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Monday, 17 September 2012

Sales jump at Dubai’s Majid Al Futtaim - FT.com

Majid Al Futtaim, the Dubai-based mall operator, reported 15 per cent growth in revenues in the first half as markets affected by the Arab uprisings recovered and its home base consolidated growth.
The group, which operates 11 malls across the region, said a revival in markets hit by the revolts last year had helped a 17 per cent increase to Dh1.5bn ($408.4m) in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.
Retail sales in its malls in Egypt rose 44 per cent after the company had to close malls in the country for several months last year following looting during the chaos that led to the ousting of the former regime.

Qatar MBA Grad Outflanking Glencore Shows Ambitions of State - Bloomberg

The late-night negotiating session that led to a sweetened takeover offer by Glencore International Plc (GLEN) for Xstrata Plc (XTA) on Sept. 7 included a former British prime minister and a swashbuckling commodity-trading billionaire. It’s possible neither was the most influential man in the room at London’s Claridge’s Hotel.
That distinction might instead go to the two executives who run the $100 billion Qatari sovereign wealth fund -- Qatar Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani, 52, owner of one of the world’s biggest yachts, and Qatar Holding LLC Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Mohamed Al-Sayed, who was named to head the fund in 2008 at the age of 32, after attending law and business schools in the U.S.

E&Y, Arqaam reach Iranian art deal with Dubai regulator | Reuters

Ernst & Young and brokerage Arqaam Capital, accused of accountancy misconduct over the value of Iranian artwork, reached a deal with the regulator of Dubai's financial free zone hours before the case would have gone to court on Monday.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) had said the treatment of artwork in Arqaam's 2009 accounts did not comply with accounting standards, overstating operating income by 42 percent and understating its loss for the year to end-June 2009 by 21 percent, a court document said.

E&Y, as auditor, had signed off on the accounts.

Kuwait seeks to boost future generations fund - KUNA - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Kuwait wants to raise the amount of revenue going into its future generations fund to 25 percent from 10 percent in the 2012-2013 budget, state news agency KUNA said on Monday.
Kuwait's cabinet has asked the ministry to put this in the budget, KUNA said in an SMS news alert. The fund is managed by the Kuwait Investment Authority, the Gulf state's sovereign wealth fund.

Qatar Airways says made small loss last FY - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Qatar Airways, the Gulf state's rapidly growing flag carrier, made a small loss in the last financial year which ended in March because of high oil prices, its chief executive said on Monday.
"We had a very small loss because of the huge increase in oil price," Akbar al-Baker told reporters.
"Profit on an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) level was 47 percent above the previous year, but on a net level we made a small loss. For the 2010-2011 financial year, we made a substantial profit."
He did not elaborate. Qatar Airways, which is not listed on a stock market, does not regularly disclose its earnings.

MENA stock markets close - September 17, 2012

 ExchangeStatus IndexChange  
 
 TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
 
7149.42-0.09%  
 
 DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
 
1589.18-0.44%  
 
 ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
 
2626.32-0.12%  
 
 KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
 
5799.70.25%  
 
 BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
 
1076.070.14%  
 
 MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
 
5619.25-0.03%  
 
 QE (Qatar Exchange)
 
8616.120.19%  
 
 LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
 
1120.2-0.13%  
 
 EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
 
5895.631.27%  
 
 ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
 
1905.160.01%  
 
 TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
 
5078.67-0.89%  
 
 CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
 
9793.38-0.37%  
 
 PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)
 
423.280.73%  


Dubai's Emirates plans bond sale to finance aircraft - exec - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Emirates, Dubai's flagship carrier and one of the world's biggest by passenger numbers, plans to issue bonds as part of a broader financing strategy for its aircraft orders worth billions of dollars.
"We have a fleet order to buy planes worth $62 billion, and for sure we will go to the markets to finance these orders, through various financial instruments," President Tim Clark said in an interview on Dubai television late on Sunday.
"Yes, we will issue more bonds in the coming period." Clark did not provide a specific time frame for bond sales
or the amount that the airline was looking to raise.

Exclusive: Batelco eyes CWC assets in $1 billion telco deal - sources | Reuters

Bahrain Telecommunications Co BTEL.BH is in talks with Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC.L) to buy its assets in Monaco and a host of island nations, a deal potentially worth around $1 billion, three banking and industry sources said.

Batelco, whose move to buy a stake in Zain Saudi 7030.SE collapsed last year, is circling the Monaco & Islands portfolio of CWC, the British telecoms group operating in the Caribbean and formed through a demerger of Cable & Wireless in 2010.

Talks between both the parties are ongoing and a deal is not imminent, the sources said on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter is not public.

Qatar Airways dismisses reports it is in talks with British Airways about alliance - The Washington Post

The head of Qatar Airways dismissed suggestions Monday that the fast-growing Gulf carrier is pursuing an alliance with British Airways’ parent company.

CEO Akbar al-Baker told reporters in Doha that talk of a deal is nothing more than “press rumors.” He said there are no negotiations ongoing with any carrier about a partnership.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Dubai slips from 4-mth high; Qatar up - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Dubai's bourse ends lower, retreating from the previous day's Fed-inspired four-month high as investor caution
returns.
Gulf markets rallied on Sunday after the U.S. Federal Reserve launched a fresh round of money printing that helped lift asset prices worldwide, but that has largely failed to translate into a second day of regional gains.
Dubai's index slips 0.4 percent to close at 1,589 points. Yet its technical indicators remain strong despite
Monday's dip, says Bruce Powers, head of research and analysis at Trust Securities.

DP World faces loss of Yemen port deal - FT.com

Yemen’s moves to scrap Dubai ports operator DP World’s contract to manage two container terminals in the strategic port of Aden have highlighted the risks big companies face in the fast-shifting Middle East political landscape.
As post-revolutionary states review deals done by previous regimes, DP World is threatened with an early exit only four years into a 30-year management deal signed under Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemeni president of more than three decades who stood down in February.

Dubai to issue bond to refinance maturing debt -paper | Reuters

Dubai plans to issue a bond to refinance part of 6.5 billion dirhams ($1.8 billion) of debt maturing in April 2013, its finance chief was quoted as saying by a newspaper on Monday.

Abdulrahman al-Saleh, Director General of the Dubai Department of Finance, was also quoted as saying by the Al Bayan daily that the emirate was not under pressure to sell debt.

Future bond issuance could support expansion of Dubai's aviation sector, he added.

UAE mall operator MAF's profit up as Egypt, Bahrain units recover | Reuters

Mall operator Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) reported a 17-percent rise in half-year operating profit on Monday as te nant re venues i n Bahrain and Egypt, dampened by Arab Spring unrest, rose, boosting the Dubai-based firm's income.

Unlisted MAF, the franchisee for Carrefour hypermarkets in 19 countries and operator of 11 malls across the Middle East and North Africa, said its operating profit was 1.5 billion dirhams ($408.39 million) for the six months to June 30. This compares with operating profit of 1.29 billion dirhams in the year-earlier period.

Revenue rose 15 percent to 10.75 billion dirhams.

UAE's Essdar Capital in management buy-out deal | Reuters

Essdar Capital Ltd, an advisory and investment firm backed by Abu Dhabi royals, said its management bought out its existing shareholders, in a rare management led buy-out of a specialist financial institution in the Middle East.

Essdar's previous shareholders included members of Abu Dhabi's ruling family, sovereign wealth funds and other institutional investors. No financial details of the transaction was provided.

"This is one of the first management buy-outs in the Middle-East of a specialist financial institution and may change the trend of how financial institutions are owned and operated in the region," Mohamad Sotoudeh, Essdar's chief executive said in the statement.

Sberbank’s $5.4bn sale: chocks away | beyondbrics

Moscow has finally got away a big chunk of its much-discussed and oft-delayed privatisation programme, with the sale on Monday of a 7.58 per cent stake in Sberbank, the country’s largest bank.

Sberbank plunged 2.6 per cent as the investment bankers swung into action and latest recovered to trade 1.9 per cent down as investors digested the $5.4bn share offering.

The central bank, which owns the public stake in Sberbank, will see its holding fall to 50 per cent plus one share, so the state will retain control.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Gulf rally seen short-lived despite Asia gains - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Gulf investors are seen cashing in some of Sunday's regional market gains, with a rally sparked by the Federal Reserve's latest round of money printing likely to prove short-lived.
"There will be profit-taking before markets go up again - (company) earnings will now have to drive markets higher,' says a Dubai-based trader who asked not to be identified. "The stimulus bubble is done."
That outlook comes despite an upbeat start to the week on global markets as Asian stocks touched their highest in more than four months and gold, oil and copper hovered near multi-month highs.

BIMB not opposed to buying debt-ridden Dubai Group’s stake in Bank Islam

IF the latest developments around BIMB Holdings Bhd are anything to go by, the Islamic financial services group may be shaping up to be one to watch.

Just last week, after it came to light that legal proceedings have been lobbed at Dubai Group over its US$10bil debt, tongues got wagging about what would become of the 30.5% interest it held in Bank Islam, of which 51% belongs to BIMB.

The hypothesis here is that BIMB may just be tempted to acquire the stake from the Dubai state investment vehicle, thereby giving it more or less full control of Bank Islam, Malaysia's oldest Islamic lender.

Istanbul Aims to Outshine Dubai With $2.6 Billion Bank Center - Bloomberg

It’s now little more than a dusty patch of land in the modern suburb of Atasehir on the Asian side of Istanbul. Within three years, if all goes according to plan, high-rise office buildings will dominate the site, forming an upstart Wall Street on the Sea of Marmara: the Istanbul International Financial Center.
Like a lot of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ideas, such as his push for mostly Muslim Turkey to start formal membership talks with the European Union, the square-mile International Financial Center is bold, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its October issue.
Erdogan, whose Justice and Development Party won re- election last year, envisions Turkey as a burgeoning economic as well as political power in the Middle East and southeast Europe.

Arqaam to contest allegation over artwork - The National

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the regulator for the emirate's financial hub, is seeking to fine a local investment bank US$75,000 (Dh275,482) amid allegations about how it accounted for some artwork.

The watchdog claims Arqaam Capital broke the rules when it marked up eight paintings by the artist Farhad Moshiri, commissioned for $200,000 in 2007, to show a value of $2.45 million in its 2009 accounts.

Arqaam denies any wrongdoing in the affair, as does its auditor Ernst & Young, and is due to contest the allegations in a public hearing scheduled to start in Dubai today.

Deposits pour in to take strain off UAE banks - The National

Bank deposits flooded into the Emirates in the first quarter of the year, reducing stress on the banking system.

During the first three months of this year, individuals, banks and companies in the UAE deposited US$10.8 billion (Dh39.67bn) of funds with international banks reporting data to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), an umbrella organisation of central banks.

The rise in deposits to $83.7bn reflects a 14.9 per cent increase compared with the previous quarter. A third of the influx represents interbank deposits. During the first quarter of the year, banks received a large amount of deposits from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the BIS report added.

Brokers are busy again as traded volumes in UAE rebound - The National

Stockbrokers across the country celebrated yesterday as most revealed shrinking losses and some even recorded a rare profit as traded volumes more than doubled in the first half of the year.

"The country is back, the economy is stable. It's busy, you can see it in the hotels, restaurants and malls," said Nabil Al Rantisi, the managing director of brokerage at Mena Corp, an investment company based in Abu Dhabi. Mr Rantisi plans to hire 20 stockbrokers by the first quarter next year and has already recruited 11.

"The volumes are definitely higher and, with the consolidation of the sector, the market share among the remaining brokerages is growing," he said.