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Tuesday, 8 January 2013

American Airlines And Qatar Airways Announce New Codeshare Relationship

American Airlines has signed an agreement with Doha, Qatar-based Qatar Airways, one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines and a Skytrax 5-Star rated carrier, to codeshare on each other’s flights providing new growth opportunities for American in the Middle East and for Qatar in the United States.  Following government approvals the new codeshare agreement will offer customers more seamless choices by allowing the two airlines to work together to improve flight schedules and connection times.

“Our extensive codeshare relationship with Qatar Airways will provide our customers with easy, premium access when traveling to and from the Middle East and beyond,” said Kurt Stache, American’s Vice President – Strategic Alliances.  “This new codeshare relationship with Qatar is another example of how American is focused on building its global network through closer coordination with its alliance partners around the world.”
American Airlines And Qatar Airways Announce New Codeshare Relationship

Dubai Shares Surge to Ten-Month High on Real Estate Outlook - Bloomberg

Dubai stocks surged to a 10-month high led by Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR) as investors bet economic growth will boost real estate prices, outweighing the effect of central bank curbs on home mortgages.
Emaar jumped to the highest level since April 2010 after the developer of the world’s tallest tower awarded a contract to Brookfield Multiplex Construction for a hotel in Dubai. Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC) climbed 5.3 percent as it started constructing the Louvre Museum’s Abu Dhabi branch. The benchmark DFM General Index (DFMGI) gained 2.1 percent to 1,727.29, the highest level since March 5, at the close in the emirate. About 478 million shares were traded in Dubai, almost triple the 12-month daily average.
Dubai Shares Surge to Ten-Month High on Real Estate Outlook - Bloomberg

Focus: Investment-banking fees | The Economist

ON AVERAGE over the last three years, GE (General Electric), has paid out more in investment-banking services than any other corporation. Last year alone it spent $278m. Most of that went on debt raising, but mergers and acquisitions contributed too. In October 2012 GE sold $7 billion of bonds. JP Morgan, one of GE's advisors, earned $5.6 billion fees last year, more than any other bank. Bank of America Merrill Lynch was the next biggest earner, with $4.9 billion in fees. But both banks' fee revenue fell in 2012. According to Thomson Reuters, a financial-data provider, fees for global investment banking services were $74.8 billion last year, their lowest for three years.
Focus: Investment-banking fees | The Economist

Egypt: IMF pledges support as Qatar doubles up | beyondbrics

A senior IMF official visiting Egypt this week to discuss the country’s stalled $4.8bn loan agreement has said the organisation remains committed to helping Egypt through its financial difficulties.

Masood Ahmed, head of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department said the Egyptian government had expressed “firm commitment” to implementing a “macroeconomic program that enjoys broad support”.

A spokesperson for Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi told reporters in Cairo there would be “no changes” to the economic plans presented by the government to the IMF, and no new IMF conditions, and that the IMF’s technical committee will return to Egypt in two to three weeks.
Egypt: IMF pledges support as Qatar doubles up | beyondbrics

Qatar builds farms in the desert | Environment | Guardian Weekly

Qatar hopes to grow more crops in climate-controlled greenhouses, but water scarcity remains a problem. Photograph: Alamy
Jean-Pierre Moreau grows flowers – roses, gladioli and chrysanthemums – out in the desert, about 30km west of Doha. At the request of the emir of Qatar, Hamad Ben Khalifa al-Thani, the Frenchman is producing 4m flowers a year with a workforce of 60, mainly from Nepal and India.

Inside the 55,000 sq metres of greenhouses at Roza Hassad, the decor bears little resemblance to the stony, windswept landscape outside. At 30-second intervals the computerised control system adjusts the moisture and light in each of the 16 glass structures that recreate the climate conditions of the Netherlands or the tropics, depending on the flowers growing there.

The plants, rooted in a layer of coconut husks or a volcanic-rock compound, are irrigated from a well 100 metres underground. The water is desalinated and mixed with the nutrients the flowers need to grow. Roza Hassad is a showcase enterprise, a publicly owned firm set up to reduce the number of imported flowers.
Qatar builds farms in the desert | Environment | Guardian Weekly

Arabtec Surges to 2-Month High on Louvre Contract: Dubai Mover - Bloomberg

Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC) surged to the highest level in more than two months after the United Arab Emirates’ biggest construction company by market value won a contract to build Abu Dhabi’s branch of the Louvre museum.
The shares rose 5.3 percent to 2.58 dirhams, the highest since Oct. 31, at the close in Dubai. The stock was the second- biggest gainer on Dubai’s benchmark DFM General Index (DFMGI), which climbed 2.1 percent to 1,727.29, the highest since March 5. A venture of Arabtec, Constructora San Jose SA and Oger Abu Dhabi won a 2.4 billion-dirham ($653 million) contract from government-owned Tourism Development & Investment Co and construction will start immediately, Arabtec said today.
“The new award could imply strengthening ties between Arabtec and its new shareholders linked to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi,” said Jan Pawel Hasman, a Cairo-based analyst at EFG- Hermes Holding SAE. The ties “bode well for the company’s opportunities in securing government-sponsored contracts in the future, giving it an edge over local peers,” he said.
Arabtec Surges to 2-Month High on Louvre Contract: Dubai Mover - Bloomberg

Qatar says boosting aid to Egypt by extra $2.5 bln | Reuters

Qatar said on Tuesday it would lend Egypt's government an additional $2 billion and grant it an extra $500 million outright, extending a lifeline as the government battles to contain a currency crisis.

Political strife has triggered a rush to convert Egyptian pounds to dollars over the past several weeks, sending the currency to a record low against the dollar.

"There was an initial package of $2.5 billion, of which $0.5 billion was a grant and $2 billion a deposit," Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani told reporters after meeting Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi.

"We discussed transferring one of the deposits into an additional grant so that the grants became $1 billion and the deposits double to around $4 billion," he said.End

Dubai Financial Market close - January 8, 2013

 General Index
Intraday  3 month  
 Daily Statistics
 General Index1727.29
 Change (%)2.10%
 T. Volume345989653
 T. Companies 61
Dubai Financial Market

MENA stock markets close - January 8, 2013

 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)
MENA stock markets

UAE industrial sector contributed 16 % to GDP in 2012 - Business Intelligence Middle East - - News, analysis, reports

HE Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, has lauded the growth of the industrial sector reflected in the strong contribution of petrochemicals and down-stream products to the economy.

He said that the UAE industrial sector contributed 16% to the GDP in 2012, and this percentage is expected to rise up to 3 percent in 2013. Al Mansoori said the UAE industrial sector was driven by three key pillars: petrochemicals, aluminium and steel.

Mr. Al Mansoori who was speaking after the inauguration of Arabplast 2013, the Middle East's premier trade show for rubber, plastics and petrochemicals yesterday, stressed the importance of plastics and petrochemicals industry as the UAE has made remarkable growth in the production of raw materials and in adopting best technologies and practices from countries like Germany, Austria and Japan.
UAE industrial sector contributed 16 % to GDP in 2012 -

Sorouh, Aldar Surge After Merger Deal Report: Abu Dhabi Mover - Bloomberg

Sorouh Real Estate Co. (SOROUH) and Aldar Properties PJSC (ALDAR) surged the most since 2005 after Reuters reported that a final deal on a merger between the Abu Dhabi- based property companies will be signed in the coming weeks.
Sorouh soared 14 percent, the biggest jump since Bloomberg started tracking the shares in December 2005, to 1.58 dirhams at the close in Abu Dhabi. Aldar, the biggest developer in the United Arab Emirates capital, also rallied 14 percent, the most since September 2005, to 1.59 dirhams. The ADX Real Estate Index (ADRE) increased 13 percent, the most on record, helping lift the ADX General Index (ADSMI) 0.6 percent. The stocks were the most traded by volume on the Bloomberg GCC 200 Index as of 2:34 p.m. in Dubai.
The companies have reached an initial agreement on a potential merger, Reuters reported, citing three unidentified people familiar with the matter. The final deal will involve a share swap with no cash payment, two of the people were cited as saying. Aldar’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Al Mubarak declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News.
Sorouh, Aldar Surge After Merger Deal Report: Abu Dhabi Mover - Bloomberg

On the transient necessity of central bank independence | FT Alphaville

Nowadays, the idea of not having an independent central bank is seen as being a bit backward. One could even say that central bank independence is widely accepted as the optimum set-up for any country’s monetary system, a reflection of its developmental status.

“Independent central bank? Check.”

“This country must be civilised. ”

Yet, can we really be so absolute about the matter?
On the transient necessity of central bank independence | FT Alphaville

Emirates Wants to Extend Qantas Pact for Pacific Routes - Bloomberg

Emirates, the airline with the most international traffic, said it wants to extend its alliance with Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN) across the Pacific Ocean, allowing passengers to fly around the world on Airbus SAS A380s.
The carriers have scope to link Qantas’s A380 flights into Los Angeles with routes the Gulf carrier seeks to operate from its Dubai hub, Emirates President Tim Clark said in a phone interview. The partnership won provisional approval from Australia’s antitrust regulator last month.
“If the timing is right and the two aircraft meet, with Qantas and Emirates you could go around the world with A380s,” he said yesterday. “I’m sure we could do trans-Pacific business on Qantas metal as part of this overall deal.”
Emirates Wants to Extend Qantas Pact for Pacific Routes - Bloomberg

Persian Gulf IPO Lull Persists as Companies Have Cash, SEI Says - Bloomberg

The drought in Persian Gulf initial public offerings will probably continue this year as most of the region’s privately owned companies don’t need to raise funds from share sales to expand, SEI Investments Co. (SEIC) said.
“The good companies remain very cash-flow positive in the region,” Jahangir Aka, the head of SEI Investments Middle East, whose parent has $195 billion in assets under management, said in Dubai on Jan. 3. “Their ability to expand on their own working capital is very much there.”
Al Habtoor Group LLC, a Dubai-based group controlled by billionaire Khalaf Al Habtoor, last month delayed an IPO as trading volume failed to rebound. The company invested about 5.9 billion dirhams ($1.6 billion) in the hospitality industry last year as it undertakes projects including the Waldorf Astoria on artificial islands off the emirate’s coast.
Persian Gulf IPO Lull Persists as Companies Have Cash, SEI Says - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi to award contract for branch of Louvre -source | Reuters

Abu Dhabi's Tourism Development Investment Co (TDIC) is about to award the main contract, worth over 2 billion dirhams ($545 million), to build a branch of France's Louvre museum in the emirate, a source familiar with the plan told Reuters.

"The contractor has been selected. The contract is over 2 billion dirhams," the source told Reuters late on Monday, asking not to be named as the matter has not yet been made public.

The source declined to name the contractor, but said the award was expected to be announced on Tuesday.
Abu Dhabi to award contract for branch of Louvre -source | Reuters

Morsi Manages Egypt’s Economic Decline - Al-Monitor - @nervana_1

In the midst of a regular monthly journey that I always dreaded, I stood in the long queue with my mother to collect our share of subsidized basic food items. All were of poor quality and badly packed, yet no complaints were accepted. Getting a pair of frozen chickens was more fortuitous; one needed to develop good contacts with workers in the government-owned, less-than-“super” market. If you were lucky, they would notify you once a new stock was available. Still, the queue was unavoidable, and the crowd was always tense, each person hoping to buy before everything was sold out. That was the reality for many Egyptians during the Sadat and early Mubarak eras.
Morsi Manages Egypt’s Economic Decline - Al-Monitor

ECONOMICS - Mystery on jet with 1.5 tons of gold

An A300 cargo plane owned by Turkish ULS firm carrying 1.5 tons of gold from Ghana to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, was still being held at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport yesterday evening due to some missing documents.

The value of the gold on the detained Turkish cargo plane was revealed to be worth $65 million, Doğan news agency reported.

If ULS is found guilty after official inspections, the company might be fined triple the value of the gold, $195 million, the agency said.
ECONOMICS - Mystery on jet with 1.5 tons of gold

Dubai firm fails in bid to delay action over Quinn assets | Irish Examiner

A Dubai-based firm has lost its application for a stay on legal proceedings against it arising out of its acquisition of property from companies controlled by the Quinn family.
Mecon FZE wants to be taken out of proceedings brought by the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation against Quinn family members and several companies, including Mecon, over assets which the bank says are part of the Quinns’ international property group (IPG).

Mecon claims it legitimately acquired a property, known as Hi Tech Park in Hyderabad, India, at “arm’s length” from an entity controlled by the Quinn family. The property is said to be worth €60m.
Dubai firm fails in bid to delay action over Quinn assets | Irish Examiner

The homoeopathic approach to cheque bouncing |

The spectacular water, fire and live show, with explosions of colour shooting out from the world’s tallest tower, synchronised with choreographed performance by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, set the New Year mood for the millions who witnessed the breathtaking New Year eve celebrations in Dubai. And the next morning, when newspapers announced that bounced cheques would no longer be a reason for their issuers to go to jail, it appeared to be the ultimate New Year gift.
But just as the pyrotechnics cannot keep the magic holding for long, the euphoria soon gave way to a sense of realism as clarification came along to the effect that what got conveyed wasn’t actually what was intended. So, it turned out to be too good to be true, literally.
The homoeopathic approach to cheque bouncing |

Banque Saudi Fransi Q4 net profit up |

Banque Saudi Fransi, the lender part-owned by Credit Agricole, posted a 22.2 per cent jump in its fourth-quarter net profit citing higher operating income, it said in a bourse statement on Monday.
The kingdom’s fifth-largest bank by market capitalisation said it made 808 million riyals ($215.5 million) in the three months ending December 31 compared with 661 million riyals in the same period a year earlier.
Saudi banks have enjoyed successive years of expansionary government budgets, ample liquidity and improving corporate loan demand.
Banque Saudi Fransi Q4 net profit up |

Kuwait ups its crude production |

Opec member Kuwait has upped its crude production capacity by 100,000 barrels per day to 3.1 million barrels per day, the country’s energy minister said in remarks published on Monday.
The Gulf state is also on course to increase its crude-oil production capacity by a third to 4 million barrels per day by 2030, Hani Hussain said, according to state-run Kuwait News Agency, or KUNA.
Kuwait, the fourth-largest crude producer in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, saw its output steadying around 2.81 million barrels per day last month, according to a survey of industry sources and analysts conducted by Dow Jones Newswires.
Kuwait ups its crude production |

Iraq’s crude exports falls by 11 per cent |

Iraq’s crude oil exports in December fell by 11 per cent because of bad weather in southern oil export terminals and suspension of exports from the Kurdistan region in northern Iraq, people familiar with the State Oil Marketing Organisation, or SOMO, said Monday.
Crude exports fell to 2.348 million barrels a day, from 2.620 million barrels a day in November, according to the people. They added Iraq exported 2.023 million barrels a day from its southern oil fields in December, compared with 2.194 million barrels a day in November.
“There were days of bad weather at the export terminals in the Gulf,” one person told Dow Jones Newswires.
Iraq’s crude exports falls by 11 per cent |

Calls for loan checks and UAE credit bureau grow despite bad debt ruling - The National

Calls are growing for a credit bureau to protect citizens from unscrupulous banking practices, despite Dubai prosecutors announcing that 555 bad-cheque charges against Emiratis have been dismissed.

Fadhel Al Mansoori, 25, an Air Force cadet, said he and his Emirati friends were often pressured into getting loans.

"I was never planning on getting a loan but they told me I would have instant cash, which is why I got it," Mr Al Mansoori said. "They try to lure us, that is true."
Calls for loan checks and UAE credit bureau grow despite bad debt ruling - The National