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Monday, 10 September 2012

Gol Gains Most in a Year on Report of Talks With Qatar Airlines - Bloomberg

Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA (GOLL4) jumped the most in more than a year after a report saying it is in talks with Qatar Airlines added to speculation the heavily indebted Brazilian carrier is planning an asset sale or merger.
Shares gained 5.7 percent to 9.91 reais at 2:04 p.m. in Sao Paulo, after earlier rising as much as 12 percent in the steepest intraday advance since August 2011. The benchmark Bovespa index added 0.9 percent.
Gol’s directors met with executives of Qatar Airlines last Tuesday, Veja reported on its Radar On-Line column, without saying where it got the information. The Brazilian carrier’s press office denied the company is in talks with Qatar to sell the business. A Qatar Airlines spokesman declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mkts end mixed; Agility at 20-month high - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Gulf markets were mixed on Monday with investors booking recent gains amid a lack of catalyst to drive further buying, while Kuwait's logistics firm Agility spiked to a 20-month high.
Dubai's index lost 0.9 percent, down from Sunday's one-week high, as local investors sell to foreign institutional
buyers. The market hit a 15-week peak on Aug. 23.
Bellwether Emaar Properties fell 1.2 percent, Emirates NBD declined 1.3 percent and Dubai Islamic Bank dropped 1 percent.

2012 Financial Stability Review – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, September 2012 (pdf document)

Oman's Al Izz Islamic Bank poised for $104-mln share float - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Al Izz Islamic Bank, the second sharia-compliant lender being formed in Oman, will launch an initial public share offer (IPO) for 40 percent of the bank later this month, Oman's regulator said in a statement on Monday.
Al Izz is the second Islamic bank to seek a stock market listing in Oman since the sultanate reversed its position last year as the only country in the Gulf Arab region not to permit sharia-compliant banking.
The bank, which counts Abu Dhabi state-fund Aabar Investments as a founding shareholder, aims to raise 40 million rials ($104 million) through the offer which will open on Sept. 22 and run for one month, the
Omani Capital Markets Authority said.

MENA stock markets close - September 10, 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)

Saudi airlines unit picks HSBC for planned IPO -sources - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Saudi Ground Services, a unit of national carrier Saudi Arabian Airlines, has hired HSBC Holdings to advise it on a planned initial public offering (IPO) of 30 percent of its shares, banking sources told Reuters.
The unit would be the second of six - including catering, cargo, maintenance, airlines and flight academy - to pursue a stock market listing following Saudi Arabian's decision in 2006 to privatise them.
One banking source, however, said the ground services unit may not list until early 2013, with another saying it could be much later.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Dubai drops in volatile trade; Abu Dhabi up for 4th day - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Dubai's bourse gives back Sunday's gains as local investors sell to foreign institutional buyers, while Abu Dhabi's measure gains for a fourth consecutive session.
Dubai's index ends 0.9 percent lower at 1,557 points, down from Sunday's one-week high. The market hit a
15-week peak on Aug. 23.
Bellwether Emaar Properties falls 1.2 percent, Emirates NBD declines 1.3 percent and Dubai Islamic Bank drops 1 percent.

Advisory firms in Dubai hunt for income -

Boutique investment advisers once buoyed by dreams of a lasting deal bonanza after Dubai’s financial turmoil are being forced to seek new paydays as large-scale corporate restructuring work dries up.
With laws and cultural norms in Gulf business still holding back many companies from embracing debt workouts, advisory firms are looking instead to make money from mergers and acquisitions and refinancing existing debts.
“If you asked me three years ago, I would have said the Gulf was a gold mine for restructuring, but that hasn’t proved to be the case,” says one banker. “It is not a main focus like it might be in Europe.”

Invest A.D., UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry launch 'Jeda Al Jiouin' initiative for Emirati businesswomen -

Invest A.D. and the UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry are launching an initiative to create a platform for Emirati businesswomen to network, collaborate and exchange ideas in the area of finance and investment.

The initiative, named “Jeda Al Jiouin” has been agreed in a memorandum of understanding signed by His Excellency Abdullah Sultan Abdullah, Secretary General of the UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and Nazem Fawwaz Al Kudsi, CEO of Invest A.D.

It will be carried out through the Emirates Business Women Council (EBWC) – an organisation under the umbrella of the UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry that encourages businesswomen to extend their horizons through networking and knowledge-building. The signing ceremony was attended by Her Excellency Farida Al Awadi, deputy chairperson of the EBWC, and various board members of EBWC, which is chaired by Her Excellency Fatima Obeid Al Jaber.

Middle East investors account for 12% of European property market -

Cross-Border Real Estate Investment by Buyer Nationality, H1 2012
Middle East real estate investors accounted for 12% of the European market in the second quarter of 2012, according to the latest research from CBRE.

Non-European real estate investors, in total, accounted for 25% of the European market in the second quarter of 2012 (Q2 2012), the highest proportion since Q2 2007, before the financial crisis,

The amount of buying activity from North American real estate investors remains high, but 2012 has also seen a significant increase in activity by buyers from Asia and Latin America, particularly in Q2 2012.

HSBC Saudi Arabia launches new GCC Equity Income Fund |

HSBC Saudi Arabia has launched its new HSBC Amanah GCC Equity Income Fund.
The fund is an open-ended Islamic Shariah compliant fund which aims to achieve capital growth and providing income, by investing in sharia compliant equities listed on GCC markets that offer sustainable dividend yields and with potential dividend growth over the long term.
The performance of the Fund is measured against the benchmark of S&P GCC Shariah Composite Index.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: US agency plans $150M investment in Mideast fund | World News | Bradenton Herald

A U.S. government financing agency says it plans to pump $150 million into a Mideast private equity fund designed to promote the growth of small and medium-sized businesses in the region.

A division of Dubai-based Abraaj Capital, the Middle East's largest private equity firm, will manage the financing provided by the U.S. government's Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

OPIC and Abraaj said in a statement late Sunday that the Abraaj-managed Riyada Enterprise Development Growth Capital Fund aims to help businesses across the Middle East and North Africa, with Egypt as one of the main targets. It is expected to ultimately have a capitalization of $400 million.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Dubai dips; Qatar up but flat trend intact - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Dubai's index slips as investors book gains from the previous day's rally, while Qatar's bourse edges higher amid regional investor caution ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later this week.
Dubai heavyweights Emirates NBD and Emaar Properties shed 0.9 and 0.7 percent respectively. The emirate's index drops 0.7 percent to 1,560 points, trimming its year-to-date gains to 15.3 percent. The market rallied 1 percent on Sunday in heavy trading as end-of-week gains on world markets boosted local investor sentiment.
"Currently, the index should be targeting the last high that was reached in August at the 1,590 levels," MENA Corp says in a note. "A break for the 1,590 level will trigger a long move upwards."

UAE central bank says to launch discount window | Reuters

The United Arab Emirates central bank aims to develop its monetary policy framework by launching a discount window to enable banks to borrow intra-day and overnight funds, it said on Monday.

"This facility will improve liquidity management practices within the UAE and support money markets if there are liquidity shortfalls," the central bank said in its inaugural financial stability review.

"It will also support the development of collateralised debt markets and long term capital markets as commercial banks will be inclined to invest in securities that are defined as eligible securities - this process will facilitate the implementation of Basel III liquidity standards," it said.

UAE says econ growth prospects encouraging | Reuters

The United Arab Emirates economy's growth prospects are encouraging while banks operating in the country are well-equipped to deal with major stress scenarios and contingencies, the central bank said on Monday.

"As regards the prospects for 2012, the UAE economy may achieve better results than the International Monetary Fund estimate of 3.5 percent growth," it said in its inaugural financial stability review.

The central bank also said non-oil growth was expected to reach around 4 percent this year, and inflation would remain moderate in line with the IMF's estimate of 1.5 percent for the year.

UPDATE 1-Glencore lays out final $36 bln bid for Xstrata - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Commodities trader Glencore laid out its revised $36 billion all-share bid for Xstrata on Monday, warning it would not improve the terms again as it outlined a fresh offer that made some concessions to recalcitrant shareholders.
Glencore, the miner's largest shareholder, with a 34 percent stake, confirmed its offer was now 3.05 new shares for every Xstrata share held, up from 2.8. That represents a 27 percent premium to the ratio at which the two shares were trading last week, when the market believed the deal would collapse.
"Glencore confirms that it is an all-share merger, and it will not increase the merger ratio further," Glencore said.
"The increased merger ratio represents a substantial premium for a company with a 34 percent shareholder," it added, explicitly brushing off hopes from some shareholders of a bid from a third party.

How has Dubai changed since 2008? – Expat - My Telegraph tks @bellakay

I’m practising my welcoming smile today, ready for all those ex-Dubai expats who are currently “flocking” back to the UAE. They famously left in droves as the recession hit Dubai back in 2008-9 but now, faced with high unemployment, a gloomy financial outlook and the start of a no doubt long and dismal British winter, those with an international mind-set are heading back to the UAE.
And they may just be in luck. While jobs are thin on the ground across Europe, companies here are hiring – and ex-expats with knowledge of the region and an understanding of how things work here are top of their wish-list, says Jennifer Campori of Dubai’s Charterhouse Recruitment.
But those who left as soon as Dubai’s famous boom times crashed will find the city quite different from how they remember it at the height of its silliness. Here are some differences Dubai’s yo-yo expats might notice:

Dubai deal shakes up Qantas network

Flyers who think Qantas has suddenly extended its reach in Europe are going to be disappointed. The idea that, from next year, you’ll be able to fly to Dubai with Qantas and change to an Emirates jet to access 33 European destinations just isn’t going to happen – unless you’re prepared to stop over in Dubai in either or both direction.

Qantas's new services to London via Dubai from Melbourne and Sydney from April 2013 will simply be existing services transferred away from Singapore, arriving in London at 5.40am London time (from Melbourne) and 6.35am (from Sydney) – timings which are geared to the crucial business market.

But their transit through Dubai around midnight (Dubai time) means they will provide relatively poor connections, with a only handful of continental European destinations flown by Emirates and requiring a stopover of three to five hours.

UPDATE 1-Carlyle-backed CPIC to raise $1.3bln in equity to boost capital | Reuters

Carlyle Group LP-backed China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd (CPIC) (2601.HK) is raising HK$10.4 billion ($1.3 billion) to boost capital by selling new shares to investors including Government of Singapore Investment Corp [GIC.UL].

The fresh funding-raising by China's third-biggest insurer underscores the need for Chinese insurers to replenish capital and improve solvency ratios to help support rapid premium growth.

Norges Bank, or the Central Bank of Norway, and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority are the other investors subscribing to CPIC's (601601.SS) private share placement, the insurer said in a statement.

Interview: Saudi economy resilient despite global turmoil - Zawya

Saudi Arabia will show a great deal of resilience in the context of the euro zone debt crisis and Arab Spring, according to Jamal Al-Kishi, CEO, Deutsche Securities Saudi Arabia. The European crisis may impact the Gulf in the significant retrenchment of European banks from business outside their home countries as they seek to repair their strained balance sheets and accommodate national governments' demands, Al-Kishi said in an exclusive interview with Khalil Hanware of Arab News. "The impact of this (European crisis) on the Saudi economy is very minimal given Saudi Arabia›s negligible dependence on foreign bank financing. However, the impact is significant on other countries in the Gulf where foreign lenders are major contributors to project and corporate finance transactions," he added.

BBC News - Franchises prove appealing in the Gulf (Video here)

UAE 3rd in Mena, 15th overall in retail expansion index - Emirates 24/7

The UAE has been ranked third in Mena and 15th overall in the Retail International Programme Expansion (Ripe) Index released by EC Harris, a global asset consultancy.

Saudi Arabia topped the list for Mena and held the eight overall position on the index for retailers looking to expand internationally, particularly in the luxury end of the market.

Qatar took the second position in Mena and 11th overall on the index, which rated 40 important consumer markets.

UPDATE 2-Glencore set to detail $36 billion Xstrata bid-sources | Reuters

Glencore hammered out a revised $36 billion bid for miner Xstrata in intense weekend negotiations and is set to detail its new offer to the market as early as Monday, days after proposing 11th-hour changes to save the deal.

Sources familiar with the deal said commodities trader Glencore, keen to clarify its own position but also under pressure from Xstrata and UK regulators, would publish details of the higher offer imminently. Two sources said the new, firm, offer - with some concessions to win over recalcitrant Xstrata shareholders - was expected on Monday.

The firm offer will be studied by Xstrata's board and non-executive directors, who on Friday questioned Glencore's new proposal and said they required more details in order to decide on whether or not to recommend it. The Xstrata board will also discuss the proposal with top independent shareholders, one other source familiar with the deal said.

Region builds from the ground up even with projects on hold - The National

Nearly 43 per cent of all construction projects in the Arabian Gulf region are on hold as the fallout from the global economic downturn continues to bite.

New figures from Middle East property intelligence website BNC Network show that of the Dh6.2 trillion (US$1.68tn) of construction projects in the region, Dh2.7tn worth of them are on hold.

Such projects make up a greater proportion of the schemes in the region than those at any other stage of construction, the report said.

Global appreciation of GCC’s competitiveness |

The recently-released 2012-13 Global Competitiveness Report shows mixed results but generally improved competitiveness of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) economies. Of the six-member grouping, three countries experienced material improvement in their ranking especially Qatar and the UAE. Still, Oman’s ranking remained standstill whilst that of Kuwait suffered a setback.
The World Economic Forum publishes the annual report which ranks reviewed economies on the basis of their performance on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI). To its credit, GCI is noted for undertaking a comprehensive look into reviewed economies by relying on a set of variables.

Dubai trade with EU recorded at Dh77.2b |

Dubai’s trade with European Union (EU) swelled up to Dh77.2 billion in the first six months of 2012, comparing to Dh77 billion in the same period last year, Dubai Customs announce on Sunday.
The value of Dubai’s imports from the EU countries reached Dh61.2 billion during the first six months of this year, almost the same value recorded same period in 2011.
However, Dubai’s exports to the EU members state reached Dh3.7 billion during the first six months of 2012 compared to 3.2 billion during the same period in 2011.