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Thursday, 23 February 2012

MENA stock markets close - February 23, 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)

Egypt Military Fund Cutoff Weighed by U.S. Over Plan to Prosecute Workers - Bloomberg

The Obama administration may be compelled to block $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt if the Mideast nation prosecutes U.S. workers with non-governmental organizations, a State Department official said.
“We are looking at that very seriously,” Andrew Shapiro, the assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, said yesterday in an interview in Bloomberg’s Washington office. “No decisions have been made. Our hope is the NGO crisis is resolved. That’s the focus of our diplomacy.”
A criminal trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 26 for 43 workers, including a group of Americans, accused of illegally accepting payments from abroad. Among those charged are workers in Cairo for the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, organizations allied with the U.S. Democratic and Republican parties. Sam LaHood, the son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, is among them.

Etisalat starts legal proceedings against Indian joint venture partners -

Etisalat has issued proceedings in the Indian Courts against Mr Balwa and Mr Goenka, Etisalat's DB chairman and vice-chairman, and Majestic Infracon Pvt Ltd for fraud and misrepresentation.

Etisalat said in a statement it was induced into investing in the company that was then Swan, "without any disclosure of the matters that are now alleged by the CBI and Supreme Court to have occurred in connection with the obtaining of 2G licences by EDB."

Those events occurred a year before Etisalat’s investment, the telecom operator said.

Dubai Shares Rise to 9-Month High, Volumes Gain After Earnings - Businessweek

Dubai’s shares rose to the highest level in more than nine months as investors bought low-priced stocks on bets the Dubai economy is recovering and after corporate earnings topped analysts’ estimates.

Deyaar Development PJSC, the property company controlled by Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC, soared to the highest level in almost two years. Dubai’s DFM General Index rose 0.6 percent to 1,618.75 at 1:25 p.m. in the emirate, the highest intraday level since May 11. Gulf Navigation Holding PJSC jumped for a sixth day. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index advanced 0.2 percent, while the Bloomberg GCC 200 Index added 0.1 percent. About 424 million shares traded in Dubai today, compared with the 12-month daily average of 113 million shares.

“The market is resilient and the move is more on the small denomination-type shares,” said Haissam Arabi, the Dubai-based chief executive officer at Gulfmena Investments Ltd. “Investor interest is coming back, the valuations are good, the numbers that are coming out are better-than-expected and the banks are doing well,” he said.

Bulls on top at International Petroleum Week -

International Petroleum Week, the annual gathering of the oil industry in London, traditionally is a binary event for oil price sentiment: bullish or bearish, with little room for moderates.
But this year, there was only one view. The cocktail parties and dinners in London’s upmarket Mayfair district were dominated by the bulls.
“It is all about Iran. Full stop,” a veteran of many an IP Week told me, summing up the oil industry’s sentiment at the meeting.

UPDATE 1-Saudi Arabia says concern is to keep oil market well supplied | Reuters

Saudi Arabia's concern is to keep the global oil market well supplied, its deputy oil minister said on Thursday, as top Asian crude buyers look to the world's biggest producer to make up for cuts in supplies from sanctions-hit Iran.

Saudi Arabia is the only oil producer with significant spare capacity to replace a fall in supply from its regional rival Iran, which is facing Western sanctions aimed at crippling its contentious nuclear programme.

China, India and Japan, the top three buyers of Iranian oil, together buy about 45 percent of Tehran's crude exports and all of them are planning cuts of at least 10 percent.

MGM Resorts 4th-quarter loss narrows, revenue up - Business - Wire -

MGM Resorts International said Wednesday that high costs kept it in the red in the fourth quarter, but it lost less than a year earlier as more people stayed at its Las Vegas Strip casinos and visitors spent more on the food, gambling, entertainment and shopping it offers.
The company's revenue rose 55 percent to $2.3 billion from $1.48 billion, but its expenses rose slightly faster at 57 percent. Key among those costs was a $96 million write-down reflecting the tumbling value of the company's Borgata casino in Atlantic City, N.J., which it is selling, and of its Silver Legacy casino in Reno, Nev.
CEO Jim Murren was upbeat in an interview and during a conference call with investors because his company is generating more cash overall. He said that will help it reduce its interest payments and debt and, by next year, return to profitability.

Kuwait's Burgan: no deal reached for Eurobank Tekfen stake | Reuters

Burgan Bank, which is said to be in talks to buy a 70-percent stake in Turkish group Eurobank Tekfen, said it has not reached any deal for a majority stake purchase.

Sources told Reuters on Wednesday the Kuwait lender had reached a deal for Eurobank Tekfen, a partnership of Greek lender EFG Eurobank and Turkish company Tekfen .

"Burgan Bank denies any ownership of a significant stake in a Turkish bank," the lender said in a statement to the Kuwaiti bourse on Thursday.

Dubai Sets May Oil at 70 Cent Discount to Oman Crude Futures - Bloomberg

Dubai kept the differential used to determine the cost of its oil shipments unchanged for May and at the steepest discount since the Persian Gulf emirate began pricing its exports against the Oman Crude Futures (OOSPOMAN) contract.
May shipments will sell at a discount of 70 cents a barrel to the Oman crude price that will be determined through trading on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange, according to an e-mail from the emirate’s Department of Petroleum Affairs today.
Oman sets its official selling price based on trading on the DME, an exchange part owned by that country’s sovereign wealth fund and by Chicago-based CME Group Inc. (CME) Those two shareholders said this week the will invest an undisclosed amount in the DME, boosting their holdings.

gulfnews : Oman crude output up by 2.3%

Rain and labour unrest were some of the factors that caused a marginal decline in state-run Petroleum Development Oman's (PDO) oil production, although the country's oil production increased by 2.3 per cent in 2011.
"The average oil production in 2011 was 884,900 bpd compared to 864,600 in 2010," Nasser Bin Khamis Al Jashmi, Oil and Gas Undersecretary, said at the annual media briefing held by PDO at the Oil and Gas Exhibition Centre in Qurum.
He attributed the increase to new discoveries. "The country's average gas production also increased last year to 95.1 million cubic metres per day compared to 91.1 million cubic metres in 2010, an increase of 4.4 per cent."

gulfnews : UAE's January average oil output at 2.58m bpd

The UAE's average oil output in January was at 2.58 million barrels per day (bpd), unchanged from December, latest data from the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) showed.
The IEA said the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries' (Opec) crude oil supply in January largely reflected the steady ramp-up in Libyan output, as well as "sustained output from Saudi Arabia and the UAE".
The IEA figures showed the UAE had a sustainable production capacity of 2.74 million bpd.

Doubts over Egypt's $3.2bn IMF loan - The National

The economic affairs committee of Egypt's parliament has not yet seen a proposal from the IMF for an emergency loan package, casting doubt on plans for the US$3.2 billion (Dh11.75bn) agreement to be signed next month.

"It was not submitted to us to see all the details, the restrictions and conditions on the loans, so we cannot judge something before seeing all the details," said Tarek Dousky, the head of the economic committee in parliament and a member of the ultra-conservative Salafist Nour Party.

This week, Momtaz El Saieed, Egypt's finance minister, said the country expected to sign the loan agreement with the IMF next month and would receive one third of the funds immediately upon signing.

Northern Iraq's reserves put oil majors in a quandary - The National

"One more," says Eric Ailland, as he flicks a stone into the gleaming black pool.

It is sucked in without a splash, which is enough to reassure the French engineer that the dark stuff seeping to the surface in this field in Iraqi Kurdistan is oil.

For years Kurdish villagers have brought their sheep here to graze, sometimes also filling a jerrycan or two with oil. But this picturesque land of soft green and yellow hills edged by slate-blue mountains has now become the centre of a race for resources between the world's oil majors, which believe Iraqi Kurdistan could hold as much as Libya's 45 billion barrels of reserves in massive reservoirs like the Tawke field.

UAE foreign trade bucks global trend to rise 25% - The National

The flow of goods in and out of the UAE defied global headwinds to surge 25 per cent to a record high of Dh1 trillion (US$272.24 billion) last year, said a senior trade official.

Despite the euro-zone crisis, the non-oil trade data for the single-currency bloc was also strong, with exports to troubled Greece rising by about 67 per cent, said Abdullah Al Saleh, the undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Trade. The data does not include figures for free zones, where trade rose 19 per cent for the year.

Demand for the country's goods - including gold and plastics - also held up well as exports rose 36 per cent.

Portugal sells 40 pct of grid operator REN to Chinese, Omani companies - People's Daily Online

Bailed-out Portugal on Wednesday sold a 40 percent stake in grid operator REN for 592 million euros (775 million U.S. dollars) to Chinese and Omani companies as part of Lisbon's austerity package.

According to contracts signed here Wednesday, China State Grid will hold a 25 percent stake in Portuguese national electricity transmission grid REN, while the Oman Oil Company will control another 15 percent.

A first tranche of 160 million euros have already been received by the Portuguese government. The rest of the payment will be made in three months.

2G Spectrum: UAE's telecom operator Etisalat to shut down India joint venture - The Economic Times

United Arab Emirates' telecom operator Etisalat on Wednesday said it would shut down its India joint venture, making it the second foreign company after Bahrain Telecom to exit the country following the Supreme Court's decision early this month to cancel 122 telecom licences issued by government of India in 2008.

While the decision will impact about 1.7 million customers, who have time till June to migrate to a new operator, over 2,000 employees would also be laid off, executives linked to the company told ET.

The move comes within a day of S Tel, which has about 3.5 million users, deciding to shut operations.