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Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Amlak Finance claims directed to a special judicial committee | GulfNews.com

Dubai’s Ruler has ordered the transfer of all legal action in the Dubai International Financial Centre courts involving Amlak Finance, an Islamic mortgage firm undergoing a government-led debt restructuring, to a special judicial committee outside Dubai’s normal legal system.
A decree issued on December 16 by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, says all Dubai courts including those in the DIFC, the emirate’s main financial hub, “shall be prohibited from the consideration and settlement of any application or claim related to Amlak Finance,” according to a translation seen by Dow Jones.
The move clarifies a decree in 2009 that established a special judicial committee to hear claims against Amlak and Tamweel, another home finance company that faced a funding crisis following the global downturn in 2008. That decree moved all cases in the Dubai courts to the committee, but did not discuss cases in the DIFC courts, which have a separate set of procedures based on English common law.
Amlak Finance claims directed to a special judicial committee | GulfNews.com

Bad cheques are still a crime in the UAE | GulfNews.com

The media has got hyped up in the past few days with news that the UAE government has issued an order to the effect that issuing bounced cheques was no longer a criminal offence. No one cared to check, however, how such an “order” would change the prevailing law of the country in light that issuing a bounced cheque is deemed a punishable criminal act in accordance with the UAE Penal Code.
It is true that an order was issued stating that bounced cheques that are issued as loan collateral will no longer constitute a criminal action and that the Police Force will not entertain claims relating to such cheques. The UAE Courts will equally end proceedings relating to such cheques as a result of this order.
Bad cheques are still a crime in the UAE | GulfNews.com

Abu Dhabi's property market to shine by 2015 - The National

Abu Dhabi property chiefs expect it to be 18 months before the industry starts feeling the full benefits of a Dh330 billion (US$89.85bn) Government spending package.

Property experts say that plans announced by the Abu Dhabi Government this week to press ahead with a series of housing and infrastructure projects will help to improve confidence in the emirate's hard-hit property sector.

But a full recovery remains unlikely for at least 18 months to two years, they say.
Abu Dhabi's property market to shine by 2015 - The National: "

Deutsche Bank shares Dubai's dream to become Islamic financial hub - The National

Ibrahim Qasim has Islamic finance in his blood. His father was a pioneer of the industry, and he has been working in it all his career, for the past two years as the head of Islamic finance structuring at Deutsche Bank (DB) in Dubai.

So last week, when Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, set out his vision of the emirate becoming a global hub for Islamic finance and economy, Mr Qasim was pleased, but not entirely surprised.

"The initiative is a very positive one. It will solidify Dubai and the UAE's current standing as an important Islamic finance hub," he says.
Deutsche Bank shares Dubai's dream to become Islamic financial hub - The National

UAE bankers embrace Dubai's Islamic vision - The National

Dubai's bid to build a global capital for Islamic industries has excited the financial industry, but bankers say succeeding where others have failed will be a challenge.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced plans last week to refashion the emirate as the "capital of Islamic economy", with plans to develop industries including Sharia finance, dispute resolution and halal food production.

Finance firms are already leaping to take advantage of the new policy drive. Shuaa Capital said yesterday it had sought Central Bank approval to open an Islamic operation via its Gulf Finance Corporation subsidiary.
UAE bankers embrace Dubai's Islamic vision - The National

Turkey: What is Iran Doing with Turkish Gold? | EurasiaNet.org

Turkey’s multi-billion-dollar gold sales to neighboring Iran could put the country on a collision course with its close ally, the United States, when high-ranking diplomats from the two countries hold talks in Washington.

Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlio─člu was scheduled to be in Washington from January 14-16 for discussions with State Department officials, including US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns. The gold sales were expected to come up during the talks, which will cover a broad range of Middle East-related topics. But a senior Turkish official told EurasiaNet.org that Turkey itself did not intend to raise the gold-for-gas issue.

"We have no plans to talk about it, but the US can bring it up,” said the source, who requested anonymity.
Turkey: What is Iran Doing with Turkish Gold? | EurasiaNet.org

Egypt wrestles with economic decline - FT.com

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood battled repressive regimes for decades. It took on the military council after the 2011 revolution. And, most recently, it wrestled with its liberal rivals to impose its preferred version of a democratic constitution. Nothing, however, has prepared it for the biggest fight of all – against Egypt’s economic decline.
For weeks, the government of the Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, has struggled to address the pressure on the Egyptian pound, as the political clashes in Cairo at the end of last year and the chaotic handling of economy since the ousting of Hosni Mubarak took their toll.
The pound has lost more than 5.5 per cent of its value since late December and the slide has not been halted despite a $2.5bn financial lifeline from Qatar.
Egypt wrestles with economic decline - FT.com: "

Dubai’s Emaar Said to Weigh Mall Unit Spinoff to Boost Returns - Bloomberg

Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), which makes up almost a quarter of Dubai’s main stock index, is considering spinning off its malls and Turkish unit as it looks for ways to boost shareholder returns, according to two people who were briefed on the company’s internal discussions.
The developer of the Dubai Mall, the world’s largest by area, would list the mall business on the city’s exchange once market conditions are favorable, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. The Turkey unit would probably be listed on the Istanbul exchange, they said.
The developer, whose operations span at least 12 countries including China, India, Indonesia and Egypt, said Oct. 3 that it will develop 67,000 square meters (721,181 square feet) of land in Istanbul, including over 1,000 homes, offices, leisure attractions, a hotel and one of Turkish city’s largest malls.
Dubai’s Emaar Said to Weigh Mall Unit Spinoff to Boost Returns - Bloomberg

Egypt Exchange close - January 15, 2013

General Index
Intraday  3 month  
 Daily Statistics
 Date15/01/2013
 General Index5657.08
 Change (%)-1.43%
 Change-81.88
 T. Volume85209128
 T. Companies 444
   Advanced12
   Declined142
   Unchanged8
   UnTraded149
Egypt Exchange

MENA stock markets close - January 15, 2013

 ExchangeStatus IndexChange  
 
 TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
 
7018.52-0.98%  
 
 DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
 
1734.62-0.06%  
 
 ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
 
2773.950.28%  
 
 KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
 
6116.60.16%  
 
 BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
 
1073.770.09%  
 
 MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
 
5836.79-0.25%  
 
 QE (Qatar Exchange)
 
8532.34-1.24%  
 
 LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
 
1179.080.16%  
 
 EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
 
5657.08-1.43%  
 
 ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
 
2014.640.46%  
 
 TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
 
4690.90.40%  
 
 CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
 
9078.81-0.85%  
 
 PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)
 
469.140.04%  
MENA stock markets

Qatar to complete Alternatifbank transaction | GulfNews.com

Turkey’s Anadolu Holding plans to complete the sale of its 75 per cent stake in Turkey’s Alternatifbank to the Commercial Bank of Qatar by March 15, Chairman Tuncay Ozilhan said on Tuesday. Anadolu said last month it would start talks on the sale with the Commercial Bank of Qatar. Anadolu Holding has a 77.7 per cent direct stake in Alternatif, while 4.16 per cent is publicly traded.
The Qatari bank is looking to spend between $400 million and $500 million for the stake in a deal expected to be completed by March, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Qatar to complete Alternatifbank transaction | GulfNews.com

Abu Dhabi Fund Appoints Eckersley to Oversee Internal Equities - Bloomberg

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, appointed Gregory Eckersley as global head of its internal equities department, overseeing portfolios, risk management and the due- diligence process.
Eckersley joined ADIA from 1770 Capital Partners, a fund he jointly started in 2011 that focuses on global energy, mining and commodities, the Abu Dhabi-based sovereign wealth fund said in an e-mailed statement today.
Eckersley, who was employed at AllianceBernstein LP for 16 years and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, will report to Mohamed Darwish Al Khoori, executive director of the internal equities department.
Abu Dhabi Fund Appoints Eckersley to Oversee Internal Equities - Bloomberg

Reuters Breakingviews: Arab Spring makes region $225 billion poorer | Video | Reuters.com



Hello 2013: From Arab Spring to Arab Winter | beyondbrics

On my most recent trip to Egypt in early December, I arrived in Cairo a few days after President Mohamed Morsi announced that he was assuming dictatorial powers over the writing of the new Egyptian constitution.

However, during our company visits, we found that, surprisingly, it was business as usual in Egypt.

A pharmaceutical company we visited was operating at full capacity. An automobile assembly plant was humming along, and its newly-appointed Turkish manager told us about its expansion plans. The traffic on the streets was as busy as our previous visits to Cairo. This does not mean that the situation in Egypt hasn’t been worse or that renewed conflict won’t take place – but from my perspective, things seemed fairly orderly.
Hello 2013: From Arab Spring to Arab Winter | beyondbrics

Qatar Airways denies talks to buy SpiceJet stake | Reuters

Qatar Airways is not interested in buying a stake in Indian budget carrier SpiceJet Ltd (SPJT.BO) or any other Indian airline, its chief executive said, quashing media reports that the Gulf carrier was in talks for a potential investment.

Shares in India's SpiceJet Ltd (SPJT.BO) rose by as much as 8.5 percent on Tuesday after the Times of India reported the budget carrier was close to selling a stake to a foreign carrier, which it said was most likely to be Qatar Airways.

In a statement on Tuesday, CEO Akbar al-Baker denied it was involved in any discussions for a possible investment.
Qatar Airways denies talks to buy SpiceJet stake | Reuters

Total to Hold Abu Dhabi Talks on Oil Rights, Bab Sour-Gas Field - Bloomberg

Total SA (FP) will hold talks in Abu Dhabi about renewing oil production rights in the United Arab Emirates and developing natural gas fields, the company’s chief executive officer said.
The discussions will focus on concession rights in Abu Dhabi that expire next year and on the Bab sour-gas field, Christophe de Margerie said today in an interview in the U.A.E.’s capital and largest emirate. Total doesn’t expect to sign any agreements during his visit today to the Persian Gulf crude producer, he said.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), BP Plc (BP/), and Partex Oil & Gas are shareholders with Paris-based Total in output from Abu Dhabi’s main onshore oil fields. Abu Dhabi, which holds most the U.A.E.’s oil, is due to shortlist companies to share in fields producing 1.4 million barrels a day. The U.A.E. is the sixth-biggest crude producer in OPEC, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Total to Hold Abu Dhabi Talks on Oil Rights, Bab Sour-Gas Field - Bloomberg

India: Sensex touches 20,000 | beyondbrics

India’s benchmark Sensex Index passed the psychological 20,000 mark for the first time in two years during the day’s trading on Tuesday. The index closed up 0.4 per cent at 19,986.82.

There has been much anticipation around the 20,000 landmark, as the index has rallied 23.7 per cent in the past twelve months.

It was telecoms stocks that led the markets higher on Tuesday, with Bharti Airtel up 5 per cent to Rs345.20 and Idea Cellular stock rallying 8.4 per cent to Rs122.55.
India: Sensex touches 20,000 | beyondbrics

The Abraaj Group exits investment in leading Thai Hospital - Business Intelligence Middle East - bi-me.com - News, analysis, reports

The Abraaj Group, a leading private equity investor operating in global growth markets, today announced the exit of its investment in Vejthani.  The Group sold its stake in Vejthani to the South East Asian healthcare chain KPJ Healthcare.

This was the second successful exit in the last six months for the Group in the rapidly expanding private healthcare sector.

The Abraaj Group is one of the leading private equity investors in healthcare facilities in growth markets, with a current portfolio of nine hospitals around the world, including in India, the Philippines, Kenya and Nigeria.
The Abraaj Group exits investment in leading Thai Hospital - bi-me.com

LABOR - Germany's Air Berlin says will cut 900 jobs

Germany's number two airline, Air Berlin, said on Tuesday it would slash about 900 jobs or nearly 10 percent of its workforce in a bid to get back in the black after nearly five years of losses.

The troubled airline unveiled details of what it called its two-year "Turbine" programme extending across all its business divisions and focusing "on its key markets on the basis of a stringent business model".

"'Turbine' has defined initiatives of around 400 million euros ($535 million) by the end of 2014 to achieve a lastingly competitive result," the company said in a statement.
LABOR - Germany's Air Berlin says will cut 900 jobs

Idemitsu, Kuwait Approves $9 Billion Vietnam Refinery Project - Bloomberg

Idemitsu Kosan Co., a Japanese refiner, and its partners approved a $9 billion oil refinery project in Vietnam to meet rising demand in the country.
The companies expect to start construction in the second quarter of this year and commercial production in 2017, Tokyo- based Idemitsu said in a statement. They’ve awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract to a consortium formed by Chiyoda Corp., JGC Corp., Technip SA, GS Engineering & Construction Corp. and SK Engineering & Construction Co., according to the statement.
Idemitsu and its partners delayed deciding whether to build the Nghi Son plant, south of Hanoi, at least three times as they resolved issues including how to finance the project. The Nghi Son plant with capacity of 200,000 barrels a day will be Vietnam’s second after the Dung Quat refinery started commercial operations in 2009.
Idemitsu, Kuwait Approves $9 Billion Vietnam Refinery Project - Bloomberg

Bahrain's Investcorp sells CCC Information Services - Banking & Finance - ArabianBusiness.com

Investcorp, one of the Middle East's largest private equity houses, has sold CCC Information Services to US-headquartered Leonard Green & Partners, the Bahrain-based firm said on Tuesday.
No value for the sale of the insurance industry software provider was given, but it unlocks more than $550 million in proceeds for Investcorp and its investors, the private equity house said.
CCC's EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) has increased by more than 50 percent since Investcorp acquired the firm in February 2006, it added.
Bahrain's Investcorp sells CCC Information Services - ArabianBusiness.com

Yes Bank to raise $500 million funds in the UAE | GulfNews.com

Yes Bank, India’s fourth biggest private lender, plans to raise $400-$500 million through a medium-term note issue, following its entry in the UAE, a top official said.
The bank, which has been invited by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) to start operations, is awaiting the Reserve Bank of India’s approval to open its first overseas branch outside the country.
“We expect to start operations in the UAE within this year,” Dr. Rana Kapoor, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Yes Bank, told Gulf News. “Following this, we would like to raise funds between $400 million to $500 million through a medium term note issue that will support businesses in the region.”
Yes Bank to raise $500 million funds in the UAE | GulfNews.com

Saudi's Savola to price debut sukuk - The National

Savola Group is set to close an Islamic bond issue valued at 1.5 billion Saudi riyals on Monday, two sources said, the company's debut sukuk and the first local currency debt offering in Saudi Arabia this year.

The food conglomerate, which has the Middle East's biggest sugar refining business, is issuing a seven-year sukuk priced at 110 basis points over the Saudi interbank offered rate, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the information is not public yet.

The company sought shareholder approval for the sukuk issue back in October and set up a programme to issue the Islamic bond in December, saying the programme arranger was HSBC Saudi Arabia.
Saudi's Savola to price debut sukuk - The National

Unit's restructuring shifts focus to Dubai Holding - The National

Bankers are optimistic that a full-scale restructuring of the US$10 billion (Dh36.72bn) debts of Dubai Holding could be imminent following the settlement of a legal action against a unit of the conglomerate.

Royal Bank of Scotland and three other international banks have agreed terms to restructure debts of Dubai Group, the financial arm of the holding company, that would involve their dropping a controversial legal action against the Dubai company.

One banker said: "It was essential to remove this obstacle before we could proceed to consider the wider picture. Now common sense has prevailed on this legal issue, serious talks can begin on the bigger figure."
Unit's restructuring shifts focus to Dubai Holding - The National

How balance of power in supplies has shifted as East eclipses West - The National

So what qualifies an international oil company to drill in Abu Dhabi?

When in 1939 the original players signed up to explore and produce onshore oilfields for the next 75 years, the world - and Abu Dhabi - was a very different place. The Second World War broke out that year and confirmed the strategic importance of access to oil.

The main concession partners hailed from the dominant western powers active in the Middle East - the United States, the United Kingdom and France. The global configuration of power has since broken and coalesced several times, and geostrategic considerations are now based on a much-changed picture.
How balance of power in supplies has shifted as East eclipses West - The National

China's dragon woos Abu Dhabi for partnership on oil and future energy - The National

China has made a name for itself in getting a good deal for natural resources in some of the world's toughest locations, from pumping oil in Sudan when westerners wouldn't go to signing up to explore in Afghanistan.

But growing energy needs are pushing China out of its traditional resource strongholds and into direct competition with the more established supermajors from around the world.

That drama is also quietly playing out in Abu Dhabi, where lucrative Second World War-era onshore oil rights will expire at the start of next year. The Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (Adco) concession, as the prized set of oilfields is called, accounts for half the emirate's crude output and since 1939 has lain in the hands of producers we know today as ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Total and Portugal's Partex.
China's dragon woos Abu Dhabi for partnership on oil and future energy - The National

SpiceJet up 6% on a likely stake sale to Qatar Air - Moneycontrol.com

Shares of SpiceJet rose around 6% on news reports suggesting that Qatar Airways may buy stakes in the carrier. According to a Times of India report, the stake sale  transaction is likely to be concluded by March.

The no frills carrier has a market share of around 20% and its average load factors were around 75% in 2012. The airline reported a Rs 240 crore loss in September quarter against a 10 crore profit,year-on-year due to high fuel cost.

The airline's management has in the past never ruled out a stake sale possibility to a foreign investor after the government announced foreign direct investment into the sector.
SpiceJet up 6% on a likely stake sale to Qatar Air - Moneycontrol.com