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Saturday, 28 May 2011

Saudi loan for Emaar project - The National

A 5 billion riyal (Dh4.89bn) loan from the Saudi government is expected to jump-start construction of the King Abdullah Economic City, a 168-square-kilometre development on the Red Sea north of Jeddah.

Emaar, The Economic City (Emaar EC), a publicly listed joint venture between the Dubai developer Emaar Properties and Saudi investors, is building the project, the largest private-sector development in the kingdom.

The plans include a new port, an 800-hectare industrial sector, office towers, resorts and homes for 2 million people.

Alwaleed Says Saudi Arabia Seeks $70 to $80 Oil to Preserve Sales to West - Bloomberg

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said an oil price of $70 to $80 a barrel is in the best interests of Saudi Arabia because it diminishes the urgency in the U.S. and Europe to develop alternative energy sources.

“We don’t want the West to go and find alternatives,” Alwaleed, a nephew of Saudi King Abdullah, said in an interview on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” scheduled for broadcast tomorrow. “The higher the price of oil goes, the more they have incentives to go and find alternatives.”

The rebellion in Libya, political turmoil in Bahrain and speculative buying are responsible for driving oil prices to more than $100 a barrel, Alwaleed said. Crude for July delivery rose 36 cents to settle at $100.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday. Prices have increased 35 percent in the past year.

Saudi Stock Market close - May 28, 2011

General Index
Intraday 3 month
Daily Statistics
General Index6751.11
Change (%)0.41%
T. Volume302485044
T. Companies 149

Saudi Shares Climb to 4-Month High as Oil Rises; Emaar Economic City Jumps - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabian shares rose to the highest level in four months as oil prices gained after leaders of the Group of Eight nations said the global economy is strengthening.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), the world’s biggest petrochemicals maker, and National Industrialization Co. (NIC) led the gains. Emaar Economic City (EMAAR) gained the most in almost three years.

The 146-member Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) climbed 0.4 percent to 6,751.11, the gauge’s highest level since Jan. 17, at the 3:30 p.m. close in Riyadh. Three shares rose for every stock that dropped and the index rallied for a third day, extending quarterly gains to 2.9 percent.

Dubai's Noor Islamic Bank denies merger plans | Reuters

Dubai's Noor Islamic Bank has no plans to merge with any other financial institution, the chairman of the emirate's Supreme Fiscal Committee said on Saturday.

"There were never any plans to merge Noor Islamic Bank with, or have it absorbed by, any other financial institution. These were nothing but unfounded market rumours," Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, who is also chairman of Noor Islamic Bank, said in a statement.

Noor Islamic Bank had been touted as a possible candidate to absorb troubled Islamic lender Dubai Bank, which was recently taken over by the Gulf emirate's government.

ADIA invests $475m in Goldman Sachs hotel portfolio - The National

Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund is investing US$475 million (Dh1.74 billion) in a Goldman Sachs hotel portfolio, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The deal is part of a broader restructuring for Goldman Sachs' Whitehall Real Estate Funds, one of the bank's largest hotel portfolios. It includes refinancing $1.42bn of debt due in April and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority will inject $475m for a preferred equity stake.

Deutsche Bank will also refinance the debt through a $975m loan. Deutsche Bank declined to comment on its role.

Up to six regional firms looking to list on London exchange - The National

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is eyeing up to six "likely listings" from the Middle East and GCC region over the next year, the bourse's executives said on a visit to Dubai.

These would take the form of dual listings and include the forthcoming flotation of the ports operator DP World on the London stock market later this week and the potential listing of the Qatari conglomerate Aamal, which this month announced its intention to list shares in the form of global depositary receipts on the LSE.

The other candidates come from the construction and industrial sectors and "some related to oil and gas," according to Richard Webster-Smith, the manager of international primary markets at the LSE, one of the world's largest stock markets.

Lagarde Sees Europe Debt Crisis, Middle East as Focuses for Next IMF Chief - Bloomberg

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said Europe’s debt crisis and the aftermath of the Arab Spring will be priorities for the International Monetary Fund’s next chief as she kept up her campaign for the post.

“Europe will be a clear focus for the next couple of years,” Lagarde told BBC Radio 4 today. “I also think that what is happening in northern Africa, in the Middle East, and the major economic developments that will be needed to accompany what is happening, will probably attract the IMF’s attention and possibly financing.”

The IMF said in a report prepared for the Group of Eight summit this week that oil-importing nations in the Middle East and North Africa will require more than $160 billion in external funding through 2013. Lagarde, who is vying to become France’s fifth IMF chief and maintain Europe’s hold on the position, also told the Financial Times she would “remedy the situation” if she found developing countries underrepresented at the fund.

gulfnews : Nasdaq Dubai set to delay adoption of DvP

The Nasdaq Dubai plans to delay proposed market enhancements until July subject to regulatory approval, the exchange said in a statement on its website on Thursday.

The exchange had planned to adopt a so-called delivery-versus-payment system "in the near future" for its listed shares, the company said in an April newsletter. Known as DvP, the system is a securities industry procedure in which payment for a security must be made when the security is delivered. Usually, the payment is made to a bank, which in turn pays for the security.

Brokerages and custodians have until tomorrow to switch to DvP, the UAE stock exchanges said last month. The Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority, the nation's regulator, said on April 11 DvP would be introduced at the bourses yesterday.

HSBC MEast launches $500 mln sukuk, pricing Thursday | Reuters

HSBC's (HSBA.L) Middle East unit launched a $500 million Islamic bond at 155 basis points over midswaps, the lower end of an earlier guidance, with final pricing expected later Thursday.

HSBC Middle East, a subsidiary of the U.K.-based lender, held roadshows this week in Asia, the Middle East and London gauge sentiment for a five-year Islamic bond, or sukuk as the lender looks to tap demand for Islamic paper. [ID:nLDE74N02C]

It had earlier set a guidance of 155-160 basis points over midswaps for the sale.

Saudi Arabia ahead in GCC construction race

Saudi Arabia has swept the United Arab Emirates off the top spot in the regional construction race with plans to generate higher funds towards the Kingdom’s construction sector.

The Kingdom plans to generate nearly $450 billion in construction contracts in the next five years compared to $400 billion in the UAE, according to data released at the Arabian World Construction Summit in Abu Dhabi.

Over the last five years, the UAE accounted for $380 billion in projects, while Saudi Arabia generated $225 billion, research by data analyst Meed Projects found. - Tunis and Cairo given breathing space

The $20bn of international aid pledged at the G8 meeting to support the democratic transitions in Egypt and Tunisia will give their governments breathing space as they grapple with soaring popular expectations amid worsening economic conditions, say analysts and businessmen.

The turmoil that accompanied the overthrow of dictatorship earlier this year in both countries frightened away tourists and investors, taking a heavy toll on economic growth.

But as national deficits widened and government receipts declined, interim administrations in Tunis and Cairo have found themselves faced with widespread protests for higher pay.