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Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Iraq's oil - Blog - The Arabist

Click thru headline to read in full.

Stake acquisition talk sparks Damas share rise - FT.com

Qatar’s Mannai Corporation is mulling the acquisition of a majority stake in Damas, the troubled Dubai jewellery retailer, sending the shares in the listed UAE company up 14 per cent.
The Doha-based conglomerate, with interests in vehicle sales, information technology, telecommunications and engineering, said it had commitments with shareholders to acquire shares representing 58.8 per cent of Damas at 45 cents a share, provided that a firm deal was announced by the end of April.
If realised, the deal would mark Mannai’s second acquisition in the United Arab Emirates. Last year, the company purchased a 35 per cent stake in Axiom Telecom after the Dubai-based phone retailer pulled a planned initial public offering.

Gulf states seek to calm fears over Hormuz - FT.com

Oil-rich Gulf states are battling to ease international fears that Iran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz – and cut their main sea gateway to the world – has exposed their lack of alternative crude export routes.
Countries with pipelines that bypass the strait have only limited capacity, while others – notably Qatar, the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas – have few or no alternatives.
The shortage of contingency plans has raised the stakes further in the political battle over Tehran’s warning, which came in response to western threats to impose sanctions on Iranian oil.

MENA stock markets close - January 11, 2012

ExchangeStatus IndexChange
TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
6486.410.15%
DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
1333.52-0.51%
ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
2365.460.14%
KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
5717.1-0.06%
BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
1129.3-0.46%
MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
5709.64-0.08%
QE (Qatar Exchange)
8710.890.95%
LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
1174.49-0.02%
EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
3766.170.82%
ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
1953.28-0.59%
TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
4729.3-0.27%
CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
11091.60.26%
PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)
481.23-0.42%

Qatar Shares Advance Most in Week on Speculation QNB Bank Decline Overdone - Bloomberg

Qatari shares rallied the most in more than a week on speculation a drop in Qatar National Bank SAQ (QNBK)’s stock yesterday was overdone given the bank’s earnings and the nation’s economic growth.
Qatar National, the country’s biggest bank by assets, rose the most since Oct. 23, after slumping 5.2 percent yesterday. Industries Qatar QSC (IQCD), the Middle East’s second-biggest petrochemicals company, advanced 0.4 percent. Qatar’s QE Index (DSM) gained 1 percent, the most since Jan. 3, to 8,710.89 at the 1 p.m. close in Doha after dropping 2.1 percent yesterday. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index rose 0.2 percent.
“The sell-off in Qatar National Bank yesterday prompted by retail investors who overreacted to their interpretation of a poor dividend was unjustified,” said Fadi al Said, head of equities at ING Investment Management (Dubai) Ltd. in Dubai.

» Shuaa to expand credit finance unit into Saudi Arabia – Kippreport.com

Dubai-based investment bank Shuaa Capital is expanding its profitable credit finance business, Gulf Finance Corp (GFC), into Saudi Arabia and may offer a stake in the unit to new investors, is chief executive said.

“It is the only business that makes money,” CEO Michael Philipp said in an interview on Tuesday.

“We are starting Saudi immediately. The investment will come from outside shareholders. I can bring brand new money at the Abu Dhabi and Saudi level. It is probably hundreds of millions of dollars,” Philipp said.

Persian Gulf Stocks: Bank Al-Jazira, Damas, Qatar National Bank - Businessweek

Qatar’s QE Index advanced 1 percent, the most in more than a week, to 8,710.89 at the 1 p.m. close in Doha. Dubai’s DFM General Index slipped 0.5 percent.

The following shares were active in the Persian Gulf region. Stock symbols are in parentheses.

Bank Al-Jazira (BJAZ AB) surged to the highest in almost six months, gaining 0.6 percent to 17.7 riyals. The Saudi lender posted a fourth-quarter profit of 110 million riyals ($29 million) after a loss of 27 million the year earlier.

Oman risks two-tier property market amid oversupply - ArabianBusiness.com

Landlords in Oman will need to offer better perks to attract tenants as the release of new supply puts downward pressure on property rents, real estate consultancy Cluttons said.
The sultanate risks developing a split property market with owners of villas and apartments in older, badly-maintained developments struggling to attract new residents, Cluttons analysts said.
“In 2012 landlords will have to work harder to compete and provide real value for money by meeting tenant expectations,” analysts wrote in a report, warning of the risk of a two-tier market.

Dubai will meet 2012 debt obligations: HSBC

HSBC Holdings expects Dubai to meet its upcoming debt obligations this year and said international banks' appetite to refinance the emirates' liabilities will not be impacted by the euro zone crisis.

Government-related entities in Dubai have bonds worth $3.8 billion maturing in 2012, according to a Moody's report last month. Data from The Royal Bank of Scotland show that the total value of Dubai loans maturing this year are over $5 billion.

"We're not concerned with regards to Dubai's ability to meet its debt obligations, that's not only in the medium term but certainly in the context of this year," Paul Skelton, regional co-head of global banking, Middle East North Africa, at HSBC told Reuters in an interview.

Nakheel Plans the First New Palm Project Since Dubai Crash - Businessweek

Nakheel PJSC, Dubai’s biggest developer, plans to start its first new project on the Palm Jumeirah artificial island since the company received a government bailout in 2009.

The Pointe at Palm Jumeirah will include shops, computer- controlled fountains, a marina and a public walk on the tip of the palm-shaped island, Chairman Ali Rashed Lootah said at a press conference today. Nakheel is in talks with banks to raise at least 300 million dirhams ($82 million) for the project, which will be operated by the company when it’s completed.

“The retail sector is strategic for Nakheel,” Lootah said, adding the company is looking to increase its sources of recurring income.

Dubai's Tamweel sukuk price talk at 400 bps over midswaps | Reuters

Early price talk for a five-year $300 million Islamic bond issue from mortgage lender Tamweel is in the area of 400 basis points over midswaps, two sources said on Wednesday.

The Islamic bond, or sukuk, will be fully guaranteed by Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), Tamweel's majority shareholder.

Citi, DIB and Standard Chartered are the lead managers on the deal, which is expected to price this week.

Abu Dhabi's Etihad seals $367 mln engines deal | Reuters

Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways has mandated Sanad Aero Solutions and Engine Lease Finance Corp (ELF) to finance its 23 spare engines in a sale and lease back deal valued at $367 million, the airline said on Wednesday.

Sanad, owned by Abu Dhabi government's Mubadala, will purchase and lease back to Etihad five GE90 and six Rolls Royce Trent 500 engines and ELF will purchase and lease back to Etihad six Rolls Royce Trent 700 and six IAE V2500 engines, a statement from Etihad said.

The transactions are for a 10-year operating lease term. The financing is for 16 in-service spare engines and seven future spare engine deliveries.

Sukuk’s risk-off bonanza | beyondbrics – FT.com

The Gulf is seeing a sukuk bonanza this week as several entities announced debut and follow-up Islamic bond sales in an attempt to tap liquidity in the Middle East and Asia.

In Saudi Arabia, the General Authority of Civil Aviation announced a debut sukuk programme, offering a juicy and rarely-spotted government-backed Islamic bond. Equally juicy but for other (high-yield) reasons, Tamweel, the troubled Dubai-based mortgage lender, also revived a $300m sukuk plan.

Those announcements come hot on the deals of a sale by Emirates Islamic Bank, a unit of Emirates NBD, and another sale this week by Abu Dhabi-based First Gulf Bank. Whether high-yield or government-backed, it’s a sukuk investor’s dream as companies try to get deals done before the window closes and it’s too late. (Or slip them in ahead of their earnings announcements).

gulfnews : Telecom operators face margin pressures on rising competition

The revenue growth and profit margins of the Middle East telecom companies will come under pressure in 2012, according to market reports as advanced markets in the region will find it difficult to fend off new rivals, besides other factors.
Fitch Ratings said yesterday in a note that the revenue growth for the region's telecom companies this year will be "flat to negative". That is because maturing market penetration rates aligned with increased competition will "offset strong economic fundamentals" due to high oil prices, population growth and higher wages for state employees, Fitch said.
"Fitch, therefore, expects at best a stabilisation of overall revenues in Middle East telecoms," it stated.

Draft law outlines insolvency reform for the UAE - The National

A draft of the UAE's new insolvency law outlines plans to decriminalise the bankruptcy process.

The proposed changes are out for consultation among government officials.

Some of the most significant changes set out in the draft include a move away from a purely court-driven insolvency procedure, while making the requirements for entering into insolvency proceedings more cost-effective and easier to implement, said Hadef & Partners, one of the law firms that helped draft the proposed law.

Dh1.65bn cash offer for Damas on cards - The National

Mannai Corporation of Qatar is weighing a cash offer for the Dubai jeweller Damas that would value the troubled retailer at nearly US$450 million (Dh1.65 billion).

Mannai, a retailer that sells cars, home appliances and other goods, said it had secured commitments from shareholders representing more than 58 per cent of Damas, at a price of not less than 45 cents per share.

The announcement follows a move last week by Damas's founding Abdullah brothers who hired a financial adviser to sell some of their stake in the company.

Iranian ‘Bluster’ May Overstate Threat to Strait of Hormuz’s Oil Shipping - Bloomberg

Iran is unlikely to shut down shipping through the Strait of Hormuz in response to Western sanctions targeting its oil exports, President Barack Obama’s former adviser on Iran said.
Oil rose today for the first time in four days on renewed concern that geopolitical tension in the Middle East may disrupt supply and as higher stock markets raised economic optimism. Crude for February delivery climbed 93 cents, or 0.9 percent, to settle at $102.24 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. West Texas Intermediate oil traded on the Nymex has surged 20 percent in the past three months.
Tensions increased this week as Iran announced that it has taken another step in its nuclear program and that it had sentenced to death a former U.S. marine of Iranian descent accused of spying.

Saudi oil output nearing capacity limit | Reuters

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is nearing its comfortable operational production limits and may struggle to do much to make up for shortages that arise from new sanctions imposed on Iran by the West, Gulf-based sources said.

The kingdom, now pumping just under record rates of 10 million barrels per day, has poured billions of dollars into its vast oil fields, which on paper should ensure it has the ability to ramp up to 12.5 million bpd.

Long-standing oil policy by Riyadh, the heavyweight in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), sets aside some 1.5 million bpd as protective spare capacity.

Emirates in discussions with Oman over oil refinery plan - The National

A UAE Minister has discussed plans for a refinery joint venture with the government of Oman.

The project was a talking point when Sultan Al Mansouri, the UAE Minister of Economy, visited Muscat this week.

"We discussed the refinery project in the area of Duqm, a joint project between the two countries," Mr Al Mansouri said in a statement on the ministerial website after concluding his three-day visit.

Egypt Stocks Jump After Government Settles With UAE Developers - Businessweek

Egyptian shares climbed the most in six weeks, led by real-estate companies, after the government settled land disputes with United Arab Emirates developers.

The benchmark EGX 30 Index climbed 2.4 percent to 3,735.64 at the 2:30 p.m. close in Cairo, the biggest daily advance since Nov. 29. Talaat Moustafa Group Holding, the country’s largest publicly traded developer, surged 6.1 percent. Six of October Development & Investment Co., also known as Sodic, rose for the first time in five days.

An Egyptian government commission approved the settlement of disputes with Dubai’s Damac Properties Co. and Al-Futtaim Group, Fayza Aboulnaga, minister of planning and international cooperation, said Jan. 7. Governments serving under former President Hosni Mubarak sold the two companies land without holding a public auction as required by law, which prompted courts to annul the sales after his ouster in February.

Setback for $5bn Bosphorus plan | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times – FT.com

Turkey’s grand infrastructure plans have suffered a big setback, with the failure of a showpiece tender – the $5bn project to build a third bridge over the Bosphorus and an accompanying highway.

The bridge, announced in the run-up to last year’s parliamentaryelections, is one of the “megaprojects” favoured by the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister. But although 18 companies expressed interest in the 414km project, none bid for the tender, which was cancelled as a result.

Reuters reported that Japan’s Obayashi, Mitsubishi, Itochu and IHI, Italy’s Astaldi, Russia’s Moskovskiy Metrostroy and NPO Mostovik, Austria’s Stradag, Spain’s FCC Construction and Turkey’s Mapa, Cengiz, Park, Varyap, Yuksel, Kolin, Nurol, STFA and Gulsan had all acquired official documents.

Chinese premier to bolster Gulf energy ties - FT.com

China will this week launch its highest-level diplomatic visit to the Gulf for more than two years, seeking to bolster its growing energy ties to the region amid jitters over possible western sanctions on Iranian oil and Tehran’s counter-threat to block the Strait of Hormuz.
Premier Wen Jiabao’s six-day trip will take him to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, while China’s state-owned Sinopec is poised to sign a joint venture deal to develop a big refinery on the Saudi Red Sea Coast.
Rising tensions between Iran and its Arab oil producing neighbours have highlighted the delicate path Beijing needs to tread to preserve both as big oil suppliers, while unrest across the Middle East has triggered wider concerns in China about its dependence on the region’s oil.

Chinese premier to bolster Gulf energy ties - FT.com

China will this week launch its highest-level diplomatic visit to the Gulf for more than two years, seeking to bolster its growing energy ties to the region amid jitters over possible western sanctions on Iranian oil and Tehran’s counter-threat to block the Strait of Hormuz.
Premier Wen Jiabao’s six-day trip will take him to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, while China’s state-owned Sinopec is poised to sign a joint venture deal to develop a big refinery on the Saudi Red Sea Coast.
Rising tensions between Iran and its Arab oil producing neighbours have highlighted the delicate path Beijing needs to tread to preserve both as big oil suppliers, while unrest across the Middle East has triggered wider concerns in China about its dependence on the region’s oil.