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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Kuwait Airways to sell $280m stake -

Kuwait Airways has put up a $280m stake for sale to international carriers and investors, the initial stage of a first airline privatisation for the oil-rich region.

The Gulf state’s struggling national airline, which owns 17 large aircraft, will this week start holding talks with potential investors to offer a management contract and 35 per cent of the privatised entity’s KD220m ($802m) share capital, according to documents seen by the Financial Times.

The Kuwait Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, will subscribe to a fifth of the share capital with the balance slated to be offered to employees and investors in a future initial public offering.

Ramadan Kareem

MENA stock markets close - July 31, 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 Zain Q2 net profit falls 21 pct, misses views | Reuters

Kuwaiti mobile operator Zain posted a 21 percent lower second-quarter net profit of 70.3 million dinars ($257.3 million), according to Reuters calculations, missing analyst estimates.

Net profit in the six months to June 30 came in at 140.2 million dinars, Zain said in a statement.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected the firm to post an average second quarter net profit of 87.4 million dinars.

Oman’s fiscal surplus to widen - Emirates 24/7

A surge in oil prices is expected to widen Oman’s fiscal surplus through 2011 despite a sharp increase in spending following new jobs and pay rises for national civil servants, according to official figures.

The country, which is not an OPEC member, had projected a shortfall of RO850 million ($2.2 billion) when it announced its record 2011 budget early this year.

But it massively revised up the gap to RO1,850 million ($4.8 billion) after Sultan Qaboos approved new jobs and hefty pay rises for Omani government employees in response to demands during unrest in two months ago.

Dubai Stocks Lead Middle East Gains on Bets of U.S. Debt Deal - Businessweek

Middle East shares rose, sending Dubai’s measure up the most in two weeks, as U.S. politicians began a fresh attempt to reach an agreement on raising the country’s debt limit two days before a default deadline.

Emaar Properties PJSC, the developer of the world’s tallest skyscraper, gained 2.1 percent and Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC rallied the most in three months as second-quarter profit rose 10 percent. The DFM General Index climbed 0.8 percent, the most since July 13, to 1,517.58 at the 2 p.m. close in Dubai. The measure was little changed in July. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index rose 0.3 percent at 2:17 p.m. in Riyadh after slipping as much as 0.3 percent earlier. Egypt’s EGX 30 Index gained 0.4 percent and Israel’s TA-25 index fell 1 percent.

Reports that “there is a preliminary agreement on a deal between President Barack Obama and the Republicans” helped push up stocks, said Samer Darwiche, a financial analyst at Gulfmena Investments in Dubai.

Credit Agricole Egypt says H1 net drops 30 pct | Reuters

Credit Agricole Egypt net profit for the first six months fell 30 percent from a year earlier, the bank said on Sunday.

Egyptian banks were hurt by the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year, when political turmoil and worker strikes prompted the central bank to close banks for nearly two weeks.

Credit Agricole Egypt, owned 60 percent by France's Credit Agricole, said net profit dropped to 140.7 million Egyptian pounds from 201.6 million pounds in the first half of 2010, it said.

Middle East Shares Drop, Led by Qatar on U.S. Debt Limit Standof - Businessweek

Middle East shares fell, with Qatar’s index headed for the lowest close in a month, after U.S. lawmakers failed to agree on raising the debt ceiling and data showed the world’s largest economy almost came to a halt.

Qatar National Bank SAQ, the Persian Gulf country’s biggest lender by assets, lost as much as 1.1 percent and Barwa Real Estate Co., the Qatari property developer, fell for a fourth day. The QE Index decreased 0.3 percent to 8,348.42 at 11:09 a.m. in Doha, poised for the lowest close since June 29. The measure fell 0.2 percent this month. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index lost 0.2 percent today and Israel’s TA-25 index slipped 0.7 percent.

“Earnings are failing to act as a catalyst; all focus is on the U.S. debt ceiling,” said Samer Darwiche, a financial analyst at Gulfmena Investments in Dubai. “The panic is twofold: not raising the debt ceiling, which is unlikely to occur, and the fear of downgrading the U.S. credit rating.”

Distressed debt firm eyes Nakheel trade creditors - Maktoob News

A Hong Kong-based distressed debt firm, founded by ex-Deutsche Bank veterans , has approached trade creditors of Dubai's troubled property firm Nakheel with an aim to taking the claims off their hands, a document seen by Reuters showed.

The move by SC Lowy Financial, a distressed debt investment firm set up by Deutsche veterans Michel Lowy and Soo Cheon Lee in 2009, is the first clear sign that distressed players are circling Nakheel's $10.9 billion debt restructuring.

"We are reaching out to all trade creditors/vendors of Nakheel with the view of investing in their trade claims," SC Lowy said in an emailed document to one of the trade creditors, which was obtained by Reuters.

Abu Dhabi's UNB Q2 net profit rises 23 pct; beats forecasts | Reuters

Union National Bank , jointly owned by the governments of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, posted a 23-percent rise in second-quarter net profit, beating analysts forecasts, as higher impairment losses were offset by a surge in net interest income.

The Abu Dhabi-headquartered lender earned a net profit of 415.3 million dirhams ($113.35 million) in the second quarter, compared with 337.38 million in the same period one year earlier.

Analysts polled by Reuters forecasted an average profit of 388.83 million dirhams in the second quarter.

Tunisia Central Bank Head Says Economic Recovery Slowed by Libya Conflict - Bloomberg

Tunisia’s efforts to restore stability following the January ouster of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali are being hampered by the economic impact of the conflict in Libya, the central bank governor said.

Fighting in Libya between Muammar Qaddafi’s forces and rebels has cost Tunisia $1 billion to $2 billion this year in lost tourism revenue and trade with its North African neighbor, Mustapha Kamel Nabli said July 29 in an interview in his office in his nation’s capital, Tunis. Tourism may recover within six months, or next year, depending when peace returns, he said.

“We are in the middle of it and we are concerned,” Nabli said. “What can you do? Just try to help and hope a political solution will be found and the conflict stops.”

Saudi Shares Reach Four-Month Low as U.S. Economic Growth Misses Forecasts - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabian shares dropped to the lowest level since March after U.S. economic growth missed economists’ forecasts and Moody’s Investors Service said it may cut Spain’s credit rating.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), the world’s biggest petrochemicals maker, reached its lowest price in almost five weeks. Etihad Etisalat Co. (EEC) and Al Rajhi Bank (RJHI), the kingdom’s largest publicly traded lender by market value, declined.

The 147-company Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) slid 1.4 percent to 6,355.72, the lowest level since March 22, at the 3:30 p.m. close in Riyadh. All 15 industry groups dropped.

gulfnews : Bank of Sharjah profit plunges to Dh152m

Bank of Sharjah's net profits fell to Dh152 million in the first half of 2010, down from Dh276 million a year earlier.

The bank blamed a slower than expected recovery of the UAE economy following the financial crisis and new risk classification measure introduced by the country's central bank.

'The political unrest which erupted in the MENA region at the beginning of the year continued to negatively impact the regional financial markets and economies,' said Varouj Nerguizian, executive director and general manager at Bank of Sharjah.

DIB profit rises 10%; customer deposits up

Dubai Islamic Bank, or DIB, on Saturday said its first-half net profit rose 10 per cent to Dh552 million due to a sharp increase in customer deposits despite higher provisions.

The UAE’s largest Islamic lender said its customer deposits stood at Dh77.6 billion as of June 30, reflecting a 22 per cent increase from December 31, while total assets rose 14 per cent to Dh102.9 billion during the same period.

“During a period of renewed growth, Dubai Islamic Bank has continued to perform impressively. The bank’s commitment to prudently manage its core operations, through effective cost controls and risk management, has delivered a strong set of results in the second quarter of the year. From a position of strength, DIB remains committed to playing a central role in the continued economic growth and diversification of the UAE and wider region,” Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, DIB’s chairman and director-general of The Ruler’s Court of Dubai, said in an e-mailed statement to Khaleej Times.