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Tuesday, 26 April 2011

ADCB first quarter net profit rises 159pct | Alrroya

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank's (ADCB) first quarter net profit rose to Dh583m compared to Dh225m in the first quarter of the previous year, an increase of 159 per cent, the company has said in an emailed statement. The quarter's performance is 57 per cent higher over the last quarter of 2010.

Eissa Al Suwaidi, Chairman of ADCB attributed the results to improving economy in the UAE. “I am pleased to announce that the Bank declared a net profit of Dh583m for the first quarter of 2011. This good set of results is a reflection of the improving economy of the UAE and the strength of our core operations and solid client franchise. The Bank continues to move forward in 2011 by continuing to focus on our strategic objectives and building a stronger, more resilient ADCB for the future,” he said.

Total operating income in the first quarter of 2011 reached Dh1.410 billion, 11 per cent higher over the same period in 2010. Net interest income increased by six per cent.

MENA stock markets close - April 26, 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)

HSBC Starts Next Part of $200 Million U.A.E. Companies’ Fund - Bloomberg

HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Europe’s biggest bank by market value, started the second part of a $200 million fund to help local Emirati companies in the United Arab Emirates boost trade.

Worth $100 million, it follows the creation of a fund in January last year, Nick Levitt, head of HSBC’s U.A.E. commercial bank, said in an interview today. About 42 percent of the money from the first fund was for companies in Dubai, according to the bank. About 24 percent of the companies used the money to supplement working capital, while 10 percent used it to apply for term loans.

“It was an extremely strong message we sent to the segment to say ‘we’re here, we’re lending’ when a lot of banks weren’t,” Levitt said in Abu Dhabi. “All arrows since then pointed to the direction of ‘why don’t we do more of this?’”

Investor confidence impacted by unrest, says PwC - Emirates 24/7

Recent political and economic upheaval in the GCC region has impacted negatively investor confidence with a number of companies reassessing their initial public offering (IPO) plans and either deferring or shelving future IPOs, PricewaterhouseCoopers said today in a statement.

“The first quarter of 2011 has been very disappointing so far for IPOs in the region with no transactions yet to be reported on any of the GCC exchanges compared to the three offerings in the last quarter of 2010 which raised approximately $1bn,” the international professional services organisation pointed out.

“Increased economic activity, improvements in investor confidence and revival of the GCC equity markets are fundamental to the return of IPOs on the GCC exchanges,” said Steve Drake, Head of PwC Capital Markets Middle East. “There are some positive indicators of economic revival although the political unrest we have seen in parts of the region is a growing market concern for both regional and international investors, which as a result has impacted regional markets,” he said.

Dubai’s Shares Rise Most in Week on Quarterly Earnings Optimism - Businessweek

Dubai’s benchmark stock index advanced the most in almost a week after Emirates NBD PJSC said first-quarter profit rose 27 percent, fueling optimism corporate earnings will exceed analysts’ estimates.

Emirates NBD, the United Arab Emirates biggest bank by assets, rallied 2.4 percent to the highest intraday level since December 2009. Arabtec Holding PJSC, the biggest publicly traded construction company in the emirates, rose for the first time in seven days. Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC, the U.A.E.’s biggest bank complying with Shariah banking rules, gained 1.4 percent. The DFM General Index climbed 0.8 percent, the most since April 20, to 1,651.6 at 11:56 a.m. in Dubai.

“There are positive expectations for first-quarter earnings compared with those in the same period last year,” said Humam al-Shamaa, economic adviser at Abu Dhabi-based Al- Fajer Securities LLC. “Investors are anticipating the results.”

Saudi Arabia Uncomfortable With Crude Oil Price, Aramco's Al-Falih Says - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, is “not comfortable” with the current crude price and is concerned about its effect on global economic growth, the head of the state oil company said.

Saudi Arabia is committed to keeping aside a “sizable cushion” of 3 million to 4 million barrels a day of idle production capacity to stabilize the market, Khalid al-Falih, chief executive officer of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., said today in Seoul. The kingdom pumped 9 million barrels a day last month, the most since October 2008, according to a Bloomberg News survey of producers and analysts.

“We are not comfortable with oil prices where they are today,” al-Falih said. “We’re concerned about the impact it could have on the global economic growth.”

Eshraq Seeks to Raise $225 Million in First U.A.E. Property IPO Since 2007 - Bloomberg

Eshraq Properties Co. PJSC plans to raise 825 million dirhams ($225 million) in the first initial public offering by a United Arab Emirates real-estate developer since 2007.

The company plans to sell a 55 percent stake during an offer period from May 1 to May 11 that’s open only to nationals of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council countries. A total of 825 million shares will be offered at 1 dirham each, plus two fils for administrative costs, Eshraq said in a statement today.

The last U.A.E. developer to hold an initial public offering was Dubai’s Deyaar Development (DEYAAR) PJSC in September 2007. About a year later, the global credit crisis sparked a slump in property prices as speculators were driven from the market and banks cut lending.

Egypt court scraps land sale to Palm Hills | Reuters

An Egyptian court ruled on Tuesday that the sale of state land to Palm Hills Development (PHD), the country's second-biggest listed developer, was illegal and scrapped the contract.

A judicial panel said in March the sale was illegal because it was priced too cheaply and was not publicly auctioned. The judicial body decision has in the past influenced court verdicts.

Shares in Palm Hills declined 5.2 percent by 0857 GMT, while Egypt's benchmark index was down 0.2 percent.

Emirates NBD First-Quarter Net Rises 27% on Stake Sale in Credit Card Unit - Bloomberg

Emirates NBD PJSC (EMIRATES), the United Arab Emirates’ biggest bank by assets, reported a 27 percent increase in first-quarter profit helped by a gain from the sale of a stake in its credit card processing unit.

Net income advanced to 1.41 billion dirhams ($385 million), or 24 fils a share, from 1.1 billion dirhams, or 19 fils, a year ago, the Dubai government-controlled bank said in a statement today. Emirates NBD on its website said the mean estimate of seven analysts was for a profit of 1.03 billion dirhams.

Having “successfully addressed significant challenges during the last few years, the bank is in a strong position to take advantage of further expected improvements in the business environment,” Chairman Ahmed Al Tayer said in the statement.

WAM | DIFC Courts open public consultation for amendments of its rules

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts are proposing amendments to their Rules 'RDC', and seek feedback from the public.

The move comes in line with its continued commitment to transparency and judicial excellence.

The DIFC said in a statement today that the proposed amendments, based on the experience of the Courts and feedback from the legal community, have been made available for consultation for one month period starting from April 20th, and can be found on the DIFC Courts' website.

Saudi uneasy with high oil price, worried about economy | Reuters

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is uneasy with high oil prices and concerned about their impact on the global economy, the chief executive of state oil firm Aramco said on Tuesday.

Oil prices fell on Tuesday in part after the remarks from Aramco's Khalid al-Falih. Brent crude fell 57 cents to $123.09 a barrel by 0153 GMT, just four dollars below a 2-1/2 year peak hit earlier in April at $127.02.

"We are not comfortable with oil prices where they are today...I am concerned about the impact it could have on the global economy," Falih told an industry gathering in South Korea.

Corruption inquiry focus on Egyptian gas contract - The National

Egyptian gas supplies to Israel have become the focus of a wide-ranging corruption investigation into the dealings of Hosni Mubarak, the former Egyptian president, and key associates.

The Egyptian public prosecutor this week ordered Mr Mubarak to be detained for a further 15 days to allow time for him to be questioned about a controversial contract to export gas to Israel.

The prosecutor alleges the deal has cost Egypt more than US$714 million (Dh2.62 billion) in lost revenue, and the future of the exports is now in doubt.

Securing prosperity for the next generation of UAE nationals - The National

Throughout the Middle East and North Africa, officials are working to secure economic prosperity for future generations. In the UAE, the need for economic reform arises from a unique blend of demographics and challenges.

On close inspection, strains on the economy are already visible and threaten to deprive future generations of their share of prosperity. The need for reform is no less urgent because oil revenues have helped to hide structural imbalances and the region's economies, growing by an average of 9 per cent annually in recent years, display no urgent need for change.

But the current economic model of Emiratisation - the active participation of Emirati nationals in the economy - cannot last. Young, working-age adults account for a growing share of the population and are struggling to find jobs.

Damas jewelry buys controlling stake in Saudi venture - Arab News

Jeweler Damas International, which recently reached an agreement with its lenders to restructure $872 million in debt, has acquired a controlling stake in its Saudi Arabian joint venture, Damas Saudi Arabia Company Ltd.

Damas acquired 49 percent of the share capital of its existing joint venture in Saudi Arabia, taking its stake to 98 percent with full control of the company, the firm said in a statement.

The statement did not disclose the value of the acquisition.

Gulf Times – Aamal raises non-Qatari shareholder stake to 49%

Non-Qatari shareholding in Aamal Company will go up to 49% from the current 25% following approval from its shareholders.

An amendment to Article (7) of the company bylaws was approved by Aamal shareholders at their extraordinary general assembly meeting at the Renaissance Doha City Center Hotel yesterday.

The general assembly approved the issuance of 10% bonus shares to the shareholders. Consequent on this, the paid up share capital will go up by QR450mn to QR4.95bn.

First Gulf falls short of the target - The National

First Gulf Bank earnings missed analysts' estimates yesterday despite an improving balance sheet and the stabilisation of bad debts.

The UAE's second-biggest bank by market capitalisation reported first-quarter net profit of Dh875.3 million (US$238.3m), 4.8 per cent less than in the same quarter last year.

The results surprised analysts, who had expected profits of Dh973.5m, according to Bloomberg News analysts' estimates.

MGM Resorts CEO Murren paid nearly $9.8M in 2010 - Business wire -

MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren took a nearly $4 million pay cut in 2010 as the casino operator's loss grew from the year before, according to an Associated Press analysis of a regulatory filing the company made Monday.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filing shows Murren made $9.78 million in 2010, 29 percent less than the $13.75 million he made in 2009, his first full year as the company's chief executive.

Murren's pay package included $2 million in salary, a $750,000 bonus, a $4.3 million performance-based cash bonus and $585,000 in perks. The perks were mostly related to travel, including $374,514 for personal use of a company aircraft, $208,673 for insurance premiums and benefits and $2,087 for local transportation expenses.

16 months later, CityCenter has yet to hit its stride - VEGAS INC

It’s a big celebration that is quintessentially Las Vegas.

I discovered upon moving here from Southern California in 2005 a casino opening is part birthday party, movie premiere and New Year’s Eve all rolled into one. Locals even have a childlike anticipation as if they’re waiting impatiently to see what they’re going to unwrap on Christmas Day, hoping it’s the shiny new toy they always wanted.

That’s how I looked at it when I attended the December 2009 gala opening of CityCenter’s Aria. It was going to be one of the biggest openings ever in Las Vegas and the place to be.

Emivest snapped up for $3.5m - The National

A Dubai business jet maker has been sold for less than half the price of one of its aircraft, after bankruptcy proceedings in the US.

The assets of Emivest Aerospace, the maker of the US$7.2 million (Dh26.4m) SJ30 light business jet, have been bought by Metalcraft Technologies, based in Utah, for $3.5m in cash plus liabilities.

Emivest's three-year involvement in the US business aviation industry coincided with a steep fall in demand for business jet travel during the global downturn. / In depth - Autocrats neglect the need for prosperity

On the January day when Tunisia’s president, Zein al-Abidine Ben Ali, was toppled, kindling months of Arab world uprisings, a protester in Amman, the Jordanian capital, was also making a point that reverberates.

As an angry crowd demonstrated over rising food prices, one demonstrator carried a banner that read: “Jordan is not only for the rich. Bread is a red line. Beware of our starvation and fury.”

It was an early warning of the central role to be played by economics in the multiple protests across the Middle East and north Africa. Just as the autocrats now being challenged have refused to deliver democracy and political reform, so they have neglected to give their people the chance of a reasonable standard of living – or, as important, the prospect of a better one. This failing, afflicting both ruthless dictatorships and superficially more benign autocracies, remains a main driver of protest and a grave threat to the Arab world’s long-term health.

gulfnews : Global Investment House wins court ruling in $250m dispute

Global Investment House Monday said in a statement that it won a favourable verdict from the Dubai Court of Appeal in a dispute relating to a recovery of $250 million (Dh918 million) deposit plus interest from the National Bank of Umm Al Quwain (NBQ).

The dispute was over the $250 million deposit Global placed with NBQ as part of a deal to acquire a convertible debt instrument in NBQ.

The National Bank of Umm Al Quwain and Global Investment House announced in 2008 a primary agreement to issue a convertible debt instrument. The convertible bond was to be issued by NBQ to Global. Under the initial agreement Global had the option to convert the instrument into new shares of NBQ subject to approvals by the UAE regulatory authorities.