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Sunday, 18 December 2011

MENA stock markets close - December 18, 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)

Tough year ahead as Dubai faces financial hurdles - The National

Dubai's financial supremos will have one subject at the head of their agenda in the next 12 months - trying to keep the emirate on top of a demanding schedule of debt repayments in tough financial times.

It is becoming an annual challenge. Ever since the Dubai World crisis of 2009, when the property developer sought to restructure some US$25 billion (Dh91.82bn) of debt, the emirate's financial strategists have struggled with the debt problem, a legacy of the incredible property-fuelled boom years between 2002 and 2008.

So far, they have managed to stay on track through a mixture of hard-nosed deals with creditors, extending the terms of repayment of some, and meeting other repayments, mainly to bondholders, on time and in full. They also had the benefit of a cash injection totalling $20bn from energy-rich Abu Dhabi.

Emirates NBD Price Estimate Cut 20% at HC on Loans, Possible Amlak Deal - Bloomberg

Emirates NBD PJSC (EMIRATES), the United Arab Emirates’ biggest bank by assets, had its price estimate cut 20 percent at HC Brokerage, citing rising loan-loss charges and a possible acquisition of mortgage lender Amlak Finance PJSC.

“We think an Emirates NBD acquisition of Amlak has become more likely and believe Emirates NBD may also have to absorb some of the refinancing needs of government owned entities in 2012, particularly if European and U.S. banks reduce their exposure to the region,” analysts Jaap Meijer and Kareem Ghaly wrote in a note dated today.

The shares of Amlak Finance, an Islamic mortgage company part-owned by Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), were suspended in November 2008 after the global credit crisis blocked their access to borrowings. A government committee studying an overhaul of Amlak “continues to explore the possibilities of a balance-sheet restructuring,” the company said in November.

Egypt Shares Fall Most in Month After Deadly Clashes in Cairo; Comi Drops - Bloomberg

Egypt’s benchmark stock index tumbled the most in almost a month, after clashes in Cairo this weekend between security forces and protesters killed 10 people, raising concern economic growth will slow further.
Orascom Construction Industries, the country’s biggest publicly traded builder, declined to the lowest level since Nov. 23. Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE (COMI) lost the most in a week. The EGX 30 Index (EGX30) dropped 3.4 percent, the most since Nov. 22, to 3,786.53 at 12:44 p.m. in Cairo, extending its slump this year to 47 percent. Persian Gulf shares rose, with the Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200), adding 0.3 percent.
Violence flared when the military and police forces moved to end a sit-in outside the Cabinet headquarters. The clashes followed the second round of parliamentary elections, the first vote after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in February. The turmoil that accompanied the revolution slowed economic growth in the fiscal year that ended in June to 1.8 percent, from 5.1 percent in the previous 12 months.

Times of Oman: GDP expected to grow 5-6 per cent in Oman

Hamoud bin Sanjour al-Zedjali, executive president of the Central Bank of Oman, said in a statement to Oman News Agency (ONA) on the sidelines of Oman Islamic Economic Forum that the Sultanate’s GDP is expected to witness 5-6 per cent growth.

Al-Zedjali attributed this development to the high oil prices and increased public expenditure on development projects.

He added that the initial figures and indicators for 2012 budget point out that the budget will be based on estimating the oil price at $75 per barrel. This price is less than the price prevalent now. While the budget will include a deficit, it will greatly decrease if the oil prices remain at the current level or more.

SABIC up on H1 dividend; UAE markets trade flat - Stocks -

Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) rose after saying it would issue a SAR3-per-share ($0.80) dividend for the second half of 2011, helping the kingdom's index extend gains.

Shares in SABIC, the world's largest chemicals producer, climbed 1.3 percent to rebound from Saturday's two-week low.

Other petrochemical stocks also advanced, with Saudi Kayan Petrochemical up 0.9 percent and Alujain climbing 1.4 percent.

Nasdaq Dubai CEO confident of future IPO listings - Emirates 24/7

The chief executive of Nasdaq Dubai has said that the bourse will be in a strong position to attract IPOs as market confidence recovers. In a media statement announcing a 63 per cent year-on-year slump in trading volumes for the month of November, Jeff Singer said on Sunday that the Dubai bourse continues to prepare for new listings despite the lack of liquidity.
“In a challenging period for the UAE’s capital markets, in which trading values across its stock exchanges have declined, Nasdaq Dubai continues to strengthen its infrastructure and prepare for new product listings,” Jeff Singer, CEO of Nasdaq Dubai, said.
“Institutional liquidity combined with an active retail base will put Nasdaq Dubai in a strong position to attract further initial public offerings as market confidence recovers,” he added in a media statement.

Abu Dhabi’s state-run Taqa sells oil and gas production business in Saskatchewan, Canada - The Washington Post

The state-backed Abu Dhabi National Energy Company says it is selling oil and gas businesses in Saskatchewan, Canada.
The company, which goes by the name Taqa, said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi stock exchange Sunday that the properties produce the equivalent of about 4,000 barrels of oil per day.
It didn’t identify the buyer or provide financial terms for the deal.

WAM | UAE calls on WTO members to remove trade barriers

The UAE firmly believes that World Trade Organization member states must continue removing obstacles to trade to maintain the function of global commerce as an engine of growth, of jobs, of development, and of poverty reduction, Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Foreign Trade, told the WTO's 8th Ministerial Conference here.

Delivering the UAE address, Sheikha Lubna drew attention of the highest WTO's gathering to the UAE initiative to liberalize raw materials and aluminum sectors and call upon your support to adopt this initiative.

''Given the urgency of the global challenges we are facing, our meeting represents an issue of utmost importance. Circumstances are always changing, so it is crucial that institutions like the WTO continue to adapt to new realities.

Finance is the only sector still really depressed in the UAE « ArabianMoney

Coming up towards the end of 2011 and the UAE can point to a year of substantial recovery thanks to record oil revenues and safe haven status in the Arab Spring. Its $340 billion GDP, the second largest in the Arab world is up more than three per cent.
Only the local financial sector is still locked in depression with even media picking up a bit. Contractors are much busier in Dubai, though less so in Abu Dhabi. Real estate agents can’t find enough villas to sell in Dubai.
The announcement at the end of the last week that the UAE bourses will again not be joining the MSCI emerging markets index seemed indicative of a bad year for finance ending on a bad note. So the fifth richest per capita nation remains with its stock market classified as a frontier market alongside Bangladesh and Laos.

gulfnews : Region's stock markets expected to see lower trading activity

The region's stock markets are expected to see lower trading activity this week amid strong potential for portfolio re-allocation and lower foreign fund flows with Christmas approaching, say experts.
"The new unrest in Egypt and the recent drop in oil prices may put some downward pressure on the regional markets," Anastasios Dalgiannakis, Head of Trading at Dubai-based Mubasher Financial Services, told Gulf News.
‘Generally, [trading] activity should remain muted as we approach year-end. Markets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are expected to remain flat after last week's sell-off in Dubai," he added. Regional markets will be range-bound during the week, said another market participant, who didn't want to be identified.

UAE GDP to peak at Dh1.248 trln in 2011 - Emirates 24/7

The UAE’s GDP is expected to peak at Dh1.248 trillion in current prices this year to maintain its position as the largest in the Arab world after Saudi Arabia’s economy, according to an official study.
The expected level this year will be nearly 198 times the country’s nominal gross domestic product of Dh6.5 billion when it was established in 1971, the Dubai Economic Council said in the study, dubbed “the document of the union era.”
Real GDP is forecast to grow by around 3.3 per cent in 2011 and 3.8 per cent in 2012compared with around 2.3 per cent in 2010, the report said.

Qatar 2012 outlook positive but growth to slow-IMF | Reuters

Qatar's economic growth will slow next year and it faces an increased risk of lower oil and gas prices due to weaker global demand, but the overall outlook for its economy is positive, the International Monetary Fund said on Sunday.
The world's top liquefied natural gas exporter saw its economy expand at a double-digit clip in 2011 and it plans to spend heavily on infrastructure projects before it hosts the 2022 soccer World Cup.
"The economic outlook for 2012 remains positive, despite increased external risks. Real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate is projected to moderate to 6 percent in 2012," the IMF said in a statement after concluding its annual consultation with Qatar on Dec. 1. For this year, the IMF has estimated growth of 19 percent.

India is emerging gas market for Qatar: Doha Bank CEO - The Economic Times

India is emerging as one of the largest gas markets for Qatar and offers opportunities for two-way investment partnership, a top Doha Bank official has said.
"Cooperation in Power sector between India and Qatar is under way and New Delhi has evidenced keen interest in importing additional natural gas from Qatar in the recently concluded World Petroleum Congress," said R Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank.
In an interview to PTI here, he said many Indian enterprises have active developed relationships in Qatar market through partnerships, agencies and have set up their offices - L&T, Tata Projects, Voltas, Dodsal and Punj Llyod to name a few.

Emerging borrowers face rollover risk in 2012

Scarce dollar funding and a retrenchment in bank lending will force up premiums for emerging market countries and companies refinancing debt next year, adding to strains on public finances and potentially triggering a surge in corporate defaults.
JPMorgan calculates that emerging sovereign debtors will need to find $63.6 billion to cover coupon and redemption payments in 2012, while corporates must raise $107 billion. Total issuance should be around $245 billion, the bank forecasts.
Such volumes would not usually portend difficulty — even this year, emerging bond issuance has been over $250 billion, not far off last year’s record. But with markets still awaiting a solution to the euro zone’s debt crisis, 2012 could be tough for entities that need to refinance debt, or secure new money.

gulfnews : Political challenges affect Bahrain rank

With a few exceptions, Bahrain's economy has suffered in its recent performance in international indices. Certainly, this is challenging, as the country continues to struggle to find a solution to the most serious political challenge since independence from Britain in 1971.
Only last week, Bahrain celebrated the 40th anniversary of its independence amidst an ongoing political crisis. The challenge emerged in mid-February, with demonstrators taking to the streets, calling for democratic changes in the kingdom. The demands included focusing on the formation of an elected government and a fully-empowered legislative body as well as equal opportunities for all.
Looking at positive developments, Bahrain was the only Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country that succeeded in improving its ranking in the 2011 version of Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The kingdom advanced by two notches to arrive at position 46 globally, behind fellow GCC states of Qatar and the UAE. Transparency International issues the annual CPI ranking countries based on perceived or known corrupt practices when it comes to winning business favours.