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Thursday, 8 March 2012

Drydocks World Seeks 5-Year Loan Plan in Debt Restructuring - Bloomberg

Drydocks World LLC, the Middle East’s biggest ship repair company, said it’s proposing to repay loans over five years as part of a plan to restructure $2.2 billion of debt.
Drydocks World presented the terms of its proposal and the steps required to implement it along with the associated timeline to all its syndicated lenders in Dubai today. The company said it’s confident it can get support for the plan.
“It is a restructuring of the debt for five years,” Chairman Khamis Juma Buamim said in Dubai today. “We continue to pay interest on the loans.”

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai halts 2-day drop; Egypt dips ahead of protest | Reuters

Dubai's market halted two days of sharp declines on Thursday as fresh buying at lower entry levels lifted stocks, while Egyptian shares dipped on nerves ahead of a demonstration planned for the weekend.

Dubai's index climbed 0.2 percent, after having fallen on profit-taking since Tuesday's 16-month high. On Wednesday it plunged 4.8 percent, its biggest drop in more than two years. The benchmark is up 19 percent this year.

Large-caps supported the benchmark, with top lender Emirates NBD up 3.3 percent and Emaar Properties climbing 0.7 percent. Dubai Financial Market rose 7.6 percent.

TEXT-Fitch says Abu Dhabi likely best placed if Hormuz Strait closes | Energy & Oil | Reuters

Abu Dhabi will become the oil producing member of the Gulf Cooperation Council that is best insulated from a closure of the Strait of Hormuz, once the Habshan-Fujairah pipeline is fully operational later this year, Fitch Ratings says. In January, the UAE's energy minister said that the pipeline, designed to transport 1.5mbd, should hopefully be operational within six months. As we have previously said, a prolonged closure of the Strait is a low probability. As well as the practical challenge of physically blocking it, we think Iran would only choose to close an international shipping lane that is the world's most important oil chokepoint as a last resort, given the potential for international retaliation.

DP World $1 bln loan attracts big demand, March deal seen | Reuters

DP World, the world's third-largest port operator, has attracted strong demand from both local and foreign banks for a $1 billion loan it wants to raise to help refinance a $3 billion facility maturing in October, bankers told Reuters.

While the bank group is not expected to be finalised for another week, according to a source at an international bank, it is expected that as many as ten institutions will be involved -- with the split slightly favouring foreign -- another, London-based, banker said.

Among lenders who have already agreed to participate are Citi, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Societe Generale and Standard Chartered, banking sources confirmed.

UAE health group plans $250m London IPO -

NMC Health, an Abu Dhabi-based healthcare provider, is seeking to raise $250m in an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange, the first such transaction by a company from the Gulf emirate.
The group plans to use the financing to acquire a medical centre in Dubai and develop a maternity hospital in Abu Dhabi, as well as other sites in the United Arab Emirates, it said in a statement on Thursday.

MENA stock markets close - March 8, 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)

TEXT-Fitch affirms DP World at 'BBB-';outlook stable | Reuters

Fitch Ratings has affirmed DP World Limited's (DP World) Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BBB-' with a Stable Outlook. Fitch has also affirmed the senior unsecured rating at 'BBB-' and the Short-term IDR at 'F3'. The Sukuk unsecured trust certificates issued by DP World Sukuk Limited have been affirmed at 'BBB-'.

DP World's ratings reflect its strong position as one of the largest global container terminal port operators, with a geographically diversified portfolio of assets in high growth emerging markets and key locations. Additional positive factors include the relatively high remaining average life of its concessions, its record of sustained operating cash flow generation and strong liquidity position. In H111, liquidity was bolstered by the USD1.5bn cash proceeds raised from the sale of a 75% stake in its Australian assets.

Dubai Builder Arabtec Slumps on Investor Speculation, Dividend Reduction - Bloomberg

Arabtec Holding PJSC slumped to the lowest in a month on speculation a strategic investor stopped buying the stock after a recent surge and as the United Arab Emirates’ biggest construction company cut its stock dividend.
The shares dropped 8.9 percent to 2.67 dirhams, the lowest level since Feb. 8, at the 2 p.m. close in Dubai. The board proposed 5 percent bonus shares and cash dividend of 5 fils a share, Arabtec said in a statement today. That compares with 25 percent stock dividend in 2010.
“We are seeing some profit-taking that is correcting the recent surge, as the shares have to equalize with the price-to- earnings ratio,” said Waleed Al Khateeb, senior finance manager at Dubai-based Daman Securities. “We also guess that the strategic investor in the stock has now stopped buying.”

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Dubai halts decline; Arabtec extends dip - Yahoo! News UK

Dubai's market halt two days of sharp declines as
fresh buying comes in at new entry levels, while Abu Dhabi also
rises as an upbeat global backdrop supports.
Dubai's index climbs 0.2 percent to 1,610 points.
On Wednesday it plunged 4.8 percent, its biggest drop in more
than two years. The benchmark is up 19 percent this year.
"The two brutal days took out speculative money and some of
the money that missed the rally, you'll see it come in," says
Amer Khan, fund manager, Shuaa Asset Management. "Over the next
few weeks, speculative stocks will continue to fall. The trick
is to pick up those stocks that have fundamental strength."
Large-caps support Dubai's index, with Emirates NBD
up 3.3 percent and Emaar Properties climbing
0.7 percent. Dubai Financial Market advances 7.6

$250 million London listing planned for Abu Dhabi's NMC - The National

NMC Healthcare, the Abu Dhabi-based healthcare firm, is preparing a US$250m (Dh918.2m) listing on the London Stock Exchange.

The company was seeking investment from UK investors "to finance current expansion plans and fund future growth opportunities," according to a regulatory filing.

The initial public offering (IPO) was the "next logical step" for the company, which has operated in the UAE for 37 years, said Dr BR Shetty, founder, managing director and chief executive of NMC Healthcare.

Dubai Shares Gain as Global Outlook Boosts Appetite for Risk - Bloomberg

Dubai’s shares headed for the biggest gain in almost a week after banks flocked to Greece’s debt swap and U.S. employers increased hiring, boosting investor appetite for riskier assets.
Dubai Financial Market PJSC (DFM), the only publicly traded Gulf Arab stock market, climbed 4.8 percent. Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), developer of the world’s tallest tower, rose for the second time this week. The benchmark DFM General Index added 0.9 percent, set for the biggest gain since March 4, to 1,622.57 at 11:33 a.m. in the emirate, trimming its losses this week to 4.7 percent. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index, which tracks the biggest 200 companies in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, rose 0.1 percent.
“The mood is bullish from investors’ perspective and they have more tolerance for risk,” said Chahir Hosni, equity sales manager at EFG-Hermes Holding SAE in Dubai. “With the markets in the U.S. and Europe doing better this is obviously helping."

UPDATE 1- Dubai builder Arabtec's Q4 profit surges | Reuters

Dubai builder Arabtec , in which Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments upped its stake recently, saw a three-fold rise in its fourth-quarter net profit, handily beating analyst expectations.

The largest builder in the United Arab Emirates by market value made a net profit of 165.8 million dirhams ($45.14 million)for the fourth quarter, Reuters calculated, compared with 54.7 million dirhams in the corresponding period in 2010.

Reuters calculated fourth-quarter figures from previous financial statements. Full-year profit after accounting for minority interest stood at 260.5 million dirhams, the company said in a statement to the bourse, down 15 percent from the prior-year period.

WAM | IPIC and MAN complete Ferrostaal settlement

The settlement agreement between Abu Dhabi based International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and commercial vehicle and engineering group MAN regarding the retransfer of all of IPIC's shares in Ferrostaal has completed.

The share retransfer completed in accordance with their agreement signed in November 2011.

Qatar's Doha Bank prices $500 mln bond | Reuters

Doha Bank priced a $500 million bond on Wednesday through arrangers Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan at the tighter end of guidance, indicating strong demand for the issue.

The lender, which is Qatar's fifth largest by market value, priced the five-year bond at a spread of 262.5 basis points over midswaps. The bond carries a coupon of 3.5 percent.

Earlier on Wednesday, price guidance was revised to a range of 262.5-275 basis points over midswaps, having tightened significantly from the initial price whisper of 287.5 basis points, due to strong investor demand.

It is clearly not a good idea to lose your pool of analysts - The National

For all who believe transparency is the lifeblood of a healthy financial industry, the demise of the investment analyst community in the UAE is a depressing development.

A good investment analyst is one of the most important cogs in the cycle of raising money and spending it wisely that is the raison d'ĂȘtre of financial services, indeed of all business activity. Without them, the process becomes more opaque, confusing and open to abuse.

From a self-interested viewpoint, analysts are also among the best sources a financial journalist can have. They understand the industries and sectors in which they specialise and are usually able to transmit their expert views in a digestible and accessible way. Good analysts' research is vital to good business news.

Arab Spring and bargains galore spur visitor numbers - The National

The Arab Spring and some good old-fashioned bargains at the shops made Dubai immensely popular last year, pushing the number of visitors up 10 per cent to 9.3 million.

That provided a boost to hotel revenues and offered a huge fillip to the emirate's economy.

Hotel revenues hit nearly Dh16 billion (US$4.35bn) across the year, an increase of 20 per cent over 2010, as visitors splashed more cash and stayed longer.

Hi traveller, want to see our malls? - The National

Dubai was not particularly high on the list of destinations Julia Deere wanted to visit. Nor was she particularly impressed with the city once she arrived.

But with seven hours to spare before her connecting flight in Dubai on a trip from London to Singapore, she decided to head out of the airport and explore.
"I got a cab to Dubai Mall, went to a few shops and then had dinner in a cafe in the mall which overlooked the Burj Khalifa and the fountain show," says Ms Deere, 28, an events manager from Britain.

Traders put bull run in Dubai to the sword - The National

Shares on Dubai's benchmark index shed Dh2 billion (US$544.4 million) yesterday as traders took profits from a bull market that has run since the start of the year.

People took their profit and got out," said Fathi ben Grira, the chief executive at the financial services firm MenaCorp in Abu Dhabi.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index fell 4.8 per cent, the biggest one-day drop since January 2010, to close at 1,607.77. For every stock that rose, 13 fell, with most stocks hitting the 10 per cent decline limit at which trading is stopped. Dubai's stock market capitalisation fell to Dh50.3 billion (US$13.69bn), from Dh52.3bn on Tuesday.

TEXT-S&P cuts Dar Al Arkan Real Estate rating to 'B+' | Reuters

-- In our view, Saudi Arabia-based property developer Dar Al Arkan Real
Estate Development Company (Dar Al Arkan) is facing heightened refinancing
risk because it has Saudi riyal (SAR) 4.4 billion in debt maturing in 2012.
-- We have therefore lowered our long-term issuer credit rating on Dar Al
Arkan to 'B+' from 'BB-' and placed the rating on CreditWatch with negative
-- The company is, in our opinion, sensitive to the timing of operating
cash inflows and to investor and creditor sentiment running up to the
-- The CreditWatch placement reflects our view of the short-term
refinancing risk the company is currently facing.

Saudis Beef Up On AML Compliance Training - Corruption Currents - WSJ

The International Compliance Association has signed a partnership agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority to deliver two certificated programs in anti-money laundering and compliance.

The programs will offer best-practice techniques on AML, fraud prevention and regulatory compliance to professionals at financial institutions regulated by the Capital Market Authority, Saudi Arabia’s financial markets regulator.

The agreement, announced Tuesday, comes as the Saudis push to establish themselves as the dominant center for investors in the Middle East. The United Arab Emirates currently has the largest banking market in the Gulf region in terms of assets, according to a recent report, but the Saudi market is more profitable.

The Most Expensive Airport In The World Will Be Fully Operational By 2027

Dubai is still building the biggest and most expensive airport in the world. It's just going to take a little longer than expected.
Al-Maktoum International Airport won't reach full capacity until 2027, ten years later than originally planned, Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths told Arabian Business today.
The ambitious project calls for a $34 billion airport as part of a $82 billion aerotropolis called Dubai World Central.

Dim sum bonds sprout in Dubai - Mar. 7, 2012

Forget hummus. The Middle East is now serving dim sum...bonds.
Dubai-based Emirates NBD, the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, is selling $119 million in so-called dim sum bonds, debt securities issued in the Chinese yuan outside of mainland China, primarily Hong Kong.
While the the bank's issuance is small in size, it marks the first dim sum bond sale for the Gulf region and signals China's growing appetite for foreign investment.

Dubai's Abraaj in $125 mln Morocco insurance deal | Reuters

Abraaj Capital is investing about $125 million in a Moroccan insurance holding firm as it bids to tap growth prospects in Africa's nascent insurance sector.

Privately-owned Saham Finances has majority stakes in three subsidiaries: Casablanca-listed CNIA Saada, sub-Saharan insurance firm Colina and Isaaf, a firm which focuses on assistance services market in Morocco, Abraaj said in a statement.

Abraaj, the Middle East's largest private equity firm and which recently bought private equity firm Aureos, said its investments will help Saham's expansion and acquisition plans in Africa and the Middle East.