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Friday, 29 April 2011

Gulf International signs US$1.6 billion deal for Malaysia aluminum smelter - Business Intelligence Middle East - - News, analysis, reports

Gulf International Investment Group Holdings Sdn Bhd signed a joint venture agreement with Aluminum Corporation of China Ltd. to develop a US$1.6 billion aluminum smelting plant in Sarawak, Malaysia.

Smelter Asia Sdn Bhd will develop, own and operate the aluminum plant, which will have an annual capacity of 370,000 metric tons during the first phase. It’s planned that that capacity will increase to 700,000 tons, according to an e-mailed statement from the company.

Gulf International is headed by Malaysian entrepreneur Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary and Mohammed Alabbar, a businessman based in the United Arab Emirates, who is also the chairman of Emaar Properties, the U.A.E.’s biggest developer.

Can there be financial transformation in the Middle East? -

Nasser Saidi is a man for all seasons, a man for the world. Born in Lebanon, educated in the US, he’s been an economics professor (University of Chicago, Hautes Etudes in Geneva), First Vice-Governor of the Lebanese Central Bank, Minister of Economy & Trade as well as Minister of Industry in Lebanon.

He has also been a member of the UN Committee for Development Policy, and - since 2006 - Chief Economist for the Dubai International Financial Corporation. In this role, he is charged with the responsibility of helping to develop the financial future of the UAE and the region.

With his snowy white hair, piercing blue eyes and modest manner, the man does not mince words in any language to describe the financial reforms necessary to bring the Middle East into the 21st century. “If you look at the financial structure in the Middle East”, he says, “unlike the rest of the world it is unbalanced: that is, the bulk of finance comes from the banking sector - some 55-60 percent, another 30 percent comes from the equity markets, and the debt markets are severely under-developed”. - UAE still nurses wounds from its financial crisis

The United Arab Emirates may be coming out a winner of the Middle Eastern unrest as it welcomes bankers and investors burnt in Bahrain and north Africa.

But lingering weakness in its banking sector is a reminder that the Gulf state still nurses its own wounds from its 2008-9 financial and real estate crisis.

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

SEBI Bars Emaar MGF from Raising Rs1600cr via IPO

Real estate developer Emaar MGF Land’s third attempt to raise Rs 1,600 crore through an initial share sale offer has hit a regulatory hurdle. Even after seven months, the Securities and Exchange Board of India has not given nod to Emaar MGF for its initial public offering as the New Delhi-based firm’s role came under scanner for alleged irregularities in developing the Commonwealth Games village, according to persons with direct knowledge of the matter. The joint venture between Indian lender MGF and Dubai’s Emaar Properties had filed its draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with the capital markets regulator on September 30, 2010.

The V K Shunglu committee, appointed by the Prime Minister to look into issues relating to organising and conduct of CWG held in Delhi last year, has come down heavily on Emaar MGF Construction Pvt Ltd, a unit of Emaar MGF Land. In its second report released last month, the committee has indicted Emaar MGF for failing to meet its contractual obligations, receiving undue financial gains and making unauthorised payments, among other things. The committee headed by the former Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) estimated the total financial favours/loss to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) by a series of decision taken to support Emaar MGF to as much as Rs 1,244.50 crore.

The committee recommended that the Government of India or DDA may take appropriate action against Emaar MGF for knowingly supplying incorrect information and for its various acts of omission and commission. Separate e-mail queries sent to the spokespersons of Emaar MGF and Sebi on the issue remained unanswered. Among the risk factors in its DRHP Emaar MGF had said concerns regarding the readiness and habitability of the CWG village could expose the company to reputation and financial risk.

Emirates to spend $10bn a year to expand fleet - Emirates 24/7

Emirates, the Arab world's largest airline, will spend about $10 billion a year to fund its fleet expansion over three years but is not under pressure to tap the bond market, a senior official said.

The Dubai carrier, which expects to receive about 30 aircraft a year for the next three, dropped plans for a bond to finance expansion after political unrest in the Middle East made rates more expensive.

"Emirates has roughly 30 aircraft a year coming the next five years and a lot of them are A380s... we will need about $10 billion a year," Gary Chapman, president group services and Dnata at Emirates Group told Reuters.

Abu Dhabi's Ipic proposes settlement in dispute over Ferrostaal - The National

The International Petroleum Investment Company has made a proposal to settle a dispute with the German truck maker MAN over the sale of Ferrostaal, a former industrial services subsidiary of MAN.

Ipic, as the Abu Dhabi investment fund is known, did not reveal details of the offer, which followed a proposal from MAN that was withdrawn this month. Ipic said in a statement its offer was fair but that a resolution would not come "at any price".

Ipic bought 70 per cent of Ferrostaal from MAN for about US$650 million (Dh2.38 billion) in 2009. Since then, however, Ferrostaal has become the target of a corruption investigation in Germany over contracts in several countries stretching back decades.

gulfnews : DHCOG records Dh127m profit, up from Dh23.5 billion loss

Delivery of properties and better earnings have helped Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group (DHCOG), to return to profitability, recovering from a loss of Dh23.5 billion in 2009 to a profits of Dh127 million in 2010, the company said in a statement.

Dubai Holding, one of the emirate's large conglomerates owned by the government, went through a restructuring process in 2009, when it realigned some of its companies under more focused verticals to reduce costs.

All of its three core subsidiaries, Jumeirah Group (Jumeirah), Dubai Properties Group (DPG), and Tecom Investments, performed well.