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Friday, 9 March 2012

Walker-led consortium buys Iceland Foods

A consortium led by Iceland Foods founder and chief executive Malcolm Walker has purchased the UK frozen food retailer.


Iceland's management, including Walker, already owned 23% of the company and today (9 March) announced the acquisition of the rest of the business from failed Icelandic banks Landsbanki and Glitnir.


The deal, which values the business at GBP1.45bn (US$2.28bn), will see Iceland's management own 43% of the retailer.


Abu Dhabi sovereign fund looks to buy India property-sources | Reuters

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), one of the world's biggest sovereign wealth funds, plans to invest directly in Indian real estate in an effort to diversify from its current strategy of ploughing money into the country through realty or private equity funds, sources familiar with the matter said.


ADIA's investments in Indian real estate to date total $400 million to $500 million, largely through property and private equity funds, and the fund is now scouting for direct investment opportunities, one of the sources said.


The sovereign fund, whose assets range from Citigroup bonds to a stake in Britain's Gatwick airport, is close to hiring a country-dedicated fund manager from a large private equity firm to look for real estate opportunities in Asia's third-largest economy, the sources said.

Mark Mobius sees emerging market correction as a buying opportunity « ArabianMoney

Executive chairman of Templeton Asset Management Dr Mark Mobius was in Dubai this week for the Hedge Funds World conference and said he saw any setback in the emerging markets as a buying opportunity.


‘We have seen three bear markets – and I define that as a 30 and not 20 per cent correction – in emerging markets in 1997/8, 2001/2 and 2008/9.’ he said. ‘All were very short-lived.'


Gulf Times – Qatar Airways chief says IPO postponed for years

Any stock market flotation of Qatar Airways has been pushed back by several years due to wider economic turmoil, the chief executive of the state’s flag carrier said.
“I do not think it will be any closer than five to eight years,” Akbar al-Baker said at the ITB Berlin travel fair.
Qatar Airways indicated late in 2010 it was planning an initial public offering in early 2012 after three consecutive years of profit.

Oman Surges Ahead

Residential prices in Oman are significantly down from their 2008 peak, especially within Integrated Tourism Complexes (ITCs). But prices are recovering, and transaction levels are up, according to the real estate agent Cluttons.


Demand is strong in established central areas such as Madinat Qaboos, Qurum, and Shatti Al Qurum. The coastal suburbs of Azaiba and Ghubrah North have become increasingly attractive as well. The opening of the Muscat Expressway has also paved the way for Bausher area's rapid development.


ITCs such as The Wave and Muscat Hills, where prices fell during 2009, are now in demand due to their superior design, setting and facilities. Based on Savills Oman's H1 2011 figures, asking prices in The Wave are:


2 bedroom apartments - OMR 120,000 (US$ 312,094)
3 bedroom townhouse - OMR 160,000 (US$ 416,126)
4 bedroom villas - OMR 230,000 (US$ 598,181)
5 bedroom villas - OMR 285,000 (US$ 741,224).

Egypt stock market suffers a blow - The National

Egypt's stock market declined yesterday after disappointing news in the food and automotive industries shook investor confidence.


Juhayna Food Industries declined 1.9 per cent to 4.62 Egyptian pounds a share after the country's biggest dairy producer said annual profits dropped 18 per cent to 185.9 million pounds.


The company proposed a cash dividend of 0.15 pounds for every share to shareholders.

gulfnews : Emirates bond yield dives as travel picks up

Dubai Emirates airline's bond yield is falling to a record low as the world's biggest international carrier reaps the benefit of a recovery in Middle East passenger traffic and growing appetite for higher-yielding Dubai assets.
The yield on the Dubai-based company's 5.125 per cent dollar notes maturing in June 2016 dropped 73 basis points this year to 4.44 per cent Thursday, the lowest since they were sold in June. The retreat outpaces a 27 basis-point drop in average yields on corporate bonds from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to 4.96 per cent March 7, the HSBC/Nasdaq Dubai GCC Conventional Corporate US Dollar Bond Index shows.

Who is Yasser Mufti, Saudi Arabia’s New Governor to OPEC? - Arabianomics

According to this Dow Jones report, Saudi Arabia has replaced Majid al-Moneef as a new governor for OPEC with Yasser Mufti. Mufti was the country’s national representative to OPEC’s Economic Commission Board from 2003 until 2009, and now holds the title of OPEC Governor at the Saudi Ministry of Petroleum & Mineral Resources.
Mufti’s skillset is a blend of technical expertise with management experience.
Mufti has had several positions with the Ministry. He has served as a Manager of the Long Range Planning Department, Hawiyah Gas Plant Department, Southern Area Production Services Department, and Sea Water Injection Department of Aramco.

100 Bn barrels - Zawya

Saudi Arabia is exploring for nearly 100 billion barrels of new oil in existing fields and offshore in the Red Sea, according to an Associated Press report.


Amir Nasser, a senior official of state-owned Saudi Aramco, unveiled the plans in a speech Tuesday at an annual energy conference in Houston, according to AP.


"We are very optimistic about the potential for significant discoveries," said Mr. Nasser, according to AP, adding that the discoveries could also boost natural gas production by 40%.

Top ten stocks - Zawya

February was the month when Middle East markets roared back to life.


Dubai, often the laggard among Middle East markets over the past few years, was the region's best performing market in February, rising 23.1% during February, leaving even the fast-improving Egypt behind which rose 16.5%.


Saudi Arabia, easily the region's largest market in terms of market capitalisation, also impressed with an astonishing 10.2% improvement during the month.