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Friday, 17 June 2011

Abu Dhabi-owned ATIC to double investment in GlobalFoundries

The majority owner of GlobalFoundries Inc. has said it will double-down on its investment in the business by the end of 2012.

The announcement could mean more money being spent in Saratoga County, where GlobalFoundries is currently building a massive computer-chip plant.

The Advanced Technology Investment Co., owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, detailed its plans as it also announced three key changes in the leadership of GlobalFoundries.

UAE's Majid Al Futtaim plans investor meetings in Asia, Europe | Reuters

UAE's Majid Al Futtaim Holding (MAF), the sole franchise of hypermarket chain Carrefour in the Gulf, has hired banks to arrange global investor meetings in the next two weeks, leads said.

The developer and operator of shopping malls has set up a $2 billion global bond programme, paving the way for a potential debt issue.

The investor roadshow will be held in United Arab Emirates members Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and in Singapore, Hong Kong, Zurich and London from June 20 to June 28, the arranging banks said in a document seen by Reuters.

Abraaj may hire Morgan Stanley to advise on buying Citadel Captial stake

Abraaj Capital Ltd., the Dubai-based private equity company managing about US$6.2 billion, may hire Morgan Stanley as an adviser on the planned acquisition of a stake in Egyptian private equity firm Citadel Capital SAE, two people familiar with the situation said.

Citadel Capital Partners, the main shareholder in Citadel Capital, may hire Citigroup Inc. to advise on the possible sale, the two people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the talks are private. One person said Abraaj is seeking a controlling stake in Citadel Capital.

One of the hurdles to the sale is that Citadel Capital Partners needs to provide legal representations and warranties before the sale, one of the people familiar said.

Qatari conglomerate Aamal pulls London listing but Global Ports goes ahead

Qatar's Aamal, a trading, property and industrial company, postponed plans to list on the London Stock Exchange. The group had planned to list up to 24pc of its share capital in the form of global depositary receipts (GDRs).

"Due to the continuing unfavorable new issues market environment, Aamal Company has postponed its intention to proceed with the planned offering of its shares in the form of GDRs," the group said yesterday. "Aamal Company expects to review the timing for its planned GDR offering in due course, subject to market conditions," it added.

The offering, which consisted of existing shares held by Faisal Bin Qassim al Thani, would have raised a maximum of around $400m to $500m.

UAE's Al Jaber says nearing debt deal with core banks

Abu Dhabi conglomerate Al Jaber Group, in talks to restructure over $1bn in debt, is close to reaching a standstill agreement with its core lenders, the company said on Thursday.

Al Jaber set up a banks' committee earlier this year to thrash out a debt restructuring after it announced talks with lenders to discuss the terms of its facilities.

Sources at creditor banks had said the company and its lender committee of five banks had been locked in discussions on a standstill agreement, and are awaiting an announcement imminently.

Dubai's $500m bond oversubscribed 3.5 times

Dubai's Department of Finance yesterday announced that the Government's $500 million (Dh1.8 billion) bond issue was well received by global investors and generated a large order book with 90 investors placing orders worth more than $1.8 billion.

"We are very pleased at the positive market reception to the bond offering, which demonstrates increased investor confidence in the strong long-term value proposition of the Emirate of Dubai," said Abdul Rahman Al Saleh, Director General of the Department of Finance.

"Investors are obviously supportive of the steps taken by the government over the last two years to counter the impact of the financial crisis, and satisfied with the prudent measures implemented to control costs and manage the budget deficit," Al Saleh said.

In Bahrain, a symbol at the heart of revolt

During GFH's busiest years -- between 2006, when the Financial Harbour towers neared completion, and 2008, just before the Gulf's real estate crash -- the company used the towers as a signature project to negotiate more land deals with heads of state and governments elsewhere in the region.

"It's not something that was openly advertised, but they would brag about how they were getting the land for next-to- nothing, and about how they were making huge sums of money," said a Gulf-based banker who had a business relationship with GFH and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The model was simple. "You basically go and cut a deal with your buddies in Morocco, or Egypt, Tunisia, Syria," said a senior investment banker in Bahrain. Having paid very little for a parcel of land "they (GFH) would go over to investors and mark it up by something like 40 percent, in some cases even more, and sell it." Other bankers and two senior company insiders confirmed such a markup was typical at the company.

RHB takeover price poser

The sale of a 25% stake in RHB Capital Bhd (RHB Cap) by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank Bhd (ADCB) at 2.25 times the book value of RHB Cap or RM10.80 per share, has set a relatively high pricing benchmark for the potential takeover of the bank by Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd.

Even so, certain analysts say this may be justifiable if there were meaningful synergies between the merging parties.

Yet, not all are convinced on the synergies to be reaped by either Maybank or CIMB from RHB Cap as they point out that it could result in significant duplication of resources and services.

Blurred lines at Bahrain's GFH | Reuters

As with many Gulf-based firms it's difficult to find a strong dividing line between GFH's finances and the personal accounts of its senior managers.

GFH began life as a private equity company. Over the years it created dozens of financial services and real estate companies (and even a coffee shop chain) that funded each other and for which it brought in investors that it then charged fees.

One of the largest banks the company created was First Energy Bank (FEB), for which it raised $1 billion in capital in 2008, mostly from shareholders in Abu Dhabi and Libya. The company was established to invest in energy projects in the Middle East.

Tough sell for Gulf equities | beyondbrics – FT.com

From Dubai’s successful $500m 10-year dollar-denominated bond sale to Majid Al-Futtaim Holding’s plans for a $2bn global bond programme – gulf headlines this week (ex OPEC) have touted the resurgent strength of the UAE bond markets.

Next week though, equities will dominate the local headlines – and the news may not be so positive.

C0me next Tuesday, all eyes will be on the bourses in Qatar and the UAE. MSCI is due to decide then whether to upgrades the markets from frontier to emerging status, and investors aren’t sold that the upgrades will happen.

Friday morning mysticism!

I do believe MicroSoft have endeavoured to take control of my preferred Google Chrome system with an update to XP.

I am having to reconfigure due to their efforts.

Posting will be delayed today and I look forward to the day when Google Chrome laptops are available in the Middle East.

Have a very good Friday.