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Friday, 6 January 2012

كونا : Kuwait property firms lost KD 180 mln in 2011 - report - الشؤون الإقتصادية - 06/01/2012

Real estate companies registered with Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) lost KD 180 million out of their values in 2011, according to a recent report.
Some 30 shares, or 77 percent, out of a total of 39 property shares listed at the KSE plummeted last year, recording mixed price losses between 2 and 47 percent of their market prices, showed the report, released by Coldwell Bank-Kuwait here on Friday.
Only seven property shares made profits last year, it said. Three falling shares incurred losses exceeding 40 percent, while one share remained unchanged and one share was out of trading in 2011, the report added.
The capital value of total listed shares dipped by 17 percent; having hit KD 28.55 billion by the end of 2011, down KD 5.93 billion over 2010's KD 34.48 billion, it said.

EIIB acquires 35 pct stake in Rasmala - Finance News - London South East

European Islamic Investment Bank is to invest $16 million over 12 months in Rasmala Holdings Ltd via a financing facility convertible into shares representing about 35 percent of the group's enlarged capital.

Rasmala chairman Ali Shihabi told Reuters on Friday that Rasmala chief executive Anwar Abu Sbaitan would continue in that role. Shihabi will be chairman of Rasmala's supervisory board.

Rasmala, which has around $900 million in assets, has offices in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Egypt and operates in asset management, corporate finance and institutional brokerage.

OUTLOOK ’12: Mideast PE, PP margins still good amid low growth

Middle East polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) producers will enjoy good margins because of stable feedstock costs in 2012, but prices will likely remain stable-to-soft as a result of competition and weak demand, industry players said.
Ethane gas pricing in Saudi Arabia is unchanged at $0.75/MMBtu (€0.59/MMBtu), while Saudi propane gas pricing is still at a 28% discount to Japan naphtha prices less freight costs since 2011, Saudi players said.
With the continuous cost advantage, polyolefin producers in the Middle East said they will still be able to enjoy good margins and there are plans to even expand their resins business to more value-added downstream products.

gulfnews : DGCX achieves record growth for trade contracts

Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) said, it has registered 110 per cent growth in volumes of contracts last year to 4,044,138 from 2010, the highest ever annual volume achieved by the Exchange since inception.
The annual volumes represent a value of $185.13 billion (Dh679.9 billion). In 2011, the Exchange reached a major milestone of 10 million contracts since inception on December 19. Since its launch in 2005, the Exchange has traded 10,142,979 contracts, valued at $476 billion. As with 2010, currencies drove the majority of volume growth on the Exchange accounting for 88 per cent of contracts last year. Currency volumes in 2011 stood at 3,567,609, an increase of 177 per cent over 2010. Indian rupee futures retained its exceptional growth momentum over the past two years ending 2011 with 3,184,979 contracts, a 563 per cent growth from 2010.
Precious metals accounted for the remaining 11 per cent of the exchange's volumes, registering 443,889 contracts. Silver futures emerged as the strongest performer of 2011 in the precious metals segment, rising 40 per cent from 2010 to 44,870 contracts in 2011.

Dubai Mall claims world visitors record - The National

Emaar Properties claims Dubai Mall is now the world's most-visited shopping and leisure destination, after the centre attracted 54 million visitors last year.

The traffic was a 15 per cent increase on 2010 and pushed the mall past the 50.2 million visitors to New York City, according to Emaar. The developer also compared the visitor numbers to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Times Square, Central Park and Niagara Falls, but did not offer independent verification in a release issued yesterday.

"From a tourist perspective and a global perspective, it is very successful," said David Macadam, the regional director of retail for Jones Lang LaSalle. "But it would be very hard to justify [the numbers] or contradict them."

Egypt Foreign Currency Reserves Plunge as Bond Yields Soar to Record High - Bloomberg

Egypt’s international reserves (EGIRES) fell for a 12th month in December, sending bond yields (JPSSGEGY) to a record high and fueling investor concerns about a currency devaluation.
Reserves declined to $18.1 billion from $20.2 billion in November, the bank in Cairo said today on its website. They stood at $36 billion a year ago, before the start of the revolt that ousted President Hosni Mubarak. Central bank support has helped cushion the impact of political turmoil on Egypt’s pound.
“The acceleration in reserve loss is very alarming and just pushes Egypt that much closer to a full blown balance of payments crisis,” said Raza Agha, a senior Middle East and North Africa economist at the Royal Bank of Scotland in London. “Clearly, the pace of reserve loss is not sustainable, and only increases pressure on them to quickly get multilateral and bilateral donors on board.”

Libya opens door to UAE oil companies - The National

UAE oil and gas companies are positioning themselves for a move into Libya, encouraged by assurances that they will receive preferential treatment as payback for the Government's support of anti-Qaddafi forces during last year's civil war.

"We have been told very clearly: the authorities are encouraging UAE and Qatar companies. They want to give them business opportunities, so we want to take advantage of this," said Nabil Alalawi, the chief executive at AlMansoori, an Abu Dhabi oilfield services provider. "Our strategy is to become a very dominant player in Libya; we were a minor player in Libya [before the war]."

Foreign oil companies shut down their operations in the country as fighting between Qaddafi loyalists and rebels broke out last February, bringing Libya's oil production to a standstill. They returned after hostilities ceased, and Libyan production has reached the 1 million barrels per day (bpd) mark since and is on track to reach the prewar level of 1.6 million bpd by the middle of this year.

Yes, Virginia, Brokerage Firms Keeping Client Ripoff Provisions in Customer Agreements in the Wake of MF Global « naked capitalism

In the wake of the collapse of MF Global, and the evaporation of funds in customer accounts, even ones with no margin lending, investors big and small have become duly concerned about the safety of their funds. For those of you who are not brokerage customers, one of the big achievements of the 1930s security law reforms was their success, up until now, in putting rules in place that protected customer assets. Numerous broker/dealers have failed but their clients’ funds were recovered.

Needless to say, old market hands like Jesse have reacted with alarm:

One would think that the customers should be paid first out of all MF Global creditors. But I suspect that where it is possible, their loss will be subordinated to the unsecured creditors like JPM who have a powerful influence with this Trustee and the courts. The customers of consequence, like the Koch brothers, appear to have been tipped off weeks in advance.