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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Volumes, foreign limits may deny UAE, Qatar MSCI upgrade | Reuters

Low market liquidity in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar's failure to raise foreign ownership limits threaten to deny MSCI emerging market status to the Gulf neighbours for a third time on Wednesday.

Index provider MSCI rates both the UAE and Qatar as frontier markets. It opted not to upgrade the pair at its reviews in 2009 and 2010, and was due to taken a decision in June this year but postponed its verdict to Dec. 14.

It said the delay was partly to allow market players more time to assess new delivery-versus-payment (DvP) settlement systems, which some of the bourses introduced in 2011.

MENA stock markets close - December 13, 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)

Qatar’s Shares Retreat Most in Three Week as Europe Rating-Cut Concerns - Bloomberg

Qatar’s benchmark stock index declined the most in more than three weeks as emerging-market stocks fell after Fitch Ratings joined Moody’s Investors Service in warning that Europe faces lower credit ratings.

Industries Qatar QSC (IQCD), the Middle East’s second-biggest petrochemicals company, dropped to the lowest level this month. Qatar Telecom QSC (QTEL), the country’s biggest company by revenue, retreated a second time this week. Qatar’s QE Index (DSM) dropped 0.4 percent, the most since Nov. 21, to 8,763.78 at the 1 p.m. close in Doha. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) sank 1.3 percent, the steepest drop since Oct. 3, as trading volumes climbed to the highest since March.

Fitch and Moody’s said yesterday that a European Union summit last week offered little help in ending the region’s debt crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.3 percent yesterday, the MSCI AC Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) dropped today to the lowest this month and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell as much as 1.1 percent.

Persian Gulf Stocks: Drake & Scull, Oman Telecommunications - Businessweek

Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index dropped the most since Oct. 3, losing 1.3 percent to 6,191.51 at the 3:30 p.m. close in Riyadh. Oman’s MSM30 Index lost 0.2 percent, snapping its longest winning streak since March last year.

Mideast private banking bright as deals lag - MarketWatch

A number of banks are stepping up their private banking operations in the Middle East, despite sluggish business in other areas, as they compete to offer wealth management services to a growing number of ultra-wealthy individuals in the region.

With deal-making activity subdued in the wake of the Arab Spring, many international banks have been trimming their investment banking operations in the Middle East. But private banking is one of the few bright spots, with several institutions actively hiring private bankers and opening new offices across the Gulf to cater for wealthy clients.

"We are witnessing a recent increase of licensed branches, rep offices and advisory teams, especially in Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riyadh and Dubai," said Daniel Diemers, a principal with Booz & Company.

Value of UAE's stalled construction projects hits $958bn - Construction -

The value of construction projects scrapped or on hold in the UAE soared to $958bn in the 12 months to October, Citigroup said Tuesday, signalling the Gulf state’s battered project market is still some way from recovery.

The Gulf country, which accounts for more than half of the stalled or cancelled projects in the MENA region, saw $20bn worth of developments added to the list over the last year.

More cancellations are likely as the UAE battles a fresh slowdown in infrastructure projects, Citi analysts said in the MENA construction projects tracker report.

IEA urges Opec to maintain supplies -

Opec was urged to maintain its current production level of more than 30m barrels of oil a day through all of 2012 by the Western countries’ oil watchdog to help rebuild depleted reserves following a year of upheaval in the Middle East.

The call from the International Energy Agency comes as ministers from the oil cartel gather in Vienna for a meeting on Wednesday to discuss production and consider growing fears of a global economic slowdown with oil prices still above $100 a barrel.

The Paris-based IEA said that Opec production surged in November to the highest level in more than three years to 30.7m b/d, boosted by higher supplies from Saudi Arabia and Libya, which suffered disruption earlier in the year following the civil war.

Most Gulf markets trade lower as global drop weighs - Stocks -

Saudi Arabia's shares fell for a third day straight as pressure in world stocks weighed on sentiment.

The index declined 0.4 percent to 6,247 points, down from Saturday's four-month high.

Large-caps fell with Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) down 1.1 percent, Al Rajhi Bank slipping 0.7 percent and Samba Financial Group declining 1.7 percent.

Fitch affirms Al Rajhi A+ rating outlook is stable -

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Al Rajhi Banks Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at A+ with a Stable Outlook and its Viability Rating at a. A full list of ratings is at the end of this comment.

Al Rajhis IDRs and Support Rating reflect Fitchs view that there is an extremely high probability that the Saudi Arabian authorities would support the bank, if required. This view is based on Al Rajhis leading retail franchise in the Kingdom and its systemic importance within the domestic banking system.

Oman looking at development of shale gas; imports from Iran: Times of Oman

In an unprecedented move in the entire Gulf region, Oman is planning to explore shale gas in concession areas of Petroleum Development Oman (PDO).

Studies are now on to check the viability of developing shale gas fields in Oman, Khalifa Mubarak Al Hinai, advisor at the Ministry of Oil and Gas, told journalists.

“At the moment we are not drilling. It is just a study,” noted Khalifa, on the sidelines of Gas Arabia Summit here yesterday.

StanChart: the new corridors of power | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times –

The title says it all really: Fragile West, Resilient East.

Standard Chartered has released a 2012 look-ahead, and the message is clear – next year will see a two-speed global economy. Just don’t call it decoupling.

Predicting a recession in Europe, slow growth in the US and faster growth in Asia is hardly news. It’s the knock-on effect of this growth pattern that is interesting. With the west in trouble and the eurozone in crisis, emerging economies are creating closer south-south ties based on what StanChart calls “new trade corridors”.

gulfnews : Nakheel to make profit payment soon

Real estate developer Nakheel says that it will pay the profit payment due on its sukuk to creditors this week.

"Nakheel is pleased to confirm that the profit payment of 10 per cent due on December 15, on the Trade Creditor Sukuk issued in late August, will be paid on time," the company said in a statement yesterday.

Necessary arrangements have been made to enable Deutsche Bank, the registrar and agent for sukuk, to make the payment, the firm said.

gulfnews : Saudi exports surge ahead of Opec meet

Saudi Arabia exported 8.1 million barrels a day (bpd) of oil in November, according to a senior Saudi industry source, 1.2 million more than its average daily exports during the first nine months of 2011.

Saudi Arabia exported an average of 6.9 million bpd in the nine-month period from January 1 to September 30, according to the latest official data published by the Joint Data Initiative (Jodi), as the kingdom helped make up for lost Libyan output in early 2011.

But the world's leading exporter boosted exports above eight million bpd ahead of tomorrow's Opec meeting in Vienna, after boosting crude production above 10 million bpd in November, compared to an average of 9.2 million bpd from January to September 2011, with exports supplemented by stocks.

A year of muddled results for Emirates' banks - The National

The UAE's banks came into this year hoping against hope for recovery after almost three years of stress, a period punctuated by a surge in bad loans in the wake of the global financial crisis and the bursting property bubble.

In some ways, they got what they wished. Profits at all of the country's five biggest banks by assets rose in the first nine months of the year.

Emirates NBD, the largest, made Dh2.3 billion (US$626.1 million) during that period, almost surpassing its profits for all of last year. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, the third-largest, is on track to more than quadruple profits this year.

Kuwait's Global says creditors agree repayment delay | Reuters

Creditors of Kuwait's Global Investment House have agreed to delay repayment of the principal of their debt to the middle of next year, the company said on Monday, so it can undertake a second restructuring.

Global, which is battling tough market conditions, also said in a statement that all creditors had agreed to delay an increase in interest payments to the same date, June 10 2012.

The investment bank said in September it was asking lenders for a delay to principal repayments on debt due in December to allow for a renegotiation of a $1.7 billion debt restructuring plan it agreed in 2009.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank says repays $800 mln sukuk | Reuters

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has paid in full an $800 million five-year sukuk, or Islamic bond, which matured on Dec 12, it said in a statement on Monday.

ADIB, the second-biggest Islamic bank in the United Arab Emirates, which last month sold a $500 million five-year Islamic bond, issued the maturing sukuk in 2006 as part of a $5 billion trust certificate programme.

Abu Dhabi to buy 9.9% stake in Thames Water -

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, is to buy just under 10 per cent of Thames Water from a consortium of investors led by Australian investment bank Macquarie.

Macquarie declined to reveal terms for the sale of a 9.9 per cent stake in Kemble Water, the holding company for the UK utility.

Thames Water, which provides sewerage services to 14m and water to 8.8m customers in London and the Thames valley, was sold for an enterprise value of £8bn ($12.5bn) by German utility group RWE in 2006, which included £4.8bn in cash and £3.2bn in debt.

Gulfsands shuts down production in Syria -

The tightening of European Union sanctions against Syria has forced Sinochem, the Chinese state-controlled company, and Gulfsands Petroleum, the UK-listed oil and gas explorer, to shut down production in the country.

Shares in Gulfsands fell by 16¼p, or 9 per cent, to 170p on Monday as the company said it had invoked “force majeure” conditions in its production-sharing agreement with Syria following the extension of sanctions to General Petroleum Corporation.

Syria’s state-owned GPC largely controls foreign investment and co-ordinates oil and gas production in the country.