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Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Business - UAE expected to grow 3% despite global uncertainty

The UAE economy is expected to grow three per cent in the year 2012 despite global economic uncertainty and a recent dip in oil prices, a top economic manager said.
“We have put the crisis behind us. Preparing for the next phase of development, we have managed to successfully forge ahead with new plans and strategies,” said Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Shehhi, Undersecretary at the UAE Ministry of Economy, in a keynote speech at the Standard and Poor’s Leader’s Forum, in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
He said the growth has slowed down from 4.2 per cent in 2011, which he called “as the fastest growth rate achieved since 2006”.

Qatar National Bank launches $1 bln bond | Reuters

Qatar National Bank launched a $1 billion bond, due to mature in February 2018, on Wednesday, at a tighter spread than earlier indicated, arranging banks said.

The Gulf state's biggest bank by market value launched the bond at a spread of 145 basis points over midswaps after announcing the deal earlier in the day.

Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings, Mitsubishi UFJ, Standard Chartered and QNB Capital are mandated bookrunners on the bond.

Pearson denies FT sale | The Bookseller

Pearson has denied reports that it is about to sell off the Financial Times, with a spokesperson for the current Penguin parent company saying the newspaper is a "valued and valuable part of Pearson".
Bloomberg reported last night that Pearson was "planning to explore a sale" of the FT this year. However, a Pearson spokesperson said: "We have said many times that the FT is a valued and valuable part of Pearson. We are not in the habit of responding to rumours, speculation or reports about our portfolio, however this particular Bloomberg story is wrong."
Speculation over the possible sale of the newspaper has increased after Pearson agreed to merge Penguin with Random House last week, and after Pearson c.e.o. Dame Marjorie Scardino, who famously said she would sell the FT "over my dead body", announced plans to step down at the end of the year.

MENA stock markets close - November 7, 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)

MIDEAST MONEY-Booming Gulf sukuk market brushes off Dana Gas debacle - Yahoo! News Maktoob

When a natural gas producing company in the United Arab Emirates missed repaying a $920 million Islamic bond last week, it became the first UAE company to fail to redeem a bond on time. But the region's debt market
barely blinked.
Yields on some firms' outstanding Islamic bonds, known as sukuk, dropped to fresh record lows as investors continued pouring money into them. Other companies laid plans for new issues of sukuk.
The incident underlined the extent to which the Gulf's Islamic debt market, which is playing an increasingly important role in funding companies, has strengthened in the past year.
Not long ago, a billion-dollar payment miss would have triggered a crisis of confidence in the market; now, it is almost ignored.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Saudi gains for the week; banks rally - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Banks lift Saudi Arabia's measure to a six-week closing high, helping the market end positively on the week amid
post-Eid investor optimism.
Most of the banking stocks close higher after shareholders in Mohammed al-Mojil Group (MMG) rejected the
construction company's liquidation.
Local banks are exposed to about 1.1 billion riyals of the group's debt.

Why a dash to cash by Emirati investors is most likely their worst option by far « ArabianMoney

Recent research conducted by Lloyds TSB Private Banking suggests Emirati investors are responding to on-going volatility in financial markets by selling higher risk investments and holding more cash.

The bi-annual Investor Outlook Survey by Lloyds TSB Private Banking reveals that 28 per cent of investors in the UAE increased their cash allocation in the past six months, against only 18 per cent who decreased it.

This trend is set to continue with 32 per cent of investors planning to up their cash exposure in the next six months, while only nine per cent plan a decrease. At the same time, almost 70 per cent of British expats in the Emirates increased their cash holdings while just 17 per cent decreased it.

UAE’s non-performing loans to peak in 2012 |

The UAE banking sector will witness the peaking of the non-performing loans (NPLs) this year and will see a modest fall in NPLs next year, Moody’s Investor Service said today.
“We expect UAE-wide NPLs to peak in 2012 at the upper end of the 10-12 per cent range and then decline marginally in 2013 to the lower end of the 10-12 per cent range. While the peak will be largely driven by the culmination of impairments by government related issuers and legacy real estate exposures, we expect the slight easing of asset quality pressure in 2013,” said Khalid Ferdous Howladar, Vice President — Senior Credit Officer, Moody’s.
Moody’s said its outlook for the UAE banking system remains negative. Analysts attribute the outlook largely to legacy asset quality issues related to restructurings of corporates and government related entities.

UK close to selling UAE 60 Typhoon jets - defence source | Reuters

Britain has made "extremely encouraging" progress in securing an order from the United Arab Emirates for 60 Typhoon fighter jets made by BAE Systems, a British defence source said on Wednesday.

"There is a political agreement. Clearly there are a lot of details to be worked through, but it is extremely encouraging," the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

He said a contract was likely to be signed sooner rather than later.

Oman fund seeks to buy Blue City bonds -

Oman’s sovereign wealth fund has offered to buy the bonds of Blue City, the ill-fated, $20bn Omani property project, marking the latest twist in one of the region’s biggest and longest-running distressed debt deals.
Onyx Investments, part of the Oman Investment Fund, has made a tender offer for 35 cents on the dollar for the class B senior subordinated notes that are due in 2016, according to documentation seen by the Financial Times.
The Oman Investment Fund could not be reached for comment.

BRIEF-Moody's places all ratings of Kuwait Finance House on review for downgrade - Yahoo! News Maktoob

BRIEF-UAE's Dana Gas reaches in principle sukuk restructuring | Reuters

Dana Gas Co PJS :
* Dana says reaches "in principle" restructuring agreement on sukuk terms
* Dana cancels $80 million of sukuk held by company; sukukholders to receive partial paydown from company's balance sheet cash
* Dana says remaining sukuk split between new ordinary sukuk and new convertible sukuk
* Dana says has entered into a standstill agreement with creditors committee
* Dana says repays October 30 profit payment
* Dana Gas trading suspended on Abu Dhabi exchange - bourse statement

Qatar National Bank eyes benchmark dollar bond sale - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Qatar National Bank (QNB), the Gulf Arab state's largest lender, has picked five banks to arrange investor meetings ahead of a possible benchmark-sized, dollar-denominated bond sale, a bourse filing said on Wednesday.
QNB, currently in talks to buy the Egyptian arm of Societe Generale, mandated Deutsche Bank, HSBC
Holdings, Mitsubishi UFJ, Standard Chartered Plc and QNB Capital for the deal, which will follow the
roadshows subject to market conditions, the statement said. Benchmark size is traditionally understood to mean at least $500 million or more.

BRIEF-Aldar Properties Q3 net profit rises; impairments surge - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Aldar Properties PJSC :
* 9-month net profit 1.1 billion dirhams versus 460.4 million dirhams year-ago - statement
* Q3 net profit 205.7 million dirhams versus 143.9 million dirhams year-ago
* Q3 provisions for impairments and write-offs 932 million dirhams versus 2.5 million dirhams year-ago

RPT-UPDATE 1-Abu Dhabi's Sorouh Q3 profit up; merger talks ongoing | Reuters

Abu Dhabi's Sorouh Real Estate reported a 54.5 percent rise in third-quarter net profit on Wednesday and said no decision has been taken so far about its proposed merger with rival Aldar Properties.

The second largest developer by market value in Abu Dhabi said it had net consolidated profit of 129.2 million dirhams ($35.2 million), up from 83.6 million dirhams in the prior-year period, it said in a statement on Abu Dhabi's bourse.

Income was boosted after Sorouh reversed 40 million dirhams in contingency provisions for its Sun and Sky towers, which have been completed.