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Monday, 18 July 2011

MENA stock markets close - July 18, 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)

Kuwait shares slump to new seven-year low -

Kuwait’s benchmark slumped to a new seven-year low after the country’s central bank governor said the economy needed corrections.

Sheikh Salem Abdul Aziz Al Sabah said the economy is witnessing an imbalance which could lead to a lot of risks, according to state news agency KUNA.

The benchmark slumped 1.6 percent to 5,973 points, its lowest close since September 2004.

Etisalat Q2 profit misses forecasts; shares drop - Maktoob News

Etisalat , the United Arab Emirates' largest telecoms carrier, said on Monday its second-quarter net profit fell 14.9 percent, missing analysts' forecasts, as operating costs rose amid increasing competition in its home market.

The former monopoly, which operates in 18 countries, reported a second-quarter profit of 1.59 billion dirhams ($433 million), down from 1.87 billion dirhams in the year-earlier period.

Analysts polled by Reuters forecast the firm would post a quarterly profit of 1.88 billion dirhams.

Dubai’s Financial Center 2010 Income Grew 5.2% to $2.92 Billion - Bloomberg

Dubai International Financial Center, the tax-free business park for financial-services companies, said income rose 5.2 percent in 2010, helped by a recovery in the Persian Gulf region.

DIFC’s gross domestic product grew to $2.92 billion from $2.77 billion in 2009, contributing 3.6 percent to Dubai’s income and about 1 percent to the U.A.E. economy, Nasser Saidi, DIFC’s chief economist, told a news conference in Dubai today. The number of financial-services companies increased 8.2 percent to 383, while the number of those providing business services rose 4.1 percent to 302.

“The bulk of the companies have come from emerging markets, India, China, South Korea, and our strategy is very much to focus on emerging markets,” Saidi said. “The safe haven effect is important for the U.A.E. and Qatar that will mean that the results of 2011 will be substantially better.”

UAE stock brokers struggle for business amid volumes slump - Emirates 24/7

UAE Stock brokerages are fighting for survival amidst a trading sump on the country’s three stock exchanges – the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), the Abu Dhabi Exchange (ADX) and Nasdaq Dubai.

The slump on the local bourses – exacerbated by this year’s Arab Spring, which saw foreign institutional as well as individual investors pull out their holdings in droves earlier this year – began in earnest after trading volumes peaked in 2007 and early 2008.

In dollar terms, trading on the DFM has slumped 89 per cent (or almost nine times) from an average daily volume of $408m in 2007 to $45.8m in 2011 year-to-date (YTD), underlining the drop in revenues that the country’s brokerages have had to endure in the past few years.

Kuwait economy faces imbalances, requires corrections -cbank - Maktoob News

OPEC member Kuwait is witnessing imbalances in its economy which require corrections, the state news agency cited the country's central bank governor as saying.

'Sheikh Salem Abdul-Aziz al-Sabah spoke about the economic situation in Kuwait and about the imbalances it witnesses which could lead to a lot of risks at various levels,' KUNA said late on Sunday. Sheikh Salem was speaking at a cabinet meeting, it said.

Sheikh Salem said that such concerns should be addressed by corrections to avoid any negative implications that they might have on the future of Kuwait, KUNA added.

gulfnews : Arqaam Capital to focus on emerging markets

Arqaam Capital, the Dubai-based regional investment bank, is positioning itself as an emerging market investment bank targeting the new silk route of trade and capital flows between Asia and Africa through the Middle East, CEO Riad Meliti told Gulf News in a recent interview.

'There are lots of opportunities in the emerging markets of the Middle East, Asia and Africa. We expect these opportunities and cross border deal flows to grow manifold in the coming decade. Based in Dubai we want to position ourselves as a leading regional emerging market institution,' said Meliti.

Established in 2007, Arqaam has a significant shareholder base in the region and has the main operating entity based in the Dubai International Financial Centre and regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority.

Sky News Arabia plan rolls on - The National

Sky News is pressing ahead with plans to launch an Arabic-language station based in Abu Dhabi, despite the phone hacking scandal in the UK rocking Rupert Murdoch's News Corp empire.

The broadcaster's joint venture in Abu Dhabi, Sky News Arabia, said the launch next spring of the 24-hour news station had not been derailed. Last week, News Corp announced it had dropped a plan to buy out BSkyB, which operates Sky News, in the wake of the phone hacking crisis.

'Sky News Arabia is a 50/50 joint venture with BSkyB and the Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation (Admic). Both organisations remain committed to the launch,' Sky News Arabia said in a statement. News Corp already owns a 39 per cent stake in BSkyB. But last week it abandoned a US$12.6 billion (Dh46.27bn) bid for full control of the company.

Tankers rates plumb depths, but recovery on the horizon - The National

Tanker rates on the spot market appear to have bottomed out, says Gulf Navigation's chief executive.

'Shipping is a very cyclical business, but the consensus view is that we are currently at or very near the bottom of the cycle triggered by the financial crisis in 2008 and that far better times are ahead of us,' said Atle Sebjornsen, who heads the shipping company based in Dubai.

'Global [oil] consumption is catching up while ordering of new ships has slowed down, which suggests that a more favourable balance and strong markets lie ahead.'

Saudi stocks lose ground on concern |

Saudi Arabias stock benchmark Tadawul All Share Index slipped 0.98 percent to 6,459.28 points Sunday, down 1.2 percent so far in July.

Yanbu National Petrochemical Company shed 0.8 percent, Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co fell 1.5 percent and Saudi Kayan Petrochemicals slipped 0.3 percent.

The banking index declines 0.4 percent, with Banque Saudi Fransi down 0.7 percent.

Gulf Times – Qatar economy surges 28% in the first quarter

Qatar’s economy (nominal) grew by a robust 28.4% year-on-year in the first quarter (Q1) of this year mainly due to a double-digit growth in seven of the 13 sectors, indicating the fruition of the country’s diversification strategy.

On a quarter-to-quarter analysis, the Qatar Statistics Authority (QSA) found that the mining, manufacturing, construction and finance sectors have been consistently rising since the third quarter of 2010; an indicator of the robustness and value addition in the world’s fastest growing economy.

“The quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices is estimated at QR141.84bn in Q1 of 2011 compared to QR110.46bn in Q1 2010,” said the QSA, which used information collected through the quarterly economic indicator survey and from other agencies and ministries/departments.

NBO assets cross RO 2 bn mark | Oman Observer

National Bank of Oman (NBO) posted a net profit after tax of RO 17.1 million for the half year ended June 2011, versus earnings of RO 14.6 million for the same period in 2010. Announcing the unaudited results for the six months ended June 30, 2011, NBO also reported a 9 per cent jump in total assets which reached RO 2.019 billion this year, from RO 1.854 billion during the corresponding period last year.

Loans and advances to customers climbed 10 per cent to RO 1.549 billion this year, up from RO 1.412 billion during the same period last year. Customer deposits were also 11 per cent higher at RO 1.455 billion this year, from 1.306 billion during the corresponding period of 2010.

The bank’s operating income jumped 12 per cent to RO 45.7 million at the end of the first half of this year, from RO 40.7 million last year. Operating expenditure was also higher at RO 21 million during the first half of this year, up 15 per cent over last year’s figure of RO 18.3 million. Operating profit climbed 10 per cent to RO 24.7 million during the six months ended June 30, 2011, from RO 22.5 million over the same period last year. The results are subject to the approval of NBO’s Board of Directors.

gulfnews : Kuwait's central bank assets drop in June

The value of foreign assets held by Kuwait's central bank declined by 10.6 per cent in June, compared with the month earlier, data from the country's monetary authority showed yesterday.

Total foreign assets held by the central bank stood at 6.1 billion Kuwaiti dinars (Dh81.8 billion) in June, compared with 6.8 billion dinars in May, according to data posted on its website. On the year, the central bank's assets were up 13.4 per cent in June.

'The central bank of Kuwait's balance sheet tends to become larger when foreign exchange comes into the country and smaller when the foreign exchange outflows occur,' said Giyas Gokkent, National Bank of Abu Dhabi's chief economist.