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Monday, 24 December 2012

Energy in 2013 - YouTube

Shuaa — A fall from great heights |

The world has survived the predicted Mayan apocalypse and those who wanted to celebrate the end of the world had another eventful party to remember for the rest of their lives. But by a strange coincidence, the doomsday marked the end of the world for Dubai’s oldest securities firm. A newspaper advertisement announcing the shutdown of Shuaa Securities, Shuaa Capital’s celebrated brokerage business, had an eerie something about it and seemed timed to perfection.
The story of Shuaa Securities has all the pathos of a Shakespearian tragedy, in which the central character ascends the highest point of glory before falling to the ground, so that the depth of the tragedy is dramatised to its maximum potential. Shuaa’s story is also typical of all securities brokerages in the country and has a subplot about the Dubai Financial Market too.
In material terms, the advertisement announced Shuaa’s intention to stop the trading services and cancel its brokerage licence as it advised clients to get their shares transferred to the respective exchanges, settle their cash balances and close their accounts. But in terms of metaphysics, it had a much deeper and more ominous reading.

Corporation of London: treasure trove | Editorial | Comment is free | The Guardian

If the traditional deference of British society is embodied in the crown, the tradition of the British economy – of proud finance and malcontent industry – is embodied in the Corporation of London. Older than parliament, it is the nearest thing the Square Mile has to a local council – which is not that near at all.

The livery companies, freemen and the aldermen mark it out, not to mention a lord mayoralty that has existed since 1189, the year time immemorial technically stopped. That office naturally operates in splendid isolation from City Hall. Then there is ancient treasure stashed away in three venerable vaults: the charitable fund, whose tasks include upkeep of London Bridge; the City fund; and finally the so-called City's Cash, to which the greatest mystery is attached. Last week, a little of that mystery disappeared, when the corporation published accounts which, for the first time, revealed the sum total of assets – to which the likes of the real-life Dick Whittington have contributed – as £1.3bn.

Money supply rising in UAE Central Bank data - The National

The UAE Central Bank reported yesterday that by the most liquid measures, the country's money supply grew in the low single digits in October.

Money supply has a strong bearing on a country's inflation rate and exchange rates.

Central banks often engineer the money supply to achieve policy objectives in these areas.

Abu Dhabi: Year in Review 2012 | Economy | UAE: Abu Dhabi | Oxford Business Group

New developments in the logistics sector, alongside an increase in non-oil trade, are expected to keep Abu Dhabi’s economy on track for moderate expansion in the coming year, with plans for further diversification set to deliver increasingly balanced growth.

Overall economic growth is expected to be 3.9% for 2012, according to the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED), down from 6.8% last year. However, growth in non-oil industries should remain steady for the year at 5.5%, supported by activity in the financial sector, manufacturing and transport, Mohammad Omar Abdullah, the undersecretary of the DED, told local media.

Abu Dhabi has targeted non-oil growth in line with its bid to diversify the emirate’s economy and reduce dependence on oil revenue. Initiatives include a plan to increase non-oil exports from 1% of GDP, which is the current figure, to 11% by 2030.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt resumes rise; Gulf mkts mixed in holiday lull - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Egypt's bourse resumed rising on Monday after an early-session dip brought back buying interest among foreign investors, while trading in the Gulf was lacklustre and volumes thin because of the year-end lull.
Cairo's index gained 0.2 percent to 5,373 points, and has risen in nine of the last 12 sessions.
The market fell on Sunday after voters approved a controversial new constitution for the country. But plenty of
investors remain bullish about the medium term, even though the constitution may cause further political turmoil, and although the political instability has led Cairo to delay its request for a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.

Global demand to boost GCC debt market in 2013: Standard Chartered

Gulf Arab bonds will attract large flows of investment from outside the region next year because of their growing diversity and an increasingly active secondary market, a major participant in the industry says.

Traditionally, bonds from issuers in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council were seen as curiosities rather than as mainstream assets by many international investors, partly because of geopolitical risk and poor trading liquidity.

That perception changed substantially during 2012, Salman Ansari, regional head of debt capital markets for the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan at Standard Chartered, told Reuters in an interview.

Chart of the week: stock exchange winners and losers of 2012 | beyondbrics

If you had $100 at the start of 2012, and took a punt on a few emerging market exchanges, which ones would have made you a fast buck, and which would have reduced you to tears?

Chart of the week takes a look at the 10 top and bottom performers in 2012.

For investors looking at the top 10 stock markets in 2012, there’s little by way of lessons to draw. Stability, euro austerity, political upheaval, elections – all featured in the countries represented. The 10 exchanges are from Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa, both north and south. Make of all that what you can.

MENA stock markets close - December 24, 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)

S&P cuts Egypt rating on political strife | Reuters

Standard & Poors' cut Egypt's long-term credit rating on Monday and said another cut was possible if political turbulence worsened, undermining the country's ability to make hard choices on public finances.

The agency reduced Egypt's long-term sovereign rating to 'B-' from 'B', but left its short-term rating at 'B' for both foreign- and local-currency debt.

"The negative outlook reflects our view that a further downgrade is possible if a significant worsening of the domestic political situation results in a sharp deterioration of economic indicators such as foreign exchange reserves or the government's deficit," S&P said.

Dubai airport Nov passenger traffic up 10 pct y/y | Reuters

Passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport rose 10.0 percent from a year earlier in November to 4.88 million people, boosted by increasing flows from western Europe and India, Dubai Airports said on Monday.

Traffic in the first 11 months of this year climbed 13.1 percent to 52.36 million passengers. The airport says it is the world's fourth busiest hub for international passengers.

A new section of the airport to handle Airbus A380 superjumbo planes is due to open in early 2013, increasing the airport's annual capacity to 75 million passengers from 60 million. Dubai Airports chief executive Paul Griffiths said in a statement that the additional capacity would be welcome.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Banks weigh on Qatar; UAE mkts tick higher - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Profit-taking drags down Qatar's bourse for a second session from Thursday's four-week high as banks decline,
while United Arab Emirates markets edge higher.
Qatar's market is among the worst-performing Gulf markets this year; it is attracting little interest despite a steady
domestic economic outlook and attractive dividend yields. Many investors have reduced exposure to the country, which has been moving more slowly than anticipated to develop infrastructure for hosting the 2022 soccer World Cup. Also, some analysts say Qatari companies may see relatively little benefit from mega-projects if they are too small to handle the deals.
Doha's benchmark loses 0.4 percent to finish at 8,390 points, extending its year-to-date losses to 4.4 percent. Low trading volume exacerbates the situation.

Free zones not governed by UAE Labour Law - Khaleej Times

I have been working in a free zone company here for the past 2.5 years. Can the employer ban me from working in the UAE if I change my job? Please advise.

Generally, free zones are not governed by the UAE Labour Law. Each free zone has its own employment law. Furthermore, you will not be subject to an employment ban as you have completed two years with your current employer. Bans are for those labourers who have entered into two-year contracts or unlimited contracts and terminate their contract before its expiry i.e. before completion of two years with their current employers. Therefore, you will not face any labour ban.

My husband was working in a ship maintenance firm for over 26 years. While we were on vacation, he was terminated based on customer complaints. He was asked to sign a termination letter. Can we approach the labour department against this injustice. Is he entitled to notice pay? Is he entitled to a severance package and family return ticket?

Khalaf Al Habtoor’s autobiography is the must read for any student of Dubai business and politics « ArabianMoney

For an entirely self-made businessman whose group has just been valued at $6 billion and whose other assets must be worth at least another billion, Khalaf Al Habtoor is surprisingly coy about some of the greatest moments in his long and outstandingly successful Dubai business career.

His autobiography published by Motivate Publishing this month does not even mention the sale of a 45 per cent stake in his contruction group to the Australian firm Leighton for $860 million in 2007 at the height of the Dubai building boom. Perhaps he feels this was luck rather than judgement, or maybe it is just a bit embarrassing as he remains a partner with Leighton in a construction concern now worth a lot less than it was then.

Can the UAE really open one hundred more hotels in 2013? « ArabianMoney

Talk to UAE hoteliers at the moment and the conversation usually comes back around to one small concern about 2013. Can the Emirates really absorb another one hundred hotels next year?

The official figures show Dubai has 678 hotels. But to add this much to the hotel supply in one year is going to be a challenge even for a tourism market as resilient as Dubai which has benefited greatly from being a safe haven amid the turmoil of the Arab Spring with many rival destinations far from safe these days.

UAE markets remain above long-term support, but risks remain |

Last week the Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) bounced 16.87 or 1.06 per cent to close at 1,601.39. Advancing issues of 22 led declining of seven, while volume improved to the second highest level in nine weeks, including a couple holiday weeks.
For the past seven weeks the DFMGI hasn’t moved much as it’s stayed within a narrow range between resistance at 1,630.96 and support at 1,575.28. A daily close above the top of this range will give the index a chance of reaching the recent high of 1,656.20, and possibly exceeding it. If this occurs the next areas for potential resistance are around 1,706.60, followed by 1,778.25.
So far the retracement off the 1,656.20 high has been relatively minor, only 4.9 per cent, or a little more than 33 per cent of the six-month uptrend begun from the early-June low of 1,425.34. And, the index remains above support of its 200 daily exponential moving average (ema). These are signs that underlying buying strength remains. Whether it will be enough to propel the index higher from here remains to be seen.

Oil price no longer driving stock market performance |

It is well known that oil revenues — and by default oil prices — are what drive GCC economies, despite efforts by individual GCC states to diversify their economies. Hydrocarbon GDP continues to dominate the economic structure, and consequently, periods of high oil prices and high economic growth, have fed into the stock market through increased liquidity and petrodollars. However, this relationship seems to be breaking, with oil price no longer driving stock market performance. From 2005 to date, crude oil and the S&P GCC Index have had a correlation of only 12 per cent, a relatively low figure. Since 2008, crude oil price increased by 19 per cent while S&P’s GCC index fell by 46 per cent. So why is this correlation diverging and is it likely to return?
Reason #1: The Oil Price-Economy-Stock Market link broken thanks to Banks

National Medical Care to list on Saudi Tadawul next year - The National

National Medical Care will embark on an initial public offering in the new year, Saudi Arabia's markets regulator said on Sunday.

The company, whose services range from hospital operations to medical supplies, will sell 30 per cent of its shares to individual and institutional investors and list on the Tadawul exchange.

The offering will commence on February 4 and complete on February 10, once the book-building process is complete, the regulator said in a statement posted on the bourse website. The regulator did not provide a listing date.

Syrian lenders hit by board resignations amid 'political exposure' - The National

Syria's banks are witnessing a cull at board level, adding to the already difficult conditions facing a sector hit by sanctions, losses and robberies amid a deepening civil war.

Officially reported as resignations, the changes come as individuals, some deemed too close to the regime, are being asked to step down to help to ease the pressure on financial institutions.

Other directors have shed their holdings in a bid to ensure they are not marked in the future.

UAE brokerage firms hope for higher volumes next year - The National

UAE stock market trading volumes are expected to reach Dh70 billion (US$19.05bn) for the year, representing a 22 per cent increase on 2011.

Although a marked increase from last year's Dh57bn, the figure has been met with mixed feelings by brokers who had expectations of volumes nearer to those reached in 2010.

"I can't say we are happy. Last year we had crumbs and this year we had one-third of a piece of bread," said Fathi Ben Grira, the chief executive at Mena Corp, an Abu Dhabi investment company.