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Monday, 26 December 2011

50 amazing MENA stats - Zawya

The year 2011 has been extraordinary not just for the tectonic shift in the region's political structures, but also the extraordinary pressures and opportunities faced by many regional economies.

With four dictators ousted - including one dead - many others were shaken to the core - the after shocks have reverberated throughout the region in 2011 and will no doubt be felt in 2012.

We identify 50 amazing statistics that highlight the remarkable year:

$5 billion Azerbaijani gas deal to tighten Turkey’s energy corridor role

Turkey has inked a deal at an estimated value of $5 billion to carry Azerbaijani gas to European markets via a pipeline to cross its borders, adding to the country's emerging role as a key energy supply corridor in its region.

Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız and his Azerbaijani counterpart, Natig Aliyev, signed a contract in Ankara on Monday to construct a natural gas pipeline, named the Trans Anadolu Natural Gas Pipeline, to transfer gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz fields to Europe. The pipeline is designed to carry 10 billion cubic meters (cbm) of natural gas to EU markets.

With the deal, the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR), the state-owned Turkish Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) and the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) will set up a consortium for the construction of the pipeline. Energy Ministry officials said third-party international oil and natural gas companies would be allowed to join the consortium later during the construction process. The consortium plans to start construction as soon as possible -- in 2012 -- in order to complete it by late 2017.

Saudi Arabia Forecasts $3.2B Surplus in 2012 - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, forecast a budget surplus of 12 billion riyals ($3.2 billion) next year as the kingdom boosts planned spending while investing to create jobs.
The government expects to spend 690 billion riyals, 19 percent above its target for this year and below actual spending of 804 billion riyals, the Riyadh-based Finance Ministry said on its website today. Total revenue next year is projected at 702 billion riyals, above last year’s target of 540 billion riyal and below this year’s actual revenue of 1.11 trillion riyals.
King Abdullah announced a $130 billion spending plan in the first quarter to build homes and combat unemployment of 10 percent. The program comes amid concerns that Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis will hurt global growth and amid a wave of popular uprisings in the Middle East, triggered in part by unemployment.

MENA stock markets close - December 26, 2012

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)

Saudi Arabian Shares Advance to 5-Month High Before Budget; Yanbu Gains - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark stock index gained to the highest level in almost five months ahead of a budget report by the Arab world’s largest economy.

Yamamah Saudi Cement Co. (YACCO), the kingdom’s third-largest cement company by market value, and Yanbu Cement Co. (YNCCO)rallied to the highest level in more than three years. The Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) rose 0.5 percent to 6,414.47 at the 3:30 p.m. close in Riyadh, the highest level since Aug. 3. The gauge has advanced 5.1 percent so far this month. Bahrain’s measure (BHSEASI) rose the most since March, gaining 1.3 percent.

“Volumes on the Tadawul are climbing up in the final days of 2011,” said Asim Bukhtiar, an equity analyst at Riyad Capital. “The anticipated budget announcement and year-end positioning are the contributing factors.”

Dubai Islamic Bank fraud repayment ordered back to appeals court - The National

Dubai's highest court has rejected half of the US$1 billion (Dh3.67bn) payment six businessmen convicted of defrauding Dubai Islamic Bank have been ordered to make.

The 10-year prison sentences for all the men were upheld by the Court of Cassation, however, and they still must pay a Dh1.8bn fine. The court ordered the Court of Appeal to reconsider the second half of the payment.

That means the repayment of the funds to the Dubai Government will be the subject of a new trial.

Saudi Arabian Shares Swing Between Gains, Losses Before 2012 Budget Report - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark stock index swung between gains and losses on speculation investors are adjusting their holdings ahead of a budget report by the Arab world’s largest economy.
Etihad Etisalat Co. (EEC), the kingdom’s second-largest phone company known as Mobily, dropped 0.5 percent. Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), the world’s largest petrochemicals maker which accounts for 12 percent of the index, was unchanged. The Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) dropped 0.1 percent to 6,373.37 at 1:07 p.m. in Riyadh, trimming the monthly gain to 4.4 percent. The gauge (KWSEIDX) earlier rose as much as 0.3 percent. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200) weakened 0.3 percent.
“Volumes on the Tadawul are climbing up in the final days of 2011,” said Asim Bukhtiar, an equity analyst at Riyad Capital. “The anticipated budget announcement and year-end positioning are the contributing factors.”

UPDATE 1-Qatar T-bills to start trading on exchange | Reuters

Qatar has completed procedures to list government debt instruments for trade on its securities exchange, aiming to stimulate investment in them by commercial banks and other institutions, the central bank said on Monday.

Trade in short-term Qatari Treasury bills will begin on the Qatar Exchange this Thursday, central bank governor Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani said in a statement, with trade in government bonds and sukuk (Islamic bonds) to start "at a later stage".

Listing Qatari government bills and bonds on an exchange, rather than limiting trade to opaque over-the-counter dealings between banks, could make their secondary market prices more transparent and stable, increasing trading activity.

TEXT-S&P FAQ answers queries on Dubai GREs' debt maturities in 2012 | Reuters

Although the Dubai economy is beginning to bounce back, rated Dubai government-related entities are up against significant risks, said Standard & Poor's Ratings Services in a report, "Dubai Government-Related Entities Face Debt Maturities And Refinancing Issues In 2012," published today on RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal.

"Risks linked to the weakening global economic outlook, the Arab Spring, and volatile equity and bond markets have raised concerns as Dubai GREs face large debt maturities and refinancing needs next year," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Tommy Trask.

Standard & Poor's rates five Dubai-based companies that it considers to be GREs under its criteria: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DP World Ltd. ,Emaar Properties PJSC, DIFC Investments LLC, and Jebel Ali Free Zone (FZE). In our ratings, we factor in our view of the likelihood and extent of any extraordinary support that the Dubai government would provide to these GREs in the event of their financial distress. The results range from no uplift for DP World and Emaar to three notches of uplift for DEWA and DIFC Investments (see table).

Abu Dhabi GDP May Exceed $200 Billion in 2012, Al Bayan Reports - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi’s gross domestic product may rise to 750 billion dirhams ($204 billion) next year from an anticipated 691 billion dirhams in 2011, Al Bayan reported, citing forecasts by the emirate’s Chamber of Commerce.
The Persian Gulf nation’s real GDP probably will grow 4 percent in constant real prices according to the forecast, the newspaper said.

Dubai's Mashreq leads loan syndicate for Bank of Ceylon | Alrroya

Dubai lender Mashreq said on Monday it had led a syndication of banks to raise a $140-million loan for Sri Lanka's Bank of Ceylon.

Ten regional banks participated in the facility, including Oman's Bank Sohar and Bank Dhofar, Qatar's Doha Bank and UAE lenders Emirates NBD and Union National Bank.

The statement did not provide details on the terms of the loan, including the tenor and pricing, but said the deal was oversubscribed.

Aldar Properties' board to discuss asset sales | Alrroya

Aldar Properties said on Monday its board will meet this week to discuss asset sales as the Abu Dhabi developer, bailed out once by the government in 2011, struggles with a property downturn.

Aldar, part-owned by the government, said the board will meet Wednesday to "consider the sale by the company of certain of its assets," as well as other operational matters.

The developer has already sold assets to the Abu Dhabi government, including its Ferrari World theme park and the Yas Marina Formula One circuit.

gulfnews : Global growth likely to drift, Al Hameli says

Minister of Energy Mohammad Bin Dha'en Al Hameli said yesterday that world economic growth might taper off a bit next year, but didn't say if he saw that impacting global oil production or crude prices.
"Next year, the economic growth may be the same [as this year] more or less, or a little less," Al Hameli told reporters when asked about his outlook on the global oil market next year.
Al Hameli was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council oil ministers in the capital. He also said that the UAE, on average, was producing about 2.6 million barrels of oil per day in December.

Dubai aims to reduce spending next year - The National

The Dubai Government aims to cut its spending by 4.5 per cent next year as part of a long-running effort to streamline operations while continuing to invest in infrastructure.

A budget approved yesterday by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, called for Dh32.26 billion (US$8.78bn) of government spending next year against anticipated revenues of Dh30.4bn, resulting in a projected Dh1.8bn deficit.

That spending was about Dh1.42bn less than the amount outlined in this year's budget, reflecting an effort to improve efficiency and save money across government departments.

Held back by a perfect storm - The National

Peter Gotke, the vice president of depositary receipts at BNY Mellon, talks to Tom Arnold about what is hindering the UAE's markets.

What are the fundamental problems with UAE stock markets?

The obvious problem is the lack of liquidity and the real nub is why investors are staying out. Back in 2005 to 2008, we had a big run as hedge funds and foreign investors came looking for fast returns and as soon as the financial crisis happened they exited and the UAE got burned from a stock market perspective. It was a perfect storm and since then we've not seen a recovery.

Libya Says Oil Output Tops One Million Barrels a Day as Industry Recovers - Bloomberg

Libya, holder of Africa’s biggest oil reserves, is now pumping “more than a million” barrels a day as the oil industry recovers from months of armed conflict, the chairman of its state-run National Oil Corp. said.
The country will resume normal oil production by the middle of next year, Nuri Berruien told reporters in Cairo today, where he attended a meeting of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OAPEC.
The North African nation was pumping about 1.6 million barrels a day in January, before the armed uprising began in February that eventually ousted leader Muammar Qaddafi.

Still a way to go for UAE markets - The National

It was the turn of the millennium and a new era of investment dawned.

Both the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) and the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) were launched in 2000, changing the way people invested their money; from unofficial over-the-counter buying and selling to regulated electronic trading.

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More than a decade later and UAE markets have realised only some of the lofty goals envisioned at their launch.

Dubai Waterfront's cranes now for sale - The National

The skyline was once dominated by them. Construction cranes used to tower above Dubai like gigantic symbols of success.

But now, in a sign that times are changing, Nakheel is selling unused construction cranes intended for the Dubai Waterfront development, once billed as the largest waterfront project in the world.

The developer behind Palm Jumeirah and The World has placed an advertisement in a newspaper offering 13 "new and unused" tower cranes.

gulfnews : Dubai benchmarks corporate social responsibility

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) has started awarding the CSR (corporate social responsibility) Label to companies to encourage CSR activities.
Du, QBG and the Nail Spa were bestowed with the Dubai Chamber CSR Label for their pathbreaking initiatives in terms of best CSR and sustainability practices.
In an attempt to raise awareness of the importance of corporate social responsibility and the growing need for the business community to play a more prominent part in promoting such practices, DCCI developed the CSR programme under the Centre of Responsible Business in late 2010.