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Thursday, 22 March 2012

MENA stock markets close - March 22, 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)

MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE ends mixed as retail dominates; Qatar, Oman up - Yahoo! News UK

UAE markets end mixed as retail investors dominated trade on Thursday, while Qatar's benchmark
closes higher for a first day in three.
Dubai's index climbed 0.3 percent, taking its 2012 gains to 23 percent. The benchmark traded within a 50-point
range this week, volatility easing as investors await new catalysts to lift the market.
Some small-cap stocks still made large swings, however. National Central Cooling (Tabreed) jumped 8.4 percent, mortgage lender Tamweel rose 3.3 percent and Deyaar Development added 2.3 percent.

TEXT-Fitch affirms Majid Al Futtaim Holding LLC 'BBB' rating; stable outlook - Yahoo! News UK

Through MAF Retail LLC (MAFR), MAF is also one of the most active retailers in
the region, with the exclusive franchise for Carrefour S.A. ('BBB'/Stable) in
the Middle East, covering 19 countries mainly in MENA and central Asia. MAFR
currently operates 44 hypermarkets across 11 countries and 38 "Carrefour market"
stores. The hypermarkets are lodged in a joint venture (JV) with Carrefour SA,
75% of which is owned by MAFR and the remaining 25% by Carrefour SA. In its
analysis, Fitch de-consolidates MAFR from group results but takes into
consideration the likely sustainable dividend paid by MAFR to its JV owners.
As at February 2012 MAF had over AED7.7bn of liquidity (cash + available lines),
of which AED6bn is at the level of MAFH and MAFP. Fitch also notes that in 2011
and 2012 MAF has improved MAF's maturity profile to an average of four years. In
2011 MAF Group was able to refinance USD1.5bn of maturities due in 2012.

Abu Dhabi, Qatar Employers Pay 30% Over Dubai, Robert Half Says - Bloomberg

Employers in Abu Dhabi and Qatar offer as much as 30 percent more money than their counterparts in Dubai to attract candidates because of the cost of living, James Sayer, Robert Half International Inc. (RHI)’s Dubai-based director of Central Europe and the Middle East, said March 20.
On the premium candidates demand to live in Abu Dhabi and Qatar:
“When it comes to companies and doing business in the region, Dubai is still the preferred option because people want to live here and the infrastructure is great. People are demanding about 20 percent to 30 percent more money to live in Abu Dhabi and Qatar than in Dubai because the cost of living in those areas is higher than in Dubai. Rents in Dubai have fallen significantly, so it’s benefiting from that immensely.”

ADS Securities Applies for License to Trade Stocks in Abu Dhabi - Bloomberg

ADS Securities, an Abu Dhabi-based foreign exchange and commodities brokerage, is applying for a stock-trading license as markets in the United Arab Emirates rebound from a plunge that forced some brokerages to close.
“We are in the process of getting a license and it may take about six months,” Managing director Philippe Ghanem said in an interview in Abu Dhabi yesterday. “We need to serve the demand. We need to become a fully-fledged brokerage.”
Declining stocks markets in the U.A.E. in 2011 hurt the Persian Gulf nation’s brokerages, with the number of companies slumping to 48 from 98 at the end of 2008. Trading volumes in Dubai sank to a six-year low last year and the benchmark stock gauge fell 17 percent as regional uprisings and Europe’s debt crisis spurred concern economic growth would slow. Abu Dhabi’s benchmark fell 12 percent in the period.

Jafza 'presents $2bn debt plan to creditors'

Dubai's Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) has proposed a three-part refinancing plan to creditors for its $2.04 billion Islamic bond which matures in November, a report said on Tuesday.

The state-linked industrial free zone held a meeting with bankers in Dubai this week, Meed said quoting unidentified sources present at the meeting.

Jafza proposed reducing the debt level by 700 million dirhams ($190.58 million), raising a new bank loan of about 4 billion dirhams and issuing a new sukuk worth about 2.4 billion dirhams, Meed said.

Oman Shares Rise to Highest in Week After HSBC Merger Report - Bloomberg

Oman’s benchmark stock index rose to the highest in more than a week after a report the central bank will discuss a possible merger between the local unit of HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) and Oman International Bank SAOG. (OIBB)
Oman International surged the most since October, rising 3.7 percent. Transgulf Investment Holding Co. (TGII), a food, packaging and financial services company, climbed to the highest in more than a year. The MSM30 Index (MSM30) advanced 0.6 percent to 5,957.76, the highest since March 14, at the 1 p.m. close in Muscat, taking this week’s gain to 0.1 percent. The measure has added 4.6 percent this year.
Oman’s central bank will discuss the possible merger between Oman International and the HSBC unit on March 25, the regulator said in an e-mailed statement after the close of trading today. AlWatan newspaper earlier reported the plan. A Dubai-based spokesman for HSBC, who didn’t want to be identified because of company policy, declined to comment.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-UAE mkts end mixed; Tabreed surges - Yahoo! News UK

UAE markets end mixed as retail investors dominate trade, while Qatar's benchmark closes higher for a first day in three.
Dubai's index climbs 0.3 percent to close at 1,660 points and take its 2012 gains to 23 percent.
The benchmark traded within a 50-point range this week, volatility easing as investors await new catalysts to lift the market.
Some small-cap stocks still make large swings, however. National Central Cooling (Tabreed) jumps 8.4 percent,mortgage lender Tamweel rises 3.3 percent and Deyaar Development adds 2.3 percent.

Abu Dhabi's Finance House to buy CAPM - sources | Reuters

Abu Dhabi-listed Finance House is to buy privately-owned investment bank CAPM Investment to expand into investment banking and asset management, three sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Under an agreement between the two parties, Finance House will acquire CAPM's investment banking and asset management licence, offering a premium of between 5 to 10 percent to the value of those businesses, one of the sources said speaking on condition of anonymity.

CAPM was capitalised at 100 million dirhams ($27.2 million). Its liquid assets are estimated at around 40 million dirhams while the brokerage business is valued at around 55 to 60 million dirhams, the source said. However, the brokerage business is excluded from the deal as it will be wound up.

Qatar eyes stake in three luxury London hotels - Travel & Hospitality -

London’s Claridge’s, Berkeley and Connaught hotels could become Qatar’s latest trophy assets in the British capital after it was revealed an investment firm controlled by the Qatari emir has offered to buy a stake in the hotels’ parent company, it was reported on Thursday.
The revelation was part of a legal battle between Irish developer Paddy McKillen and British businessmen Sir David and Frederick Barclay, partners in Coroin, the parent company that owns the three iconic London hotels.
McKillen alleges that the Barclay brother acquired their 64 percent in Coroin unlawfully from previous owner, Irish financier Derek Quinlan, as the company’s terms and conditions state it is compulsory for a shareholder selling their stake to offer it to an existing investor first.

FT Alphaville » Gulf Keystone board strikes gold

Funny company, GKP.

The latest executive remuneration scheme seems to have been fashioned so as to encourage takeover speculation amongst the hoards of retail investors who follow this Kurdistan oil play.

Exit Event Awards
The Remuneration Committee has recommended that the Company makes cash settled awards to certain Executive Directors and employees conditional on the occurrence of an Exit Event (as defined below) (“Exit Event Awards”), up to a maximum amount equivalent to the value of 10,000,000 common shares of USD0.01 each (“common shares”) at the time of an Exit Event, and that a trustee (the “Exit Event Trustee”) be appointed to hold and, subject to the occurrence of an Exit Event, to sell sufficient common shares to satisfy the Exit Event Awards.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Kuwait dips as bluechips struggle; Dubai up - Yahoo! News UK

Kuwait bluechips are muted as the country's benchmark slips in early trade, although regional fund managers are seen parking their cash in Kuwait stocks after booking gains in neighbouring markets.
National Mobile Telecommunications (Wataniya) falls 0.9 percent and Ahli United Bank dips 1.1 percent as none of the 10 largest stocks advance, with three down and seven flat.
The index slips 0.1 percent to 6,242 points, trimming its 2012 gains to 7.3 percent. The Dubai and Saudi Arabia
benchmarks are up 23 and 17.5 percent respectively this year.

MIDEAST WEEKAHEAD-Investors hope UAE Q1 earnings justify stock rally | Reuters

As the first quarter of the year draws to a close, investors are looking ahead to the announcement of corporate earnings for the period. In the United Arab Emirates, they are seeking justification for the sharp rally in local stocks over recent weeks.

The Dubai and Abu Dhabi markets have been dominated by retail traders and speculative buying, so any disappointment in the quarterly numbers could shake newly acquired confidence.

Dubai's benchmark is up 22 percent year-to-date, although it is still down 74 percent from its peak in early 2008. Abu Dhabi's index has risen about 8 percent so far this year, leaving it down 49 percent from its peak before the financial crisis.

gulfnews : GCC must remove restrictions on pension funds

The unprecedented decision by Qatar's Pension and Social Insurance Authority to invest 1.6 billion Qatari riyals (Dh1.61 billion) in a real estate company marks the beginning of a new investment approach by pension funds in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The move follows calls by economists for Gulf pension funds to contribute to the development of GCC countries by stimulating local markets and encouraging further investment, and follows in the footsteps of pension funds across the world, especially those in the European Union (EU).
In EU states, pension funds are considered one of the most important driving factors of domestic investment, including investment in stock and capital markets, acting as market maker that brings balance to the market and curbs speculation.

Calls mount for waivers on Iranian sanctions - The National

The UAE last night joined a chorus of countries hoping to be exempt from US sanctions against Iran.

The calls came after the United States government granted a reprieve to Japan and 10 European Union countries on oil imports from Iran.

"Economically, there's a strong case for the UAE to be exempt," said Mohamed Al Lahouel, the chief economist at the Dubai Department of Economic Development. "The UAE has historic commercial ties with Iran, and if the sanctions slow down trade that will be affected."

Saudi Mortgage Market Slowest in Gulf as Reform Drags, CBRE Says - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s mortgage market is the least developed among the six Gulf Cooperation Council states almost a year after advisers to the king approved an overhaul of the mortgage law, CBRE Group Inc. said.
“Saudi Arabia has the largest real estate market in the GCC, but the least developed mortgage market,” CBRE said in a report today. “This has resulted in a shortage of owner- occupied residential housing, particularly at the lower end of the income scale.”
A package of reforms aimed at boosting private mortgage lending hasn’t taken affect a year after the Shura Council agreed on final amendments and passed it to King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz. CBRE said the delay is contributing to low mortgage lending in the kingdom, where only 2 percent of home purchases have been financed through mortgages. That compares with 17 percent in the United Arab Emirates and 70 percent in the U.K.

Many airlines to fail due to high fuel prices says Emirates but its expansion plan is also deadly « ArabianMoney

The President of Dubai Government’s rapidly expanding Emirates Airlline, Tim Clark told Bloomberg that more carriers will go bankrupt due to high fuel costs and a global economic slowdown. That does then beg the question of why his airline is growing its capacity so fast into an industry slump.

‘We can reel off a whole load of airlines that are teetering on the brink or are really gone,’ he said. ‘Roll this forward to Christmas, another eight or nine months, and we’re going to see this industry in serious trouble’.