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Qatar’s stocks advanced to the highest level in almost six months after leadership changes in Italy and Greece bolstered investor optimism that Europe’s debt crisis may be contained and as oil rose.
Qatar National Bank SAQ, the Persian Gulf country’s biggest bank by assets, gained 1.4 percent. Masraf Al Rayan, an Islamic lender, headed for the highest close in more than five years. The QE Index climbed 0.5 percent to 8,750.94, the highest intraday level since May 12, at 10:15 a.m. in Doha. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index increased 0.3 percent.
“Political developments confirmed in Europe with the resignation of Silvio Berlusconi should support the market,” said Ahmed Talhaoui, head of asset management at Abu Dhabi-based Royal Capital PJSC. “Oil prices are still supportive in spite of global growth concerns.”
Oman has joined the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, an intergovernmental organization of the world's leading gas exporters, following a decision made at the forum's ministerial meeting, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said on Sunday.
"Today a decision has been made on admitting Oman to the organization. Requests for admission from several other countries are currently under consideration," Shmatko said.
Shmatko said the forum's ministerial meeting also spoke for the need to expand its powers and areas of activity and pay attention to new technologies, deepen analytical and expert work.
Emirates airline placed a blockbuster order for 50 Boeing 777 jetliners at the Dubai Air Show on Sunday, underscoring the confidence brimming among fast-growing Gulf airlines despite growing fears of stalling global growth.
The Dubai government-owned carrier, expanding its role as the world's largest operator of Boeing's most profitable plane, said the deal was worth $18 billion, the largest commercial order by value in the U.S. planemaker's history.
Reuters reported on Friday that Emirates, which has led efforts by Gulf-based carriers to challenge European and Asian carriers by establishing the region as a major East-West hub, would place an order of between 30 and 50 Boeing 777 aircraft.
After a very tough week in eurozone politics with the economic crisis claiming the heads of two prime ministers, markets will likely pause a little before a resumption of attacks on whatever they perceive to be the weakest link.
But it will take only a small breath of optimism to push the price of oil from $99 into triple digits. This 15-week high for black oil might well be interpreted as another side of the market judgment on recent events: that things are not nearly so bad as they appear in some parts of the eurozone.
The ancients who walked the Silk Road navigated vast distances and risked their lives to transport the most coveted materials of the day. They followed not roads or sign posts, but an array of arteries marked by mountains, seas and stars. In facilitating this trade, these civilisations shared far more than resources — they shared ideas, innovations and philosophies.
Today, silk and spices don't drive economies, but ideas do. As we look at modern trade, it is clear a new virtual Silk Road connects the world and, like the Silk Road of old, its routes are clearly delineated by leading economic powers, from the USA, to Europe and onwards to China and Japan.
Singapore, Finland, and Korea are some of the notable recent additions to this path, having transformed their economies to thrive on the trade of knowledge and ideas in just one generation. These are nations that lead in innovation, which bring the philosophy of science, technology and innovation to the core of their economies and whose new ideas drive trade and progress and global competitive advantage while advancing their societies at the same time.
Mubadala is now part-owner of the EMI library of music, which includes such popular artists as Rihanna and Norah Jones.
The Abu Dhabi-based company, the investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government, has confirmed to Gulf News that it was part of a consortium led by Sony/ATV — itself a a joint venture between Sony Corp and the Michael Jackson estate — that announced on Friday it would pay $2.2 billion for EMI's publishing division.
"We can confirm that Mubadala is participating in an investment consortium that together with Sony will acquire EMI Music Publishing. We will not be disclosing any further details on the transaction," a spokesman said.
Falcon Private Bank, owned by Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments, will achieve its target of $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) in assets under management (AUM) in the UAE by the end of 2011, helped by Gulf investors moving away from traditional investment hubs, its chief executive said.
"People in this region don't go by default to Switzerland anymore," Eduardo Leeman, said. "People want to diversify geographically their assets so the default is now Singapore and Dubai."
Leeman told Reuters in April that it aimed to achieve $1 billion AUM in the UAE by the end of the year, a target which the bank would meet "after the [Formula One] race", he added.
The first major oil company has moved into Iraqi Kurdistan, a sign that Baghdad may have relaxed its hard-line stance against producers there.
ExxonMobil, the Houston-based giant that operates a field in southern Iraq, has agreed to explore six blocks in the region, according to a communications adviser for the Kurdistan regional government in Erbil.
Kurdistan is dominated by smaller, risk-taking producers rather than majors such as ExxonMobil, who pump oil in Iraq's southern region in part because Baghdad claims the Kurdish contracts are illegitimate and threatens to blacklist companies.
Iraq, home to the world’s fourth- largest oil reserves, has reached a tentative agreement on crude exploration and revenue with the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, according to an adviser to Prime Minister Nouri Kamil al-Maliki.
The central government and the Kurdish Regional Government have reached “mutually acceptable” solutions to long-standing disputes over oil, territory and Kurdish armed forces, Adal Barwari, al-Maliki’s adviser on Kurdish affairs, said in a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty interview published today on the U.S.- government funded news outlet’s website.
Barwari said in the interview that al-Maliki and Kurdish Prime Minister Barham Salih held talks in Baghdad in late October and appointed a trio of committees to hammer out their differences. Those committees completed their final reports on Nov. 5 and submitted them to al-Maliki and Salih, Barwari was cited as saying in the interview.
Entrepreneurs in the Gulf region are turning to venture capital firms amid a bank funding squeeze made worse by the European sovereign debt crisis.
The pace by which both new and established businesses are obtaining funds through these means is picking up after years of little growth, observers say.
The number of venture capital deals done through structured funds and not direct, seed or angel investments has totalled 43 during the past three years to the end of last month. That compares with just 16 deals conducted during the previous three years, between 2006 and 2008, according to the Zawya Private Equity Monitor.
Boeing Co. is confident about prospects for the Dubai Air Show, as the U.S. aircraft maker comes to the Middle East with two new planes in service and 700 commitments for its 737 MAX, a senior executive said.
“I expect to have a very good show,” Jim Albaugh, the chief executive officer of Boeing’s commercial jet division, told journalists yesterday at a briefing ahead of the show’s opening today. “They get better and better every year,”
The company brought the 787 Dreamliner into commercial service last month after three-and-a-half years of delays, and Boeing has also handed its 747-8 freighter over for commercial operation. That’s giving the company a boost after being overrun by European rival Airbus SAS on orders for smaller jets at the Paris Air Show four months ago.