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Saturday, 22 October 2011

Saudi Stock Market close - October 22, 2011

General Index
Intraday 3 month
Daily Statistics
General Index6108.94
Change (%)0.04%
T. Volume181048759
T. Companies 149

Kuwait considering investments in Europe - fin min | Reuters

Kuwait is considering buying assets in Europe after prices fell in response to the region's debt crisis, but it has not made specific decisions, the country's finance minister told Reuters.

"We haven't defined any sector investing in Europe, but all sectors are open for us to go through. The sectors that we get some benefit out of, yes we'll go for it."

"All that is now presented to us, we have to think it over, study it well, and then decide," Finance Minister Mustapha al-Shamali said in an interview late on Friday before a meeting of Gulf Arab finance ministers and central bank governors in the United Arab Emirates.

Arab Spring, economic winter spook Mena region investors

Rattled first by political instability in the region and then by Europe’s debt crisis, investors in the Middle East will remain on edge in the coming months, seeking out sparse opportunities ob-scured by numerous risks.

Since the Arab Spring — a series of revolts against authoritarian regimes stretching from Tunisia in north Africa to Bahrain in the Gulf — started sweeping across the region, investors have taken flight.

A sharp equities sell-off was followed by a stabilisation after investors realised that regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia had bought stability with a set of populist measures.

IMF says not seeking more funds from Gulf states | Reuters

The International Monetary Fund is not seeking more funds from Gulf Arab oil exporters to bolster its resources, and the region faces no major danger from the euro zone debt crisis, the IMF's Deputy Managing Director Nemat Shafik said on Saturday.

Some emerging economies, fearing the euro zone crisis could destabilize them, suggested giving the IMF more firepower to cope with threats to the global financial system when policymakers from the Group of 20 nations met in Paris last week. China, Brazil and India all favored bolstering the IMF's capital, G20 sources said.

But they ran into resistance from the United States and other big economies, burying the idea for now.

Dubai restarts infrastructure work on the Palm Jebel Ali « ArabianMoney

For the past three years since the global financial crisis dealt a fatal blow to the Dubai real estate bubble the Palm Jebel Ali has been an unmissable reminder of the Vision of Dubai gone wrong.

From the air you can see the tops of the first fronds eroding in the sea. From the shoreline you can see the abandoned work on the highway that was to sweep into this huge manmade island, several times bigger than the mainly completed and world famous Palm Jumeirah.

gulfnews : Makhzoumi turns problem into opportunity for Arabtec

As the man who took the helm of the UAE's largest contractor one day before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Arabtec's Ziad Makhzoumi is someone who understands crisis management.

The chief financial officer not only took the job at a time when Arabtec was engaged in the UAE's most high-profile project — the Burj Khalifa — but when plenty in the industry were reluctant to accept that the financial crisis was banging on Dubai's door with fury.

As the world collapsed around Arabtec's converted-warehouse headquarters in Al Barsha, Dubai, Makhzoumi held his first board meeting.

gulfnews : Abraaj to invest in Southeast Asia resources

Abraaj Capital Ltd, the Middle East's biggest private equity firm, plans to invest part of a $2-billion (Dh7.35 billion) fund in Southeast Asian natural resources to meet rising regional demand for coal, metals and agricultural products.

Copper and tin mines in Indonesia, as well as ancillary services tied to mining or agriculture, are of interest to Dubai-based Abraaj, Aman Lakhaney, a principal at Abraaj Capital Asia Pte, said in an interview in Singapore. Agriculture-related investments will be focused primarily in Vietnam and Malaysia, he said.

Abraaj would follow funds including Nathaniel Rothschild's Bumi Plc into Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest economy. The country supplies energy-assets and commodities to Asia's fastest-growing economies including China, where companies have announced or completed $64.1 billion in natural resource takeovers this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Tunisia Credit Growth Spurs Economic Recovery Ahead of Vote: Arab Credit - Bloomberg

Tunisia, the birth place of the so- called Arab Spring, may stage a faster economic recovery than other countries that witnessed uprisings in the region this year, helped by a surge in bank lending.

Tunisians head to the polls on Oct. 23 to elect an assembly that will write a new constitution after the revolt that toppled President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January. The new government may encourage banks to boost lending to support growth, said Chokri Jaoua, head of operational management at Banque Internationale Arabe de Tunisie, the country’s biggest publicly traded bank known as BIAT.

The central bank’s decision to cut its key interest rate twice and slash reserve requirements helped credit grow 10.5 percent in the first nine months of 2011. Egyptian bank credit expanded 3.8 percent in the first seven months, central bank data show, as a breakdown in security and sectarian clashes led companies to scale back expansion plans. In Bahrain, credit will rise 1 percent this year, according to HSBC Holdings Plc.

Qaddafi Demise Will Expedite Libyan Crude Output, State Oil Company Says - Bloomberg

The death of former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi in his home town of Sirte will expedite the nation’s efforts to revive crude output to normal levels, the chairman of state-run National Oil Corp. said.

“This will help in getting a lot of fields back into production as soon as possible,” Nuri Berruien said today in a telephone interview from Libya. “Now that Sirte is liberated, people can move quickly. People can go to the fields that are in the west.”

Gunfire echoed across Libya’s main cities today as crowds poured into streets to celebrate the capture and death of Qaddafi, who ruled the North African nation for 42 years. The fall of Sirte, located along the main highway linking the eastern and western regions, will allow oil workers and engineers back to the fields, Berruien said.

Arab Spring, economic winter spook MENA investors | Reuters

Rattled first by political instability in the region and then by Europe's debt crisis, investors in the Middle East will remain on edge in the coming months, seeking out sparse opportunities obscured by numerous risks.

Since the Arab Spring -- a series of revolts against authoritarian regimes stretching from Tunisia in north Africa to Bahrain in the Gulf -- started sweeping across the region, investors have taken flight.

A sharp equities sell-off was followed by a stabilization after investors realized that regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia had bought stability with a set of populist measures.

Qatar market looks a quality play -

One of the most difficult challenges for investors is how to diversify their portfolios in a global market that seems to move as one. International exposure will help, especially as markets return to some sense of normality, but you can’t blindly expect all faster-growing countries to be bastions of stability.

You need to focus country by country, recognising that each local market is just a collection of individual companies with different characteristics. Once you’ve found your shortlist of countries, you then need to find the best funds to access that market.

This country-focused approach – not one based on large regional narratives – also needs a second layer based on quality. If we are in a new normal of low growth rates and financial balance sheet issues, you need to apply the same rules to countries as you would to big companies: is the country of high quality, with a strong balance sheet?

European Goldfields' Qatar deal a "total game changer", says Evolution - Proactiveinvestors (UK)

European Goldfields' (LON:EGU) funding agreement with Qatar Holding is a “total game changer” for the miner, according to Evolution Securities.

Earlier this month it secured a US$600 million loan from the Arab investment fund, which owns Harrods and holds stakes in Sainsbury (LON:SBRY) and the London Stock Exchange (LON:LSE).

Existing shareholders stumped up an additional US$150 million.

Saudi Billionaire Alwaleed Reportedly Interested In Twitter Stake - Forbes

Saudi billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is interested in buying a stake in Twitter, according to a Sky News report. The Prince is said to be eyeing a $200 million to $300 million investment and is looking to buy shares from a Twitter cofounder. Kingdom Holding had no comment on the report; Twitter had not replied to Forbes as of press time, but is likely not to have a comment, either.

In its latest fundraising, Twitter reportedly raised $400 million over the summer at a valuation of $8 billion for the company. If Alwaleed were to purchase $250 million of shares, that would give him a 3% stake in the popular social media company. It is not clear whether Alwaleed would be buying shares from Twitter cofounders Evan Williams or Biz Stone. Sky News says Alwaleed is believed to have spoken with at least one of the cofounders about buying part of their stake. The exact ownership stake of the cofounders has not been publicly reported.

Alwaleed prefers to do most of his communicating via text message – I’ve seen him text while driving and bicycling –but his wife Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel is a fan of Twitter. She tweets regularly in English and Arabic and has more than 30,000 Twitter followers.

Guest post: Libya after Gaddafi | beyondbrics –

The complete fall of the Libyan regime and the end of Colonel Gaddafi’s 42-year rule is opening a new chapter for the country. Its small population (5.5m people), large oil resources (exports of oil and gas reached $44bn in 2010) and the dire need for substantial reconstruction spending hold great appeal for international companies. But the challenges facing the governing National Transition Council and the risk of new rounds of instability and violence are substantial. How to define the right path forward?

Here are three critical elements to monitor, as they will send clear signals on the short to medium term outlook for Libya: the political composition of the new governing bodies, the extent to which the most extreme Islamist fighters can be marginalised, and the schedule for the resumption of oil production.

A country coming out of 42 years of authoritarian regime through civil war and still pretty much characterized by tribal affiliation should not be expected to find its institutional balance quickly. So far, the NTC has announced a two-year transition process starting with elections to a constitutional assembly in eight months. The constitution will then be put up to a referendum, allowing for the new regime to be set up if voted in.