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Thursday, 1 March 2012

Persian Gulf Stocks: Dubai Islamic Bank, Doha Bank, First Gulf - Bloomberg

Dubai’s DFM General Index (DFMGI) decreased 1.6 percent, the most since Dec. 21, to 1,702.01 at the 2 p.m. close in the emirate. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index (ADSMI) rose 0.5 percent, its tenth day of gains. Saudi Arabia’s market was closed for the weekend.

Drydocks World to Present Plan to Restructure $2.2 Billion Debt Next Week - Bloomberg

Drydocks World LLC plans to present next week the terms to restructure $2.2 billion of debt as the global credit crisis forces Dubai’s state-linked companies to alter terms on loan repayments.
Drydocks World, a unit of state-controlled Dubai World, will on March 8 “present the terms of its proposal and the steps required to implement it along with the associated timeline to all its syndicated lenders,” the company said in an e-mailed statement today. The company, which expects to complete the restructuring by July, “is confident that it will receive the support of a majority of its syndicated lenders to the terms of its debt restructuring,” it said.
Drydocks World is one several companies in Dubai seeking to restructure debt after property prices and asset values slumped in the Persian Gulf business hub and credit markets froze. Dubai World, one of the three main state-controlled holding companies, reached a deal last March with about 80 banks to delay payments on $25 billion of debt, while Dubai Group LLC is seeking to restructure $6 billion of bank debt.

Erdogan Faces Worse Deal in Sukuk Than Dollar Debt Market: Turkey Credit - Bloomberg

Turkey, planning its first sale of bonds that comply with Islamic law, may have to pay about a percentage point more in interest than on bonds sold in dollars that don’t have religious restrictions.
Turkey, the second-biggest Muslim economy after Indonesia, will probably have to pay a minimum of 5.5 percent annually on five-year debt to be attractive, according to Samer Mardini, vice president of fixed-income and Islamic finance products at SJS Markets Ltd. in Dubai. That’s 120 basis points higher than similar maturity dollar debt, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government, which won power in 2002, has sought more religious freedoms in secular Turkey, including adopting rules that will permit Islamic finance. The U.K. canceled what would have been the first sale of islamic debt by a Western government in February 2011, saying it didn’t offer value for money, while Luxembourg said in May it put an issue on hold as it saw no need for additional funding.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Egypt edges up ahead of OTMT shareholders vote - Yahoo!

Telecom shares pull Egypt's main index higher ahead of an Orascom Telecom Media and Technology (OTMT) meeting on Thursday, when shareholders will be asked to vote on the sale of most of the company's stake in Mobinil.
OTMT's shareholders are almost certain to approve the deal to sell its Mobinil stake to France Telecom for 202.5 Egyptian pounds ($33.57) per share, a premium over the market price.
The shareholders meeting is scheduled to begin at 1400 GMT,
an OTMT spokesperson said.

Qatar's Al Faisal to double its hotel investment |

Qatar’s Al Faisal Holding Company, which last year spent $309m buying the W Hotel in London, is planning to double its investment in the hotel sector, the company’s chairman told sister title Arabian Business in an interview in Doha.

“One of the specialties of this company is that we have a hospitality division and Qatar needs hotels,” Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Al Faisal, chairman of the Al Faisal Holding Company, told Arabian Business in a rare interview at his offices in Doha.

“We have so many hotels now and definitely with 2022 [FIFA World Cup] we are to double the investment in the sector, not just in Qatar but all over the world and we have big plans for our hospitality division."

Oman reports large surplus - Emirates 24/7

Higher crude output coupled with a sharp rise in oil prices allowed Oman to record one of its largest fiscal surpluses in the first 11 months of 2011 despite an increase in actual expenditure, according to official data.

After registering a deficit of around RO287.4 million (Dh2.75 billion) in the first 11 months of 2010, the Gulf country’s budget balance turned into a massive surplus of RO1,156.7 million (Dh11.09billion) in the first 11 months of 2011, showed the figures by the Omani ministry of national economy.

The massive surplus was mainly a result of a 65per cent rise in oil export earnings to nearly RO7.96 from RO4.89 billion due to a sharp rise in crude prices and Oman’s oil production to nearly 885,000 barrels per day from 864,000 bpd in the same period. High oil income boosted the country’s total actual revenue by about 47 per cent to RO10.32 from RO7.02 billion.

Money flows into Saudi real estate bonds

A flood of money into the bonds of Saudi Arabian property developer Dar Al Arkan is due to renewed confidence in the company’s ability to repay its debt, but also to a general scramble to buy Saudi assets as the economy booms.

The yield on the company’s $1 billion, 2.817 percent floating rate sukuk, due to mature this July, has plunged from above 25 percent at the start of January to around 8 percent now as it became clear the Islamic bond would be repaid on schedule.

That drop has probably run its course now, traders say, but the yield on the company’s 2015 maturity may have further to fall. It has already dropped to 10.7 percent from 14 percent at the start of the year. But the yield on the 2012 sukuk has returned to its 2011 low; a similar move by the 2015 sukuk would bring it to 10 percent.

Dubai shipbuilding firm eyes end to debt process

Dubai's state-run shipbuilding company says it soon plans to lay out the terms of its $2.2 billion debt restructuring plan and aims to complete the process by July.
DryDocks World and several lenders have been wrangling over the terms of the restructuring for months. It said Thursday it has made "significant progress" on the project and will present its proposed revised repayment terms to all creditors on March 8.
DryDocks World's parent Dubai World sent global markets reeling in 2009 when it acknowledged it couldn't pay back billions it owed. It signed an agreement to restructure some $25 billion in debt last March.
Several of its subsidiaries, including DryDocks World, are pursuing their own debt restructuring separately.

Dubai's DEWA says no bonds planned for 2012 | Reuters

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has no plans to tap bond markets in 2012 and the state utility will repay a 1.2 billion dirhams ($326.7 million) securitisation maturity this year ahead of time, its top executive said.

"There is no bond this year," Chief Executive Saeed Mohammed al-Tayer told Reuters on Thursday.

DEWA issued 7.35 billion dirhams worth of bonds in October 2010. It is the sole provider of electricity and water in the emirate of Dubai, one of seven members of the United Arab Emirates federation, but the Dubai government could soon allow other providers into the market.

Bahrain Financial Exchange eyes 20 firms

Bahrain Financial Exchange (BFX) has managed to attract five regional companies to the kingdom since it was set up and it is now looking to increase this to 20 by the end of the year.

"This is something we are doing that is positive for the economy of Bahrain because these brokers and representatives bring capital to the country, set up offices and also hire local staff," said BFX managing director and chief executive Arshad Khan.

"The BFX platform offers exposure to very diverse markets. We are offering a range of unique products from derivatives and commodities trading to currencies and we are looking to introduce new products, including an equity derivative package," he noted.

Abu Dhabi forum highlights doom for all apart from the UAE and Qatar « ArabianMoney

You could certainly accuse speakers at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi Global Financial Markets Forum yesterday of playing to the home crowd. There was almost universal gloom about economic prospects everywhere except the UAE and Qatar.

The global doom is not so hard to swallow. ArabianMoney has been pointing out for ages that the US recovery is false and based on printed money; that the eurozone sovereign debt crisis is not going away anytime soon; that China is slowing down; and that unemployment and social unrest is on the rise, big time.

gulfnews : Khalifa Port, industrial zone to open by year end

The UAE's eight ports handle 61 per cent of the GCC's trade, a top UAE official said Wednesday.
Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) yesterday said that it would open Khalifa Port and the adjacent industrial zone — Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) — for business in the fourth quarter of this year. Kizad, located in Taweelah between Abu Dhabi and Dubai cities — already is the site of Emirates Aluminium.
Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, Chairman of ADPC, said: "Today, ports in the UAE account for 61 per cent of the trade volume among GCC countries, having seen a 13 per cent annual growth in volume in recent years and growth projections remain positive. With this remarkable, fast-paced growth, ports are striving to be more competitive, efficient and productive for their customers." ADPC announced the arrival of the first batch of Super Post Panamax ship to shore (STS) container cranes at Khalifa Port. This marks a significant milestone for the port as it readies for Phase 1 completion at the same time as the opening of Kizad in the fourth quarter of this year.

NBAD prepared for long haul on ETF fund - The National

Investors had little enthusiasm for National Bank of Abu Dhabi's exchange-traded fund (ETF) last year.

High expenses and a lack of appetite for the recently introduced OneShare Dow Jones UAE 25 ETF caused the investment vehicle to report a widened full-year loss of Dh3.06 million, from a loss of Dh726,974 the previous year. The fund was launched in April 2010.

An ETF tracks a basket of stocks or commodities but trades like an individual share. In this case, the OneShare ETF includes the top 25 publicly traded companies in the UAE. "Because the ETF is still at an embryonic stage, the fixed costs for running that fund are quite high," said Saleem Khokhar, the head of equities at NBAD and a director at the ETF. "We are willing to ride out the expenses until it grows in terms of size."

Liberated Libya finally on the move again - The National

Flying into Tripoli International Airport offers the traveller an aerial view of Libya's pressing challenges as well as its future potential.

First the plane flies over the Mediterranean coastline, scattered with sleepy ports ringed by the hulks of Libyan warships bombed during last year's Nato campaign.

As the aircraft descends, passengers peering below see a cluster of cranes and scaffolds encasing the shell of a new terminal taking shape at the edge of the airport.

First Gulf Bank's Annual General Meeting approves 100% cash dividend and 100% bonus shares -

First Gulf Bank PJSC, leading financial partner of choice, successfully concluded its Annual General Meeting today in Abu Dhabi.

The AGM approved a cash dividend of 100 per cent of capital, as well as distribution of 100 per cent bonus shares.

Buyers of FGB shares by the 7th of March 2012 are eligible to cash dividends and bonus shares. The AGM also approved the financial statements for the year ending December 31, 2011.

Alwaleed’s Kingdom Seeks to Sell First Bonds as Saudi Companies Tap Debt - Bloomberg

Kingdom Holding Co., an investment company controlled by billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, is seeking to sell bonds for the first time, joining an increasing number of Saudi Arabian companies aiming to tap the debt market.
Kingdom Holding will hold a shareholders’ meeting March 27 to seek approval to sell conventional or Islamic bonds, the Riyadh-based company said in a statement to the Saudi bourse today. It didn’t provide further details.
Saudi Arabian corporate bond sales are poised to set a record in 2012 as a surge in state spending in the Arab world’s biggest economy encourages private businesses to invest more in expansion projects. Saudi Arabian Mining Co., the nation’s largest miner, and Almarai Co. are among five companies that unveiled plans to issue bonds this year. The state-run General Authority of Civil Aviation sold 15 billion riyals ($4 billion) of Islamic bonds in January.

Qatar selling treasury bills to create rial debt market - The National

Qatar has been selling as much as US$1.1 billion (Dh4.04bn) in treasury bills each month since May as it strives to be the first GCC state to develop a local currency debt market.

"Qatar does not need to raise funding but having a treasury-bills market can help build bonds, manage liquidity constraints and be developed into a broader local debt market to allow corporates and even financial institutions to raise local currency money from local markets," said Simon Williams, the chief Middle East and North Africa region economist at HSBC.

"It's something the region is clearly in need of and whoever pushes ahead with first will have a significant advantage over competitors in the region."

Lombard Bank’s major shareholder takes €2.5 billion hit on Greek debt -

Lombard Bank Malta's major shareholder Marfin, of Cyprus, has announced a record net loss of €3.3 billion in 2011 after incorporating a 62% "haircut" on toxic Greek bonds.

Marfin Popular Bank acquired a stake in Lombard Bank Malta plc in 2007, and its equity has grown to 48.9% since then. It's the second largest bank in Cyprus and the fifth largest bank in Greece, listed on both countries' stock exchanges. Its largest shareholder is Dubai Financial, a member of Dubai Investment Group, the Gulf emirate's investment arm.

Lombard Bank is also the majority shareholder (67%) in Maltapost, the island's only postal service.

Abu Dhabi boosts sales at Ducab - The National

Sales at the cable maker Ducab surged as Abu Dhabi construction industry orders outpaced Dubai for the first time.

The company increased sales by 39 per cent to Dh4.9 billion (US$1.3bn) last year. Operating profits from the underlying business doubled, said Ducab, without revealing numbers.

Revenue from the Abu Dhabi construction sector rose by half. Strong growth in the capital is augmented by sales in Europe, the wider Middle East and Asia, which accounted for 60 per cent of overall revenue last year, said Andrew Shaw, Ducab's managing director. "Last year was the first year that our sales invoiced to [Abu Dhabi] exceeded our sales invoiced to Dubai," said Mr Shaw.

Iran sanctions put Saudi oil output capacity to the test -

While all eyes in the oil market are on Iran, Ras Tanura, a sandy peninsula on the Saudi coast, is under almost as much scrutiny.
The oil export terminal, the world’s largest, has witnessed an uptick in activity over the past two weeks, suggesting Riyadh is ramping up oil production as looming sanctions by the European Union and US disrupt Iran’s crude exports.

Banks try equity swaps in frontier markets -

Investment banks are launching equity swap products to capture opportunities in difficult-to-access markets such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq, as they diversify their regional offerings to boost business.
Both the Japanese bank Nomura and Egypt’s EFG-Hermes launched stock swap products this month, for Saudi Arabia and Iraq respectively.

MENA stock markets close - February 29, 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)