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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Qatar may invest 10 bn euros in French firms: envoy - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Gas-rich Qatar may invest up to 10 billion euros ($12 billion) in big French firms, the ambassador of the Gulf state in France told AFP on Tuesday.
France has proved attractive to Qatari investors who have bought Paris Saint-Germain football club and acquired three percent of energy giant Total as well as stakes in building firm Vinci and in media group Lagardere.
"The 10 billion euros will be Qatari funds in the big French groups for joint projects and for partnerships in third nations," said Mohamed Jaham Al-Kuwari.

Challenges mounting for Middle East family businesses, says Deloitte -

Family businesses are fundamental to the business landscape of the Middle East and are intrinsic to the region’s economy.

However, in the latest Deloitte ME Point of View publication, Deloitte experts on Family Businesses point to the growing challenges faced by today’s family businesses, and how they can be overcome.

The article entitled ‘Family Businesses: Addressing the challenges faced in today’s environment’, in the Deloitte ME Point of View issue, says that family businesses are now competing in a more turbulent environment dominated by pluralistic social values, intensified competition, a global economy and rapidly changing politics and regulation.

Shaikh Abdullah’s statement on UK PM’s visit |

Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister, highlighted the importance of British Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to the UAE in pushing bilateral relations to wider horizons.
“The visit reflects the deep awareness of the potential and vast opportunities available to enhance bilateral relations at all levels,” Shaikh Abdullah said in a statement at the end of Cameron’s two-day visit to the UAE.
He said that the deep-rooted relations between the UAE and UK are set to become an alliance in the future to serve the mutual interest of both nations.

Saudi Arabia: Cameron's Delicate Diplomacy

David Cameron is attempting to cement major UK arms sales and bolster relations with allies on the second day of his Middle East tour.

The Prime Minister is personally spearheading a push to persuade the United Arab Emirates to buy 60 of BAE's Typhoon jets over French rivals in a deal reported to be worth upwards of £3bn.

He has now travelled to Saudi Arabia - Britain's biggest trading partner in the region - which is also considering adding to its fleet of aircraft.

Dubai’s Arabtec Q3 profit drops, eyes funding options |

Arabtec Holding, Dubai’s largest listed contractor, beat analysts’ expectations despite posting a 10.5 per cent fall in third-quarter profit on Tuesday and said it was looking at equity-linked fundraising options.
The builder made a profit of Dh35 million in the three months to September 30, compared with Dh39.1 million in the same period in 2011, according to its financial statement posted on the Dubai bourse.
The earnings beat forecasts by six analysts polled by Reuters, who predicted an average net profit of Dh20.6 million for the quarter.

MENA stock markets close - November 6, 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)

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Petchems surge; lift Saudi index to 6-wk high - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Saudi Arabia's petrochemical stocks lift the market to a six-week high, as bargain hunters return and a rise
in oil prices supports, despite uncertainty ahead of U.S. elections.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the world's largest chemicals producer, climbs 2.5 percent, National
Industrialization rises 2.6 percent and Saudi Arabian Fertilizers adds 1.9 percent.
Saudi petrochemical and banking shares suffered heavy losses after third-quarter earnings, dragging the benchmark to July levels, but analysts said the selling was overdone and prices would recover after the Eid al Adha holidays.

Cameron talks up energy partnership with UAE |

British Prime Minister David Cameron touched on future energy requirements, partnerships for new energy technologies and investments in the energy sector during discussions with Sultan Al Jaber, Masdar CEO, and Hamad Al Hurr Al Suwaidi, chairman of the board of directors of Taqa (Abu Dhabi National Energy Company), and Mohammad Al Hammadi, CEO of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec).
Cameron sought to highlight how the UK and the UAE can work together to be world leaders in tackling future energy demand by joining forces to explore new energy technologies and providing the right framework to make energy production commercially viable. “We think we have the best offshore wind market in Europe if not the best offshore wind market in the world so we are very excited about the potential,” he said.
Cameron stressed the UK’s support for and commitment to the renewable energy sector, welcoming Taqa’s investment in the UK’s Continental Shelf which supports 35,000 UK jobs.

Dana Gas Gains on Bets Bonds Won’t Be Converted: Abu Dhabi Mover - Businessweek

Dana Gas PJSC (DANA) rose the most in almost a month as the fuel producer pursues a so-called standstill accord with holders of its overdue Islamic bonds and investors bet the company’s debt won’t be converted into equity.

Shares of the Sharjah, United Arab Emirates-based company gained 2.5 percent, the most since Oct. 10, to 41 fils at the close in Abu Dhabi. The stock fell 4.8 percent the prior two trading days as Dana Gas failed to give details on its plans for the almost $1 billion of 7.5 percent debt that matured Oct. 31.

Dana Gas sold the convertible sukuk in 2007 with the option for investors to exchange the notes for shares at 1.926 dirhams. The stock slumped 77 percent since the end of that year, including an 8.9 percent drop in 2012, partly because the gas producer faced payment delays due to political instability in Egypt and Iraq’s Kurdish region, its primary sources of revenue. Shareholders were concerned that some of the debt would be converted into equity, thereby diluting their holdings.

MIDEAST DEBT-Abu Dhabi Islamic tests mkt for Gulf hybrid sukuk - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank is set to become the first Gulf Arab company to issue a hybrid Islamic bond this week, but investors are likely to demand a big premium for the rare structure.
The bank is expected to raise at least $500 million to shore up its core capital, to comply with tighter Basel III global standards for Tier 1 capital which will be introduced in the United Arab Emirates in coming years.
In recent years, Gulf lenders including Commercial Bank of Qatar, Burgan Bank and Saudi Hollandi Bank
have sold instruments to raise Tier 2 capital.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Kuwait resumes slide; UAE mkts rise - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Kuwait's bourse declines for a fourth session in five, although selling pressure appears to be easing along with
investor fears that political protests could become more violent.
The government said it must protect public safety after clashes last month between police and thousands of demonstrators ended with at least 30 people hospitalised.
Protests against changes to voting rules have hurt investment sentiment and dragged stocks lower. Opposition
politicians claim the amendments are an attempt to give pro-government candidates an advantage in parliamentary elections set for Dec. 1.

BREAKINGVIEWS-Egypt's draft constitution should worry investors - Yahoo! News Maktoob

The charter aims to build the foundations of a more democratic regime but doesn't clearly define the role of Islam in the new architecture of power. In a deeply polarised country, the current version would leave investors exposed to instability and uncertainty.

Emirates NBD Sees 2013 Retail Revenue Up 15% on Dubai Rebound - Bloomberg

Emirates NBD PJSC (EMIRATES), the United Arab Emirates’ biggest bank by assets, seeks to boost revenue from its retail business by as much as 15 percent next year and has board approval to hire 200 staff to expand the business.
Revenue will be driven mainly by the bank’s small and medium-sized company business as well as growth in personal banking products like credit cards and wealth management as Dubai’s economy rebounds, Suvo Sarkar, Emirates NBD’s head of retail banking, said in an interview in Dubai yesterday. The company will also add relationship managers in its small and medium enterprise business and sales staff, he said.
“Retail is a key growth sector for the bank,” Sarkar said. “You will see us being more aggressive on small and medium enterprise lending in the future than we have been in the past,” he said.

UPDATE 1-UAE, UK say plan defence partnership around Typhoon - Yahoo! News Maktoob

The United Arab Emirates and Britain plan to establish a defence and industrial partnership involving close cooperation around the BAE Systems-built Typhoon fighter jet, the countries said in a joint communique on Tuesday.
The statement, issued as British Prime Minister David Cameron ended a two-day diplomacy and trade visit to the UAE, said the defence alliance would also collaborate on "a number of
new technologies". It did not elaborate.
Cameron promoted the Typhoon to Emirati ministers during his visit; his office and BAE officials have said the Emiratis have shown interest in ordering up to 60 of the aircraft. The two countries have also been discussing how to develop a "strategic air defence relationship".

BBC News - David Cameron encouraging greater Gulf investment in UK

David Cameron will seek to persuade the sovereign wealth funds in the United Arab Emirates to invest in the UK on the second day of his Gulf trip.

The prime minister is aiming to strengthen the UK's defence, security and commercial ties in the region.

Mr Cameron has promised not to shy away from the issue of human rights during the visit.

Egypt's EGAS pushes back bidding deadline to February | Reuters

Egypt's state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) has postponed by three months the closing date for international companies to present bids for 15 oil and gas concessions due to weak interest in the tender.

EGAS has pushed back the deadline for bidding to February 13 from November 14, an EGAS official told Reuters after a posting on the company's website showed the change of dates. EGAS announced the bidding in June for the exploration blocks in the Mediterranean and Nile Delta basins, all but two of which are offshore.

Oil Minister Osama Kamal said Monday on a late night talk show that the extension of the deadline was due to poor interest from international companies.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Petchems lift Saudi index to 1-mth high - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Saudi Arabia's bourse climbs to a month high as some investors pick up petrochemical stocks after cutting
positions in the insurance sector.
The index rises 0.5 percent to 6,875 points, its highest level since Oct. 7.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the world's largest chemicals producer, gains 1.4 percent. National
Industrialization (Tasnee) rises 0.7 percent and Nama Chemicals adds 0.7 percent.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Dana Gas jumps after firm says in standstill talks - Yahoo! News Maktoob

The United Arab Emirates' Dana Gas jumps 5.0 percent, partially recovering from a seven-week low, after the company says it is negotiating a standstill agreement with a creditors' committee.
The natural gas producer failed to repay a $920 million sukuk on maturity last Wednesday, becoming the first UAE company to miss a bond redemption.
The stock tumbled as much as 7.3 percent intra-day on Monday, before closing 2.4 percent lower, after a source close to holders of the bond said they might stake a claim to Dana's extensive Egyptian assets because of the non-payment.

Desperately seeking a Dubai villa, budget no object! « ArabianMoney

It is a quite extraordinary phenomenon to see estate agent’s in Dubai with notice boards for property buyers looking for villas. We counted a dozen buyers desperately seeking Dubai villas on a sign board in The Town Centre in The Meadows yesterday.

In 25 years of writing about real estate this correspondent has never seen anything like it. Even at the top of the Dubai real estate boom in 2008 you did not have buyers actively pursuing property in this way. It smacks of desperation, surely the last sentiment you should display when buying anything, let alone something as expensive as a house.

UPDATE 2-C.Suisse in asset management venture with Qatar | Reuters

Credit Suisse and Qatar's sovereign wealth fund have set up an asset management joint venture as the gas-rich Gulf state looks to beef up its financial centre and the Swiss bank seeks to tap strong growth in the region.

The venture, called Aventicum Capital Management, builds on the close ties between the two businesses. Qatar's sovereign wealth fund is Credit Suisse's second-largest shareholder with a 6.2 percent stake, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The venture will focus on investments in the fast-growing emerging and frontier markets of the Middle East and Turkey as well as operate an international business, Credit Suisse said on Tuesday.