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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

MENA stock markets close - November 1, 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)

Libya’s Central Bank Plans Law to Allow Islamic Bond Sales: Arab Credit - Bloomberg

Libya’s central bank is preparing a law to allow lenders and issuers to sell Islamic bonds as part of its efforts to develop banking services after the fall of Muammar Qaddafi.

The regulator has formed a committee with the country’s banks to prepare the law, Ezzedin Ashur, deputy director of research and statistics at the Tripoli-based central bank, said in a telephone interview yesterday. Libya has 15 banks, all of which have Shariah-compliant “windows,” he said.

“Some banks have the desire to open standalone Islamic branches and we have local investors who want to set up Islamic banks,” he said. “If we have Islamic banking with all of its services, its market share will be big. Many people have issues dealing with conventional banks."

Zawya Research: GCC Stock Markets - Unearthing the Drivers of Fluctuation (Oct-11)

PDF from headline

Dubai Shares Drop Most Since August on Global Growth Concern - Bloomberg

Dubai shares fell the most in almost three months on speculation a rally late last month was overdone and as European leaders struggled to contain the debt crisis.

Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), developer of the world’s tallest building, tumbled 2.9 percent after surging 12 percent in the past week. Dubai Financial Market (DFM) PJSC declined the most in more than two weeks. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) dropped 1.8 percent, the most since Aug. 9, to 1,382.71 at the 2 p.m. close in Dubai. The measure surged 4.6 percent in the three-day period ending Oct. 30. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index (ADSMI) lost 0.2 percent, extending yesterday’s 0.3 percent drop.

“What we’re seeing yesterday and today is normal profit taking,” said Chahir Hosni, equity sales manager at EFG-Hermes Holding SAE in Dubai. Declines in global markets are also “impacting the weakness today,” he said.

Abu Dhabi's UNB sets guidance for 5-yr bond - leads | Reuters

Abu Dhabi's Union National Bank has released price guidance of 287.5 basis points over midswaps area for a five-year benchmark-sized bond, a document from lead managers said on Tuesday.

The dollar-denominated offering would price as early as today or tomorrow, the leads said.

Citigroup , Deutsche Bank , HSBC , National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Standard Chartered are lead managers for the bond.

Bahraini sheikh denies corruption allegations -

A senior member of Bahrain’s royal family has denied accusations of corruption levelled against him as part of a UK case against a London-based businessman over contracts between Alcoa, the US aluminium group, and Bahrain Aluminium, or Alba.

“Isa Bin Ali al-Khalifa wishes to categorically deny the allegations of corruption reported against him in the press following the charges brought against certain parties,” said a statement issued on Tuesday on behalf of the sheikh by M. Ardavan Amir-Aslani, a Paris-based lawyer.

Sheikh Isa Bin Ali al-Khalifa, an adviser to Bahrain’s influential prime minister, was accused of receiving corrupt payments of almost $6m in 2003-2004 from Victor Dahdaleh, a British-Canadian businessman charged with corruption by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office.

UAE's Al Mal Capital slashes staff by 25pct | Alrroya

Al Mal Capital PSC, a United Arab Emirates investment bank, has cut staff by about 25 per cent and is winding down its brokerage business in the Gulf nation, two people familiar with the matter said.

Eight employees at Al Mal Capital have been laid off, bringing staff to around 20, the people said, declining to be identified because the matter hasn’t been made public. The company employed over 100 people in 2008, one of the people said. Al Mal Securities, an Al Mal Capital unit, was ranked 57th by value traded on the Dubai Financial Market in September, according to the bourse’s website.

Some banks in the UAE are cutting costs after the credit crisis weakened lending, crimped investment banking and spurred loan defaults. Deutsche Bank AG and Credit Agricole SA are among international banks withdrawing employees from Dubai. The number of “active and functioning” brokerages in the UAE has dropped 38 per cent since the end of 2008 to 61, according to the Securities & Commodities Authority website.

GCC infrastructure firms may face refinancing risk: S&P -  

Several corporates and infrastructure companies in the Gulf region may face a greater refinancing risk because they have delayed issuances to capital markets, Standard & Poor''s Ratings Services has said.

In its latest industry report card, titled, ''Swinging Bond Spreads Heighten Refinancing Risk For The GCC Corporate And Infrastructure Segment'', it said that conditions for issuing bonds in Gulf Cooperation Council countries -- comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE -- took a turn for the worse in August, 2011, but have recovered some ground in October.
"Bond prices were highly volatile in recent months, with lower rated issues trading sharply down and yields spiking in the secondary market. We believe investors'' increased risk aversion and concerns about the negative implications of slowing global economic growth are behind the swings," said Standard & Poor''s credit analyst Tommy Trask.

Some companies are turning back to banks for their refinancing needs."

'via Blog this'

Abu Dhabi project delays to hurt Dubai recovery -

A slowdown in Abu Dhabi’s construction market could unnerve investors and crimp any fledgling recovery in Dubai’s floundering real estate market, analysts have said.

The oil-rich UAE capital has pushed back the delivery of major projects including its planned Louvre and Guggenheim museums, in a sign it may be feeling the pinch of funding its $500bn ‘2030’ development plan.

For developers, many of whom had banked on Abu Dhabi to offset the collapse of Dubai’s property market in late-2008, the stalling of state-backed projects is a source of concern.

Abraaj boosts Egypt investment: paper | Reuters

Abraaj Capital, the Middle East's largest private equity firm, has boosted investment in Egypt despite the country's political turmoil and is now eyeing the acquisition of an oil services firm, its chief executive said in remarks published on Tuesday.

"We are currently studying the acquisition of a firm in the field of petroleum services," Mustafa Abdel-Wadood said in an interview published in Egyptian newspaper al-Shorouk.

Dubai-based Abraaj manages assets of around $6 billion. Its total investments in Egypt are around $1 billion, Abdel-Wadood said, adding Abraaj has stakes in Egyptian groups Orascom Construction Industries and Al-Borg Laboratory.

Endgame Looms On Caspian Sea Chessboard – Analysis

Much attention is currently focused on the attempts to agree terms for building a Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP) underneath the Caspian Sea from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan, allowing natural gas from Turkmenistan to find a route to Europe. The European Commission (EC) was recently authorized by the EU to participate in working out the terms of the project.

To put the present situation in perspective, it is useful to recall the last time such an attempt was made. That was back in the late 1990s, when US firms first sought to construct such a pipeline. That TCGP consortium was half-owned by PSG International, and half by GE Capital and Bechtel (who later also included Royal Dutch Shell in the venture).

First as tragedy: The 1990s

Caspian Sea

Caspian Sea

Saudi Arabia Awarded $48 Billion in Orders This Year, NCB Says - Businessweek

Saudi Arabia awarded a total 179.5 billion riyals ($48 billion) of contracts in the first nine months of the year compared with 106.8 billion riyals last year, according to National Commercial Bank.

The value of contracts awarded during the third quarter reached 95.1 billion riyals, which shows that “the government continues to place an overwhelming emphasis on capital expenditures to meet its commitment to improve the kingdom’s physical and social infrastructure capabilities,” NCB said in a report today.

The value of awarded contracts is showing no signs of slowing down as large projects continue to be awarded in record numbers, the report said. “We expect the value of awarded contracts to continue its push into the fourth quarter,” the NCB report said.

Las Vegas Business Press :: New roadway marks Lake Las Vegas' route to recovery


Commercial Property Executive, a commercial real estate magazine, has named MGM Resorts International's CityCenter as the nation's best project for overall quality in the development category.

The magazine recognized the top commercial real estate deals, projects and programs in America completed during 2010.

"The award reflects excellence and innovation on a variety of levels: construction, architecture, efficiency and design -- all areas in which CityCenter stands out," Commercial Property Executive editor-in-chief Suzanne Silverman said.

The 67-acre megaresort is a joint venture between MGM Resorts and Infinity World Development Corp., a subsidiary of Dubai World. It features the 61-story, 4,004-room Aria hotel-casino; Mandarin Oriental and Vdara nongaming hotels; Veer Towers residential condos; and Crystals retail mall.

Libya Plans Law to Pave Way for Islamic Bond Sales: Arab Credit - Businessweek

Libya’s central bank is preparing a law to allow lenders and issuers to sell Islamic bonds as part of its efforts to develop banking services after the fall of Muammar Qaddafi.

The regulator has formed a committee with the country’s banks to prepare the law, Ezzedin Ashur, deputy director of research and statistics at the Tripoli-based central bank, said in a telephone interview yesterday. Libya has 15 banks, all of which have Shariah-compliant “windows,” he said.

“Some banks have the desire to open standalone Islamic branches and we have local investors who want to set up Islamic banks,” he said. “If we have Islamic banking with all of its services, its market share will be big. Many people have issues dealing with conventional banks.”

Billionaire businessman granted bail in Britain in Bahrain royal family bribe case - The Washington Post

A billionaire businessman accused of bribing officials in Bahrain, including a prominent member of the country’s royal family, was granted bail Monday by a British court in exchange for a 10 million pounds ($16 million) security bond.

Victor Dahdaleh, 68, who is British and Canadian, is charged with corruption offenses related to contracts between Bahrain’s state-owned aluminum manufacturer and the U.S.-based Alcoa Inc.

Prosecutors alleged that the offense, linked to payments for the shipments of the raw material alumina to Bahrain from Australia, took place between 2001 and 2005.

Mubadala inks first China deal - The National

Mubadala has made its first investment in China by forming a joint venture to create a US$150 million plant that will supply material for the UAE's aluminium smelting industry.

In a ceremony yesterday in Zhenjiang, a city by the Yangtze River in Jiangsu province, Mubadala Industry, part of Mubadala Development, a strategic investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, signed an agreement to develop the facility with Jiangsu Surun High Carbon Company.

Mubadala said the project was likely to be the first of a series of investments it makes in the world's second-largest economy.

gulfnews : Arabtec profit surges as growth continues abroad

Arabtec's third quarter net profit surged more than fivefold, beating analysts' forecasts, while revenues dipped slightly from the same period last year.

The largest builder in the United Arab Emirates by market value made a net profit of Dh39.1 million ($10.6 million) for the third quarter, it said in a statement on Dubai's bourse website yesterday.

The firm, which has been expanding rapidly overseas to diversify its portfolio from its home market in Dubai, made a net profit of Dh6.8 million in the third quarter last year.

gulfnews : UAE could experience slowdown due to global economic crisis

The UAE could witness a slowdown in business due to the global financial and economic crisis, said Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, UAE Central Bank Governor, during a financial forum in Kuwait.

Al Suwaidi stressed that the UAE banks' exposure to sovereign and private sector debt in Europe was "really small" and voiced his happiness with the UAE's current monetary policy rate of 1 per cent.

"We will see a slowdown in business due to an expected economic downturn [globally] due to effects of the European crisis and the situation in the US as well," he was quoted by Reuters as saying.

gulfnews : Regulations vital to foreign investment, Al Mansouri says

Emphasising the strong relationship that exists between corporate governance and foreign direct investment, UAE Minister of Economy Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri exhorted the regulators to ensure compliance and the business community to embrace the codes.

Amid the slowdown in the developed economies, the current economic climate of the region — with the average gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the Middle East in 2011 projected by the International Monetary Fund to be around 5.1 per cent compared to 2.3 per cent in the US — presents a unique opportunity to attract foreign investors, said Al Mansouri in his keynote address at yesterday's Sixth Annual regional Corporate Governance Conference.

Countries in the region rank among the top in projected GDP growth, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and ease of doing business.

gulfnews : Companies can take dispute cases to DIFC courts

Companies will now be able to choose to have dispute cases heard in English common law courts.

A new law will allow businesses from Dubai and across the Gulf to use the courts of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), meaning that they can avoid the backlog that has plagued Dubai's traditional civil courts.

The move, which has been welcomed by both lawyers and local businesses, is likely to boost the workload at the DIFC, lawyers say, as companies are drawn to the opportunity to be awarded costs — an option not available in civil cases.

Bahrain, Poh Kong, Majid Al Futtaim, Anih: Islamic Bond Alert - Bloomberg

The following borrowers are expected to sell Islamic bonds, which use asset returns to pay investors to comply with the religion’s ban on interest. Global sales of sukuk climbed to $18.9 billion in 2011, from $13.5 billion a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

BAHRAIN: The country is still “on track” to sell $1 billion of Shariah-compliant debt, Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, executive director of banking operations at Bahrain’s Central Bank, said in an e-mail. Central bank Governor Rasheed al-Maraj said in an interview in September that Citigroup Inc., BNP Paribas SA and Standard Chartered Plc have been hired to advise on the sale. He said the maturity of the sukuk may be between seven and 10 years.

POH KONG HOLDINGS BHD. (PKH): The Malaysian jewelry maker said it has been given approval by the Securities Commission to sell 150 million ringgit ($48.4 million) of Islamic debt, which will be backed by Danajamin Nasional Bhd., a state bond-guarantee agency, the company said in a Kuala Lumpur exchange filing.

Ipic sells longer-dated bonds -

International Petroleum Investment Co, one of Abu Dhabi’s most acquisitive government investment arms, has moved to tackle mounting short-term debt maturities by selling longer-dated bonds.

Ipic has in the past relied on loans of about two to three years to fund its operations but has now sold five-, 10- and 30-year maturity bonds, in its second public debt sale this year. Extending the debt repayments should help the company to manage what Moody’s Investors Service estimates is a total of $9.9bn, maturing next year and the year after, analysts say.

“The debt maturity schedule is heavy, but this deal has helped that quite a bit,” says Abdul Kadir Hussain, chief executive of Mashreq Capital in Dubai. This week’s bond sale will allow Ipic to push back about 30 per cent of its debt maturing in the next five years, according to Mr Hussain.