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Sunday, 8 April 2012

Can Gulf stock markets maintain momentum? - Zawya

With Gulf economies poised for growth on the back of strong macroeconomic policies, regional stock markets are also set for growth.

The two most liquid GCC markets - Dubai and Saudi Arabia - are both up well over 20% since the start of the year, with the Egyptian market also rising an astonishing 33%.

Opportunities abound in the MENA equity universe, but BAML is sticking with the slightly more obvious Saudi markets, is market weight in the UAE and Qatar and underweight in Egypt.

Gulf emerges as global sweet spot - Zawya

Nobody even considered looking at MENA states last year, as news of Arab Spring-related crisis, instability and the Iran conflict dominated the headlines.

But buried amid the negative headlines was the regional governments' resolve to continue pumping funds into their respective economies.

That strategy appears to have paid off, combined with a sustained bout of higher crude prices, which has raised fiscal and current account balances for most of the oil-rich Gulf states.

MENA stock markets close - April 8, 2012

 ExchangeStatus IndexChange  
 
 TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
 
7717.72-1.84%  
 
 DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
 
1668.62-1.06%  
 
 ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
 
2558.14-0.03%  
 
 KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
 
6153.60.13%  
 
 BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
 
1143.050.16%  
 
 MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
 
5841.50.25%  
 
 QE (Qatar Exchange)
 
8778.27-0.53%  
 
 LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
 
-
 
1202.580.00%  
 
 EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
 
4722.41-2.17%  
 
 ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
 
2001.54-0.21%  
 
 TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
 
5035.841.07%  
 
 CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
 
10512-0.92%  
 
 PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)
 
474.65-2.36%  


Dubai Index Drops to Week-Low as U.S. Data Weighs; Tadawul Falls - Bloomberg

Dubai shares retreated to a one-week low ahead of first-quarter earnings and after a U.S. jobs report missed estimates, fueling concern about the strength of the global economic recovery. Saudi shares tumbled.
Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC), the United Arab Emirates construction company whose shares have more than doubled this year, declined 4.4 percent. Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC (DIB), the U.A.E.’s biggest bank complying with Shariah rules, fell to the lowest since January. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) decreased 1.1 percent to 1,668.62 at the 2 p.m. close in the emirate, the lowest since April 2. Saudi Arabia (SABIC)’s Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) fell 1.8 percent, the most since Aug. 20, to 7,717.72. The index is up 20 percent in 2012.
Today’s declines are “a mixture of the effect of recent weakness in international markets and the anticipation of the first-quarter results for U.A.E. companies,” said Tariq Qaqish, deputy head of asset management at Dubai-based Al Mal Capital.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Saudi stocks tumble as traders eye world mkts - Yahoo! News UK

Saudi Arabia's index tumbles as investors sell ahead of an expected drop in global markets on Monday.
The index retreats 2.6 percent to 7,652 points and appears poised to make its largest one-day loss since August 2011.
The market is still up nearly 20 percent this year and analysts had warned it was over-bought.

Deutsche says Azzam steps down as MENA chairman - Yahoo! News UK

Deutsche Bank said on Sunday that its Middle East, North Africa (MENA) Chairman Henry Azzam, a veteran in the region, has stepped down from his position at the German lender.
"We confirm that Henry Azzam has stepped down as MENA non- executive chairman of the bank. He remains as an advisor to Deutsche Bank," a spokesman said.
Azzam was named non-executive chairman of the bank in 2010.

gulfnews : Oman Air loses 110m riyals due to fuel costs

Oman Air on Sunday said it reported a loss of 110 million riyals in 2011 as fuel costs spiralled.
The revenue for the year increased by 35 per cent to 311.3 million riyals over the previous year as the airline carried 3.8 million passengers last year, up 16 per cent over 2010, the state-controlled airline said in an e-mailed statement, adding this increase was despite the European crisis impacting traffic from and to Europe.
"It is important to note that the results for the year were impacted by 38 per cent increase in fuel price which alone increased the expenditure by 37 million riyals," the airline stated, adding that the seat factor rested at 73 in 2011.

Emirates May Refinance $550 Million Bond as Borrowing Costs Fall - Bloomberg

Emirates, the biggest airline by international traffic, may refinance a $550 million bond maturing in June, as borrowing costs decline, a company executive said.
“The market is awash with funds,” Gary Chapman, president of the airline’s dnata unit and services, said in a phone interview today. “At the moment the market is looking pretty attractive for good credit and there are funds available at relatively attractive pricing,” said Chapman, who also is responsible for finance at the company.
Bond sales by issuers in the Persian Gulf are off to a record start this year as borrowing costs decline, with regional companies and governments raising $14.7 billion so far, the most for the same period since Bloomberg began tracking the data in 1999. The average yield on Gulf debt fell to 4.56 percent March 28, the lowest in six months, the HSBC/NASDAQ Dubai GCC US Dollar Sukuk/Bond Index shows.

Dubai Index Set for Week-Low Before Earnings - Businessweek

Dubai shares retreated to a one-week low ahead of first-quarter earnings and after a U.S. jobs report missed estimates, fueling concern the global economic recovery is stalling. Saudi shares tumbled.

Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC), the United Arab Emirates construction company whose shares have more than doubled this year, declined 4.4 percent. Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC (DIB), the U.A.E.’s biggest bank complying with Shariah rules, fell to the lowest since January. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) decreased 1.1 percent to 1,668.62 at the 2 p.m. close in the emirate, the lowest since April 2. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) slumped 2.7 percent, the most since Aug. 20, at 1:39 p.m. in Riyadh.

Today’s declines are “a mixture of the effect of recent weakness in international markets and the anticipation of the first-quarter results for U.A.E. companies,” said Tariq Qaqish, deputy head of asset management at Dubai-based Al Mal Capital.

Egypt's EFG-Hermes 2011 profit tumbles 63 pct | Reuters

Egyptian bank EFG-Hermes reported a 63 percent drop in 2011 net profit on Sunday as the economic fallout from uprisings across the Middle East pushed down brokerage, investment banking and asset management revenue.

Net income before minority interests was 307.7 million Egyptian pounds, down from 826.2 million pounds in 2010, a statement from the bourse said.

Like other Egyptian financial firms, EFG was hit last year by the turmoil that followed a popular uprising that unseated the country's president.

Abu Dhabi sells small Tesla Motors stake | Reuters

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co TAQA.AD (TAQA) sold its 7-percent stake in electric carmarker Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O) on the stock market, booking a profit of $113 million, the state-owned energy and utility firm said on Sunday.

TAQA, which is 75-percent owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, did not disclose how much it received for the shares.

"We sold all 7,297,139 shares that we held after these were transferred to us from Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority in December 2010. This represents roughly 7 percent of all Tesla Motor shares," said TAQA spokesman Allan Virtanen.

MIDEAST MORNING BRIEFING: Gloomy Global Backdrop To Drag On Gulf Mkts - Financial Services - Zawya

Persian Gulf stocks will likely adopt a cautious tone Sunday after a disappointing U.S. jobs report late last week undermined views that the recovery of the world's biggest economy was gaining momentum, while fears of a prolonged recession in Europe will also keep local investors on edge as first quarter earnings season gets underway.

"First quarter earnings will be the first since the markets have taken off," said Paul Gamble, head of research at Jadwa Investment in Riyadh. "If some of the leading companies come in below investor expectations we could see a notable pull back in share prices, given the weaker news flow from global markets in recent days. Alternatively, if company performance is viewed as good, it should support confidence that the rally can continue."

On Friday, the U.S. government said the economy added just 120,000 jobs in March, well short of expectations. Stock and commodity markets were closed, but treasurys jumped, the dollar fell and stock futures dropped about 1%, suggesting the Dow Jones Industrial Average may fall when it reopens after the Easter break on Monday.

Business : Fujairah oil terminal to begin operations in Oct

Gulf Petrochem Group, a leading player in oil sector, is confident to launch operations at Fujairah oil terminal project in October this year, its top official said.
The Sharjah-based company, which finalised the deal with Fujairah government in January, said the phase one of the oil terminal project is on the verge of completion and will have capacity of up to 1.2 million cubic metres of storage. Fujairah Government has a 12 per cent stake in the project.

“We are open to signing contracts to lease our capacities,” Sanjeev Sisaudia, group chief executive of Gulf Petrochem Group, told Khaleej Times during an interview.

gulfnews : Ways to generate trust

The excessive pay among bank executives isn't something that Jakob Beck Thomsen, 31, considers a perfectly legitimate topic to talk about. "I never comment on our competitors," the CEO of Saxo Bank says.
But the young boss, who has been in the banking industry for about ten years, does agree that the fundamental issue bankers must rightfully acknowledge is their role in the financial crisis. "I think that is obvious to everyone."
"The financial industry obviously played a role in the crisis. It's the main reason, I think, that trust has broken down, in some cases justified, in others not, but still — it has broken down. Mistrust will remain at elevated levels for a long time," he adds.

Suitors line up for business portal Zawya - The National

A multimillion-dollar sale of the Middle Eastern business portal Zawya is expected to be finalised next month, with several global and regional media companies in the running.

Thomson Reuters, Emap and Pearson, which owns the Financial Times, have expressed an interest in acquiring the website, The National has learnt.

If negotiations are successful, Zawya is expected to be sold for tens of millions of dollars, with a new owner chosen within six weeks.

An uncertain week looms for Egypt - The National

Political uncertainty is threatening to weigh on Egypt's stock market this week.

Trading has slowed since the Muslim Brotherhood's decision to push one of its senior leaders, Khairat Al Shater, for the presidency, reversing an earlier pledge to stay out of the race.

The EGX 30 Index has rallied as much as 51 per cent this year amid expectations that the worst was over as the country made steps towards political development more than a year after the revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak from the presidency.

Oman LNG, Qalhat LNG in merger talks | Oman Observer

Oman LNG and Qalhat LNG, which together own the three liquefied natural gas trains at Qalhat near Sur, are discussing a possible merger, the Middle East Economic Survey (MEES) reported yesterday.
The highly regarded weekly’s Gulf Editor, Nick Wilson, quoted Oman LNG’s General Manager and CEO, Dr Brian Buckley, as saying that a merger could give the Sultanate more weight in the global LNG market.
A potential union would not only cut costs, but also address perceptions of competition between the two majority government-owned LNG firms, Dr Buckley is reported as adding. MEES also quotes an unnamed official of Qalhat LNG as stating that a merger deal between the two LNG producers could be sewn up within 6 to 12 months.

gulfnews : Bourses no bellwether of true state of UAE economy

The UAE's financial markets were established relatively late in comparison to other GCC bourses. It started operations in the late 1990s while the one in Kuwait was established around 50 years ago.
But despite the late start, the UAE's financial markets have attained a leading position not just in the region, but on the international stage.
The UAE and Qatar stock markets are currently under review, being considered to be upgraded to emerging markets by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) — a move that would give the two Gulf bourses a huge boost.

Stock market rally not a bubble - Arab News

It is not right to say that investors are shifting focus from real estate to the stock market. Instead, it can be seen as a diversification across different asset classes, according to Riyad Bank's Vice President and Chief Economist Ahmad Al-Telfah. Over the past three years, the financial market was fragile and sensitive to any global developments. So, investors focused their attention on the real estate. Now, the financial market is improving, so people are looking to diversify their portfolios again between real estate and equities, he told Arab News in an exclusive interview. Al-Telfah asserts, the economic and Tadawul's indicators show that we are not heading toward a bubble. Although the economy is going through an extended expansionary monetary policy, the leverage ratio does not seem to exceed its historical averages.

No Nasdaq Dubai delisting for Jordan's Hikma - yet - The National

One of the region's biggest drug makers wants Nasdaq Dubai to find a cure for its lack of liquidity.

While Hikma Pharmaceuticals says it has no immediate plans to delist from its home on Nasdaq Dubai,it has held talks with bourse officials about whether the UAE's exchanges will merge.

The drug manufacturer from Jordan is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Nasdaq Dubai since 2005.

Dubai's dazzling rise as a diamond centre - The National

Shoppers in the Emirates cannot seem to get their fill of bling. Ahmed bin Sulayem, the executive chairman of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), discusses what it took for Dubai to rise as a global diamond trading hub, doing about US$40 billion (Dh146.92bn) of business last year.

Give us an idea of Dubai's growth in the diamond trading business.

The DMCC story started in 2002. Before the establishment of the DMCC, the diamond trade in Dubai was worth around US$2 [million] to$3m … and we expect the numbers that come out of 2011 might well be over $40bn. And you are talking about an initiative that did not even start 10 years back.

Dubai's new initiative to reduce real estate legal disputes - Emirates 24/7

After launching two initiatives in the last two years to revive stalled projects in the emirate, the Dubai Land Department (DLD) is all set to unveil its new initiative - Tanweer - that aims to minimise legal disputes and protect investors’ rights.

Majida Ali Rashid, Chairwoman of the Center for Promotion and Management of Real Estate Investment, DLD, told Emirates 24|7: “Tanweer is designed to enhance investors’ confidence in the real estate market and act as a reference guide aimed at setting the frameworks and general principles of the rights and duties of real estate investors in order to ensure transparency and promote confidence in the market.”

The prime objectives of the programme include contributing to the organisation of the real estate sector; encouraging and attracting local and international investors; enhancing the confidence of investors in real estate sector; ensuring transparency at all transaction stages (sale or purchase); providing an umbrella for the protection of investor rights; minimising legal disputes and contributing to improving the real estate sector and its reflection on the rest of the national economy’s sectors.