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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

UAE indices move in opposite direction |

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) index fell Wednesday, the first trading day after Eid, on profit-taking by investors who cashed in on the last few weeks of gains. The volume of trade was low as due to lack of catalysts and because of the absence of any major buyers on the market.
The slowing economic growth in China and the US remain major concerns for global investors. However, analysts say for now, the overall sentiments are positive and the Dubai market would see a rally in the coming days, taking its direction from the sentiments prevailing on the global financial markets that have been bullish in the anticipation central banks around the world would ease their monetary policy in order to jump-start growth in a flagging world economy, a move which would give boost to riskier assets such as stocks.
The DFM index closed at 1,576.15, down 0.29 per cent. Around 107.58 million shares, cumulatively worth about Dh116.54 million were traded on the stock market.

MENA stock markets close - August 22, 2012

 ExchangeStatus IndexChange  

 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)

Saudi Aramco Will Soon Announce Gas Discoveries, Riyadh Says - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. will soon announce natural-gas discoveries in the north and northwest of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh newspaper reported, citing the chief executive officer.
The company will also start drilling in deep-water in the Red Sea at the end of the year and will announce the results in 2013, Khalid al-Falih said, according to the newspaper.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Kuwait's Wataniya jumps on $2.2 bln Qtel offer; Gulf mkts mixed - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Kuwait's Wataniya rose to a two-month high on Wednesday after Qatar Telecom offered to buy remaining stake in the telco for $2.2 billion, while Gulf markets were mixed in muted trade post the holy month of Ramadan.
Shares in Wataniya jumped 4.6 percent to 2.3 dinars on the Kuwait bourse, their highest close since May 19 as it resumed trading after a two-month hiatus.
Qtel already owns 52.5 percent of the firm and is offering 2.6 dinars per share for the stake.

Egypt says formally requests $4.8 bln IMF loan - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Egypt has formally requested a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, the presidential spokesman said on Wednesday during a visit to Cairo by IMF chief Christine Lagarde.
"We have officially requested a $4.8 billion loan from the IMF and talks are currently going on inside about the request," spokesman Yasser Ali told Reuters as Lagarde held discussions with President Mohamed Mursi. He said any details would be announced later.

Abu Dhabi Stocks Rise for 9th Day on Earnings, Oil; Dubai Gains - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi shares rose for a ninth day, the longest stretch of gains since March, after earnings at the emirate’s companies beat estimates and oil traded near a three-month high.
Sorouh Real Estate Co. (SOROUH) gained 0.9 percent. Emirates Telecommunications Corp. (ETISALAT), the biggest United Arab Emirates phone company which last month reported a better-than-expected 17 percent profit increase, gained for a fourth day. The ADX General Index (ADSMI) climbed 0.2 percent to 2,581.24, set for the highest close since March 25 and the longest winning streak since March 4, at 10:45 a.m. in the emirate. The measure has advanced 3 percent so far this month. Dubai’s DFM General Index (DFMGI) rose 0.5 percent and Qatar’s QE Index added 0.1 percent.
U.A.E. stock markets reopened today after the Eid holiday, which marked the end of the Islamic month of fasting. Saudi Arabia (SABIC)’s market will resume trading Aug. 25. About 15 million shares traded in Abu Dhabi so far today, compared with a 12- month daily average of 59 million.

UPDATE 1-Qatar buys 22 pct stake in China's CITIC Capital | Reuters

CITIC Capital Holdings Ltd said on Wednesday a unit of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund has subscribed to new shares in the Chinese investment firm, equivalent to a 22 percent stake.

CITIC Capital, partly owned by China's sovereign wealth fund, did not give financial details of the investment by Qatar Holding LLC, a unit of Qatar Investment, in its newly issued shares.

"Not only will Qatar Holding provide us with an enlarged capital base to fund our business expansion and investments, its significant backing will strengthen our brand positioning meaningfully as the most preferred and committed partner to invest with, both in and outside China," CITIC Capital's chief executive, Yichen Zhang, said in a statement in English.

CITIC Capital's shareholders include China's sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corp, and Chinese financial conglomerate CITIC Group.END

STOCKS NEWS MID EAST-Kuwait's Wataniya jumps to 3-mth high after Qtel offer - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Kuwait's Wataniya jumps to a three-month high as it resumes trade following Qatar Telecom's offer to buy remaining stake in the telco.
Shares in Wataniya are up 4.6 percent to 2.3 dinars per share, their highest level since May 19.
Qtel already owns 52.5 percent of the firm and is offering 2.6 dinars per share for the stake.

Fed Probes RBS Over Dealings with Iran - Asia Business News - CNBC

Federal authorities in the US are investigating Royal Bank of Scotland for possible breaches of Iran sanctions in a probe that has already led to the departure of a senior risk manager.
The UK bank [RBS  7.45    0.14  (+1.92%)   ] is being probed by the Federal Reserve and Department of Justice after volunteering information to them and UK regulators about 18 months ago, several people close to the situation said.
The bank uncovered the alleged failings after chief executive Stephen Hester initiated an internal review not long after his arrival three years ago.

Business - Better business climate seen in UAE

The latest Middle East and North Africa Consumer Confidence Index Survey, conducted by and YouGov, shows that expectations for the year to come are high across the Mena region.
 In the UAE, respondents forecast a better financial climate and economy, with improved business conditions and more jobs available.
Across the Mena region in general, the feelings for respondents’ personal situations at the present time are neutral.

Qatar move illustrates attraction of BAA -

Life is about to get a whole lot more interesting on the board of BAA, owner of London’s Heathrow airport.
Qatar Holding, the direct investment arm of Qatar Investment Authority, the Gulf sovereign wealth fund, is planning to buy a 20 per cent stake in BAA for £900m, making it the third largest shareholder, with two seats on the airport operator’s board.
Qatar Holding has confounded expectations that it is a passive investor – as the second largest shareholder in Xstrata, it has brought the miner’s proposed merger with Glencore to the point of collapse by demanding better deal terms in June.

Kuwait waits on private bourse - The National

Kuwait has some way to go to meet international standards of investor best-practice, with much of the financial infrastructure of the country characterised as a "work in progress" over years of policy inertia and inconsistency, say professionals working there.

Even one of the key architects of the country's financial ambitions believes changes to "business culture, vision and management style are required before Kuwait can hope to challenge as a regional financial centre".

In two examples of the problems facing Kuwait, the privatisation of its national stock market has been postponed until next year and the country's market regulator only started to operate this year amid an internal upheaval of its staff.

Compliance critical for UK banks with history in the region - The National

Standard Chartered and HSBC are arguably the two foreign banks to have played the most significant role in the emergence of Dubai as a leading financial and commercial centre.

For HSBC, the relationship goes back a long way, via the old British Bank of the Middle East (BBME), which it acquired along with Midland Bank in 1992. BBME can claim a special role in the emirate's commercial history, having provided much of the finance to dredge the Dubai Creek in the 1960s, a crucial element in Dubai's rise.

Standard Chartered (StanChart) has been no less a long-term supporter of the emirate, having had an office there since 1958 and been a key financial partner in many of the projects that transformed Dubai in the boom years up to 2008.

Unseemly side of Iran sanctions |

When the US administration offered to help Iran with relief and rescue in the wake of the double quake in northwest Iran that claimed over 300 lives and caused widespread destruction, and even promised to work around the sanctions to do so, Iran declined the offer saying it did not believe the US gesture was in good faith and that the country was capable of dealing with its own affairs.
The Iranian posturing, however, was completely detached from the ground reality, which had the relief and rescue efforts struggling to cope with the situation. The crippling sanctions had left hospitals without adequate supplies of even basic medicines and the relief agencies found themselves unequal to the task as relief centres overflowed with the affected people.
Rescue and relief operations were so shoddy that the people were reportedly questioning the sincerity of the authorities in handling the situation. Media reports said that an insensitive state television was mostly airing the Olympics games events while a major part of the country was reeling under the devastation wreaked by the quake, prompting the affected people to wonder how much their government cared for them.

UAE remains major realty hub |

In line with its continuous efforts to strengthen and deepen financial and economic cooperation between the countries of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (CCASG), the Ministry of Finance (MoF) recently issued its annual statistical report on the Gulf Common Market (GCM) - 2011. The report featured numbers and rates, highlighting efforts taken towards enhancing financial and economic cooperation of GCC states.
The report revealed an increase in the registered property contracts of GCC nationals in the UAE by 32 per cent amounting to 44,902 contracts in 2011 compared to 34,029 contracts in 2010. It also presented an increase in the number of traded and registered properties for GCC nationals in the UAE, where the number of registered contracts increased from 4,604 contracts in 2010 to 10,873 in 2011, confirming the UAE as an attractive investment centre in the real estate market.