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Monday, 11 July 2011

Saudi's Riyad Bank Q2 profit rises 9 pct, beats estimate | Reuters

Saudi's Riyad Bank 1010.SE posted a 9-percent rise in second-quarter net profit, the lender said in a bourse statement on Monday.

The bank made a net profit of 836 million riyals ($222.9 million)) in the three months to June 30, compared to 766 million riyals in the same period a year earler.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters had, on average, expected the bank to post a net profit of 789.86 million riyals.

Saudi Hollandi Bank Q2 net profit rises 5.1 pct | Reuters

Saudi Hollandi Bank 1040.SE, the kingdom's oldest bank, reported a 5.1 percent rise in quarterly profits on Monday, beating estimates.

The bank said it made net profit of 263.3 million riyals ($70.21 million) in the three months to end-June, up from 250.5 million riyals in the same period a year earlier.

Analysts had forecast average quarterly profit of 245 million riyals, according to a Reuters poll.

Saudi's Samba Financial Q2 profit slips 9.7 pct | Reuters

Samba Financial Group (1090.SE), Saudi Arabia's second-largest lender by market value, reported a 9.7 percent decline in quarterly profits on Monday, in line with expectations.

Samba said second quarter net profit was of 1.102 billion riyals ($293.3 million) for the period June 30, compared to 1.22 billion riyals in the prior-year quarter.

Analysts had forecast average profit of 1.11 billion riyals, according to a Reuters survey.

MENA stock markets close - July 11, 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)

No Arab Spring Dividend? - Zawya

The Arab World's tryst with democracy and freedom is unlikely to bear economic fruits, according to a study. Instead, we could well see a gridlock political environment and economic growth that continues to lag global averages.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) insightful study on how the Arab Spring initiative is likely to play out, suggests a 60% probability of a gridlocked political environment that is unlikely to result in realizing the aspirations of the region's citizens.

The grim scenario suggests that the region will muddle along, making some progress in some segments of society and countries, but for the most part, the region will remain locked in conflict and struggle between the forces of Arab Spring and those vehemently opposed to it.

Carrefour Operator Majid Al Futtaim Seeks $1 Billion in Loan for Expansion - Bloomberg

Majid Al Futtaim Holding LLC, the operator of Carrefour SA stores in the United Arab Emirates, is raising $1 billion from three-year and five-year loans to fund expansion, according to two people familiar with the deal.

The three-year revolving credit facility pays a margin of 250 basis points over the benchmark rate, said the people, who declined to be identified before the terms are public. The five-year amortizing loan pays a margin of 275 basis points over the benchmark rate, which rises to about 315 basis points after including fees, the people said. The loans are being raised in both dollars and dirhams.

A spokesman for Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim declined to comment.

Middle East Oil Falls as Saudis Keep Supply; China Imports Drop - Bloomberg

Middle East crude for sale to Asia fell on signs that supplies may be ample as Saudi Arabia kept their long-term exports unchanged for August and China’s June imports declined.

Oman crude for immediate loading dropped 20 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $110.91 a barrel, Bloomberg data showed. Dubai oil for delivery in September fell 0.4 percent to $110.45. Murban declined 0.4 percent to $114.75.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s largest state-owned oil company, will supply full contracted volumes of crude to Asian refiners in August, according to three refinery officials. Saudi officials pledged to provide more oil to refiners after a June 8 meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries failed to agree to raise output.

Banks, Industries Qatar lift Doha; Abu Dhabi up -

Saudi Arabia's Yansab hit a two-month high after the petrochemicals producer's second-quarter profit nearly doubles to beat estimates.

Yansab, also known as Yanbu National Petrochemical Co, rose 5.1 percent, reaching its highest level since May 3.

It reported a quarterly profit of SR963.67m ($257m), up from SR502.38m a year earlier due to higher product prices and sales.

MENA Bonds: Out Of Tune In June - Zawya

Q2 2011 ended with the bonds symphony seeing some players abiding by the script and others improvising, writes Joey Geadah, Bonds Analyst at Zawya.

The second-quarter curtain fell on the bond melodrama in the Middle East and North Africa with some players abiding by the script and others improvising, creating a collaboration that seemed to be out of tune.

Bond performers such as Qatar, UAE and Kuwait remain consistent, unlike Oman, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. This reveals a vast variation between major GCC players, leaving the outlook for the second half of the year slightly vague.

Iraq, Shell to sign $12-bln gas deal - Maktoob News

Iraq will sign a final contract with Royal Dutch Shell on Tuesday for a $12-billion project to capture flared gas at southern oil-fields, two sources close to the deal said on Sunday.

Iraq's oil ministry, Shell, and Japanese project partner Mitsubishi have solved differences that had delayed the joint venture with Iraq's South Gas Co. since a draft agreement was struck in 2008.

'We have agreed on everything. The initial signing is on Tuesday,' said an Iraqi oil source.

Bahrain's Arab Banking Corporation pays for its Libyan connection - The National

Arab Banking Corporation, the Bahraini bank that is part-owned by Libya's central bank, is treading a difficult path. It has been mired by its link with the beleaguered North African nation and the international asset freezes associated with its ruler, Muammar Qaddafi.

But in a further blow, the ratings agency Moody's downgraded its rating on the lender by a notch to 'speculative grade'.

The deposit ratings at Arab Banking Corporation now fall under 'Ba1/not prime', from 'Baa3/Prime minus 3', essentially judging the lender to have 'substantial credit risk'. The main reason for the downgrading is the bank's continued reliance on Libyan deposits, and the potential constraints on its franchise - its 59 per cent majority shareholder, the Libyan central bank, remains subject to sanctions imposed by the UN, the US and the EU against the Libyan regime.

Good governance in the Middle East is no more than a seed that needs nurturing - The National

Does good corporate governance lead to better value?

It is a simple question, but it has complex ramifications in private equity in this region.

At face value, anyone would support the principle of corporate governance as a good practice to be adopted by businesses to monitor management, ensure a proper decision-making tree and to protect shareholders' interests. However, beyond this general and almost intuitive proclamation, there are complexities at varying levels.

Euro-zone crisis hits Gulf plans - The National

Europe's deepening debt crisis has put yet another damper on fund-raising by companies and governments in the Middle East, forcing them to put off planned bond sales until markets improve.

Dolphin Energy, a gas production and pipeline company based in Abu Dhabi, delayed a US$1.9 billion (Dh6.97bn) bond sale last month because of increasing uncertainty in global markets after holding meetings with investors.

Last week, Majid Al Futtaim Holding, a malls operator based in Dubai, also postponed a bond issue in the wake of the deteriorating European crisis.

Egypt Prevailing Over Banks as Auction Borrowing Costs Drop: Arab Credit - Bloomberg

Egypt’s falling borrowing costs show the government may have won a showdown with creditors by cutting its budget deficit target and canceling a debt sale after yields hit a three-year high.

Yields on treasury bills fell yesterday for the third straight auction after the central bank called off the first sale in the fiscal year that started July 1 when investors demanded higher returns. The average yield on 3.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($588 million) of nine-month notes dropped 21 basis points from last week’s auction, the most since October, to 12.681 percent, according to Finance Ministry data.

Finance Minister Samir Radwan’s decision to lower the budget deficit target by about 2.5 percentage points to 8.6 percent of economic output reduces the need for him to go to local markets for financing, helping to lower yields, economists at investment banks EFG-Hermes Holding SAE and CI Capital Holding say.

Etisalat dealt another blow in India -

Indian authorities over the weekend accused five directors of Etisalat DB, the Indian joint venture of the UAE’s telecoms operator, of alleged foreign direct investment and foreign exchange violations worth about $1.6bn.

Balesh Kumar, the Enforcement Directorate special director who issued the notices, told the Financial Times that Etisalat had increased its stake in Swan Telecom – later renamed Etisalat DB – above 49 per cent without seeking regulatory approval. Under India’s FDI rules for the telecoms sector, a foreign group seeking to acquire a stake greater than 49 per cent needs approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board for the transaction.

Etisalat acquired a 45 per cent stake in Swan Telecom for $900m in 2008. However, the UAE group later bought another 5 per cent stake from Genex Exim, a small financial services group based in south India, increasing its overall stake above 49 per cent.

gulfnews : Abu Dhabi will not guarantee $3b worth of tourism development bonds

The Abu Dhabi Tourism Development and Investment Co said its planned sale through a $3 billion (Dh11 billion) notes programme won't be guaranteed by the Abu Dhabi government.

The subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority has 'no assurance that the government would assist the group in repaying or refinancing any of its commercial debt,' according to the bond prospectus distributed at an investors meeting in Dubai yesterday and obtained by Bloomberg News at presentation to potential investors yesterday.

The TDIC's commercial debt amounted to Dh10.5 billion ($2.9 billion) at the end of December.

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