Google+ Followers

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Kuwait risks exhausting oil savings by 2017 - IMF

Kuwait will have exhausted all its oil savings by 2017 if it keeps on spending money at the current rate, the International Monetary Fund said in a report published on Tuesday.

The IMF, which held a regular consultation with the OPEC member state in the last two weeks of April, said Kuwait would not be able to save oil receipts into its future generations fund.

It needed to diversify its economy and improve its infrastructure and climate for investment if it was to remain in good financial health.

Dubai's Ridge Capital buys Egypt asset firm Rashad | Reuters

Dubai-based regional investment bank Ridge Capital has bought 100 percent of Egyptian asset management firm El Rashad Holding, which is expanding its Islamic financing business, its financial adviser said on Tuesday.

Rashad manages two funds, one for Misr Iran Bank and the other for National Bank of Egypt, and last month launched a third in Bahrain that specialises in Islamic investments, Karim Amin of Sempra Capital, which acted as Ridge's adviser on the deal, told Reuters.

The new $100 million Bahraini fund has been licensed to raise money in Bahraini dinars. It will take money from funds in the Middle East and North Africa for investment in Sharia-compliant funds in Bahrain and elsewhere in the region, Amin said.

Gulf Arab interest in Chinese yuan rises -StanChart - Yahoo! News UK

Gulf Arab states are increasingly using the Chinese yuan for trading as China accounts for a growing share of the region's exports, and given volatility in major currencies, a senior executive at Standard Chartered said on Tuesday.
"We are seeing an increasing interest from the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) in renminbi," said Farooq Siddiqi, managing director for transaction banking at Standard Chartered. "That's mainly due to increasing trade between both sides and the need to hedge against dollar exposure," he told reporters at a roundtable event in Dubai.
Gulf states are increasingly selling hydrocarbons to Asian countries like Korea, China and India, compensating for a decline in such trade with Iran following the introduction of new sanctions.

Tea with FT Middle East: Nart Bouran -

On a Sunday night in early April, the past year of Nart Bouran’s life suddenly came to fruition. Sky News Arabia, the 24-hour Arab news channel he directs, hit the airwaves across the Middle East.
For the more than 300m Arabs who tune in to satellite television, the new station joins a crowded line-up of news channels competing for the eyeballs – and in many cases, political affiliations – of the Arab street. But for Mr Bouran, it was a culmination of a career that had taken him from besieged convoys in the streets of Mogadishu to the top tier of the global TV news industry.

UPDATE 1-Qatar amasses 2.4 bln eur stake in Siemens - Yahoo! News UK

The Gulf state of Qatar accumulated a small stake in Siemens, Germany's most valuable company, worth roughly 2.4 billion euros ($3.08 billion), adding to the natural gas-rich country's portfolio of minority investments around the world.
In a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, the German industrial group said that a subsidiary of the state-owned Doha Insurance Company (DIC) had exceeded the 3 percent threshold in voting shares on May 7, which triggered the mandatory disclosure.
The Gulf nation's immense supply of natural gas have made it so rich, it has been snapping up assets at a breakneck pace as it struggles to find enough attractive investment opportunities to keep up with its constantly growing cash pile.

HSBC Starts 1 Billion-Dirham International Trade SME Fund - Bloomberg

HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd. said it started a 1 billion-dirham ($272 million) international trade fund for small and medium-sized businesses with 30 percent allocated to companies held by United Arab Emirates nationals.
Loan growth at the bank in the small and medium business segment grew about 20 percent in 2011 and will probably increase by just under that figure in 2012, Nick Levitt, HSBC’s head of U.A.E. commercial banking in Dubai, said today at a conference in Abu Dhabi. Total loans outstanding for the bank in the segment are valued at $600 million, he said.
Total loan growth in the U.A.E. in the first-quarter was 0.7 percent, Levitt said.

Saudi Fransi Said to Price $750 Million Debt at Lowest GCC Rate - Businessweek

Banque Saudi Fransi (BSFR), partly owned by Credit Agricole SA (ACA), is raising $750 million in Islamic bonds at the lowest rate among Persian Gulf banks this year, four people familiar with the matter said.

The Riyadh-based bank priced the five-year sukuk at 185 basis points, or 1.85 percentage points, over the benchmark midswap rate, the people said, declining to be identified because the information is private. That’s the lowest rate among at least eight financial institutions that raised dollar- denominated debt in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Lower borrowing costs help Saudi banks raise long-term funds to meet a surging demand for loans in the biggest Arab economy. Bank lending in the kingdom, the world’s top oil exporter, advanced at an annual rate of 12.6 percent in March, the fastest pace in three years, central bank data show, as a $500 billion government spending plan encourages private businesses and consumers to borrow.

Dubai Shares Gain, Snapping Five-Day Drop on Bets Slump Overdone - Bloomberg

Dubai stocks rose, snapping a five- day drop, on bets the decline prompted by concern over Europe’s debt crisis was overdone given earnings prospects in the Persian Gulf emirate.
Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), developer of the world’s tallest skyscraper, gained the most since April 22 and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co. (DU), the second of two phone companies in the United Arab Emirates, advanced 0.7 percent. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) rose 0.3 percent, the first increase since May 7, to 1,486.36 at the 2 p.m. close in the emirate. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200) advanced 0.4 percent.
“The drop associated with concerns over Europe’s debt crisis is completely unjustified, as it’s a correlation based purely on sentiment,” said Waleed Al Khateeb, the senior finance manager at Daman Securities in Dubai. “The measure rallied in the beginning of the year helped by improved earnings and dividends. At the time we were rightly not affected by global economic developments.”

MENA stock markets close - May 15, 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)

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Saudi lifts from lows; banks recover - Yahoo! News UK

Saudi Arabia's bourse bounces off Monday's 13-week closing low with bargain hunters picking up stocks at attractive prices, with banks and real estate firms leading gains.
The kingdom's index rises 0.5 percent to 7,104 points, holding above the psychological support at 7,000 levels.
"Saudi is in a good place with 7,000 as a key psychological level," says Amer Khan, fund manager, Shuaa Asset Management. "For near-term, I'm hoping we won't see too much of a pull back. I would expect institutional investors to recognise the attractive offers at the moment and buy in. From a fundamental view, there was strong net income growth in Q1 and the momentum should continue for the year."

FT Alphaville » An LNG headache, caused by an unconventional gas headache

Australia, we’ve heard a lot lately, is set to overtake Qatar as the world’s biggest LNG producer by about 2020. The first shipment from the big Western Australian Pluto development set sail last month and things looked somewhat rosy for Woodside Petroleum, its owner and operator.

However a story in today’s Australian Financial Review confirmed what many have been thinking for a while: the proposed expansion of the Pluto project won’t happen. The AFR quotes Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman:

“The drilling program hasn’t delivered what we hoped a couple of years ago with respect to enough gas to expand Pluto,” Mr Coleman admitted yesterday, flagging the company would call a temporary halt to its drilling campaign next quarter to take stock of recent results.
“We’ve gone at it really, really hard, we’ve given it our best shot,” he said in an interview.

S&P drops DP World ratings at port operator's request - Yahoo! News UK

Standard & Poor's withdrew its credit rating on DP World after the ports operator objected to the way the agency assessed its financial health.
S&P said it pulled the ratings at DP World's request. The company, a profitable part of indebted conglomerate Dubai World, is rated investment grade by Moody's and Fitch.
The world's third biggest ports operator was rated 'BB/B' with a stable outlook by S&P, revised down in February from positive.

Dubai Islamic eyes benchmark Islamic bond

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), the largest sharia-compliant lender in the Gulf Arab emirate, is planning to issue a benchmark-sized, dollar-denominated Islamic bond, or sukuk, lead arranging banks said.

Roadshows for the bond sale will begin in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday and end in London on Monday, a document issued by the lead banks on Tuesday showed.

In addition to DIB, an advisor to Dubai government's recent $1.25 billion bond sale, the lead banks for the bond issue are HSBC, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Emirates NBD, Deutsche Bank.

UPDATE 2-UAE's Dana Gas seeks consensual deal on sukuk | Reuters

Dana Gas Co said it wanted to find a consensual deal to repay the remainder of a $1 billion Islamic bond maturing in October, and confirmed it had hired advisers to weigh up various options for the repayment.

The Abu-Dhabi-listed natural gas producer's share price has been battered by concerns over how it will find the cash to repay the outstanding $920 million of the sukuk, issued in 2007, on time and in full. Its stock has dropped 40 percent in the past year.

Dana said on Tuesday it had hired Deutsche Bank, Blackstone Group and law firm Latham & Watkins to advise on options for discussions with sukukholders and their advisers. The bondholders have hired law firm Linklaters, one source familiar with the matter said.

Kuwait's Global seeks further delay on debt repayment | Reuters

Kuwait's Global Investment House said on Tuesday that it would ask creditors to further extend a deadline for repaying debt to November from June as part of a restructuring proposal it plans to submit soon.

The company, which is undergoing its second debt restructuring in three years, did not specify an amount.

"The main point is that Global is progressing in its negotiations with lenders," a statement filed on the Dubai bourse said. It has asked for the repayment deadline to be pushed to Nov. 10 instead of June 10, it said.

Return to old-fashioned banking will carry a high cost in low or no economic growth « ArabianMoney

The bores are back in banking. Slow moving and scelerotic institutions like the Canadian banks are being praised to the rooftops for prudence. Sure, if you never do anything or take a risk in life you will be safe and secure but that comes at the price of low or no growth.

Sadly the $2 billion blow-up at JP Morgan last week, not to mention the eurozone banking crisis, points exactly in that direction. It is a cycle and the excesses of the last cycle inevitably mean a regression back to old-fashioned banking.

Abu Dhabi sets sights on UK airports - The National

Abu Dhabi's burgeoning footprint in the northern English city of Manchester could soon stretch from the football pitch to the runway.

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) is interested in acquiring a stake in Manchester Airports Group, which also owns three additional facilities in Bournemouth, Humberside and the East Midlands. It is understood an investment could pave the way for the acquisition of Stansted Airport in the south-east of the country.

"Manchester is not going to be an important international airport like a Heathrow or Charles de Gaulle - it's more likely to be seen as an avenue through which to invest in other airports in Europe," said Peter Morris, the chief economist of the Ascend aviation consultancy, based in the United Kingdom.

Brokerages lose Dh10m despite recovery - The National

Brokerages collectively lost almost Dh10 million (US$2.7m) in the first quarter this year despite a recovery in volume of trading on the country's stock exchanges.

The losses were much reduced from last year's Dh77m but show brokerages are still struggling to shake off the effects of the market crash and collapse in volumes that followed the global financial crisis in 2008.

"The companies that are still operating are living on reserves, and those who will stay the longest are the ones with the biggest reserves," said Mohammed Ali Yasin, an independent analyst in Abu Dhabi. "As a business model, [the brokerage idea] doesn't work based on the figures from the past three years. People who have been longer know there's a cycle, but who has the patience?"

Tiffany and Damas call the whole thing off - The National

The long-standing engagement between Tiffany & Co, the New York jeweller famous for its sparkly rings, and Damas International has been broken off following the Dubai company's delisting from the stock market.

All operations, marketing and sales functions for Tiffany in the Emirates will now be the responsibility of the brand itself, having previously been controlled by Damas, which was the wholesale distributor and operator of Tiffany stores.

The pair of jewellers have agreed to remain friends and signed a joint venture that will involve Damas International acting as a local partner and legal entity for the brand.

Early investor in Asia rings the changes -

The so-called New Silk Road continues to fascinate policy makers and analysts as rising Asian economic power seals its imprint on this century.
This “east-east” corridor, named after ancient trade routes linking Asia with the Middle East, saw trade volumes quadruple over the past decade.

Premium Asian carriers face profit squeeze | News | Business Spectator

Premium airlines in Asia are rethinking their strategies and slashing costs as high fuel prices, global economic uncertainty and pressure from Middle East and budget carriers squeeze profits.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) reported last week that its net profit for the financial year ended in March tumbled 69 per cent to Sg$336 million ($A268.60 million), weighed down by a rare loss in the fourth quarter.

It was only SIA's third quarterly loss in its 40-year history of uninterrupted full-year profit. The first took place during the SARS health scare in 2003 and the second during the global financial crisis in 2009.