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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 |

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 |

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
 General Index5608.02
 Change (%)-1.41%
 T. Volume63156042
 T. Companies 444
Egypt Exchange

MENA stock markets close - January 28, 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

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 -

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 -

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 |

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 |

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, 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