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Sunday, 24 April 2011

AFP: Saudi prince settles land row with Egypt

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced Sunday an agreement has been reached on returning most of his disputed agricultural land in Egypt back to the government.

Alwaleed said he would return 75,000 out of a 100,000-acre (40,469 hectare) agricultural property frozen two weeks ago by Egypt's public prosecutor after raising questions over the legality of its sale in 1998.

"We have reached a preliminary deal satisfactory to us, to the Egyptian people and government to return 75,000 acres," Alwaleed told reporters in Kuwait City.

Industries Qatar Sees Net Falling to $1.2 Billion in 2012 - Bloomberg

Industries Qatar QSC (IQCD), the Persian Gulf nation’s largest company by market capitalization, said it expects profit to fall 6 percent to 4.6 billion riyals ($1.2 billion) next year as it sets up new plants.

The company with stakes in petrochemicals, fertilizers and steel manufacturing forecasts net income will drop from the 4.9 billion riyals budgeted for this year, before rising to 5 billion riyals in 2013, it said in an e-mailed statement today. Revenue will climb to 15.3 billion riyals in 2012 and 16.8 billion riyals in 2013, from 14.5 billion riyals this year, the company said.

Industries Qatar, the second-biggest petrochemicals company in the Middle East, said it plans to start two fertilizer plants, two steel plants and a polyethylene facility by 2015. It forecasts depreciation costs will nearly double to a “significant” 2.067 billion riyals by 2013, according to the statement.

Qatar falls on Qatar National Bank rights issue -

A sell-off in Qatar National Bank after the company announced a rights issue dragged Qatar's index to a three-week low.

"Rights issue capital increase is 25 percent at 100 riyals per share," said Hani Girgis, assistant chief dealer at Dlala brokerage.

QNB's share price fell as low as 136.50 riyals earlier from Thursday's close of 149.50 riyals, before retracing some of those losses. The stock is down 0.9 percent at 138.30.

MENA stock markets close - April 24, 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)

Global requests temporary suspension of its shares until the public disclosure on the outcome of the joint appeals between Global and Bank of Umm Al Quwain - Zawya

Global Investment House (Global) announced today that it has requested Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) and other stock markets on which the company shares are traded to suspend trading of the shares temporarily on Monday, 25 April 2011 until the public disclosure on the outcome of the joint appeals between Global and Bank of Umm Al Quwain on the dispute relating to the recovery of USD250 million deposit in addition to the interest and fees.

Dubai courts had set Monday, 25 April, 2011 for issuance of the verdict which is expected to be during trading hours. In our continuous efforts to follow the highest transparency standards and to avoid any misuse of such sensitive information prior to the official disclosure by the company, the management decided to temporarily suspend trading the company's shares on Monday until the official disclosure of the verdict is made.

UAE producer cuts Murban crude supply by 5% in June - Arab News

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) said on Sunday it will supply Murban crude for April at 5 percent below contracted volumes in June, compared to full volumes in May.

Allocations for Lower Zakum, Umm Shaif and Upper Zakum will also be supplied at a 5 percent cut, compared to no cuts in May ADNOC said.

“We have decided to cut the allocations for June in order to comply with our OPEC quota,” said an official from ADNOC.

‘Getafe is 100% sold,’ says Royal Emirates Group -

Dubai’s Royal Emirates Group on Sunday confirmed its buyout of Spanish La Liga side Getafe and said it plans invest up to $130m in the team over a five-year period, Arabian Business can reveal.

Doubts were raised over the deal after Getafe president Angel Torres told reporters the Spanish club remained in talks and said he had visited Dubai in a bid to secure sponsors.

Royal Emirates Group, which is chaired by a member of Dubai's ruling Al Maktoum family, said the contract had been signed and Torres had been misquoted.

Dubai Shares Snap 10-Day Advance on Speculation Rally Overdone - Businessweek

Dubai’s benchmark stock index dropped the most in more than a month, snapping a ten-day advance, as investors bet that gains are overdone on concern quarterly earnings may trail estimates.

Emaar Properties PJSC, builder of the world’s tallest skyscraper, retreated 1.4 percent before releasing first-quarter profit that declined 45 percent. Dubai Financial Market PJSC, the only Gulf Arab stock market to sell shares to the public, decreased the most since March 15. The DFM General Index slipped 1 percent, the biggest decline since March 15, to 1,665.17 at the 2 p.m. close in Dubai. The gauge has gained 7 percent this month. Qatar’s QE Index slumped 1.7 percent.

The drop is an “interim technical correction” after this month’s rally, said Nabil Farhat, a partner at Abu Dhabi-based Al Fajer Securities. Investors are waiting for first-quarter earnings, he said.

Emaar Properties Q1 net profit slumps 45 pct - Maktoob News

Emaar Properties, UAE's biggest developer by market value, posted a 45 percent drop in first-quarter net profit, missing analysts forecasts, as revenue dipped and losses from associate firms rose.

The builder of the world's tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, made a net profit of 421 million dirhams ($114.6 million), compared with a profit of 760 million dirhams in the same period a year ago, the company said in a statement to the bourse on Sunday.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the firm to post a quarterly profit of 647 million dirhams.

Kuwait's KFH Q1 profit falls 27 pct, misses forecasts - Maktoob News

Kuwait Finance House, the Gulf state's largest Islamic lender, on Sunday posted a 26.9 percent drop in its first-quarter net profit, missing analysts forecasts.

The lender made 22.6 million dinars ($81.88 million) in the three months ending March 31, compared with a net profit of 30.9 million dinars in the comparable period one year earlier, the company said in a statement on Sunday.

Two analysts polled by Reuters estimated that Kuwait Finance House's net profit would range between 36.3 million dinars and 37 million dinars for the first-quarter.

THE DAILY STAR :: A new chance for Islamic finance to thrive in post-Mubarak Egypt

Covered head-to-toe in a black abaya embroidered with red and yellow flowers, Amal Abbas waits for her turn to place a deposit at Cairo’s Al-Baraka Egypt Bank, one of Egypt’s two fully fledged Islamic banks.
Although Egypt is considered the birthplace of Islamic finance, which adheres to Islamic principles banning interest and speculative trading, its growth has lagged due to past corruption scandals, while the previous government sought to enforce a more secular financial system.

But after the Egyptian revolution toppled Hosni Mubarak and his government, Muslims like Abbas are embracing Islamic banking, raising the prospect that Egypt could become a thriving centre of Islamic finance.

GCC Equity Research Statistics 1Q11 (Click to open)

Economic media forum rolls off in Riyadh today |

The Economic Media Forum, which is being organized by the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), entitled “The role of the financial media in tackling developmental issues”, is scheduled to kick off Sunday at Riyadh Intercontinental Hotel under the patronage of Dr. Abdul Aziz Khoja, Minister of Culture and Information.

Top government officials, economic experts, academics, prominent media personalities and a number of businessmen will discuss the role of the media in tackling developmental issues and how both positive and negative coverage might affect the national economy.

RCCI, represented by the Economic Media Committee, has listed a number of important themes, topics and issues.

Full: Significant steps in long-running dispute between al Gosaibi family and Maan al Sanea - The National

The confrontation between the al Gosaibi family of Saudi Arabia and Maan al Sanea, the head of the Saad Group, has become a war of attrition, with long periods of stalemate punctuated by occasional outbreaks of resource-depleting hostility.

So it was last week, as the lawyers appeared to be clearing their desks ahead of the Easter holiday.

The most significant piece of action came in London's High Court in a ruling made public only a few days ago.

Private equity companies at risk from international competition - The National

The outlook for private equity firms in the Middle East is on a knife-edge as investors recoil from an already risky business environment and deals dwindle, leaving little cash for acquisitions.

While 1,004 private equity mergers and acquisitions have taken place worldwide since the start of the year, only eight of those deals took place in the Middle East, according to data from Thomson Reuters. Regional private equity firms must do more to attract investment, said Christophe de Mahieu, the director and a partner at Bain & Company, adding activity was likely to remain "subdued" this year.

The firm estimates regional private equity firms have less than US$5bn (Dh18.36bn) in available "dry powder", or cash reserves kept on hand to finance deal-making.

gulfnews : DIFC functions streamlined

A series of amendments to laws relating to the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) were announced yesterday.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has issued Law No 7 of 2011 which includes amendments to a number of articles in Law No 9 of 2004 (Original Law) that established the DIFC.

The amendments provide greater legal clarity and transparency to the operations of various DIFC bodies, according to leading bankers and financial experts.

gulfnews : Oman aluminium company awards Dh1.1b deal to Finmeccanica unit

Italian contractor Finmeccanica, through its unit Fata, has been awarded a Dh1.1 billion turnkey engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract by Aluminium Rolling Mill Co for the aluminium rolling plant that will be located in Sohar, Oman.

The project will provide 275 direct jobs and will also generate many other jobs required to support the operation of the plant.

With an annual capacity of 160,000 tonnes, the facility provided by Fata will contain a Hazelett continuous caster, while Fata Hunter, division of Fata, will supply a hot rolling mill along with world-class cold rolling and finishing equipment.

Kuwait Energy sells 22% wtake in Egyptian oil concession -

Kuwait Energy Co. sold a 22% stake in Egypt’s Abu Sennan oil concession to Beach Energy Ltd. (BPT) in Australia, leaving it with 50% of the business, it said in an e-mailed statement today.

Kuwait Energy said it will also sell a 15% share in the Mesaha concession to the Australian oil and gas producer in “coming months” after getting government approval.

Kuwait Energy, which was set up in 2005, operates in Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Oman, Ukraine, Latvia, Russia and Pakistan.

Gulf Times – Qatargas, Centrica sign deal

Qatargas will supply UK’s largest gas supplier Centrica 2.4mn tonnes per year (tpy) of LNG from the Qatargas 4 project for the next three years.
An agreement to this effect was signed by the two companies on Thursday.

Liquefied natural gas, under the sale and purchase agreement (SPA), will be delivered at the UK Isle of Grain Terminal.

The UK is the world’s third largest consumer of gas and one of the fastest growing markets for gas imports. In 2010, Qatar met about 15% of the UK’s total gas demand.

UAE rises in ranks of aluminium majors - The National

The UAE's two aluminium producers are tightening their grip on the metal's supply chain as they race up the ranks of global producers.

Dubai Aluminium (Dubal) and Mubadala Development of Abu Dhabi are already members of a consortium developing a bauxite mine in Guinea, home to the world's largest-known reserves of the base mineral for aluminium.

They are also 50-50 partners in the Emirates Aluminium (Emal) project at Al Taweelah, a smelter in Abu Dhabi near the emirate's border with Dubai. The Emal smelter came into full operation this year.

Bourses expected to rise on optimism - The National

A new-found confidence in Dubai's market is expected to lift equities for the second week running as investors turn to the UAE.

Dubai, which was on the brink of a debt default in 2009, is benefiting from an investor flight to safety because of the unrest that has hit other parts of the region.

Signs are pointing to improved liquidity in the country as Mubadala Development, a strategic investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, announced the launch of a new bond. And Dubai Investments said it was in talks with banks about obtaining Dh1.2 billion of loans.