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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Saudi Arabia Moves Mortgage Law Forward With Regulations - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s central bank issued regulations on real estate financing, leasing and supervision of financial companies as the kingdom attempts to ease a housing shortage by opening up its mortgage market.
The changes were announced yesterday on the website of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, or SAMA. Regulations governing the enforcement of foreclosures and mortgage registrations as part of a broader package of changes haven’t been issued yet.
The mortgage law, which has been debated for more than a decade, will overhaul the kingdom’s home-finance market, from registering mortgages to allowing judges to prosecute police officers who fail to carry out eviction orders. The changes could boost residential lending to about $32 billion annually, according to estimates by Capitas Group International Ltd., a Saudi company focused on Islamic finance.

MENA stock markets close - November 21, 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 STOCKS-Egypt rallies on $4.8 bln IMF loan deal; Gulf mixed - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Egypt's bourse rebounded from a 12-week low on Wednesday after the country reached an initial agreement with the International Monetary Fund for a loan, while Gulf Arab markets were mixed as prolonged violence in Gaza kept investors cautious.
Egypt said on Tuesday that the $4.8 billion deal included an agreement to rein in its state budget deficit with measures including tax changes targeting the wealthy and more careful spending on subsidies intended to help the poor.
"The market is up for the time being because of the preliminary agreement signed with the IMF but I think it will be short-lived," said a Cairo-based trader who asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media. Sentiment remains weak with clashes in and around Cairo this week, the trader said.

MOL hits back at bribe verdict | beyondbrics

MOL, the Hungarian oil group, is sticking to its guns. In a statement on Wednesday the company categorically rejected the findings of a Croatian court in which Croatia’s former prime minister Ivo Sanader was found guilty of corruption – including taking bribes from MOL.

Railing against the “factual misconceptions” of the ruling, it is planning to provide Zagreb with further information, looking forward to the appeal that Sanader is widely expected to lodge and reserving its rights to “take action internationally”. But in the meantime, investors are taking a cautious line – the shares are down 3 per cent since the judge delivered his verdict.

INTERVIEW-No "serious dent" from sanctions-Iran cenbank chief - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Iran has avoided a "serious dent" to its economy from Western sanctions thanks to large gold reserves, high oil prices and reduced foreign imports, its central bank governor told Reuters on Wednesday.
Gold reserves were enough to last 15 years, Mahmoud Bahmani said.
He added that inflation was running at 20 percent but that there was no need to raise interest rates.
Western nations have imposed their toughest sanctions to date against Iran in an attempt to halt its disputed nuclear programme, causing the rial to plummet, inflation to jump and hundreds of thousands of Iranians to lose jobs.

Jordan’s markets contain local jitters -

Jordan’s main dollar bond and the country’s stock market have been largely insulated from increased political tension as domestic institutions hold on to their assets and foreign investors remain scant.
Since the Amman government raised fuel prices, sparking widespread protests last week, the yield on the country’s most liquid bond had only edged up 12 basis points by Wednesday. Similarly, the Amman stock exchange was down just 0.8 per cent on Wednesday from November 13 when the fuel price rises were announced.

REUTERS SUMMIT-Gulf's private sector boom still vulnerable - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Four years after a collapse of oil prices savaged Gulf Arab economies, private business activity in most of the region is thriving again. Yet problems with financing and regulation could cut short the boom.
Corporate executives and economists at the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit this week said the private sector's gains were vulnerable, warning growth could quickly slow if oil prices retreat or governments slow spending in order to conserve their financial reserves.
"The current good growth we are seeing is cyclical and has its roots in government spending, but there are structural impediments to longer term private sector growth," said Liz Martins, senior regional economist at HSBC.

REUTERS SUMMIT-Dubai's Mashreq has met tougher cbank lending rules - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Mashreq, Dubai's second-biggest bank by stock market value, said it has met the tougher lending rules imposed by the central bank to tighten up the financial system after the Emirates debt crisis.
The new lending rules are part of a broader move to curb the vast debts taken on by government-owned businesses in the years before the property crash in 2009. The crisis was worsened by local banks' excessive exposure to government-related entities.
In April the United Arab Emirates central bank introduced caps for loans made to local governments and their entities and asked lenders to comply with the rules by the end of September.
"We are ok. We were able to abide by the timeline," Abdulaziz Al Ghurair, chief executive officer of Mashreq, told the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit.

Dubai Group, Banks Said Close to $6 Billion Debt Agreement - Businessweek

Emirates NBD PJSC (EMIRATES) and Noor Islamic Bank are among creditors close to an agreement with Dubai Group LLC on restructuring $6 billion of debt after more than two years of talks, four bankers familiar with the matter said.

Law firm Linklaters LLP, which represents the so-called co- ordinating committee of creditors, is drafting the accord and a final agreement may be reached as soon as mid-December, the people said, asking not to be identified as talks aren’t public. The deal envisages interest of 1 percent to 2.5 percent and was proposed by Dubai Group earlier this year, the people said.

The creditor group, comprised of about 35 banks, is seeking to win approval from Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Standard Bank Group Ltd. and Commerzbank AG for the deal, three of the people said. The three banks walked away from the lender group in July because of a lack of progress on the restructuring.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Investors wary as Gulf mkts end mixed - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Abu Dhabi's benchmark falls to a five-week low, while Dubai rises for a second day and Qatar ends near-flat
as the ongoing Gaza-Israel conflict makes regional investors wary of increasing their risk exposure.
Abu Dhabi's index ends down 0.7 percent at 2,642 points, its lowest close since Oct. 14.
Large-caps weigh, with First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi down 1.5 and 1.1 percent respectively. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank falls 1.3 percent.

Remittances set to grow even faster than expected, despite high costs | beyondbrics

Migrant workers are doing overtime to keep the world economy going. One of the few pleasant surprises of the post-2008 global economic turmoil has been the strength of remittance flows to the developing world.

In a report this week the World Bank says remittances are expected to exceed earlier estimates and reach $406bn this year, an increase of 6.5 per cent over 2o11, with further gains in the next three years. The main impediment is the high cost of the transfers – a full 12.4 per cent for sub-Saharan Africa.

DIFC boss calls for single GCC equity platform, why not the UAE first? « ArabianMoney

CEO of the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority Jeff Singer today called for the establishment of a single platform for equity trading across the GCC with individual countries still retaining their own trading floors and regulatory authorities.

‘This would connect up the back offices and present the stocks to traders on one screen,’ he said. ‘But there would not be any need to merge the actual stock exchanges. It is a matter of creating a single GCC equity platform’.

Sharjah, Ajman sign deal to jointly develop offshore gas field - Khaleej Times

Neighbouring emirates of Sharjah and Ajman have signed a production sharing agreement (PSA) for joint development of an offshore oil field between their coastal borders.
Shaikh Sultan bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Chairman of Sharjah Petroleum Council, signed the PSA for the government of Sharjah, while Shaikh Ahmed bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Ajman Ruler’s Representative for Administrative and Financial Affairs, signed for the government of Ajman, in the presence of CEO of Dana Gas Rashid Al-Jarwan.  The agreement will further consolidate bonds across the emirates and boost national economic development.
Dan Gas runs the oilfield, located about 40 kilometres off the coast of Ajman and Sharjah.

Business Line : Markets / Stock Markets : Dubai regulator suspends Man Industries securities

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has suspended the securities of Man Industries (India) Ltd from its official list.

“The DFSA hereby notifies the market that it has suspended the Securities of Man Industries (India) Ltd from the Official List of Securities of the DFSA under Article 35 (1) of the Markets Law 2012,” the Dubai regulator said in a statement.

No reason for the suspension has been given.

Kuwait's Boubyan Bank sees Islamic banking boom | Reuters

Islamic banking is growing at more than double the pace of conventional banking in Kuwait and strong demand is expected throughout the Arab region, the chairman of Boubyan Bank (BOUK.KW) said on Wednesday.

Credit volumes at Islamic banks in Kuwait reached 11.1 billion Kuwaiti dinars ($39.3 billion) in the first nine months of 2012, up 13.2 percent on last year, Boubyan Chairman and Managing Director Adel Abdul Wahab al-Majed told the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit.

That compares with 5.6 percent credit growth to 18.6 billion dinars at conventional banks, Majed said.

Abu Dhabi’s Taqa Plans Bonds as Yields Outperform: Arab Credit - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. (TAQA) plans to sell bonds as the state-run power provider seeks to refinance $2 billion of debt with borrowing costs near record lows.
The yield on the company’s December 2021 bonds has slid 231 basis points, or 2.31 percentage points, since the utility known as Taqa sold the securities 11 months ago. That compares with a 185 basis-point decline in HSBC/Nasdaq Dubai’s Middle East Conventional Corporate U.S. Dollar Bond Index. Another Abu Dhabi-owned business, International Petroleum Investment Co., began meeting investors in Europe last week to sell debt.
Companies in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, are tapping bond markets to pay for expansion. Government-affiliated businesses in oil-rich states of the Persian Gulf are partnering with private ones to build refineries, chemical factories and plants to process natural gas. The U.A.E. holds 6 percent of the world’s proven crude reserves, most of them in Abu Dhabi.

Burgan Bank of Kuwait to Sell Bonds This Year Amid Expansion - Bloomberg

Burgan Bank SAK (BURG), the third-biggest Kuwaiti lender by assets, plans to raise 100 million dinars ($354 million) from a bond sale this year to boost capital as it expands, the chief executive officer said.
The seven- or 10-year notes will “most likely” be denominated in the local currency, Eduardo Eguren said in an interview yesterday at the bank’s headquarters in Kuwait City. The lender expects to receive central bank approval for the sale in the next few days and has appointed Kipco Asset Management Co. (KAMCO) as an adviser, he said. NBK Capital Ltd., the investment banking unit of National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) SAK, is also working on the issuance.
“When you grow your balance sheet, your need for capital goes up,” Eguren said. The bank wants to “develop the local market and help create a yield curve in Kuwait” of dinars, he said.