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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

EGF Hermes, QInvest agree units merger terms: paper | Reuters

Egypt's EFG Hermes finalised talks to sell a 60 percent stake to Qatari QInvest, a deal aimed at merging some of the operations of the Middle East investment banks, independent Shorouk newspaper said on Wednesday.

The merger between the two is intended to create an investment bank covering the Arab world, Africa, Turkey and southeast Asia, the paper said.

"The negotiations began months ago and the deal will be announced in the next 10 days," a source with knowledge of the deal told the paper without giving details of the value of the deal.

MENA stock markets close - April 25, 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)

Emirates NBD Net Drops After One-Time Gain, Beats Estimates - Bloomberg

Emirates NBD PJSC (EMIRATES), the United Arab Emirates’ biggest bank, said net income fell 55 percent in the first-quarter as a gain from the sale of a stake in a subsidiary last year wasn’t repeated. The profit beat analysts’ estimates.
Net income dropped to 641 million dirhams ($175 million), or 10 fils a share, from 1.41 billion dirhams, or 24 fils a share, in the year-earlier period, the bank 56 percent owned by the Dubai government said in a statement to Nasdaq Dubai today. That topped the 570 million-dirham median estimate of three analysts, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Emirates NBD made 1.84 billion dirhams last year from selling 49 percent of its credit-card processing unit Network International LLC.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Bank earnings boost Abu Dhabi index - Yahoo! News UK

Abu Dhabi's heavyweight banks end higher after posting estimate-beating earnings, lifting the emirate's bourse, while light profit-taking weighs on Dubai's index.
National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) climbs 0.9 percent. The bank posted a 12 percent increase in quarterly
profit.Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank gains 2.2 percent. Its quarterly numbers also beat estimates.
Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate climb 1.8 and 0.9 percent respectively.

UPDATE 1-Kuwait telco Wataniya Q1 net falls after 2010 one-off gain | News by Country | Reuters

Kuwait telecoms operator Wataniya on Wednesday reported a 90 percent drop in first-quarter net profit, with earnings from the prior-year period boosted by a one-off fair value gain.

The firm, majority-owned by Qatar Telecom (Qtel), increased its subscriber base by 8.7 percent to 18.1 million and new customers at its Algeria and Tunisia units helped offset declining home revenue. The two operations account for 85 percent of total subscribers.

Wataniya, which is also active in Maldives, the Palestinian Territories and Saudi Arabia, made a profit of 28.3 million dinars ($102.1 million) in the three months to March 31.

Bahrain eyes sovereign bond, not imminent-sources | Reuters

Bahrain, troubled by ongoing social unrest, is testing whether it could draw investors into a potential sovereign bond sale, although the issuance is unlikely to be imminent, government and banking sources said on Wednesday.

A year of clashes between mostly Shi'ite-led protesters and Sunni government security forces has been weighing on the small non-OPEC oil exporter, eroding capital parked in its mutual funds, while fiscal handouts have raised the country's vulnerability to a potential oil price drop.

"Bahrain sent out RFPs (requests for proposals) earlier this week. There are no mandates yet but they seem to be very serious about tapping the market," said a banker, who did not want to be identified.

Dubai Holding unit 2011 profit up on lower charges | Alrroya

Dubai Holding's main unit reported a 61-per cent rise in yearly profits on Wednesday thanks to lower impairment charges and the disposal of non-core assets which helped offset a decline in revenues.

Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group, part of the Dubai ruler's personal business empire, said it had 2011 net profit of Dh204 million ($55.54m), up from Dh127m in 2010.

Total revenues in 2011 fell to Dh8.8 billion from Dh13.5bn a year earlier while net cash from operations rose 7.3 per cent to Dh3.5bn.

Dubai's $1.25 bln, two-part Islamic bond to price Wednesday - leads - Yahoo! News UK

Dubai is planning to raise $1.25 billion from a two-tranche Islamic bond sale on Wednesday, with final price guidance for both tranches tighter than indicated initially.
The price range for the five-year portion was set at between 4.90 and 4.95 percent and for the ten-year at between 6.45 percent and 6.50 percent, arranging banks said, indicating healthy appetite for the new issue.
Sources said order books were almost $4 billion when books closed at about 0830 GMT.

FT Alphaville » Saudi oil puzzle, continued

From the commodities research team at Goldman Sachs on Wednesday:

Saudi Arabian crude oil inventories built by 35.4 million barrels in the December-February period, adding 390 thousand b/d to world oil demand, according to data from the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI). The strong build in Saudi inventories raises a number of questions, however. The foremost question being: why would Saudi Arabia increase its oil production to the highest level in over 30 years to simply put the crude oil into storage?
It would appear that Saudi Arabia — the central bank of oil — is pumping oil at the highest rate in nearly 30 years just to put the crude oil into storage.

Saudi Arabia Seeks Bigger Vote in IMF With Funds, Al Sharq Says - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia is seeking a larger share of voting rights at the International Monetary Fund after pledging an additional $15 billion in commitments to the organization earlier this month, Al Sharq newspaper reported today, citing Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf.

UPDATE 1-Top Dubai lender ENBD's Q1 profit beats forecasts - Yahoo! News UK

Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest bank by market value, reported a forecast-beating first-quarter net profit as a near 50-percent rise in non-interest income and lower impairments boosted profitability.
The lender, 55.6-percent owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai, has seen profits hit in recent quarters in the wake of continuing debt workouts by state-linked entities in the emirate.
On Wednesday, it posted a first-quarter net profit of 641 million dirhams ($174.51 million), down from 1.4 billion dirhams in the prior-year period, which was due to a one-off gain on the stake sale of payment solutions provider Network International.

gulfnews : DAE net income surges 110% in 2011

Following a recent restructuring, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) recorded a 110 per cent increase in its full year 2011 net income excluding non-recurring items to $81.3 million against the previous year's net income of $38.8 million, the aerospace company said Monday in a statement.
The company's net income for the full year stood at $121.7 million, up from $10.3 million in 2010.
DAE Managing Director Khalifa H Al Daboos said in a statement: "Our strong equity base allows us to be a long-term competitor in our chosen markets."

Fake Primark store in Dubai rattles UK retailer - The National

Knock-off Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton are usually the most common counterfeit luxury brands found in numerous bazaars across the UAE, but one of the biggest budget retailer names from Europe is now to be seen in Dubai.

A fake Primark store opened this week in Bur Dubai on Bank Street, selling goods under the Primark label and masquerading as the budget brand from the United Kingdom.

The new store has two floors and is packed with clothing that looks like Primark's signature cheap T-shirts, socks and a underwear.

Regional powerhouse with a global outlook - The National

As the chief executive of the Middle East and North African operations of HSBC, Simon Cooper is one of the biggest players in the regional banking business. He speaks of his vision for the region.

HSBC has been noticeably active in the recent spate of M&A [mergers and acquisitions] activity in the region. Why?

In May last year, we announced to investors that we were reviewing our businesses globally as it didn't necessarily make sense - for us or our investors - for HSBC to be everywhere.

Smartphones sweep the Gulf region - The National

Most mobile users in the Middle East and North Africa will have a smartphone by this time next year, forecasts the market research firm TNS.

According to the firm's Mobile Life study, 46 per cent of mobile users in the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel are currently using an iPhone, Android, BlackBerry or other smart devices.

That is the same proportion as in North America, with which the Middle East and North Africa jointly ranks as the world's most smartphone-savvy region.

Abu Dhabi's two big banks beat profit expectations - The National

Two of Abu Dhabi's biggest banks reported a sharp rise in profits for the first quarter, bucking expectations of a slowdown in earnings as lending cools.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the capital's biggest lender, generated net profits of Dh1.04 billion (US$3.82bn) during the first quarter, an increase of 12.2 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier. The results edged past analysts' estimates of Dh1.01bn.

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) generated quarterly profits of Dh802 million, reporting a 38 per cent increase in net profits compared with a year ago and beating analysts' estimates of Dh612m.

Budget is not shoestring in Dubai - The National

Imagine a holiday in Dubai and the glitz and glamour of the extravagant "seven-star" Burj Al Arab hotel and malls brimming with designer names immediately spring to mind. But the emirate today is attracting more and more budget travellers.

Abu Dhabi’s Wealth Fund Said to Hire Axa Private Equity’s Florin - Businessweek

Christophe Florin, chief operating officer of Axa Private Equity, has left to join the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

Florin, who was also a member of the executive board of French insurer Axa SA (CS)’s private-equity unit, will head ADIA’s emerging markets private-equity team, said the people, who declined to be identified because the appointment has yet to be announced. He’ll be based in Abu Dhabi, they said.

ADIA, one of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds, is boosting its private-equity team as it seeks to increase its ability to invest in buyout funds and deals. It has mandated two London-based recruitment firms to find about 40 private-equity professionals in London and Europe, two of the people said. Florin’s hire follows the December appointment of Benjamin Weston, chief executive officer of Helvetica Wealth Management Partners, as global head of alternative investments.