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Sunday, 12 June 2011

Abu Dhabi's Ipic to hold non-deal investor meetings, not bond | Alrroya

Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Co (Ipic) said on Sunday it planned to hold non-deal investor meetings and would only issue bonds in coordination with Abu Dhabi's debt management office. Ipic, fully owned by the Abu Dhabi government, hired banks to arrange the meetings in London this week, according to a document seen by Reuters.

"The company is not executing any capital markets transaction," Ipic said in a statement.

"As Ipic has done in the past, any future bond issuance by Ipic will be fully coordinated with the Debt Management Office of the Government of Abu Dhabi."

MENA stock markets close - June 12, 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)

Kuwait Bourse Chief Seeks to Slow Government Sale Plan, Favors Nasdaq - Bloomberg

Kuwait Stock Exchange is seeking to slow government plans to sell the country’s bourse on concern it remains too weak three years after the credit crisis triggered a $5 billion bailout of financial companies.

“I’m against the way it is to be privatized,” Hamed al- Saif, the director and head of the exchange, said a phone interview from his office in Kuwait City today. “It’s too fast and the stock exchange will be very weak, it should be gradual.”

The government must sell 50 percent of the exchange by the end of this year under the terms of a law approved in February 2010. The remainder is to be sold to Kuwaitis in an initial public offering, al-Saif said.

Dubai volumes fall to 20-week low, Qatar up while Saudi index rebounds

Dubai's index falls as volumes slump to a 20-week low and Abu Dhabi's benchmark also dips after investors track weakness in global shares.

Dubai's measure slips 0.3 percent to 1,552 points, its lowest close in June.

Bellwether Emaar Properties eases 1.3 percent and Arabtec is down 0.8 percent. Losers outnumber gainers 11 to seven.

Saudi Arabia’s Petrochemical Shipments Increase 41% in April - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s petrochemical exports increased 41 percent in April from the previous year, driven by higher prices and stronger demand from Asia.

The kingdom, holder of the world’s largest oil reserves, shipped 3.8 billion riyals ($1.01 billion) of petrochemicals in April compared with 2.7 billion riyals of products in the same month of 2010, according to data from the Department of Statistics and Information.

Exports in April declined on a month-to-month basis, falling by 19 percent from 4.7 billion riyals in March, the department reported on its website yesterday.

ADCB plans to sell RHB stake to Abu Dhabi fund - Maktoob News

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) plans to sell its RHB stake to Abu Dhabi investment fund Aabar and has won Malaysian central bank approval to start talks, it said on Sunday.

The Abu Dhabi lender, whose 25-percent stake in RHB is valued at around $1.6 billion, had held a first round auction to sell the stake, drawing wide interest.

But proposed takeover bids for RHB itself from Malaysian rivals Maybank and CIMB put a spanner into the works.

Dubai's Abraaj mulls property fund hike to $250 mln - Maktoob News

Dubai-based Abraaj Capital is looking to more-than-double a regional real estate fund to $250 million this year and is eyeing investments in Saudi Arabia's construction sector, its Principal said on Saturday.

The first close of the fund, ASAS, which invests in income generating property in the Middle East and North Africa, was in December 2010, Faisal Khan told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Jeddah.

"The first close was $100 million. We are hoping to take it up to $250 million. Some of those investments will be in Saudi Arabia ... We have a few deals in the pipeline which we are working on," Khan said.

237 realty projects “on course” for completion in Dubai - Emirates 24/7

Dubai has witnessed completion of 129 projects since 2009 with 237 out of 450 projects likely to be completed in due course, according to information contained in the government’s bond prospectus posted on the London Stock Exchange.

Quoting Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera), the regulatory arm of Dubai Land Department, the prospectus said that 217 property projects have been cancelled as of May 31.

Currently, there were 455 registered developers and 893 registered brokers in Dubai as of May 31. Under the Tayseer (government-guaranteed funding project), 114 projects have been registered.

Dubai Shares Drop to Lowest This Month on Slowing World Economy - Bloomberg

Middle East shares fell, with Dubai’s stocks retreating to the lowest this month, after data from the U.S., India and China fueled concern global economic growth is slowing, damping investor appetite for riskier assets.

Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), builder of the world’s tallest skyscraper in Dubai, lost 1.6 percent and Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC (DIB), the United Arab Emirates’ biggest bank complying with Shariah rules, slid for a third day. The 30-member DFM General Index (DFMGI) dropped 0.6 percent to 1,547.67, the lowest intraday level since May 31, at 11:15 a.m. in Dubai. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200) of the region’s stocks declined 0.2 percent. Israel’s benchmark stock index lost 1.1 percent.

“Regional markets appear to be taking cues from trends in global markets,” said Sachin Mohindra, a fund manager at Invest AD in Abu Dhabi. Investors including “high net worth and regional institutions, who are the providers of incremental buying liquidity in regional markets, appear to be closely tracking international market events,” he said.

Dubai sets up new $5 bln bond programme | Reuters

Dubai, which is planning a benchmark sovereign dollar issue in coming days as it seeks to bridge a budget deficit, has set up a new $5 billion Euro Medium Term Note (EMTN) programme.

The emirate has hired Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (8306.T), Standard Chartered Bank (STAN.L) and UBS AG (UBSN.VX) as arrangers and dealers for the program, it said in a statement.

Emirates NBD (ENBD.DU) and National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD.AD) will be the dealing banks for the bond program.

Oman's OIFC to back out from Rasmala PE fund investment | News by Country | Reuters

Oman Investment & Finance Co (OIFC) OIFL.OM on Sunday said it decided to withdraw from investing in Dubai investment bank Rasmala's private equity fund after issues emerged related to the establishment of the fund.

OIFC said it had disclosed on February that it may invest up to $5 million in Rasmala MENA (Middle East North Africa) Private Equity Fund 2. In a statement to the Muscat bourse, OIFC said it has no commitments or liabilities to the fund.

OIFC did not provide any additional details. Rasmala was not immediately available for comment.

World Bank advises Dubai to offer pensions to foreign workers - The National

The Dubai Government is assessing plans to offer pensions to foreign workers in a move that could transform the workplace.

The World Bank is advising officials about options for improving employment laws, including those related to staff benefits.

"We are providing technical assistance in the area of employment policy," said a senior World Bank official in the region. "It covers the areas of expatriate benefit treatment including pensions.

gulfnews : Tackling joblessness in Saudi Arabia

The unemployment levels among Saudi nationals are high, carrying with them socio-political repercussions if left unresolved. Suffice to say that the ongoing Arab Spring got under way because of joblessness in Tunisia. Happily enough, Saudi authorities are exerting huge efforts to overcome the challenge.

Latest official statistics confirm that unemployment that stands at around 10.5 per cent remains a challenge in the kingdom. True, the figure is below the record 11.2 per cent reached in 2007. Yet the number of unemployed Saudis is on the rise, currently put around 500,000, versus 416,000 in 2008.

To be sure, the job challenge remains serious thanks to demographic statistics. As such, the steady population growth rate of around 3 per cent per annum partly explains the rise in the number of unemployed. By one account, around half of Saudi nationals are below 20 years of age. Not surprisingly, many nationals enter the job market looking for suitable — by nature of work and pay — employment opportunities.

gulfnews : Region's stock markets likely to see selling pressure

The region's stock markets are likely to come under selling pressure in the week ahead on negative investor sentiments globally as economic indicators show growth across Europe and the US is slowing down, say analysts.

"I think the regional markets will be affected by the international market movements of last week. European debt is causing panic for investors across the world and investors in the region are going to be affected negatively," Tarek Qaqish, Director of Asset Management at Al Mal Capital, told Gulf News.

"High oil prices will be the main drivers of the region's economy. However, the global economic growth is going to determine the level of oil prices. There's a lot of uncertainty in the market. I think, due to the lower level of foreign participation, the markets in Saudi Arabia and UAE will be facing less selling pressure in the week ahead than the markets in Eqypt and Qatar," Qaqish added.

Full: Financial noose tightens around dictators' necks - The National

Switzerland was once a global crossroads of crime and money.

It was a country where dictators, corrupt officials, drug kingpins and common crooks could put their loot with virtual impunity, hiding behind banking secrecy laws the Swiss stuck to with zealous devotion.

But from the 1980s, Switzerland has gradually weakened the 75-year-old legal regime that made it a haven for shady funds. That sprang from a genuine desire to cleanse the system of the taint of crime, as well as international pressure that has intensified since terrorist financing became a global concern and chasing tax-dodgers became a political priority in the US and Europe.

Fund managers' concern at SCA rules - The National

The Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) is preparing to take control of the UAE's fund management industry with new regulations aimed at protecting buyers from misleading investments.

But fund managers warn that despite intentions to shield consumers, the new regulations go too far in favouring banks and could inhibit growth for smaller companies.

The proposed regulations, expected to be published this summer, require funds to seek SCA and Central Bank approval, and force greater transparency over their investments and capital requirements.

Emirates Islamic Bank signals 'aggressive' expansion - The National

Emirates Islamic Bank expects to resume "aggressive" lending and expansion this year, hoping to shrug off the effects of a loss-making first quarter as well as recent regulations on banks.

The Sharia-compliant lender expects to open five branches throughout the Emirates this year, said Faisal Aqil, the bank's deputy chief executive.

"This year, we've hired around 80 new staff, 60 of which were UAE nationals," he said.

GCC Fast Growth 100 companies launched |

Anne Habiby, co-founder of AllWorld Network and Atif Abdulmalik, the CEO of Arcapita launched the GCC Fast Growth 100 (GCC100) as a pioneering and prominent program to find and rank the fastest growing private companies of the GCC, the companies creating the next jobs and industries.

With the immediate need to create more private employment in the region, the annual GCC100 has been initiated by the AllWorld Network, with the support of Arcapita, to celebrate and support successful entrepreneurs forging new industries.

These entrepreneurs become part of a network of growth entrepreneurs in the region and globally, facilitating knowledge exchange and cross-border investments. The first GCC100 will be announced regionally and globally in October 2011 at an event to take place in Bahrain. The GCC100 winners will also be eligible for the Arabia 500 – a MENA wide ranking of companies, which will be announced in November 2011 at a three-day Arabia500 Summit in Jordan under the patronage of Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan.

Saudi calls for greater role in IMF on Lagarde visit | Reuters

Saudi Arabia will seek a greater role in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), its finance minister said on Saturday after meeting with France's Christine Lagarde on her campaign to head the Washington-based lender.

French Finance Minister Lagarde is the frontrunner for the job left vacant by the resignation of compatriot Dominique Strauss-Kahn, but she is working hard to persuade emerging powers angry that another European is being appointed.

"Saudi Arabia plays an important role in the world economy and so we will call for strengthening the kingdom's role and share in the IMF," Ibrahim Alassaf told reporters in Jeddah after the pair met.