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Sunday, 26 February 2012

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets rally; Dubai hits new 10-mnth high | News by Country | Reuters

Most regional markets rose on Sunday, taking lead from a positive global backdrop, with Dubai's benchmark climbing to a fresh 10-month high over continued buying momentum.

Dubai's benchmark climbed 2.7 percent to its highest close since April 2011. Volumes surged with about 680 million shares traded, the largest amount since March 2010.

Funds flowed into large-caps, with Emirates NBD surging 5.8 percent and Emaar Properties up 3.3 percent.

Oman: Higher dividends to boost activity on stock market | Al Bawaba

Higher cash dividends from cheap stock valuations on the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) could lure investors and boost activity on the bourse, according to analysts and brokers, who add that higher yields for investors offers opportunities to reposition their portfolios on reliable dividend-paying stocks.

Until February 23, as many as 40 companies on MSM announced cash dividends ranging from 7.5 percent to 117 percent of paid up capital, putting extra cash in investors' pockets from March onwards this year.

U.A.E. Central Bank Lifts Dividend Restrictions, Khaleej Says - Bloomberg

The central bank of the United Arab Emirates lifted restrictions on cash dividend, Al-Khaleej reported, without saying where it obtained the information.
The regulator approved distributions that exceeded 50 percent of 2011 profit, it said.

UPDATE 1-Abu Dhabi's TAQA raises $215 mln from ringgit bond | Reuters

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) raised $215 million from the sale of a Malaysian ringgit-denominated Islamic bond, or sukuk, it said on Sunday, as part of plans by the state-run oil and gas utility to diversify its funding sources.

The ten-year sukuk carried a 4.65 percent profit rate with a full swapped rate to U.S. dollars of 5.3 percent, the company, which owns assets in Canada and Europe, said in a statement.

TAQA, which is 75 percent owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, upsized the bond from 500 million to 650 million ringgits, due to strong investor demand from Malaysian asset management companies and Islamic investors, the company said.

Dubai Shares Rise to 10-Month High on Profit, Dividend Optimism - Businessweek

Dubai stocks jumped to a ten-month high as company earnings and dividends boosted investor confidence and after a Greek bailout and U.S. jobs data lifted global markets last week.

Emaar Properties PJSC, developer of the world’s tallest tower, rose 2 percent. Air Arabia PJSC, the Middle East’s biggest discount airline, climbed to a 10-month high after reporting a 7 percent increase in profit. The DFM General Index rallied 1.5 percent to 1,657.12, the highest intraday level since April 28, at 10:48 a.m. in Dubai. The measure, which entered a bull market last week, surged 27 percent from a low in January. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index gained 0.2 percent.

The 31 stocks in Dubai’s benchmark stock index are valued at an average 0.8 times net assets, or book value, below the average 1.7 times for emerging market stocks. Volumes have picked up this month, reaching 564 million shares on Feb. 23, the highest since March 2010 and almost five times the 12-month daily average of 115 million shares.

Dr. Rashid Al Leem interview: Hamriyah Free Zone Authority - Construction - ArabianBusiness.com

While the world seems wracked with financial crises and Europe struggles to come to terms with its sovereign debt problems, Sharjah’s Hamriyah Free Zone seems to be doing alright, thanks very much.
As the UAE’s fastest-growing free zone, Hamriyah now has close to 5,500 registered companies representing 138 nations operating in its two sites – not bad for a company that has continued to grow exponentially, despite the recent international financial turmoil. And, according to its director general, Dr. Rashid Al Leem, there are no signs of that growth abating just yet. Situated 20km north-east of the Sharjah city centre, the Hamriyah Free Zone was established by Emiri decree in November 1995, and centres around the Hamriyah Port (not to be confused with Dubai’s Al Hamriyah port), its deep-water harbour and shallower inner harbour.

Kingdom Holding Co to pay 146m dividends | A1SaudiArabia.com

Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), the investment firm chaired by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, said it plans to distribute SR550.3 million ($146.6 million) annual cash dividends out of its accumulated retained earnings during 2012.
The cash dividend represents a payment of 5 percent of capital or 50 halalas per share to the public shareholders, said Prince Alwaleed at the KHC board meeting.
It reflects KHCs strategy to distribute cash back to its shareholders as the company continues to experience improving results on the path of continuous profitability through its sound strategic plan, he added.

United Development of Qatar Says Investor Still Seeking Stake in Company - Bloomberg

United Development Co. (UDCD), a Qatari investor in infrastructure and energy, said an investor is seeking to become a strategic shareholder in the company.
The company received a new letter from Qatar National Bank, representative of an investor, indicating it “still wants to join the company as a strategic shareholder by way of increasing the capital,” according to a statement on the Qatar bourse today.
United Development said on Jan. 29 that an investor pulled a request to buy a stake in the company after seeking to change the terms of an offer.

gulfnews : Islamic finance: An industry inclusive to all, irrespective of background

Dr Mohammad Daud Bakr, president and CEO of Amanie Advisors, has the distinction of being both a globally-renowned Sharia scholar as well as an acclaimed entrepreneur.
His decades' worth of industry experience is both Amanie's pillar of knowledge as well as the focus of its clients' attention.
In an exclusive interview with Gulf News, Dr Daud provides insights into Arab Spring countries' potential for Islamic finance, scholars sitting on multiple Sharia boards and some of the challenges faced by the $1 trillion (Dh3.67 trillion) industry.

gulfnews : US, Saudi Arabia manoeuvre to contain Iran oil cut-off threat

Saudi Arabia has raised oil exports and the United States is considering releasing crude from its strategic reserves as oil prices hit nine-month highs on Friday and concerns deepened over Iran's nuclear programme.
Brent crude surged to over $125 a barrel after the United Nations nuclear watchdog issued a report flagging the potential military nature of Iran's nuclear programme, following an aborted UN inspection mission to Iran last week.
The report heightened fears of a supply disruption and could stoke worries in Israel, which has threatened Iran with pre-emptive strikes on nuclear sites. That would send shockwaves across the region and almost certainly drive oil prices even higher.

Sanctions take toll on trade flows with UAE - The National

Trade and business links between the UAE and Syria are being squeezed as fighting and sanctions disrupt trade and investment flows.

Officials expect the flow of goods to falter this year as the UAE complies with Arab League sanctions against Syria.

"If you compare the five countries that witnessed the Arab Spring last year, the most affected country was Libya and the least affected was Syria," said Abdullah Al Saleh, the undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Trade. "This year, with the resolutions and economic sanctions, and we don't know about the future development, we may see a drop in trade."

Billions in bank funds take flight from Syria - The National

Close to 100 billion Syrian pounds (Dh6.41bn), almost a third of all funds on deposit, has left the Syrian banking system since the conflict began last year, The National can reveal.

"We are in the danger zone, but it could get much worse," said an official at the country's stock-market in Damascus. "The crisis in Syria is very similar to that in Egypt, although it is a much smaller economy," added the official, who asked to remain nameless for fear of reprisals from the regime of Bashar Al Assad, the president.

According to the latest financial accounts from Syria's 14 listed banks, 95.6bn pounds has left the country's crippled banking system in the past year - 27.6 per cent of all funds on deposit. At the end of 2010 the banks had 442bn pounds on deposit. A year later that total had diminished to 346.4bn.

Saudi Shares Extend Gains for Sixth Day on Global Recovery, Oil - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabian shares rose for a sixth day, sending the benchmark index to its highest level in more than three years, after U.S. and emerging market stocks advanced on signs of a global economic recovery and oil rallied.
Al Rajhi Bank (RJHI), Saudi Arabia’s largest publicly-traded lender by assets, advanced to its highest price in almost 10 months, climbing 2 percent to 77 riyals ($20.53). Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), the world’s largest petrochemicals maker, known as Sabic, gained 0.8 percent, rising for a fifth day, to 101.25 riyals.
The Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) rose 0.6 percent to 7,075.86 at the 3:30 p.m. end of trading in Riyadh, its highest close since Sept. 28, 2008. The 151-member index’s six-day rally is the longest since a 10-day surge that ended on Feb. 5. The volume of shares traded was 504 million, the highest since Feb. 1.

Dubai homes market 'still plagued by oversupply' - Real Estate - ArabianBusiness.com

Real estate firm Cluttons has seen house prices increase in premium locations in Dubai in early 2012 but added that a widespread recovery would still be dogged by an oversupply of new properties.
The company said in a statement that the Dubai market was "still plagued by oversupply" but was seeing "selective stabilisation", with growing demand for homes in some parts of the city.
"In some premium locations with only a fixed number of properties on the market, Cluttons is already seeing prices increase as a result of a strong interest in potential buyers," the statement added.

gulfnews : Dubai Financial Market General Index reaching overbought level

Another very strong week for the Dubai market saw the Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) rally 116.22 or 7.67 per cent to close at 1,632.27. This is now the fifth week of the rally with the DFMGI closing strong, near the high of the week, and accompanied by higher volume.
Also, last week the index had the strongest performance rally so far, up 7.67 per cent. Several potential resistance levels were breached with little hesitation, reflecting the underlying buying strength. Strength was seen across the board with 28 advancing issues and only three declining.
One of the more significant resistance levels that was broken is represented by the long-term downtrend line coming off the March 2010 high (not shown in chart), at around 1,608.

WAM | Air Arabia fourth quarter net profit rises seven per cent to AED 78.7 million

Air Arabia (PJSC), the Middle East and North Africa's first and largest low-cost carrier, reported today a net profit of AED 78.7 million for the three months ending December 31, 2011, an increase of seven per cent compared to AED 73.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The company's turnover for the fourth quarter 2011 reached AED 638 million, an increase of 17 per cent compared to AED 544.8 million in 2010. Air Arabia carried 1,180,402 passengers in the final three months of last year, up two per cent compared to the same period in 2010.

These results were announced following a meeting today of the Board of Directors of Air Arabia, who have proposed a dividend distribution of 4.5 per cent of capital which is equivalent to 4.5 fils per share. This proposal is subject to ratification by the shareholders of Air Arabia at the company's upcoming Annual General Meeting.

Libya amending bank law to attract foreigners | Reuters

Libya is amending its banking laws to attract foreign investment and stimulate its private sector as it seeks to create an investor-friendly environment following last year's war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi, the central bank governor said.

In an interview with Reuters, Saddeq Omar Elkaber said the new Libyan leadership was working on creating the legal framework and necessary infrastructure, including updating a 2005 banking law which first allowed foreign banks in the North African country.

"We are working on amending laws to stimulate the private sector, as well as change the national banking structure," he said. "We have formed a committee to re-revise the law. We are also about to complete our preparations regarding Islamic banking regulations."

Saudi Stock Market close - February 25, 2012

General Index
Intraday 3 month
Daily Statistics
Date25/02/2012
General Index7075.86
Change (%)0.63%
Change44.60
T. Volume476763953
T. Companies 152
Advanced122
Declined21
Unchanged8
UnTraded4