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Sunday, 8 January 2012

MENA stock markets close - January 8, 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)

Dubai Shares Decline Most in Two Weeks Ahead of Results, Led by Air Arabia - Bloomberg

Dubai stocks retreated the most in more than two weeks as investors await the release of full-year results and after oil declined in New York.
Air Arabia (AIRARABI) PJSC, the Middle East’s largest discount airline, decreased for the first time in four days and Dubai Investments PJSC (DIC), the owner of stakes in more than 40 companies, slumped 3 percent. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) fell 1 percent, the most since Dec. 21, to 1,335.03 at the 2 p.m. close in the emirate. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200) slipped less than 0.1 percent.
“People are waiting for full-year and quarterly earnings before making investment decisions,” said Ziad Dabbas, a financial analyst at National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC (NBAD), the United Arab Emirates’ second-largest lender by assets. “There is still some concern over international market performance and volume is weak as there are no positive catalysts.”

UPDATE 1-Regulator approves cap increases for SABB and Saudi Hollandi | Reuters

Saudi Arabia's financial regulator has approved a 33 percent capital increase for Saudi British Bank (SABB) and a 20 percent hike for Saudi Hollandi Bank, it said in separate regulatory filings on Sunday.

SABB, an affiliate of HSBC, will raise its capital to 10 billion riyals ($2.67 billion) from 7.5 billion riyals by transferring 2.5 billion riyals from its retained earnings.

It will issue a bonus share for every three existing shares owned by registered shareholders, bringing its total number of shares to 1 billion.

Emaar case: Jagan aide appears before CBI - Yahoo!

Congress party president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy's aide and party spokesperson Ambati Rambabu Sunday appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the Emaar-APIIC township scam.
Rambabu, who was chairman of Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) from 2005 to 2007, appeared before CBI officials at Dilkusha guest house.
The CBI has summoned him under section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code to record his statement.

UAE's Arqaam Capital buys Egyptian brokerage El Rashad | Reuters

Arqaam Capital, a Dubai-based regional investment bank, has acquired Egyptian brokerage firm El Rashad Securities, tapping into low valuations and growth prospects in the politically unstable North African country.

No financial details of the transaction were provided but Arqaam bought the entire 100-percent stake in El Rashad from Al Rashad Holding Co, it said in a statement on Sunday.

The deal will help Arqaam's institutional and high net worth (HNW) clients gain access to the Egyptian market, Arqaam said.

Dubai's MAF picks 4 banks for $1 bln sukuk programme - Yahoo!

Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Holding, the sole franchisee for hypermarket chain Carrefour in the Gulf, has picked four banks to set up a $1 billion Islamic bond programme, a prospectus issued by the Dubai-based mall developer showed.
Local lenders Dubai Islamic Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank join HSBC and Standard Chartered on the programme, according to the prospectus dated January 6.
Reuters reported in October that HSBC and Standard Chartered would arrange the documentation for a planned Islamic bond, or sukuk, programme and create a process for other banks to pitch for lead manager slots at a future date.

Qatar’s Barwa Bank on the roll with its expansion as it completes $467 million rights issue

Qatar’s Barwa Bank, a unit of Barwa Real Estate, has completed a 1.7 billion riyals ($466.8 million) rights issue aimed at funding the bank’s expansion, it said in a statement on Sunday.

The Islamic bank said the offering, which opened on December 6 and saw 109.1 million new shares offered to existing shareholders, attracted bids of 1.9 billion riyals.

Barwa Bank’s issued capital will increase to 3 billion riyals from 1.9 billion riyals following the rights issue, with authorised capital upped to 6 billion riyals from 2.5 billion riyals, it added.

Qatar Petrochemical Output to More Than Double by 2020, QNA Says - Bloomberg

Qatar’s annual petrochemical production will more than double to 23 million metric tons by 2020 from 9.2 million tons now, state-run Qatar News Agency said, citing Energy Minister Mohammed Al-Sada.

Hormuz Bypass Oil Pipeline Said Delayed Amid Iran Tensions - Businessweek

A pipeline that would allow oil from the United Arab Emirates to bypass the Strait of Hormuz separating it from Iran has been delayed because of construction difficulties, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

As many as 270 construction issues have pushed back the completion date, said the two people, declining to be identified because they’re not allowed to speak publicly on the matter. The $3.3 billion project won’t be ready until at least April, one of them said. Abu Dhabi, holder of most of the U.A.E.’s oil reserves, had planned to start exports in January 2011 through the pipeline to a port outside the strait, Dieter Blauberg, the project’s former director, said in May 2009.

The 1.5 million barrel-a-day link would ensure the U.A.E. can export crude without risking a blockade at Hormuz, where fully laden tankers exit the Persian Gulf with one-fifth of the world’s traded oil. The chance that Iran might try to close the waterway has intensified as Europe prepares to follow tougher U.S. sanctions on the country.

Libya NTC says to review investments worldwide | Reuters

Libya will review its investments in the Arab world, Africa, and elsewhere, and it will make major agricultural and property investments in neighbouring Sudan, the chairman of its ruling National Transitional Council said on Saturday.

"We have a general view to review all investments in the Arab world, the African continent and elsewhere," Mustafa Abdul Jalil said at news conference with visiting Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

"There are some countries where investment will increase and others where projects will stop."

Kuwait Finance House makes $96 mln profit from Saudi exit - Yahoo!

The Saudi unit of Kuwait Finance House, the Gulf state's largest Islamic bank, made a 360 million riyals ($96 million) profit from the sale of a real estate project in the kingdom, the bank said in a regulatory filing on Sunday.
KFH sold the project for 1.5 billion riyals and that the profit will be reflected in the bank's first quarter financial results, the statement added.
The buyer of the project was not disclosed.

It is the end of the road for Great Dubai Wheel |

Dubailand, the stalled real estate and tourism resort, has ditched plans to build a 185m Ferris wheel set to rival the London Eye in the latest setback to the troubled multibillion-dollar project.

The Great Dubai Wheel, an $68m observation wheel, was set to be a leading tourist attraction within Dubailand’s Arjan development, but was scrapped amid a wider revamp of the project.

“Originally the brochure said it was included,” said Ashok Galgotia, CEO of Triveni Builders & Promoters, the subcontractor that last week handed over the first units at Arjan.

Chaos in the functioning of SAGIA - Arab News

Attracting foreign investments is central to the proper functioning of any economy in both the developing and developed world. Some countries depend heavily on foreign direct investments to support their economies. Such countries enact laws and regulations to regulate foreign investments. As a result, authorities and bodies are established in order to pave the way for foreign investors and remove any obstacles they may face. However, when such government bodies do not function properly, they can become one of the obstacles of attracting foreign investments.

Saudi Arabia has been depending on oil as the most important income source for a very long time. To reduce its dependency on oil and its price fluctuation, Saudi Arabia has been attempting to diversify its income sources. One of the alternatives, which Saudi Arabia is making great strides to obtain, is to attract foreign investment. As a result, it enacted its new Foreign Investment Law by the Royal Decree No. M/1 dated 5-1-1421 Hejrh, corresponding to 10/4/2000 Gregorian, and established the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) as a government body to be in charge of monitoring and regulating foreign investments.

gulfnews : Global impact on regional bourses

Of all bourses in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, only that of Qatar registered a positive growth rate in 2011. To state the fact, the Qatari index grew by a mere 1.1 per cent although this figure seems outstanding compared to the performance of other regional markets, especially Bahrain.
Bahrain's bourse suffered the worst decline, sinking 20 per cent. It is easy to link the plunge to the unrest in the kingdom.
Muscat's Security Market, too, dropped by almost 16 per cent partly reflecting adverse consequences of unrest emerging at the start of 2011.

gulfnews : Successful fusion of public and private sector inputs

Shopping Festival (DSF), the region's largest retail, tourism and entertainment event started on February 15, 1996, as a retail event intended to revitalise retail trade in Dubai.
It was launched under the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to position Dubai as a leading tourist destination and to stimulate the economic and tourism sectors in the city.
The concept was the first of its kind in the region, and proved to be highly successful, mainly due to the close cooperation between the government and the private sectors.

gulfnews : West readies oil plan in case of Hormuz closure

Western powers last week readied a contingency plan to tap a record volume from emergency stockpiles to replace nearly all the Gulf oil that would be lost if Iran blocks the Strait of Hormuz, industry sources and diplomats said.
They said senior executives of the International Energy Agency (IEA), which advises 28 oil consuming countries, discussed on Thursday an existing plan to release up to 14 million barrels per day (bpd) of government-owned oil stored in the United States, Europe, Japan and other importers.
Action on this scale would be more than five times the size of the biggest release in the agency's history — made in response to Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Gulf states are well placed for growth - The National

The Gulf states are well positioned for growth, and compare favourably with Asian markets of the 1990s, says a report due to be published tomorrow.

The six GCC countries stand up well compared with the economic transition of the four key Asian markets 20 years ago, according to the research company Arabia Monitor, a member of the World Economic Forum's regional agenda council on the Middle East & North Africa (Mena).

The report, Beyond the Arab Uprisings, measured the Gulf economies against Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea.

Du tops list for transparency among Middle East companies - The National

The telecommunications company du has topped a list of companies in the Middle East that boast the most robust and transparent corporate governance.

The ports operator DP World and National Bank of Abu Dhabi also made the top 10 of the S&P-Hawkamah Pan Arab ESG Index, which selects the Middle East's top 50 companies on the basis of environmental, social and corporate governance standards.

The ranking is a joint venture between Standard & Poor's, the ratings agency, and Hawkamah, an institute for enhancing corporate governance in the region.

Damac, Al-Futtaim to Settle Mubarak-Era Land Purchase Disputes With Egypt - Bloomberg

An Egyptian government commission approved the settlement of disputes with Dubai’s Damac Properties Co. and Majid Al Futtaim Group, according to Fayza Aboulnaga, minister of planning and international cooperation.
The initial agreement will be submitted for government approval in the new week, she told reporters in Cairo today. The deal provides for the two companies to fund the difference between prices they had paid for land in contracts with the previous administration of ousted President Hosni Mubarak and the value deemed fair by the current authorities, she said.
The Egyptian government is trying to settle disputes with companies over contracts signed with the Mubarak administration in out-of-court reconciliations. Damac had filed an arbitration lawsuit in Washington in May against Egypt after the government seized land purchased in 2006 and sentenced its chairman to five years of hard labor.

Qatar’s RasGas Delivers First Natural Gas Cargo to Taiwan’s CPC - Bloomberg

Qatar’s RasGas Co. delivered the first liquefied natural gas cargo under an agreement signed last month with CPC Corp. (CPC), Taiwan’s state-owned oil refiner, RasGas reported in a statement.
The Fuwairit carrier discharged its LNG cargo at a terminal in Taiwan on Jan. 5, RasGas said today in an e-mailed statement, citing its managing director, Hamad Rashid al-Mohannadi.
RasGas signed the deal with CPC on Dec. 6 to provide 1.5 million tons of liquefied natural gas over 20 years, according to the statement.

Kuwait, China closer to $9 billion refinery deal - MarketWatch

State-run Kuwait Petroleum Corp., or KPC, and China Petrochemical Corp. SNP +0.45% , or Sinopec, have moved closer to conclude an acceptable deal for implementing a $9 billion joint refinery and petrochemical project in China, state-run Kuwait News Agency, or Kuna, reports Thursday citing an executive.

The project involves the construction of a 300,000 barrels a day refinery and a 1 million-metric-ton-a-year ethylene plant in China's Guangdong province. Kuwait will be the sole supplier of crude oil to the complex that will be located on the Donghai Island in the southern coastal city of Zhanjiang, the news agency reports.

Farouk Al Zanki, KPC's chief executive, and Sinopec Chairman Fu Chengyu also agreed to forge a strategic alliance between their two companies in order to expand cooperation beyond the planned refinery project, the news agency says.