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Thursday, 1 September 2011

Credit Suisse downgrades DP World | Alrroya

Credit Suisse downgraded DP World to "neutral" as it sees trade growth slowing down for the port operator in the second half.

"Some weakness in global trade seems unavoidable according to the recent leading indicators," the brokerage said.

DP World's terminals are well positioned but about 50 per cent of the volumes in its main hub of Jebel Ali in the emirate of Dubai are made of volatile transshipment business, which has a more sensitive pricing, Credit Suisse said.

Barclays: Third party estimates peg OPEC output above 30 mb/d for Aug | September 01, 2011 18:18:52

LONDON(Commodity Online): Crude oil markets were buoyant through most of yesterday's trade, but closed fairly flat, with front month Brent rising for a seventh straight day, gaining 83 cents to close at $114.85/bl, while the equivalent WTI contract edged lower by 9 cents to $88.81/bl. The latest weekly EIA data adds to the recent series of somewhat more constructive indications on US oil demand. Last week was the fifth straight reading for total US demand above 19 mb/d. Total demand is now lower y/y by 114 thousand b/d (-0.6%) with gasoline lower y/y by 1% and distillates by 0.5%, the latter having improving materially after factoring in this week’s stronger gasoline and distillate figures of 9.23 mb/d and 4.09 mb/d, respectively. Overall, the latest readings add further length to the gently improving trajectory for US oil demand seen since the end of Q2.

On the inventory front, the crude and products inventory overhang above the five-year average increased by 1.9 mb, with all of the build originating from crude. Crude oil stocks increased their difference to the five-year average by 4.8 mb to 21.5 mb, as a further tranche of 4.7 mb of SPR flowed into the market over the week.

The latest tranche of SPR release brings the total to date release to 24.7 mb, with 82% of the declared 30.6 mb now in the data. Against that backdrop, crude oil inventories have built by only 4.5 mb relative to the five-year average during the time of the release. Product inventory dynamics were constructive as the inventory overhang fell by 3 mb with gasoline contributing to half of the draw. Cushing crude oil inventories have drawn down for the fifth week in a row, with the latest weekly stockpiles falling by 0.57 mb to be 2.7 mb lower y/y.

Middle East crude holds strength on exports to Europel | Reuters

Middle East crude values remained firm on Thursday as shipments found their way to Europe, where high prices were drawing Oman supplies into the Mediterranean.

High prices for Atlantic basin crudes because of production
issues in the North Sea are rendering imports from the Middle
East attractive, at a time when requirements for the region's
crude increase in Asia ahead of the heating season.

Oman crude values for November cargoes were supported at a
premium of about 90 cents to Dubai quotes, up from 75 cents
earlier this week for October lots and discounts as deep as 30
cents last month when trading of October cargoes started.

Murray & Roberts produced 1.5bn loss - SA Commercial Prop News

Murray & Roberts, for years SA’s number one construction group by size, produced a shocking R1.493bn headline loss in the year to June.

The company also revealed a “restricted liquidity position”, which obliges it to cut debt by returning all operations to profitability, by the sale of assets and resolving multi-million project claims. Thanks to asset sales, liquidity has been improved by R1bn since the interim to December. Last year’s headline earnings of 340c a share have been reduced to a diluted headline loss of 503c a share.

The prestigious Gautrain contract, which went to the Bombela Consortium with M&R as a 45% shaeholder, has been a particular catastrophe. Losses have been provided for, even though there is some hope that amounts might be recouped in an arbitration process that might go on until 2013.

gulfnews : Kerzner 'aims to sell 50% stake in Atlantis Dubai to pay debts'

Premier resorts and luxury hotels operator Kerzner International is looking to sell its 50 per cent stake in Dubai's Atlantis resort. The company needs to raise money to restructure $2.6 billion (Dh9.5 billion) in mortgage debt due to mature on September 9, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, quoting sources familiar with the matter.

When asked to comment, a Kerzner International spokesperson told Gulf News in an emailed statement: "It is company policy not to comment on rumours or market speculation."

The WSJ report also said the Bahamas-based company is in talks to sell the stake in the Dubai Atlantis to Istithmar World, the Dubai-based investment company which already owns the other half of the Dubai resort as Kerzner's partner and largest shareholder.

gulfnews : UAE set for oil windfall for second year

Despite signs of a slowing global economy, international oil prices continue to hold well above $100 (Dh367) a barrel, enabling the UAE to look at windfall gains from crude exports for a second year in a row, said a well-known petroleum expert.

"Infrastructure spending patterns in the UAE will be positive on higher state spending as the government continues to achieve higher profits from oil sales," Dalton Garis, Associate Professor of Economics and Petroleum Market Behaviour at Abu Dhabi's Petroleum Institute, told Gulf News.

"Higher oil export revenues also mean the government will have a greater cushion to meet other state expenses," he added.

Arab Spring Events Force Insurers of Political Violence to Define Damages - Bloomberg

As the Arab Spring gained momentum this year, the initial protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square constituted civil commotion, in the parlance of the global insurance industry. When demonstrators demanded that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak step down, they crossed into insurrection. After soldiers sided with the people, the military engaged in mutiny.

Such semantics may feel like distinctions without a difference. For underwriters in the specialty market of political-violence insurance, though, they’re crucial, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Sept. 5 issue.

Providers such as Hiscox Ltd. (HSX) and Lancashire Holdings Ltd., based in Bermuda, typically sell coverage from a menu that starts with sabotage and terrorism and moves through such perils as “strikes, riots, and civil commotion,” insurrection and outright war. The problem is that events on the ground can be difficult to define. As incidents progress from one classification of political violence to another, insurers and insured don’t always agree on whether property damage should be covered.

Gulf Times – ‘Safe haven’ Qatar set to post 19.5% growth on LNG boost

Driven by increased LNG sales, Qatar’s real GDP growth is expected to be the world’s highest of 19.5% this year, Deutsche Bank has said in a report.

Next year’s projected growth rate of 7.5% in real terms would also place it among the world’s fastest growing economies, the report said.

“Among the major oil and gas producers, Qatar stands out for the remarkable strength of its fiscal and current account balances, which are projected at 19.4% and 35.5% of GDP respectively for this year, and 15.5% and 32.9% in 2012,” Deutsche Bank said.

Las Vegas Weekly : - Why MGM should settle that Legionnaire’s lawsuit—and quick

Tough times for CityCenter. Well, any time is a tough time for CityCenter, but now’s a real doozy. A small group of Aria guests who contracted Legionnaire’s disease at the property have banded together to sue MGM Resorts International and Dubai World for negligence. They want $337.5 million. How’d they arrive at that figure? Who knows? The point is, it’s big and it’s scary (and probably indicative of a settlement in the low tens of millions).

A hotel spokesman says MGM is going to fight the lawsuit. Here are two potential defenses: 1. While Legionnaire’s can be fatal, it’s also possible to have the bacteria in your system and experience no side effects. So maybe the plaintiffs’ damages, while real, aren’t actually that big. 2. Just because the plaintiffs contracted Legionnaire’s disease while staying at CityCenter doesn’t mean CityCenter was negligent. Perhaps it was just an unfortunate, unforeseeable, inevitable outbreak.

Of course, just because those arguments exist doesn’t mean MGM is actually going to make them. “We’re going to fight this lawsuit,” is often lawyerspeak for “We are going settle this thing as fast as we can.” MGM doesn’t want this trial in the paper every day. That would only further damage the hotel’s reputation.