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Monday, 27 August 2012

Qatar Luxury Group Launches #QELA, Luxury Brand And Boutiques

It's not everyday that you get to see a small upstart emerge in the luxury market, let alone a heavy hitter. According to our sources Qatar will launch its own brand and its own luxury boutiques around the world. That's it!

The Huffington Post has obtained the name of this self-proclaimed luxury brand, as of yet kept secret: QELA. Given the virtually unlimited financial means of the Qataris, established brands such as Hermes, Dior and Louis Vuitton are not likely to take this news lightly.

Caroline Guillon, the marketing director of Qatar Luxury Group, which launched the brand, told The Huffington Post, "Since its inception, the goal of our group has been to create a fashion brand in Qatar, and then, in time, expand to an international vocation. We are currently working on the collection." However, for the time being, Guillon preferred "not to disclose the name."

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi hits fresh 15-wk high; most Gulf mkts lower - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Saudi Arabia's small and mid-cap stocks drove the market to a fresh 15-week high on Monday amid optimism over further policy action by the U.S. Federal Reserve, but most other Gulf bourses slipped on profit-taking following recent gains.
The kingdom's index rose 0.5 percent to its highest finish since May 13. Major real estate developer Dar Al Arkan climbed 0.5 percent, Nama Chemicals jumped 5.5 percent and Alinma Bank added 0.4 percent.
Insurance stocks, a favourite of local retail investors, rallied with the sector's index advancing 1.0 percent.

Online store clicks with Arab world - FT.com

When Ahmed Alkhatib wants to check on the customers who flock to his shop every day, he simply has to look at a computer screen on his desk. Without leaving his office in central Amman, he can see what products they are scouting for, where they are located, what language they operate in and even what browser they are using to check out his offering.
Most importantly, he can see how much money they are spending on Gucci sunglasses, Prada handbags and other products sold on MarkaVIP, one of the largest online shopping sites catering exclusively to the Arab world.

Qatar leads regional M&A resurgence - FT.com

Qatar, whose spree of deals across Europe has made headlines in recent months, is also leading the charge in acquisitions in the Middle East, where it has completed the largest purchase of the year so far.
Government-backed Qatar Telecom’s $2.2bn purchase of the remaining 48 per cent of Wataniya Telecom that it did not own has helped lift inbound acquisitions in the Middle East to $19bn so far this year, the highest year-to-date volume since 2007, according to Dealogic, the data provider.

UAE bourses end in red | GulfNews.com

Dubai’s DFM index declined for the second day to close 0.92 per cent lower at 1558.83 as investors book profits. The index touched lowest level in almost two weeks.
Among the gainers, GGICO rose 6.25 per cent to close at Dh0.340, followed by Gulf Finance House by 1.17 per cent to Dh0.519 and Takaful-EM by 1.15 per cent to Dh0.617.
Among the losers, Emirates NBD fell 3.26 per cent to Dh2.97, followed by Union Properties by 2.72 per cent to Dh0.393 and Dartakaful by 2.56 per cent to Dh0.610.

Dubai's DIC sells stake in $300 mln MENA infrastructure fund - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Dubai International Capital (DIC), the private equity arm of Dubai Holding which restructured $2.5 billion debt in April, sold its stake in a $300 million Middle East North Africa infrastructure fund to Islamic investment firm Fajr Capital.
Fajr, which is backed by prominent investors such as Abu Dhabi Investment Council and Malaysia's state investor Khazanah Nasional Berhad, will manage the fund along with its two other partners HSBC Holdings and Waha Capital, it said in a statement on Monday.
All the three partners will have equal ownership stake in the fund post the deal, one source familiar with the matter said.

Bahrain Air told to pay off debts

Bahrain Air, a leading low-cost carrier in the region, has been warned to pay off its debts or risk suspension of its operations, its chairman said.

Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa added that the airline was under pressure from Transportation Minister Kamal Ahmed to pay off its dues accumulated since last year’s unrest.

In a statement to local newspapers, Shaikh Mohammed also claimed that the airline had not been given necessary approvals for extra flights, according to our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Dubai extends decline; Kuwait's Zain ticks up - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Dubai's bourse extends its declines, down for a second session from Thursday's 16-week high as investors book profits on overbought stocks, while Kuwait's measure ticks up.
Dubai's index slips 0.5 percent to 1,566 points, trimming year-to-date gains to 15.7 percent.
Drake and Scull sheds 1.1 percent to 0.9 dirhams a share. SICO Investment Bank cut the construction and engineering firm's price target to 0.98 dirhams from 1.15 dirhams with a 'neutral' rating.

Ratings agency gives Egyptian banks a lift - The National

Egypt's banks have narrowly avoided a ratings downgrade from Standard & Poor's as the country's government requests a US$4.8 billion (Dh17.62bn) loan from the IMF.

At the weekend the credit ratings agency lifted three Egyptian banks - Commercial International Bank, National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr - from negative watch after taking the same action on the credit rating of Egypt's government.

"Negative watch" is defined by ratings agencies as an even chance of a downgrade within the next three months.

Saudi market a work in progress - The National

The Saudi financial market is rather like the Tadawul Tower, the Riyadh building that will eventually house the country's stock market: potentially awesome but still under construction.

International investors have been eagerly anticipating "getting into" Saudi Arabia for years. The energy-fuelled economy is the biggest in the Arabian Gulf; it has the largest population in the GCC region with, potentially, a huge domestic consumer market.

The Tadawul All-Share Index is the region's biggest by market capitalisation and the financial and banking infrastructure, buoyed by historically high oil prices, is sturdy by even the most stringent of international benchmarks.

Weak spots that betray a powerful performer - The National

The Saudi equities regulator, the Capital Market Authority (CMA), has a reputation as one of the region's toughest watchdogs.

However, some financial professionals still believe the kingdom lags behind in levels of transparency and investor relations (IR) practice.

Formed in 2004, when the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, the central bank, decided equities and bond markets needed their own regulator, the CMA went through a stiff initiation during the share collapse of 2006 and introduced tough rules.

Dubai land values rise as market stabilises - The National

The value of land in Dubai rose by about 10 per cent over the past year as the emirate's property market continues to stabilise.

New figures released by Dubai's Land Department show values per square foot for properties in two areas - Al Barsha and Al Nahda - rose 13.8 per cent and 9.6 per cent, respectively, over the year to June, while overall land value increases were about 10 per cent.

In the upmarket Al Barsha district, which includes Mall of the Emirates and the Dubai American Academy, land values rose from Dh766 (US$208) per square foot in June last year to Dh872 in the same month this year.