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Friday, 8 July 2011

NBK's asset quality among best in region, says Moody's -

National Bank of Kuwait's asset quality is among the best in the Gulf, with non-performing loans below two percent of total loans, Moody's said on Saturday.

In its latest report, the credit rating agency said that NBK's financial strength rating reflected the bank's dominant position in its domestic market, and its strong financial metrics.

Moody's added: 'NBK's asset quality has exhibited a level of resilience unparalleled by its domestic peers,' adding that NPLs stood at just 1.65 percent as at the end of last year.

Global Alumina Announces Joint Venture Budget Approval

Global Alumina Corporation (TSX: GLA.U) (the "Company" or "Global Alumina"), a corporation participating in a joint venture to develop an alumina refinery, mine and associated infrastructure in the bauxite-rich region of the Republic of Guinea (the "Project"), announced that the joint venture board of directors approved additional Project funding of $4.0 million for the period July 1, 2011 through July 31, 2011. Global Alumina will be responsible for its one-third share of this amount. The joint venture board had previously approved cumulative Project funding from inception through June 2011 of $760.8 million of which $739.1 million was incurred or prepaid through May 2011 and $735.9 million has been funded to date.

Global Alumina has approximately $33.6 million in cash, $26.1 million of which is in escrow available for Project development and $7.5 million of which is unrestricted and available for general corporate purposes. The Company also has a $33.3 million subscription receivable due to the Company on the completion of the Project debt financing.

About Global Alumina

Global Alumina is in a joint venture through its wholly owned subsidiary, Global Alumina International, Ltd., with BHP Billiton, Dubai Aluminium Company Limited and Mubadala Development Company PJSC, to develop a 3.6 million metric tons per annum steady state capacity alumina refinery in the bauxite-rich region of the Republic of Guinea. Global Alumina has offices in New York, London and Montreal. The Company's registered office is in St. John, New Brunswick. For further information visit the Company's website at

Boeing, DAE in Cancellation Talks -

U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co. is in talks with Dubai Aerospace Enterprise about whether the lessor plans to cancel orders, after it scrapped plans to buy planes from Airbus.

A spokeswoman for Boeing said the two sides are talking, but that no cancellations have been made and that it currently isn't expecting any. DAE still has 56 Boeing aircraft due for delivery between 2012 and 2018, including 35 737NGs, 15 747s and six 777s, according to aviation consultants Ascend Worldwide. DAE couldn't be reached for comment.

Boeing's concern was raised after Airbus, which is a unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. NV, confirmed cancellations and said DAE no longer had any orders outstanding. A spokesman for Airbus said DAE had cancelled orders for 34 A320 and 11 A350 aircraft, valued at a total of $5.8 billion at catalogue prices. Ascend Worldwide's head of risk advisory Paul Sheridan said the cancellation didn't come as a huge surprise.

Dubai's aviation ambition grows again - News & Advice, Travel - The Independent

Dubai authorities have approved a massive expansion to the emirate's current airport.

The $7.8 billion project will lift capacity at Dubai International, the busiest airport in the United Arab Emirates, to some 90 million passengers a year by 2018 and was approved by Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum this week.

Incredibly, it comes on top of Dubai's current project to build Dubai World Central, the world's largest airport which is currently taking shape outside of the Emirate's urban area and is expected to be capable of handing 160 million passengers a year.

Algosaibi Family Ordered by U.K. Court to Show Saudi Assets - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s Algosaibi family and their company, which defaulted in 2009, were ordered by a U.K. judge to disclose their assets after admitting liability in a $250 million lawsuit by HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) and four other banks.

Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Co. and more than a dozen “wealthy” family members must provide lists of all assets worth $50,000 or more by Aug. 4, including property in Saudi Arabia, Justice Julian Flaux ruled today in the High Court in London.

Algosaibi, which had sought as many as six weeks to catalogue its Saudi possessions, was also told to reveal if any business assets had been moved irregularly since June 16, when the family dropped its defense during a trial on the banks’ claims. The company still hasn’t made a public offer to pay the banks, Flaux said.

The Middle East: Back from the brink? | Building

The Middle East crash meant job losses and unrecovered debts for many construction firms - and a scaling back of operations. Now, with infrastructure investment and a World Cup to prepare for, it might be worth taking another look. Emily Wright surveys the landscape in Qatar, Dubai and Abu Dhabi

In November 2008, life for UK construction companies working in the Middle East changed overnight. As the world started to skid into a recession the Middle Eastern markets crashed one by one, led by a colossal fall in Dubai. British firms desperately tried to move staff out and recover what funds they could from abandoned projects. Although Dubai was hit first and hardest - mainly because, with no oil reserves, it relied on external investment to develop - Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Saudi Arabia all felt the ricocheting effects. One UK consultant working in Dubai at the time of the crash said: “I remember in November Nakheel opening the Atlantis hotel, spending $20m (£12m) on fireworks and then virtually the next day laying 500 people off. After that, things changed very quickly.”

Indeed, thousands of workers from UK contractors and consultants found themselves without jobs and tied into rental contracts for months in advance with no way of paying up. It was said to be impossible to park at Dubai airport as almost every space was taken up with abandoned company cars as people fled the country. Costs incurred and unrecovered fees left many firms crippled with debt - at one stage, Dubai developer Nakheel owed UK firms £250m in unpaid fees.

gulfnews : UAE’s non-performing loans to peak above 10% in 2011

Non-performing loans (NPLs) of the UAE banks are expected to peak above 10 per cent this year up from 8.3 per cent in 2010 and 4.9 per cent in 2009, rating agency Moody's said in a report Thursday.

Moody's expects the upcoming Dubai Holding's $10 billion (Dh36.7 billion) debt restructuring will be one significant contributor to this year's NPL levels.

"Dubai-based banks typically have high exposures to Dubai government-related entities, and we consequently expect NPLs to peak in 2011 at around 6 per cent to 8 per cent in Abu Dhabi and 11 per cent to 14 per cent in Dubai," said Khalid Howladar, vice-president — Senior Credit Officer at Moody's.