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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

AlixPartners Announces Majority Investment from CVC Capital Partners to Further Growth and Client-Service Strategy Worldwide | EON: Enhanced Online News

AlixPartners, LLP, the global business advisory firm, and CVC Capital Partners (“CVC”) today announced they have agreed to a recapitalization by which funds affiliated with CVC will purchase majority ownership of AlixPartners. AlixPartners’ 125 Managing Directors will maintain a considerable equity stake in the enterprise. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close this summer.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Hellman & Friedman made a significant investment in AlixPartners in 2006; as part of that transaction, Jay Alix, who founded the firm in 1981, transferred a substantial portion of his interest. He will maintain a substantial minority stake in the firm.

MENA stock markets close - April 24, 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)

Dubai has put 291 property projects on hold-prospectus - Yahoo! News UK

Dubai's real estate watchdog has identified 291 projects that are on hold in the emirate after the burst of the property and asset bubble in 2009, according to information in a prospectus for a planned sovereign bond issue.
The Real Estate Regulatory Authority also determined that 165 projects were completed since the slowdown while work on 29 projects has not commenced yet.
"The current market situation has led to the re-evaluation of a number of real estate projects and delays in many
projects," the prospectus noted.
Dubai is planning a dual-tranche Islamic bond that could raise at least $1 billion and attract healthy demand as the regional tourism and business hub puts its 2009 debt debacle behind it.

Dubai Mashreq bank Q1 net profit up 2 pct - Yahoo! News UK

Dubai Mashreq bank posted a 2 percent rise in first-quarter earnings, the lender said on Tuesday.
Net profit increased to 271 million dirhams ($73.8 million) in the period, up from 265.3 million dirhams a year earlier, a company statement said.

Abu Dhabi’s ADCB First-Quarter Net Rises 38%, Tops Estimates - Businessweek

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), the United Arab Emirates’ third-biggest lender, posted a 38 percent increase in first-quarter profit as impairment provisions declined and net interest income grew.

Net income advanced to 802 million dirhams ($218 million) from 583 million dirhams a year earlier, the lender said in a statement today. That beat the 612 million-dirham median estimate of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Net interest income and Islamic financing revenue rose 29 percent to 1.2 billion dirhams.

U.A.E. banks are recovering after the global financial crisis slowed lending, hurt investment banking and led to an increase in bad loans. National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC (NBAD), the U.A.E.’s second-biggest bank by assets, today posted a 12 percent increase in first-quarter profit, while First Gulf Bank PJSC (FGB), a lender owned by Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, reported yesterday a 7 percent rise in profit to 935 million dirhams.

Can Emaar Bounce Back? | Live Trading News

Kuwaiti bank Bullish on Emaar, Dubai’s largest developer
Kuwait’s Global Investment House said Saturday that the once hammered Dubai real estate market would enter a phase of stabilization in Y 2012, and that Emaar Properties (L:42CA) would benefit most from it.

Among the five real estate firms listed at the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), Kuwait-based Global Investment House, known as Global, issued a “Strong Euy” order on Emaar, Global said in an analysis released Saturday.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Arabtec surge helps lift Dubai; Gulf mixed | Reuters

Shares in Dubai's Arabtec surged on Tuesday after a unit of the builder won new contracts, helping the bourse index make its largest daily gain in three weeks, while other Gulf bourses were mixed in muted trade.

Arabtec jumped 6.2 percent, extending year-to-date gains to 127 percent.

Its unit, Target Engineering Construction, won contracts worth $137 million in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Dana Gas Said to Hire Blackstone to Restructure $1 Billion - Bloomberg

Dana Gas PJSC (DANA) hired Blackstone Group LP (BX), the world’s largest private-equity firm, to advise on the $1 billion restructuring of Islamic bonds maturing in October, three people familiar with the matter said.
Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) is also advising the company, two people with knowledge of the matter said in January. Dana Gas, whose parent Crescent Petroleum Co. owns 3 percent of Hungarian refiner Mol Nyrt., (MOL) said Jan. 17 it would continue to meet debt obligations and appointed an unidentified financial adviser.
Dana Gas, which produces and explores for oil and gas in Egypt and Iraq’s Kurdistan region, said in March money owed by customers almost doubled last year to $501 million from $255 million. The company said $212 million of the total was owed for more than four months. The yield on its 7.5 percent sukuk due October 2012 climbed 23.69 percentage points so far this year to 61.17 percent at 2:35 p.m. in Dubai.

GCC asset management industry poised to grow to the next level of sophistication -

A diversified asset management industry has emerged in the GCC over the last decade, according to a study conducted by Markab Advisory and sponsored by Qatar Financial Centre Authority.

The study, Asset Management Industry in the GCC: Growth Dynamics and Contours of the Next Phase of Evolution, says that despite its youth, and especially in the aftermath of the financial crisis, the industry has shown signs of maturity and consolidation. It has tremendous potential to graduate to the next level of sophistication.

Private equity (PE), rather than mutual funds, will be the main arbiter of growth of the region’s asset management industry, says the study, which explores the growth and dynamics of the regional asset management industry and highlights the role that the industry can play in improving the global competitiveness of the GCC region.

Gatehouse Bank realises GBP34.4 million real estate investment in UK -

Gatehouse Bank plc (Gatehouse), a London-based wholesale Shariah compliant investment bank, today announces the successful delivery of its realised investment in UK real estate, through the sale of a two properties as part of a UK student accommodation portfolio in a deal worth £34.4 million.

The deal represents an excellent return for Gatehouse’s investors, who have benefited from an internal rate of return of 18.6% during the two year holding period, and a return on investment of 37.2% on exit.

Mr Fahed Boodai, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Gatehouse Bank announced today via an exclusive video link from London, “Over the past two years we have invested in the student accommodation sector on behalf of our investors, confident of the excellent return potential, which we believe we have successfully delivered in the realisation of the UK student accommodation portfolio investment.”

UPDATE 1-ADCB Q1 net profit up 38 pct, beats estimates | Reuters

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank the emirate's third-largest lender by market value, posted a 38-percent rise in first quarter net profit on Tuesday due to lower impairments and higher interest income.

ADCB posted a net profit of 802 million dirhams ($218.52 million) in the first quarter, compared with 583 million dirhams a year earlier, ahead of analysts' forecasts.

Analysts polled by Reuters forecast an average first-quarter net profit of 641.25 million dirhams.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Saudi ends lower; large-caps weigh - Yahoo! News UK

Saudi Arabia's bourse gives way to marginal declines in muted trade with petrochemical companies weighing.
The index finishes 0.2 percent lower at 7,512 points, as it consolidates gains from earlier this year and trading value drops as investors await fresh cues.
The market traded 9.9 billion riyals ($2.6 billion) worth of shares, its lowest one-day value in nine weeks.

Dubai 2011 budget gap falls to $1 bln, spending up - Yahoo! News UK

Dubai's government budget deficit narrowed sharply to 3.7 billion dirhams ($1 billion) helped by higher oil revenues and lower spending on development projects, a prospectus showed on Tuesday.
Government expenditures for the member of the United Arab Emirates federation rose to 35.98 billion dirhams last year, above 33.68 billion originally planned, the prospectus for the upcoming Dubai sovereign issue, seen by Reuters, showed. Revenue rose to 32.28 billion dirhams in 2011, compared with 29.91 billion planned.
The 2010 budget shortfall stood at 6.0 billion dirhams.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi net profits rise 12% to Dhs1.04bn in Q1 | National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) |

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) reported 12% increase in net profits to Dhs1,041m for the quarter ended 31 March 2012 compared with Dhs927m earned in the corresponding quarter of 2011. Net profits increased by 44% over the fourth quarter of 2011.

The annualised return on shareholders' funds for the quarter is 17.2% in line with the targets for 2012 and the medium-term.

H.E. Nasser Alsowaidi, Chairman of NBAD said, "Regional and global uncertainties continue to have an overhang on business sentiments and growth. Despite this, NBAD continues to perform well, investing in its franchise, systems and most importantly, in its people. The solid foundation that has been build over the years provides a firm footing to explore new horizons and achieve ambitious targets in the decade to follow.

Dubai's Emirates says no interest in Indian carriers | Reuters

Dubai's Emirates airline on Tuesday dismissed talk of a possible stake buy in India's troubled aviation sector.

"We are not interested in getting involved in the Indian aviation sector," Emirates President Tim Clark said, speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of a finance conference.

Clark specifically denied any interest in budget Indian carrier Spicejet (SPJT.BO).

Dubai picks banks for up to $1.5 billion bond

Dubai has mandated four banks for a sovereign bond issue of up to $1.5 billion which may be launched as early as this week, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

The Gulf Arab emirate, which has been slowly recovering from a crippling 2009 debt crisis, is tapping debt markets again nearly a year after it issued a $500 million bond.

It selected HSBC Holdings, Citigroup Inc, Dubai Islamic Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi for the issue, said the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Agility Gains Most in 2 Months on U.S. Legal Claim: Kuwait Mover - Bloomberg

Agility (AGLTY) rose the most in two months as the Kuwaiti company charged with defrauding the U.S. government said it filed a claim seeking about $225 million from the Department of Defense for breaching contract terms.
The shares surged 4.9 percent, the most since Feb. 22, to 425 fils at the 12:30 p.m. close in Kuwait City. The stock was the most traded by value on Kuwait’s SE Price Index (KWSEIDX), which was little changed at 6,327.60.
The Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals in Falls Church, Virginia, received the appeal on April 16, said David Houpe, the board’s chief counsel. The supplier alleges the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency and the Department of Justice “conspired and acted in concert to intentionally deprive” the company of its rights under the contract to deliver food to troops in Iraq and Kuwait.

Qatar Telecom says will use cash to pay off 2012 debt | Reuters

Qatar Telecom (Qtel) will use its own cash to pay off any debts maturing in 2012 and is not "undertaking" any refinancing options currently, the former monopoly said on Tuesday.

"Qtel does not have any immediate refinancing requirements and accordingly is not undertaking any refinancing at this time," the state-controlled company said in an emailed statement. "Current year maturities will be addressed using cash on hand."

On Monday, Reuters Loan Pricing Corp, a Thomson Reuters unit, reported Qtel had sent requests for proposals to international lenders for a $2 billion refinancing loan. This was slated to be used to pay off a $3 billion, five-year loan signed in 2007 that matures this October.

Could UAE real estate one day be as valuable as in Singapore, Central London or Mumbai? « ArabianMoney

With the annual property show CityScape Abu Dhabi wrapping up this week the let us say $500 billion question is whether UAE real estate could one day be as valuable as in Singapore, Central London or Mumbai?

It is worth considering what factors have lead to the very high commercial and residential property prices in such cities. They were not always so highly prized. The revaluation came in waves over a period of time. There was often a big boom and bust as a part of the process, one that left skeptics doubting the possibility of recovery.

UPDATE 1-Dubai Aramex Q1 net profit rises 22 pct | Reuters

Aramex, the Dubai-based logistics firm, posted a 22 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on Tuesday, driven by higher revenues from the Gulf and contribution from its recent South African acquisition.

Aramex, a favourite of regional fund managers, made a first-quarter net profit of 61 million dirhams ($16.6 million), compared with 50 million dirhams for the same period last year.

Revenues rose 25 percent to 746 million dirhams, Aramex said in a bourse filing.

Manazel lines up IPO after annual profit of Dh360m - The National

The Abu Dhabi developer behind Al Reef is planning an initial public offering as early as this year after notching up a profit of Dh360 million (US$98m) last year.

Manazel Real Estate aims to sell shares to the public after the expected introduction of new listing rules that would no longer require an increase in capital for companies intending to go public.

"We have submitted our request to the ministry and they have told us to wait for the new regulations coming in this year that will not require an increase in capital," said Mohamed Mehanna Al Qubaisi, the chairman of Manazel.

IPO offer by Oman's Bank Nizwa - The National

Bank Nizwa, Oman's new Islamic lender, has embarked on an initial public offering on the Muscat Securities Market as it seeks to raise US$158.9 million (Dh583.6m).

The Islamic bank, which is not yet operational, was created by the sultanate's regulator last month as Oman moves to establish a Sharia-compliant banking industry.

"The proceeds of the offer will be used to settle the costs associated with setting up the bank, costs relating to the execution of the bank's business plan, such as leasing new branches, hiring staff, purchasing infrastructure and conduct its general business operations," the bank said.

Kurdistan’s capital is a boom town with a big problem - The National

The bar sports a tequila dispenser. Outside the hotel, several Iranians are talking business while black Land Cruisers hurtle past. Lining the street to the ancient citadel that marks the town centre are shops selling Turkish home appliances, and a house that could have been airlifted from Dallas. A Burger Queen and Costa Rica Coffee look oddly familiar.

In a smart restaurant overlooking a go-kart track, lawyers are discussing property deals while western oilmen chat with well-dressed young women. The complex, built only a few years ago, is already scheduled to be demolished to build multimillion-dollar offices for the oil companies that are moving into town in force. Most road signs are trilingual, but some, omitting Arabic, are in English and Kurdish only.

Lenders in UAE hopeful over profits - The National

First Gulf Bank and Union National Bank generated modest rises in profit during the first quarter because of growing margins on their loan books, even as new lending barely budged.

First Gulf Bank (FGB) reported a 7 per cent increase in net profit to Dh934.7 million (US$254.4m), spurred on by growth in its international business.

The earnings lagged behind analysts' estimates of Dh970m.

Etisalat's figures reflect pressure from rival du - The National

Etisalat's profit in the first quarter was flat as it struggled with competition from its smaller rival, du.

A fall in revenue at home was offset by gains in foreign markets.

Net income fell to Dh1.81 billion (US$493 million) from Dh1.82bn a year earlier, the country's largest telecommunications firm said.

Kuwait Airline float unlikely to fly - The National

Proposals to float off a major part of Kuwait Airways are unlikely to attract many buyers because they offer investors too little control, and not enough return, say aviation analysts.

Kuwait's cabinet approved an amended draft law on Sunday paving the way for the partial privatisation of Kuwait Airways within three years.

Under the new draft law, which still needs to be approved by the National Assembly, the government will offer a 35 per cent portion of its share capital of 220 million Kuwaiti dinars (Dh2.9 billion) to potential long-term investors, amounting to around US$280m.

Gloom in Europe hits global and Gulf markets - The National

Gloom from the euro zone cast a shadow over equity and oil markets as investors fretted about a new Europe-wide recession.

Weak economic data combined yesterday with political uncertainties hanging over the Netherlands and France to stoke fears about the ability of the region's governments to fight the European Union's fiscal crisis.

"It is a negative outlook, quite clear, you only need to look at the chart on the euro to see that," said Neil Mellor, a currency strategist at BNY Mellon in London.

Wheels in motion at Abu Dhabi's new financial hub - The National

Sowwah Square, Abu Dhabi's highly anticipated financial hub, is open for business, with the first set of tenants installed in its signature towers.

The new district is the financial heart of Al Maryah Island, the 3.5 million square metre commercial and residential project being built and modelled on international central business districts such as Canary Wharf in London and La Défense in Paris.

Al Maryah Island was renamed from Sowwah Island by the Government last week to reflect the heritage of a historical village in Liwa that was inhabited by large numbers of pure Arabian oryx.

Foreigners on hunger strike in Dubai jail -

About 20 jailed foreign businessmen have gone on hunger strike in Dubai to protest against lengthy sentences for writing cheques that bounced, a criminal offence in the United Arab Emirates.
“I’ve exhausted every avenue that I can see,” Peter Margetts, 48, a former property developer, told the Financial Times from a prison pay phone. “I’ve exhausted the legal system, the lawyers have their hands tied here and they’re not going to rock the boat.”

Billionaire Spends $1.3 Billion on Hotels With Dubai Rebounding - Bloomberg

Khalaf Al Habtoor’s father made his living buying and selling pearls. The son became a billionaire by buying and selling -- and building -- hotels.
The 62-year-old founder and chairman of Al Habtoor Group LLC in Dubai deployed his hotel, engineering and auto businesses to amass a fortune worth at least $2 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In an interview in his office, decorated with photos of him with Queen Elizabeth II and former President Jimmy Carter, Habtoor put the figure at closer to $4 billion.
As Dubai emerges from a property crash that sent prices down more than 65 percent, Habtoor is now spending $1.3 billion on a complex located on the emirate’s main commercial strip. It will include three five-star hotels with more than 1,600 rooms, tennis courts, a garden, shops, restaurants and a theater.

gulfnews : Fashion retailer to use Dubai as a springboard

Top-tier US fashion brands are acquainting themselves with the Gulf's shoppers and it's now the turn of Kate Spade New York, which is also into jewellery and accessories, to do so. The first two outlets are now open, in Kuwait and last week at the Dubai Mall, through its franchise partner, the Jashanmal Group.
Plans are being finalised for stores in Abu Dhabi and Qatar as well. And these markets could well be the springboard to launch into new territories, both within the region and, at a stretch, into India. If that happens, it would be a repeat of the strategy the brand used six months ago in the UK, which would be the stepping stone for mainland Europe. "We worked hard to align those launches and, similarly, we think the connectivity between this region and India is important," Craig Leavitt, CEO of Kate Spade New York, part of Liz Claiborne Inc., said.
"And that is kind of the next market we are investigating for a launch in the near term."

gulfnews : DP World: Investing in a recovery

DP World is undoubtedly a key barometer when it comes to measuring the overall economic health of the UAE.
The global ports operator reported an 82 per cent increase in year-on-year net profit last month and a large slice of the UAE's gross domestic product (GDP) passes through the firm's Jebel Ali facility.
“ DP World is a longterm story simply because its business is very stable, and even significant improvements accrue over time. We believe only genuinely patient investors focused on an appropriate longterm horizon will capitalise on the excellent business fundamentals of the company"
  Ebrahim Masoud, Senior investment officer, Mashreq

For the UAE, India is the World’s Economic Powerhouse: The Media Line

The Media Line: "Laila Al-Uthman points to a display at an apparel store here and in broken Hindi asks for the t-shirt. Turning to her friend, Jameela, she rattles off the list of prices in her native Arabic.

Laila and her husband, Hamed, who are from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), are regular visitors to Delhi and Mumbai. Hamed is a travel operator looking to increase his presence in India and lure more Indians to the UAE amid increasing affluence in India.

“We’ve been coming to the country [India] at least two or three times a year for the past five years,” she told The Media Line. “For me it is travel, but for my husband, it is business.”

Kuwait exchange targets derivatives, transparency - Arab News

Kuwait’s stock exchange will clamp down on trading “misbehavior” and offer investors a fairer playing field in the biggest overhaul of its trading system in nearly two decades, a senior bourse official said.

The exchange plans to introduce the “X-stream” trading system on May 13, backed by The Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. It will pave the way for trade in financial instruments such as Islamic bonds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

It will also keep a closer eye on possible cases of insider trading or price manipulation using an integrated surveillance system.