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Wednesday, 6 June 2012

gulfnews : Adnoc’s takeover of 74 Emarat stations underway

The handover process of 74 petrol stations by Emarat to Adnoc Distribution in the Northern Emirates has begun, a highly-placed oil industry source familiar with the developments told Gulf News yesterday.
“The takeover process by Adnoc Distribution has begun. As per plan, over the next few months, Adnoc Distribution and Emarat will jointly operate the pumps and from January 2013, Adnoc Distribution will take over full management control of the petrol stations,” said the source.
Adnoc Distribution is a unit of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc). Last month, Adnoc and Emarat announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) through which Adnoc’s unit will take over the running of 74 petrol stations operated by Emarat in Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah.

Spain's ordeal raises fears of harm to Mena - The National

Concerns are mounting over the potential impact on the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) from Spain's escalating banking troubles as the nation teeters on the brink of a multibillion-euro bailout.

The UAE and Qatar pledged to invest in Spain's banking system last year.

"The Spanish banking system is taking a big hit, and if there were investments last year they would be badly hit," Said Hirsh, the Middle East economist at Capital Economics, said.

Qatar unfazed by shale gas growth - The National

Qatar has refuted concerns that the North American shale gas revolution will flood the world markets with liquefied natural gas (LNG) and bring down prices.

"The US has need for energy themselves," said Hamad Rashid Al Mohannadi, the managing director of RasGas, one of the state-controlled gas producers in Qatar, at a conference in Malaysia yesterday. "I don't see the US exporting large volumes of LNG"

New techniques to extract natural gas from shale rock formations have dramatically increased the supply in the US and Canada, and brought down prices to only US$1.90 per million British thermal units (mBtu) on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest in more than 10 years.

Economic future bleak for 100m Arab youths - The National

Nearly 24 million young Arabs could be unemployed, with an additional 75 million "in dire need of an economic future", according to a report by experts from the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The report "Addressing the 100 million Youth Challenge" was published yesterday at the WEF's meeting on the Middle East, North Africa and Eurasia in Istanbul, Turkey.

It is one of the gloomiest assessments so far of the prospects for employment in the region since the Arab Spring upheavals last year, which were largely sparked by poor economic prospects among young people.

NBAD and Emirates NBD make a move on China - The National

Two of the UAE's biggest banks are to open offices in mainland China for the first time, as the Emirates seeks to profit from growing trade links with the world's second-biggest economy.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and Emirates NBD are opening offices in China, as the two countries forge closer ties after a visit by Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, to the Emirates this year.

Emirates NBD, the biggest bank in the UAE, is preparing to open an office in Beijing, becoming the first bank in the Middle East to operate in the Chinese capital, said Kevin Flannery, the general manager of international business at Emirates NBD.

Gulf Finance House aims to sell QInvest stake - The National

Gulf Finance House is seeking buyers for its stake in QInvest, a Doha-based investment bank.

The Bahraini investment bank, which reached a restructuring agreement on US$110 million (Dh404m) of debt last month, indirectly holds a 4 per cent stake in QInvest through one of its associates, Khaleeji Commercial Bank, a Bahraini lender that is 47 per cent owned by Gulf Finance House.

"We don't really have a significant role to play in QInvest. If you find a suitable buyer at some point in time, we'll accept. It's a legacy asset," said a source close to Gulf Finance House.

Drydocks World looks beyond $2.2bn debt - The National

Khamis Juma Buamim, the chairman of Drydocks World, has spent his first two years as head of the Dubai World subsidiary grappling with its debt problems - and defining a growth strategy. With the company's debts totalling US$2.2 billion (Dh8.08bn) about to be restructured, and its future mapped out, Mr Buamim spoke to The National about the way ahead at his office in the midst of the Dubai shipyard next to Port Rashid.

What is your growth strategy?

We transformed company strategy in late 2010. We … are driving towards servicing the oil and gas sector. Oil and gas is becoming almost 80 per cent of our business. We are a marine-based organisation. We had to think seriously what would happen in the next 15 to 25 years, and we plotted it out. The data indicated that the only industry that has a growth cycle up to 2030 in some cases is the energy industry.

Dubai’s cultural dreams may need reality check

With ambitious plans to build the world’s first undersea hotel and establish itself as a cultural hub with an opera house and museum complex, Dubai is dreaming again.

As the Gulf Arab state has made progress on restructuring its debt and an improving economy is boosting its fiscal position, the government in recent months has revived a host of projects put on hold after the property market collapse and subsequent debt crisis in 2009.

Plans to build a waterway that would enable residents in an upscale residential area of the city to sail to work in the business district by yacht are also back on the agenda. Other projects mooted by the government include the world's largest animal safari park and the biggest amusement park.

Saudi Stock Market - intraday activity on #Tadawul

General Index
Intraday  3 month  
 Daily Statistics
 Date06/06/2012
 General Index6661.26
 Change (%)-1.12%
 Change-75.56
 T. Volume261451344
 T. Companies 156
   Advanced9
   Declined128
   Unchanged13
   UnTraded6


MENA stock markets close - June 6, 2012

 ExchangeStatus IndexChange  
 
 TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
 
6661.26-1.12%  
 
 DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
 
1455.960.42%  
 
 ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
 
2435.190.07%  
 
 KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
 
6085.15-0.73%  
 
 BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
 
1132.170.06%  
 
 MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
 
5783.910.33%  
 
 QE (Qatar Exchange)
 
8342.510.24%  
 
 LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
 
1148.54-0.22%  
 
 EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
 
4484.71-0.40%  
 
 ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
 
1861.46-0.41%  
 
 TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
 
5046.65-0.19%  
 
 CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
 
100670.11%  
 
 PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)
 
448.890.04%  


RLPC-Five banks lead Zain Saudi's $2.5bn syndicated loan-bankers - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Zain Saudi Arabia, the country's third-largest mobile operator, has mandated Al Rajhi Bank,
Banque Saudi Fransi, Credit Agricole, Arab National Bank and Standard Chartered to lead the refinancing of its $2.5 billion Islamic syndicated loan that matures in July, bankers close to the deal said.
Saudi British Bank, National Bank of Kuwait and Gulf Bank are also expected to join the five-year facility, which includes different pricing for the U.S. dollar and Saudi riyal tranches.
Further syndication is unlikely, with the deal scheduled to sign by mid-July, the bankers added. Pricing is below the 425 basis points (bps) margin on the original Murabaha loan from 2009 that backed the company's
network expansion, one banker said.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi at 18-week low; other Gulf mkts mixed - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Saudi Arabia's index reversed early gains to slump to an 18-week closing low on Wednesday as global uncertainty prompted investors to cut positions ahead of the kingdom's weekend.
The Arab world's largest bourse fell 1.1 percent, closing at its lowest since Jan. 31. The market is volatile, trading in a 2.9 percent range in the final session before the local Thursday-Friday weekend.
"We are not sure what caused the dramatic change in the market - of course, one reason was that traders were giving up positions to cut risk (exposure) to global factors ahead of the weekend," said Hesham Tuffaha at Bakheet Investment Group head of asset management.

Building safety highlighted by tower fire - FT.com

The tragic fire at a Qatari shopping mall last week has raised concerns about safety standards in the ambitious state, where there is a vast construction boom in the lead-up to its hosting of the 2022 football World Cup.
The deaths of 19 people, including 13 children, at the six-year-old Villaggio Mall will act as a wake-up call as Qatar plans more than $120bn in infrastructure projects over the next five years, say building and fire safety experts.
And across the region, the fallout from the disaster reinforces the lesson that managing the gleaming new cities that emerged in the boom of the last decade requires a new set of skills, distinct from the construction expertise developed in the building phase.

Islamic bonds: then there was light | beyondbrics

It’s no fun being a bond investor these days. You either invest in safe havens like US and German bonds and get a negative return, or go on adventure in countries like Spain and can’t be sure you’ll get your money back.

So the emergence of Shariah compliant sukuk offers an appealing middle way. With the London 2012 Sukuk Summit being held on June 6 and 7, beyondbrics reviews the latest developments in the market.

First to catch the eye is a steady rise in sukuk indices in the last few months. The Dow Jones Sukuk Index, for example, which measures the total return on US dollar denominated Islamic bonds, ended higher in May for the sixth time in as many months. Since 2009, the index has performed twice as well as the Barclays Capital Bond Composite Global Index, a benchmark for bonds.

Wataniya Telecom, Gulf Cables Replaced in Kuwait 15 Index - Bloomberg

National Mobile Telecommunications Co. (NMTC), known as Wataniya, and Gulf Cable & Electrical Industries Co. (CABLE) were removed from the Kuwait 15 index, which comprises the 15 biggest companies on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KWSEIDX) by market value and liquidity.
The two companies were replaced by Commercial Bank of Kuwait SAK and Al-Qurain Petrochemicals Co. (ALQURAIN), according to a statement e-mailed today by the bourse. The index started trading last month using systems provided by Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ) and is revised every six months.
The index also includes National Bank of Kuwait, Mobile Telecommunications (ZAIN), Kuwait Finance House (KFIN), Gulf Bank, Boubyan Bank, Al-Ahli United, Burgan Bank, Kuwait Projects Holding, Mabanee, Agility, Kuwait International Bank (KIB), National Industries Group Holding and Boubyan Petrochemicals.

UAE's Gulf Capital to invest $267 mln in Saudi property mkt - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Abu Dhabi's Gulf Capital will enter Saudi Arabia's real estate market with a 1 billion riyals ($267 million) investment plan to tap growing demand for residential property in the kingdom, the private equity firm said on Wednesday.
Gulf Capital will enter the Saudi property market through its Gulf Related unit, which is a joint venture with Related Companies, the largest privately-owned property developer in the United States.
The initial development will be a multi-million dollar residential project in the capital, Riyadh, a statement from
Gulf Capital said, with the first phase slated to be completed by early 2015.

Dubai’s Noor Islamic Bank Seeks Business in Singapore, Malaysia - Bloomberg

Noor Islamic Bank, a lender controlled by Dubai’s government, said it’s seeking business in Singapore and Malaysia as it aims to benefit from growth in Southeast Asia.
“I’ll be interested in any transaction that comes up,” Hussain Al Qemzi, chief executive officer of the United Arab Emirates-based lender, said in an interview in Singapore today. “Malaysia is the world’s biggest sukuk market. I understand companies are looking to finance infrastructure projects.”
Malaysia, which is aiming to become a global hub for Islamic finance, has a $444 billion program to build roads and power plants over the next 10 years. Sukuk, or Islamic bonds, pay asset returns to comply with the religion’s ban on interest.

Private bank LGT builds Dubai presence - sources | Reuters

LGT Group, the Liechtenstein-based private bank, is setting up its operations in Dubai, three sources familiar with the matter said, the latest private bank seeking to expand its footprint and attract business from rich Middle Eastern clients.

LGT, which managed assets worth 86.9 billion Swiss francs ($90.2 billion) at end-2011, has hired at least six private bankers from Swiss rival Clariden Leu for the business, two of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter has not been made public.

Credit Suisse, Clariden's parent, decided last year to integrate the private bank into its own organisation as part of a cost-cutting programme.

BREAKINGVIEWS-Qatar play for EFG Hermes stokes backlash in Egypt - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Qatar's move on EFG Hermes is provoking a backlash. The Gulf emirate's play for key assets of the region's preeminent investment bankhas prompted a rival consortium, notably backed by billionaire Naguib Sawiris, to declare an interest in buying it outright.
The Qatari deal was approved last week by shareholders, but in the current volatile situation anything can happen.
The possible bidding war highlights the rising Egyptian concerns over the country's financial relations with Qatar. The rival Planet consortium promises to "prevent the breakup of a flagship Egyptian multinational" and is counting on regulatory intervention.

MIDEAST DEBT-Gulf outperforms as world markets slide | Reuters

Bonds in the Gulf Arab oil exporters are outperforming fixed income markets in many other countries as the world's economic climate darkens, suggesting the Gulf may have turned a corner in convincing investors of its financial stability.

Gulf bonds were hit hard between 2009 and 2011 when the initial stages of the global financial crisis burst credit and real estate bubbles in the region.

Now the Gulf is threatened by another wave of the crisis: weak U.S. and Chinese economic data and Europe's debt problems dragged Brent crude oil as low as $95 a barrel this week, the lowest since January 2011, from around $125 early this year. In a region where energy exports are some 30-50 percent of nations' gross domestic product, that will have a major impact.

Oman Plans Contract to Build Zauliyah Gas Plant, Observer Says - Bloomberg

Petroleum Development Oman plans to award a construction contract in the next few weeks for a natural-gas plant at Zauliyah that will cost $100 million to $150 million, the Oman Observer reported, without citing anyone.
The plant, in the middle of the country, will process non- associated gas and liquids from oilfields in the area and have a capacity of 1.2 million cubic meters a day, the newspaper said. WorleyParsons Ltd. (WOR) conducted the preliminary design and engineering work, according to the report.

Saudi Arabia real GDP grows 5.94 pct in Q1 | Reuters

Saudi Arabia's gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, grew 5.94 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared with the same period a year ago, the government's statistics department said on Wednesday.

That marked a minor slowdown from the 6.6 percent growth recorded in the fourth quarter of last year.

Abu Dhabi’s Wealth Fund Takes Stake in Zain Saudi, Argaam Says - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has taken a 2.14 percent stake in Mobile Telecommunications of Saudi Arabia, known as Zain Saudi (ZAINKSA), Argaam reported, citing a prospectus on the restructuring of the company’s capital.
The shares were transferred last month to ADIA, one of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds, from Rakisa Holding based on a ruling by the general public complaints office, the news portal said. ADIA’s stake is equivalent to 30 million shares, the newspaper said.
ADIA spokesman Erik Portanger declined to comment and Kuwait-based Zain Group said it had no comment on the report when contacted by Bloomberg News today.

Abraaj Expects to Conclude Saudi Investment in 3 Months - Bloomberg

Abraaj Capital Ltd., the biggest private equity firm in the Middle East, may conclude an investment in Saudi Arabia within three months and is looking at a “number of deals” in Turkey, a senior official said.
“For at least one of them we expect it will be fairly imminent,” Chief Executive Officer Mustafa Abdel Wadood said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Istanbul. “I would like to think within the next two to three months.”
The Dubai-based company is in talks on three investments in Saudi Arabia valued as much as $150 million each, Ahmed Badreldin, a senior partner, said in April. Abraaj oversees about $7.5 billion across more than 30 emerging market countries. The private equity firm agreed in February to buy London-based Aureos Capital Ltd., which specializes in investing in small- and medium-sized firms.

IHH in talks with Kuwait, Abu Dhabi over IPO

Malaysia state-backed Integrated Healthcare Holdings (IHH), which operates hospitals in Asia, is in talks with sovereign wealth funds in Abu Dhabi and Kuwait to rope them in as cornerstone investors for its US$2 billion dual listing in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, sources said today.

The investors will be part of over 10 cornerstones IHH plans to finalise by next week who will take up more than 40 per cent of the US$2 billion offering, sources with direct knowledge of the deal told Reuters.

Malaysia is aiming to list state-backed companies in order to attract international investors to its capital market. IHH, which is backed by state investor Khazanah, has acquired hospital groups in Singapore and Turkey and is trying to unlock value by listing them.

NBK optimistic over Egypt economy despite challenges

The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) believes Egypt would remain a strategic market for its activities and optimistic over the Egyptian economy’s potential and promise.
NBK CEO Sheikha Al-Bahar told a seminar organized Monday night that amid the tough challenges facing Egypt at present, the bond certificate in US dollar is a wise tool to help citizens and investors support the first Arab economy. Recalling the effects of the political instability on the economy, she stressed there is a shared responsibility to support the Egyptian economy across the Arab world.
Egyptian Ambassador Abdulkerim Suleiman for his part noted that the state of affairs in post-revolution Egypt means the country’s economy’s stability and strength relies on Egyptians themselves, whether at home or abroad, in view of exodus of foreign investment. Purchasing the dollar bond certificate had contributed to increasing remittances by $100 million, the diplomat said, urging his countrymen in Kuwait to buy the bonds.

Qatar Investment Authority Buys Retail Complex in Paris - Fashion Scoops - Fashion - WWD.com

The Qatar Investment Authority has bought a flagship retail complex on the Champs-Elysées from French insurance firm Groupama for more than 500 million euros, or $622 million at current exchange, the French daily Le Figaro reported on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Groupama declined to comment on the report, as did a spokeswoman for real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle, which handled the sale. Officials at Qatar Investment Authority did not respond to requests for confirmation.

The building at number 52 dates back to the Thirties and is now home to a Virgin Megastore, a branch of French retail chain Monoprix, a shopping arcade and offices.