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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Oil at 6-week low as Saudis prepare to pump -

Oil prices have tumbled to their lowest in six weeks amid expectations of extra supply from Saudi Arabia, with the world’s largest crude exporter looking to bring down prices that have jumped sharply on Middle East unease.
With western oil sanctions against Iran depleting supplies, Saudi Arabia has been taking steps to bring down prices, offering extra oil to its customers.
Gulf based oil official told the Financial Times that the oil price, which rose to a four-month high of $117.95 last week, was “too high” and that the kingdom “would like to see oil prices back to $100 a barrel”.

MIDEAST WEEKAHEAD-Technicals for Gulf markets diverge - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Technical indicators for major Gulf stock markets are diverging, suggesting relative performance patterns among the markets are changing with Saudi Arabia risking a period of underperformance, technical analysts say.
The main Saudi Arabian equities index has rallied 8 percent from its trough in late June to 7,057 points, but since
Aug. 25, it has traded sideways in a range of just 160 points. Chartists say the loss of momentum is a negative signal for the short term at least and believe a pull-back in the next few weeks is increasingly likely.
The Saudi index "is approaching the minor support of 7,000 - any dip below this level means another dive toward 6,800 points," said Mohabeldeen Agena, head of technical analysis at Cairo's Beltone Financial. He expects the market at best to trade flat for the next two or three weeks.

MENA stock markets close - September 19, 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)

Dana Surges as Investors See Sukuk Resolution: Abu Dhabi Mover - Bloomberg

Dana Gas PJSC (DANA) surged the most since February after the company’s biggest shareholder said the fuel producer may reach a “reasonable resolution with investors” on $1 billion in Islamic bonds maturing next month.
The shares soared 4.9 percent, the most since Feb. 19, to 43 fils, at the close in Abu Dhabi. Dana Gas was the most traded by volume in Abu Dhabi’s benchmark ADX General Index (ADSMI) and the Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200) of the Persian Gulf region’s top 200 equities. The stock, which lost 38 percent last year, led Abu Dhabi shares 0.2 percent higher to 2,617.49.
“The outcome may favor an upside, given the company’s solid financials and the probability of restructuring debt,” said Talal Touqan, head of research at Al Ramz Securities LLC in Abu Dhabi. “There was overshot on the downside, which makes anticipated rebounds stronger and against negative expectations.”

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Dubai at 20-wk high as global gains support - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Dubai's bourse makes its largest one-day gain since early August, hitting a 20-week closing high as upbeat global sentiment emboldens local investors, while Kuwait's market extends gains on positive technical cues. Dubai's index rises 1.6 percent to 1,616 points, its highest close since May 1.
Small-caps lead gains, with Gulf Navigation up 2.7 percent, Dubai Investments surging 10.6 percent and
Union Properties up 3 percent.
"There's a strong attribution of international news to moves in regional markets and we are more affected by policy measures than local news," says Marwan Shurrab, vice-president and chief trader at Gulfmena Investments.

Dubai bank art dispute settled with fines | beyondbrics

While multibillion dollar scandals have been making headlines during the financial crisis, here’s a cautionary story from the Gulf about what went wrong when a boutique investment bank was found by regulators to have breached the rules in accounting for the the value of eight contemporary Iranian art works.

Dubai investment bank Arqaam Capital and its auditor, Ernst & Young, have been fined $50,000 each by Dubai’s regulator for contraventions of accounting rules in relation to the valuation of eight art works by a renowned Iranian artist.

Protests fail to move Middle East markets -

Major Middle East stock markets gained this week despite violent protests that spread across the region against an anti-Islamic video, in a signal that investors were becoming more comfortable with isolated political risk.
Egypt’s stock market, the EGX 30 rose a little over 5 per cent this week, hovering near a 19-month high. Dubai’s financial market rose almost 3 per cent and Abu Dhabi’s stock exchange stayed flat.

Kurdistan oil deals risk Baghdad showdown -

Leading oil companies are moving closer to a confrontation with the Iraq government over deals in the semi-autonomous northern Kurdistan region that threaten to undermine Baghdad’s plans to ramp up crude exports in the south.
Chevron, Total and Gazprom have followed ExxonMobil’s entry into Kurdistan last year, moves which some analysts think are likely to provoke retaliation from the administration of Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister.

Exclusive: Kuwait, Singapore Buy CVC Stake

Government-backed funds in Kuwait and Singapore have acquired a stake in CVC Capital Partners, the buyout firm which counts Formula One (F1) motor racing and the owner of Madame Tussauds among its investments.

I have learnt that entities connected to the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) and the Government Investment Corporation of Singapore (GIC) and an unidentified Asian fund have bought 10% of CVC's management company in a deal which reinforces its status as one of the most influential private investors in the world.

The transaction was struck in June and was outlined to investors in CVC's funds (without identifying the new shareholders) at the time. It was also discussed at the firm's annual conference in London last week.

Qatar Petroleum says plans heavy borrowing in 2014 | Reuters

Qatar Petroleum, the Gulf state's energy giant, expects to borrow heavily in 2014 to finance new industrial projects, a senior company official said on Wednesday.

"We will approach the bank market, capital markets as well as consider conventional bonds and sukuk as part of the financing plan," Meshaal al-Mahmoud, the company's head of project finance, told reporters at a conference in Doha.

"We don't expect to issue anything this year or next year."

Saudi Arabia has given $3.7 bln in aid to region-IMF | Reuters

Saudi Arabia has so far disbursed about a fifth of the much-needed aid it promised to Arab countries since uprisings erupted in the region last year, according to the IMF, which cited data from Riyadh's finance ministry.

Riyadh pledged a total of $17.9 billion in loans, grants and other support between the start of 2011 and June 1 this year, to be disbursed over several years, potentially making it a key donor as Arab countries struggle to repair economic damage caused by the uprisings.

It disbursed $3.7 billion of that amount during the period, the International Monetary Fund said in a report on the Saudi Arabian economy, released this week after regular consultations with the Saudi government.

UPDATE 1-Qatar's Doha Bank plans 50 pct capital raise in Q1 2013 - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Doha Bank, the Qatari lender which issued a $500 million bond in March, plans to raise its capital by 50 percent in the first quarter of 2013 to meet strategic business requirements, it said on Wednesday.
Doha Bank's board of directors approved plans for a capital hike at a meeting on Sept. 18, and will now seek approval from shareholders at an extraordinary general assembly, the bourse statement said.
No details of how the bank plans to raise capital or the size and date of issue were provided in the statement, which said these would be disclosed after the necessary studies and approvals were in place.

UAE non-oil trade up 8% to Dhs78.3bn in last January | UAE Federal Customs Authority (FCA) |

The UAE non-oil exports made a big leap in January 2012, in spite of the unfavorable political and economic circumstances in the region and the world. The UAE non-oil exports to countries around the world grew by 30% last January compared to the same period of last year, the primary statistics of the Federal Customs Agency (FCA) showed.

ENERGY - Less Iraqi oil ‘bad news’ for all

The International Energy’s Agency’s top economist Birol warns that an unexpected slowdown in oil growth in Iraq, though not too likely, would be bad news for Europe, China and other developing Asian countries

The International Energy Agency’s top economist warned in an interview with AFP that any unexpected slowdown in the growth of Iraq’s energy output would be “bad news” for the rest of the world.

Fatih Birol noted that while such a slowdown was not the IEA’s central forecast, it remained a credible-enough possibility that the organization included it in an upcoming report on Iraq’s energy industry due next month.

Saudis offer extra oil to control prices -

Saudi Arabia has offered its main customers in the US, Europe and Asia extra oil supplies through the end of the year, a sign the world’s largest exporter is worried about the impact of rising prices on the global economy.
The Group of Seven finance ministers last month called on oil exporters to expand production. Saudi Arabia initially reacted coolly to the request, saying that global supply and demand were balanced. But the kingdom has recently taken steps to bring down prices, consulting with large refiners and offering them extra oil.

Business - Dubai utility to decide on refinancing debt next year

Dubai utility will decide next year on a plan to refinance its debt maturing in 2013 after considering all the options available, managing director and chief executive officer Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, or Dewa, is assessing whether it may need to raise cash by selling conventional or Islamic bonds, securitising assets, or borrowing from export credit agencies or banks to pay what it will owe in 2013, according to the authority’s chief.
“We will see what is the most competitive and what is the best rate that we are going to obtain, and we’ll decide based on that,” Al Tayer told Bloomberg at the MENA Renewable Energy conference on Tuesday.

Job listings in UAE and Saudi Arabia rocket - The National

Recruitment is booming in the UAE, with up to 15 per cent more jobs being advertised this year compared with last year.

Job agencies report significant increases in employment opportunities as the local economy is buoyed by the effects of the Arab Spring elsewhere and the local tourism industry.

The employment website reported an 11 per cent rise in the number of positions being advertised in the UAE.

Ottawa ends UAE spat with nuclear deal - The Globe and Mail

The Harper government has sealed the end of its spat with the United Arab Emirates with an agreement to sell the Gulf country nuclear technology.

Relations between Canada and the UAE blew up into a tense dispute two years ago when Ottawa refused to provide more landing rights for Emirati airlines, and the Persian Gulf nation responded by abruptly booting Canada out of the staging base used for troops and equipment in transit to Afghanistan.

Reduced loans hold back credit in UAE - The National

UAE credit expansion failed to pick up speed in April as growth in bank lending to the government sector shrank.

Outstanding loans to the private sector reached Dh821 million (US$223.5m) in April, up 2.6 per cent from the same month a year earlier, data released yesterday from the Central Bank's statistical bulletin showed. It was about the same growth rate as the month earlier.

Viewed as less of a credit risk than private businesses, lending to public sector enterprises has been a cornerstone of banks' growth plans since the global financial crisis. But the rate of annual growth eased to 10.5 per cent to reach Dh123.4m in April, sharply down from lending levels in the first quarter.

Goldman Sachs fixes interest on Gulf bond markets - The National

The big debate in global investment markets this year, especially in the Middle East, has been: equities or bonds?

Hugh Briscoe, of Goldman Sachs, is in no doubt as to the answer. Fixed interest investments, especially high-yielding and emerging market bonds, are the "flavour of the month", he says.

You might expect him to say that, as the lead portfolio manager for fixed income focusing on big investors in the Middle East. But Mr Briscoe, a former major in the British army, certainly argues his case with combative confidence.