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Saturday, 29 September 2012

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Saudi stocks end 1 pct down, Zain tumbles - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Saudi shares closed lower on Saturday, dragged down by petrochemicals, banks and telecommunications stocks. One reason was the weakness of global markets on Friday, when they were hit by anxiety about Spain's debt crisis.
Another reason was Zain Saudi, which plunged 6.1 percent to 10.75 riyals after it announced earlier on Saturday
that it had extended, for a second time, the maturity date of a 9.75 billion riyal ($2.6 billion) loan.
The firm said it had paid back 750 million riyals on Aug. 27 and was finalising a long-term finance agreement to replace the current loan. But Zain Saudi has been posting losses and the delay in resolving the debt challenge may have disappointed some investors.

Iran's rial currency dives to historic low - Yahoo! News Maktoob

The Iranian rial slumped on Saturday to a historic low against the U.S. dollar, according to Iranian media and currency tracking websites.
The rial fell by 3.6 percent and was trading at about 27,900 per dollar, compared with about 26,920 on Thursday and about 26,200 on Wednesday, according to Persian-language currency tracking website Mazanex. Another financial site, Mesghal.ir, had the rial at about 27,650 to the dollar on Saturday.
There was no clear reason for the latest slide in the value of the rial, which is traded in an informal market of money changers, where ordinary Iranians go to access hard currencies.

Saudi Shares Fall on Quarterly Results Outlook, Global Economy - Bloomberg

Shares in Saudi Arabia declined for a second day ahead of quarterly company financial results and on concerns that Europe’s debt crisis is worsening.
Al-Rajhi Bank (RJHI), the kingdom’s largest lender by market value, dropped for a fourth day, while Samba Financial Group (SAMBA) fell for the second day. National Industrialization Co. (NIC) slipped to the lowest level since July 25. The Tadawul All Share Index lost less than 0.1 percent to 6,874.15 in Riyadh at 12:11 p.m. Saudi companies start reporting third-quarter results this week.
“We expect a weaker morning session as third-quarter results weigh on investors’ minds,” Asim Bukhtiar, head of research at Riyad Capital, said in an e-mail. “Subdued international sentiment will guide local direction.”

Qatar Q2 real GDP rises 5 pct on an annual basis - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Qatar's second-quarter real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 5.0 percent over the same period in 2011 and by 2.5 percent over the first quarter of 2012, the country's statistics authority said in a press release on
Saturday, citing preliminary data.
Nominal second-quarter GDP grew by 11.9 percent on the year, but dipped 1.1 percent on the quarter, Qatar Statistics Authority said.

Zain Saudi extends $2.6 bln loan maturity for second time - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Indebted telecom operator Zain Saudi has for a second time extended the maturity of a 9.75 billion riyal
($2.6 billion) loan by two months, it said in a bourse statement on Saturday.
"The firm announces that on September 26 it has received approval from lenders to extend the maturity date for the joint Murabaha by two additional months, changing the maturity date to November 28," the statement said.
The loan was initially due in July but was extended to September 27.

Dubai's Emaar sells hotel to Abu Dhabi firm - chicagotribune.com

Dubai's Emaar Properties , the builder of the world's tallest tower, has sold one of its hotel assets to an Abu Dhabi-based real estate firm for an undisclosed amount.

Eshraq Properties said in a statement on Saturday that it has acquired Nuran Marina, a serviced hotel apartment owned by Emaar and located in the up-market Dubai Marina area.

Emaar was not immediately available for comment.

Dubai's largest developer has looked to shift away from its home market where real estate prices have slumped by more than 60 percent in the aftermath of the debt crisis in 2009.

Oman to create 56,000 jobs for nationals | GulfNews.com

Finding suitable jobs for Omanis is a source of headache for Omani authorities and likely to remain the case in the foreseeable future, based on demographic statistics. Available statistics are alarming, with nearly 43 per cent of the local population below 15 years of age.
What’s more, unemployment among Omanis was a key reason behind the outbreak of unrest in the first quarter of 2011 in the context of the Arab Spring. The fact that the socio-economic uprising erupted in the industrial town of Sohar carried an economic message.
Against this backdrop, it is not surprising that the authorities have decided to embark on a major scheme to find employment opportunities for Omanis. The ambitious plan calls for creating around 56,000 jobs — divided between 36,000 and 20,000 in the public and private sectors respectively.

Arabian Aerospace - Qatar tipped to join Oneworld alliance

Speculation is mounting that a special meeting of the Oneworld Alliance - which includes British Airways and Qantas as its members - could see the unveiling of Qatar Airways as its newest member.

Following the tie-up between Emirates and Qantas earlier in the month there were suggestions that British Airways and the Doha airline could create a similiar deal - but that was dismissed by Qatar's CEO Akbar Al Baker.
Now reports in the US media suggest that the tie up will instead be through the alliance. Qatar would be the first of the major Gulf carriers to join an alliance. Emirates has always fervantly resisted the alliance route believing it would cost them customers. Etihad has created its own mini-alliance through aquisition and code share deals.

Where Is the Qatar Wealth Fund Investing? - US Business News - CNBC

With the Federal Reserve providing extraordinary stimulus to get the economy growing again and the European Central Bank offering to buy bonds to limit the damage from the euro zone debt crisis, Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr al-Thani said in a CNBC interview he’s worried about what it will mean for the value of the two major global currencies.

“I believe the value of money is diminishing,” the prime minister told CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” He said that without a comprehensive strategy to deal with the problems in the U.S. and Europe the value of the dollar and euro will decline.

Dealing with the issues piecemeal also has created anxiety for investors like the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), al-Thani said.