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Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Saudi Arabia to develop Midyan gas field in 2013 - The National

Saudi Arabia to develop Midyan gas field in 2013 - The National
Saudi Arabia will develop its Midyan natural gas field in the Red Sea in 2013, oil minister Ali Naimi said in comments reported on Tuesday in local media.

"The Midyan field will be developed in 2013 and it would start production within a short period. It would boost electric power plants run by gas instead of diesel, and both electricity and gas would reach industrial zones," he said in the northern city of Tabuk, Saudi Gazette reported.

Saudi Aramco will drill seven deep sea and offshore wells and build facilities at nearby Duba, its chief executive Khalid al-Falih said in Tabuk, Saudi Gazette reported.

UAE mortgage rule strikes those it aims to protect - The National

UAE mortgage rule strikes those it aims to protect - The National
The New Year will bring little cheer to house hunters who, as they ushered in 2013, will have learnt they may need to double their deposits as a result of a new mortgage lending cap.

Regulation can move like a pendulum - overcorrecting weaknesses in a market and creating further structural weakness in the process. The enforced cap on loan to value ratios threatens to do just this, analysts observe.

It emerged this week that expatriates will only be able to borrow up to 60 per cent for their first home purchase and 50 per cent for subsequent purchases. At the same time financing for Emiratis was limited to 70 per cent for the first home and 60 per cent for further properties.

Middle East 'will face more debt refinancing' - The National

Middle East 'will face more debt refinancing' - The National
One of the top corporate restructuring experts in the Middle East has warned that the region, and especially Dubai, faces another round of debt refinancing in the near future.

Ian Schneider, the head of Middle East restructuring for the global accounting firm PwC, told The National: "A lot of the deals done back in 2009-2010 will have to be restructured again. "They were done in a very uncertain environment, and at least enabled the corporate position to be solidified and stabilised. But in the different circumstances we face today, many of those deals will have to be revisited."

In 2010, Dubai World won agreement from creditors to restructure US$25 billion (Dh91.83bn) of debts owed by the group and its property arm Nakheel. The deal set the tone for further debt restructuring at Dubai government related companies, some of which are ongoing.

Property industry divided over mortgage rule |

Property industry divided over mortgage rule |
The real estate industry seems divided over the surprise move by the Central Bank on Sunday to tighten UAE property markets by capping mortgage loans at 50 per cent for expatriates. Those supporting the move believe it would scare away speculators. The rest believe the cap would dramatically slow down the industry’s recovery next year.
“The new circular, once implemented by banks in the UAE, would drive down demand for properties among end-users as they require a 50 per cent down payment. But it would also stop property prices from spiralling out of control which will be a positive factor for the economy,” said James Mathew, chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, UAE Chapter.
Asked about the impact on the industry and whether it could deter developers from launching new projects in the future, a spokesperson at Emaar Properties said in an email to Gulf News: “The decision by the Central Bank regarding mortgage limits will contribute to strengthening the property sector by encouraging serious buyers to invest in the country’s property sector.”

Saudi PetroRabigh refinery halted for 20 days - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Saudi PetroRabigh refinery halted for 20 days - Yahoo! News Maktoob
Saudi Arabia's PetroRabigh refining and petrochemicals complex will carry out maintenance for 20 days after a power cut on Saturday forced it to halt operations, it said in a bourse statement on Tuesday.
The joint venture, owned by Saudi Aramco and Japan's Sumitomo Chemical, said on Saturday in a bourse
statement that supplies of power and steam had been interrupted from provider Rabigh Arabian Water and Electricity Co (RAWEC).
"In order to ensure the reliability of the facilities, the firm is currently examining and performing the necessary
maintenance on all facilities, which is expected to take around 20 days," the statement said.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Saudi shares close higher - Yahoo! News Maktoob

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Saudi shares close higher - Yahoo! News Maktoob
Saudi stocks close higher on Tuesday with gains in all sectors after oil prices edged up on Monday and the U.S. Senate passed a deal to avert a "fiscal cliff" which threatened the world's largest economy.
The all-share ends 0.9 percent higher to 6,860 points and the petrochemical index jumps 1.8 percent to 5,959 points.
Heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) adds 0.6 percent and Saudi Fertilizers Co (SAFCO) gains 1.6 percent.

2013…The year of the economy

As we enter a new year it is customary for people to hope it will be better than the last one, especially if the past year was full of turmoil and unrest. When we look back on 2012 it was a year full of horrors, especially in the Middle East, whilst globally it was a tough year economically.
The truth is that the last three years have witnessed unprecedented events globally and regionally, beginning with the collapse of financial institutions. These institutions were worth more than several countries, and no one thought could simply tumble like a house of cards. Yet the crisis, having stemmed from the irrational speculation and risks taken on the international financial scene, soon extended to the states themselves, and thus we saw the major economies of the Western world in recession, with fears of a great depression similar to the one in the 1930s. Likewise we saw the countries of the EU, the second largest economic bloc in the world, borrowing and succumbing to the conditions of the IMF in order to get out of their crises, and questions began to be raised about the status of the Euro.
In the Middle East, 2012 was an extension of the events of 2011 and the uprisings that took place in major Arab republics. The transitional phase has so far been full of turmoil and has yet to settle down, and this has added pressure on economies which are already suffering from structural defects including high unemployment. In addition to this there is the unique case of the Syrian crisis, which last year took on a serious bloody dimension, and as the fog of war continues it is hard to see the political future in 2013, let alone the economic vision.

Saudi Arabia…A wise budget Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English)

Saudi Arabia…A wise budget Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English)
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has presented to the Saudis the largest budget in the history of their country. Some would say this is natural, and to be expected, given the rise in oil prices, and this is true in some respects and not true in others. Specifically in our region, current affairs can be considered from multiple viewpoints, for example those looking from a political slant see everything from a political perspective, and here lies the crux of the matter.

Saudi Stock Market close - January 1, 2013

Saudi Stock Market
General Index
Intraday  3 month  

* market data delayed by 20 min.
 Daily Statistics
 General Index6860.01
 Change (%)0.86%
 T. Volume131813256
 T. Companies 158

Muscat Securities Market close - January 1, 2013

Muscat Securities Market
 General Index
Intraday  3 month  
 Daily Statistics
 General Index5763.77
 Change (%)0.05%
 T. Volume28496009
 T. Companies 125

Oman to run deficit in 2013-Finance Minister | Reuters

Oman to run deficit in 2013-Finance Minister | Reuters
Oman has passed a 2013 budget plan with spending of 12.9 billion rials ($33.5 billion) and revenue of 11.2 billion rials, the Finance Minister announced on Tuesday in a statement carried by the official Oman News Agency.

The deficit of 1.7 billion rials is larger than the 1.2 billion rials that had been planned for 2012. The ministry statement did not give estimated actual revenue and spending for last year.

The budget is based on an average oil price of $85 a barrel and average production of 930,000 barrels a day, the statement said.

Saudi Arabia's riches conceal a growing problem of poverty | World news | Guardian Weekly

Saudi Arabia's riches conceal a growing problem of poverty | World news | Guardian Weekly
The children of Souad Al-Shamir watch television in their living room in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Photograph: Linda Davidson/Washington Post
A few kilometres from the blinged-out shopping malls of Saudi Arabia's capital, Souad al-Shamir lives in a concrete house on a trash-strewn alley. She has no job, no money, five children under 14 and an unemployed husband who is laid up with chronic heart problems.

"We are at the bottom," she said, sobbing hard behind a black veil that left only her eyes visible. "My kids are crying and I can't provide for them."

Millions of Saudis struggle on the fringes of one of the world's most powerful economies, where jobs and welfare programmes have failed to keep pace with a population that has soared from 6 million in 1970 to 28 million today.

UAE set to start 2013 on a confident note - Emirates 24/7

UAE set to start 2013 on a confident note - Emirates 24/7
The UAE faces 2013 with much more confidence than at the start of other years in the recent past. Businesses are showing more confidence and the economy seems to be about to take-off again, as the worst bad debts have either been written off or survived and new large projects all over the UAE are kick-starting their activities, commented a local newspaper.

For example, in Dubai, the vast project of Mohammad Bin Rashid City will see the construction of a new business area from Business Bay all the way to the Ranches; the Creek will be extended out to the Jumeirah coastline and Deira is all set for a massive make-over.

"This kind of activity has triggered fears of another boom, leading to yet another bust. However, the authorities are well aware of the dangers of speculation and have started to take steps to avoid the excesses of 2000 to 2007," Gulf News noted in its today's editorial.

RPT-Expats who bounce cheques no longer risk prison in UAE-paper - Yahoo! News Maktoob

RPT-Expats who bounce cheques no longer risk prison in UAE-paper - Yahoo! News Maktoob:
The United Arab Emirates will stop imprisoning expatriates for writing cheques that bounce, Abu Dhabi daily The National reported on Tuesday, citing a senior official.
The UAE's tough penalties for defaulting on loans, which is a criminal offence in the Gulf Arab monarchy, were relaxed for Emirati citizens in October after a royal decree.
"In line with the directives of Sheikh Khalifa... and in the spirit of fairness and equality, the courts have stopped as of last month accepting collateral cheques presented as a criminal tool against expatriate debt defaulters,"
Ali Khalfan Al Dhaheri, head of the legal affairs department at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs was quoted saying.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Saudi shares up modestly on fiscal cliff deal - Yahoo! News Maktoob

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Saudi shares up modestly on fiscal cliff deal - Yahoo! News Maktoob
Saudi stocks climb in early trade after the U.S. Senate passes a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts that threatened to plunge the world's largest economy back into recession.
The biggest Arab stock market's all-share index rises 0.83 percent. It is sensitive to oil prices, which rose $1
a barrel in New York on Monday because of growing optimism about a fiscal cliff deal.
Most Gulf stock markets are closed on Tuesday for the New Year holiday, but Saudi Arabia and Oman are open.

Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul)

Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul)

BBC News - US Senate passes key deal to avoid tax rises

BBC News - US Senate passes key deal to avoid tax rises:
The US Senate has approved a deal on avert a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts known the "fiscal cliff".

The bill, which raises taxes for the wealthy, came after lengthy talks between Vice-President Joe Biden and Senate Republicans.

The House is due to consider it later. Spending cuts have been delayed for two months to allow a wider agreement.

US 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Reached? Eurasia Review

US 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Reached? Eurasia Review:
With only hours left until the end-of-year fiscal cliff deadline, a Democratic aide has claimed the White House and congressional Republicans have made a deal regarding the fiscal cliff and that the vote could still take place in 2012.

Vice President Joe Biden was set to sell the agreement to Senate Democrats at a meeting in Capitol Hill on Monday night, AP reports. The officials described the developments on condition of anonymity, as they were not authorised to discuss the details.

Earlier, after President Barack Obama and leading members of Congress had said on Monday afternoon that a deal between lawmakers was within reach, reports from Washington suggested that a compromise will not be made before the new year. Bloomberg News and CNBC both reported eight hours before the 12-midnight deadline that no vote would be made before the end of the year.

New Year cheer valid in the UAE but the rest of the world economy looks a wreck for 2013 « ArabianMoney

New Year cheer valid in the UAE but the rest of the world economy looks a wreck for 2013 « ArabianMoney:

So the US has actually fallen off the ‘fiscal cliff’ today but there was so much hope and optimism that a deal would still be reached tomorrow that stocks actually rose quite sharply. For sheer hubris that took some nerve even by the standards of Wall Street.

Nobody seemed terribly interested in the gloomy New Year’s message from Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel that Europe’s biggest economy would have a worse time in 2013 than 2012 and that the eurozone debt crisis was far from over. Wall Street pundits said the eurozone crisis was now under control!

Oman Tribune - Oman witnesses robust economic boom in 2012

Oman witnesses robust economic boom in 2012:
The Sultanate has witnessed economic boom through the construction of a number of development projects, issuance of a number of Royal Decrees and decisions by the Council of Ministers during 2012, which all seek to push forward the Omani economy in different fields and meet needs of the coming stage in terms of diversifying sources of national income.

The State’s General Budget was issued at the beginning of 2012. The general revenue of the state for 2012 was estimated at 8.8 billion rials against 7.28 billion rials in the budget of the previous fiscal year, with an increase of 20.88 per cent.

The oil revenues were calculated on the basis of average price $75 per barrel and average daily production of $915,000 barrel. The general expenditure approved in the budget amounts to about 10 billion rials, with an increase of 800 million rials over the revised expenditure of the previous year by 9 per cent.

Qatar’s foreign investment hits QR163.8bn in 2012

Qatar’s foreign investment hits QR163.8bn in 2012:
Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund (SWF) investment in abroad has reached QR163.8bn in 2012. The country’s  2012 foreign investment is $32bn higher than the  previous year, Al Sharq reported.
Apart from the Arab region, Qatar made major investments in Singapore, France,  UK, Italy, Switzerland, the US, Vietnam, Iraq, Netherlands, Turkey, Bulgaria, Germany, China and Malaysia in 2012. Qatar  invested in a wide range of sectors in 2012, including  in hotels, resorts, petrochemicals, power plants, oil companies, banks and financial institutions, fashion, mining, media and communications, roads, transportation and sports in these countries.
“Compared to the previous year, Qatar’s foreign investment this time was really fast-paced  and  it grabbed the potential opportunities in real time. All their key investments were made after well-calibrated assessments”, Al Sharq quoted local business analysts as saying.