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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Until further notice this aggregated news service will only be posting in #UAE evening timings. Thank you for your forbearance.

DIFC restructure points to broad financial reform - The National

Dubai's ambition to be the region's leading financial hub received a major restructuring after the announcement on Tuesday that the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) will be split into two. The DIFC Authority, a government body that runs the centre in downtown Dubai, will see its property portfolio managed by a new entity, the DIFC Properties. The business development and legislation arm will remain called the DIFC Authority, but with a new chief executive.

This is a welcome move. The growth of the DIFC is a vital part of growing the financial-services sector of the city's economy. The property portfolio of the DIFC has always been the most lucrative part of the business. This move will allow the new leadership at the DIFC Authority to concentrate on the financial markets.

SAP to invest $450 million to create jobs - The National

The global software giant SAP signed an agreement yesterday with Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority to invest US$450 million (Dh1.6 billion).

The money will be spent over the next four years on a software training and development institute aimed primarily at Emiratis and regional talent.

SAP Mena - a subsidiary of German SAP AG, the world's largest manufacturer of business software - expects to train about 2,000 IT consultants by 2015. The institute will be based at DSOA and hopes to start training its first Emirati candidates within two months.

DP World rides global storm with volumes up 7.5% - The National

DP World, the international ports operator based in Dubai, beat the global downturn to report a 7.5 per cent increase in the volume of containers it handled in the first half of the year.

The result was spurred by shipping trade at its terminals across Asia Pacific, India and the Middle East.

The company managed 28.2 million containers, or what the industry terms twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), across its global portfolio of more than 60 terminals in the first six months of the year.

Collaborations in the air |

It has been three years since leading European airlines had a heated confrontation with their Gulf counterparts. The confrontation was led by some European and Canadian airlines along with Qantas against UAE and Qatari airlines after accusing them of undercutting prices, thanks to the support they receive from their governments. These European companies are now calling for cooperation with airlines in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) — a move that reflects a new practical approach.
This campaign reached its culmination after a German official said that “the GCC countries only know how to use the oil money in setting up airlines in the desert”. It seems that the German official never visited any GCC country to see modern cities that are on par with European cities in all aspects. However, the official apologised later for his statement, which demonstrates Western companies’ dissatisfaction with the success achieved by Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways on the global level.
The new approach by Qantas, which was once the most critical about GCC carriers, is aiming at cooperating with Emirates through establishing an alliance with the airline.

Emirates launches A380 service to Amsterdam |

Emirates launched A380 services on its Amsterdam route on Wednesday, the carrier said it a statement, adding it is the first carrier to offer a scheduled A380 service to the Netherlands.
The superjumbo will become become the 19th A380 destination among a host of major cities around the world, operating as EK 0147, on the daily Dubai to Amsterdam route
Operating services to the Netherlands for around two years now, Emirates is adding much-needed seat capacity – over 2,000 seats a week in order to further stimulate tourism and trade between the Netherlands, UAE and beyond, according to Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ Executive Vice President, Passenger Sales Worldwide.

Tabreed profit climbs 25% |

The National Central Cooling Company, Tabreed, said net profit advanced to Dh94.7 million in the first half of 2012 compared to Dh75.7 million for the same period of 2011.
The Abu Dhabi-based district cooling utility company registered an increase of 25 per cent in its profits for The first half. The company attributed the hike to “robust operational and financial performance in The first half, 2012 driven by its core chilled water business and lower finance costs.
Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, Tabreed’s Chairman, said: “In the first six months of 2012, Tabreed delivered strong financial and operational results underpinned by continued cost control, improved efficiencies and a strong performance by the company’s chilled water business.”

ADNOC in deal with Saudi firm |

Adnoc Distribution, the retail arm of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), on Wednesday signed an agreement with Saudi-based Al Olaibi Company, which will see ADNOC provide consultancy services for managing and operating petrol stations in Saudi Arabia.
The deal is seen as a first step towards providing a franchise system for Al Olaibi company.
In a statement issued yesterday, Adnoc affirmed that the agreement goes hand-in-hand with the company’s strategy to expand the construction and operation process of service stations in the UAE through an exchange of its technical expertise in operating petrol stations outside the UAE.

MENA stock markets close - August 1, 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)

Dubai developers show improving picture -

Dubai’s largest real estate developers, abandoned by investors during the financial crisis, have delivered strong profits this quarter in a further sign that the emirate’s property crisis is easing.
Oversupply still hangs over Dubai’s housing market, with half-empty buildings punctuating the skyline. But recent earnings results and the latest house price data show a steadily improving picture.

UAE's ADIB Q2 profit rises 2.3 pct, warns on year - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank posted a 2.3-percent rise in quarterly net profit on Wednesday and warned earnings for the rest of 2012 would be subdued by euro zone uncertainty and regulations being introduced in the
United Arab Emirates.
The largest sharia-compliant lender by market value in the UAE had second-quarter net profit of 322.6 million dirhams ($87.8 million) in the three months to June 30. That is up from 315.2 million dirhams in prior-year period, it said in a statement.
The results beat estimates of two analysts who forecast profit of 314 million dirhams and 294 million dirhams in a
Reuters poll.

Iraq struggles with a funding shortfall -

Iraq these days barely makes it to the main pages of the international press or the top of the foreign policy agenda. It lies in ninth place on the latest Failed State Index – unchanged from 2011 and unsurprisingly classified as ‘critical’.
Key measures such as “poverty and economic decline” are up, as are “group grievances”. The latter is importantly described as “when tension and violence exists between groups and the state’s ability to provide security is undermined and fear and further violence may ensue”.
Financial woes in the US and Europe and the momentous, continuing events in the Arab world have, perhaps understandably, pushed Iraq to the back pages. In the interim, the situation has become grave.

Abu Dhabi's Waha slips to Q2 loss on higher provisioning | Reuters

Abu Dhabi's Waha Capital swung to a second quarter net loss, the company's financial statement showed, as provisions on assets and loans weighed on the balance sheet.

Waha, whose shareholders include Abu Dhabi government entities, posted a 12.4 million dirhams ($3.4 million) loss for the three months to June 30, against a net profit of 6 million dirhams in the second quarter of 2011.

"The decline was driven mainly by a one-off gain on sale of investment in first half of 2011 and provisions taken on some assets in the first half of this year," the statement said.

UPDATE 1-Bahrain's Investcorp annual profit slumps on euro crisis | Reuters

Bahrain-based investment company Investcorp said its full-year net income fell by more than half because of lower returns on its investment portfolio.

Despite a 20 percent recovery in fee income, the company's net income for the 12 months to June 30 shrank to $67.4 million, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. That compared with net income of $140.3 million for the prior-year period.

"Net income was down due to a fall in asset based income primarily due to the European crisis," Investcorp said.

Turkey: weaning off Iranian oil | beyondbrics

Six months of intense pressure from Washington to persuade Turkey to reduce its oil imports from Iran have apparently paid off.

Figures released on Tuesday by Turkey’s state statistics office TUIK indicate that of the 1.87m tonnes of crude Turkey imported in June only 684,000 tonnes – 37 per cent came from Iran. This is a significant drop on last year when Turkey sourced 51 per cent of its crude from Iran, and on March this year when imports from Iran peaked at 68 per cent of total imports.

The drop comes only a month after Turkey’s sole crude oil importer, oil refiner Tupras, was awarded a 180 day waiver by Washington allowing it to continue importing Iranian crude.