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Friday, 1 July 2011

ThyssenKrupp's Abu Dhabi ship deals unravel | Reuters

ThyssenKrupp , Germany's biggest steelmaker, has scrapped a deal for Abu Dhabi MAR to buy its Blohm + Voss civilian shipbuilding assets, citing political changes in the Middle East.

ThyssenKrupp -- which also builds submarines, mega-yachts, engineering plants and elevators -- said on Friday a separate planned joint venture with ADM to sell naval surface ships to the Middle East and North Africa had also fallen apart.

It also said it had won a contract worth about 2 billion euros ($2.8 billion) to build six Class 214 submarines for Turkey and affirmed its strategy of focusing only on military shipbuilding.

Kuwait Energy says it plans IPO in London -

Kuwait Energy, a privately-owned oil and natural-gas company operating in the Middle East and the former Soviet Union, may list shares exclusively in London after Qatar First Investment Bank bought a $16 million stake.

A date for the offering hasn’t been determined and advisers for the IPO haven’t been hired, chairman Manssour Aboukhamseen said at a press conference in Doha, Qatar.

“We hope before the end of the year” the IPO will take place, Sara Akbar, chief executive officer of Kuwait Energy, said.

Blogger seems to be working correctly again! My apologies for delays over the past two days. Have a good weekend.

gulfnews : In Theory: Time for Opec members to band together

Speculation about the potential disintegration of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) has been growing over the last few months.

When Opec was founded in Baghdad, Iraq, 50 years ago its aim was to manage the supply of oil and set oil prices on the world market in order to ensure stability and avoid fluctuations that may affect the economies of both exporting and importing countries.

Throughout its history, the oil bloc has been through difficulties and problems, but never has it reached such levels of disagreement that it reached recently.

gulfnews : Gas vital to Middle East economies

"The bad news is, we did not find oil. But the good news is — we did not find gas either" — used to be the case in the Middle East's energy exploration business about half a century ago, according to legend.

Occasionally, oil explorers used to strike gas instead of oil while drilling for oil. The discovery of gas, even by accident, was considered a curse because there was little utilisation of gas in those days.

"But things have changed a lot in the energy landscape since then. Gas is playing a key role in the Middle East's economies," says Majid H. Jafar, Chief Executive Officer of Crescent Petroleum, a company established 40 years ago by his father Hamid Jafar, a UAE-based businessman of Iraqi origin.

MENA stock markets close - June 30, 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)

Lloyds TSB regional operation on a knife-edge as cuts announced - The National

The future of Lloyds TSB Middle East hangs in the balance after the British lending giant announced it would slash costs and staff numbers across its international operations.

The bank's parent, Lloyds Banking Group based in London, is mulling the future of its international operations, which include a branch in Dubai with a staff of about 250.

Lloyds, which was forced into a merger with Halifax Bank of Scotland before being nationalised by the UK government during the bleakest weeks of the financial crisis in 2009, is closing operations in 15 of the countries where it does business and refocusing on its home market to save £1.5 billion (Dh8.82bn) over the next three years.

Middle East may hold the key after collapse of London Stock Exchange merger - The National

Middle East investors appear to hold the key to the future of the London Stock Exchange as the bourse is regarded as vulnerable to a takeover after its potential merger with Canada's TMX Group collapsed.

The US$3.5 billion (Dh12.85bn) merger between the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and TMX fell apart late on Wednesday after failing to get support from two thirds of shareholders. Amid a wave of consolidation in the industry, the development sparked speculation that the exchange needs another partner.

Borse Dubai is the largest single shareholder in the LSE, owning 20.6 per cent, and the Qatar Investment Authority holds 15.1 per cent. Both entities will be influential in determining whether to pursue a new tie-up.

Sabic IP upgraded two notches to 'BBB+' -

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it has raised its long-term corporate credit rating to 'BBB+' from 'BBB-' on Netherlands-based specialty plastics producer SABIC Innovative Plastics Holding B.V. (SABIC IP), 100% owned subsidiary of Saudi chemical group Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC; A+/Stable/A-1).

The outlook is stable.

We also raised our long-term issue ratings on the senior secured term loans A and B to 'BBB+' from 'BBB-'.

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise announces organization changes -

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) Ltd. announced today that the CEO of its Capital division, Mr. Robert Genise, had left the Company to fulfill his desire to be involved in a more entrepreneurial venture. “We thank him for his many contributions and wish him well in his endeavors,” said DAE Managing Director Khalifa H. AlDaboos.

“We will take this opportunity to consolidate the management of this business in Dubai.

The business will report to the COO of DAE, and will be managed in a more integrated manner with the rest of DAE. The bench strength of our management will allow us to provide continuity of service to our global customers and suppliers,” added Khalifa AlDaboos.

Qatar Shares Advance to 2-Week High

Qatar’s shares rose to the highest in more than two weeks on speculation second-quarter earnings will exceed estimates. Bahrain’s measure also advanced.

Commercial Bank of Qatar QSC, the Persian Gulf country’s second-biggest bank by assets, climbed 1.8 percent. Industries Qatar QSC (IQCD), the second-largest petrochemicals company in the Middle East, increased to the highest in almost two weeks. Qatar’s QE Index (DSM) added 0.3 percent to 8,361.07, the highest since June 15, at the 1:15 p.m. close in Doha. The measure jumped 1.8 percent this week, trimming the decline for the quarter to 1.1 percent.

“There are some positive expectations” for second-quarter earnings in Qatar, said Ashraf Yassin, a Doha-based sales trader at QInvest. “Locals are positioning themselves before the release” of the financial statements.

LSEs future in hands of Mideast bourses |

Middle East investors Borse Dubai and the Qatar Investment Authority hold the key to the future of London Stock Exchange amid speculation it has become a takeover target after its aborted $3.5 billion bid for Canadas TMX Group.

Borse Dubai owns nearly 21 percent of LSE stock and the Qataris hold 15.1 percent, Thomson Reuters data shows, making the investors easily the largest shareholders in the London exchange and key decision-makers in its future.

“They (the Middle East investors) might be like us and think this is a very good turnaround… and the shares have still got upside on the fundamentals,” said one of LSEs largest European shareholders, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Peninsula - Residency for more property investors

Three foreign investors on The Pearl-Qatar have obtained Qatari residence permits, under the sponsorship of their properties, according to the new rule that allows non-Qataris to own real estate and residential property in the country.

A Jordanian, an Indian and a Briton have become the first property owners in the luxury island to receive Qatari residence permits under the new rule.

They join the few foreigners who have already been issued residence permits under Cabinet Resolution No. 6 of 2006 that allowed non-Qataris to own real estate and commercial properties in 18 locations in the country including The Pearl. The first two expatriates — a Pakistani and an Egyptian — had been granted residence permits under the new rule in April this year.

UAE sovereign bond by end-2012? - Emirates 24/7

The UAE may issue its first ever sovereign federal bond toward the end of 2012 after a public debt law is signed this summer, the financial affairs minister said on Wednesday.

The UAE's top advisory council passed a new public debt bill in December with an aim of establishing a debt market in the world's No. 3 oil exporter. The legislation needs presidential approval before becoming law.

"The law will be signed this summer hopefully and will take effect immediately so we will be in a position if we need to issue any bonds toward the end of 2012," Obaid Humaid Al Tayer said on the sidelines of a financial conference.

Key role for Dubai's chief chairman - The National

It has been a hyperactive couple of years for Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Dubai's multitasker par excellence.

The 52-year-old member of the emirate's ruling family, uncle to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has expanded his portfolio of jobs to the point where he now has a presence at or near the top of virtually all of the entities that make up Dubai Inc.

If the post-crisis economic strategy of the emirate is to go "back to basics", focusing on the three Ts of transport, trade and tourism, Sheikh Ahmed sits firmly at the pinnacle of that triangle.

Finance groups accused over Libyan losses -

Libya’s sovereign wealth fund accused financial groups of charging high fees for investments that it claims lost hundreds of millions of dollars of the now war-torn country’s oil wealth.

The $65bn Libyan Investment Authority gave scathing judgments on portfolios run by France’s BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and the Permal fund of hedge funds, according to an internal document produced last year.

The criticism adds to questions over the relationship between western institutions and the LIA in Muammer Gaddafi’s Libya.