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Sunday, 7 October 2012

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: Iran rulers eye currency mess from protected perch | National Politics |

Just as Iran's currency was rattling near bottom after a stunning free fall, officials in Tehran opened a trade exhibition that included advanced engineering tools, heavy machinery and robotics. Nearly every Iranian booth had some connection to the country's powerful Revolutionary Guard and the ruling system it safeguards.

This display of the regime's industrial muscle showcases why the collapse of Iran's rial is unlikely to pose any immediate threats to the country's real centers of power, despite protests last week that brought quick speculation in the West about the stirrings of a popular revolt.

The top end of Iran's economy remains fully in the hands of the Revolutionary Guard and its networks, which span from oil to aerospace. And the lifeblood for the ruling clerics and the Guard still comes from Iran's oil exports that - on paper at least - bring in tens of millions of dollars a day to buffer against the blows hitting the rest of the country: a tanking currency, skyrocketing prices for imported goods and double-digit inflation.

Qatar First Investment Bank invests $150 million in Kuwait Energy | Reuters

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) will invest $150 million in Kuwait Energy Co. to support the firm's expansion, the Qatari firm said on Sunday.

The deal is structured in the form of a convertible murabaha which will be used to boost Kuwait Energy's growth plans in the oil and gas exploration and production sector.

Unlisted QFIB acquired a $16 million stake in Kuwait Energy in June 2011, the statement said.

Dubai is back! « parallel universe

Oh, happy days are here again in Dubai-land.

Cityscape DubaiGlobal — it got renamed “global” after Dubai’s market went comatose following the economic crisis in 2008 — was held was held here last week. It’s sort of like speed-dating for the real estate set. Developers set up booths, many with huge and incredibly detailed models of future developments, and investors stroll around, stopping at projects that catch their fancy. In the boom years here, as many as 40,000 people a day in the first two days would apparently visit the show and many, many of them bought properties while there.

This year, it seems the glory of those days has returned. Organizers have said that attendance was up by 25 percent this year compared to 2011 and the media fanfare trumpeted the over-the-top projects that made Dubai famous in the first place.

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Iran’s Hyperinflation | PRAGMATIC CAPITALISM

1. Iran is experiencing an implied monthly inflation rate of 69.6%.
For comparison, in the month before the sanctions took effect (June 2010), the monthly inflation rate was 0.698%.
2.  Iran is experiencing an implied annual inflation rate of 196%.
For comparison, in June 2010, the annual (year-over-year) inflation rate was 8.25%.
3.  The current monthly inflation rate implies a price-doubling time of 39.8 days.
For certain goods, such as chicken, prices may be doubling at an even faster rate.

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MENA stock markets close - October 7, 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)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai hits 23-wk high, lifted by property; Saudi down - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Dubai's benchmark index extended its rally to hit a 23-week high on Sunday, with real estate stocks attracting buyers amid renewed momentum in the once-troubled sector.
Other Gulf markets were mixed ahead of third-quarter corporate earnings.
In Dubai, Emaar Properties rose nearly 2 percent, while Union Properties advanced 3.1 percent and Deyaar
climbed 0.5 percent. Dubai's index rose 1 percent to 1,644 points, its highest close since April 26.

BBC News - Iran's parliament to reconsider subsidy reform

Iran's parliament has voted to consider suspending plans for further reform of the country's food and fuel subsidies.

The move follows street protests by traders over the steep slide in the value of Iran's currency, the rial, against the US dollar.

Many Iranians blame the problem on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's policies, increasing public pressure on him to step down, analysts say.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Sabic, petchems drag Saudi mkt lower - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Petrochemical stocks weigh on Saudi Arabia's benchmark ahead of third-quarter earnings.
Heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries Corp ends 1.1 percent lower as does Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. The petrochemical index declines 0.7 percent.
"Selling pressure on the petrochemical stocks is dragging the index lower, due to fears over third-quarter earnings," said a Saudi-based trader, declining to be identified.
The index ends 0.4 percent lower at 6,863 points.

Iran currency market remains paralysed | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR

The open forex market in Tehran was still largely paralysed Sunday, four days after Iran's national currency dropped more than 40 percent prompting protests in the capital's symbolic Grand Bazaar.

Most official exchange shops were open in downtown but refused to conduct any business at a rate of about 28,000 rials per dollar, set by the Central Bank on Saturday in a bid to curb the currency's plunge.

The main specialised websites tracking transactions on the market did not post any rates.

Qatar National Bank Q3 net up 10.5 pct - Reuters calculations | Reuters

Qatar National Bank (QNB), the Gulf Arab state's largest lender by market value, posted a third-quarter net profit of 2.1 billion riyals ($576.76 million), according to Reuters calculations, a 10.5 percent increase from year-ago.

The bank reported a nine-month net profit of 6.2 billion riyals, up 15 percent increase from a year earlier, it said in a statement on Sunday.

Reuters calculated the quarterly profit figure from previous financial statements. The bank did not provide any quarterly figures.

Analysts polled by Reuters expected a quarterly profit of 2.2 billion riyals for the third-quarter. ($1 = 3.6411 Qatar rials)

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Kuwait's Agility rally falters; Oman up - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Kuwait's Agility ends flat after the company issued a statement saying it had no news to explain a surge in its share price over the past two months.
The logistic firm's shares have gained 40 percent since Aug. 1, while daily trading volumes have fluctuated wildly over the same period, varying from less than 40,000 shares to 8.4 million.
"Agility sees the movement on its shares in terms of value of the stock or the volume of trades as normal and has no news or data that may justify any extraordinary movement on the stock," the company says in a bourse statement on Sunday. "However, the company believes its second-quarter financial results along with a general positive view on the Kuwait stock market could be driving the stock higher."

Dubai Stocks Rise on Property Company Projects, Profit Outlook - Bloomberg

Dubai’s shares headed for the highest close in more than five months after companies including Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR) announced overseas projects and as investors bet quarterly earnings may rise.
Emaar, developer of the world’s tallest skyscraper, was set for the highest close since December 2010. Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC), the United Arab Emirates’ biggest construction company, advanced 1.6 percent. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) rose 0.8 percent to 1,639.81 at 10:38 a.m. in Dubai, poised for the highest close since April 26. The gauge rallied 8.7 percent in the third quarter. Qatar’s QE Index (DSM) added 0.2 percent and the Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200) of the region’s top 200 equities was little changed.
“Positive sentiment continues from last week as investors are optimistic about third-quarter earnings,” said Nabil Farhat, a partner at Abu Dhabi-based Al Fajer Securities. “The latest news from some companies such as Emaar and Arabtec lured investors back into these stocks.”

Arqaam Capital to acquire Libyan financial services firm Rashad -

Arqaam Capital (“Arqaam”), the emerging markets investment bank, announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire Al Rashad Finance and Management Advisory JSC (“Rashad”).

The purchase agreement includes the business, operations and financial services licence of Rashad.

Following the close of the acquisition, the company will operate under the name Arqaam Capital Libya. Rashad has obtained initial approval for a financial services licence from the Libyan Stock Market and will request that the company’s final licence will allow the company to buy and selling securities; advise on investments in securities; manage security portfolios and investment funds; promote subscriptions in securities; margin funding; and proprietary trading.

Barwa to Sell $4.4 Billion of Assets to Reduce Liabilities - Bloomberg

Barwa Real Estate Co. (BRES), Qatar’s second-largest property developer by market value, is seeking to sell assets valued at 16 billion riyals ($4.4 billion) in Qatar and Egypt to reduce debt.
Assets being sold include Barwa Al Khor land in Qatar and the Barwa New Cairo project in Egypt, the Doha-based company said today in a statement. The sales price will be set according to book value and won’t involve any profit or loss, the company said. The developer is seeking to cut the 50.5 billion riyals of liabilities it had at the end of the second quarter.
Qatari real estate is recovering from excessive residential and office construction before the global financial crisis four years ago. Average rental rates for apartments and villas were unchanged in Doha during the first quarter, even as the leasing market “picked up significantly,” according to an April report by Asteco, a real estate services company.

Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways Q3 revs up 19 pct - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Etihad Airways, which has stakes in Aer Lingus and Virgin Australia, on Sunday reported 19 percent year-on-year growth in third-quarter revenues, helped by passenger growth due to code sharing and partnerships.
Etihad earned revenues of $1.3 billion in the third quarter, with its seat factor - the number of passengers on flights divided by the number of available seats - climbing to 81.2 percent, its highest level ever, the Abu Dhabi government-owned airline said in a statement.
Passenger revenues were boosted by code sharing, in which two or more airlines share the same flight, and partnerships; revenues from these two categories jumped 51 per cent to $182 million. The airline's 38 partners created a combined network of 315 destinations, more than any other Middle Eastern carrier, Etihad said.