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Thursday, 29 December 2011

Saudi to set bourse opening rules by January 15: source | Reuters

Saudi Arabia is pressing ahead with a long-awaited plan to open up its stock market to foreigners and is now hoping to formalize its rules by January 15, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

"The dialogue is clearly intensifying, and they are looking at mid-January for publishing the term sheet for access," said the source, who declined to be identified.

The country has been considering a wider opening of its market for several years and, earlier this month, two industry sources revealed that it planned to offer a limited direct foreign ownership. At the time, sources expected this to happen by mid to late first quarter of 2012.

Qatar Holding's Stake In Lagardere Rises To 10.07% -

Qatar's sovereign-wealth fund boosted its stake in French media group Lagardere SA (MMB.FR) to 10.07% on Dec. 23, France's stock market regulator said in a filing on Thursday.

Qatar Holding LLC now holds 7.87% of the voting shares in Lagardere, the filing said.

The regulator didn't say what stake Qatar Holding held in Lagardere before Dec. 23.

Lagardere is a media group controlled by businessman Arnaud Lagardere and controls 7.5% of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. EADS NV (EAD.FR).

Aldar bailout: day 2 | beyondbrics –

Aldar, Abu Dhabi’s biggest developer, saw it shares jump 9.5 per cent on Thursday on the back of a massive government bailout package unveiled the day before. And Abu Dhabi’s real estate index took confidence too, bouncing some 7.5 per cent .

On Wednesday, Aldar announced it is selling assets to the government and receiving debt support to the tune of $4.6bn, after receiving a rescue package of $5.2bn in January. That brings the total amount of government aid in Aldar’s 2011 begging bowl to near $10bn. No wonder shareholders are so happy.

That figure is in line with the financial injection that neighbouring Dubai had to pump into the listing ship Nakheel in late 2009 as the business hub, the second largest emirate after oil rich Abu Dhabi, almost teetered over into default.

MENA stock markets close - December 29, 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)

Abu Dhabi Shares Gain as Aldar Gets $4.57 Billion State Support - Bloomberg

Aldar Properties PJSC (ALDAR) surged the most in more than two years, helping to push up Abu Dhabi’s benchmark index, after the emirate’s government agreed to buy assets valued at $4.57 billion to support the company.
Aldar jumped 9.5 percent, the most since Dec. 14, 2009. Sorouh Real Estate Co., (SOROUH) the second-biggest Abu Dhabi developer, gained 7.6 percent. The benchmark ADX General Index (ADSMI) climbed 1.5 percent, the most since May 2010, to 2,402.28 at the 2:00 p.m. close in the emirate, trimming its losses this year to 12 percent. Dubai’s DFM General Index (DFMGI) rose 0.5 percent.
The agreement “shows the significant support that the government has for Aldar,” said Samer Darwiche, a Dubai-based analyst at Gulfmena Investments. “The market is taking the news very positively.”

European Banks Seek Buyers for Mideast Loans - Bloomberg

European banks, led by those from France and Belgium, are seeking to sell Persian Gulf loan books to Arab banks to help raise cash as the sovereign-debt crisis drags on, bankers familiar with the offerings said.
France’s BNP Paribas SA (BNP) and Societe Generale SA (GLE), Belgium- based Dexia SA (DEXB) and KBC Groep NV (KBC), and Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP) and UniCredit SpA (UCG) are among lenders seeking buyers for project finance and corporate loans in the region, five bankers who were approached with deals said, declining to be identified because the information is private. The offers were made over the past six months, they said.
Europe’s banks are curtailing some types of lending and selling businesses to meet regulators’ demands for higher capital as the debt crisis worsens. Banks across Europe have pledged to cut more than 950 billion euros ($1.2 trillion) of assets over the next two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Serco acquires Mubadala subsidiary -

Serco announced today that, to meet the increasing demand for complex facilities management services, it has acquired JBI Properties Services Company LLC (JBI).

Prior to the sale, JBI, which specialises in integrated facilities management services, was a wholly owned subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company PJSC (Mubadala).

The acquisition will build on Serco’s existing Facilities Management capabilities in the UAE which include the successful operation of Dubai Metro stations and depots, the UAE University in Al Ain and New York University currently being built on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi.

Industries Qatar sells real estate stake amid grim property outlook | Reuters

Industries Qatar (IQ) sold its stake in a local real estate firm for $44 million, the Gulf Arab region's second-largest chemical producer by market value said on Thursday, as the property sector faces low demand and growing supply.

IQ had held a 34-percent stake in Fereej Real Estate Company, which was set up in 2008 in a joint venture with a Gulf International Services unit and Qatar Real Estate Co. (Alaqaria). The latter had 33-percent stakes each.

"In view of the development in the real estate segment, the company has decided to proceed with the liquidation," IQ said in a filing to the Qatar stock exchange.

WAM | UAE's CB says money supply M0 increased by 2.3% to AED 53.2b by end of Nov.

The Central Bank of the UAE on Thursday announced that money supply M0 (currency in circulation + currency at banks) increased by 2.3%. from AED 52.0 billion at the end of October 2011 to AED 53.2 billion at the end of November of the same year.

"Money supply aggregate, M1 (currency in circulation plus monetary deposits; current accounts and call accounts at banks) increased by 2.2%, from AED 258.8 billion at the end of October to AED 264.6 billion at the end of November of 2011," it said in an emailed press release.

Gulf Times – Qatar GDP jumps 40% in Q3 on gas expansion

Qatar’s nominal GDP increased almost 40% to QR164.8bn in the third quarter compared with the previous-year period on the back of expanding gas output, the Qatar Statistics Authority said yesterday.
Nominal GDP in the third quarter of 2010 stood at QR118.1bn, the QSA said.
The mining and quarrying sector, which includes the key gas and oil portfolios, rose 57% in current prices to QR98bn in the third quarter of this year compared with QR62.4bn in Q3, 2010.

Abu Dhabi Shares Rise Most in Three Weeks on Aldar State Support - Businessweek

Abu Dhabi shares advanced the most in three weeks, led by Aldar Properties PJSC after the emirate’s government agreed to buy assets valued at 16.8 billion dirhams ($4.6 billion) to support the company.

Aldar jumped 9.5 percent, the most since December 2010. Sorouh Real Estate Co. surged 7.6 percent. The benchmark ADX General Index climbed 0.8 percent, the most since Dec. 4, to 2,385.54 at 10:44 a.m. in the emirate, trimming its losses this year to 12 percent. Dubai’s DFM General Index rose 0.3 percent.

The agreement “shows the significant support that the government has for Aldar,” said Samer Darwiche, a Dubai-based analyst at Gulfmena Investments. “The market is taking the news very positively.”

$10bn Aldar bailout mirrors Abu Dhabi’s $25 billion rescue of Dubai two years ago « ArabianMoney

The second part of a $10 billion bailout of property developer Aldar by Abu Dhabi is very much a re-run of the $25 billion rescue of Dubai two years ago. In both cases a property boom went bust leaving huge debts, half-built projects and an oversupply of real estate.

The aftermath is debts that have to be rescheduled, consolidated and assets sold down. There is also a period of cutbacks and austerity that follows a period characterized by easy money and rapid growth.

South Stream About To Take Shape

Turkey is the biggest foreign buyer of Russian natural gas after Germany. Through the Russia-Turkey Blue Stream pipe under the Black Sea alone, it is receiving 16 billion cubic metres each year. Talks in Moscow Wednesday between its Energy Minister Taner Yildiz and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin produced agreements to intensify the Blue Stream flow and also the flow of Russian natural gas to Turkey through pipelines laid across Ukraine, Rumania and Bulgaria. Both updated supply contracts will stay in force for over 20 years. The Moscow talks also brought another important result, a green light for the planned South Stream pipeline linking Russia to Southeastern Europe to cross the Black Sea economic zone of Turkey.

According to Gazprom head Alexei Miller, groundbreaking on the South Stream project is already in sight:

“Turkey’s green light is a decision of milestone significance. It means that the South Stream pipe will be built as planned, before 2016. Late 2015 should see the first deliveries through the pipe.”

Oil price falls as Saudis trump Iran threat

Oil prices fell on Wednesday, as Saudi Arabia said it will offset any loss of oil from a threatened Iranian blockade of a crucial tanker route in the Middle East.

The U.S. Navy warned that any disruption of traffic through the vital Strait of Hormuz "will not be tolerated."

On Tuesday Iran's vice president said that his country was ready to close the Strait of Hormuz — a vital waterway through which a third of the world's tanker traffic flows — if western nations embargo the country's oil because of Iran's ongoing nuclear program. The head of the country's navy added on Wednesday that his fleet can block the strait if need be. His comments came as Iran held a 10-day drill in international waters near the strategic route, which is 21 miles wide at its narrowest point.

UAE: an outsized bailout for Aldar | beyondbrics –

Abu Dhabi has again rescued struggling developer Aldar Properties with a massive US-style bailout, as a collapse in the real estate market erodes the emirate’s cultural ambitions in the Gulf.

The government has announced it will buy some prized assets from Aldar for Dh16.8bn ($4.57bn) – the second bailout this year for the developer behind Ferrari World, the world’s biggest indoor theme park. That would put government spending on the developer this year to Dh36bn.

Chavan Bhogaita, head of markets strategy unit at National Bank of Abu Dhabi, told Reuters: “the fact that these assets are being sold directly to the government is significant as it clearly shows that the company benefits from a high level of support from both the government directly and also via Mubadala,” referring to the state investment vehicle to which Aldar issued a $2.8bn convertible bond earlier this year. Twitter users reacted by describing the massive bailout as the “American Way.”

No clear answer to $15bn question - The National

Dubai's debt woes have been discussed ad infinitum. The chatter started in 2009, when Dubai World delivered a shock by announcing it would seek a standstill on debt repayments as it negotiated a restructuring.

More than two years later, nobody seems to be able to drop the issue and move on, and for good reason.

Dubai still has debt problems. Even after Dubai World finalised a US$24.9 billion (Dh91.46bn) debt restructuring this year - and even after several other companies owned by the Dubai Government made progress on their own restructurings - analysts continue to raise concerns about the emirate's financial health.