Google+ Followers

Sunday, 5 June 2011

BBC News - IMF agrees $3bn financing deal with Egypt

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed a $3bn (£1.8bn) loan deal with the interim government in Egypt.

The IMF praised the government's attempts to stabilise the economy since the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in February.

The uprising scared away tourists and investors and cut tax revenues, which has left the government short of cash.

EGYPT: Foreign debt constrains economic choices -

The first six months of this year have not been easy for the Egyptian economy. The political unrest that ousted the president and uncertainty over the country’s direction triggered a drop in tourism revenues, low levels of domestic and foreign investments and scarce employment opportunities in the formal private sector. Economic growth is expected to drop from an early forecast of 5.5% to a maximum of 2% for the 2010-11 fiscal year, the country’s lowest growth rate during the past decade.

Lkd5noncMeanwhile, government expenditures are steadily rising, following a 15% hike in civil servants’ wages and a budget increase in food subsidies to soften the burden of high prices in global markets. The government’s budget deficit for the 2010-11 fiscal year could exceed 10% of GDP, up from 7.6% projected before the unrest began.

As a result, the Egyptian government is struggling to fund a gap of around $20 billion and to budget confidently for the coming fiscal year, which begins next month. There are ongoing negotiations with international institutions — primarily the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank — as well as talks with Egypt’s traditional partners: the United States, the European Union and the Persian Gulf states.

» MENA Real Estate Sector Missing Out on Global Capital Flows: JLL alifarabia

Jones Lang LaSalle, the world’s leading real estate investment and advisory firm, today published its 2011 Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Real Estate Investor Sentiment Survey. The report indicates that although investment appetite exists, the region is missing out on significant regional and global capital flows because of the shortage of investment grade product and the lingering price gap between buyers and sellers.

While the survey is now in its sixth year, this is a newly launched institutional edition, which focuses on understanding the perspectives of the top 30 financial institutions investing in regional real estate markets. This latest version highlights two clear trends.

First, the amount of overseas capital allocated to investing in MENA real estate is negligible.

MENA stock markets close- June 5, 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)

Egyptian Shares Climb After Capital Gains Tax Clarified; Gulf Stocks Drop - Bloomberg

Egypt shares rose the most in a week on speculation the recent drop was overdone as the exchange said a government plan to impose capital gains tax applies only to dividend distributions and not to profit from stocks trading.

Orascom Construction Industries (OCIC), Egypt’s biggest publicly traded property builder, jumped 2.5 percent. Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE (COMI) advanced the most in almost a week. The EGX 30 Index (EGX30) gained 1.6 percent, the most since May 29, to 5,447.70 at 1:04 p.m. in Cairo. The measure slumped 2.7 percent on June 2 after the government unveiled the capital gains tax on dividends and higher corporate tax bracket to rein in the budget deficit. In the Persian Gulf, the Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200) declined 0.3 percent.

“The negative effect we saw last week from the capital gains tax announcement was very short-lived because the market is still trading at a discount and small investors now see that their trading profits will not be affected,” said Ashraf Akhnoukh, senior equity sales trader at Cairo-based Commercial International Brokerage. "There still remains a growth story here.’’

RBS Courts Middle East Funds Before Government Sale, Times Says - Bloomberg

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS)’s Chief Executive OfficerStephen Hester is looking to attract sovereign wealth funds in theMiddle East ahead of the government’s sale of the U.K. bank, the Sunday Times reported.

Hester met with investment funds in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Qatar and Kuwait during a tour of the Gulf last week, according to the newspaper. The bank’s CEO wants the government to sell a part of its shareholding worth between 5 billion pounds ($8.2 billion) and 10 billion pounds early next year, the newspaper said, citing people close to the lender it didn’t identify.

Hester said during his visit to Abu Dhabi that he would be disappointed if the sale of the government stake didn’t start in 2012, the Sunday Times quoted the CEO as saying.

Iraq Signs Accord With Kogas, Turkiye, Kuwait Energy to Develop Gas Fileds - Bloomberg

Iraq, eager to supply natural gas to its overburdened power plants, signed agreements with Korea Gas Corp. (036460), Kuwait Energy Co. and Turkiye Petrolleri AO to develop two gas fields.

The three companies secured rights to develop the Mansouriya field in Iraq’s eastern Diyala province, while Turkiye Petrolleri and Kuwait Energy won a license for the Siba field in southern Basra province, Oil Minister Abdul Kareem al- Luaibi said. The government awarded rights to both deposits in October, together with a license to a third field called Akkas.

“Iraq needs to develop these fields in order to provide for the needs of its electricity stations,” Luaibi said today during the signing ceremony in Baghdad and in the presence of Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz. “Iraq also aims to become a major source for gas in the future,” the Iraqi minister said.

DW tribunal seeks public opinion - Emirates 24/7

The Special Tribunal for Dubai World debtors is seeking public opinion on proposed new rules, an emailed statement by the tribunal said today.

“In line with its commitment to transparency and judicial independence, the Special Tribunal for Dubai World has proposed to amend the rules that it currently applies, by way of public consultation,” the statement said.

“These amendments, which are based on judicial and tribunal users’ experience and case requirements, will be made available for a one month period starting June 5 on the tribunal’s website (

UAE May business conditions ease from series high

Private sector business activity in the United Arab Emirates slowed in May from a series high seen in the previous month as both new orders and output decelerated, a purchasing managers' survey showed on Sunday.

The HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which measures the performance of the OPEC member's manufacturing and services sectors, fell to 56.0 points in May.

It stood at 57.5 points in April, which was the highest level since the series began in August 2009, with 50 marking the point separating growth from contraction. Four hundred private sector firms take part in the survey.

Qatar to hit full LNG export capacity end 2011, Qatar Industries - Maktoob News

Top LNG exporter Qatar will reach full export capacity of 77 million tonnes per year by the end of 2011, the head of the state oil marketing company said on Sunday.

Qatar already has the world's largest capacity to ship super-chilled gas, and exported its first cargo from the latest plant to come into operation in February. That plant, Qatargas train seven, was the last in its expansion plan to reach capacity of 77 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports per year.

Qatargas trains six and seven are still ramping up, Saad Abdullah al-Kuwari, chief executive of Qatar International Petroleum Marketing Co (Tasweeq), told Reuters in an interview.

Qatar's Al Khaliji Bank, IBQ end merger discussions, Qatar Industries - Maktoob News

A proposed merger between Qatar's Al Khaliji Commercial Bank and the International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) will not proceed after both parties failed to agree on terms for the deal, Al Khaliji said in a statement.

"The parties have together decided to end negotiations for the proposed combination of businesses after final terms could not be agreed," the statement issued late on Saturday said.

"As a result, the existing governing, operational and financial structures in place at the Banks will remain unchanged."

gulfnews : Gulf equities to come under selling pressure

GCC stock markets are expected to come under selling pressure in the week ahead amid softening international oil prices and concerns about the faltering US economy, market analysts say.

"The market in Saudi Arabia is down today...With oil prices going down, other major stock markets of the region in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar may see some more downsides," Mousa Haddad, Head Trader with National Bank of Abu Dhabi Asset Management, told Gulf News.

At 1,520, there's a very strong support level for the Dubai market, while for Abu Dhabi the support level is at 2,620. For the Saudi market the support level is around 6,500," Haddad added.

Full: Shock troops of Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale do real damage to Qaddafi - The National

The phrase "asset depletion" has taken on a whole new meaning in tragic, war-torn Libya.

The American military uses the term to describe the systematic destruction of an opponent's fighting capability, usually by remote warfare weapons such as cruise missiles, drones or "smart" bombs.

In Libya, the damage has been done by Nato attacks using some of those techniques, as well as by more conventional assaults in support of the western-sponsored rebels.

Things can only get better, say optimistic executives - The National

Corporate executives from the Middle East are growing increasingly optimistic about the growth prospects of their businesses, in spite of the unrest that some countries still face within the region.

Some 67 per cent of chief financial officers surveyed in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region say they are decidedly optimistic about the financial prospects of their company now compared to the prior six months. That is up 21 points from when the question was first posed at the end of 2009 and marks an 18-month high, says a study from the consultancy Deloitte & Touche.

More than 80 per cent of the surveyed chief financial officers, who cover industries such as energy, manufacturing, finance and hospitality, also believe operating cash flow from their company will rise over the next year. That is substantially higher than the 49 per cent who felt this way during the third quarter of last year.

Reports will bring Egypt's property problems into focus - The National

Regional investors will be looking at Egypt this week as quarterly earnings from two key developers are expected to give an indication of the country's property outlook after the political turmoil that began in January.

Palm Hills Developments and Egyptian Resorts are slated to release their first-quarter results in the coming days.

Many developers are being investigated for land purchases completed under the administration of the former president Hosni Mubarak, with some transactions nullified because of corruption.

Oil strike in Iraq holds promise for Abu Dhabi - The National

Oil has been struck in Iraqi Kurdistan by the Austrian petroleum group OMV, which is partly owned by an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund.

OMV, in which the International Petroleum Investment Company holds a 20 per cent stake, said its Bina Bawi 3 well had encountered hydrocarbons in one of the primary reservoir targets. The company said it planned to investigate further.

"We are very pleased to announce this discovery of oil. It seems good quality oil and it was flowing to the surface following a drawdown test," said Jaap Huijskes, the OMV executive board member responsible for exploration and production. "We are now going to continue drilling but I am confident that the final results will be promising."

Saudi shares slide as data spark concern |

Saudi Arabian shares tumbled the most in almost three months in the first trading of the week Saturday, led by petrochemical companies, after a smaller-than-forecast increase in US payrolls heightened concern that a slower economic recovery will curb oil demand.

The stock benchmark Tadawul All Share Index fell 1.73 percent to close at 6,624.95 points, the biggest loss since March 15. All 15 industry groups dropped.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. and National Industrialization Co. fell more than 2 percent. Al Rajhi Bank, the kingdoms largest publicly traded lender by market value, declined 1.7 percent.

gulfnews : GCC balance sheets return to growth

As the dust settles on the year's first flurry of corporate earnings, company executives and investors are breathing a little easier with balance sheets across the GCC largely showing a return to growth, according to a report from the Kuwait Financial Centre, also known as Markaz.

Click here to see the top companies by Sector – first quarter of 2011 (pdf)

The first three months of 2011 posed Gulf-based companies numerous difficulties as business dealings took place amid a backdrop of sweeping political unrest across the Arab world and a battered economy still recovering from the effects of one of the worst economic crises in living memory.

There was no shortage of local and international news catalysts to swing global equity markets as rising commodity prices, including gold, silver and crude oil, an earthquake in Japan and the killing of Al Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan all played a key role in shaping a particularly volatile business climate.

Now for a high-stakes defence

After 21 hearings, Chris O'Donnell, the Australian chief executive of Dubai's major developer, Nakheel, came to the defence of his former colleagues Matthew Joyce and Marcus Lee.

Mr Joyce and Mr Lee are accused of profiting from the sale of land that had been earmarked for a colossal high-rise development, which was to include the futuristic construction known as the Atrium, but which has never got off the ground. In a very Australian story, the two men are accused of deceiving the buyer of the plot, the Gold Coast developer Sunland, and harming Nakheel, Dubai Waterfront's parent company.

Since their arrest in January 2009, Mr Joyce and Mr Lee have maintained they are innocent. Their passports confiscated, neither allowed to work, they are trapped with their families in a city where food prices are soaring and rent remains expensive despite the property crash. If convicted, the men could face long jail terms in the Middle East.

At OPEC Summit, ‘Burning Issues are On the Table’ | Arabianomics

This week will see an OPEC meeting that may provide for some entertainment and major decisions from the powerful group. On Wednesday in Vienna, OPEC will have a lot to talk about. With Libya’s crude still mostly offline, volatility on global markets, and the Western world looking to OPEC members for mercy with production increases, the group will need to find answers to very divisive problems and opportunities facing it.

Writing in Arab News, Syed Rashid Husain notes that the “stage is set for a highly politicized gathering” for OPEC, and a “number of burning items are on the table.” Along with all of the major issues facing OPEC, the Islamic Republic of Iran will assume the group’s rotating presidency this year.

Oil climbed to near record highs this spring as unrest in Libya and uncertainty about other oil producers roiled markets. Evidence is mounting that speculators have contributed to this rise, too. Meanwhile, as the price has climbed, so too has production above allotments by the 11 OPEC members bound by quotas, averaging 1.5 million barrels a day, according to the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ also reports that “Because OPEC—and mainly Saudi Arabia—isn’t pumping at full capacity, the group has sway over oil prices. Taken together, the 12 countries that comprise OPEC are producing crude at an estimated 29.1 million barrels a day, accounting for roughly a third of world output.”

Apologies for delay in updates yesterday. Difficulty accessing internet links.

Saudi Stock Market close - June 4, 2011

General Index
Intraday 3 month
Daily Statistics
General Index6624.95
Change (%)-1.73%
T. Volume232670826
T. Companies 149