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Thursday, 30 August 2012

BP's UAE rebuff shows British lustre faded in the Gulf - Yahoo! News Maktoob

BP losing the chance to bid to maintain its major role in the United Arab Emirates oil sector may signal not just irritation with the British flagship company, but a more serious rift caused by frustration with UK policies and even broadcasts from London.
Perceived BP haughtiness, anger over the West's support for the Arab Spring and a growing sense that the UAE's future lies in stronger ties with Asia, may have all driven the decision to block the oil major from bidding to run its biggest onshore oil fields, several well-placed sources in the UAE said.
British business has basked in the Gulf sun since a protection deal with local rulers in 1820. BP has played a role
in the development of its oil from the start in the early 1930s. But the West's support for revolutions that toppled Arab leaders in 2011 and concern in Gulf states it is too welcoming of the Islamists who replaced them, has worn Britain's centuries-old ties particularly thin, sources close to the matter say.

Qatar National Raises Stake in Dubai Commercial Bank to 40% - Bloomberg

Qatar National Bank SAQ (QNBK), the Persian Gulf country’s biggest bank by assets, raised its stake in Dubai based-Commercial Bank International PSC (CBI) to 39.9 percent from 16.5 percent in a deal that may be worth about $75 million.
The purchase “reflects the confidence in the prospects of the financial sector in the United Arab Emirates,” Qatar National said in an e-mailed statement. The 22.5 percent stake is equivalent to 329 million shares, according to Bloomberg calculations, and would be worth $75 million based on today’s 84 fils share price.
The U.A.E., a union of seven emirates including Abu Dhabi and Dubai, has the biggest banking market in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which also includes Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Commercial Bank of Qatar QSC, the country’s second-biggest lender, also bought a 40 percent stake in U.A.E.’s United Arab Bank PSC during 2007 and 2008 to expand in the country.

Qatar to Vote Against Glencore’s $31 Billion Xstrata Offer - Businessweek

Qatar Holding LLC, the investment arm of the nation’s sovereign wealth fund, said it plans to vote its 12 percent stake in Xstrata Plc (XTA) against Glencore International Plc (GLEN)’s $31 billion offer for the mining company.

“Although it continues to support the principle of a combination of Glencore with Xstrata, it has determined that it will not support the proposed merger terms,” the fund said today in a statement. Qatar Holding “believes that Xstrata has a strong future, whether in combination with Glencore on acceptable terms or as a stand-alone entity, and that its shares represent an attractive long-term investment.”

The likelihood of the year’s biggest takeover succeeding is waning as shareholders including the Qatar fund maintain their opposition and Glencore Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg fends off calls to increase it. An offer of 3.25 Glencore shares from the current bid of 2.8 shares agreed to by Xstrata’s board would be “more appropriate,” Qatar said in June.

MENA stock markets close - August 30, 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)

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Egypt up on political stability, financials lead - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Financial stocks help Egypt's benchmark index resume its rally on renewed investor optimism regarding the country's political stability, traders say.
The index rises 0.5 percent to 5,336 points with all but five stocks gaining on the 30-company index.
"The political front is looking somehow pretty stable. That's what's encouraging the retail investors," says Amr
Mostafa of Pharos Securities. "The main force driving the market is retail investors."
The main index paused on Wednesday after a four-day rally that pushed it to a 24-week high as investors took advantage of high prices to unload some of their shares.

Breakingviews: Fraud probe could turn Qatar cold on Barclays | Reuters

Qatar could turn cold on Barclays. The sovereign fund isn't publicity shy, but a probe by the UK's Serious Fraud Office into its financial links with the British bank has forced it into an unwelcome spotlight. Whatever the outcome of the investigation, in a region where rich rulers are fiercely protective of their reputations, there is a chance that Qatar might seek to distance itself from the bank.

The probe is a threat to what has been so far a four-year win-win, relationship. A costly capital injection led by Qatar spared the UK bank from a state bailout in 2008. Yet the Libor rate-rigging scandal and the latest probe have been a dampener. The SFO picks up from an investigation by the UK Financial Services Authority into disclosure of fees paid to Qatar in return for advising the bank's Middle East business.

BRIEF-Qatar National Bank ups stake in UAE's Commercial Bank International | Reuters

Qatar National Bank : * Qatar National Bank raises stake in Commercial Bank International to 39.9 percent from 16.5 percent - statement * Qatar National Bank says stake increase follows approval from UAE central bank.

UPDATE 1-Qatar Telecom repays $3 bln loan facility - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Qatar Telecom (Qtel), the state-owned operator planning a full takeover of Kuwaiti unit Wataniya, has repaid a $3 billion loan facility using existing funds, it said in a bourse statement on Thursday.
The five-year syndicated term loan was signed in August 2007 through bookrunners Barclays, BNP Paribas,
DBS and RBS and was priced at 65 basis points over the London interbank offered rate (Libor), according to
Thomson Reuters data.
In January, the company said in a capital markets presentation that its issue of $2.75 billion in bonds in 2010
preemptively addressed the refinancing of the $3 billion 2012 loan.

FT Alphaville » Taking Stanchart down under

DP World profits fail to keep up with advance in global trade in first half of 2012 « ArabianMoney

After stripping out extraordinary profits on the sale of an Australian operation the quoted Dubai-based global ports operator DP World reported just a 1.5 per cent growth in profits to $237 million in the first half of 2012, despite a 7.5 per cent rise in container volumes and 9.9 per cent increase in revenues.

When the sale of its Australian ports business is included the bottom line is more flattering with pre-tax profits up 12.1 per cent to $310 million. Should DP World not be producing better profits during a period of expanding global trade?

Dubai’s bourse halts a three-day decline |

Dubai’s DFM index halted a three-day decline as bargain hunters are back in full force.
The index closed 0.66 per cent at 1555.66 points mainly lifted by property stocks.
Among the gainers, Ekttitab rose 4.23 per cent to close at Dh0.960, followed by Gulf Finance House by 2.99 per cent to Dh0.516 and Deyaar by 2.56 per cent to Dh0.360.

Aldar to add to Abu Dhabi properties - The National

Aldar Properties is set to deliver more than 3.5 million square metres of properties to the Abu Dhabi market over the next 18 months.

In a report published by the developer yesterday, Aldar said it expected to finish work on four major projects before the end of next year - Central Market in Abu Dhabi city centre, Yas Island and Raha Beach on the mainland and at its Al Falah scheme east of the airport, which alone would total more than 700,000 sq metres of commercial space, a 15-hectare theme park and more than 6,500 homes.

The developer, which last quarter reported a 228 per cent profits increase, said work on its Central Market scheme - which is now known as World Trade Centre Abu Dhabi - was expected to be complete by the end of next year. Its 59-storey 72,000 sq metre World Trade Centre office tower is set to open this autumn.

UAE shock absorbers can handle hard hits - The National

Every year the World Economic Forum publishes its Global Risk report to highlight the perils as it sees them for the next decade.

These are classified into five categories: economic; environmental; geopolitical; societal; and technological. This year, economic risks have gained prominence and, in particular, the forum identifies the threat of "chronic fiscal imbalances".

These arise when there is a sustained mismatch between revenue powers and expenditure responsibilities of a government.

Holding off will help all the players in the high stakes game of Xstrata - Telegraph

None will come under closer scrutiny than Qatar Holdings, now approaching 12pc of Xstrata and vehemently against the deal.
But this sovereign wealth fund’s behaviour has appeared more akin to a hedge fund playing a game of arbitrage by taking a tactically significant stake and trying to force a higher price. It has spent the best part of £3.3bn acquiring its Xstrata stake after the terms of the merger were announced. It claims to admire Xstrata greatly but has only expressed this, in a seemingly high risk game of poker, after the deal announcement. It looks like a bet that its aggressive position-taking will trigger an improvement in the merger terms from Glencore’s chief executive Ivan Glasenberg.
The Qataris didn’t splash out in the years before the deal when Mick Davis, Xstrata’s boss, was delivering the company’s rapid growth. It didn’t meet management to discuss the company’s success during a rapid expansion phase. It has waited to do all these things in a short window after the deal emerged.

Emphasis on pan-GCC economic partnership | Oman Observer

A GCC forum being convened here under the theme “Invest in Dhofar” looks into various means of implementing a partnership strategy being espoused by the GCC Federation of Chambers.
The forum aims at encouraging investment among GCC states by highlighting available opportunities in various sectors and studying incentives offered by GCC governments to achieve partnership among member states in an integrated market, said Khalil bin Abdullah al Khonji, Chairman of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI).