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Sunday, 15 July 2012

Mixed opinions over Saudi market reform - The National

As Saudi Arabian stocks soared to new highs in April, speculation mounted that the government would finally throw the doors open to foreign capital.

As quickly as the rally surged, however, it faltered.

This month, the Tadawul All-Share Index, long the darling of the Middle East's equity market landscape, hovers around the upper-6,000s mark, with the 7,930.58 high recorded on April 3 a distant memory. There is yet to be any solid news on a policy change over stock-exchange reform. The bulls - who in the spring were hinting the Tadawul could hit 10,000 - could well have bucked too soon.

UK's austerity drives up rents at big malls in Dubai - The National

The influx of retailers from the United Kingdom into the UAE this year has forced up rents in some of Dubai's biggest shopping malls.

Austerity measures in the UK and weak economic growth have caused many retailers to seek respite and expand overseas, with Dubai often seen as a first port of call to gauge international demand.

Analysts say the recent inflow of UK retailers has led to rents rising in Dubai malls where international retailers have to be seen to have a presence.

gulfnews : More surprises surface in Deyaar’s graft case

In an unprecedented twist of events that startled the Dubai Court of First Instance’s packed courtroom, Presiding Judge Mohammad Jamal referred Deyaar’s graft case involving the 45-year-old American CEO, Z.S., and Emirati ex-minister, M.K., to the Public Funds Prosecution to look into some incidents that remained uninvestigated.
“Court proceedings and deliberations, lawyers’ defence and witnesses’ statements have exposed that a number of incidents involving different projects and incidents were left uninvestigated by prosecutors. This bench of judges cannot hand out a judgment if there were some incidents that were unquestioned and if there were certain charges that were unleveled against the defendants. Hence the court has decided to refer the case back to the prosecution as per article 17 of the Criminal Procedures Law. Prosecutors will have the jurisdictional power to either drop the case or process a new accusation sheet and refer the case to a different bench of judges,” according to yesterday’s decision.

gulfnews : Deyaar graft case back to square one

In yet another surprise involving Deyaar’s former CEO, his case and eight other suspects, charged with committing Dh237 million worth of financial irregularities was referred back to prosecutors for fresh investigations.
The Dubai Court of First Instance referred the case file to the Public Funds Prosecution to look into two dealings concerning Deyaar projects in Turkey and in Abu Dhabi.
According to yesterday’s decision, prosecutors will also have to conduct fresh investigations concerning other incidents of forgery and of illegal profiting worth nearly Dh11 million from a branding company.

gulfnews : Central Bank imposes new liquidity requirement on local lenders

The UAE Central Bank is preparing local lenders for new Basel III banking supervision standards by requiring them to hold 10 per cent of their liabilities in liquid assets starting next year, according to new regulations posted on the regulator’s website.
The Central Bank said “high quality liquid assets” that qualify for the new requirement include cash, certificates of deposit, and highly rated local government bonds.
The ratio takes effect in January, but will be supplanted at the end of 2014 by a more complex ‘liquidity coverage ratio’, according to the central bank document. This ratio, the LCR, is one of two that local banks are expected to adhere to as part of their Basel III compliance. The other is the Net Stable Funding Ratio, or NSFR.

Doug Bitcon, Rasmala: “Sukuk benefit from an expanding investment universe, improved secondary market liquidity and strong institutional and retail demand” | Hedgeweek

Doug Bitcon, head of fixed income funds and portfolios at Dubai-based investment manager Rasmala, says the new Global Sukuk Fund he manages is benefiting from a change in attitude on the part of investors, who in the wake of the financial crisis are attracted to sukuk as generally defensive instruments that provide predictable income streams as well as potential for capital growth.

GFM: What is the history and background of your company, principals and funds?

DB: Rasmala was established in 1999, with headquarters in Dubai and offices in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Egypt. We manage approximately USD650m and will be working closely with UK-domiciled and AIM-listed European Islamic Investment Bank, which recently acquired a controlling stake in Rasmala, to increase the range of investment products that can be offered to clients.

Hopes raised for Australians held in Dubai

BRIBERY charges against two Australian property executives in Dubai have been sent back to prosecutors for re-examination in an unexpected move that raises the possibility the case may be abandoned.

Families of the two men, Matthew Joyce and Marcus Lee, had expected Dubai's Ruler's Court to find them guilty at a hearing yesterday.

While the ruling provides a small glimmer of hope for the pair, it means there is no end in sight to a legal saga that has seen them detained in the emirate for more than three years.

BBC News - UAE opens pipeline bypassing Strait of Hormuz oil route

The overground pipeline can handle at
least 1.5 million barrels of crude a day
The United Arab Emirates has opened and begun operating a key overland pipeline which bypasses the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the strait at the mouth of the Gulf, a vital oil-trade route.

The new 370km (230 mile) pipeline carries oil from fields in the UAE's western desert to Fujairah - a major oil storage hub on the east coast.

BBC News - Barclays: 'Other banks to face Libor revelations'

Senior managers at Barclays have warned staff in an internal memo that the Libor scandal will envelop other banks.

The memo circulated on Friday said that revelations about its rivals would "put in perspective" Barclays' culpability.

Meanwhile Barclays' former chief operating officer Jerry del Missier will answer MPs' questions on Monday.

MENA stock markets close - July 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)

Persian Gulf Stocks: Emaar, Emirates NBD, Sabic, Saudi Kayan - Bloomberg

Dubai’s DFM General Index (DFMGI) gained 0.8 percent, the most since July 5, to 1,502.54 at the close in the emirate. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index declined 0.4 percent.

Abu Dhabi Exports First Pipeline Oil to Pakistani Refinery - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi is exporting its first cargo of oil today from a pipeline that bypasses the Strait of Hormuz, shipping the crude to a refinery in Pakistan, the head of the emirate’s International Petroleum Investment Co. said.
The oil, pumped though a new link from Abu Dhabi to the port of Fujairah, will go to Pakistan Refinery Co., Khadem Al- Qubaisi, managing director of the state-owned investment fund known as IPIC, said in Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. IPIC owns a stake in the Pakistani plant.
The pipeline provides buyers with an alternative location from which to receive crude and will cut down on shipping traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, Mohamed Bin Dhaen Al-Hamli, the U.A.E’s oil minister, said today at a ceremony in Fujairah to inaugurate the network. Al-Qubaisi of IPIC said the pipeline cost $4.2 billion.

Abu Dhabi Says BP Not Invited in June to Bid for Onshore Oil - Bloomberg

BP Plc (BP/) wasn’t invited last month to bid for onshore oilfield concessions in the United Arab Emirates, the head of state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. said.
Abu Dhabi National Oil, known as Adnoc, sent letters in June to “many” potential bidders other than BP, Director General Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi told reporters today in the U.A.E. port of Fujairah. He didn’t rule out the possibility that BP might make a bid, saying, “It’s early days.”
BP said last week it was still in talks with Abu Dhabi about renewing rights to produce oil in the Middle Eastern emirate, after a report indicated the company had been excluded from negotiations. “Constructive discussions are taking place at all levels,” David Nicholas, a BP spokesman, said July 6.

Exclusive: Libor scandal forces Barclays from UAE rate panel - sources | Reuters

British bank Barclays plans to pull out of the rate-setting panel for interbank lending in the United Arab Emirates because of its involvement in the Libor scandal in Britain, three industry sources told Reuters on Sunday.

Barclays belongs to a panel of 12 banks that quote indicative interbank lending rates in UAE dirhams. The quotes are averaged to arrive at a daily range of Emirates Interbank Offered Rates (Eibor), which are used to price financial instruments in the Gulf's top financial centre.

"Barclays has indicated to the UAE central bank that it wants to quit the panel, and the central bank has called for a meeting on Tuesday to discuss who will replace Barclays," a source familiar with the matter said, declining to be named because a public announcement has not yet been made.

U.A.E. Banks to Hold 10% Liabilities in Liquid Assets - Bloomberg

Banks in the United Arab Emirates will be required to comply with four so-called “liquidity ratios” to help them withstand market disruptions and avoid a cluster of debt payments, according to new central bank rules.
Lenders will be required to hold 10 percent of their liabilities in “high-quality liquid assets” from Jan. 1 to meet a new liquid assets ratio, according to the liquidity regulations issued by the central bank July 12 and posted on its website today. The assets include cash, central bank certificates of deposits, U.A.E. federal government bonds, reserves and other account balances at the central bank, the regulator said. They could also include debt of local governments and public entities. The ratio will be replaced by a new liquidity coverage ratio from Jan. 1, 2015, it said.
“A minimum level of liquid assets should be held at banks (ADBF) to ensure its ability to sustain a short-term liquidity stress, both bank specific and market-wide,” the central bank said. It will set up a liquidity task force to ensure a smooth implementation of these rules by the required dates, it said.

Key Dubai shareholder opts out of Bank Muscat rights sale - sources | Reuters

Dubai Group, the investment vehicle owned by the emirate's ruler and second-largest shareholder in Bank Muscat, has sold its rights to buy into a share offering by the Omani lender at a significant discount, two sources said on Sunday.

Bank Muscat, Oman's largest lender, offered new shares to existing holders at a 25-percent discount to raise about $251 million to fund its credit growth and venture into Islamic finance.

Dubai Group, in the midst of a $10-billion debt restructuring, had the rights to buy an additional 33.387 million shares, valued at about 0.06 rials ($0.16).

Gulf Times – Qatar projects set to boost FDI flows into GCC

Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into the GCC region is set to pick up in view of  a large pipeline of projects planned, particularly in Qatar, QNB Group has said in an analysis.
These large projects will be partly financed with foreign direct investment, QNB said, which sees higher FDI inflows into Qatar, as it ranks first in the world in terms of market attractiveness, a key component of Unctad’s index.
The FDI potential index, which Unctad produces to assess countries’ attractiveness as destinations for FDI, implies that the GCC is currently receiving fewer inflows than might be expected.

Business - UAE witnesses credit growth

The UAE has witnessed credit growth, and that positive development will help the country’s economy continues to diversify, according to a latest study by Dubai Economic Council, or DEC.
“There is a need for monetary policy and regulation to be countercyclical in order to try to smooth the cycle and its impact on economic activity,” according to the DEC’s working paper entitled “Monetary policy: Constraints and measures”.
The study said that credit in the UAE has been growing both in absolute terms and as a percentage of GDP. This is a positive development that will intensify as the UAE economy continues to diversify, and as its financial markets and banking sector develop further.