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Thursday, 3 November 2011

gulfnews : Dh237m fraud case of ex-Deyaar CEO gets new trial

Deyaar's American former CEO has become the longest-ever provisional detainee, having completed nearly 44 months in detention since his arrest over alleged financial irregularities in March 2008.

The 46-year-old Z.S., who remains in temporary custody, has been referred to the Dubai Court of First Instance on November 15 for committing various financial irregularities involving Dh237 million.

"Z.S.'s provisional detention has probably become the longest provisional detention and is unprecedented in Dubai. The efficiency of a judicial system is manifested by a swift litigation and granting a fair trial to a suspect. When a provisional detainee is sentenced [convicted or acquitted], all litigating parties should respect a court's decision."

DNO merger with RAK Petroleum wins approval - The National

DNO International's shareholders approved a merger with RAK Petroleum's oil and gas units in the Middle East and North Africa after two months of wrangling over the issue.

At an extraordinary general meeting in Oslo yesterday, 77 per cent of shareholders voted in favour of DNO merging with majority shareholder RAK in exchange for DNO shares.

"This is a large and resounding endorsement by the shareholders of the company's board, the company's management and the company's direction and also of this merger," said Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, the DNO chairman. "I'm pleased we have that larger mandate. With all the noise and all the disinformation and misinformation that has been floating around, the company has been damaged, unnecessarily so."

Ajman Bank optimism begins to bear fruit - The National

Ajman Bank has swung into profit as its expansion plans start to bear fruit, with analysts saying that because it is smaller than most of its rivals it may benefit from the troubles of bigger banks.

The Islamic lender, listed in Dubai, yesterday reported a third-quarter profit of Dh3 million versus a loss of Dh3.2m in the same period last year. The quarterly profit was the bank's third since the lender was established in 2008.

The bank's stock slid 0.1 per cent to 80 fils per share yesterday, although the Dubai Financial Market General Index fell 0.3 per cent.

Euro crisis may 'rattle' Emirates - The National

Fallout from the euro-zone debt crisis will ripple through the UAE economy, says the Middle East director for banks at Fitch Ratings.

His warning comes as world leaders from the Group of 20 gather today in Cannes, France, for perhaps the most important summit in the organisation's history.

Despite the possibility of Greece rejecting the latest EU benefit package, the summit of the Group of 20 leading and emerging economies (G20) will look to agree on a deal on the country's debts and ensure the financial consequences of a Greek no vote are not felt throughout Europe and the rest of world.

Saudi Arabia SWFs more secure than others - Arab News

Saudi Arabia is well cushioned in comparison to other GCC countries with regard to sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) as it has limited exposure to euro zone debt crisis, according to analysts.

Their remarks came as regional media reported Wednesday that the SWFs are likely to suffer losses from the lingering debt crisis. The G20 summit, which begins Thursday, will be dominated by European debt problems, economists said.

“Saudi Arabia’s SWF is managed by SAMA (Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency), one of the most well-regarded central bank in the region. The most-at-risk SWFs are from the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar, who are semi-independent from the government, and have aggressively expanded their overseas portfolio in the recent past,” Khan H. Zahid, vice president & chief economist at Riyad Capital, told Arab News.

Vodafone Qatar Q2 loss narrows as revenues surge | Reuters

Vodafone Qatar (Qtel) on Wednesday reported a narrower second-quarter net loss, in line with estimates, as the telecom operator's revenue rose by nearly half, while its chief executive is betting on a 2013 dividend to help lift its sagging share price.

The company, an affiliate of London-listed Vodafone , now posts a positive quarterly earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBIDTA), but investors appear to remain unimpressed, with the shares down by a quarter from the company's 2009 initial public offering.

Vodafone Qatar has yet to make a quarterly net profit since ending Qatar Telecom's (Qtel) domestic monopoly in 2009.

Dubai's Damas says close to resolving $9.5m debt - Retail -

Troubled Dubai-based jeweller Damas International said on Wednesday it was in the final stages of negotiations with third party creditors in a bid to resolve a AED35m ($9.5m) liability.

Without identifying the creditor, Damas said in a statement that the amount may be reduced by the proceeds of selling an asset which has been held as collateral by the creditor.

"The company is currently negotiating the settlement terms with a view to entering into a settlement agreement, but have not yet signed a binding agreement," Nasdaq Dubai-listed Damas added.

Business : Dubai unit unaffected

Amid mounting investor concern across the globe about the fallout from the collapse of MF Global Holdings Ltd, the Dubai-based MF Global Middle East DMCC, said on Wednesday that its operations remained unaffected despite the US brokerage firm filing for bankruptcy protection.

“MF Global Middle East DMCC (MFGME) is a broker and clearing member of Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) and is 100 per cent owned by MF Global Sify Securities India P. Ltd,” Vineet Bhatnagar, managing director of MFGME.

MF Global Sify Securities India is a 30:70 joint venture between India’s Sify Technologies Ltd and the embattled US brokerage firm MF Global.

Abu Dhabi’s Banks Stronger Than Dubai’s on Faster Loan Growth: Arab Credit - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi banks are posting stronger earnings than Dubai-based lenders as lending in the United Arab Emirates’ capital increases and the highest provisions for more than a year curb profit for banks in the second-largest emirate.

Abu Dhabi’s three largest banks posted better-than- expected profit in the third quarter, while Dubai-based Emirates NBD PJSC, the U.A.E.’s biggest lender by assets, missed estimates. Provisions for non-performing loans in the the Persian Gulf nation rose 14 percent in the first nine months of 2011 to 50.4 billion dirhams ($13.7 billion), the highest since at least April 2010, when Bloomberg began tracking the country’s banking data.

“Banks in Abu Dhabi have suffered much less from their exposures to government-related issuers and are still managing to grow their loan books in what is a subdued operating environment,” said Khalid Howladar, a senior credit analyst at Moody’s Investors Service in Dubai. “Profitability for Dubai banks will continue to be suppressed for the coming quarters on the back of reduced loan growth and continued provisioning.”

Abu Dhabi's Aldar seen meeting $1.1bn bond test - Real Estate -

Investors in Aldar Properties' $1.1bn Islamic bond, which is due November 10, are betting the indebted developer will repay the issue even if it means more aid from Abu Dhabi which bailed the company out this year.

Aldar is limping back to recovery after posting record quarterly losses at the end of 2010, forcing the Abu Dhabi government to step in with a $5.2bn rescue package in January.

The builder of the Yas Marina Formula One circuit in the UAE capital has been forced to cut staff and scale back operations as it grapples with a property collapse in the region.

Gulf states struggle to shift jobs to choosy locals - The Economic Times

Ibrahim Hasanain worked as a tour guide at a Dubai tourism company for four years but quit to study law at the University of Dubai, hoping to land a better-paying government job.

All eight United Arab Emirates nationals who worked for the company eventually quit, not only because of disappointingly low wages but also because of difficulties fitting in with their co-workers, who were mostly South Asian and Western, he said.

"We were all hired because the company had to fill their required quota of Emiratis," said Ibrahim, 24, as he walked the aisles of a glitzy shopping mall in Dubai.

SABIC creates new venture capital arm - Arab News

The Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) has announced the launch of a new global corporate venture capital arm, SABIC Ventures, in the Netherlands, with the primary goal of seeking out innovative technologies and businesses consistent with the company's global strategy.

SABIC Ventures aims to build up a portfolio of technology options for the company's future businesses. It will do this by investing directly both in seed stage, early stage and late stage companies. The new organization will both lead investment, co-lead and invest alongside venture capitalists.

Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC vice chairman and CEO, said that SABIC Ventures has been developed as an investment vehicle to accomplish profitable growth. "SABIC aspires to be the preferred leader in chemicals. We will accomplish this through organic growth by investing in new assets and expanding current assets; mergers and acquisitions in targeted areas; and new business creation. Venturing provides growth opportunities for new businesses."

The Arab spring challenges that must be met -

Nearly one year into the Arab spring, the Middle East and north Africa region remains in a state of flux and is bracing itself for a transition lasting several years.

Although the long-term benefits of this historical transformation are indisputable, economic and social pressures are building on the region’s oil-importing countries, and the worsening international economy will only exacerbate these strains.

These countries are expected to grow at a mere 1.4 per cent this year and only a modest recovery seems on the cards for 2012. This economic slowdown is pushing up already high unemployment rates at the same time that social demands are rising.

Dubai joins race to be global legal centre -

Dubai International Financial Centre, home of the court that will now take cases from anywhere in the world
Dubai has thrown its international financial court open to cases from anywhere in the world in the latest effort by a Gulf state to make itself a lucrative global legal centre.

The United Arab Emirates is vying with neighbours such as Qatar to woo big multinationals to fight out litigation in well-financed courts with leading judges imported from England and elsewhere.

The effort to create rootless international courts that do not require cases to have any connection with the country is seen in the legal world as intriguing, although some observers say there are doubts as to whether it can succeed.