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Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Abu Dhabi approves Dh3bn for commercial buildings - The National

The Abu Dhabi Department of Finance’s commercial buildings finance committee approved 245 loans for funding commercial buildings at a total cost of more than Dh3 billion on instructions of Sheikh Khalifa, President of the UAE.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, also helped in the approval of the property loans for Emiratis who own lands but did not have adequate financing to build commercial business facilities, Wam, the state news agency, reported.

Of the total 245 finance facilities, 133 were allocated for demolishing and rebuilding residential investment towers and villas, 103 for building new buildings and 9 for building annexes to buildings.

The Gulf: In the midst of the storm Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English)

It is estimated that the Gross Domestic Production [GDP] of Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] states may reach as high as $1.5 trillion in 2013, depending if oil prices remain at $100 per barrel. This is consistent with the expectations of the oil market based on international levels of supply and demand.

If we take current global standards into account, which talk about a state’s power and ability to influence according to the size of its economy and the per capita income of its citizens as well as the extent of its economy’s development; these figures grant a clear picture that we are talking about an economic force to be reckoned with on the international level, as well as in terms of regional standards.

MENA stock markets close - December 25, 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 rally falters; Gulf mkts fall in thin trade - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Egypt's bourse fell on Tuesday due to a weak outlook for economic policy, and all other Gulf markets also declined as investors booked profits ahead of the year-end.
Cairo's benchmark lost 1 percent, its second decline since last Thursday's four-week closing high.
The market had rallied for most of December because of bargain-hunting, much of it by foreign investors, according to stock exchange data, following a plunge triggered by the political crisis over Egypt's new constitution.
But investors remain concerned that politics is preventing government action to repair the economy and obtain an
International Monetary Fund loan. Standard & Poors' cut Egypt's long-term credit rating on Monday, saying another downgrade was possible if political turbulence undermined efforts to prop up the economy.

Times of Oman | Gulf region may not repeat record debt sales: NBAD

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), which surpassed Deutsche Bank as the Arabian Gulf's third-biggest debt underwriter for 2012, said it will be hard for the region to repeat this year's record sales as state refinancing slows.

About $40 billion of bonds will probably be sold in 2013 across the six-country Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), said Fawaz Abu Sneineh, head of debt capital markets for the bank known as NBAD. Issues jumped 54 per cent this year to $42 billion, an all- time high, as Qatar sold its first Islamic bonds and government-owned Dubai companies refinanced debt.

About half of the sales were sukuk, bonds that comply with Islam's ban on interest. "This year was a record for us, and we would like to maintain it," Abu Sneineh said in a December 17 interview. "Next year, the level of refinancing will be less and the markets would be expected to correct at some point."

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Kuwait drops the most in 3 weeks; UAE mkts slip - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Kuwait's bourse makes its largest one-day drop since Dec. 4 as retail investors cash out ahead of holidays.
The index falls 0.6 percent to finish at 5,922 points. The market rallied 6.2 percent from early November till
Dec. 23, as bargain hunters and support from government buying lifted the market from eight-year nadir touched on Nov. 4.
"The market is totally driven by retails with no fundamental reasons," says Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment House. "We don't see any support from government buying in the last few days and that's making some people nervous and are getting out of Kuwait 15 index."

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Egypt slips; Saudi's Tasnee jumps on dividend - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Egypt's bourse slips in early trade as a recent rally falters because of a weak outlook for economic policy,
while Saudi Arabia's market edges lower in thin trade.
Cairo's benchmark loses 0.9 percent to 5,326 points, heading for its second decline since last Thursday's
four-week closing high.
The market rallied for most of the past two weeks because of bargain-hunting, much of it by foreign investors according to stock exchange data, following a plunge triggered by the political crisis over Egypt's new constitution.

UPDATE 1-Iraq's Asiacell seeks to raise $1.35 bln from IPO | Reuters

Iraq's Asiacell, a unit of Qatar Telecom, said it planned to raise at least $1.35 billion by floating 25 percent of its share capital on the Baghdad stock market, in what would be the country's largest initial public offer of equity.

The offer, the first major IPO in Iraq since a U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, will test investor confidence in an economy that is struggling to recover from years of war, political instability and financial sanctions.

Mobile telephone operator Asiacell, in which Qtel owns 54 percent, will sell 67.503 billion shares at a price of at least 22 Iraqi dinars ($0.02) per share in the offer, which starts on Jan. 3, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

The 12 Days of a Capitalist Christmas | Alternet

On the first day of Christmas my employer gave to me a penny for every $3 the richest 130,000 Americans make. It's been a national tradition since 1980.

On the second day my doctor showed me TWO Americans needing mental health care, but only one of the two could afford treatment. The doctor informed me that the fifty states have cut $1.8 billion from their mental health budgets during the recession, and that the 2013 Republican budget proposes further cuts. "It's crazy," I protested. "Some states are allowing guns in schools and daycare centers and churches and bars and hospitals, but they're cutting mental health care?" The doctor just nodded in frustration.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Gulf mkts slip; retail investors dominate - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Gulf markets are trading lower as retail investors book profits in shares that rallied in recent sessions, while Qatar's bourse extends its decline.
Dubai's measure slips 0.2 percent to 1,604 points, trimming year-to-date gains to 18.6 percent.
"Most fund managers have had a good year and are not willing to add risk in the last weeks," says a Dubai-based fund manager who asks not to be identified. "We are waiting for next year to start fresh and will shuffle positions after fourth-quarter earnings."

WAM | Dubai needs creative trade initiatives to usher into new markets: Maktoum

Dubai needs creative and effective initiatives to expand prospects of Dubai's foreign trade exchange and to explore more promising opportunities to help Dubai penetrate into new markets and broaden its base of trade partners, H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy ruler of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, affirmed.

Presiding over the Council meeting, Sheikh Maktoum urged the council members to live up to the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for the future of UAE trade sector and to inspire mechanisms that will deliver Dubai's great expectations for this vital sector.

Sheikh Maktoum also called on government and non-government stakeholders to advance the transport and logistics sector as its plays a central role in energizing the emirate's economic and promotes its economic standing regionally and internationally.

Commercial Bank of Qatar will start talks to buy Alternatifbank

Commercial Bank of Qatar QSC, the Persian Gulf country’s second-biggest bank, will start talks to buy Alternatifbank AS of Turkey, said Anadolu Group, Alternatifbank’s owner.

The negotiations with Doha-based CBQ are over the sale of a majority stake, Anadolu Group said in a filing to the Istanbul Stock Exchange on Monday.

The talks are expected to last about 2.5 months and the group, which owns 96 per cent of the bank, will retain a minority shareholding, chairman Tuncay Ozilhan told Bloomberg HT television.