Saturday, 22 October 2011
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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?
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.
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.