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Sunday, 29 July 2012

Financial brain drain for #Bahrain - The National

Bahrain's reputation as a banking hub, built on decades of solid governance, hangs in the balance.

The demonstrations last year led many firms to relocate offices and staff elsewhere in the region with many bankers heading to Dubai.

Fitch Ratings said in a report released last week that with the events of the Arab Spring fading from view, Bahrain's financial sector remained "relatively unaffected" but it would not take much for that to change.

ADMA achieves highest oil production rate |

Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO) announced that it has currently achieved the highest oil production rate in its history.
In the company’s annual review for 2011, the company stated that despite many challenges facing the completion of key projects, it was able to achieve the targeted production rate by maintaining the level of production for 2011. It was also able to meet the gas requirements of Adgas.
ADMA revealed in the review that it’s planning to carry out development operations in Lower Zakum oil field, increasing its production from 200,000 barrels per day to 425,000, and increasing Umm Al Shaif field’s production from 100,000 bpd to 275,000 bpd, making the combined production rate of both fields 700,000 bpd by 2015.

Templeton targeting Muslim wealth |

Franklin Templeton Investments is starting its first Islamic funds, following companies including BNP Paribas SA in tailoring products to win business in the Muslim world.
The world’s third-largest asset-management company will start three sukuk and stock investment vehicles in Luxembourg in the next few months, Sandeep Singh, its Malaysian country head, said in a July 24 interview in Kuala Lumpur. San Mateo, California-based Franklin Templeton, which had $707 billion of assets under management as of June 30, according to its corporate factsheet, already oversees around $700 million of Islamic assets in Malaysia, without having its own Shariah- compliant funds.
Switzerland’s Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. and Eastspring Investments, an Asian arm of London-based Prudential Plc, are also diversifying into an industry whose holdings are projected by the Islamic Financial Services Board to almost triple to $2.8 trillion by 2015. Worldwide sales of sukuk climbed 77 per cent to $28.3 billion in 2012 as governments from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia increased spending to support economic growth.

UAE contractors upbeat about real estate market |

The value of completed construction projects in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is expected to jump 71 per cent to $79.8 billion (Dh293.11 billion) this year with the commercial property and hotel sectors leading the way, according to a new study.
In 2011, completed construction projects in the GCC were valued at $46.5 billion, according to new research by Ventures ME, commissioned by dmg events, the organising team behind the Index International Design Exhibition.
Commercial real estate projects are set to double in value to $15.3 billion this year from $7.7 billion in 2011, with four of the six GCC countries ranking among the top 20 retail destinations, according to the Global Retail Development Index.

Banks in #UAE can't seize client accounts |

The UAE Central Bank has held that banks operating in the UAE have no right to seize the money of their clients unless they had defaulted on payment of three successive loan instalments. The regulator urged those subjected to freezing of their funds by banks for unjustifiable reasons to file complaints with it.
The statement came in reaction to a complaint by an expatriate who was dismissed from his job at a local department and found that his account had been frozen by his bank. Requesting anonymity, the aggrieved person called on the Central Bank to look into the measures initiated by the bank and to revise them for the general benefit of depositors.
S.S. said he was allowed by his employer to look for another job and given the assurance that his visa would be valid until he had found another job. He said his bank dashed all his hopes when it emptied his funds and imposed a freeze on his account.

British airports under threat from rise of Gulf hubs, says Etihad boss | Business | The Guardian

Lack of long-term planning will damage British aviation as the Gulf hubs grow and passengers bypass Heathrow for long-haul trips, the boss of one of the world's fastest-growing airlines has warned.

James Hogan, chief executive of Etihad, the Abu Dhabi flag carrier, said decisions about allocating fleets and routes for the next 30 years are being taken now and airlines were unsure about Britain's position in their plans. The expansion of Heathrow, while officially ruled out by current government policy, has been thrown back on the agenda by industry lobbying.

Hogan said he would like greater access to Heathrow but that the airport was "maxed out" and his airline was not interested in off peak slots that would not command traffic. "London plc needs a competitive gateway – and a long-term decision needs to be taken about where that is. As we plan our gateway 30 years out, London needs to do the same."

UPDATE 2-Dubai's Emaar predicts mkt recovery as profit jumps | Reuters

Emaar Properties, builder of the world's tallest tower, said its quarterly profit more than doubled on Sunday as a one-off impairment cost was not repeated and income from malls and hotels grew.

Dubai's largest developer, which saw profits rise for the third straight quarter, has shifted its focus in recent years away from the emirate's battered property market and toward its more profitable retail and hospitality business.

But the company's chairman predicted a rebound in the property sector in the emirate, where it also owns what is billed as the world's largest shopping mall.

MENA stock markets close - July 29, 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)

Abu Dhabi Stocks Gain on Europe, Etisalat Bets; Dubai Retreats - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi stocks rose the most in a month on bets the government may permit foreigners to buy shares of Emirates Telecommunications Corp. (ETISALAT) and amid optimism Europe’s policy makers will take steps to ease the debt crisis.
Etisalat, as the phone company is known, advanced the most since June. First Gulf Bank PJSC (FGB), Abu Dhabi’s third-biggest bank, increased 1.3 percent. The ADX General Index gained 0.6 percent, the most since June 21, to 2,485.51 at the close in the emirate. Dubai’s DFM General Index (DFMGI) slipped less than 0.1 percent, while the Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200) of stocks in the region gained 0.2 percent.
State-controlled Etisalat will “soon” allow foreigners to own its shares, Al Khaleej reported, citing Group Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar. Etisalat is 60 percent owned by state-controlled Emirates Investment Co., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. European and U.S. equities rallied July 27 on bets the European Central Bank would begin a new round of joint-bond purchases to ease borrowing costs in Spain and Italy, while Germany and France pledged to do everything to protect the euro.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Dubai gives back gains; Qatar rallies - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Dubai's bourse gives back early-session gains as investors sell shares in Emaar Properties ahead of its quarterly numbers, which were released after market hours.
Dubai's index eases 0.05 percent to close at 1,509 points, having hit a one-week intraday high.
Emaar slips 0.3 percent, trimming year-to-date gains to 26 percent. The developer reported a second-quarter profit that was more than double the previous year's, topping analysts' forecasts.

Dubai's Emaar Properties Q2 net profit more than doubles - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Dubai's largest developer Emaar Properties on Sunday said its second-quarter net profit had more than doubled.
The builder of the world's tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, made a net profit of 614 million dirhams ($167.17 million) in the three months to June 30, up from 250 million dirhams in the year-earlier period, Emaar said in a statement.
This beat the forecasts of three analysts polled by Reuters, who on average expected Emaar would make a net profit of 516.33 million dirhams.

UAE Railways: the Great Leap Forward |

China pulls out of South Pars project: report - Yahoo! News Maktoob

China's national petroleum company has pulled out of developing Phase 11 of Iran's offshore South Pars gas field, Iranian media reported on Sunday, blaming the firm for constant and "unprecedented" delays in the project.
Tehran signed a $4.7 billion contract with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) in 2009 to help develop Phase 11 of South Pars, replacing France's Total SA, which it had also accused of delays.
Citing information from Iran's Oil Ministry, Mehr News Agency said CNPC had pulled out its workers from Asaluyeh, the city on the shore of the Mideast Gulf close to the South Pars gas field.

Credit Suisse scales back Mideast private banking research - sources - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Credit Suisse has moved the head of its Middle East private banking equity research division to Geneva, two sources told Reuters on Sunday, the latest European bank to scale back research roles in the region.
Kamran Butt will support private banking sales in Switzerland with market research after spending six years in
Dubai, two people familiar with the matter said.
"Other analysts from outside the Middle East will be covering the local market here," one source, who spoke on
condition of anonymity because the matter is not public, said. Credit Suisse could not immediately be reached for comment.

Dubai Stocks Gain on Europe, Earnings Bets; Abu Dhabi Advances - Bloomberg

Dubai’s stocks rose the most in more than a week amid optimism Europe’s policy makers will take steps to ease the region’s debt crisis and that quarterly earnings at the emirate’s real-estate companies will beat estimates.
Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), developer of the world’s tallest tower, advanced 1.2 percent. Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC), the United Arab Emirates’ biggest construction company, increased for a second day. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) rose 1 percent, the biggest intraday gain since July 18, to 1,524.11 at 10:39 a.m. in the emirate. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200) gained 0.1 percent.
European and U.S. equities rallied July 27 on bets the European Central Bank would begin a new round of joint-bond purchases to ease borrowing costs in Spain and Italy, while Germany and France pledged to do everything to protect the euro. The ECB will hold talks in the coming days, and the Federal Reserve will announce Aug. 1 whether it intends to take additional measures to bolster the U.S. economy. All of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s members except Kuwait peg their currencies to the dollar.

Saudi Arabia King Orders Tough Measures Against Commercial Fraud Eurasia Review

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has said a zero-tolerance approach will be applied to those who try to fix prices on certain consumer goods, reported the Saudi Press Agency.

The king reiterated his resolve to take stringent punitive measures against violators of regulations and instructions in this regard, said Commerce and Industry Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah.

The minister said King Abdullah has been closely monitoring the consumer market keenly.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Saudi slips from 3-wk high; Kuwait lower - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Saudi Arabia's bourse slips from Saturday's three-week high as investors book profits in market heavyweights
and Kuwait's bourse extends its decline for a fifth straight session.
The kingdom's index slips 0.2 percent to 6,756 points.
It rallied in the previous session after hopes the European Central Bank will act to bring down soaring borrowing costs in Spain and Italy lifted global equities.

UAE bank mortgage credit dips - Emirates 24/7

UAE banks appear to be maintaining a cautious approach towards mortgage credit as loans to the real estate sector slumped by nearly Dh1 billion in the first quarter of 2012 to extend a decline through 2011.

Official data showed total mortgage credit provided by the country’s 23 national banks and 28 foreign units shrank to around Dh160.8bn at the end of March from Dh161.5bn at the end of 2011.

Mortgage loans have already dropped by about Dhtwo billion through 2011 to reverse a steady growth over the past few years despite the 2008 global fiscal distress, showed the figures by the Central Bank.

Etisalat plans to allow foreign investments -

Emirates Telecommunications Corp., the state-controlled company known as Etisalat, will “soon” allow foreigners to own its shares, Al Khaleej reported, citing Group Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar.

Etisalat is owned 60% by state-owned Emirates Investment Co., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Abu Dhabi-based company said on June 7 it’s up to the federal government to decide on foreign investments after Emarat Alyoum reported a law that governs Etisalat may be amended to allow foreign and institutional investors to own the company’s shares.

Etisalat’s second-quarter profit rose 17% to AED1.87 billion (US$508 million), beating analysts’ estimates. The shares have increased 1% this year compared with a 2.8% gain for the benchmark ADX General Index.

Julfar said Etisalat doesn’t plan to make acquisitions over the next two years, according to Al Khaleej.

FPCCI against trade agreement with UAE – The Express Tribune

The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Saturday opposed the signing of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which, its office-bearers said, would ruin the local industry by inundating the domestic market with foreign, cheap products.
“An FTA with the UAE is clearly against the interests of Pakistan. Therefore, we are going to oppose it as representatives of the chambers of commerce and industry of the country,” FPCCI President Haji Fazal Kadir Khan Sherani said after listening to the views of the FPCCI Pakistan-UAE Business Council.
Ideally, an FTA allows unlimited purchases and sales of goods and services between countries without the imposition of trade barriers.