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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Dubai World board to also sit as directors of investment subsidiary - The National

Dubai World's board of directors has been officially appointed to act as the board of directors for its investment arm, Istithmar World, effectively dissolving any previously appointed boards or advisory committees, according to the Dubai Media Office.

The Dubai World board is chaired by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman of Emirates Airline and president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority. The announcement was made after a decree by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and the Ruler of Dubai.

UK oil firm to boost its presence in the region - The National

Dana Petroleum, a UK oil company owned by the Korea National Oil Company (Knoc), has embarked on a multi billion-dollar growth programme that will see it competing for contracts in the region.

Intent on growing its oil production to 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) by 2016, Dana is poised to invest about US$1 billion (Dh3.67bn) a year to achieve this target. Its present production stands at 64,000 bpd.

The company is seeking to grow in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and it is already operating in eight countries. Marcus Richards, Dana's chief executive, said he was in negotiations over new business in the Middle East.

Shadow of credit crunch lingers - The National

The dust may be settling after Dubai's debt bust-up of the past few years but banks, regulators and ratings agencies are taking few chances as the Arabian Gulf starts to load up again on cheap credit.

With the UAE's bill for bad debts from the last crisis currently sitting at Dh61.7 billion (US$16.79bn) and rising, according to Central Bank data, the financial industry is beefing up its early-warning systems to prevent a repeat of the costs forced on the local economy following Dubai World's $25bn restructuring.

The ratings agency Standard & Poor's has increased staff in Dubai while financial services headhunters report a growing need for highly trained credit analysts.

Etihad clear for Virgin bid take off - The National

Etihad Airways has been given the go-ahead by regulators to raise its stake in Virgin Australia to a maximum of 10 per cent.

The UAE flag carrier had made clear its intentions to acquire a greater stake earlier this year and currently owns 4.99 per cent of the Australian airline.

"The [initial] purchase was made following the development of a highly successful multi-tiered partnership between the two airlines that includes code sharing on flights, joint marketing initiatives and reciprocal earn-and-burn on their respective frequent flier programmes," Etihad said.

Abu Dhabi's bourse tops Dubai's - The National

Dubai's shares fell yesterday as investors booked profits after a positive week.

"There was light profit taking from retail investors," said Julian Bruce, the director of institutional sales trading based in Dubai at EFG Hermes. "Most of the stocks have had a recent run and investors would like to take profits off the table ahead of the weekend."

In Dubai, Emaar Properties, the developer behind the Burj Khalifa, fell 1.2 per cent to Dh3.26. Arabtec Holding, one of the emirate's biggest contractors, fell 1.3 per cent to Dh2.99.

FT Alphaville » LSE, finally forced to look east?

After a day of roiling rumours, James Quinn and Ben Harrington at the Telegraph told us on Thursday that Singapore Exchange is in merger takeover talks with the London Stock Exchange.

While the tale includes the usual escape chutes (“banking sources indicated that any form of formal offer is still some time away,” etc) the idea has a clear ring of truth to it. The talks are said to have grown out of discussions on the large cap cross-trading agreement between London and Singapore, unveiled just a week ago.

But that’s not to say it’s a done deal. Just because HKEx is busy finalising its takeover of the LME doesn’t mean that the leading Eastern equities exchange is not interested in the LSE.

Khaleej Times : Ramadan Time Table 2012 | Ramadan Prayer Timings

Ramadan Time Table 2012
Above Timings valid for Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and UAQ
Add four minutes for Abu Dhabi
Deduct four minutes for Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah

Ramadan to begin Friday in Saudi Arabia, other Muslim countries

The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan will begin on Friday in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt and Jordan, it was officially announced in the five countries.

Saudi Arabia said Ramadan will begin on Friday in the kingdom, home to Islam’s holiest shrines, Mecca and Medina, because the sighting of the new moon was confirmed by the authorities.

The exact dates of the start and the end of Ramadan depend on the sighting of the new moon as many Muslim countries reject using astronomical calculation for the Muslim lunar calendar.

MENA stock markets close - July 19, 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)

Chevron Makes Oil Exploration Deal in Iraqi Kurdistan -

Chevron, the second largest U.S. oil company after ExxonMobil, said Thursday it was entering the Kurdistan region of Iraq by buying a majority stake in two exploration blocks in the region from Reliance Industries of India.

The move by a major U.S. company underlines that Kurdistan, which is run by an autonomous government that is often at odds with Baghdad, is becoming an increasingly attractive investment destination for the international oil industry.

The Kurdistan Regional Government and its oil minister, Ashti Hawrami, have been aggressively courting the international oil companies since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Persian Gulf Stocks: Doha Bank of Qatar, National Bank of Kuwait - Bloomberg

Kuwait’s benchmark stock index retreated 0.4 percent to 5,813.62, the lowest since June 28, at the close in Kuwait. The measure has declined 0.8 percent this week. Qatar’s QE Index fell 0.6 percent today.

WAM | Etihad airways cleared to buy more of virgin Australia

Etihad Airways has welcomed the decision by the Australian Government to allow the airline to increase its equity stake in Virgin Australia Holdings to a maximum of 10 per cent.

Etihad Airways currently has a 4.99 per cent stake in Virgin Australia, acquired earlier this year, and had applied to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to raise the level of its investment.

The company said in a statement that purchase was made following the development of a highly successful multi-tiered partnership between the two airlines that includes code-sharing on flights, joint marketing initiatives and reciprocal earn-and-burn on their respective frequent flier programs.

UAE brokerages under threat as volumes fall further - The National

Stockbrokers in the UAE fear many more securities firms are likely to close their doors in the second half of the year as trading volumes return to pre-rally levels.

"Everyone is really scared," said Ahmed Dibajeh, a broker at Investor Financial Brokerage in Abu Dhabi. "The situation is very bad because there isn't enough investor money to go around and because of the continued pressure on the financial situation of many of the brokerage companies."

First-quarter trading activity surged from a low of Dh62 million (US$16.8m) a day in January to a peak of Dh981m in March as sentiment and investor appetite for riskier asset classes improved, causing many brokerages to postpone plans to shut down.