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Sunday, 15 April 2012

gulfnews : UAE bank profits set to soar in 2012

After enduring three consecutive years of asset impairments and rising provisions which ate into profits, most UAE banks see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Ahead of the first quarter results, banking analysts said this year will be a year of a big comeback in terms of profitability for the banks after more than three years of balance sheet repair.
"The current year is expected to bear sweeter fruit, with one-off adjusted profits rising 22 per cent year on year. Bottom-line growth is anticipated to be driven by a drop in provisions," said Naveed Ahmad, senior financial analyst with Global Investment House.

Limitless drops its case against executive over apartment award - The National

Limitless, a property developer owned by Dubai World, has dropped court claims against one of its top executives for Dh9.46 million (US$2.5m) that was allegedly owed to the company.

Topic UAE Dubai World
The developer had sought to sue Abdulla Al Janahi, the executive director of corporate operations at Limitless, for alleged partial payment on an apartment block on land previously awarded to him as a bonus in 2004.

Limitless had claimed it was owed money for construction costs of the building on the plot of land, but yesterday dropped the claim against Mr Al Janahi.

OAB maiden bond issue receives overwhelming response | Oman Observer

Oman Arab Bank’s RO 50 million maiden bond issue was oversubscribed by more than 100 per cent, the bank stated here yesterday. The issue raised around RO 104.5 million from a number of leading top pension funds and institutions of the Sultanate.
Abdul Kadar Askalan, CEO, said the overwhelming response attested to the bank’s reputation and the confidence of the financial institutions in its management.
He thanked the Central Bank of Oman and the Capital Market Authority for their support and guidance.
Describing the oversubscription as a milestone for the bank, Askalan noted that bond issues added to the vibrancy of the market and allowed banks to tap diverse sources for capital.

MENA stock markets close - April 15, 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)

Saudi travel firm Al-Tayyar plans 30 pct IPO - Yahoo! News UK

Saudi Arabia's Al-Tayyar Travel Group has received approval to sell a 30 percent stake to the public, the bourse regulator said on Sunday, two years after the firm scrapped a similar sale due to a lack of demand.
The Capital Market Authority approved the initial public offering of 24 million shares, it said in a statement on the
bourse website.
The 30 percent IPO, a portion of which will be allocated to institutional investors, will be open May 14-20 once a book-building process is completed, the statement said.

Saudi Shares Drop Most in 8 Months on Global Growth Concern, Oil - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia (SABIC)’s shares slumped the most in almost eight months on investor concern that oil prices may retreat amid signs the global economic recovery is slowing and after first-quarter company earnings missed estimates.
Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co. (KAYAN), the company 35 percent-owned by Saudi Basic Industries Corp., lost 6.5 percent after its first-quarter loss widened. Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co. (SAFCO), the company known as Safco also part-owned by Saudi Basic, tumbled to the lowest since February after profit missed analysts’ expectations. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) fell 2.3 percent, the most since Aug. 20, to 7,348.33, at the 3:30 p.m. close in Riyadh.

Crude oil for May delivery fell 0.5 percent last week to $102.83 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said the kingdom is determined to see lower prices. Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, derives more than 90 percent of public revenue from oil exports.

Hastie in legal move over $6m Dubai bonds

HASTIE Group has taken legal action in Dubai to try to stop a client cashing in more than $6 million of construction bonds after a payments dispute between the two companies escalated at the end of last week.

The row is over what Hastie says is more than $8.5 million in underpayments on completed work under its $50 million contract fitting out the near-complete Novotel complex.

Relations have gradually soured between Hastie's Dubai joint venture company, Rotary-Humm, and the builder Dutco Balfour, a subsidiary of British construction and engineering giant Balfour Beatty.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-UAE telco du surges on block trade - Yahoo! News UK

Telecoms operator du surges after 2.4 million shares change hands in a trade that occurs in the final minute before the market close.
Du climbs 14.5 percent, trading 3.8 million shares on the day. The 30-day full-day average volume traded on the stock is 3.36 million, according to Reuters data.
"Some traders say it's an error but I don't think that is the case," says Saad al-Chalabi, a technical analyst for
institutional equities at Al Ramz Securities.

Saudi Shares Set for 6-Week Low - Businessweek

Saudi Arabia (SABIC)’s shares headed for the lowest close in almost six weeks on investor concern that oil prices may retreat amid signs the global economic recovery is slowing.

Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co. (KAYAN), the company 35 percent owned by Saudi Basic Industries Corp., slumped 5.9 percent after its first-quarter loss widened. Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co. (SAFCO), the company known as Safco also part-owned by Saudi Basic, tumbled to the lowest intraday level since February. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) fell 1.6 percent to 7,408.02, poised for the lowest close since March 7, at 1:34 p.m. in Riyadh.

Crude oil for May delivery fell 0.5 percent last week to $102.83 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said the kingdom is determined to see lower prices. Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, derives more than 90 percent of public revenue from oil exports.

Dubai's DIFC Authority names Al Ghurair chairman - Yahoo! News UK

Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (DIFCA), the governing body of the emirate's offshore financial district, has appointed Abdul Aziz al-Ghurair as its new chairman of the board, it said in a statement on Sunday.
Al Ghurair, who is also the chairman of Dubai lender Mashreq bank, is also the deputy chairman of the board of DIFC, which since 2004 has been a financial free zone for 800 firms, including 21 of the top 30 global banks, global asset managers, insurers and law firms.
Dubai's Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum named a new board for DIFC in August last year.

Dubai Shares Set for Biggest Drop in Week on Europe Debt Concern - Businessweek

Dubai’s benchmark stock index headed toward the biggest drop in a week as investor concern over Europe’s debt crisis intensified and economic reports in China and the U.S. missed estimates. Oil retreated in New York.

Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC), the United Arab Emirates construction company whose shares have rallied 114 percent this year, declined 1.5 percent. Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC (DIB), the U.A.E.’s biggest bank complying with Shariah rules, fell for the first time in three days. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) decreased 0.6 percent, headed for the biggest drop since April 9, to 1,669.49 at 11:07 a.m. in Dubai. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) yesterday slid 0.7 percent.

“Investors are cautious today on worries that Europe’s sovereign debt crisis is back to the forefront,” said Nabil Farhat, a partner at Abu Dhabi-based Al Fajer Securities. Drops in the U.S. stock market last week and in Saudi Arabia yesterday are “keeping investors on the sidelines,” he said.

Dubai-owned Travelodge swaps CEO amid restructure |

The CEO of Travelodge Hotels Ltd., Thame, UK, owned by Dubai International Capital, Guy Parsons, stepped down on Thursday, to be replaced by Grant Hearn.

The move comes in the middle of a debt restructuring programme which will see ownership move to New York-based hedge funds Golden Tree Asset Management and Avenue Capital Group, as well as Goldman Sachs.

Dubai International Capital bought Travelodge in 2006 for US $1.3 billion and could lose a possible US $634 million in the debt-for-equity deal.

Will insolvency proceedings leave Drydocks World high and dry? - Banking & Finance -

News that state-backed Dubai World had requested to restructure $26bn of liabilities in 2009 shook the economic foundations of the once-booming emirate and sent global stock markets spiraling.
While last week’s announcement that its shipbuilding subsidiary, Drydocks World, would test a new form of insolvency protection had little to no effect on regional markets, it did mark a turning point in the emirate’s move to bring its bankruptcy laws — and attitudes towards debt — in line with global practices.
Drydocks’ filed for insolvency protection under Decree 57 of the Dubai World Tribunal in a bid to help it enforce a $2.2bn restructuring plan on a minority of resistant creditors. Parent company Dubai World said the filing was a “pragmatic and sensible decision”.

Dubai World to invest Dh13.6bn in 3 years - Emirates 24/7

Dubai World (DW), one of the largest ports companies in the world, is planning to invest Dh13.6 billion in new projects in the next three years as part of an ongoing expansion strategy worldwide, its chairman was quoted on Sunday as saying.

The company already invested nearly Dh1.7 billion in 2011, mainly in its Jetway project in London, Sultan bin Sulayem said.

“We have plans to invest nearly Dh13.7 billion until 2014…these will cover 10 large expansion projects targeting promising markets,” he told the Abu Dhabi-based Arabic language daily Alittihad.

Qatar National Bank buys 49 pct stake in Libyan bank | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters

Qatar National Bank (QNB), the Gulf state's largest bank, has acquired a 49 percent stake in Libya's Bank of Commerce and Development as part of the Qatari lender's aggressive expansion strategy.

The Benghazi-based bank approved QNB as a strategic partner, according to a memorandum of understanding signed by the two institutions, a statement from QNB late on Thursday said.

Bank of Commerce and Development, which employs around 820 people, has total assets of $2 billion and a network of 32 branches, the statement said. No other financial details of the transaction was disclosed.

CMA applies governance rules on authorized persons - Arab News

The Capital Market Authority (CMA) has issued a resolution to gradually apply corporate governance standards and requirements on Authorized Persons from the beginning of this year. This is part of CMA's efforts to raise the quality, transparency and disclosure levels in the securities business sector in order to create a suitable investing environment.

CMA chairman and CEO Abdulrahman Al-Tuwaijri confirmed that CMA is seriously working toward establishing the best practices in corporate governance as well as raising the level of disclosure and transparency in all companies in the Saudi capital market whether they were listed companies or licensed Authorized Persons. Corporate governance is considered one of the important mechanisms to measure the market's efficiency in order to develop it and protect investors from illegal practices.

Al-Tuwaijri also explained that applying the governance standards and requirements would enhance the supervisory procedures, raise the level of institutional transparency and disclosure and support the legal and regulatory framework for those participating in the capital market.

Qatar Plans to Back Xstrata-Glencore Merger, Sunday Times Says - Bloomberg

Qatar told Xstrata Plc (XTA) that it will back the mining company’s planned merger with Glencore International Plc (GLEN), the Sunday Times reported, without saying where it got the information.
Qatar Holding LLC, an investment unit of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, built a 5.5 percent stake in Xstrata by last week, putting it in the most powerful position to influence shareholder votes on the union, according to the newspaper.

Could Dubai be the new home for hedge funds as they are booted out of Switzerland? « ArabianMoney

Switzerland is about to boot hedge funds out of the country by turning a lightly regulated sector into one more highly regulated than anywhere else in the world. Recent arrivals quit London when the burden of taxation became too great. Where will they go next?

The Dubai International Financial Centre is a possible option. It has regulation to international standards modelled on London’s FSA and the cost of accommodation is way below that of Geneva. Indeed, Geneva house prices rose on the arrival of the London hedgies and will doubtless plummet on their departure.