Thursday, 7 July 2011
The state-owned funds, allocators of the state's excess investment capital, have benefited from a 20-percent surge in crude over the past year.
They are expected to aggressively scout for deals after lying low earlier this year when protests roiled the Middle East, driving regimes out of power in Tunisia and Egypt and provoking crackdowns in Bahrain and other states.
|TASI (Saudi Stock Market)||6612.46||-0.22%|
|DFM (Dubai Financial Market)||1557.85||0.37%|
|ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)||2714.77||-0.08%|
|KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)||6212.9||0.07%|
|BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)||1319.51||0.08%|
|MSM (Muscat Securities Market)||5975.81||0.39%|
|QE (Qatar Exchange)||8502.49||0.12%|
|LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)||1326.07||-0.16%|
|EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)||5360.34||0.75%|
|ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)||2102.47||0.36%|
|TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)||4310.86||0.63%|
|CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)||11574||0.16%|
|PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)||500||0.53%|
That has broad geopolitical implications for the Middle East. And while Lebanon and Israel are often mentioned, Iraq stands to lose the most. Syria could, for example, become a base for groups seeking to undermine stability in Iraq, increasing risks for the growth of oil production. Oil traders should watch closely how Bashar handles Syria’s political turmoil.
Iraq’s oil production capacity will be a key variable influencing energy markets in the next two decades. Oil minister Abdul-Kareem Luaibi has said recently that he expects to see an increase from 2.7 million bpd today to 8 million bpd by in 2017. While this is overly optimistic, if current political conditions persist Iraq could very well produce 4.5 to 5 million bpd in 2015 and 7-8 million bpd in 2020. But if instability flows from Syria, the story could turn out to be much less promising, putting additional upward pressure on the oil futures market.
There is just something slightly sinister about the invariable optimists at the Dubai tourism sector. For one thing, Kipp remembers how, early this year, many analysts and experts didn’t spare any time to point out that the Middle Eastern unrest, the Arab Spring, as some call it, was beneficial for the UAE’s tourism sector. Now, facts are facts; just as business is, indeed, business. But the PC sensitive side of Kipp, (yes, even we have a soft side) can’t help but think that maybe touting the calamitous uprising as a boon for Dubai’s long-suffering tourism scene is just a tad tactless.
And now, as things ever so slightly slow down in the Middle East, analysts haven’t hesitated that the consequent boost in tourism Dubai has enjoyed is also slowing down. “The headline number has softened for a second consecutive month, suggesting that the lift the UAE received from unrest elsewhere may be fading” Simon Williams, the chief economist for the Middle East and North Africa at HSBC told The National.
And while the scorching summer sets in, regional unrest slows down and Ramadan approaches, it would seem tourism in Dubai is in for a rough couple of months. But never fear, Dubai hoteliers have great plans to tempt pilgrims on their way to Mecca for Ummrah, to stop over in hedonistic-haven Dubai to what exactly before before the ultimate cleansing in Mecca. We’ll leave you to fill in those blanks.
Are we the only who sees just how iniquitous this all is?
The clearout by DAE Capital failed to spook investors in Airbus parent EADS , which is well ahead of Boeing this year, but delivered a blow to Dubai at a time when the emirate is touting its recovery from a crippling 2009 debt crisis.
It also raises questions over the fate of about $9 billion in unfilled orders by the same leasing company from Boeing , which is due to update its order book later on Thursday.
Drake & Scull International PJSC, a construction company, climbed to the highest in two weeks. Dubai Islamic Bank, the biggest Shariah-compliant lender in the United Arab Emirates, rose for the fourth time this week. The DFM General Index gained 0.4 percent to 1,557.85 at the 2:00 p.m. close in the emirate. The measure rose 2.7 percent this week. The Bloomberg BGCC200 Index, which tracks the biggest 200 companies in the Gulf, advanced 0.7 percent this week.
'Regional markets are gaining direction from international news flows and international markets performance,' said Marwan Shurrab, assistant fund manager and chief trader at Dubai-based Gulfmena Alternative Investments.
Nakheel, the company that once boasted that it got the vision of Dubai built, and Limitless whose name said it all, are to disappear with their demerger from the the Dubai World conglomerate and the transfer of legal ownership to a new Dubai Government entity.
Dubai Real Estate Corporation was formed last month ‘to own and manage the properties registered in the name of the Government or any of its departments’. It has not been announced whether the Nakheel and Limitless trading names will ever be used again for property development in the emirate.
Agreements have been signed on the terms for the separation of Nakheel and Limitless 'operationally and financially' from Dubai World, the board of directors said in a statement.
'Legal ownership will transfer to the Government of Dubai upon completion of Nakheel and Limitless's financial restructuring,' the statement said.
The alert from the financial free zone's regulator comes amid an increase in online fraud involving the DIFC and the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), which oversees companies based in the centre. The DFSA has issued seven warnings about such scams using the DFSA and the DIFC's names as bait since 2008. 'More sophisticated scams will use the stolen identities of reputable businesses and agencies to give their scams some form of legitimacy,' a DFSA spokeswoman said. 'The DIFC and DFSA, like many other agencies, may have its identity misused from time to time. When the DFSA becomes aware of such instances it notifies the public and takes action when it can.'
Before yesterday's alert, the most recent warning came last August, when the DFSA raised concerns over an 'increase in fraudulent activity' by people 'impersonating companies and offering loans and investments to potential victims'.
Its latest coup is a two-decade agreement signed with Argentina last week to supply 5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year, equal to more than 15 per cent of that country's natural gas demand. It follows deals with the UK, Japan and other major consumers.
Finding long-term customers is at the top of the emirate's priorities as it increases its LNG production to 77 million tonnes a year by the end of this year. 'If I get a long-term customer, I can plan my production,' said Bhaskar Majumdar, a regional energy analyst at the consultancy Frost & Sullivan in Bangalore.
Kuwaits Kharafi Group is undergoing a restructuring process following the death in April of the conglomerates popular chairman, the companys vice chairman, and likely successor, said.
“”We are working on the restructuring of the company,”" said vice chairman Bader Nasser Al Kharafi, son of the deceased chairman Nasser Al Kharafi, who died in Egypt in April. The late chairmans influence on Kuwait society was indicated when shares in companies the conglomerate has stakes in took a sharp drop immediately after his death.
Kharafi Group has an annual turnover of more than $5 billion and operates in more than 25 countries worldwide. Its subsidiary, Kuwait Food Company or Americana, holds the Middle East franchises for Pizza Hut, KFC and TGI Fridays, among others.
Mergers and acquisitions in the Gulf banking sector are seen to be most pressing in smaller but highly competitive markets such as the UAE and Qatar, where respectively 47 and 18 banks are active.
Analysts say that as economies in the Gulf region are expanding, consolidation would create regional champions that will play a bigger role in developing the local equity and debt capital markets-at a time when their international counterparts may scale down their emerging markets presence due to new regulatory requirements on balance sheets.