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Monday, 9 May 2011

Saudi Arabia Shares Gain Most in Two Weeks on Oil - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabian shares gained the most in two weeks after crude oil rebounded from the biggest weekly decline since 2008.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), the world’s biggest petrochemicals maker, gained 0.9 percent to 108.75 riyals. Tabuk Cement (TACCO) Co., the clinker maker, rose 2.4 percent to 21.05 riyals, the highest level since October 2009. The Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) advanced 0.8 percent to 6,674.57 as of 2:37 p.m. in Riyadh. The gauge tumbled 1.6 percent, while Saudi Basic dropped 2.9 percent on May 7.

“A strong rebound in oil prices has helped persuade investors that Saturday’s sell-off in Saudi petrochemicals was overdone,” said Amro Halwani, a senior trader at Shuaa Capital PSC in Riyadh. “Driven by China and other emerging nations the appetite for commodities remains firm with a floor on oil prices near $100 likely to stay in place as long regional geopolitical tensions persist.”

London Canal Boats Beat Supertankers as Glut Sinks Oil Freight - Businessweek

Hiring canal boats in London costs more than supertankers earn from shipping Saudi Arabian crude to Japan as a glut of the oil transporters cuts freight rates on the industry’s most important trade route.

Returns from the 1,000-foot long tankers plunged 99 percent to $585 a day over the past year for single-trip charters to deliver 2 million barrel cargoes, according to the London-based Baltic Exchange. Hiring a 57-foot pleasure craft on the Grand Union Canal that links London to Birmingham costs 395 pounds ($646) a day, the website shows.

The surplus of supertankers vying for Middle East cargoes has more than doubled to 23 percent this year as ships hit the water that were ordered in 2007 and 2008 when returns were higher, according to Bloomberg News surveys of shipowners and brokers. Ship fuel prices, representing owners’ single-largest expense, have climbed 28 percent in 2011, tracking crude oil.

MENA stock markets close - May 9, 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)

Profit jump boosts shares of Dubai's Union Properties - The National

Union Properties made its biggest intraday gain in more than a week as the Dubai developer announced a 64 per cent jump in first quarter net profit.

The company in which Emirates NBD holds a 48 per cent stake, said its first quarter net profit for the year climbed to Dh82 million as it handed over properties located in the Dubai International Financial Centre.

The company’s statement, which was made after the market closed, also revealed provisions for loss on valuation of properties of Dh65 million, but otherwise “all segments of the business have continued to perform well in line with expectations.”

HSBC posts big numbers from Middle East at it cuts staff in region - The National

HSBC has almost doubled its quarterly gains from its Middle East operations, as the bank lays off staff in the region and prepares for further cost-cutting across its business worldwide.

The bank, the largest in Europe by market capitalisation, reported profits before tax of $335 million (Dh1.23 billion) for the first quarter, up 91.4 per cent on a year ago.

Improved profits in the Middle East were driven by "earlier actions to reposition certain portfolios, and improved credit conditions in Dubai", the bank said in a statement.

Ex-Deyaar executive took Dh20m in kickbacks for bids, court hears - The National

A former Deyaar chief executive was charged this morning with misusing his powers and approving bids in return for Dh20 million in kickbacks, and three others faced separate related charges.

Prosecutors said that between 2004 and 2007, the American ZS, 45, who was responsible for managing bids for the company had deliberately approved high offers in return for a bribe, damaging Deyaar.

KM, 61, an Argentinian partner at another company, was accused of Dh10m in bribes as part of the scheme, along with FL, Canadian, and AS, British, who are at large. KM also faces a separate charge of forging bills and using them.

Volkswagen offers to take over MAN - Hurriyet Daily

Volkswagen, Europe’s largest carmaker, made a mandatory bid for MAN after increasing its holding in the truckmaker as VW seeks to intensify cooperation between the two companies and Scania.

VW offered 95 euros per common share for MAN, lower than the current share price of 96.89 euros, after increasing its voting rights in the German truckmaker to 30.47 percent, according to a statement Monday.

VW is seeking greater cooperation between MAN and Scania, which it already controls, to increase synergies in procurement, development and production. The two truckmakers have run into anti-trust restrictions as they seek to work more closely together and possibly combine.

Egypt Stock Exchange Plans ETFs, Short Selling to Spur Trading Amid Unrest - Bloomberg

Egypt’s stock exchange plans to start exchange-traded funds and allow short-selling this year to boost trading and give investors greater access to local markets, Chairman Mohamed Abd El Salam said.

The Egyptian Exchange will introduce “same-day” short selling and lift a restriction on intraday trading this month, the bourse’s Abd El Salam said in an interview in Dubai yesterday. Intraday trades have been suspended since March when the bourse opened following a two-month closure during the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February.

The country’s worst political crisis in three decades has deterred investors and hurt the economy, which the International Monetary Fund estimates will grow as little as 1 percent this year, the lowest annual rate since 1992. The benchmark EGX 30 Index (EGX30) has tumbled 32 percent since January, the world’s worst performer, while average trading volumes have fallen 30 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Arabian Gulf countries shifting trade and investment emphasis to emerging markets, reveals new research -

By 2009 the emerging-market share of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) trade had reached 45%, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, up from 15% in 1980.

This share has been rising by an average of 11% per year between 1980 and 2009, compared to only 5% a year for GCC trade with OECD countries.

The region’s shift from developed to developing countries as trading and investment partners is explored in a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, GCC trade and investment flows - The emerging-market surge.

The report is available free of charge at

96% slump in DFM Q1 profits as Arab unrest hits trading volumes « ArabianMoney

The wider impact of the Arab uprisings on investment sentiment was underlined by a 96 per cent slump in first-quarter profits at the Dubai Financial Market to just $594,000, with average daily trading volumes down from 235 million a year ago to 116 million.

There are calls from senior exchange and regulatory officials for a merger with the Abu Dubai Securities Exchange but this remains a political issue rather than one with practical obstructions.

Omantel's Q1 profit falls 19.8 pct - Maktoob News

First-quarter net profit at Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel) fell 19.8 percent, the company said in a statement, ahead of releasing full financial results later in the week.

The former monopoly reported a first-quarter profit of 26 million rials ($67.53 million), in line with analyst estimates, but down from 32.4 million rials in the year-earlier period.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the firm to post a quarterly profit of 26.2 million rials.

Guest post: Dubai looks for trade growth to India and Africa | beyondbrics –

Without large oil reserves, Dubai’s future depends on our success as a trading hub and strategic position in the world. So understanding the changing shape of global trade is crucial.

Too often, and in defiance of traditional economic thinking, trade is seen in terms of winners and losers. But the true picture, as a new authoritative report* into trade between the countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council and the rest of world highlights, is far more interesting.

The report captures the astonishing rise in economic power of the emerging markets over the last two decades. In 1987, they made up just 16 per cent of global GDP. Today, they account for 31 per cent, a figure forecast to rise to 41 per cent by 2015.

Kuwait Global's Unit To Launch $350M Fund To Invest In Turkish SMEs - Zawya

-Kuwait's Global Capital Management, or GCM, a wholly-owned unit of Global Investment House, plans to launch a private equity fund in Turkey with a targeted capital of $350 million to invest in small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, there, Kuwait-based Al Rai daily reports Monday citing a GCM partner.

The fund will first focus all its activities on Turkey then it will be marketed in the region once the approvals are given by the involved countries, Ihsan Sancay, GCM's partner in Turkey, told the paper.

The fund will invest in SMEs with growth potential whether they are family businesses or shareholding companies, the daily cites Sancay as saying.

Egyptian Shares Drop Most in Two Weeks After Sectarian Clashes in Cairo - Bloomberg

Egyptian shares tumbled to the lowest level in more than two years, led by EFG-Hermes Holding SAE, after clashes between Muslims and Christians in Cairo killed at least nine people.

The yields on the Ministry of Finance’s treasury bill sale rose to the highest in more than two years. EFG-Hermes, the country’s biggest publicly traded investment bank, declined the most in almost two weeks.The EGX 30 Index (EGX30) retreated 1.2 percent to 4,878.41, the lowest level since April 2009, at the 2:30 p.m. close in Cairo. The measure has plunged 32 percent this year as a popular revolt led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in February.

“The sectarian conflict over the weekend in Cairo is the main cause behind the overly exaggerated panic today,” said Omar Darwish, equity sales trader at Cairo-based Commercial International Brokerage Co.

gulfnews : Political unrest deals blow to investor confidence

Capital markets in the GCC would appear to have been impacted by the current regional political and economic unrest with company valuations discounted compared to prior levels, increasing finance costs and falling investor risk appetite being a feature of the first quarter of 2011.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the leading international professional services organisation, believes that 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.

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 $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion).

gulfnews : Dubai's economy remains strong: Al Ghurair

Business registration in Dubai has increased since the beginning of the year, although it is unclear if the recent uncertainities in the Middle East have anything to do with it.

There are, however, talks of capital inflow from toubled Arab economies such as Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria and Yemen that could boost the UAE economy, especially Dubai due to its competitive advantage.

"We don't have clear indicators with regards to this specific issue, but we can say that our membership has increased since the start of the year. Whether this is a direct influence of the political upheavals in other Middle Eastern countries is unknown," Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said in an interview with Gulf News.

gulfnews : Fujairah oil sector's future is promising

For a long time now, Fujairah has been considered a highly potential oil port. Its strategic location outside the Arabian Gulf coupled with its proximity to the oilfields of the UAE and the already existing oil installations must have contributed to this view.

But the delays in implementing some projects have reduced the role of Fujairah to a storage depot of crude oil and petroleum products in addition to a modest refinery of 70,000 barrels a day.

Yet Fujairah today is the second largest bunkering port in the world after Singapore.

gulfnews : UAE banks gradually improving

Nothing seems to have changed dramatically for UAE banks in the first quarter of 2011 except gradual improvement in liquidity, capitalisation levels and reduction in provisioning for bad loans.

Most leading banks in the country missed anal-ysts' estimates on key performance indicators such as profits, provisions and loan growth. Loan growth in 2010 was 4.4 per cent and going by the first quarter trend both bankers and analysts expect it to remain soft for the rest of the year.

Emirates NBD, the UAE's biggest bank by assets, reported a 27 per cent increase in its first quarter profits helped by gains from the sale of a 49 per cent stake in Network International, its credit card processing unit, which resulted in a gain of Dh1.8 billion.