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Sunday, 25 September 2011

Abu Dhabi drops to 29-week low, Qatar falls - Stocks -

UAE markets fell to multi-month lows and Qatar dropped as a sharp decline in oil prices threatened regional fundamentals, spurring a strong reaction after weeks of negative performance in global equities.

Regional government spending and revenues of local chemical companies were correlated with the price of fuel, which impacted their bottom line.

Crude fell to a six-week low on Friday on fresh concerns about Europe's ability to manage debt and a possible banking crisis. US November crude fell 66 cents to settle at $79.85; its lowest close since Aug 9.

Low turnout in UAE vote -

Ignoring calls from their rulers, fewer than a third of those eligible to vote turned out in elections for a government advisory body in the United Arab Emirates, according to results released over the weekend.

Only around 28 per cent of a total 129,000 eligible Emiratis voted in Saturday’s elections for the federal national council, the advisory body, according to figures provided by the state-run news agency. The UAE’s total national population is usually put at 1m.

Only 21 per cent of those eligible voted in Abu Dhabi, the capital and the largest of the seven emirates which make up the UAE, and 25 per cent in Dubai, the commercial centre, according to The National newspaper, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi government.

TABLE-Oman budget surplus widens to $1.2 bln in Jan-July | Reuters

Oman's budget surplus widened to 442.3 million rials ($1.2 billion) in the first seven months of the year compared with January-June, data from the Gulf country's finance ministry showed on Sunday.

OMAN BUDGET 01-07/11 01-06/11 01-07/10 revenue (mln rials) 6,326.3 5,443.3 4,420.5 expenditure 4,668.4 3,942.7 3,963.4 actual expenditure under settlement 1,215.6 1,114.0 0.0 balance 442.3 386.6 457.1

NOTE. Oman based its 2011 budget on a projected oil price of $58 a barrel and expected a deficit of 850 million rials. Analysts polled by Reuters in June expected the non-OPEC oil producer to post a surplus of 4.8 percent of gross domestic product in 2011.

Nakheel made 2010 profit of $234m: report | Alrroya

Dubai's Nakheel made a 2010 profit of Dh860 million ($234.1m) and sees a rise in revenue this year as the property developer revamps its operations post its $16 billion debt restructuring, its chairman told a local newspaper.

The rise in profit, which provided a strong boost for the company after the 2009 real estate crash left it financially crippled, was due to an increase in the company's activities, said chairman Ali Rashid Lootah in a local daily on Sunday, without elaborating.

"Nakheel's announcement of its profits is an important step ... towards fulfilling our promises to our clients and strategic partners," he said.

Dubai 2010 real GDP up 2.8pct, beats estimate | Alrroya

Dubai's economy expanded by 2.8 per cent in real terms last year, faster than previously expected, as growth in trade and retail sectors helped the indebted Gulf Arab emirate recover from 2009 contraction, preliminary data showed on Sunday.

One of the seven United Arab Emirates, the Opec producer's trade and business hub, is recovering from last year's $25 billion debt restructuring in its flagship company, Dubai World.

The emirate, which accounts for 28 per cent of the UAE economy, previously estimated 2.4 per cent gross domestic product growth in 2010, a prospectus to the government's updated bond issuance programme showed in June.

Negative global factors weight against local upturn at Cityscape Dubai « ArabianMoney

Three years ago and the Cityscape real estate exhibition in Dubai featured the 1km-high Nakheel tower and a redevelopment of Satwa both projects quickly abandoned in the property crash that started soon afterwards as the global financial crisis brought Dubai’s flow of easy credit to a halt.

Nothing so bold is likely to be on offer next week when Cityscape opens its doors. Indeed, with the global economy facing its most difficult autumn since 2008 there will be those who ask are we about to see more of the same in Dubai real estate?

GCC investment can lead post-revolution states to stability - The National

As revolutions and unrest sweep the Arab world, commentary centres on a struggle for freedom and political change. These elements do come into play, but what lies at the core of these revolutions is a chronic and widening deficit of economic opportunity, combined with the demographic time-bomb of an exploding youth population. The stark statistic is that 100 million jobs need to be created in the Arab world in the next two decades alone - more than was created in the whole of the last century.

Past attempts at economic reform in many of these countries achieved certain success in terms of headline economic growth, but incomplete reforms and corruption led to only a small minority feeling the benefits. This combined with persistent inflation, especially with food prices rising 30 per cent last year, to create worsening inequality. In addition, education systems have failed to provide the skills needed by the evolving job market. Reform in all these areas is still needed.

The sad reality is that the basic causes that drove the revolutionaries in all these countries - corruption, economic stagnation and lack of job opportunities - are likely to get much worse in the short term. Investment has frozen, economic growth is slowing and unemployment will see a sharp rise.

Averting default only delays our future debt - The National

The collapse of Lehman Brothers three years ago was supposed to herald a great new era of de-leveraging.

But what we got in the Gulf was re-leveraging.

From Dubai World to The Investment Dar, billions of dollars in corporate debt was reshuffled, repackaged and regurgitated. It didn't go away.