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Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Oil exporters to avoid dire straits - The National

Iranian threats to block the waterway crossed by a third of global maritime crude exports have led Arabian Gulf producers to focus on ways to circumvent the bottleneck.

Strategic pipelines - old and new - have received much attention from governments in recent months, but years of neglect have left this mode of transport ill-equipped to cope with a serious disruption in tanker exports.

Tehran has repeatedly threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a 51km stretch of water that separates the Arabian Peninsula from Iran. This is in response to a fresh round of sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union aimed at crippling oil exports over its nuclear programme.

Five years into the storm and no sign of clouds lifting - The National

Five years is a blink of the eye in historical terms but an eternity in the fast-moving world of finance.

The summer of 2007 was a time of boundless optimism, with soaring global economic growth, steadily rising equity and bond markets and asset appreciation in all classes, especially property.

Now we know it was all a bubble. About this time in the summer of that halcyon year, the first murmurings began in the markets for collateralised debt obligations.

Taqa counts the cost of slide in gas prices - The National

Falling natural gas prices in North America led to a big drop in profits and revenues in the second quarter of the year for the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, better known as Taqa.

The government-owned company recorded sales of Dh6 billion(US$1.63bn) in the three months to the end of June, a decline of 14.5 per cent on the same period last year.

Pretax profit also dropped, falling more than 20 per cent to Dh1.1bn but a favourable tax regime allowed net profit to creep up by 2.8 per cent to Dh446 million.

Saudi Arabia Creates 250,000 Jobs Under New Program, Riyadh Says |

Saudi Arabia employed 250,000 nationals in the first 12 months of a new programme it launched to replace expatriates in the private sector with Saudis, Riyadh newspaper reported citing Minister of Labour Adel Fakeih.
The number of people employed under the program called Nitaqat, or Ranges, in its first year is more than those employed in the five years before its implementation, the newspaper cited him as saying. Announced in May 2011, the plan for the first time rewards companies that employ a higher percentage of Saudis.
Saudi Arabia, has 28 million people, about 8.6 million of whom are foreigners, who make up most of the labour force. Just 4.3 million of the almost 19 million Saudis were in the workforce in 2009, according to data from the Central Department of Statistics and Information.

Deyaar net profit doubles to Dh18.6m |

Deyaar Development PJSC, a regional real estate company, announced net profit for Q2 doubled to reach AED Dh 18.6 million as against Dh9.4 million for Q1 2012. 
During the same period, Deyaar’s gross revenues reached Dh 143 million. Deyaar’s total shareholders’ equity stood at Dh 3.9 billion while total assets reached Dh 6.7 billion.
Deyaar delivered two projects in Q2 and is poised to complete two more projects during the rest of this year taking the total of projects completed this year to four.
“On behalf of Deyaar, I am very pleased to share our financial results for Q2, which are in line with our expectations and reflective of our sound fundamentals,” said Saeed Al Qatami, Chief Executive Officer of Deyaar.“Safeguarding the interests of our customers and maximising value for our shareholders, remain at the heart of our business strategy, to which we remain fully committed. Accordingly, we look forward to delivering another two projects over the course of this year.”

Indians top list of foreign property buyers in Dubai |

Foreign investors injected more than Dh22 billion in the real estate sector in Dubai, with Indian, Pakistani, and British buyers dominating the market, government data for the first half of 2012 showed.
Dubai’s Land Department, which issued its half-yearly report on Tuesday, says that the funds were used to buy 12,875 properties, including buildings, lands, apartments, and residential villas during the first half of 2012.
Indians purchased 2,153 properties at a value of Dh3.75 billion, followed by Pakistanis who bought 1,814 properties valued at Dh1.713 billion.

Banks in Oman to close for four days |

The banks in Oman will remain closed from Sunday to Wednesday to mark Eid Al Fitr.
The banks will start operations on August 23, according to a statement issued by the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) on Tuesday.
CBO also said their office will be closed on August 23, although some departments will remain open to render their usual services to the banks during the day.

FT Alphaville » StanChart settles

Now… FT Alphaville’s finest minds calculate that this settlement amount is 0.136 per cent of the $250bn of transactions which the New York state department of financial services originally laid at Standard Chartered’s door. The NYT reports, curiously enough, that “The parties have agreed that the conduct at issue involved transactions of at least $250 billion.”

But it’s also over 24 times StanChart’s own ‘under $14m’ figure.

Return on regulation for Benjamin Lawsky, or what?

Btw: the bank’s market cap is down by about £5bn since the allegations were announced. Maybe some of that will be clawed back on Wednesday morning…

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt ends near 5-mth high; most Gulf mkts up - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Egypt's index rose for a third straight session on Tuesday, closing at a near 5-month high, as President Mohamed Mursi's move to take powers from the army revived hopes of economic stability among investors.
Mursi, voted into office in June after the ousting of Hosni Mubarak last year, retired the country's two top generals and cancelled a decree issued by the military before his election which had curbed the power of the presidency.
"On paper things are looking more neat and more comfortable for any kind of investor," said Teymour el-Derini at Naeem Brokerage. "Things are going in a democratic manner... I think we'll see a rally in the next couple of months."

Abu Dhabi Stocks Rise to Four-Month High on Earnings - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi’s benchmark stock index advanced to the highest level in more than four months after Dana Gas PJSC (DANA) and Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. (TAQA) posted higher second-quarter earnings.
Dana Gas, which yesterday said it was committed to finding a “consensual solution” on a $1 billion Islamic bond due in two months, rose 2.6 percent and was the most traded stock on Abu Dhabi’s index. State-run Abu Dhabi National Energy, also known as Taqa, climbed to the highest since June after quarterly profit gained 3 percent. The ADX General Index (ADSMI) advanced 0.3 percent to 2,553.56, the highest since April 8, at the close in Abu Dhabi. Dubai’s DFM General Index (DFMGI) fell 0.2 percent.
Dana Gas said second-quarter profit climbed 46 percent to 181 million dirhams ($46 million) as investment income rose and income-tax expenses fell. Taqa said second-quarter net income increased to 447 million dirhams from 435 million dirhams a year earlier.

UPDATE 1-Kuwait's Agility posts flat Q2 net profits | Reuters

Kuwaiti logistics company Agility posted flat second-quarter net profit on Tuesday and confirmed it did not take any provisions against its suspension from dealing with the United States army.

The logistics firm facing U.S. fraud charges made a profit of 7.82 million dinars ($27.71 million) in the three months to June 30, it said in a bourse statement on Tuesday, against 7.83 million dinars in the year-ago period.

Earnings per share for the second quarter were 7.85 fils compared to 7.79 fils a year earlier, it said.

UPDATE 1-Kuwait's NIG to repay $475 mln sukuk on time, drops delay request | Reuters

Kuwait's National Industries Group Holding (NIG) will repay its $475 million Islamic bond, or sukuk, when it matures on August 16, it said on Tuesday, dropping earlier plans to get a four-year extension from creditors.

NIG, an investment firm controlled by one of the country's biggest merchant families, asked creditors in July to extend 70 percent of the sukuk maturity to 2016 in exchange for a much higher interest rate.

While about 92 percent of certificate holders had approved the extension, the request has been cancelled because NIG has raised enough finance to fully repay the sukuk, the firm said in a statement to the Dubai bourse.

MENA stock markets close - August 14, 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)