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Monday, 22 August 2011

Lebanon Safer Than Dubai on Loaded Local Lenders: Arab Credit - Bloomberg

Lebanon is safer than Dubai for the first time since June in the market for credit default swaps as foreign investors bet demand from the country’s banks will offset the risk of buying the debt.

The cost of protecting Lebanon’s bonds against default for five years fell 5 basis points last week to 375, while Dubai’s contracts rose 3 basis points to 396, according to prices from CMA. Lebanon has a B1 credit rating at Moody’s Investors Service, four levels below investment grade, and B by Standard & Poor’s, the fifth-highest junk rating. Dubai isn’t rated.

Lebanon is the Arab world’s most indebted nation with about $52.6 billion in public liabilities, equal to 137 percent of the gross domestic product. Lebanese banks hold about 70 percent of the nation’s debt and are “highly” liquid with an average loan-to-deposit ratio of 35 percent, Credit Libanais SAL said in July. Dubai, whose holding company roiled global markets in 2009 as it sought a debt standstill, must repay about $31.2 billion by the end of 2012, the International Monetary Fund estimates.


Dubai firms waiting for right moment to launch IPOs - The National

Up to 30 companies are mulling share sales in Dubai but many are waiting for an improvement in markets before launching, says the chairman of Borse Dubai.

Other companies would not launch an initial public offering (IPO) until they completed restructuring their businesses, said Essa Kazim, who is also the chief executive of the Dubai Financial Market (DFM).

"Twenty-five to 30 companies have shown some interest in going public," he said. "They're interested but they're waiting for the right moment provided the market conditions, especially the global market conditions, change."

gulfnews : Libya weighs on oil prices

The fall of the Libyan regime and the resumption of oil supplies from that country is expected to drive down oil prices, and this is likely to exert pressure on huge spending plans by the Gulf governments, experts say.

Global oil prices have been facing downward pressure in recent weeks as slowing economic growth in the US and Europe continued to undermine global oil demand.

In London, Brent crude for October delivery was down $3.22 per barrel to $105.40 in early trade on the ICE Futures exchange, but later the prices edged up to $107.17. The US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was trading 1.4 per cent up at $83.60 in early trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Qatar's Barzan gas project seeks $4.7bn loan - ArabianBusiness.com

Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil are expecting proposals by the end of August from international, regional and local banks on a $4.7 billion, syndicated loan backing the Barzan gas project, bankers close the deal said.

The loan would be the largest internationally syndicated loan from Qatar in three years, the bankers added.

The 16-year amortising loan totalling $4.7 billion is split between a $2 billion uncovered loan and $2.7 billion of financing from export credit agencies (ECA), which includes a mixture of covered bank and direct lending, the sources said.

WAM | Eid al-Fitr holiday for Financial Markets to start on Tuesday, Aug. 30

The Eid al-Fitr holiday for the financial markets will start on Tuesday, Aug. 30 and run until Thursday, Sept. 01, announced the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) on Monday.

It added that the transactions will be resumed on Sunday, Sept. 04.

The SCA congratulated President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Their Highnesses Members of Supreme Council and Ruler of emirates and the UAE people, on the advent of Eid al-Fitr.


If Gaddafi Falls, Will Oil Fall, Too? | Arabianomics

Assuming the Libyan rebels at last oust the regime of Col. Muammar Gaddafi, one of the most crucial questions for the West is when Libyan oil output may resume at or near capacity, and what might that do to global oil prices.

Writing for the AP, Bree Fowler notes that “Oil prices around the world should start falling if Libyan rebels succeed in toppling Moammar Gadhafi’s regime, though the full effect won’t be felt for months.”

Libya’s oil is light and sweet, and thus, extremely valuable to nearby European refineries.


Nasdaq Dubai names next general counsel | News | The Lawyer

Nasdaq Dubai has appointed Angela Russo to the role of general counsel and acting head of market regulation.

Russo, who joined Nasdaq Dubai earlier this year, will focus on enhancing the exchange’s regulatory framework and activities in line with international standards as it prepares for further regional equity listings and an expanding range of products.

The Australian-trained commercial and corporate lawyer previously worked at investment group Legatum, where she had served as senior vice president - legal and also as a director at its head office in Dubai since 2007.


MENA stock markets close - August 22, 2011

ExchangeStatus IndexChange
TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
-
5916.310.00%
DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
1464.860.85%
ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
2570.950.59%
KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
5780.90.29%
BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
1263.70.31%
MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
5484.32-0.15%
QE (Qatar Exchange)
8095.54-0.01%
LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
1296.09-0.28%
EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
4642.261.06%
ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
2018.79-0.19%
TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
4461.120.42%
CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
11311.6-0.38%
PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)
488.52-0.19%

Persian Gulf Stocks: National Shipping and Zamil Industrial

Dubai's DFM General Index rose 0.7 percent, the most since Aug. 14, to 1,462.04 at 1:30 p.m. in the emirate. Abu Dhabi's ADX General Index gained 0.5 percent, while Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All Share Index retreated 0.3 percent.

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

National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia (NSCSA AB) is headed for the first gain in more than a week, rising 0.4 percent to 11.5 riyals. The shares were up as much as 2.2 percent earlier. The Saudi Arabian operator of crude oil and chemical tankers won a 230 million-riyal ($61 million) contract from the kingdom's Ministry of Defense and Aviation.

StanChart in talks for Iraq's Warka: central bank | Reuters

Standard Chartered Plc (STAN.L) is in talks to buy a stake in Warka Bank, one of Iraq's biggest private banks, a central bank official said on Monday.

Iraq's central bank has a three-stage plan for banks to increase their capital to $213 million by June 2013 to spur lending in the war-battered state as it emerges from the shadow of sanctions and the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Hassan al-Haidari, a central bank advisor, said the London-based Standard Chartered had been in negotiations with Warka for the past 3-4 months.


Microfinancier aims to fuel Egypt’s recovery - FT.com

An Egyptian microfinance company that specialises in lending to small and medium-sized companies is finding that its form of financing is gaining traction as emphasis shifts away from the country’s big business.

Ahmed El Bardai, the chief executive of Reefy, the country’s first private sector microfinance lender, expects Egypt’s next government to turn its attention to SMEs to boost the ailing economy, which is struggling under the pressure of a huge budget deficit and sliding gross domestic product. The SME sector accounts for more than 80 per cent of the country’s employment.

“The days of tycoon businessmen calling the shots are behind us,” says Mr El Bardai, who is the former chairman of Banque du Caire, Egypt’s third-largest public bank by assets. “I have no doubt in my mind that greater emphasis will be on micro and small business. I am sure the new government will give more priority to the poor; the previous one only saw growth through big business.”


Abu Dhabi shakes up leading company managers - FT.com

Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich emirate, has changed the senior management of some of its most strategic companies as the sheikhdom adjusts to a tougher economic environment and the government reassesses previous plans.

Since May, senior management changes have taken place at two of the emirate’s main investment arms: Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Mubadala, as well as at Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, or Adnoc, energy company Taqa and at Tabreed, a district cooling company. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu Dhabi, also reshuffled the Supreme Petroleum Council, a body charged with managing the country’s precious oil concessions.

The emirate, home to about 90 per cent of the UAE’s oil, is preparing for a new round of global economic uncertainty after property prices were hit in the emirate and projects were delayed. Despite its oil wealth, some of the companies in which the government has stakes were rattled by debt restructurings.


Gold soars to record near $1,900 on econ woes | Reuters

Spot gold surged more than 1 percent to a third consecutive all-time high on Monday, as investors fled to the safety of bullion amid fears of another U.S. recession and the euro zone's debt crisis.

Spot gold struck a record at $1,888.90 an ounce, after staging its biggest weekly gain in 2-½ years last week. It traded at $1,888.76 by 0640 GMT.

U.S. gold jumped more than 2 percent to an unprecedented $1,895.3.


Abu Dhabi and Qatar bonds draw investors - The National

Global investors are buying up Abu Dhabi and Qatar government debt as a haven against tumbling stock markets, pushing yields on the bonds to historic lows.

The trend has been building for weeks now, sending some Gulf government bonds to their lowest-ever yields. The plunge also marks a sharp reversal of high yields seen when the government-owned group Dubai World announced a debt repayment standstill two years ago. Bond yields move inversely to prices.

"People are fleeing to safe assets, and Qatar and Abu Dhabi bonds are seen as safe assets," said Abdul Kadir Hussain, the chief executive of Mashreq Capital in Dubai.

Iraq dreams big with infrastructure projects - Maktoob News

In Iraq where renovating a single street can take years, government plans for a multi-billion dollar high-speed train to rival Japan's bullet train have been greeted with skepticism by many Iraqis struggling to get even basic electricity services.

The $10 billion project to build a railway connecting Baghdad to the southern provinces is the latest in a series of large-scale infrastructure proposals by Iraq's government to try to rebuild the OPEC oil-producing country after years of war.

Iraq needs development in almost every sector in a country where piles of rubble and incomplete buildings are commonplace more than eight years after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Abu Dhabi's ADIA revamps external equities division - Maktoob News

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds, has restructured its external equities department, separating indexed funds from active funds as part of a more focused strategy.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, son of the President of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa, has been appointed to head the newly-created indexed funds department.

The other, external equities department will be headed by Obeid al-Suwaidi, who was previously director of external funds for the Far East.