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Thursday, 3 May 2012

MENA stock markets close - May 3, 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)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai falls for 6th session; Gulf ends mixed - Yahoo! News UK

Dubai's bourse fell for a sixth straight session on Thursday as investors continued to book profits from an early-year surge, while other Gulf bourses were mixed in muted activity.
Bellwether Emaar Properties extended declines in heavy trade, down 1.3 percent. The stock went ex-dividend a day earlier.
Gulf Navigation fell 4.6 percent and Drake and Scull lost 3.3 percent, also trading ex-dividend.

MIDEAST DEBT-Potential lurks in Kuwait corporate bond market - Yahoo! News UK

In a region dominated by sovereign and government-related bond issues, Kuwait has bucked the trend over recent months with a series of successful corporate sales that hint at greater capital-raising potential in the Gulf
The global financial crisis hit Kuwaiti investment companies hard, pushing some into debt restructuring talks and making banks cautious about lending.
Meanwhile, the euro zone debt crisis is causing European banks to pull in their horns. Bank lending to the private sector grew just 3.2 percent from a year earlier in February, which was slow considering private analysts expect Kuwait's gross domestic product, buoyed by high oil prices, will expand about 3.8 percent this year in
inflation-adjusted terms. So Kuwaiti corporations may have little choice but to diversify their funding into bonds.

UPDATE 1-BofA exodus continues as top MENA banker resigns | Reuters

Bank of America Corp's investment banking head for Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, Waleed El-Amir, has resigned, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday, the latest top banker to leave the U.S. lender.

El-Amir, a veteran Merrill Lynch banker, has been with the bank for 16 years and has been leading the bank's regional investment banking operations from Dubai since 2008.

A spokeswoman for the bank in Dubai declined comment. The source declined to be identified as the matter has not been made public.

Dubai's debt looks here to stay: In spite of Trade, Transport and Tourism gains | Al Bawaba

Banks in Dubai were hit badly by the crisis. The devil, as ever, is in the details. Dubai's US$1.5 billion (Dh5.51bn) sukuk issue last week set a benchmark for issuers in the Gulf region, and was lapped up by a fixed-interest market eager to take part in the emirate's economic recovery. But, judging by the 135-page prospectus that potential investors were required to peruse before they made their decisions, it was not plain sailing all the way to the three times over-subscription the issue eventually commanded.

Deutsche Bank and other advisers to the sukuk must have burned the midnight oil on many occasions as they prepared a watertight case for Dubai's creditworthiness.

These documents, rightly, always flag up the risks inherent in any bond issue high up the priorities, and the nine pages of risks attached to Dubai, the UAE and the region are, for the main part, all the things you'd expect: general political and economic issues such as Dubai's dependence on foreign labour, its reliance on the oil-fuelled economic well-being of the UAE, and its exposure to current regional political instability, that is, the Arab Spring.

Signs of UAE real estate recovery still tentative; worst likely over for property sector

A bounce in the earnings and share prices of some United Arab Emirates real estate developers suggests the worst is over for the sector, but does not indicate a full-fledged recovery because property buyers remain very cautious, analysts say.

Property prices in Dubai fell 50 percent or more in the last several years, hit by the global financial crisis and the emirate’s own corporate debt problems. But a new report by consultants Jones Lang LaSalle said Dubai saw pockets of growth in residential housing prices in the first quarter of 2012 compared to a year ago, while office rents were bottoming out.

The sector is being boosted by population growth -- as Dubai’s economy grows, some of the workers who left during the depths of the 2009/10 corporate debt crisis appear to be returning -- and by a strong tourism industry.

UAE Hormuz bypass pipeline to export in 3 months | Reuters

The UAE's strategic oil pipeline for bypassing the Strait of Hormuz is complete and exports are expected to start within three months, UAE Oil Minister Mohammed al-Hamli said on Thursday.

Initially operating at a rate of 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd), the pipeline should offer the Gulf producer an alternative route out of the narrow strait which Iran has threatened to block as western pressure to limit its oil revenues has intensified.

The United Arab Emirates has run tests on the pipeline, which has faced lengthy delays over a quality dispute with the Chinese company that built it.

Analysis: Mideast fuel oil poised for tight summer | Reuters

The Middle East fuel oil market is braced for a tightening third quarter as soaring power generation demand is set to curb Saudi Arabia's exports and Western sanctions could deprive the market of Iranian supplies.

But although tighter supplies should push Gulf fuel oil premiums higher and could lift the Singapore ship fuel bunkering market, fears of regional fuel oil shortage are unfounded, traders and analysts in the Middle East and in Asia say.

"Saudi Arabia is likely to remain a large net exporter of fuel oil, with much of this going to Asia," Riyadh-based HSBC analyst John Tottie said.

The Gulf and the ‘New Silk Road’ « parallel universe ht @AngelaShah

When Christy Lee, a South Korean investment banker, was dispatched to the Gulf four years ago to drum up business, her friends in Seoul had a hard time taking the assignment seriously. “They would say, Did you enjoy riding the camels?” she recalled.

Then the Gulf states’ oil earnings led to orders worth tens of billions of dollars for South Korean companies: The most noteworthy so far has been the deal for South Korea Electric Power Corp. to build four nuclear plants in Abu Dhabi, worth as much as $30 billion.

Now, when Ms. Lee talks about the Gulf, people listen. She has started her own firm, Daewon Advisory Services, with offices in Seoul and Abu Dhabi. In the past year she has brought 120 executives and leaders from the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf countries to South Korea, eager to figure out how it made its big economic strides. She expects these visits to bring in more deals.

UPDATE 1-Omantel Q1 profit rises 12.9 pct; meets view - Yahoo! News UK

Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel) on Thursday reported a 12.9 percent rise in first-quarter net profit, in-line with analysts' forecasts, as the former monopoly reduced expenses to off-set flat revenue growth.
Omantel, majority-owned by the government, made a net profit of 29.1 million rials ($75.58 million) in the three months to March 31, up from 25.8 million rials in the year-earlier period, it said in a bourse statement.
Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Omantel would make a quarterly profit of 29.2 million rials.

Dewey & LeBoeuf, SNR Denton merger talks collapse: WSJ - Yahoo! News UK

Merger talks between law firms Dewey & LeBoeuf and SNR Denton collapsed on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.
Dewey & LeBoeuf, which is struggling with a debt crisis and criminal probe of its former chairman, is considering a number of alternatives including deals with other law firms.
The full-merger discussions "effectively ended" after Dewey & LeBoeuf sent an email on Monday night encouraging its partners to seek new jobs, according to the newspaper.

gulfnews : Mena may need $100b in funding next year

The International Monetary Fund recognises that Egypt requires support in stabilising its economy, but the multilateral agency is waiting for the Egyptian government to present a concrete economic recovery plan, a senior IMF official said yesterday.
"We need to have a plan from the Egyptian government before the $3.2 billion (Dh11 billion) loan is approved. The plan needs to address the country's fiscal issues and investor confidence," said Masoud Ahmad, the IMF's director for the Middle East and Central Asia.
The Egyptian government is expected to present a plan to the IMF by the middle of the month. But analysts fear that differences among various political parties could further delay the presentation of the plan. "As soon as there is a plan that addresses all these issues, we will be ready to present this to the IMF board for approval," Ahmad said.

gulfnews : Arab Spring nations have limited policy options — IMF

The slow political transition in the Arab Spring economies in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region could derail the economic stability of these countries, a senior International Monetary Fund (IMF) official said Wednesday.
"In the Arab Spring countries, political transition, pressing social demands and an adverse external environment have combined to increase the near-term risks to macro-economic stability. Events in 2011 have proved the transition is not going to be as easy as initially anticipated," said Masoud Ahmad, Director of the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department.
With growth faltering, unemployment rising and continued fiscal and external pressures, the IMF expects 2012 to be an equally challenging year.

Champion of the young Arabian generation - The National

They are young, gifted and need a voice. More than half the Arab population is under the age of 30 - but the region's youth are not fully engaged in the media industry.

That is the view of Noura Al Kaabi, the new chief executive of the Abu Dhabi media zone twofour54, who warns of a "lost generation" if young people do not become more involved in the sector.

"For us, supporting the youth is a priority of twofour54," she says.

Job creation antidote to the Arab Spring - The National

This week, several thousand leading investors, financial experts and business people attended the Milken Institute 2012 Global Conference, one of the world's largest annual institutional investor conventions.

The focus on the discussions about the Arab region stems from the premise that a lack of economic opportunity was a major, if not the main, catalyst for the start of the Arab Spring.

The past year involved unrest in parts of the Middle East and North Africa launched by educated young professionals who are unemployed and underemployed.

Arab Spring nations are out of cash, says the IMF - The National

Egypt, Tunisia and other oil importers in the Arab world have almost run out of cash, the IMF warned yesterday.

They need an urgent injection of US$90 billion (Dh330bn) to cope with fiscal deficits, sluggish growth, rampant unemployment and high oil prices, said Masood Ahmed, the director of the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia.

The IMF still has about $35bn available to assist these countries but the rest of the money will have to come from other donors, he said. But the euro-zone crisis would limit governments' ability to tap capital markets for funds, he said.

Gulf Times – Fragile global recovery tells on Qatar business optimism

Qatar’s oil and non-oil businesses are less optimistic in the second quarter (Q2) of this year on lower profit expectations and fragile global economic recovery, according to Business Optimism Index (BOI).
The BOI report, jointly prepared by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA) and Dun and Bradstreet, found falling optimism in transport and communication as well as finance and business services sectors; even as outlook improved on manufacturing, while construction and trade segments treaded a flat path within the non-hydrocarbon sector.
“Clearly business sentiment in Qatar continue to be affected by the fragile state of the global economy,” according to Yousuf al-Jaida, QFCA, Director of Strategic Development.