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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Banks sue Dubai over $10bn debts -

Three banks, including the Royal Bank of Scotland, have launched legal proceedings against a Dubai investment firm, calling for immediate repayment of loans after abandoning talks aimed at restructuring the company’s $10bn in debts.
The UK lender, Commerzbank and Standard Bank said they had launched “legal recourse available under the facility documentation” against Dubai Group, an investment arm of the Dubai Holding conglomerate owned by Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.
The move, believed to be a private arbitration case, marks a more aggressive strategy from global lenders, who have for the past few years negotiated to extend maturities when dealing with the workout of Dubai’s $110bn debt pile.

UPDATE 1-Saudi economic growth slows, inflation hits 3-year low - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Saudi Arabia's annual economic growth slowed to 5.5 percent in the second quarter as expansion of its backbone oil sector weakened, while inflation eased to a near three-year low in August, data showed on Wednesday.
Growth in the world's top crude exporter eased from 5.9 percent in January-March and from a 7.8 percent expansion in the second quarter of last year, data from the Central Department of Statistics showed.
Abdulwahab Abu Dahesh, an independent Saudi economist, expects the economic slowdown to continue.
"GDP growth will be slower toward the end of the year due to the slowdown in the global economy and the decline in oil production levels in Saudi Arabia. It seems the second half will be slower than the first half," Dahesh said.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar in highest rally in 1-yr; Gulf mkts up on German bailout fund - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Qatar's bourse made its largest one-day gain in 12 months and all other regional markets also rose after Germany's approval of euro zone's new bailout fund lifted investor risk appetite.
Doha's index jumped 1.1 percent in its largest one-day move since August 2011 and closed at its highest level
since May 9.
Heavyweight Industries Qatar rose 3.2 percent, Qatar Electricity and Water gained 0.8 percent and
Qatar National Bank advanced 1.2 percent.

MENA stock markets close - September 12, 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)

Middle East regimes cornered by subsidies -

Popular revolts sweeping the Arab world are throwing up a financial dilemma for struggling governments who want to scrap expensive energy subsidies but fear they will provoke riots if they do.
Regimes under pressure from tough economic conditions and high oil prices have pulled back from existing subsidy cut plans or shied away from new ones for fear of angering their newly emboldened populations.
Analysts say the trend could badly damage the region’s economic prospects and pull precious oil away from the global crude market because of high demand in Arab states where prices of fuel for cooking and heating are kept cheap.

UAE's Etisalat launches $502 million stake sale in XL Axiata | Reuters

Etisalat ETEL.AD, the United Arab Emirates' biggest telecommunications company, aims to raise up to $502 million by selling most of its stake in PT XL Axiata (EXCL.JK), in Indonesia's biggest block offering since December 2010.

The sale by Etisalat, which invested $440 million in Indonesia's third-biggest phone operator nearly five years ago, has been expected for a long time as the UAE firm has failed to expand its partnership with XL Axiata's major shareholder, Axiata Group AXIA.L of Malaysia.

The move highlights the emergence of equity capital markets in Southeast Asia, which has seen a boom in share offerings in Malaysia, Thailand and other markets. It also follows a surge of nearly 50 percent in XL Axiata shares in 2012, compared with an 8.7 percent rise in Indonesia's benchmark share index .JKSE.

Samsung Egypt deal shows regional push | beyondbrics

Gallons of ink have been spilled on the outlook for Samsung Electronics’ position in the US, after last month’s California court defeat to Apple.

But the technology giant is paying growing attention to the emerging consumer markets of the Middle East and Africa – as shown by its announcement this week of a new factory in Egypt, its first in the region.

Cairo has been on a charm offensive this year to boost its reputation as a secure destination for long-term investment, after the turmoil of last year’s revolution.

Dubai Shares Rise on Global Outlook, Recovery as Qatar Gains - Businessweek

Dubai stocks rallied to the highest level this month as oil rose amid speculation China and the U.S. will take more measures to spur growth and on signs the emirate’s economy is recovering.

Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), the developer of the world’s tallest skyscraper, advanced 2.1 percent. Tamweel PJSC (TAMWEEL), the Dubai-based mortgage provider whose shares doubled this year, soared to the highest since April. The DFM General Index climbed 0.9 percent to 1,571.39, the highest close since Aug. 26. Qatar’s gauge added 1.1 percent and emerging-market shares rose, with the MSCI EM Index gaining 0.8 percent at 11:28 a.m. in London.

Economics drives Dubai’s low carbon push -

Dubai, memorably home to a ski-slope in the desert, does not have a reputation for environmental friendliness. Neighbour Abu Dhabi has garnered more green plaudits so far, with its carbon-neutral Masdar City and new solar power plant. But Dubai is pioneering a distinctly different route to sustainability, driven by its hard-headed business culture.
During the boom from 2001 to 2008, Dubai’s electricity demand grew at 10 per cent or more annually. In the last year before the crash – 2007 – it soared by a remarkable 17 per cent. It was a considerable achievement that the city did not suffer the power cuts that continue to bedevil neighbouring Sharjah. But with its oil production declining to modest levels and nearly all its gas imported from Abu Dhabi and Qatar, Dubai’s energy fate was no longer in its own hands.

Dubai's Daman puts IPO on hold due to lack of liquidity - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Daman Investments, a Dubai-based investment management company, has put on hold plans for an initial public offer (IPO) of its shares, citing liquidity concerns.
Daman sold a 22.7 percent stake via a private placement in June, valuing the firm at 440 million dirhams ($120 million). It said it eventually planned to offer shares to the public.
The company had said in 2009 it would need about three years to prepare for a public listing, and might conduct the IPO by the end of 2012.

Iran’s crude exports back over 1m barrels -

Iran managed to increase its exports of crude oil last month, but the rise is likely to be temporary as the US and EU prepare to tighten sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear programme.
In its monthly survey of the oil market, the International Energy Agency said imports of Iranian oil inched up to 1.1m barrels a day in August, from less than 1m b/d in July.
But the respite for Iran is expected to be brief, with US and European officials said to be considering tougher measures against Tehran in response to its perceived intransigence in nuclear negotiations.

Investment Dar Restructure Plan ‘Prone to Collapse,’ Qabas Says - Bloomberg

A restructuring plan by Investment Dar Co., the Kuwait-based owner of half of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd., could collapse because of a court case challenging a law by which the company is reorganizing debt, Al-Qabas reported, without saying where it got the information.
Investment Dar last year altered the terms on about $5 billion of loans after defaulting in 2009. The restructuring is being implemented under Kuwait’s Financial Stability Law, which was enacted by the government in April 2009 to bolster financial institutions hurt by the credit crisis.
A spokesman for Investment Dar couldn’t immediately be reached for comment when contacted by Bloomberg News today.

Dubai Shares Rise on Global Outlook, Recovery as Qatar Gains - Bloomberg

Dubai stocks rallied for a second day as oil rose amid speculation China and the U.S. will take more measures to spur growth and on signs the emirate’s economy is recovering.
Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), the developer of the world’s tallest skyscraper, advanced 1.8 percent. Tamweel PJSC (TAMWEEL), the Dubai-based mortgage provider whose shares doubled this year, was set for the highest close since April. The DFM General Index climbed 0.9 percent, the most since Sept. 9, to 1,571.32 at 11:52 a.m. in the emirate. Qatar’s gauge added 0.8 percent and emerging markets rose, with the MSCI EM Index gaining 0.6 percent.
The Federal Open Market Committee starts a two-day meeting today and may announce measures to stimulate the U.S. economy. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the government has more room for fiscal and monetary policy to support growth. Crude for October delivery rose as much as 0.3 percent to $97.43 a barrel in New York. Gulf Arab oil exporters, including the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, supply about a fifth of the world’s oil.

Kuwait credit growth slackens in July; private deposits ‘fall’

Seasonal factors may have been behind a slowdown in credit growth in July and a drop in private deposits. As a result, M2 money supply shrank by over 3% and M1 by more than 7%.
Outstanding credit to residents rose by a mere KD 22 million in July on the heels of last month’s large jump. Year-on-year (y/y) growth remaining relatively unchanged at 4.6% despite the slowdown.
Personal facilities (excluding loans for the purchase of securities) experienced its largest gain since December 2007, increasing by KD 111 million and pushing growth to 13.8% y/y. This sector, mainly consumer and installment loans, remains the primary driver behind credit growth.

Amid Arab Spring, A Road Map Exists for US Economic Ties - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Senior government and business officials from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will gather in Washington this week for two independent events underpinning the robust US-UAE strategic relationship. On Thursday the second installment of the US-UAE “Economic Policy Dialogue” (EPD) meeting will take place. This meeting will facilitate government-to-government collaboration to promote trade and discuss economic policy. The second event, Dubai’s Emirates Airline’s expansion of nonstop flights from the UAE to Washington's Dulles international, will occur over the course of Wednesday and Thursday (Sept. 12-13) and involve private and public events designed to show case the close business and economic partnership between our two countries.

Setting lofty standards for UAE | @DrAlkhazraji

Let me start by asking this question. Is the UAE economy an innovative economy? There are many reasons that make me believe so. Among these reasons are the statements from expatriate professionals or workers who work in this country and tourists who visit, stating that the UAE is the safest place to live and work in the Middle East, the reports of international organisations such as the World Bank and the World Economic Forum affirming the right direction of the UAE economy and local and international media reporting that the UAE has the highest internet users in the Middle East and that it is one of the best countries in the world for business. Although I’m hesitant about the innovativeness of our economy, such talk and news contradict my belief.

Business - UAE is number one overseas territory for Bank of Baroda

The UAE has emerged as the number one overseas territory of Bank of Baroda in terms of total volume of business and net profit and has maintained a CAGR of approximately 35 per cent in last three years registering a three fold increase in total volume of business even during the most tumultuous times.
This was announced by M.D. Mallya, chairman and managing director of Bank of Baroda, while talking to the media on Monday. He was on a five day visit to the UAE and which concluded on Tuesday.
“Bank of Baroda is truly aligned to the UAE economy and is instrumental in providing required financial services to all segments and is strongly committed to act as a catalyst to take the Indo-UAE bilateral relationship to the next level,” Mallya said.

Ex-Im Banks Spurs Bond Rush as Emirates Finances Planes - Bloomberg

Airlines from Europe to Asia to South America, boosted by help from the U.S. government, are turning to the bond market and away from loans to finance Boeing Co. jets as borrowing costs plunge.
Emirates, based in Dubai, and Ireland’s Ryanair Holdings Plc are leading carriers that have issued $2.3 billion of bonds in 2012 backed by the U.S. Export-Import Bank, a jump of more than sixfold from a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Interest rates at record lows and a new debt-guarantee program from the Ex-Im Bank are making it easier for non-U.S. airlines to access capital markets even as private-sector lending becomes more expensive and difficult to obtain. Boeing, the biggest U.S. exporter, stands to benefit while working through a jet backlog valued at $302 billion.

Glencore May Near Xstrata Deal Prize With Qatar Taking Back Seat - Bloomberg

Ivan Glasenberg, the billionaire chief executive officer of Glencore International Plc (GLEN), may be nearing a long-sought takeover of Xstrata Plc (XTA) as all sides signal a willingness to reach a deal that would be this year’s biggest merger, according to people familiar with the situation.
Xstrata is open to Glencore’s revised 22 billion-pound ($35 billion) offer, announced on Sept. 10, and may soon recommend its support to shareholders, the people said. The proposal would force Xstrata’s CEO Mick Davis to eventually depart. Davis and Glasenberg are friends and rivals whose relationship dates to the 1970s, when they met in South Africa, their home country.

Crack it with incubators - The National

Most small businesses need someone to hold their hands as they face the harsh realities of life.

Until recently, such guidance was hard to find but that is changing.

At least two new business incubators - Silicon Oasis Founders and i360accelerator - will offer networking and seed money in exchange for equity in successful companies. They are expected to launch in Dubai by the end of the year.

Long-term view full of promise for Etisalat - The National

Etisalat shares are undervalued, given the rosy long-term prospects of the UAE company, according to Mena Corp.

Shares in the telecommunications company yesterday closed up by 0.42 per cent on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange to Dh9.56 but the research firm yesterday put a target price of Dh9.80 on the stock.

"I don't think we will see a quick growth in the stock. But in the long-term, I like Etisalat's prospects," said Petr Molik, the head of the research division at Mena Corp.

Masdar seeking investments through Saudi partnerships |

Masdar is looking into investing in Saudi Arabia, chief executive Sultan Al Jaber said on Tuesday.
“We are proactively seeking partnerships in Saudi,” Jaber told reporters, declining to give any details about the kind of project, or the investment capital under consideration.
“I can’t tell how much now because it depends on the market and the regulatory framework but we are seriously and closely looking at the Saudi market,” he said.

Emirates NBD extends operations to China |

Emirates NBD announced on Tuesday the opening of its Beijing representative office, underlining its commitment to China and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries that seek to expand their footprint across all markets where Emirates NBD has operations.
Emirates NBD’s Beijing representative office was officially inaugurated by Vice Chairman Hesham Abdullah Al Qasim, in the presence of senior bank management, including Rick Pudner, Chief Executive Officer; Mohammad Hamad Al Shehi, Board Director and James Wu, China Representative, Emirates NBD. The opening ceremony was attended by senior government officials from China and the UAE, business leaders, industry decision-makers and media.