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Saturday, 25 August 2012

WAM | UAE non oil foreign trade stood at AED1.3 trillion in 2011

The non-oil foreign trade sector in United Arab Emirates surged AED1.3 trillion in 2011 compared to AED1.1 trillion in previous year, up by AED200 billion at growth rate of 18. 2 per cent, according to the initial statistical reports released by the Federal Customs Authority (FCA).

It added in a statement issued today that the total of UAE non oil foreign trade increased to AED927.7 billion during the year, while the value of free zones' trade increased to AED367.7 billion, of which AED212.5 billion was value of the imports and AED145.2 billion was value of the exports and re-exports.

Saudi Shares Rise to 3-Month High on Possible Stimulus - Businessweek

Shares in Saudi Arabia rose to the highest level in three months on climbing oil prices and possible U.S. monetary stimulus as the stock market reopened following the week-long Eid holiday.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), the world’s largest petrochemical maker known as Sabic, advanced to the highest level since July 1. Al-Rajhi Bank (RJHI), the kingdom’s biggest by market value, rose the most since Aug 4. Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Co. (ALARKAN) increased to the highest since July 8.

The Tadawul All Share Index gained 1.1 percent to 7,081.42, the highest since May 22, at 12:57 p.m. in Riyadh. The Arab world’s biggest stock market has increased 10 percent this year.

BBC Sport - Rangers: Ibrox club's largest shareholder revealed

BBC Scotland can reveal that a Dubai-based businessman is currently the single largest shareholder in Rangers.
Arif Naqvi, chief executive of private equity firm Abraaj Capital, owns just under 18% after agreeing to invest £2m back in June.
Naqvi is the man behind Blue Pitch Holdings, but BBC Scotland understands that he has a personal holding in the club.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Petchems, banks lift Saudi stocks - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Saudi shares rise in early trading, led by gains in the banking and petrochemical stocks.
The all-share adds 1 percent to 7,070 points and the petrochemical index adds 1.3 percent to 6,163 points.
Petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) gains 1.6 percent.
The banking index gains 0.5 percent to 15,965 points, lifted by gains in heavyweight Al Rajhi Bank which rises 0.7 percent in early trading.

QIA global presence

Qatar sovereign wealth funds’ key players -

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani is a man of many titles. HBJ, as he is widely known, is prime minister of Qatar and among the most powerful men in the small gulf state. He is also chairman of Qatar Holdings and chief executive of Qatar Investment Authority, which means he arguably has the greatest say in how Qatar invests its energy revenues. In addition, he owns one of the largest yachts in the world (450 ft).
“In Qatar,” says one private equity executive, “all roads and sea lanes lead to HBJ.”
As befits a man of multiple responsibilities, HBJ juggles numerous tasks simultaneously. Walk into his palatial white marble office and he may be on one phone parsing the ramifications of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon; on another he is fielding a pitch from an investment company, while on a third he is pondering a request from one of his clan – the al Thani tribe is one of the largest in Qatar.

U.A.E. Lenders to Ask for GRE Loan Rules Extension, Khaleej Says - Bloomberg

The United Arab Emirates banking association will ask the central bank to extend by six months the deadline for banks to comply with rules curtailing exposure to government-linked companies, Al-Khaleej reported.
The Emirates Banks Association has prepared a report stating that the exposure of many lenders is higher than the limit ordered by the central bank, the newspaper reported, citing the EBA study.
Banks in the U.A.E. can lend no more than 100 percent of their capital to local governments and the same to government- related entities known as GREs, the central bank said April 4. There was no limit under previous rules. Banks have until Sept. 30 to comply with the rules, the central bank said at the time.

Business - SME share to UAE GDP doubles to 60%

Small and medium enterprises, or SMEs, have become a vital cog to the growth of the UAE economy, contributing 60 per cent of the national GDP in 2011, according to the UAE Ministry of Economy.
This figure represents a 100 per cent increase from 2010, when the Ministry of Foreign Trade’s economic bulletin reported that the SME sector in the UAE contributed 30 per cent of the GDP.

Qatar Holding comes of age as it resists ‘Glenstrata’ -

This week it has become clear that the $70bn merger between Glencore, the world’s biggest commodities trader, and the London-listed miner Xstrata is likely to be derailed by a little-known sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Holding.
The Qatari state’s investment arm has slowly increased its global presence in recent years. But its vocal opposition to the “Glenstrata” deal marks its growing confidence as an investor.
“Our strategy in two words: no strategy” said one of the fund’s managers, Dr Hussain Ali al-Abdulla, earlier this year. There may be no strategy but the fund is increasingly making waves.

America's Real Strategic Petroleum Reserve - By Amy Jaffe | Foreign Policy

As oil prices ticked above $115 per barrel last week, a White House leak revealed that President Barack Obama may dip into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the United States' 695 million barrel stockpile of emergency fuel supplies. The leak might have been a signal that Washington wants Gulf countries to take action to lower oil prices. It might also have been an attempt to wring the risk premium out of current prices by reassuring the market that America won't let a potential war with Iran shut off the spigot. The one thing we can say for sure is that the announcement highlights two interrelated problems with U.S. energy policy: that every president since Ronald Reagan has used Saudi Arabia as his de facto SPR and that there exist no clear standards for when to dip onto the actual SPR. Both problems have the potential to bite us -- badly.

Investors to sue over their lost life savings - The National

A local businessman has been accused of embezzling US$36 million (Dh132.2m) by a group of investors planning a class-action lawsuit in Italy.

The case is a complex financial puzzle that stretches from the British Virgin Islands through Europe to the UAE. The Italian investors do not know what happened, only that they lost their life savings.

"I feel that it won't come back, this money," said Paolo Pasquini, 44, a father from Tuscany who lost €50,000 (Dh230,000). "Nobody will help us."

HSBC in money-laundering settlement talks |

HSBC Holdings Plc, which is under investigation by US regulators for laundering funds of sanctioned nations including Iran and Sudan, is in talks to settle the matter, two people with knowledge of the case said.
The bank, Europe’s largest by market value, made a $700 million (Dh2.57 billion) provision in July for any US fines after a Senate Committee found it had given terrorists and drug cartels access to the US financial system. That sum might increase, Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver has said.
An HSBC settlement regulators and the Manhattan District Attorney were aiming to conclude as early as September may have been slowed when New York’s banking superintendent accused Standard Chartered of laundering $250 billion for Iran. Regulators had been talking with both banks about universal accords when Benjamin Lawsky on August 6 threatened to revoke Standard Chartered’s license. Deals with the London-based banks next month are still possible, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the investigations are confidential.