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Monday, 5 September 2011

FT.com - Colossal task ahead for Libya’s new oil chief

Six months ago Nuri Berruien was anticipating his retirement from one of the subsidiaries of Libya’s National Oil Company. But the start of the civil-war put paid to his plans.

Now the 65-year old petroleum engineer is busier than ever as the newly appointed chairman of the state-owned NOC.

“I have a national duty,” he says at the company’s small offices in Benghazi – for months the rebels’ stronghold. Its Tripoli headquarters are not yet considered safe. “The oil industry before the revolution was operated under the worst bureaucratic and corrupted regime.”


MENA stock markets close- September 5, 2011

ExchangeStatus IndexChange
TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
6090.54-1.02%
DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
1478.84-0.33%
ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
2603.06-0.37%
KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
5852.80.15%
BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
1261.040.24%
MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
5792.90.44%
QE (Qatar Exchange)
8307.48-1.58%
LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
1273.53-1.09%
EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
4715.561.16%
ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
2046.560.08%
TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
4554.30.10%
CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
116510.32%
PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)
489.99-0.19%

Dubai’s Shares Drop on Europe Risk, U.S. Growth; Emaar Properties Retreats - Bloomberg

Dubai’s stock index dropped for a second day amid concern efforts to stem Europe’s debt crisis may slow and a worse-than-forecast U.S. jobs report indicated the world’s largest economy may be headed for recession.

Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), developer of the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, declined for a second day. Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC (DIB), the United Arab Emirates’ biggest Shariah-compliant lender, dropped 1 percent. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) lost 0.3 percent to 1,478.84, the lowest level since Aug. 28, at the 2 p.m. close in the emirate. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200) decreased 0.9 percent and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) declined 1 percent, the most since Aug. 20.

“Fear of volatile global markets and a spill over into local and regional markets is returning,” said Nabil Farhat, a partner at Abu Dhabi-based Al Fajer Securities. “The sharp drop in U.S. markets last week on weak employment figures coupled with rising fear of hurdles on the euro sovereign debt resolution issue” prompted the drop in Gulf stocks, he said.

Mubadala-backed firm eyes $65m Muscat IPO

SMN Power Holding, Oman's largest electricity producer part-owned by Abu Dhabi fund Mubadala, plans to raise RO25 million ($64.9 million) by offering 35 per cent of its shares in an initial public offering (IPO) on the Muscat bourse , a prospectus showed.

According to the prospectus, the company is offering 6.99 million shares at an offer price of RO3.52 per share. The offer period opens on September 11 and closes on October 10.

SMN Power is a joint venture between Mubadala, UAE firm Kahrabel FZE and Oman's National Trading Company. The firm owns two major power projects and has a combined output of 1,343 megawatts.

Saudi dips as petchems track oil drop; UAE markets down - ArabianBusiness.com

Saudi Arabia's 15 largest stocks declined as falling crude prices and worries over the global economy spurred selling, ending an early-week equity rally in the world's top oil exporter.

Petrochemicals stocks slumped, with Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) and Yanbu National Petrochemical Co (Yansab) each down 1.3 percent, while National Industrialisation Co dropped 2.3 percent.

These losses tracked declines in oil prices, with US crude futures falling 1.9 percent to $84.77 a barrel.

Middle East Oil Is Little Changed as Refiners Await New Prices - Bloomberg

Middle East oil for sale to Asia was little changed as refiners waited for new official prices from Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. cut posted prices.

Murban, produced by Abu Dhabi National Oil, for November loading remained at a premium of 6 cents a barrel to its official selling price, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Lower Zakum, also produced in the emirate, was at a premium of 1 cent a barrel, Bloomberg data showed.

Saudi Arabia is expected to increase its listed selling prices for October crude amid signs that refiners in China and Japan are increasing their demand.

UAE aims to add steel to its economy and take on Saudi - The National

Emirates Steel is inviting bids for the third phase of its expansion project as the UAE aims to rival Saudi Arabia, the leading regional producer of the metal.

The development will create one of the largest integrated steel complexes in the Gulf by end of 2013.

"We are looking at real investment opportunities in the manufacturing of new products that will add to the company's competitive advantage and promote it to international standards," said Suhail Al Ameri, Emirates Steel's chairman.


Dubai’s Shares Drop on Europe Risk, U.S. Growth; Emaar Properties Retreats - Bloomberg

Dubai’s stock index retreated for a second day, pacing declines in the Persian Gulf, amid concern over Europe’s debt crisis and a worse-than-forecast jobs report which indicated the U.S. may be headed for recession.

Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), developer of the world’s tallest tower in the emirate, declined for a second day. Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC (DIB), the United Arab Emirates’ biggest Shariah-compliant lender, dropped 1 percent. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) lost 0.3 percent to 1,478.84, the lowest since Aug. 28, at the 2 p.m. close in Dubai. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200) decreased 0.9 percent at 1:07 p.m. in Riyadh and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) declined 1.2 percent, the most since Aug. 20.

“Fear of volatile global markets and a spill over into local and regional markets is returning,” said Nabil Farhat, a partner at Abu Dhabi-based Al Fajer Securities. “The sharp drop in U.S. markets last week on weak employment figures coupled with rising fear of hurdles on the euro sovereign debt resolution issue” prompted the drop in Gulf stocks, he said.

Merger between RAK Petroleum, DNO approved - bi-me.com

RAK Petroleum Public Company Limited, the oil and gas exploration and production company, today announced that following completion of due diligence and agreement on relative valuations, the Boards of Directors of DNO International ASA and RAK Petroleum PCL signed definitive documents on 3 September to merge RAK Petroleums oil and gas operating companies into DNO International in exchange for DNO International shares.

The transaction values DNO International at US$1.64 billion corresponding to NOK 9.50 per share and RAK Petroleum's subsidiaries at US$250 million.

As consideration, RAK Petroleum will receive 153,422,343 shares of DNO International of which 9,500,000 will be in treasury shares and the remaining 143,922,343 in new shares to be issued through an increase of the share capital of DNO International.


Saudi Arabia’s Algosaibi, Saad Reach Debt Accord, Alrroya Says - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s Algosaibi family and Saad Group founder Maan al-Sanea reached a preliminary agreement after a royal committee found al-Sanea responsible for part of the debt incurred by Algosaibi companies, Alrroya Aleqtissadiya reported, citing unidentified persons.

The committee, which includes representatives from the Saudi capital market authority and central bank, found al-Sanea liable for the repayment of a “large portion” of the debt incurred by Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Co. while under his management, the newspaper reported.

In return, the Algosaibi family would have to drop all lawsuits they have filed against him in nine cities worldwide. The two groups had about $22 billion in combined debt, the newspaper said.

UAE banks on recovery track

The local banks in the UAE are well capitalised and banking sector in the country will remain on its slow road to recovery heading into next year, according to a latest forecast.

The business environment and infrastructure is very favourable and regulators are well regarded, Business Monitor International (BMI) said in its new report on commercial banking in the UAE.

Citing opportunities for banking sector in the country the report said: “Lending to the government, a segment that has largely been closed to the foreign banks, has been exploding. It should continue to grow, if at a more measured pace. At some stage, the privatisation of former state-owned enterprises should resume. This should provide opportunities for both commercial banks and investment banking Affiliates."

Kuwait’s Global Rallies to Month-High on Debt Extension Report - Bloomberg

Global Investment House KSCC (GLOBAL) rose to the highest intraday level in more than a month after Al- Qabas reported the company started initial talks with creditors on the possibility of extending debt repayments.

The shares surged 8.2 percent to 33 fils, the highest intraday level since July 28, at 10:26 a.m. in Kuwait City.

Consultations began “after it became difficult” for Global to commit to an agreement reached with 53 creditors in December 2009 to reorganize debt, and could be affected by an expected court ruling on a dispute with National Bank of Umm Al- Qaiwain, the newspaper said, without saying where it got the information.

Brent falls below $112 on US recession fears | Reuters

Brent crude fell below $112 a barrel on Monday, as fears of another U.S. recession slowing fuel demand overshadowed supply concerns over a major shutdown of offshore oil production forced by Tropical Storm Lee.

U.S. employment growth ground to a halt in August, reviving recession fears and piling pressure on both President Barack Obama and the Federal Reserve to provide more stimulus to aid the frail economy.

Front-month Brent fell 88 cents to $111.45 a barrel by 0624 GMT. Brent plunged almost $2 a barrel on Friday on the disappointing jobs data released in the U.S.

Noor joins growing band asking for loan repayments extension - The National

Noor Financial Investment is asking its banks for a six-year extension on loan repayments, joining a growing list of Kuwaiti investment houses forced to renegotiate debt after the financial crisis.

Kuwait's investment companies flourished in the early 2000s by borrowing short-term money, buying flashy investments and delivering big returns.

When banks curtailed lending after the crisis hit in 2008, however, their financing lifeline was cut off, leaving them with little cash and large debts to repay.

Middle East banks are in much better shape than those in the US and Europe - The National

Bankers are finally feeling the pinch after three years of bumper profits and big bonuses despite government bailouts in the wake of the global financial downturn.

Major western lenders have announced more than 69,000 job cuts this year as they trim costs in anticipation of lower revenues.

The carnage is sweeping both sides of the Atlantic, with big layoffs at HSBC and Lloyds Banking Group in London and Bank of America and Goldman Sachs in the US. But the trouble is most pronounced in Europe, where a sovereign debt crisis continues to rattle policymakers and global markets.

Qatar’s Bonds Best Performers in August on Flight to Quality: Arab Credit - Bloomberg

Qatar’s sovereign bonds were the best performers in the Middle East in August as investors sought refuge from a slowing U.S. economy and a worsening debt crisis in Europe.

Four of the five best-performing securities among the 32 that make up the HSBC/NASDAQ Dubai Middle East Conventional Sovereign Bond Index were from Qatar. The fifth was from Abu Dhabi. The total return on Qatar’s 6.4 percent bond due 2040 was 7.25 percent last month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The JPMorgan Emerging Markets Bond Index returned 0.22 percent. U.S. government bonds had a return of 2.8 percent in August, the most since December 2008, according to a Bank of America Corp. index.

“There has been a global flight to quality since July as macroeconomic conditions deteriorated in the U.S. and Europe,” Gus Chehayeb, a Dubai-based associate director at investment bank Exotix Ltd., said in an e-mailed response to questions yesterday. “Bond investors shifted funds into regional sovereigns with the cleanest and strongest balance sheets, and for Middle East-focused investors this meant a capital flight into Qatar and Abu Dhabi.”