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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

Dubai Financial Market close - January 27, 2013

General Index
Intraday  3 month  
 Daily Statistics
 Date27/01/2013
 General Index1819.01
 Change (%)1.49%
 Change26.71
 T. Volume219188696
 T. Companies 61
 Advanced19
 Declined7
 Unchanged4
 UnTraded28
Dubai Financial Market

MENA stock markets close - January 27, 2013

 ExchangeStatus IndexChange  
 
 TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
 
6998.34-0.13%  
 
 DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
 
1819.011.49%  
 
 ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
 
2799.630.60%  
 
 KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
 
6205.970.05%  
 
 BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
 
1073.380.27%  
 
 MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
 
5819.790.00%  
 
 QE (Qatar Exchange)
 
8640.61-0.57%  
 
 LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
 
1205.360.33%  
 
 EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
 
5688.05-0.02%  
 
 ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
 
2058.380.28%  
 
 TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
 
4737.03-0.40%  
 
 CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
 
8899.59-0.89%  
 
 PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)
 
467.240.36%  
MENA stock markets

Iraq Warns Exxon on Kurdish Deals Amid Plans for BP Development - Bloomberg

Iraq’s oil minister asked Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) to stop dealing with Kurds if it wants to work with the central government even as he proceeded with plans for BP Plc (BP/) to develop fields in northern areas claimed by the Kurdish authorities.
Chevron Corp. (CVX), Total SA (FP) and Exxon, which operates the West Qurna-1 oil field in southern Iraq, are among companies that have angered the central government with proposals to explore in the Kurdish area. While the Baghdad authorities don’t recognize contracts signed by the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government without their permission, foreign investors say Kurdish authorities offer them more attractive terms.
“Any company that signs deals without the approval of the central government, we don’t deal with them,” Oil Minister Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi said in Baghdad today. “We can’t allow Exxon to step over the constitution. It can’t continue to work in both places at the same time, they have to choose to work either in Iraq or in Kurdistan. We are waiting for a final answer in the coming few days.”
Iraq Warns Exxon on Kurdish Deals Amid Plans for BP Development - Bloomberg

WAM | Emirates News Agency

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA) and its partner, Volta River Authority (VRA), have completed the USD 330 million financing for the expansion of the Takoradi 2 power plant in Ghana.

The expansion project will convert the existing gas-fired plant into a combined cycle unit, increasing its output from 220 megawatts (MW) to approximately 330 MW without requiring additional fuel. This represents an addition of 50 per cent capacity without increasing carbon dioxide emissions.

The extra energy will be sold to VRA under the terms of a revised 25-year power purchase agreement. The plant was recently converted from primarily an oil-fired plant to one fuelled by natural gas as part of a considered effort within Ghana's power generation industry towards cleaner-burning fuel.
WAM | TAQA completes financing for Ghana power plant expansion

MIDEAST STOCKS-Bluechips lift Dubai to 33-mth high; Gulf mkts mixed | Reuters

Dubai's heavyweight banking and property stocks lifted the emirate's index to a fresh 33-month high above a long-term resistance level on Sunday, while other regional markets were mixed.

Dubai's index rose 1.5 percent to 1,819 points, its highest finish since April 2010. Emaar Properties climbed 3.6 percent and top lender Emirates NBD rose 1.5 percent.

Dubai Financial Market, the Gulf's only listed bourse, added 2.4 percent, accounting for nearly a quarter of all shares traded on the index.
MIDEAST STOCKS-Bluechips lift Dubai to 33-mth high; Gulf mkts mixed | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Oman telco Nawras extends profit slump for 4th quarter | Reuters

Nawras, Oman's No.2 telecoms operator, posted a 13.4 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit, a fourth consecutive quarterly decline, as falling revenue from texts and on-network calls weighed on the bottom line.

Internet-based services such as instant messaging and Voice-Over-IP phone (VoIP) calls have hurt margins of Gulf telecoms companies as the region's large expatriate population has increasingly shifted away from conventional calls and texts to contact home.

Nawras, majority-owned by Qatar Telecom (Qtel), on Sunday reported a net profit of 10.3 million rials ($26.75 million) for the three months to Dec. 31, down from 11.9 million in the year-earlier quarter.
UPDATE 1-Oman telco Nawras extends profit slump for 4th quarter | Reuters

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: Dubai looks to Qatar for oil as flow from Iran cut - Business Breaking News - MiamiHerald.com

Dubai's government-run oil company says it has started importing supplies from Qatar and is seeking other sources in apparent moves to replace Iranian crude lost because of international sanctions.

Sunday's statement from the Emirates National Oil Co. said it could seek to expand imports from the Middle East and Asia to help meet rising demand in the city-state, which has little of its own oil unlike neighboring Abu Dhabi.

The statement did not mention Iran, but Dubai was a major buyer of Iranian condensate - light oil ready for refineries - and faced U.S. pressure to stop the flow.

Dubai was a major hub for Iranian trade, but commerce has been sharply reduced by Western sanctions over Tehran's nuclear program.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: Dubai looks to Qatar for oil as flow from Iran cut - MiamiHerald.com

QNB Group, Industries Qatar in FT Global 500

The total value of the world’s largest 500 listed companies, measured by market capitalisation, increased by 13 percent in 2012 to $26 trillion, according to data compiled by the Financial Times. The increase has been principally driven by banks whose market capitalisation rose 29 percent to $4.2 trillion in 2012. As a result, banking is the most heavily represented sector in the FT Global 500, accounting for 16 percent of its capitalisation.
Bank stocks came under pressure during 2011 owing to concerns about their exposure to the European sovereign debt crisis and about the impact of new regulations and deleveraging, according to QNB Group.
QNB Group, Industries Qatar in FT Global 500

UPDATE 1-Qatar's CBQ posts 19 pct Q4 profit jump, misses estimates | Reuters

Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ), which is eyeing a majority stake in Turkey's Alternatifbank, posted a 19 percent jump in fourth-quarter net profit on Sunday on increased lending, but still trailed analysts' forecasts.

The bank earned 447 million riyals ($122.8 million) for the fourth quarter, compared with 376 million riyals a year earlier, a company statement said.

Analysts had forecast an average quarterly profit of 452.4 million riyals, according to a Reuters poll.
UPDATE 1-Qatar's CBQ posts 19 pct Q4 profit jump, misses estimates | Reuters

Emaar Rises to 3-Year High on Property Sales Report: Dubai Mover - Bloomberg

Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR) rose to the highest level in more than three years after a report that units made available at a new Dubai residential development sold out in one day, supporting the developer’s profit outlook.
Shares of the company with the heaviest weighting on Dubai’s index advanced 2.7 percent to 4.60 dirhams, the highest intraday level since October 2009, at 1:24 p.m. in the emirate. Emaar boosted Dubai’s benchmark DFM General Index (DFMGI) 1.2 percent to 1,814.41, the highest intraday level since April 2010. The stock is the fourth-best performer on the DFM General Index this month, gaining 23 percent.
Emaar, developer of the world’s tallest skyscraper, said last week it started a new luxury hotel project in Downtown Dubai amid increasing demand for high-end properties. The Address Residence Fountain Views, which will comprise 280 apartments, sold all units made available at a first offering yesterday, Khaleej Times reported, citing unidentified people.
Emaar Rises to 3-Year High on Property Sales Report: Dubai Mover - Bloomberg

Gulf Related Plans to Assume Debt for $1 Billion Sowwah - Bloomberg

Gulf Related plans to assume debt to fund part of the $1 billion Sowwah Central real estate development on an island that Abu Dhabi is seeking to turn into a financial center.
Sowwah Central, a mixed used development that includes departments stores, cinemas, health clubs and restaurants, should be completed in 2017, said Kenneth Himmel, co-managing partner of Related Cos., the New York-based real estate development and management company founded by Stephen Ross.
Gulf Related is a venture between Related Cos. and the United Arab Emirates’ private equity firm Gulf Capital.
Gulf Related Plans to Assume Debt for $1 Billion Sowwah - Bloomberg

Emirates Banks Association Proposes 75% Mortgage Cap - Bloomberg

United Arab Emirates lenders should be allowed to offer expatriates mortgages for as much as 75 percent of the value of their first home purchase, the chairman of the country’s bank association said.
The limit should be reduced to 60 percent for a second home loan and 50 percent for properties under construction, Emirates Banks Association Chairman Abdul Aziz Abdulla Al-Ghurair said. The association has submitted its proposals to the central bank, he said.
The recommendations follow the regulator’s move last month to inform banks of its intention to restrict mortgages to foreigners and nationals in the second-biggest Arab economy. The central bank proposed a 50 percent loan-to-value limit for expatriates compared with no cap previously. Property prices in Dubai, which suffered one of the world’s worst real-estate crashes after the 2008 global credit crisis, started to recover last year.
Emirates Banks Association Proposes 75% Mortgage Cap - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia and Egypt achieve the goals of the Arab Economic Summit

Arab leaders came up with great ideas and encouraging promises in the Arab Economic Summit held last week in Riyadh. They want to offer better economic and living conditions in all Arab countries which they aim at turning into one harmonious and successful economic bloc whose people would live in prosperity and find jobs.

But let us try to apply those ideas on the reality of the Arab world. Can we establish an economic unity in which billions of investments, goods, and jobs flow between the two biggest Arab countries—Egypt and Saudi—which together make up half the economy of the Arab world?

The answer is, “Of course not,” not because trade between the two countries is in any way modest, for it exceeds seven billion dollars and is the biggest between any two Arab countries. The reason is the huge difference in the economic structure of the two sister countries despite geographical proximity and religious and genealogical ties. Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi said in his last visit to Riyadh to attend the summit that the two countries are “one tribe.”
Saudi Arabia and Egypt achieve the goals of the Arab Economic Summit

Dubai may open up business for Gulf residents

Dubai is planning to allow citizens from neighbouring GCC states to set up businesses in its territory with a foreign partner without the involvement of a  UAE national.
The emirate’s high-profile Department of Economic Development has set up a committee to look into requests from other GCC citizens to establish businesses there without roping in a UAE citizen.
Laws in Dubai currently do not permit other GCC nationals or foreigners to open up businesses without involving UAE nationals except in certain zones specified for the purpose.
Dubai may open up business for Gulf residents

Barwa Bank co-lead manager of Dubai’s $750m sukuk

Barwa Bank, Qatar’s fastest growing Shariah-compliant bank, has been selected as co-lead manager on the Government of Dubai’s $750m sukuk issuance which is the first sovereign sukuk of 2013 in the region.
Barwa Bank has opened the year in the Debt Capital Markets in the same manner as the previous, being chosen for the second time as co-lead manager by government of Dubai, for what is one of the most sought after credits in the Mena region.
Steve Troop, CEO, Barwa Bank, said, “We are extremely proud to have been selected as repeat co-lead manager by the Government of Dubai. Having the opportunity to be associated for the second time with a transaction of such significance indicates our credibility, strong regional relationships and delivery, as well as access to liquidity. We are working on many initiatives in the region in order to maintain our market standing and have a strong business pipeline for the coming year.”
Barwa Bank co-lead manager of Dubai’s $750m sukuk

Saudi Arabian Shares Rise, Led by Banks, Petrochemicals - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark stock index rose the most in two weeks, led by banks, petrochemicals and telecommunication companies, amid optimism about fourth-quarter earnings and gains in U.S. equities.
Al Rajhi Bank (RJHI), the kingdom’s biggest bank by market value, climbed to the highest since Jan. 20. Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), known as Sabic, advanced the most in more than two weeks, while Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) increased the most in a week.
The Tadawul All Share Index added 0.4 percent to 7,025.31 at the close in Riyadh, the biggest gain since Jan. 12.
Saudi Arabian Shares Rise, Led by Banks, Petrochemicals - Bloomberg

US official to focus on illicit finance and sanctions in UAE talks - The National

David Cohen, the US undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, arrives in the UAE this week to press for greater coordination of sanctions to combat illicit finance.

Mr Cohen will travel to Dubai and Abu Dhabi and meet senior government officials, the US Treasury department said in a statement.

The talks will centre on "issues related to illicit finance including the implementation of international economic sanctions against Iran and Syria" and combating terrorist financing worldwide, said the statement.
US official to focus on illicit finance and sanctions in UAE talks - The National

UAB reports record net income for 2012 | GulfNews.com

Sharjah-based United Arab Bank (UAB) yesterday reported a net profit of Dh410 million in the financial year ended December 31, 24 per cent higher than its net income for 2011.
Commenting on the bank’s Paul Trowbridge, UAB’s chief executive officer, said: “The strategic growth plans are delivering the success we envisioned and continue to remain embedded in the way we conduct and grow our business, adding value for both new and existing customers.”
“Our commitment to quality is further supported through our expanded branch network, our new SME [small and medium enterprises] business segment and our improved product offerings. This has positioned UAB as one of the fastest-growing banks in the region, with the size of the bank doubling in the last two years, as measured by customer deposits, loans and total assets,” he added.
UAB reports record net income for 2012 | GulfNews.com

After Europe, IMF faces big challenge in Arab world | GulfNews.com

The International Monetary Fund is gearing up for a huge new challenge to rebuild the economies of the turbulent Arab world, a mission that poses starkly different challenges to its Eurozone rescues.
The Arab Spring revolutions of 2010-2011 have opened doors to the IMF’s money and expertise as new governments face the need to balance their books and revive sagging growth.
Egypt and Tunisia are in negotiations over IMF loan programmes that would entail structural reforms, and the Fund is also providing technical assistance to Libya.
After Europe, IMF faces big challenge in Arab world | GulfNews.com

Enhancing Arab economic cooperation | GulfNews.com

Needless to say, the third version of the Arab Economic, Development and Social Summit held in Riyadh last week confirmed the determination of the 22 Arab nations of enhancing their bilateral economic cooperation on different fronts. The summit differs from regular meetings of the Arab League by solely focusing on ways of strengthening economic potentials amongst member countries.
Interestingly enough, the economic summits are a novelty for members of the Arab League. Better late than never.
In retrospect, Kuwait hosted the first such summit in early 2009, committing itself to pay $0.5 billion (Dh1.8 billion) of a fund designed to develop infrastructure projects amongst the needy Arab countries. For its part, Egypt hosted the second version in early 2011 only weeks prior to experiencing sweeping effects of the Arab Spring, leading to downfall of President Hosni Mubarak.
Enhancing Arab economic cooperation | GulfNews.com

Bonds to flourish as sheikhs sweat | Top News | IFRe

Gulf countries are planning massive investment in infrastructure two years after the Arab Spring in a bid to improve public services, and DCM bankers are expecting an increase in deal flow as sovereigns look at various financing options.

Political unrest that toppled regimes in Tunisia and Egypt has spread to Bahrain and Kuwait, and concerned Gulf rulers have expanded infrastructure investment programmes.

“The Arab Spring has accelerated the spending on projects that are important to the public, such as housing, healthcare and salaries. I think this has increased budgetary spending levels by around 5% to 10%,” said Sjoerd Leenart, JP Morgan’s senior country officer for Middle East and North Africa.
Bonds to flourish as sheikhs sweat | Top News | IFRe

Kuwait puts money in funds, not bond market - The National

The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) is focused on private equity funds instead of bonds, Badr Al Saad, the head of Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund, said yesterday.

Mr Al Saad said that the KIA has been investing in private equity funds where the returns are good and is shunning bonds because interest rates are so low.

"We have been investing in private equity funds lately … the returns are good," he said in rare public comments about the KIA's investment strategy. He named Texas Pacific Group and CBC as two of the funds the KIA has been investing in.
Kuwait puts money in funds, not bond market - The National

Banks eye loan ratios in UAE mortgage cap debate - The National

Commercial lenders will attempt to head off a sharp tightening of borrowing limits for home buyers this week by providing the UAE Central Bank with the sector's view on its controversial mortgage cap proposals.

Reassurances from the Central Bank last week that it had not yet imposed new limits on home lending brought "relief" to the industry, according to one banker who asked not to be identified.

Last month, a circular was sent to banks that restricted borrowing for expatriates to 50 per cent for the first property and 40 per cent for subsequent properties. Emiratis will be able to fund up to 70 per cent of their first home via mortgage loans and 60 per cent for any further purchases.
Banks eye loan ratios in UAE mortgage cap debate - The National

Al Ghurair, UAE Business Mogul, Eyes Nigeria’s Economy, Articles | THISDAY LIVE

The Nigerian foreign direct investment is about to receive a boost as one of United Arab Emirates’ (UAE’s) business moguls and richest men, Abdullah Al Ghurair,  has indicated interest in investing in the oil and gas, power, financial, agriculture and mining sectors of the country’s economy.

A trade and investment source, who made this known to THISDAY, said Al Ghurair was concluding arrangements to meet with chief executives and officials of various sectors of the economy, with a view to identifying the specific areas of investment.

Al Ghurair is the chairman of Mashreqbank and also oversees a wide variety of businesses that have helped  in bringing prosperity to the UAE from the earliest days of the country's rapid development. These include home-grown, UAE-based,  regional and international  spanning in 20 countries.
Al Ghurair, UAE Business Mogul, Eyes Nigeria's Economy, Articles | THISDAY LIVE

Overwhelming response for Emaar Downtown Dubai units - Khaleej Times

Emaar Property’s first project in 2013, The Address Residence Fountain Views, on Saturday witnessed an overwhelming response, selling out all the units released on the first day of the launch, according to sources.
The strong response to Emaar’s prime property indicates robust demand for premium developments in Downtown Dubai, which was one of the most sought-after communities for residential sales and leasing last year.

Emaar released 147 out of 280 units on Saturday and all were sold out in a few hours, according to a real estate agent. The average unit price is Dh2,500 per square feet, he added. Khaleej Times approached Emaar to get details of the units sold, but did not get any response till filing the report.
Prospective buyers queue outside the Emaar Square office as sales opened for The Address Residence Fountain Views property in Downtown Dubai on Saturday morning. — KT photo by Rahul Gajjar
Overwhelming response for Emaar Downtown Dubai units - Khaleej Times

Abu Dhabi's 'robust' economy exceeds Dh1 trillion for first time - The National

The value of Abu Dhabi's economy exceeded Dh1 trillion for the first time in 2011 driven by increased spending in the manufacturing sector, the latest data show.

The Statistics Centre-Abu Dhabi (Scad) released revised economic data yesterday showing that nominal GDP in 2011 grew by 29.9 per cent year on year to Dh1.06tn, providing further evidence of the emirate's continuing recovery.

"The results demonstrate the robustness and stability of the emirate's economy, attesting to its massive competitive edge over regional and global economies and boosting its appeal to local and foreign investors," said Scad.
Abu Dhabi's 'robust' economy exceeds Dh1 trillion for first time - The National