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Thursday, 28 April 2011

MENA stock markets close - April 28, 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)

Emerging markets delay dampen spirits on UAE bourses - The National

UAE equities took a hit during trading after Abu Dhabi's second biggest developer reported a 42 per cent drop in earnings for the first quarter.

Sorouh Real Estate reported net profits of Dh76.3 million for the quarter, compared with Dh132 million in the same period last year, according to a filing on the Abu Dhabi bourse.

Revenues, however, increased to Dh452 million from Dh431 million. Shares were down 4 per cent to Dh1.42 at the close at 2pm.

UAE banks: falling short of expectations | beyondbrics –

The UAE may be coming out a winner of the Middle Eastern unrest as it welcomes bankers and investors burned in Bahrain and North Africa.

But lingering weakness in its banking sector is a reminder that the Gulf state is still nursing its own wounds from its 2008-2009 financial and real estate crisis.

Local banks’ liquidity and capital levels are gradually improving, as are levels of provisioning for bad loans, analysts say.

Turkish PM Erdoğan's 'crazy project' in 10 questions - Hurriyet Daily

What is the project called?

Kanal Istanbul (Istanbul Canal)

What are the proposed dimensions for the project?

Length: 45 to 50 kilometers

Depth: 25 meters

Width: 145 to 150 meters

Base Width: 120 meters

What are the specifications relating to transportation?

Ships of any size will be able to pass through the channel.

When will the project be completed?

Preliminary studies will take two years, during which time some alterations will be made to the project itself. There is no fixed date for completion, but it is expected to take some eight to 10 years after the preliminary studies. The target completion year is 2023.

What is the cost?

Undetermined. Estimates, however, run around $10 billion.

How will Istanbul’s geographic qualities be changed?

The city will be split by two waterways, creating two peninsulas and one island. Currently Istanbul is made up of two peninsulas.

How will transportation be affected?

There will be no interruptions to land or sea traffic. Connecting roads to the third bridge planned for over the Bosphorus Strait will also pass over the new canal.

What will happen to the billions of tons of earth that will be dug out during construction work?

It will be used to build a major airport and a seaport. Unused portions will be sent to the country’s mines.

What is the purpose?

The new canal will eliminate around $1.4 billion in annual costs accrued by ships waiting to pass through the congested Bosphorus Strait. Another major aim is to prevent tanker accidents, but the canal will still pass through the middle of Istanbul.

Will there be any expropriation of land?

Treasury land will provide the bulk of the territory for the project, but there will be some expropriation of privately owned land.

Dubai’s Shares Drop on Concern DvP Extension May Delay MSCI Index Upgrade - Bloomberg

Dubai’s shares dropped for a fourth day this week after United Arab Emirates bourses extended the date brokerages have to switch to a new settlement system, stoking concern the country won’t secure an MSCI Inc. (MSCI) upgrade.

Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC (DIB), the U.A.E.’s biggest bank complying with Shariah banking rules, lost as much as 1.3 percent. Drake & Scull International (DSI) PJSC, the Dubai-based construction and engineering company, declined a third day this week. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) slipped 0.7 percent, the most since April 25, to 1,654.47, at 10:38 a.m. in Dubai, bringing this week’s drop to 1.7 percent. The measure rose 6.2 percent this month on optimism local markets will be moved to MSCI’s emerging market indexes in June.

The U.A.E. stock exchanges will give brokerages and custodians until May 29 to switch to the so-called delivery- versus-payment system, one of MSCI’s criteria for an upgrade from frontier markets. The Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority, the nation’s regulator, said April 11 that DvP would be introduced at the bourses today.

Oil Price Driven by Fear, Not Fundamentals: Analysts - CNBC

The world’s top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is “not comfortable” with high oil prices. Sure, higher oil prices put pressure on the global economic recovery.

But at the moment demand is still there, and those price levels deliver the Kingdom additional budget revenues when spending commitments are growing.

It gets better: Saudi petrochemical companies raked in forecast-beating first quarter earnings to yield a 51 percent growth in net income year-on-year, according to research by NCB Capital.

Pearls among perils in a period of unrest for the GCC - The National

While the GCC felt the shocks of the global downturn and the regional unrest, those events have also shown the Gulf's resilience, and the picture is brightening, writes Saleem Khokhar

AGCC equity markets are characterised by factors that make them unique to other frontier and emerging markets.

The abundance of natural oil and gas, the strategic geographic location as a trade centre and the abundance of tourist attractions make for a powerful combination that has formed the bedrock of GCC economies.

U.A.E. Bourses Said to Give More Time to Brokers on Delivery-Vs-Payment - Bloomberg

The United Arab Emirates’ stock exchanges will give brokerages until May 29 to switch to the so- called delivery-versus-payment system, one of MSCI Inc. (MSCI)’s criteria for the country’s upgrade to emerging market status.

“We have received a few concerns regarding the readiness level of the market participants,” said an Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange statement obtained by Bloomberg today. We “kindly ask custodians and brokers to confirm their readiness by no later than May 29.” The exchange itself “is ready to deal with the new model,” the statement said.

A senior official at the exchange, who declined to be identified because the matter hasn’t been made public, confirmed the document was sent to brokerages. A spokesman for the Dubai bourse, who declined to be identified, confirmed the exchange was also giving market participants until May 29 to switch to the system and that it can be used from tomorrow. - Dubai fraud verdict raises legal process fears

In one of the emirate’s most high-profile trials, a Dubai court has found six of seven defendants guilty of defrauding an Islamic bank, sentencing them to 10 years in prison and imposing a collective fine of $1bn.

The defendants are expected to file an appeal against their conviction at the court of first instance over an alleged $501m fraud against the region’s oldest Islamic bank.

They are due to pay $500m in a fine and $500m in compensation to DIB, according to lawyers who saw the written judgment. The sentence handed down on Wednesday, which also includes deportation, comes after three years of detention for five of the seven defendants, two of whom have been found guilty in absentia. If upheld after appeal, the four defendants in custody will have to raise $1bn or face further detention. - Investors look beyond UAE bank results

Patchy first-quarter results from the UAE banks have not significantly dented demand for shares in the sector.

Instead, investors are looking at cheap valuations and hints of recovery from the depth of the Dubai real estate crisis.

Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest lender by market value, on Tuesday produced a 27 per cent jump in quarterly profit.

Arif Naqvi Looks Beyond Mideast Unrest -

Arif Naqvi isn’t spooked by turmoil.

Abraaj Capital, his Dubai-based private equity firm, made one of its first buyouts in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, acquiring Aramex, a Jordanian express mail company that traded in New York.

“It was the first transaction post Sept. 11 of one Arab company buying another Arab company off of Nasdaq, so you can imagine the heightened level of scrutiny,” Mr. Naqvi said. “We bought Aramex, and it set us off on the journey of Abraaj.”

Dubai banks ride out the storm - The National

Dubai's banks are displaying increased optimism and putting less money aside for defaulting debtors as they posthigher earnings for the first quarter of the year.

Yesterday, Mashreq and Commercial Bank of Dubai joined Emirates NBD in reporting an increase in profits for the tumultuous opening months of this year, when Dubai's lenders largely shrugged off the ill-effects of unrest, revolutions and civil war elsewhere in the Middle East.

Giyas Gokkent, the chief economist at National Bank of Abu Dhabi, said the positive results across the emirate reflected an outlook for banks that was "more positive than not". "The gut feeling in the banking system is that yes, there is improvement and a pick-up in economic activity overall, but there are still challenges."

Gulf Daily News » Bahrain-based British bankers jailed for 10 years

Two Bahrain-based bankers were yesterday each jailed for 10 years by a Dubai court.

Charles Ridley and Ryan Cornelius have already spent 35 months behind bars on charges of defrauding Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) out of $501 million loan. The Dubai court sentenced them along with three other accused and imposed a collective fine of $501m.

Fellow accused Arthur Fitzwilliam, who acted as a guarantor for the loan by putting up a $1.1 billion property portfolio to cover it, was released. - Oil exporters cash in on unrest

Unrest in the Middle East is sparking stronger growth among oil exporters as prices rise, according to the International Monetary Fund.

However, the region’s poorer emerging markets faced the pressing challenge of securing job creation and economic competitiveness to keep a lid on further dissent, the fund said in its regional economic outlook on Wednesday.

It expects oil-exporters in the Gulf to see gross domestic product growth rise to almost 8 per cent this year, up from previous forecasts of 5 per cent, as oil prices rise and production is lifted to make up for shortfalls in Libya.