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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

gulfnews : Emarat capital raised 50 per cent to Dh9b

An Emarat fuel station in Sharjah
  • Image Credit: Atiq-ur-Rehman/Gulf News
  • An Emarat fuel station in Sharjah. A local oil industry source said the move will allow the banks lending to Emarat to increase their ceiling on loans to Emarat.

Abu Dhabi: Billions of dirhams have been pumped into petrol products retailer Emarat, the UAE's official news agency WAM reported on Tuesday.

The company, also known as Emirates General Petroleum Corporation, has had its capital increased by 50 per cent to Dh9 billion.

The move was authorised by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, after a federal cabinet meeting yesterday.

UAE govt raises Emarat capital 50 pct to 9 bln dirhams | Reuters

The federal government of the United Arab Emirates has raised the capital of its indebted fuel retailer Emarat by 50 percent to 9 billion dirhams ($2.45 billion), state news agency WAM reported on Tuesday.

In January, the UAE's Federal National Council (FNC) passed a bill allowing Emarat to borrow the equivalent of up to 50 percent of its capital.

Emarat had debt of around 1.9 billion dirhams, the FNC said in January, as fuel subsidies imposed on gasoline prices by the UAE government hit the company's profits.

Companies feel the heat in Arab revolution -

When Canada’s Suncor Energy opened a natural gas plant in Syria last year, it promised “Energy for today and tomorrow” in an advertisement that showed one of its workers talking to a keenly interested President Bashar al-Assad.

Now the business is scrambling to deal with a tomorrow that has arrived in an unwelcome form: a country in chaos, headed by a leader whose lethal crackdown on a popular uprising has made him a public relations liability.

Asked about its future in Syria, Suncor said it was making a “great deal” of effort to ensure it could operate responsibly there. “We ... continue to work within our sphere of influence to ensure we are upholding the company’s values,” it added.

UAE: rates cut, housing rebound to follow? | beyondbrics –

The UAE’s increasingly liquid banks are cutting mortgage rates as they look to claw their way back to growth.

The country’s housing markets, especially in Dubai, have been taking a beating for a few years, with prices falling dramatically as supply outpaced demand. Could the easier availability of mortgage finance boost those anemic housing markets?

Don’t get too excited, analysts say.

MENA stock markets close - June 28, 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)

Abu Dhabi's Dolphin Energy delays $1.9 bln bond issue | Reuters

Dolphin Energy completed investor meetings for a 144a benchmark dollar bond last week, and was expected to indicate guidance shortly thereafter, but the Eurozone debt crisis and uncertainty surrounding Greece has made investors nervous over any new debt coming onto the market.

Abu Dhabi's Dolphin Energy Limited, 51 percent owned by state fund Mubadala, has delayed plans for an immediate bond issue due to market conditions, leads said on Tuesday.

The bond sale was expected to raise as much as $1.93 billion to refinance existing debt.

IEA’s Tanaka Is ‘Confident’ Saudi Arabia Will Boost Output - Bloomberg

The International Energy Agency is confident that Saudi Arabia will continue to boost its crude production in the wake of the agency’s decision to release oil stockpiles, IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanakasaid.

“Saudis have ample capacity,” Tanaka said today at a conference in London. “We think it may take some time so we are filling the gap in the meantime.”

The agency may extend its release of emergency inventories beyond an initial 30-day period, he said. The group announced on June 23 that its members would make available 60 million barrels of oil to offset the loss of Libyan supplies.

OPEC, IEA clash over oil reserves weapon -

Consumer watchdog International Energy Agency's emergency oil release is a desperate measure that threatens to undo two decades of cooperation with OPEC and could fail to calm prices.

Thursday's announcement of a 60 million-barrel release from emergency stocks - only the third in the IEA's 37-year history - came after consumer nations unsuccessfully applied pressure on the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to increase its output at a meeting this month.

The talks collapsed in disarray, but top exporter Saudi Arabia said it would still produce as much oil as the market needed.

UAE plans no sovereign bonds before '12 -document - Maktoob News

The United Arab Emirates does not plan to issue federal bonds before 2012, a Finance Ministry document showed on Monday.

"The federal government will not issue sovereign bonds before 2012 and only if deemed necessary," Obaid Humaid al - Tayer, minister of state for financial affairs, said in the latest ministry newsletter.

"The UAE is currently working on launching a bond market parallel to the stock markets which will increase initial issuance on a federal level and local level."

THE DAILY STAR :: Kuwait approves two mega oil projects: report

Kuwait's Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) has given the green light for two long-stalled oil mega projects worth more than eight billion dinars ($29 billion), a Kuwaiti daily reported on Tuesday.
Citing unidentified oil sources, the Al-Jarida newspaper said the SPC approved the building of a new state-of-the-art refinery and the upgrading of two of three existing refineries to raise output and produce cleaner products.
The 615,000 barrel per day refinery project was scrapped by the government more than two years ago, months after it awarded contracts to five Japanese and South Korean companies.

Tunisia: where growth and happiness diverged | beyondbrics –

If you look at classic economic indicators such as GDP growth, the Tunisian revolution seems surprising.

Of course the revolution did happen, and a recent study by Gallup, the research centre, makes a compelling argument for why economists and those who quote them had been giving too much importance to the wrong numbers all along.

Tunisia’s GDP per capita growth was accelerating, and the country had jumped up international rankings of competitiveness. In 2009 and 2010, according to Gallup, 56 per cent of Tunisians said the Tunisian economy was improving overall—a far better performance than many middle-income nations, where a median of 31 per cent think that.

UAE public debt put at over $236bn - Emirates 24/7

The UAE’s gross public debt is estimated at around $236.1 billion, according to the IMF.

The Federal government debt was estimated at about $19.1 billion, accounting for nearly 6.3 per cent of the country’s 2010 GDP.

Nearly $33.1 billion of the debt matures in 2011 while around $25.8 billion matures in 2012 and the rest after that year, the Washington-based International Monetary Fund said in a report.

gulfnews : Little logic in GCC's expansion

The GCC’s announcement during its summit in May this year officially inviting Jordan and Morocco to become members caught many observers by surprise. Questions have been raised about the motivations and reasons behind the sudden decision.

Historically, the GCC has been an exclusive club, and most GCC states have been opposed to the idea of opening the organisation’s doors to admit new members. In fact, since the establishment of the GCC in 1981, there have been many discussions and detailed proposals to enlarge the group. Traditionally, Yemen and even Iraq were seen as likely candidates for membership based on geographical, cultural and strategic factors. Over the past few years, it was Yemen that came closest to a GCC membership having reached integration in some of the GCC institutions. However, the idea of full membership for Yemen met with resistance and its application was rejected many times. Now, the issue seems to have been postponed indefinitely.

Therefore, the unexpected decision to incorporate Jordan and Morocco in the exclusive club marked a major shift in GCC policy. The motivation behind such a step is unclear. It is evident that the invitation has come against the backdrop of the mounting political pressure and economic hardship in Jordan and Morocco. There could be the expectation that a GCC membership would provide some sort of political and economic stability to help the ruling families in both countries.

Market upgrade a just reward for endeavour - The National

Many investors and stakeholders in the GCC equity markets, in particular the UAE and Qatar, were anxiously awaiting an announcement from MSCI, a global provider of indexes, regarding the status of a possible upgrade to "emerging markets" status from the current "frontier" status.

Last week, MSCI announced consideration for such an upgrade would be extended by six months, allowing interested parties more time to assess recent developments undertaken by the UAE and Qatar exchanges.

The extension was an unusual move by MSCI, where the standard review period has been one year.

Daily deal site GoNabit sold to US giant Livingsocial - The National

GoNabit, the Middle East's home-grown website for daily deals, has been acquired by the US internet giant LivingSocial, in a landmark deal for the region's fledgling digital industry.

The Dubai company offers group buying deals for businesses including restaurants, salons and hotels.

There has been an explosion of interest in such sites since Groupon, the market leader in the US, last year rejected a US$6 billion (Dh22.03bn) takeover by Google. The internet-search giant has since launched its own Google Offers product, while rival Facebook has also entered the fray.

Gulf Times – Research fund to get 2.8% of GDP

Qatar Foundation president Mohamed Fathy Saoud yesterday laid out a vision for the future of scientific research in Qatar, highlighting key developments and strategies which will allow the state to reach its goals.

Speaking at a Conference for Science Journalists in Doha, he said: “Over the next two years, we aim to bring on board 3,000 researchers, physicians and medical staff to manage and operate Sidra Medical and Research Centre, to become the first of its kind in the Middle East that offers highest quality medical care and education and research.”

Saoud said: “In Qatar, we have an important challenge to address. We are a small country and we know that the number of research workers and scientists who are homegrown will continue to be limited. And in order to reach some sort of a critical mass we have started to find ways and means of increasing that research workforce in order to achieve our dream. An important approach has been the Qatar National Research Fund.”

Oman Tribune - OAB’s Al Arabi Oman 20 Index launched

Arab Bank launched the Al Arabi Oman 20 Index to track the performance of liquid-value stocks selected from companies listed on the Muscat Securities Market (MSM).

The index sample comprises of 20 stocks, selected from different sectors of the market.

Created by the Investment Management Group of Oman Arab Bank, the Al Arabi Oman 20 Index is the first index in the Sultanate to track the weightage the liquid- value and profitability of stocks on the MSM.

Rival gains as Oman's BankDhofar loses suit - The National

BankDhofar, Oman's second-largest bank by market value, has been ordered to pay 26.1 million Omani rials as part of a lawsuit filed by rival Oman International Bank (OIB).

The suit related to a complex dispute between OIB and Ali Redha Trading Group.

In late 2001, Ali Redha, a commodity trading company based in Oman, announced a default on a debt of 70m rialsowed to local and international banks. Majan International Bank was one of the affected lenders and was forced to merge with BankDhofar. Majan's chairman was among the shareholders of Ali Redha.

Women Break Down Barriers in Mideast Finance -

Hoda Abou-Jamra still remembers the meeting when potential investors for herprivate equity fund thought she was the secretary.

“I would ask a question, and they would answer to the man next to me. I would answer their question, and they would look at him,” she said, laughing. “I didn’t let it bother me. I just stood up straighter and talked louder.”

Women deal makers, financiers and entrepreneurs are a rare breed in the Middle East. As a founding partner of a $40 million health care fund in Dubai, Ms. Abou-Jamra operates in a male-dominated industry globally and a male-dominated work force locally.

‘Expat fat’ cut as Abu Dhabi shifts focus -

In recent years Abu Dhabi has been a prime destination for many expatriates seeking refuge from the headwinds of the global financial crisis.

But foreign workers now have cause to be nervous for their futures as the oil-rich emirate cuts costs and responds to the youth-driven protests of the Arab spring by tackling unemployment among nationals.

Government bodies and state-linked enterprises in Abu Dhabi are cutting expatriate staff on orders from the “highest levels” of government, employees have been told.