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Sunday, 30 December 2012

Opec cartel to reap record $1tn - FT.com

The Opec oil cartel, led by Saudi Arabia, will pocket a record of more than US$1tn in net oil revenues in 2012 as the annual average price for Brent, the benchmark, heads to an all-time high in spite of weak economic growth.
The windfall will provide fresh capital to some of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds. United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the most influential members of the cartel, are home to three of the world’s 10 largest SWFs by assets under management, according to estimates by the SWF Institute.
With one trading day left before the year-end, Brent oil prices are on the point of seeing an average for the year of about $111.5 a barrel, higher than the previous all-time high set in 2011 of $110.9.

Dubai announces its resurgence - FT.com

For the two years since it opened in the wake of a humiliating financial crisis, the New Year’s eve celebrations surrounding Dubai’s Burj Khalifa building have been fairly muted. But this year developer Emaar is putting on a huge show combining a dancing fountain, the Prague Symphony Orchestra and plenty of fireworks. The message: The emirate is back with a bang.
Three years after Dubai shocked global markets with a warning it would be unable to repay its debts on time, the emirate wants to let the world know that its slump is history and that it is now embarking on its second economic boom in a decade.

U.A.E. Said to Cap Expatriate Mortgages at 50% of Home Value - Bloomberg

The United Arab Emirates central bank issued new guidelines today that restrict mortgages to expatriates at 50 percent of the value of the property, according to three bankers who have seen the circular.
Home loans to U.A.E. citizens that banks may provide can be as much 70 percent of the value of the property for the first house and 60 percent for a second house, two of the bankers said, declining to be identified because the information isn’t public yet. Expatriates can get mortgages of as much as 40 percent of the value of a second property, the bankers said. Nobody was available at the Abu Dhabi-based central bank to comment when Bloomberg News called outside office hours.
“We will be in discussions with the central bank on the implications of the circular for mortgage lending and the real- estate industry and how the new rules will be implemented,” Suvo Sarkar, the head of retail banking at Emirates NBD PJSC (EMIRATES), the U.A.E.’s biggest bank by assets, said by telephone today.

UPDATE 1-Qatari growth slows as energy sector sluggish - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Qatar's economic growth slowed in the third quarter of the year but was supported by strong expansion of
non-oil sectors, data released by the statistics authority showed on Sunday.
Gross domestic product in the July-September period, adjusted for inflation, rose 3.9 percent from a year earlier and grew 1.7 percent from the previous quarter.
That marked a slowdown from the second quarter of this year, when real GDP grew 5 percent from a year ago, and the first quarter, when growth was 6.9 percent.

Dana Gas makes significant new gas discoveries in Egypt - bi-me.com

Dana Gas PJSC, the Middle East's first and largest regional private sector natural gas company, has announced that it has made two new onshore gas discoveries in the Nile Delta Basin of Egypt.

Initial estimates indicate that together the two discoveries, known as Alyam-1 and Balsam-1, should increase the company's commercial reserves by between 17 (proved) and 95 (proved & probable) million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE).

Appraisal drilling will be conducted on both discoveries which are located on the West El Manzala Concession, operated by Dana Gas.  The company has already filed a declaration of commerciality and development plans for the two discoveries, which will be tied in to the nearby pipelines also owned by Dana Gas.

MENA stock markets close - December 30, 2012

 ExchangeStatus IndexChange  
 
 TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
 
6824.11-0.77%  
 
 DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
 
1629.071.13%  
 
 ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
 
2626.970.06%  
 
 KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
 
5947.140.09%  
 
 BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
 
1074.130.96%  
 
 MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
 
5730.080.78%  
 
 QE (Qatar Exchange)
 
8300.37-0.13%  
 
 LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
 
1169.07-0.04%  
 
 EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
 
5442.370.46%  
 
 ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
 
1957.6-0.46%  
 
 TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
 
4561.980.44%  
 
 CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
 
9388.83-0.22%  
 
 PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)
 
477.31-0.31%  


Qatar Q3 real GDP climbs 3.9 pct from a year ago | Reuters

Qatar's gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, rose 3.9 percent from a year earlier in the third quarter of this year, the statistics authority said on Sunday.

GDP expanded 1.7 percent from the previous quarter.

Germany mulls tank deal with Saudi Arabia: report -- Shanghai Daily | 上海日报

The German government has given the green light in principle to sell 30 armoured vehicles worth about 100 million euros (132 million U.S. dollars) to Saudi Arabia, German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported on Sunday.

The newspaper cited government sources saying that Saudi Aradia could eventually purchase up 100 Dingo 2 armoured vehicles.

Boasted by its maker as "the safest and best-protected wheeled vehicle in its class", the tank can carry eight infantry personnel and is equipped with a top-mounted machine gun as standard. The vehicle is also equipped with atomic, biological and chemical protection system.

Saudi Arabia: Oil, the youth and a fund for future generations Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English)

It’s the annual-budget season in Saudi Arabia. This is the time of year when every extra zero means a lot to everyone, for the government is the mother and caretaker of the people. The budget, in itself, is nothing but a project that outlines the hopes – but not guarantees – for the forthcoming year based on anticipated oil revenues. Gulf countries rely on oil, and even their other sources of revenue are indirectly linked to this sector, including petrochemical products like fertilizers and plastics, not to mention labour and services charges.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Dubai ends at 9-week high; Oman up - Yahoo! News

Dubai's index ends at a nine-week closing high as investors bet that good fourth-quarter earnings will be
announced early next year.
The index ends 1.1 percent higher at 1,629 points, its highest finish since Oct. 24. Blue chip Emaar Properties
leads the gains, rising 1.9 percent, and Air Arabia climbs 4.3 percent. Property developer Deyaar rises
2.9 percent.
"Investors are betting on good earnings in the fourth quarter and maybe a good rally next month," says
Mohab Maher, senior manager at the institutional desk for MENA Corp.
Oman's index ends 0.8 percent higher at 5,730 points with most stocks advancing. Bank Muscat is the main
gainer, advancing 2.0 percent.

Arabtec Retreats Amid Depa’s Qatar Contract Dispute: Dubai Mover - Bloomberg

Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC) fell to a one- month low after Qatar Airways said it’s filing a legal claim against a joint venture of Depa Ltd. (DEPA), which is partly owned by the United Arab Emirates construction company.
The shares tumbled as much as 4.9 percent to 2.14 dirhams before closing at 2.24 dirhams in Dubai, the lowest level since Nov. 28. Arabtec was the second-biggest decliner on the benchmark DFM General Index (DFMGI), which gained 1.1 percent. Arabtec in November bought almost a quarter of Depa, the interior contractor that fitted out the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, at a 47 percent premium.
Qatar Airways is filing a $600 million legal claim against Lindner Depa Interiors for causing a delay of as much as one year in the opening of the new Doha International Airport, the airline said yesterday. Lindner Depa, a German-Emirati joint venture, planned to build 19 airport lounges by summer this year as part of a $250 million contract, Qatar Airways said. The airport had been scheduled to open this month, it said.

REFILE-Saudi FinMin: oil output hikes elsewhere may dent 2013 income - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Production hikes by other oil producers will weigh on energy prices in 2013, potentially cutting into Saudi Arabia's fiscal surplus, Finance Minister Ibrahim Alassaf said on Sunday in a television interview.
The world's top oil exporter said on Saturday that it ran a budget surplus of 387 billion riyals ($103.2 billion) in 2012 as high energy prices and strong output levels generated revenue of 1.24 trillion riyals.
For next year it has conservatively budgeted spending of 820 billion riyals and income of 829 billion riyals, although based on recent fiscal performance both figures are likely to be a lot higher.

Saudi Arabia to issue bonds for Jeddah, Riyadh airports | Reuters

Saudi Arabia's government will issue bonds next year backed by the kingdom's ministry of finance to fund construction work at airports in Riyadh and Jeddah, Finance Minister Ibrahim Alassaf told Al Arabiya television on Sunday.

"The rest of the bonds for King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah and King Khaled Airport in Riyadh will be issued this (coming) year," Alassaf said.

The kingdom's General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) said in January it planned to issue a second sukuk, or Islamic bond, at the end of 2012 to help fund its 27 billion riyal ($7.2 billion) airport in Jeddah.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Saudi's Kingdom, Emaar up after budget plan - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Investment firm Kingdom Holding Co advances on the Saudi bourse as stocks related to domestic demand and
investment outperform in the wake of Saturday's announcement of a record state budget for 2013.
Shares in Kingdom, which develops real estate projects in Saudi Arabia, rise 2.2 percent and Emaar Economic City climbs 0.6 percent.
The finance ministry announced a 19 percent rise in budgeted spending for 2013 and although the increase in actual spending will be different, analysts said budget policy remained expansionary - not a surprise, but still a modest positive for stocks focused on the domestic economy.

UAE's Tabreed to issue convertible bonds in recap plan - Yahoo! News Maktoob

District cooling firm Tabreed has agreed to issue 1.13 billion dirhams ($308 million) in convertible bonds to Abu Dhabi fund Mubadala on Dec. 31, the firm said on Sunday, as part of a recapitalisation plan agreed last year.
Tabreed secured 3.1 billion dirhams of financing from Mubadala Development Co, wholly owned by the Abu
Dhabi government, in March 2011; the package consisted of a 1.7 billion dirham convertible bond issue and a loan facility of up to 1.4 billion dirhams.
Under terms of the loan, which matures this month, the amount drawn by Tabreed would be repaid with an issue of new convertible bonds. Sunday's statement said Tabreed had drawn 1.13 billion dirhams from the facility, and would issue that amount of convertible bonds to Mubadala under the same terms as its previous convertible issue.

Abu Dhabi population up 7.8% - Emirates 24/7

Abu Dhabi’s population surged by around 7.8 per cent to gain nearly 153,000 people in mid 2011 and expatriates remained a majority in the oil-rich emirate.

From around 1.967 million in mid 2010, the emirate’s population increased to their highest level of 2.120 million in mid 2011, according to the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED).

“The emirate's total population amounted to 2.120 million people in mid-2011 compared to 1.967 million in mid-2010, marking an increase by 7.8 per cent,” it said in a report on the emirate’s socio-economic developments.

Bahrain Alba gets loans to pay off $169m bond maturing in 2013 | Reuters

Aluminium Bahrain, or Alba, which owns the world's fourth-largest aluminium smelter, said on Sunday it received two loans from banks to refinance a $169 million bond maturing in March 2013.

Alba, 69 percent owned by Bahraini sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat and 20 percent by the Saudi government, said it obtained a five-year $85 million loan from Abu Dhabi's First Gulf Bank, according to a statement on the Bahrain bourse.

The company also received a three-year $84 million loan from a group of banks including Ahli United Bank, National Bank of Bahrain, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd , Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait and Arab Banking Corporation.

Traditional end of year market rally fails to materialise - The National

Equity brokers are reining in hopes of bigger trading volumes in the new year amid a slow return of investor appetite for riskier asset classes.

A traditional end of year rally - which usually takes place in the last two months of the year - failed to materialise this year. During this period, investors typically buy up stocks to improve funds at the end of the year, a practice known as "window dressing".

"I was hoping for an end of year rally, but it may just be the last two days for the end of the year," said Nabil Farhat, a partner at Al Fajer Securities in Abu Dhabi.

First ship for London Gateway - The National

London Gateway is to open in the fourth quarter of next year and is designed to handle the world's largest container ships. Stephen Lock for The National
A first ship has berthed in the deep-water quay of London Gateway, the container port being developed by DP World on the Thames Estuary in the United Kingdom.

The Wieniawski, a cargo vessel that began its journey in China several weeks ago, was carrying four new automatic stacking cranes for the port's container handling area.

The 170-metre-long ship was safely guided from the piloting station in the Prince's Channel to London Gateway on Friday by a Port of London Authority pilot.

Economic challenges for GCC in 2013 | GulfNews.com

Economies of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries need to address key economic issues in 2013. These challenges include consolidating regional economic integration, strengthening economic liberalisation drive and addressing the job headache in some member countries. On the international front, the challenge entails refreshing efforts to conclude trade agreements with other countries and blocks, notably the European Union.
One such challenge concerns slow pace of regional economic integration with regards to implementation of the Gulf Common Market (GCM). Launched in 2008, the GCM calls for free movement of factors of production within the six-nation grouping. However, complaints are plenty from business leaders and entrepreneurs of untold hurdles for attempting to open up branches in fellow GCC countries.

‘My Vision’ is a remarkable personal testament to Dubai from its ruler Sheikh Mohammed « ArabianMoney

Now available for the first-time in English, ‘My Vision: Challenges in the Race for Excellence’ is a remarkable personal testament from The Ruler of Dubai, Prime Minister and Vice-President of the UAE, Sheiklh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

This book was originally published in 2006 and it is shame it has taken so long for the translation. For the core of this vision is an explanation of why Dubai has succeeded in the past and why it will do so in the future, combined with considerable insight into the political philosophy of its ruler and his power for positive thinking.