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Sunday, 9 December 2012

Women on every UAE board, rules Cabinet - The National

The UAE Cabinet yesterday made it compulsory for corporations and government agencies to include women on their boards of directors.

The historic decision was announced on Twitter by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

"Women proved themselves in many workplaces and today we want them to have a strong presence in decision-making positions in our institutions," Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.

UAE urges EU to remove trade barriers |

The volume of trade exchange between the UAE and the European Union (EU) is expected to be stable and at its 2011 levels due to economic recession prevailing in the EU nations, said economists.
Dr. Numan Ashour, a chief economist and analyst at the CNBC Arabia, told Gulf News that the volume of trade between the UAE and the EU in 2012 will be similar to that in 2011 at around Dh147 billion.
Dr. Mohammad Amerah, economic adviser at Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Gulf News “the trade exchange has been influenced by the high prices of oil this year and the decline of production in the EU markets.”

Egypt: stocks soar on Morsi retreat | beyondbrics

Egyptian equities jumped 4.4 per cent on Sunday after president Mohamed Morsi rescinded the controversial decree in which he extended his powers and plunged the country into a new wave of protests.

Investors clearly hope that Morsi has done sufficient to restore enough stability for the International Monetary Fund to implement its crucial planned $4.8bn loan. But has he? The opposition doesn’t think so – it is still demanding a delay on the planned December 15 constitutional referendum. Watch out for more seesawing in the markets, as the Islamists and the opposition fight it out.

After Sunday’s rebound, the market is still 8 per cent down since Morsi announced his presidential power grab on November 22. Since then Cairo and other cities have seen demonstrations by both the president’s opponents and supporters – and the country’s judges have protested at what they see as Morsi’s illegal decree.

BBC News - Could shale oil reserves help Jordan? Click thru for video

QIA acquires Le Lido in Paris | Real Estate |

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has bought the historic Le Lido at the Champs Elyseìes in Paris, France, PropertyEU has reported, citing market sources. The sovereign wealth fund bought the property from French private equity group LBO France for over €100m in cash, the sources said. Built in 1931, the art deìco scheme comprises the Lido site, the famous French cabaret, a UGC cinema over 10,000 sq m, as well as 5,000 sq m of offices.

MENA stock markets close - December 9, 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)

UAE economy to grow by 4.5% in 2012 |

Trade between the UAE and the European Union (EU) is expected to be stable at its 2011 levels due to economic recession prevailing in Eurozone, said economists.
Dr. Numan Ashour, a chief economist and analyst at the CNBC Arabia, told the Gulf News that the volume of trade between the UAE and the EU in 2012 will be similar to that in 2011 at around Dh147 billion.
Dr. Mohammad Amerah, economic adviser at Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told the Gulf News that the trade exchange has been affected by the high oil prices and the declining exchange rate of the euro.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Egypt in biggest one-day surge in 5 months - Yahoo! News

Egypt's bourse makes it biggest one-day gain in five months after President Mohamed Mursi scrapped a decree that triggered a political crisis, while Saudi Arabia's measure ends flat.
In Cairo, foreign investors are net buyers against Arab regional and Egyptian sellers.
"We think this is political buying from offshore funds by supporters of the current regime," says Osama Mourad, chief executive of Arab Finance Brokerage. "It gives the impression that everything is fine."

MIDEAST - Oil giant says August cyber attack targeted all Saudi

Oil giant Saudi Aramco said on Sunday that an August cyber attack on its computer network targeted not just the company but the kingdom's economy as a whole, AFP has reported.

The interior ministry, which joined Aramco's investigation into the attack that affected some 30,000 of the firm's computers, said it was carried out by organised hackers from several different foreign countries.

"The attack targeted the whole economy of the country, not just Aramco as an entity," said Abdullah al-Saadan, who headed the company's inquiry team.

The Arab Economy Autumn! Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English)

Anybody closely following the movement of funds to and from the Arab world will have noticed a number of disturbing phenomena:

Firstly, more than one third of investments from Arab Spring states are no longer being invested domestically, rather these funds are being invested abroad, whether we are talking about in foreign banks or foreign investment funds.

Secondly, direct investment in Arab Spring states decreased by two-thirds over the past two years. These states are now primarily relying on funds from citizens living abroad or loans, grants and aid from foreign countries or international institutions.

Dubai home prices boosted by speculators' return

The average apartment price in Dubai rose by 13 percent this year and is expected to grow at the same rate next year as speculative buyers prop up demand, a study released on Sunday showed.

Prices rose despite expectations of around 36,000 new units forecast to enter the market in the next two years, a study by property consultancy CBRE showed.

"Because the best quality products (properties) are seeing this demand, they are raising the rest of the market," said Matthew Green, head of research & consultancy UAE at CBRE Middle East.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Property stocks lift Abu Dhabi to 3-wk high - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Property stocks help lifts Abu Dhabi's market to a three-week high and Dubai's bourse edges up in thin trade,
where investors are waiting for fresh catalysts to increase risk.
Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate each gain 1.6 percent. Investor interest has picked up in recent sessions amid the developers' government-backed advanced merger talks.
Their merger talks were started against the backdrop of continuing oversupply and declining house prices. Prices in Abu Dhabi were expected to fall 5 percent this year, a Reuters poll found.

Kuwait's Jazeera Airways to offer 178 mln shares - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Jazeera Airways will offer 178 million shares in a capital increase starting on Monday, the Kuwaiti group said in a bourse filing on Sunday.
The shares will be priced at 100 Kuwaiti fils ($0.36) each with no premium and the closing date for offers is Dec. 31, the statement said.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Egypt rallies after Mursi cancels decree - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Egypt's bourse jumps at the open, in a relief rally after President Mohamed Mursi scrapped a decree that expanded his powers and triggered a political crisis.
The benchmark index rises 3.9 percent to 5,027 points, up for a third session in the last five.
The market has been volatile since Mursi's decree on Nov. 22, which gave him sweeping powers and put him above legal challenge until new parliamentary elections.

Qtel Picks JP Morgan To Direct Maroc Telecom Bid » Gulf Business

Gulf telecom operator Qtel has hired J.P. Morgan Chase to advise it on a potential bid for Vivendi’s Maroc Telecom, said four people familiar with the matter.

Vivendi aims to garner at least 5.5 billion euros ($7.14 billion) for its 53 per cent stake in Morocco’s biggest fixed and mobile operator, and has received initial expressions of interest from four carriers, sources told Reuters in October.

The French conglomerate is exploring selling several assets as part of an ongoing strategy review intended to pay down debt, boost a flagging share price and reduce the group’s exposure to capital-intensive telecom businesses.

How can Dubai finance a recovery as Moody’s downgrades its three top banks? « ArabianMoney

Bank lending is only one way to finance an economic recovery, and arguably for Dubai the recovery will be all the more solid without it. However, the rating agency Moody’s downgrading of Emirates NBD, Commercial Bank of Dubai and Mashreqbank – with Dubai Islamic Bank on a watchlist – is a reminder that the bad debts of the last boom continue to weigh on the Dubai economy.

Moody’s highlighted non-performing loans of between 15 and 17 per cent at the close of 2011 compared to the GCC average of just 6.1 per cent. Its report said problem debts would stay high because of large, stressed, government-related debt restructuring. Almost $50 billion of restructuring is due between 2014 and 2016.

Brief pause for Egypt’s markets before IMF vote - The National

The close of trading for the weekend brought some relief to Egypt's markets. But the pressure is expected to be renewed in the week ahead as the embattled president Mohammed Morsi tries to stem protests and a US$4.8 billion rescue package from the IMF approaches a vote next week.

Topic Egypt election Mashreqbank Emirates NBD Egypt Dubai Financial Market Egypt unrest
Including the market crash now known as "Black Sunday", the EGX30 index of Egyptian equities has fallen 11 per cent since Mr Morsi issued a decree putting his decisions above judicial review, a move opponents have characterised as dictatorial.

Talks have begun this weekend between the ruling Muslim Brotherhood and opposition parties ahead of a referendum on Egypt's new constitution that is due to take place on Saturday.

Fixer aims to revitalise the loss-making Dubai bank Shuaa - The National

As one of the new breed of corporate technocrats that has emerged from the Dubai financial crisis, Sheikh Maktoum bin Hasher Al Maktoum knows he has to concentrate on delivery.

"The worst is behind us, but there are still big challenges ahead. It all depends on the outcome," he says, in a rare media interview.

He was talking about Dubai, now embarking on a new plan for growth after the scare of the 2009 financial crisis. But he could just as easily have been talking about Shuaa, the region's oldest investment bank, of which he is the executive chairman.

Builder of malls and ski slopes leaps into UAE health care - The National

The region's biggest mall builder is swapping indoor ski slopes for endoscopes in a bid to attract medical tourists to the UAE.

Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), the developer behind Mall of the Emirates and Ski Dubai, plans to use its shopping centres as a springboard into the healthcare business.

It is joining a stampede of investment by health providers across the Arabian Gulf offering an increasingly sophisticated suite of procedures from keyhole cardiac surgery to tummy tucks.

GCC must tackle the transparency challenge |

Sadly, all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries except for the UAE suffered a drop in ranking in the recently released 2012 version of the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). Berlin-based Transparency International issues the annual report by ranking countries, this time a total of 174 nations, based on perceived corruption.
The index is produced based on data generated from numerous surveys and assessments, in turn carried out by some 13 internationally renowned establishments, the World Bank, the World Economic Forum and The Economist Intelligence Unit, to name a few. These surveys and assessments look into matters such as bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement and embezzlement of public funds — certainly serious matters.
Reviewed economies earn points on the basis of perceptions expressed by business and academic professionals concerning ways of doing business in various countries. The respondents, who include local and expatriate residents, provide views about possible corruptive practices involving public officials about winning business preferences such as contracts. This suggests that the report is not entirely objective as respondents express their perceptions subjectively.

No such thing as the oil price |

Just like the mythical free lunch, there is no such thing as the price of oil. That’s not to say oil isn’t priced; just that there is no single price.
Of course, there’s no single price of petrol, either, and you may well pass by several gas stations in search of a better deal.
But in the oil markets there are not only differing grades (such as in density and sulphur content) in different locations, but now additionally very substantial discrepancies between the key benchmarks.