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Thursday, 18 October 2012

Abu Dhabi-based Investment Group acquires stake in Masterpayment

Masterpayment further accelerates its rapid growth and impressive success with an investment by a distinguished Abu Dhabi-based Investment Group who is now Masterpayment's largest individual shareholder, basing their investment decision on the company's valuation at a mid-range eight-figure sum. The investment is aimed at taking growth at the e-payment specialist to a new level, primarily by focusing on enhancing Masterpayment's international profile and expanding its product portfolio.

MENA stock markets close - October 18, 2012

 ExchangeStatus IndexChange  

 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)

Dubai, Abu Dhabi markets trade in opposite directions |

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) index broke through 1,650, a key support level yesterday as banks reported higher than expected third quarter profits. However, the volume of trade was abysmally low with less than Dh88 million worth of shares traded.
Yesterday investors bought major stocks such as real estate major Emaar and construction major Arabtec, which spurred the index’s gains.
Analysts say if the market manages to break the 1,680 resistance level, it would start a bull run provided global macro-economic indicators do not take a turn for the worse.

Dubai fueled by cheap Iran oil as U.S. steps up pressure | Reuters

The United States and Dubai are negotiating an end to the desert emirate's Iranian oil imports to head off the threat of U.S. President Obama sanctioning a trade that has riled Gulf Arab oil producers, industry sources and diplomats said.

Washington in the summer tightened controls on financial transactions for importing Iranian condensate, a light hydrocarbon, as part of U.S. efforts to starve Tehran of revenues for its disputed nuclear program.

But Dubai is still buying the oil while U.S. officials encourage the Dubai-government-owned Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) to find another source of supply.

Kuwait's KIPCO says to partner with Japan's Orix | Reuters

Kuwait Projects Co (KIPCO) said on Thursday it planned to enter into a "strategic partnership" with Japan's Orix Corp and that the companies were mulling a joint project in Algeria.

KIPCO, Kuwait's largest investment company, said it would sign a memorandum of understanding with Orix, a leasing and financial services group.

The two companies will study the possibility of a joint venture to set up a leasing company in Algeria, a statement on Kuwait's bourse said.

No financial details were provided in the statement.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Kuwait falls to 4-wk low on political tensions; Gulf mixed | News by Country | Reuters

Kuwait's bourse dropped to a four-week low on Thursday because of rising political tensions, while other Gulf bourses were mixed in quiet trade ahead of the weekend.

Jittery investors have sold shares in Kuwait since protests on Monday which called for the emir to set a date for upcoming parliamentary elections. Worries about politics weighed on the market on Thursday ahead of a cabinet meeting later in the day.

In some of the strongest remarks by an opposition figure, former lawmaker Musallam al-Barrak appealed directly to Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah during the protests to avoid "autocratic rule". His speech contained extremely rare criticism of the emir, which analysts said might spark a strong reaction from the authorities.

UPDATE 1-National Bank of Oman Q3 profit up 3.9 pct, tops forecasts | Reuters

National Bank of Oman, the sultanate's fourth-largest lender by market value, slightly exceeded analysts' expectations as it posted a 3.9-percent rise in third-quarter net profit.

The lender made a net profit of 10.6 million rials ($27.5 million) in the three months to September 30, according to Reuters calculations, compared with 10.2 million rials in the same period in 2011.

Analysts polled by Reuters had estimated an average third- quarter profit of 10.4 million rials.

Global Arab Network | Qatar economy - The star performer in the region | Economics

Some of the heat seems to be going out of the Qatari economy, as the rate of expansion is expected to ease back to single figures over the next few years. However, the more modest growth forecast by analysts will still place the country among the global leaders, Global Arab Network reports according to OBG.

Data issued by the Qatar Statistics Authority at the end of September showed that GDP expanded by 5% year-on–year (y-o-y) in the second quarter of 2012, down from the 6.9% growth recorded in the first quarter. Much of the activity in the second quarter was driven by the non-energy sector, with the communications sector’s contribution to GDP growing 18%, financial services posting a 12.1% rise and the construction industry – buoyed by the state’s increased investments in infrastructure – advancing by 10%. By contrast, the hydrocarbons sector expanded just 0.8% y-o-y in the second quarter of this year.

Gulf Times – Qatar banks may step up bond sales

Qatari banks may increase bond sales as they seek long-term funding for government and state-related companies, according to Barclays Plc.
“We are likely to see more issuance from Gulf Co-operation Council banks, particularly in Qatar,” senior economist Alia Moubayed said in an interview yesterday.
“They are borrowing on a short term from the interbank market and they are likely to try to reduce it by basically going to the capital market.”

Tribunal awards Dubai Customs chief ownership of Palm Jumeirah villas - The National

The director general of Dubai Customs was yesterday awarded ownership of two luxury villas on the Palm Jumeirah after winning a legal dispute against Nakheel in the Dubai World Tribunal.

Nakheel had previously sought to make Ahmed Al Muhairi pay an extra Dh3.1 million (US$844,000) for two villas after denying the former board member of its parent company, Dubai World, a 15 per cent "staff discount" available on the developer's properties.

Mr Al Muhairi sued Nakheel to obtain the 15 per cent discount and won the case.

High-tech start-ups in UAE to boom - The National

The number of high-tech businesses launching in the UAE is forecast to quickly rise through 2015, encouraged by strong internet use and political stability.

About 96 technology-focused start-ups were expected to launch from the Emirates this year, and this was forecast to rise to 185 each year over the next three years, according to a report by Dubai Internet City and the consultancy Frost & Sullivan.

That growth rate is set to outpace that of the broader Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, where about 520 tech start-ups are expected to launch this year, growing to 880 in 2015.

US imposes tariffs on pipes from Emirates - The National

UAE steel makers have become the latest industry to be hit by a growing wave of anti-dumping action by governments around the world.

The US commerce department on Tuesday set final tariff rates on steel pipes from the UAE, alleging that they are being sold in the country below fair value.

The US set similar tariffs on pipes from India, Vietnam and Oman for the same reason. Before the final duties can come into effect, the independent US international trade commission has to decide whether producers in the United States are being harmed by the imports.

UAE’s non-oil trade surges to Dh499b |

The UAE’s non-oil foreign trade in the first half of this year grew 10.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.
According to Federal Customs Authority (FCA) figures, total non-oil foreign trade rose by Dh47.4 billion to Dh498.9 billion this year, up from Dh451.5 billion in the prior period.
Exports were up by 40 per cent during the same period, the FCA said in a press release on Tuesday.

Fines on developers failing to issue title deeds to investors |

The Land Department (DLD) is imposing fines of up to Dh10,000 per unit on developers who have not issued title deeds to investors.
A circular to this effect (in Arabic) reads: “The escrow section of DLD carries a periodic review of its Oqood data base. In the case of projects which are completed 80 per cent and more and where the developer is not taking necessary actions to transfer this property registration from Oqood to the final registration system within 30 days from receiving this letter, the section will take necessary action to stop the validity of any transaction on these projects with the possibility of imposing financial fine of Dh10,000 on every unit.”
Humaid Abdullah Al Shamsi, Deputy Director, Land Department (DLD) told XPRESS: “We are imposing fines to developers who are putting off issuing title deeds to their investors. There is a procedure that we follow where we give them a month’s notice to put their act together. If they fail to do so, then we penalise them.”