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Sunday, 3 June 2012

United approach the key to Middle East employment - The National

The Middle East faces a huge challenge this decade in providing meaningful jobs for a surging number of young people, Chadi Moujaes, Samer Bohsali, Karim Abdallah write.

The Middle East is facing a huge employment challenge.

With more than half of the region's population under 25 years of age, a staggering 75 million jobs will have to be created by 2020 just to keep pace with demographic growth. Essentially, the Middle East has less than 10 years to generate 40 per cent more jobs than exist today - an enormous feat if governments continue to use their current approaches.

Declining price of oil puts break-even in spotlight - The National

The price of oil continues its decline, dipping below US$100 per barrel and casting a new light on budgets across the GCC.

Since last year, governments in the GCC have embarked on extensive investment programmes to improve the welfare of citizens, or to boost economic development.

These moves have pushed up the break-even price of oil - the per barrel income that is needed to avoid a deficit - for almost all of them.

UAE's Central Bank studies plan to help with loans - The National

The Central Bank is weighing a raft of measures to help nationals struggling to pay back hefty bank loans.

The regulator's board reviewed proposals "regarding settlement of personal consumer loans for the purpose of reducing debt burden of UAE nationals", it said in a statement released after a meeting it held last week.

The move comes as the regulator steps up efforts to assist Emiratis struggling to repay bank loans.

Faltering Dubai bourse on edge of bear territory - The National

If you go down to the Dubai stock market today, you may be in for a surprise.

Bear sightings have become more frequent in the area as global oil prices sink and share values dwindle.

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index sank 2 per cent to 1,441.80 yesterday, hitting a five-month low and leaving the emirate's benchmark on the cusp of becoming a bear market - defined as a decline of 20 per cent over a given period.

UAE firms hold key to takeover of EFG-Hermes - The National

Two UAE investment companies have emerged as key players in a tie-up between Qatar's QInvest and EFG-Hermes.

Their role was revealed as a rival bid worth more than US$1 billion (Dh3.67bn) from a consortium of Arab investors sought to block the deal and prevent a break-up of one of the Middle East's biggest investment banks.

EFG-Hermes claimed in a statement that Dubai Financial Group and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority both voted at the bank's extraordinary general meeting in favour of a proposal tabled by QInvest to create a joint venture called EFG-Hermes Qatar.

EFG-Hermes rejects US$1.1bn offer in favour of Qatar venture - Banking & Finance -

EFG-Hermes Holding, the biggest publicly traded Arab investment bank, rejected a US$1.1bn bid from an Egyptian company backed by billionaire Naguib Sawiris in favor of a venture with Qatar’s QInvest.
Planet IB's EGP13.5-a-share offer lacked details on the “financing resources” as well as information about the investors, Cairo-based EFG-Hermes said today.
The bid is 23 percent more than the stock’s May 31 close. The shares rose 1.3 percent to EGP11.11 at 2:26 pm in Cairo, while the benchmark EGX 30 Index was down 1.3 percent.

gulfnews : Saudi Arabia to liberalise aviation

Saudi Arabia plans to open its skies gradually, phasing in new airlines to avoid an abrupt crowding of the sector, according to a senior official at the kingdom’s top aviation authority.
The Middle East’s biggest economy is in the process of vetting applications for new airline licenses to operate out of the country, as it looks to shore up its under-developed transport sector to meet growing demand.
The kingdom earlier this year said it received applications for licenses from 14 companies including Gulf and Chinese consortia.

Qatar pips UAE in new competitiveness ratings -

Qatar has been named the most competitive country in the Gulf in new rankings published by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD).
The Swiss-based organisation placed Qatar 10th out of a total of 59 economies covered in its World Competitiveness Yearbook.
Although the Gulf state fell two places compared to last year, it still retained its place as the top Gulf country.

Saudi Stock Market close - June 3, 2012

General Index
Intraday  3 month  
 Daily Statistics
 General Index6747.69
 Change (%)1.00%
 T. Volume362981446
 T. Companies 155

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Saudi recoups some of previous heavy losses - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Saudi Arabia's index ends higher to recoup some of Saturday's heavy losses as bargain hunters step in.
The benchmark climbs 1 percent to 6,748 points, trimming its losses since a three-and-a-half year peak on April 3 to 14.9 percent. It remains up 5.1 percent in 2012 and recent declines have tempted in some buyers, with daily trading volumes hitting a three-week high.
Indebted telecoms operator Zain Saudi accounts for about a quarter of all shares changing hands, rising 2.2 percent to extend gains on expectations it will complete a long-awaited capital restructuring.

EFG plans 4 Eg pound dividend after QInvest tie-up - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Egypt's EFG Hermes said on Sunday it would distribute a dividend of 4 Egyptian pounds ($0.66) per share after it completes a joint venture it is forming with Qatar's QInvest.
It confirmed in a statement that shareholders had approved the venture, in which EFG would have a 40 percent stake and QInvest 60 percent.
"As a result of the transaction, the proceeds will be utilized to distribute a dividend of EGP 4 per share, representing a dividend yield per share of 36 percent, in the form of actual annual profits, capital gains, retained earnings and capital reduction," the statement said.

Qatar Exchange close - June 3, 2012

General Index
Intraday  3 month  
 Daily Statistics
 General Index8333.07
 Change (%)-1.00%
 T. Volume5721696
 T. Companies 42

Muscat Securities Market close - June 3, 2012

General Index
Intraday  3 month  
 Daily Statistics
 General Index5721.1
 Change (%)-0.58%
 T. Volume13843563
 T. Companies 123

Kuwait Stock Exchange close - June 3, 2012

General Index
Intraday  3 month  
 Daily Statistics
 General Index6121.96
 Change (%)-1.16%
 T. Volume186050558
 T. Companies 213

Abudhabi Securities Exchange close - June 3, 2012

General Index
Intraday  3 month  
 Daily Statistics
 General Index2426.82
 Change (%)-0.58%
 T. Volume50542002
 T. Companies 66

Dubai Financial Market close - June 3, 2012

 General Index
Intraday  3 month  
 Daily Statistics
 General Index1441.8
 Change (%)-2.02%
 T. Volume116132311
 T. Companies 63

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Kuwait in biggest drop in 10 mths; Zain down - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Kuwait's index makes its largest drop in 10 months as global market declines and a downbeat outlook for the local economy spur investors to sell.
Telecoms operator Zain drops 1.4 percent and Islamic lender Kuwait Finance House (KFH) dips 1.3 percent, with both stocks now trading at around 2009 levels.
"In Kuwait, not much is happening economically and that is weighing on the market," says Shahid Hameed, Global Investment House head of asset management for the Gulf region.

INTERVIEW-UPDATE 1-Group seeking to buy EFG Hermes to appeal to regulator - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Shareholders of Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes voted on Saturday against a group of investors seeking to buy the bank, but the investors will appeal to Egypt's regulator to suspend the decision, the group targeting the bank said.
The group, called Planet IB, said it intended to offer 13.50 Egyptian pounds ($2.23) per share to buy the Cairo-based investment bank, Egypt's biggest. Shares in EFG closed at 10.99 pounds on Thursday, the last day of Egypt's trading week.
EFG shareholders voted to go ahead with an earlier plan to form a joint venture with Qatar's QInvest that would give the Qatari firm control over EFG's main business, Planet's chairman, Mahmoud Abdel Latif, told Reuters.

gulfnews : Moderate growth in UAE manufacturing

The UAE’s manufacturing sector is expected to see “moderate growth” in 2012 and the medium-term, but the Eurozone crisis and the sanctions on Iran will limit the export markets for local products, analysts say.
“The UAE’s aluminium produce finds major usage in the automotive and construction sectors. Given that Europe is a major export market for aluminium produce, the Eurozone crisis will have a cascading impact on the demand for it,” said Virein Kumar Yadlapalli, an analyst with Frost & Sullivan.
The UAE is also a major re-export centre for Iran, which accounted for 20 per cent of exports and re-exports before the ban, he said. “Thus, sanctions would limit local production until new export markets are developed.”

The Times of Oman: Oman, Qatar to slash LNG output by 5mt

Qatar and Oman will reduce liquefied natural gas (LNG) output by a combined five million tonnes in 2012, the estimates show. Qatar has increased exports every year since 1996 and started its 14th liquefaction plant last year. It plans no more. Oman's exports fell 13 per cent from 2007 to 2010 as gas was diverted for domestic use.

Middle East liquefied natural gas producers, the biggest suppliers of the fuel to Europe, are set to cut exports for the first time in 20 years amid rising local demand for power generation.

Qatar, Oman, Yemen and Abu Dhabi, which supply about 40 per cent of the world's LNG, exported at 96 per cent of capacity last year, according to the International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers, or GIIGNL, a Paris-based lobby group. That will fall to about 94 per cent in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Combined shipments from the region's four producers of the chilled gas have risen every year since 1992, according to the US Energy Information Administration.