the government’s borrowing costs.

    The currency, which fell to a six-year low of 5.9758 against the dollar on March 30, may drop to 6.3 by the end of this year, according to the median of five estimates compiled by Bloomberg this month. That’s a depreciation of 5.5 percent from today’s spot rate of 5.9543 at 3:53 p.m. in Cairo. Egypt raised 1.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($252 million) from the sale of one- year treasury bills at an auction today, less than its target 3.5 billion pounds as the yields climbed to 12.79 percent to the highest since November 2008.

    The rising borrowing costs and a budget deficit the government expects to widen to a six-year high have prompted Finance Minister Samir Radwan to turn to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for as much as $6.2 billion of loans. The Finance Ministry, facing an economy that shrank 7 percent last quarter after a revolt that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, is stepping up sales of fixed-income securities to local banks.

    Hapag suitors to hand in bids in late May -sources | Reuters

    TUI AG (TUIGn.DE), co-owner of Hapag-Lloyd [HPLG.UL], has asked Chinese group HNA and Oman's Onyx Investments to make binding bids for a stake in the shipping group by late May, three people close to the process said.

    While the suitors are currently conducting due diligence, Hapag is simultaneously preparing a prospectus for an initial public offering (IPO) based on first-quarter figures to put pressure on the bidders, one of the sources told Reuters.

    But TUI, owner of tour operator TUI Travel (TT.L), may be cutting it fine with initial plans to take Hapag public before the summer lull because it aims to delay until late May its decision on how to dispose of the holding.

    Qatar to increase stake in German builder Hochtief - Monsters and Critics

    Qatar's sovereign-wealth fund is to increase its stake in German builder Hochtief, which is being stalked by Spanish builder ACS, according to a statement Thursday.

    ACS is currently the biggest shareholder. Qatar is at number two with just over 10 per cent of Hochtief.

    The Qatar fund said it would be lifting its stake over the next 12 months, but did not say what its target would be. The fund obtained 9.1 per cent of the publicly-listed group last year.

    UAE cbank push helps drive down interbank rates-source | Reuters

    United Arab Emirates interbank rates AEIBOR= fell to at least 14-month lows on Thursday, reflecting improved liquidity in the banking sector and a drive by the central bank to encourage lower rates and spur lending.

    Traders said the central bank called a meeting of bank treasurers in recent days to encourage them to set lower interbank rates to try and boost lending which has been slow to pick up.

    "The central bank has asked treasurers to come and see them at a group meeting, and the message was that EIBOR rates need to be lower. Some of the banks have kept EIBOR rates quite high," a trader at a UAE bank said.