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Sunday, 27 May 2012

gulfnews : Saudi lenders bridge the gap despite cut by Europe banks

A sharp drop in lending by foreign banks in Saudi Arabia is not likely to stifle credit growth in the world's top oil exporter as local lenders and government funds have been stepping in, bankers and analysts said.
"If you look at the fourth quarter of last year, which is the latest data we have, it suggested foreign banks' lending to Saudi Arabian entities fell $12 billion (Dh44 billion) quarter-on-quarter," said Daniel Cowan, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, citing data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).
"That was the quarter when the liquidity issues hit European banks and it was an immediate reaction to that," he said.

gulfnews : flydubai secures aircraft financing worth $172m

Low-cost airline flydubai has signed with Pembroke, a subsidiary of Standard Chartered Bank, to finance two Boeing 737-800NG aircraft.
The eight-year sale and leaseback agreement represents financing of $172 million in list prices and follows the request for proposal (RFP) issued by flydubai for its 2012 aircraft funding requirements.
The two new aircraft will enter the flydubai fleet in June and July, increasing the low-cost carrier's capacity, while supporting network growth across the GCC, Middle East, North Africa, Indian Sub-Continent, Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe.

New homes being sold 'at loss' in Bahrain - The National

Bahrain's residential property market remains severely depressed amid continued uncertainty surrounding the political and economic environment.

New homes that are coming into the market are in some cases being sold at a loss, according to a report released yesterday.

"Several middle-income housing projects have been launched in Bahrain in the last three months, and sales have reportedly been brisk to date," according to a first-quarter report by the property consultancy CBRE.

Banking industry braced for ugly summer - The National

As the euro-zone crisis deepens, the world's big banks have over the past year moved from hiring to firing.

The City of London has borne the brunt of these cutbacks and the number of jobs there this year is forecast to fall to 255,000 - a 16-year low - from a peak of 354,000 in 2007.

But amid the doom and gloom facing the financial sector in Europe, Dubai offers a glimmer of hope. Hiring in the emirate is on the rise in investment banking and wealth management.

Dubai to put itself in the picture with film incentives - The National

Dubai plans to offer financial incentives to filmmakers after losing out on dozens of international productions that had considered shooting in the emirate.

A proposed incentive scheme is intended to boost Dubai's movie industry, which local filmmakers say has suffered because of a lack of government subsidies.

The move follows an announcement last week that Abu Dhabi is to offer a rebate of up to 30 per cent of costs on international film and TV productions shot in the emirate.

An unforgivable Kuwaiti mistake | Kuwait Times

The recent developments regarding the Dow Chemical case which involve a court order requiring Kuwait to pay $2.1 billion in compensation, proves again that Kuwait is subjected to individualistic desires. It would be a catastrophe of epic proportions if the state’s budget eventually lost this amount of money.

First of all, this case shows that the cabinet’s lack of firm stance against MPs’ threats and demands that can be extremely costly to Kuwait. The decision by the cabinet of former prime minister HH Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah to cancel the deal was politically motivated and made with a narrow vision that failed to take into account the repercussions of the decision at the international scene. The negative effects not only impacted the reliability of investing in Kuwait, but also the country’s integrity when it comes to respecting terms of contracts that its government signs.

Qatar goes on European shopping spree - Telegraph

Over the past three months, Qatar - a state no bigger than Yorkshire - has embarked on the financial equivalent of a £7bn supermarket sweep.
It has snaffled up key stakes in mining giant Xstrata, luxury goods group LVMH, French media group Lagardere and oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and Total.
Some have speculated that the departure of Anthony Armstrong - ex-M&A chief at the emirate's investment arm Qatar Holdings (QH) - has propelled others with a bigger thirst for acquisitions to the front of the queue, not least chief executive Ahmad Mohamed Al-Sayed.

Telco Zain Saudi capital restructuring gets regulator nod - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Indebted telecoms operator Zain Saudi said on Sunday it would ask shareholders to approve a multibillion dollar capital restructuring after the market regulator endorsed the plan.
If successful, the Saudi affiliate of Kuwait's Zain will reduce its issued share capital to 4.8 billion Saudi riyals ($1.28 billion) from 14 billion before launching a 6 billion riyals rights issue, it said in an emailed statement.
Bourse rules say listed firms must cut their capital if losses exceed 75 percent of share capital, while Zain Saudi will use the proceeds from the rights issue to ease its debts.

MENA stock markets close - May 27, 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)

Another golf estate victim | Fin24

The oversupply of golf estates has claimed another victim.

The latest casualty resulting from financial woes is the luxurious Pearl Valley golf estate development between Paarl and Franschhoek in the Western Cape.

Shareholders in this estate have for the past couple of years been financing the operating losses, but have been unable to improve the financial position of the enterprise.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Qatar halts drop as regional traders seek safety - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Qatar's bourse halts a two-session decline, with the gas exporter's bullish economy making it a defensive play
for some regional investors amid global market turmoil.
Doha's index rises 0.3 percent to 8,490 points, trimming year-to-date losses to 3.3 percent.
"At this point in time, due to the fact that Qatar's economy in general is strong, it has a defensive nature," says Ali Adou Portfolio Manager at The National Investor.
"If we are on the verge of a meltdown in Europe, Qatar will benefit. Most regional investors will be interested in this market as they reduce exposure to UAE and Saudi Arabia."

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Egypt index drops on concern over election outcome - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Egypt's main index tumbles 2.7 percent after two of the most divisive contenders in Egypt's presidential election
emerged as the most likely to face one another in next month's run-off vote.
State television said the Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi led this week's vote with 26.4 percent against 23 percent for ex-air force chief Ahmed Shafiq, deposed President Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister, according to preliminary results.
"Some investors are afraid that because we now have the two extreme elements confronting one another, then the coming period will not be calm," says Osama Mourad, CEO of Arab Finance Brokerage.

Glencore to lay out Xstrata merger plans - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Glencore will this week move into the final stage of its long-awaited $30 billion takeover of miner Xstrata, as shareholders are sent detailed documents on the deal, kicking off a last charm offensive ahead of July votes.
But Xstrata investors hoping for an improvement to the all-share offer are likely to be disappointed, at least for now.
That is because of technical changes set to support Glencore shares over the coming weeks, share sales by prominent naysayers and stake-building by Qatar, whose sovereign wealth fund now has more than 9 percent of Xstrata and is expected to back the deal.

UAE eyes June opening for pipeline bypassing Hormuz

A pipeline being built by the United Arab Emirates to pump most of its oil exports from east coast terminals bypassing the Iran-threatened Strait of Hormuz, will be operational in June, the ruler of Fujairah told AFP in an interview.

“The pipeline will be operational in June,” said Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Sharqi, whose east-coast emirate is one of seven that make up the UAE.

Construction of the 360-kilometre (225-mile) pipeline began in 2008.

World Bank unit to invest in Dubai-backed firm’s IPO -

International Financial Corp (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is planning to take part in the planned US$1.5bn listing of Malaysia's Integrated Healthcare Holdings (IHH) in a move to help validate IHH's emerging markets strategy, according to IFC's official website.
The largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries said the move would help the healthcare firm, which Dubai’s Abraaj Capital bought a stake in last January, with its pan-Asia expansion strategy.
"Project cost and the amount and nature of IFC's proposed investment cannot be disclosed at this time due to confidentiality and regulatory requirements," IFC announced on its website, adding that the estimated date for board considerations was June 12.

Bahrain's GIB sets up 3.5 bln ringgit sukuk programme - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Bahrain's Gulf International Bank has set up a 3.5 billion Malaysian ringgit ($1.11 billion) programme for potential sale of Islamic bonds, the company said on Sunday, as the lender seeks to diversify its funding sources.
Standard Chartered and Malaysia's CIMB Investment Bank are lead arrangers on the medium-term notes programme, while GIB Capital is the international coordinator. "The sukuk programme represents a strategic move to tap into the ringgit market in an effort to diversify funding avenues and currencies for the Bank,"
Jammaz bin Abdullah Al-Suhaimi, GIB's chairman said in a statement.

Kuwaiti govt struggles to contain Dow ruling – Lawmakers demand answers | Kuwait Times

Still handling the developments concerning the unconfirmed resignation of the finance minister, the Kuwaiti government is scrambling to deal with the repercussions of a court order requiring the country to pay $2.16 billion compensation to Dow Chemical for a unilateral decision in 2008 to opt out of a deal signed between the two sides. According to some local dailies’ reports yesterday, Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah held an urgent meeting on Friday with the Minister of Oil Hani Hussein and leading Kuwait Petroleum Corporation officials to discuss the International Court ruling. The officials reportedly discussed the possibility of granting Dow Chemical projects in Kuwait as part of a compromise, reported Al-Rai quoting sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Where next for the Arab Spring as summer arrives? « ArabianMoney

June 17th will not just be a key date for the future of the euro with the Greek election on that day, this will also be the day we learn who becomes the next president of Egypt. Will it be Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi or Ahmed Shafiq, who served as Hosni Mubarak’s final prime minister during Arab Spring last year.

Mr Shafiq portrays himself as the strong hand to keep Egypt stable and pro-business, although also pro-reform. Mr Morsi needs to appeal to liberal elements and convince them that political Islam can successfully run the economy.

Meanwhile, Syria is pretty much in a state of civil war with the massacre of 92-people on Friday one of the worst attrocities of the past 15 months of unrest. Both sides blamed each other for this outrageous incident. Kofi Annan’s peace intitiative looks dead with it.

UPDATE 1-Dubai's JAFZA gets consent to repay $2 bln sukuk early - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Dubai's Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) said on Sunday it had received the consent from a majority of sukukholders for early redemption of a $2 billion-equivalent Islamic bond.
The state-linked industrial free zone, part of a unit owned by Dubai World, said a majority representing 89 percent of certificate holders had voted in favour of the Extraordinary Resolution in a meeting on May 24 in London. "Accordingly the consent conditions have been satisfied and the Deed of Amendment has been executed," the statement on Nasdaq Dubai said.
In order to change any terms of the certificates, the company was legally bound to seek approval from holders. Citigroup Inc, Dubai Islamic Bank and Standard Chartered were appointed as solicitation agents.

Renaissance unit Topaz signs first phase of $330 million debt plan | Reuters

Topaz Energy and Marine, a unit of Oman's Renaissance Services RSC.OM, has signed the first phase of a $330 million refinancing loan agreement with banks, its parent said in a statement to the bourse on Sunday.

United Arab Emirates - based Topaz, appointed banks in November to lead a refinancing initiative, after it was hit by a $2.9 million fraud scandal, and forced to pull a London listing amid valuation concerns and regional unrest.

The first phase of the refinancing plan totals $203 million and was arranged and financed by Standard Chartered (STAN.L), DVB Bank (DVBG.F) and First Gulf Bank FGB.AD, the statement said.

London Gateway: a port takes shape in an economic storm | Business | The Observer

Sprawled across a 1,000-acre swath of reclaimed riverbed and post-industrial ruin on the Essex coast, the London Gateway project is a half-formed response to Britain's economic malaise. But a year from now this giant sandpit will be a world-class piece of infrastructure handling the world's largest cargo ships – and the government is desperate for similar projects to transform the UK's economic landscape.

It will also elicit twinges of jealousy from the aviation lobby, as well as Nick Clegg, who called last week for an infrastructure boom. If backers of a Thames estuary airport want to see what they are missing, they should visit the proposed site of "Boris Island" on the northern shores of Kent and look across the water. While the London mayor, business leaders and environmentalists debate the merits of building four runways on the Hoo peninsula, London Gateway is taking shape a few miles away on the south coast of Essex.

Appetite for Islamic Bonds rises despite "Grexit"-fears - Xinhua |

While the Euro zone crisis has been weighing on investors' sentiment and on global economic prospects, the issuance of Islamic bonds witnesses a renaissance in East and West likewise.

Global issuances of Islamic Bonds, known as Sukuk, surged 55 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2012, reaching 43.5 billion U.S. dollars, according to market research agency Zawya.

Despite the escalation of the Euro zone debt crisis in Greece and Spain, where banks suffered withdrawals worth 800 million Euros (one billion dollars) and one billion Euros (1.25 billion dollars) respectively, weighing on global stock indices in recent weeks, new Sukuk issuances are in the global pipeline.

Gulf Times – Qatar growth, investment climate attractive for US firms: Seetharaman

The US-Qatar Business Council hosted a luncheon in Washington, DC featuring Doha Bank group CEO, Dr R Seetharaman.
Seetharaman highlighted the global trends which contributed to the new world order. He said “The changes emerging in business and technology are creating a new competitive landscape which should better value to clients, reduce excess capacity, reduce processing costs and have flexibility to manage change. The need for change arises from interlinked financial markets, regulatory realignment, technology and consumerism. The new world order involves change in regulatory architecture, business is more customer focused and information centric, huge debts in advanced economies, social media, volatile financial markets and emerging economies continuing to drive global growth”