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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Dubai shows way to diversify economies - The National

Dubai and Norway are being held up as examples of how the GCC nations can successfully diversify their economies.

In a report, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) suggested that following the path of those economies by focusing on higher value-added sectors and reforms could raise GDP in the region by 1 to 1.5 per cent.

The advice to speed up diversification comes as oil revenue for most of the GCC is expected to fall short of last year's gains as crude prices have slid. The oil sector accounts for about 30 per cent of GDP in the GCC on average.

Scotsman to pursue a tough line at DFSA - The National

The financial industry needs a strong enforcer, says the Dubai regulator's chief, who wants to topple the crooks. The policy of naming and shaming is not going to take a back seat yet

A It has been a mixed year so far for Ian Johnston. On one hand, he got the top job at the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA); on the other, his football club, Rangers, has lurched from one financial crisis to another.

"It's been painful,"says the Scot, referring tothe Glaswegian football club, not the DFSA. His progress through the ranks at the regulator has been impressively smooth.

Oil dispute between Baghdad and Kurdistan flares up again - The National

Iraq's long-standing oil dispute with Kurdistan has flared up again after Baghdad rebuked Erbil over crude exports to neighbouring Turkey.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said this week it had sent a limited amount of crude across the border to Turkey in exchange for refined products, a move that met with a stern response from Baghdad.

"This is an illegal and unconstitutional business that we will take the right decision against," said Faisal Abdullah, a spokesman for Hussein Al Shahristani, Iraq's deputy prime minister for energy. "The [Iraqi government's] oil ministry solely reserves the right to export crude oil, gas or oil products to other countries."

Dubai Group debt talks upset by banks' exit - The National

The withdrawal of three banks from Dubai Group's US$10 billion (Dh36.73bn) debt talks threatens to break an uneasy peace with lenders just as some of the emirate's corporations return to international bond markets.

Many of the emirate's government-related companies, collectively known as Dubai Inc, have had to rely on creditors' willingness to refinance debts coming due this year.

Banks have in recent months helped companies that became heavily indebted during the boom years including Limitless, Drydocks World and Dubai International Capital.

Alcoa offering Bahrain firm, Alba, at least $45 million to settle federal bribery lawsuit - The Washington Post

Alcoa Inc. has offered a Bahrain-controlled company at least $45 million to settle a federal lawsuit that alleges Alcoa-related firms paid millions in bribes that resulted in the other company overpaying for raw materials.

Attorneys for Aluminum Bahrain BSC, also known as Alba, did not immediately return calls and emails for comment Tuesday on the settlement offer disclosed in Alcoa’s latest earnings report on Monday.

“We continue to maintain that the facts do not support the claims brought by Alba. ... However, we are open to settlement to avoid the time and expense of complex litigation,” Alcoa spokeswoman Libby Archell said in a statement.

Alcoa bribery suspect doesn’t want to turn over evidence in civil lawsuit | TribLIVE

A British investor at the heart of a foreign company’s bribery allegations against Alcoa Inc. argued in federal court documents filed Monday in Pittsburgh that requiring him to defend himself now in a civil lawsuit would jeopardize his defense in a pending British criminal case and a United States criminal investigation.

Victor Dahdaleh, who was an Alcoa agent in Bahrain, is facing corruption and money laundering charges in the United Kingdom and is a target of a Justice Department investigation into Aluminium Bahrain BSC’s claims that he ran overseas shell companies that funneled kickbacks to company officials and bribes to Bahraini officials.

The company, commonly known as Alba, is seeking $1 billion in damages in a Pittsburgh federal civil lawsuit against New York-based Alcoa, Dahdaleh and William Rice, an Alcoa executive. The lawsuit is being heard in Pittsburgh because Alba contends most of the decisions for the briberies came out of Alcoa’s North Shore facility.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia hits 9-day low; UAE banks steady | News by Country | Reuters

Saudi Arabia's bourse slumped to a nine-day low on Tuesday as investors reacted to second-quarter earnings, while UAE banks were steady despite three international lenders withdrawing from debt restructuring talks with Dubai Group.

In Saudi Arabia, the benchmark fell 0.7 percent to its lowest close since July 1.

Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden), dropped 3.1 percent. It reported second-quarter net profit doubled to 128 million riyals ($34.13 million) on Tuesday but the results fell far short of analysts' estimates.

Qatar Airways mulls UK soccer sponsorship deal: CEO | Reuters

Qatar Airways is considering sponsoring a English Premier League soccer club, having received two recent approaches to do so, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

"Two English teams have approached us. We told them that we would consider it ... but we are not yet ready to do it," Akbar Al Baker said at the Farnborough Airshow.

He said the approaches had come from clubs looking to build new stadia and that Qatar Airways favored a deal involving stadium naming rights - similar to Arsenal's deal with Dubai-based Emirates Airline.

Qatar Investments - Business Insider

When it was announced that Qatar would host the 2022 World Cup, many in the international community were taken aback. To them, Qatar and its capital Doha still represented an economically backward desert area incapable of keeping up with booming growth centers like Rio de Janeiro or Shanghai.

Doha, it turns out, is on par with these metropolises, even surpassing them in certain ranks. Today, Qatar has the highest per capita income in the world, according to the CIA."

MENA stock markets close - July 10, 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)

UPDATE 1-Saudi Al Rajhi Q2 net profit up 13.6 pct | Reuters

Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Bank posted a 13.6 percent rise in its second quarter net profit, helped by a 12.3 percent jump in operating income, it said in a statement posted on the bourse website on Tuesday.

The country's biggest Islamic lender made 2.1 billion riyals ($560 million) in the three months ended June 30 compared with 1.8 billion riyals a year earlier. The results were in line with forecasts by eight analysts surveyed by Reuters, who had expected the bank to post an average profit of 2 billion riyals.

The bank said it would pay a dividend of 1.25 riyals per share for the first half of the year, after the deduction of zakat.

Wall Street admits dodgy deals 'key' to success - Yahoo! News Maktoob

A quarter of Wall Street and British financial executives think unethical or illegal conduct is needed to succeed, according to a survey by law firm Labaton Sucharow released Tuesday.
A full 24 percent of senior managers polled by the New York-based firm said they "may need to engage in unethical or illegal conduct in order to be successful."
And 16 percent admitted they would commit a crime, like insider trading, if they could get away with it.

Gatehouse Bank acquires major oil & gas HQ offices in Scotland -

Gatehouse Bank plc (Gatehouse) – a subsidiary of The Securities House of Kuwait – a wholesale Shariah compliant investment bank based in the City of London, has completed the multi-million pound acquisition of the Bridge View and Consort House in Aberdeen to provide a projected average annual cash yield of 7.50% and a projected IRR of 9.50% over a three year holding period to investors in the transaction.

 The 159,170 sq ft property is occupied and fully let to leading oil and gas service provider Petrofac as their North Sea office headquarters, as well as The Scottish Ministers (NHS), for a long lease term of 14 years.

Dubai restructuring goes awry | beyondbrics

Things have been going Dubai’s way of late. The emirate may still have a debt burden of $110bn but its state-related entities have managed to sign restructuring after refinancing deal as the city’s economy recovers, riding its status as a financial haven from the Arab spring.

But not everything is going Dubai’s way. It has emerged that three creditors last month pulled out of two-year restructuring talks over $6bn owed by the troubled Dubai Group, the investment arm of a conglomerate owned by the emirate’s ruler.

Dubai Group, which owes $10bn when inter-company loans are included, was one of several state-linked investment arms that overplayed their hands during the boom on borrowed money.

Dubai's Limitless nears $1.2 billion debt deal: sources | Reuters

Limitless, the indebted property arm of Dubai World DBWLD.UL, is close to sealing a $1.2 billion debt deal, potentially ending talks that have lasted more than two years, sources close to the negotiations said on Tuesday.

The developer, a vehicle for most of Dubai World's overseas property investments, has proposed paying interest of 175 basis points over the London interbank offered rate (Libor) under the new terms, one banking source said.

Lenders would be paid beginning in 2014 over a period of three years and interest would be accrued from December 2011, the source said, adding that the proposed interest rate was similar to the rate on the original loan.

UPDATE 1-Dubai's Emaar picks banks for potential sukuk offering - Finance News - London South East

Emaar Properties, builder of the world's tallest tower Burj Khalifa, has picked banks to arrange investor meetings in London ahead of a possible new Islamic bond, or sukuk, issue.

The company, the Gulf's largest listed developer by market value, has mandated no fewer than seven regional and international banks for the meetings which take place on July 11, and only in London.

A sukuk issue under the company's $2 billion sukuk programme may follow, subject to market conditions, arranging banks said on Tuesday.

Dubai Shares Fall to Week Low as Oil Drops on China; Qatar Gains - Businessweek

Dubai’s benchmark stock index fell to the lowest in more than a week as oil prices dropped after trade data signaled that growth in China, the world’s second- biggest economy, is slowing.

Dubai Investments PJSC (DIC), which owns stakes in 40 businesses, declined to the lowest level this month. Shuaa Capital PSC (SHUAA), a Dubai-based investment bank, closed at the lowest since February. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) lost 0.2 percent to 1,488.39, the lowest since July 2, at the 2 p.m. close in Dubai. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Commerzbank AG and Standard Bank Group Ltd. abandoned talks with Dubai Group to restructure $10 billion of debt after failing to reach an agreement, two people familiar with the matter said.

“There is pressure from global markets and regional markets,” said Chahir Hosni, equity sales manager at EFG-Hermes Holding SAE in Dubai. “Sentiment is not that great.”

MIDEAST DEBT-Qatar sukuk leaves enough on table for huge demand | Reuters

Qatar is returning to the international Islamic bond market this week after an absence of nearly a decade, and initial price talk indicates it is leaving enough on the table to entice a huge investor pool - and possibly print the Gulf's largest dollar-denominated sukuk this year.

The Gulf Arab state plans to issue a two-tranche sukuk, with early price talk in the area of 135 basis points over midswaps for the five-year portion and 175 bps over for 10-year paper.

This equates to a profit rate of about 2.22 percent for the long five-year tranche maturing in January 2018 and about 3.4 percent for the long 10-year paper maturing in January 2023.

BBC News - PFG's accounts frozen after founder attempts suicide

A US regulator has frozen the accounts of US futures brokerage Peregrine Financial Group (PFG) following the attempted suicide of its chairman.

The National Futures Association said it was worried PFG did not have enough money to meet obligations to clients.

Chairman Russell Wasendorf Sr was found in his car near its Iowa headquarters.

Why buying Islamic sukuk now is a terrible long-term investment « ArabianMoney

In the Middle East if you want to sell something then adding the tag ‘Islamic’ gets you half way there. However, for financial investments you still have to prove your case in terms of total returns that benefit the investor.

Can that really be said of Islamic sukuk in the current market? HSBC must think so because it has just begun marketing a collection of more than a hundred Islamic sukuk to its retail banking clients with the offer of expert advice from the ubiquitous relationshp manager aka bank salesperson.

Norwegian oil strike ends: Labour ministry - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Norway's government intervened to end an offshore workers' strike just minutes ahead of a threatened lockout at the country's oil production sites, the labour minstry said Tuesday.
"The strike is over," ministry spokesman Jan Richard Kjelstrup told AFP.
Jan Hodneland, a negotiator for the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF) employers' group, said the government made a "responsible choice".