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Friday, 30 December 2011

Kuwait to loan Egypt $100 million in January: Official - Ahram Online

Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Nahar reported on Friday that Kuwaiti Ambassador to Egypt Rasheed Al-Hamad said that his country would provide Egyptian government with a $100 million loan next January to finance large-scale projects.

"Kuwaiti investments in Egypt were not out-flowed under any circumstance, especially in tourism's sector," the newspaper quoted Al-Hamad as saying.

Hamad added that the volume of Kuwaiti investments in Egypt exceeds $7 billion, and that Kuwait is keen to strengthen its relations with Egypt even, particularly in the economic arena.

TEXT-Fitch:Repeat of 2008-2009 unlikely for Abu Dhabi | Reuters

Fitch Ratings says that the support extended this week to property developer Aldar demonstrates that contingent liabilities remain a risk to Abu Dhabi's balance sheet. But the emirate will not be subjected to as severe a strain as in 2008 and 2009, when its strong balance sheet enabled it to deal with such contingencies, despite much lower oil prices than today.

IMF stress tests suggest that further solvency support for the emirate's banks will probably not be needed. In addition, we believe that there are limits to the amount of further support Dubai might require, as it has better identified its core liabilities and no longer seeks to prop up its entire public sector. This is in contrast to 2008-2009, when sharply lower oil prices and negative returns for sovereign wealth funds coincided with capital injections for Abu Dhabi's banks, and to bolster Dubai.

Abu Dhabi's balance sheet remains exceptionally strong, and at current oil prices foreign asset growth should pick up to over 10%. As we said in September, "foreign assets provide a substantial cushion to absorb most conceivable economic or oil price shocks."

Oman unaffected by global turmoil: IMF: Times of Oman

Oman’s economy has largely been unaffected by the recent turmoil in global financial markets and the Eurozone debt crisis because its oil exports are mainly to faster-growing Asian countries, said the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“With about 80 per cent of Oman’s oil-dominated exports going to Asia, the impact of the European crisis will be limited as long as it does not translate into significantly lower oil prices,” the multilateral agency said, adding “While regional unrest has created additional uncertainty, Omani banks have little exposure to the Eurozone. Credit to the private sector has continued to pick up and is projected to grow by over 11 per cent in 2011.”

The IMF said given a projected 10 per cent increase in government expenditure and with some slowdown in hydrocarbon output, overall real GDP growth is projected to edge down to 5 per cent in 2012.

UAE bourses shelter from storm - The National

The UAE has outperformed emerging-market stocks this year as the country's exclusion from the MSCI Emerging Markets Index has shielded it from a heavy sell-off fuelled by the euro-zone crisis.

But a strong resurgence expected in emerging markets means there are still compelling reasons for the UAE to join the index, say analysts.

"We have largely been immune this year from some of the problems in play in the rest of the world," said Tarek Lofty, the head of asset management at Arqaam Capital. "Our markets also witnessed a lower level of activity and participation, in contrast to emerging and global markets."

Alcoa Accused of Bribing Alba Officials in Aluminum Scheme - Businessweek

Alcoa Inc. was accused of using a middleman to bribe officials at Bahrain’s state-owned aluminum producer to reap more than $400 million in illegal profit, according to new claims filed in a racketeering lawsuit.

Alcoa, the largest U.S. aluminum producer, made tens of millions of dollars in illegal payments through an intermediary to an official at Aluminium Bahrain BSC, known as Alba, and the government of Bahrain, according to court papers filed yesterday in federal court in Pittsburgh. The company also paid more than $5 million in bribes to former Alba Chief Executive Officer Bruce Hall, according to the filing.

Alba sued Alcoa in February 2008 claiming the New York- based company caused it to pay inflated prices for alumina, the principal raw material in aluminum. The case was closed after the U.S. Justice Department said it was investigating whether Alcoa made corrupt payments in Bahrain. It was reopened in November after a judge ruled that Alba could file an amended complaint and a statement laying out its racketeering case.

Major Dubai companies ‘may need bail-outs’ - Telegraph

The credit rating agency has said that five conglomerates, including Dubai’s financial services zone’s investment arm and the main electricity and water company, will “struggle” to service their vast debt piles by themselves.
In a note S&P said that the five Dubai government-related entities (GREs) it rates are “up against significant risks from the weakening global economic outlook, the Arab Spring, and the volatile equity and bond markets.” The agency added: “These risks have raised concerns as GREs face large debt maturities and refinancing needs in 2012.”
The fears will compound the outlook for global banks, some of which have a high exposure to Dubai debt. The emirate’s total debt load is about $119.8bn (£77.7bn), according to a report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Some $15bn needs to be repaid or refinanced in 2012, according to the bank.