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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Saudi cuts oil output to lowest in a year -

Saudi Arabia has cut oil output to its lowest level for a year as a combination of surging US crude production and weakening economic growth sapped demand.
The sharp fall in Saudi production, details of which were published ahead of a meeting in Vienna of the Opec oil cartel, contrasts with surging US energy output as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” have unlocked vast quantities of shale oil and gas.
US oil production rose by 760,000 barrels a day this year – the largest increase in annual output since crude oil started to be pumped commercially in the US in 1859 – according to fresh US government estimates released on Thursday.

UPDATE 2-OPEC set for easy oil deal, secretary-general dispute - Yahoo! News Maktoob

OPEC oil exporters look set this week to avoid a quarrel about how much crude they produce and argue instead about who should be the group's next secretary-general.
Oil prices are roughly where OPEC wants them - comfortably above $100 a barrel - but there is deadlock over who should be the new public face of the organization.
At a meeting in Vienna on Wednesday the 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is expected to retain its 30 million barrel a day (bpd) output target for the first six months of 2013.

UPDATE 1-INTERVIEW-Templeton's Mobius still buying Egypt stocks - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Protests in Egypt have failed to deter veteran emerging market investor Mark Mobius, who said on Tuesday he is holding onto his Egyptian stock position and is looking to add more even as the latest crisis unfolds.
Mobius, executive chairman of Franklin Templeton's emerging markets group, told Reuters in a telephone interview that while there was an international focus on the protests over Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi's plans to vote on a new constitution, business continued as usual in many parts of the country.
"Tahrir Square is not Egypt. Life goes on outside Cairo," Mobius said, following a recent visit to Cairo which included going to the square during protests there.

MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE telcos plunge on taxes; Saudi, Egypt gain - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Declines on the UAE's two telecom operators dragged the Dubai and Abu Dhabi's bourses lower on Tuesday after the government set new taxes, or royalty fees, which were higher than analysts had expected.
Shares in Dubai-listed du slumped 9.8 percent, their lowest close in nine weeks and the largest one-day loss since April 16. The firm will pay 5 percent of revenue and 17.5 percent of profit in royalties for 2012, which will steadily increase to 15 and 30 percent respectively in 2016.
Abu Dhabi-listed Etisalat will pay 35 percent of its profit in royalties, plus a further 15 percent of revenue, according to a government statement on Monday. Heavyweight Etisalat plunged 9 percent to its lowest close
since June 7.

MENA stock markets close - December 11, 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)

IMF in talks with Egypt on loan deal delay - source - Yahoo! News Maktoob

The International Monetary Fund is in talks with Egypt about delaying a deal for a $4.8 billion IMF loan till January from this month, an official with knowledge of the discussions said on Tuesday.
The IMF board was scheduled to meet to discuss approving the loan on Dec. 19 after a preliminary agreement was reached during a visit by an IMF team to Cairo last month.
Asked if there were talks about delaying the deal till January, the official, who would not be identified, told Reuters: "This is correct." He gave no more details.

Dubai's new airport seen open to passengers end-2013 | Reuters

Dubai's new Al Maktoum International airport, which began cargo operations two years ago, expects to open its long-delayed passenger terminal by the end of 2013, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said on Tuesday.

Sheikh Ahmed is president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman of Dubai Airports.

"We will look to open passenger terminal by end of next year," he told reporters. "Hopefully before the next Air Show in Dubai, we will open passenger terminal."

Dana Gas Jumps Most in 11 Months on Debt Revamp: Abu Dhabi Mover - Businessweek

Dana Gas PJSC (DANA) rallied the most in almost 11 months on bets the United Arab Emirates fuel producer’s $920 million Islamic bond restructuring will spur profit growth.

The shares advanced 7.5 percent, the most since Jan. 18, to 43 fils at the close in Abu Dhabi. The company was the second- biggest gainer in Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index today, as 83 million Dana Gas shares were traded, almost eight times the 12- month daily average. The company yesterday had its price estimate raised 55 percent to 87 fils at EFG-Hermes Holding SAE after the debt revamp announcement. The investment bank maintained a buy rating on the stock.

Dana Gas shares dropped 4.4 percent this year on concern the natural gas supplier may default, compared with a 9 percent gain for the benchmark ADX General Index. (ADSMI) The company, which was forced to restructure the debt after political instability in Egypt and Iraq’s Kurdish region led to payment delays, will pay bondholders $70 million in cash and split the remaining Shariah- compliant debt into $425 million tranches of convertible bonds and ordinary sukuk, it said yesterday.

Jet Airways expands codeshare agreement with Etihad - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Jet Airways Ltd , India's biggest airline, has expanded its codeshare agreement with the United Arab Emirates' Etihad Airways to include flights operating from Abu Dhabi to Charles de-Gaulle airport in Paris.
The codeshare, which came into effect on December 10, will enable Jet Airways to provide better connectivity to its customers on flights from Abu Dhabi to Paris, the Indian airline said in a statement.
Jet Airways is in talks with Etihad to sell a minority stake in the company, according to a source.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-UAE telcos plunge on tax changes - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Declines on the UAE's two telecom operators drag the Dubai and Abu Dhabi's bourses lower after the government set new taxes, or royalty fees, which were higher than analysts had expected.
Shares in Dubai-listed du slump 9.8 percent, their largest one-day loss since April 16 and the lowest close in nine weeks. The firm will pay 5 percent of revenue and 17.5 percent of profit in royalties for 2012, which will steadily increase to 15 and 30 percent respectively in 2016.
Abu Dhabi-listed Etisalat will pay 35 percent of its profit in royalties, plus a further 15 percent of revenue, according to a government statement on Monday.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Foreign investors help lift Egypt mkt - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Egypt's bourse gains as regional and foreign interest continues on attractive valuations, reversing some of the previous session's losses.
Cairo's benchmark index climbs 1 percent to 5,023 points, trimming losses to 7.6 percent since Nov. 22.
President Mohamed Mursi triggered a political crisis in late November after giving himself sweeping powers, with violent protests sparking a sell-off in the market.

INTERVIEW-UAE's NBAD plans acquisitions in expansion abroad - Yahoo! News Maktoob

"National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the UAE's largest lender by market value, is looking at acquisitions as part of a plan to more than double the proportion of profits it makes from abroad over the next ten years.
The majority government-owned bank wants to be in 41 countries by 2021, compared with 14 now, and plans to expand in the Gulf region as well as further afield in Africa and Asia, the head of its international banking division told Reuters.
"In five years the international banking division should contribute 25 percent of the bank's operating profit and 40
percent in ten years," Qamber Ali al Mulla said in an interview.

UPDATE 1-Qatar Holding granted $1 bln quota to invest in China's capital markets | Reuters

Qatar Holding LLC, the investment arm of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, has been granted a $1 billion quota to invest in China's capital markets, as Beijing steps up efforts to introduce long-term foreign investors to try and stabilize its volatile stock market.
Official Chinese media reported in June that Qatar was applying for a $5 billion quota under China's Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) scheme, the main channel for foreign investment in Chinese stock and bond markets.
QFII quotas are currently capped at $1 billion per investor although official media has reported Chinese regulators are looking at increasing the cap.

Qatar Telecom eyes 10-yr bond issue - leads | Reuters

Qatar Telecom, which is majority state-owned, plans to issue a long ten-year bond after investor meetings conclude, arranging banks said on Tuesday.

The former monopoly's latest bond will mature in February 2023, and order books are currently open. Roadshows conclude on Tuesday.

Qtel, which last tapped global debt markets for $2.75 billion in the fourth-quarter of 2010, last week mandated six banks to help arrange the potential bond, which is expected to be benchmark-sized, typically at least $500 million.

UPDATE 1-Ominvest CEO and board member resign; shares fall | Reuters

Oman International Development and Investment (Ominvest) said on Tuesday its Chief Executive Shariq Azhar and a board member had resigned, with shares trading lower after the news.

Azhar took on the role in August 2008. The Omani firm said its deputy chairman will assume Azhar's role until a successor is found. It did not provide further details.

Shares were trading 1.4 percent lower on the Muscat bourse at 0800 GMT.

Abu Dhabi's Etihad set to buy stake in India's Kingfisher Air - report - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Gulf carrier Etihad Airways is close to buying a 48 percent stake in debt-ridden Indian carrier Kingfisher Airlines for a little over 30 billion rupees ($550.3 million), the Mumbai Mirror reported on Tuesday.
A formal announcement of the deal could come around Dec. 18, the birthday of Kingfisher's flamboyant chairman, Vijay Mallya, the newspaper said, without saying how it got the information.
Kingfisher, whose planes have been grounded for the past two months, declined to comment on the report. Etihad did not immediately respond to an email sent by Reuters.

HSBC to Pay $1.9 Billion Fine for Money Laundering « naked capitalism

It seems the Federal Government has finally woken up and is making a show of being serious about one type of bank misbehavior, that of money laundering. The striking element about the agreement with various Federal agencies and the Department of Justice is that nearly $1.3 billion of the $1.9 billion fine comes in the form of a deferred prosecution agreement. This is the criminal analogy to injunctive relief, in which a miscreant is granted amnesty in return for committing to change its behavior in specific ways. The charges are then dismissed if the subject follows through. On paper, this is a much tougher regime than the frequently violated injunctive relief, since the charges remain over the head of the miscreant until they are dismissed. The open question in these cases is whether the monitoring of compliance is serious or pro-forma, and that’s impossible to know from the outside.

Compulsory board seats for women at UAE firms a 'huge step' forward - The National

The UAE Cabinet's decision to make it compulsory for companies and government agencies to appoint women board members is "a huge step in the right direction", according to leading businesswomen across the country.

Lucy Chow, the co-chairwoman of the Dubai chapter of 85 Broads, a global women's network, said she expected the decision would be welcomed by many of the group's members.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, made the historic announcement via Twitter on Sunday.

100% mortgages of up to Dh30m to be offered to Saadiyat home buyers - The National

Abu Dhabi's state tourism development company TDIC has signed a deal with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank to start offering investors buying luxury homes on Saadiyat Island 100 per cent mortgages of up to Dh30 million (US$8.2m).

The developer behind ambitious plans to develop a cultural zone on Saadiyat Island, including the Louvre and Guggenheim Museums, said in an announcement yesterday that loans would be repayable over a period of 25 years with a profit rate starting at 4.99 per cent.

The offer, it said, was open to expats resident in the UAE as well as UAE and GCC nationals.

Abu Dhabi bank Falcon on the hunt for acquisitions - The National

Falcon Private Bank is back on the acquisition trail with the Abu Dhabi-owned institution seeking to invest as much as US$4 billion (Dh14.69bn) to grow its emerging market business.

The lender, which specialises in catering to high net worth individuals, is seeking to expand its reach throughout emerging markets, as governments in developed markets seek to clamp down on private banks and the industry is forced to consolidate.

"We're not relying on organic growth," said David Pinkerton, the bank's chief investment officer.

Restructure deal reached by UAE's Dana Gas on $1bn debt - The National

Dana Gas has reached a deal with creditors to restructure its US$1 billion (Dh3.67bn) sukuk, extending the bulk of the debt for another five years.

The resolution ends a period of uncertainty that has been ongoing since the Sharjah fuel producer missed its October 31 deadline to repay the Islamic bond.

Under terms announced yesterday, Dana will reduce the debt to $850 million by paying down $70m of it and cancelling the $80m share it already owns.

Put your foot on the gas or opportunity will bypass region - The National

In Greek myth, Opportunity was a woman who had long hair in front but was bald at the back. She had to be seized before she passed by. The Middle East's countries, with 40 per cent of the world's gas reserves but just 16 per cent of production, are likewise in danger of letting opportunity slip through their fingers.

Signs of problems with gas policy are everywhere. Some are egregious - Iran, with the world's second-largest gas reserves, is a net importer.

In the late 1990s, as the scale of its gas resources became clear, Iran engaged in a long, fruitless national debate. Should gas be exported to earn revenues, used for domestic industry or injected to sustain oil production? In the end it achieved none of these things. Iran had exaggerated ideas of its indispensability, sought premium pricing for its unreliable gas supplies and demanded tough terms from international investors.

UAE bankruptcy law delay disappoints |

A perfect legislation is a jurist’s delight. But in the process of making the law flawless, if the situation that necessitated the law continues to go unresolved, it is of little consequence so far as the victims of the situation are concerned. It does not matter how brilliant the drafting is.
It is already three years since work on a bankruptcy law for the UAE began, but after so many missed goal posts and deadlines, it is now clear that a law would not be in place at least until the end of 2013. Of course, there is no guarantee that one would be ready by then, if past experience is any guidance.
This would mean that hundreds of companies, or even thousands, which have gone out of business in the wake of the unprecedented financial crisis and widespread payment defaults, perished without even a glimmer of hope for a lifeline that a bankruptcy law would have typically provided. Driven to desperation, a large number of these business owners have either fled the country for their inability to face the consequences or have landed up in jail. For, under the prevailing rules, much of what follows business failures is criminal offence.