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Friday, 6 April 2012

Azerbaijan and Turkey: Back to the Drawing Board on TANAP Pipeline? |

Azerbaijan and Turkey are showing that even for the closest of strategic allies it’s not always smooth sailing. And it’s not especially a surprise that energy issues are what’s causing the two cultural cousins to bicker.

Few bilateral relationships have been closer during past two decades than Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s, with strong linguistic and cultral ties acting like diplomatic super glue. But the bond has weakened in recent weeks, amid wrangling over a lucrative energy export arrangement to transport Azerbaijani gas westward.

Last December, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding to construct a $6-billion pipeline, known as TANAP, to carry gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz-II field via Georgia to Turkey and on to Europe. Under the original pipeline plan, Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR) would hold an 80-percent stake, and two Turkish state-owned companies BOTA┼× (Petroleum Pipeline Corporation) and TPAO (Turkish Petroleum Corporation) would have 10-percent stakes each.

UPDATE 1-UAE sets loan limits for state-linked firms | Reuters

The United Arab Emirates' central bank expanded its large exposure limit rules for commercial banks, introducing new caps for loans made to local governments and their entities in the first such change in nearly two decades.

The oil-reliant UAE economy is recovering from the 2009-2010 debt crisis in Dubai, marked by a $25 billion debt restructuring and record high provisions against bad loans, many of them to government entities. These provisions rose 25 percent to 55.3 billion dirhams ($15.1 billion) in December.

The regulator set new limits of 100 percent of the capital base for all lending by a bank to governments of the seven-member UAE federation and their non-commercial entities, and 25 percent to individual borrowers. No such limits existed before.

Dubai Ruler’s Private Equity Firm Reoirganizes its Debt - Bloomberg

Dubai International Capital LLC, the owner of Travelodge Ltd., reached an accord to alter terms of $2.5 billion of liabilities as Dubai’s state-linked companies restructure debt after roiling global markets in 2009.
Lenders will get 2 percent interest on about $2.15 billion of debt that will be extended for five years, Dubai Holding LLC, the company’s parent, said in an e-mailed statement today. The maturities of a further $350 million will be extended for three years at an “unchanged contractual rate of interest.”
Optimism about the Persian Gulf’s tourism and trade hub, which was rescued from default in 2009 by a $20 billion loan from the United Arab Emirates’ central bank and Abu Dhabi, has surged after state-owned Dubai World restructured $25 billion of debt last year. Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group LLC repaid a $500 million bond that matured in February.

MENA stock markets close - April 5, 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-Dubai leads Gulf declines; Egypt dips on uncertainty | Reuters

Dubai's bourse slipped on Thursday from a five-week high as most Gulf markets closed lower amid a weak global backdrop and Egyptian stocks eased as concerns lingered that an emboldened Muslim Brotherhood could deepen political instability.

Dubai's index finished 1 percent lower, trimming year-to-date gains to 24.6 percent.

Developer Deyaar and National Central Cooling (Tabreed) falling 3.7 and 7.8 percent respectively, and contractor Arabtec shed 3.6 percent.