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Friday, 9 November 2012

Barclays in US probe over Saudi licence - FT.com

US prosecutors are probing whether Barclays made any improper payment to win a banking licence in Saudi Arabia, adding to the mounting investigations that the bank is facing.
The Department of Justice is making inquiries into how the bank won its Saudi licence to operate a wealth-management arm and investment bank in 2009, people familiar with the investigation told the Financial Times.

BAE Systems Casts Focus Back on Middle East After EADS Plan Ends - Bloomberg

BAE Systems Plc (BA/) is rushing to wrap up negotiations with customers in the Middle East as Europe’s largest defense company seeks to regain its footing following a failed merger with European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. (EAD)
The British weapons maker is in advanced talks with Oman about the sale of 12 Typhoon fighter jets, a deal that BAE said last month it wants to complete by year-end. Among the sticking points are Omani demands for in-service support, said two people, who asked not to be named because talks are private.
Middle East sales are critical to BAE as defense spending in its two largest markets, the U.S. and U.K., drops. Besides Oman, BAE is working to win a follow-on Typhoon contract in Saudi Arabia as well as build up a stronger strategic relationship in the United Arab Emirates for sales of drones. The region accounts for about 13 percent of BAE’s revenue.

Moody's: UAE's banking system outlook remains negative [Arab News (Saudi Arabia)] | equities.com

The outlook for the banking system of the UAE remains negative, says Moody's Investors Service in a new Banking System Outlook published on Wednesday. The main drivers of the outlook are asset quality challenges, especially for the Dubai-based banks and low provisioning coverage levels. Moody's expects problem loan levels to remain elevated, driven by exposures to large, stressed, government-related issuers (GRIs), and legacy corporate impairments, primarily real-estate-related, which are still emerging after failed attempts to restructure earlier in the crisis.
Moody's says that the negative outlook also captures specific structural weaknesses that will continue to undermine system-wide bank performance over the 12-18 month outlook period. In Moody's view, issues such as limited transparency, sizable related-party exposures and high loan and deposit concentrations will continue to leave UAE banks vulnerable to name-specific credit risks in the near term despite recent guidelines published by the Central Bank of the UAE.

Legal update: The UAE enforcement saga - a new dawn - bi-me.com

A raft of judgments in arbitration award enforcement cases in the Dubai Courts have recently been reported. The overall trend is encouraging for the development of Dubai as an arbitration centre.

Dubai’s highest court recently delivered an unequivocal ruling that foreign arbitration awards will be enforced in Dubai in accordance with the UAE’s international treaty obligations under the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards ("NYC")(1).

This is welcome news for users of international arbitration and for Dubai’s position generally as an international arbitration hub.  It is especially welcome in the wake of recent commentary from some observers painting a negative picture of the treatment of arbitration by the Dubai Courts(2).

Abu Dhabi fund challenges Citi victory in $4 billion arbitration | Reuters

A lawyer for Abu Dhabi Investment Authority urged a U.S. judge on Thursday to overturn an arbitration panel's ruling favoring Citigroup Inc (C.N) in a dispute over a $7.5 billion investment in Citi during the subprime meltdown.

The Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund last year lost the arbitration case, which sought $4 billion in damages from what it said were the fraudulent representations by Citi leading up to the deal. At a hearing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, a lawyer for the fund said the arbitrators applied the wrong law to come to its decision.

"They manifestly disregarded the principles," David Elsberg, a lawyer for the ADIA, said Thursday.

Dubai's Illusory Real Estate Rebound - Businessweek

In the past few weeks, several high-profile Dubai construction projects on hold since the global financial meltdown of 2008 have been revived. Among the eye-catchers: a skyscraper with nine swimming pools, a mile-long canal winding its way around office buildings, and a replica of the Taj Mahal a mere four times bigger than the original.

The surrounding buzz doesn’t make up for the still-depressed condition of the broader real estate market in this emirate, one of the seven that comprise the United Arab Emirates. Dubai saw property values fall by as much as 65 percent during its four-year slump. About a quarter of the emirate’s residential properties are empty, even while an additional 25,000 are due to be completed next year as developers fulfill contracts awarded before the crash, property broker Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) estimates.

Strong stream of boats at Dubai show as owners look to sell - The National

Anyone who has ever spent any time on the water will tell you there are only two good days to be a boat owner - the day you buy it and the day you sell it.

If numbers of expected vendors at this year's Dubai pre-owned boat show are anything to go by, the ranks of the latter category are swelling like the tide in a tempest.

There were 85 boats on display with a combined value of Dh75 million (US$20.4m) at Dubai Creek Marina yesterday for the opening day, with more expected to join over the next couple of days.

Dubai, China now favorite destination of forex from Nigeria | P.M. NEWS Nigeria

Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is now the favorite destination of Nigerians, smuggling out forex, either stolen or hard earned, out of Nigeria.
All recent cases of forex smuggling uncovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, cases of people smuggling out forex or people under-declaring forex in their possession, involved people Dubai or Asia-bound.
The latest was the arrest by the EFCC of two persons attempting to smuggle more than $238,858 ( two hundred and thirty eight thousand, eight hundred and fifty eight United States Dollars) out of the country through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Sustainable development is the key for Dubai - Khaleej Times

The third session of Dubai Partnership Agenda (DPA) was held on Wednesday to discuss corporate social responsibility, address its challenges on government and private sector levels, and generate recommendations to boost sustainable development and promote Dubai through this strategic tool.
DPA was launched in 2010 by the General-Secretariat of the Executive Council with the encouragement and endorsement of Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, and under the directives of Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and the Chairman of the Executive Council.