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Sunday, 7 August 2011

Industries Qatar to ‘Exceed’ Profit and Revenue Goals - Bloomberg

Industries Qatar QSC (IQCD), the country’s second-biggest company by market value, will “significantly exceed” its profit and revenue targets for this year as the company starts operating a new fertilizer plant, the company’s chief coordinator said.

The company, which operates petrochemical, fertilizer and steel arms, targets net income of 4.9 billion riyals ($1.4 billion) and revenue of 14.5 billion riyals for 2011, Abdulrahman Al-Shaibi said in a release today.

With the “imminent” start of Qatar Fertilizer Co.’s 9.6 billion-riyal Qafco 5 urea and ammonia plant, “the group is on course to deliver an exceptional 2011 full-year result,” Al- Shaibi said.

The Great Downgrade - Zawya

The Standard & Poor's downgrade of the U.S. economy was the great unthinkable just a few months ago. They are now a stark reality. While the short-term impact may not be immediate - save for market gyrations, it is long-term implications are clear: the U.S. economy is no longer the safest, the most dynamic and the most enduring in the world, and U.S. Treasuries - may be not tomorrow but certainly over time - will no longer the safe havens everybody counted on.

The Gulf states which have aligned themselves to the greenback in more ways than one, also need to think radically outside their dollar-filled box. While analysts don't expect Gulf states to publicly speak negatively about the U.S. economy or the dollar, one certainly hopes that behind closed doors, there is a concerted hope to realign the regional economies to the new realities.

Standard & Poor's damning verdict of the United States' approach to its fiscal crisis came after the markets had closed. It didn't matter as investors had been sensing a downgrade all week and moved like a pendulum on steroids, lurching from one piece of speculation and hanging on to every scrap of good news.

MENA stock markets close - August 7, 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)

Cases up at Dubai World Tribunal - The National

The number of new cases in the Dubai World Tribunal is on course to more than double this year following the first significant rulings for the young judicial body.

As of yesterday, a total of 41 claims had been lodged in the Tribunal, a body set up two years ago to hear cases brought by and against Dubai World as it underwent a restructuring. Just 29 cases were filed last year.

'There is a bit more confidence in the system and in the process, and people who were holding back are pursuing because they see results,' said Kaashif Basit, a partner at KBH Kaanuun in Dubai who has been involved in numerous Tribunal cases.

Saudi Atheeb eyes rights issue to lift balance sheet | Reuters

Saudi Arabia's Etihad Atheeb Telecom plans to raise its capital threefold to 1.575 billion riyals ($420 million) through a rights issue after cutting it by more than half to cover accumulated losses, the firm said in statements.

The company, which operates under the brand name GO, was awarded a Saudi fixed line services licence in 2009 and has been facing mounting losses over the past year.

Atheeb, 15 percent-owned by Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Batelco), received regulatory approval in June to cut its capital from 1 billion riyals to 400 million riyals after it accumulated losses equivalent to 95 percent of its capital.

Gulf bonds to see further sell-off after US downgrade | Alrroya

Gulf bonds will likely see a further sell-off when trading resumes on Monday, in response to the S&P's downgrade of the United States' credit rating last week and increasing concerns over the health of the global economy.

Regional bond prices had already begun to ease on Friday in response to the massive volatility on global equities markets on the previous day.

Bond prices in the Gulf Arab region had rallied in recent weeks as mostly regional investors flocked to familiar territory in the face of global volatility.

The end of the world as we know it? Middle East feels fine, ish | beyondbrics –

Middle East stock markets didn’t exactly shrug off Friday’s historic downgrade of the United States as they re-opened for business over the weekend but nor – in spite of a palpable climate of fear at Dubai’s Financial Market on Sunday – did they fall as much as many investors had feared.

“Ohhhhh, boom, boom, boom,” gasped Kishore Kumar, a private investor, pointing out names turning red at the open of Dubai’s stock exchange. Within fifteen minutes the market had slumped 5.5 per cent.

Luckily for Kumar and others like him the downward trend eased and the market closed 3.7 per cent down. That was its biggest fall since February. In other words, the historic US downgrade had less of an impact than the region’s own seismic events earlier this year.

UAE supports peg, Oman says no alternative to U.S. debt - Maktoob News

The United Arab Emirates will keep its currency peg to the U.S. dollar even after Standard & Poor's downgraded the world's biggest economy, and Oman sees no risk in investing in U.S. treasuries, officials said on Sunday.

Gulf central bankers were huddled in separate meetings on Sunday to discuss the downgrade, sources said.

All Gulf Arab states, except for Kuwait, peg their currencies to the greenback and their fortunes are closely tied to U.S. developments. Gulf states are also major investors in U.S. treasuries.

Arabtec second quarter net profit plunges 74% -

Dubai builder Arabtec's second quarter net profit fell 74 percent, missing analysts' forecasts as the firm's general and administrative expenses almost doubled.

The largest builder in the United Arab Emirates by market value made a net profit of AED28.9 million (US$7.9 million), compared with a net profit of AED111.1 million in the same period last year, it said in a statement on Dubai's bourse website on Sunday.

Analysts polled by Reuters on average expected the company to report a net profit of AED39.63 million.

Saudi stocks slump 5.5%, first to collapse and first to rebound? « ArabianMoney

Because the Saudia Arabian bourse is the only major bourse in the world open on a Saturday it was also the first to respond to the S&P downgrade of US debt to below triple-A for the first time in history.

The Tadawul All-Shares Index closed down 350.43 points 6,073.44 or 5.5 per cent lower. Other Gulf stock markets opening for business this morning are likely to show similar crashes.

gulfnews : Oil plays excessive role in Qatar economy

Latest available statistics point to increasing rather than decreasing significance of the petroleum sector, both oil and gas, in the Qatari economy. Certainly, this is no positive piece of news, as it places prosperity of Qatari economy at the mercy of developments in the volatile oil market.

Determination of a formula for oil prices is not an exact science by virtue of it being affected by diverse factors including socio-political and socio-economic developments on a global level including Libya's clashes and Greece's debt problem.

According to the March 2011 issue of the Quarterly Statistical Bulletin published by Qatar Central Bank (QCB), the petroleum sector contributed 57 per cent to the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010, up from 46 per cent in 2009.

gulfnews : Stock markets on the edge

The region's stock markets are likely to trade sharply lower in the week ahead following credit rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) move to strip the US of its prized AAA credit rating, international oil prices coming off their recent highs due to headwinds facing major world economies and mounting sovereign debt concerns in Europe.

S&P downgraded the US credit rating for the first time since 1941, lowering it one level to AA+ while keeping the outlook at ‘negative.'

The move stoked fears the borrowing costs for the world's largest economy currently grappling a slowdown in growth are going to increase which may send the country and the global economy spiralling back into recession.

Region's investors brace for rough ride - The National

Investors in the region face another roller coaster ride this week after the ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded US debt and the euro crisis continued.

Shares have tumbled on Wall Street since the onslaught of the debt crises on both sides of the Atlantic. Stocks in Europe and Asia are also trading below last year's levels.

In the GCC, markets ended last month down, apart from Qatar, which managed to eke out small gains.

Abu Dhabi's answer to Canary Wharf - The National

Richard Ernest knows all about firsts.

His company, Clifford Chance, was a trailblazer when it opened up in the Dubai International Financial Centre, and the law firm will now be one of the first international players to move into Abu Dhabi's Sowwah Square this month.

'We were among the first tenants in the DIFC [which officially opened in 2005], and we are delighted to be one of the first in Abu Dhabi to relocate to the capital's new world-class business centre on Sowwah Island,' he says.

Tight credit to depress UAE bank income by 10% - Emirates 24/7

UAE banks have maintained their relatively tight credit policy despite the economic recovery and this could depress their net income by nearly 10 per cent through 2011, a key Saudi bank has said.

In contrast with the UAE, banks in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman are gradually opening up their credit lines after nearly two years of slow lending growth because of the 2008 global fiscal distress and regional debt default problems, National Commercial Bank (NCB) said.

The study described patters of banking lending in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as “persistently uneven”, adding that Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Oman are leading the way in terms of credit growth.