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Saturday, 27 October 2012

UAE brokerages struggle to collect on client loans - The National

The UAE brokerage industry has set aside more than Dh380 million (US$103m) to account for debts that firms are struggling to collect.

The sum, while large, marks a small decline from last year, but is still weighing heavily on an industry desperate to improve margins and reverse a decline it has suffered for the past four years.

Eighteen out 50 securities companies are carrying impairment put at Dh382.3m, according to second-quarter financial statements published on the market watchdog's website. That is down from Dh390.9m in the second quarter of last year.

GCC officials call for faster flow of trade - The National

GCC officials have called for the removal of barriers blocking the flow of trade and faster economic growth in the region.

Rules covering such matters as product standards and customs procedures have served to inhibit trade within the region.

"There are barriers to trade. We are making more progress in the GCC than elsewhere in the Arab world [to boost trade] but there's still more that can be done," said Abdulaziz Alkelaibi, the head of the World Trade Organisation unit at the GCC Secretariat, on the sidelines of a recent seminar in Dubai to discuss closer Arab trade integration.

Bahrain’s surprising budgets for two fiscal years | GulfNews.com

Bahrain stands out amongst Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries by issuing budgets for two fiscal years consecutively. Reference is made to last week’s release of basic statistics relating to budgets of 2013 and 2014.
Notably, the authorities continue overlooking calls for altering the practice by opting for a single year budgeting, a practice prevalent in many parts of the world. Those calling for change cite inability of predicting oil prices and steady turbulent economic conditions worldwide amongst other reasons.
For their part, officials put forward powerful arguments for the two-year budgeting practice like that of providing private sector investors a clear picture of directions of governmental spending over two years. This places pressures on the authorities to make good on promised spending levels.

UAB chief in call for banks to vet clients - The National

Lenders have an obligation to ensure they do not take on clients who will later run into financial trouble such as defaulting on debts or writing bad cheques, said the chief executive of United Arab Bank (UAB).

Banks must take "know-thy-borrower" as a mantra, said Paul Trowbridge, the bank's top executive, which would go a long way towards reducing the number of bounced cheques in the banking system.

Mr Trowbridge is just the latest leading figure in the UAE banking industry to speak out about the dangers of bouncing cheques and how the prevalance of the illegal practice weighs on the financial services sector and the economy as a whole.

FNC urges Central Bank to review bad cheques in the UAE - The National

Ali Al Nuaimi, the head of the Federal National Council's finance committee, has called on the Central Bank to review the levels of failed cheques in the UAE in order to protect the banking system.

On Monday, The National reported that last year more than 1.5 million cheques, representing Dh55.3 billion (US$15bn) of payments, were returned as invalid when presented for payment.

The figure represents one dud cheque for every 20 used as payment last year.

Taqa Hires 10 Banks to Arrange $2 Billion of Revolving Credits - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. (TAQA), the state-controlled power and oil producer known as Taqa, hired 10 banks led by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. to arrange $2 billion of credit lines to refinance a loan maturing in 2013.
The deal will be divided between three- and five-year multicurrency portions and replaces a $2 billion piece of a credit pact maturing in December 2013, according to an e-mailed statement from the lenders.
Bank of America Corp., BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc, National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC (NBAD), Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Societe Generale SA, Standard Chartered Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. are also participating as bookrunners, according to the statement. The borrower will hold presentations in Abu Dhabi, London and Hong Kong next week.

The Art Market: Uncertain times in Dubai - FT.com

Mahmoud Saïd’s ‘Pêcheurs à Rashid (Rosette)’ (1941), sold by Christie's in Dubai for $818,500 in October
While Dubai has a successful, well-regarded art fair held each year in March, the rest of the market in the emirate hardly seems buoyant. Bonhams pulled out this year, and Isabelle de la Bruyère, Christie’s director in the Middle East, is relocating to London after the firm’s two auctions this week.
Christie’s has just held its October sessions in the emirate, producing a successful but small Part I sale that totalled $3.6m, slightly short of its high estimate (pre-sale estimates don’t include premium; results do). The lower-value Part II sale made $2.3m, again just short of high estimate.

Manufacturing key to sustainability of the UAE economy | GulfNews.com

Two Dubai-based private companies have recently commissioned two industrial units in Jebel Ali Free Zone with a combined investment to the tune of Dh350 million ($95 million), which, in their own way, will help the UAE economy in reducing its dependence on imported products.
The two facilities will help create 800 jobs at a challenging time economically.
Of this, JRD International, a leader in Rigid Plastic Packaging technology that provides solutions to a wide range of industry sectors, has invested Dh300 million ($80 million) in RMD Board — a composite polypropylene board manufacturing plant that will change, among other things, construction systems and the way people dress-up interiors — both office and residences.

Forum to tackle challenges Gulf businesswomen facing | Oman Observer

The Sultanate, represented by Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), will host the 1st Gulf Businesswomen Forum on December 23. The forum will be presided over by Dr Muna bint Fahd bin Mahmoud al Said, Assistant Vice Chancellor of the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU). It will be organised by OCCI in association with the Secretariat-General of the Federation of GCC Chambers (FGCCC).
The forum aims at addressing the latest economic developments, finding sound solutions for challenges facing GCC businesswomen and highlighting major distinguished efficiencies of the Gulf woman. The forum also aims at preparing opportunities of trade and investment before GCC businesswomen and building trade relations and knowledge exchange among the GCC businesswomen.