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Thursday, 12 January 2012

Dubai's Tamweel prices $300 mln sukuk - leads | Reuters

Tamweel, the Dubai-based sharia-compliant mortgage lender, has priced a $300 million five-year Islamic bond, or sukuk, a document from lead managers said on Thursday.

The paper, which is fully guaranteed by majority shareholder Dubai Islamic Bank, priced at par with a profit rate of 5.154 percent and carried a spread of 400 basis points over midswaps, the document said.

MENA stock markets close - January 12, 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)

Egypt-IMF: back on track (at last) | beyondbrics –

After downgrades towards the end of 2011 by Moody’s and S&P and a severe current account deficit, not to mention continued violence, Egypt could do with some good news.

So it may be a relief to investors to learn that IMF talks will resume on January 15 – and that Egypt’s short term debt is being snapped up in auction.

The IMF meeting is a “first step in the process leading to possible financial assistance,” according to IMF spokesman Gerry Rice – which is a long way from saying a deal is on the table, after an IMF offer was rejected in June last year. But it’s a start.

Dubai Shares Head for Lowest in Two Weeks on Earnings Concern - Bloomberg

Dubai shares declined, sending the benchmark index to its lowest close in more than two weeks, on investor concern that fourth-quarter profits may be below analysts' estimates.
Dubai Financial Market PJSC (DFM), the only publicly traded Gulf Arab stock market, slumped to the lowest level since Feb. 2009. Emirates NBD PJSC, the nation's biggest bank by assets, declined the most in more than two weeks. The benchmark DFM General Index (DFMGI) fell 0.5 percent to 1,327.54 at the 2:00 p.m. close in the emirate. About 79 million shares traded in Dubai, compared with a 12-month daily average of 99 million shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
"Confidence is really weak," said Tariq Qaqish, deputy head of asset management at Al Mal Capital in Dubai. There is some concern among investors that company earnings may come in below expectations, he said. "Investors are frustrated and have no faith to enter the market when there is no floor."

FGB Sukuk 2.8 times oversubscribed for total value of US$1.4 billion

First Gulf Bank PJSC, (FGB), a leading bank in the UAE, has received excellent investor endorsement through a 2.8 times oversubscription of its US$500 million Sukuk (Islamic bonds) issuance.

The FGB Sukuk transaction commenced yesterday, on January 12, 2012 and ended on the same day at a total value of US$1.4 billion.

Lead by FGB, Citi, HSBC, NBAD and Standard Chartered banks jointly, the transaction set the final price for the five-year Sukuk at 287.5 basis points above midswaps. Rated as A2 (Stable) by Moody's and A+ (Stable) by Fitch, the Regulated S Bonds are listed in London and retain a fixed profit rate of 4.046% p.a. Proceeds from the Sukuk are to be used for general corporate purposes.

Qatar UDC's president and MD resigns - statement | Reuters

Qatar's United Development Co said on Thursday its President and Managing Director Khalil Sholy has resigned.

The resignation was effective immediately, although Sholy will retain his powers for another three months to assist the board of directors in hiring a replacement, according to a company statement to the Qatar bourse.

The developer of the man-made Pearl Island project had announced at the end of December that it was in talks with a state pension fund about a strategic investment worth 160 million riyals ($44 million).

Abu Dhabi’s First Gulf Bank Sukuk to Yield Less Than Dubai Peer - Businessweek

First Gulf Bank PJSC, controlled by the Abu Dhabi ruling family, paid less to raise a $500 million sukuk than Dubai-based Emirates NBD PJSC as investors view Dubai as riskier than its wealthier neighbor.

First Gulf Bank priced its Islamic bond at a coupon of 4.046 percent, the lender said a statement today. That is below the 4.718 percent yield Emirates Islamic Bank, a unit of Emirates NBD, paid on its $500 million sukuk.

"FGB is better capitalized, has lower non-performing loans, and its business mainly stems from a stronger client base," said Gus Chehayeb, associate director of research at Exotix Ltd. in Dubai. "These factors have contributed to its tighter pricing."

The Party Is Ending in Super-Rich Abu Dhabi - Yochi J. Dreazen - The Atlantic

There were once great things planned for Saadiyat Island, a sandy atoll located just off the coast of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the oil-rich nation of the United Arab Emirates.

Frank Gehry, the famed American architect, was chosen to design a sweeping, sinuous building that would house a branch of the Guggenheim Museum. A state-owned development company signed deals to open a satellite branch of France's Louvre and to build a sprawling, falcon-shaped complex that would serve as the UAE's first national museum.

UAE officials envisioned the museums as the cultural centerpieces of a $27 billion tourist destination incorporating restaurants, high-end condos, and luxury resorts.

More than 100,000 homes listed for sale or rent in the UAE « ArabianMoney

The oversupply of residential property in the UAE has topped 100,000 units listed for rent or sale on the popular website.

There are double and treble listings on this website but equally it does not list everything, and so the two probably about cancel out. At the time of writing 27,045 homes were for sale and 78,074 for rent.

Bankruptcy law is good for business - The National

Bankruptcy, or more precisely insolvency, is a normal part of corporate life, though not an inevitable one. So it is good to know that a new draft law has been introduced, intended to make the process more efficient while reducing the associated social stigma and legal penalties. The next challenge is to consult the various stakeholders and get the new rules into effect.

Around the world, plenty of respectable companies have had to declare bankruptcy over the years, after changing conditions eroded markets or raised costs, or when bad decisions led to grim consequences.

Going bankrupt is in fact a key element of capitalism: competition means some firms prosper, some struggle along, and some go broke.

gulfnews : Attracting skilled expatriates to GCC: In Theory

It is no secret that there is a strong correlation between economic and technical progress and the recruitment of highly skilled and qualified workers.
Throughout its history the United States has looked to recruit highly qualified people and, as a result, turned into the world's first econ-omic power, with its GDP today comprising nearly 23 per cent of the gross world product.
The flow of highly qualified and skilled manpower to the US began soon after the discovery of the American continent, and has continued to the present day. Let us not forget that Steve Jobs, who sparked a revolution in the thinking of the world's young generation, was born to a Syrian father.

gulfnews : Change in political landscape realigns Mena hospitality sector

The city emerged as the only one in the Middle East last year to achieve an increase in hotel occupancy and RevPAR (revenue per available room — an industry benchmark for performance), according to Ernst & Young's (E&Y) Middle East Hotel Benchmark Survey for November 2011.
While Dubai's hotels recorded a four per cent increase in occupancy (at 79 per cent), revenue notched up 4.5 per cent growth in the period from January to November over the same period in 2010 to Dh632 million. The average room rate (ARR) in the hotels, however, dropped by a slight 0.2 per cent to Dh797 from Dh799, according to the E&Y estimates.
"Dubai is the sole tourist destination in the region that has shown a rise in both occupancy and RevPar, with a very slight decline in room rates. Dubai has been successful in attracting a larger share of the GCC tourism market as well as penetrating the US and China markets more effectively as it is considered a stable and open market, boosting overall performance figures," Yousuf Wahbah, Partner and Head of Mena (Middle East and North Africa) Transaction Real Estate at Ernst & Young, told Gulf News in an emailed statement.

Roots of Gulf's big ventures - The National

The Gulf has one of the highest concentrations of family businesses in the world. Some are decades older than the countries from which they operate - but their roots stretch back further still.

"They started as traders in ancient times," says Hischam El Agamy, an expert on Arab family businesses.

"It was [the trader], his kids, his nephews and extended family. They did not call themselves family businesses. They called themselves traders. But that's what they were," says Mr El Agamy, the executive director of the Swiss business school IMD.

Capital chip maker Globalfoundries to put $3bn into plants - The National

Globalfoundries, a microchip maker owned by Abu Dhabi, plans to pump US$3 billion (Dh11.01bn) into its manufacturing plants this year.

The move should help to boost the capital's aim to develop a world-class technology industry in the emirate, experts say.

"Given the investment by the Abu Dhabi Government in the global industry, you'd hope there would be some trickle-down benefits from that for Abu Dhabi's future technology industry," said Dino Wilkinson, a communications specialist and partner at the law firm Norton Rose Middle East.

Sudan Vision Daily - Qatar Investments in Sudan Reach US$2 Billion

Sudan has become in recent years the attraction of many countries as an investment attraction and in the various fields.

The Qatari-Sudanese relations, particularly in the area of investments, have been developing fast in recent years with large Qatari investment flowing into the country, especially in the field of agriculture, animal resources, industry and real estate.

Qatar is now on the top of six countries that have the largest investments in Sudan.

Gulf Times – Qatar ‘to lead GCC in credit growth’

Ample liquidity, huge government spending and declining non-performing loans will drive credit growth in Qatar this year, according to a new study.
Domestic credit growth in Qatar is expected to be between 15% and 20% in 2012, the “strongest” in the GCC, Saudi-based Samba Financial said in its GCC economic outlook report. Leading the pack with Qatar will be Saudi Arabia where the domestic credit is expected to be stronger than
four other GCC countries, it said.
While GCC banks are generally “well-capitalised and profitable”, private credit growth remains subdued in the region as both banks and borrowers look to strengthen their balance sheets following the regional credit crunch and real estate slump in 2009.

KUNA : Kuwait''s 2011-12 budget surplus in vicinity of KD 9-10 bln - 11/01/2012

Kuwait's state budget surplus for the fiscal year 2011-2012 is forecasted to be in the neighborhood of KD 9-10 billion, showed an economic report here Wednesday.
A Kuwaiti dinar is equal USD 3.58.
Since the beginning of the present FY eight months ago, total public spending has hit KD 7.1 billion, down 0.8 percent over the same period last year, according to the report, released by the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK).
Revenues have totaled KD 18.7 billion, up 42 percent on an annual basis, it said, ascribing the "marked" hike to surging oil prices and proceeds.

UAE lender FGB prices $500 mln sukuk - sources | Reuters

Abu Dhabi's First Gulf Bank on Wednesday raised $500 million through a five-year Islamic bond sale, carrying a coupon of 4.046 percent, two sources close to the deal said.

FGB, the second largest lender in the United Arab Emirates by market value, prices its Islamic bond or sukuk in line with its final guidance of 287.5 basis points over midswaps indicated on Tuesday.

"The deal was fairly well received," one source told Reuters.

gulfnews : UAE is most competitive banking market in GCC, but profits lower

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) said yesterday the UAE remains the most competitive banking market in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), based on the findings from its proprietary "GCC Banking Competitiveness Report."
The report said the UAE population of about 8 million is served by 51 banks with more than 840 branches and over 4,000 ATMs, delivering high levels of service, yet lower profitability than its GCC counterparts.
"ADIB further notes that UAE banks' net interest margin, which is the spread between what banks pay for deposits and what they charge for financing and loans remains the lowest among the GCC, at an average of 2.9 per cent. Saudi banking spreads are currently closer to 3.5 per cent, Qatar at 3.4 per cent and those of Kuwait banks are at around 3.2 per cent," the bank said.

Dubai Brokers Choose Sandwiches Over Stocks With Volume Down 77% - Businessweek

Nabil Rantisi, who sold stocks during the United Arab Emirates’ boom, now oversees orders of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding wraps from crowds including former clients.

“Business was getting too slow, and at some point you have to decide where time would be spent in a more valuable way,” said Rantisi, who quit his job as the senior vice president of brokerage at Rasmala Investment Bank Ltd. in Dubai in June to help start a deli named 1762. The 34-year-old now works a few hundred meters from where he used to fulfill share orders.

Three years after the Dubai bubble burst, its financial industry is still in decline and shows little sign of recovery. While the emirate successfully restructured debt and invested in transport and tourism, the number of employees in the Dubai International Financial Centre fell to 11,331 in July of last year from 11,436 in 2009.

gulfnews : Abu Dhabi prices at two-year low

The annual rate of inflation in Abu Dhabi emirate fell to a two-year low of 1.9 per cent in 2011 from 3.1 per cent the previous year, Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (SCAD) said yesterday.
"The main group that slowed down the rise in consumer prices during 2011 compared with 2010 was clothing and footwear, which contributed a negative 67.4 per cent of the overall change in the consumer price index (CPI).
"The average prices of this group decreased by 13.8 per cent," SCAD said in a statement.It added: "During 2011, consumer prices for national households increased by 1.9 per cent, and by 1.6 per cent for non-national households and 3.4 per cent for collective households."

Iran will struggle to sell embargoed crude -

When Ronald Reagan imposed an embargo on Iranian oil in October 1987, the market braced itself for a big price hike. But while the ban stopped the flow of 500,000 barrels a day to the US, crude prices fell from about $20 a barrel in early October of that year to less than $15 in December.
There was a simple explan­ation: instead of cutting output, Tehran re-directed oil usually sold to America to other markets.
A quarter of a century later, the energy market finds itself in a similar situation. This time, however, the combined impact of US sanctions and forthcoming European Union sanctions on Iran’s oil industry could force Tehran to cut production, potentially causing the price of oil to soar, as well as damaging the Iranian economy.