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Tuesday, 3 May 2011

MENA stock markets close - May 3, 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)

Middle East a growing target for emerging markets investors - The National

A surge in government investment across the Middle East is expected to draw greater numbers of investors in emerging markets towards the region, according to investors at the UAE Global Investment Forum.

A number of stimulus measures have been announced recently in countries around the region, including Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia, in most cases intended to fend off political unrest.

However, delegates said that the clear definition of Abu Dhabi's Vision 2030 plan for economic diversification, alongside the low inflation and political stability found in the UAE, offered the most obvious opportunities.

Dubai Shares Swing Between Gains and Losses; Emaar Advances - Bloomberg

Dubai shares swung between gains and losses as emerging-market stocks dropped after the Reserve Bank of India raised rates more than forecast. Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), the builder of the world’s tallest tower, rose and Dubai Investments PJSC (DIC) fell.

Emaar advanced for the first time in almost two weeks, while Dubai Investments PJSC, which owns stakes in more than 40 companies, declined for a fourth day. The benchmark DFM General Index (DFMGI) increased 0.2 percent to 1,630.23 at 1:26 p.m. in the emirate. The measure, which has surged 20 percent since a low in March, swung between gains and losses seven times. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200) of stocks in the region fell 0.3 percent.

“The market has rallied strongly since the end of February so right now we are seeing consolidation to maintain these levels,” said Marwan Shurrab, assistant fund manager and chief trader at Dubai-based Gulfmena Alternative Investments. “The market is waiting for a catalyst to see further upside.”

Dubai Road-Toll Fund-Raising Plan Said to Get $1 Billion Bids, Tops Target - Bloomberg

Dubai received at least $1 billion in bids for a program to raise financing backed by future road-toll receipts, more than the government’s target, said two bankers familiar with the plan.

There was strong interest from international banks, financial institutions and pension funds for the $800 million securitization program, one of the bankers said. The six-year financing may be priced at 3.5 percentage points over the London interbank offered rate, both bankers said. They declined to be identified because the transaction hasn’t been completed yet.

Dubai, the Persian Gulf business hub battling a debt crisis, said April 7 it hired Citigroup Inc. (C), Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC (DIB), Emirates NBD PJSC (EMIRATES) and Commercial Bank of Dubai PSC (CBD) to raise the financing to help fund transport projects. The banks have put up the money for the dual-currency transaction and are offering portions of the securities to other investors. The offer includes both conventional and Islamic portions.

Dubai Airports projects rapid growth to 2020 -

Dubai Airports today announced its ten year traffic forecast for Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International (DWC) that projects international passenger and cargo traffic will increase at an average annual growth rate of 7.2% and 6.7% respectively, outperforming industry projections for average annual growth of 5% globally.

By 2020 passenger numbers will reach 98.5 million and cargo volumes will top 4.1 million tonnes. 

Pace-setting growth has been the norm at Dubai International. Over the past 50 years, passenger traffic has increased at an average annual rate of 15.5%. More recently during the economic downturn in 2009, while other airports saw traffic decline, Dubai Airports saw international passenger numbers increase 9.1% demonstrating the resilience of Dubai’s aviation sector in challenging market conditions.  Since 2005 traffic has almost doubled from 24.8 million to 47.2 million last year.

Abu Dhabi sees 2011 economic growth at 4.5 pct - Maktoob News

Abu Dhabi's economy is expected to grow by 4.5 percent this year, below government plans, while inflation in the Gulf Arab emirate should hold at around 3 percent, a government official said on Tuesday.

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, plans to increase its economic output by an average of 7 percent a year until 2015.

'There are many factors that will drive growth. Industry, tourism,' Mohammed Omar Abdullah, undersecretary at Abu Dhabi's Department of Economic Development, told reporters at an investment forum.

UAE recovery building momentum, reveals HSBC survey -

The headline seasonally adjusted HSBC United Arab Emirates PMI™ surged in April to 57.5, from March’s 54.7. The latest figure signals another robust gain in the health of the non-oil private sector.

The PMI has now registered above the 50.0 no-change threshold for over year-and-a-half. Supporting the rise in the headline index were faster increases in new orders and employment growing at the sharpest rate for 16 months.

A reading above the neutral 50 level indicates the economy is expanding.

Oman may lower IPO float size to 25pc

Oman may revise a law that would allow companies to float just 25 per cent of their capital from 40 per cent now to prompt more family firms to list, a Capital Markets Authority (CMA) official said on Tuesday.

'We are considering to reduce IPO issues to 25 percent from 40 percent to encourage family businesses to convert to listed companies,' Yahya Al-Jabri, CMA executive president, told Reuters.

Oman Arab Bank, which is 51-per cent-owned by Ominvest, is the latest Omani firm to indicate it will seek a listing, according to a local newspaper report.

Egypt sees 2011/12 budget deficit at 9.4 pct/GDP - Maktoob News

Egypt's state budget deficit, bloated after political turmoil rocked the economy, is forecast to widen to 9.38 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the 2011/12 fiscal year, the country's finance minister said.

That compares with an expected deficit of about 8.5 percent for the 2010/11 fiscal year ending on June 30, Samir Radwan told Reuters on Monday.

Soaring prices and high unemployment fuelled pro-democracy protests that brought down President Hosni Mubarak in February after 30 years in power in the Arab World's most populous state.

Dana Gas makes fifth gas discovery in Egypt | Reuters

Dana Gas, the Gulf's only listed natural gas company, said on Tuesday it has made a new gas discovery in Egypt, the company's fifth gas find in the country.

"A preliminary estimate of the discovered reserves in the new pool (El Wastani formation) is in excess of 60 Bcf of gas, with a possible upside still under evaluation," the company said in a statement.

The company, which plans to list its shares in London, will prepare a separate development plan for this new pool and is still evaluating a possible upside in reserves.

Oman to set up Gulf state's first Islamic bank | Reuters

The Sultanate of Oman has approved the establishment of the Gulf state's first Islamic bank on Monday, a circular said, without elaborating on further details about the new lender.

'His Majesty approved the establishment of an Islamic Bank and allowing the banks in the Sultanate to open new branches if they wish so,' the circular said.

Oman is the only state among the six which make the Gulf Cooperation Council members which has not so far set up a bank specifically offering Shariah-compliant products and services.

Damas and banks reach deal - The National

A Dh1.8 billion (US$490 million) deal involving Damas International, its previous owners and more than 20 banks has been signed after months of delay.

The agreement will result in the three Abdullah brothers - Tawhid, Tawfiq and Tamjid - who previously ran the company, repaying Dh614m to Damas, the Middle East's largest jeweller. In addition, they will pay Dh1.2bn to a group of lenders.

The deal comes only a day after Damas announced a delay, as one bank had yet to agree to the terms.

Wataniya share offering shows return of appetite - The National

The initial public offering of shares in Wataniya, an Islamic insurer, has been oversubscribed by seven times amid improving appetite for share sales in the Emirates.

At the close of the initial public offering (IPO), applications for 590 million shares were received for the 82.5 million shares available. The founders of Wataniya subscribed to 45 per cent of the total share capital of Dh150 million (US$40.8m).

"The subscription levels we received is a strong indication that there is liquidity and cash available, that we are in a good market and a strong economy," said Aref al Khouri, the chairman of the founder's committee of Wataniya.

Gulf Times – Sharjah Islamic Bank to issue $300mn sukuk by mid-May

Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) plans to issue a 5-year Islamic bond, or sukuk, worth $300mn by mid-May, an executive at the bank said.

“The road shows will take place in the first half of May,” and money will be used for “expansion purposes,” SIB deputy chief executive officer Ahmed Saad in an emailed reply to Zawya Dow Jones questions.

SIB already has a sukuk worth 826mn UAE dirhams ($225mn) that falls due in October.

Qatar budget surplus falls to 9% of GDP in fiscal Q3 - Arab News

Qatar’s state budget surplus fell to 9.3 percent of quarterly economic output in the third quarter of its 2010/11 fiscal year as spending jumped, exceeding full-year plans, data showed on Monday.

Qatar’s surplus dropped to 12.1 billion riyals ($3.3 billion) in October-December last year from 19.4 billion, or 16.4 percent of gross domestic product in the previous three months, the central bank’s preliminary estimates showed.

Revenue almost doubled to 132.3 billion riyals in October-December from the same period of the previous year, bringing cumulative income for the first three fiscal quarters to 146 percent of the 2010/11 plan.

S&P still sees 'negative trends' in GCC real estate -

The effects of the social unrest in the Middle East and North Africa are uneven across the corporate and infrastructure sectors in GCC states, Standard & Poor's said on Monday.

The ratings agency said in a new report said real estate and construction companies were likely to see "continued negative creditworthiness trends".

But it added that many infrastructure companies in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE would be "widely insulated" from the uprisings elsewhere in the region. | Empower calls on banks for funding

Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower), a joint venture between Tecom Investments and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) and the largest district cooling services provider in the Middle East, has urged regional and local banks to enhance their funding to district cooling industry which is considered one of the safest industries in terms of risks and return on investment (ROI).

Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO of Empower, added: “Key players in the district cooling industry in the UAE and the Gulf have succeeded in building a world-class district cooling infrastructure. The demand has risen rapidly in the UAE in the last decade, which lowers the risks of such investments significantly compared to other opportunities.”

Demand for district cooling has been increasing rapidly in the last decade. In the UAE, it was first used in the 1970s at the Dubai International Airport. It began to be adopted commercially in 1998 with the real estate boom in the country. The adoption rate in this technology has remarkably increased in the past five years especially amongst large scale projects.