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Tuesday, 27 September 2011

MENA stock markets close - September 27, 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)

Emirates NBD Unit Ties Up With Man for Alternative Assets Fund - Bloomberg

Emirates NBD Asset Management Ltd., a unit of the United Arab Emirates’ biggest bank by assets, has tied up with London-based hedge fund manager Man Group Plc (EMG) to manage money of its Islamic alternative assets fund.

The Dubai-based fund manager will allocate assets of its Emirates Islamic Alternative Strategies Fund, set up in 2007, to the Man GLG Multi-Strategy Fund, Deon Vernooy, Emirates NBD Asset Management’s senior executive officer, said at a news conference in Dubai today. Man Group is the world’s biggest hedge fund manager.

The Emirates Islamic Alternative Strategies Fund manages $20.9 million and “if we don’t raise $50 million to $100 million in a year we would be disappointed,” Vernooy said. The fund will seek annual returns of 3 percent to 5 percent over the London interbank offered rate, he said.

Dubai's Tamweel plans up to $500 mln sukuk in Q4 | Reuters

Islamic mortgage lender Tamweel , whose shares resumed trading in May, will issue a $300-$500 million sukuk, or Islamic bond, in the fourth quarter, the acting chief executive of the Dubai-based company said on Tuesday.

"The plan is to be out with something in the last quarter," Varun Sood told reporters at a property event in Dubai, adding the sukuk could be priced in dollars or Malaysian ringgit.

"We are keeping multiple options open with conditions in the market being what they are."

Banks lift Qatar, Abu Dhabi up from 7-month low - Stocks -

Saudi Arabia's bourse rose for a second day, with large-caps supporting as sharp gains in world markets boost local investor sentiment.

The kingdom's main index climbed 0.4 percent to 6,128 points, trimming its 2011 losses to 7.4 percent.

Petrochemical stocks led by turnover, with the sector index climbing 0.6 percent. Bellwether Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) has the second-highest volumes and rose 0.5 percent.

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Narrows First-Half Loss to $320 Million - Bloomberg

Mubadala Development Co., an Abu Dhabi state-owned investor with stakes in General Electric Co. (GE) and Carlyle Group, said first-half loss narrowed to 1.18 billion dirhams ($320 million) from 1.39 billion dirhams a year ago.

Operating income rose to 14 billion dirhams from 6.46 billion dirhams a year earlier, the company said in a statement today distributed through the Regulatory News Service. Total comprehensive income attributable to the equity holders amounted to 198 million dirhams after a loss of 4.4 billion dirhams in the same period last year, Mubadala said. Revenue increased 70 percent to 13.6 billion dirhams and total assets rose 67 percent to 169.7 billion dirhams.

Mubadala plans to increase spending to about 60 billion dirhams this year as it directs funds to companies such as Advanced Technology Investment Co., Mubadala GE Capital and its Masdar project. The group spent an average 16.4 billion dirhams over the last three years, according to the company’s bond prospectus in April.

Kuwait Bourse in Talks With Staff to Avoid Strike, Director Says - Bloomberg

Kuwait Stock Exchange is holding talks with employees to avert a strike planned for tomorrow, said Hamed al-Saif, the director and head of the exchange.

“There’s still negotiations with the staff because we believe they have rights,” al-Saif said in a phone interview today. “We’re trying not to allow this strike.”

Stock exchange employees are planning to strike for two hours tomorrow morning to protest against a decision by Commerce Minister Amani Boresli affecting wages, Al-Rai reported today. A decision on the employees’ salaries and benefits associated with their transfer to the Capital Markets Authority was taken by the authority, while Boresli has refused to hold a stock market committee meeting to decide on the issue, Al-Rai reported.

Dubai's Nakheel sees 2011 profit, no further sukuk | Alrroya

Dubai's Nakheel, which completed a complex debt restructuring last month expects to post a 2011 profit and will issue the final tranche of its $1.63 billion Islamic bond by year-end, its chairman said on Tuesday.

Full-year profit should be in-line with its 2010 results, Ali Rashid Lootah told reporters at property show Cityscape in Dubai.

Nakheel made a 2010 profit of Dh860 million ($234 million) and sees a rise in revenue this year as it revamps its operations post its $16bn debt restructuring, Lootah was reported as saying last week.

Abu Dhabi's IPIC launches Ferrostaal review | Reuters

Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) has launched a review of its 70 percent owned Ferrostaal to help chart the unit's future and resolve a dispute with Germany's MAN SE , from whom it bought the stake in 2009.

State-owned investment vehicle IPIC said in a brief statement it had appointed investment bank Morgan Stanley to carry out the review, but gave no detail about what it hoped the process would achieve.

IPIC bought the 70 percent stake from MAN in 2009 for $698 million, but by the time MAN tried to exercise a put option to sell the remaining 30 percent to IPIC in early 2010, a bribery investigation had come to light at Ferrostaal.

Iran's Foreign Currency Reserves Depleted

Iran’s Foreign Currency Reserve Account has reached a zero balance despite high oil prices in recent years, the Iranian National Audit Organization announced.

Mehr News Agency reports: “Lack of proper supervision of plans and the failure to follow up on the necessary payments has depleted the Foreign Currency Reserve Account in the years 2008 and 2009.”

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would not reveal the 2009 balance, calling the information classified. But he said the amount of the balance “is unprecedented in the whole history of the country.” He stated, however, that there are sufficient reserves in the account to last for several years of national need.

Saudi monetary base, reserves expand - Emirates 24/7

Saudi Arabia’s monetary base is recording double digit growth as banks in the world’s oil superpower are easing lending curbs enforced in the wake of the 2008 global fiscal distress and local debt default problems.

Official data showed the Gulf kingdom’s net foreign assets also surged by at least 19 per cent year on year in August because of strong oil prices.

“On the monetary front, Saudi Arabia continues to record double digit growth figures amidst a globally unstable environment,” National Commercial Bank (NCB) said in a study sent to 'Emirates 24/7'.

The magic number to understanding oil is 40 per cent - The National

Abdalla El Badri, the Opec secretary general, who spoke in Dubai last week, made a comment that explains why oil prices have been so high in the past decade, as well as offering a clue to future strategy.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the US's energy information administration forecast Opec's share of output to increase steadily - but, in complete contrast, Mr El Badri mentioned that, as far off as 2035, the organisation would keep its share of world oil production at about 40 per cent.

This 40 per cent is the magic number - the key to understanding the past decade in oil, and the next.

Tamweel disputes to be moved into Dubai courts system - The National

Disputes involving Tamweel, an Islamic home finance company based in Dubai, are being shifted to the emirate's courts and away from a special committee set up three years ago to resolve its financial problems. The decision came in a decree last month from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Tamweel revealed the information only yesterday, however, on the website of the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), where its shares are listed.

The decree required "the transfer of all legal cases, applications, complaints and disputes filed against Tamweel before the special committee to Dubai Court of First Instance", Varun Sood, Tamweel's acting chief executive, said in a letter to the DFM. Moving cases into the courts could speed the resolution of numerous claims against the company.

UAE streamlines laws for start-ups - The National

The Government is planning an overhaul of codes governing small businesses in an effort to aid entrepreneurs in setting up shop, with Dubai the first emirate to reform laws for the sector.

The aim is to streamline the process of setting up a small business in the UAE by cutting back on red tape and reducing start-up costs for entrepreneurs, said Sultan Al Mansouri, the Minister of Economy.

"We see the potential of the UAE being a magnet for all of these businesses, because of the infrastructure we have provided," he said a forum in Dubai.

Dubai’s Residential Property Prices May Bottom Out Soon, Jones Lang Says - Bloomberg

Dubai villa and apartment prices may soon bottom out as political turmoil elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa prompts buyers to look for less-risky investments, Jones Lang LaSalle said.

Apartment prices in most parts of the Persian Gulf emirate are stabilizing or declining slightly, “indicating that the market might be very near its bottom,” the U.S. property broker said in a research report today. Villa sales increased 59 percent by value even as volume fell by nearly a third, indicating that higher-priced properties are attracting the most buyers.

The renewed interest hasn’t resulted in rents or property prices increasing across the board, although some localized markets are now approaching stability, the report said.

gulfnews : Oil revenues help Gulf bonds beat emerging-market debt

Arabian Gulf bonds are beating emerging-market debt this year as increasing revenue from oil exports help the region withstand global financial-market turmoil better than most developing nations.

Dollar notes from the Gulf Cooperation Council have returned 6 per cent in 2011, according to the HSBC/Nasdaq Dubai GCC US Dollar Sukuk/Bond Index. Emerging-market securities worldwide gained 3.2 per cent, JPMorgan Chase & Co. data show.

The average cost of insuring Middle East's sovereign debt rose 104 basis points this year to 305 on September 23, trailing similar measures that jumped 132 to 276 in the Asia-Pacific region, according to data provider CMA.

Abu Dhabi Bond Near High Helped by Flight to Safety: Arab Credit - Bloomberg

Investors are shunning equity markets in the United Arab Emirates and turning to Abu Dhabi’s investment-grade bonds on concern Europe will struggle to contain its debt crisis.

The yield on Abu Dhabi government’s 5.5 percent dollar bond maturing April 2014 fell to a record 1.31 percent on Sept. 19, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg. The debt yielded 1.52 percent yesterday. The rate is 328 basis points, or 3.28 percentage points, below the average yield on sovereign debt in the Middle East, the HSBC/NASDAQ Dubai Middle East Conventional Sovereign US Dollar Bond Index shows. Abu Dhabi’s benchmark stock index closed at the lowest level in almost seven months.

Abu Dhabi, which has the third-highest investment grade at Moody’s Investors Service, is home to about 7 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves and one of the biggest sovereign wealth funds. Crude oil prices have averaged about 20 percent more this year than in 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The emirate and the U.A.E.’s central bank supported Dubai with $20 billion during the global credit crisis.

Are crude markets in for a free fall? - Arab News

When seen in the background of the worsening global, economic fundamentals, a free fall in oil prices cannot be ruled out altogether. There are definite ominous clouds on the crude horizon — one can’t deny. Indeed when the economy slows, so does demand for oil. And this carries price repercussions.

The wobbling state of the global economy, the very prospects of the economy slipping into a recessionary mode once again, are beginning to have ramifications. As the weekend approached in the northern hemisphere, markets were seen hovering around $80 a barrel after touching the lowest level in more than six weeks on Thursday.

Crude for November settlement rose 2 cents to $80.53 a barrel at 1:50 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, it touched $77.55, the lowest price since Aug. 9. Futures are down 8.4 percent this week, headed for the biggest drop since the five days ended Aug. 5. Prices have fallen 12 percent this year.