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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

MENA stock markets close - August 17, 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)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Mobinil lifts Egypt; Gulf mostly up in slow trade | Reuters

Egypt's bourse ended higher on Wednesday as Mobinil rebounded from declines on talk of potential shareholding changes, while most Gulf markets gained in lacklustre trade.

Egypt's index gained 2.3 percent on heavy buying of Mobinil after some traders said Egyptian telecoms magnate Naguib Sawiris might be preparing to sell shares in the mobile operator. He denied this in comments to Reuters.

Mobinil, whose shares have fallen 44 percent this year, touching its lowest level since 2004 on Aug. 9 at 86 pounds, was the biggest gainer on the index, up 10 percent. Parent company Orascom Telecom gained 5.2 percent.

Persian Gulf Stocks: Oman's Renaissance and Saudi Hollandi Bank

Dubai's DFM General Index dropped 0.1 percent at 1:09 p.m. in the emirate. Abu Dhabi's ADX General Index was little changed and Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All Share Index gained 0.3 percent.

The following shares were active in the Persian Gulf region. Stock symbols are in parenthesis.

Renaissance Services SAOG (RNSS OM) tumbled to the lowest since April 2009, falling 6.3 percent to 0.524 rial. The Omani provider of services to the oil and gas industry said only one of the management changes at its unit Topaz Group, which in March delayed a share sale in London, was linked to financial fraud.

DealTalk: Financial M&A hard to crack in overbanked Gulf | Reuters

The planned merger of two Bahraini banks, intended to create the largest Islamic lender in the Gulf Arab kingdom, could pave the way for more consolidation in a regional industry frozen in its tracks by unrealistic valuations and ownership limits.

The proposed tie-up between Bahrain Islamic Bank BISB.BH and smaller rival Al Salam Bank SALAM.BH to create a $4.5 billion entity, unveiled this month, is a litmus test for the region after the last attempted merger, between two Qatari banks, failed.

The two Bahraini lenders said late on Tuesday that they had received approval from the central bank for their planned merger and have hired KPMG Fakhro as advisor.

Debate over Gulf peg to dollar reignited -

The argument over whether the Gulf states should retain their peg to the dollar is in full swing again after the US lost its AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor’s, bringing a new round of volatility to currency markets.

One of the main focuses of debate is the way the weak dollar can increase the cost of imports on which Gulf states rely, driving up inflation.

“The peg worked well in the past with a strong US dollar, helping to anchor the GCC [Gulf Co-operation Council] economies and keep inflation low. However, this will not be the case if the outlook for the US dollar is weak,” says Monica Malik, chief economist at EFG-Hermes investment bank in Dubai. “If the GCC countries move to a more flexible currency policy, they will have increased monetary independence.”

Kerzner Said to Be in Talks for Extension of $2.78 Billion of Mortgages - Bloomberg

Kerzner International Holdings Ltd., the company that built the Atlantis resorts in Dubai and the Bahamas, is negotiating with creditors to extend maturities on $2.78 billion of mortgages due next month, according to three people familiar with the talks.

Holders of commercial mortgage-backed securities may receive more than $100 million of principal in exchange for the two-year extension, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. Kerzner may default on the debt, due Sept. 9, unless a deal is reached, the people said. It received a waiver on its operating company debt earlier this year, one of the people said.

The company, which also runs seven One&Only resorts, has struggled with debt since the 2008 financial crisis reduced hotel values and room rates. Kerzner’s owners include Dubai World’s Istithmar, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)’s Whitehall Funds, Colony Capital LLC and Sol Kerzner, the company’s founder.

Oil prices to revolve around $100 pb till 2011 end: expert

Oil prices will revolve around $100 till the end of this year, Kuwaiti oil expert Mohammed Shatti forecast, citing several factors including the drop of oil supplies from outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

In statements to KUNA, Shatti estimated the increase in oil demand this year at 2.1 million barrel per day, citing global reports based on the forecasts of a slowdown in the pace of global economy growth during the second half of 2011.

He pointed out that all indicators show that OPEC production will remain unchanged in 2011, which means a reduction in demand for oil and continuing withdrawal from oil inventories by industrialized countries.

Bahrain Islamic megabank seeks to raise $100bn -

The lender, scheduled to begin operations in January, will start with $10bn of capital and help provide financing for “profitable” ventures among the 57 member nations of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Abdulmohsen Linjawi, general manager of the Business Owners Union, an OIC unit, said on August 15.

The lack of institutions within the $1 trillion Islamic finance industry capable of handling large deals that conform to the religion’s ban on interest spurred Malaysia to announce last month it will issue a license to Asia’s first Sharia-compliant “mega” bank.

Offerings of Islamic bonds, known as sukuk, more than doubled this year to $16.8bn, and the debt has returned 6.7 percent in 2011, compared with 6.4 percent on other developing-country bonds, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co’s Global Emerging Markets Bond index.

gulfnews : Eurozone crisis threatens Gulf

Dire economic growth in the Eurozone is a threat to trade, investment and expansion in the Gulf region, local economists and market analysts warned on Tuesday.

According to new data, the 17-nation bloc grew by just 0.2 per cent on a quarterly basis with analysts expressing particular concern over sluggish GDP growth in Germany, which had been driving Europe's economic recovery.

'The problems in the Eurozone will have an effect on the GCC because we are heavily connected to Europe as a trade and investment partner. If Europe does not address these issues we could be on the verge of a crisis that would put [the collapse of] Lehmann Brothers in the shadows,' said Nasser Saidi, chief economist at Dubai International Financial Centre.

Dhahi for regulation of real estate sector

Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Commander in Chief of Dubai Police, has advised caution on real estate development in the emirate, while calling for regulation of new projects.

Speaking at a Ramadan Majlis organised by the Dubai Press Club on Monday night, the police chief, said: ‘‘Real estate should be allowed to slow down.’’

Dhahi said investment in real estate had created a beautiful city, the tallest building in the world and the largest mall. ‘‘We should calm down construction and the introduction of more foreign workers."

Brent crude rises, above $109 on US gasoline draw | Reuters

Brent crude rose on Wednesday, staying above $109 a barrel as a larger-than-expected drawdown in U.S gasoline stocks and positive U.S. economic data trumped concerns over the euro zone debt crisis.

A meeting between French and German leaders didn't result in any concrete measures to try and find a way out of Europe's sovereign debt problems, but better-than-expected U.S. industrial production numbers helped bolster sentiment.

Brent crude for October rose 55 cents to $109.68 by 0455 GMT. U.S. crude was up 78 cents at $87.41 a barrel, after slipping $1.23 on Tuesday to settle at $86.65.

Fraud issue has no impact on normal operations, says Renaissance | Oman Observer

Oman-based oil services firm Renaissance Services SAOG says its disclosure on Monday of breaches in the company’s code of business has no impact on its normal operations.

In a press statement issued here yesterday, Renaissance sought to assure stakeholders that it was “pressing ahead with resolving the challenges and pursuing our ongoing business as usual”.

It said the statement was aimed at clarifying “various interpretations and assumptions” arising from the Chairman’s Report and quarterly unaudited accounts released earlier on Saturday. The Chairman’s Report also included disclosures of fraud in its marine subsidiary Topaz.