Google+ Followers

Monday, 7 May 2012

Barneys Largest Lender, Perry Capital, Becomes Owner | The Fix | Daily Front Row

A shift of power has occurred behind the scenes at Barneys: Perry Capital, formerly the department store's largest lender, has become its new owner. Richard Perry's hedge fund, which specializes in distressed assets, worked with Barneys' current owner, Istithmar World, and key lender The Yucaipa Companies, to secure the ownership.

Perry's wife is designer Lisa Perry; togs from her Spring collection are currently on offer exclusively at Barneys. Earlier this year, the Perrys' presence (and pull) at Barneys spurred criticism; Lisa's "newfound partnership" with the luxe retailer was celebrated with a lunch back in February.

Hedge Fund Takes Control of Barneys -

Barneys New York, one of New York’s bastions of high fashion, has gained a new owner for the second time in five years.

The hedge fund Perry Capital, which is Barneys’ biggest bondholder, announced on Monday that it had taken control of the retailer, concluding a long-running effort to reorganize its finances after laboring under nearly $600 million in debt.

Under the terms of the deal, Perry Capital and another major bondholder, the Yucaipa Companies, will swap their debt holdings for equity stakes in Barneys, shedding about $540 million in long-term debt. Istithmar, the Dubai-based private equity firm that bought the retailer in a 2007 leveraged buyout, will keep a minority stake in the company.

gulfnews : Back to normality as Dubai courts drop to pre-crisis levels

The number of civil cases brought to Dubai courts last year dropped, according to a 2011 report, in another sign that the emirate is getting back to pre-crisis levels.
Key performance indicators of the Dubai Courts Department annual report showed a nine per cent decline in criminal cases and a 7.5 per cent decrease in civil cases between 2010 and 2011, said Dr Ahmad Bin Hazeem, DCD's director general.

UPDATE 1-Dubai Financial Market Q1 profit jumps on higher trading | Reuters

Dubai Financial Market (DFM), the Gulf Arab region's only listed bourse, posted a sharp rise in quarterly profits thanks to increased trading on the exchange, it said on Monday.

The firm, which includes Nasdaq Dubai, made a first quarter net profit of 30.5 million dirhams ($8.3 million) in the quarter ended March 31, up from 2.2 million in the prior-year period.

Total revenue rose 42 percent to 69.1 million dirhams from 48.7 million dirhams last year.

MENA stock markets close - May 7, 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 Shares Advance on Speculation Eight-Day Drop Overdone - Bloomberg

Dubai’s benchmark stock index rose on speculation the decline in the past eight days was overdone given higher first-quarter earnings and before Dubai Financial Market PJSC (DFM) reported results.
Air Arabia PJSC (AIRARABI), the Middle East’s biggest discount airline, gained the most in more than a month after posting a 12 percent profit increase. Dubai Financial Market, the only publicly traded Gulf Arab stock market, climbed 1.9 percent. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) rose 0.3 percent, the first gain since April 24, to 1,564.15 at the 2 p.m. close. The measure slumped 6.6 percent in the eight days through yesterday. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200) fell 0.5 percent.
“We had seen some good profit-taking after a strong rally” even after companies including Emaar Properties PJSC posted improved earnings, said Sebastien Henin, who helps oversee $100 million at The National Investor in Abu Dhabi. “Internationally, the world picture is not improving, the downtrend may continue even if the outlook for Dubai looks far better. Dubai may follow the international path.”

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Saudi falls for 3rd day, bluechips drag - Yahoo! News UK

Saudi Arabia's bourse recovers some earlier losses with buying coming in at lower prices, but the index falls for a third straight day as a drop in oil prices weighs down sentiment.
The kingdom's index ends 0.3 percent lower at 7,359 points, trimming its 2012 gains to 14.7 percent. Petrochemical and banking bluechip stocks lead the decline. Heavyweight Al Rajhi Bank dips 0.7 percent and Bank AlBilad sheds 1.4 percent. Bellwether Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) slips 0.3 percent, while small-cap Nama Chemicals drops 9.9 percent.
"The market was much more stable today but the impact of lower oil prices came through to petrochemicals," says Muhammad Faisal Potrik, research analyst at Riyad Capital.

UAE panel proposes cut in local fuel prices -paper | Reuters

Fuel prices in the United Arab Emirates are too high and should be brought down to match levels in other Gulf countries according to a proposal by an advisory council's committee, daily newspaper Gulf News said on Monday.

"The petrol price in the UAE is the third highest in the Arab world after Syria and Tunisia, which does not fit a country that is ranked seventh in the world with an oil reserve of 97.8 billion barrels or 6.65 percent of the world's oil reserve," the paper quoted the committee's report as saying.

The committee suggested fuel prices in the UAE, one of the world's top five oil exporters, should be brought down either by a direct cash subsidy for Emiratis or a general subsidy for petroleum products.

Dubai's Drydocks restructuring hit by Singapore snag | Alrroya

Legal proceedings in the $2.2 billion debt restructuring of Dubai World's shipbuilding unit have been delayed due to a court challenge in Singapore over a rig-building contract, a lawyer said on Monday.

Drydocks World, a shipbuilding and repair business with operations in Southeast Asia as well as Dubai, sought insolvency protection last month and is using a special tribunal in Dubai to force creditors to sign up to the plan. It also filed legal proceedings in Singapore to push through the proposal.

Singapore's Court of Appeal overturned an initial ruling which prevented the calling of a refund guarantee provided to the buyer by three Singaporean banks concerning the delayed rig, a Drydocks lawyer told the special tribunal on Monday.

gulfnews : Dubai government lists $1.25 billion sukuks on the DFM

The Government of Dubai has listed two Sukuks with total value of $1.25 billion on Wednesday, Dubai Financial Market (DFM) said.
The first of these issues is a $600 million five year Sukuk with a maturity date of May 2nd 2017, and a coupon of 4.90 per cent, while the second is a $650 million 10 year Sukuk with a maturity date of May 2nd 2022, and a coupon of 6.45 per cent.
"While the two Islamic Sukuk will be listed on the DFM, they will be over-the-counter traded and settled through Clearstream and Euroclear, not DFM," a statement said.

BREAKINGVIEWS-Qatar brokers nifty exit for Egypt's EFG Hermes - Yahoo! News UK

Qatar has brokered a nifty exit for investors in Egypt's EFG Hermes.
State-backed QInvest has agreed a deal that will allow the Gulf entity to cherry-pick key assets of one of the Middle East'slargest investment banks. The joint venture looks like an elegant way to salvage value from a bank tainted in the aftermath of Egypt's revolution.
A joint venture, to be 60 percent owned by QInvest, will hold the Egyptian banks core businesses: asset management, research, brokerage and investment banking. Once the deal closes EFG shareholders will get a one-off dividend payout worth one third of EFG's current $1.1 billion market capitalisation.

UPDATE 1-Etihad drops more A350s in setback to Airbus - Yahoo! News UK

European planemaker Airbus suffered a fresh setback to its largest twin-engined jet development, the A350-1000, when it emerged that Gulf carrier Etihad had cancelled seven aircraft worth $2.3 billion at current list
The Abu Dhabi-based airline has now halved its order for the 350-seat jet in four months from 25 in November to 12 at the end of April, Airbus monthly figures showed on Monday.
Airbus has not sold any of the largest variant of its next-generation A350 since beefing up the design with bigger
Rolls-Royce engines last June, while Boeing has been notching up record orders of the wide-body 777.

Shares in Egyptian bank EFG Hermes climb on Qatari deal | Reuters

Shares in Egypt-based investment bank EFG Hermes rose on Monday following the announcement of an agreement with Qatar's QInvest to form a region-wide investment bank.

QInvest will control 60 percent of the new bank, which will be called EFG Hermes Qatar, and will provide $250 million to increase its capital.

Shares in EFG Hermes initially jumped more than 6 percent, prompting the stock exchange to suspend trading for exceeding the 5 percent limit. It dipped back when trading resumed, up 1.8 percent at 13.89 Egyptian pounds by 0938 GMT.

TEXT-S&P reports on risks for Middle East, North African sovereigns | Reuters

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services rates 13 sovereigns in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, all with high political risks and limited monetary policy flexibility that constrain the sovereign credit ratings. This is according to a survey published on May 3, 2012, titled "Political Risk And Monetary Inflexibility Continue To Weigh On MENA Sovereign Ratings," on the Global Credit Portal.

The nature of political risk differs across the region, and includes domestic political turmoil and succession and geopolitical risk. Institutional transparency and accountability are a further consideration in our assessment of political risk. The limits to monetary policy flexibility in the region stem from fixed or heavily managed exchange rates, compounded by small and underdeveloped capital markets.

Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, and Tunisia have negative outlooks, indicating at least a one-in-three chance that we could lower the sovereign ratings in the next one to two years. For all five, the negative outlook reflects our view that we could lower the ratings if political tensions were to escalate and further weaken economic prospects economic prospects or external and fiscal performance.

ENBD's Islamic arm plans $500 mln sukuk sale in 2012 - paper - Yahoo! News UK

Emirates NBD's Islamic unit plans to issue more than $500 million sukuk this year and expects to merge with Dubai Bank before the end of 2012, Al Khaleej Arabic daily newspaper reported on Monday.
Emirates Islamic Bank's Chief Executive Jamal bin Ghalaita told the daily that ENBD will make 1 billion dirhams ($272.26 million) in revenue post the merger of Emirates Islamic Bank arm with Dubai Bank, the debt-laden lender acquired in October at the behest of the Dubai government.
ENBD was given cash by the United Arab Emirates' federal government and guarantees by Dubai to help it integrate the business.

BMO opens representative office in UAE - The Globe and Mail

Bank of Montreal is expanding in the Middle East with the opening of a representative office in the United Arab Emirates, which will oversee investment banking and asset management services for clients.

The office, in Abu Dhabi, makes BMO the first Canadian bank with a representative office in the capital city of the UAE. Several Canadian banks have banking relationships across the Middle East, including Royal Bank of Canada, which operates a representative office for RBC Wealth Management in Dubai, the country’s largest city.

UPDATE 1-Dubai's Shuaa Capital Q1 net loss narrows - Yahoo! News UK

Shuaa Capital said first-quarter net loss narrowed sharply as the impact of a job reduction plan embarked last year helped to bring down costs at the struggling Dubai-based investment bank.
Shuaa, 48.4-percent owned by Dubai Group which belongs to the Gulf Arab emirate's ruler, said quarterly loss narrowed to 8.5 million dirhams ($2.31 million), compared with 26.3 million dirhams loss same period last year.
That was driven mainly by a 7.4 percent decrease in costs and expenditures which fell to 62.1 million dirhams for the quarter, Shuaa said in a bourse statement.

UAE banks have highest adequacy in GCC - Emirates 24/7

UAE banks emerged as the strongest financial institutions in Gulf oil producers in terms of capital adequacy but they have the highest ratio of non-performing loans (NPLs) to total credit, according to a Western report.

Following an extensive drive to build up their finances in the wake of the 2008 global fiscal turmoil, banks in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) now enjoy a strong capital base, with the adequacy ratio exceeding 15 per cent in all member states, said the study by the Washington-based Institute for International Finance (IIF).

“GCC banks remain well capitalized and profitable. The balance sheets of banks in the region have been strengthened as a result of the strong economic performance in recent years and high government participation in banks,” said IIF, which groups scores of major Western banks.

Top UK judges support Qatari legal push -

Qatar is hosting England and Wales’ most prominent judges as part of the emirate’s bid to become a leading arbitration centre, which would be in direct competition with London.
Lord Judge, the most senior member of the judiciary, and Lord Woolf, who is president of the arbitration centre known as the Qatari International Court, are among the senior judges in attendance in Doha to discuss the rule of law over the weekend.

No windfall from Qatar ban on Islamic windows | Business Recorder

A year after Qatar ordered conventional banks to stop offering Islamic financial services, an expected windfall for its Islamic banks has yet to materialise.

Nor is it clear that banks' customers are benefiting from the policy.

The episode illustrates the difficulties that countries face as they manage the relationship between conventional and Islamic banking.

The real challenge facing Saudi Arabia - Arab News

If I were asked to name the greatest challenge currently facing Saudi Arabia, I would not say it is Iran, nor the disturbing events taking place in the Middle East and not even the pervasive threat of terrorism.  The real challenge facing our country is dealing with Saudi youth. We are not paying sufficient attention to the needs of our young people and are holding them back from achieving success in their careers and in their personal lives.

Certainly, most Saudis view Iran as a serious threat to the nation and to the entire region.  Iran has always sought to spread its influence, both before the 1979 revolution with the Shah pursuing his own nationalistic agenda and, after his overthrow, Ayatollah Khomeini preaching Shiism to remold the Persian culture in the name of this branch of Islam.