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Saturday, 21 January 2012

The Muslim Brotherhood: From religion to economics Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English)

Before an election, candidates will sell their dreams and illusions to the electorate, but afterwards they are judged on their actions, not their words. Mohammad Gouda is a member of the Economic Council and Secretary for Education of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, which won the parliamentary elections in Egypt. He has vowed to boost Egypt’s economic standing above Turkey and Malaysia.

Of course, this is not impossible: Egypt is capable. Its economic failure can only be blamed on its political leadership, namely the leadership of the Mubarak regime, which represents thirty years of failed management. But the worry is that Gouda – and he is one of the more economically minded members of the new ruling party – is being unrealistic, and perhaps all his talk is nothing more than coffee-house gossip!

For example, he says that income from the Suez Canal could increase to $100 billion within a year. How is this possible? If we understand that annual income from the Suez Canal produces around $5 billion, this means that he believes he can collect twenty years of shipping tolls in a single year!

Saudi Stock Market close - January 21, 2012

General Index
Intraday 3 month

* market data delayed by 20 min.
Daily Statistics
General Index6464.17
Change (%)1.35%
T. Volume251820953
T. Companies 151

Saudi Shares Climb Most in Five Weeks; Etihad Etisalat Rises on Earnings - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabian shares gained the most in more than five weeks after the country’s second-largest phone company posted fourth-quarter earnings that beat estimates.
Etihad Etisalat Co. (EEC), which trades as Mobily, rose the most in four months after reporting quarterly profit that beat analysts’ estimates. Al-Rajhi Bank (RJHI), the kingdom’s largest publicly traded lender by assets, increased for a second day.
The Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) jumped 1.1 percent to 6,445.06 at 1:41 p.m. in Riyadh, its highest intraday level since Dec. 14. Three shares climbed for every one that dropped.

Mohammad Al-Mojil Declines Most Since April 2009 After Forecasting Losses - Bloomberg

Mohammad Al-Mojil Group Co. (MMG) plunged the most since April 2009 after the Saudi construction-services company forecast “substantial losses” that will exceed 10 percent of its total assets.
The shares tumbled 9.9 percent, the maximum movement allowed in one trading day, to 21.50 Saudi riyals, at 12:23 p.m. in Riyadh.
The losses are “due to additional costs of materials, equipment and manpower of some of the ongoing projects in excess of the approved budgets,” the Dammam, Saudi Arabia-based company said in a statement to the Saudi Stock Exchange after the close of trading on Jan. 18.

ENI says Libya oil output back to pre-war levels | Reuters

Italian group Eni's oil output in Libya is almost back to its pre-conflict levels at 260,000 barrels per day, Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni said on Saturday.

"Output has now gone back to its pre-war levels. It was 270,000 bpd (before the war), now it's 260,000 bpd," Scaroni told journalists in Tripoli.

Scaroni also said Eni was ready to sell all of its controlling stake in listed gas grid subsidiary Snam Rete Gas but was waiting to see measures taken by the Italian government to deregulate the sector.

Oil falls on economic, demand concerns | Reuters

Oil prices fell on Friday, pressured by economic uncertainty ahead of a possible debt deal in Greece, concerns about China's sluggish manufacturing sector and weak U.S. petroleum demand.

China's manufacturers had a sluggish start to the year, a survey of purchasing managers showed, weighing on oil and also on copper prices.

News that major powers seeking to negotiate an end to Iran's suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons are soon to lay out what Tehran would need to do return to talks added to pressure on oil prices, analysts and broker said.

gulfnews : Dividends in Gulf expected to remain healthy

It's not surprising that the majority of this year's dividend stock picks of fund managers and market analysts are from two of the better performing markets of the region: Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Companies here have been witnessing double-digit growth in their revenue, in part as a result of increased government spending. The Qatar stock index ended 2011 with a positive return of 1.5 per cent and Saudi Arabia was the second best performing market, closing down 3.1 per cent.
The dividend yield — the ratio of payouts to share price — has been fairly strong in the region, especially when compared to their peers in emerging and developed countries over the last two years. In 2011, among the larger regional markets, Kuwait had a yield of 5.6 per cent, followed by Dubai (4 per cent), Qatar (3.9 per cent) and Saudi Arabia (3.8 per cent). The smaller markets of Oman and Bahrain boasted yields of between 5 per cent and 6 per cent.
In contrast, the S&P500 Index yield stood at 2 per cent, Dow Jones Industrial Average Index at 2.5 per cent and MSCI Emerging Markets Index at 3 per cent last year.

Steel Guru : Rasmala sees Saudi Arabian house prices rising by up to 5pct - 246498 - 2012-01-21

Arabian Business reported that house prices in Saudi Arabia are likely to increase by up to 5% over the next 2 years.

The investment bank Rasmala said that it was cautiously optimistic on the kingdom's real estate market due to an uncertain global economy and inherent structural challenges facing the Saudi economy. It added that "We expect house prices to appreciate between 0% and 5% annually in the next two years. We believe the Saudi real estate sector will experience sustained demand pressures, partially offset by affordability, financing, youth unemployment challenges and global macro uncertainty."

Saudi Arabia's real estate sector is the largest among the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, with about 4.6 million residential units and pent up demand for 0.4 million units as of end 2009.

The World Economy Stalls; Meanwhile Dubai Bounces Back: So what’s The Secret? :: The Market Oracle

One of the few interesting things about Dubai is that it serves as a barometer for economic activity that happens largely outside of government and outside of OEDC.

I’m not talking blood diamonds or drug money, Dubai services a region that extends thousands of miles in all directions and the only thing that happens there that doesn’t happen elsewhere and is “illegal” in many of the places it services, is economic freedom. What’s interesting is that you can measure the pulse the global free-market by measuring the pulse of Dubai.

Although apart from counting cars on the freeway it’s not easy to understand what’s going on. For example in 2007 the GDP for 2006 was reported by the Dubai Municipality to be $46 billion, and yes I did check, I’m looking at a hard-copy right now; but there is no explanation I saw for how come mysteriously that got upwardly revised to $65 billion (i.e. + 40%). The latest number is for 2008…$93 billion; and there are no numbers for 2009 or 2010.

The Hindu : Dubai-based investor to exit Coastal Energen

Coastal Energen Pvt. Ltd., the power generating flagship company of the Coal and Oil Group, is planning to buy back 15 per cent equity stake from Abdul Nahab Rustomani, an outside investor.

When Coal and Oil Group floated a special purpose vehicle (SPV) — Coastal Energen Pvt. Ltd. — seven years ago to set up a 1,200 MW Mutiara thermal power plant in Tuticorin, Dubai-based Al-Rustomani Group had pumped in Rs.120 crore to buy 15 per cent equity.

As the Al-Rustomani Group has expressed its intent to exit the SPV, the promoters of Coastal Energen have decided to buy back the 15 per cent from Al Rustomani Group.

Beyond oil: Abu Dhabi seeks to diversify its economy -

Enormous oil revenues and a far-sighted government have powered Abu Dhabi’s economy for 40 years. But as the UAE heads into its fifth decade, it is time for private enterprise to lead the way.

Forty years ago the newly founded United Arab Emirates hit the ground running. With coffers full of oil cash and very little in the way of infrastructure, the nation’s capital Abu Dhabi, was in a hurry to catch up with the Western world.

Over the last four decades hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent developing roads, ports, IT systems, modern utilities, higher education facilities and sophisticated banking and legal systems.