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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

UAE’s financial management met with international recognition | GulfNews.com

Over the past 50 years, industrially advanced countries have come in first place as per economic and social indicators that are published in international organisations’ reports. Developing countries on the other hand came in last because of the large developmental disparities between the two groups.
However, it seems this image which has continued since the end of WWII until the end of the 20th century is on its way to change. This is due to the huge changes witnessed in the world economy over the past decades and the advances achieved by many developing countries such as the UAE and other GCC countries that have come to surpass the position of European, American, and Asian countries in some development indexes.
A prominent example of these changes and outstanding advances is the UAE’s international stand for its financial policy’s efficiency as published in the 2012 World Competitiveness Yearbook that was issued in June by the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland.
UAE’s financial management met with international recognition | GulfNews.com

Saudi industrial push to be fuelled by sukuk - The National

Saudi Arabia's massive industrialisation drive will increasingly rely on Islamic financing, said the treasurer of the country's national oil company, as international banks are constrained from investing in projects in the region.

Saudi Aramco - the world's largest oil company - has taken on many of the petrochemical and refining projects intended to diversify the national economy away from oil and provide jobs for Saudis.

Satorp, a Saudi Aramco petrochemical joint venture with France's Total, in 2011 launched a Sharia-compliant bond to fund the construction of a refinery.
Saudi industrial push to be fuelled by sukuk - The National

Agthia Group feeds off consumer confidence - The National

Agthia Group generated sharply higher profits as it improved margins and sales soared in the UAE.

The Abu Dhabi-based food group, best known for its Al Ain mineral waters and also owning distribution rights to brands including Chiquita and Capri-Sun, had substantial sales last year.

Agthia made profits for the year of Dh124.7 million (US$33.9m), an increase of 44.5 per cent compared with a year earlier.
Agthia Group feeds off consumer confidence - The National

Standard bearer for managing Gulf wealth - The National

Selling traditional insurance in the Middle East has been a famously problematic business. There are socio-cultural difficulties on top of the usual barriers to entry in an industry dominated globally by big American and European players.

Life insurance and even buildings and property insurance have remained an under-exploited market in the region; demand has remained weak by international standards, and market penetration low.

So it is just as well that Nathan Parnaby, who recently launched the Arabian Gulf business of Standard Life with an office in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), stresses that his company is "less a risk-taking insurer, more a savings and investment company".
Standard bearer for managing Gulf wealth - The National

Tough market hits Abu Dhabi National Hotels profit - The National

Costs associated with the capital's swanky Park Hyatt hotel bit deep into profits at Abu Dhabi National Hotels (ADNH).

The company reported that profits fell 24.8 per cent last year to Dh198 million (US$53.9m).

ADNH is one of the capital's biggest hotel owners, with a portfolio that also includes the Hilton, Le Meridien and Sheraton. It said revenue across the company increased by just 1 per cent during the year to Dh1.8 billion.
Tough market hits Abu Dhabi National Hotels profit - The National

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Times of Oman | Vision launches Sharia-compliant GCC fund in Oman

Vision Investment Services has set a new trend by introducing the first Sharia-compliant fund in Oman. The Vision Al Khair GCC Fund (Sharia-compliant) is an investment vehicle, wherein all financial instruments of the fund are in compliance with acceptable Sharia principles and policies.  It is an investment programme, wherein the fund seeks investments in financial instruments of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) economies to earn profits that are in conformity with the precepts of Sharia.

The initial subscription period of the fund is from January 10, 2013 to February 10, 2013 and the subscription is open to all nationalities. Elaborating about the fund, Ali Mohammed Juma, chief executive said, "We are pleased to announce the launch of the first Sharia-compliant fund in Oman. This Fund is coming in response to the increasing demand in Sharia-compliant options in different markets for investments and savings, for government and semi government organisations, corporates, institutions and individuals."
Times of Oman | Vision launches Sharia-compliant GCC fund in Oman

Qatar says to invest in smaller Greek firms

Qatar signed an agreement with Greece on Tuesday for the wealthy Gulf state to invest in small and medium-sized Greek companies, officials from both countries said.

The agreement was reached during a visit by Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to Qatar.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani told a news conference that his country was prepared to put 1 billion euros ($1.34 billion) into a fund to conduct the investment, with Greece providing a similar amount. But he added that a timetable for the scheme had not been set.
Qatar says to invest in smaller Greek firms

India needs more than rate cut



[video] India needs more than rate cut | beyondbrics

The Reserve Bank of India has cut rates by 25 basis points to encourage growth. Lex’s Stuart Kirk and Julia Grindell discuss whether this is enough, and the impact on equities.

Out of the bottle - China has released data on income equality for the first time in 12 years

Bahrain's Investcorp eyeing Italy luxury brands - The National

Investcorp, one of the Middle East's largest private equity firms, is on the lookout for Italian luxury and retail brands that want to expand internationally.

"We have spent a lot of time talking to the owners of some very well-known Italian brands and are always on the lookout for interesting brands with the potential to internationalise," Hazem Ben-Gacem, the head of corporate investments for Europe, said.

Mr Ben-Gacem also said he was not too concerned about next month's election in Italy.
Bahrain's Investcorp eyeing Italy luxury brands - The National

National Bank of Abu Dhabi Plans Bonds Sales as Net Climbs 55% - Bloomberg

National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC, the United Arab Emirates’ second-biggest lender by assets, plans to sell bonds after reporting a higher-than-expected increase in fourth-quarter profit.
Net income rose to 1.12 billion dirhams ($305 million) from 724 million dirhams a year earlier, the Abu Dhabi-based bank said today in a statement. That beat the median 878 million- dirham estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Full-year profit climbed 17 percent to 4.3 billion dirhams, it said.
“Our growth was a result of the success of our diversified business model, investment gains driven by favorable financial market conditions and successful hedging strategies,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Tomalin said in the statement.
National Bank of Abu Dhabi Plans Bonds Sales as Net Climbs 55% - Bloomberg

Egypt Exchange close - January 29, 2013

General Index
Intraday  3 month  
 Daily Statistics
 Date29/01/2013
 General Index5495.3
 Change (%)-2.01%
 Change-112.72
 T. Volume89907646
 T. Companies 444
   Advanced68
   Declined65
   Unchanged17
   UnTraded161
Egypt Exchange

MENA stock markets close - January 29, 2013

 ExchangeStatus IndexChange  
 
 TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
 
7020.36-0.02%  
 
 DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
 
1853.171.75%  
 
 ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
 
2839.041.15%  
 
 KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
 
6247.680.40%  
 
 BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
 
1085.610.58%  
 
 MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
 
5836.40.38%  
 
 QE (Qatar Exchange)
 
8689.690.28%  
 
 LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
 
1202.9-0.41%  
 
 EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
 
5495.3-2.01%  
 
 ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
 
2053.9-0.25%  
 
 TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
 
4746.25-0.00%  
 
 CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
 
8918.91-0.33%  
 
 PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)
 
472.070.11%  
MENA stock markets

Egypt Stocks Drop Most in World Amid Turmoil, Political Standoff - Bloomberg

Egypt’s shares fell the most in the world after the country’s main opposition bloc rejected talks with President Mohamed Mursi, signaling the nation’s political crisis may be prolonged.
The North African country’s benchmark EGX 30 Index (EGX30) retreated 2.1 percent to 5,490.36 as of 1:30 p.m. in Cairo. That’s the biggest drop among 93 indexes tracked by Bloomberg. The gauge has retreated 3.5 percent this week as escalating violence left dozens dead since the second anniversary of the Jan. 25 uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak.
Egyptian Defense Minister Abdelfatah Al-Seesi warned of a “collapse of the state” after the National Salvation Front, a group of secular opposition parties, refused talks with Mursi, an Islamist. Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE, the country’s biggest publicly traded lender, slumped 5.6 percent. Talaat Moustafa Group Holding, the largest publicly traded property developer, was set for the lowest close since Dec. 11.
Egypt Stocks Drop Most in World Amid Turmoil, Political Standoff - Bloomberg

Dubai Stocks Rise Most in World on Profit Bets, Property Rebound - Bloomberg

Dubai stocks advanced the most in the world as a real estate recovery in the sheikhdom spurred bets companies including Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR) will post stronger full-year earnings and dividends.
Emaar, developer of the world’s tallest tower, surged to the highest level since October 2009. Emirates NBD PJSC (EMIRATES), the biggest United Arab Emirates bank by assets, soared 8.6 percent on volume of more than six times the three-month daily average. The benchmark DFM General Index jumped 1.8 percent to 1,853.17, the strongest since April 2010, at the close in Dubai. The gain was the biggest among 94 global indexes tracked by Bloomberg.
Dubai’s property industry recovered last year after a crash sent prices plunging 65 percent from mid-2008 peaks. Emaar, which has the heaviest weighting on Dubai’s measure, rose 7.4 percent since saying Jan. 27 that a luxury hotel project in central Dubai sold out all units available in the first offering. The developer’s 2012 profit probably rose 16 percent, the average estimate of 11 analysts compiled by Bloomberg shows.
Dubai Stocks Rise Most in World on Profit Bets, Property Rebound - Bloomberg

Dragon Oil, Kuwait Energy to work in Basra - UPI.com

Dubai's Dragon Oil said it was joined by independent Kuwait Energy in receiving permission from Baghdad to start oil exploration work in Basra province.

The Iraqi Oil Ministry signed a final service contract for Dragon Oil and Kuwait Energy to work in Block 9, a 347-square-mile site in southern Basra.

The companies said they're eligible for a 20-year development project should Block 9 find commercial reserves during a five-year exploration period. Neither party gave a reserve expectation.
Dragon Oil, Kuwait Energy to work in Basra - UPI.com

NBAD customer deposits jump 25% to $53bn as net profits jump 17% to $1.2bn « ArabianMoney

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi today reported a 25 per cent surge in customer deposits to $53 billion in 2012 as well as a 17 per cent jump in profits to $1.2 billion. Ranked among the 50 safest banks in the world and the safest in the Middle East this is what it means to be a safe haven from the Arab Spring.

CEO Michael Tomalin said: ‘Our growth was a result of the success of our diversified business model, investment gains driven by favorable financial market conditions and successful hedging strategies.

‘We also continued to expand our international presence by opening offices in China and Malaysia, and we have set a target of expanding internationally from 14 countries to 41 countries by 2022.’
NBAD customer deposits jump 25% to $53bn as net profits jump 17% to $1.2bn « ArabianMoney

Emirates Bond After Dubai Signals Corporate Allure: Arab Credit - Bloomberg

Dubai companies are set to pick up the pace of bond sales to profit from lower borrowing costs after yields plunged last week at an offering by the sheikhdom, according to the United Arab Emirates’ biggest bank.
Sales by Dubai-based entities are likely to surpass last year’s $6.95 billion, according to Mohammad Kamran Wajid, head of Emirates NBD (EMIRATES) PJSC’s investment banking unit. The government lowered its costs by 40 percent when it sold 10-year Islamic bonds on Jan. 22, while also raising debut 30-year debt. Emirates, the world’s largest airline by international traffic, and Dubai Electricity & Water Authority will probably follow the government’s lead, Wajid said.
“Every entity that has been to the market before will be there in the market” this year, Wajid, chief executive officer of Emirates NBD Capital Ltd., said in a Jan. 27 interview. “All major debt restructurings are more or less done, the Dubai growth story has always been there and there’s a lot of confidence now in Dubai on the debt-management side.”
Emirates Bond After Dubai Signals Corporate Allure: Arab Credit - Bloomberg

SingTel sells Warid Telecom stake to Abu Dhabi | Reuters

Singapore Telecommunications said on Tuesday it has agreed to sell its entire 30 percent stake in Pakistan's Warid Telecom to a unit of the Abu Dhabi Group for $150 million.

"Excluding the value of any future transaction interest, the estimated loss on disposal will be approximately S$230 million ($186 million), including the foreign currency translation losses and transaction costs," SingTel said in a stock market filing.End

DP World Says 2012 Ebitda Matched $1.31 Billion Estimate - Bloomberg

DP World Ltd. (DPW) expects full-year Ebitda to be in line with analysts’ estimates of $1.31 billion as the world’s third-largest port operator manages costs and benefits from lower net financing charges.
Container volumes rose 2.4 percent to 56.1 million twenty- foot equivalent units across it operations last year, DP World said in a statement to Nasdaq Dubai today. Adjusting for divestment of four joint-venture terminals, like-for-like gross container volume growth was 3.7 percent.
“After a strong start to the year we had a challenging second half,” Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Sharaf said in the statement. “Our tight focus on cost management and higher quality revenue mean we still expect to achieve Ebitda in line with expectations for 2012. Lower net financing charges will benefit reported profit before tax.”
DP World Says 2012 Ebitda Matched $1.31 Billion Estimate - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Leads Major Weapons Markets in Corruption Ranking - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia is among the biggest arms-importing countries that have insufficient safeguards against corruption in the defense industry, Transparency International said.
Seven of the nine countries that imported more than $1.5 billion of weapons in 2011 ranked between high and very high for corruption risk, the non-profit organization said today as it unveiled a ranking of 82 countries. Morocco, Pakistan, Turkey and China were among the largest markets with the lowest grades.
Saudi Arabia signed a $29.4 billion agreement with the U.S. in 2011 to buy 84 new F-15 fighter jets and modernize 70 existing ones. A unit of European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. (EAD) is currently being investigated by the U.K. Serious Fraud Office over bribery allegations in the country.
Saudi Arabia Leads Major Weapons Markets in Corruption Ranking - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi's TAQA seals $1.4 bln financing for Morocco plant | Reuters

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co , the state-owned firm which recently bought some of BP's North Sea assets, sealed a $1.4 billion financing for the expansion of its power plant in Morocco.

Jorf Lasfar is the largest coal-fired power plant in the Middle East and North Africa and the first independent power producer (IPP) in Morocco, supplying 40 per cent of the Kingdom's electricity output, TAQA said in a statement.

The financing is the largest in over a decade for an international project in Morocco with Japanese and Korean export credit agencies participating for the first time in Moroccan project finance, the utility and energy firm said.
Abu Dhabi's TAQA seals $1.4 bln financing for Morocco plant | Reuters

Qatar to invest US$5b in Malaysia

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund plans to spend half of the US$10 billion it expects to invest in Malaysia on a petrochemicals complex aimed at transforming the Southeast Asian nation into a global hub for the oil and gas trade.

The Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex in the southern state of Johor is expected to help Malaysia compete with neighbouring Singapore to become the region’s top petrochemical hub.

“We are in discussions about this. We may invest up to US$5 billion in the next three to four years into petrochemical projects here (in Pengerang),” Qatar Holding LLC vice chairman Hussain Ali al-Abdulla told reporters in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.
Qatar to invest US$5b in Malaysia

Jordan to join bond-offer bandwagon - The National

Governments and companies in the Middle East are jumping on the bond bandwagon to take advantage of a wave of cheap credit and lock in lower interest payments.

Jordan is preparing for an international bond launch this year, the prime minister Abdullah Ensour told Bloomberg News this month, having passed a law last year paving the way for sovereign sukuk sales.

Jordan was in need of international funding to close a yawning deficit that has grown worse after the Arab Spring, said Mathias Angonin, an associate analyst at Moody's Investors Service.
Jordan to join bond-offer bandwagon - The National

BP rethinking Libya operations after Algeria crisis - The National

BP is reconsidering its operations in Libya after the terrorist attack on its gas facilities in Algeria and as industry concerns over security in Libya grow.

"We had expected to restart drilling at the end of the second quarter this year, but we're currently reviewing our plans," a BP spokesperson said.

The British oil major was left stunned by the attack on Ain Amenas gasfield - operated by BP, Statoil and Algeria's Sonatrach - which left 37 foreign workers dead after a four-day siege.
BP rethinking Libya operations after Algeria crisis - The National

Brazil farmers reap from Adep's financial lifeline - The National

It's harvest season in Brazil. Growers are dumping their crops into the international markets, causing prices to go down.

A farmer wants to wait until prices stabilise before selling his crop to the international traders.

But his suppliers are hassling him, asking him to pay for his fertiliser, seeds and equipment he has used in the last year.
Brazil farmers reap from Adep's financial lifeline - The National

Etihad set to buy 24 per cent stake of Jet Airways | GulfNews.com

Etihad Airways will buy a 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways (India) Ltd. for about Rs 16 billion ($297 million) in a deal likely to be announced as early as this week, a senior official at India’s civil aviation ministry said on Monday.
“I would believe the deal is as good as done,” the official told The Wall Street Journal. The official didn’t want to be named, as he isn’t allowed to speak on private company deals. India’s Commerce Minister, Anand Sharma, said he will meet a delegation of Etihad executives in “a couple of days”. A statement issued by the minister didn’t say why the executives are meeting him. A senior executive at Jet Airways, India’s second-largest airline by market share, declined to comment. The likely deal will make Jet Airways the first beneficiary of a rule change last year that allowed foreign airlines to buy stakes of up to 49 per cent in Indian carriers.
Etihad set to buy 24 per cent stake of Jet Airways | GulfNews.com

Dubai airport set to overtake London Heathrow as the busiest international airport in the world « ArabianMoney

Dubai International Airport has displaced Hong Kong as the world’s third busiest international airport and stands poised to become the busiest in the world by overtaking London Heathrow.

By April the new fourth all-A380 terminal will be fully operational with Qantas moving all its flights from Singapore to Dubai. The ongoing expansion of Emirates Airline and other Gulf carriers should put Dubai International Airport easily into the number one slot within the next year or two, according to an ArabianMoney forecast based on traffic growth.
Dubai airport set to overtake London Heathrow as the busiest international airport in the world « ArabianMoney

Dubai Suitcases of Cash Circumvent Loan Rules: Mortgages - Bloomberg

Dubai real estate agent Laura Adams remembers the Iranian homebuyer because of how he wanted to pay.
“He literally put a suitcase on my desk, opened it up and it was full of 1,000 dirham notes,” the Carlton Real Estate managing director said in an interview. “I asked him to go across the road to Western Union and get it exchanged for a manager’s check, half a million dirhams ($136,000).”
Cash is king in the Persian Gulf emirate’s rebounding property market, limiting the power of regulators to control rising prices that fueled the last property bubble by imposing restrictions on mortgage loans to foreigners. Buyers from Iran to Russia to Greece are paying cash in as many as 70 percent of Dubai home purchases, up from 49 percent in 2007, according to researcher Reidin.com.
Dubai Suitcases of Cash Circumvent Loan Rules: Mortgages - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia to Sustain Crude Exports Through 2030, Prince Says - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, will be able to sustain the current level of shipments for the next two decades even as local demand for fuel rises, the assistant minister of petroleum said.
The kingdom will be able to keep exports at the present level until at least 2030 without adding capacity, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said yesterday by phone from Riyadh. The nation’s crude production capacity is 12.5 million barrels a day, he said.
“We will maintain our current oil exports levels for the next twenty years and beyond despite the rise in demand,” the minister said. “Those who are forecasting the kingdom to turn into an oil importer are ignorant bordering idiocy.”
Saudi Arabia to Sustain Crude Exports Through 2030, Prince Says - Bloomberg

Monday, 28 January 2013

Turkey rating | beyondbrics

Turkey’s hopes of an investment grade rating from Moody’s have just received, if not a bucket of cold water, then at least a tumbler or two – and shares have sagged.

Ever since Fitch Ratings gave Ankara the investment grade palm last year, hopes had risen that Moody’s would follow suit, so unleashing billions of dollars in institutional investors’ funds. (Many big portfolio investments require an investment grade rating by at least two of the big three agencies.)

Some enthusiastic types had even hoped that a Moody’s teleconference on Monday might prove the decisive moment, since the first scheduled topic of discussion was “Shifting closer to an investment grade sovereign rating”.
Turkey rating | beyondbrics

Qatar shelves controversial Chelsea Barracks scheme as UK economy stalls | UK news | guardian.co.uk

Qatar has put its biggest single investment in London on hold, citing concerns about the British economy.

The gas and oil-rich state has placed the £3bn Chelsea Barracks housing development under review and a source close to the project said that while it could still go ahead, one option was to sell the "super-prime" site without building what has been dubbed a "Gucci ghetto" of 450 luxurious residences and 123 affordable homes.

Qatari Diar, the emirate's property arm, has secured planning permission for the scheme, which includes seven-bedroom mansions as well as one-bedroom flats. But today the £1bn site stands empty with weeds growing through the concrete.
Qatar shelves controversial Chelsea Barracks scheme as UK economy stalls | UK news | guardian.co.uk

Egypt unrest: enter the vicious cycle | beyondbrics

Two years on, and Egypt is back in crisis. Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s Islamist president, announced a month-long state of emergency on Sunday following violence in which nearly 50 have died.

For anyone hoping for a turnaround in Egypt’s economic fortunes, it’s another big blow and one that may hurt chances of a deal with the IMF.

The violence is a reaction to what many opposition leaders and Egyptian protesters see as a power grab by Morsi over state institutions and the constitution as a whole. The unrest escalated on Saturday following a court decision that sentenced to death 21 people involved in a soccer riot that resulted in the deaths of 74 people in Port Said last February.
Egypt unrest: enter the vicious cycle | beyondbrics

WAM | UAE bankruptcy draft law on anvil

Younis Haji Al Khouri, the undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance has said the Ministerial Council for Services had issued the decision, authorising the Ministry of Finance to study how best to implement the bankruptcy law in line with the UAE strategy 2021.

He added the ministry had surveyed the opinions of competent authorities in this respect.

Al Khouri told Abu Dhabi TV in an interview that the new draft law was prepared two years ago, noting that the main point in the new draft law is the issuance of a decision by the Council of Ministers to form a committee, which will include an expert listed in the Ministry of Justice.
WAM | UAE bankruptcy draft law on anvil

Egypt Exchange close - January 28, 2013

General Index
Intraday  3 month  
 Daily Statistics
 Date28/01/2013
 General Index5608.02
 Change (%)-1.41%
 Change-80.03
 T. Volume63156042
 T. Companies 444
   Advanced20
   Declined115
   Unchanged11
   UnTraded165
Egypt Exchange

MENA stock markets close - January 28, 2013

 ExchangeStatus IndexChange  
 
 TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
 
6998.34-0.13%  
 
 DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
 
1821.30.13%  
 
 ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
 
2806.890.26%  
 
 KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
 
6222.720.27%  
 
 BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
 
1079.340.56%  
 
 MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
 
5814.08-0.10%  
 
 QE (Qatar Exchange)
 
8665.190.28%  
 
 LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
 
1207.890.21%  
 
 EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
 
5608.02-1.41%  
 
 ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
 
2059.060.03%  
 
 TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
 
4746.410.20%  
 
 CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
 
8837.06-0.70%  
 
 PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)
 
471.560.92%  
MENA stock markets

Gulfmena CEO Arabi Steps Down as Proprietary Funds Shut - Bloomberg

Haissam Arabi, chief executive officer and founder of Gulfmena Investments Ltd., will step down as the company closes its proprietary funds and adopts a new strategy after losses in a main vehicle.
Marc Hambach, chief operating officer at the company based in the Dubai International Financial Centre, will take over as interim CEO effective Feb. 1, Arabi said in an e-mail to Bloomberg News today. The Gulfmena Opportunities Fund Ltd. and Gulfmena Access Fund will close as the company seeks to focus on institutions, ultra-high net worth individuals and family offices, he added.
The Gulfmena Opportunities Fund, which focuses on the Middle East and North Africa region, fell each year since 2010 with a retreat of 3.6 percent in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The change in Gulfmena’s strategy comes after the number of brokerages in the United Arab Emirates more than halved to 48 since 2008 amid lower trading volumes and a drought in initial public offerings.
Gulfmena CEO Arabi Steps Down as Proprietary Funds Shut - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi-led grouping eyes exit from Jordan airport - Construction - ArabianBusiness.com

An Abu Dhabi-led consortium investing US$850m to expand Jordan's main airport is looking to exit a 25-year concession to manage the facility, preferring to cash in the investment rather than stay involved for coming years.
Three banking sources told Reuters Airport International Group (AIG), formed of French, Greek and Jordanian firms to expand the Queen Alia International Airport with an additional terminal, had approached banks to advise on the possible sale.
The consortium was awarded a 25-year build-operate-transfer (BoT) concession by the Jordanian government in 2007. The new terminal is expected to open in February, increasing capacity nearly three times to 9m passengers a year.
Abu Dhabi-led grouping eyes exit from Jordan airport - Construction - ArabianBusiness.com

MIDEAST DEBT-Qatar plans to issue riyal govt bonds in 2013 -IMF official | Reuters

Qatar plans to issue local currency sovereign bonds with three- and five-year maturities this year as part of efforts to build a yield curve for its debt market, an International Monetary Fund official said on Monday.

"They are going to issue three- and five-year domestic government bonds in 2013. They did not mention the timing of the issuance but there will be more than one issuance and the objective is to build a domestic sovereign yield curve," A.Prasad, the IMF's mission chief for Qatar, told Reuters.

He said the government did not disclose any specific amounts or other details of the bond sales to the IMF, which concluded regular consultations with Qatar earlier this month.
MIDEAST DEBT-Qatar plans to issue riyal govt bonds in 2013 -IMF official | Reuters

India: Tuesday rate cut on the cards | beyondbrics

The Reserve Bank of India is widely expected to cut interest rates on Tuesday.

But by how much, nobody knows. Will the rate be reduced by 25 or 50 basis points? And contrarian analysts are even wondering whether loosening monetary policy is a good idea right now.

The ‘repo rate’ – the interest rate at which India’s central bank lends to banks – has been steady at 8 per cent since April. But the RBI is now expected to loosen monetary policy, complementing the government’s economy-boosting actions in liberalising policy towards foreign investors in September and cutting back expensive diesel subsidies, to reduce the fiscal deficit.
India: Tuesday rate cut on the cards | beyondbrics

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank picks banks for bond issue: sources

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank , the United Arab Emirates' third largest lender by market value, has picked five banks for a conventional bond issue, two sources familiar with the matter said, tapping into strong investor interest for regional debt.

The lender has chosen itself, J.P. Morgan Chase, ING, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered to arrange the offering, the sources said on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information is not public.

ADCB is due to report its fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday, with the bond expected to launch in the following days, the sources added.
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank picks banks for bond issue: sources

Merger of Abu Dhabi's Aldar and Sorouh to be completed by end-June - The National

Shareholders of Abu Dhabi state-linked firms Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate will vote on the proposed merger next month and the deal is expected to be completed by end-June, the companies said in a joint statement.

Abu Dhabi's two biggest property firms agreed on an all-share merger last week creating a business with US$13 billion in assets.

The state-backed merger creates the second-largest listed property firm in the United Arab Emirates and one of the biggest in the Middle East.
Merger of Abu Dhabi's Aldar and Sorouh to be completed by end-June - The National

Emirates NBD Rallies High on Higher Dividend Bets: Dubai Mover - Businessweek

Emirates NBD PJSC (EMIRATES) headed for the highest close in more than a year on bets the biggest United Arab Emirates lender by assets may announce a higher dividend once it reports fourth-quarter results this week.

The shares rallied 6.1 percent to 3.50 dirhams at 12:28 p.m. in Dubai, poised for the strongest level since October 2011. About 2.6 million shares were traded today, five times the three-month daily average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The stock was the biggest gainer on the benchmark DFM General Index (DFMGI), which decreased 0.4 percent.

Emirates NBD’s fourth-quarter profit may more than double to 517 million dirhams ($141 million), according to the average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The lender, which paid a cash dividend of 20 fils per share last year, has a 12-month dividend yield of 5.8 percent. That compares with 3.1 percent for the Bloomberg GCC 200 Financial Index. (BGCCFINL) The bank is due to report results Jan. 30, according to a statement to the Dubai bourse.
Emirates NBD Rallies High on Higher Dividend Bets: Dubai Mover - Businessweek

Kuwait Petroleum, Vietnamese government sign contract for refinery project

Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI) and its partners of a joint refinery project in Vietnam have resolved all outstanding issues with the Vietnamese government, including foreign currency guarantee, KPI President Hussain Esmaiel said Monday.

"We thank the Vietnamese government for showing the commitment to our refinery and petrochemical project by supporting essential requirement from co-lenders and sponsors," Esmaiel told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi.

Esmael is here with Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) Chief Executive Officer Farouk Al-Zanki after attending the signing on the previous day of an engineering, procurement and construction contract for the USD 9 billion project involving Kuwait, Vietnam and Japan.
Kuwait Petroleum, Vietnamese government sign contract for refinery project

Qatar's reserves to reach $485bn by 2017 | ConstructionWeekOnline.com

Qatar anticipates to save around $50bn a year until 2017 to take its level of international reserves - including sovereign wealth assets - to the $485bn mark from the current estimate of $215bn, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) figures.

The Qatari authorities have indicated that they would continue to formulate budgets based on conservative oil prices which, given the baseline assumptions for oil prices in the medium-term, would, in the IMF's estimation, enable continued large savings of about $50bn each year until 2017 through the Qatar Investment Authority, the Breton Woods institution said in its Article IV Consultation Report.

Surpluses are not excessive, and given the authorities' objectives of fully financing the budget from 2020 onwards, from non-hydrocarbon revenues, and building buffers against shocks, more saving in the medium-to-long term is warranted, mainly through a combination of containing current expenditure and prioritising capital expenditure, the IMF said.
Qatar's reserves to reach $485bn by 2017 | ConstructionWeekOnline.com

UPDATE 1-Qatar' Masraf al Rayan seeks nod for Libya bank stake buy | Reuters

Masraf Al Rayan, Qatar's largest Islamic lender by market value, is seeking shareholder approval to buy a strategic stake in a Libyan commercial bank through a capital increase, it said on Monday, without naming the target entity.

The sharia-compliant bank will ask shareholders to approve the stake purchase, due diligence of which is currently in progress, at a meeting on Feb. 18, it said in a bourse filing. No further details on the planned acquisition were provided.

The bank may issue an Islamic bond, or sukuk, in the future as it seeks to expand regionally, a brokerage note from QNB Financial Services said.
UPDATE 1-Qatar' Masraf al Rayan seeks nod for Libya bank stake buy | Reuters

Kuwait Faces Financial Crisis Over Loan Repayment - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Over the years, a minor issue has turned into an absurd crisis. Some observers have said that the reason behind this crisis is the excessive desire for luxury, whereas others believe that it lies in the absence of any government control over banks, which compete in offering attractive services. The crisis of personal loans in Kuwait emerged as a daily issue, and has  turned into the most severe crisis in the Gulf, overthrowing a national assembly and raising storms in every new one. Some have wanted to take a popular position by calling for a complete cancelation of citizens’ debts — by allowing the government to purchase the loans — or to cancel the interest. Others have rejected this solution, however, considering it lacking in justice and equality.
Kuwait Faces Financial Crisis Over Loan Repayment - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Lagarde, Sandberg, Reding's Own Words on Gender Gap

 International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Olayan Financing Co. Chief Executive Officer Lubna Olayan discuss the role of women in business. They spoke at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. (Source: Bloomberg/World Economic Forum)

Bloomberg Energy Markets Editor Paul Gordon discusses an oil rally on Bloomberg Television’s ‘Asia Edge.’


Borse Dubai ready to build on new wave of sukuk activity - The National

Essa Kazim, the chairman of Borse Dubai, which owns the emirate's biggest financial markets, is looking forward to a wave in sukuk activity as Dubai seeks to become a global centre for Islamic business.

Mr Kazim, who is also secretary to the committee set up to oversee the Islamic strategy, told The National: "Three years ago, Nasdaq Dubai was the biggest market in the world for sukuk issuance. It is possible to regain that advantage if we see a wave of new sukuk and other Islamic activity.

"Sukuk issuance and listing is one of the areas where Dubai can be a hub, as part of the broader strategy to capitalise on our existing infrastructure and build a full Islamic economy," added Mr Kazim.
Borse Dubai ready to build on new wave of sukuk activity - The National

Hydra investors frustrated - The National

Investors in stalled schemes being developed by Hydra Properties were again left frustrated yesterday when the auction of a prime package of land owned by the developer was suspended at the last minute.

More than 74 bids were placed on Thursday on a 41,000-square-foot parcel of land close to the Burj Khalifa, which sold via an online auction for about Dh65 million (US$17.7m).

However, yesterday, three days after the hammer came down on the auction hosted by www.emiratesauction.ae, lawyers revealed that the sale had been suspended after a third party had submitted a petition to the Abu Dhabi courts.
Hydra investors frustrated - The National

Borse Dubai chairman says timing is right for Islamic economy - The National

Suddenly, the Islamic economy is at the heart of the revival under way in Dubai, and Essa Kazim, one of the leading players in the emirate's financial infrastructure, is convinced the strategy will pay off.

Last week, underlining Dubai's new-found confidence in global financial markets, the emirate raised US$1.25 billion (Dh4.59bn) in government sukuk (Islamic bonds) at competitive interest rates.

Now, Mr Kazim, the chairman of the Borse Dubai, believes, the time is right for corporate issuers to back Dubai's ambitions to become a leading global hub for Islamic business, in finance and commerce.
Borse Dubai chairman says timing is right for Islamic economy - The National

Times of Oman | Breaking News, Features, Columns, Your Voice & Multimedia...

Ahlibank said its net profit soared by 19 per cent to OMR21.7 million for 2012 from OMR18.2 million reported for the previous year. Commenting on the bank's performance, Hamdan Ali Nasser Al Hinai Chairman of ahlibank said: "These financial results reflect a positive and strong operational performance and demonstrate the strength and resilience of ahlibank. We have taken a more conservative approach to strengthen the Bank's position to meet the challenges reflected in the broader global financial markets and ahlibank is on course to realise its vision to be one of the leading banks in the Sultanate."

The bank's customer deposits have grown by 10 per cent in line with its strategy to build a stable low cost deposit base, said a bank release. Loan growth of 21 per cent has been established with a prudent risk management approach and a diversified sectoral basis. The loan book continues to be of a very high quality as reflected in the non-performing loan (NPL) ratio of 1.1 per cent in 2012.
Times of Oman | ahlibank’s net profit soars 19 per cent

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Dubai introduces Islamic categorisation for company registration | GulfNews.com

The Department of Economic Development in Dubai (DED) is developing the Islamic-compliant standard to classify or categorise the registered businesses in Dubai, Mohammad Al Shael, CEO of Business Registration & Licensing Sector at DED, told Gulf News.
“The department is developing an official standard for Islamic-complaint companies as part of the required infrastructure to make Dubai the world’s Islamic-complaint economic capital.”
Earlier this month, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, launched a new initiative that would make Dubai a global capital for the Islamic economy.
Dubai introduces Islamic categorisation for company registration | GulfNews.com

GCC nationals and foreigners can form partnerships without Emirati sponsorship | GulfNews.com

Dubai has allowed partnerships between GCC investors and foreigners without Emirati sponsorship, on condition that investors finance projects through capital inflows, the Department of Economic Development in Dubai (DED) said. Mohammad Shael Al Sa’adi, CEO of Business Registration & Licensing Sector at DED, told Gulf News: “GCC nationals can have foreign business partners without third local party in Dubai for any project worth a minimum of Dh10 million and based on foreign knowledge and finance.”
“These investments should come under the categories of enabled sectors like industrial, services, tourism or other businesses that add critical value to the emirate’s economy.” Al Sa’adi also stressed that another compulsory condition for this new initiative is that investors move the business headquarters to Dubai and engage experienced professionals. “One more of these businesses conditions is there should focus on the quality of the employees rather than quantity. All workers should fall under the skilled worker category.”
GCC nationals and foreigners can form partnerships without Emirati sponsorship | GulfNews.com