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Monday, 22 October 2012

Iran Vies With Saudi Arabia for Top OPEC Job - Businessweek

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries governors gather in Vienna to select a new secretary- general for the first time in six years, with four countries vying for the position.

The governors started their two-day meeting at 10 a.m. local time at OPEC’s headquarters and will interview nominees from Iran and Iraq as well as the group’s biggest and smallest exporters, Saudi Arabia and Ecuador. The governors will recommend a successor to Libya’s Abdalla el-Badri, who completes a second, three-year term at the end of this year. A final decision will be taken by ministers in December.

“The secretary-general does play an important role, with implications beyond the oil markets,” Ehsan Ul-Haq, senior market consultant at KBC Energy Economics, a unit of KBC Advanced Technology Plc, said by phone from Walton-on-Thames, England on Oct. 19. “He has to represent all opinions despite differences between member countries.”

MIDEAST STOCKS-Kuwait steadies after plunge on politics; Gulf mixed - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Gulf stock markets were mixed on Monday but trading volumes shrank as investors cut risk with the approach of holidays, while Kuwait's bourse steadied after a plunge on Sunday because of political tensions.
Saudi Arabia's bourse fell 0.6 percent, finishing at a one-week low. Petrochemical and banking stocks were the main drags as investors reduced exposure to heavyweights.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) shed 0.6 percent, Al Rajhi Bank slipped 0.7 percent and Samba
Financial Group fell 1.4 percent.

Dubai's Tamweel Q3 profit falls on provisions, funding costs - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Dubai-based Islamic mortgage provider Tamweel posted a 46.5 percent drop in third-quarter profit, missing analysts' forecasts after being hit by higher provisions and funding costs.
Tamweel, majority owned by Dubai Islamic Bank, made net profit of 8.4 million dirhams ($2.3 million) in the
three months to Sept 30, compared to 15.7 million dirhams in the prior-year period, according to Reuters calculations.
Arqaam Capital and EFG Hermes forecast a third-quarter profit of 22 million dirhams and 23 million dirhams

Morocco plays the ‘king’s club’ card -

Morocco’s king arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Monday for the latest leg of a Gulf tour, showing how Arab world revolts have drawn together the region’s monarchs and left poorer countries seeking help from the petrostates.
King Mohammed VI’s five-country trip offers him the prospect of needed investment to help shore up his power, analysts say, while for the Gulf royal families he is a useful example of a leader adapting to regional political change by introducing limited reforms.
While the revolts sweeping the Arab world have so far unseated only dictators in republics, the mass opposition street protests in Kuwait late on Sunday were – like the 20-month-old Bahrain uprising – a reminder that neither the Gulf nor its highly-controlling monarchies are immune from unrest.

MENA stock markets close - October 22, 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)

UPDATE 1-Qatar CBQ Q3 net profit down slightly; beats forecasts | Reuters

Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ) surpassed analysts' expectations for the third-quarter despite reporting a slight dip in net profit as gains from financial investments off-set a drop in fee and commission income.

The Gulf Arab state's third-largest lender by market value earned 548 million riyals ($150.5 million) for the third-quarter, compared with 552 million riyals a year earlier, a company statement said on Monday.

Analysts had forecast average quarterly profit of 503.2 million riyals, according to a Reuters poll.

UAE's FAL Oil owed $631 mln for fuel sales-report - Yahoo! News Maktoob

A state-owned utility in the United Arab Emirates owes troubled FAL Oil about 2.3 billion dirhams
($631 million) for the fuel it bought from the trading company in 2008 and 2009, according to a report by consultancy Ernst & Young.
FAL, based in the emirate of Sharjah, filed a $750 million claim against the Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority (SEWA) in the emirate's federal court in early 2010, after private negotiations between the two parties failed. The suit alleged FAL had not received full payment for oil.
Ernst & Young was appointed by the court to carry out an independent study of FAL's lawsuit against SEWA.

Limitless appoints Ibrahim Al Fardan as Managing Director -

Mr Ibrahim Al Fardan has been appointed Managing Director of Limitless, the Board of Limitless announced today.

Mr Al Fardan, who is also a member of the Board of Limitless, will lead the company in the continued delivery of its master planned communities in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Vietnam.  

The appointment comes after Limitless signed a new lender agreement on the company’s financial restructuring exercise.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Dubai edges up; Kuwait extends drop - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Dubai's bourse edges up in late trade but volumes slump to a seven-week low, with investors wary of taking on more risk ahead of a long weekend, while Kuwait's measure extends declines after anti-government protests.
Dubai's Emaar Properties rises 0.3 percent, contractor Drake & Scull adds 0.2 percent and builder
Arabtec climbs 0.4 percent.
Dubai's index rises 0.1 percent to finish at 1,652 points, within 2 points of Wednesday's 25-week high. About 46 million shares trade, the lowest since Sept. 5.

Dubai Emirates NBD still in talks with on loan curbs - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Dubai lender Emirates NBD is in discussions with the United Arab Emirates central bank over new lending limits on banks, its chief executive said on Monday, after the deadline to meet the requirements passed on Sept. 30.
"We are talking on a continued basis with the central bank to get to a satisfactory situation. The deadline has passed and the discussions are still ongoing and we hope to conclude them in the near future," chief executive Rick Pudner told reporters in a conference call after the bank's third-quarter earnings.
Pudner said the bank forecast its net loan growth for 2012 at 5 to 6 percent, while the outlook for lending growth next year was also conservative, at 4 to 5 percent.

Despite Dubai Recovery, Some Firms Look Beyond Burj - Business News - CNBC

Dubai’s recovery is happening, at least that’s what stakeholders and data points are showing. And yet, for some an overreliance on Dubai before the crisis means that if one lesson has been learned, it’s that more geographical diversity is key.

The Prime Global Rental Index, published by Knight Frank earlier this month, showed that rents in prime locations in Dubai rose by more than three percent during the first half of the year bolstered by steady economic growth.

The International Institute of Finance (IIF) expects Dubai to lead economic expansion in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 4.2 percent in 2013.

Taqa’s power to multitask in the UAE -

A 60m waterfall cascades from the steam turbine condensers of the Fujairah II power station, frothing waste water into the Arabian Sea where oil tankers dot the horizon beyond.
The scene around the plant, one of the crown jewels of Taqa, which is 72.5 per cent owned by the Abu Dhabi government, tells something of the surprising story of the country’s energy position.
For while the UAE is a leading oil exporter, its domestic energy provision is dominated by power stations like Fujairah II, which runs off imported gas to meet growing demand.

UAE's First Gulf Bank Q3 net profit rises 15 pct - Yahoo! News Maktoob

First Gulf Bank (FGB), the second-largest lender by market value in the United Arab Emirates, posted a
15-percent rise in third-quarter net profit, beating analysts' forecasts.
The lender, majority-owned by Abu Dhabi's ruling family, made a net profit of 1.05 billion dirhams ($285.9 million) for the three months ending September 30, compared with 920 million dirhams in the prior-year period, it said in a statement on Monday.
Analysts polled by Reuters had estimated an average profit of 1.02 billion dirhams for the third quarter.

Chart of the week: tracking the rising EM middle classes | beyondbrics

In Europe and the US, they are often called “squeezed” or “worried”. In developing markets, they are “booming”, “growing” and, of course, “emerging”.

The middle classes are changing consumption habits around the world. Chart of the week takes a look at some key emerging markets and the level of middle class spending.

WAM | ADIA appoints CFO, Private Equities Department

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) said today that it has appointed Marc Keirstead as Chief Financial Officer of its Private Equities Department, effective immediately.

In his new role, Keirstead will be responsible for the oversight and delivery of the finance and administration function for the Private Equities Department. This function encompasses portfolio and asset-level valuations, reporting and analytics, transaction support, management information systems (MIS) and compliance related to the private equity portfolio.

Based in Abu Dhabi, Keirstead will report to Hareb Al Darmaki, Executive Director of the Private Equities Department.

Shareholders approve Bahrain's Ithmaar Bank merger with affiliate - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Shareholders of Bahrain's Ithmaar Bank and unlisted First Leasing Bank have approved their merger, with the tie-up due to be completed by year-end, a statement from Ithmaar Bank said on Monday.
The consolidation of the listed bank and one of its affiliates has a nominal value of $60 million and will involve a
share swap arrangement which will see each First Leasing share exchanged for four Ithmaar shares, the statement to the Bahrain bourse said.
The merger, which still requires final regulatory approval, will "create unique opportunities for further developing
Ithmaar's core business while reducing costs and improving efficiencies," Mohammed Bucheerei, chief executive of Ithmaar, said. The statement added all First Leasing staff will be absorbed into Ithmaar.

UPDATE 1-DP World sells stake in Russian firm for $230 mln - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Dubai port operator DP World sold its quarter stake in a Russian container terminal to Global Ports Investment for $230 million, as part of efforts to dispose of non-core assets.
Dubai Ports said on Monday its minority ownership in Vostochnaya Stevedoring Co was a legacy investment with limited management involvement.
Global Ports already holds 75 percent of Vostochnaya and will now take full control of the terminal following the sale. The transaction is expected to close this week, the Dubai-based firm said in a statement to Nasdaq Dubai.

BRIEF-Kuwait telco Wataniya Q3 net profit falls 31 pct - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Qatar's Qtel eyeing stake in Maroc Telecom: paper | Reuters

Qatar Telecom, the telecoms group controlled by Qatar, has expressed interest in Vivendi's controlling stake in Maroc Telecom, Morocco's largest telecoms operator, as part of the French media group's strategic review, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

QTel is preparing itself to make a bid for a 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom but it faces competition from Etisalat, the United Arab Emirates-based telecoms company, the paper said, citing two sources close to the matter.

Earlier this month, Vivendi asked Credit Agricole and Lazard to gauge appetite the 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom without giving them a formal mandate for the sale, sources familiar with the matter had told Reuters.

Dubai bank ENBD's Q3 net profit soars on lower provisions | Reuters

Emirates NBD Dubai's largest bank by market value, on Monday said third-quarter net profit more than tripled on the back of lower provisioning for bad loans and higher non-interest income, beating analysts' forecasts.

The lender, 55.6 percent owned by state fund Investment Corporation of Dubai, made a net profit of 640 million dirhams ($174.2 million) in the three months to September 30, compared with 175 million dirhams in the same period last year, a statement from the bank said.

An average of four analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a net profit of 514.4 million dirhams.

UAE telco du Q3 profit up 34 percent as margins rise | Reuters

DU, the United Arab Emirates' No.2 telecom operator, reported a 34 percent rise in third-quarter net profit on Monday, narrowly missing analysts' estimates, despite increasing margins and adding new mobile and fixed line customers.

The firm, which ended rival Etisalat's ETEL.AD domestic monopoly in 2007, made a net profit after royalty of 326.9 million dirhams ($89.00 million) in the three months to September 30, compared with 244.3 million dirhams in the year-earlier period, according to a company statement.

Du provisions to pay 50 percent of its profits in royalties - or taxes - to the federal government, with the government usually deciding the actual royalty rate after the financial year has ended.

UPDATE 1-Qatar's Nakilat Q3 net profit slips 25.5 pct | Reuters

Qatar Gas Transport Co (Nakilat), the world's largest shipper of liquefied natural gas (LNG), posted a 25.5-percent drop in its third-quarter earnings on Monday, Reuters calculations show, missing the forecast of one analyst.

The company reported a third-quarter net profit of 181.4 million riyals ($49.8 million), according to Reuters calculations, compared with 243.6 million riyals in the same period last year.

One analyst forecast a quarterly profit of 207.78 million riyals, in a Reuters poll.

BRIEF-Saudi Kingdom Holding Q3 net income rises - statement - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Dubai bank ENBD's Q3 net profit soars on lower provisions - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Steve Forbes notes UAE economy recovering faster than USA as Saudi Arabia booms « ArabianMoney

On the first day of the Forbes Global CEO conference being held in Dubai editor-in-chief Steve Forbes contrasted the rosy outlook for Dubai with his lacklustre expectations for fourth quarter growth in the USA. Growth in the UAE is being driven by an even bigger boom in neighboring Saudi Arabia where record oil incomes are being spent domestically to bolster support for the regime during the Arab Spring.

‘Dubai is becoming a global crossroads between East and West. It’s become a hub, a centre for world trade,’ noted Mr Forbes. ‘The fourth quarter in the US is not going to be very good … Dubai’s performance is going against the global trend.’

Iraq plans Kurdistan stock exchange - The National

Iraq will set up a second stock market in the autonomous region of Kurdistan, with plans to list companies in the next six months as foreign investors rush into Erbil for its favourable security and economic climate.

"Kurdistan is a launch pad for the wider Iraq," said Abdullah Ahmad Abdulrahem, the chairman of the Erbil Stock Exchange. "Our exchange would compliment Baghdad's ISX [Iraq Stock Exchange]. We are also considering cross-listings from there.

"We have some interesting companies here and we have the security. The project has been under consideration for almost four years but we only recently received the necessary approvals from various government institutions," said Mr Abdulrahem.

1.5 million cheques worth Dh55.3bn bounced in the UAE last year - The National

More than 1.5 million cheques used for payments amounting to Dh55.3 billion (US$15.05bn) were returned in the UAE last year, according to the most recent available data from the Central Bank.

That represents one failed transaction out of every 20 cheques used last year.

The total includes cheques that bounced due to insufficient funds and those that failed to clear for technical factors such as being damaged or missing details.

1.5 million cheques worth Dh55.3bn bounced in the UAE last year - The National

More than 1.5 million cheques used for payments amounting to Dh55.3 billion (US$15.05bn) were returned in the UAE last year, according to the most recent available data from the Central Bank.

That represents one failed transaction out of every 20 cheques used last year.

The total includes cheques that bounced due to insufficient funds and those that failed to clear for technical factors such as being damaged or missing details.

Saudis enjoy economic miracle - The National

Vast injections of economic stimulus and quantitative easing have so far failed to pull the US, European and Asian economies back to full-throttle growth.

But in one country, government intervention in the economic and financial system has had a dramatic, positive effect.

Saudi Arabia's economy is expanding on all fronts, it seems, as the huge US$130 billion (Dh477.5bn) stimulus package announced early last year flows through to the real economy. The nation is booming.

Sales jump 97% but profits drop for RAK Properties - The National

Profits at RAK Properties dropped by more than 13 per cent in the first nine months of the year, even though sales almost doubled.

The Ras Al Khaimah-based property developer's profits dropped in the nine months ending September 30, to Dh86.07 million (US$23.4m) from Dh98.99m in the same period a year ago.

Sales, meanwhile, jumped more than 97 per cent to Dh539m from Dh266.57m a year ago as it leased more properties. Bank balances and cash rose to Dh409.1m, compared with Dh307.4m last year.

Iraq Oil: Refineries in the IEA outlook |

In the later years of the 1980s, Iraq had a refining industry among the firsts in the region with a well-established contribution to the economic and technological advancement of the country.
But the years of wars and sanctions took their toll not only on the investment in the expansion of the industry but on the wellbeing of the then existing refineries and their ability to produce marketable products matching the evolution of specifications worldwide.
According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) “Iraq Energy Outlook”, the refining capacity in Iraq stands at 960 thousand barrels a day (kbd) but operating at 670 kbd in June 2012. In fact since 2003 the refineries were hardly operating beyond 60 to 70 per cent of capacity.

RAKBank reports Dh1.04b nine-month profit |

RAKBank, reported a net profit of Dh1.04 billion for the nine months ended September 30, 2012, recording 14.5 per cent annual growth compared to the same period in 2011 and 7.6 per cent quarter growth.
Net interest income for the nine months increased by 14 per cent to Dh1.7 billion compared to the same period last year, and net loans and advances grew by 9.36 per cent . With deposits up by 12.5 per cent at Dh2.29 billion, the Bank was able to maintain healthy liquidity and loan to deposit ratios at 19.4 per cent and 91.9 per cent respectively.
“The positive results reported for the nine months reflect the continued growth in our customer base as a direct result of the bank’s full range of evolutionary products and services supported by superior customer service,” said Graham Honeybill, RAKBank’s Chief Executive Officer.

UAE economy on growth path |

High oil prices accompanied with rise in oil output are keys for GCC economic growth and a means to avoid any effects of the Eurozone on their economies, experts told the Gulf News on Sunday.
“The UAE’s oil economy represented by Abu Dhabi is growing and the non-oil economy represented by Dubai is also growing in parallel, leading to the growth in its GDP,” Philippe Dauba-Pantanacce, senior economist, Turkey Middle East and North Africa Global Markets, at Standard Chartered Bank, said..
“The UAE, particularly Dubai, has benefited from the instability in the region due to the so-called Arab Spring which helped the Dubai economy come back to the period before the 2008 financial crisis amidst indicators that its real estate sector is recovering and on the ramp-up,” said Dauba-Pantanacee who is taking part in the conference on Future of GCC’s Competitiveness organised by Insead.

BRIEF-Kuwait telco Zain says CEO wants to step down in Feb 2013 | Reuters

Kuwait telco Zain says CEO Nabeel bin Salama wants to step down from post at end of his contract in February 2013.

Qatari fund may buy Versace stake: report - MarketWatch

A Qatari investment fund is looking to buy a stake in the Italian luxury fashion house Gianni Versace SpA, an Italian daily reported Sunday.

Mayhoola for Investments S.P.C., an investment vehicle backed by a major private investor group from Qatar, has recently met with representatives from the Italian government and Italian corporate world to discuss the deal, Italy's daily Il Messaggero said.

The plan would be to become a financial partner in the fashion firm. According to Il Messaggero, Versace is now looking to go public in about three years time.