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Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Brookfield, Dubai Government Plan $1 Billion Property Fund - Businessweek

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and a Dubai government investment arm will start a $1 billion fund to buy real estate assets in the emirate after prices dropped by more than half since 2008.

The eight-to-10-year fund will be started with $100 million each from Toronto-based Brookfield and the Investment Corporation of Dubai, the companies said today in a statement. It will target a “wide class of assets in both freehold and non-freehold areas.” Local, regional and international investors will also be invited to join the fund that will be capped at $1 billion.

“We see excellent opportunity in real estate in Dubai,” Brookfield Chief Executive Officer Bruce Flatt said in the statement. “We are witnessing a number of encouraging signs, in particular the arrival of long-term capital to the sector, which traditionally marks the early signs of recovery in real estate.”

Critics censure Gulf public sector largesse - FT.com

Soaring public sector wages in Gulf states risk undermining private companies’ efforts to deepen investment in the region and create badly needed jobs for nationals. That is the view of leading bankers and the International Monetary Fund.

Simon Cooper, chief executive of HSBC Middle East and north Africa, says that “unprecedented” salary rises of up to 60 per cent in some countries’ state financial institutions are making it harder for banks to attract and retain talented local workers.

His comments show how rich petro-states face a dilemma as they grapple with the unrest sweeping the Arab world: their desire to keep people happy with financial largesse on the one hand, balanced by a need to diversify economically for a post-oil future.

MENA stock markets close - October 26, 2011

ExchangeStatus IndexChange
TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
6147.54-0.12%
DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
1353.840.01%
ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
2454.850.17%
KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
59050.06%
BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
1152.010.67%
MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
5544.970.06%
QE (Qatar Exchange)
8464.040.14%
LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
1206.31-0.28%
EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
4319.73-0.63%
ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
1973.920.10%
TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
4635.930.80%
CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
11378.60.20%
PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)
476.19-0.44%

News Analysis: Nakheel Lawsuits, Investor Confusion | mideastposts.com

IMF Survey: Mideast Outlook Varies Markedly Across Region

Countries across the Middle East and North Africa face a diverging economic outlook, with oil exporters experiencing a pickup in growth in 2011 on the back of higher oil prices and oil importers seeing a dramatic downturn as the region faces heightened regional and global uncertainty, the IMF says in its latest assessment.

The IMF’s Regional Economic Outlook for the Middle East and Central Asia, released October 26, projects growth in the Middle East and North Africa region at 3.9 percent in 2011, down from 4.4 percent in 2010.

The region’s oil-exporting countries (excluding Libya)—Algeria, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen—are forecast to expand by 4.9 percent in 2011, thanks to higher oil prices and oil production, before moderating in 2012.

Alcoa Asks to Reopen Bahrain Aluminum Case to Seek Dismissal - Bloomberg

Alcoa Inc., the largest U.S. aluminum producer, wants a racketeering lawsuit filed against it by Bahrain’s state-owned aluminum producer reopened by a judge, saying that it will seek to dismiss the case.

Aluminum Bahrain BSC, known as Alba, sued in February 2008, claiming that Alcoa bribed senior officials in Bahrain and caused Alba to pay inflated prices for alumina, the principal raw material in aluminum. The case was filed in federal court in Pittsburgh, where Alcoa is based.

A month later, U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose halted the case after the U.S. Justice Department said it was investigating whether Alcoa made corrupt payments in Bahrain. The judge also administratively closed the case, “to allow the government to fully conduct an investigation without the interference and distraction of ongoing civil litigation,” court records show.

Dubai's Mashreq Q3 profit up on lower provisions | Reuters

Mashreq bank , Dubai's second-largest lender by market value, posted a 5 percent rise in quarterly profit on Tuesday, thanks to lower loan loss provisions that offset a drop in income.

The lender made a net profit of 204 million dirhams ($55.5 million)for the three months to September 30, compared with 194.4 million dirhams in the corresponding period in 2010, according to Reuters calculations based on a bank statement to the Dubai Financial Market.

Net profit for the first nine months of the year stood at 756 million dirhams, up from 647.4 million dirhams in 2010, the statement said.

Dubai has options to handle debt maturities: Deutsche Bank | Reuters

Dubai has several options to handle its upcoming debt maturities and refinancing requirements, mainly thanks to reviving economic growth and stable income streams, a senior executive at Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) said on Tuesday.

"There are many options to handle upcoming debt maturities. When you have assets and/or the right level of income, you can solve them with the right amount of creativity," Salman Al Khalifa, global markets head for MENA and country head for the United Arab Emirates, told the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit.

Dubai has been in the spotlight over its debt woes since late 2009, as it has struggled to rebuild investor confidence after state-owned Dubai World DBWLD.UL announced a $26 billion restructuring.

Egypt's Citadel to scale back new investments | Reuters

Egypt's Citadel Capital (CCAP.CA) plans to scale back investments outside its existing projects until the political and economic outlook becomes clearer, its chairman told Reuters.

The private equity firm which focuses on the Middle East and north Africa reported a loss for the first half of the year due to a lack of divestitures and because of writedowns on under-performing upstream oil and gas investments.

Chairman Ahmed Heikal said the firm's portfolio is weighted toward greenfield projects and turnarounds, which keeps it busy for now. "I think we will probably slightly downsize the existing portfolio which is huge," Heikal said in an interview for the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit.

Dubai's DP World says 3Q trade up 10 percent - Boston.com

Seaport operator DP World said Tuesday that cargo volumes at its docks rose 10 percent in the third quarter of 2011 as trade accelerated at its emerging markets ports.

The world's third-largest port operator said it handled the equivalent of 14.4 million standard 20-foot shipping containers between July and September. That's up from 13.1 million containers it lifted over the same period last year.

The Dubai-based cargo handler attributed the gains to growth at ports in Asia, Africa, Latin America and its home market in the United Arab Emirates. Recently acquired ports in Suriname and capacity increases at cargo terminals in Peru and China also boosted business, the company said.

Service is temporarily suspended until computer problems fully resolved, my apologies.


MENA stock markets close - October 25, 2011

ExchangeStatus IndexChange
TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
6155.180.37%
DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
1353.69-0.45%
ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
2450.610.16%
KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
5901.3-0.29%
BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
1144.38-0.00%
MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
5541.580.05%
QE (Qatar Exchange)
8452.46-0.06%
LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
1209.66-0.25%
EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
4347.320.82%
ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
1971.930.83%
TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
4599.181.34%
CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
11355.50.19%
PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)
478.290.20%