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Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Saudis May Have Fifth-Largest Shale Reserves, Baker Hughes Says - Businessweek

Saudi Arabia may hold as much as 645 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas, according to an estimate by Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI) (BHI)

“This number will put Saudi Arabia as the fifth-largest holder of shale gas behind China, the U.S., Argentina and Mexico,” Robert Kennedy, lead petroleum engineer at Baker Hughes, said today at a Society of Petroleum Engineers conference in Khobar, Saudi Arabia.

China is the world’s largest holder of technically recoverable shale gas resources with around 1,275 trillion cubic feet followed by the U.S. with 862 trillion cubic feet, according to estimates from 32 countries published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration last year. The study didn’t include Saudi Arabia.

MENA stock markets close - April 10, 2012

 ExchangeStatus IndexChange  
 
 TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
 
7551.88-1.89%  
 
 DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
 
1678.41.26%  
 
 ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
 
2546.820.01%  
 
 KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
 
6148.70.47%  
 
 BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
 
1134.61-0.42%  
 
 MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
 
5882.930.92%  
 
 QE (Qatar Exchange)
 
8771.070.16%  
 
 LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
 
1200.47-0.18%  
 
 EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
 
4558.61-0.76%  
 
 ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
 
1996.3-0.33%  
 
 TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
 
5002.12-0.67%  
 
 CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
 
10581.30.19%  
 
 PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)
 
468.41-0.10%  


MIDEAST STOCKS-Profit-taking weighs on Saudi; Egypt an 9-week low - Yahoo! News UK

The Saudi bourse declined for a fifth session on Tuesday as investors booked gains from a recent rally, and Egyptian shares fell to a nine-week low on uncertainty over the drafting of a new constitution and a presidential election.
The kingdom's index lost 1.9 percent, trimming year-to-date gains to 17.7 percent.
Heavyweights Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) and Al Rajhi Bank fell 2.6 and 2.2 percent respectively.

FGB has $1.66bn debt maturities in 2012 - Emirates 24/7

Abu Dhabi-based First Gulf Bank (FGB) has nearly Dh6.1 billion ($1.66 billion) of debt maturities this year, said Fitch Ratings on Tuesday.

“Around Dh6.1bn of FGB's medium-term funding matures in 2012 but Fitch believes that the bank has the capability to repay this without putting undue pressure on liquidity, either from its current resources or new debt issuance,” the global ratings agency said in a statement.

FGB's funding remains reliant on relatively concentrated, but stable, customer deposits (mainly corporate and government-related), but the bank also has diversified medium-term funding. The bank successfully raised $1.15bn (Dh4.2bn) through two sukuk issues in August 2011 and January 2012.

Saudi Aramco Says Developing Shale Deposits Will Be ‘Challenge’ - Bloomberg

Developing shale gas in Saudi Arabia will be a challenge as most of it is in deep reservoirs with very low permeability, according to Saudi Arabian Oil Co.
The country, the world’s largest crude exporter, still has “great potential” in shale gas and needs to develop the resources to meet rising domestic demand, Adnan Kanaan, general supervisor for gas reservoir management at the state-owned producer known as Saudi Aramco, said today at a conference in Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Aramco will work with international service companies such as Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI), Halliburton Co. (HAL) and Schlumberger Ltd. to develop shale gas, Kanaan said.

UPDATE 1-Dubai's Shuaa names Colin Macdonald as new CEO - Yahoo! News UK

Shuaa Capital, the struggling Dubai-based investment bank, on Tuesday named a former ABN Amro banker as its new chief executive, replacing Michael Philipp who stepped down after just six months in the job.
Shuaa said Colin MacDonald, who was previously ABN's group managing director and regional head for the Middle East, will take over a bank struggling to find its feet after the global financial downturn hit its core business.
MacDonald left the Dutch lender in 2010 and has been working as an independent financial advisor since then.

Abraaj inks investment deal with Kuwait Energy

Dubai-based Abraaj Capital said it has signed a strategic investment agreement with Kuwait Energy, one of the fastest growing independent upstream oil and gas exploration and production companies in the Middle East.

A leading private equity manager investing in high growth markets, Abraaj said the key investment is being made through the Abraaj Private Equity Fund IV (APEF IV) into Kuwait Energy.

Announcing the deal on Tuesday, Abraaj said this strategic partnership will enable Kuwait Energy’s ongoing growth and development plans and facilitate its emergence as a regional independent exploration and production (E&P) pioneer with world-class expertise.

Persian Gulf Stocks: Air Arabia and National Bank of Abu Dhabi - Bloomberg

The DFM General Index (DFMGI) advanced 1.6 percent, the most since April 3, to 1,683.82 at 12:48 p.m. in the emirate. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index (ADSMI) rose 0.1 percent.

HSBC closes 400m sukuk for Saudi unit | A1SaudiArabia.com

HSBC Saudi Arabia Limited has successfully closed the first private placement of SR1.5 billion ($400 million) sukuk (Islamic bond) issue for the Saudi British Bank (SABB). This is the first subordinated Tier II sukuk transaction which comes in line with the Basel III transitional arrangement requirements in the region.
The size of the issue was SR 1.5 billion with 5-year tenure. As part of the issue, SABB has offered investors in its senior 2008 SR1,705 million notes the options to buy all or parts of their notes if they wished to participate in the new sukuk issue. The investors had the ability of subscribing to the sukuk issue with “new money”.

Suleiman Denies Reviving Old Regime as Egypt Contest Begins - Bloomberg

Egypt’s former intelligence chief said his presidential bid isn’t an effort to restore the ousted regime he served, as the Muslim Brotherhood’s main candidate blamed Egypt’s economic woes on the Hosni Mubarak era.
Omar Suleiman, who was Mubarak’s deputy in the last days of his rule, told the state-run al-Akhbar newspaper that last year’s uprising created a “new reality” that cannot be reversed. “The priority will be to salvage the country from the dominant chaos,” Suleiman said, promising rapid measures to restore stability and fight crime.
The comments, a day after presidential nominations closed, show Suleiman laying out a law-and-order platform and seeking to distance himself from his former boss as he prepares for elections due to start on May 23. His entry into the race has drawn accusations that Egypt’s ruling generals are trying to revive the old regime. Other Egyptians have expressed fears that Islamists, who have put forward several candidates, are seeking to monopolize power.

Saudi Arabia's move to open to foreign investors 'to boost UAE' - The National

Financial markets in the Emirates are likely to reap their own rewards when Saudi Arabia finally makes its long awaited move to open up to foreign investors, said the chief executive officer of the UAE's Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA).

Qualified international investors will be given "gradual" access to the kingdom's listed companies in a move widely expected later this year, although the Saudi regulator has declined to pinpoint a date.

Foreign institutional investors are poised to pour billions into the market, according to analysts, with the minimum individual investment expected to be set at US$5 million (Dh18.3m).

Saudi Arabia tops list with $12bn of petchem projects - Arab News

GCC petrochemical companies are amongst the lowest cost manufacturers in the world owing to cheap feedstock and energy costs. Given their strategic location and development as a major transportation hub, GCC petrochemical producers enjoy a huge competitive advantage over others.

Over the next few years, GCC countries will strive hard to prove their dominance in the petrochemical sector in an effort to diversify their economies away from Oil & Gas revenues. Development of large scale petrochemical complexes will serve the dual purpose of diversification as well as employment generation, according to a report by Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz).

Petrochemical prices saw an uptrend in the first half of 2011 in line with the increase in oil prices. However, prices declined during the second half on concerns of Euro zone debt problems spiraling to other regions, which resulted in lower demand.

gulfnews : Kuwait shaikh seeks $21.4m in UBS fees

A Kuwaiti shaikh is seeking $21.4 million (Dh78.6 million) in allegedly unpaid fees from Swiss investment bank UBS AG after he lobbied to make the bank lead adviser on one of the largest Middle Eastern acquisition deals in recent years, according to claims in Dubai International Financial Centre court filings.
Shaikh Mesha'al Jarah Al Sabah, who the documents say was assistant undersecretary in Kuwait's Ministry of Interior in charge of state security between 1995 and 2002, is suing UBS's DIFC branch claiming he was not paid for helping the bank secure a mandate for the sale in 2010 of the African assets of Kuwait's Mobile Telecommunications Co, better known as Zain.
UBS was ultimately paid around $60 million for its work as an adviser to Zain, according to a statement of claim posted on the courts' website. The deal saw Zain Africa sold to India's Bharti Airtel for an enterprise value of $10.7 billion in June 2010.

gulfnews : Mohammad calls on GCC to ease restrictions on cross-border trade

Gulf nations will be better able to build a stronger and more competitive bloc once restrictions on cross-border trade are eased, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said yesterday.
Shaikh Mohammad called for the GCC to remove obstacles to cross-border trade in order to strengthen the region's economies, saying that it was important for the Gulf nations to do away with procedures that hinder trade and economic openness among member countries, especially in the private sector.
He added that such openness would benefit GCC nationals, ensuring stability and a good life, and that achieving these objectives is what the GCC leaders are working for.

Abu Dhabi restarts 'shelved' projects worth $30bn - Emirates 24/7

Abu Dhabi is taking advantage of its surging petrodollars and massive overseas assets to restart some of the shelved projects that were estimated at nearly $30 billion last year, according to Saudi Arabia’s largest bank.

A large part of the projects involve construction, roads and the planned metro, which is believed to have received around Dh26 billion, National Commercial Bank (NCB) said in its latest GCC economic review.

“The increased spending will be supported by rising revenues. Abu Dhabi oil production rose to an average of 2.5 mbd in 2011, up from 2.2 mbd in 2009 and 2.34 mbd in 2010,” the report said.

GCC Banking Sector is Stable, Profitable: QNB | LoanSafe

Analysis of the GCC banking sector performed by QNB Group concludes that its prospects are stable, banks are expected to be remain profitable and that the sector itself has room for growth.

Total assets in the sector rose by 8.9 percent in 2011 to $1.46 trillion, equivalent to 106 percent of regional GDP. By comparison, assets in the UK equal 341 percent of its GDP. This suggests that there is still plenty of room for GCC assets to grow in relative terms.

GCC banking assets have been growing strongly in recent years, except for a slow period in 2009, at a compound annual growth rate of 7.5 percent from 2007-11. This growth in banking assets is a consequence of the region’s economic boom, driven by high oil prices.