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Sunday, 23 October 2011

MENA stock markets close - October 23, 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)

Dubai Financial Market intraday chart - October 23, 2011

General Index
Intraday 3 month
Daily Statistics
General Index1364.08
Change (%)-0.17%
T. Volume24656602
T. Companies 64

Saudi bourse to open to foreigners soon

Saudi Arabia could shortly open its stock exchange to foreign investors, Deutsche Bank's head of Mena equities said, a move which would allow international capital to own shares outright on the Middle East's largest bourse for the first time.

"I do see it happening very soon," Ahmed Beydoun told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"The Saudis have been very vocal in the last month on that and their desire to be included in MSCI. They say they would like to open up but all the factors have to be considered."

UAE property earnings may sink despite Nakheel deal | Alrroya

A $16 billion debt restructuring of Dubai developer Nakheel will not help prevent a slump in third-quarter earnings of property firms in the United Arab Emirates, as they face a host of challenges amid little inroads being made to fresh property sales.

Real estate firms in UAE were hit hard by the global financial crisis in 2008 with property prices dropping by about 60 per cent from its peak.

Nakheel, the developer at the epicentre of the crisis, concluded its restructuring in August and issued the first tranche of a Dh4.8 billion Islamic bond to trade creditors exposed to the company's debt.

Kuwait Dar to pay investors two months early

The Investment Dar, a leading Kuwaiti sovereign wealth fund, said it will make its first payment to investors two months ahead of the deadline set out in the court-approved restructuring plan.

Owner of half of luxury carmaker Aston Martin, Investment Dar said the decision comes following a recent meeting of its board of directors.

The implementation of the plan, which incorporates full repayment for all TID’s banks and investors, began on the 30 June 2011, said the company in a statement. The debt restructure plans includes giving creditors a 10 per cent stake in Investment Dar.

Qatar Shares Rise Most in 2 Weeks on Earnings Optimism, Oil - Businessweek

Qatar shares rose the most in more than two weeks after United Development Co. said earnings more than quadrupled and oil advanced for a third week. Israel’s benchmark index headed for the highest close since August.

United Development, the Qatari real-estate and energy investor, surged the most in more than seven years. Qatar Electricity & Water Co., the Middle East’s second-biggest utility by market value, rallied 2.9 percent before earnings scheduled for later this week. Qatar’s QE Index advanced 0.8 percent, the most since Oct. 6, to 8,432.86 at the 1 p.m. close in Doha. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index climbed 0.3 percent at 1:44 p.m. in Riyadh and Israel’s TA-25 Index surged 1.5 percent.

Qatar’s “earnings are good, which has been good for medium to long-term investors,” said Nabil Farhat, a partner at Abu Dhabi-based Al Fajer Securities.

No HSBC Kuwait branch closure - Emirates 24/7

HSBC Bank Middle East has denied that it is shutting down its branch in Kuwait, as reported this morning in a section of Kuwaiti media.

In an emailed statement sent to Emirates 24/7, the bank confirmed that it will close its premier retail banking operations by year-end in that country, but that its branch would remain operational and continue to provide other services, including commercial and private banking offerings.

“Following a global strategic review of its operations, HSBC confirms it will close its HSBC Premier Retail Banking offer in Kuwait on December 31, 2011, in order to focus its resources on growing its Global Banking and Markets, Commercial Banking and Private Banking businesses. Customers have already been informed of this decision,” the bank’s emailed statement said.

Kuwait Had $32 Billion Budget Surplus in 1st Half, Al-Shall Says - Bloomberg

Kuwait had a preliminary budget surplus of 8.87 billion dinars ($32.2 billion) in the first half of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012, Al-Shall Economic Consultants reported today, citing Finance Ministry data.

Income was 13.93 billion dinars, including oil revenue of 13.29 billion dinars, while spending was 5.06 billion dinars, Al-Shall said in a weekly report.

By law, 10 percent of revenue is saved in the Reserve Fund for Future Generations. The budget is based on an oil price of $60 a barrel, up from $43 in the last fiscal year. West Texas Intermediate is currently trading at about $87 a barrel.

NBAD earns Dh3 billion net profits in 9 months

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has achieved a cumulative net profit of Dh 2,984 million for the nine months of the current year which is 1.1per cent higher as compared to Dh 2,951 million earned in 2010.

Third quarter profit increased by 12.1 percent to Dh1,031 million compared with Dh 920 million earned in the third quarter of previous year.

The annual return on shareholders’ funds for the nine months of 2011 is 17.7 per cent in line with the target for 2011.

gulfnews : Report shows mixed results for region

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) economies achieved mixed results in the recently published Doing Business 2012. The gap among countries in the region is exceptionally large, as exemplified by ranking numbers of 12 and 67 for Saudi Arabia and Kuwait respectively. Other selected results include number 33 for the UAE, 36 for Qatar, 38 for Bahrain and 49 for Oman.

The ninth such report is a co-publication of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation. The report stands out by offering quantitative comparisons on business regulation and the protection of property rights in 183 economies with regard to smaller companies in domestic markets.

Reviewed economies, which fairly represent the global economy, are ranked on results achieved in ten areas, namely starting a business, access to credit, paying taxes, resolving insolvency, registering property, trading across borders, dealing with construction permits, protecting investors, enforcing contracts and getting electricity.

gulfnews : Jibril lists to-do list for Libya after Gaddafi

The new Prime Minister of Libya, Mahmoud Jibril, was given an emotional standing ovation as he was introduced to a packed plenary session on the first morning of the World Economic Forum's Special Meeting on Economic Growth and Job Creation in the Arab World.

"I did not believe that I would live to see this day," he told the delegates, who included many leading politicians of the Arab world, such as the meeting's host, King Abdullah of Jordan, Qatar Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shaikh Hamad Bin Jasem Al Thani, Palestine Prime Minister Salam Fayyad; as well as leaders from outside the region like President Asif Zardari of Pakistan and King Juan Carlos of Spain.

Jibril outlined Libya's needs with much more clarity than seems possible, having been watching the chaos of the fighting on TV every night for the past six months. Impressively, he did not dwell on the past as he focused on three targets — two more immediate — like the requirement to restore stability and collect the arms which are all over the country; and to start a national reconciliation process bringing together all sections of the country to participate in building a new Libya.

gulfnews : Abdullah says economic reform hinges on political change

King Abdullah II yesterday urged the World Economic Forum meeting in Amman to create new strategies for the Arab region, insisting political change is needed for economic reforms.

"Your meetings here focus on an area of urgent need, economic growth and jobs," the king told economic experts and world leaders meeting by the Dead Sea as he opened the two-day forum.

"It is hard to find a more central concern for our people — especially our young people, the majority of our population," he said.

gulfnews : Oman will raise spending, plans bond issue

Oman's government spending will rise slightly next year, after a sharp increase this year as the country boosted social spending, Finance Minister Darwish Al Balushi said yesterday.

Al Balushi said budget spending this year would total about 9.1 billion Omani riyals (Dh87 billion), up from an original plan of 8.1 billion riyals. The country increased spending after a wave of social unrest prompted by Arab Spring political protests across the region.

Next year's spending will be "a little more" than 9.1 billion riyals, Al Balushi said, speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of Gulf finance ministers and central bankers.

Regional investors braving uncertain climate to stick with Egypt - The National

Political tumult has dealt a blow to Egypt's once-buoyant economy, but some of the region's largest buyout firms are still investing there - albeit with serious concerns about the country's political climate and the value of its currency.

Egypt had been a darling of private-equity players before the revolution, thanks to its economic links to Europe, its growing middle class and its status as the Arab world's largest country, with a population of about 80 million. Its economy grew by 5.1 per cent last year and by 4.7 per cent in 2009, according to IMF figures.

The revolution caused many companies to put the brakes on scores of deals then under negotiation. It also dampened economic growth, which is estimated at 1.2 per cent this year. But the fundamental attractions remain, said Ahmed Badreldin, a senior partner at Dubai's Abraaj Capital, the largest private-equity company in the Middle East.

Local banks force sale of stock used as collateral - The National

Banks are forcing companies to sell ebbing stock that was pledged as loan collateral during the boom years as lenders brace for a tide of bad debts that could rise as high as Dh50 billion (US$13.61bn).

The rapid decline in local stock markets has meant that shares and property set aside by companies to cover overdrafts and loans is no longer worth enough - leaving banks exposed and triggering a chain reaction of selling that is forcing stock prices down further.

Bank demands to sell stock holdings is increasing selling pressure on already depressed markets while also sapping crucial loan finance for some companies teetering on the brink of insolvency.

'GCC may become engine of growth in the Arab world' - Arab News

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar have the opportunity to become engines of growth in the Arab world in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, said Nasser Saidi, chief economist at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and executive director of the Hawkamah-Institute for Corporate Governance.

He was speaking at an exclusive forum hosted by the Capital Club Dubai, the region's private business club and a member of the ENSHAA group of companies, to discuss the need for policy reforms, institutional change and extensive investment in the region in the wake of the Arab Spring.

"The GCC has big incentive to do it," said Saidi, who is a member of the IMF's regional advisory group for MENA and co-chair of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development's MENA Corporate Governance Working Group.

Can a Texas developer and Qatar investment make D.C.’s CityCenter a success? - The Washington Post

Across most of the country, commercial real estate development has pretty much come to a halt. After a decade of debt-fueled overbuilding, there are too many hotels and too much retail space. With the economy generating precious few jobs, there isn’t much need for new office space, either. Debt financing has all but dried up.

But if you wander down to Mount Vernon Square in the heart of Washington and look in almost any direction, you’ll see a new center city under construction — several billion dollars worth of it.

To the east, in a rapidly gentrifying triangle known as NoMa, thousands of apartments and even a “spec” office building, built without any tenant commitments.

Failure to distribute economic gains root cause of Arab Spring - Qatar prime minister | Jordan Times

Misdistribution of the fruits of development, coupled with high levels of unemployment, illiteracy and poverty caused the tension between governments and societies that led to the Arab Spring, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Ben Jassim Ben Jabr Al Thani said Saturday.

Addressing participants at the World Economic Forum’s Special Meeting on Economic Growth and Job Creation in the Arab World, held on the shores of the Dead Sea, Sheikh Hamad underlined the importance of understanding the causes and motivations that triggered the recent developments in the Arab world and to consider their subsequent repercussions in order to address them.

“The aspirations towards social justice and human dignity sought by Arab peoples imply the provision of the basic prerequisites for the realisation of that objective,” he said at the event, attended by more than 1,000 participants from around 50 countries.

Qatar ‘Worried’ About European Regulations on Wealth Funds - Businessweek

Qatar is worried about the effects of European legislation on sovereign wealth funds and is willing to cooperate with Europe on its economic crisis, Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani said.

“We have some agreements but not with everyone, not as we want,” Sheikh Hamad told reporters today at the World Economic Forum in Jordan. “Discussions are under way with some European countries to resolve certain regulatory hurdles, such as taxation. ‘‘We are worried that there will be new regulations that can make obstacles for our sovereign wealth fund.’’

Qatar has already agreed several investments in Greece, including a 1 billion-euro ($1.3 billion) commitment to invest in Greek mining companies. The Persian Gulf emirate will also acquire a 10 percent stake from Ellaktor SA and will have an option to buy another 5 percent from the Greek construction company, Ahmad al-Sayed, the chief executive officer of Qatar Holdings, said on Oct. 1.

UAE says discussing mechanism for $3 bln Egypt aid | Reuters

The United Arab Emirates plans to provide $3 billion in financial aid to Egypt but is still discussing the mechanism to deliver it, a senior UAE official said on Saturday.

"The UAE has approved an assistance of $3 billion to Egypt, but the mechanism is still subject to discussion," Obaid Humaid al-Tayer, minister of state for financial affairs, told reporters.

Tayer was speaking at a meeting of Gulf Arab finance ministers and central bankers in Abu Dhabi. He did not elaborate on the nature of the aid to Egypt.