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Saturday, 17 March 2012

UAE Central bank seeks to ease defaulters’ woes

Dissatisfied with the higher levels of proposed monthly installments which would be deducted from the salaries of Emirati loan defaulters, under the debt settlement initiative designed to bail them out from a debt trap, the UAE Central Bank is seeking appropriate solutions.
The board of directors of the central bank, which met here last week, reviewed data on the personal loans of UAE nationals submitted to it for study.

The board said in a statement that it considered “several options to find appropriate solutions for these loans and noted that the monthly installments deducted from the monthly salaries of UAE nationals towards repayment of these loans are rather high”.

Saudi Shares Extend Gains as U.S. Economic Outlook Improves - Businessweek

Saudi Arabian shares extended gains, approaching their highest level since the start of the financial crisis, and volume surged as better-than-expected U.S. economic data underpinned global growth prospects.

The Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) rose 0.4 percent to 7,600.57, its highest level since Sept. 14, 2008, at the 3:30 p.m. close in Riyadh. Some 759 million shares traded, compared with a six- month daily average of 312 million. The 152-member index rallied 2.6 percent last week, an eighth consecutive gain the longest streak since April 2005. The gauge is up 18.6 percent this year.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), the world’s largest petrochemicals maker, reached the highest since July. Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Co. (ALARKAN), the kingdom’s second-biggest developer by market value, soared the most in more than six weeks.

Iraq to pay $408 million Gulf War debt to Egyptians | Top News | Reuters

Iraq said on Saturday it had agreed to pay $408 million to hundreds of thousands of Egyptian workers who fled Iraq because of Saddam Hussein's 1990-91 invasion of Kuwait.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari signed a memorandum of understanding during a visit to Egypt this week, his office said, under which Baghdad agreed to make the payments to resolve the cases known as "yellow remittances".

Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian workers are still owed back pay after fleeing Iraq following Saddam's invasion of Kuwait.

UAE banks told to cut debt burden of nationals

The UAE central bank has directed lenders in the Gulf state to help reduce the debt burden of UAE nationals, with some bankers saying banks may have to write off certain personal loans.

The central bank, after a review of personal loans, found that UAE nationals were paying high repayment installments, it said in a statement.

"To alleviate the financial burden on UAE nationals, the board instructed further study and more cooperation and coordination from concerned agencies in order to find solutions," the statement said.

Saudi Stock Market close - March 17, 2012

General Index
Intraday  3 month  

* market data delayed by 20 min.
 Daily Statistics
 General Index7600.57
 Change (%)0.43%
 T. Volume719913812
 T. Companies 153

Saudi Shares Extend Gains as U.S. Economic Outlook Improves - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabian shares extended gains to near the highest level since the start of the world financial crisis following the week’s advance in U.S. equities.
The Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) rose 0.6 percent to 7,611.63, its highest intraday level since Sept. 20, by 12:53 p.m. in Riyadh. The 152-member index rallied 2.6 percent last week, capping an 8-week winning streak, the longest since April 2005. The gauge has gained 18.6 percent this year.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), the world’s largest petrochemicals maker, advanced to its strongest level since July. Alinma Bank (ALINMA), an Islamic lender, reached its highest intraday level since June 2009.

gulfnews : Equal opportunities still a distant goal in GCC job market

Women have come a long way in making a mark in society, but a closer look at the workplace indicates that they still deal with inequality.
For a long time, women had very limited access to jobs due to religious, cultural and educational traditions. As times have changed, more and more women have moved beyond their domestic roles attempting to make their own living. In the GCC alone, the number of women joining the workforce has increased significantly over the years, bringing the total female labour force to 3.3 million in 2010, up 83 per cent from 1.8 million almost a decade ago.

gulfnews : Cash injection urged for Gulf Air

A rejection by Bahrain's parliament of approval of a 664.3 million Bahraini dinar (Dh6.4 billion) payment to Gulf Air could jeopardise the national carrier's survival, the government has warned.
Finance Minister Shaikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad Al Khalifa and Transportation Minister Kamal Ahmad told leading members of both chambers of parliament that they needed to move promptly to help the ailing airline overcome its massive losses.
"Remaining passive and not making decisive moves or providing positive support will be a direct threat to Gulf Air's capability to survive and to overcome the daunting challenges it is now facing," the ministers said.

gulfnews : Iranian banks to be cut off by EU Saturday

The world's biggest electronic payment system will Saturday cut off Iranian banks blacklisted by the European Union in an attempt to further strangle Tehran's ability to finance a nuclear programme.
Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), which facilitates the bulk of global cross-border payments, said it would disconnect designated Iranian financial firms from its messaging system today at 1600 GMT after European regulators ordered the company to do so.

gulfnews : Arab multinationals spread their wings across the Middle East

At the Aujan Industries beverage plant in an industrial suburb of Dubai, workers survey an empty room where new machinery will be installed. When it is ready, movable walls will be rolled back to connect the area to the main production hall.
The family-owned Saudi Arabian company, which makes fruit-based beverages, is in the final stages of a ¤100 million (Dh483.7 million) programme to modernise and expand its three manufacturing facilities in Dubai, the Saudi city of Dammam and the Iranian capital Tehran.
Its ambitions do not stop there.

Top-10 ranking in sight for Tadawul - The National

Saudi Arabia's stock exchange is expected to quickly rank among the world's 10 most active markets if it opens up to international investors.

The Saudi Tadawul has attracted high levels of activity in recent months as speculation mounts that an easing of restrictions on foreign investors may be imminent. Currently, such investors are barred from trading except through swap agreements.

The kingdom's exchange has been one of the most active among emerging markets - and is only expected to grow faster if international investors are given access, said Ahmed Beydoun, the regional managing director of Deutsche Bank's equity business.

To Rebuild Libya, Start With Transparency on Oil Revenues: View - Bloomberg

Five months after rebels killed Muammar Qaddafi and a year after a Western-Arab air campaign intervened to help defeat him, Tripoli reopened its stock exchange Thursday to signal that Libya is again open for business.
True, just nine companies listed to trade their shares when the tiny exchange opened, three fewer than before the uprising. But Libya is the richest of the countries that unseated dictators during the Arab Spring. Elections to a National Assembly are set for June, with a new constitution to follow. Sitting on Africa’s largest oil reserves, this desert nation the size of Alaska should have excellent prospects for rebuilding its economy and using the proceeds to help found a democratic society.
So, was the North Atlantic Treaty Organization intervention a success? With debate rising over whether to intervene to stop the bloodshed in Syria, Libya’s example is being cited as a model to follow.

More testimony slated on fate of Vegas Strip hotel | Mansfield News Journal

A Nevada judge hearing a massive construction defect case is adding dates for more testimony before deciding whether a newly built but never occupied hotel tower on the Las Vegas Strip is so flawed that it should be demolished.

After four days of testimony about the 26-story Harmon Hotel, Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez on Thursday scheduled testimony for April 18-19 and the week of July 9-13, according to court records.

The judge is considering whether to approve tearing down or imploding the tower set snugly in the center of the $8.5 billion CityCenter development co-owned by MGM Resorts International and Dubai World.

Bahrain expected to register real GDP growth of 3.6% in 2012 - Arab News

The real GDP growth in Bahrain is expected to have come down to 1.5 percent in 2011, as per IMF data, compared to a strong growth of 4.1 percent in 2010 as political unrest in the country slowed down economic activity. However, the economy is expected to recover strongly by 3.6 percent in real terms in 2012 as oil prices are expected to remain high and other sectors such as tourism and financial sector recover after a turbulent 2011, according to a report by Global Investment House (Global).