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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

UAE's NBAD revises down 2012 loan growth | Reuters

National Bank of Abu Dhabi said higher interest and fee income would help it offset lower loan growth this year, keeping its top-line profit forecast on track.

The bank, the largest in the United Arab Emirates by market value, now expects lending to grow by 4-8 percent this year, CEO Michael Tomalin told an analyst call, as opposed to the 10-percent increase it forecast in the first two quarters of 2012.

However, Tomalin expected loan growth to recover in 2013, with a 10 percent rise currently forecast for next year.

UAE uses oil to build global influence |

The UAE is one of several Gulf nations using its oil wealth to find new ways to build a position of substantial influence in the world. For many years, the ambitions of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations were directed internally as they struggled with the mammoth task of building the infrastructure and social systems that new nations required.
The UAE and its GCC partners occasionally took positions on Arab issues, but they were overwhelmingly focused on the vital tasks of building their own nations, like planning an education system, putting in modern infrastructure that businesses needed, and implementing clear laws that allow individuals to have confidence to invest.
But now they are looking further afield. Two important example of GCC activity are the UAE supporting Nato in Afghanistan and Libya, and Qatar and Saudi Arabia playing an active role in backing the Syrian opposition.

Abu Dhabi’s NBAD in Talks With Central Bank About New Loan Rules - Bloomberg

National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC said it’s in talks with the United Arab Emirates central bank to exclude its portfolio of “high-quality” bonds from a cap on lending to governments and state-linked companies.
The U.A.E. second-biggest bank by assets isn’t in compliance with regulations announced in April and “we do have some technical issues that we want to thrash out,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Tomalin said in a conference call with analysts today.
The central bank said April 4 banks cannot lend more than 100 percent of their capital to local governments and the same to state-related entities. Institutions had until Sept. 30 to comply. There was no limit under previous rules.

MIDEAST WEEKAHEAD-Abu Dhabi property firm merger hopes drive market rally - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Hopes for a mammoth merger of real estate developers have buoyed Abu Dhabi's stock market in the last several months, but the market may now be strong enough to perform well even if the merger does not go through.
The emirate's two biggest developers, Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate, announced in March that they were in talks on a state-backed merger that could create a company with about $15 billion in assets.
A tie-up between the firms, which have been hit hard by Abu Dhabi's property market slump, could benefit the stock market in several ways. Most importantly, it could help to support real estate prices in the emirate.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Investment concerns drag Egypt; Dana Gas plunges on sukuk repayment miss - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Shares in Egypt extended losses on Wednesday on investment safety concerns after a court declared London-listed Centamin's gold mine deal invalid, while UAE's Dana Gas tumbled on missing its sukuk repayment.
Cairo's index dropped 1.3 percent lower but is still hovering in a broad range between about 5,600 and 6,000
that has held since mid-September.
"Everyone is really worried about what is happening to investment in Egypt in general," said Ashraf Akhnoukh at CIBC brokerage. He said many investors see the Centamin news as a prompt to book profits.

Abu Dhabi's ATIC sees profit in 2015, UAE plant on hold - CEO - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Abu Dhabi's Advanced Technology Investment Co (ATIC) expects to earn its first profit by 2015 as it scales up operations overseas, but plans to set up a chip manufacturing facility at home remain on hold, its chief executive said on Wednesday.
ATIC, owned by Abu Dhabi's official investment fund Mubadala and founded in 2008, is part of the emirate's drive to diversify its economy away from oil into technology sectors such as semiconductors.
The company owns unlisted Global Foundries, which has chip manufacturing facilities in Singapore, Germany and New York. Early this year, Global Foundries said it would invest more than $3 billion to fund expansion of its facilities.

MIDEAST MONEY-Gulf railway boom to shape economies, politics - Yahoo! News Maktoob

A century after Lawrence of Arabia cut the Damascus-Medina railway, governments are embarking on plans to restore long-distance rail transport in the region and extend it across the Arabian Peninsula.
Official figures suggest around $100 billion may be spent by the end of this decade laying over 6,000 kilometres (3,750 miles) of track for both national lines and a route linking all the states in the Gulf Cooperation Council: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain.
The governments face big technical challenges, such as making six national rail systems compatible and building on the shifting sands of remote deserts.
But success could have far-reaching effects on economies in the region, cutting their dependence on expensive road and air travel, boosting trade and even bringing the GCC closer together politically.

Bargain stock hunters target Saudi Arabia -

Regional equity traders are looking for cheap picks in Saudi Arabia after concerns over global economic growth and fears of weakness in the local building industry prompted investors to sell.
Analysts say a combination of oil price falls, deeper uncertainty over an ageing leadership and worries about the impact of possible bad loans to the construction industry, are troubling some investors. However, amid the gloom, others are seeing potential bargains.
EFG-Hermes, the largest Arab investment bank picked five companies this week that it says were oversold after the bank downgraded the Saudi stock market on October 9.

Spending leaves Gulf states ‘vulnerable’ -

Strong economic growth forecasts across Gulf countries mask a set of swelling uncertainties linked to heavy government spending, wider Arab world politics and potential volatility in the international oil price.
While the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council is well-cushioned by oil money, many economists say there are doubts about the sustainability of expansion based mainly on buoyant crude markets and booming state investment and individual consumption.

UPDATE 1-Kuwait's Zain aims to float Iraqi unit in Q1/2013 | Reuters

Kuwaiti mobile operator Zain said on Wednesday it aims to list its Iraqi unit by the end of the first quarter next year pending receipt of regulatory approvals.

Zain Iraq, along with rival operators Asiacell - a unit of Qatar Telecom (Qtel) - and France Telecom affiliate Korek must sell a quarter of their shares to investors via an Initial Public Offering (IPO) to meet the conditions for their mobile phone licenses in Iraq.

The operators have already missed a deadline of August 2011 for the IPOs and been fined for doing so.

MENA stock markets close - October 31, 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)

Abu Dhabi to meet Asian investors in mid-Nov -sources | Reuters

The Abu Dhabi government plans to meet fixed-income investors in Asia during the second week of November for three days of roadshows, although no new sovereign bond issue is in the works, three sources familiar with the plan told Reuters on Wednesday.

The non-deal roadshows will be organised by HSBC, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the information isn't public.

The meetings are part of Abu Dhabi's regular programme of updating and engaging with investors, the sources said. Abu Dhabi last issued a sovereign bond in 2009.

Qatar’s flowering relationship with Paris -

When plans for Qatar to create a €50m euro fund to invest in some of Paris’s poorest suburbs emerged last month, the French political right and left united in disapproval. Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, denounced the move as a plot to stoke Islamism in Paris’s Muslim-dominated districts, while the left-leaning LibĂ©ration railed against the French government allegedly subcontracting its sovereign duties to a Middle Eastern state whose motives were suspect.
Yet the reaction shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the way Qatar operates globally and what it is trying to achieve. The pattern of its international relations shows its investments are geared primarily to three things: profit, security and building a brand that appeals to its western allies despite not being a democracy. The investment in the banlieue – long a scar on France’s social conscience – looks no different.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Dubai's large-caps drag index; Kuwait ends flat - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Dubai bourse gives back early-session gains as investors sell heavyweights, while Kuwait's bourse ends flat.
Emaar Properties and Emirates NBD shed 0.8 and 0.7 percent respectively.
Small-caps dominate trade after a set of positive quarterly earnings.
Union Properties rises 3 percent after the developer posted a profit of 50 million dirhams ($13.6 million) in the third quarter, swinging from a loss in the year-earlier period.

Dana Gas Drops as Debt Standstill Not Mentioned: Abu Dhabi Mover - Bloomberg

Dana Gas PJSC (DANA) shares were set for the biggest slump in almost two years after the fuel producer failed to confirm whether it had reached a so-called standstill agreement with bondholders for $1 billion of sukuk due today.
The shares tumbled 8.9 percent, headed for the biggest decline since January 2011, to 41 fils at 11:14 a.m. in Abu Dhabi. Dana Gas was the most traded by volume and the biggest decliner on Abu Dhabi’s benchmark ADX General Index. (ADSMI)
The Sharjah-based company said today it’s in talks to reach a consensual solution to restructure the sukuk, without providing details. A person familiar with the talks, speaking on condition of anonymity, said yesterday Dana Gas reached a standstill accord this month, under which creditors make no effort to collect debt payments thereby preventing a default.

UPDATE 1-Dubai's Union Properties posts Q3 profit - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Union Properties posted a quarterly profit on Wednesday despite a decline in revenue, as the real estate developer stayed away from new projects to focus on existing developments.
The Dubai-listed firm made a third-quarter net profit of 50 million dirhams ($13.6 million) compared to a loss of 1.06 billion dirhams in the same period of 2011, according to a Reuters calculation.
The company, which reached a 3.8-billion dirham debt deal with major shareholder Emirates NBD earlier this year, did not provide quarterly figures. Profit for the nine months to Sept. 30 was 156 million dirhams versus a net loss 1.5 billion dirhams a year earlier, the firm said in a statement.

Dana Gas says has been in talks on sukuk maturity - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Dana Gas has been in discussions with holders of its $920 million Islamic bond maturing Oct. 31 on a restructuring of the sukuk, the company said in a brief statement on Wednesday.
"Dana Gas has been engaged in discussions with the Ad-Hoc Committee of Sukuk Certificate holders to reach a consensual solution to the restructuring of the sukuk, which it believes to be in the best interests of all stakeholders," it said without elaborating on how the talks had proceeded.
Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the matter, that Dana Gas was set to become the first United Arab Emirates company to fail to repay an Islamic bond on maturity.

How to save for a happy retirement with gold, silver, oil, Dubai real estate, UAE stocks and more « ArabianMoney

The 32nd edition of the ArabianMoney investment newsletter is published today with a look at the macroeconomic impact of the US presidential election on investors. It’s a typically contrarian view. ArabianMoney believes in educating its readers to think for themselves and not to fall for the next sales pitch from an anonymous caller.

We get so many of them in a week that we sometimes lose count. It is supposed to be illegal to do this in the UAE and certainly is contrary to central bank rules. Of course some maybe offering genuine advice, then again we have little confidence in the recieved wisdom of experts. The consensus is usually wrong in investment.

NMC Health lifted by medical sector gains - The National

NMC Health Group revenue jumped in the third quarter of the year, riding high on the growth of the country's burgeoning medical sector.

The healthcare division of the group made revenues of US$61.2 million between July and last month, a 17.5 per cent rise over the same period last year, the company reported. The market responded positively to the news with London-listed NMC shares trading at 187.40 pence at about midday, up 1.46 per cent.

The London-based investment banking group Numis Securities has a "buy" rating on the shares.