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Monday, 23 April 2012

MENA stock markets close - April 23, 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)

EXCLUSIVE-Half Iran tanker fleet storing oil at sea - Yahoo! News UK

Iran has been forced to deploy more than half its fleet of supertankers to store oil at anchorage in the Gulf as buyers of its crude cut back because of sanctions, two Iran-based shipping sources said.
The sources, who are familiar with operations at Iran's main export terminal Kharg Island in the north of the Gulf, said 14 of National Iranian Tanker Company's (NITC) fleet of 25 very large crude carriers, each loaded with about 2 million barrels of oil, are now at anchor acting as floating storage.
A further five of Iran's nine Suezmax tankers, with capacity of one million barrels, are also parked offshore with oil aboard.

Dubai's Emaar to pay 10 pct dividend, focus abroad - Yahoo! News UK

Dubai's Emaar Properties, builder of the world's tallest tower Burj Khalifa, will pay a 10-percent cash dividend for 2011 and said on Monday it would look to its overseas business for a revenue boost next year.
Shareholders also approved a new board with seven new members.
Emaar Chairman Mohammed Alabbar said Emaar, which is about 30-percent owned by Dubai's sovereign investment vehicle, would focus on boosting revenues from its global operations next year and enhancing profit from recurring revenues.

Investors regain interest in UAE property -

Investors are starting to look at segments of the United Arab Emirates’ property market as a source of stable returns just three years after a price crash many thought would linger for much longer.
While hedge funds still play with Dubai’s distressed debt, a bank majority-owned by the Abu Dhabi government is looking to lure sovereign funds and institutional investors to a commercial property fund that will buy up premium UAE real estate.

Kuwait banks look to the state for action -

Kuwait’s financial sector is counting on the country’s freshly elected parliament, youthful new central bank chief and record oil revenues to kick start the country’s moribund economy.
While its political environment has long been deadlocked by the battle between elected parliamentarians and appointed ministers, Kuwait’s economy, bankers say, needs decisive leadership from the government, both as a regulator and as an investor of windfall oil wealth.

Qtel comes calling for $2 billion loan: bankers | Reuters

Qatar Telecom QTEL.QA has sent requests for proposals to international lenders for a $2 billion refinancing loan that will mark its return to the market after a two-year gap, bankers close to the deal said.

"It is one of the few corporates in Qatar that is able to access the market. It is right that Qtel gets centre stage," one European banker said.

Its record as an annual borrower since 2007 -- with the exception of 2011 -- of more than $2 billion should help generate momentum for the deal.

Bahrain: F1 can’t hide stalled reforms | beyondbrics –

Bahrain, the Arab spring’s forgotten revolt, had fallen off the radar of the fickle global media. But thanks to Formula 1, the world has been at least been reminded this weekend of Bahrain’s scorched social fabric.

Now, 14 months since the island was rocked by the worst unrest in its history, the future of Bahrain’s economy also remains unclear.

The international focus in recent months has been on the more brutal emerging civil war in Syria, often ignoring the slow-burn repression of this close US ally in the Gulf. For supporters of Bahrain’s monarchy, the legitimacy that came with the grand prix was a valuable win after last year’s race was cancelled amid widespread unrest inspired by the Arab spring.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Dubai extends slide as investors wait on Q1 - Yahoo! News UK

Dubai's benchmark ends lower for a sixth session in seven as investors await a catalyst to break stocks out of a seven-week sideways trend.
The index slips 0.6 percent to 1,641 points, trimming its 2012 gains to 21.2 percent. It is down 6.5 percent
from March 5's 16-month high.
Dubai's bellwether Emaar Properties gives up earlier gains to end 0.3 percent lower. The developer is expected to announce its first-quarter earnings this week. Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Emaar will
make a quarterly net profit of 496.7 million dirhams.

UPDATE 1-UAE Etisalat Q1 profit flat; foreign revenue jumps - Yahoo! News UK

United Arab Emirates' Etisalat on Monday reported a flat first-quarter net profit, beating analysts' estimates as the telecoms operator's rising international revenue offset declines at home.
Etisalat, which operates in 17 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, made a profit of 1.81 billion dirhams ($492.79 million)in the three months to March 31, down from 1.82 billion dirhams in the year-earlier period.
Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Etisalat would make a quarterly profit of 1.7 billion dirhams.
The former monopoly had reported declining profits in seven of the previous eight quarters.

Dubai Group Said to Propose 1% to 2.5% Interest in Debt Proposal - Businessweek

Dubai Group LLC, the investment company owned by the emirate’s ruler, proposed paying interest of 1 percent to 2.5 percent in a $6 billion debt restructuring proposal, three people familiar with the plan said.

Four different interest rate classes have been proposed depending on the currency and the type of creditors, two people said, declining to be identified because the information is private. Secured creditors, whose loans are backed by assets, will be repaid principal in three years, according to the people. Banks that offered partially secured and unsecured loans will be returned principal in 12 years and receive additional interest at the end of the loan term, they said.

A spokeswoman for Dubai Group declined to comment.

Murray & Roberts Offer Almost Three Times Oversubscribed - Bloomberg

Murray & Roberts Holdings Ltd. (MUR), South Africa’s second-biggest construction company, said its rights offer announced in February was almost three times oversubscribed.
Shareholders subscribed for 110.5 million rights offer shares, equivalent to 97.9 percent of the 112.8 million offered, Johannesburg-based Murray & Roberts said in a statement today. Holders of rights willing to buy more stock applied for a further 207 million shares, equivalent to 183.5 percent of the total offered. The subscription price was 18 rand a share.
“The net proceeds from the rights offer will be deployed to reduce the group’s debt,” Chief Executive Officer Henry Laas said in an e-mailed statement. The strengthening of Murray & Roberts finances “will provide additional support to our recovery and growth plan,” Laas said.

First Financial Services Association to be Established in the UAE - MarketWatch

A group of leading financial institutions in the United Arab Emirates have established the Financial Services Association (UAE), the first of its kind; a non-profit policy development and trade association for the financial services sector in the UAE. Such associations are integral to the development of a successful financial services sector in line with Global standards.

The Financial Services Association (UAE) has been initially registered in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and is currently under-going registration in Abu Dhabi. Plans are also underway to register the Association onshore in Dubai in order to create a UAE chapter.

UAE Central Bank baffles potential borrowers

A circular released by the UAE Central Bank earlier this month amending large exposure limit rules and introducing caps on loans to local governments and their related entities, has thrown some of the federation’s commercial banks into confusion and caused one potential bank issuer to call off a roadshow planned for last week.

The new regulations prevent banks from lending more than 100% of their capital to the federation’s governments and government-related commercial and non-commercial entities.

“Where there is an excess,” the circular read, “banks should make arrangements to regularize their position no later than September 30 2012.”

Kuwait’s Cabinet approves new plan to privatize struggling national airline within 3 years - The Washington Post

Kuwait’s Cabinet has approved a draft law to privatize struggling state carrier Kuwait Airways within three years.

Minister of Communications Salem al-Uthaina told the official Kuwait News Agency late Sunday that the measure calls on the airline’s board to sell a 35 percent stake to the highest bidder.

The draft law has been referred to the country’s legislature.

Persian Gulf Stocks: UNB, Dana Gas, Qatar Electricity & Water - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index (ADSMI) rose for the first time in three days, gaining 0.1 percent to 2,499.35 at the 2 p.m. close in the United Arab Emirates capital.

Bank of Sharjah signs cooperation agreement with Europe's Commerzbank Group | Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) |

Bank of Sharjah P.S.C. today announced that it has finalized and signed a cooperation agreement with Commerzbank International S.A. to set up a new Private Banking Wealth Management (PBWM) division.

The agreement stipulates that Commerzbank will provide the customers of Bank of Sharjah with the ability to benefit from its expertise, range of products and investment solutions in the field of wealth management. Under this agreement, Commerzbank International S.A. will support the management of the newly formed division. The cooperation agreement will also give customers of Bank of Sharjah access to Commerzbank's subsidiary in Luxembourg, specializing in managing wealth, precious metals and asset structuring.

The agreement was signed by Mr. Varouj Nerguizian, Executive Board Member and General Manager, on behalf of Bank of Sharjah, and by Mr. Falk Fischer, CEO of Commerzbank International S.A. - Luxembourg, on behalf of the European Bank.
In preparation for the launch of the new service, Bank of Sharjah has set-up dedicated high-end premises in Control Tower, Motor City Dubai, which are equipped with state-of-the-art technology.

Margin trading to be introduced on Dubai Financial Market, more volatility for more liquidity « ArabianMoney

The Dubai Financial Market surprised traders yesterday with news that it has approved margin trading by two brokerage houses. But the announcement came on the same day that yet another broker failed due to lack of business activity.

EFG-Hermes and Arab German International Broker have been accredited for margin trading from next month. Margin trading allows investors to leverage their cash positions by borrowing from their brokers provided that they meet margin payments if the value of their shares fall.

Qatar Plans to Invest $19 Billion in Gas, Power, Al Sharq Says - Bloomberg

Qatar plans to invest 70 billion riyals ($19 billion) in electricity and power projects over the 10 years ending 2021, Al Sharq reported, citing Energy Minister Mohammed Saleh Al Sada.

Credit Suisse advising QFIB on Doha listing-sources | Reuters

Swiss lender Credit Suisse is advising Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB), a private equity firm, on a listing of all of its shares on the Doha bourse, two bankers with knowledge of the deal told Reuters on Sunday.

QFIB, which sold its 41 percent stake in Qatar Engineering and Construction Company (Qcon) for $77 million last week, has said it is expecting to list in Doha by November.

Spokespeople for Credit Suisse and QFIB were not immediately available for comment.

gulfnews : Regional economy to stay strong

The banking sector in the GCC is quite insulated and diversification has started to pay dividends, according to Charles Dallara, managing director of the Institute of International Finance (IIF).
"[The] global economy is still struggling, but there's nothing to worry about for the Gulf region," he told the media on the sidelines of the 15th annual meeting of Middle Eastern and North African (Mena) Bank Chief Executives, hosted by BankMuscat at Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa.
George Abed, IIF director for Africa and the Middle East, pointed out that even if oil prices slump, the region will not feel the impact. "The region has invested $2.1 trillion in assets around the world, therefore the economy here will remain strong," he said.

Opportunities this spring bloom for UAE and its partners - The National

It is springtime, the season of new blooms. Behind every bloom, however, there is a winter of silent activity, unseen and unsung.

Every growth story, likewise, is a bloom in spring backed by months and years of hard work that involves several stakeholders, all of them working towards a common goal. It is their unflagging efforts that come to fruition, yielding tangible results.

For decades, trade has been the backbone of the Gulf economy. Hundreds of years ago, adventurous Arabs battled the vagaries of the ocean to discover new markets that in turn contributed to the evolution of the world's trade routes, which continue to flourish today. Over time, the trade dynamics shifted, as did the fortunes of nations.

Dubai rule change to aid trading on bourse - The National

The Dubai Financial Market(DFM) introduced a major reform to its trading rules yesterday as the crisis in liquidity closed yet another brokerage.

The bourse accredited two companies - EFG-Hermes and Arab German International Broker - to offer margin trading for the first time, a move that could dramatically increase trading volume because it allows investors to leverage their cash into much larger trading positions.

The exchange is also processing "similar applications from other brokerage firms" in collaboration with the regulator, the DFM said yesterday.

gulfnews : Dh1b fund to focus on UAE market

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) unveiled plans yesterday to launch a fund focusing on the UAE's property market with a fundraising target of around Dh1 billion.
NBAD, the UAE's second largest lender by assets, also launched a new investment management arm based in the Dubai Financial Centre (DIFC).
Senior officials outlined their proposals to take the real estate fund public via an initial public offering (IPO) within the next two years, creating the region's first listed real estate investment trust (REIT) in the process. NBAD and its partner in the fund venture, Gulf Investment Corporation, are each contributing Dh50 million in seed money to the fund, which officials hope will deliver double digit annual returns.

gulfnews : UAE wants to build with the BRICS

Trade between the UAE and the Brics grew by 18 per cent between 2005-09, according to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade. In 2009, trade between the UAE and the Brics reached around $44 billion (Dh161.5 billion), accounting for around 25 per cent of the UAE's trade with the world.