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Saturday, 21 April 2012

Harrods Las Vegas Gets Its Final Nails Done « The Ticket Depot

Years ago, at the height of the post-Wynn “planning a building” building boom – there were whispers *cough*Norm Clarke*cough* that

Mohamed Al-Fayed, owner of London’s famous Harrods department store and father of Dodi Fayed (Yes, the Diana Dodi Fayed) was in serious discussions with MGM Mirage [before and after the Mirage acquisition, and Mandalay Resorts Group before they got eaten by MGM Mirage] concerning the development of a massive Harrods Las Vegas resort and casino. They even went so far as to produce a scale model that sat on display in the London store (above right).

Well, that was then and this is now. If the hyperbolic ‘planning a building’ boom hadn’t sevened out of adjectives OR MGM’s CityCentertastrophe didn’t sink the company into a debt hole the size of Steve Wynn’s much beloved China didn’t already kill HarrodsLV, it was certainly this that did. go ahead and give it a read, we’ll wait.

328 GCC funds hold $26.5 billion in assets: Markaz | Oman Observer

Assets managed by the Gulf’s roughly 100 asset management companies totalled $26.5 billion, held in some 328 funds, as of December 31, 2011, the Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) has revealed.
The findings are contained in Markaz’s new report, titled ‘GCC Asset Management & Investment Banking Survey 2012’, released at the weekend. The report takes an in-depth look at the industry across the GCC in terms of assets under management (AUM), number and types of funds managed, top managers across the various markets, fund costs, benchmarks and performance ranking and a number of other parameters. Moreover, the report discusses the investment banking aspect in terms of equity and debt activity, M&A and IPOs.
Geographically, Saudi Arabian funds account for 66 per cent of the total ($17.5bn), followed by Kuwaiti funds with 16 per cent share and GCC/MENA mandated funds with 14 per cent share. In terms of products, money market funds lead the pack with a 53 per cent share, followed by equities at 42 per cent, while the remainder is in fixed income and specialised funds. Of the total, Islamic funds manage $17bn (64 per cent) in assets.

Air France mulls German angle in Etihad talks- CEO | Reuters

Air France-KLM is considering a partnership with Abu Dhabi-based carrier Etihad that includes the German domestic routes of Air Berlin, a German newspaper quoted the chief executive of the Franco-Dutch airline as saying.

Etihad owns just under 30 percent of Air Berlin, which is Germany's second biggest carrier but is struggling to return to profit.

Air France-KLM has already said that the Abu Dhabi carrier had proposed a partnership on some routes.

Saudi's Kingdom Holding Q1 net profit up 11.3 pct | Reuters

Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding , the investment vehicle of billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, said on Saturday its first quarter net profit rose by 11.3 percent year-on-year to 100.8 million riyals ($26.88 million).

The company attributed its performance to the sales of its stake in Toronto's Four Seasons Hotel and its share of the Oasis Kingdom project in Riyadh, in a statement posted on the Saudi bourse website.

Saudi Shares Rise to 2-Week High on Quarterly Earnings Optimism - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark stock index advanced to the highest in almost two weeks as first- quarter profit at companies including Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) beat estimates and after oil rose for the first time in three days yesterday.
The Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) climbed 1.4 percent to 7,618.07 at the 3:30 p.m. close in Riyadh, the highest since April 9. Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), the world’s biggest petrochemicals company, whose profit last week exceeded analysts’ forecasts, increased 2 percent. Saudi Telecom, the kingdom’s largest phone- service provider, rose to the highest in more than a year after quarterly net income surged 60 percent.
“Sentiment is strong as first-quarter earnings at most Saudi companies are out, and positive,” said Turki Fadaak, head of research at Riyadh-based Albilad Investment Co. “Sabic’s earnings last week and the raising of the global economic forecast also boosted sentiment.”

Saudi Stock Market close - April 21, 2012

 General Index
Intraday  3 month  
 Daily Statistics
 General Index7618.07
 Change (%)1.39%
 T. Volume523415309
 T. Companies 154

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Saudi shares close higher - Yahoo! News UK

Saudi shares end higher on Saturday, led by gains in telecommunication stocks. The all-share index gains 1.39 percent to 7618.07 ponits and petrochemical index adds 1.22 percent to 6906.38 points.
The banking index ends 0.6 percent higher at 17490.17 points. Saudi Telecom Co closes up 3.16 percent, while Mobily and Zain KSA were up 1.87 percent and 2.07 percent respectively.

Abu Dhabi General Holding to Spend $1.6 Billion Through 2015 - Businessweek

General Holding Corp. PJSC, the Abu Dhabi government-owned holding company, plans to invest 5.8 billion dirhams ($1.6 billion) in the next three to four years as it helps expand the sheikhdom’s industrial sector.

The company plans to spend 3 billion dirhams expanding Emirates Steel Industries PJSC, which operates the largest steel plant in the United Arab Emirates, Hussain al Nowais, the company’s chairman, told reporters in Abu Dhabi. It also plans to invest 800 million dirhams in a plant that will process aluminum produced by Emirates Aluminium Co., an Abu Dhabi-based smelter, and 2 billion dirhams with an unidentified joint- venture partner to produce so-called seamless pipes used by the oil and gas industry, al-Nowais said.

“At the moment, the industrial sector represents less than 15 percent of Abu Dhabi’s economy,” said al-Nowais. “General Holding wants to help Abu Dhabi reach its goal of 25 percent.”

Qatar’s Stake in Total Rises to 3 Percent, De Margerie Says - Bloomberg

Qatar’s stake in Total SA (FP) has risen to 3 percent, according to the chairman and chief executive officer of Europe’s third-largest oil company.
“It’s a good company, it’s a good investment,” Christophe de Margerie said in an interview in Doha.
The Persian Gulf emirate, the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, has been buying shares in French companies including Lagarde SCA and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (MC) amid rising gas revenues. The Qatar Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, holds more than $65 billion of investments, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Abdullah al-Mahmood said at a conference in Doha.

Saudi Maaden in talks for up to $1.86 bln loan | Reuters

Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Maaden) is in talks with a number of banks for a loan of up to 7 billion riyals ($1.86 billion) to finance the company's future investments, the firm said in a bourse statement on Saturday.

"Maaden is in talks with a number of banks as it intends to receive a mid-term Murabaha loan for an amount that does not exceed seven billion riyals, in order to finance the company's future investments," it said.

On Wednesday a banker told Reuters that Maaden was seeking a 7 billion riyal loan from local banks, and that HSBC Saudi Arabia, an affiliate of HSBC, would be the lead arranger.

Gulf Times – Qatar boosts stake in Xstrata to 6.3% ahead of Glencore merger deal

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has increased its stake in Xstrata to nearly 6.3% from 5% just 10 days ago and is now the second-largest holder in the miner ahead of its proposed $48.4bn merger of equals with Glencore International.
The QIA’s latest build makes any attempt to block the deal more difficult. Many Xstrata shareholders are pushing for a better deal than the one on the table, in which Glencore will give 2.8 shares for each of Xstrata’s shares.
The transaction would give the combined company a market capitalisation of around $90bn at the time the deal was announced.