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Monday, 6 June 2011

MENA stock markets close - June 6, 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)

MIDEAST STOCKS-ADCB lifts Abu Dhabi; Gulf markets mixed | Reuters

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB.AD: Quote) (ADCB) shares ended at a 31 month high as it proceeds with a stake sale in Malaysian bank RHB (RHBC.KL: Quote).

Egypt's index fell on persisting tax concerns while other Gulf Arab markets were mixed.

ADCB jumped 2.7 percent to its highest close since October 2008 after sources said it will not let planned bids by lenders Maybank (MBBM.KL: Quote) and CIMB (CIMB.KL: Quote) for RHB derail its auction.

Arab revolutions and the World Economy: consequences with unknown prospects | RIA Novosti

The Middle East and North Africa are major oil supplies to the world markets. To what extent may the current changes in the region challenge and threaten the well-being of the world economy in general and Europe in particular?

The Middle- East and North Africa (MENA) oil-producing countries provide about 20 per cent (14,000,000 b/d) of world oil production (70,000,000 b/d). So far, these numbers have remained fairly unchanged, despite the ongoing turmoil in the region. The total loss of the Libyan share (2%), has been compensated for by an increase in production by Saudi Arabia.

It was also feared that the uprisings in MENA states would hike energy prices to a damaging level – halting recovery, reigniting inflation and undermining consumer confidence. The world economy was just starting to recover from a three-year downturn sparked by the grave subprime crisis in the United States, which spread in various forms to other regions, Europe in particular. However, according to The Economist (March, 3 2011), both the rise in energy prices and the likely damage appear to be modest, at least thus far. Many forecasters had expected an increase this year anyway. The IMF, which projected global economic growth at 4.4%, now foresees growth of about 4.2%, the difference representing the impact on the world economy of a 10% increase in the price of crude. Saudi Arabia stands ready to pump up as much crude into the market as necessary to keep energy prices in check.

UAE close to final proposals on fund regulations - Maktoob News

The United Arab Emirates is close to issuing a final draft of proposals to regulate the country's nascent asset management industry, seen as an important step in protecting investors' interests and boosting market confidence.

The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) issued an initial draft for regulating investment funds earlier in the year and a final circular is expected by mid-July after consultations with asset management firms, a fund management source familiar with the discussions said.

"The SCA wants this to be a more regulated market. The first draft came out in April, the final paper will come out about mid-July," the source, who did not wish to be identified, said.

Billionaire Sawiris Says Egypt’s Proposed Capital Gains Tax Is ‘Disaster’ - Bloomberg

Egypt’s proposed capital gains tax is a "disaster" that will scare people away from the country’s stock market, billionaire Naguib Sawiris said, adding pressure on the government to reconsider the plan.

"We are totally against it," Sawiris, the founder of Cairo- based mobile-phone operator Orascom Telecom Holding SAE (ORTE), told Bloomberg Television in an interview today. "There are discussions now that they withdraw that."

Finance Minister Samir Radwan on June 1 announced a 10 percent tax on dividend payments, mergers and acquisitions and asset revaluations as part of a draft budget that aims to rein in a widening budget deficit. Egyptian Exchange Chairman Mohamed Abdel Salam said the plan, which won’t affect gains from trading, may harm the North African country’s stock market.

Bankers, regulators meet to put Islamic finance back on map | Reuters

Top Islamic banking officials will meet in Singapore this week to discuss ways to revive an industry which has stalled as interest in new markets cool and legal uncertainties cloud the role of sukuk as funding tools.

Once touted as a viable alternative to traditional banking, Islamic finance has failed to make a mark outside its core markets as countries from Britain to Hong Kong and Australia put on hold sukuk issuance plans and proposed regulatory changes to accommodate sharia banking.

Its reputation stained by Dubai's $26 billion debt crisis in 2009, Islamic finance is struggling to attract investors' attention with emerging markets flush with funds, in contrast to 2008 when the global crisis shut down credit markets and prompted a search for alternative sources of finance.

Iraq seeks bank head's arrest, denies witchhunt - Maktoob News

Iraqi authorities have issued an arrest warrant for the head of one of the nation's biggest banks, which is under investigation for alleged irregularities, a government source and the bank's lawyer said on Sunday.

An Iraqi government source said Hussein al-Uzri, president and chairman of the state-owned Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI), had fled to Lebanon. He did not answer calls to his mobile phone.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered a judicial inquiry into TBI on Thursday, after a committee including officials from Iraq's anti-corruption commission and audit authority reported "violations" at the institution.

Dubai economic recovery looks more solid than London « ArabianMoney

Back in the UK for the past week this correspondent felt that the recovery in London seemed very shallow and facing a three-year downturn, while Dubai shows every sign of putting the not inconsiderable problems of the past few years behind it.

In Britain the real recession is just starting. House prices are unchanged in London and down 20 per cent elsewhere since the 2007-8 crisis. The government then bailed everybody out to save the financial sector but only at the cost of huge borrowings that now threaten the system again, and are being addressed with austerity measures and higher taxes.

gulfnews : The bewildering fall and rise of oil prices

The price of the Opec Reference Basket (ORB) of crude oil declined steeply in trading from almost $120 per barrel to $104.4 per barrel on May 6.

Brent and WTI crudes lost almost $10 a barrel in one day on May 5. The oil market has seen nothing like this for a long time.

It is true that oil prices are affected by geopolitical risks such as the events in Libya and other oil producing countries, but these risks have not subsided. In any case the market has adjusted to the loss of Libyan production.

Big appetite for bonds, sukuk returns - The National

Companies in the Middle East are heading to market in great numbers with bonds and sukuk, as they rush to take advantage of the end of stimulus measures in the US and the region's political turmoil changes course.

A combination of government bond purchases and historically low interest rates have flooded the world economy with cheap liquidity, creating an attractive environment to raise funds on bond markets.

The second tranche of quantitative easing, the Federal Reserve's asset purchase programme, is expected to expire on June 30. A steadily increasing number of bond and sukuk issuances in the region would also encourage companies that held off from issuing during the region's recent political unrest, said Christopher Niehaus, the regional chief executive officer for UBS Investment Bank.

Lack of prime Mena property keeping investors on sidelines - The National

Investors have money to spend on property in the Middle East and North Africa, but a lack of good opportunities at reasonable prices spells more stagnation for the region's markets, according to a survey by Jones Lang LaSalle.

Almost three quarters of large institutional investors surveyed said they planned to invest in property in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) in the next year, while only 8 per cent said they were looking to sell.

Yet the property consultancy predicted that transactions would be limited by political instability, concerns about oversupplied markets and a dearth of solid investment opportunities.

gulfnews : Saudi banks expect a mortgage bonanza

The new mortgage law that is likely to be announced this year is expected to become a major driver of credit growth in Saudi Arabia's banking sector that is slowly recovering from the impact of global financial crisis, said Credit Suisse Analysts.

"The largest beneficiaries of the growth in the mortgage business will be the banks with highest exposure to the retail segment. Al Rajhi Bank, Arab National Bank and Riyad Bank are the leading consumer lenders in Saudi Arabia with the combined market share of about 55 per cent and largest number of branches," said Mohammad Hawa, analyst with Credit Suisse.

Bank credit to private sector excluding investments in securities, expanded 6.4 per cent in April, edging lower from growth of 6.5 per cent a month earlier, which had been the highest since May 2009. The pace of month on month expansion in private credit also decelerated.

OPEC Upstaged by Qaddafi in Most-Hostile Meeting Since Gulf War - Bloomberg

OPEC ministers meeting in Vienna this week may find themselves supporting opposing camps of a military conflict for the first time in 21 years, with hostilities in Libya complicating an agreement on oil quotas.

Not since Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990 has the producer group gathered with some nations giving financial and military support to a movement seeking to topple the government of a fellow member. While Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi is trying to quash a rebellion in a country that holds Africa’s largest crude reserves, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are backing the insurgents.

The conflict underlines the difficulties the 50-year-old organization that accounts for about 40 percent of the world’s oil may have in deciding production levels. Oil has gained 9.5 percent this year to trade at about $100 a barrel amid signs that the pace of the global economic recovery may be slowing. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will probably leave its output target unchanged on June 8, according to a Bloomberg survey of 30 analysts conducted May 24-31.

Qatar Islamic Bank benefits from change - The National

Few lenders can claim to have had as much good fortune as Qatar Islamic Bank this year.

In the past month, not one but two putative challenges to its position have evaporated, leaving the country's largest Sharia-compliant lender in an enviable position. The bank's stockwas flat yesterday at 77 Qatari rials, as the QE Index fell 1.02 per cent to 8,156.60.

A planned tie-up between Al Khaliji Commercial Bank and International Bank of Qatar, now called off, would have created the third-largest bank in Qatar. That might not have been a problem for Qatar National Bank, the country's biggest lender, but the prospects for Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) could have been different.

Dubai Financial Market braces for weak second-quarter earnings - The National

The Dubai Financial Market Company is expected to report weak earnings this quarter unless volumes pick up this month, analysts say.

"I think the second quarter will be bad," said Mahdi Mattar, the head of research at CAPM Investment, an investment banking company based in Abu Dhabi. "Given that volumes haven't picked up, I am not expecting a change in core earnings," Mr Mattar said.

The stock exchange said the value of shares traded last month fell 29.6 per cent to Dh3.5 billion, compared with Dh4.9bn in April. - IMF offers $3bn to ease Cairo ‘bottleneck’

The International Monetary Fund has reached an agreement with Egypt on a $3bn standby facility in budget support for the current fiscal year.

The funds will help to bridge the widening gap in Egypt’s finances that opened up as a result of the political turmoil accompanying the popular uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, president.

The Egyptian government has seen its revenue slashed this year as tourists and investors fled and exports fell by half.