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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

MENA stock markets close - April 3, 2012

 ExchangeStatus IndexChange  
 TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
 DFM (Dubai Financial Market) NOT UPDATED
 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)

Moody’s Foresees 10% Drop in US Housing Prices « naked capitalism

Recall when yours truly attended Americatalyst, a real housing/mortgage nerd conference, and the panel that was asked to forecast housing had no one predicting more than a 2-3% decline? I was gobsmacked because no one seemed to be acknowledging the huge number of foreclosures in process plus those likely to happen (“shadow inventory”).

Moody’s has focused on one aspect of the issue and does not like what it sees. Recall this Moody’s forecast follows one from Fitch of an 8% to 10% decline in housing prices. From Bloomberg:

Sales of repossessed properties probably will rise 25 percent this year from 1 million in 2011, according to Moody’s Analytics Inc. Prices for the homes could drop as much as 10 percent because they deteriorated as they were held in reserve during investigations by state officials resolved in February, according to RealtyTrac Inc. That month, 43 percent of foreclosures were delinquent for two or more years, from a 21 percent share in 2010, according to Lender Processing Services Inc. in Jacksonville, Florida.

Rich-poor gap ‘widening in Mena’

Higher oil prices and geopolitical events are widening the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” in the Mena region, said a report.

Oil exporters are outperforming, with oil revenues being used to fund investment in infrastructure and social programmes, said the Standard Chartered Mena Focus report.

In contrast, oil importers face challenges. Oil importers, such as countries in the Maghreb and the Levant, have high import bills, high unemployment and incredibly limited fiscal space to help boost their economies.

Drydocks World sees 87% approval for debt plan - Banking & Finance -

Drydocks World, which is testing a form of insolvency protection drawn up in response to Dubai's 2009 debt crisis, has 87 percent of creditors signed up to its proposed restructuring plan, an external advisor said on Tuesday.
But one hedge fund, US based Monarch Alternative Capital, which won a $45.5m legal claim against Drydocks in March for defaulting on a loan, is unlikely to accept the plan, Ian Schneider of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said.
"I remain sceptical that Monarch will agree to the deal," Schneider told reporters.

Dubai Shares Rise to 1-Month High as Aabar Boosts Arabtec Stake - Bloomberg

Dubai’s stocks advanced to the highest in almost a month led by Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC) after Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investments PJSC (AABAR) raised its ownership in the Dubai builder to 10.45 percent.
Arabtec, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest construction company, surged 15 percent, the biggest increase in more than three years. Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), developer of the world’s tallest tower, rallied to the highest since June. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) jumped 2.4 percent to 1,693.67, the highest since March 5, at the 2 p.m. close in Dubai.
Aabar Real Estate now owns 5.13 percent of Arabtec, according to data posted on Dubai’s stock exchange. Aabar Petroleum Investments Co., which in 2008 sold its energy assets to state-owned Mubadala Development Co., holds 5.32 percent up from 5.28 percent last month, the data show.

Qatar's CBQ launches 5-yr $500 mln bond - leads - Yahoo! News UK

Commercial Bank of Qatar, the Gulf Arab state's third-largest lender by market capitalisation, launched a $500 million five-year bond, arranging banks said on Tuesday.
The bond, which is the bank's first debt issue since November 2010, will price at a spread of 235 basis points over midswaps, having tightened from the initial 250 bps guidance given earlier in the day.
The order book for the bond was worth more than $3 billion, a banker working on the transaction said. Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas and HSBC are bookrunners on the deal.

IDB, Qatar and Dallah Albaraka to Set Up $1 Billion Islamic Bank - Bloomberg

The Islamic Development Bank, Dallah Albaraka Group and the Qatari government signed a memorandum of understanding to set up an Islamic Bank with a paid up capital of $1 billion.
The so-called Mega Islamic Bank shall provide “liquidity- management solutions in an effort to create an Islamic interbank market,” Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani, chairman of IDB, a Jeddah-based multilateral lender, said. The bank will have a subscribed capital of $500 million, he said during the signing ceremony at IDB’s annual meeting in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.
The lender will be based in Doha and will help finance infrastructure projects, he said.

Persian Gulf Stocks: Arabtec in Dubai and Yamamah Cement - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) climbed 0.3 percent to 7,930.58 at the 3:30 p.m. close in Riyadh, its fifth day of gains. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) advanced 2.4 percent.

OAB plans to raise RO50m in bonds: Times of Oman

Oman Arab Bank (OAB), the only non-listed bank in Oman, is planning to raise RO50 million by privately placing unsecured non-convertible bonds.

The shareholders have cleared the proposal at an extra ordinary meeting, the bank said in a statement. The issue price of the bond is fixed at RO1.002, which include two baisas as issue expense.

The EGM also authorised the board of directors and the CEO of the bank to finalise the conditions of the bonds issue, to complete the regulatory requirements, and to sign the prospectus and other related documents. The shareholders approved a proposal to distribute 12 per cent cash dividend and 6 per cent bonus shares. It also approved a proposal to issue preferential shares at the rate of 10 per cent.

Banks vie for role in Abu Dhabi property merger

Global banks, including the likes of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase, are jostling to win the advisory mandate for Abu Dhabi's state-backed merger of its two property developers, a ticket seen opening doors in the wealthy emirate.

Abu Dhabi is contemplating merging local developers Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate in a state-backed tie-up that could create a company worth some $15 billion in assets.

Mandate announcements for the proposed transaction are imminent, according to bankers who have pitched for the role, and even though the deal value and potential fees from advising are not massive, bankers are keen to get into the good books of the oil-rich emirate in the hopes of gaining future business.

Saudi reserve assets jump to SR21 trillion |

Reserve assets (foreign assets) of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency increased by SR47 billion to jump further to SR2.104 trillion in February, Al Rajhi Capital said in its March Economic Report released Saturday, as high oil prices and export led into high trade surplus. This is the highest absolute monthly jump since September 2011 when reserves had increased by SR63 billion during the month.
Remarkably, almost all increase (SR47 billion) in the reserves have been kept as liquid foreign deposits and currencies abroad.
The total investment in foreign securities remained at SR1436.3 billion in February almost similar to its level in January.

Top Bahrain firms warn of bankruptcy

Bahrain's top businessmen have warned of imminent bankruptcies if street violence and protests continue, adding that foreign investments could 'dry up' if authorities cannot bring back law and order to the country.

The Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) has also demanded an immediate investigation be launched into attacks on local businesses.

'The BCCI calls upon the Interior Ministry to immediately arrest perpetrators of violence and those behind attacks on several businesses and launch a full investigation into such acts,' said a BCCI statement.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Arabtec surges, lifts Dubai to 4-wk high - Yahoo! News UK

Dubai builder Arabtec surges 15 percent, helping lift the emirate's index to a four-week high after Abu Dhabi fund Aabar Investments nearly doubled its stake in the firm to 10.45 percent.
Shares in Arabtec jump 15 percent to finish at their highest price level since March 5.
State-owned fund Aabar bought shares equal to a 5.13 percent stake through its unit Aabar Real Estate, a bourse filing showed. It already owned 5.3 percent under Aabar Petroleum.
"The share price movement is linked to the shareholding structure and speculation on whether Aabar will continue to increase its stake," says Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at The National Investor. "It's not about valuations right now."

Saudi CMA head: stock market opening to be gradual - Yahoo! News UK

Saudi Arabia's long-awaited opening of its stock market to foreigners will be "gradual", the country's capital market regulator said on Tuesday.
"It is still within our strategy, but it should be done in an orderly and gradual manner to make sure it does not impact the market's stability," Abdulrahman al-Tuwaijri, chairman of the Capital Market Authority (CMA), said at a meeting with executives from listed companies that was attended by reporters.
"This gradual manner will happen, but we need time to make it happen in a safe and orderly manner. We also need to make sure it will not have any negative impact on the market."

Why Saudi Arabia is Trying to Talk Down Oil Prices

Why in the world is Saudi oil minister Ali Naimi talking down oil prices? If the Saudis wanted lower oil prices, wouldn't they just pump more oil instead of writing op-eds? Yet Naimi took the op-ed page of the Financial Times last week and wrote:

It is clear that sustained high prices are starting to take their toll on European economic growth targets...The bottom line is that Saudi Arabia would like to see a lower price. It would like to see a fair and reasonable price that will not hurt the global economic recovery, especially in emerging and developing countries, that will generate a good return for producing nations, and that will attract greater investment in the oil industry.
It's not clear at all that Europe's record-high unemployment has anything all to do with oil prices. Europe can't grow because its leaders are heavily invested in prolonging the life of its current debt-based system, which mostly benefits bankers and bureaucrats. Oil prices don't have anything to do with it, although refinery capacity may have something to do with it.

Qatar's CBQ plans $500 mln 5-yr bond - leads - Yahoo! News UK

Commercial Bank of Qatar is eyeing a $500 million five-year bond, arranging banks said, with pricing expected as early as Tuesday.
Initial guidance for the bond was in the area of 250 basis points over midswaps.
Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas and HSBC are bookrunners on the deal.

Five IPOs planned for the year on MSM: Times of Oman

Oman’s capital market will see at least five initial public offerings this year, said a senior official of the Muscat Securities Market (MSM). These primary issues will be floated by Bank Nizwa, Al Izz Bank International, Oman Arab Bank and Al Khalili group.

Bank Nizwa is planning to raise RO60 million, while Al Izz Bank issue will be to the tune of RO40 million.

The size of Oman Arab Bank issue is not yet determined. OAB’s two partners earlier said that they are diluting 25 per cent of their stake in the bank in favour of investing public.

Saudi finance minister happy with Fitch double-A-minus rating - Arab News

The latest investment-grade rating given to Saudi Arabia by Fitch highlights the strength and soundness of the financial and economic policies being pursued by the Kingdom, Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf said yesterday.

He called the Fitch action as excellent.

Fitch Ratings yesterday backed the Kingdom's investment-grade rating, pointing to soaring oil revenue.