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Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The Middle East bets big again on Washington real estate - Capital Business Blog - The Washington Post

Observers of Washington real estate are likely aware that the principal owner of the CityCenter DC project is the real estate arm of the Qatari Investment Authority. It put $622 million into that project.

The principal investor in the District’s convention center hotel, a Marriott Marquis, is a sovereign wealth fund from Abu Dhabi.

The construction projects represent the two largest in the District and are among the largest on the East Coast at the moment. Now Middle Eastern investors have bought a massive stake in one of the Washington area’s most enticing development portfolios and another of its largest development projects.

Emirates airline eyes Islamic finance as Europe banks balk | Alrroya

Dubai's Emirates , the rapidly expanding Gulf Arab carrier, is looking at the more resilient Islamic finance market to fund aircraft deliveries as international banks back out of plane deals because of the euro zone debt crisis.

European lenders, especially French banks, which have been major financiers for Emirates' aircraft deals with Airbus and Boeing , have become risk-averse because of the crisis, the airline's president Tim Clark told Reuters.

"We were kind of planning for finance from European banks...but it's just a bit difficult now," said Clark.

Moody's maintains negative outlook on UAE banking system | Moody's |

Moody's Investors Service is maintaining its negative outlook on the banking system of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) because of the ongoing trends of corporate deleveraging, asset quality challenges and the subdued profitability of UAE banks in the wake of continued provisioning needs.

The negative outlook, which is explained in detail in a Banking System Outlook published by Moody's, expresses the rating agency's expectations for the fundamental credit conditions in the banking system over the next 12-18 months.

"Moody's negative outlook on the UAEbanking system is mainly driven by the legacy asset quality challenges related to the ongoing restructuring of some large government-related borrowers," says Khalid Howladar, Vice President -- Senior Credit Officer at Moody's Dubai office and author of this report.

gulfnews : Dubai, Abu Dhabi bourses to soon allow short-selling

Draft regulations that could allow short-selling on the Dubai and Abu Dhabi bourses have been published on the website of the UAE's market regulator.

The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) posted the regulations on Thursday, and invited suggestions on the law before November 17.

The draft regulations cover short-selling through authorised brokers, security lending and borrowing and other market regulations. They will look to allow investors to short-sell, but the SCA can ban short-selling under special circumstances, according to the draft.

Saudi fiscal surplus to surge in 2011 - Emirates 24/7

A surge in oil prices and production will turn a projected Saudi fiscal deficit into a large surplus despite an expected increase of more than 40 per cent in the Gulf kingdom’s actual spending, according to a local study.

The Riyadh-based Jadwa Investment said it had massively revised up its previous estimates for Saudi Arabia’s budget surplus from SR127 billion ($33.8 billion) to SR226 billion ($60 billion) as a result of higher revenue.

The projected surplus this year will be more than double the SR109 billion ($29 billion) balance recorded in 2010 and in sharp contrast with the SR87 billion ($23 billion) deficit in 2009, when oil prices were relatively low.

Syrian capital flight intensifies -

Money has been streaming out of Syria as fears for the unstable economy lead Syrians to seek a safer place for their assets, according to members of the country’s business community.

Cash is being smuggled over the border to Lebanon “every day, every hour,” said one Syrian businessman, while another claimed Syrian money is being stashed in the grey economy that has long existed between the two countries.

In what many see as an example of the cross-border transfer, Syrian state news reported last month that officials had intercepted over $100,000 worth of Syrian pounds being smuggled across the Lebanese border under the seat of a car.

Turkmenistan: Berdymukhamedov Pledges Support for Trans-Caspian Pipeline |

An energy conference last week in Ashgabat proved an opportunity to see the shifting vectors of Caspian pipeline prospects. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), currently chaired by Lithuania, convened the high-level meeting November 3-4 titled "Integrating Global Energy Markets--Providing Energy Security,” reported.

While the speeches were packed with generalities, such as the need to "discuss instruments for the enhanced engagement of international organizations in the regional and multilateral energy co-operation dialogue" but the conference was largely an opportunity for the EU to promote Western-oriented pipelines -- and see how much Turkmenistan was warming to them.

In a speech to the conference, President Berdymukhamedov did not disappoint, and said European-directed pipelines are “among the most important goals of Turkmenistan’s energy policy” and being "actively developed," reported.