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Sunday, 4 March 2012

Significant increase projected in Oman LNG’s 2011 revenues | Oman Observer

Buoyant international energy prices are expected to contribute to a significant increase in Oman LNG’s 2011 revenues, according to the company’s General Manager and Chief Executive.
“Between 2010 and 2011 the average price of energy has increased some 35-40 per cent. So in terms of revenue creation for Oman, 2011 has been a hugely successful year even if the volumes haven’t changed,” Dr Brian Buckley stated in comments to the
Observer.
The average price of oil climbed from around $77 per barrel at the end of 2010 to just over $100 per barrel at the end of last year — an increase that will be directly reflected in Oman LNG’s 2011 financial results due to released sometime next month. “So there will be a significant result announced in a few weeks time,” he said.

Dubai Is Back – Or Not - The Media Line

Stock market rallies, officials bullish on economy, but analysts are skeptical

Is Dubai back?

That’s the question economists and government officials ask about once every six months, only to be disappointed. But this time, at least, the stock market seems to be answering a yes.

Dubai’s shares have rallied 30% so far this year amid a spate of positive corporate earnings, dividend announcements and encouraging economic data.

The tiny Gulf emirate is displaying some of the bravado of its pre-crash years in a multi-billion-dollar bid to host the 2020 World Expo. The scale of the bid can be measured by the fact that Universal Expositions can draw up to 70 million visitors during the six months that they are open while Dubai has a population, including expatriates, of just over two million.

MENA stock markets

ExchangeStatus IndexChange
TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
7351.280.21%
DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
1754.23.07%
ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
2641.290.66%
KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
6186.40.86%
BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
1147.68-0.03%
MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
5847.110.09%
QE (Qatar Exchange)
8741.64-0.06%
LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
1201.070.34%
EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
5307.97-1.15%
ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
1959.98-0.00%
TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
4754.17-0.65%
CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
11413.8-0.22%
PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)
482-0.12%

Dubai Shares Rally as U.S. Data Boost Emirate’s Outlook; Arabtec Advances - Bloomberg

Dubai’s shares surged to the highest level in more than a year as investors bet a recovery in the emirate is more likely amid signs the U.S. economy is improving.
Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC), the United Arab Emirates’ biggest construction company, rose for the eighth time in nine days. Dubai Financial Market PJSC (DFM) surged 14 percent. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) advanced 3.1 percent to 1,754.20, the highest since November 2010, at the 2 p.m. close in the emirate. The measure rallied 21 percent in February, the biggest gain among benchmarks worldwide. The Bloomberg GCC 200 (BGCC200) Index of Persian Gulf stocks rose 0.6 percent.
“The global improvement has certainly helped improve the sentiment on Dubai’s stock market, as its economy depends on external demand, including tourism and trade,” said Anas el Maizi, an Abu Dhabi-based fund manager at Royal Capital PJSC. “The out-performance is above all expectations, and the current rally is too strong to be justified by a change in fundamentals.”

Kuwait Names 3 New Members to Stock Regulator Board, Kuna Says - Bloomberg

Kuwait’s council of ministers issued a draft decree naming Basel al-Haroun, Faisal al-Fahad and Mishal al-Osaimi as new board members of the country’s Capital Markets Authority, state-run news agency KUNA reported today.
The three members succeed those whose memberships were terminated by the cabinet last year.

Egypt forex reserves drop slows to $636 mln in February | Reuters

Egypt's net foreign reserves fell by $636 million in February, the central bank said on its website on Sunday, marking a signicant slowdown from the sharp decreases of the previous four months.

Reserves declined to $15.72 billion at the end of February from $16.35 billion at the end of January.

Since October, reserves had been falling by close to $2 billion a month.

Qatar- Doha Bank's EMTN gets provisional ratings

Saudi Arabia Might Require Banks to Lend to SMEs, Hayat Reports - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia might require banks to allocate part of their loans to small- and medium-sized businesses, al-Hayat reported, citing Labor Minister Adel Faqih. The kingdom may also allow establishment of banks dedicated to SME lending, the newspaper reported.

Equities in Dubai can't escape global sentiment | Financial Planning | AMEinfo.com

2012 has seen a renewed sense of optimism enter the marketplace, with equity markets across the globe recording impressive gains in the first part of the year. Last year equities markets in the Middle East couldn't escape the negative sentiment stemming from the Europe and fears of a global recession; however renewed optimism surrounding the US economy and the ability of the Eurozone to solve its debt crisis has driven equities forward this year. But is this rally sustainable? Whilst we think the US will muddle along this year, there is still significant risk to global growth coming from Europe and possibly China.

In Europe, the threat of a Eurozone break-up has diminished but not entirely disappeared. Given the sheer size of the problems facing Greece the second bail-out package scheduled for Athens may only be a stop-gap measure. We are doubtful that Athens will be able to implement the required reforms as outlined in the second bailout package, and even if Greece somehow implements these measures we are not sure they are enough to bring Greece's debt/GDP back down to more sustainable levels.

Is there a role for private sector investors in the Middle East’s infrastructure boom? « ArabianMoney

The raw statistics are still very impressive. More than a trillion dollars of what can broadly be catagorized as infrastructure projects are underway in the Middle East, a staggering two-thirds of them in the business-friendly UAE.

That is great news for global contractors of every shape and size. Yet private sector investors from overseas mainly find themselves sidelined. Abu Dhabi’s public-private partnership power stations are a rare exception to that general rule, so were the Dubai off-plan skyscraper towers that are now coping with the aftermath of massive overbuilding.

National Bonds Corporation fund grows 23% - The National

The National Bonds Corporation (NBC), a Sharia-compliant savings scheme, has announced that its Mudaraba Fund grew by 23 per cent last year.

Bond sales hit Dh2.39 billion (US$650.7 million) last year, increasing the Mudaraba portfolio to Dh4.6bn. NBC bondholders, whose numbers rose 7.3 per cent to total 655,000 last year, will receive an annual profit of up to 2 per cent, the company said. They are likely to be relieved at the news. NBC delayed the announcement, which was due in January, raising concerns about profits.

Mohammed Qasim Al Ali, the chief executive of NBC, said the prospects for the fund remained strong.

Rasmala Investment Bank shuts down research unit - The National

Rasmala Investment Bank has become the latest victim of the crisis in equities markets with the closure of its research division.

The closure comes after a recovery in equity volumes and prices over the last two months that have come as a reprieve to the sector.

Rasmala's research division was run as a joint venture with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), as part of a tie-up announced in 2010, but closed after RBS decided to pull out.

Master brickie builds new creation - The National

Jim O'Neill is noticeably protective of what he calls his "creation" - the concept of the Bric economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China as the driving force for global economic growth.

Since he came out with the idea in 2001, some economists have questioned the basic principle, arguing that these countries' similarities are less important than their differences. Others suggested that he left out obvious potential Bric candidates such as Turkey and South Africa.

Some critics said the concept was merely a mechanism for relentless exploitation of developing countries.

Oil price to fall, says Goldman economist O'Neill - The National

The price of oil will fall in the next few months as fears over Iran fade, says Jim O'Neill, the Goldman Sachs economist who a decade ago invented the term "Bric" economies - for Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Mr O'Neill was in the Gulf last week and took the opportunity to assess the long-term state of the oil market, which has been inflated on worries of a clash over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

"I returned from my trip thinking, as I did before, that an early attack on Iran doesn't make sense for anyone, Israel included, and therefore between now and the summer, whatever premium is in the market because of this issue, it is quite feasible it will decline or be removed," he told The National.

Oman GDP up 23.3% in 9 months - Emirates 24/7

Strong oil prices and higher crude output boosted Oman’s GDP by nearly 23.3 per cent in current prices in the first nine months of 2011 and both the oil and non-oils sectors recorded high growth, according to official data.

From around RO1.62 billion in the first nine months of 2010, the Gulf country’s nominal GDP swelled to nearly RO20.07 billion, showed the figures by the Ministry of National Economy, published in the local media.

A breakdown showed the oil sector jumped by about 34.9 per cent while the non-hydrocarbon sector grew by nearly 13.1 per cent in the same period.

Saudi shares post longest winning streak since 2005 | A1SaudiArabia.com

Saudi Arabian shares rose for an 11th day, the longest winning streak since August 2005, after global stocks advanced as manufacturing and jobs data in China and the US boosted the outlook for the worlds economy.
The Tadawul All Share Index rose 1.89 percent to close at 7,336.21, its highest level since October 2008. The 152- member indexs rally is the longest since a 14-day surge that ended on Aug. 8, 2005.
“”The market is rallying as telecom and cement shares are gaining,”" Turki Fadaak, head of research at Riyadh-based Albilad Investment Co., said. “”The index is moving positively, boosted by gains in global markets, although Tadawul has not yet reached levels prior to the 2008 financial crisis.”"

Gulf Times – Qatar sovereign ratings on par with most advanced countries

Qatar’s upper tier sovereign credit ratings are on par with most advanced economies, highlighting the country’s strong macroeconomic fundamentals, QNB Capital has said in a report.
In the Gulf region, Qatar has joint-highest ratings from the major ratings agencies with Kuwait and the UAE.
Rating agencies utilise a similar approach when assigning a sovereign rating, High in their consideration is the health of public finances, along with fiscal and monetary policy. Rating agencies also take into consideration economic performance and the level of debt (both public and private), including debt servicing capacity.

Vale Oman Exploration eyes mineral investments | Oman Observer

Brazilian mining conglomerate Vale, which is operating a massive iron ore pelletising plant and distribution hub at Sohar, is keenly exploring opportunities for investment in the Sultanate’s mining sector. According to high-ranking executives of the global mining giant, a team of geologists is currently scouting for commercially exploitable mineral reserves, the outcome of which will decide the nature and scale of Vale’s mineral investments in Oman.
“We have a mineral exploration team that’s presently mapping out the mineral resources of Oman. We are going to share this information with the Omani government through our joint venture partner Oman Oil Company. If we find some good investment opportunities, we will conduct some business with Oman Oil in the same way we have done with our pelletising plant,” Marcos Beluco, Country Manager of Vale Oman, said.

Gulf Times – Bahrain banks pin hopes on govt spend, consolidation

Much of Bahrain’s banking sector recovery hinges on the government’s plans to resume spending on infrastructure projects and consolidation among its fragile Islamic financial institutions, following a year of unrest that has dimmed the sector’s prospects.
Bahrain was once a financial hub in the Gulf, attracting international lenders such as BNP Paribas and Citigroup to the island state’s shores before the emergence of similar commercial centers in Doha and Dubai. It is home to 123 conventional banks with combined assets of around $200bn.
But after more than 12 months of political troubles, Bahraini bankers are putting a brave face on their sector’s growth prospects, pinning their hopes on a rebound in local infrastructure spending, such as the expansion of the domestic airport and the upgrade of its oil refineries.

Saudi Stock Market

General Index
Intraday 3 month
Daily Statistics
Date03/03/2012
General Index7336.21
Change (%)1.52%
Change109.78
T. Volume494522647
T. Companies 153
Advanced93
Declined39
Unchanged16
UnTraded7