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Monday, 23 May 2011

MENA stock markets close - May 23, 2011

ExchangeStatus IndexChange
TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
6702.76-0.71%
DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
1546.65-2.03%
ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
2631.83-0.56%
KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
6443.4-0.74%
BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
1364.04-0.04%
MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
6070.930.11%
QE (Qatar Exchange)
8441.35-1.92%
LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
1375.95-0.30%
EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
5333.73-1.33%
ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
2192.030.37%
TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
4136.36-0.14%
CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
11926.50.39%
PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)
488.90.25%

Sell, sell, sell on Dubai bourse forces shares down - The National

Dubai's market retreated to its lowest point in more than a month as concerns over the global and regional economy prompted investors to sell their shares.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index fell 2 per cent to 1,546.65 points as shares in Emaar Properties, Dubai Islamic Bank and the only publicly listed Gulf market, DFM Company fell to new lows, weighing on the wider benchmark.

Shares in those companies slipped 3.2 per cent to Dh3.04, 2.3 per cent to Dh2.10, and 4 per cent to Dh1.20 respectively.

Gulf traders still view investing as a sprint not a marathon - The National

Recent regional unrest and the worst financial crisis in a generation have failed to dampen Gulf investors' expectations of huge returns over short periods of time, according to a new survey by NMG Group, a consultancy.

Local GCC investors expect to get 11 per cent returns annually and typically hold on to investments for just 2.2 years, according to the survey of more than 100 institutional and retail investors. Indian expatriates living in the GCC also expected to make 11 per cent a year, but they intended to hang on for longer - 5.7 years, on average.

That contrasted starkly with the views of western expatriates, who were expecting just 7 per cent returns over an average holding period of 6.7 years. Historically, developed-world stock market returns have averaged between 7 and 8 per cent per year.

World Bank says $40 billion funding gap in Arab region needs plugging - The National

Bridging a funding gap of up to US$40 billion (Dh147bn) a year in infrastructure investment in the Arab world will become more challenging due to the fallout from recent unrest, says a World Bank official.

The World Bank and others are close to finalising a fund intended to raise up to $1bn for much-needed investment in infrastructure projects in the region, said Raymond Bourdeaux, lead infrastructure specialist for Mena at the World Bank.

Investment in hospitals, schools, roads and other public services is viewed by the World Bank as a way of easing social tensions and laying foundations for economic growth.

Egypt Plans to Raise $1 Billion From Sale of Eurobond as Budget Gap Widens - Bloomberg

Egypt plans to raise $1 billion by selling Eurobonds this year to diversify borrowing and finance a widening budget deficit after its economy was rocked by the worst political crisis in 30 years.

The five-year bonds will be backed by a U.S. “sovereign guarantee,” Finance Minister Samir Radwan said by telephone from Cairo today. “We should tap the market quickly. We need to diversify because the local market is squeezed.”

Egypt’s budget gap may widen to the highest level in more than a decade in 2012 after a popular revolt ended the three- decade rule of President Hosni Mubarak, according to the Ministry of Finance. The turmoil prompted tourists to flee, lowered the country’s credit ratings and raised borrowing costs. President Barack Obama promised last week $2 billion in loan guarantees and debt forgiveness.

Dubai has ‘more than enough’ malls, says BinHendi - ArabianBusiness.com

Dubai cannot sustain any more mega-malls in an already glutted retail market, the head of one of the UAE’s largest retail conglomerates said Monday.

“[Dubai has] more than enough malls,” Mohi-Din BinHendi, president of BinHendi Enterprises, told the 4th Arabian Business Forum in Dubai.

“If anyone wants to add another mall, they need to visit a psychiatrist.”

Dubai pins hopes on aerotropolis vision but project on go-slow « ArabianMoney

Gulf hub city Dubai is pinning its hopes on a bright future as an aerotropolis by building the world’s largest airport at the recently inaugurated Maktoum International Airport linked by a 10-kilometre corridor to the Jebel Ali Free Zone, an economics workshop at the Dubai International Financial Centre heard today.

Chief operating officer at Dubai World Central, the free zone surrounding the new airport, Rashed Buqara’a said: ‘Maktoum International is already needed right now to meet air cargo capacity requirements for Dubai and will open for passengers in 2012.

‘Ultimately the new airport will be the biggest in the world handling 120 million passengers a year and 12 million tonnes of cargo. That compares with 47.2 million in 2010 (handled at the existing airport) and 2.27 million tonnes of cargo.’


Regional unrest to hit HSBC Mideast revenues -executive - Maktoob News

Revenue growth at HSBC's Middle East and North Africa operations will be hampered by the political unrest in the region, a senior executive said on Monday.

Turmoil has spread across the Arab world since January, leading to the ouster of longtime regimes in Tunisia and Egypt as well as clashes in Libya, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain.

Steve Bottomley, regional head of strategy and planning for HSBC, said revenue growth will be constrained by the political instability, especially ongoing uncertainty in Egypt, one of the largest markets for the bank in the region.

Kuwait's Aayan signs $744 mln restructuring deal - Maktoob News

Kuwaiti Islamic firm Aayan Leasing and Investment Co on Monday signed a 205 million dinars ($743.6 million) debt restructuring deal with creditors.

This amount is 62 percent of the Aayar's total debts, it said in a statement.

The firm, which was hit during the global financial crisis, has signed an agreement with nine creditors, seven of which are local, including Kuwait Finance House , Burgan Bank and Gulf Bank .

ExxonMobil to invest $16 bn in Qatar over next 5 years - The Economic Times

ExxonMobil Qatar's investments in Qatar might exceed $16 billion over the next five years, compared to a world total of $37 billion, a senior company official has said.

At a round table meeting held by the company to review world energy expectations until 2030, Saleh Bin Saad Al Mana , the Vice-President of Government and Public Affairs at ExxonMobil, Qatar, said the company will invest some 217 million Qatari riyals in the Qatar Science and Technology Park by 2014.

According to a report released on the same occasion, steady population growth in the world will lead to an increase in energy demand by 35 per cent in 2030, compared to 2005, Qatar's official news agency said.

gulfnews : Sharia-compliant bank products poised for strong global growth

As a major global professional services firm, Deloitte has been actively engaged in Islamic finance for a decade.

Over the years, Deloitte has assisted clients in setting up Islamic finance operations, obtaining Sharia-compliant funding, advising on Sharia-compliant product structures and their tax implications, as well as market entry and operational strategies.

Gulf News caught up with David Vicary, Deloitte's Global Islamic Finance Leader, to discuss the future of Islamic finance, the range of investment options it provides customers as well as to gauge the reasons for its growing popularity among investors.

Iran-Bahrain gas project off again - The National

An on/off plan for Bahrain to import Iranian gas is off again over another diplomatic tiff. Manama said yesterday it had frozen plans to import fuel from Iran's biggest gasfield through a proposed undersea pipelinebecause of Iranian meddling in the country's internal affairs.

"The project to import Iranian gas is currently halted because of the blatant Iranian interference," said Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, the Bahraini foreign minister, according to Bahrain's official news agency, BNA.

"The repeated provocative statements from Tehran would no doubt be an obstacle to any agreement between the two parties," he told the local Al Watan newspaper.

Corporate fraudsters in the Gulf being caught in greater numbers - The National

Corporate fraudsters are getting caught red-handed in ever greater numbers in the Gulf through tighter oversight and the pressures of the financial crisis, according to a survey from Deloitte Corporate Finance.

More than a third of executives in the region reported at least one instance of fraud during the past year, the web-based survey found. Of those, 14 per cent were valued at more than US$1 million (Dh3.6m) and 7 per cent at more than $10m.

The high incidence of fraud may be linked to stepped-up efforts to detect and prosecute it, rather than an actual increase in fraudulent activity, lawyers and fraud investigators said. "People are more willing to take action now," said Stephen Millington, who heads financial investigations in the Middle East for Kroll, a corporate investigations company. "Before, a fraud may have happened but it was resolved quietly and in-house, whereas now shareholders and boards are acting."

D-Day on markets upgrade nears - The National

Qatar and the UAE are racing to meet the MSCI's criteria for an upgrade to "emerging market" status with just a month to go before a decision is made by the index compiler.

Both countries' markets have to meet various MSCI criteria before an upgrade from "frontier" to "emerging market" status, but neither has so far fulfilled all the requirements.

The limit on foreign ownership in the country's stocks and putting into practice a key settlement mechanism, the so-called delivery versus payment system (DvP), are still a problem for both markets.

Egypt Is ‘Disintegrating’ as Tourism Drop Cripples Economy, ElBaradei Says - Bloomberg

Egypt is disintegrating socially and its economy “is bust,” said Mohamed ElBaradei, the former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency and possible candidate for the Egyptian presidency.

“Right now, socially, we are disintegrating,” ElBaradei said on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” scheduled to air today. “Economically we are not in the best state. Politically it’s -- it’s like a black hole. We do not know where we are heading.”

ElBaradei said many Egyptians don’t feel secure as the country struggles to create a new government after former president Hosni Mubarak was forced from power by protests earlier this year.

Oman's welcomed U-turn in Islamic banking policy - Arab News

Oman has finally succumbed to the demand dynamics of Islamic banking, oft quoted even by central bankers and the World Bank Group, as the fastest growing component of the global financial system.

Earlier in May, Oman's absolute ruler, Sultan Qaboos, issued a royal decree paving the way for the authorization of the country's first standalone Islamic bank and for other interested banks to set up dedicated Islamic banking windows.

The first application to launch an Islamic bank, Nizwa Bank, has already been submitted. However, the authorization process may take more than a year because the Central Bank of Oman has yet to develop and adopt a regulatory and supervisory regime for Islamic banking and the government has yet to introduce an enabling Islamic banking law. This will depend on the priority with which these government agencies implement the royal decree.

Oman sovereign wealth fund to buy 5% in NCDEX - The Economic Times

Oman Investment Fund (OIF), a sovereign wealth fund owned by the Oman government, and a hedge fund have agreed to buy part of National Stock Exchange's stake in National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) in a deal that would value the bourse at Rs 700 crore.

"OIF has agreed to pick up 5% in the commodity exchange from NSE and a hedge fund will buy 1.1% at a little under Rs 145 a share, the price Renuka Sugars paid to buy 7% in NCDEX from Crisil last year," said a person aware of the development. If the deal goes through, it will mark the entry of a sovereign fund into India's seven-year-old commodity futures market that posted turnover in excess of Rs 100 lakh crore in the previous financial year (FY11). The number of shares subscribed to by NCD-EX's shareholders is 5.06 crore of Rs 10 face value each. The valuation of Rs 700 crore is based on a share price around Rs 140, valuing the 6.1% stake at Rs 43 crore, or close to 10 times what NSE had invested in NCDEX to buy 15% stake at its inception in 2003.

An e-mail query and telephone call to NSE's corporate communications asking for a confirmation of the development remained unanswered till the time of going to press, as did an e-mail to OIF. JM Financial is the advisor to NSE on the deal.

gulfnews : Chinese firm to delist from Nasdaq Dubai in July

China Security & Surveillance Technology Inc (CSST), an integrated surveillance and safety solutions provider of mainland China, yesterday said it was delisting its shares from the Dubai bourse.

CSST joined the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) in 2008, becoming the first company from China to join the bourse, which was later renamed Nasdaq Dubai.

The company listed its ordinary shares on Nasdaq Dubai in a secondary listing. Its primary listing is on the New York Stock Exchange. CSST did not give any specific reason for its decision to delist.